Paul Simon and Chevy Chase: You Can Call Me Al

How did I not know that Paul Simon made a video for Call Me Al with Chevy Chase? Why didn’t you tell me?

Pow, here it is:

Paul Simon-You Can Call Me Al Video
by Docbuzz

(Higher-ish quality version available if you press the “HQ” button, although I suppose there is a hard ceiling to the quality of all video from the VHS era.) (Image quality I mean. The video is tremendous.)

Choose Your Dialect of Dewey Defeats Truman

The LA Times has an exhaustive list of election night coverage by the television networks:

Where to tune in on election night

For example,

ABC: The trio of Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos kick off coverage at 4 p.m., followed by a special edition of “Nightline” at 11:35 p.m.

CBS: Anchor Katie Couric, along with Bob Schieffer and Jeff Greenfield, report on the results beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a live webcast on at 11 p.m.

My favourite:

Current: Beginning at 4 p.m., the network will deliver a real-time stream of election updates, Digg stories and Twitter posts, along with live music sets by DJ Diplo.

Anchor Diplo, please adjust your tie.

A Personal Tour-Date Aggregator

Here’s a website that somebody should build:

  • You register. You enter a bunch of bands that you like.
  • The site scrapes the websites of bands looking for what looks like tour dates and builds a calendar of who will be where when.
  • When that database indicates that one of your listed bands is coming to your town, it emails you to let you know.

How many times have I gone to a band’s website and found out they were in town 5 weeks ago? I don’t have the energy to search down the website of every band I like in case they’ve posted some tour dates lately.

Or is that all too web 1.0? Maybe people can enter their own recommendations for other websites that do the same thing better, or upload pictures of themselves using the website or something.

Challenge: any such aggregator would have to be able to access and interpret the artsy-horrible flashblobs that pass for websites for so many bands (click on the unlabeled red bird-silhouette in the corner, against the purple background, to see photos! Click on the black circle in the lower left for 20 seconds of abstract animation and the band’s bio!). Perhaps if somebody did start such a service, and more people knew to attend shows for the bands whose websites were standards-compliant text based and hence more easily parsed for tour-date-scraping, then it would encourage bands to build sane websites also operable by mere humans.

What WCBN Looks Like

Last week the Michigan Daily called up during my show and asked if they could come down and do some shooting. Bill Corrigan was next up and said he was down with it. The results (plus Tyler Dancer and another DJ from the previous day):

update: That’s too bad, it looks like they’ve taken the episode down.

No Actually New Janelle Monae

I got excited when I saw that Janelle Monae’s website had been massively overhauled, and featured an “In Stores August 12, 2008!” teaser. I’ve been waiting hard on the second installment of the Metropolis Suite for what feels like a very long time now.

But apparently what hit the stores in August was Metropolis Suite 1: The Chase. Which is the same album I was playing last year this time. Literally, in fact, I believe I played the entire album through start to finish while subbing a late-night show last year. Not that I was being edgy or prescient by doing so, “Violet Stars Happy Hunting” was already an established thing on the college circuit when I got hooked on it. And as for blowing up “Many Moons” (video premier tonight!), dude, I totally rocked that solo on my show like last week.

Janelle, I love you, but you need to step up your release schedule to where it’s not a year behind my sorry grasp on the zeitgeist. I’m guessing this is a major-label release of what had previously been indie-distribution-only. Don’t get bogged down defining yourself by when your music is in Wal*Mart. Great if they carry your music in their commodity-distribution way, but don’t pretend that your official release happens when it hits their beige and dusty shelves. What matters as far as ritual and event is the indie or even the network release. When you’ve released to the internet, your music is released. You may afford less zircon-encrusted hummers thinking that way, but you will be cooler. And ask yourself: when you are on your death-bed, which will seem more important?

Collecting Music

The video backstory to the “World’s Greatest Music Collection on sale on Ebay” story which circulated earlier in the year:

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.


Earlier this evening I was hanging out with my supervisor, discussing music storage formats and our evolving relationship with the decreasingly tangible but still vital ways we invest value in our music collections. Yes folks, we live a life of the mind around here. I announced I would start watching for the important moment when the temporal extent of my music collection exceeded my age. For the record, right now it’s at 2 1/2 months. (My music collection, not my age.) As I understand it, Paul Mawhinney’s collection is approximately lifetime length. And it’s largely vinyl.

If you think we live too much a life of the mind around here, here’s an escalation: I believe our society should support institutions which are sufficiently abstract but sufficiently funded by tax money that one would purchase and properly archive Mr. Mawhinney’s music collection.

See also: The Vinyl Anachronist, cranky, intermittent, vinlyic editorialist for the wonderfully named Perfect Sound Forever ezine. See this one, for example.

Libertarians on our Radio

Reason Magazine is a bunch of infuriatingly cocky libertarian wonks, who write well and are generally convincing despite being fundamentally wrong about life and everything. They’re charmers by and large, living out their Heinlein-goes-to-Washington boy (and girl)hood fantasy lives in print.

Jesse Walker is managing editor for Reason. He lives in Baltimore, but according to his blog, last Thursday he covered a slot on WCBN. I’m sorry I missed that, I guess I was in Chicago. It seems he was a student and dj here back in the ambiguous day and this was a triumphalist return.

For fun, here’s what libertarian turbo-intellectuals sound like when they play music and talk into a microphone:

Audio: [audio:]

Sounds good. Go figure. Playlist included in Walker’s blog post.

Update: if I’d read some of Jesse’s other blog posts, I would have realized that he is living in Ann Arbor for a while, and has a regular Thurs. 12-3p show. The posted audio is just the first episode. Right on.

A New Radio Season

A new term, and new radio.

Monday: the start of the second season of It’s Hot it Here. Noon to 1pm.

Tuesday: the new time for my music show. 1-3pm.

Also, I’ve made some repairs to the website, such that I’ve finally been able to load up some old material. The last episode of Mountain Pine Beats is back up, and two shows from the end of summer on WCBN.

Shiny New Albums from Bands You’ve Heard Of

Nobody bothered to tell me, so I thought I’d tell you: new albums by Beck, the Silver Jews, and (soon) Brian Eno/David Byrne.

Yep, that’s right, Eno & Byrne are cranking out a new one, just 27 years after My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. “Everything that Happens Will Happen Today”. When those two get together, it’s just a matter decades before sparks fly. (But seriously folks, Bush of Ghosts is awesome, I’m dieing to hear the new one.) August 18 release. Now that Eno is a serious thinker about time scales and generative systems and Byrne is a serious thinker about powerpoint, what kind of music will they make?

You probably heard Beck’s Modern Guilt before I did. You probably liked it. It’s a bit less artsy-wacky than standard Beck fair, less sonorous than Sea Change, very locked-beat groovy. The guy’s a master. He should recieve an honorary Master’s degree.

You probably don’t like the Silver Jews. But I do and I’m gonna go listen to Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea right now. The Silver Jews make the best packing-to-leave music on the planet. Once I’ve packed up to leave somewhere I’ll give this new one a review.

Famous Last Words on CJSR

Campus/community radio stations can wax and wane as the semesters turn and the djs come and go. For as long as I’ve been listening to them, CJSR out of Edmonton has been consistently great.

Currently listening to Tish and Sarah’s show, Famous Last Words. And I’m hearing music I don’t know from Edmonton, Chicago, and the Funk Cloud. “Thursdays from 9-11am (MST)”. Recommended.

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