Sunday, September 10, 2006

You'd Better Listen to the Radio

WRUW's fall schedule starts today. Having been absent from the station all summer, I'm very excited to have a show again. I'm also excited for this semester's time slot: Music Is My Boyfriend has been scheduled for 12-2pm Monday afternoons.

You could be old-fashioned and listen to my show on the radio at 91.1FM [Cleveland]. Or for those of you not in Cleveland, webstreaming is available at WRUW's website. Shows are also archived for one week after airing, and can be downloaded here [56k link].

The first show tomorrow should be interesting. After being gone all summer, there's such a new music build-up that I get a bit anxious and end up with a huge hodge-podge. Of course, my show isn't usually all that cohesive anyways.

In other WRUW-related news, Studio-A-Rama will be this Saturday, September 16th. The annual free concert is held outside on Case's Mather Memorial Courtyard. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy music from local Cleveland bands and this year's special headliner, Matt Pond PA. Festivities start at 2pm and go until 11pm. More details and a full concert line-up here. The concert will also be broadcast live on WRUW.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Blog Polygamy

There are an impressive number of free blog services popping up all over the place, it seems. While reading a recent CuteOverload post, I discovered one of the latest services: Vox, today. The invitation only service is the latest from Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type, Typepad, and LiveJournal.

Based on Typepad's great reputation, I decided to snag one of the 1,000 invites offered through CuteOverload. I've been pretty happy with Blogger as a whole, but I thought I would give Vox a once over. No need to tie myself down to one particular service. After looking around Vox a bit, I have mixed feelings. It has some really great features: wide variety of templates/site layouts, a friends network, public and private posting, tags--and most importantly--image, audio, and video hosting. I would love to be able to host mp3s sometimes. And more easily posting pictures would be delightful [I've had to fight with blogger's image hosting many times].

But the service doesn't appear to offer any way to personalize your page. You have to use their templates, and there is no way to create sidebars in addition to the automatically generated ones [i.e. most recent comments, archives, etc.]. Since I've taken the time to teach myself rudimentary bits of HTML and CSS, I don't like the lack of these options on Vox. Sure, I fight with blogger a lot. But part of the fun of blogging is designing both the content and how it's presented. For people less interested in the web design aspect of blogging, Vox seems pretty perfect, though.

I haven't decided if I'm going to switch or not. The audio and image hosting is awfully tempting., I'll admit. But regardless of my decision, I have several invites up for grabs if anyone wants one.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oh You're So Dreamy Jens

I've had a bit of a school girl, music nerd crush on Jens Lekman ever since I saw him live and subsequently fell in love with his Oh You're So Silent Jens last year. He's a charming, attractive Swede who creates some amazing pop music. How can a pop-addicted music snob with a soft spot for nerds like me resist? Seriously?

Well, my fondness grew just a little more today when I discovered his talent for making mixes. As Pitchfork noted, to commemorate the passing of summer, Jens has made a mix/remix compilation of some of his favorite summer songs. Download the 26-odd minute bundle of fun--entitled "The Death of This Summer"-- here [via Pitchfork] or here [via Jens' site]. A list of included tracks and Jens' personal notes can be found on Jens' discussion board.

I wasn't familiar with any of the songs used and had never heard of several of the artists either , but I enjoyed all of them. They're definitely fun, playful summer pop songs, and it makes a lot of sense that these are among the Swede's summer listenings. I'm still debating if 26 minutes of bubbly pop in a row is too much. It is certainly a possibility, but this mix seems to avoid that unfortunate fate. It's wonderfully paced, with just enough hidden surprises, changes of mood and rhythm to keep things delightful throughout.

Chalk up "excellent DJ" on the Things To Love About Jens Lekman list. Right next to "He plays the ukulele".

Post Script: The riff around 18 minutes sounds exactly like that of the Janet Jackson single "Someone To Call My Lover" [I actually sought out the song just to confirm my suspicions]. Since I'm not familiar with the songs, I don't know if he sampled the riff or if it's actually from the particular song. Or does the mix song sampled Janet, or vise versa? Someone must be sampling someone. Any ideas? I would be incredibly amused if he sampled Janet Jackson. Granted, it is a pretty nice riff.