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May 10, 2013 1:52 PM   Subscribe

Tackling everything from Abba to the Velvet Underground, Brian Eno reveals his insights into popular music in this 81 minute talk at a music academy sponsored by a popular sugar-and-caffeine-infused drink.

"During a fascinating conversation at the Red Bull Music Academy, Brian Eno discusses the East Coast premiere of his audio-visual installation, 77 Million Paintings, and discusses everything from why people are afraid of Abba to what made the Velvet Underground 'niche'."
posted by item (25 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite

 
RBMA's been around for a long time now and the number of great interviews they've done as part of it is too long to list. Just to pick a couple from past years off the top of my head:

Nile Rodgers: Part 1 / Part 2
Moodymann

You can find most (but I think maybe not all of them) here.
posted by sparkletone at 2:22 PM on May 10, 2013


I saw him give a lecture at Cooper Union on Monday, and the first fifteen minutes (literally an entire fifteen minutes) consisted of him trying to eliminate feedback from the PA system, before eventually just giving up. It was a very odd thing, seeing Brian Eno (of all people) losing a battle with a lavalier.
posted by incomple at 2:24 PM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


It was a very odd thing, seeing Brian Eno (of all people) losing a battle with a lavalier.

Roundhead: 0
Lavalier: 1
posted by maudlin at 2:28 PM on May 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


I saw him give a lecture at Cooper Union on Monday, and the first fifteen minutes (literally an entire fifteen minutes) consisted of him dealing with feedback from the PA system. It was a very odd thing, seeing Brian Eno (of all people) losing a battle with a lavalier.

I'd imagine him just sitting there, smiling sagely as ear-splitting feedback wracked the hall, thinking "I was going to give a lecture, but this ties into all of my theories perfectly".
posted by anazgnos at 2:33 PM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


I only found out about Red Bull Music Academy a few months ago, but I adore their Fireside Chat series of interviews. They're an hour long but maybe 85% of that is just music, which for me is perfect.

I haven't listened to any of the lectures yet. I guess Brian Eno would be a great place to start. I'll be back in an hour!
posted by aubilenon at 2:34 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd imagine him just sitting there, smiling sagely as ear-splitting feedback wracked the hall, thinking "I was going to give a lecture, but this ties into all of my theories perfectly".

That's kind of what you want, right? Instead he just got flustered and eventually switched to a handheld mic, and quipped "Abraham Lincoln spoke in this hall once, presumably without the aid of amplification. But then, he was a much bigger man than I am."
posted by incomple at 2:36 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I suppose if it were an 81-minute talk about ambient music, it'd be sponsored by Robitussin?
posted by not_on_display at 2:44 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's seriously odd how good RBMA is. Like it just doesn't seem to match their product at all. Best not to look the gift-horse in the mouth *chugs red bull*
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:50 PM on May 10, 2013


it'd be sponsored by Robitussin?

Or dramamine.
posted by item at 2:52 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just RMBA, Red Bull does all kinds of fascinating things in the arts/culture/sports world. It's weird, but cool. I have friends who have basically subsisted via Red Bull ad dollars for the last couple of years and the jobs they've done have been amazingly fun and interesting.
posted by cell divide at 2:54 PM on May 10, 2013


it'd be sponsored by Robitussin?

That'd be Lester Bangs..
posted by ovvl at 2:56 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is fascinating. I'm about 20 minutes in and he's covered some amazing ground regarding working in groups, how art (and artists) develop in context of a larger community (his story about Picaso and the Russian prince is fascinating) and software. Whether you're into music or any creative work, this is worth some of your time.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:05 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I once had a ride with a terrifying taxi driver who was chugging Red Bull and after he finished the can he told me "it tastes like robitussin" with a big smile. That might be true but I have never heard anybody tell me they like the taste of either.
posted by bukvich at 3:27 PM on May 10, 2013


As unique as both Red Bull and Robitussin taste, I really would never say that they taste anything like one another. Red Bull tastes like Smarties juice and Robitussin tastes like, well, Robitussin.
posted by item at 3:31 PM on May 10, 2013


My question is why 77 million paintings is stuck in PPC land on the Mac. I bought the original and also the second edition and if you want to run either on the Mac, Snow Leopard is the last gasp of Rosetta emulation. Seeing how Eno is a big user of OS X, I wonder why he never felt the need to update.
posted by VikingSword at 3:34 PM on May 10, 2013


Anyone know an easy way to get just the audio of this lecture? I don't have time to watch it, but have plenty of train time for listening. (Unless the experience really isn't complete without the video.)
posted by Dr. Wu at 4:58 PM on May 10, 2013


Red Bull has serious ambitions of becoming a media content empire, for those wondering. They started with sports and have now apparently moved into music too
posted by Bwithh at 5:20 PM on May 10, 2013


I'd imagine him just sitting there, smiling sagely as ear-splitting feedback wracked the hall, thinking "I was going to give a lecture, but this ties into all of my theories perfectly".

'Music for Lecture Halls'
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:57 PM on May 10, 2013


dr wu, you can use downloadhelper to download it and vlc to convert to mp3.
posted by stavrogin at 7:09 PM on May 10, 2013


It's not just RMBA, Red Bull does all kinds of fascinating things in the arts/culture/sports world.

It's like they have all this money that they would normally just use for ads but instead they put it into stuff with some actual value instead, and then slap the Red Bull name and logo on it.

Which I guess is still ads, in a sense, but it's much more constructive approach, vs the normal exploitative way most companies go about it.
posted by aubilenon at 9:50 PM on May 10, 2013


Red Bull is people!



heard shouted in the distance, a voice not unlike Charlton Heston's
posted by philip-random at 11:31 PM on May 10, 2013


It's red and it's bull.

See, most advertising is true, once you know how to hear it.
posted by telstar at 12:03 AM on May 11, 2013


They started with sports and have now apparently moved into music too

RBMA's been around for over a decade, so for certain stretched definitions of "have now" ... Yes.
posted by sparkletone at 4:45 AM on May 11, 2013


Thanks!
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:34 AM on May 11, 2013


I saw Brian Eno speak a few years ago now, and I was pretty astonished to find that I disagreed with almost everything he said (except the political stuff where we were more or less on the same page).

In particular, he spent easily 10 minutes slagging Steve Reich in general, and Reich's "Drumming" in particular. Now, I love Brian Eno's music, but I almost put my hand up and said, "Do you not understand that people will still be playing Drumming when your name is just a curiosity in the history books?"

And it wasn't like he didn't get the music - he explained how it worked very clearly. He felt that the idea that you could see the underlying compositional process in a piece of music was a bad one (I didn't get to ask how he felt these days about Music For Airports).

Weird. I felt it was professional jealousy or something, but it came off as ungracious and petty.

Still, it wasn't a dull talk.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:23 AM on May 12, 2013


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