SiriusXM is buying Pandora in $3.5 billion deal. That seems… like a lot.
SiriusXM is buying Pandora in $3.5 billion deal. That seems… like a lot.
twelvefour by The Paper Kites was one of my favorite albums of 2015. Their new album — On the Corner Where You Live — came out on Friday and I’ve been listening to it nonstop. It’s more laid-back than twelvefour, but it has a quiet familiarity that is just perfect for where my head is at right now.
This is why I never buy vinyl on eBay any more. You just don’t know what you’re going to get:
Note that Discogs’ sales are growing, at roughly the same rate as new vinyl sales, while eBay’s sales have stagnated. Discogs is becoming the preferred marketplace for serious record buyers and sellers. That’s because Discogs insists on sellers submitting detailed metadata about music releases — including such things as identifiers, country of release, pressing information, artist credits, and conditions of both discs and sleeves — whereas eBay has looser metadata standards to encourage more casual sellers and buyers (and, of course, supports auctions). It takes more effort to list your records on Discogs, but collectors like having all that information.
Beautiful view of Mt. St. Helens on our approach into Portland today.
I’m going to be on a long flight today, and I think I’ve got my reading sorted. 198 minutes? Gah! I bet I can do it in 2 hours 😀
🎵 Current mood: Less by Nils Frahm.
🎵 Song of the day — especially if you’re in need of something calming and beautiful: Ach, bleib mit deiner Gnade by Till Brönner & Dieter Ilg.
The thing I find most confusing as a parent is why kids freak out when you carry them upstairs for an afternoon nap. If someone did that with me they would have my undying love and devotion for life.
It turns out we are anxious as hell, and we’re trying to buy our way out of it. But none of it will solve the underlying problems:
So, yes, meditation apps may help us meditate, and meditation may reduce anxiety. Weighted blankets may calm us down long enough to fall and stay asleep, which will help us feel better the next day. And fidget devices can distract us so that instead of ruminating on negative thoughts, we’re expending mental energy on something physical.
But no product will solve the underlying causes of anxiety, or ADHD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, or autism, whether it’s a $5 gas-station fidget spinner or a $250 blanket meticulously designed and focus-grouped by advertising professionals. That’s a far bigger task, involving: therapy (often difficult to access), medication (often expensive), or complete lifestyle overhauls that involve fitting exercise and healthier habits into our daily lives (often really, really hard).
Whatever reticence a listener might experience with the new album isn’t musicological but emotional: the spiritual temperature of the music is lower, its moments of glorious invention have a logical and inviting air that never quite matches the self-exploring, self-transcending volatility of Coltrane’s very best recordings, whether made in concert or in the studio. “Both Directions at Once” is a marker of Coltrane’s work at the time rather than the very best of it. It’s as if the band were displaying what it is that they do when they do it, without quite doing it.
It is still, in my opinion, an essential Coltrane album. But it’s not his best.
Here’s a rare example of some really cool tech that is also incredibly useful:
On one level, yes, the visualization literally just shows what three, six, and nine feet of water looks like. But it’s showing that in a context most people have never experienced. It fills in the gaps of your imagination, and hopefully underscores for anyone in a flood zone all the reasons they should not be.
Why ‘Find Your Passion’ is awful advice. “It’s through a process of investment and development that you develop an abiding passion in a field.”
🎵 Sign by VHS Collection is hitting me right in the 80s feels. So good.
🔗 The tone in this article is a little weird here and there, but there are some good points about remote work, isolation, and mental health that are worth reflecting on.
🎵 If you want to get into John Coltrane but you’re not sure where to start, here’s a good guide to get you going on that weird, wonderful journey.
🔗 The problem that libraries face today isn’t irrelevance. The problem is that so many people are using them, and for such a wide variety of purposes, that library systems and their employees are overwhelmed.
📚 Oh my. I’ve been waiting for a list like this. Eight Great Science Fiction Reads for the Techno-Skeptic.
🎵 In need of a good cry? Here are the saddest songs of the 21st century (so far).
🔗 I’m aware of my confirmation bias on this, but I agree that science fiction is the most important genre:
Today science fiction is the most important artistic genre. It shapes the understanding of the public on things like artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which are likely to change our lives and society more than anything else in the coming decades.
🎵I’m still making my way through everything, but Young Sick Camellia by St. Paul & The Broken Bones is my early contender for best new release of the week. Retro soul with plenty of soul.
I’ve been a little bit obsessed with the creative process of jazz musicians lately. I finished How to Listen to Jazz and Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, and have now moved on to The History of Jazz. The books are certainly more interesting if you’re a jazz fan, but I think even if you’re not, there’s plenty to enjoy and take inspiration from.
Here’s one of my favorite stories. Turns out Miles Davis had imposter syndrome:
And here’s one more, about the improvisation process in jazz:
Now that streaming has become the main way of revenue for the music industry overall, albums are becoming longer. On one end they’re becoming longer purely by the number of songs on it: As you mentioned, Drake’s album had 25 songs, Migos’ Culture II had almost 30 songs. And then another album from late last year that was from Migos’ same label had 30 songs on it, which is less so an album than it’s sort of a playlist or collection of tracks. Even if you were to talk to those artists—I don’t think they would say that you are meant to listen to it all the way through. It’s just sort of a collection of songs that can get the most streams eventually.
🎵 I know they’re not the coolest kids in town any more. But man, when this album came out it rocked my world.
Turns out the kids are all right:
The Facebook exodus among young people is real, and disenchantment with the leading social media platform is extending to older users, too. According to new data from Pew Research Center that sampled US Facebook users aged 18 and up, 4 in 10 (42 percent) of those surveyed have taken a break from the social network for “several weeks or more” in the last year; a quarter of respondents said they’ve deleted the mobile app entirely from their smartphones.
There is, of course, much to say about this unprecedented anonymous op-ed in the Times today. This is the paragraph that’s hitting me the hardest right now:
The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.