In Brief: Holy Crap, It’s an Effective Music Search Engine

New music search engine “Just Hear It” purports to be able to find “any song in the world.” Not only can it find the song, it can play the song for free, make playlists, etc., all within a stunning interface. Check it out.

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International

So I’m in Hong Kong right now on holiday with my family…surprise!  I’ll be back on the 27th and will have new posts shortly thereafter.  I’m taking lots of pictures that I’ll post here and on my Flickr page, and I picked up Oasis’ new album (with plans to get more:  CDs are cheaper here than they are in the US).

See y’all soon!

An Alternative to iTunes? Songbird 1.0 Review

GetSongbird.com.  Will this program replace iTunes?

GetSongbird.com. Will this program replace iTunes?

Apple’s iTunes is one of the most popular media library management applications currently on the market.  It’s available for free, comes pre-installed on all Apple computers, supports all of the most popular audio and video formats, and is the most compatible application with the iPod.

But a tall tree attracts a lot of wind.  Just as Mozilla decided to take on the task of toppling Internet Explorer’s dominance of the web browser world (after a few other companies tried), a new start-up is trying to take on iTunes.  And wouldn’t you know it:  their software is based upon the same code as Mozilla’s Firefox.  Continue reading

Big Brother is Watching…

you!  On the CTA!  Creeper blog “R.O.C.K. on the C.T.A.” collects pictures of funny, odd, and attractive people on Chicago trains and buses.  It’s a little bit creepy, but browsing through the site is oddly interesting and very often funny.

Many thanks go to Gapers Block, a blog that posted a link to “R.O.C.K.” on their Twitter feed.

Morning Coffee at K1-430

Starbucks this is not.

Starbucks this is not.

In the basement of Northwestern University’s Kresge Hall, tucked away between foreign language classrooms and pottery workshops lies what seems like an afterthought of a space.  Too big to be a storage closet; too small a space in which to hold a class, this room sits, likely overlooked on any other day.

Wide windows dominate one wall, allowing the morning light, softened by the haze of winter’s overcast, to wash over the room.  Hung upon the remaining four walls are paintings, sketches, scribbled poems, leaves from around campus.  Chairs scattered around the perimeter of the room are occupied by students, working, talking, laughing.

Those who didn’t arrive in time to grab a seat spread out happily on the floor.  A table set off to the side hosts a man vigorously working at his computer.  And in the back corner of this room, this unusual room lit by the sun, heated by those in it, a folding table.  On the table:  a plug-in water heater, a French press, and a plastic tray of store-bought cookies.

I was told that I could acquire a cup of coffee at this establishment, cryptically named “K1-430.”  “It’ll be a couple of minutes before the next batch is ready, but you can pay now if you want,” the man, the de facto barista, said to me.  I handed him a bow:  one of those twisted deals that’s meant to sit atop a birthday gift.  Appropriately, it’s Northwestern purple.  “Go ahead and have a seat, the coffee will be up in a couple of minutes.”  “All right, great, thanks,” I reply excessively, on the way to an open seat, a yellow chair the seventies would love to have back, placed right next to the door.

When the coffee is ready, I return to the “counter,” to be greeted by a cup too big for an espresso shot, but too small for much else.  Then again, I’ve always thought a Starbucks “tall” was too much coffee.   The coffee is thick and rich, with a few flakes of ground beans floating around the rim.  For some reason, this cup of coffee was particularly satisfying; it needed no cream or sugar:  no bitter aftertaste from which to hide.

As I sat in that chair, enjoying my coffee, others came and went, paying for their cup with whatever they had to offer.  Some gave leaves, some brought poetry, others demonstrated yoga poses.  And everybody received a tiny, ground laden cup of nonetheless delicious coffee.

This strange café was brought to you by a group of students taking Installation Art class at Northwestern and ran from November 21st until today, December 2nd, excluding Thanksgiving break.  This is all too short, if you asked me.  After all, why would you go to Starbucks for a $3 or more cup of mediocre brew when you could go to the basement of Kresge and trade a yoga pose you so happen to know for a cup brewed with love?  Love.

And all it costs is whatever you have to offer.

I’m Coming Back

Let’s face it:  I’m pretty uncommitted to this blog.

But I’m coming back.  I’m also opening up the format of this blog from Music to General Crap in the hopes that I publish things more frequently in the future. This is a result of my signing up for a Tumblr account today, subsequently realizing that it’s a simplified version of WordPress*** (which I’m using to run this blog), and finally deciding to start posting on Markfive again rather than start anew.

Anyway, here’s a linkdump!

More to come.

***P.S.:  I’m NOT knocking Tumblr.  I think it’s a great idea.  It’s just not for me.  ‘Kay?

Vests and Cardigans; Therefore Music?

Urban Outfitters, the clothing and, for some reason, furniture, dealer of choice for all the coolest kids is releasing a twenty-one-song mix on their blog.  Oh yeah, I guess they have a blog as well.

Download the free mix here.

Source:  Too much free time before school starts.