I’m not sure if this is a phenomenon, but I found myself checking out someone else’s iPod on the Metro the other day. You know, just to see what they were listening to. Call it “iPod snooping.” I got the song, “Contact,” but not the artist. Was it Phish? Was it the Police? I’ll never know. On a related note, I got my first good look at a Kindle this evening. The guy was reading the Washington Post on it.
Improvising, most of it is listening – responding to what’s coming into your ears and letting your fingers move in an unobstructed way. And there are all these little flashes that are just comfortable visuals, like you’re hearing something and you know that there’s a particular scale or note or atmosphere or chord that’s going to work.
Metro shuffle: XTC, “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead,” followed by “My Bird Performs.” Those tunes just bring me back to the 90s.
FT’s Techblog on Shazam, a “mobile phone music discovery” service that apparently is attracting venture money. Can’t say I’m familiar at all with the company. Maybe I’ll check out their iPhone app. Don’t cost nuthin’.
The CDP-101 did not come cheap nor did it come svelte. Early adopters had to part ways with the equivalent of $2,200 in today’s ducats for a single 14 x 5 x 12½-inch unit. Worse yet, the CD player’s media library was pathetic. At launch a mere 113 albums were available for purchase.
Compact discs themselves were not exactly inexpensive either. A single album sold for around $33 to $45 in today’s currency.
I was definitely not an early adopter here. I think the first compact disc I ever bought was XTC’s Oranges and Lemons, which was released in 1989.
That interview with Andy Partridge may or may not send me on an XTC Bender. I’ve just imported “Nonsuch” into my iTunes collection. There’s a record I listened to quite a bit back in college, and here, courtesy of Chalkhills, is probably all you’ll ever need to know about it.
I’ve been seriously neglecting my musical microblogging. Part of that is that I can’t hook up my MBox to the computer because of operating system issues. This evening, however, I went ahead and put together something. First, I recorded about a minute’s worth of Washington Metro sounds. Then I fooled around a bit with GarageBand. The bass track in here is an Apple loop, by the way. I wish I could play bass like that.
Via Paul Badger via Guitar.com, an interview with Andy Partridge of XTC. Partridge talks about how he got started playing guitar (including playing along with Jerry Garcia), favorite players, his approach to chord changes, songwriting, summoning up the great god “Ernie,” and soloing.
“[ideas] are cheap. You can think of a million ideas in a minute, and it’s the following through that counts. I spent the first fifteen years of my life typing up very elaborate schemes, even when I was six years old. Then finally when I was 15, I saw the value of following through and finishing something. I just decided from then on, I would plan a lot less and do a lot more. So it’s definitely all about the following through.”
This April 2009 story from the Wall Street Journal, “The Green House of the Future,” just came to my attention. Nothing much related to music, but it falls under the category of stories that help me believe humanity is not doomed.
The surface of his house, like a leaf, contains a photosynthetic layer that captures sunlight. Unlike today’s solar panels, which are often pasted above a roofline, these are woven into the fabric of the exterior. They heat water and generate electricity for the home — and create oxygen for the atmosphere, to offset carbon produced in other areas of the home.
On the evening commute home, I listened to Darediablo’s “Bells of Goliard.” That is one powerful tune. I found it on Lala, but the share functionality didn’t seem to be working. Too bad.
Then XTC’s “English Roundabout” popped up. The song is off “English Settlement,” a record released in 1982 and produced by Hugh Padgham. I’m having trouble finding documentation on this, but I recall my art rock cousin or somebody telling me the record was the result of the band experimenting with new instruments. They wrote 15 songs in a weekend or something.
This quote from guitarist Andy Partridge comes from from Chalkhills:
Andy: “I gave away my acoustic guitar in a TV contest and had to buy a new one, suddenly all these new tunes flowed out! Colin gets fretless, Dave goes 12-string, Terry still ‘just ‘its ‘em’.
Whatever the story, I’ve been listening to English Settlement since college, and I have yet to tire of it. There aren’t too many of those in your record collection.