Year: 2005

GTDTiddlyWiki

I’m cursed with being both obsessive compulsive and dangerously apathetic, so I’m drawn to things like personal organizers, but never actually use them, even though I, of all people, should. The truth is that none of them really appealed to me; writing on paper is so bulky and difficult to edit, and because so much of my life is spent online, I really should use some kind of software. But most programs I’ve found have way too many features and/or cost money and/or take up too much memory to be able to run all the time, which would be necessary if I’m ever going to pay attention to the details of my life.

I played around with a simple html to do list that I kept as my home page, but literally for months I would just ignore it on my way to AllMusic or wherever. It was too inflexible.

Then wikis were created, and they seemed to be the ideal platform for personal organization. Unfortunately I lacked the knowledge it would require to implement wiki architecture in that way. But finally somebody’s done this for me with GTDTiddlyWiki. This is nothing more than a modified version of TiddlyWiki, but I use it because it looks nicer. It’s a little hard to understand how to use it initially, but it’s quickly become clear that it’s both flexible and light enough for my purposes. It resides as a single html file on your hard drive, your thumb drive, or wherever, and runs on CSS and JavaScript. It’s really beautiful.

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bag 2.0 (part 1)

Well, since I don’t usually have much to write about anyway, why don’t I chronicle the making of my new messenger bag?

bag 1.0This is my current bag. I sewed it with a needle and thread by hand in the summer of 2003. I don’t know how many dozens of hours it took me to make. I used duck cloth from Jo-Ann Fabrics that ended up being too light (you can almost ball the whole thing up into your hand), there are massive fraying problems, it’s not quite big enough, the snaps on the left pocket are virtually useless (half of one is missing), and the shoulder strap is too long (meaning when I ride my bike with it the bag keeps getting caught on my ass). It’s served me well for two years, but last year I decided it was time for a new one, which I’m just now beginning.

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GEMM

GEMMGEMM is an online music store I came across somehow. They specialize in rare music, or at the very least they boast that they can get it for you. I’m assuming they just have a list of sources they can scan with a search, which looks pretty thorough. Destroyer’s Thief was going for $75 the other day on vinyl. Sheesh. But I haven’t seen it anywhere else. Makes me wonder how valuable my vinyl City of Daughters is. Eight bucks at Reckless Records. Still to find: vinyl copies of Streethawk, Reveille, and Finally We Are No One. Them’s some hard finds.

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75 Minutes

75 MinutesSome folks from indietorrents have started a 75-minute, Sundaily podcast called 75 Minutes. Having spent a lot of time lately on the elitist, invite-only torrent community, I can tell you these people know their shit. The show is DJed by two live humans who introduce and outroduce each set with plenty of information about the showcased bands, and aggressively invite listener feedback. If you want to hear a broad and informed overview of what’s happening in indie music this week, listen to this show.

The show is offered in both mp3 and aac formats, the latter of which now supports chapter divisions, album art, and hyperlinks with iTunes 4.9.

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The New last.fm

Audioscrobbler has now been subsumed by its cousin last.fm. Aside from the bold new colors, there are a lot of additional features that are really easy to get sucked into. Each user is provided a blog, whose posts appear on that user’s profile page and can contain links to artists, albums, or tracks that are relevant to the post. Arists, albums, and tracks can all be tagged with keywords such as “noise” or “indie pop,” and these tags can then be tuned into using the last.fm player. The player has seen a redesign too; rather than being controlled with a web interface and streamed as an .m3u, a stand-alone program is required. This isn’t going over well, but I much prefer it; it’s cleaner, less buggy, and contains a few nice features such as a channel history to see what you’ve listened to previously. And maybe most importantly, charts are updating almost daily now.

There are many other small improvements that I’m not mentioning, but basically I think the whole site is just way, way better. The new interface takes some getting used to, and there are some obvious improvements that could be made and that I’m sure will. If you haven’t signed up yet, you should. I’m looking forward to their further integration with MusicBrainz.

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Streethawk: A Seduction lyrics

"Streethawk: A Seduction" coverAn illegal copy of Destroyer’s Streethawk: A Seduction has occupied slot 3 of my car’s 6-disc changer going on seven months now. In that time it has probably become my most listened-to album ever. Because the album compels me to sing, and because Dan Bejar’s voice isn’t always so intelligible, I was looking forward to the lyric sheet I expected to come with the real copy I ordered from Merge a few weeks ago. And because his lyrics are sometimes a little embarrassing, I was also worried that I might end up wishing I had never learned them.

The liner notes lacked lyrics entirely, but fortunately someone answered my desperate plea on the Merge forum. Also fortunate: rather than sucking, they’re pretty awesome.

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