Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ID unleashed

I'm currently debating with a friend about what event to attend in the next two weeks. Both of us have about $50 of disposable income. Two great acts are coming: David Sedaris aaand... Bob Dylan. I've seen Dylan twice. She's seen Sedaris once. I told her for $50, a live music event would probably be a better investment (especially since Kings of Leon is opening up - never heard their stuff, but I've heard good things about them). But, plain and simple, Dylan is a touring monster. He's been in this area a lot. Sedaris - who knows when he's going to come here again.

So - as I'm burning Robert Johnson's The Complete Sessions to my newly-recovered iPod, I thought I would use this time to address my time mismanagement. For the past three nights, I've tried to get to bed early so I can get up early and exercise, write - just get my blood running. But, certain things keep coming up. Mainly YouTube and Pandora radio. Both offer almost infinite possibilities and both are totally addictive.

First off - Pandora Radio. Yeah, I'm glad I got my iPod back, but with an invention like Pandora Radio, who the hell needs an iPod if you have a computer and a sound card? 100 radio stations you can create - totally accustomed to your tastes. The site pulls in old reliable favorites and throws in an obscure selection from a band you probably haven't heard of every third or fourth song. So far, I have Aimee Mann, TV on the Radio, Talking Heads, Neko Case and Pulp radio operating in perfect harmony. The possibilities are almost limitless. One of the few things at work that honestly keeps my ass planted at my desk.

Secondly...YouTube. Before I went to bed last night, I just wanted to see some highlights from The Daily Show before trying to finish Cobra II before bed. Just a few Daily Show highlights. Then, before I go to bed, maybe an old highlight from The Rush Limbaugh show, just to see the audience, which looked like a casting call for Children of the Damned. Then... well, after seeing a few live performances of "Bittersweet Symphony" - I had to check out The Verve's 1988 performance of "Lucky Man" - good god, Richard Ashcroft is amazing. Then - maybe a few broadcasts of the September 11 attacks - JUST as they were happening to see how some news organizations first reported this defining moment in our history. Then... well, you get the idea.

YouTube reminds me of when I first surfed the Internet. In a blink, hours were gone. Movie snippets, TV snippets, highlights of shows you don't watch because you don't have cable, racist comments by public officials - anything is just a search entry away. And it sucks you in. I hate to say that $1 billion is a bargain, but Google scored a huge coup with YouTube. The way Google operates, users are on the site for a half second: type in what you want and then go to it. With You Tube, it's like a community, you hang out - you stick around. Contrast that with Yahoo's laughable courtship of Facebook. As Slate Magazine so aptly put it: $1 Billion for Facebook? LOL

For those curious as to what the hell I was talking about earlier...

The Verve - Lucky Man:

CNN - September 11 - as it happened -

Daily Show - question mark?



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