Thursday, November 30, 2006

ShuffleLog 27-Nov-06: Tryptophan

The first post-Thanksgiving holiday ShuffleLog is a lot less bloated than I was. Nice boy-girl-boy arrangement of first-time tracks v. repeats.

ShuffleLog 27-Nov-06
  1. Jurassic 5, "Canto De Ossanha" - Feedback
  2. The Streets, "Empty Cans" - A Grand Don't Come For Free
  3. The Streets, "Irony Of It All" - Original Pirate Material
  4. Bloc Party, "Banquet" - Silent Alarm
  5. Danny Howells, "Honeyroot" - 24:7 (Disk 1)
That's 3 for the Streets "Empty Cans", keeping the rash of trifectas going.

Oh, and I just remembered that I forgot one other purge that occurred a few ShuffleLogs back: I nuked the Arctic Monkeys as well. Just didn't get this record, don't think much of it aside from the one track that got a lot of radio play in "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor". Somehow, this record climbed to the top of the British charts and broke first week sales records. I'm underwhelmed.

But then again, I don't get The Strokes or White Stripes either, so I may not exactly be the right demographic for the single biggest UK first week seller in history.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ShuffleLog 22-Nov-06: Early Leftovers

Holy crow, will you look at all of that red? I haven't seen that much since Showdown at House of Blue Leaves.

ShuffleLog 22-Nov-06
  1. Nouvelle Vague, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Perfecto Chills Vol. 3 (Disk 2)
  2. The Beastie Boys, "Sabrosa" - The Sounds of Science (Disk 1)
  3. paul hughes, "Lost" - Don’t Look Now (Disk 2)
  4. Deep Dish, "In Love With A Friend" - Perfecto Chills Vol. 3 (Disk 2)
  5. AIR, "Another Day" - Talkie Walkie
  6. Morcheeba, "The Music That We Never Hear" - Big Calm
  7. Deaf Center, "Walk" - Don't Look Now (Disk 2)
  8. Gnarls Barkley, "Necromancer" - St. Elsewhere
Trifectas are getting more commonplace around here: that's 3 for Deaf Center's "Walk" and Nouvelle Vague's remix of "Love Will Tear Us Apart".

Now I'm kinda longing for the repeat clean sweep. It's almost as unattainable as a David Bowie track popping up (I assure you that there's one in there).

ShuffleLog 21-Nov-06: Road Test

OK, so now that I'm shilling for Bose, thought I'd update you on these nifty little earbuds. Last night, I took 'em out for a spin. And while I confess that I was cheating a bit -- I was wearing an Oakland A's (traitors!) knit hat on my run because it was so friggin' cold, pulled low over my ears, and it may have helped keep the Bose earbuds more firmly in my ears.

That said, the sound quality on the run was amazing, but not so isolating that I couldn't perceive the taxis creeping up on me in the Park. I've played around with the different sized silicon tips, and settled on the S size for both ears at this point. Seem the most comfortable and stable while running or commuting.

My only observation is that the rubber coating the cords from the earbuds to the iPod is especially tactile. I don't get the sound transference Sandy does with his Shures, but the cords do tend to "grab" onto clothing, the strap of my bag, other people, etc. on my commute. Luckily, I haven't had the traumatizing yank of the earbuds out of my ears when they get tangled on a fellow commuter trying to catch their connection...yet.

ShuffleLog 21-Nov-06
  1. The Beastie Boys, "Hey Fuck You" - To The 5 Boroughs
  2. Tenacious D, "Dio" - Tenacious D
  3. Way Out West, "Apollo" - Don't Look Now (Disk 1)
  4. Gorillaz, "O Green World" - Demon Days
  5. Jurassic 5, "Baby Please" - Feedback
  6. Massive Attack, "Safe From Harm (Perfecto Mix)" - Perfecto Chills Vol. 3 (Disk 1)
Funny, because when I was listening to this ShuffleLog, I was almost convinced it was the home run of solid repeats...until I got to the new J5 track. The mind plays tricks.

That's also a triple (what's with the baseball analogies?) for the Perfecto Mix of Massive Attack's "Safe From Harm". I'm still on the lookout for our next quad.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

ShuffleLog 20-Nov-06: And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Using the ill-gotten gains acquired at a craps table at Caesar's last week, I decided that the crappy iPod earbuds needed replacing. My chief complaints about the stock earbuds are the common ones: 1) they fit like shit, and fall out of my apparently odd-shaped ears when walking, jostling on the subway, or jogging; and 2) they don't do jack for noise isolation, and therefore have to be cranked up just to be heard on the subway, probably causing damage to my ears, and definitely causing damage to the earbuds. The resulting crackle in the earbuds just exacerbates the problem.

In what is probably the first (and likely not the last, if I ever need to learn English or get my GED while studying for my MBA) example of subway advertising working on me, I decided to check out the new Bose TriPort in-ear headphones. I'd seen the new ads on the subway, so since I was in the market for new earbuds (and not, say, a solution to hammertoe), I wanted to check them out. Previously, at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue, I'd been told the Shure E2C earbuds were da bomb. But the Bose earbuds were the same price at the Bose store on Columbus Circle, and I trust Bose's sound quality.

Having used these for a couple of days now, I'm pretty impressed. They provide the amazing, rich sound that Boze products are known for. As the guys at the Apple Store and Bose shop told me, the iPod earbuds suck at replicating deep tones like bass. They compensate with volume, resulting in blown earbuds, eardrums, and crackling bass. The Bose earbuds pick up and deliver bass tones incredibly well, and the overall clarity pulls subtle sounds out of the songs that you never knew existed.

The TriPort earbuds also come with 3 different sized silicon tips that you can interchange for the perfect fit in your ear. This serves three purposes: 1) it provides a more snug, stable fit; and 2) it channels the sound directly into your ear, isolating outside noise, requiring less volume and resultant ear damage. A bonus is that you can't hear any music as an outsider standing right next to me. As anyone who's ridden an elevator with some moron blasting their iPod knows, starting your day listening to vaguely loud static from the guy next to you sucks. Problem solved.

I haven't yet nailed the fit of these earbuds just right. The three sizes -- creatively S, M and L -- allow you to interchange one ear at a time. I think the S works best for my right ear, and I haven't decided on my left ear just yet, since all three feel like they wiggle loose after a while. Ironically, when I would run, I felt like I was constantly jamming the right earbud into my right ear. That's not the case here.

I'll update you on the fit after I take these for a first test run (pun intended). OK, enough product placement (Bose, still waiting on that check, thanks!), on to ShuffleLog.

ShuffleLog 20-Nov-06
  1. Pixies, "Hey" - Doolittle
  2. Stereolab, "Vocal Declosion" - Margerine Eclipse
  3. The Lovemakers, "Prepare For The Fight (Dummies Club Mix Edit)" - Times of Romance
  4. Anjo, "Sunrise" - GU003: Prague (Disk 2)
  5. AIR, "Le Voyage de Penelope" - Moon Safari
  6. Danny Howells, "Price" - 24:7 (Disk 1)
Hey, we almost made it without a repeat. And what a repeat it was: second repeat of a remix. That's so meta. Fitting send-off for their fellow East Bay melody makers. Even as the A's abandon them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Point-Counterpoint: Excuses v. Assholes

OK, so now that I'm all, like, caught up and shit, it's time for a deep breath before we soldier on.

So, what's been happening in the intervening 10 days since the last ShuffleLog? Oh, tons.

First of all, I've been toting my iPod around plenty. It's just that I recently acquired some new music, and dammit, I wanted to listen to it. As a result, I've done a little bit of shuffling around (pun intended), and we're now up to 636 tracks on the lil' sucker. Not statistically significant, mind you, although it is a 2.3% increase in the number of tracks.

So, who's in?
  1. As I'd mentioned a little while back, I added Kasabian's new release Empire, along with The Shout Out Louds.
  2. On a business trip to Amarillo, of all places, I picked up Jurassic 5's new record, Feedback.
  3. A recent visit to Tower Records (soon to be R.I.P., sniff!) enabled me to take advantage of 30%-40% off CDs and movies. Part of the haul included a new Streets record, The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living, and Outkast's Idlewild.
OK, so who's out?

Ah, Oakland Faders, we hardly knew ye. But they popped off 20 tracks over their stay in the ShuffleLog 200, 16 of them unique, a full 40% of Fader Nation Vol. 1. But, alas, they took up too much space with 40 tracks, and frankly the short track length made for a jarring ShuffleLog experience. But a great record to listen to, top-to-bottom.

All of the new additions need to grow on me. Kasabian's Empire doesn't stand out like their eponymous debut did, and in just a couple of listens it sounds a little flat. I need to give it a few more tries.

The Jurassic 5 record -- their first in 4 years -- starts off with two strong tracks, "Back 4 You" and "Radio". And while it features (grrr...) The Dave Fucking Matthews Band, "Work It Out" is pretty catchy. There are a couple of throwaway tracks in between, but I've only listened to it twice.

Idlewild is another opus from Outkast, and shows promise with their signature blend of styles. It's also long, so the chances of me getting through the record on the subway or on a run are slim. Perhaps on the flight to -- fittingly! -- Atlanta for Christmas.

I was really looking forward to the new Streets record. It's pretty good, but lacks the continuity of storytelling that the first two, Original Pirate Material and A Grand Don't Come For Free, have. I also haven't found a Mike Skinner signature heart-rending track like "Dry Your Eyes", but I'll keep listening if you keep reading.

ShuffleLog 2-Nov-06: Let's Do The Timewarp Again!

Hey, I've invented time travel. Either that, or I'm really just lazy.

Yep, lazy it is. So, here's a blast from the past.

ShuffleLog 2-Nov-06

  1. Foo Fighters, "Everlong" - The Colour and the Shape
  2. The Streets, "Same Old Thing" - Original Pirate Material
  3. The Lovemakers, "Prepare For The Fight (Josh Harris' Prepare for the Club Mix)" - Prepare For The Fight - Single
  4. Oakland Faders, "Track 35" - Fader Nation Vol. 1
  5. Imogen Heap, "Just For Now" - Perfecto Chills Vol. 3 (Disk 2)
  6. The Streets, "Empty Cans" - A Grand Don't Come For Free
  7. U2 v. WOW, "Vertigo" - SixxMixx
So, um, yeah. It's been over 10 days since I've actually done a ShuffleLog. Sadly, I'm all caught up.

But the same patterns hold true, n'est-ce pas? I knew I'd jinx myself just thinking about how long it had been since an Oakland Faders track appeared, in effect conjuring them up out of the ether. If this holds, I need to hit the track. No, the real one.

And speaking of the track, we've hit the "Prepare For The Fight" trifecta: all three versions of this song have graced the storied halls of ShuffleLog. Not bad, it only took 237 tracks. And by the way, that trifecta is 1.3% of all ShuffleLog tracks.

Scrolling through my iPod, I realized that there's still a ton of stuff on there that hasn't even come close to playing. Casual analysis does show a certain "clumpiness" to ShuffleLog faves like The Oakland Faders and CYHSY, meaning that tracks from these artists tend to clump together by date, then take a breather before re-appearing.

A chart would be super here, but Excel isn't cooperating very well with the raw data (esp. if the same artist appears on the same day). I may screw around with this more to see if I can make it more visually appealing. Because Lord knows the actual raw data has tremendous, you know, appeal.

Friday, November 10, 2006

ShuffleLog 1-Nov-06: Back From The Dead

Aiiight, homies, no excuses. Halloween, business travel, drained battery, dogs seeming to think they get Guest Rewards points for visiting the vet...none of that should get in the way of progress.

We've got a lot of catching up to do.

ShuffleLog 1-Nov-06
  1. The Arcade Fire, "Crown of Love" - Funeral
  2. Danny Howells, "The Black Dog & Black Sifichi" - 24:7 (Disk 1)
  3. Massive Attack, "Safe From Harm (Perfecto Mix)" - Perfecto Chills Vol. 3 (Disk 1)
  4. Arctic Monkeys, "Perhaps Vampire's A Bit Strong But..." - Whatever People Think I Am That Is What I Am Not
I can't even recall what made this one so short, but I suspect it was sweet timing on the commute. And it's funny, because I do recall that when I was listening to this, that these weren't repeats at all. So goes the mind, yanno?