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The Art of Sampling


Contributed by Jon Gore of Re-Education Camp. Their album Psyop’s Boombox is available on iTunes.

SamplingI remember it very well when the Notorious B.I.G. (aka. Biggie Smalls) was shot and killed while riding in a car after an awards show. In hip hop, that day (March 9) is remembered well and honored by many. Whether people liked him or not, it was definitely a defining moment in the music’s history and perhaps showed how far off track it had become.

Another noteworthy follow-up to that incident was a tribute song by P. Diddy (known then as Puff Daddy), who was Biggie’s producer and manager. The song, ghost-written by label artist Mase, was a tribute to the legendary MC using a significant portion sampled and interpolated (see the chorus) from the Police’s “Every Breath You Take.” Now, I might say that I love the Police more than Biggie (yep, I said it). I grew up with older siblings who watched MTV during its early days, and I vividly remember Sting and crew’s unique song style. So, when I heard this sample, I thought that it was a blatant disregard for the original. Many agreed with me while others took it a step further and said it was no different than any other song that sampled another. Well, who was right?

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Spammers (or My New Best Friends)


We get a ton of spam comments in the back end of My favorite thing about these comments is how nice they are. These bots have manners.

Having a rough day? Read the spam comments! Day=awesome.

So, here are a few screenshots of comments that we have gotten lately (with a bit of commentary.) Enjoy.

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The Music of Politics

Contributed by Zack Messick of Re-Education Camp. Their album Psyop’s Boombox is available on iTunes.

PoliticsIt’s getting to be that time again. The days are starting to get longer, the air warmer and life starts to emerge. No, I’m not talking about spring. I’m talking about election season. The candidates spring up in mass numbers, spend all day going from place to place, spitting out their own brands of hot air.

In all seriousness, it really is a beautiful time. Its a time when Americans can come together and cast their votes to decide who will be their next President, Senator, Representative or represent many other local offices. But regardless of which level of government the political race is on, there is one thing that you will almost certainly find…


Almost every campaign will use a song as it’s anthem. A song that all of it’s supporters can rally behind. It is something that will get the crowd excited, and make them hopeful for what their candidate may bring, if elected. There are the patriotic songs like “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie. Michael Dukakis used “America” by Neil Diamond. Ronald Reagan famously used “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen, even though the theme of the song is about the struggles of a Vietnam War vet. You will also hear the songs about standing up and making a change. George W. Bush used “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty. “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister and “Right Now” by Van Halen seem to be used by at least one candidate in each election cycle.

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A Growing Bad Apple Records Family

Contributed by Jon Russelburg. His live album is available for free on Noisetrade, and his debut EP “Ghost” is available on iTunes.

Bad Apple Records Family
“Live as Hell” is available to supporters on Patreon!

I have been asking Brandon Miles for a while to let me help out with the website, or in any way that I can with the Bad Apple Records family. When we met, I was a punk kid playing an acoustic guitar and singing sad songs before ever having a broken heart.

Now I’m an adult playing sad songs in a rock band. Well, I do that on the side. For my day job, I am the online editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine. So it is only logical that I come on the Bad Apple Records staff/family/community/flock as the online editor.

I will still be writing and playing music occasionally, but over the years I have become more interested in the logistical side of the label. Brandon has graciously let me step in and work behind the scenes more for the label (although, I may have enough work hours to be a dentist after all of the teeth I had to pull).

So here is what is up. I will be running the site behind the scenes along with Brandon. I will edit most of the blogs (which is nice when your blog writers are also songwriters), and I will write on this site pretty frequently.

We are looking to push the blog, and Bad Apple Records along side of it, forward. We really believe in the product that we have. We have a line up of killer artist that vary from hip-hop to acoustic to grungy rock and roll. We have too much talent to just let it all go to waste.

We had a blast playing the show and were really proud of how the bootleg turned out. Keep in mind that it was just one microphone (actually a built-in camera mic) recording us. It’s a fun album and I hope you all like it.

I am also on the most recent episode of the Bad Apple Records Podcast, where Brandon and I talk about Kanye West and a whole slew of other topics that we aren’t qualified to talk about. I tell a story about my dad being a man’s man and working on cars by himself.  You can check that episode out on iTunes or Spreaker.

I’m excited about the future … until next time, go watch this video of Andy from Why They Came and tell me that he doesn’t look like a ginger slash.

— Jon Russelburg

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Songwriting as Personal Narrative

Contributed by Taylor Dooley from Wintering. Her EP, Close Enough, is now available on iTunes. Listen to the title track below this article!

Taylor Dooley's Writing Process
Taylor Dooley’s Writing Process

When Brandon first approached me about writing an article on creativity and inspiration, I was really excited until I realized that meant having to welcome people into the inner workings of my mind (even more so than a song usually does). Performing a song for an audience can be nerve-wracking. If you’re lucky enough to have a crowd of active listeners, you know they’re probably dissecting every word. Songwriting, in and of itself, is fairly intimate, so writing an article about such a sacred process is pretty terrifying if you ask me. However, I have decided to be open and honest in the name of “art.”

While I haven’t always been a songwriter, I have always been a writer in some capacity, so there was no distinctive shift when I began seriously writing songs. Poetry and personal narratives were my favorite writing styles, so I saw songwriting as a fusion of the two. Though I can’t say that I’ve ever had a formula, I can say that every song is a personal narrative of sorts and that’s where the ideas are born.

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