Next Stop Go

Is Radiohead Ruining Music?
September 1, 2009, 4:47 pm
Filed under: Music, News, Writing | Tags: , , , , , ,

Radiohead has killed hope of future records

By Dean Stattmann

In a recent interview with The Believer magazine, Radiohead front-man Thom Yorke disclosed that his band has no intention of releasing another full-length album. Ever. Instead, he said, the group would focus on shorter EPs and downloadable singles available exclusively online. This comes just days after the release of “Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” the band’s latest download-only track.

The internet is an amazing tool in so many ways, and with more of the world moving online each day, it is becoming exponentially harder to make a list of things that cannot be accomplished from behind a laptop. But the relationship between music and the internet has been bittersweet. From Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich’s historic battle with Napster back in 2000 to the recent multi-million dollar lawsuits stemming from illegal downloading, the issues of ownership and unbridled mass-sharing continue to be an itching thorn in the RIAA’s side.

Conversely, groups like Chicago hip-hop duo The Cool Kids and British indie sensation Arctic Monkeys owe it all to the virtual space that has become a staple in just about every home on the planet, with sites like MySpace offering bottomless marketing opportunities to anyone with a modem. Music has made a new home online, and it’s looking more and more like that’s where it will stay.

But throughout audio’s online exodus there has always been something there to anchor the music in reality: The album. Be it in the form of a cassette, vinyl or compact disc, the album is the original form of music ownership. It is something to hold on to. And now Radiohead wants us to let go.

The concept is not entirely new. In October 2007, Radiohead sparked widespread media debate with the release of In Rainbows, their seventh full-length album, initially available only in digital format through the band’s website. Physical copies of the album surfaced months later.

But this time there will be no album.

“None of us want to go into that creative hoo-ha of a long-play record again,” Yorke told The Believer. “We’ve all said that we can’t possibly dive into that again. It’ll kill us.”

This could just be a sign of the band’s inevitable fatigue following a lengthy career of consistently quality releases. But it could also be the beginning of a tragic industry trend signaling the end of music as we know it.

Photo by flickr user alterna2 under the Creative Commons licence


Residence Hall Rock


By Dean Stattmann

On a quiet Monday evening, a muffled cry emanates from the closed door of a New York University dorm room in downtown Manhattan. It’s the penthouse floor of Lafayette Street Residence Hall – one of the furthest from campus – where the university hides its Greek life. Echoes of grueling Guitar Hero solos and epic beer pong bouts bounce off these walls after hours. But amidst the Halo, hot wings and all the other accurate stereotypes, one student is ripping through the mold.

Matt Golubjatnikov, a politics major at NYU, has been playing guitar for seven years and is finally getting some attention. He spent his freshman year with NYU abroad in Florence, Italy, before finally moving into Palladium Hall on 14th Street. During his sophomore year, he pledged the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and kicked off his junior year with a spot in the frat’s spacious eight man duplex. But while most musicians with his talent move on to decked out studios with fountains in the lobby, a floundering economy has caused this junior to seek out alternative facilities, like his dorm room.


“Home recording has become incredibly accessible relative to past years,” he says. “If you have the patience and experimental interest to overcome the often steep learning curve that is inherent in today’s music software, then you can do basically anything.”


In 2008, Golubjatnikov, 21, got curious and decided to see where his music could take him. Working with a tight budget and a demanding schedule, he eventually opted for home recording equipment and slowly began to acquire the pieces of what would become an impressive home studio. One year, a semi-acoustic guitar, two effects pedals, professional recording software and a studio microphone later, he has filled his room with everything short of a waiting room, and he can still afford food. “It really surprises me what you can do with a thin wallet,” he says. “My whole recording rig from cables to software comes to a grand total of about 250$. I know more resourceful people that can even shave the amount to less than half of that.”


Starting out on Haight Street in San Francisco, C.A., with just his busted Crate amplifier and suave midnight wine Fender Stratocaster, Golubjatnikov found influences in early grunge bands and the better part of the 90s punk scene. He has since added to this list, finding a renewed appreciation for bands like Black Label Society, Incubus and Alice in Chains. He doesn’t know how to label his own music, but pegs it somewhere between hard and alternative rock. The stuff he finds himself playing traverses genres, he says.


But despite the unlikely evolution of Golubjatnikov’s dorm rock, he admits that recording in his makeshift studio – which he shares with a roommate – can sometimes present unusual problems. “You do come across unique obstacles when recording in a dorm versus a studio,” he says. “But all it takes is the creative mind that is a prerequisite anyway. When recording vocals, if I can’t get a good natural reverb or echo, I just record while standing in my shower. The ceramic walls provide a clean, non-manufactured effect. Problem solved.”


Golubjatnikov has released several tracks online under the name Spareluck, choosing social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to bring his music to his friends and whoever else wants to listen. The reception has been outstanding, he says, and one of his tracks was recently featured in a beat by fellow New York-based producer Erik Michael.

Golubjatniokov may not have an album in the record store just yet, but he pays little mind to this. For him, the real pay-off is in the music. “I harbor no shame in saying that some days I will just put my own material on repeat on my iPod,” he says. “I mean, you make what you want to hear, so it’s natural to be your own biggest fan.”

Photos by Dean Stattmann

The Direction

Dean StattmannFirst of all, I want to thank everyone who has kept this blog alive by checking back to see what’s new every day. I have been a lot better about posting recently and you can expect far more frequent posting as of now. I’ve received some great feedback and criticism and that is precisely what keeps me motivated and inspired so please keep it up. And leave comments!

While I am a photographer, and this blog was originally set up as a photography blog, I want to start posting written stories too (The response to And the Interns Shall Inherit the Earth was unbelievable). One thing I want people to understand is that these will not be your stereotypical “today I saw a plastic bag floating carelessly in the wind” blog posts. I am a journalist and I intend to put my skills to use right here, on Next Stop Go. That said, while you will see some newsy pieces, I am going to try take a more magazine-oriented approach from now on. That’s my focus and I will be posting a lot to get as much practice as possible.

However, photography will not depart from this blog in any way, shape or form and I intend to up the volume in that area as well. I take photos at least five days a week and there will be a constant stream of new material right here.

Also, blogs make it virtually impossible to customize stuff but there is always some room for improvement. So, if you ever have a thought or idea on how this blog could be better, please dont hesitate to let me know.

I currently have several projects in motion and they will all appear here on Next Stop Go over the next couple days so watch this space!

That is all.

Next stop go!

Dean Stattmann

Jam Sesh
January 18, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Music, New York, Photography | Tags: , , , , , ,









Combination of the Two