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posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 05:49pm on 11/04/2008 under , , , ,
I've been listening to the Pat Radio podcast, which is a weekly show focusing on the Columbus music scene. The show's theme song is called "OH/IO (Washington Beach Party)" (by Magic City). That song title is apparently a reference to a neighborhood just northeast of OSU. (Which in turn was apparently derived from Grand Theft Auto.)

Granted, this label for the neighborhood was apparently just coined five years ago, but considering I used to live near there I'm surprised I hadn't heard it before. Have you heard that neighborhood called Washington Beach?
There's a video for the song! )

(BTW, another music-oriented podcast I've just started listening to is Sound Opinions, a public radio show out of Chicago. The show with Bob Mould got me hooked.)
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 03:45pm on 22/01/2008 under ,
I just learned that Richard Thompson is touring his 1000 Years of Popular Music show again!

He'll be playing in Kent on February 4, and Cincinnati on February 5. Unfortunately, those are Monday and Tuesday nights about two hours away, so I probably won't make it.

I could (and should), however, buy the CD or the DVD. I did buy two of my favorite songs of the show from Amazon MP3 though.
location: Kirkersville, OH
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 09:24am on 15/01/2008 under , , ,
About three years ago, Pepsi ran a promotion with the iTunes Music Store, giving away free songs via codes in bottle caps. As someone who doesn't use a player compatible with iTunes downloads, and likes being able to play all my music on whatever player I happen to have handy, the promotion didn't do much for me, so I gave away the codes.

Of course, eMusic has been around for a while, primarily serving up independent music (which you probably know I listen to quite a bit of), but they use a subscription-based model and don't let you see their catalog before starting your limited-time free trial. (So if I do the free trial and don't like the selection, I can't do another free trial later to see if the selection has improved.)

But recently the landscape has changed quite a bit. First EMI started putting their music on iTunes without the "DRM" that prevents the music from being played on players not somehow controlled by the record labels. Then Amazon introduced their MP3 store, selling plain old MP3 files (that pretty much anything will play) for about the same price as iTunes Music Store -- sometimes a dime less, occasionally a dime more. They started with indie music, and then added some major labels.

I discovered Amazon MP3s a couple months ago, and picked up a few singles I'd heard on favorite podcasts or on Pandora. I still prefer having CDs (better quality, less prone to disk crashes, sometimes more convenient), but when there's just one song I want from an album, it's nice to be able to get it right away for cheap and have it immediately part of my collection -- and without worrying about what software or hardware will play it. I'm more excited about Amazon MP3s than a CD fan should be.

Apparently even the record labels think they have a good thing there too, or they've just relented. In the past few weeks, Warner Music and Sony BMG have both signed on to sell their music there.

And now Pepsi is doing a joint promotion with Amazon MP3 that echoes their previous iTunes promotion. I might actually be able to take advantage of this one myself.

Of course, the major record labels still aren't paying the artists properly.
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 09:43am on 06/01/2008 under , ,
Hey look, Watershed is touring again, and is playing in Columbus this Friday January 11 at the LC Pavilion. I'm pretty sure I'm going. How about you?
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posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 09:03am on 26/12/2007 under , , ,
Not a lot of solstice happenings around here, though I am as always quite happy that the days are getting longer again. There was talk of building some sort of solar clock/calendar sort of thing on the promontory behind the barn.

We spent most of the weekend doing last-minute gift planning and shopping -- often, by necessity, completely changing the plan because things were unavailable.

Shopping tip: When looking to buy home audio/video equipment, it's fine to go to Best Buy to look -- they're quite good at leaving you alone to look -- but don't bother trying to buy from them because they'll continue to ignore you. Go down the street to H.H. Gregg, where they apparently work on commission and are quite eager to help, at least if you're not looking at the deep-deep-discount shelves at the time. (This is all assuming that a locally-owned store is not around, though they usually can't compete on price.)

Christmas music drives me crazy, but I was usually able to ignore it. The positive exception was when I heard "Greensleeves" played surf-guitar style; later, wondering who that might have been, I learned that "Greensleeves" seems to be a surf-guitar standard, done by lots of people in the genre.

Monday I made brownies (this time with chocolate chips on top too) that turned out a little too dry, and cookies both chocolate-chip and butterscotch-chip (using the classic "Toll House" recipe). At one point I considered making pizzelles, but ran out of time and energy (as well as coming close to running out of eggs). I still want to look into trying some vegan cookie/brownie recipes sometime.

Toward the end of my baking, [livejournal.com profile] duriyah came home and pointed out the big orangy moon coming up. We even managed to go out and see it without any cats messing with the cookies.
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posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 06:31pm on 24/10/2007 under ,
Lately I've been trying to catch up on the podcasts I'm most interested in, since I'd gotten about eight months behind. One of my favorites (and one of the first I ever found) is Insomnia Radio, featuring indie rock (and anything related) and focusing on the music rather than (like too many podcasts) the host. Over the past couple years he's been branching out to invite and encourage people in many different cities to start podcasts under the Insomnia Radio umbrella, primarily focusing on music of their local region. So for example there's Insomnia Radio New York, Insomnia Radio Cincinnati, and so on, as well as a few genre-based shows.

Yesterday (now up to April's podcasts) I learned that there's now Insomnia Radio Turkey!

There are only five episodes so far, with 4-5 songs each, and there were many months between episodes #4 and #5, but I enjoyed listening to them all.
rfunk: (guitar)
It's been a long time since I've posted about upcoming shows, partly because I've been so far away from them. But now I'm only half an hour away from lots of good ones.

Last.fm pointed out some of these to me, and from there I decided to see Ticketmaster's entire list of concerts for the next couple months....

Tue Oct 2 - The Donnas @ Newport Music Hall
Mon Oct 8 - Johnette Napolitano @ House of Crave (She was the singer for Concrete Blonde.)
Tue Oct 9 - Bad Religion @ Newport Music Hall
Sat Oct 13 - Loreena McKennitt @ Palace Theatre
Wed Oct 17 - Raveonettes @ The Basement
Fri Oct 26 - Oswald & the Herringbones @ House of Crave (They were big in Columbus in the late 80s and early 90s but then disappeared, so this will be a rare show.)
Mon Nov 26 - Tegan and Sara @ Newport Music Hall
Music:: Talking Heads - Burning Down The House
Mood:: 'excited' excited
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posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 10:43am on 14/09/2007 under , ,
Everyone who listens to MP3s knows (or should know) that MP3 is a lossy medium; in order to get a file that's only about 10% the size of the uncompressed music, some frequencies are thrown out based on how well the human ear hears them. You just don't get as good a sound from MP3 as from the source CD.

But wait! It turns out that the sound engineers producing those CDs are now using MP3-through-iPod-earbuds as the reference for how the music sounds. And when there are things that sound great in the original CD-quality music that they don't hear or doesn't sound as good on the iPod, they'll cut them out!

The reason is that these days the music is considered most likely to be heard on an iPod, so that's what it's optimized for. It reminds me of the cell phone catch-22 of the past 5-8 years: As more people got cell phones, fewer used pay phones, so pay phones started disappearing, forcing more people to get cell phones, perpetuating the cycle until there are hardly any pay phones left. Similarly, as more music is heard on reduced-quality MP3, more music is optimized for MP3, prompting more people to listen to that music where it sounds best, forcing even more music to be produced for that lower-quality medium.

I do *like* the convenience of MP3, but I'd still like to have the better sound of the CD available! Besides, I probably encode MP3s at a higher quality than most people.

Now I dread the day when music production is optimized for hearing as a ringtone.....
Mood:: 'cynical' cynical
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posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 12:20pm on 03/08/2007 under , ,
Thanks to comments on the latest xkcd.....

Tesla Coil Music! )

Now I want one to use as an amp for my bass. Talk about nighttime fun at parties!
Mood:: 'impressed' impressed
rfunk: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] rfunk at 11:19am on 21/06/2007 under , , , ,

One thing that has kept me sane in my recent bout of working long hours is that I finally took a few minutes to set up SlimServer (which powers my Squeezebox) and my home router so that I can get access to my entire music collection (9747 songs and counting) from the office. So at work (and wherever else I decide to open it to) I'm no longer limited to just the few CDs worth of favorites that I've copied to the machine there.

(In the process I discovered that trying to stream MP3 via HTTP through an ssh tunnel just doesn't work so well. Every minute or so bits of audio would repeat a few seconds later. It's probably related to redundant congestion control happening in the TCP-over-TCP arrangement. Bypassing the ssh tunnel helped immensely.)

In addition, I now have both Amarok and SlimServer scrobbling my plays to Last.fm, so my profile there is becoming more complete. I'm up to over 7400 songs scrobbled there since I started last summer, and now rapidly increasing. If you like, you can check out the long list of songs I've listened to recently.

Because of the scrobbling, I've learned that (based on the top 15 artists I listen to) my musical taste is 9.24% mainstream. (It may be interesting to look into some things other people have done with the data there). Last.fm's Events section is also becoming useful for finding out about when bands I listen to are playing nearby -- especially since there are RSS and iCal feeds for recommended events.

My Recent Tracks My Top Tracks My Top Artists
Music:: The Cure - Close to Me (Closer Mix)


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