Archive for December, 2005

We’re off for a few days of travel and will not likely be blogging for a bit. In the meantime, you might want to watch some of the funny/scary news over on the Better Bad News. Some of the stories are kind of inside blogball only funny, but others are great satire.

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News 14 Carolina carried a brief bit on the NC Boys Choir Concert last night. Tucker is in the center of the back row, the guy with the longest hair there.
The concert was wonderful. The new boys in the Training Choir were especially good this year.

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Just off the phone after a longish talk with David Menconi of the News and Observer about tech and the changes in music in the past 5 or so years. A preview of the early 21st century.

My takes – iPods, podcasting, GarageBand, mySpace, blogs, low power FM and high availability of cultural materials in digital form for remix were not really here 5 years ago. This means that music is more of a conversation between listeners and producers in a direct way than any time since the period before piano rolls.

A band produces their music using ProTools or GarageBand. They keep up with their fans on mySpace. They distribute their rough cuts via podcasts. Their listeners hear the music on their pods whilst jogging, on the bus or in my class! They share with their peers via their blogs (or aim). They walk into the low power FM station that will take the risks in tastes that old Am
stations used to take. The music gets remixed to a dance track adding clips for a presidential press conference, say, into yet a new product that circles back thru the fans to the band.

Specific examples were given. Will see what David does with my overlong ramble.

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Who’s on drugs in these pictures? Best seen as a fast slide show. (Thanks Jason for restoring these).

UPDATE: David Menconi, expert on all popular culture, points me to “Elvis Meets Nixon” of which IMDB says:

A “mockumentary” about Elvis’s real-life trip to the White House to become a federal marshal under the DEA, but meets the President instead. Along the way, the film exposes Elvis’s humor, drug problem, and even him pulling a gun out at a doughnut shop.

UPDATE: The National Archives have a great exhibit online now including photos of Elvis’ letter etc.

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sunmetaibiblabsitelio alum KJ sends pics of the Santa Rampage in Nashville. Santas are rampaging world-wide, notes TJ who is not genetically related to KJ.

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Today’s NYTimes carries an announcement that 4 tech companies — IBM, Cisco, HP and Intel — have joined with 7 universities — Texas, Illinois, Stanford, Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Rensselaer, and Georgia Tech — to agree to make software developed in collaborative projects freely available.
The article, and others based on the same press release, is short on details, but promises that there will be more posted later this week at the IBM Scholars site and at the Kaufman Foundation site now.

Listening to Sister Rosetta Tharpe 4 disk collection called “The Original Soul Sister.”

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Tucker’s cold was still with him so that we stayed home today instead of going over to Duke Chapel where he was to sing with the NC Boys Choir this morning. Luckily the show was video taped and can be played (RealVideo) from the Chapel’s website, so even though we missed it we can take it in. The mike placement gives some odd balance occassionally, but the boys sound very good.

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A few weeks back, the talented banjo player and NC Cultural Resources guy, Joe Newberry, dropped by to talk about podcasting from the NC Cultural Resources website. We chatted a bit and now some time later, the first podcast in online and ready for listeners. It’s interviews with the winners of the 2005 North Carolina AwardsBland Simpson, Randall Kenan, and others.

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A quick reading of a couple of articles from the Register reminds me why the Onion is really funny and that the Register is merely mean-spirited and snarky.

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Tim Berners-Lee has the beginning of a blog at MIT. In his first post, he reflects on his feelings about how the Web has evolved to include Wikis and blogs. Hidden in a link (well, sorta hidden) is a write up on the first web brower which only ran on the NeXT in the very early 90s. I had one on my NeXT and still have the code on the machine now. Tim came by in 1991 and showed me how to turn his demo page for Hypertext 91 into my own personal page. I’m sad to say that since http://info.cern.ch/ is gone many historic links have vanished.

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A number of places are passing on the announcement that Roomba folks have opened the software for their robotic disk-shaped vacuum cleaner. One catch: your Roomba must have the new Serial Control Interface which is only in vacuums manufactured since October 24, 2005. In January, the Roomba Osmo //hacker will be available which will let you upgrade olde school Roombas.

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First go to Kuntzmanor.com. Then select Commercials/Videos. The select the Virgin Moble that’s between Federal Express and Fox Sports. Happy ChrisMaHanukKwanZaKah! A bit of bad taste for everyone’s season. (Thanks, Max G).

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Speaking of music, I took a few pokes at Google Music yesterday and thought it was pretty cool. Google Blog carried the announcement yesterday. A Music Search for The Byrds lets you not only view LP/CDs but also drill down to individual tracks, read lyrics, and buy from iTunes or Real Rhapsody.

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Just got my copy! It’s great to hear on the stereo and to notice the changes and the quality of the songs. It just showed up on Amazon too.

The notes say:

“In November of 1995 I began a project for the preservation of the music I love, Folk Music. Each month I would record a song, print the lyrics and chords, add a personal note and put it on my web site, mcguinn.com. I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to learn the songs and to be able to sing them with their families and friends, so downloads were offered free of charge. The original recordings were 11 KHz 8-bit monophonic WAV files, far below CD quality. I have re-recorded those songs in 24-bit 44.1KHz Stereo. To commemorate the 10 year aniversary of the Folk Den, this compilation contains 100 of my favorite songs from the project with many of the original notes.”

There are many surprises in this labor of love of music: A variety of instrumentation, 12 string acoustic, banjo, the famous McGuinn 12 string Rickenbacker, and the new 7-string Martin. Guest appearances on one song, “The John B’s Sails,” by Ridley Pearson, Dave Barry and Greg Isles. A recording made in 1958 by a 16 year old McGuinn (“To Morrow”). A thunderstorm in the background in “Oh Freedom.”

A great treasury of songs by a great guitarist and singer.

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Spent this evening listening to the NC Boys Choir rehearse at Duke Chapel. They’ll be singing at the Sunday Service this Sunday morning and then have their BIG PERFORMANCE on Monday.

North Carolina Boys Choir IN PERFORMANCE, Monday, December 19th at 7:30 at Duke University Chapel. Tickets – $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Parking and ticket information available here.

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Last night, I dropped by Internationalist Books to hear Bruce Lawrence talk about his Osama Bin Laden book, “Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden.
[more after grading]

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Doc Searls points us to documentation on the emerging Dataweb.

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The Washington Post has added a boxed section on selected pages that includes the Technorati search results for blogs that link to those pages. The result is that a link to the story about Dylan (below) has put this blog right there on the page to which I refered in my blog entry and on a special “links from blogs on Technorati” page. I’m not complaining since I would have used TrackBacks to that story were they available. In fact, I’m delighted to have this blog show up on Washington Post .com even if we had to go through a odd drive around the net to get to where a trackback would have taken me quickly. The advantage for the Post is that Technorati keeps trackback spam off their site and does a fine job of searching blogs that bother to register at the Technorati site.

UPDATE: By making this post, I was suddenly dropped from the Post box and from the “Links” page! A Technorati search on the Post page shows this page as the most recently updated blog (as of this writing).

UPDATE 2: Now this blog is on the Post page twice! I guess there is a bit of a lag on their Techorati driven search and update.

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The Washington Post (and about everywhere else) reports that Bob Dylan has signed on to do a show on satellite radio, XM.

The XM site says:

Bob Dylan on XM
Coming in March 2006 to Deep Tracks – XM 40

While Bob Dylan defines the poetry and imagination of our era, his radio program will humbly explore the music that moves him and engage the people who need to be heard. Without any boundaries or playlists, Bob’s show will cross genres and offer a peek into the musical soul of one of the most important songwriters and artists of the 20th Century. More show details coming soon.

XM is already airing fellow Traveling Wilbury Tom Petty weekly.

After spending hours in the car with the abridged version of Chronicles as read by Sean Penn (Thanks for the loan, Sri), I can only imagine Dylan as sounding like Penn on the CDs. And after hearing how Dylan completely rearranges almost every song of his own, I’m wondering what will end up being played and what versions. Of course this is the delight of Dylan — and in some cases the pain. He’s an eclectic and enigmatic presenter.

Will this push me over to paying for radio tho? Will it be the deciding factor for you?

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Sylvia writes to let us know that there’ll be music at the Pittsboro General Store this Friday featuring Alan Garr and Sylvia herself:

Alan Garr (Garrard) is playing original music with back up singers Sylvia Freeman Garrard and Deb Stewart Friday night December 16 at 8:30 at the Pittsboro General Store in beautiful downtown Pittsboro! A friend and member of Leastways, Ryan Groulx, will also play along and perform some of his original songs. Sylvia and Deb will sing a few standards as well. Come and join in the fun and support us at the same time. I’m told the food is great at this place. We’ll look forward to seeing you there.

How to get there: 39 W Street, Pittsboro is next to the downtown traffic circle, just across from the Pittsboro courthouse. Phone: (919) 542-2432 if you need further help in finding us. I’m told the orange cones have been removed from 15-501 so it’s easier to get to Pittsboro than it used to be!

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