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The Well-Rounded Radio Interview with Burnside Project

From: Charles McEnerney
Length: 24:36

New York's Burnside Project mixes indie rock guitar and sensibilities with electronic dance music beats and aspirations. Read the full description.

Burnsideproject_small New York City's Burnside Project released "The Networks, The Circuits, The Streams, The Harmonies" on Bar/None Records, mixing indie rock guitar and sensibilities with electronic dance music beats and aspirations. The band had an interesting year in 2003 as they begin work on their next CD. In addition to having their song "Cue the Pulse to Begin" featured in the opening sequence of the Jackie Chan film "The Medallion," they were also nominated by Cameron Crowe for the Long List. They've also have just had their CD picked up for release in Japan, and have been approached by several advertising agencies to produce music for commericals. I met with Richard Jankovich, Gerald Hammill, and Paul Searing on Manhattan's West Side to discuss what musical and lyrical influences the band is melding together, how the collaboration process is changing for their upcoming third CD, and how they got Rick Moody, author of "The Ice Storm," to write the liner notes to their second CD. At the end of the interview, we'll also hear the full performance of "Bravo Bravura," a new and as-yet-unreleased song from Burnside Project, giving some clues about their next direction.

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Piece Description

New York City's Burnside Project released "The Networks, The Circuits, The Streams, The Harmonies" on Bar/None Records, mixing indie rock guitar and sensibilities with electronic dance music beats and aspirations. The band had an interesting year in 2003 as they begin work on their next CD. In addition to having their song "Cue the Pulse to Begin" featured in the opening sequence of the Jackie Chan film "The Medallion," they were also nominated by Cameron Crowe for the Long List. They've also have just had their CD picked up for release in Japan, and have been approached by several advertising agencies to produce music for commericals. I met with Richard Jankovich, Gerald Hammill, and Paul Searing on Manhattan's West Side to discuss what musical and lyrical influences the band is melding together, how the collaboration process is changing for their upcoming third CD, and how they got Rick Moody, author of "The Ice Storm," to write the liner notes to their second CD. At the end of the interview, we'll also hear the full performance of "Bravo Bravura," a new and as-yet-unreleased song from Burnside Project, giving some clues about their next direction.

2 Comments Atom Feed

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Review of The Well-Rounded Radio Interview with Burnside Project

Last year, the music industry released more than 3,800 CDs--and that was a down year. This fact drives home the point that there is a constant flow of new albums and artists. This makes the premise of most music criticism and reporting very simple, regardless of media: demonstrate why this artist and their music is above the fray. In other words, why should a listener care? Most music "journalism" (term used loosely) acts as a filtering system, helping listeners/readers/viewers figure out what's interesting to them and what isn't. That's the long and short of it.

Radio is in a unique position compared to print media because radio can mix its reporting, interviewing, and criticism with the actual music.

This piece focuses on a New York group called the Burnside Project, combining interview segments with musical excerpts. While the group does have some interesting musical moments, this 25-minute piece forces the listener to do too much of the work. The producer lays out all the points, yet the listener is left to connect them on their own.

After a 1:27 spoken introduction, the interview begins. Music is woven in on occasion, then the piece ends with a previously unreleased recording. Unfortunately, the piece does not have much of an internal structure, the interview seems loose and goes on and on without much of an idea what or why this discussion is important. For example, about midway through the show there is an extended discussion about the band’s writing process. The singer summarizes his efforts by saying "Sometimes I write pages and pages of lyrics." Never is it really explained why this is significant or important. No context is given to the discussion. This happens over and over again during the piece.

At 25 minutes, the piece is too long and needs some editorial guidance to bring out it’s best points. Cutting it down by half, ideally by three-quarters, would better serve the artist and the best segments of the interview material. Further, there are some minor issues with host diction and production (the interview segments have some occasional light distortion). However, the producer’s enthusiasm and passion for music journalism is palatable. With time and more experience, he should grow into an impressive talent with much to offer.

This piece, at this length, would be difficult to place on most public stations. An edited, much shorter version, may be more useful to AAA stations and college stations which focus on contemporary music and approach it with a broad palate and wide musical view.

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Review of The Well-Rounded Radio Interview with Burnside Project

Before I heard this piece I had assumed that I would write that whether one enjoys it or not depends on whether you like Burnside Project (who I must confess to not being familiar with until now), but this is not the case. The band comprises a trio of engaged and engaging musicians whose enthusiasm for their work is infectious. This well rounded radio interview is aptly named: providing an insight into the artistic process and the nature of the musicans' collaboration, and also revealing the dramatic impact of digital editing software on music composition. In addition there is ample use of their music throughout the interview for those not already in the know.

Don't be put off by the host's somewhat speedy and fact-filled preamble, (I felt a bit breathless just listening); he is clearly knowledgeable and interested in his subjects, and appears to be a natural fast talker! HW

Related Website

http://www.wellroundedradio.net