Atomic Tom – iphone band!

This New York band made some kick ass lemonade on the Subway after having their equipment stolen!

On the road, they stopped to remember one made that helped them with the recipe…



Song la claire fontaine

It was sung by Shang Wen-jie, the winner of last year’s “Super Voice Girl” singing contest in China. She just graduated from the Shanghai-based Fudan University as a French major.

Here are the lyrics of that Quebec folk song:
J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle que je m’y suis baigné.
Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
Sous les feuilles d’un chêne, je me suis fait sécher.
Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
Sur la plus haute branche, un rossignol chantait.
Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
Chante, rossignol, chante, toi qui as le coeur gai;
Tu as le coeur à rire, moi je l’ai à pleurer.
Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
J’ai perdu mon ami sans l’avoir mérité.
Pour un bouquet de roses que je lui refusai.
Il y a lontemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai.
Je voudrais que la rose fût encore au rosier,
Et que mon douce ami fût encore à m’aimer

By the clear running fountain
I strayed one summer day.
The water looked so cooling
I bathed without delay.


Many long years have I loved you,
Ever in my heart you’ll stay.

Beneath an oak tree shady
I dried myself that day
When from the topmost branch
A bird’s song came my way.

Sing, nightingale, keep singing,
Your heart is always gay.
You have no cares to grieve you,
While I could weep today.

You have no cares to grieve you,
While I could weep today,
For I have lost my loved one
In such a senseless way.

She wanted some red roses
But I did rudely say
She could not have the roses
That I had picked that day.

Now I wish those red roses
Were on their bush today,
While I and my beloved
Still went our old sweet way. ہ la claire fontaine, m’en allant promener,

Music & Technology – Match made?

The debate and struggle in the school system over music education may get a little twist.  Students from the Stanford Laptop Orchestra create music with their laptops instead of instruments. Ge Wang, the orchestra’s founder, has worked with students from music to engineering to develop their own software language, Chuck, to create and generate the unique sounds and equipment necessary to build a sound unlike anything you’ve heard.  This musical group has been performing at colleges and city parks as you’ll see on YouTube.  There’s a performance at Macworld and Apple has even dedicated a page on Musical Macs.  Although the sounds they produce may not be a symphony or pop tune you can pick out, it goes to show you that even the most technologically minded people get together to be creative, they might call it music.

The real reason I wanted to write this blog was not to share yet another link to YouTube or Apple.  I wanted to pose the question to encourage thought about musical expression and how you may define it.  It goes without saying everyone has a different idea of what good music is but we usually agree that it’s music.  
So what defines music?  Does it require an instrument? What defines an instrument?  Can a computer or software program replace an instrument like a piano or a flute?  I would challenge the assumption that music requires an instrument at all.  Child prodigy August Rush heard music in a field of grass and created sounds I’d never heard from a guitar he didn’t even know how to play.  Yes, the movie is fiction but the message is very real.
Music is an art. Art is interpretation.  You may interpret what you hear differently one day to the next but the vehicle that produces that sound isn’t restricted to only the ones you know today.  Sound can be a means of expressing a feeling or a tone whether it is in the form of a song or simply the inflection of your voice.  So it must mean that like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sound is music to the listening ear.  So what have you heard from your toaster today?

Surf the web and control your music without leaving your browser

As if Firefox couldn’t get any cooler, there is another add-on for your browser called FoxyTunes.  No switching from app to browser and browser to app when you want to change the “channel” because with this simple toolbar at the bottom of your browser you can control your iTunes, WinAmp, or even Windows Media Player.  Customize which controls you want to see; Play, Pause, Next, Previous, Volume and more.  Maybe even display the Artist and Song that is currently playing…  which is pretty handy when you haven’t heard the song before or you just bought a new song.  

If you’re a networking fanatic then you’ll probably love the additional features like TwittyTunes to tweet the song you’re currently listening to through Twitter, Facebook or even Y! Status or Signatunes to sign your email signatures, blog or forum posts with the song you’re listening to when you wrote the message.  But, do you really want everyone to know you listen to the Bee Gees ALL the time?!

Yahoo! has been updating this little gem since 2004 but the traction really didn’t pick up until 2009 when YouTube was added as a supported web player.   There are about five different languages and nine different media players supported at this time. Now if I could just get it to work for Pandora.

No need to pay for iPhone Apps!

FREE apps worth more than their cost
  1. TED by – This little app simply helps you search for TED TALKS on the  website.  If you haven’t heard of TED; you should check it out.  There are some really fascinating people sharing their life’s work, intriguing topics and moving entertainment.  I recommend Sir Ken Robinson’s talk about creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert (author Eat Pray Love) talk about Genius and Pattie Maes with cool gadget ideas from MIT students.
  2. Pandora – create your own radio stations based on songs, artist or genre.  It’s easy to use and it runs on your iPhone, Blackberry or computer.  I even have an LG Blu-Ray stereo system that runs it based on my user account so I only have to set up my stations once and I can use them on all my devices.  It’s FREE and it works ‘nuf said.
  3. YouMail – Custom voicemail messages. Set up your contacts to receive a unique answering message from Family Guy, Monty Python or Seinfeld.  Each message is saved online or locally on your phone as an MP3 file. Save the message, delete it or file it online – better than most phone company voicemail since they usually only save your messages for about 2 weeks.  Have Stewie tell your parents to send money or get rid of that stalker with “This number has been disconnected” message.  For a small upgrade you can even have each voicemail message converted to text but for those road warriors, you’ll be better off with the free audio messages.
  4. Dictation by Dragon – Simple voice recording to text that can be copied to SMS, email, MMS or where ever you can “paste” text.  Great for anyone who can’t type that well, needs to keep their eyes on the road hint hint, or just wants to have a little fun.  Amazing accuracy with converting your voice to text too.
  5. GasBag – Find the best price closest to you right now! Love this tool that thrives on users updating prices from their local stations.  You can even track your vehicle’s gas mileage by logging your fill ups and sending the results over time to your email.  Just remember that as a user, you keep the info current by adding the prices when you can.
  6. Voice4Mail – Sometimes it’s easier to say what you want to say instead of typing it so this is it.  Record your message and send the recording as a message or email.You can set up a standard recording that you use a lot to send to multiple people too.
  7. Howcast – Based on the online version this app helps you find videos to answer just about all your questions.  How to wash your hair, how to change a starter, how to remember people’s names – yeah it’s in there.  Kills the time while you wait for the Doctor or during your commute.
  8. Eye-Fi – I started using this when I bought my first 2GB WiFi enable SD card for my digital camera and loved it so when they provided an app for the iPhone it was even easier to upload my photos to my computer no matter where I was.
  9. SleepMachine LITE – need help falling asleep or just relaxing to nature sounds? This app not only has the crickets, waves and rain but you can “mix” it to combine 3 at a time.  I’d recommend having your iPhone charging while you run this app since it can be set up to run up to 24 hours long and I’m sure your phone would die before then.
  10. 24/7 Tutor – French, Spanish, Italian, German – pick your poison this app is a simple lite version to learn some important phrases and words by utilizing games, flashcards, puzzles and audio recordings to help you learn to read and write in your language of choice.  I’m trying French now and it’s fun to do a little bit every day with the games.
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