firecat: janelle monae (archandroid janelle monae)
Janelle Monae is awesome, and [personal profile] beatrice_otter made some icons of her.

My favorite song of hers is "Tightrope", for many reasons, not the least of which is her dapper tuxedo.
firecat: grimacing fat man wearing guitar strap and "sex drugs & sushi" tattoo (sumo sushi)
Or perhaps I should say "the gaze of people who find a variety of men wiggling in tiny briefs attractive."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wyx6JDQCslE

Wikipedia sez "LMFAO is an American electronic dance music duo consisting of Redfoo and SkyBlu. The duo are both descendants of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr."

Yes, it's almost two years old, but I just heard it. At least with Gangnam Style I was a little faster on the uptake. (The songs bear some similarity.)
firecat: grimacing fat man wearing guitar strap and "sex drugs & sushi" tattoo (sumo sushi)
Soundation.com is a web app that's kind of like GarageBand. There are several account tiers. The free account lets you use around 600 recorded loops and MIDI instruments, but you can't record anything of your own into it. I have the free account.

As an assignment for the course I was taking on digital sound design, I created a one-minute composition. I also created a few other pieces, ranging from 45 seconds to 2 minutes. They are here for your listening pleasure/amusement, in no particular order. The last one ("Behind Door Number Three") is the one I submitted for the assignment, but it's not my favorite. The assignment had a lot of parameters and I found it difficult to accommodate all of them in a one-minute piece.

http://soundation.com/user/firecat/track/wind-up-rhythm-box


http://soundation.com/user/firecat/track/inside-out-and-shaken-to-pieces


(This one doesn't seem to be loading right.)
http://soundation.com/user/firecat/track/4


This one requires headphones for the full effect.
http://soundation.com/user/firecat/track/the-technological-age-called-bring-gravel


http://soundation.com/user/firecat/track/factors-of-twelve


http://soundation.com/user/firecat/track/behind-door-number-three
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
The free MOOC I'm taking through Coursera:
https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalsounddesign
This format works for me because the course happens over a particular time period, and I had to sign up. Both of those make me feel like I committed to something. So I'm actually working on the course instead of just bookmarking it for later. Also it's free, so I didn't talk myself out of signing up with "This is too far outside my area of knowledge to spend money on." And it's not for any kind of official credit (although supposedly I get a "certificate of completion" at the end) so I don't worry about grades. (Although on the forums for the course a lot of people are worrying about what's on the tests. Maybe that's habit, or maybe they're taking it to fulfill a requirement elsewhere and it matters to them how they do.)

I sometimes use NewEgg to buy tech stuff. I didn't know they were patent law heroes.
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/how-newegg-crushed-the-shopping-cart-patent-and-saved-online-retail/

Unrelated white people who look alike, especially because they're wearing similar clothes and hairstyles
http://slideshow.nbcnews.com/slideshow/today/strangers-who-look-like-twins-im-not-a-look-alike-50590127/
firecat: rock guitarist (fangirl)
Here's The Guardian's list of "The 20 best glam-rock songs of all time," created in honor of a new exhibition (which I wasn't able to find info about) (I think it's this one: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/exhibition/glam-performance-style).

http://m.guardian.co.uk/music/2013/feb/01/20-best-glam-rock-songs-all-time


I don't know if they're really the 20 best, but I like enough of them well enough that I was inspired to create a playlist on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLM-OlnHsrXC-TcWbEl4yyPVk9ymR_ZnwN

(My favorite is "Ballroom Blitz".)

Linkspam

24 Jan 2013 04:58 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Passing along some linkspam I got from the OH.

Assuming you think it's a good idea for abortions to be available to women who want them, even poor women, take your blood pressure medicine before reading this one.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-17/how-state-governments-are-regulating-away-abortion

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49998217
Is Women's 'Retirement Gap' Really a Pay Gap?
By: Paul O'Donnell
Much is made of women's lack of engagement in basic investing, including investing for retirement. Reasons given range from a lack of confidence to a congenital fear of risk to a simple lack of information....But here's a reason that may be too simple to get much attention: It could be that women invest less than men because they don't have as much money.
D'oh!

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/10/bigger-better-google-ngrams-brace-yourself-for-the-power-of-grammar/263487/
The Google NGram now offers text from more books, and more parameters, including the ability to search for a term in British English or American English.

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15965768-a-way-out-of-the-landfill-paraguay-kids-play-mozart-with-violins-made-from-trash?lite
Musical instruments made out of trash and other recycled materials

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dsm5-in-distress/201212/dsm-5-is-guide-not-bible-ignore-its-ten-worst-changes
More problems with the DSM-5, e.g., "Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder: DSM 5 will turn temper tantrums into a mental disorder."
firecat: child's foot in adult's red high heeled shoe (nostalgia)
Tonight's web surfing subjects:
Radio stations I listened to in my youth: CKLW, WRIF with Arthur Penhallow, WWWW (W4), WLLZ
Radio stations I listen to now: KFOG, KLLC ("Radio Alice"), KSAN ("The Bone")
Radio station formats: "Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio", "Album Oriented Rock," "Hot Adult Contemporary", "Active Rock", "Adult Album Alternative", "Modern Rock"
Alternative music of the early 80s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-punk), when I was a DJ at WESU (Wesleyan University radio station). The Wikipedia article mentions the phrase "postpunk pop avant-garde," which I remember using at the time (despite thinking it was a tad bit pretentious).
Quick tour through New Wave, grunge, and heavy metal.
Side trip to Joe Satriani, Ulli Jon Roth (guitarists), and the Scorpions (one of my favorite groups in the 70s, back when Ulli played with them, before they got popular).
New music genre term learned: "sleaze metal".


A bit of linkspam:
"Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost" by Daniel Levitin
This article is interesting to me because my memory of my past seems to be more vague than that of many people I know. And because my mom had Alzheimers. She didn't have the kind of memory loss this article talks about, but there were some similar features.
"We were in Professor Pribram's class, and we worked in a lab together, Roger Shepard's lab."
"Who?"

"Roger Shepard. He had a music and perception lab."

"Wow. That sounds like it must have been interesting. What did I work on there?"
I had one or two conversations like that with my mom.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I'm not going to post the whole meme. It was a fairly quiet year for me and most of my loved ones, although some folks I cared about had things much harder than they deserved. The sad parts for me were when my two cats got sick and died. The happy parts were when I went to Wiscon and got my knitting mojo back. I'm happier than I was at the beginning of the year.

A conversation I had a bunch of times with the judgemental part of my brain: "Well, if you'd TOLD ME EARLIER that it mattered for me to be very influential, maybe I would be. But lying in wait and springing it on me when I turned 50 wasn't a good way to proceed if that's what you wanted."

What lyrics will you remember most from 2012?
"Oppa Gangnam Style..."

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Here am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the moon.
Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do.


How was your year?
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2010/1007.blake.html
Small medical tech companies have a hard time selling their products because of loopholes in Medicare laws.
Shaw’s retractable syringe hit just as these trends were converging. In fact, the year his product came onto the market, three of the nation’s largest GPOs merged to form a company called Premier, which managed buying for 1,700 hospitals, or about a third of all hospitals in the United States. Shortly thereafter, Premier signed a $1.8 billion, seven-and-a-half-year deal with Becton Dickinson. Under the agreement, member hospitals—among them Dallas-based Presbyterian, where Shaw would hit a brick wall—had to buy 90 percent of their syringes and blood collection tubes from the company. Over the next two years, BD landed similar deals with all but one major GPO. As a result, almost everywhere Shaw turned, he found hospital doors were closed to him.
http://eminism.org/blog/entry/330
This law is supposed to discourage sex trafficking, but the real consequences might be harmful to women:
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a new regulation targeting taxicab drivers who knowingly transport people who are engaging in prostitution....Critics of the law have pointed out that the new regulation might lead cab drivers to refuse rides to any woman who are suspected of being prostitutes or sex trafficking victims (based on their appearance and other factors).
The article suggests a better way:
There are many initiatives within anti-domestic violence movement that attempt to build community support for people who are in ongoing, long-term abusive relationships. One example of such strategy is anti-DV organizations partnering with cosmetology schools and practitioners to educate hairstylists and others in the field to become the first line of support and information referral point for victims of domestic violence....

The purpose of the partnership is not so that hairstylists can identify and report suspected abuse victims to the police; it is to build trust and rapport with the women, hear their stories, provide support and encouragement, and when a woman ready and willing, give her resources she needs to escape from violence. What I wish the New York City had done is to adapt a similar strategy to reach out to people in the sex trade through cab drivers, whether or not their circumstances meet the legal definition of “sex trafficking.”
https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-loot-with-artists-120728/
So much for music companies' claims that they care about piracy because they want musicians to get more money: "any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,” IFPI writes."

http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/29/surprisingly-good-evidence-that-real-name-policies-fail-to-improve-comments/
From the DUH files:
In 2007, South Korea temporarily mandated that all websites with over 100,000 viewers require real names, but scrapped it after it was found to be ineffective at cleaning up abusive and malicious comments (the policy reduced unwanted comments by an estimated .09%).
http://cuteoverload.com/2012/07/31/introducing-mac-osx-maru/
I can't wait!

http://www.metro.us/newyork/international/article/1148979
What if every Olympic sport were photographed like beach volleyball? (Contains a lot of butt and crotch shots, obvs.)
firecat: rock guitarist (fangirl)
I'm going to save this for when I want to smile a whole lot.


100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N' Roll)
by Chicago Music Exchange

https://vimeo.com/43426940
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
A professional musician writes about why free music on the Internet isn't really free, debunks some myths about how and where pro musicians get paid (e.g., most don't make much money on touring; Spotify pays musicians almost nothing), and describes some charities you can support if you end up deciding that you did a wrong thing by downloading free music, or if you just want to help pro musicians.

http://thetrichordist.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/letter-to-emily-white-at-npr-all-songs-considered/

I don't agree with the implication that it's a particular generation of people who are primarily downloading stuff on the Internet in violation of copyright. People of all ages do it.
I also think there are huge problems with copyright law and with the way corporations sometimes go about protecting their copyrights. And I support transformative fanworks, which often involve working with copyrighted material. It's not a simple issue. And I take digital stuff without paying for it sometimes, so I'm not shaking fingers at people.

This issue is also relevant to all sorts of other artists producing material that can be digitized. I find it interesting what justifications people give for their choices. And it's interesting to think about what the availability of free copies of digital stuff means, going forward, in terms of how art is made and who makes art and who can make a living at it and how people get access to art.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Some of the media I read/saw/listened to/downloaded/purchased in 2011. Sadly, not in any kind of order. If you've consumed any of these, I'd love to know what you thought. If you want to know more of my opinions about any of these, just ask.

Paper Books and eBooks )
Audio Books )
DVDs/Movies/TV )
Music )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] clever_doberman, the OH and I had an opportunity to go to the Monterey Jazz Festival this past weekend.

The Jazz Festival is at the Monterey Fairgrounds. You pay one price to get onto the grounds, where there are usually about half a dozen musical events happening at any one time, as well as dozens of vendor and food booths scattered around. You pay separately to see acts in the Arena. Here's a good article to read to get a sense for it if you haven't been:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ablogsupreme/2011/09/14/140472327/the-first-time-attendees-guide-to-the-monterey-jazz-festival
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
My Dad has participated in this intermediate-level piano ensemble class for over a year and he loves it. The ensemble has been active for a number of years. They need to recruit a few new members for the next session (12/9 through 3/10) so he asked me to pass the word.

If you know anyone who might be interested, or any mailing list or web forum that might welcome information about the class, please pass it on.

If you want my Dad's e-mail address to make further inquiries, let me know.

Play Piano? Read Music?



Have some fun! Join a unique East Bay Area Piano Ensemble!

The San Lorenzo Adult School Piano Ensemble warmly invites intermediate and advanced pianists to join us.

The class meets Thursdays, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, at
San Lorenzo Adult School
http://adult-slzusd-ca.schoolloop.com/
820 Bockman Rd., San Lorenzo CA 94580 (there is an A.C. Transit stop across the street)
Room 16 near rear parking lot.

The room has about 20 upright pianos. We play mainly classical orchestral music transcribed for 2 pianos, 8 hands, but each member of this very compatible group sits at his/her own piano.

If you would like to play in an ensemble, or if your main instrument is not piano but you want some piano experience, come join us! You do Not have to be an expert sight reader to enjoy this group but we guarantee to advance your reading skill.

Call Don Jones at 650-685-8208 for queries or info.

Sign up by WEDNESDAY 12/1/10 through the Adult School Office 510-317-4200 or at our session on Thursday, Nov. 18th. Tuition is $100.00 for 12 weekly sessions from 12/9/10 through 3/10/11.
firecat: rock guitarist (fangirl)
There's another source of delight in my life, now that I have discovered Aretha Franklin's version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (From Painted Black, a compilation of Rolling Stones cover tracks).

Not only that, but I discovered it while listening to the Coverville podcast devoted to mondegreens (misheard lyrics). (Don't miss the comments on the web page for the podcast.)

A version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" made it onto the show because someone misheard a line in the second verse as line as "I was raised by a toothless spinning ham".

Also, I would rather listen to a song called "Love Dogs in Space" than one called "Love Comes in Spurts" any time.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Joplins Ghost Joplins Ghost by Tananarive Due

Published by Griot Audio, which specializes in contemporary African-American fiction. Well narrated by Lizan Mitchell. Joplins Ghost is part well-researched historical novel (following Scott Joplin's life) and part modern novel (following the character of Phoenix Smalls, an up and coming R&B star).

I really admired the research. I liked the way the plots were woven together. The writing was smooth. Some of the characters and their interactions are satisfyingly complex.

Most musical styles owe a lot to music that came before, and the best musicians honor their influences and musical ancestry. That's one of the primary themes of this book and I really enjoyed those parts of the book. Another theme is the difficulty of living a musician's / performer's life, and Due does a great job comparing/contrasting Joplin's struggles with those of Phoenix.

And oh yeah, it's a ghost story. I didn't really warm up to the ghost story part of the novel; I kept arguing with what was happening. That might be due to my relative inexperience with the ghost story genre.

View all my (goodreads.com) reviews

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
A couple of my friends do radio shows that are streamed live on the Internet, but they happen at times I usually can't listen, and they aren't archived for copyright reasons.

Is there any Mac software that works like a VCR for streaming audio, that would let me set a timer to record the shows so I could listen later?

(I suppose that would be against the copyright rules too.)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
11/01/07
733 out of 50,000
11/02/07
912 out of 50,000
11/03/07
2103 out of 50,000

Widget from [livejournal.com profile] gngr here.

Other:

  • Started 3 Garage Band pieces and finished four others
  • Finished a sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Started the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater while watching one of the dumber Original Star Trek episodes ("The Naked Time")
  • Knitted several rows of the Tidal Wave sock (and ripped half of them out again) while hanging with Serene in a cafe in San Francisco
  • Finished one Tidal Wave sock (it took two tries because I misread the instructions the first time and produced a too-short toe)
  • Finished the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater and started the neckline
  • Started the second Tidal Wave sock
  • Started and ripped a lace shawl (my own design)
  • Finished the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Finished the Tidal Wave socks
  • Started a sekrit winter gift project

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
11/01/07
733 out of 50,000
11/02/07
912 out of 50,000
11/03/07
2103 out of 50,000

Widget from [livejournal.com profile] gngr here.

Other:

  • Started 3 Garage Band pieces and finished four others
  • Finished a sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Started the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater while watching one of the dumber Original Star Trek episodes ("The Naked Time")
  • Knitted several rows of the Tidal Wave sock (and ripped half of them out again) while hanging with Serene in a cafe in San Francisco
  • Finished one Tidal Wave sock (it took two tries because I misread the instructions the first time and produced a too-short toe)
  • Finished the second sleeve of the Heartbeat Sweater and started the neckline
  • Started the second Tidal Wave sock
  • Started and ripped a lace shawl (my own design)
  • Finished the Heartbeat Sweater
  • Finished the Tidal Wave socks
  • Started a sekrit winter gift project

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firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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