Archive for November, 2008

28
Nov
08

celebrating 300 posts

Hey, I just noticed that this is the 300th post of this blog.

Woohoo.

26
Nov
08

bbq review

Well, in my last post, I mentioned the diversity of the NewTunes catalog and wondered, to you, whether or not we should trim it down to a more targeted variety of musical genres.

When I headed off to read my email after posting, I found this from my friend Sarah, who lives in North Carolina…

And while you may laugh, there’s songs like this in our catalog. The question is, should they remain?

The other question is, who would ever make a BBQ sauce from mayonnaise?

As a side note, I have to compliment Rhett and Link for their extremely comprehensive review of barbecue – put to song, no less.

26
Nov
08

quite a music catalog… maybe too much catalog?

As we test the NewTunes website, I’m noticing something that has me a bit concerned. I think this goes under the heading “nice problem to have,” but I think it’s still a problem.

I was testing our random search function, which, in the interests of music discovery (but with less calculation or predictability than our foundation search function) essentially serves up random songs from our catalog. The feature works well enough, but I am concerned about what I’m getting.

Due to the large and varied nature of our catalog, we have all the predictable and probable search songs and bands, but we also have what would best be described as “a ton” of odd folk, classical, world and other forms of music.

At first it seems odd, but as I’ve been playing with the site, it, to me, seems to add some depth to the site. Most music sites these days seem to target the same 25-year-old alt/indie listener who is believed to be more net-savvy and more likely to download (if not steal) digital music.

And I would admit to having some of those same visions. But as I go through this, I see how the site is truly able to serve fans of any genre. There literally is something here for everybody – which was not necessarily the original intent.

My question is, does the whole and complete nature of our catalog dilute our service or make us less “cool” to the target I mentioned earlier? Or does it, in fact, make us more complete and increase the chance of truly broadening one’s musical horizons?

Any feedback on this is welcome, as I contemplate burying some songs (or even genres) in our database.

26
Nov
08

a happy accident with johnny marr

Another “find” from my having to rebuild my iTunes library comes in the form of Johnny Marr and the Healers.

Shame on you if you don’t know of Johnny Marr from his groundbreaking work with the Smiths (look no further than the classic “How Soon is Now”)…

But more excusable is if you lost track of him since the Smiths breakup back in 1987. While he did join several bands, he also became probably one of the greatest and most famous session musicians in history.

For brief periods, he became part of The The and Modest Mouse, and also worked with the Talking Heads, the Pretenders, Pet Shop Boys, Billy Bragg, Kraftwerk, Beck and Oasis (to name a few). He also started two bands of his own – Electronic, with Bernard Sumner from New Order and Johnny Marr and the Healers, his own band.

They only put out one album – Boomslang in 2003 – but I found it to be really solid and a good addition to the CD shelf. This is “Down on the Corner” from Boomslang (no, not a CCR cover)…

And just because The The (Matt Johnson’s ever-changing band) is one of my all-time favorites, here’s “Love is Stronger Than Death” from the Marr-era.

24
Nov
08

my birthday means war

Today’s my birthday, and like any smart veteran of birthdays, I chose to make it a long weekend event spanning five days. Somewhere over the weekend, I opened some presents from my mother-in-law. She gave me music from two bands that are absolutely fantastic and are definitely worthy of mention here.

First, the U2 re-releases War, October and Boy. I’m sure many of you are at least familiar with these albums, if you weren’t actually around for their original release. But as I was listening to War on Sunday (and teaching my five year old daughter what a rebel song is… although Sunday Bloody Sunday is NOT a rebel song), I was astounded not only be how good of an album that was, but also how huge it would be if it came out today.

War definitely stands the test of time and more than forgives whatever it is about U2 that has pissed you off (or even mildly annoyed you) since the 1983 release of that album.

You’ve probably all heard it, so no need to go into any detailed review. But I will say that I was most impressed with the drumming. And if you’ve been reading along, you know that I am in agreement that many drummers actually hurt the music they’re playing, not help it. But in this case, Larry Mullen, Jr. (who I didn’t know actually started the band) simply nailed it with both sound, production and timing.

If you haven’t heard this album, or, in a more unlikely scenario, at all, go buy it or listen to it immediately. It embodies all that punk, pop, lyrics, ego, stage presence, musicianship and personality were in post punk music at that time.

Here’s one of my favorites from that album, “Seconds”…

OK, this post got a little long, so I’ll be back later to tell you about band number two…

24
Nov
08

http402 vs djahandarie in an old school rap battle

Few things are scarier than when two developers throw down their Frito bags, wipe their hands on their shirts, grab their keyboards and start rhyming. Only the hardest will stand up and watch, while most will simply scurry away in total indifference.

But that was the scene at QDB, when this classic rap battle took place. And it went something like this…

we ain’t here to do e-c-e
we’re here to do c-s-e on the w-e-b
listen to me spit these rhymes
while i program lines
and commit web accessibility crimes
word, son
You talk like your big on these I-Net kicks,
But your shit flows slower than a two-eighty-six.
I’m tracking down hosts and nmap scans,
While Code Igniter’s got you wringing your hands.
Cut the crap rap,
Or I’ll run ettercap,
Grab your AIM chat,
N’ send a PC bitch-slap!
peace
you’re talkin bout down hosts and nmap scans
while i got other plans
you’re at your new job, but you can’t even do it right
you just create a plight with your http rewrites
i’ve been on the web since the age of three
you just got on directly off the bus from mississippi
respect yo’ elders, bitch
You’ve been webbin’ since three, but still ain’t grown up,
Gotta update your config and send the brain a SIGHUP.
You say you’re that old? No wonder you’re slow!
You’re knocking at the door while I run this show!
Elders my ass, you’re shit’s still in school,
Hunt and pecking at the keyboard like a spaghetti-damned fool,
Rim-riffing your hard drive like a tool,
Face it. I rule.
i erase my harddrives with magnets (bitch)
all you can do is troll on the fagnets
and son, my brain’s wrapped in a nohup
it wont be hurt by the words you throwup
dont mind me while i emerge my ownage
while you’re still over there apt-getting your porridge
you say i’m still in school
but the fact is that i know the rule
cuz you need to go back to grade three
and you better plea, that they take sucky graduates from c-s-e
Time to bend over and apply a patch,
Your brain’s throwing static like a CD with a scratch.
Your connection got nuked and you’ve met your match.
You run a single process like a VAX with a batch.
I’d pass the torch to a real winner
But it’d just scorch a while-loop spinner
Caught in a loop that you cant escape,
I run clock cycles around your words and flows,
Cuz your rhyme is like a PS fan: it’ blows,
Your water-cooled lyrics leak and it shows,
Take your ass back to alt.paid.for.windows.
Good god, I can’t even respond to that. 😛
You win haha
* http402 takes a bow

Whew. Glad no one got hurt…

20
Nov
08

newtunes in final testing!

Yes, I can’t believe I’m saying it myself, but NewTunes has just begun the final two weeks of testing.

For that last few months, even my family started wondering if I was actually a CIA operative, since there was very little evidence that I was working on a music search engine. But, here we are.

For the next few weeks, the internal team of me, JFK and Joe will be testing the features and looking for bugs on our development site. Assuming that all goes relatively smoothly, a quite public launch won’t be too far behind.

Then, in January, we’ll open our efforts up a bit and begin taking over the world.

This is truly good news, and I’m really excited to share it with all of you who’ve been reading along with this blog and patiently waiting for it to evolve into a functional site.

Thanks again to all of you for staying tuned. We’re pretty excited to be finally playing around with what will soon be the final product.

I’ll keep you all posted as the launch nears. Be well,

Jon




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