Friday, April 8, 2005

What I'm up to musically of late.

I might ramble a little, so if I do, I apologize.

I heard The Hand That Feeds, the new single from Nine Inch Nails. Then I heard that Trent Reznor had taken the audio tracks from whatever pro audio application he used to make the song (on a Mac) and made them available in the form of a song project file for GarageBand 2... which I just happened to have recently acquired as part of iLife '05. Hmmmm, interesting. Downloaded it. Had fun turning various tracks off and on. Sounds different without drums. I haven't gone and changed any of the instruments totally around... yet. But I could if I wanted to. Which is really pretty neat.

Then the nice folks from the Department of Sociology at Columbia University emailed me the results of a project they'd done on social networking, and mentioned that oh, by the way, they were now studying how people's taste in music developed, and participants in that project could, after listening to and rating songs (or at least the first few seconds of songs), download the songs for free. I think I downloaded about a quarter of the four dozen songs they had. Out of the ones I got, I only really, really liked one - Fear by Forthfading. But I liked that enough to go check out their web site, and look them up on the iTunes Music Store, and wound up getting the rest of their songs from their EP. Good music, good lyrics. While I was at iTMS I also downloaded a half-hour or so of other music that it was offering up for free, of course.

Of course, I'd completely forgotten about Audioscrobbler, which is easy to do since it runs as a little iTunes add-on and never makes any noise at me about anything unless I remember to poke it. So I took a look at what it thinks I've been up to, which didn't really contain any surprises, then at its recommendations for me.

The recommendations are kind of interesting. If something's listed in "Under-Appreciated Artists" it probably means that I've only remembered to rip one song, or one CD, by an artist that's done a lot of stuff I like. (This isn't true in every case - sometimes I like a few songs by a given artist, and have them all already, but other people with similar tastes like, and have, many more.) If something's listed in "New Suggestions" it usually means I totally flaked and forgot to rip anything at all - or, if I go far down the list, past the first 25 or so, it could actually be an artist that's new to me.

Let's see, what else. Oh, I recently found a live version of Echolyn's "A Little Nonsense" on the iTunes Store, which was wonderful, since a live performance of that specific song at the WMMR 25th anniversary concert in Cherry Hill in 1993 was what introduced me to Echolyn (and made me a fan of them).

In other music news, my daughter has graduated from the conch shell to the trumpet. She even took it to school to show her classmates in kindergarten. Yes, kindergarten. She can't finger notes yet, but she can get good sounds out of it, tighten her lips for high notes, and all that. Five or six years earlier than I could, and four years earlier than I played anything other than a "flutophone."

Oh, and in closing, I just have to point out that I'm not aware of any pre-1932 recordings of Oops I Did It Again (popularized by Britney Spears), but even if I were, this one would probably still be my favorite rendition of that song.

I think that's everything for now.

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