Archive for the 'music' Category

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

December 5, 2006

I’ve heard this song about a thousand times and this last time, on XM 104, I finally *got* it. Paul Anka’s version is virtually unlistenable, but his awkward phrasing flipped a switch in my head. I always pictured “Daddy” fast asleep during this incident — and man, would he have been pissed.

Some other Christmas music musings:

  • Johnny Mathis can sing
  • Ditto for Nat King Cole
  • Karen Carpenter could sing the hell out of a Christmas song
  • Willie Nelson — two thumbs up

Like Music? Pandora.

October 23, 2006

Thanks to another heads-up my from my most excellent friend, Jim, I played all evening (along with about 6 — no, 5 — cups of green tea) with a great new(?) service at I had other shit stuff to do, and once I got ‘er all tuned up I was able to get that, uh, stuff at least started — all to some similar and many unfamiliar sounds from the uncharacteristically strong sound from the ‘ol Toshiba laptop.

PANDORA was started by the guys at The Music Genome Project. They’ve been listening and catalogueing all sorts of music since 2000. Quite a gig if you can get it. Of course, someone had to catalogue the crap too. I’m not sure if that’s a valid category, but I can think of about 100 bands I’d save some time on and just batch into “crap”. I digress…

It works really well, and looks good to boot. Very clean.

Pandora Player

You can rate all of the songs you hear with a “thumbs up” or the down version. How very TiVo-esque, but it works and it’s intuitive. They start you off with a track from the band you choose (you can also base a “Station” on a song — but that’s not how I listen to music) and then roll out the tracks based on the Music Genomes.


Hate a song (or somthing about it)? LOVE a song? You can take your feelings a step further by snapping the “Guide Us” button at the bottom right.


Right away I thought I stumped ’em. “Radiohead” comes up in a “Mountain Goats” station and before I hear it, I giggle. And then — it fits, perfectly. Wanna know why the system popped it in? Just ask.


  • Mellow rock instrumentation? Not always, but in this case, OK.
  • Folk influences? Check.
  • Acoustic sonority? I like the sound of that — check.
  • Major key tonality? It certainly is, although most of the time gimme a minor chord.
  • Acoustic rhythm guitars? Yes.

Detailed and an interesting insight.

Want to share your “Station” with a friend or find public “Stations” to give a listen to?Couldn’t be easier.


The player has visual ads and when you sign up you are told that they’ll have audio ads too — gotta support it some way. They give an option to subscribe for $3 – $4 per month (based on length of subscription/donation).

Give ’em a try at

700 Hobo Names

April 14, 2006

This made my day.Please listen.

Tailstump Gunther “The Vestigial Man”

Old School / New School (our school had about 85 of these stacked in the AV closet)

September 20, 2005

If you ever owned an Apple ][ back in the day, you’ll appreciate this. I think you’ll even appreciate if you didn’t. Bonus enjoyment for Grandaddy fans.This is some fancy programming. And it’s all done on a vintage 1979 Apple ][ with a whopping 48K of memory (who will ever need more than 48K?!?).

Don’t ignore this. It’s really great.

the arcade fire – “funeral”

April 28, 2005

I can’t remember the last time that an album has taken over my life like this one. The Arcade Fire’s “Funeral” was released in September of 2004 and was named Pitchfork Media’s Top Album of the year. I’ve listened to quite a few of Pitchfork’s other favorites and I think they nailed it with this. I like Pitchfork, but ofen our tastes vary. Not on this one.This album has the sound of a band really coming into its stride — which for a debut release is quite shocking. Polished and talented, it’s the creative arrangements and lyrics as well as the voices of husband and wife, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne that stand out. This album means something. I’ve been unable to stop listening to it since February. Nothing this year has been able to knock it from its perch.

Like many of my favorite albums over the past 20 years or so, it didn’t grab me on first listen, but you could tell there was a reason to it and it needed my full-attention. The next listen with the headphones had my wife asking me, “what?”, a number of times as I said “wow” over and over.

“Wow, wow, wow…”