thinglets: An Aural Media Evolution

The attached picture set does not only show how the size of removable media has changed over the past hundred years, but also the ironic evolution and devolution of sound quality. Where people were once willing to listen to the Edison Cylinder as the pinnacle of recorded music, is seems the pre-eminence of the 128kb mp3 has reduced our expectations of quality to their lowest levels since then.

thinglets: The Beginning of the End of the Compact Disc

With EMI announcing that they will only be selling CDs to large retailers from now on, and that small stores will have to buy their stock from the “large” retailers (read: Walmart), CDs and independent music stores are hearing the death knell in the not-to-distant-future.

Gone are the days I remember of growing up at the local record store and meeting with friends, music geeks, and other pretentious community members who spent hours debating who the best drummer was. It may have been a bit sad, but it was ours. I’m certainly not expecting the Compact Disc to be around forever, but to screw over the independent retailer and pumping business to a chain like Walmart… I better not hear any more stats about how CD sales are slipping as a defense against P2P; their obviously doing their best to make sure sales fail.

Hey EMI, the Jerkstore called and they're all out of you!

we all had to say goodbye
unlimited supply – e.m.i.
there is no reason why – e.m.i.
i tell you it was all a frame – e.m.i.
they only did it ‘cos of fame – e.m.i.
i do not need the pressure – e.m.i.
i can’t stand those useless fools – e.m.i.
Sex Pistols – E.M.I.

thinglets: Ben Folds... Frequently Bought Together

Ben Folds Frequently

One of the features Amazon has built into its recommendation engine is the "Frequently Bought Together" section that, I'm guessing, is supposed to inspire you to think "WOW! If other people are buying that, I should probably by it too!"

In the case of a recent purchase of, however, (and what I'm sure isn't a rare occurrence) there were two pieces of media that I could never imagine going together... ever. You see, the concept of "Frequently Bought Together" would indicate to me, more than once. Now I could buy into the fact that perhaps no one who had purchased that Ben Folds' University A Cappella! CD would necessarily buy the same second item before leaving Amazon. I more than expected the second item in the side-by-side purchase push to be another CD by Ben Folds or similar genre pounding piano rocker. I was shocked to find out that, as evidenced by the "Frequently" recommendation, the most popular accompanying item was the DVD Repulsion by Roman Polanski.

Ben Folds CD is described as "a great mix of pop-sounding arrangements (with beat-boxing and voices substituting as drums) and more traditional a capella singing (with lovely harmonies, etc.)"

Polanski's Repulsion, on the other hand, "shows us, in simple but effective terms, the horrors that lurk inside a troubled psyche. While obviously working on a shoestring budget, Polanski recreates with disturbing impact the strange and unsettling horror of a mind that has begun to turn upon itself. Carol Ledoux is not on a strong emotional footing as the story begins: she's at once compelled by and terrified of her sexual needs, and she displays an unhappy emotional distance from others that suggests a mild form of autism. When Carol is left alone after her sister leaves on vacation, her fragile connection with the rest of the world gives way, and. as she isolates herself in her apartment, Carol's mind fragments into a hallucinatory state, which Polanski manifests on-screen with an apt surrealism. Within the increasingly grim and shadowy confines of the flat, revolting images of rotting food and buzzing flies mingle with things that shouldn't or couldn't actually be there, and Polanski's impressionistic use of odd angles, visual distortion, and blunt, shocking violence make Carol's world seem as frighteningly alien to us as it must be to her."

Now those Ben Folds haters out there might think themselves clever by saying... "I get it. Ben Folds REPULSES me!" But to use film commercial techniques, I believe I can make the case for the tie...

The new Ben Folds CD is "simple but effective". Its "strong emotional footing" will convince detractors as "the rest of the world gives way". A "frighteningly" "apt" selection that will have an "impressionistic" "impact" all over the "world".