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poopylungstuffing
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02 Jun 2009, 11:56 am

I have only marginally heard bits and pieces from them here and there. It has been a while since i have explored any new bands(as in bands I am unfamiliar with--(outside of the perpetual bombardment of the 100+bands that play at my place every month)....maybe they will be next.

One of my favorite internet radio stations is http://www.weirdsville.com I mainly only listen to the "Swank" channel...They have some neet oldies....I like the various Reefer songs.

It would be awesome if the songs could be accessible in a format like the one on Weirdsville. It is easy to find and easy to access...at least I think so...



SabbraCadabra
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02 Jun 2009, 4:42 pm

Electric_Kite wrote:
Really, it'd be cooler to place them on their own site, in an archival-quality format. (.wav) though I suppose that might get pricy to host. If you want to try it, I could see if a library might want them. Probably a very large chunk of them are public domain.


FLAC would be better than WAV, since it's compressed (but still lossless, like WAV). And if it is, in fact, public domain, I'm sure Archive.org would host it...but I don't know how that works, I've never submitted anything there.

Apparently they're not very strict, I often find tons of worthless junk there :x Poorly encoded videos, duplicates, stuff like that.


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cav
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02 Jun 2009, 6:04 pm

Okay, so I have no idea what all this technology is....I would love nothing better than to know about it, have access to it and the resources to put it "out there" for anyone with an interest. Since some of Robert's old musician friends have started moving their collections to digital, he's less resistent to the idea. But I have heard that there are some subtle sound waves available on analog that do not "cross over" to digital. This is of no concern to me personally since my hearing does not encompass that level of subtlety anyway. I just want to make sure that you are all aware that these are "homemade" recordings from 78s. Many people cannot listen to them because the "scratchy" sound [more likely to be intrusive if it's a rare recording, some old blues and at least one rare Dennis Magee (cajun fiddler) disc in Robert's collection] so completely overwhelms their experience of the music. Connoisseurs’ insist that one must be very careful about (technically) decreasing the scratchy effect in order to maintain the integrity of the recording. A friend of Robert's is a sound engineer and I'll print out these technical suggestions and send them to France so Robert can discuss them with the sound engineer who will be visiting in France later this summer. Perhaps he'd be willing to take this project on, who knows? Meanwhile I'll start researching...



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02 Jun 2009, 8:45 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
FLAC would be better than WAV, since it's compressed (but still lossless, like WAV).


I don't know the difference, honestly. .wav is just considered 'best practice' for digital archives. Though they may have expanded the list of acceptable formats since. I can check.

Quote:
And if it is, in fact, public domain, I'm sure Archive.org would host it...but I don't know how that works, I've never submitted anything there.

Apparently they're not very strict, I often find tons of worthless junk there :x Poorly encoded videos, duplicates, stuff like that.


Most of the archive.org content there is 'Wayback Machine' content. It's a web-crawler like google-bot, that just goes about and captures your web-page and stores it on their servers, which occupy acres of abandoned Wal-Marts. This allows people find some useful site that has gone down (its intended purpose) or to stand around sniggering, "Look how lame our web-page used to be!" (its actual use). Anyway, the reason it's got duplicates is that it recaptures for even small changes, and the reason the content is so lame is that there's no human being deciding what's worth keeping, it just captures what it can automagically. Actually most of its content is brazenly violating copyright law and they get away with this by keeping a small horde of trained monkeys there to remove stuff, no question, if the creator of it should happen to notice and ask them to.

Probably Crumb's collection is valuable enough (for its content) and prestigious enough (because it belongs to somebody suffering from the crippling disease known as 'fame,' allowing the institution to brag that they hold 'The R. Crumb Collection,' ooh, ahh) that academic institutions would squabble over it, catalog it well enough to make it deliciously searchable, and maintain it by periodically transfering the data in to the latest greatest format.

It's true, cav, that digital versions will never capture the full richness and immediacy of those old analog records, but they're worth it because sharable, and because they will not be further damaged or wear out.



cav
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02 Jun 2009, 10:17 pm

This is very informative, Electric Kite, and even better, entertaining!

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Probably Crumb's collection is valuable enough (for its content) and prestigious enough (because it belongs to somebody suffering from the crippling disease known as 'fame,' allowing the institution to brag that they hold 'The R. Crumb Collection,' ooh, ahh) that academic institutions would squabble over it, catalog it well enough to make it deliciously searchable,

..hmmm, hope that "quote" thingie works as my random guess indicates...
We've talked about the fate of "the collection" often and imagined it crated up til the end of time in some uncatalogued Smithsonian warehouse. This collection does reflect Robert's individualistic sensibilities but I think you over-estimate the power of "fame" in such a case. In fact, most people who show an interest in Robert because of his "fame" are completely unfamiliar with his work and such "fame" does not an aesthetically (not to get too precious) valuable 78 collection preserve. I think you would appreciate Robert's conversations with gallery curators (a recent aberration in his career that leaves him feeling, quite naturally vindicated, abashed and horified all at once) in which he tries to explain that his model is that of a comic book and comic book art displayed on a wall is inappropriate. Parts of his 78 collection would have broad appeal (if one accepts that "broad appeal" includes such things as rich rock stars purchasing rare recordings and framing them as wall decoration) but a lot of it is obscure ethnic recordings that, possibly would require another person to have been evaluating and collecting (and subsequently purging) for something like the 50 years that Robert has invested to appreciate fully. What's valuable?
My personal interests lie in the (faint?) possibilty of connecting to others that appreciate this music. No one is going to exactly love everything that Robert loves because it is that individualistic (Diane Hanson, do NOT send this to him!) but there are such riches, the sort that can make one weep, and it feels profound, fundamental...collectors gibber about recording serial numbers quite a lot but it's the human, even spiritual connection that music can evoke that must be at the heart of this interest...musn't it? Heck if I know! Hey someone else rant for awhile....



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02 Jun 2009, 11:37 pm

cav wrote:
I just found your site. I don't touch computers myself. I'm here with my girlfriend who's even more "aspie" than me...she's almost to the level of Temple Grandin! (No So!! - girlfriend) She's typing this in for me. Hey, I love you guys!
R. Crumb


Mr. Crumb- You might want to let us know if you want to be private or public about having Aspergers. David Byrne recently mentioned in an interview that he had it (although says he no longer has the traits.) Dan Akroyd said in a Terry Gross interview that he had it (at least at one point in his life.) I figure you wouln't mind if anyone here quoted you, but I want to make sure. Thanks. I personally wasn't planning to "alert the media" by the way.

I also enjoy blues and jazz from the era of the 78's, but haven't heard as much of it as I would like.

I am one of those who finds your artwork to be amazing and thought provoking.



cav
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03 Jun 2009, 12:04 am

It will take awhile to get Robert's response to this. He's travelling, in Prague at a writer's conference or something. It is possible to perceive the Aspergers symptoms as a set of characteristics. With that perspective, one may make some attempt to isolate the influences of "nature" and (so called) nurture. We all struggle to make sense of our lives based on our personal experience and the current state of knowledge. I seem to notice a persistent pattern of we (humans) feeling like we've reached a "final" answer to this or that. Our knowledge does not really have such an incarnation. Whatever we think we know is subject to change. Isn't our challenge to nurture a mental state of always knowing that we do not currently know everything? C'mon, isn't it more interesting? We probably spend 3 quarters of our lives pretending we know things we do not. Possibilities are waaaay more provocative than answers. So I'm hoping you can leave some room for personal perspective in the answers you seek.



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03 Jun 2009, 4:32 am

cav wrote:
We've talked about the fate of "the collection" often and imagined it crated up til the end of time in some uncatalogued Smithsonian warehouse.


If he should donate it, as a collection of physical objects, that is probably what will happen. (Though, alas, I am assured that the Smithsonian does not really have John Dillinger's penis in a jar, so the collection cannot gather dust alongside this amazing object.) Cataloging is time consuming and there is inevitably an enormous backlog. If you digitize it and supply it with even the most minimal of metadata (say, a scanned image or photograph of the label associated with the tracks) it will probably be relatively easy to get it into a repository that will make it available online -- much of the work is done already, and archives really want to digitize stuff because it makes it better available and stops archivists needing to make appointments for users and stand around in reading rooms making sure people don't damage things.

(In my current situation, I may be able to get a library science professor to round up a bunch of student catalogers to work with me to catalog it nicely, so you can search and get, say, every American recording from 1932 that contains both vocals and banjo, which would be great. And fun for me to do, because I'm loopy that way.)

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This collection does reflect Robert's individualistic sensibilities but I think you over-estimate the power of "fame" in such a case.


Oh, I think you are underestimating the perculiarities of archives. The sort of stuff that's down in that sort of repository isn't the same as what you see on the museum floor.

Yesterday I saw an archivist hopping around gleefully because she had observed that within the collection there is a letter addressed to W.H. Auden accusing him of plagiarism. This past October I found three of them discussing the fact that one had found, while processing the personal papers of a deceased professor of English literature, an envelope containing a bunch of nail-clippings. The conversation being about 2/3rd "weird tales of revolting things found in the collection" and 1/3rd "So, should I catalog the nail clippings and keep them, or toss them?" Not an entirely serious question, but nearly so.

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In fact, most people who show an interest in Robert because of his "fame" are completely unfamiliar with his work


Of course. As far as I can tell, fame is a sort of social leprosy that causes people to imagine who you are and jab at you with the sharp points of their stupid ideas about you until bits of your personhood fall off.

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Parts of his 78 collection would have broad appeal (if one accepts that "broad appeal" includes such things as rich rock stars purchasing rare recordings and framing them as wall decoration) but a lot of it is obscure ethnic recordings that, possibly would require another person to have been evaluating and collecting (and subsequently purging) for something like the 50 years that Robert has invested to appreciate fully. What's valuable?


This is the reason (aside from the interest-generating power of the name) to keep it together as 'The R. Crumb Collection' or the like. As parts of a named collection, those peices end up being considered valuable as contributing to the integrity of the collection. If you break it up and distribute it into other collections (or the walls of rock stars) you'll probably end up with bits that don't fit anywhere, so they'll get lost.

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My personal interests lie in the (faint?) possibilty of connecting to others that appreciate this music.


Oh, I don't think a digital version of this collection is going to hook you up with interpersonal interactions from its users unless you host it yourself and have them write to you about it. Unless you get that feeling from just making stuff available. I find that satisfactory. But when it comes to dealing with people I want either intense connection (which I recognize as a rarity and a special treat) or minimalism. Sometimes the undemanding pleasures of written correspondence, with its pleasant way of requiring my attention only when I feel like giving it.



cav
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03 Jun 2009, 8:24 am

You make a convincing case.

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My personal interests lie in the (faint?) possibilty of connecting to others that appreciate this music.

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... Unless you get that feeling from just making stuff available. I find that satisfactory.


Exactly so.

Some of the best stuff that I've already had transferred to CD are recorded BBC radio shows that were taped in his studio and include his comments (of the moment) about the pieces. Since it was taped in the place he ususally listens to records Robert is very relaxed and conversational. My point is that he is the best source for information about the collection. He's recently claimed, upon completing the 3 year+ project of illustrating the Book of Genesis, that he is retiring from art work so maybe he'll be inclined to "catalogue" at least some of the most obscure bits himself.
Some of Robert's collection has been released on CD, "Gay Life in Dikanka", "That's What I Call Sweet Music" and "Hot Women" but sold mostly in Europe and UK.

This has been a helpful conversation and brings the scope of such a project into perspective. I should have recognized the brain of an archivist a bit earlier!
I will print up the cogent information from this discussion and send it to him so he'll have a chance to read it before he calls upon his return from Prague in a week or so. Beats arguing about Sumerian bricklayers!



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03 Jun 2009, 2:14 pm

Electric_Kite wrote:
I don't know the difference, honestly.


FLAC is compressed, so it takes up less space. But it's still lossless like WAV is, so it converts back perfectly, with no data loss. It's prettymuch become the standard for lossless releases (though there are a few other lossless formats, FLAC seems to be the most popular of them).

Electric_Kite wrote:
Most of the archive.org content there is 'Wayback Machine' content.


There's a LOT more than just the Wayback Machine at Archive.org ;)

They have huge collections of public domain items, as well as other items that are under different licenses...everything from movies, TV shows, music (live and studio), art, books, old time radio shows, etc. etc. Most of it is hosted in several different file formats/compression ratios, depending on your personal tastes and needs.

I think it's all user-contributed, but I'm not exactly sure.

cav wrote:
In fact, most people who show an interest in Robert because of his "fame" are completely unfamiliar with his work and such "fame" does not an aesthetically (not to get too precious) valuable 78 collection preserve.


I don't know about the music he has personally created, but I think as far as his collection, it would certainly garner a fair interest, depending on the condition of the music and depending on how much of it has or has not been preserved already. I've seen preservation efforts for all sorts of things...books that feature compilations of books H.P. Lovecraft had in his library, stuff like that.

I'm not going to pretend I know much about music from that era, but I know even certain music from the 50s and 60s can be really hard for music lovers to get a hold of these days.

And like you said, it's certainly better for the music to be out there to be freely enjoyed (even if it is in a digital format) than to be hanging on someone's wall.


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03 Jun 2009, 3:35 pm

cav wrote:
It will take awhile to get Robert's response to this. He's travelling, in Prague at a writer's conference or something. It is possible to perceive the Aspergers symptoms as a set of characteristics. With that perspective, one may make some attempt to isolate the influences of "nature" and (so called) nurture. We all struggle to make sense of our lives based on our personal experience and the current state of knowledge. I seem to notice a persistent pattern of we (humans) feeling like we've reached a "final" answer to this or that. Our knowledge does not really have such an incarnation. Whatever we think we know is subject to change. Isn't our challenge to nurture a mental state of always knowing that we do not currently know everything? C'mon, isn't it more interesting? We probably spend 3 quarters of our lives pretending we know things we do not. Possibilities are waaaay more provocative than answers. So I'm hoping you can leave some room for personal perspective in the answers you seek.


You make some excellent points. The DSM is simply what a group of people have agreed to. I also believe that the fact that many of us on this site have some characteristics in common is really what I find interesting. It doesn't much matter if the characteristics came about from biology, our experiences as we grew up, or a combination of factors.



cav
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04 Jun 2009, 7:41 pm

Quote:
In my current situation, I may be able to get a library science professor to round up a bunch of student catalogers to work with me to catalog it nicely, so you can search and get, say, every American recording from 1932 that contains both vocals and banjo, which would be great. And fun for me to do, because I'm loopy that way.)

As I was looking over my copy of this discussion thread, absent mindedly correcting typos, I recalled my eyebrows shooting up at this comment when I first read it. This is exactly the sort of thing I've fantasized about for several years. Searchable. There are too many ideas and thoughts to write down... In past years, I would imagine the architecture of an Access database (pardon my knuckles scraping the ground) for this purpose but inevitably ended by losing consciousness while smoke poured out my ears.



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05 Jun 2009, 3:36 am

Mmm. I have never used 'Access' and have no idea how good it is. Librarian powers can catalog it in some standard sort of way to work with fielded, faceted, public, and quite yummy search/discovery interface, and then argue over which one of the many available is nicest. The content of a music collection, even an odd one, is not weird enough to require the invention of a new architecture, even if R. Crumb wants to make a note about each peice for us.



cav
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06 Jun 2009, 11:38 am

There is a lot in Robert's collection (approx 5,000 78s) for which there is information available: American Dance Bands, Old Time Rural and Country, Western, Blues, Gospel, etc. And then there are items in most of these categories and a great deal of his ethnic collection that are obscure. Either very little, if anything is known, or something may be known by someone but at this point "someone" is unknown. While he was putting together the playlist and art work for the "Hot Women" CD, I was researching the music. There was one piece by a woman from India and I contacted Suresh Chandvankar, http://www.bl.uk/about/policies/endangeredarch/2008/chandvankar.html He is the Honorary Secretary of the Society of Indian Record Collectors, and is the Editor of The Record News, the annual journal of the Society. He very kindly provided information about "Nilam Bai", the credited performer on the disc and a translation of the song and more importantly, the cultural milieu of that genre of Indian music. On the other hand, he didn't have anything to say about the CD I sent him of a selection of Robert's Indian music (mostly instrumental - including an amazing "water glass" performance!). Was the CD representative of "popular music" and Dr. Chandvankar's interest lies more with Indian "classical" genres? At least the challenges are interesting ones.
One thing you cannot do with Access is have the recording in the same database as the information. I've contacted the archivist where I work to find out if she uses librarian type software. She probably does since she is a librarian but it seems unlikely it would be as sophisticated as discussed here. I'm hoping to have time this weekend to figure out how to "share" on Zune...then I'll be back with a link and information.



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06 Jun 2009, 10:45 pm

Electric_Kite wrote:
...so you can search and get, say, every American recording from 1932 that contains both vocals and banjo, which would be great.


I don't know how rhobust it is, but at Archive.org, you can give keywords to songs, or collections of songs...so you could give one song the keywords "1932, vocals, banjo" for instance, click the "1932" and find other songs, as long as they've also been given the proper keywords (I think most people would put the recording year somewhere else, though).


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