Tape machine

3 months ago

Amazon is likely to announce their new smartphone at their big press event this Wednesday. They released a teaser for the event a few weeks ago that shows users reacting to their new product. What are they so taken by? Rumor has it the device will contain glasses-free 3D capabilities.

From The Verge:

Kindlephone.0 cinema 1200.0

Chances are they are talking about a new glasses-free "3D" user interface, which has been expected to be included on Amazon's phone for some time. TechCrunch originally reported last year that Amazon was working on a phone with a "3D eye tracking interface", and it just reported that Amazon is using a special face-sensing technology to track the user's head movements. Apparently, users will be able to tilt their heads to the side to see hidden content or homescreens, an action that jibes with the behavior of the subjects in Amazon's teaser video.

There's been speculation that Amazon could be interested in a new shopping interface with the phone's 3D effects — and the New York Times today speculated that Amazon feels it needs something like a phone to bolster its shopping experience. The device could aim "to close any remaining gap between the impulse to buy and the completed act," notes the Times.

3 months ago

love-in-high-places

Kimbra's debut album Vows was one of my favorite records of 2012. Yesterday she officially announced her Sophomore album The Golden Echo, set for release on August 15. Song previews are available on iTunes, where you can pre-order the alubm. You can hear the single "Love In High Places" here:

3 months ago

My good buddy Blake Mundell is back in the studio recording a batch of brand new songs. He will release one song per month over a period of ten months, then offer a full-length album of those songs once it's all said and done. On top of that, he's releasing his personal memoir called LITTLE MOUNTAIN. It's available right now for free on NoiseTrade.

Blake is on the home stretch of his Kickstarter Campaign that launched earlier this month. Head on over, and you can find previews of the first two songs in the lineup, including the synthpop single "Skipping Stones". His multi-tiered campaign features some really great rewards, like physical copies of LITTLE MOUNTAIN and the finished record, as well as private house concerts. So check it out, and show him some support. I look forward to seeing what he whips up!

3 months ago

Questions continue to surface after Apple's recent acquisition of Beats Electronics. According to Gordon Kelley at Forbes, Apple might abandon the standard 3.5mm headphone jack for a proprietary lightning port. This would likely make Apple products more hi-fi at the expense of propriety. If it's true, users will have to use Apple headphones or buy an adapter.

From Forbes:

Suddenly why Apple spent a seemingly ludicrous $3.2 billion buying Beats is starting to make sense. The reason: Apple is being more Apple than we ever imagined and it could mean saying goodbye to your favourite pair of headphones. Furthermore, if my theory is correct, then the new ones you buy will probably have Beats on the logo.

Like most Apple developments, the news emerged from a leak. 9to5Mac has learnt that Apple submitted a specification to its MFi (Made For) licensing program for headphones which connect using the company’s proprietary Lightning port instead of the standard 3.5mm jack. Furthermore all it will take for the Lightning port to start accepting these new headphones is a firmware update.

4 months ago

It's official: Apple is Buying Beats by Dre for $3 Billion, just below the rumored $3.2 billion. The tech giant's largest acquisition to date has little to do with trendy headphones. The move is all about buying their way into the music streaming market. Beats won't replace the iTunes music store, though. It will coexist alongside their long-standing music purchasing platform.

From the Beats Music Blog:

CUPERTINO, California—May 28, 2014—Apple® today announced it has agreed to acquire the critically acclaimed subscription streaming music service Beats Music, and Beats Electronics, which makes the popular Beats headphones, speakers and audio software. As part of the acquisition, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple. Apple is acquiring the two companies for a total of $3 billion, consisting of a purchase price of approximately $2.6 billion and approximately $400 million that will vest over time.

“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”

4 months ago

I don't really keep up with many sports, but I sure got a good laugh out of watching 50 Cent botch the opening pitch at the NY Mets game yesterday:

50 Cent Pitch
(Photo via Stereogum)

Apparently, he's not the only Musician who's a rookie on the pitcher's mound. According to Billboard, Mariah Carey, Carly Rae Jepsen, Girls Generation, Avril Lavigne, and Justin Bieber are, too.

From Billboard:

Getting ready to throw out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays game, the "Call Me Maybe" singer planned to give herself a head start, not expecting to be able to throw all the way to home plate. But after some encouragement from Rays pitcher Matt Moore, the singer decided to throw off the mound, a full 60 feet and six inches from home plate. Carly Rae bounced the throw a few feet from the mound at a left angle and made herself internet famous in July 2013 for reasons other than her singing career. At least she was able to laugh it off like a pro.

There must be some sort of bad mojo at the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field for first pitch-throwing musicians. At the same site of the Carly Rae Jepsen debacle, Avril Lavigne tossed one of the weakest first pitches you'll ever see, even with a big head start towards home plate. Still, we've heard skateboarding is more her thing…

See more missed first pitches from Girls Generation, Mariah Carey, and Justin Bieber in the Billboard article.

4 months ago

If you haven't heard already, Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin has a new Velvet Underground tribute Band called the Pizza Underground. They play toungue-in-cheek pizza-themed versions of the of VU's originals. I've been following the group ever since I learned of their debut EP on bandcamp.

TPU hasn't exactly received unanimous acceptance by live audiences. They got heckled off stage and showered with beer during their performance at Dot to Dot Festival in Nottingham.

From New York Daily News:

The actor and his comedy cover band, Pizza Underground, performed at the Dot to Dot Festival Sunday, but instead of applause they were met with boos from the audience, who also threw beer at them, reports the Nottingham Post.

"Why are you throwing those?" the "Home Alone" star asked when the band dodged pints of booze being thrown from the crowd after performing a cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” which they called “It’s a Pizza Day.”

4 months ago

I can't recall when, but I still remember first noticing the likeness between Will Ferrell and Chad Smith. I've been impatiently awaiting this drum off since Smith challenged Ferrell back in February.

From Pitchfork:

In the world of celebrity doppelgangers, it's hard to imagine a pair looking as similar as Will Ferrell and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Watching their joint appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon", it's really surreal how much they resemble each other when wearing the same outfit.

But rather than just sit next to each other and revel in the weirdness, they participated in a drum off for charity that allowed each man to show off his strengths: Smith is a better drummer, because he drums for a living, but Ferrell is very funny. "That was cute," he says after Smith finishes one solo. "Do you play for the Lukewarm Chili Peppers?" Watch it below