John Lennon – “I Got Resources On My Fingers!”

I’ve wanted to do this for awhile and now it begins.

I want to have access to information and intelligent resources.  I surround myself with great friends, music, books, gear – musical and digital – recordings, musical scores, videos, DVD’s, VHS tapes (from one century ago), cassette tapes, albums, MP3’s, MP4’s, MP5’s (when it’s their time), wax cylinders, paper from trees not welded into books and more.  (There was a joke and an intentional mistruth in the previous sentence – I love and study but do not possess any wax cylinders but I’d be happy if I did).

Tonight I’ve added a new section to – one called, “Resources.”  It will be a living document.  I’ll update it frequently and I look forward to adding readers’ suggestions as well.  I’ve been compiling resources like this for years and dividing them into categories.  I’ve posted these in various places. The College Music Society has posted my resources for the past 5 or 6 years.  I’ve also included some of these in some of my course syllabi at different universities.  As of tonight, the first installment resides here at my site.

The first of my Resources is a list of music and entertainment industry sites that I visit – almost all of which I value.  Some might be included for good reasons – because I like or love the content at the sites, others because I feel that they should be there, and still others because they will irritate or irk people.  And why not?  Doesn’t the Bible suggest that we should afflict the comfortable?

The title of this post is a paraphrase of an actual John Lennon quote.  At the end of The Beatles “Helter Skelter,” (4.25 of the song) Lennon yells, “I got blisters on my fingers!”  Tonight it struck me that he might have said “I got resources on my fingers.”  Or at least that would make for a good title of this post.

Without further delay, I present to you the first installment of my R E S O U R C E S.   I hope you enjoy and find them helpful.  This site will be updated and revised.  Please feel free to send your comments and suggestions.  Future installments of RESOURCES will include favorite books, Twitter accounts, social media services and companies and more.

If you missed the RESOURCES in that last paragraph, I’ll repeat myself.




Annuit Coeptis



The Order Of Songs On An Album – Part 1


While writing about the Grateful Dead song, “Black Peter,” it occurred to me that “Black Peter,” like the rest of the songs on the Grateful Dead’s album “Workingman’s Dead,” was strategically placed, or strategically dipped.   Strategically dipped?

“You walked into the party

like you were walking onto a yacht

your hat STRATEGICALLY DIPPED below one eye

your scarf it was apricot?”

Does that lyric sound familiar?   It’s from Carly Simon’s, “You’re So Vain.”

Before I get to the simple point I want to express, I have an enormous and probably flawed assumption – that in 2012  there is such a thing as an “album.”  Many have decried that albums died with Napster, P2P and the ability to cherry pick songs you like – fans just want to select the good stuff and ignore the weaker songs on an album.

My old fashioned premise is that albums are artistic statements – a collection of songs in a specific order which were conceived, arranged, produced, recorded and eventually distributed in order to make an artistic statement, expression or series of expressions.

The content of an album is important but so is the placement of the songs – what comes first, third, etc.  I’ve noticed patterns to song placement on better and best albums and concluded there is one I favor.

And now to my simple point – this is how one should do song placement on an album:

You put the four (4) best songs in these places.  And it’s often best to think of the album as a two-sided/two-headed entity, you know, like a 33 rpm vinyl record.  For many of us raised in the Album Period (1965-1999), albums will always have (or NEED) two (2) sides.  CD’s are approximating albums, and mix tapes and set lists can also approximate 2-sided albums.


Side 1

FIRST SONG – best song on side 1.  It doesn’t have to be the best but it has to be an invitation to listen to the rest.

LAST SONG – best on Side 1, other than the first song on side 1, which could be better.  But after this song ends, you think, “I can’t wait to get to Side 2.”



Side 2

FIRST SONG –  “Wow!  Side 2 is great too!  I’m really glad I got this album.  They’re still my favorite band!”  Also, the first song on side 2 is to tell the listener that this band is DEEP – there’s a lot more and some surprises to come.  The first song on side 2, I think, should be where one introduces something very new.  If you’re trying to show how eclectic and creative the band is, this is the spot.  This should be the most experimental place because if the listener is on side 2, chances are she/he sat through all of side 1, really liked it, and is looking forward to side 2.

LAST SONG – “Wow – that was the best song.  This is a fantastic album!  I’m glad they took chances, and after this song, I wonder what the next album will be like.”



To support this, I will turn to:


The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Doors – Waiting For The Sun

The Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead



and other albums in later posts.



What do you think about any of the commentary above?



As Apple Annoys Again

There are millions of Apple fans worldwide – those who will anxiously await the newest shiny silver Apple device. If it is shiny and silver we’ll buy it, or at least I love to say that given any chance.   Samsung’s new (September-October 2012) commercial for their Galaxy S-3 smartphone makes good fun of us Apple fanboys and fangirls who will wait in lines for hours and days to be the first to get the new Apple toy, most recently, the iPhone 5.

I use “shiny” in deference to my all-time favorite Onion parody – a fictional news story about a fictional new Apple product – the MacBook Wheel.  If you don’t know this genius of a parody, you’ve come to the right place!  I  consider this Onion parody on Applemania and technology reporting to be on a par with the original and quintessential “mockumentary”  – “This Is Spinal Tap.”

In The Onion’s news exclusive, “Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard,” we were introduced to the funny but too-accurate saying, “I’ll buy almost anything if it’s shiny and made by Apple.”

There were many gems in this short piece including my favorite – Apple’s new “Predictive Sentence Technology,” with its millions of sentences from which to choose:

The aardvark admitted its fault.
The aardvark admitted it was wrong.
The aardvark asked for an aardvark.
The aardvark asked for a dagger.
And so on…..

But now to the problem I have with Apple today:

I listen to KCBS’ technology expert, Larry Magid’s brief daily podcast where he gives concise summaries of important news developments in technology, new gadgets, and services, as well as problems faced in cyberspace.

Here is one of Larry’s recent posts from his “Larry’s World” blog, on an annoying “improvement” in Apple’s iOS 6.

Apple claims that its Ad Tracking is  “a non-permanent, non-personal device identifier that adverting networks will use to give you more control over advertiser’s ability to use tracking methods.”

But it is not so “non-permanent” and it might give you “more control” but certainly not enough control.  Or the ability to completely opt out of being tracked by advertisers.

As Larry points out, the opting out option is not in an intuitive place, and is nearly completely hidden.  One might think to look under “Settings” and then, “Privacy,” or under “Settings” and then “General,” and then “Privacy,” but none of these would be correct.

Instead one has to go to “Settings” and then “General.”  OK.  That’s sensible.

But the next step is bizarre – one must click on “About,” not “Restrictions,” or “Accessibility,” or another heading.  (And under “General,” there is not even an option entitled, “Privacy.”)  “About” is where one usually finds one’s serial number, device model indicator, cellular data number, wi-fi address, etc.  Not where one would dig to change a privacy feature.

Next, after one has highlighted “About,” one must scroll down nineteen (19) headings to the word, “Advertising,” which is located just below “Modem Firmware” and above “Diagnostics & Usage.”  Huh?

Next, one will click on the only option available – “Limit Ad Tracking.”  So if you then click on “Limit Ad Tracking,” you are supposedly in for some relief from advertisers.  But what kind and how much relief?  Why isn’t there an option to “Eliminate” or “Disable” ad tracking?

You have only one option – the ability to “limit” advertisers’ ability to track you.  You won’t know that advertisers have truly been limited and to what extent.  Just trust Apple on this one – you have taken firm control of your online privacy with respect to advertisers, or as much as Apple will permit.

Apple is a great company for brilliant U.I. and ease and fun of use of their shiny silver toys.  This feature and its obscure location, however, makes one realize that Apple plays by rules that aren’t benevolent or consumer-friendly (Apple loves us, don’t they?).   Apple has sold us another expensive toy, so that we can buy into an expensive monthly marriage with a telecom and then sell us to as many advertisers as possible.  And in addition, millions of us are now choosing to rent the music and books we have already purchased.

But as Kip Dynamite sang at his wedding in the film, “Napoleon Dynamite:”

“Yes, I love technology, but not as much as you you see, but I still I love technology, always and forever…”