Author Archives: Alan Cross

SFO’s Vinyl and Turntable Display

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Whenever I travel, I like to explore the airports through which my journey takes me.  Done right, they can tell you a lot about the city or country.  They can be fascinating public spaces.

I've been through San Francisco many times and I like the vibe of the place.  Terminal 2, home of American Airlines and Virgin America, has had a museum display called Revolutions Per Minute:  The Evolution of the Record.  

Among the vast array of artifacts on public view are:

  • A 1901 Berliner Gramophone in pristine condition
  • A portable 1958 RCA Victor 45 RPM turntable
  • An iconic modernist Elektrohome record player from the 1970s
  • A wireless (!!!) record player from 1941. (It had a built-in AM radio transmitter!)

If you're going to be at SFO between now and the end of March, it's worth a look.  Some pictures after the jump.

(Thanks to Pete for the tip.)

South Korea’s Godfather of Rock

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Unless you're from SE Asia, you probably have never heard of Shin Joong Hyun.  Born in 1938 and heavily influenced by the Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix, he was on track to become a seriously big star in his homeland until he got a call in 1972.

At the time, South Korea was ruled by a military junta.  Hoping to curry favour with the young people of the country, the government demanded that Shin write a song for leader Park Chung-Lee.  

Shin refused once, then twice.  Instead, he wrote a ten-minute psych track called "Beautiful Rivers and Mountains" (listen after the jump) which celebrated his country but didn't include any mention of the dictators running the place.  Gutsy move.

Not Paranoid Enough Yet? Try This: Going to Concerts Could Kill You

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

The adage says that there's safety in numbers.  But there can also be danger.

According to The Lancet, the British medical journal, the increasing number of large-scale events--sporting events, political rallies, state funerals, religious pilgrimages and, yes, music festivals--pose "substantial risk to global health security."

How?  Opportunity for the spread of infectious diseases. Violence. Terrorist attacks.  Accidents.

What Will This Mean for Music on YouTube?

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Quick:  name the most popular source for music on the web.  If you said anything other than YouTube, you are incorrect. More people go to YouTube than any other site when it comes to searching for music.  

When Google bought YouTube in 2006, critics said that by inheriting a myriad of copyright lawsuits, the video site threatened the overall health of Google.  But after making many lawyers very crazy (and others very rich), Google managed to hammer out a series of license agreements with the record labels.

Those agreements are almost up and Google has been in negotiation with at least three of the four major labels (I'm keeping EMI separate for now) to make sure users continue to access music through the site.

Ferrari Headphones?

January 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Are these supposed to help me listen faster or something?  From the press release: The Ferrari Cavallino Collection is influenced

I Still Like Lana Del Rey Despite What They’re Saying About SNL

January 15th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Well, it didn't take long for the knives come out, did it?  Then again, that's showbiz today.

Lana Del Rey, last night's special musical guest on Saturday Night Live--an unheard-of appearance, given that she's release a grand total of two songs and won't have a full album out until later this month--hasn't received very good reviews.  

A young, inexperienced singer thrust into the SNL spotlight?  What could possibly go wrong? I'll tell you what: instant negative judgement by the public and faster-than-light word-of-mouth.  

Even More Music (and Video) from the Inbox

January 15th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It's just too cold to go outside.  My dog goes outside just to bark at winter.  "Where's the grass?  I gotta do my business!" she shouts. I haven't the heart to tell her that it might be another ten weeks or so.  Poor thing.

She's been spending more time in the chair here in my office where the sun tends to shine through in the mornings and early afternoons.  I think that lulls her into thinking that there's still someplace soft and warm outside to pee.

We've also been listening to a lot of music together.  We pre-filter material and then send it off to Juliette Jagger for final analysis.  Here's what she returned today.

Celebrity Headphone Endorsements: Enough Already. Just Give Me Good Sound!

January 15th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Along with connected cars and smart TVs, celebrity headphone endorsements provided a lot of talk at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  

They've just added to the deluge of celebrity-branded 'phones that were already out there.  Let's just count them up, shall we?


The Wife Says: To Bee or Not to Bee

January 15th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Some people are greedy. They have a nice condo; they want a cottage. They get married; they have affairs.

Two year olds are like this. There’s no end to their demands. Tantrums in Walmart aisles, prone bodies arching, screams unmuted by stacks of wares made by children barely older than themselves in Third World sweatshops.

Most celebrities are like parentless children. Infinite wish lists, nonexistent patience. Greedily pillaging their way through life.

Note, I say celebrities are greedy. Actors, musicians, artists are another matter.

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