Author Archives: mike

Economics of the Great Compression

After getting a lot of generous and smart comments on my initial post about compression and mid scooping I decided to take another crack at it. The basic fact, described here, is that modern commercial music is heavily heavily compressed and has its midrange scooped out. The question I’m looking at is why. The late […]

More on Reenactors

There’s been a lot of blog traffic about GOP candidate Rich Iott dressing as a Nazi to bond with his son. As  far as I’ve been able to tell, the best defense of his action is that it’s all in the service of education and it’s no different from dressing as a Nazi to be […]

Reenacters

so apparently a candidate for Congress in Ohio likes dressing up as a Nazi.  I’m probably not the only one who finds this deeply creepy. I‘ve been trying for years to resolve what I think about reenacters in general. Are they creepy wanna-be Confederates? or people who genuinely love history and want to immerse themselves […]

Attention and Information

There is no more information than there ever was, there’s just more surplus attention

Midrange, compression and the history of technology

If you do any music production, even at the tyro level like me, you realize that there’s a characteristic “sound” to most pop music: mid scooped and compressed. It’s a very odd sound, highly un-natural, and it’s completely ubiquitous. But it was  not the characteristic sound of other eras. In the 20s, music sounded the […]

Evidence and Scarcity

As digital technology expands, our whole relationship to presenting evidence will have to change. Other disciplines roll their eyes at historians for having  too many examples. A lit scholar might read a historical article and think “he had me at five: the forty five examples that followed  didn’t accomplish a damn thing.” And even history […]

Movies and History

The death of Tony Curtis today reminds me of a movie we used to see all the time on TV as kids: The Black Shield of Falworth.  Curtis plays Miles, a young man of noble birth raised as a commoner, becomes a knight etc etc. It’s famous for Curtis in tights pronouncing his lines in […]

Being a Bass Player

Music works for me as an alternative to individualism, kind of a form of non-religious communion. A band, or most bands, work well when each member sacrifices some aspect of themselves–exercises some self discipline and restraint, and listens.  In a really good band, the players all know each other and are familiar with what each […]

Changing Academic Publishing

This blog will be partly a set of observations about history, partly a set of observations about music and music making. I’ll use this blog to re-consider the forms and modes of academic and semi-academic publishing and ideally  find some place in the small community of people interested in rethinking the profession. As a start, […]