1) Summer Songs will launch within a week. Either myself or Greg Tate will kick off the proceedings.

2) Le Blogtheque just released a very cool concept mixtape called “Cadavre Exquis: Across the Continents“. The “exquisite corpse” is an artistic process where a sequence of people take turns adding onto an existing work – in this case, songs. It’s a simple but creatively powerful idea and one that I’d love to put in effect at some point.

3) Sasha Frere-Jones writes about everyone’s favorite audio aid to hate: Auto-Tuning. I especially like what Sasha says here:

    “there is nothing natural about recorded music. Whether the engineer merely tweaks a few bum notes or makes a singer tootle like Robby the Robot, recorded music is still a composite of sounds that may or may not have happened in real time. An effect is always achieved, and not necessarily the one intended. Aren’t some of the most entertaining and fruitful sounds in pop—distortion, whammy bars, scratching—the result of glorious abuse of the tools? At this late date, it’s hard to see how the invisible use of tools could imply an inauthentic product, as if a layer of manipulation were standing between the audience and an unsullied object. In reality, the unsullied object is the Sasquatch of music. Even a purely live recording is a distortion and paraphrasing of an acoustic event.”

Also, Sasha undergoes the Auto-Tune process himself in a humorous and enlightening podcast segment on the magazine’s website.

4) Todd Inoue put me up on this article in GQ about Arnel Pineda, the Filipino-born singer who used to sing in a Journey cover-band and now LEADS Journey. Incredible story. (Here’s another interview, done on the CBS Morning Show. And here’s Journey, with Pineda, rockin’ “Lights”).

5) There have been several important passings of late. As I’ve often noted, we’re entering into an era where many of musical giants will be dying, seemingly daily. R.I.P to:

Jimmy McGriff

Bo Diddley

You all shall be missed.