Archive for the “Music” Category

Too Much Spare Time presents a new Lemon Demon music video: Geeks in Love.


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Just when you thought the recording industry had sunk as low as they could in their “fight against piracy”, they do something even more asinine. This time they’ve taken down pearLyrics, a program that searches the internet for the lyrics of the song currently playing in iTunes and can then add the results to the lyrics ID3 tag in the music file. Somehow this violates copyright law? I’m with the Electronic Frontier Foundation—that argument has no legal leg to stand on.

I’ve been using pearLyrics for months now. I love it, and I will continue to use it. When will the recording industry learn that this sort of crap only makes people like me seriously pissed off at them and less likely to buy their wares.

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I have this spiffy new computer that is able to run Apple’s music creation app GarageBand, so on a random whim this weekend, I decided to fire it up and try my hand at music making. Of course my actual ability to play music myself is somewhat limited, and I don’t really have any good way of recording sound onto my computer right now, so I dived into the included music loop library and dragged and dropped until I had something that resembled a techno song. The result? Well, listen for yourself, and let me know what you think:

Download “Digital Phoenix (Unfinished Demo 1)” [4.28 MB]

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For a variety of reasons, iTunes has not handled classical music well enough for many individuals. This document provides a step-by-step guide to applying new features that can be used to make iTunes handle classical music more satisfactorily.

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Last year I decided to give the MUNY (the musical theater in Forrest Park) a shot, and I went to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s, figuring it would be good since the movie is so popular. Unfortunately, by the end of the first half, I wanted to kill all the characters. Holly Golightly was loathsomely conceited, and all the guys fawning over her incessantly were utterly pathetic. The only reason I didn’t leave at intermission was my pesky hope that there would be some redeeming value in the end. I was wrong.

When some of my friends from small group began making plans to go to the MUNY to see West Side Story this week, I decided to give the MUNY a second chance. After all, West Side Story first became famous as a stage musical. This time I was pleased. There were a few things that bugged me, such as how Tony and Maria fell madly in love from opposite ends of the stage in all of 2 seconds. However, this reworking of the Romeo & Juliet story was overall entertaining, emotional, and thought-provoking.

Here’s one provoked thought… In the course of the story, the Puerto-Rican gang girls break out in song about how great America is compared to Puerto Rico. My question is how to take this song. Is it a comical celebration of American affluence, or is it a satire on American materialism? In the context of the stage musical it seems to me to be more of the former. However, the movie version (as I discovered this evening) changes the context by having the Puerto-Rican gang leader interject cynical comments about institutionalized racism, which makes the rewritten movie version strongly satirical. It is also interesting to note that Five Iron Frenzy (one of my favorite bands, BTW) took the chorus of “America” and used it in their song “Beautiful America”, which is a scathing attack on American materialism:

The man on the television said I need to drink this, and sleep with that, in order to be cool. And you know that I would do anything, to be like that guy on TV. I know that if I had just the right outfit and hairstyle that could be me. Don’t you know you can’t be cool if you dress dumb, I need to have that ’cause everybody’s got one. I think I’ll start smoking, that would make me intellectual, that’s what I’ve always wanted to be. I need to lift weights, that would make me more sexual, and that would be good for me.

In America it’s wonderful,
all you have to do is fake it.
Own anything you want,
all you have to do is take it.
Live for today,
don’t think about tomorrow,
have a good time in America-Gomorrah.

What are you looking at, you better not make me mad. I’ll drive by your house and shoot your dog, and mom, and dad. I don’t need you or the Bible or anything to tell me what is the law. With a good enough lawyer I can do anything in Beautiful America.


I want to be in America
Okay for me in America
Everything’s free in America
For a small fee in America

(Lyrics by Dennis Culp & Stephen Sondheim; from the album Upbeats and Beatdowns)

What do you think? Does the original musical have a more positive view of wealth and the U.S. than the later movie version? Or did the movie just make more explicit that which was already in the musical? Or is it a little bit of both?

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