somewhat daily mutterings

/Music The King of France

I was turned on to this group by a "celebrity playlist" on iTunes Music Store. The celebrity was Edward Norton, and his theme was to push the work of relatively unknown NY artists that he likes a lot. Well, thanks Ed, they're great. His description of them as an odd combination of Ziggy-era Bowie and the Velvet Underground, and yet unique, is apt. Personally, I hear a bit of Porcupine-era Echo and the Bunnymen in the tune White Confection.

Anyway, I ended up buying both their first album Salad Days, and their eponymous (and incomplete) new album, and have been digging them both mightily.

Posted: Thu Nov 25 07:23:25 -0800 2004

/Music "New" Garage Band Tune

I keep forgetting to mention how I've been playing with Garage Band. Or at least, how much I was playing with it, before I started commuting downtown and getting 2 hours each day eaten out of my schedule. Anyway, I posted a tune to my music page a few weeks ago, and never made note (heh, heh) of it here. The tune is called Filter Swoon. It's composed mostly of Garage Band loops with the bass line (if you can call it that) and a synth pad added by yours truly.

Using Garage Band is odd. If you rely on the loops, it kind of makes you into a producer, rather than a recording artist. Is that a good thing? I don't have the answer, but I do know it's a great, fun, time-killer regardless.

I do have other tunes in the works, which I'll publish on the site if and when I ever get them completed.

Posted: Sat Mar 13 18:48:05 -0800 2004

/Music Must ... Have ... Squeezebox

OK, Slim Devices has finally done it - they've come out with an improved SliMP3 with built-in wireless called the Squeezebox. There is no question. I must have one.

Posted: Fri Nov 21 08:44:01 -0800 2003

/Music New 40G iPod

I broke down and bought a 40G iPod the other day. The 20G is for sale on eBay. 20G was never enough, but I dealt with it by only synching one playlist to the iPod. This was my "iPod" playlist, which excluded a bunch of stuff by genre, artist, and album. It was really getting to me that my iPod playlist's query window was getting so big that it almost filled my 21" monitor's height, and I was having to fool around with the query every time I ripped a new CD.

With the 40-gigger, I can just let the iPod take the whole damn music library. Such freedom!

Posted: Tue Oct 21 17:04:57 -0700 2003

/Music My Favorite Bands/Recording Artists

You can see my recently played list anytime, but I'd like to call out some all-time, evergreen, favorites:

Posted: Fri Jun 06 08:53:29 -0700 2003

/Music Radiohead Has a New Album Coming Out!

I'm probably late to the party, but there's nothing unusual about that. Hail to the Thief comes out June 10th. I can't wait!

Radiohead: Hail to the Thief

Posted: Wed May 28 10:06:55 -0700 2003

/Music I'm Addicted to the iTunes Music Store

I didn't expect to really love it, especially at 99c per song. But, even though their inventory is missing many of the things I've searched for (Zappa, for one), I'm very much hooked on this service. Being able to browse quickly amongst a lot of different genres and artists and being able to hear 30-second excerpts is such a huge (legal) boon! I've been turned on to a few new (to me) artists just by browsing around: The Bad Plus, Stereolab, and James, to name a few. I've downloaded a few guilty top-40 pleasures -- a couple of Jackson 5ive tunes, The Brothers Johnson's two big hits, and a few Cat Stevens tunes. I've purchased Talking Heads '77, one of their best albums, and a sampling of Clash tunes. All in all, I've downloaded 63 pieces of music. I'm hooked!

Posted: Tue May 27 18:49:48 -0700 2003

/Music 338 Albums Ripped, and Counting

I'm almost done. I've tried to follow a rigorous process to make sure I don't miss anything, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to make a cleanup round to double-check. The iPod is very near to full. In fact, it's so near to full that I had to create a special "smart playlist" just for the iPod and sync only that. The playlist excludes certain genres (like "Holiday", etc.) and certain titles that I just don't feel the need to carry around.

I've also finally got Kung-Tunes working after a bit of a struggle (it publishes the "Recently Played" box to the sidebar under the Music category). It was my fault, of course, that it wasn't working before. It's a very long story but suffice it to say that it was due to a fat-fingered 'chmod' that I'd done as root on my web server. That broke FTP, and prevented Kung-Tunes from doing its magic.

I do have a complaint with Kung-Tunes - it only includes songs that were played while it is running in its list of recently played tunes. I'm not sure this is the best way to approach the creation of the list, since iTunes tracks the 'last played' status of all the songs that it knows about, and that includes tunes that you've played on your iPod, if you have one. I do most of my listening at work on my iPod, so the list you see is not the real story.

Posted: Wed Mar 12 20:36:10 -0800 2003

/Music iPod News

I've now burned 208 CDs to my PowerMac, and have maybe 75% of that number to go. My iPod has about 7G of space left. It ain't gonna hold it all :-(.

I had a little fun with iTunes' smart playlist feature. A smart playlist is essentially a query into your iTunes library. So, you can create a dynamic playlist based on date, genre, artist, etc. and have that playlist automatically updated with whatever fits your criteria anytime music is added to your library. For example, I added playlists for 60s, 70s, 80s, etc. jazz and popular music, and a playlist I call "Acoustic Roots".

The Acoustic Roots playlist automatically includes any music recorded by Gillian Welch, Tin Hat Trio, or Bill Frisell (the only Frisell albums I have fit into that category). I'm still not sure about having Acoustic Roots as a category - perhaps it would be better to just define a genre for that. That's the modeler in me - I'm always wondering if there's a better way to represent things.

Posted: Tue Feb 25 07:13:38 -0800 2003

/Music Note to Self

After quickly scanning thru a bud's MP3 collection, I find I need to look deeper into these artists: Can (specifically the album Ege Bamyasi, North Atlantic, Polvo (Sonic Youth-like?), Fugazi (I guess it's about time, eh?), Giant Sand, Howe, Spoon (made me think of Squeeze and Split Enz), Arab Strap, Slint (another one reminiscent of SY), and Loose Fur. He also turned me on to AMG - All Music Guide.

Posted: Thu Feb 20 13:36:46 -0800 2003

/Music I May Need a 30G iPod

Git bizzy, Apple: I have barely dented our CD collection, and my iPod is nearly half-full :-(. I haven't even synched up the last few rips that I've done, because I believe I'll need to be choosier than I'd planned when it comes time to put stuff on the iPod. I figure I'll rip everything, and only put 75% of it (if that much, even) on the iPod. I thought the 20G iPod would hold 400 discs or more - what gives?

Posted: Sat Feb 15 23:00:00 -0800 2003

/Music iPod Report

I did end up buying an iPod last Sunday. During my not-so-ample spare time, while I was preparing for my San Jose trip, I busted a move over to the Apple Store and picked up the 20GB model. I had already started ripping CDs onto my Mac a couple of days before, so just a few (bunch) more hours of ripping, and I had about 80 CDs on the little guy. I fully enjoyed using the iPod on my flight to San Jose. I used my Aiwa sound-cancelling headphones, and was in listening bliss throughout the flight.

I used the iPod at work today for a short (and rare) period of non-interruption. I navigated to Artist->Echo & The Bunnyment->All, and listened to all the E&tB tunes I'd ripped, in alphabetical order. That was as good as "random" to me, and reminded me how much I really still like E&tB.

Posted: Fri Feb 14 23:00:00 -0800 2003

/Music I have a hankering...

...for an iPod. I'll be making a business trip soon, and it sure would be nice not to have to carefully choose just a few recordings to take along. That's what I have to do right now, because I use my Sharp Zaurus PDA as an MP3 player and my biggest memory card, a 256MB one, only holds about five CDs worth of high-quality MP3s. I'm a little hung up on whether to get the 10GB or 20GB model. The 10GB model is $400, and The 20GB model is only $100 more. But that's $500 (not chump change), so I feel the need to justify the extra $100. I'll report back here as to whether (and what) I bite.

Posted: Thu Feb 13 23:00:00 -0800 2003

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