Archive for December 2007

December 26th, 2007

New Bern Sunset

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  • 1920×1200 (works at 1920×1200, 1680×1050, 1440×900, and 1280×800)
  • 1600×1200 (works on 1600×1200 and 1024×768 resolutions)
  • 320×480 (works on the iPhone and iPod Touch)

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December 21st, 2007

See Next Year

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In the midst of the typical Christmas busyness. Lots going on. No time for anything but sentence fragments. Next update probably not happening ’til early January. Enjoy picture above. Have happy and safe holiday!

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December 18th, 2007

NPR, We Need to Talk….

I realize, now that I bike-commute to work everyday (I’m cool!), that we don’t spend that much time together anymore, but having had a chance to catch up with you yesterday evening, when I drove to and from work due to the adverse outdoor conditions, I have to say that I’m worried about you.

NPR, I think you’re going through a mid-life crisis. Or whatever the radio station equivalent of that is.

I say this because, during my approximately 15-minute-long ride home yesterday all you did was blabber on and on about the songwriting processes of some insignificant indie group that not even I, a 20-something with admitted hipster tendencies, had heard of yet. You talked about observing the obscure musicians penning and recording a short, simple song over the course two days — as you had them to do as part of this cutesy “Project Song” series — like you were privy to the inner-workings of a sacred, mystical rite that few know anything about. Clearly you were trying to come off as if you now spend your nights on the town, tearing it up with your good buddies Pitchfork and The Hype Machine, instead of spending them the way everyone knows you do: reading articles from The New Yorker. Or resting your slippered feet by the fire and drinking herbal tea. Or attending lectures on the courting traditions of southwestern Aboriginal tribes at the local liberal arts college.

I understand that maybe you’re feeling trapped and stifled, growing tired of the (ahem) day to day (Hey-oh!), and that you want to connect to a new audience. However, as someone in this demographic that you’re now trying to reach, I have to say: I liked you better before you were making these efforts to change.

Sometimes even I need to hear about the condition of the stock market. Or how that whole Middle East thing is panning out. Or the plight of the midwestern rutabaga farmer, as told by spending time with one of them and giving us an hour-by-hour account of his day, peppered with bits of his life story and soundbites of his salt-of-the-earthiest utterings. That’s why I still turn to you on during the mornings and evenings of the inclement weather days when I take my car to work. After all, folks like me are bogged down with pointless information about modern rock constantly, from all directions. Often times we need a breath of fresh air. (Hey-o…. Ok, sorry.)

While I can tell you’re feeling pretty good about reporting on the current “scene” in your distinct NPR voice, I have to ask you to take a step back and evaluate this for a moment. For example, here’s a direct quote from the segment I heard last night, made by your correspondent Bob Boilen:

“Most pop songs have an ‘A’ part and then a ‘B’ part. A verse and a chorus. This is the ‘A’ part. [Music starts behind him.] And now here’s the ‘B’ part. [The music changes slightly (barely).] The chorus. That’s usually the part you sing along with when you hear a song you like.”

Read over that a few times. Should a radio station that feels the need to supply their listeneners with this type of remedial information really be reporting on something only a bunch of indier-than-thou music snobs are going to care about anyway?

Don’t take this the wrong way, NPR. You’re still a great radio station, all things considered (How do I keep doing this?). Your new music site looks and functions really nicely. It would just be less embarrassing for all involved if you devoted it completely to stuff that’s, ya know, more you. Classical. Smooth jazz. 18th-century sea shanties from a remote island off the coast of Portugal. That type of thing.

Please think about refocusing your programming to 100% fully NPR-ish subjects, or else I’m going to have to start biking in the pouring rain and freezing cold, avoiding my car stereo and your pandering music reporting at all costs.

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