Electronic musician's are notorious for liking and creating obtuse, experimental, and downright uncommercial music. To that end the community is a lot like the genuine Indie Rock/Punk world where artists compose and record what they want and release it when they are comfortable. This stands in contrast to many major commercial endeavors where album production teams and release dates are meticulously strategically planned by managers, executives, and maybe -as a token- with some input from the artists themselves. So with that, this post will focus on a newly discovered ode to the independent both in recording (got to have some geek/tech content folks!) and the inspiration.
http://weathervanemusic.org/ is a non-profit dedicated to supporting and showcasing independent music and the people who make and enjoy it. They offer workshops and a video series as well as documentation and an "Instructors Toolkit" for others to use to teach recording and other techniques. All come highly recommended and this month they released the second season of their great Web/Video series "Shaking Through" which showcases musicians, engineers, and producers talking about and recording songs in the famous Miner Street Studio in Philadelphia.
This Season's first Episode features none other that Indie/Punk legends the Dead Milkmen and showcases both their confidence and experience with direct recording as well as their curiosity and comfort level with experimenting and collaborating with others. For a band known for catchy irreverent pop "Bitchin' Camaro", "Punk Rock Girl" and hick punkish manifestos "Stuart" the two videos from this series show just how sophisticated that "unsophisticated" veneer really is. The series focuses on two videos; one of the "Artist" and one of the "Production" and both are brilliant, insightful, and entertaining.
It's a joy to watch the musician's and recording team both relax and work hard at the same time and the result speak for themselves. What once was a juvenile pleasure has now grown into a mature yet fun artistic and expressive event losing none of it's drive or relevance along the way. Few artists can claim that in general. The fact that the Dead Milkmen can pull it off just goes to show how much it's not about the corporate planning or chart sales and comes down the the same universal themes that drive any and all music.