Woods - Moving to the Left
Oh yes, this is a Saturday morning right here.
Source: SoundCloud / WOODSIST
Mellow Gold, released on March 1, 1994: 20 years ago today.
By the time this record came out I was — maybe everyone was — a little tired of hearing Loser (remember how it took over radio the summer before?), and I at least half expected that Mellow Gold would be an undistinguished indie rock record with Loser as its sales-generating novelty hit.
As you may recall, it didn’t turn out that way.
Mellow Gold was and is a fantastic album. For me, it’s also one that still strongly evokes that particular time and place: I had just graduated from college and was living in Portland, OR trying to eke a living out of temp jobs and freelance writing, while I figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I’m not certain I ever quite figured out the answer to that question, so I think I’ll dust off this CD and give it a listen today.
Energy, released in March of 1989, 25 years ago.
For whatever reason, March has quite a few #AnniverSeries records, including two for which I can’t track down the actual release date. This is one of those two to open the month, and I’ll close the month with the other.
Growing up in the ’80s, my older sister’s copy of the English Beat’s I Just Can’t Stop It was my introduction to ska, and I wore out that record. I dug back a bit after that, but no other ska record really grabbed me the same way until later.
I didn’t hear Operation Ivy’s Energy until I was in college, a couple of years after its release, but when I did it was perfect. It felt like it pulled together virtually everything about music that interested me at the time, and delivered it with absolute, unswerving conviction.
And the fact that this record was a lone artifact, the sole output of a band that had disappeared before I ever heard of them, made it loom larger in my mind as time passed.
It’s hard enough to make a great record, but making a single great record and then calling it quits? There was something magical about the thirty seven minutes captured here. There still is.
From Harvard to hobo, sit-ins to concert halls, Pete Seeger’s plan was simple: to lead a rallying cry at the front lines of justice, freedom, and peace, and to forge a new link in the chain, stronger than the last, for the next generation of folksingers. How best to begin this monumental task? Simply by teaching children to sing old folk songs.
Beck - Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat (Dylan cover)
I’ve been rummaging through the Hype Machine this morning, trying to find something that sounds right for this freezing cold cover Friday. This one finally grabbed me, and I returned to Tumblr only to find that somehow Fred managed to beat me to the punch.
So I guess it’s reblog cover Friday this week. Have a good one, kids, and stay warm.
Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat (Dylan cover) - Beck
Cloud Nothings - Psychic Trama
A review of Cloud Nothings’ last record described the band at their best as sounding iike "the Replacements being elegantly savaged by Jesus Lizard."
This one from their new record sounds to me like the band is in top form.
Source: SoundCloud / Cloud Nothings
Read Bryce’s post, seriously.
Bryce hits what to me is the key point: if Apple builds a watch, I would be very surprised if it’s, you know…a “watch.” Do I need to link to the picture of "smartphones" before the iPhone came out as a refresher?
Further, if — again, if — Apple releases a smartwatch, remember the following and you’ll be able to skip the first 4-6 weeks of post-announcement coverage:
But whether or not it’s eventually successful, I’m more inclined to give an Apple smartwatch the benefit of the doubt at this point, because I’m pretty sure that anything they release will be totally unlike anything I might imagine right now.
The buzz has been building for months, but seems to be reaching a crecendo across the pond at mobile world congress this week. The message: THE SMART WATCH IS COMING!
Check email. From your wrist.
Get Text Messages. From your wrist.
Tweet. From your wrist.
Check the time. From…
Some are beautiful. Some less so. But all seem to have the same take. That the act of pulling out ones phone is too heavy a burden when a flick of the wrist ought to suffice.
Which is fine.
Pushing functionality from a phone to a wrist is a clever trick and maybe there is demand for it. But, my guess is this move by the heavies is less about market demand and more about market saturation.
This rush to the wrist was kicked off last year when rumors began circulating about an iWatch from Apple. I’ve not seen the company confirm the existence of an iWatch. But, if the market’s reaction to this speculation is any indication, we could be in the midst of the greatest troll of all time.
To date, all attempts to beat the iWatch to market have been met with an actual watch. Some with cameras. Some with a new sensor. All with displays for creating or consuming content from the wrist. But all in the general shape, size and characteristics of watches.
This seems to be shaping up just like the “smart phone” market before the iPhone.
At the time the iPhone launched, it looked nothing like any phone prior. It did and enabled things no phone prior to it had.
If you’ve been paying attention to who Apple has been hiring and what job reqs they have open, it’s pretty clear that they’re on the cusp of making a “watch” in the same way they made a “phone”.
Apple has now hired employees with expertise in pulse oximetry, vasculature visualization (vein finding), non-invasive glucose monitoring, blood chemistry monitoring via microneedle, heart/breath rate monitoring, and fitness. Notably, several hires have also had experience with low-profile, non-invasive biosensor devices.
I don’t have any inside knowledge of what Apple is building, but it most certainly is not a “watch”.
My hope is that it will have the same effect on wearables that the iPhone had on other handset manufacturers. Even more importantly, my hope is that it will be a device, or set of sensors, that collects data to enable a whole new generation of app developers that move us beyond Flappy, or Angry, or whatever kinds of birds.
I’ve long felt we’re in the 56k modem stage of the march towards wearables with external pedometers, heart rate straps and sleep trackers as our detached dial tones.
If Apple does for “watches” what they did for the “phone”, we might see wearables hitting the broadband era.