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Give Me Music, Not an iPod (or why I listen to music without a shiny techno gadget)

Written by Sam Roudman on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

Admission time: I don’t have an iPod. For someone who writes about music this might seem like the case of the jockey renouncing horses and then refusing to leave the polo grounds, bit I promise, it’s not, and I won’t. The issue has failed thus far to reach the level of overt consideration on my part, because I don’t really think mass ownership of a convenient, sleek, pathetically fetishized object with overtones of class aspiration really makes that much of a difference in how I listen to or perceive of music.

This dam of placid condescension recently burst though, and now I feel a greater need to stake out my claim in what iPod users have assured me over and over is a murky, centerless, podless wilderness. The catalyst? My dad bought my mom an iPod for Mother’s day.

Not only did it drive home my lack of gift (well played Dad!), but it gave me pause, because if Steve Jobs had managed to manipulate his way to the outer rings of the technoscenti, where suburban moms dwell in a state of repose and general gearphopia, clearly this phenomenon had outgrown its shadowdancing, DRM protected origins. If mom has an iPod, then why not me?

It seems another case of shiny toy-want creation outstripping any sort of necessity; coolness again harnessed as a silent tool of consumer coercion. In dear mom’s case, not just the necessity of the object is in question, but the mere utility. There is a distinct chance my mom will still be figuring out how to make a playlist on the thing when Apple is prepping the release of the iPod Brain Injectah 2K20, downloading 80 terabytes straight to your hippocampus, leaving open the hideous future risk of an L train full of Kung-Fu-less various stripes...

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More Flight of the Conchords Chatter: They’re Not That Funny! They’re Just On HBO

Written by Sam Roudman on . Posted in Music, Posts

Flight of the Conchords are not that funny, neither as a band, nor as a TV show. Not like “it’s not to my taste” not funny, or “I don’t get it” not funny either. They arouse in me nothing more than a pancaked whoopee-cushion of ambivalence, the essential oil of deflation. What bothers me is [&hellip
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ATP New York Proves That Indie Rock Has Become a Cushy Croquet Party for the Cool Kids

Written by Sam Roudman on . Posted in Music, Posts

Since it seems the recently announced NY ATP festival has been the recipient of near universal acclaim, I feel it necessary to assume the role of the bitter vintner, and squash the first flush of sour grapes. My gripe is not with the lineup, which is unassailable. Yes, I want curators My Bloody Valentine to [&hellip
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Sing Sing Still Perfect Spot for Sloppy Birthday Sing-a-Longs

Written by Sam Roudman on . Posted in Arts & Film, Posts

In the heart of Saint Marks Place, between second and third avenues lies a karaoke joint named Sing Sing. I had decided on one of their private rooms as a suitable location for birthday revelry, and for $80 an hour (rooms range from $24-$120/hour during the weekend) over four hours I seemed to have entered into a musical/social aptitude test, the results of which proved both me and my fellow birthday travelers to be slightly retarded.

Upon entrance at the bar (beer, sake, no booze proper), you’re greeted with a packed maze of revelers, some waiting for karaoke rooms to open up, others waiting for their moment of glory. With the aid of a large flat screen monitor above the bar, these moments of glory consisted largely of impassioned but no less hideous renditions of Incubus, Disturbed, My Chemical Romance and other choice chunks fresh off the oughts’ modern rock radio grill.

Upon admission into the room, we were greeted with a list of regulations for the care and maintenance of the room, including exhortations to not stand on the couch or table, to not spill beer, to not throw the mic, to not scream into the mic, and to not pack more than 10 people into the room...

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