Primus frontman Les Claypool and M.I.R.V. guitarist Bryan Kehoe were jamming around the campfire one night. Claypool was suddenly inspired by the country music forced on him as a child -- Johnny Horton, Jerry Reed, and Vernon Dalhart -- and started playing his bass in a "Luther Perkins dig digga dang, dig digga dang" while Kehoe accompanied on guitar. They tested various songs, from obvious choices like Johnny Horton's "Battle of New Orleans" and Primus' own "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" to less likely candidates such as Alice in … Read more
Gary Numan is well aware that most Americans know him only for his "Cars" single. It's his only US hit, charting at No. 9 back in 1980. But when people call the electro pioneer a one-hit wonder, it drives me crazy. If "Down in the Park," "Are 'Friends' Electric?" "Me! I Disconnect From You," and "You Are in My Vision" (with Tubeway Army), "I Die: You Die," and "We Take Mystery (To Bed)" didn't chart in the US, it's not for lack of … Read more
For some, work is a chore. For JD Samson & Men, music is a labor of love. Nowhere is that more apparent than on the electronic outfit's new, aptly titled album, "Labor." The LP's 13 tracks tackle heavy, highly personal topics suited for a therapy session -- gender identity, relationships, the challenges of making it in today's musical landscape -- yet listeners will likely experience a post-confessional lightness, buoyed by Men's synth-driven dance sound. I recently spoke to JD Samson about "Labor," the tour, gender identity, ex-bandmate Kathleen Hanna, and her favorite … Read more
Between the success of "The Sing-Off" and "Pitch Perfect," it's fair to say that a cappella is making a comeback. Pentatonix, a five-piece vocal group fresh off a well-attended European tour, has been reaping the benefits of the increased interest. The group has garnered 4.5 million subscribers and 300 million views on the Pentatonix YouTube channel; has released a top 10 album, "PTX Volume 2"; sold out its entire North American tour, which runs from February 4 to April 10; collaborated with Lucky Charms cereal on its 50th anniversary commercial, which premieres … Read more
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks' sixth release, "Wig Out at Jagbags," was worked out "on a computer on someone else's table in someone else's apartment" in Berlin and a studio in rural Belgium, but it sounds as casual, lived in, and American as a vintage Polo sweater. Grab the album (iTunes/Amazon) on January 7, and get tickets (Live Nation, StubHub, eSeats) for their upcoming U.S. tour, which kicks off February 12 in Denver.
Download.com caught up with the indie rockfather, following his return to the U.S., while he was out … Read more
The classically trained pianist and singer's music has been featured on hit TV series "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" and in Pedro Almodovar's 2011 film "The Skin I Live In." The new album, released … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Apple on Monday added support in its software for raw image files from Nikon's top-end SLR, the $8,000, 24.5-megapixel D3X.
Apple's Digital Camera Raw Compatibility Update 2.5 also adds support for Epson's Epson R-D1x digital rangefinder camera, according to the Apple support page.
The software enables Aperture 2, iPhoto '08, and iPhoto '09 to interpret the cameras' raw files, proprietary formats that include more information than JPEGs. The update requires Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.5.3, or later.
A full list of Apple's raw image support … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Adobe Systems has released the final version of Lightroom 2.3, its photo-editing and cataloging software, along with its close relative, the Camera Raw 5.3 plug-in to let Photoshop CS4 edit raw images from higher-end cameras.
The new software (available as a download for Windows and Mac OS X) supports Nikon's top-end D3X, an $8,000, 24.5-megapixel machine whose owners likely will usually prefer raw files for their flexibility and quality advantages over JPEG. Also supported is Olympus' new midrange E-30.
LAS VEGAS--A company called Geotate hopes to use an Internet service to lower a significant barrier to the technologically challenging practice of geotagging.
Geotagging, which uses a global positioning system to attach location data to photos to build in more descriptive data, is at present a difficult and largely manual process appealing mostly to serious photo enthusiasts. That's largely because it's too hard right now to build GPS directly into a camera for automated geotagging, so photographers must carry a separate GPS device and then marry the location data to the photos after the fact.
But Geotate, which … Read more
LAS VEGAS--In a departure from how it handled its Windows release, DxO Labs plans to begin a public beta testing for the Mac OS X version of its DxO Optics Pro software used to convert raw files from higher-end cameras.
DxO Labs released DxO Optics Pro version 5 for Windows last year, saying it hoped to release the Mac OS X version in November. However, the Mac version of the software now is scheduled for release on Feb. 22, said Luc Marin, DxO's director of marketing for photography, at the Photo Marketing Association trade show here.
The company hopes … Read more