Friday, December 12, 2003

Pre-Vacation Info Timbits

I’m off to Vancouver for two weeks on Monday, and I probably won’t be blogging much, despite my best intentions. Here are some snack-sized chunks for everyone…

* This is a weird iPod story. While I’m on the topic, I noticed a recent bus shelter poster advertising that the iPod holds 10,000 songs (that’s the 40 GB version). I used to use 360K floppy disks on my IBM clone XT, 8MHZ. That was 1989 or so, but still, the advances in storage are difficult for me to fathom sometimes. The kids today, they take these things for granted, when I was their age, etc. All I want to say is that losing an iPod is the modern equivalent of the fire that destroyed at least 400,000 scrolls comprising the Library of Alexandria.

* As my roommate commented recently, "You know you’re getting old when one of your favourite bands releases a Best-Of album." Thankfully he was not referring to REM, but Dayton, Ohio’s Guided By Voices. I’ve seen the band almost 10 times live and I used to belong to the Postal Blowfish newsgroup digest, sometime between (and I’m really guessing here) 1995 and 1997. I think back to the obsessive postings and general geek-a-tude of that list (one guy went to Robert Pollard’s house unannounced, knocked on his door, and hung out with the man himself) and shake my head. At one point, someone posted a brilliant letter, written by Matador’s Gerald Cosloy, directed at the group, explaining why the label could only release so much GBV product per year. I wish I would have saved it – truly a brilliant, William-Shatner-on-SNL-turning-on-the-Trekkies moment.

* Slate has a pretty good article about Carl Stalling. The Carl Stalling Project, a CD full of his music is one of my top five favourite albums of all time. The extensive liner notes are worth the purchase alone. (Avoid the sequel -- Volume Two -- which sucks). Also grab the Raymond Scott album Restless Nights and Turkish Twilights. I don’t recommend buying his Soothing Sounds for Baby box set, but if someone you know owns it, borrow it immediately.

* Is Russell Smith single again? It seems like he’s writing about pornography almost every Thursday in his column.

* This, from the Scratch Records mailing list:

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE-Cause=Time 7î (Arts & Crafts) $7.99. Extremely Limited Edition and Numbered single from the U.K. features an exclusive b-side track "Da Da Dada." Did anyone else notice the over-abundance of "rock" poses that were dished out when they last played Vancouver? Maybe it was our pot, but I’m guessing all of that shit was on display to cater towards all of the "cool" people who couldn’t shut their yappy mouths during the set and instead decided to be twit-shits with voices.

* I often click on the AP stories on Salon and elsewhere, and I’ve been noticing that the rigid Associated Press format is occasionally being jettisoned for certain stories. Check out the intro to a story entitled "Jackson takes strange ride around Vegas" by Angie Wagner:

Nov. 22, 2003 | LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The whole world seemed to be wondering where Michael Jackson was. Helicopters and reporters were swarming his ranch. Fans were waiting patiently for any glimpse of him.

He was wanted on a warrant accusing him of child molestation charges, but the King of Pop was on a sound stage, finishing up his music video.

The song? "One More Chance."

Isn’t that weird? The robotic tone mocked so well by The Onion is no where to be seen.

* Finally, check this out -- Lucas With the LidRock Off:

LidRock is a breakthrough entertainment distribution platform that enables CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs and other entertainment assets to be delivered to consumers on fountain drink lids. LidRock's patented and FDA-approved packaging enables movies, music, video games and other multimedia content to be distributed to consumers anywhere fountain drinks are served. LidRock is a division of Atlanta-based The Convex Group, Inc.