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First Time High (Of Chicago Acoustic Version) – Of Montreal

I am a big Of Montreal fan. But as I’ve written in the past, I wasn’t that into their last album.

But I just stumbled on this remix from the Jon Brion Remix EP. And it’s so good.


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Hey, Snow White – The New Pornographers

I’m enjoying the upcoming album “Dark Was The Night”. Its a compilation of various artists that I discovered by Colin Meloy (lead singer for the Decemberists) tweet. And today I’m posting another song from the record. I also have it on order. It’s wonderful.

I encourage you to buy this album. All proceeds go to raise awareness and support for AIDS & HIV.

New turntable brings back old memories

My new turntable arrived yesterday.

After the kids went to bed, I unpacked it and took a long look. Beautiful.

First thing I had to decide was where to put it. Our whole home AV system is a bit complicated and most of it is based on a network server + Sonos + Boxee.

I decided the turntable was going to live in a parallel universe and separate from the home audio system.

I had an extra receiver lying around and a set of Paradigm bookshelf speakers. So i put those plus the turntable in my home office. Unlike my complicated digital system (which requires weekly router reboots and firmware updates to the Sonos), the new setup took about 10 minutes to “configure”.

Then came the moment of truth. Time to put a record on.

Earlier that day I went over to Newbury Comics which is only a few blocks from my office at Spark. I picked up The Who’s “Quadrophenia” and Neil Young’s “Live at Massey Hall”.

I decided to put the Who record on first. Oh. My. God. So many old memories came back as I lifted the arm and watched it float down to the record. And then the music delivered as promised. The first song is “I am the Sea” which then leads to “The Real Me”.

Fucking brilliant.

Neil Young on vinyl was also an incredible trip down memory lane. Loved every minute of it. The experience playing vinyl records is something that i long forgotten. The sound and feel is simply amazing.

Now comes the fun part. I need more records!

I’m consuming new music like crazy as you probably know if you visit this blog. But for now I am only going to buy the “classic” stuff for the turntable. At least for the time being. (the one exception I made was for Ben Kweller’s new record, “Changing Horses” which I pre-ordered but have been listening to on my iphone for awhile).

I think the next record I’m going to buy is first album by The Police – “Outlandos d’Armour”.

What else should I get?

What can we learn from netbooks?

Netbooks are taking off.

They clearly address pent up demand and they are especially timely during this economic climate. They are simple, small and low cost. And as the New York Times points out they are breaking old business models. They easily connect to the internet and with most of our data in the cloud – well, you can see which way the wind is blowing.

Netbooks are just a start. I think the next family of products that will follow suit is the age old set top box.

The current state of the art set top box from your cable operator has multiple tuners, encoders to deal with analog broadcast, a hard disk, HD decoders and hardware based drm.

The next generation set top box will share many netbook attributes. Lower end CPU, drop the tuners, ethernet, small disk and HDMI. That’s it. They will be small, light and inexpensive. And just like your netbook comes ready with Firefox, your netbook STB will come with software like Boxee or something else to get you online quickly and easily.

I think the game console is the next target after that. Once games are all in the network we won’t be on this cycle of new game console. That will make life easier for developers (ever talk to early PS3 developers? the stories they tell. Oy). And it will be much easier for consumers.

Netbooks are teaching us a lot. Thats for sure.

That moment you realize you are in a room full of democrats

Last summer we moved to a different town outside of Boston.

Since then we are meeting lots of new people. Mostly through our kids but also getting to know the neighbors. And I joined an indoor soccer team.

Last night we went to a dinner party hosted by one of our neighbors. I didn’t know their political pusuasion and I wasn’t going to bring up politics.

But during dinner our host brought up politics. And it was clear he was a big Obama supporter and against many of the Bush policies of the past 8 years. And the other couple chimed in as well with a similar sentiment.

Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty of conservative friends. And I have friends that are way left of my politics.

But there is something nice about meeting relative strangers and happily discovering their politics. It’s more than just a breathing a sigh of a relief. It’s just a nice breath.

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(in direct contrast, I had the opposite situation last week on a train heading home from NYC. The train was packed. I was sitting in one of those Amtrak seats that was 2×2 facing each other. The two guys across from me were older, highly educated but avid supporters of Bush, Gitmo, bombing Iran, tax cuts for the rich and generally cynical about Obama. That was a tough 3 hours to take. Fortunately my Bose headphones did their job).

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