Amoeblog

ONLY 8 YEARS OLD, THE iPOD HAS CHANGED HOW WE VIEW MUSIC

Posted by Billyjam, November 10, 2009 11:05am | Post a Comment
The Apple iPod turns the big 8 today. On the morning of November 10th, 2001, Apple first began selling its original version of the iPod MP3 music player. Pictured left, that original iPod sold for $399 + tax, and was marketed as an "Ultra-Portable MP3 Music Player" that "puts 1,000 Songs in Your Pocket."

Up to that point there had been many types/brands of MP3 players around (I knew a lot of folks who favored using their MiniDiscs as MP3 players) but no company had streamlined and made an MP3 player as user friendly as Apple did with the iPod. In 2001 it came with a 5GB hard drive, coupled with the first scrolling wheel and interface on an MP3 player.

Of course, in retrospect, compared to the variety of models of iPods and other MP3 players available to us today, this prototype iPod seems both bulky and pricey in contrast. Such is the way in this fast paced, ever-changing digital age. But what is most significant about the iPod is that in eight short years, it has not only changed the fortunes of the company that manufactures it (just as Apple's next big hit, the iPhone -- almost at 45 million in unit sales -- has similarly done), but it also has altered how the world listens to and consumes music.

Immediately before its commercial release back in late 2001, the iPod was being billed as the coming "Next Generation Player" and boy, that could not have been closer to the truth, since it literally signaled the generation of music consumers to come. The iPod was largely instrumental in changing everything to do with music; from listening to it, to buying or acquiring it, to selling, sharing, & storing music, etc, from that point on. In fact, in the music business that date, November 10th, 2001, could well be considered the watershed moment that divides two eras: BiP/AiP (Before iPod and After iPod).

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Happy 40th birthday Sesame Street!

Posted by Whitmore, November 10, 2009 10:40am | Post a Comment
sesame street
There have been 4212 episodes.
 
The letter E has been featured 150 times.
 
There are 6 steps on the stoop at 123 Sesame Street.
 
There are an estimated 100,000 different Sesame Street products sold world wide.
 
There are 368 bottle caps are in Bert’s collection.
 
Over 440 celebrities have appeared on the show.
 
Jim Henson Company has built over 5000 puppets for the show.
 
Big Bird is 8 ft 2 in. tall; he’s been played since episode 1 by Caroll Spinney, age 75; he also does Oscar. The costume is made up of nearly 6,000 feathers.
 
Big Bird is perpetually 6 years old. 
 
The original 7 characters: Big Bird, Oscar, Kermit, Grover, Bert, Ernie and Cookie Monster. 
 
Elmo is years old. He’s been on the show for 25 years.
 
2 days before its premiere, a 30-minute preview entitled This Way to Sesame Street was shown on NBC. The show was financed by a $50,000 grant from Xerox.
 
For its debut Sesame Street reached only 67.6% of the nation, but earned a 3.3 Nielsen rating, or 1.9 million households.
 
By 1979, 9 million American children under the age of 6 were watching Sesame Street daily. 4 out of 5 children had watched it over a 6-week period, and 90% of children from low-income inner-city homes regularly viewed the show.
 
There are 20 international independent versions and is broadcast in over 140 countries.
 
Sesame Street has won 122 Emmy awards, the most ever for 1 show. 
 
All the Muppets have 4 fingers, except Cookie Monster, who has 5.
 
Sesame Street has 2 stars on Hollywood blvd 1 for Jim Henson, 1 for Big Bird.
 
“Rubber Duckie,” sung by the Muppet character Ernie (voiced by Jim Henson), reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1970.
 
4 First Ladies have appeared on Sesame Street: Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
 
Today’s anniversary show will feature H, the 8th letter of the alphabet, and the number 40.




Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 9, 2009 09:18am | Post a Comment

When Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance originally came out in 1983, I was not aware of all the Chicano bands that were popping up all over my back yard. Sure, I knew about the groups that came out in the seventies such as Tierra, El Chicano and Malo because oldies radio had been playing them for years. The only thing that I listened to at the time that was similar to The Eastside Renaissance was Los Lobos’ now classic …And A Time To Dance. Although groundbreaking in many ways, Los Lobos’ music was rooted in Traditional Mexican music and Americana. It was the kind of music that could be easily digested by the readers of Rolling Stone as being adventurous. However, to a fifteen-year getting into punk…not so much.

A few years later, thanks to the Alex Cox’ underground classic film Repo Man, a whole new world was opened to me. The soundtrack to Repo Man contained punk groups I dug at the time such as Fear, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies and The Circle Jerks, not to mention Iggy Pop performing the theme song. However it was The Plugz on the soundtrack that really knocked me out. It was Punk En Español and it had a sound all of its own. The songs “El Clavo En La Cruz” and their Spanish version of "Secret Agent Man (Hombre Secreto)" made it in every mix tape that I made during those years. Most of my friends that were into punk rock at the time didn’t get my fascination with The Plugz. They could never understand how excited I was that there was this band that were Mexicanos that sang in both Spanish and English.

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November 8, 2009

Posted by phil blankenship, November 8, 2009 11:41pm | Post a Comment



Horror, The Universal Language 3: Identity in Seconds (1966) & Face of Another (1966)

Posted by Charles Reece, November 8, 2009 10:15pm | Post a Comment
 seconds poster   face of another poster

Thinking? At last I have discovered it -- thought; this alone is inseparable from me. I am, I exist -- that is certain. But for how long? For as long as I am thinking. For it could be that were I totally to cease from thinking, I should totally cease to exist. -- René Descartes' res cogitans from "Second Meditation" of Meditations on First Philosophy

In hindsight, who could've been more perfect to play the bought face in John Frankenheimer's Seconds than the most infamous of closeted actors, Rock Hudson? Irrespective of his own intrinsic make-up, Rock's bread-and-butter came from being sold as the perfect masculine physiognomy to wannabe-Doris Day housewives everywhere. As such, this film might be considered the actor's ontological biography. Here he plays the new body bought by an aging businessman who's tired of his family and life. Along with the new body comes a new social identity, that of an artist. Sounds pretty good, right? Unfortunately, Rock can't forget who he was/is, and when he discovers that the community he now lives in is a group of commodified identities like himself, the horror is manifested. He's the Cartesian cogito lost in a world of pure doubt, where everything is mere appearance and nothing is real, but (here's the clincher) he still has his memories. Not being able to forget the past keeps him from being able to commit to the manufactured fantasy. Consider the way such a realization can screw up sex:

This 'imagined part' becomes visible in an unpleasant experience known to most of us: in the middle of the most intense sexual act, it is possible for us all of a sudden to 'disconnect' -- all of a sudden, a question can emerge: 'What am I doing here, sweating and repeating these stupid gestures?'; pleasure can shift into disgust or into a strange feeling of distance. The key point is that, in this violent upheaval, nothing changed in reality: what caused the shift was merely the change in the other's position with regard to our phantasmic frame. -- Slavoj Žižek, "Love Thy Neighbor? No, Thanks!"

Hiroshi Teshigahara's Face of Another is even more explicit in the horror that comes when a grounding fantasy is realized as such. In a spin on Plato's invisible man fable, Mr. Okuyama (Tatsuya Nakadai) is given a realistic mask after having his face melted in a chemical explosion. The mask is modeled on another man's face, behaves like a regular face, but can be removed. The doctor who invented the mask warns Okuyama that its continued use might distance him from his self, diminishing the sense of moral responsibility (just like invisibility). His "true" face remains hidden under bandages until he applies the new one. The real misery begins when Okuyama tests his wife's fidelity to that old adage of loving one for what's on the inside. As you might expect, grotesque disfigurement wasn't doing much for his sex life, particularly given his constant depressing whine. His wife tries to be supportive, but he's not having it. Instead, he puts on the mask and seduces her as "another man." When he confronts her, she claims to have known it was him all along. But even if she's telling the truth, does it make his realization any less horrific? It suggests (going with Žižek) that she's always been making love to a fantasy based on appearances (his old face was a mask, too), rather than the internal qualities he believes to constitute his core being. He feels (quite rightly, it seems) reduced to another's "phantasmic frame." Clearly, something needs to be violently repressed; what or who will it be? To misquote Sartre, hell is intersubjectivity.

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