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.
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.
During 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. Read the rest of this entry »
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. Read the rest of this entry »
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: Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a fun little exercise you can do in iTunes:
In iTunes, click on your music library in the sidebar.
Turn on shuffle, ensure that you have “By Songs” selected in the Shuffle menu (which is in Controls in the main menu)
Type the first word that comes to mind in the search box
Play one of the songs that is displayed
Pick a new word or name from the currently playing song, type that word into the search box
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.
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:
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).
Here is an amazing video from “YouTube” stars, OK Go. Watch carefully and wonder to yourself how many takes this took:
If you don’t have flash on your device, you can view the video on YouTube with this link. Why didn’t I just embed the YouTube video? Damian Kulash, Jr., one of the guys in the band, wrote a very interesting article on a fan forum a few days ago that did an excellent job of explaining the intricacies of the music industry’s DRM machine. Today Kulash followed up with a tremendous New York Times Guest Op-Ed.