Thursday, January 15, 2009

Technology: The Future is NOW

Gather round, troops. It's time for our Biannual FutureTown Round-Up. (of the future!) Technically this is the first one, but with my new future-seeing abilities, I anticipate another one in the near, ah... future. I've been meaning to start some new traditions around here, anyway. So Biannual it is!

Now please join me in taking a moment to honor these innovators who, for lack of a day job, pushed the envelope in musical development. (of the future!) Technology pioneers who not only lived on the edge, but promptly fell off of it. These instruments are lovingly crafted, and recently fangled. Click through the photos for Wired's original article.

1. Overtone Violin (of the future!)

Dear Overtone Violin, I stumbled upon your eHarmony profile, and I must had me at "Sonar Sensor." Also, again at Sonar Sensor 2. But then Button Matrix? Video Camera? Bottom Control? I think we're moving a little fast here.

Plus, I'm a bit concerned about this "tech-sessory fetish" you mention, illustrated by your fingerless lycra glove. With velcro. And some sort of USB cable just kind of tacked on there. I know Lawnmower Man. And you, sir, are no Lawnmower Man.

#2: Boing Boing (of the future!)

This litle gizmo is described as:
"...producing sounds such as bounces, collisions, trembles, shudders and shakes."
Sounds like Scott Weiland is out of rehab again. Heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy*

#3: Beamz (of the future!)

Immediately, points lost for including a "Z" in an attempt to tug on our futuristic laser-strings. Secondly, Laser Strings! Lastly, it's a clear patent infringment on Nintendo's U-Force from 1989 (and yes, I looked that up, but it was a mere formality.)

So that's it. Buy one of these crazy gadgets, then break it and see what oozes out. My guess? Very little magic.


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

In every soldier's life there comes a time to make a choice between good and evil, between right and wrong. Down one path lies eternal light and fulfillment, down the other... self-loathing and despair. Come with me, then, and listen as I spin a tale of deepest horror.
The place: Somewheresville, CT.
Our subject: A young Meredith DiMenna
Her destiny: To defile the ear canals of our nation's best and brightest.

A young girl sits alone in a school stairwell, eyes still stinging from the taunts and jeers of her cruel classmates. She hears a door open and moves to leave but is stopped short, looking up into the welcoming eyes of a stranger.

"I'm sorry, I couldn't help but notice that you were crying...
in C# minor." (WINK!)

And so it began. Friendships were founded as scales were solfeged. Ties were tacked, costumes were co- ordinated, and recitals were rehearsed. Above all, alliterations were abused.
A dark cloud had decended upon young DiMenna. What was once called glee club, barbershop, doo wop - a bonafide, Boone-ified way for youngsters to get their music fix - we now know by its Latin name...

a cappella.

Fun Fact: New York's Binghamtonics host the annual
For-The-Longest-Time-A-Thon, responsible for nearly
half of Binghamton's student suicides.

Whee-oo-oooh-huuuh-the longest...

After long years of harmonizing and martinizing*, Dimenna honed her powers of vocal prowess, to the point where A over high C is no longer a challenge, but a weapon. Her powers are now used for evil rather than the other, better, if perhaps a little boring, super-good. I give you exhibit A:


If you haven't heard the original, then rush over to Amazon and plunk your buck down. It's worth it. This poor song, once tall, was brought to its knees by the sheer power of sibilant cymbals, fricative flams, and plosive percussion. DIY-indie-punk will never be the same. And now that liberal-arts college students have gotten their hooks in it, (Their catchy, catchy hooks,) soon we may not be able to tell the difference between Fugazi show and Phish Phestival.

So I implore you. If, in spite of the evidence, you're still inspired to wear a constrictive uniform, shout on command, and stand stock-still for hours... why, have you considered the Army, son?!

*you think the seams in those chorus shirts are gonna pop all by themselves?!