Blog Archive

The In-Car Turntable Returns!

April 11th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Just the thing for a '58 DeSotoBack in the pre-casssette and 8-track 50s, Dodge and Chrysler (briefly) thought it was a good idea to offer a turntable option for their vehicles.  The in- and under-dash units could only place special 16 2/3 RPM discs available only through Chrysler dealers (there were only about 45 titles made) and the owner's manual advised against listening to music at any speed except dead stop.

Needless to stay, the record-player-in-my-car never took off.

However, the time might be right to revisit this technology.

More Music from the Inbox: 10 April 2012

April 10th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It wasn't that long ago that being on an isolated atoll in the Indian Ocean meant you were off the grid. Hell, you'd be happy just to have fire.  But now it's possible to collaborate with anyone, anywhere anytime.  

Witness this tag-team effort with this edition of music recommendations.  The music sought me out here in the East where I filtered through it.  Then it was sent back West for its final verdict from Juliette Jagger.
Artist: Midnight Magic, “Psycho For Your Love”
Album: What The Eyes Can’t See
Midnight Magic is exactly what it claims to be, and this song has a real seedy kind of funk to it.
Sounds like: Dark electric disco
Link/Listen/Watch here.

And the Biggest-Selling Album of All Time in the UK is…

April 10th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

...NOT from the Beatles.  Wow.

BBC2 recently ran a countdown featuring the forty best-selling albums of all time in Her Majesty's Realm.  The surprise for me was the poor Fab Four showing.  Only one proper Beatles album (Sgt. Pepper) and one compilation (the 1 collection) made the cut.

Then again, the list contains just one entry from Pink Floyd (Dark Side), one from U2 (Joshua Tree) and one from Oasis (Morning Glory, natch).  Even Michael Jackson managed just a single entry.

Coldplay placed two, albeit further down the list.  

So what is the biggest-selling album of all time in the UK?  Queen's Greatest Hits, Volume 1.  Volume 2 finished 10th.

Here's the full list.  There are some interesting names here.

New Potential Healing Powers of Music

April 9th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Rene tipped me off to this book that was published last year.  Here's a summary from NPR:

Science all but confirms that humans are hard-wired to respond to music. Studies also suggest that someday music may even help patients heal from Parkinson's disease or a stroke.

In The Power of Music, Elena Mannes explores how music affects different groups of people and how it could play a role in health care.

Mannes tracked the human relationship with music over the course of a life span. She tells NPR's Neal Conan that studies show that infants prefer "consonant intervals, the smooth-sounding ones that sound nice to our Western ears in a chord, as opposed to a jarring combination of notes."

Radio and the Sinking of the Titanic

April 9th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

From todays RAMP (Radio and Music Pros) newsletter, which comes from my friends Keith and Kevin.  (Subscribe here.)
It's a different kind of radio, but one that still touched and connected people -- the old wireless telegraph, which is being mentioned more recently with the centennial observance of the Titanic's sinking this coming weekend.
As the mighty ship went down, the wireless operator on board began sending out distress calls via Morse code, which were received more than 3,000 miles away -- well beyond what was thought capable at the time -- by Arthur "Artie" Moore, a young radio enthusiast in Wales listening to the messages on a radio that he actually had built himself.

A Drug That Only Causes Hearing Hallucinations

April 9th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It's called diisopropyltryptamine (DiPT).  For organic chemists, it's a part of the tryptamine family.  This is courtesy special medical correspondent Rupinder from a book called Hallucinations:  Research and Practice:

[DiPT] is a fascinating substance because, unlike most hallucinogens, its effect are predominantly auditory. It is also probably less sensitive than other hallucinogens to the mindset of the user, the setting in which it is ingested, and other psychological considerations, perhaps because the auditory system has become less salient to the human organism as we have evolved into a vision based species.

In general, auditory pitch is perceived as lower than normal, and harmonious sounds lose their resonance with one another. This dissonance is even perceived by people with perfect pitch, which has some implications about where in the processing stream DiPT’s effects occur. Voices are also altered and disharmonious with each other.

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