The Beatles + Nine Inch Nails = Come Closer

The Beatles vs. Nine Inch nails Come Closer Together

I was tempted to let this pass without comment, but it’s just so intriguing. It’s a mash up of the Beatles Come Together and Nine Inch Nails’ Closer by DJ Zebra. The ending is a bit flubbed, but overall this is a very good combination.

It’s particularly noteworthy since both sources are rock songs and it’s rare to see good rock mash ups. Because of the way most rock songs are written and performed, its harder to effectively combine two of them than it is to lay rap lyrics over a riff or rock vocals over a hip hop beat.

Yeah, What They Said 6/28

Yeah, What They Said, pointers to interesting stories. Some people call it “link sharing.”

Webomatica chronicles the hoopla as the launch of the iPhone approaches. Antics include people paying other people to stand in line, christening June 29 as “iDay,” and links to major newspaper reviews.
T-minus 5, 4, 3, 2

A number of audiobooks were sold at the iTunes Store recently that didn’t work on the iPod. That problem has been fixed.

Speaking of the iTunes Store, these two links will take you to free downloads from it: Link one. Link two.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of a Netflix subscription.

Speaking of Netflix, Internet Zillionaire confesses the irrational lengths passionate Netflix users can go to in their efforts “to scam, scrimp, rob, cheat, copy, burn, and screw over” the service.

Comprehensive Mac performance tests.
Comparative results from running Geekbench on every Mac released since the slot-load iMac (400Mhz G3 from October 1999). My Intel iMac at home scores a 2338 while my G5 PowerMac at the office scores a 2108. My PowerBook G4 scores a lowly 692.

Electric, battery-powered lawnmowers reviewed by Wired.
I have a Black & Decker model and I love it. No gas. No oil. No spark plugs. No exhaust. Push-button start and enough juice to cover my entire yard (front and back) in one go. The best part: I got it for a third the price on eBay.

Star Wars fans hate Star Wars.
This pretty much sums it up. Personally, I think that, as a story, Star Wars is so poorly thought out, written and executed, if it weren’t for John Williams creating an emotional connection through his superb music, the original film would have flopped. Or, at best, it might have attained underground cult status a la Planet of the Apes or Logan’s Run.

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Oh hey, here’s a Velocity Girl video, I Can’t Stop Smiling. It’s an excellent song.

Soundgarden: The Day I Tried To Live

From the album Superunknown (1994)

One of the best songs from one of the 90s best albums (a 4.51/5 on my scale). The Day I Tried to Live is Chris Cornell and company at the tip-top of their game on an album that delivers smash after smash.

It’s not as frantic as Spoonman or as sour as Fell on Black Days, but more steadfast and determined in its manner of storytelling. The whining intro sets a cynical stage a sordid story of ambition and the depths one can sink to while trying to achieve a perverted definition of “living.”

What I find most interesting about this song is its unusual construction, which seems almost operatic in nature. Sure, it employs a contemporary structure, but not in the traditional pop/rock manner. From the speaker’s perspective, there’s clearly a conflict as shown by the contrast between the resolute, ominousness of the verses and the screaming, adrenaline-soaked choruses. As the song progresses, the conflict gets increasingly heated as both sides of the argument struggle for control. The verses get shorter and the screaming gets more intense, back and forth until he cast he final accusation.

This song is of the kind that sits in the back of your mind until one day, at random, its brilliance explodes into your consciousness. From there, it’s no going back.

What I Love: The song, on an Interstate at night, with windows rolled down and the volumed rolled up.

the day i tried to live at itunes
day i tried to live at amazon

New Hard Drive in the House

coolgear firewire sata enclosure housing a 500gb maxtor maxline pro
My new file storing powerhouse.

I like to keep my eye on on the price of hard disk storage. More storage more better is my philosophy. Not only can I never tell when I’ll need an extra gigabyte or two for projects, but I’m justifiably paranoid about data failure and have become something of fiend for backups as a result. So I’ve been watching with interest as the price of 500GB drives have fallen at a steady clip since the beginning of the year.

My interest was piqued recently when I noticed that a number of external 500GB drives have been hitting the ~$100 area lately, which is nearly too good a deal to pass up. My enthusiasm was tempered though, by the observation that all the drives I found were USB 2.0 only. USB is no slouch and a fine enough protocol, but real file transfers, particularly large ones, are best left to FireWire. Unfortunately, FireWire versions seem to cost $50-$90 more than their USB-only counterparts.

So I did what I’ve done for the last 5 drives I’ve purchased: I looked into do-it-yourself solutions. Assembling an external drive from an internal one plus an enclosure is a trivial task and it helps you get exactly what you want. In the past, that approach has helped me save some cash at the same time.

Unfortunately, the gap in price between internal and external drives doesn’t seem to be as great as it once was. Mail-in rebates can often bring the price of external drives to below that of internals. Realizing that I probably would be out of luck trying to save some dough, I set out to see how much I could get within the price range for an external 500GB hard drive with a FireWire connection ($160-190).

In the end, I think I did pretty well.

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Bjork: I Go Humble

i go humble

B-side from the single Isobel (1995)

I’ve never been in love with Bjork’s music. To be sure, Bjork is a consummate artist and I do enjoy and have much respect for the majority of her work; I’ve just never been part of the “Bjork-is-untouchable” group. But if I were to become part of that club, it would be because of this song.

I Go Humble never fails to send me into a state of trance-like bliss.

There’s something in the earnest subjugation of her voice, the spacey electronic melodies and the disjointed-but-smooth percussion that just captivate me for its entire five minute length every time I listen to it. It has done that for the past ten years.

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What I Love: Everything about it dammit.

isobel at amazon

Soul Coughing: Unmarked Helicopters

Black Helicopters

From the album Songs in the Key of X (1996)

Recorded during the tumultuous sessions of the band’s second album, Irresistible Bliss, Unmarked Helicopters is prototypical Soul Coughing and an achievement in “slacker jazz.” That intra-band strife of the time seems to help this song, better than any other, capture the zeitgeist of The X-Files, the feeling of alienation and suspicion that the show projected.

The intro borrows from of the show’s disembodied main theme and sets the stage for an agitated and unnerving story. Over the course of three and a half minutes, the song makes oblique references to hovering lights on houses (and those that pursue them), fear of the end times and the role of the person who knows the truth. This thing is an ode to American society’s grand paranoia of truth and government that the show epitomized.

Unmarked Helicopters appeared as the second track on the Songs in the Key of X compilation, the whimsical soundtrack released at the height of the TV show’s popularity. In early 1997, the song was featured prominently in the fourth season episode Max.

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What I Love: The whole shebang.

Photo from DefenseLINK

Spirtualized: Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating through space

From the album Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating through space (1997).

Composed in “round” format, where each sung line overlaps another in a recursive way, Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentlemen we are floating through space is a science and technology-era mantra, a chant to the lords of pharmaceutically-inspired altered states and a wistful, strung-out love song.

This is seriously space out, and transcendental, trance-inducing music, but it trades in new-age ethereality for the cold science (exemplified by the interspersion of NASA beeps) of modern progress. In steep contrast though, the lyrics reveal a tenderness and longing for love.

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What I Love: The song’s out-of-focus dreaminess.

New Radiohead Album Preview

Radiohead will be blessing the world with its creative juices in the very near future. It is a time of much anticipation, with excitement and wariness rolled into a caldron of suspense.

What will the new album sound like?
Can it possibly match the group’s reputation?
What new musical ideas will the world be forced to grasp and understand?

We won’t know the answers to those questions until sometime this autumn, but for now here’s a bit of a preview, courtesy of YouTube:

Update: 9/30. The new album is titled In Rainbows.

Gomez: Whippin’ Piccadilly

From the album Bring it On (1998)

The highly regarded and Mercury Prize-winning debut album by Gomez mixes a down-home sensibility with slick production values. With three husky vocalists interchanging on the lyrics, these guys can blend together some mind-bending harmonies. Put those on top of some smooth bluesy-roots-rock-with-an-English-twist and you’ve got some pretty compelling music.

Whippin’ Piccadilly is a standout track on an album of standout tracks. With carefree abandon, Gomez stitches a picture of fun-loving guys have a fun-loving day in Manchester. The title of the song, I believe, is a reference to Manchester Piccadilly station, the busiest rail station in England. It is alluded to in the lyrics as the departure point for the guys’ next destination of Sheffield.

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What I Love: The simple strumming of the guitar and, of course, those harmonies.

whippin piccadilly at itunes store

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And for something completely different, check Petty Booka’s polynesian-style cover of Whippin’ Piccadilly.