Pure Danger Tech


Musical interlude

25 Oct 2007

Hello dear readers…hope you’ve enjoyed the quiet around here lately. Work has been busy so I’ve had few spare cycles to blog lately. But I have many posts brewing so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I’d like to point you at a few musical items. First, if you don’t listen to Spinner’s podcast, The Interface, you should. The easiest way is to subscribe to their podcast in iTunes. The have a lot of great and interesting artists and they each stop by for a 4-5 song set and a short interview, which is perfect podcast length.

Some recent favorites of mine include:

  • Ben Lee – great Australian acoustic singer-songwriter, whom I got into as a result of his collaboration with Ben Folds and Ben Kweller who did an EP as The Bens. At the time, I was an avid fan only of Ben Folds, but I have since gotten interested in both of the other Bens as well.
  • Ani DiFranco – as readers of this blog know, I’m a long-time fan of Ani. Here she is promoting her new greatest hits collection Canon, which of course features a handful of re-recorded songs which I undoubtedly want even though I have no need of the rest. Anyhow, great set here featuring a wonderful version of “You Had Time”, one of my all-time favorites.
  • Amy Winehouse – my wife has been obsessed with Amy Winehouse lately and while I do enjoy her music, I like the live versions here of songs like “Rehab” better than the studio cut. I recently learned that her backing band on her album “Back to Black” was actually the Dap Kings, best known for their work with Sharon Jones. They’ve got that classic Stax sound down cold and personally I tend to prefer Sharon Jones.
  • The National – one of my favorite new CDs this year is ‘Boxer’ by The National and this podcast showcases songs from that album. It’s a great introduction to The National if you’ve never heard them before.

There are tons of other great artists on this podcast as well, so check out the archive to see if your favorite has stopped by.

I also wanted to mention a few other musical things that have caught my ear lately:

  • Nada Surf has a new album slated for February and they’ve released a track See These Bones to whet your appetite. Consider me whetted – I love this track! Can’t wait for the album.
  • For all you last.fm fans out there, check out lastgraph, an awesome free service that will grab all your listening data and produce a beautiful (and highly detailed) vector graphic of your listening habits. You can see my listening habits for the year in all it’s glory. This is a vector graphic, so if you zoom in you’ll continue to see more fine-grained detail. The service is being run on a shoe string so it takes a number of hours (about 5 for me) before the work will get through the queue so be patient.
  • Probably everyone in the tech/music world is at least vaguely aware that Radiohead released a new album called In Rainbows a few weeks ago and let you pay whatever you want for it. There’s another whole post around that topic probably, but I was a little distressed that in all the press about it, no seemed to be mentioning whether it was any good! Well it turns out it’s great! I don’t love it as much as Kid A, but it’s grown on me considerably and I keep listening. Definitely recommended, even if you had to pay full price for it. (I paid $5 btw, which I think is a fair digital download album price.)

Go forth and listen!