November 11, 2014

A Sincere Recommendation If You Can Spare Two Hours For Teleportation

birdmanYes, I’m making a movie recommendation, because we all require a change of perspective. The film’s setting is the NYC theatre district, likely insignificant with respect to your ever-present concerns. However, I believe you will savor the artistry of this work because (a) you are a performer, (b) you have uncanny visual and audio acuity, or (c) you harbor suspicions regarding the panem et circenses of mass media.

Please treat yourself to the masterpiece that is Birdman. Hasten to your local art-house cinema. Or not, and wait for it on DVD, Netflix or whatever, but please, please avert your eyes and ears from any spoilers or reviews except for my proclamation that the sound editing alone is worth 50 Oscars.

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing.”

 

September 4, 2014

Rdio, dear Rdio

I’ve been a subscriber since June 2010. I’ve been a loyal supporter and paying customer. I’m seriously disappointed by the most recent UI changes which have either buried or eliminated the features that distinguished you from your competitors.
I am not alone in this opinion. See here, here, here, herehere, and here.
But that’s not the worst of it. There is a more serious problem. You’ve allowed an employee to treat paying customers, who are long-time, fervent advocates, who have given countless suggestions for improvements, promoted Rdio to their friends and family, like dirt:
Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.11.38 PM
Why is this an egregious offence?
First, one of the reasons I adored the Rdio community – and yes there is a very social aspect to your site (whether you recognized it or not) – was that it was generally free from the troll-ish behavior such as this. Folks espoused positive emotions about music, through collaborative playlists and their reviews. My first reaction was:“who is this person?”, and then “why are they not cogently expressing their thoughts?”
Second, upon discovering Joe Armenia was an employee, I felt sad for Rdio’s customers, it’s investors, and it’s other employees. There is no surer way to destroy a brand than to insult your paying customers by an employee who is utterly clueless as to whom is buttering their bread.
I’ll make it easy for you Rdio. Either Joe Armenia or I am leaving Rdio.
August 24, 2014

​Please enjoy ​Roberto Capocchi playing​ “Loro” by Egberto Gismonti​.​

I’ve known Roberto for a few years via a mutual friend and as such I knew some of his wonderful qualities, but until recently was totally unaware of the depth of his musical artistry. 

Exhibit A is his performance of Loro, composed by Egberto Gismonti.

I believe this performance is especially noteworthy. The original is a Brazilian fusion/pop hit from 1981. In 1994, the composer performed it with John John McLaughlin placing it in jazz nerd-dom. Subsequently both pianists and vocalists have employed to highlight their chops.
 
What Roberto did with it is sublime.
March 9, 2014

What is this Kawaii Metal?

I’ve seen lots of stuff I don’t understand but this particular video has me prisoner because I believe it signifies something of import. Yes, it is a mash-up of Death-Metal, Kawaii, millisecond edits, Jesus, teen-fetish, and intricate over-loaded hand gestures. It may play out as an ephemeral trans-cultural fad. However, I ponder why this artifact came to be.

Perhaps this simply a shallow global marketing effort akin to The Monkees.

Or perhaps it is evidence of something else? Indulge me in over-abstraction wherein a particular signal is selected. Could it be an eruption of latent Japanese pride, of long suppressed nationalism, saying “Hey Western World: Remember us? We were rebuilt in your image and likeness. We gave you Kanban, adoration of technology and sushi. Why have you forsaken us for China?” Japan has experienced a catastrophic housing bubble, outsourcing, and a dankai no setai generational welfare Rubicon. Japan is your future. Japan’s culture is asking us to pay attention.

January 22, 2014

Tech Support Please

How does one get iPhone control thingy (start, stop, skip) added to a set of cans?

January 21, 2014

A Tiny Silver Lining, post-Snowden

A Tiny Silver Lining, post-Snowden

I now cheerfully respond to all solicitations, telemarketers or otherwise, with “You sound awfully nice and sincere, but because you might actually be the NSA, I am uncomfortable speaking with you.”

April 2, 2013

Our SoundBridge Has Finally Collapsed

Our beloved Roku SoundBridge has ceased to function. After seven years of service tuning into SomFM, otherwise unreachable radio stations and our iTunes library, it emits neither light nor sound.

SoundBridge1

It turns out, the thing is beautiful inside. Constructed like double-ended Pringle’s can. Pop the ends off and it’s inner shell slides out of the aluminum tube.

SoundBridge2

Splitting the clamshell exposes a single circuit board.

SoundBridge3

SoundBridge4Notice the how the primary circuits are completely encased in a shield? This unit was unaffected by nearby cell phones, the microwave oven or other radiation sources. Which is pretty amazing because I don’t think things like 3G phones were invented when this was made.

Fortunately, there is EBay and it’s vintage replacement is on it’s way.

March 22, 2013

Marvelous Band + Game Show to Tour Again

March 19, 2013

Jon Brion on Songs vs. Performances

Jon Brion

In 2006 whilst on a relatively rare appearance outside Los Angeles, Greg Kot & Jim DeRogatis of SoundOpinions interviewed Jon Brion.
The Full Show • Interview with Jon starts at ~ 20 minutes in. See also the Footnotes.

TL;DR edited version: An illustrated YouTube excerpt of  Songs vs. Performances

February 22, 2013

Cross Bones Style • Cat Power

Inspiration for the song is said to be from Chan’s visit to South Africa where she met children orphaned by the diamond trade.   However, she didn’t write the song until later.  From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): 
Marshall wrote “Cross Bones Style,” along with five other songs from Moon Pix, one night in the fall of 1997, after awaking from a hallucinatory nightmare while alone in the South Carolina farmhouse she shared with then-boyfriend, Bill Callahan. “My nightmare was surrounding my house like a tornado,” she explained. “So I just ran and got my guitar because I was trying to distract myself. I had to turn on the lights and sing to God. I got a tape recorder and recorded the next sixty minutes. And I played these long changes, into six different songs. That’s where I got the record.”
Oh to be struck by such a muse. 

Listen on Rdio Cat Power • Cross Bones Style

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