January 30, 2006

Jammin' @ The Loft


Originally uploaded by nmday.

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January 24, 2006

Hacks

From Access to Yahoo! this list of hacks surely has something you'll find useful. And if you have a hack why not contribute to the spirit of the age?

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Rock, Paper, Saddam!

Thanks to MarkT comes this silly one. I giggled and I hope you will too...after all, what's the alternative?

Written while groovin' to Right On from the album “What's Going On” by Marvin Gaye

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New Logo

Logo Universal

Get used to this new logo. It means the binary is universal (it'll run natively on Intel and PowerPC).

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January 23, 2006

Ummm, Yes Please


Mac Setup and more
Originally uploaded by visualseed.
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NAMM Update

So the NAMM conference is taking place and though I'm not there this year I'm interested in lots of the products being announced there. I'm also interested in the spat between the record industry and Apple. The following quote from one record exec, said in frustration, sums up the debate for me:

“Apple is going to listen to their customers before they listen to the industry,” he said. “They have a commercial advantage.”

And this just in:

“I'm hearing that the artists aren't happy, the publishers aren't happy. Someone other than Apple needs to be happy for this industry to grow,” said Amit Shafrir, president of AOL's premium services arm.

With due respect to Mr. Shafrir, I don't think anyone would accuse AOL of having their fingers on the pulse of what keeps people happy.

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January 21, 2006

Radiohead's New Album

Radiohead is working on their new album and they're not using their longtime producer Nigel Godrich anymore. Instead their purported to be working with Mark 'Spike' Stent. He worked with Madonna and The Spice Girls among others. Yeah, The Spice Girls.

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January 19, 2006

SNL

It may not be as relevant as it once was but a night hosted by Steve Martin and music'd by Prince willget my view.

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January 18, 2006

iTunes Bring Viewers To TV

When iTunes started selling television shows a few months ago there were those that thought it might hurt the television viewership of those shows. Well, the data's come in and the verdict...a resounding 'not so much'. Turns out there's a strong correlation between your show being included in the iTunes Music Store and it's viewership going through the roof. Now I know some of you out there might claim that the increase can't be attributed solely to iTunes but neither can lung cancer in a 25-year smoker be solely attributed to cigarettes.

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January 16, 2006

MLK

Martin-Luther-King-1964-Leaning-On-A-Lectern-1

“[...]But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.[...]” (1963)

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January 15, 2006

Windows Media on Mac

If you're a Mac user and you ever play Windows Media files (.wmv or .wma) then you'll be interested to know that Micr0s0ft has stopped support for the Mac version of Windows Media Player (on the heels of announcing they'd stopped support for IE on Mac [yipee![). But thanks to a nifty plug-in you can play Windows Media Files inside of QuickTime player.

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January 11, 2006

Kings of Rock

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Musical Passions

Newer albums simply don't move the same way that the albums of my youth did. After all, U2's Joshua Tree was the soundtrack of my life. It was also played so much in my tape player that it got warped. Now, with a digital library of over 90 Gigabytes (17k+ songs for those curious) before I've begun digitizing my CD's in earnest, no one album gets the attention it used to and even, perhaps, deserves. It's not that I'm not passionate about music in general. Actually, I feel addicted to it sometimes. I can't work without it and it makes me giddy with excitement to work so closely with the folks from iTunes (of course I can't talk about why--neener, neener). I've felt so bad for some of my digital files that I've resorted to creative playlist creation. In an effort to democratize the process of my music listening I've created Smart Playlists that capture all of the songs of a particular genre that have a play-count equal to zero. This might seem a little extreme to some of you. but I know that to others it will seem perfectly normal. Welcome to my mania. Oh, this post was inspired by this Forbes article about music's passion being gone....B.S.

Written while groovin' to Sirènes de la Fête from the album “Brazilian Girls” by Brazilian Girls

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January 09, 2006

MacWorld 2006

In commemoration of MacWorld 2006 officially kicking off, we bring you “What's Really Behind A Steve Jobs Keynote”, one serious and one not so much.

Written while groovin' to Transatlanticism from the album “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie

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Top Ten for 2005



Tis' only a couple of weeks past the time of year when the traditional Best Of lists are published so let's take a couple moments to do the same here. With a severe tip' of the Google AdSense jar to Da Crazy MuthaBugga SG, I give you purposefully conventional Best Albums of 2005:

“Late Registration” (Kanye West) - I like the hits man. And this one's chock full of 'em. Or at least they'd all be hits if hits were measured in innovative beats. Spending as much as I do these days coming up with beats of my own I have a special appreciation for the skill it takes to create a beat that makes me wanna sway my neck. Kanye does this every time with rhythmic rhyming syncopation that keeps me thinking for hours after the album's faded.

“Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert” (John Mayer Trio) - I get the feeling that John Mayer put out a couple of pop albums just so he could afford the Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino rhythm section. But unlike Sting's Dream of Blue Turtles or whatever it was called, this one doesn't further explore the pop end of the musical spectrum but, rather, steers towards Texas (well, Austin anyway) in its blues roots. Say what you will about his being a pop sensation, Mayer's guitar skills are hot.

“Illinois” (Sufjan Stevens) - A song about John Wayne Gacy that makes me want to cry. Sufjan Stevens skills at writing a sentimental song that never sounds preachy are enviable. Combined with the breathy ribbon-mic vocals they make this album a late-night drive favorite.

“Broken Social Scene” (Broken Social Scene) - A collective of sorts with offshoots and what not. As much art collective as a 10+ piece band. Saw them live in San Francisco and the three guitars and two drummers actually worked!

“Pixel Revolt” (John Vanderslice) - San Francisco indie favorite John Vanderslice produces beautiful music using pristine analogue gear and then breaks it down using modern technology. It is this creative approach that makes the rock he produces so original in a sea of singer-songwriters.

“Motown Remixed” (Various Artists) - Take the breaks that hip-hop artists were gonna get to eventually (if they hadn't already) and put sequenced hip-hops beats behind 'em and what do you end up? An instant party classic. I've gotten a ton of mileage out of this album but lying and telling people I remixed the songs rather than Z-Trip, Jazzy Jeff and DJ Spinna. Just kidding.

“Kicking Television: Live in Chicago” (Wilco) - They've become a favorite band of mine because of the textures they create with a conventional line-up. THis live album captures they're talent as musicians with a hometown that can't be faked.

“Demon Days” (Gorillaz) - What started as an industry in-joke has quickly become one of the most respected brands in rock. That is, if you're in the know. DJ Danger Mouse (their most recent collaborator) isn't exactly a household name but his involvement certainly lends even more street creed to this hip-hop flavored trip.

“Guerolito” (Beck) - The remixed version of Guero, itself a contender for top ten status. This one wins because of it's diversity. With more than 50,000 labums produced a year now, I like being exposed to many producers whose names I can be on the lookout for from here on in.

“Be” (Common) - Common's always been a favorite ever since he busted on the scene (at least my scene) with the hook on De La Soul's “The Bizness” from Stakes is High: “I'm the C to the O double-M-O-N I sit and think with a drink about how I'm gonna win”

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Auto Show

On 60 Minutes last night Andy Rooney spent his whole segment bowing to the hate mail he'd received for bad-mouthing American cars. I didn't see his original rant but reading it I can imagine pretty much how it went. One of the hate mail letters Andy read last night talked about how it's fashionable right now to drive foreign cars. Yeah, you know why? Cuz not spending your time in the auto garage is fashionable. I can understand the gentleman that works at Ford or GM being concerned about the movement to foreign cars writing in to let Andy know he's not gonna watch his show any more. But to write in with something like this is bold:

“I do not believe it is lack of quality that has adversely affected General Motors - the product has been getting better and better. The problem is that the intellectual elite have decided it's un-cool to drive American.”

It's especially bold when the story to which the letter is reacting quoted the following statistic (aka fact):

“Consumer Reports tested a lot of cars and gave their highest reliability rating to 31 of them. Of those 31 most reliable cars, just two were American. The other 29 were Japanese.

Of the cars that were least reliable, 22 were American made.”

And just when you thought the American car makers might 'get it' Ford gives us this @ the Detroit Auto Show:

Picture 1-2
“Ford showed its F-250 Super Chief concept, a massive four-door pickup truck that shows that the company isn't done with big trucks...The truck has a supercharged V-10 that can run on gasoline, ethanol and hydrogen. The interior is paneled in walnut, with big brown leather seats and ottomans in the rear.”

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January 08, 2006

Creep Covers

It sounds straight out of a Twilight Zone episode or a Hitchcock story but 'snot. An anatomy book bound with....wait for it...wait for it...[cue Psycho symphony 'stabs'....human skin!

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January 06, 2006

Tempbot

Tempbot rocks.
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Hacking Parents

Best practices for parents can often be a good thing. For example, did you know that a teaspoon of sugar helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way. How bout poopy diapers stick, did you know that? You might not find these two gems at ParentHacks but, then again, you might.

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January 05, 2006

Shaw AFB

Anyone ever been to Shaw AFB in South Carolina? I've got friends in North Cakalakie but have never visited the Carolinas.

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January 04, 2006

Symptoms of a Process

In Houston, and in other cities across the United States, new library rules are being passed to make using them more enjoyable. Some see this as targeting the homeless. For these folks the library is a last resort, a place to search the want ads when they can't afford a $0.50 newspaper. At the same time isn't is distracting to be studying when there are strong smells near you (whether or not they're the body odor of someone who doesn't have a shower facility). What do y'all think?

Written while groovin' to Lola from the album “Blend Crafters” by DJ Nu-Mark & Pomo

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January 03, 2006

Cover Art Tool

If you're obsessed with album covers as I am then this handy tool for finding cover art will do you right: FindMyCover.com.

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Mooo!

I hate flying Southwest because of their cattle her boarding system. It makes sense though...scientists have proven it's the most efficient way to board a plane.

Written while groovin' to What a Day (For a Night) from the album “Come Feel Me Tremble” by Paul Westerberg

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South Park, Brought to you By Apple

South Park uses Apple storage. All the cool kids are using Apple these days. Are you?

Written while groovin' to The Pazant Bros - Chick A Boom from the album “Super Breaks Vol.1” by Various Artists

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January 02, 2006

Stocks To Watch

For what it's worth, I'm thinking about investing in Sirius Radio and Threshold Pharmaceuticals for different reasons. I think this satellite radio thing is on the cusp of taking off (thanks in large part to, yes, Howard Stern) and Threshold is attracting top notch talent from formidable competitors who wouldn't go there unless they thought the stock still had plenty of upside. If I make money from these I'll brag on here. If I lose money I'll become silent and recoil into fetal position. Oh, and the markets are closed today in observance of New Year's Day.

Written while groovin' to 07 The Arcade Fire - Black Session from the album “Black Session 9-03-2005” by The Arcade Fire

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