Articles by Mark Zip

Barack Obama Poop 2017

During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists. It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here’s my 2017 list — I hope you enjoy it and have a happy and healthy New Year.


Eric Fine Poop 2017

Wow – interesting year, huh? No need to go down that rabbit hole, but I can say how depressing the music was this year. Not that I didn’t find a few gems, but those albums that I did enjoy were sadder than the usual stuff I gravitate towards. Sign of the times, anyone?


PoOP 2017 – Call for submissions

To the POmpous and OPinionated: You POOPin this year? If you’re getting one of these for the first time, POOP is our annual exercise in self-importance wherein we compile “Best Of 2017′ lists, to be published in a quaint ol’ print edition as well as online. This year will be our 31st annual exercise in swillification. A refresher about the rules and deadlines is in order: Limit yourself to what would be 2 sides of 8×11 paper. Leave a slight…


Mark Zip Poop 2016

ANOHNI – Avalanches – Billy Bragg + Joe Henry – Kano – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Robbie Fulks – Roisin Murphy – Solange – Sturgill Simpson – Swet Shop Boys – Annie Mac


Tom Whalen Poop 2016

Albums 1. Kanye West, The Life of Pablo 2. Kvelertak, Nattesferd 3. Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial 4. Nails, You Will Never Be One of Us 5. Danny Brown, Atrocity Exhibition 6. The Avalanches, Wildflower 7. Heron Oblivion, Heron Oblivion 8. Bon Iver, 22, A Million 9. The Julie Ruin, Hit Reset 10. Metallica, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct Apologies: Angel Olsen, My Woman;     Nicolas Jaar, Sirens;     Mean Jeans, Tight New Dimension;     Preoccupations, Preoccupations;     Diarrhea Planet, Turn…


Mark Zip Poop 2015

Acre – Bjork – CHVRCHES – Courtney Barnett – Florence + Machine – Grimes – Holly Herndon – Jamie – Jlin – Mbongwana Star – Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott – Roots Manuva – Rustie – Sleaford Mods – Sleater-Kinney – Young Fathers


How Signing a Major Record Deal Nearly Destroyed My Music Career

Terra Patrick has a fascinating story at Digital Music News laying out the details of how she used her authenticity to build a following on YouTube and then watched the label wreck it… … the mandate that came from my team at the label. They needed me to be “less accessible” and more untouchable. All these kids on YouTube saw me as an equal, as “one of them” – did I want to be a YouTube star, or did I…


How to illustrate music and process – The NYT and Disney

Accompanying an otherwise rote Jon Pareles piece about how Diplo and Skrillex made a hit with Justin Bieber, is a remarkable video. Alongside interview snippets of the three artists run graphics of the various sounds. The graphics change as the sounds change and as the track is explained and built over the course of the video. It’s a great example of using a visual medium to explicate audio. I can’t embed it here, so click this link to see it:…


What does it mean when a “traditional” record store “sells” downloads?

Yesterday I was pottering around FYE in Kingston scanning the “New Releases” display and came across the above (click the image to see it blown up). It’s a slim-line CD case with a folded piece of paper in it. There is no disc in the box and no barcode on the card. The front of the card has the (obscured) full title of the album and Earl Sweatshirt’s name on it. The back has a basic tracklist, copyright information and…


Genetic Data Tools Reveal How Pop Music Evolved In The US

In modern societies, cultural change seems ceaseless. The flux of fashion is especially obvious for popular music. While much has been written about the origin and evolution of pop, most claims about its history are anecdotal rather than scientific in nature. To rectify this we investigate the US Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Using Music Information Retrieval (MIR) and text-mining tools we analyse the musical properties of ~17,000 recordings that appeared in the charts and demonstrate quantitative trends…


“Peak Personality Pop (2015 Edition)” OR “Has Diplo Finally Jumped the Shark?”

“Older” Superstar Singer? – Check “Younger” Superstar Singer/Rapper? – Check Superstar Producer with some remaining street cred? – Check Self-referential title? – Check Easily chanted chorus? – Check Filterd synth climbs? – Check Serrated noises guaranteed to annoy anyone who “remembers real music”? – Check “Chopped and Screwed” references? – Check BDSM Artwork? – Check Bonus stupid/smart lyric: “I poured a beer into my shoe and got my freak on” Bonus pedestrian lyric: “The neighbor’s pissed and says he’s gonna…


Duncan Clark Poop 2014

    Buy New or Used via Amazon           Rent via iTunes [?] 1. BECK – Morning Phase: I only own two cd’s by Beck- the two morose folky albums which I guess says a lot about me. That said, this is a beautifully constructed and recorded song cycle.     Buy New or Used via Amazon           Rent via iTunes [?] 2. THE WAR ON DRUGS – Lost in the Dream: This was…


Jim Meyers Poop 2014

The Events The biggest musical event of my year was The Boston Calling music festival. I’ve avoided festivals for the last 20 years or so and approached this with some trepidation, fearing a sweaty mass of humanity and my hysteria level of claustrophobia. The Replacements though, I had to go. My fears were assuaged immediately upon entering the beautiful and comfortable brick and concrete park smack in the middle of downtown Boston. Neutral Milk Hotel were great but a bit…



Got a spare $10,000? – Moog “re-issues” three modular synthesizers for you

Moog Music Inc. today announced their plans to recommence a limited run manufacturing of three of their most sought after 5U large format modular synthesizers: The System 55, the System 35 and the Model 15. These three modular synthesizer systems were originally created and manufactured by Moog in 1973. Start saving now! Limited editions! 55 of the System 55 at $35,000 each, 35 of the System 35 at $22,000 and 150 of the System 15 at a very affordable $10,000….


Mark Zip Poop 2014

Sleaford ModsDivide and Exit
No chops, No solos. Only the barest rudiments of “musicality”. And most of all, no space. Just a soundscape filled with life. And the things that make you shake your head, anger you, frustrate you and make you laugh.



If you go to live gigs, it’s never too soon to wear hearing protection

A post from 2009 at NoiseAddicts.com allows you test at which frequency your hearing loss starts. I wish I had learned my lesson earlier than I did. I went to see Tackhead and Georgia Satellites in the same weekend (Spring 1990?). I’ve worn earplugs ever since. The page has a bunch of frequencies ranging from 8 kHz to 22 kHz and you play each of them until you cannot hear one. I can hear 16 kHz, but not higher. How…


Metal album covers re-imagined inna jazz style

“The design experiment was meant to be like a time machine,” he says, “respecting the original art covers’ messages and objective.” Lots more, including side-by-side comparisons: https://www.behance.net/gallery/22172745/Metazz-Metal-Album-Covers-Redesigned (via The Verge) Share


In Music, Uniformity Sells

If it works, throw more of it at them… Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, scientists found that the more popular a musical style grew, the more generic it became—partly due to the glut of artists that flock to a burgeoning sound and the drop-off in innovation that tends to accompany demand. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/01/in-music-uniformity-sells/384181/ Share