Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Open Letters: An Open Letter to 17-Year-Old Boys Who Just Discovered The Doors.

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Dear 17-year-old Doors discoverers,

Well, this was probably unavoidable. You are about to think some very dumb stuff about poetry, women, and dead Native Americans. This is a tradition, or affliction, that has been passed down to at least three generations of 17-year-old white boys and then foisted upon 15-year-old-white girls for just as many decades— girls your own age are way past this shit, stick with the sophomores. You are going to abuse the word “shaman” in ways that will violate international torture conventions. You’re going to think that something important and meaningful is happening to you, even though you haven’t left your room for three days. You are going to sit at the feet of the master of total self-regard, one James Douglass Morrison, the “Lizard King,” and think yourself the Prince of Salamanders and heir to a throne carved from your own bullshit.

Source: McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Open Letters: An Open Letter to 17-Year-Old Boys Who Just Discovered The Doors.

The 50 Worst Songs of the ’00s, F2K No. 11: Darryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten?” | Village Voice

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

This cheesy song was playing in an Anchorage gift shop yesterday and my family and I were rolling our eyes. I count myself lucky that I managed to avoid it for ten years.

Just another schmo who hoped that 9/11 would change everything…for his career.

It’s tempting to simply quote in full the lyrics from Darryl Worley’s crass-in attempt to tie together the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the run-up to the Iraq war. After all, its lyrics, which rhymed “forgotten” with “Bin Laden” and called for daily showings of the attacks on the World Trade Center, were the linchpin of its “appeal.” But to do that would be a disservice to the fine men and women of this country who have actually had to sit through the track.

Source: The 50 Worst Songs of the ’00s, F2K No. 11: Darryl Worley, “Have You Forgotten?” | Village Voice

The Psychedelic Furs

Monday, May 25th, 2015

The Psychedelic Furs play Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre.

The Psychedelic Furs play Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre.


Months ago, Kelly and I bought tickets when The Psychedelic Furs announced they’d be playing at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. Last night was that night and I was on Cloud Nine. Kelly was initially ambivalent about going but once the Furs took the stage she really got into it.

I made jokes on Twitter about being in an older crowd and, truly, it was a more mature crowd. Richard Butler and his bandmates didn’t slow down, though, as the Furs played the many hits they’ve racked up over the years. What a show! The faces may be older and there might be some new bandmates, but other than that it could’ve been a Furs show in their heyday.
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Google Fiber: fast download AND upload speeds

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

fiber_house
Most of the local news stories I’ve read about Google Fiber coming to Raleigh highlight the ability to “download YouTube videos quickly.” Quickly downloading the stuff you’ve always downloaded is cool, but it isn’t an Earth-shattering use case. The real value of Google Fiber is that Google treats the Internet the way it should be treated – like a two-way street.

Other broadband providers will sell you fast connections but those connections are strictly asymmetrical. You may get a 15 Mbps download speed but you’ll only get a 1 Mbps upload speed. You see, Big Telecom wants you to treat you as a “consumer,” meaning you’ll take whatever the media companies choose to give you. They don’t think of you as having anything to bring to the conversation.

Google Fiber is different. Not only can you get 1 Gbps download speeds, you also get equally fast 1 Gbps upload speeds! Your download and upload speeds are equal, exactly how God intended. You become a full partner in the Internet, able not only to download at blazing speeds a multitude of cat videos from YouTube but able offer up your own. Or, you can hold videoconferences with your friends without being interrupted by buffering. Or play video games with others without sluggishness.
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How ‘Jingle Bells’ by the Singing Dogs Changed Music Forever – The Atlantic

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

This is a fascinating account of the version of “Jingle Bells” recorded by The Singing Dogs. I always assumed this song was from the late 1970s – big deal, someone sampled dogs and made a song. I was shocked tonight to find out it was actually recorded in 1955! I had no idea that this was such a groundbreaking song, launching the arts of multitrack recording and sampling. Who knew?

Let’s, for a moment, consider "Jingle Bells" as performed by the Singing Dogs. With jaded, 21st-century ears, it’s easy to dismiss as Yuletide kitsch. It topped a 2007 survey of most-hated Christmas songs, but there was a time when listeners marveled at it—Dogs! And they’re singing!

It’s time we give the Singing Dogs their due. Created in Denmark in the early 1950s by a self-taught ornithologist and released in the U.S. in 1955, the record marks a turning point in how we listen to music. I’ll explain.

via How 'Jingle Bells' by the Singing Dogs Changed Music Forever – The Atlantic.

New York City and Carnegie Hall

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Ligon Middle School performs at Carnegie Hall

Ligon Middle School performs at Carnegie Hall


Wow, it’s been a busy few weeks not just for me but for all of us. Hallie took three days off of school last week to travel with the Ligon Philharmonic Orchestra up to New York to play at Carnegie Hall. Kelly, Travis, and I along with Kelly’s parents joined her after taking the bus up.

We arrived Friday afternoon and had plenty of time to do some sightseeing. First we checked in at the Union Theological Seminary which was to be our hotel for the trip. Then we hit the subway to check out downtown.

Our first stop was the Brooklyn Bridge. I’d seen it from a distance of course but had never walked over it before. It was windy, cool, and very crowded, but it was nice to be able to say I’ve been across it.
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New York City bound

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

As I mentioned, the Turners are on the move again. And, as usual, we’re all headed in different directions, at least initially.

Hallie left for school at 4 AM for her bus trip to New York City, where she and her fellow Ligon Middle School orchestra members will play Carnegie Hall Saturday night. An hour later, Kelly took Travis to his Conn Elementary school field trip to Fort Fisher. I’m staying here for work before heading to a fundraiser for Kay Hagan this evening.

Thursday night, Kelly, Travis, and I will travel to Kelly’s parents’ home (leaving the Rottweilers to guard the home while we’re away, of course). Friday morning we’ll head to DC to hop a bus which will take us to New York. We’ll stay long enough to watch Hallie’s performance before taking the bus back home.

Oh, and the following week I travel to Sacramento for work: the first business travel I’ve taken in a while. Should be fun.

Now that Little Raleigh Radio is on the online air, what can you actually hear? | Music Feature | Indy Week

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Indy Week ran another great story on Little Raleigh Radio, this one focusing on the programming we’ve been “airing” during our preview phase. It feels great to know that people are paying attention!

For nearly five years, Kelly Reid and Jacob Downey had dreamed of and planned for what happened at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17.Tucked away in a small studio off of St. Mary’s Street, the pair finally took Little Raleigh Radio—their brainchild of a station dedicated to local news, music and interests—online.

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via Now that Little Raleigh Radio is on the online air, what can you actually hear? | Music Feature | Indy Week.

Skills to Pay the Bills

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

This song’s been on my mind this afternoon, apropos of the way I’m feeling today. It’s the Beastie Boys’s Skills to Pay the Bills. Lyrics here (from a post I wrote ten years ago. Damn.)

Kevin Smith describes Prince World

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

In my reading about Prince’s latest lawsuit faux pas, I found a hilarious video from filmmaker Kevin Smith from his appearance at Kent State University last year in which he describes a week he spent with Prince working on a documentary. Smith spices his talk with plenty of profanity but the story he tells is hilariously funny and quite bizarre.

Smith is an unparalleled storyteller. It’s thirty minutes long but well worth the time!