It’s the end of R.E.M. as we know it.

REM-end-of-the-band.jpgR.E.M. announced they were dis-banding this week. In this (pretty good) article by Bill Wyman (ex Rolling Stones bassist), he points to the (pretty bad) “It’s the End of the World” music video by R.E.M. I thought it was recently made by some kids, but it is the original. “What’s the deal with the portrait?” I wondered. So I went searching. Here’s a (pretty good) article about the kid in the film and its (pretty bad) making.

iGroove for the iPod Touch

After much research, I decided to get the iGroove SXT by Klipsch. Someone described it as “Bose at half the price.”


The iPod Touch has become a well used device in our household. It basically acts as a small wireless tablet that floats around the house but mainly lives in the family room. I’ve been watching a growing collection of games that the kids download. Other apps used frequently:

  • Mail – quick way to check Gmail
  • Facebook – ditto
  • Time – why subscribe?
  • USA Today – I read in the morning
  • Music : Podcasts – NPR Market Place and News from Lake Wobegon
  • Pandora – streaming music based on channels you build

The challenge was keeping the Touch charged. It has long battery life, but it is awkward to hook up to one of the other computers in the house to charge, in part because each Mac wants to sync the iPod.

I went looking for a docking station, perhaps one that could sit next to our stereo and plug into it. I had a hard time finding a solution. There were mixed reviews on whether various docks would work with the newest “Gen 2” iPod Touch. So when I read about the iGroove on Apple’s website, I decided that was the one.

I was able to pick an iGroove up at Best Buy for the same price as the Apple Store. Now we have a great sounding, compact speaker system that can play streaming music from Pandora. Listening to my “Banjo channel” right now. (Bluegrass.)

Order yours today on Amazon!

Note: Also works fine with the several Nano’s in the house as a charging / play station. Joe Purdy and Ray

Found an offer for 25 free songs from eMusic plus a free audiobook in Fast Company. I went through the set up process and downloaded two albums by Joe Purdy, Judy Blue and You Can Tell Georgia, and three songs by Ray Charles. Since I did not install the download manager, I had to download each song one at a time, which was not too bad.

I was disappointed album art did not come with the songs. I had to find the art using Google’s image search and then paste it in once I had the songs in iTunes.

I tried to download a 7 hour audiobook of Mark Twain short stories, but the site said the download was not available and to try later. Meanwhile, it ate up the credit for the audiobook, and I saw no way I could try to download again without being charged.

I’d rather read the book, anyway, so I canceled the trial subscription. I found the whole experience to be far inferior to the iTunes store… except for the free part.

I used a secure online Discover card number to set up the eMusic account, just in case.

Oh… it turns out if I had not followed the Fast Company Free 25 URL, I could have just gone directly to the site and gotten 50 free songs!

Willin’ Map

One of my favorite songs is Willin’ by Little Feat. I like their live version as well as Steve Earls version. Linda Rondstat made the song famous. It’s a truck driver song and has these lyrics:

I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari

Tehachapi to Tonopah

So what does that trip look like? Google maps let’s you mark up a map and save it. You can optionally share it publicly. Willin’ Map.

Joe Purdy

A song used in a Kia commercial caught my ear last night. “Guess I can’t get it right today…. guess I’m going to give up.” It was a simple folksy song with a high, rough voice I had not heard before. After a Google or two, I quickly discovered Joe Purdy. Looking up his name in iTunes I found his many songs and albums, but three of the songs were very popular with a high number of downloads. It turns out those three songs have something in common:

“Can’t Get It Right Today” – KIA Commercial

“San Jose” – TV Show: Gray’s Anatomy

“Wash Away (Reprise)” – TV Show: Lost

Amazing what a little exposure on television can do for you.

Meanwhile, I discovered I could listen to all of his albums on his website (at least for now) so I put on the headphones and have already listened to three of the albums as I work on Fiveforks Wiki. I’ll likely buy two or three of these mellow and relaxing albums.

Oh… and I finally watched the Kia commercial to understand why they chose this song. You go so long between fill-ups you might forget what side the gas tank is on. Pretty funny idea.

Note: There is no broadcast radio in any of this story.

Steven / Cat / Yosuf Is Back

Born with a first name of Steven, commecialized as “Cat Stevens”, and then quitting the music industry he named himself Yosuf. After almost 30 years, he’s back with a new album and may be touring. He has an interesting point of view, having been at the top of western capitalism and then turning away from it all to become a devout Muslim and family man.

Cat Steven’s music is some of my favorite. I did not know about the bout with tuberculosis being a catalyst for his greatest musical success.

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Honda Sounds

A new commercial for the new Honda Civic. (Worth the download time, Ted.)

Turn up the speakers or don headphones and listen carefully to the sounds as the video loads.

When you see the car, click on the “WATCH” button at the bottom. Watch the film. Then watch the rehearsals.