Category: "Music: General"

Logitech Ultimate Ears 600 Noise-Isolating Earphones

February 8th, 2011

These buds do not require battery power, which is nice. When you place them in your ears, things get quiet. The tips (which come in 5 different sizes) fit into your ear and block the outside noise, effectively isolating what you hear to what is piped in through the ear buds. I'm not an engineer, nor someone with the technical wherewithal to explain the science of it. If you need that information, I'm sure it is out there somewhere. What you can take away from me is that the sound-isolation works where you need it to work and they still provide a great listening experience.

The first important test for me was whether these would provide solace on an airplane. When I used these on the plane, they were great. I did not have to fight with background noise of scores of people clustered together. Thankfully my flights were devoid of screaming babies, but I can say that while these will help, they will not completely thwart the dreaded screaming baby on the plane.

My second test was at work. My work space is in a high-traffic area with a relatively constant parade of people past my door. Whether they walk by alone: with heavy footsteps, the swish of textured fabric on textured fabric as one thigh scrapes against the other in forward motion, or ruffling and rattling of things carried by; or walk by in pairs with constant chatter of only the most intellectually-stimulating and life-enriching topics, I can successfully block it all out.

These are good for the gym, too, especially if your gym pipes music in as mine does. I can block out what comes through the overhead speakers and the mechanical noises of the cardio equipment and listen to my own music uninterrupted.

I have tried these through a variety of artists and genres. I think the sound is easily as good and better than the standard-issue Apple ear buds that come with iPods, which I still have and enjoy. I just don't need them anymore since my Logitechs are better and do more. The good sound and the sound-isolation makes for a good effect of letting you immerse yourself in your music. I have been happy with how they have handled classical to rock to electronic to hip-hop. These have become my everyday-use headphones/ear buds. I have some sound-canceling headphones that I have reserved use for special sound-canceling occasions. These buds do not need to be for special occasions.

| Amazon |

Last.fm

February 13th, 2007

Last.fmLast.fm is my latest obsessive project. It is, on the surface, a run-of-the-mill steaming audio site. What it offers, however, is much more robust. The majority of sites that feature streaming audio allow you to choose and rate artists and songs that are played. The site which I would imagine has market share is Launch.com and rightfully so since they let users rate artist, song and album on a 6-point scale. Last.fm only uses essentially a 3-point scale. You may "love" a song, "ban" it or simply let it play through. If you let it play through it is added to your music profile and future songs are catered to you based on it and others. If you "love" it, the same thing applies, though you have an option to select a radio station comprised of those tracks alone. If you "ban" the song, it will, in theory, never be played for you again.

This is not as accurate as Launch.com. I know that is what you are grumbling about now. And it isn't, but where Last.fm differentiates itself is in "scrobbling."

What is Scrobbling?

Scrobbling a song means that when you listen to it, the name of the song is sent to Last.fm and added to your music profile.

Once you've signed up and downloaded Last.fm, you can scrobble songs you listen to on your computer or iPod automatically. Start scrobbling yourself, and see what artists you really listen to the most. Songs you listen to will also appear on your Last.fm profile page for others to see.

Millions of songs are scrobbled every day. This data helps Last.fm to organise and recommend music to people; we use it to create personalised radio stations, and a lot more besides.

You download -- what I have noticed to be relatively benign -- software from which you may play streaming audio or run passively while you listen to music from your hard drive. While the software runs, each song scrobbled contributes to your online profile for future recommendations.

What I like most about the service, however, is that you may make recommendations to other registered users. Hypothetically say that you and I are friends and I know a decent amount about your music tastes and I listen to something (either on the internet or from my computer) that I think you will like, I can click "recommend" and type in your username and you receive an invitation to listen to that song on my suggestion.

Neat, huh?

My profile, under the name privatjokr (big surprise there, right?) is located here. Let's be friends...

(Edit: To listen to the Loved Tracks Radio and make customized personal radio stations you have to subscribe which turns out to be $3.00/month, sorry.)

Life After Blink-182

September 22nd, 2006

Blink-182 was a punk-rock band formed in Southern California in the early 1990s. The band is best known as Mark Hoppus, Tom Delonge and Travis Barker, though Barker joined the band in 1998. In 2005 the band went on what they first described as an "indefinite hiatus," though it was later clarified that the band had broken up.

Tom has already moved on to a new band called Angels and Airwaves which has seen some success with their single "The Adventure," though the album, We Don't Need to Whisper, has been a relative flop. Mark and Travis were not ready to stop making music either and are preparing to launch their first album, When Your Heart Stops Beating, as their new band (+44), audibly as "Plus Forty-Four."

I cannot speak to the validity of the interview, but B182.com seems to have gotten through to Mark and gotten some answers to important questions about the past, the future, and Tom.

Hip-Hop Prediction

July 7th, 2006

The rap world has turned into too much of a business. With the record label pyramid scheme where each artist signs his buddies from the hood for one hit song that allows them to make $7 while there is windfall profit across the top, the emphasis is not on the hit record anymore, it's all on the hit single. What will sell for 15 minutes and then we'll move on to the next hood rat who has one good hook in him. That and as much as Atlanta stormed onto the scene it has bastardized the face of the game to the point where loud redundant beats play over a repetitive hook and there is no more flow. What is catchy sells. Not who has talent.

In that regard: Watch out for reggaeton. It is the next hip-hop phenomanon.

Upcoming Jurassic 5 album.

April 7th, 2006

I have good news. The six-piece hip-hop crew Jurassic 5 is slated to release its third album. The group, made up of rappers Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir and Mark 7even with DJs Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist, expects its new album to be in stores on June 27, 2006. It will feature tracks by producers like Scott Storch, DJ Nu-Mark & Salam Remi. Keep an eye out for the first single, "Work It Out" which features the Dave Matthew's Band.

Jurassic 5Fans have long enjoyed the two previous albums, Quality Control (2000) and Power in Numbers (2002), and have been waiting patiently for a new release. The new album is tentatively titled "Feedback."

Help me with my rap lyrics question.

February 15th, 2006

The album Duets: The Final Chapter was released on December 20, 2005. The tracks are a mixture of archived flow from Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie) and current day artists. The album is 100% collaboration. One track, "Nasty Girl", has Biggie saying "Fingers in your mouth, open up your blouse, pull your g-string down south, Owww."

Biggie died on March 9, 1997.

On December 4, 2001 Fat Joe released his album Jealous Ones Still Envy.

Fat Joe's album features a song called "We Thuggin'" with R.Kelly in which he says "Like no doubt, pokin doll out, pull ya g-string down south. Owww!"

So where did the "pull ya g-string down south" originate? I am not trying to insinuate a flaw in the conspiracy of Biggie's death. I don't really believe he is living on an island with Tupac somewhere. I am just saying that whatever tracks Biggie laid down were all prior to 1997 and when a song is released in 2001 with the same lyrics as an unreleased Biggie line something is fishy. Unless of course Biggie borrowed the lyric from someone else and the good people at Google are too bogged down with "Nasty Girl" lyric sites to help me out.

Can anyone shed some light on this for me, please?

Mike Doughty

May 6th, 2005

Mike DoughtyFor years (and a handful of albums) Mike Doughty was vocalist for the band Soul Coughing. The band split up in 2000, now Mike is working on his solo career.

Mike has now released two solo albums as his second (Haughty Melodic) was released this past Tuesday.

You can download and listen to a live version of the single "White Lexus" from MikeDoughty.com.