This is Not a Post about Michael Jackson

But it is about music.

One thing that technology has done to music is the decline of shared musical spaces. Years ago, it was habit for me to bring a boom box and a pile of tapes or CDs to the office & play music every day. Music was a shared experience — coworkers would bring in and trade CDs, vote some stuff on or off the playlist, even make office mix tapes. It wasn’t a paradise — especially when your co-workers had very different musical tastes — but it was more social.

Now, each of us sits at our desks plugged into our own private music streams. Nobody has to argue about whether or not [Band X] is good work music, or negotiate a preferred volume level — but also we’re more isolated from each other.

On the whole I’m not sure it’s a step in the right direction.

Friday Random 10: Blowing Off The Dust Edition

Blogging has been scarce around here lately. I’ve been busy, but it’s not just that — I’ve lost the habit of remembering to blog. I do have a shiny new iPod Nano that I’ve just loaded with a batch of music, so in honor of that, I might as well dig out an old meme: the Friday Random 10.

Superman — Five for Fighting
Time of Your Song — Matisyahu
Silent Legacy — Melissa Etheridge
Following — The Bangles
In Your Eyes (Live) — Peter Gabriel
Born To Run — Bruce Springsteen
Find A Way To My Heart — Phil Collins
Starry Eyed Surprise — Paul Oakenfold
Tikvah — Subliminal & the Shadow
No Woman No Cry (Live) — Bob Marley & The Wailers

The rules are simple: Randomize your iTunes and write down the first 10 songs in the playlist. Feel free to add your own 10 in the comments. 🙂

Another Extremely Cool Discovery: First Recorded Voice

Audio historians have found a set of French “phonautogram” recordings from 1860 that predate Thomas Edison’s recordings by more than 10 years.

On a digital copy of the recording provided to The New York Times, the anonymous vocalist, probably female, can be heard against a hissing, crackling background din. The voice, muffled but audible, sings, “Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit” in a lilting 11-note melody — a ghostly tune, drifting out of the sonic murk.

What’s even cooler, you can download the clip yourself and listen to it. The quality’s not great, but it’s clearly a woman singing. Very neat.

Things You Miss By Living Outside NY

Wow, this sounds like it’s going to be fantastic … unfortunately I’m on the wrong side of the country to really enjoy it:

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have been asked to open a major celebration of the life and career of Leonard Bernstein next fall.

The festival, sponsored by the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall, will open on Sept. 24 with Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony in an all-Bernstein concert at Carnegie Hall. The concert not only launches “Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds” but also kicks off Carnegie Hall’s 2008 season.

The gala concert will feature cellist Yo-Yo Ma and singers Dawn Upshaw and Thomas Hampson. The program will include the “Fancy Free” Suite, Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story,” as well as selections from “Mass,” “Songfest,” “A Quiet Place,” “Wonderful Town,” “On the Town” and “Candide.”

The two New York organizations are teaming up to honor Bernstein to commemorate the 90th anniversary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of his appointment as music director of the New York Philharmonic.


Paging All Podrunner Fans

If you haven’t heard the news, the Big Daddy of exercise podcasts, DJ Steve Boyett, has gotten a new sponsor. That’s great, but the downside is that his old, un-sponsored mixes are going offline.

So get over to his site or to the iTunes podcast directory before November 1 and download anything you haven’t already downloaded.

Friday Random Ten

Another week, another random mix.

1) Lohengrin Prelude – Wagner
2) Shape of My Heart – Backstreet Boys
3) Beat Box – Matisyahu
4) Blood Of Eden – Peter Gabriel
5) My Hometown – Bruce Springsteen
6) It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) – REM
7) Not A Day Goes By – Mandy Patinkin
8) Say It Isn’t So – Hall & Oates
9) Still Take You Home – Arctic Monkeys
10) my funny valentine – Sting

#2 is a little embarrassing. At least it’s the only song of theirs in my collection.