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Encyclopedia > Steve Albini
Steve Albini

Background information
Born July 22, 1962 (1962-07-22) (age 45)
Pasadena, California
Genre(s) Indie rock
Noise rock
Occupation(s) Recording Engineer
Musician
Instrument(s) vocals
guitar
drum machine
Associated
acts
Big Black
Rapeman
Shellac

Steve Albini (born July 22, 1962, Pasadena, California) is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, audio engineer and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black and Rapeman and is currently a member of Shellac. He is founder, owner, and engineer of Electrical Audio, a recording studio complex located in Chicago. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 399 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1066 × 1600 pixel, file size: 313 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Steve Albini performs at ATP vs. ... All Tomorrows Parties logo projected at festival. ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Indie rock is a subgenre of rock music often used to refer to bands that are on small independent record labels or that arent on labels at all. ... Lightning Bolt Live at the Southgate House 2005. ... Audio engineering is a part of audio science dealing with the recording and reproduction of sound through mechanical and electronic means. ... “Instrumentalist” redirects here. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... A Boss DR-202 Drum Machine A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums and/or other percussion instruments. ... Big Black was a noise rock band founded in Chicago, Illinois, United States, that was active between 1982 and 1987. ... Rapeman was an American rock music group founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1990. ... Shellac (sometimes referred to as Shellac of North America) is an American rock music group comprised of Steve Albini (guitar and vocals), Bob Weston (bass guitar and vocals) and Todd Trainer (drums and vocals). ... is the 203rd day of the year (204th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. ... For the UK magazine, see Guitarist (magazine). ... An Audio Engineer is a person recording, editing, manipulating, mixing and mastering sound by technical means. ... Big Black was a noise rock band founded in Chicago, Illinois, United States, that was active between 1982 and 1987. ... Rapeman was an American rock music group founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1990. ... Shellac (sometimes referred to as Shellac of North America) is an American rock music group comprised of Steve Albini (guitar and vocals), Bob Weston (bass guitar and vocals) and Todd Trainer (drums and vocals). ... Audio engineering is a part of audio science dealing with the recording and reproduction of sound through mechanical and electronic means. ... Electrical Audio is a recording company that operates two recording studios in Chicago, Illinois, and was founded by Steve Albini. ... A recording studio is a facility for sound recording. ... Flag Seal Nickname: The Windy City Motto: Urbs In Horto (Latin: City in a Garden), I Will Location Location in Chicagoland and northern Illinois Coordinates , Government Country State Counties United States Illinois Cook, DuPage Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 606. ...

Contents

Early life

In his youth, Albini's family moved often, before settling in Missoula, Montana in 1974. The activities of bored teenagers in rural Missoula provided much inspiration for later Albini-penned songs. While recovering from a broken leg, Albini began playing bass guitar. According to Thrill Jockey's Looking for a Thrill, Albini first became exposed to punk rock by a schoolmate on a bus and proceeded to purchase every Ramones recording available. He took bass lessons in high school for one week and started playing in bands; playing with the Missoula band Stations for about six months. He also played with drummer Joey Cregg, son of former Mayor Bill Cregg in the punk band Just Ducky. It didn't last too long. While growing up in Montana, he only found a few bands he deemed worthy of listening to, including: The Stooges, the Ramones, Television, Suicide, Wire, Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Killing Joke. Missoula, Montana viewed from the top of Mount Sentinel in 1999. ... A sunburst-colored Precision Bass The electric bass guitar (or electric bass) is a bass stringed instrument played with the fingers (either by plucking, slapping, popping, or tapping) or using a pick. ... Thrill Jockey is an indepedant record label based in Chicago, IL, USA. Home of Tortoise (band). ... The Ramones (L-R, Johnny, Tommy, Joey, Dee Dee) on the cover of their debut self-titled album (1976), cementing their place at the dawn of the punk movement. ... This article is about the rock band. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Suicide is an American rock music group intermittently active since 1971 and composed of Alan Vega (vocals) and Martin Rev (synthesizers and drum machines). ... Wire are an English rock band formed in 1976 (and intermittently active to the present) by Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), Colin Newman (vocals, guitar) and Robert Gotobed (né Grey) (drums). ... Public Image Ltd. ... This article is about the musical group. ...


After high school, Albini moved to Evanston, Illinois, to attend college at Northwestern University. In the Chicago area, Albini was active as a writer in local zines such as Matter (and later the Boston zine Forced Exposure), covering the then-nascent punk rock scene, gaining a reputation for iconoclasm and outspokenness that continues to this day. Around this time he began recording groups. Northwestern University (NU) is a selective private, nonsectarian, coeducational research university with campuses located in Evanston, Illinois and downtown Chicago, Illinois. ... A zine—an abbreviation of the word fanzine, and originating from the word magazine[1][2]—is most commonly a small circulation, non-commercial publication of original or appropriated texts and images. ... Forced Exposure was an independent music magazine (zine) published sporadically out of Massachusetts in the mid-to-late 1980s, edited and produced by Byron Coley and Jimmy Johnson. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ...


As an artist

Big Black (1982-1987)

In 1982 Albini formed Big Black, and recorded the Lungs EP. Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun) and Santiago Durango joined shortly thereafter, and the trio (along with a drum machine credited as "Roland") released two more EPs: Bulldozer (1983) and Racer-X (1984). Pezzati was later replaced on bass by Dave Riley, with whom the group recorded two sparse albums: Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987), as well as the Headache EP (1987), and two 7" releases: Heartbeat and He's a Whore/The Model. Influenced by PiL, Killing Joke, Wire and Gang of Four, they gained a reputation for confrontation, sarcasm and abrasiveness, breaking up in 1987 on the eve of the release of their second album. Big Black was a noise rock band founded in Chicago, Illinois, United States, that was active between 1982 and 1987. ... Lungs is the first EP by Chicago band Big Black. ... Jeff Pezzati is an important figure in Chicago punk rock. ... Naked Raygun was a very influential Chicago-based punk band of the 1980s and early 1990s. ... Santiago Durango (b. ... The Roland TR-606 Drumatix is a programmable analog synthesis drum machine built by the Roland Corporation from 1981 to 1983. ... Bulldozer is the second EP by Chicago noise-rock band Big Black, released in 1983. ... The Second Heat line-up. ... Dave Riley was born in Detroit and subsequently worked as an assistant audio engineer for George Clintons stable of Parliament-Funkadelic bands. ... Atomizer is a 1986 album by the No Wave punk group Big Black. ... Songs About Fucking is an album by Big Black. ... Headache is a 1987 EP by Chicago noise-rock band Big Black. ... 1987 single by Chicago noise-rock band Big Black. ... Back cover Both songs on this release are covers, the first track by Cheap Trick and the second by Kraftwerk. ... PIL could mean Python Imaging Library PlantageNet Internet Limited In India, Public interest litigation Public Image Limited - a band Portland Interscholastic League This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... This article is about the musical group. ... Wire are an English rock band formed in 1976 (and intermittently active to the present) by Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar), Colin Newman (vocals, guitar) and Robert Gotobed (né Grey) (drums). ... Gang of Four is an English post-punk group from Leeds. ...


Rapeman (1987-1988)

Albini went on to form the controversially titled Rapeman in 1988, with former members of Scratch Acid, Rey Washam (formerly of Didjits), and David Wm. Sims (later of The Jesus Lizard). They broke up after the release of a single EP (Budd), and an album, (Two Nuns and a Pack Mule) (1988). They also had a 7" on the Sub Pop Singles Club. Rapeman was an American rock music group founded in 1987 and disbanded in 1990. ... For the bands self-titled EP, see Scratch Acid (EP). ... American punk rock band. ... David William Sims is a bass guitar player. ... The Jesus Lizard was a rock music group formed in 1989 in Chicago, Illinois. ... This is the first release of Iron & Wine. ...


Shellac (1992 -present)

Albini formed Shellac in 1992. With fellow bandmates Bob Weston (formerly of Volcano Suns), and Todd Trainer (of Rifle Sport, Breaking Circus and Brick Layer Cake), they initially released three EPs: The Rude Gesture: A Pictorial History, Uranus and The Bird is the Most Popular Finger. Those were followed by four angular, minimalist and typically cranky albums: At Action Park (1994), Terraform (1998), 1000 Hurts (2000) and Excellent Italian Greyhound (2007). All were released, as before, on vinyl, as well as CD. Shellac (sometimes referred to as Shellac of North America) is an American rock music group comprised of Steve Albini (guitar and vocals), Bob Weston (bass guitar and vocals) and Todd Trainer (drums and vocals). ... Bob Weston is an American musician, producer and recording engineer - though is not to be confused with the Englishman by the same name - Bob Weston, was the Guitar Player who followed on from Peter Green in Fleetwood Mac and who went on to play with Steve Marriott and Humble Pie... Volcano Suns was an American alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts. ... Todd Trainer is the drummer for the band Shellac. ... Breaking Circus was postpunk band from the 1980s, based in Chicago and later Minneapolis, led by guitarist and vocalist Steve Björklund. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Todd Trainer. ... Uranus is Shellac Record #2, a two song 7 on Touch and Go Records. ... The Bird is the Most Popular Finger is the third release by Shellac. ... Shellac at Action Park is the first full length record by Shellac, released in 1994. ... Shellac Terraform Track Listing Didnt We Deserve A Look At You The Way You Really Are This Is A Picture Disgrace Mouthpiece Canada Rush Job House Full Of Garbage Copper Artwork Credited to: Courtesy Estate of Chesley Bonestell Space Art Museum Smithsonion Institution Personnel Steve Albini - guitar/vocals Robert S... 1000 Hurts is the third full length album by Shellac, released July 31, 2000 (see 2000 in music). ... Excellent Italian Greyhound is the title of Shellacs fourth album. ... A 12-inch record (left), a 7-inch record (right), and a CD (above) Two 7 singles (left), two colored 7 singles (middle), and two 7 singles with large spindle holes (right). ... CD may stand for: Compact Disc Canadian Forces Decoration Cash Dispenser (at least used in Japan) CD LPMud Driver Centrum-Demokraterne (Centre Democrats of Denmark) Certificate of Deposit České Dráhy (Czech Railways) Chad (NATO country code) Chalmers Datorförening (computer club of the Chalmers University of Technology) a 1960s...


Recording work

See List of Steve Albini's recording projects for a chronological list of Albini's recording work
Steve Albini on right, with Ani DiFranco and RZAThe New Yorker festival in September 2005.
Steve Albini on right, with Ani DiFranco and RZA
The New Yorker festival in September 2005.

He is currently most active as a record producer, but he dislikes the term and prefers to be credited as recording engineer (if the record company insists on any credit at all; Albini is comfortable with receiving no credit). Unlike any other engineer/record producer with his experience, Albini does not receive royalties for anything he records or mixes: he charges a flat daily fee when recording at his own facility, but uses an admittedly somewhat arbitrary sliding scale when recording elsewhere. This has caused record labels and other prominent record producers to argue that he is "difficult."[citation needed] Steve Albini is an influential musician and audio engineer whose many recording projects have exerted an important influence on independent music. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 371 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Ani DiFranco ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 371 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Ani DiFranco ... Ani DiFranco (IPA: ) (born Angela Maria Difranco on September 23, 1970) is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter. ... RZA (IPA pronunciation: ) (born Robert Diggs, July 5, 1969 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.) is an American hip hop producer, rapper and actor. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... The record industry (or recording industry) is the industry that manufactures and distributes mechanical recordings of music. ... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A sliding scale is a scale (usually a payment scale) the values of which depend on another related factor. ... A record label is a brand created by companies that specialize in manufacturing, distributing and promoting audio and video recordings, on various formats including compact discs, LPs, DVD-Audio, SACDs, and cassettes. ... In the music industry, record producer designates a person responsible for completing a master recording so that it is fit for release. ...


Albini estimates that he has engineered the recording of 1,500 to 2,000 albums. Artists that Albini has worked with include Whitehouse, Superchunk, PJ Harvey, Mono, Om, Bush, Joanna Newsom, Cheap Trick, Page and Plant, Neurosis, and The Stooges. Whitehouse is an English industrial noise band formed in 1980. ... Superchunk (left to right): Mac McCaughan, Jim Wilbur, Jon Wurster, Laura Ballance. ... Polly Jean Harvey (born 9 October 1969) is an English musician and songwriter. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Om is a duo formed by the rhythm section of the disbanded stoner-doom metal band Sleep, Al Cisneros on vocals and bass and Chris Hakius on drums. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Joanna Newsom (born January 18, 1982) is an American harpist, pianist, harpsichordist, singer and songwriter from Nevada City, California. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Page and Plant is the name that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both formerly of Led Zeppelin, recorded and toured under in the mid-1990s. ... Neurosis is a highly influential experimental rock band, based out of Oakland, California. ... This article is about the rock band. ...


In Albini's opinion, putting producers in charge of recording sessions often destroys records, while the role of the recording engineer is to solve problems in capturing the sound of the musicians, not to threaten the artists' control over their product. In 2004, Albini summarized his opinions regarding record producers: "It always offended me when I was in the studio and the engineer or the assumed producer for the session would start bossing the band around. That always seemed like a horrible insult to me. The band was paying money for the privilege of being in a recording studio, and normally when you pay for something, you get to say how it's done. So, I made up my mind when I started engineering professionally that I wasn't going to behave like that." (Young 2004).


Nevertheless, albums recorded by Albini bear a distinctive sonic signature. In Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad describes Albini's work on Pixies' Surfer Rosa, but the description applies to many of Albini's efforts: "The recordings were both very basic and very exacting: Albini used few special effects; got an aggressive, often violent guitar sound; and made sure the rhythm section slammed as one." (Azerrad, 344) Another Albini trademark is his habit of generally keeping vocals "low in the mix," or much less prominent than is usual in rock music. (This is said to have been a point of contention by the label during the recording of Nirvana's In Utero[attribution needed]). Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 is a book by Michael Azerrad (ISBN 0-316-78753-1). ... Michael Azerrad is an American author, journalist and musician. ... The Pixies[1] are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1985. ... Surfer Rosa is the Pixies first full-length album, released on March 21, 1988 by 4AD Records. ... It has been suggested that Effects pedal be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Guitar (disambiguation). ... Rhythm section refers to the musicians whose primary jobs in a jazz or popular music band or ensemble is to establish the rhythm of a song or musical piece, often via repeated riffs or ostinati. ... This article is about the American rock band. ... In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released on September 21, 1993 by Geffen Records (DGC). ...


On In Utero one can find a typical example of Albini's recording practices. Common practice in popular music is to record each instrument on a separate track at different times; see multi-track recording for more information. However, Albini prefers to record "live" as much as possible: the musicians perform together as a group in the same room. Albini places particular importance on the selection and use of microphones in achieving a desired sound, including painstaking placement of different microphones at certain points around a room to best capture ambience and other qualities. In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released on September 21, 1993 by Geffen Records (DGC). ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. ... Multitrack recording is a method of sound recording that allows for the recording and re-recording of multiple sound sources, independent of time. ... A microphone with a cord A microphone, sometimes called a mic (pronounced mike), is a device that converts sound into an electrical signal. ...


Punditry

Additionally, he is famous (or notorious) in the indie world as an opinionated pundit on the music industry and on trends in indie music, beginning with his earliest writing for zines such as Matter and Forced Exposure, to his commentary on the poor ethics of big record labels, and how their practices filter through to the independent labels. He has been a strong supporter of labels who have tried to break the mold, especially Touch and Go Records, with whom all of his bands have released recordings. He is a supporter of analog recording over digital, as can be evidenced by a 1992 quote on the back cover of Big Black's Songs About Fucking: "The future lies with the analog loyalists. Fuck digital." This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A zine—an abbreviation of the word fanzine, and originating from the word magazine[1][2]—is most commonly a small circulation, non-commercial publication of original or appropriated texts and images. ... Forced Exposure was an independent music magazine (zine) published sporadically out of Massachusetts in the mid-to-late 1980s, edited and produced by Byron Coley and Jimmy Johnson. ... Touch and Go Records is an independent record label based in Chicago, Illinois, USA, which began life in 1979 in East Lansing, Michigan as a magazine put out by Tesco Vee. ... Analog recording is the first way humans were able to store sounds for later playback. ... In digital recording, the analog signal of a motion-picture/sound is converted into a stream of discrete numbers, representing the changes in air pressure (chroma and luminace values in case of video) through time; thus making an abstract template for the original sound. ... Big Black was a noise rock band founded in Chicago, Illinois, United States, that was active between 1982 and 1987. ... Songs About Fucking is an album by Big Black. ...


Following

Albini is the subject of a tribute of sorts in the song "Steve Albini," by Los Angeles-area indie rock band The Black Watch, on their Seven Rollercoasters EP (1997). The Great Plains song "Letter to a Fanzine" (1986), cataloging 1980s college rock fanboy obsessions, includes the spoken line Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Steve Albini. Also, a song titled "Steve Albini's Blues" appears on the Songs: Ohia album "Didn't it Rain" (2002). Indie rock is a subgenre of rock music often used to refer to bands that are on small independent record labels or that arent on labels at all. ... The Black Watch is an independent rock band from Santa Barbara, California whose only constant member has been singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter, John Andrew Fredrick. ... Great Plains can be: Great Plains region in the central United States Great Plains (band) an American music group Great Plains was an accounting software package, originally developed by Great Plains Software. ... College rock was a term used in the USA to describe 1980s alternative rock before the term alternative came into common usage. ... Songs: Ohia is largely a solo project for singer-songwriter Jason Molina. ...


References

  • Albini, 1993. "The problem with music". In The Baffler, vol. 5 and reprinted both in Maximum RocknRoll #133 and in Downhill Battle (en español) [1]. Commonly circulated with the title "Some of your friends are [probably] already this fucked," after the title of MR #133, and the last line of the piece.
  • Michael Azerrad, 2001. Our Band Could Be Your Life. Little Brown, ISBN 0-316-78753-1.
  • Andrew Young, 2004. Albini laments age of over-production. MTSU Sidelines Online. Article based on a lecture Albini gave to the Audio Engineering Society at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Albini, 1983. [2] Matter, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1983; the first press for Albini's Big Black.

The Baffler (founded 1988 by editor Thomas Frank) is a cultural-political criticism journal headquartered in Chicago, Illinois and sold at independent bookstores across the US. It is known for critiquing business culture and the culture business and for having exposed the grunge speak hoax perpetrated on The New York... Maximum Rocknroll Issue #1 Maximum Rocknroll (also known as MRR) is a widely distributed, monthly punkzine based in San Francisco, USA. It features interviews, columns, and reviews from international contributors. ... Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 is a book by Michael Azerrad (ISBN 0-316-78753-1). ...

External links

  • Three Pandering Sluts the transcript of a stormy exchange from 1994 provoked in the letters page of the Chicago Reader, where Albini accuses music critic Bill Wyman of being a recording industry stooge.
  • Onion AV Club Interview
  • An interview in which Albini outlines his criteria for accepting offers to record musicians.
  • Electrical Audio Steve Albini's recording studio.
  • Electrical Audio Electrical Audio Forum
  • WNUR 89.3 FM the radio station Albini worked at during his time as a student at Northwestern University.
  • Lecture at Middle Tennessee State Universityvideo of Steve Albini giving lecture to Middle Tennessee State University audio class
  • Steve Albini - Sound Engineer Extraordinaire Article about Steve Albini in Sound On Sound magazine
Persondata
NAME Albini, Steve
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION American record engineer
DATE OF BIRTH July 22, 1962
PLACE OF BIRTH Pasadena, California
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

  Results from FactBites:
 
Steve Albini - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (973 words)
Steve Albini (born July 22, 1962, Pasadena, California) is an influential singer, songwriter, guitarist, audio engineer and music journalist.
Albini went on to form the controversially titled Rapeman in 1988, with former members of Scratch Acid; Rey Washam (formerly of Didjits), and David Wm.
Albini places particular importance on the selection and use of microphones in achieving a desired sound, avoiding overdubbing where possible.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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