A Tribute to My iTunes: a Short Story

Photo by Craig Cloutier
A short story.

It’s Raining in Baltimore a little toward Sullivan Street. I guess it’s going to be a Long December Round Here. This happens Time and Time Again. I guess that makes me the Rain King.

So, I’m just going to put my Hand in My Pocket, smoke some Mary Jane, and hope to Wake Up later. Isn’t it Ironic?

Or, sadly, I’ll end up heading Back to Hell since there’s no way to Prevent this Tragedy. It’s the nature of The Poison.

Or better, maybe I’ll wake up in the Arms of a Woman I can call Sweet Pea. And tell All my Friends who will think I’m scraping the Bottom of the Barrel.

That will inevitably lead to a fight where I ask them to Take it Back. Then I’ll feel bad and tell them that Maybe You’re Right and head back to the Old Apartment. I’ll feel bad about my life and imagine what I’d do if I had $1,000,000. Bah, It’s All Been Done.

Later, after I feel bad for awhile, everything will be cool between my friends and I and we will Come Together. Dear Prudence! Oh well. Oh blah Di Oh blah Da, life goes on. I’m so Tired and my life is so Helter Skelter. Good Night, I’m a Loser! Turn on the Rock n’ Roll Music. It’s Still Rock n Roll to Me. I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party. This happens Eight Days a Week.

I could get a hooker. But nah… Can’t Buy me Love. Is there Another Girl? Help! Let it Be… Maybe she’ll Stay.

So I head to Pflugerville…. Rockin’ the Suburbs. I do the Best Imitation of Myself… and Uncle Walter… who is a creepy old guy, so I get nowhere. At least there’s Video.

But I found her! She was an LA Woman which was a Shock to the System. After spending some Mony, Mony and a yippy Rebel Yell, we decide on a White Wedding. Oh What a Night!

She’s Always a Woman… Especially after she gets a Captain Jack and Coke. Yum. She’s already ready to Say Goodbye to Hollywood. She claims a New York State of Mind, but I’m convincing her that Austin is better. It’s just Honesty.

Shit, now she’s talking about Allentown. Pennsylvania?! WTF! And Maybe Miami 2017?! Plan ahead much? She’s too much of an Uptown Girl.

Whatever. I was Born in the U.S.A. and it’s all the U.S.A. Certainly not the Glory Days in Darlington County, thank God. Who likes Jersey anyway?

Mmmm mmmm mmmm mmmm. This is what happens When I Go Out With Artists. We end up back In the Days of Caveman when God Shuffled His Feet. I Think I’ll Disappear now.

It’s Friday i’m in Love. I’m also High and sing a Lovesong. Why Can’t I Be Like You, bring you Close to Me In Between Days. Let’s Go to Bed. Just Say Yes.

Eek, I find out she’s a Woman Like a Man! Run!!!! Does this make her the Blower’s Daughter? Ick! Cheers Darlin’! I don’t want to ask you to Be My Husband. I don’t roll that way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! LA Woman, my ass…

So Morning Calls and I think of a Ghost of a Good Thing. There’s Several Ways to Die Trying.

I’m So Damn Lucky. This is woman #40. Six after #34. In case you can’t do basic math. Should I Stay or Leave? On to #41? It’s Out of My Hands. This is the Last Stop. I’m such a Pig she says drunkenly. Go ahead, woman… Crash Into Me. Talk to the Bartender. That’s not water. Don’t Drink the Water. It’s from the Louisiana Bayou where they make Alligator Pie with Big Eyed Fish, Captain…

Heh. Crack a Bottle, you’re drunk. I’ll get you home, babe. Especially with an A*s Like That. I’m So Bad. One shot 2 Shot. It’s Curtain’s Down. We’re Going Through Changes, Slim Shady. Space Bound!

It’s So Easy. Get on the Nighttrain, Mr. Brownstone. You’re Crazy, Sweet Child o’ Mine. Don’t Cry.

I’ve got 99 Problems, girl, and that’s as Real as it Gets. I can’t be Young Forever. I want to Run this Town, but I guess I’ll need an Encore. I’m So Ambitious.

On to the Next One.

The Official Unofficial SXSW Playlist

I know there’s probably only one of you that remembers back when I was doing custom playlists on request.

Those were the days. I should revive that game.

At any rate, a lot of geeks like myself are heading down to Austin next month for SXSW Interactive, possibly the Mecca of all web conferences. In the spirit of the event being in Austin (you never have to go far for great Texas blues with absolutely no cover charge) and in true social networking fashion, I asked people on Twitter today to name a single song that would be their theme song for SXSW. They could only choose one song. I’ve compiled this into a playlist for you.

  1. Simple Man – Lynryd Skynrd
  2. I Turn My Camera On – Spoon
  3. Parent’s Just Don’t Understand – Fresh Prince
  4. Party Up – DMX
  5. Guitars and Video Games – Sunny Day Real Estate
  6. I Feel it All – Feist
  7. You Won’t See Me – The Beatles

As a bonus, here are some tracks I would add:

  1. Video Killed the Radio Star – Amber Pacific/Punk Goes 80s
  2. Fake Tales of San Francisco – Arctic Monkeys
  3. Lights and Sounds – Yellowcard
  4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
  5. In God’s Country – U2
  6. Every Night’s Another Story – The Early November

What are your theme songs for SXSW? :-)

Yahoo! Live Jam Session

A couple days ago, Yahoo! released a new collaborative video service called Yahoo! Live. These kinds of things are getting fairly prolific and Yahoo has its standard disclaimer that this is experimental. And it is.

What makes this unique is that anyone with a webcam can participate in an ongoing video chat – and of course those who do not have a webcam or do not choose to use it can still listen in on other participants.

Last night, Eric Rice was hosting his own channel (we like the term channel over “chat”) doing Second Life and Google Earth stuff when something interesting happened and myself, and a bunch of other folks hijacked his channel and started jamming with guitars. I’m sure it’s not a first, but it felt like a first. Video and audio lag can kill good music.

At any rate, instead of hijacking Eric’s channel again, I’ve set up my own channel where we’ll occasionally do this kind of stuff. I’m planning on getting online tonight. HEre’s the video embed, however to get the full participation of those involved, you’ll want to visit the actual Yahoo! Live channel.


I found this via Facebook. One of my friends sent this to me and I laughed so hard I watched it 3 times in a row. See, if you’re a musician as I am, you know that music is just a bunch of patterns. It’s mathematical, really. So it’s not all that unusual for “progressions” to repeat or be duplicated between songs. It’s unintentional mostly, but thats the nature of patterns.

Apparently, everyone loves the Canon in D patterns. ;-)

Marc Orchant, a Hero to Many

All this week, since I heard about the massive coronary that my friend, Marc Orchant, suffered last Sunday morning, I’ve been following the progress reports that Oliver Starr has been posting for the entire blogosphere.

Unfortunately, the news tonight is not good. Marc has passed on from this earth leaving many of us on this earth grieving. Marc was a husband to one, a father to two, a friend and hero to many. He was a beautiful man, always looking to help anyone else he could in any way he could. Anyone who knew him would vouch for this.

On Twitter, his last message was to me – encouraging me, in a way that Marc seemed to always emulate. It does not matter why he was encouraging me. It was just his way. I will miss him.

Oliver noted Marc’s love of music on his blog. I can attest to this, and Marc and I shared a lot of discussion about a mutually favorite band – Dave Matthews Band. So while Oliver left a Grateful Dead song, I leave a Dave Matthews song:

Where Are You Going?
Where are you going, with your long face pulling down?
Don’t hide away, like an ocean
That you can’t see but you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down

I am no superman.
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, Aww that’s for sure
But I do know one thing:
Is where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Are you lookin’ for answers to questions under the stars?
Well if along the way you are growin weary, you can rest with me
Until a brighter day, you’re ok.

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero, aww that’s for sure.
But I do know one thing:
Where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be

Where are you going? Where do you go?
Where do you go? Where are you goin? Where do you go?

I am no superman.
I have no answers for you
I am no hero, awww thats for sure.
But I do know one thing:
is where you are is where I belong
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.

Where are you goin’? Where do you go?

Tell me where are you going?
Where? Let’s go.

If there is any doubt the impact that Marc has had on so many, I show you this screenshot of Techmeme where his death is the top thing being blogged about, commented on and discussed in the technology blogsphere. This does not even come close to reflecting the sentiments being expressed elsewhere. I have cried all night. I’ll continue to mourn longer.

Music Channel Launch

I’m about 3 days late on jumping on the music channel launch bandwagon at b5media. I’ve been late because we’ve been working behind the scenes on the launch and there has been a lot to do. In fact, we’ve had about two months since we first hired Mike Laba, the music channel editor and it has been head down, plow ahead since.

The process for this has been pretty intensive since there’s several parts of a new blog launch that the tech team is responsible for. We setup the domain, deploy our standard build of WordPress, have our designer create logos, setup the standard b5 theme, make sure everything is in FeedBurner properly, make sure channel blogrolls are functioning as they should, etc.

There’s a lot to do and I’ve personally been going crazy getting this thing out the door. For most of the past 10 days, I haven’t gotten to bed before 3am.

But the music channel is now here and doing awesome. These bloggers rock, plain and simple, and I’m loving the content – specifically loving Jam Band News and The Good Musician.

This is the first major expansion that we’ve made into a new vertical since the Business Channel was launched last year. Pretty intense. Thanks for the traffic!

Universal Music Goes the Wrong Way on iTunes Music

Odd that Universal Music is apparently thinking it can walk away from Apple and iTunes. You heard that right. Universal Music Group is talking about walking away from the third largest retailer of music in the world – online or brick and mortar. The Unofficial Apple Weblog has the story.

The story was originally floated by Drudge and apparently the Wall Street Journal is backing the rumor up – though the WSJ has the walled garden policy in effect, so I can’t confirm.

The really odd part about this is that the rest of the music industry seems to catch the vibe and finally coming around. EMI has released their entire music catalog as DRMless music in the iTunes Store and my thought was that was going to be the trend of the future. I still do, but I fear mob mentality from the other music companies.

Apparently, Universal seems to be on board with the DRMless music and has some history in the area of offering music for free.

This story is still developing.

With Apple/EMI, Music Can Now Move into the 21st Century

In a move that demonstrates questionable sanity on the part of Apple and EMI, the companies released joint statements on the day after April Fools Day. Indeed, several folks I’ve spoken to since then have admitted thinking the announcement about the entire EMI music catalog going DRM-less in iTunes was nothing but phony.

However, it’s not a joke and the move represents the single greatest moment in new media-old media relations in some time. Major music conglomerates led by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and film companies under the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have stonewalled against basic freedom of product consumption for years – and has been well documented.

In fact, as recently as February when Steve Jobs made a bold call for the RIAA to approve DRM-less music, the companies balked. Still, days after Steve Jobs’ keynote cracks began to appear in the RIAA armor and EMI finally decided to call Jobs’ bluff. Steve Fisher tells me that he thinks the record labels assumed that Jobs was politically posturing.

However, there is no posturing now and the deal is sealed. In May, consumers will be able to pay 30 cents more ($1.29) to purchase DRM-less music encoded at 256kbps as opposed to the standard 99 cent purchases with DRM and encoded at 128kbps.

If you have been blowing smoke about this thing simply looking to pick fights with the record labels, then stop. However, if this is something that is truly important to you – the right to purchase music and use it on whichever mobile device, computer, MP3 player or burned CD you want without limitations placed on usage – then when this becomes available in May, you should follow my lead and purchase plenty of DRM-less music.

This is not just a spending spree. This is a call to action as the other record labels will be watching the results of this action closely. If they see a surge in sales, guess what? It won’t just be the EMI catalog that is DRM-less. Less than 15% of all music on the internet is legal.

If the issue is freedom of choice, prove it with your wallet. If the issue is that you’re cheap, stop arguing that it’s a freedom of choice issue. For real, get real.