Amoeblog

MAC's 100 Years Of Flexi / Cardboard / Oddity Records

Posted by Billyjam, December 9, 2013 09:40am | Post a Comment



















"You had me at that 1922 Oakland Chamber of Commerce  record!" - I told the curator MAC upon first glancing the above historic record oddity - a free phonograph record issued by the East Bay City's Chamber of Commerce back in the 1920's to encourage residents from nearby San Francisco as well as other faraway locations to relocate to Oakland, CA "where California's promise is Fulfilled." This rare record was one of approximately 200 equally engaging and odd discs on exhibit during the recent WFMU Record Fair in New York City. 

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Jack White's Third Man Record Booth

Posted by Billyjam, April 27, 2013 09:09am | Post a Comment
      

Jack White, via the above video, recently unveiled his cool Third Man Record Booth project which is, as he points out, "the only working vinyl recording booth open to the public in the world." That's a pretty amazing fact considering that at one time in relatively recent history these wonderful machines were commonplace. In terms of restoring and accurately reconstructing this newly operable machine based on the original model (a 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine) Jack White and company did an excellent job. "Wow! As a collector of personal records I have seen pictures of these kinds of recording booths and kiosks which were omnipresent in arcades, amusement parks, department stores and lots of other locations," said my buddy/fellow WFMU DJ Michael Cumella (aka MAC), who lauded Jack White with praise for doing such an accurate job. "It looks pretty authentic. Down to the mailing envelopes available after recording for easy posting. It really is a cool part of our popular history and getting one of these machines into working condition is truly fabulous to see." Fittingly it was exactly one week ago on Saturday, April 20th (aka Record Store Day 2013) that Jack White chose to unveil his new toy for the public to come in and check it out in person at the Third Man Novelties Lounge in Nashville, TN. Jack White and Neil Young are among those established recording stars who have already recorded in the little booth. You can too if you make it to Nashville. For more information visit Third Man Records' website

New York State of Mind Amoeblog # 26: Rap Quotes, Mary Lou's Lost Cat, Prohibition Music, Midtown Escape, Leonard Cohen +

Posted by Billyjam, April 3, 2013 12:24pm | Post a Comment

Welcome to another installment in the weekly New York State of Mind Amoeblog in which I run down such things as Leonard Cohen taking Manhattan and other concerts and events around the five boroughs in the week ahead, including a free Saturday afternoon performance in Flushing, Queens by The Toomai String Quartet. I also report on Macy's exquisite South Asian themed floral garden (photos left, above, and below), which offers the perfect meditative escape for those who need a breather in busy midtown Manhattan. Also offered is a look at a hip-hop fanatic's cool homage to New York City-themed raps, plus the (futile?) search by ever-hopeful homeless New Yorker Mary Lou for her lost cat Simon.

What is most striking about the ongoing The Painted Garden: Macy's Flower Show, which effectively captures the landscapes of southeast Asia with lush displays of tropical flora and is on exhibit in a long wide tent set up in Herald Square (6th Ave & 34th Street) outside its flagship store, is how peaceful and meditative it is...provided you arrive early in the day (it opens at 10am) before the crowds arrive and get inside this greenhouse filled with gorgeous lush floral displays with Southeast Asian motifs, soothing water fountains, and a hypnotic soundtrack of traditional Indian flute music playing on the overhead speakers. Even though you are in hectic midtown Manhattan, you can forget that while inside this lovely space. I stopped by the other day when the wait to get in was only a few minutes and the cost: free. Note however that the flower show runs everyday from 10am to 9pm through Sunday, April 7th in Broadway Plaza, Herald Square outside Macy's.

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MACWORLD EXPO REPORT BY CAPTAIN FRED

Posted by Billyjam, January 19, 2009 03:43pm | Post a Comment
macworld 2009
This year's Macworld Expo, every Mac-head’s favorite trade show, was unfortunately a bit of a downer. Steve Jobs was too sick to give his traditional keynote address. There were no really groundbreaking products to announce (iLife 09-yawn), and an overall tone of austerity. 

Most of the exhibitors were not giving away any free stuff, and the ones that did have free stuff seemed kind of cheap. There were a few cool booths at the show.  Probably the The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus was the most impressive.  A fully loaded Greyhound type bus with digital audio and video studios built into it. They visit about 200 high schools a year and teach kids how to produce a CD or DVD. Check out their website.

I saw a huge amount of iPhone and iPod related stuff: little jackets and wallets for the gadgets, speakers to amplify the tiny amount of sound coming from these devices. There are about 10,000 “apps” for the iPhone and iPod Touch now; an amazing selection of software. One of them turns your iPod into a whoopy cushion. Yipee! Truphone (marketed as "a free application that lets you make international mobile calls from your own phone over the internet at incredibly low rates") has a free app that turns your iPod Touch into a VoIP phone when you’re near a wi-fi network. 

Myvu has little video eyeglasses that display the video from your iPod -- probably not a good idea to use these when you’re walking or driving around. A company called Solio makes compact solar power devices that can charge up your unit on the go. The one company doing something really different for Mac users was Axiotron. They turn your Macbook into a tablet computer with a touch screen. Of course, it’s very expensive.  The Macbook is about $1400 and then another $1400 to convert it into a “modbook.” Ouch! One piece of software I have loaded onto my Mac is Wiretap Anywhere. Basically it takes the audio from any source coming into your computer and makes it available to your audio recording software. Grab the audio off YouTube or MySpace or some internet radio station...whatever! Supposedly, PC users have had this capability for a while, but now it’s here for us Mac users.

So, all in all, it was a day well spent at Macworld. Supposedly, Apple, Inc. will not participate in the Expo anymore. That seems kind of sad. Hopefully, it’s just a ploy for them to control the event more to their liking. In any case, there are more Mac users every day, as people get tired of Microsoft and their lame products, so to those of you who just bought your first Mac, I say, “Welcome!”                          

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Robot Love: When Love and Sex with Robots is Commonplace

Posted by Billyjam, January 14, 2008 11:00am | Post a Comment
terminator
In the weeks leading up to the debut last night (Jan 13th) of the new Fox TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles much of its national outdoor advertising campaign (bus-stop and billboard posters) featured the poster (shown left) of the show's attractive actress Summer Glau who plays the half-woman/half-robot terminator unit Cameron Phillips sent to protect John Connor -- Sarah's son.

No doubt this image of a sexy woman who is really a robot will fuel discussion or at least fantasies (especially with lusty hetero males) on the popular, recurring Sci-Fi theme of the possibility of humans having relationships with human-like robots.

But really, just how likely is a time when humans will have sexual or loving relationships with lifelike female, male, or transgender robots? Well, according to David Levy, an expert in robots and artificial intelligence, a time when humans will routinely be having sex with robots is actually only about forty years into the future.

Levy is the author of Robots Unlimited, published in 2005, and more recently the provocative book Love + Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, which was just published by Harper Collins. He asserts that such technological advances are just around the corner and that they will be not considered weird but, he believes, generally be very warmly accepted.

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