Nick Drake: Forgotten While He Was Here, Remembered for a While

My introduction to Nick Drake was likely the same as for many of his newer fans — a 2000 Volkswagen Cabrio commercial that used probably his most famous track, Pink Moon:


Drake reportedly sold more records from this commercial alone than from the previous 30 years combined. His music was ushered into the mainstream for an entirely new generation of music lovers to appreciate and discover.

Even so, Nick Drake is not for everyone. His autumnal style is often infused with solace, alienation, and extreme self-consciousness. To paraphrase my nephew about listening to Drake: “I like Nick Drake, but I have to be in the right frame of mind to want to listen to him.”

Yet for all its outward gloominess, the magic he created is unmistakable. Drake often tapped into nature to take us away on these wind-swept journeys through his fears and self-doubt; he was himself the personification of aloofness and sociopathy. In fact, there is not a single known video of Drake performing — he just couldn’t deal:

Fame is but a fruit tree / so very unsound

It can never flourish / until its stalk is in the ground

— Fruit Tree, from his debut album Five Leaves Left

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Has the Battleground Shifted in the ‘Console Wars?’

It ain’t 2006 anymore…

Let’s face facts, the console wars aren’t what they used to be. Back in 2005 when Microsoft raced to rush out release the Xbox 360 a year ahead of its competitors at Nintendo and Sony, the buzz for the next generation of consoles was truly palpable and the competition would prove to be fierce. A quick Wikipedia search of lifetime console sales puts Wii at just under 100 million, Xbox 360 at 76 million, and PS3 at 70 million (or as high as 77 million according to IDC estimates), ranking 3rd, 4th, and 5th all time, respectively.

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Breaking: Sony to Show ‘Future’ at Feb. 20th Event. Yup, it’s the PS4. [Updated]

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Attention PlayStation devotees, the date you’ve all been waiting for can finally be circled on your Crash Bandicoot-themed calendars. According to the Wall Street Journal (via The Verge), Sony will announce the PS3’s successor during a special event on February 20th at 6 PM. Details are scarce, but a Sony rep did tweet out an abstract teaser video with all kinds of Tron-like lasers and shit intended to, um, well just see for yourself. Maybe the PS4 is in there somewhere:

Source: YouTube via The Verge

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When the Day is Done: Afternoon Links – January 29, 2013

Going to keep this post light, with one major exception.

Ok, so I love me some Locos Tacos from Taco Bell. For those who don’t know, it’s a taco with a classic Nacho Cheese Doritos’ shell. Yum. And guess what? They’re gonna make a Cool Ranch flavored version! – Via BuzzFeed’s Twitter

Sir Paul McCartney, one of my living idols, is such a young soul — I love the way he uses technology. He’s already using Twitter’s Vine video app. See if you can name the song yourself: http://vine.co/v/bJjdTLBnwx1 (Hint: It’s from Band on the Run)

For the ladies: I remember’s 1994’s classic Diet Coke break commercial, and now 18 years later they are reviving it with a twist and it has become a viral sensation. – Via Mashable’s Twitter post

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Apple’s New Civil War: iPad and MacBook Worlds About to Collide

In news that surprised few, earlier today Apple announced (via The Verge) a new 128 GB model of its 4th generation iPad. The new model will be available on February 5 and it will cost $799 (Wi-fi only) and $929 (Wi-fi + LTE).

Let that last number sink in for a moment: $929. The price is not that significant on its own since Apple has never been known as a value brand. No, the real significance lies in another number: $999. That is the price of an entry-level MacBook Air—a full-on premium laptop. Matter of fact, BestBuy and Amazon had that same MacBook Air model on sale for $799 just this last weekend. Apple is not only going after the entire laptop industry with its iPad guns blazing, it’s seemingly turning those same guns on itself.

Let the Civil War Begin

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When the Day is Done: Afternoon Links – January 28, 2013

‘When the Day is Done’ is the title of my daily link-sharing repo, where I will post links from around the web on an array of topics that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Title is lifted directly from the title of one of my favorite Nick Drake songs. Not Drake, people. NICK DRAKE. Just clarifying.

Oldie but goodie from way back on Jan. 16, 2013. Simply one of the best features I’ve read in quite some time: “The Life and Death of the American Arcade.” The article’s layout is ingenious, the video’s production values top notch. Excellent reporting overall. And nostalgic to boot. — Via The Verge.

“Chris Bosh: Photobomb at the White House an Instant Classic.” — Via The Big Lead

Finally! “Boy Scouts May Lift Ban on Gay Members.” — Via New York Times

Amazon still has 12 months of Xbox Live Gold for only $35. That’s 40% off retail. Won’t last long at that price.

Grantland ranked the top 64 Chappelle’s Show sketches and squared them off in a March Madness-type tournament bracket. Here is the article in a single page. I won’t spoil it, but I will share my personal favorite. I mean nothing tops this for me:

And finally, a little quote from legendary film director, Ernst Lubitsch (who directed my favorite actress ever, Greta Garbo, in Ninotchka (1939)). “At least twice a day the most dignified human being is ridiculous.” — Via Criterion’s Tumblr

On Apps: Do We Really Care About Our Apps?

So pretty much anyone who knows me knows I’m an Apple enthusiast (OK, fanboi works fine too) and I’m pretty much my family and workplace’s resident Apple evangelist a la John Gruber from Daring Fireball and Guy Kawasaki.

Yet all that Apple love doesn’t necessarily translate to App love. This got me to thinking about what I really think about the dozens of apps I currently have on my 16 GB iPhone 5. So I decided to go page by page and investigate. I think this will also pull double duty as an early Spring App Cleaning exercise, so to keep in that spirit, I will write ‘Keep’ or “Delete’ for each app. So here goes (I will exclude Apple’s ‘undeletable’ apps).

In honor of my film-buffery of yesteryear, the ‘Divisions’ will be named after movies, both known and more obscure.

Page 1 (Untouchables Division)

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1. The Verge – There’s a reason it’s on first page. Easy KEEP.

2. Facebook – We all love to hate it. But let’s face it, we still KEEP.

3. Downcast – Apple’s built-in podcast solution sucks. This rocks. KEEP.

4. Audiogalaxy – My whole, ahem, legal music collection in one app. KEEP.

5. Air Video – My whole, ahem, legal video collection in one app. KEEP.

6. Bejeweled Blitz – 60 sec games. Leaderboards. Family infighting over scores. Definite KEEP.

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Vine vs Cinemagram: A Casual User’s Take (Updated)

Instagram has become something of a cultural sensation. Sure, Facebook paid out an ungodly sum of $1 billion to buy up the craze last Spring. Ah, but can any of those overly-filtered images move? Hmmmmm? I think not. Static images? That’s so 19th century daguerreotype.

Enter Cinemagram and Twitter’s Vine, two iOS apps looking to capture the hearts of moving image enthusiasts. I won’t deep-dive into every feature under their respective hoods, but here are some initial thoughts after some light, casual use.

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