March 29th, 2011 at 2:58 pm (Random Stuff)

Visit the Official Atlas Shrugged Movie Web Site!


Coolest Music Video

December 17th, 2010 at 1:50 pm (Notable Artists, Notable Music, Random Stuff)



December 1st, 2010 at 4:47 pm (Random Stuff)

I’ve been absent from blogging for a while, the worst consequence being that my goofy “Bed Intruder Song” cover sat at the top of the page for a month.  I feel a rant coming on, though, so the hiatus is soon to end.


My Cover Of The Bed Intruder Song

October 13th, 2010 at 12:02 am (Random Stuff)

So I finally set up a camera and recorded my little cover of the famous Bed Intruder Song.  Apologies for the spotty singing and often wandering glances.  My YouTube debut!


Katy Perry Too Racy For Sesame Street

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:14 am (Random Stuff)

This reworked version of Hot ‘n Cold is pretty hilarious.  Makes me miss Sesame Street.  The producers decided not to air this segment after bad reactions from parents following its YouTube release.  I agree with the decision: that dress is way too skanky for Sesame Street.  The official statement:

“Sesame Street has a long history of working with celebrities across all genres, including athletes, actors, musicians and artists.  Sesame Street has always been written on two levels, for the child and adult.  We use parodies and celebrity segments to interest adults in the show because we know that a child learns best when co-viewing with a parent or care-giver.  We also value our viewer’s opinions and particularly those of parents.  In light of the feedback we’ve received on the Katy Perry music video which was released on You Tube only, we have decided we will not air the segment on the television broadcast of Sesame Street, which is aimed at preschoolers.  Katy Perry fans will still be able to view the video on You Tube.”


Success Stories and the “Quarter Life Crisis”

September 5th, 2010 at 11:49 pm (Dan Griping About "The Modern World", Random Stuff)

Want to give a shout out to my friend Sean for earning a major promotion at the very large and significant company at which he’s employed as an engineer (hint: it’s the largest technology company in the world by revenue) and for thus averting the so-called quarter life crisis that I hear plagues our generation.  Though I understand a successful career is not necessarily enough to avoid this 20-something affliction — there was some discussion last night about Jack’s cousin who, at age 30 with a very successful career in law in the nation’s capital, nonetheless felt something of the crisis, with doubts about what she was doing with her life.  And an author on the subject, recently interviewed on Your Time With Kim Iverson, recounted how it hit him quite suddenly at age 29 — in the form of a panic attack at a routine business meeting.  In other words, this thing isn’t just for the 20-somethings who moved back home.  Not to take any steam out of Sean’s announcement — quite the opposite: I see it as encouraging evidence that our generation isn’t totally messed up.  That is, congrats dude.

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Burst of Creativity

August 29th, 2010 at 8:09 pm (Random Stuff, Songwriting)

Had a nice burst of creative energy yesterday on some songs I’ve been writing.  Was released early from a 12:00 rehearsal for “13” (a Broadway in Boulder musical I’m working on) and went home in a really focused musical and lyrical mood.  Man I love those bursts, but they’re so precious rare — it seems everything from the preceding weeks of creative work (and deadlock) to exactly how much sleep I got the night before, how much coffee I drank and when, what other music I was exposed to that day, etc. all have to come together in just the right way.  I swear I felt like had I got 15 minutes more or less sleep, it wouldn’t have happened.


Antoine and the Culture of These Internets

August 22nd, 2010 at 11:14 pm (Dan Griping About "The Modern World", Random Stuff)

Not surprisingly, I’ve entirely missed the recent internet sensation Antoine — the “hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife” dude — because I don’t know how to surf the internet.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I suggest you watch, in order, these YouTube videos:

Thanks to Jenny’s blog for bringing me up to speed, and for reblogging this bit of very astute commentary on the viral event.  The video he refers to is a YouTube of a full University marching band performing an arrangement of this song, which has unfortunately been removed from YouTube, apparently for copyright reasons:

Upon seeing [the marching band] clip this morning it struck me that humanity is in the process of moving in unfathomably directions. A couple of weeks ago Antoine Dodson wasinterviewed by a local TV station in Hunstville, Alabama regarding a man breaking into his sister’s house and attempting to rape her. The footage of Antoine’s interview was cut up and set to music by a group in New York. The song created by that group has now been arranged and performed by a university marching band in North Carolina.

In late June there was an article in The Observer which discussed the impact that the internet might have on the world. The journalist made note that the internet had been “mainstream” for around 17 years now, and made the analogy that 17 years from the invention of the printing press in 1455 people would still have had little idea about the scale to which is was to transform civilization. It is obvious to state that nowadays distance is completely irrelevant to the spread of information and this is something completely unique in human history. However, how this information is being utilised is becoming increasingly unpredictable. A university marching band in North Carolina is playing a song that began its existence as the attempted rape of a woman in Alabama. The transformation is absurd, and viewed from its starting point it’s something that nobody could have anticipated. Yet it exists, and its existence is evidence of some significant (and exciting!) changes that are occurring in human interaction.


And that transformation — from local news story to worldwide YouTube sensation to marching band cover — apparently happened in a matter of weeks.  Finally, if you’re still curious, click here for an interview with Antoine himself; he apparently acquired a manager in the course of all this, and his own action figure:

I’d like to just point out, as we wax philosophic about the neoteric power of the internet, that this whole bit with Antoine began its life with the necessary help of a more traditional source — the local television morning news and the expensive and difficult work of real in-the-field news gathering, an enterprise with a struggling business plan whose function has not been replaced by the internet.  The internet is great at spreading news and content — in sometimes unexpected ways — but not at funding the work of going out and finding it.  Just sayin’


August 1st, 2010 at 10:17 pm (Random Stuff)

I’ve more or less kept this thing going for a month.  Maybe it’ll stick?

But seriously, I’ve got the next “Making of City Dreams” post almost ready to go!  And then we’re going to get on a regular posting schedule for the series.  For realz.


Privacy On These Internets

July 31st, 2010 at 9:04 pm (Dan Griping About "The Modern World", Random Stuff)

I’ve been noticing a lot more targeted advertising in my web browsing these days, and have been wondering what to make of it.  It’s a little disorienting to be shown ads about small-diaphragm condensor microphones whilst reading an msn article about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.  And we’re talking about very specific microphone models I have been researching.  Then today, the Wall Street Journal runs a big story about “spying on consumers” for the purpose of creating targeted advertising.  The Journal conducted its own study on the nation’s 50 most visited websites, and found that they each installed, on average, “64 pieces of tracking information.”  These would be “cookies” and “beacons” that are downloaded to your computer, giving the computer a coded indentity that is then used to track the websites you visit, perhaps even analysing keystrokes, to compile a profile of your consumer tastes and then sold to advertisers.  The article portrays it all in a pretty dark light.  Says that Congress is investigating privacy concerns, considering a law, blah, blah, blah.  The companies that collect this information defend themselves by saying that they are providing consumers with useful information and advertising targeted to their tastes.

You know what, I’m inclined to agree.  I am regularly shown ads with tasty pictures and special offers for Domino’s Pizza — big brother internet having learned somehow that I like a good pizza — and I have to say, that’s far more useful to me than ads for Botox or Victoria’s Secret.  Repeated ads for the Neumann Km 184 just remind me how much I want that mic, and thus serve a useful purpose for me, unlike, say, an ad for a Rolex on the second page of the print edition of the Wall Street Journal (I have no inerest in buying a Rolex).

The fear surrounding this targeted advertising would seem to spring from an expectation that what we do on the internet is private.  Which brings me to a personal philosophy regarding the internet: it just ain’t that private.  Using the internet means exchanging data with servers in distant, unknown places, and that means you have limited control over that information and who sees it.  I assume on principle that everything that goes up on facebook, or any other supposedly protected social networking site, is fully public.  It’s amazing how much more comfortable you feel with the internet when you adopt this philosophy — and how much more careful you are about actually keeping private the information you want kept private.  I would like to presume, of course, some security and privacy when using a credit card on the internet, but I nonetheless pay for several million dollars worth of identity theft insurance.

Such is the brave new world of the internet.  On a related note, it was for a moment disconcerting when I stumbled upon a home video on YouTube of a middle school music concert I once accompanied.  Sure enough, there I am at the piano.  I guess home videos aren’t kept at home anymore.  Look folks, I like print newspapers and the radio, but I’m willing to adopt the internet with its many benfits while acknowledging and accepting its more uncomfortable aspects.  I’ve always felt a heightened desire to do my best when my piano playing is being recorded, because “you never know” who will end up hearing that recording.  I suppose that now includes the possibility of it going viral on YouTube.

And by the way, dear internet: at the moment, I think I prefer Papa John’s over Domino’s.  Could you maybe hook me up with some Papa John’s coupons next time I’m on facebook?


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