Rockin’ in the Free World * Radiohead – In Rainbows

October 7, 2007

Radiohead announces that they will release their new album, In Rainbows, exclusively as a DRM-free MP3 download from on October 10, 2007. Besides NOT distributing promotional copies, they are giving the consumer the ability to pay whatever they want for the downloads, including FREE.

This is a very interesting move on Radiohead’s part. The recording industry has long been struggling with reality of IF/WHY/HOW to update their business model. The book Wikinomics says “Smart companies are encouraging, rather than fighting, the heaving growth of massive online communities…” The record industry can still thrive, it just needs to adapt and modify its business model to embrace the social evolutionary embrace of technology.

There will be no advances, promotional copies, digital streams, media sites, etc. of RADIOHEAD’s In Rainbows.

Everyone in the world will be getting the music at the same time: Oct. 10. That includes us. We don’t have anything to play anyone in the nine days until the record is available. Everyone at nasty has put his or her order in and just to clarify: you are not being asked to pay for a promo (as some have inquired). you can pay nothing or as much or as little as you want.

There will be no promotional copies of the discbox either, as each discbox is being made to order. Sorry.


The Croquet Consortium * Putting “Experience” in eLearning

September 28, 2007

I found this video on e-Clippings and am intrigued to dig into the Croquet Consortium, which encompasses two things that I am very interested in following: multi-user virtual 3D applications and open source collaboration. Throw in touch screen and count me in. More and more the “E” in eLearning is beginning to stand for Experiential Learning, as it should be.

eLearning, as learning, is not just about combining mouse clicks and key strokes, it is about creating an immersive learning experience for the learner. This experience, whether it be mobile, animation, video, audio, 3D, 2D, static imagery or text only, needs to 100% engage the learner.

Croquet is a powerful open source software development environment for the creation and large-scale distributed deployment of multi-user virtual 3D applications and metaverses that are (1) persistent (2) deeply collaborative, (3) interconnected and (4) interoperable.

The New Velvet Underground * The Danielson Famile

August 14, 2007

Where do I begin…when a friend of mine first spun a Danielson record, Alpha, for me back in 1998, I was taken in the first two seconds of hearing the mixture of xylophone, drums, acoustic guitar, synth keys and falsetto voice with layered backing vocals. It was bizarre and somewhat dissonant. A few friends in the room found it offensive. I thought it was perfect. It was DIY art, folk, punk and catchy in a Frank Black (Pixies) meets the Mamas and the Papas kind of way.

from rolling stoneDaniel Smith originally started writing and recording songs with his brothers, sisters and friend for a senior thesis at Rutgers University, which has evolved to include international tours, a video documentary, seven full length albums, a handful of singles and his own line of clogs.

Why I love the Danielson Famile

The Danielson Famile combines well thought out visual art with conceptual music and they put onfrom austin chron stellar shows. I was lucky enough to catch them in DC and NYC.

Their live shows have been known to include two synchronous drummers, kid instruments, banjos, thumping synth organ, crazy-strummed guitar (as if Daniel is possessed), matching nurse uniforms with their names stitched on, wizard costumes and a nine-foot tall fruit tree. They have also been joined on stage with alumni art rockers Jad Fair and Sufjan Stevens, who use to be their tour mate.

Check out their video for “Did I Step On Your Trumpet”, which was done all in one take, high school play style. In a world full of quick cut editing, they take a “less is more” approach, step back and let you enjoy a well planned and executed performance. Thank you Danielson Famile for keeping the art alive! My challenge to you is to cover Pink Floyd’s album The Wall.

Mobile Content * Old Hat New Hat

July 27, 2007

With the iPhone buzz, rippling into business as usual mode, what I am stoked about is the idea of rich mobile connection. It just makes sense to have in-flight access to the world. Why be chained to a clunky monitor, flat or otherwise.

With the convergence of social (web 2.0) media and Apple’s lead on accessible mobile devices, we can live life, and stay connected with old and new important things in our lives. Maybe the MIT $100 laptop for every child, should actually be in the form of a mobile device. As speech recognition and touch screen technology evolves, we can finally get ride of the keyboard + mouse hardware band aids and stop hurting our posture unnecessarily.

What I am equally excited about is how mobile devices will continue to shape the design of content. With the optimization of sound, movement, size, color and emphasis, as always old ideas will be taking shape in new form. What we can expect is stunning and concise visual information.


The Flaming Lips * Telepathic Surgery

July 7, 2007

/// I want to give a shout out to a musical inspiration.

Why should we care about The Flaming Lips?

The Flaming LipsWeird and Hardworking

They are one of the hardest (weirdest) working bands in show business. These boys have been at this biz since the early eighties and have come along way from their working class upbringing in Oklahoma City to continuously deliver psychedelic rock music, which has been known to be quite groovy at times.

High Concept w/Lo-fi Spirit and Multimedia

They combine high concept with low-fi spirit and put on killer multimedia shows, which have been know to include puppets, fake big hands, balloons, video projections, and audience participation. They are a cultural extension of what the Beach Boys, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and others have initiated. Roger (Syd) Barrett would have been proud. If you don’t believe me check out the Fearless Freaks documentary.

Their musical adventures have included releasing a four-part disc album that required listening to each disc at the same time in four different CD players – Zaireeka, the album check it out. I saw them pull this gig off at the Black Cat in DC and it was spectacular.

Not ashamed of success

After making sounds since the early eighties and being introduced to MTV in the early nineties, they appeared on the hit TV series Beverly Hills 90210, as well as a recent on the TV series Charmed. Being familiar with Wayne C’s humor, I think it is just all part of the act. Either way, they continue to be as weird and accessible as they want all the way the bank.

Good show Wayne!!! Keep the strange sounds with profound lyrics coming.

Useless Wooden Toys * Sk8 or Die

May 26, 2007

A friend of mind forwarded this Nissan commercial (below), which incorporates a street skating sequence, that exemplifies the graceful craft of skateboarding by showcasing slow-motion tricks.

Being a former skater, this vid inspires me to grab (buy) a board and hit the streets, even though I was primarily a ramp skater. The grace of this sequence reminds me of one the all-time great skate inspirations Rodney Mullen (also – see video below), who took the craft to a whole new level. If you don’t believe me, play the vids at the same time. Rodney’s tricks are mad, mad crazy.

Cars & Skating

The almighty Rodney Mullen * Online Graphical Dictionary

May 2, 2007

A colleague forwarded visuwords for me to check out. It is a well executed flash-based web application, which visually displays meanings and associations with words and concepts.

visuwordsWhy I like it:

  • No instructions required
  • It is visually pleasing
  • It makes learning fun