03 Apr 2007 @ 2:52 PM 

And I thought the Ricky Skaggs version of “Super Freak” was unusual…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 03 Apr 2007 @ 02:52 PM

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 17 Mar 2007 @ 3:06 PM 

Every so often, I refresh the default playlist on my MP3 player, usually by checking out the playlists from KROQ and KNDD.  So, I’m adding the song “Satellite” by Guster and I notice that there are a lot of songs named the same.  I’ve got 11 tracks named “Satellite” by various artists, from Anna Nalick to Collective Soul to Smashmouth.  That doesn’t even count the variants like “Satellite Ecstatica” by PWEI or “Boom Boom Satellite” by Sigue Sigue Sputnik.  Wonder why it’s such a popular word for a song title.  Must be a lot of folks that were brought up in awe of the space race.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 17 Mar 2007 @ 03:06 PM

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 19 Feb 2007 @ 6:37 PM 

Local radio station, which (like half the stations in the country) bills itself as “the best of the 80s 90s and today,” just announced it was New Music Monday.  The next two songs were Citizen King’s “Better Days” from 2000 and When in Rome’s “The Promise” from 1988.  Yeah.  New music.  *sigh*

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Feb 2007 @ 06:37 PM

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 11 Feb 2007 @ 10:16 PM 

One side benefit to living alone for five days a week, minus the cat (and thanks again for reminding me, Yahoo!, that Valentine’s Day is this week) – nobody complains about playing Plastic Bertrand’s Ca Plane Pour Moi at high volumes.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 11 Feb 2007 @ 10:16 PM

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 26 Dec 2006 @ 9:22 AM 

James Brown, singer, songwriter, bandleader, dancer, druguser, and wifebeater – dead at 73.  Great music, absolutely horrible person.

Requiescat in pace, you old coot.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 Dec 2006 @ 09:22 AM

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 13 Dec 2006 @ 11:15 PM 

I want a girl with lips like morphine,
Knock me out every time they touch me.
I wanna feel a kiss just crush me,
And break me down.

Knock me out (knock me out),
Knock me out (knock me out).
Cause I’ve waited for all my life,
To be here with you tonight.

I want a girl with lips like morphine,
Blow a kiss that leaves me gasping.

And I wanna feel that lightning strike me,
And burn me down.

Knock me out (knock me out),
Knock me out (knock me out).
Cause I’ve waited for all my life,
To be here with you tonight.
Just put me on my back,
Knock me out again.

I want a girl with lips like morphine (lips like morphine)
Knock me out every time they touch me (every time they touch me)
I want a girl with lips like morphine (lips like morphine)
To knock me out.

See I’ve waited for all my life,
To be here with you tonight.
Just put me on my back,
Knock me out again

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2006 @ 11:15 PM

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 07 Dec 2006 @ 11:15 PM 

The Rules: Go to the this site and check out the songs from the year in which you turned 18. Bold the songs you like. Strike the songs you don’t. Leave the ones you’re indifferent to alone.

1. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
2. It Takes Two – Rob Base & E-Z Rock
3. Da Butt – EU
4. Hot Hot Hot – Buster Poindexter
5. I’ll Always Love You – Taylor Dayne
6. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
7. Sweet Child Of Mine – Guns N Roses
8. Red Red Wine – UB40
9. Just Got Paid – Johnny Kemp
10. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
11. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
12. Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison
13. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses
14. Paradise – Sade
15. The Flame – Cheap Trick
16. 1 2 3 – Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
17. Kokomo – Beach Boys
18. Need You Tonight – INXS
19. Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S
20. Roll With It – Steve Winwood
21. Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird (Medley) – Will To Power
22. Power Of Love – Laura Branigan
23. Push It – Salt N Pepa
24. One More Try – George Michael
25. Can’t Stay Away From You – Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
26. Wild, Wild West – Kool Moe Dee
27. One Moment In Time – Whitney Houston
28. Hot Hot Hot!!! – The Cure
29. The Promise – When In Rome
30. The Way You Make Me Feel – Micheal Jackson
31. Chains Of Love – Erasure
32. What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) – Information Society
33. Honestly – Stryper
34. Don’t Be Cruel – Bobby Brown
35. Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi
36. Strangelove – Depeche Mode
37. Nothin’ But A Good Time – Poison
38. Angel – Aerosmith
39. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
40. Forever Young – Alphaville
41. Pink Cadillac – Natalie Cole
42. Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys
43. Tall Cool One – Robert Plant
44. Forever Young – Rod Stewart
45. Beds Are Burning – Midnight Oil
46. Tomorrow People – Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
47. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere – Moody Blues
48. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
49. Wild Wild West – The Escape Club
50. In God’s Country – U2
51. So Emotional – Whitney Houston
52. Girls Ain’t Nothin’ But Trouble – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
53. Wishing Well – Terence Trent D”Arby
54. It’s Money That Matters – Randy Newman
55. Under The Milky Way – The Church
56. Like The Weather – 10,000 Maniacs
57. Tell It To My Heart – Taylor Dayne
58. Kiss Me Deadly – Lita Ford
59. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
60. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – R.E.M.
61. Parents Just Don’t Understand – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
62. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark – Robert Cray Band
63. Never Can Say Goodbye – Communards
64. What’s The Matter Here? – 10,000 Maniacs
65. Groovy Kind Of Love – Phil Collins
66. Fat – Weird Al Yankovic
67. Piano In The Dark – Brenda Russell
68. Monkey – George Michael
69. Rocket 2 U – Jets
70. Tell That Girl To Shut Up – Transvision Vamp
71. I Found Someone – Cher
72. Spotlight – Madonna
73. Englishman In New York – Sting
74. When Will I Be Famous? – Bros
75. Hazy Shade of Winter – the Bangles

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Dec 2006 @ 11:15 PM

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 01 Dec 2006 @ 4:50 PM 

Last year, I posted the track list for my Christmas CD. Some of you may have a copy of it. This year, I’m doing it again. I like mixing artists like Bing Crosby and Jimmy Eat World – it amuses me.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 01 Dec 2006 @ 04:51 PM

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 09 Nov 2006 @ 9:45 PM 

Last year, Kevin and Bean neglected to release a holiday music CD. This year, they’ve seen the error of their ways and are releasing “Kevin & Bean’s Super Christmas” on November 21st.

So, all you Southern California people – anyone want to hit a Best Buy down your way around Thanksgiving and mail me a CD? Pretty please?

Oh, and for those of you up in the frozen north: be jealous. Today, it was 90 degrees. That ain’t right.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Nov 2006 @ 09:48 PM

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 04 Nov 2006 @ 10:05 AM 

In the continuing saga of Microsoft punking its customers and partners, they’re killing the MSN Music store. Due to legal requirements, they’ll offer links to the Real PlaysForSure/RDNA music store, as well as the Microsoft Zune Store.

Real is moving away from PlaysForSure to their Rhapsody DNA, paired with the Sansa e200R series. Napster never really got much traction as a legit music store. MyCokeMusic, a UK music download store, is gone. I see a trend here. PlaysForSure, which never really had the market penetration of the iTunes AAC digital restrictions software, is dead and just doesn’t know it.

Anyone who bought music from a DRM-encrusted store is a sucker to begin with, but if you have PlaysForSure music, now might be a good time to stop buying any more of it, and find a copy of the FairUse4WM program and convert those soon-to-not-work tracks into something more lasting.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Nov 2006 @ 09:59 PM

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 03 Nov 2006 @ 6:24 PM 
  1. What was the first CD/Record/Album/Artist you ever bought and what format was it in? (Vinyl/Cassette/CD/MP3 Download)? Heck if I remember. I’m thinking it was something on a cassette but otherwise…it’s been far too long.
  2. How do you usually listen to music? (iPod/Walkman/Stereo/Radio) Generally on my Sandisk Sansa MP3 player. I listened to the radio when there was a station that didn’t suck.
  3. What is your favorite genre of music and why? The non-country genre. Heck, check out my music archive – I’ve got all sorts of stuff in there. I just ripped my old Ministry and Sinead O’Connor CDs this weekend. Good luck finding a pattern there.
  4. What is your opinion on music video shows and music televion? I miss them.
  5. Do you usually agree with who the winners of the Grammy Awards are? I usually don’t care.
Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 03 Nov 2006 @ 06:25 PM

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 31 Oct 2006 @ 6:55 PM 

Here’s my Halloween playlist.  The cretins at work probably don’t know any of the songs. Hi, cretins.  😉

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 31 Oct 2006 @ 06:55 PM

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 17 Oct 2006 @ 2:04 PM 

Creative is removing features from its Zen MicroPhoto and Zen Vision:M players. If you thought that FM recording feature you bought it with is a good thing, then you should never update its firmware. Creative has followed the Sony PSP approach of deleting features upon addition of new features. You can now use Audible files, but your recorder doesn’t record the radio. I’m sure the RIAA had nothing to do with this.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 17 Oct 2006 @ 02:04 PM

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 24 Sep 2006 @ 12:04 PM 

I noticed that the “review” category has not had much activity, so I’ll remedy that.

In March of 2005, I bought a Rio Karma. This MP3 player was fantastic, with 20 gigs of storage space (enough for about 1/6th of my music collection), a fantastic interface, on-the-fly playlisting and all that jazz. It did not have an FM tuner or voice recorder, and it did depend on proprietary protocols to save music, but the ability to rearrange music and choose popular songs and all that were great. Sadly, the Karma is a delicate beast, with its hard drive not being the most durable they could find. Since it broke and Rio is gone, I was quite happy that I had paid for the 24 month warranty from Buy.

In June of this year, I replaced the Karma with the warranty money, getting a Sandisk Sansa e260 4 gig flash player. At the time, it was a 200 dollar player; it’s now routinely available for 150 or less.

With the most current firmware installed, the Sansa is a wonderful music player, although I do miss the Karma’s interface. The Sansa has two protocols: MTP and MSC (sometimes called UMS). In MTP mode, the player works only with Windows XP; in MSC mode it works with anything that recognizes USB removable media. Playlists are transferred only via MTP, although MSC mode is a faster system for simple transfers.

The Sansa also has a cool feature few players do these days: expansion. You can plug in a tiny little memory card, the microSD, to add up to 2 gigs of memory in theory (so far I can only find 1 gig cards at most). The expansion card can’t hold subscription content, and it’s not visible in MTP mode on the computer, but for music you want to keep on the player, or if you use MSC mode anyway, it’s another drive letter in Explorer.

That covers connections, but what about features? It has an FM tuner (and recorder), a voice recorder, and can manage videos (through a converter), photos, and either MP3 or WMA audio files. It supports the PlaysForSure stores, including subscription content, but I’m told does not support Audible files.

Playback is from a rather straight-forward interface, using a wheel and six buttons. Playlists from the computer are visible and usable, as well as one on-the-fly playlist on the player. I can’t tell you how well PlaysForSure works, as I refuse to participate in DRM. Thankfully, I can tell you that it works wonderfully with MediaMonkey in MTP mode. I don’t try to sync in MSC mode, so I’m not sure how well that works with MM; MSC mode is useful for clearing out old content you decide you don’t want to listen to, and it’s mandatory for firmware updates.

Photos are bright and sharp, although there is no zoom and a 1.5 inch screen is not exactly usable for a photo album.

You can play all your music, an artist, an album, a playlist, a genre, or a single track. In any of these, you can have shuffle engaged or not. There are several equalizer settings, and a custom equalizer (with latest firmware). Album art is displayed when you are playing a track, and you can cycle through a fairly useless spectrum analyzer, a larger view of the album art, and the next song in the queue. I rarely can tell what the next song will be before the player switches back to the default view, though. You have about three seconds to see it before it changes away, but it scrolls slowly through artist/album/track so if you have an artist and album with too many characters, you’re out of luck.

So, other things I dislike about the player? You can’t delete content on the player. The voice recorder button can’t be disabled without locking all controls; you will end up recording yourself without meaning to. You can’t edit playlists, except the “Go List” on the player. I really miss the “songs of the 80s” type playlists that the Karma had. Of course, with only 4 gigs of space, some of those modes are less useful than they were with 20. The videos are pretty pointless; not only is the screen only 1.5 inches, the videos are converted to an incredibly inefficient codec to play: the MJPEG format in Quicktime.

My son is able to navigate his playlist without any hassle, the radio works pretty well, and overall it’s a great and reliable player. Highly recommended for anyone who hasn’t already paid too much for DRM-infected files from iTunes Music Store.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 24 Sep 2006 @ 12:07 PM

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 16 Sep 2006 @ 1:21 PM 

I find it amazing that MS has still not figured out how to avoid punking their customers and partners. The wonderful DRM embedded in earlier versions of Windows Media Player is bad enough. Then came PlaysForSure, which many people say is more like “PlaysForShit.” There are many instances of the PlaysForSure files not transferring, or requiring multiple updates of software on the PC and firmware on the player. Plays For Sure as a slogan implies that your music will Just Work, but that is obviously not the case, based on how many complaints you can find online with mere seconds of research.

So, MS decided that the whole integrated solution thing Apple has going is a good idea. They partnered up with iRiver and MTV to produce the Clix and Urge. The device and service were designed together, to ensure that things actually would Play For Sure.  So far so good, even if it did effectively snub all the previous MS partners who had signed on for the Janus DRM train (anyone think it’s interesting that Janus had two faces?), as well as the hardware partners whose machines hadn’t been tested and certified for the MTV Urge service. They’ll probably work, but if it’s not marketed together, many people will assume incompatibility.

And now the latest change to Microsoft’s music roadmap – Zune. Not only does this get Microsoft involved in the hardware market for media players, effectively telling all the manufacturers who thought they were partners to piss off, it also introduces a new Zune-only store. That’s right, the Janus DRM-encumbered music you thought you owned from Rhapsody or Napster or whereever won’t play on Zune. You’ll have to buy it all again, if you want to play it on that new slick MS-branded player.

Might I suggest never buying any DRM-encumbered media? The result of ever buying any music or video from a service that puts DRM on it is that you don’t control your own property. You may think you own the latest Beyonce album, but if you bought it from Napster or iTunes, you don’t own a damned thing. You have a right to listen to it only on the device you bought it for and any new technology is likely to render your music collection so much junk.

Just for an added stab in the back of their customers, the Zune’s vaunted wifi sharing system will add DRM to any file, including public domain and Creative Commons files. For the public domain files, that’s just evil. For the CC files, that’s actually a violation of the CC license, which states unequivocally that no encryption can be applied to the file by anyone.

To recap, DRM is evil, Microsoft hates their customers, Microsoft can be trusted only to betray their business partners, and DRM is evil.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Sep 2006 @ 01:21 PM

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 03 Sep 2006 @ 10:02 PM 

A friend once mentioned that his children wondered why he called Hastings a record store – what are records? It goes even further afield when I think of my son. He doesn’t really deal with CDs even; it’s all a playlist to him. In fact, his current playlist is posted online, just because I’m that kind of geek.

Proving that he is definitely my son, notice the totally eclectic nature of his choices. It’s important to note that I only add songs to his playlist when he asks me to. He recently asked for the Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” and I was astonished to realize that I didn’t have that ripped yet – soon that will be rectified.

Seriously, what other child nearing his seventh birthday wants Harry Belafonte and Elvis Costello and The Beatles? What other child has even heard of Ozomatli? I have a cool kid.

UPDATE: As noted in comments, Alex’s mother also has very eclectic musical tastes. One of our earlier conversations when we first met was our mutual astonishment that the other had heard of, much less listened to, Ani DiFranco.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Sep 2006 @ 02:39 PM

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 12 Aug 2006 @ 10:47 AM 

Just to prove what lovely and thoughtful human beings they are, the RIAA has introduced a motion in one of their extortion filesharing cases. The defendent has died, so they’re allowing the family sixty days to grieve before they sue the children. Anyone still think the RIAA is a reasonable group of people?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Aug 2006 @ 10:47 AM

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 04 Jul 2006 @ 8:33 AM 

Here’s a fun game – run this Google search at random and see if you can spot the flaw in the music industry’s business plan. Today, they are suing Yahoo China. The BPI (UK version of RIAA) is suing AllofMP3, the only large online music service that is successful and can be used with any music player. A couple weeks ago, the RIAA sued YouTube users. They’ve sued dead people, little kids, people without computers…

Maybe suing your customers is not the best way to gain market share, eh? Do they honestly think they can strong-arm people into buying the latest shitty CD from Christina Milian or whichever interchangeable pop star they come up with next?

Read Little Heroes by Norman Spinrad – I’m pretty sure the recording industry of today is exactly like the recording industry he wrote about twenty years ago, just not as good at it as he portrayed.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 04 Jul 2006 @ 08:33 AM

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Music

 
 20 Jun 2006 @ 7:42 PM 

Is it strange that my random playlist generator created a list with “Crazy Bitch” and “You Can’t Fool Me” and “American Witch” in one hour?

Buckcherry’s Crazy Bitch rocks, by the way.

I can taste you on my lips
And smell you in my clothes
Cinnamon and sugary
And softly spoken lies

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Jun 2006 @ 07:44 PM

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 05 May 2006 @ 7:20 PM 

This list is the result of letting my coworkers select the music for a party. Uneven?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 May 2006 @ 07:20 PM

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