Fascinating

It’s amazing what offering a service people actually want can lead to, isn’t it? Perhaps the music industry should take a different tack towards allofmp3.com. Particularly when 3 days’ downtime doubles their traffic for fear of the site being shut down. I’ve only just overcome my fear of giving a semi-legit Russian web site my credit card details, but the results have been fantastic. As long as I don’t start seeing lots of weird transactions on my card then this is the service for me….

Jefferson Airplane Live at Monterey Pop

It paved the way for Woodstock, the Isle of Wight and Altamont. It was arranged by the Mamas and Papas. It was nowhere as slick as the ones that followed, and the sound quality of any of the recordings you can get your hands on is appalling (this one is no different), but… The Monterey Pop Festival is an iconic moment from the sixties…

… and Jefferson Airplane at the Monterey Pop Festival is an iconic performance. They’re just making their way from the Acid Tests where they played support to the likes of the Grateful Dead (the Prankster’s house band). The line up is (relatively) stable. They’ve just hit the charts. They’re migrating from the early folk-rock/psych-pop of Takes Off and Surrealistic Pillow to the darker After Bathing at Baxter’s. The world is watching. And they rock. They really rock. The Ballad of You, Me and Pooneii is worth the price of the CD alone. Ignore the sound quality (you stop noticing after the first couple of tracks) and revel in a band truly at the height of its powers, doing something it loves (playing live), knowing that everyone (and I mean everyone) is watching. This is a landmark. Buy it.

web 2.0 circlejerk

This pains me on a number of levels. Firstly, I am adding myself to the hideously self referential nonsense by posting this link and secondly, I am working on three projects that most definitely come under the category of “web 2.0” at the moment, so I’ve got a reasonable amount invested in all this. Anyway…

Currently #4 on digg is this piece of poorly written unfinished tripe. I mean please. If you’re going to blog at least plan out what you’re going to write, write about something you know and don’t publish if you get bored half way through. And… if you’re posting it to digg for God’s sake read it all first. Some ciritical faculties are implied by the use of digg, surely?

This sums up my feelings about the current state of play so succinctly. Stop it. All of you. Now, where’s my Teach yourself Javascript in 21 days gone?

vinyl media storage device

This looks really cool (USB record player) The reason no-one except the most dedicated transfers their vinyl to mp3 is time and this claims (claims) to have the answer, with a “high speed vinyl-recording function”. What the flutter would be like at high speed on a belt drive turntable remains to be seen of course, but it’s a fine idea… It is worth noting though that you can get a secondhand SL1210 for about the same price off ebay…

They really never stop

Only a few days ago I posted about how Amazon have continued to innovate over the last 10 years, and then *bang* here’s another truly innovative (and useful) service for developers… Amazon Simple Queue Service. Following on from S3, Turk and plain old access the entire inventory this is yet another powerful play at the platform level. Between Amazon and Google there’s getting to be very little space left already. If you’ve got the money and the will you’d best get going now – it’s now or never by the looks of it.

My 2.0pence

I’ve been struggling for a while with the fact that no one outside my close group of very Internet savvy friends has heard of Flickr, del.icio.us, Technorati, digg or any of the other web 2.0 “revolutionaries”. I heard Josh Schachter speak at Carson’s “Future of Web apps” and he referred to his lead users as The Priesthood. I’m honestly starting to wonder whether there is even anyone in the choir, let alone the congregation.

While mulling this over in the shower I remembered my post a few weeks ago about writely. It seems that all of us are susceptible to hype (even, gasp, me). I mean really. Is writely Microsoft’s pearl harbour? No. Is it even a shot across the bows? No. Does it signify that the world might change in a few years? Yes, but we knew that anyway.

Monoman points us to a very interesting set of articles about web 2.0 – the first of which (the investor) sums it up perfectly for me. 25,000 beta users means you got a good review on Techcrunch. It doesn’t mean you’re going to change the world.

Don’t get me wrong. There is space out there for some fantastic applications, but then there always has been. Doug and I wrote the first online supermarket in the UK for J Sainsbury’s back when it was absolutely bleeding edge to connect a web server to a database. Web 2.0 might be bleeding edge now, but it don’t mean the particular application will make it. Ours didn’t (Tesco beat the shit out of us) and by today’s standards we were built on solid foundations – first mover into an easily identifiable market with the backing of one of the largest brands in that sector and some very strong tech. It’s worth remembering that Flickr isn’t even Yahoo!’s largest photo sharing service, let alone the largest.

Just my 2.0 pence worth…

Searching for the Young Soul Rebels by Dexys Midnight Runners

So. More reviews of albums that you wouldn’t expect to listen to, rather than of books. Parenthood and self employment has killed my reading habit, while as previously noted self employment has driven my music consumption through the roof. I’ve owned Searching for the Young Soul Rebels for a few years now, but it’s only recently that I’ve realised exactly how good the album is.

Punk-soul crossover doesn’t sound like a musical style that will work, but… Starting with a radio being tuned away from “Smoke on The Water” and then moving into the shouted intro, horns and hammond organ that sum up the album we go from the blisteringly angry opener (“Burn It Down”) through a scorching cover of a Northern Soul classic (“Seven Days is Too Long”) to delightful catchy pop (“Geno”). With a whole host of amazingly original numbers in between this album is a superb blend of an anorak love of Northern Soul and a real anger only possible in the first years of Thatcher’s government.

Twisted, fucked up, weirdly dressed, and misfit it may be, but it’s also uplifting, poetic, angry and brassy. Over the last few weeks I’ve come to love this album. This is soul, ladies and gentleman. And for �7 it’s a bargain.