Zack the panhandler, buying/selling music on the street

An interesting thing happened to me while I was walking downtown a few months ago, which given my recent pursuit of the old forms of music distribution, I thought I should try and connect some dots here. These young hip hop dudes walk up to me and are all like, “”yo, yo, ya gotta check our beats man… “” and, “10 bucks will get you this phat cd of us and our friends”“. And I’m thinking, (not too coherently mind you) this is suspicious, but my curiosity is piqued and I throw on the phones to hear a few traks. Ok, the beats ARE phat, no question. So good in fact that i’m thinkin ” …who IS this rapping? I know that voice, is it a local artist?, blackalicious? from the uk? ” I can’t place it. Although I am questioning the origin of the music, it’s a risk taking sort of evening, and if these guys are desperate enough for beer money to flog cd’s on the street, I’m willing to throw in dime to help ‘em out.
So I buy the CD entitled “Killing Time compilation”, and over the next few days give it a good listening to. Slowly, I realize I am not listening to some downloaded tunes from underground artists I know, but in fact, some great original material from the very same guys who sold me the cd. How did I figure it out? Well the fact that all the tracks are available on MySpace was a big clue.

I have tracked down a discussion forum that has pictures of the killing time complilation cd.. Checking the back cover, the URLS of each artist MySpace was one of the prime tools for sharing and promoting their music.

Here is all the myspace pages

This post has been sitting in my ‘drafts’ folder for many more months now, i think I started the post almost a year ago actually. I fear most of the links are quite broken. I have just not been able to figure out how to finish it off. Basically, it describes a way of buying music that is probably not too common, yet serendipitously it worked out. I have not heard if these artists have gone on to great fame and fortune, I haven’t even seen any announcements for any performances locally. Regardless, as far as new music goes, why not give those dudes on the street that are trying to make a buck a chance. You may be surprised at what they have to offer.

LAST.FM ~ back in black

LAST.FM ~ back in black

Originally uploaded by draggin.

These are some notes I have been adding to a screen shot on flickr. I have wanted to post this for awhile, but with the multitude of blogs I have going on these days, its not always clear where I should post to. If this flickr/notes approach turns out to be a useful way to demo the tool, I may consider doing it for other sites as well, but it was fun for me just the same. Especially since this is one of my favorite music sites of all time!

I’ll be including this in a session some friends and I are doing at artcamp tomorrow. Brian really describes these things much better than I.

we will work towards creating a mixtape by and for the participants of ArtCamp, playing around with friction points between digital music media and an analog technology on the verge of obsolescence. Not sure I get it, but I know it’s gonna be fun.

As is the case with these things, we are just sorta coming up with stuff on the fly, but I’m sure between the three of us we’ll have plenty to say and do. For my part I plan to quickly review along with some other options for making “mixtapes” and sharing them online these days, possibly including:
webjay,mixtape collective,and a newly discovered local startup, project opus

I’m also thinking of doing a short history of music technologies, and a review of different mixtape “types”, drawn from my research data so far. Of course the main goal will be to come up with an actual mix for the artcampers as a take away, (including one lucky person that will leave with a tape!). I guess we’ll need to pick some kind of theme for the mix, as well as collaborate on a cover, all of which should be an interesting process. This tape cassette template may come in handy, maybe there will be time to ponder the “how-to’s” of decent mixtape making., we’ll jsut have to see what people are interested in.

It seem my thesis could not be coming at better timed to capture some of the trends occuring in the digital music realm these days. fun!

How should digital ‘objects’ behave, realistically?

Hyper-realistically more like. This via Lifehacker. Anand Agarawala and Ravin Balakrishnan BumpTop prototype demonstrates the desktop metaphor taken to a new level, in what may be considered ‘gamespace’.

We explore making virtual desktops behave in a more physically realistic manner by adding physics simulation and using piling instead of filing as the fundamental organizational structure. Objects can be casually dragged and tossed around, influenced by physical characteristics such as friction and mass, much like we would manipulate lightweight objects in the real world.

Josh Spear does one of the best posts on it, although I am not as certain as most if this is a good idea or not. Clearly it needs to be massively user tested, (which I would love to sign up for) but more, does it makes sense for digital arifacts, files, to be limited by the confounds of our ‘real’ world?

Not to mention the fact that people would have to learn an entirely new ‘gesture’ based language, (can you say graffiti ? ), but as one commenter on the lifehacker post put it…

Ummm… filenames? Metadata? Thumbnails anyone?

What the hell am I going to do with a bunch of identical icons?

Sure, this looks cool, but I don’t see how it works for actual document management without, you know, WORDS!

Of course, considering applying these principles to tagclouds really gets the imagination going.

My own research is similar perhaps but working in reverse. By looking at peoples storing solutions, strategies and patterns, I hope to make a case for a behaviour based design of interfaces used specifically to sort and store. (File Systems, Email, Media players,)