Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beck's Latest Album, er Book?

Beck has always been a bit of an iconoclast and never seemed satisfied to do the same thing twice.  So it isn't terribly surprising to see him launching a far out concept for his next album.  You may have heard that it's being released as the sheet music for all of the songs that make up the album with the notion that other folks will play and record it and share the music.  It's a fascinating idea but I've been a bit skeptical; I figure part of what I like about Beck's albums is hearing him play the music that he's written and this will be missing that crucial aspect and will probably suffer for it.

This morning I caught my first listen off of the album (The album is titled Song Reader by the by) as some of the NY'er staff dropped a pretty high production value recording / video of Old Shanghai.  And, well, it's great...

Beck also wrote a preface for the album for the NY'er (it goes a bit long but is worth the time)...

But actual, playable songs were still a necessity. I started to think about what kind of songs have a quality that allows others to inhabit them and to make them their own. What is it about a song that lets you sing it around a campfire, or play it at a wedding? Is it the simplicity of the sentiment? A memorable melody? What makes certain songs able to persist through any era, and adapt themselves?
The album website already has plenty of uploads for you to peruse, and it seems as though this may well be an interesting project to follow if nothing else.  I really hope that Pomplamoose gets in on the action.

You Keep Using That Word...

Slipping in pop culture references is always fun, especially when you're referencing The Princess Bride while talking about the NFL...

Well played sirs.

(via kottke)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I (Don't Really) Want My MTV

It's been at least 15 years (I'd guess) since I turned on MTV, but even then at the end of my time in high school we were already complaining that they weren't playing as many videos as they once had.

This video helps to explain why music videos have only become rarer since then on MTV, it's been making the rounds online and it's worth your 3 minutes.  In addition to being pretty funny and spot on, it has a bunch of interesting social commentary about how we consume music as a society (and generationally) has been changing and the rise of the importance of the interwebs for music promotion and distribution.  Have a gander...

(via sort of everywhere, but I finally watched when kottke put it up)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Election Season Is Over

Can I get a Hell Yeah?!

But in case you were busy watching an actual news source for the election results last week and you missed the utter nonsense (yes even more than is to normally be expected) that went down on Fox News, Jon Stewart has the recap for you...

Video Game Trailers

Video games are big business these days complete with blockbuster movie size budgets and rool outs that includes hollywood style trailers and ad campaigns.

Occasionally though, they keep things at least a little old school and give a nod to history and where video games came from.  I have only vague memories of the original Karateka but this trailer for the new updated version is one of the best video game ads I've ever seen.

Polygon has more on the reboot.

(via DF)

Friday, November 9, 2012

That's Still President Obama To You

So I finally saw Luther the anger translator in action and I laughed.  Hard.

Here's the first introduction of Luther, also a winner (and NSFW due to f-bombs and the like)...

NPR had a good piece on the history of Presidential impersonations and Obama in particular last week.

More from Key & Peele here, I haven't watched anything other than a couple of the Luther clips though so don't take that as an endorsement just yet.

Carl Sagan Day

Happy Birthday Carl Sagan; you said some brilliant things over the years...

(via UCS)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

It's almost all over but the counting at this point (plenty of people not living in the eastern time zone still have to vote) and while the pundits scream about it being too close to call the actual number crunchers say things aren't actually razor tight (see last night's Colbert to help understand that conclusion).

In addition to watching The Report here are a couple of other things to check out while you wait for the results map to get colored in...

Why do so many people not vote?  The WonkBlog team takes a look (with charts) and it seems like a lot of them are lazy.

One of the dominate themes from the day, even in non-competitive areas like here in DC, has been loooong lines at polling places.  It is a travesty and an inexcusable one that we make it so difficult to vote in this country (wait maybe this has something to do with why some people don't bother to vote) and Andrew Cohen elaborates on this point in more depth than I'm willing to get into.

Referring back to the Nate Silver interview in the Colbert episode (you watched that already right?) Adam Gopnik breaks things down in this Moneyball election season.  Silver fought this battle in the baseball world already and he was and is right.

The times have changed since we last did this dance and I'll be commenting on twitter, if at all, the rest of the evening.  Not sure what we'll have on the TV since PBS doesn't come in over our bunny ears (guess that's why we have the interwebs).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Climate Change - Not A Joke

Most serious people and anyone who takes a good look at what the evidence and the experts have to say agrees.  Mitt Romney though, not so much...

(via DR Grist)