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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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A random selection from my archive:



Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


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Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Thursday, June 30, 2005


    I picked up one of these bad boys last weekend, and WOW, what a fantastic pen. The store where I got it, Penfield's at the Copley Mall, can't keep these little gadgets in stock. Not only are they super comfortable to use, but the added touch of the soft no grip design leaves the ol' BICs in the dust. This is a fine invention.

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    I'm gonna need you to go ahead and come in tomorrow

    How is it possible that the Bill Lumbergh Soundboard hasn't made its way around all the blogs yet? I can't remember where I stumbled upon it, but ummm yeeeaah, enjoy.

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Mix

    The Psychonauts "World Keeps Turning (Highfish & Zander Remix)" - Both tracks this week are lifted from mixes. So despite the sudden start/stop quality of each song, these aren't too different from the usual fare. Aksel Schaufler (AKA Superpitcher) just released a stellar mix album called Today. It's dance music for people who like to mope, and this song by The Psychonauts (one of about four vocal tracks from the mix) will remind you of Depeche Mode. Buy It.

    Funky Technicians "Airtight (Remix)" - My friends and I spent a lot of time listening to LTJ Bukem's Logical Progression CDs in college. Nothing could ever beat out the quality of the first volume even though Bukem has released about 23 billion since. Disc B was a non-stop mix of spacey, soulful jungle and it began with this gem. It sounds like intergalactic popcorn. Buy It (what a fantastic price for 2 CDs!).

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    Drag and drop like a big kid

    I think I've mentioned AJAX here before. It stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML. Big *yawn* I know. It's a web technology that's been around for a while, but it's finally making a splash. In short, it allows you to do roundtrips to a website's database without the constant need for refreshing. For a sample, use Google Maps. See how slick it loads when you enter an address? That's XMLHTTP at work. It's all over the place in 37signals' products like Basecamp, Ta-Da Lists and Backpack too.

    More and more developers are getting excited about the possibilities of AJAX and how it can improve an online experience. I'm setting some goals now for a website relaunch at work, and I'm thinking of injecting some of this cool new (standards compliant!) technology into the project.

    If you're a fan of Transmit, the FTP client by Panic, then you've seen this sort of thing before. But check out It's a cinch to begin working with its Prototype Javascript library and you can start building drag and drop widgets in no time.

    I can certainly see this being overused like other hip technologies (e.g., I'm not a big fan of Flash when it's used for navigation). I would want to find a legitimate use for it rather than pulling a "see what I can do" stunt. However I feel there's some real substance to all of this and it's going to play a substantial role on websites for years to come. I really need to redesign our customer accounts and I can see AJAX playing a role in the project. If you've seen other cool applications of AJAX, let me know!

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    MP3 Blog Project survey results

    Some interesting survey results regarding mp3 blogs. I was one of the 107 participants. And for the record, I voted for The Arcade Fire in the last question.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Swim

    Metamatics "The Swimmer" - I totally forgot about this album. I discovered it back in college, and it's been sitting deep in my collection ever since. It's really a wonderful electro release. Lots of fun bleeps and bloops with some drum 'n bass sprinkled on top. Buy It.

    Arthur Russell "Let's Go Swimming (Arthur Gibbons Mix)" - Arthur Russell was a formally trained cellist and composer with a background in Indian classical music, and a resume highlighted by collaborations with Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass. OK, so I ripped that description off from AMG. But it's true! And I hope you enjoy this swimmingly. Buy It.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    Tower Hill Botanical Garden

    Sometimes you discover some cool forgotten photos if you haven't downloaded files from your digital camera in a while. We went to the Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston a few weeks ago to stroll the park and check out the forest paths, and I forgot all about these pictures!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    20th time's the charm

    If you check back at the comments from my Tracks of the Week last week, you'll find a new comment from Donnacha Costello. Dang, that's cool!

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Modern

    The Modern Lovers "Roadrunner" - When I was commuting in Connecticut last year, I wore out this album. It's wonderful driving music. Produced by a member of the Velvet Underground, this album has their influence all over it, but a sunnier adaptation. Oh, and one of the members went on to be in The Talking Heads. Buy It.

    Ray Charles "Bye Bye Love" - From his 1962 record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, this song isn't so much country-ish as it is big-bandy. Now that's a great sentence, ain't it? I really don't know much about Mr. Charles. I haven't even seen "Ray". Enjoy! Buy It.

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Eyes as big as Jolly Ranchers

    I drove a long way home last night after my company's annual summer shin-dig. There was no traffic. It was a warm night and I needed something upbeat enough to keep me going, but drowsy enough not to get me wired by the time I pulled into my driveway. So I tossed on DJ Shadow's Entroducing...

    I had forgotten how much of an impact this album had on me. It was the beginning of 1997, second semester junior year of college. Most of my friends were abroad for a few months, and I remember quite clearly stumbling upon this at, of all places, a Strawberries. I bought it on cassette tape. (Why?? What was I thinking?) In any case, I listened to this album so much that I wore it out. I listened over and over and over again and the tape became weak and it actually unraveled. Some would say this was purely due to the "super wicked phat beats, yo" but I'm not so sure.

    I also remember sending friends mix tapes of new music I discovered that semester. But I hesitated to include any of this stellar DJ Shadow stuff because I insisted, "you have to hear it uninterrupted in its entirety." (Tim will never let me live this down.)

    Now this morning I discover that the album is being reissued with some remixes and extra cuts (most of which has already been available). The original album isn't modified, remastered or retouched. So if you own it already, it may not be worth getting the deluxe edition. But if you don't own it, I highly recommend you add it to your Amazon wish list. Heck, swing by your favorite record store this weekend and pick it up. It'll be a wonderful soundtrack for the steamy weekend that's in store for us.

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Only fatalists would choose Jandek

    If you could suddenly inherit the entire back catalog of any artist or band, what would it be? I was thinking about this today, and I'm having a tough time deciding because there are a few factors to consider I suppose.

    Do I choose an artist that has ultra-rare, ultra-difficult-to-find albums?
    Do I choose an artist that has a prolific career simply to gain as many records as possible?
    Do I choose an artist that I've always heard about, but never heard?
    Do I choose an artist that has gone through many phases to get a satisfying variety?

    What would you choose?

    Monday, June 06, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Donnacha

    Donnacha Costello "Mustard B" - The masses have spoken, and they've chosen Mustard. Good for you guys. I had you pick one color, but I typically post two tracks each Monday. So that left me with a choice: Do I post both the A side and the B side from the 12"? Or do I do something else with the 2nd track this week? Your answer is below.

    Donnacha Costello "Cocoa A" - I've decided to do something else with the 2nd track this week. This mp3 is from the same (wonderful!) series, but it's a different color. My choice here was a bit arbitrary. Like I said last week, all the tracks are great. But I figured this makes for a nice contrast with Mustard. Mmm...chocolatey mustard. Enjoy!

    Saturday, June 04, 2005


    We've been having issues with dropped calls and poor cell phone reception since we moved. We were hoping we could survive without a home number and live off our mobile phones, but this just isn't sensible. So rather than pay the bloated fees for a traditional landline, I've opted for Vonage. It's my first foray into VoIP, and although we haven't received our phone adapter yet to try it out, so far I'm quite impressed with the service.

    The website is excellently designed because it quickly quells any concerns you have about: will it work as well as a landline? what equipment do I need? are there long distance charges? setup fees? I'm happy to report that it appears to be a very slick service (and slick technology) and I'm looking forward to setting it up. I'll be back with some thoughts once we're using it for a while. Right now, though, I'm just excited that I can call long distance for over 8 hours a month for less cost than Netflix.

    Despite not having the equipment to set up yet, I've already done two critical things to my Vonage account: 1) Enabled 911 calling (because with VoIP you can have an area code from anywhere, but for emergency calling you have to let them know your physical location too), and 2) Added the new number to the "Do Not Call" list, and hey, even if I get telemarketing calls, I could always use this handy worksheet.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    Donnacha Costello: Color Series

    I can get really excited about music. When I'm really enjoying something in particular, I'll be sure to share it with friends by playing an artist for them, dropping a song onto a mix CD, or posting a little something here.

    Lately I've been really digging Donnacha Costello's Color Series. It took me forever and a day to find it because each record was both limited and vinyl only. Each month during 2004, Irish electronic musician Donnacha Costello released a 12" with an A side and a B side. To put it simply, the series is like breakbeat records for the tech-house crew. Lots of wonderful repetitive beats and synth noises reminiscent of early Theorem or Plastikman.

    I've decided to have you help me pick next Monday's Tracks of the Week. Considering the entire 12" series is stellar and every track clocks in around 8 or 9 minutes, it's safe to say you're going to get some quality music regardless of your color choice. But drop me a comment below and pick the color you want to hear and whichever gets the most votes will be served up next week:

    - Blue
    - Green
    - Red
    - Grape
    - Pistachio
    - Orange
    - Opal
    - Olive
    - Mustard
    - Cocoa

    What do you, the people at home, think? Drop me a color in the comments.