Cloud confusion

I have more than 40GB of music I’ve ripped from my own CDs, purchased from a variety of locations (eMusic, Amazon, iTunes, some musicians' own websites) and in a few cases, yes, pirated. I listen to music at work, at home, in my car, and while running, and it’d be really nice to be able to take advantages of these new recently-announced cloud services (Google, Amazon, Apple) to store and access my music from anywhere. But no company is forever. IBM and HP are shells of once-invulnerable corporations. Microsoft no longer innovates – they follow. None of these companies (as large as they are right now) will necessarily be around in twenty years, and there’s no guarantee that any of their services will be around in even five.

I’ve got a limited connection, which means uploading music to Amazon or Google would take something like a week. And my Android phone and Linux work computer will almost certainly not cooperate with Apple. So what’s a guy to do? For now, I plan on continuing to do things the old fashioned way. I’m not sure what kind of cloud service would make me feel comfortable spending the time uploading all of my music, but so far, it’s not any of these.

Quick ACL reviews

Here are some quick reviews of shows I saw at Austin City Limits.

Shows that were really great:

  • John Legend - He's quite a showman. He made a comment about ACL not usually having much R&B, but I think he probably convinced them it was a smart move.
  • Kings of Leon - I only caught about the last 20 minutes of their show (I was at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs during most of it) but they were great.
  • Mute Math - I wasn't expecting a lot from their show, but they're way high energy. The lead singer finished off the show by playing something that looked like a guitar-shaped theramin.
  • Flogging Molly - In the rain. That was something special. They went long, though, which was surprisingly annoying.
  • STS9 - Missed half of their show (I was at John Vanderslice and The Scabs), but their electronica is just so fun.
  • Ghostland Observatory - I had never heard of them before, but they were recommended (and it was them or Dave Matthews at the end of day 2). Two guys and the most kickass light show I had ever seen. Possibly my favorite act of the weekend.
  • Ben Harper and Relentless7 - From what I hear, very different from Ben Harper's solo stuff. Reminded me of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, which leads me to believe their non-live stuff might not be as exciting as the show was.
  • Girl Talk - This was the 25,000 person dance party near the end of day 3. An amazing way to end the weekend. A very close second for best act.

Shows that were disappointing:

  • The Walkmen - For certain types of music, yelling instead of singing is okay. This wasn't one of them.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Not terrible, I just had never realized how similar all their songs sounded. Wish I had gone to all of Kings of Leon's show instead.
  • Mos Def - He came on 20 minutes late, played drums(!) for two great songs, and then bullshitted with the band for ten minutes before doing another song. Decided to bail in favor of John Vanderslice.
  • The B-52s - What was I even expecting?

I’ll have photos up as soon as CVS gets their act together and develops them. Maybe tonight.

Music coming to Boston

Ever since we took a trip to see OK Go in Providence earlier this month, I’ve realized how much I miss going to shows. They really put on a great concert. They did an acoustic couple of songs in the center of the crowd, and a couple of excellent covers, too. (And Providence is really surprisingly convenient for an evening show.) So I’ve started looking at who’s coming to the area, and there’s a lot of good stuff showing up in the next month or so. The problem is going to be what to go to; I can’t see everything!

How do I decide? I’m almost definitely going to see The Decemberists, but besides that..

What music have you listened to lately?

In response to something Chris said last night, I’d like to try an experiment. I’d like everyone to tell me what the last three albums you’ve purchased or downloaded have been. I’ll do the same. I don’t know what the goal of this is, but I intend to listen to some of the stuff mentioned, and I hope you’ll do the same. I’ll start.

  1. Mogwai - Mr. Beast
  2. Madonna - Music (Yes, really.)
  3. Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis - Live In Swing City: Swingin' With Duke

Your turn.

Musical Notation

My mind tends to wander. The other day it wandered to the following question: “What is the oldest surviving piece of written music?” I knew that modern musical notation was a relatively recent creation (probably less than a thousand years old), but I was certain that there must have been earlier techniques for writing down music.

The answer is the Seikilos epitaph, a 2000-year-old tombstone in Turkey with a song written on it, even including Greek lyrics. The way the music was written quickly reminded me of cantillation, the symbols written above the Hebrew in the Torah that guides the chant.

Pink Floyd to Reunite

Pink Floyd will reunite for the Live 8 show in London on July 6. Not just the latest line-up, but Roger Waters will be there with them, as well. Let us hope that this concert leads to a cessation of hostilities and a comeback tour.

NIN's With Teeth

Nine Inch Nails has made their entire upcoming album, With Teeth, available online for free. Granted, it’s a non-standard and weird streaming method, but it works fine through my work’s proxy. I love this.

Franz Ferdinand

The other day, I finally got ahold of a copy of last year’s Franz Ferdinand album. M happened to be in the car when I decided to listen to it for the first time. Thirty seconds into the first track, she says “I want a copy of this.”

That never happened to me before. (Her review, after a track or two, was “This is very Operation Ivy.")

Mefi Swap

I’ve signed up for the MefiSwap, and other Metafilter users should consider doing the same. Sign up, and you get put into a group with five other Mefites. You send each of them a mix tape CD by the end of February, and you end up getting five mix CDs in the mail.

Pink Floyd Reunion

Rumors of a Pink Floyd Reunion, including Roger Waters. I’m not holding my breath, but I sure would do anything for a ticket.

Three Notes and Runnin

When the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling that upheld the rights of artists to sample without permission, they opened up a big can of metaphorical Pandora’s worms.

3 Notes and Runnin is the fruit of those worms, in the most literal sense of the phrase. Using the tiny sample in question, some artists have managed to make some completely unrecognizable sounds.

The Kleptones

The Kleptones' new release, A Night at the Hip-Hopera is damn rockin. A lot of Queen and Beastie Boys sampling, and it’s free for download! There’s also a sample listing reference, courtesy of Andrew Baio (who I get lots of my links from BTW).

Tim Wilson - The Nascar Song

The Nascar Song by Tim Wilson - This song is funny, my dad especially will get a kick out of it. If you haven’t had enough experience with Nascar to recognize the names, though, you probably won’t find it amusing.

Bush singing Sunday Blood Sunday

Wow. Listen to George W. Bush cover U2’s “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”.

Rush and Bad Sound

Okay, this link needs a little introduction. The article is primarily about the latest Rush album, which I know lots of people dislike, but the phenomenon that’s described is not limited to that one band. Imagine that this story was about Your Favorite Band.