Entries Tagged 'Music' ↓

Daily habit goals for 2017

Time Action
08:00 Wake
08:30 Brush teeth
Blood sugar
Start hot water
09:00 Make coffee
Make/eat protein breakfast*
09:15 Begin work
09:30 Medications (second cup)
11:00 Standup
11:30 Lunch: (tbd) calories and (tbd) carbs
13:00 Blood sugar
15:30 Snack
17:30 Chores
18:00 Dinner: (tbd) calories and (tbd) carbs
19:30 Free time for…
…Reading books
…Second walk
22:00 Brush teeth

* eggs, snack pack, peanut butter toast, cottage cheese, string cheese

A comment I wrote to William Shatner in a Reddit thread

Bill (can I call you Bill?), I want you to know that Has Been is one of my favorite albums of all time. I try to get people to listen to it but nobody takes me seriously. I recently had a “win” as a parent when my oldest son (17) asked me about Has Been.

I love how you poured yourself out for everyone to see and I use it as inspiration in my own (meager and infrequent) attempts to be an artist.

I bow to you and thank you, sir. 😀

PS: How do I get invited to one of your legendary parties?

Here’s the original thread which was brought to my attention by an r/bestof posting. I submitted my comment twice but Reddit didn’t accept it. I suspect that Bill has temporarily disabled comments. 

Summer Playlist

After a few hints from the family, I have concluded that is time to end my blues exploration – at least for the time being. I had a revelation while eating dinner with the family the other night: The Summer Playlist. I’ll describe it in detail below but first a little context about the music listening situation in our house.

iTunes MBPDuring the work day I spend most of my time in my office, the kitchen or the bathroom (in that order). On the left side of my desk my MacBook Pro (MBP) runs iTunes all the time. The MBP is connected to my awesome PMIX-100 personal audio mixer (seen on the right of the photo). The mixer is connected to my Cambridge Soundworks desktop speakers which are located 18 inches in front of my head in the classic stereo position. This is where I do almost all of my listening these days.
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The Stumble

Today as I was listening to A Hard Road by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers for the first time, the song that most caught my attention was their cover of Freddie King’s “The Stumble”. Since I had recently added The Very Best of Freddie King to my iTunes collection, I knew I probably had the original:

iTunes search for "The Stumble"

Sure enough I had the version by Freddie as well as another by Jeff Beck I immediately queued them to play next: Freddie followed by Beck. In the meantime, I pulled up the Wikipedia article to find out more about this rollicking electric guitar solo. There’s not much there but the article does have a list of artists that have covered it. My eyes immediately found Gary Moore who was more or less a disciple of Peter Green, Mayall’s guitar player on his version of “The Stumble”. Having just downloaded a chunk of Moore’s work the night before, I anxiously scanned the files for his version of “The Stumble”. I dropped it into iTunes just as Beck’s version faded out.

As Moore’s version blasted my ears, I went to YouTube for further insight. I wasn’t able to find the Freddie King version but I did find Green, Beck and Moore as well as a couple of interesting versions.
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All I Got For Xmas 2010

All I Got For Xmas 2010
Originally uploaded by rynosoft

Once again I had a very bountiful Christmas. Click the picture to see the details but my gifts included:

  • Earth: The Book
  • Microwave safe soup bowl
  • Soup spoons
  • Chopsticks
  • Microwave safe coffee cups
  • Instant coffee
  • My four favorite Beatles albums remastered
  • $75 in cash
  • Personal audio mixer
  • Let It Be…Naked
  • Sugar free candy
  • New earphones for my iPhone
  • Six pack of grilling sauces/rubs
  • Two iTunes gift certificates worth $45 (not pictured) – redeeming for various apps and songs
  • Amazon gift certificate for $50 (not pictured) – redeemed for iLife ’11

Thanks to Buddy, Leroy, Tom, Jan, Michelle & Ric, Tina, Thomas, Graham and the Kittens. I know I’m hard to shop for and appreciate when people do so anyway.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

If you were a teen in the 80s like me then you probably remember the short-lived sketch comedy series, Fridays, on ABC. Although it only lasted two seasons, it left an indelible impression on my young brain.

Sadly, a DVD release of those two seasons is reportedly held up by Michael Richards. Luckily, YouTube has most of their great sketches including the ones I’ve included below the fold:
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Fun with the iTunes “search box”

Here’s a fun little exercise you can do in iTunes:

  1. In iTunes, click on your music library in the sidebar.
  2. Turn on shuffle, ensure that you have “By Songs” selected in the Shuffle menu (which is in Controls in the main menu)
  3. Type the first word that comes to mind in the search box
  4. Play one of the songs that is displayed
  5. Pick a new word or name from the currently playing song, type that word into the search box
  6. Listen
  7. When song changes, repeat 5

Note that in step 5 that you must pick a word that will include the currently playing song or iTunes will get confused and stop playing after the song is over. Obviously, having a large music library (23847 songs for me) and lots of metadata helps make the game interesting.

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Cee-Lo Green and the Horse He Rode in On

Remember Gnarls Barkley‘s first single in the summer of 2006? “Crazy” was the first single to chart in the UK based purely on online sales. Now one half of that duo, Cee-Lo Green, has released an equally enchanting single called “Fuck You” off his upcoming album, The Lady Killer. Here’s the first video for the song:

If you love the song as much as I do, you won’t mind hearing it a second time (in a different video):
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DJ Demos Twin iPad Setup

I’m very excited about Apple’s new product. You may have heard of it, it’s called the “iPad.”

In all seriousness, though, from the day Apple publicly announced it, my feeling has been that this device could be groundbreaking with the right software. The video below demonstrates just how powerful and remarkable iPad software can be. In the video, Robert Scoble interviews DJ Rana Sobhany, who demonstrates the software she uses with two iPads to create music.

In order to get the full context, you have to watch the whole video. However, I’ve attempted to summarize below just how amazing software on the iPad can look and feel:

  • 3:00: Demonstration begins for the Korg software
  • 5:20: Explanation of what the Looptastic app does
  • 6:10: Demonstration begins for how she puts it all together
  • 6:50: Notice as she adds more music on the left iPad, she uses two fingers to drag two different things into the mix.
  • 8:00: Again multiple simultaneous finger interactions with the controls.
  • 15:44: Demonstration of using audio effects like the high pass filter

What I find amazing about this demo is that how obviously simple it is to use this software. When she drags things in from the musical palette, the motions she uses look completely natural and it’s obvious she doesn’t have to think about how to get where she wants.

At the beginning and end she makes the point that iPad applications are going to get better now that developers actually have iPads. The initial influx of apps were created using Apple’s software simulator that runs on a Macintosh computer. While it gives you a good idea about sizing of controls and such, there are many lessons you learn once you pick up the iPad and try to use an app. In the case of the Korg app (the first she demonstrates), it is obvious that the developers were seeking to mimic a “real” (i.e. hardware) component by having things like dial controls. Although they look cool, such controls will likely morph into other controls that are easier to control on the iPad (for example, sliders).

You can follow Rana Sobhany on Twitter or visit her website, destroythesilence.com.

Another New Music Video from OK Go

Another brilliant one-shot video from OK Go. For some reason, YouTube is allowing the embedding option for this, the second version for “This Too Shall Pass.”