The Funeral Party: Freebird-Free Mixes for the Afterlife…


Every now and again, I’ll have a sobering thought.  The kind of thought that makes the world go still, and the air turn cold, and the hair on the back of the neck stand up.  Today’s thought struck me with mortal terror.  In looking at a list of songs that Britons want played at their funerals, it occurred to me that someone might very well play James Blunt at my funeral.  And knowing how important music is to me, and that I run this site, people might feel that I had chosen such a song.  And then, as in this life, the afterlife would be full of people who wanted to mock me.  Only this time, it would be for eternity… Yikes!  And so, with an energy and an enthusiasm I wish I could feel when working on my dissertation, I resolved to put down a few thoughts on the subject.  And since it’s a curious sort of subject, I thought I’d ask your opinion…

Continue reading

Black Tape For A Blue Geek: The (D)evolution of Mixtapes

This entry is cross-posted on my friend Chris’ site Geek Force Five. It’s a veritable cornucopia of high geekery, and just about the only place I can get published chock full of obsessive fun.  Go and have a look around!

maxell_ur90_2There are a lot of ways to get to know people that take time, involve boundaries and labor, and generally allow for each participant to set their own pace. Pfft, I say! I’m a twentieth-century digital boy (which means, as we’ll see, that I’m using an analog-digital converter and have set my channel to 3). If I like you, for whatever reason, then I’m not going to wait. I have a great gut, and it tells me everything I need to know. So, chances are that when I’ve met someone new that I feel I’d like to know better, I’m going to ask: “Hey, do you want me to make you a tape?” It’s a reflex that – despite changes in time and social norms – I will never lose. And it’s also the quickest way to see whether you’re going to be taking any long car trips in the near future. Shallow? Maybe. Ephemeral? Absolutely. Practical? Quite possibly. Now, granted, I am most likely going to deliver that “tape” in CD format or on one of these adorable things. Still, for reasons that I’ll try and lay out for you, I just can’t bring myself to shake the habit of calling it a “tape,” or relying on its Magic-8-ball-esque utility.

Continue reading