September 2005 Archives

My Mom's 75th Brithday is tomorrow and she is celebrating by protesting the war in Iraq in Washington.  She is there with my wife, my son.  What a great family occasion.  I am so proud of them.  They are acting as responsible citizens in this democracy.  I hope that George Bush notices that so many people feel strongly about ending the war in Iraq.

When they return I will post some of their photos on this site.

This is a great list of wiki applications

 I am most enamored with JotSpot, Seedwiki, an SocialText.

e-Learning Centre provides a list of wiki tools. Recentlly, in a online listserv, discussion centered on whether wikis were better than blogs. It seems like a futile discussion. Is a hammer better than a screwdriver? I find it frustrating to hear the rants of the "newly evangelized", who too often seem willing to throw out a perfectly good tool, simply because they found something new. Each tool for the appropriate task...
[elearnspace]

Not in our Name

Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra released an album on August 30th that expresses my sentiment about the country and this administration.  The Verve website describes the album: Not in our Name as:

"... a musical manifesto for the disaffection many people in America and all over the world feel about the manner in which the present administration is conducting its affairs both at home and in the global arena.  The material on Not In Our Name comes strictly from American composers. As Haden explained, �There was a necessity that I felt to play music from American composers in protest to what��s going on, to make a statement that just because you��re not for everything that this administration is doing, doesn��t mean that you��re not patriotic."

This is a strong quote and expresses the outrage that I feel towards the war in Iraq, nominees to the supreme court, and the response to the disaster in New Orleans. Not in our Name!

I was sceptical at first, but I am still listening to and adding to my list of artists on Pandora.  I listen to and actively seek Jazz resources and Pandora, in my short experience really delivers.  They say they focus on the long tail, so I have been a little disappointed that they don't have some of the more esoteric artists that I like.  However, I wrote to their support desk and got a great response.  I learned this from Tim Wetergren, the founder of Pandora when I asked him about the jazz catalogue:

We take the same approach to the jazz catalogue that we do to all other genres.  We make sure that we have all the seminal recordings and hits going all the way back (only limited by what's in print), then build a big catalogue of lesser known, indie catalogue around that.   Our music covers the entire jazz spectrum, from hard bop to west coast smooth jazz so it's not a narrow catalogue that's affecting the quality of recommendations. 
One additional point is that we work really hard to find what we like to call the 'great long tail'  - all the best music, regardless of popularity.
Personally, I think we still have a ways to go, but that's part of what makes this so much fun.
Any suggestions for artists we're missing?

I suggested a number of artists and labels I could not find: Carla Bley, Lew Tabackin, and Toshiko Akiyoshi and a small label About Time.

This time Michael Zapruder, a songwriter on the West Coast, wrote me back:

"Looks interesting. Me, I scour the weekly Forced Exposure, Aquarius and Downtown Music Gallery Mailorder emails for our avant-jazz fix. They have amazing records, usually with very accurate and enticing descriptions. I'll look these folks up right away. Keep 'em coming"

What a great response, someone who has as much fun with this stuff as I do.  Zapruder is an interesting guy and it is worth looking his music up on iTunes, his most recent album is "This is a Beautiful Town".

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