Megan and me with Rob at the Brian Wilson show last November.

After hearing the song “Energy” on the last Apples in Stereo album, I thought to myself “man, Robert Schneider could easily follow in the footsteps of They Might Be Giants and make children’s educational albums.” Well, turns out he’s doing just that. Billboard reports that he’s started a side project called “Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine,” and released a self-titled album last week through kiddie label Little Monster. I have a feeling the songs will still be enjoyable to us grown-ups, just like the TMBG kids’ songs are.
Another little tidbit from Billboard- that big Jonas Brothers 3D movie event that was supposed to be huge, turned out to be a bit of a flop… Ha. Ha ha.

& I took a picture of u & U took a picture of me. He really should turn this into a short film or something. I would hope it would come out feeling a bit like an SNL skit… but maybe with the irony a little less obvious.

The Strobist is a great blog for photographers. The guy knows lighting very well, and if you’re even remotely interested in photography I highly recommend checking it out. Today I had complete jealous-gasm when I saw his post about traveling to the Large Hadron Collider to do some photos of the engineers and scientists there. I can’t even imagine what it was like to get to shoot in there. Just to be inside it…. I would probably just freeze up in utter awe & amazement.

Back in those good ole days of cinema, they used an optical track on the side of film to record the sound. It was literally an optical representation of the waveform, painted in a black stripe alongside the picture. Nowadays that analog waveform has been replaced by either DTS or Dolby Digital. In the case of DTS it’s a timecode of dots and dashes to sync up with a separate CD containing the audio. In the case of Dolby Digital it’s a gray area between the sprocket holes that, when magnified, shows millions of tiny dots in a pattern, which is read by a digital optical sensor, converted into a digital signal of 1’s (represtented by a dot) and 0’s (represented by a clear space), representing the actual audio. This is a very simplified explanation, and I’m also recalling all this from my Audio for Media class waaaaay back in 2000, so if you’re reading this and you know I’ve mis-stated something, please leave a comment correcting me! Anyway… this all leads to the following video from 1951 showing film artist Norman McLaren, who literally draws sound by painting a series of dashes and shapes on the film, then running it through and optical audio reader. I’d love to try this sometime… it would be fascinating…. Via Clusterflock.

My love for Camera Obscura is endless. You can imagine my delight when I found an email from their listserv in my inbox yesterday containing info about their brand-spanking new website and FREEEEE mp3 of the title track from the new album, My Maudlin Career. Oh thank you Tracyanne & Co. for finally giving me something new to latch onto. If this song is a good indication of what the rest of the album will sound like, then it will be everything I hoped for. This track is full of fluttering piano runs drenched in cavernous reverb that flirt with Tracyanne’s beautiful Scottish croon in the most perfect way. GET IT. LOVE IT.
Camera Obscura-My Maudlin Career

I don’t know how I missed out on Fruit Tree Music, the blog of my old college friend Jon Arnold for this long…. He does a lot of great audio production work with one of my all-time favorite electronic musicians, Matt Pusti, as well as the Protomen and many other great locals. The cool thing about it is that he posts clips from almost everything he works on. Check it out.

I’ve recently discovered the blog Hipster Runoff. Their coverage of the Grammys is priceless. Just go. Apathy and snark. Snark and apathy.

Looks like Abe decided to get a punk rock hairdo not long before his assassination. The image links to the Library of Congress’ flickr stream. Yes, the Library of Congress has a flickr. How cool is that? Via Kottke.org.

Speaking of politics, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or aren’t from TN, then you know that the TN House of Representatives has been through some turmoil lately. Well, the Republicans finally decided to kick out Kent Williams, the guy who upset their plans for Jason Mumpower to become Speaker of the House, and an extreme conservative takeover. So we now have 49 democrats, 49 republicans, and Kent Williams. It could be worse? Via Nashville Is Talking.

Now for some national political humor…. Clips taken out of context from Obama’s self-narrated audiobook version of Dreams From My Father. Via Yewknee.

Just in case you didn’t know how incredibly unhealthy soft drinks are, read this article from Mercola.com. I don’t agree with everything this guy posts… in fact some of it is a little too “conspiracy theory” for me. And he’s somewhat of an antivaxxer (people who claim that vaccines cause autism- read more about them here), which is appalling, but some of the stuff on his website is good.

Good news on the Large Hadron Collider. They expect it to be operational again in September and hopefully will start collisions in October. I really hope some ground-breaking discoveries happen as a result of this enormous and fascinating piece of technology.