A Mighty Voice Lost

I feel like I lost an uncle today, or maybe a good friend. Harry Kalas, voice of the Phillies and NFL films, passed away today, and it's just not fair.

It's almost impossible to think of Harry without also thinking of his long-time friend and broadcast partner, Richie Ashburn. The two of them worked together for 27 years (Ashburn passed in 1997), and were a pair unlike any other - they were close friends and were able to play off each other perfectly, knowing what the other was thinking and either filling in perfectly or getting out of the way as needed. Listening to Harry and Whitey broadcast a game was like being invited over to their house, as a couple of buddies described the game and did it well... each summer night weaving the story of the game with intelligence, humor, and a clear passion for the sport.


6 GB of Free Music from SXSW2009

The South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival is one of the largest and most popular in the United States. For the fifth year in a row, SXSW has released a DRM-free, RIAA-safe collection of songs totaling 6 GB, which can all be downloaded for free, thanks to BitTorrent.

The torrents can be found here. It's not very often that I use BitTorrent to legally download stuff 😛


Free Music

I need to get back into posting... things have just been crazy with moving/job interviews/6 cross-country roundtrip flights in the last month/drama. On the plus side, I have lots to say once I have the time to say it.

Just a quick note though, if you're a member of the Apple group on Facebook, there's a free 20 song sampler. It's all electronica, but there might be a few good songs in there.


Crazy Album Covers

So I know that I'm dating myself here, but before music came in tube-delivered mp3s, it was bundled with other songs on a piece of physical storage called an 'album'. You can still see the vestiges of this archaic practice by glancing at the lower-left corner of the iTunes window and seeing a little piece of art belonging to the song that's currently playing.

Anyway, especially in light of that actually-surprisingly-entertaining-fake-album-creation-craze on facebook, I thought it was worth linking to Urlesque's list of the 20 weirdest album covers. Some rather disturbing, a couple clever, and a couple just weird.
Abbey Road


The REAL rules of Idol

I confess (brag?) that I am not familiar enough with American Idol to really judge the accuracy of this list of the 20 Real Rules of Idol, but a few of them elicited chuckles and meshed with my impressions of the show.

I particularly like #11: Contestants should at all times exhibit deep religious beliefs but be careful not to name the religion that they feel deeply about, and the pairing of 18 & 19: In pre-interviews, it is important to emphasize that you are grounded, family-oriented and a down-to-earth wholesome young American and also, make it clear that your life will be ruined if you are not on the show.

It also entertains me that there are a whopping 6 comments, when I expected hundreds.


Concerning appointments

Obviously, there's no way I'm second-guessing my vote for Obama, but a couple of recent appointments are a little concerning. First, naming former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary is alarming because, put bluntly, ethanol is stupid! Using high-quality farmland to grow corn for fuel is both ethically dubious and essentially carbon neutral. Maybe it helps replace a little bit of Middle-Eastern oil, but for the amount of money it will involve, we could do a lot more.

Secondly, appointing the RIAA's attack dog as the #3 man at the Justice Department? worrisome: he went out of his way to recruit the RIAA as a very lucrative client: his law firm bills some partners' time at a princely $1,000 an hour.

(i also like this and http://drnealwinslow.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/riaa.gif)