✌ Why I'm Not a Fan

I am not a fan. Does that make sense? I am not a fan of any specific bands, or superheroes, or movie franchises, or sports teams, or manga authors. It’s not that I don’t love music and movies, it’s just that it’s not in me to be a fan. Yeah,…

I was reminded of this great article by John Roderick yesterday. So here it is. Read it.

The organization is our protest song — Medium

A great essay/post/manifesto/call-to-arms from Jesse Von Doom of http://cashmusic.org/.

The artist’s perspective changes all of us, brings us together, and lets us see the world in new light. Art — music, writing, film, and beyond — is so much more than simple entertainment. We can’t continue to view it as something for mass market audiences alone. What’s best for business is not always best for culture.

So good. Looping (but not the annoying kind), wicked arrangements and some seriously talented musos. Oh, and FUN. Love it.

I got to hear the sound in the room, the way things were then. Your listeners who weren’t there then should know this: music then didn’t sound at all the way… The Velvet Underground were one of the loudest groups of 1967-68, as far as the volume they played at, and you wouldn’t hear them today. Every high school band that plays at a street fair is louder by far than the loudest bands were then. The equipment they have now wasn’t even invented then, and no one used it like that.

You would hear the sound of the amplifiers themselves in the room. People didn’t plug things into a PA system unless they were playing in a football stadium. So you heard the sound of these amps… The sound was colorful and distorted, and it broke up. People nowadays would say, “Turn up!” They wouldn’t even realize that the band was playing now. Just because volume has changed so dramatically. And it’s not just volume — that actually changes the sound. You heard all these tone colors, it was a very intimate thing.

You’ve got to know that to feel the way the music felt. it was not the way music sounds now. Your ears didn’t ring after every show.

The sound of the amp in the room — Wordyard

THIS! Maybe the most interesting thing about live music that nobody ever talks about. Except me, and some other people sometimes. But not often! Let’s play quietly! Shhh…

(Quote from Jonathan Richman about Velvet Underground via blah via blah (see link))

A video of Schulz drawing Charlie Brown.

I wish I could draw like that.

I never thought that I’d be discovered. I just thought I’d be somebody who was a hard worker. For me, things started to happen once I completely gave up the concept of being discovered. I discovered what I wanted to do. That would be my advice to young performers: don’t want to be famous. Want to be legendary. In many ways, fame is the industrial disease of creativity. It’s a sludgy byproduct of making things.

Mike Myers (via austinkleon)

Excellent.

How to Be Polite

Most people don’t notice I’m polite, which is sort of the point.

Brilliant.

IFTTT for the forgetful

IFTTT Recipe: Turn the volume up on my phone every morning connects date-time to android-device

I always forgot to switch my phone off silent in the morning, so I missed calls and texts. But now my life is changed! I can choose to ignore my phone, and I am truly alive.

Roderick, Scratch, Dice, Indie, Kirby and Eno

It’s early and I’m in somebody else’s house. We’re renting ours out on Airbnb for a few weeks while we crash or cat-sit in friends and families houses. Sometimes a change of mattress is all you need to become an unintentional early riser.

It’s rare that I get time to write, or to share the random stuff I come across online. So here I am with a cup of tea at 7am to write and share. In no particular order…

Roderick On The Line Ep. 117 “Put On The Carrot Hat”

I’ve listened to ROTL on and off since the beginning. When I’m not listening to it I don’t think I’ll enjoy it any more. When I start listening again I’m convinced I won’t enjoy it any more. Then about 20 minutes into the episode it becomes exactly what I want to be listening to: a funny, random, winding conversation about life, making stuff and getting old filled with obscure cold war trivia and unpopular opinions. John Roderick’s roundabout take on the difference between Books and books was a highlight (especially since we recently made a vinyl record (but not an Album).

ScratchJr

ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games.

I’m still not entirely convinced that all children are going to become fluent programmers or that it would be a good idea to try to make that happen, but in case Theo’s mind happens to work like that, I’m glad things like ScratchJr exist.

Non-transitive Dice

In this set of dice, green tends to beat red, red tends to beat yellow, yellow tends to beat blue, and blue tends to beat purple. So you might think green is the best dice and purple is the worst. But here’s the twist: purple beats green! There’s no best dice. Use them to win money or drinks or respect or whatever.

I know. What?! It’s very clever. I love a maths-based toy/trick/puzzle/game, and this one had me stumped until I watched the video and read the article.

The “Are They Indie?” Litmus Test

I think we can all agree that the word “indie” has kind of lost its meaning. I still find myself using it when people ask that very common and broad question of “what kind of music do you listen to?”, but as soon as I include “indie” in my answer, I realize that I really haven’t said anything.

It’s not just because Jeremy HI54LOFI always writes nice things about Bandcamp that I like his blog. He always seems to write exactly what we’re all thinking about online music, and it’s from the perspective of someone who actually likes music rather than a tech blog shouting about royalties and who bought whom. It’s worth a dig back through his blog if you have any interest at all in the DIY/indie/whatever end of music-making and fandom.

Kirby

Kirby is a file-based cms

I must have checked out a thousand ways to build a website without using something bloated like Wordpress, and this is yet another. I haven’t used it yet (and probably won’t because it’s PHP and I’m like totally a Ruby guy now), but it looks cool. (There are similar projects in Ruby too, like Nesta.) I like the idea of using text files and Markdown to build a site. It reminds me of wacky purist no-database projects like Kroc Kamen’s forum that uses RSS as storage, which I also like. In the end I built the Candy Says site by writing HTML, JavaScript and CSS in text files with no CMS at all! Not even a super-simple file-based gluten-free CMS! Imagine that! I have to copy and paste the navigation menu whenever I change it, but meh.

Gaza and the Loss of Civilization

None of the questions in this letter are rhetorical: I really don’t get it and I wish that I did.

I knew Brian Eno was a smart guy and a thoughtful writer, but this email exchange between Eno and his friend Peter Schwartz published on David Byrne’s site is one of the most informative, honest and moving pieces of writing I’ve read in ages. I had only most simplistic understanding of how the situation in Gaza had come about and why politicians and the media are dealing with it in the way they are, and now I feel like I understand it a little bit more. Highly recommended reading.

Op-Ed: Why Aren't More Metal Record Labels on Bandcamp?

Great post, and it applies equally to other genres. Now we just need four thousand more people to write versions of this article until it eventually gets picked up by one of the on-paper music industry mags, then all the majors will suddenly want to be on Bandcamp. Or buy it. Or shut it down.

An awesome Farfisa sighting, courtesy of Moni at Bandcamp. This time it’s a Farfisa Fast 2, which I had never heard before. Now I want one…

ihatemornings/chaching-checker

I threw together this script a couple of weeks ago and it has certainly earned its keep so far, saving me writing dozens of emails and lots of copypasting. I hope it’s useful to someone else too!

Let me know if you need any help setting it up – I’d be happy to help.

Dear god! How did I not know about this dictionary? How could you even call yourself a dictionary if all you give for “pathos” is “a quality that evokes pity or sadness”?

You’re probably using the wrong dictionary « the jsomers.net blog

Amazing. I’m going to start using a dictionary again. And not just any dictionary…

On Saturday I wrote a Ruby script to check my Gmail account to see if Bandcamp had sent any Cha-ching emails about people buying Not Kings, and email a download code for the bonus tracks to anyone that had.

It seems to be working, and every once in a while my new robot friend emails me to tell me what it’s up to.

I’ll post the script on GitHub when I get a chance. It’s pretty simple, but maybe useful for lots of different post-purchase follow-up tasks…

On Saturday I wrote a Ruby script to check my Gmail account to see if Bandcamp had sent any Cha-ching emails about people buying Not Kings, and email a download code for the bonus tracks to anyone that had.

It seems to be working, and every once in a while my new robot friend emails me to tell me what it’s up to.

I’ll post the script on GitHub when I get a chance. It’s pretty simple, but maybe useful for lots of different post-purchase follow-up tasks…