Newsletter December 1999

It's time for that Happy Holiday newsletter. Fasten seat belts and note location of emergency exits.

For those of you not so heavily into the technology that you build your own dance and remix tracks from scratch we have a brand-new plaything, fresh software from a new company called Mixman. On our site, you'll find a full description of this mix-it-yourself technology. It's simple enough for children to use (and we're not talking that obnoxious, know-it-all high-tech breed) but has surprised us with its effective musical results. We give you full links to the Mixman site for downloading the player and for entering our very own Mixman competition, with a Mixman version of Thorne's Natural Beauty, the Lene Lovich-written song from Sprawl. With the player, you can save the choices you make as you play your own ‘mix’ live. We will put the best that's submitted to the Mixman site on a disk, possibly even one of those so-cool vinyl ones, At the least, it'll keep the brats noisy over the holidays.

Extending our free downloads, we offer a true piece of history in mp3 and Liquid Audio formats. In December 1976, Hilly Kristal released a 7" record, the first and only CBGB's Christmas single (in 1999 he's still the owner, and now Stereo Society recording artist). Try singing along with various luminaries from the new downtown punk scene. Even farther out is the B side, the first recording of ‘Mud’, immortalized on Hilly's own first CD earlier this year. Hear Genya Ravan of Goldie and the Gingerbreads say 'eugh' (backing singing honors on Hilly's new CD were taken by Tish and Snooky, CBGB veterans also appearing here). About eaugh-de-cologne for pigs, of course. A truly Happy Christmas.

Allan Schwartzberg, one of New York City's top drummers, might alternatively wish you happy Hanukkah. Moving right along for Kwanzaa, you can blast James Brown (as have the Uptown Horns) and hear Allan's groove on ‘Funky President’. A drum loop lifted from this is one of the most used ever. In Allan's new interview, he talks frankly about changing dance music, groove, and technology. Is sampling theft? If you spend a lifetime developing a rhythm technique second to none, is it fair that someone can use your compelling groove as the foundation of their own recording? What are the musical limits to sampling? Hear (and read) Allan's opinions on dance music and its changes over the years.

If you can't beat em, join em. So, for all you club animals out there, we all thought we'd accidentally on purpose leave THAT SAMPLE lying around. You might stumble on a version of it in mp3 in the DJ corner along with gallons of other dancefloor propellant, including nearly a hundred samples for dancefloor use gleaned from Thorne's Sprawl album. Its use only requires that you salute Allan and bow in the direction of Brooklyn at some point during the holidays. Don't forget, though, that if you use this on a commercial recording, you have to get clearance from the big JB The original track is on a good double-CD collection, James Brown: Make It Funky, The Big Payback 1971-1975.

Some brief Millennium statistics from us. Last month, we passed the half-million hits mark. The real measure is the number of sessions and pages accessed, and we're looking to be close to or past our previous record in December. The thing we appreciate most is that the pages read per session, the measure of how long you people hang around, is up noticeably. Perhaps you're just slower than you used to be, but in our complacent moments we imagine that it's because of all the stuff you can dig into, now approaching 400 pages. So thank you for your support and interest. Please hang around even longer, and inform your friends that they are required to visit and sign up. Use physical force if necessary.

And then there's the Shopping page. This serves the one addiction we condone. The new addition is the BETTY CD (28 minutes of new music, a bargain at $8.99). Shipping is $3 per order in the US no matter how many of our unique disks you buy. Advance orders are being taken, and we expect stock (honest) to be available for dispatch the first week in January. (There's a slim chance of delivery by December 25, but we can't guarantee you Christmas timing and wouldn't want holiday spirit, family reconciliation etc. to depend on it.) For now, you can download the new single, Millennium Man in mp3 format.

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