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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Stewart 1, McCain 0

The VLWC is going nuts over the Jon Stewart smackdown of John McCain on The Daily Show last night. I thought McCain almost sounded coherent in the beginning, but the last 2 minutes or so are priceless. JS nails it. Here's a link to the entire interview. Comedy Central appears to have "Part 1" up, but I don't see the second part.
Time to end the war, ya think?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

One Hip Cat

This video has been making the rounds of the YouTube universe today. Why can't I have a cat like this? My cat just meows and pretends to be affectionate when it's perfectly clear he just wants me for my mad can opening skills. "Sleeping? Sorry, that's not my concern. If I had opposable thumbs you would be expendable, but until then your services are required in the kitchen--stat!" Now, it has been said that our cat has been heard to utter the word "Hello", and yes, it's true I have heard this myself, but it was only because he was desperate for attention. Tiger generally doesn't lower himself to speak English. This reminds me of the talking dog joke.

This week is Signal, the Southeast Electronic Music Festival here in Chapel Hill:

The second annual Signal Festival takes place Thursday, April 26th, through Saturday, April 28th, 2007 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The festival aims to enhance the awareness, appreciation, and popularity of electronic music in general and to familiarize the public with regional electronic music scenes. Signal unites performers and supporters of electronic music to foster communication, cooperation and exchange between local and regional electronic music artists and fans.

Cat's Cradle is hosting shows in support of the festival both Friday and Saturday night. I hope to make it to at least the Negativland show. Actually, there are several more venues involved in addition to the Cradle, so drop whatever you are doing and check it out! There is also an "un-conference" scheduled Saturday to coincide with the rest of the festival called BarCampSignal, which is sort of a free format community conference. That's the best way to describe it. I have yet to attend one of these, but it sounds pretty cool.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Johnson-Hendrix Releases "Space Probe"

BitWorks Music has released "Space Probe", a 2004 recording by Johnson-Hendrix.
Ted Johnson, of Studio 713 Music, has collaborated with Joe Hendrix to create a space-synth voyage outside the pull of Earth's gravity. Check out the samples in the Johnson-Hendrix catalog. Don't be fooled by the fact that it's only 3 tracks--"Space Probe" clocks in at over 61 minutes. I especially like the longer pieces, "The Oceans of Europa" and "Abandoned Space Station". They take their time to unfold, with panning stereo effects and ambient washes. This strikes me as good work music for cubicle dwellers such as myself.
"Space Probe" also debuts our new "Web 2.0 editions", dynamic web-based presentations of album graphics, liner notes, and other surprises. It's basically downloads on steroids. It will put hair on your chest and ruin your Olympic eligibility.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Wind Cries Mary

Today. What to say? It started out oddly enough. Windy. We lost power, though I'm not sure exactly when. (The photo is from the NYC power outage years ago.) I spent my morning getting the generator set up, driving daughter to school, then heading to work without a shower in my old sweats. At least I stopped for coffee!

Then there was news of the worst shooting rampage in US history at Virginia Tech. I worked with one faculty member there and have worked with many VT alumni. Needless to say, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.

In happier news, I promised a new release today! This depends on reliable electricity and net access, both of which are questionable at this point. With luck I will have the new album up later this evening. Until then, I leave you in suspense...

Update: Still no power at home, so the album release will probably not be this evening. Also, dear Mr. Tax Man, you will not be receiving my tax return this evening either.

One more note of interest: a couple posts ago I spoke about net neutrality. Well, a recent article available here puts the myth of net neutrality in perspective. Unfortunately, while neutrality is a nice concept, it's just not that simple, and what it boils down to is that the ISPs will do whatever they want and/or need to do, including prioritizing whatever net traffic they deem "high priority". The rest of us will just have to deal with it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Why Settle For Earthlings?

We have been busy readying a new release for download! This will be the debut of our new Web 2.0 editions. What is that you ask? (Thanks for asking.) The Web 2.0 edition includes a dynamic Javascript powered presentation of album artwork, liner notes, and extras, along with the unsurpassed audio quality that is the standard in this corner of the internets.

An even more exciting development is that new BitWorks releases may contain an Easter egg that reveals untold treasures. This could be worth piles of cash, or piles of um, stuff. Of course, now I have completely ruined it by telling you there may be one, so please completely disregard this entire paragraph.

I won't say more about the upcoming release except for this: Why settle for music made by mere earthlings, when you can have music from [echo] spaaaaaace?! [/echo]

Release date: April 16, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Beginning of the End

You have probably heard by now if you pay attention to this stuff that EMI has agreed to sell its songs in non-DRM MP3 format on iTunes, with the notable exception of the Beatles catalog, which has never been released for download. EMI have also announced the intention to sell "premium" versions of their catalog, high bitrate MP3's offering a choice of bitrates "up to CD quality", this being the claim of the EMI press release. No word on whether this will include lossless FLAC as we do here. It's good that some of the majors are getting a clue, though it does take some of the fun out of being able to say that ALL of the majors are still lacking in the clue department. Eventually, bandwidth and storage limitations will become quaint notions of the past as fiber to the home, public WiFi, and net access through your plumbing (Google's April Fool's joke of 2007) become widespread. Lossless audio will be the standard. Even streaming HD video will be possible over the web, though I imagine this could take 10 years.

I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that the Beatles will be offered for download ONLY here at BitWorks Music. Actually, I could deny all rumors like that, rumors like the complete Beatles catalog being offered in FLAC and high quality MP3 album only format with complete multimedia presentation, only here at BitWorks Music. In fact, I would also deny that Sir Paul just rang me up a minute ago, inviting me to come round for tea.

Speaking of Beatles, it was 40 years ago that Sargeant Pepper was released.