Bad brains: some people are physically incapable of enjoying music

The Verge reports: For most people, the mere suggestion that a favorite song fails to evoke an emotional response in another human being sounds preposterous. Sure, that person might not like that song as much as you do, but they’ll definitely feel something — right? Not necessarily, says Josep Marco-Pallerés, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Barcelona and lead author of a new study that explores why some people feel indifferent to music. “Music isn’t rewarding for them, even though other kinds of rewards, like money, are,” he says. “It just doesn’t affect them.” As far as I can…

Are the USPS’s New International Postage Rates the Final Nail in the Coffin of Physical Media?

On January 27th the USPS will be raising postal rates. The First Class Forever stamp goes up by 1 cent. Other First Class prices also go up by 1 cent. Priority Mail goes up by 6 to 10 percent. other rates go up by similar amounts. But hidden among the run-of-the-mill price hikes there is one rate chart which is threatening to kill off international mail order sales. This is a new rate called First Class Parcel International Service (.xls) For instance, a four ounce parcel to Europe (like a single CD) goes from $6.12 to $12.75, an increase of…

There are two interesting things about this article about Rock Music in 2011

The first is that Jon Caramanica has written a very interesting and well-considered piece about the mainstream US* rock scene in 2011. I’ve had quibbles with some of his pet projects over the years, but here he hits a home run. It really is difficult to overstate the malaise in US mainstream rock this year. A worthwhile read. The second interesting thing about this article on the web is the SEO and page title tuning which the NYT has used for this piece. The article is called “The Year When Rock Just Spun Its Wheels” and it lists a bunch…

The Record Books – Music as Literature

“Well loved albums > Well thumbed tomes”. A fun and fascinating set on Flickr. Famous records imagined as book covers by a pretty good graphic designer. Apparently, they will soon be available as a set of postcards. The Record Books – a set on Flickr.

NYC Subways making music –

Conductor: from Alexander Chen on Vimeo. Impossibly cool! NYC Subway trains API describes art on screen and has a fun musical surprise too. Speeds up over time and is different each time you launch. Run it in multiple tabs for even more fun. Requires scripting, flash, HTML 5 and sound. MTA.ME.

Remarkable interactive infographics: Year in Reviews 2010 (P4K Edition)

Edward Segel has a very cool infographic at: Year in Reviews 2010 It features all the Pitchfork album reviews of 2010 arranged according to rating and it pops up images and links. I’m sure my statistician sister can tell you what the technical term is for this sort of presentation of data. I think it is “cool”. Note that if you want to get a 10 at P4K it helps to be a millionaire or a deluxe reissue

Unlikely Sources: The 5 Deadliest Drops Of 2010 : NPR

Of all the unlikely places to hear “deadly drops”, I think that bastion of middle class  bourgeoisie, the NPR website, is the most unlikely. Still, credit where credit is due, this short list is killer: The 5 Deadliest Drops Of 2010 : NPR Dunno if it got on the actual radio network tho… (bonus points for the inclusion of one of this PoOPsters’ favourites of the year)

Company presses your ashes into vinyl when you die

Company presses your ashes into vinyl when you die. Wired tells us music lovers can now be immortalised when they die by having their ashes baked into vinyl records to leave behind for loved ones. No mention of the sound quality, we suspect that the records sound a bit like early 80s Jamaican pressings…

Ninja Tune XX – What a beast! Now *that’s* the way to celebrate your 20th!

Ninja Tune, the label founded by Coldcut, is turning 20 years old. The Ninja Tune XX boxset is a beast.   You’ve got wo days left to pre-order it at $130.00 Hit the link for the truly frightening details (6 CDs, 6 7″s, stickers, hardback, etc. etc.) and here’s the remarkable track lineup: Tracklists: * = New + Exclusive CD1 * Two Fingers ‘Fools’ * * Roots Manuva ‘It’s On’ * * Toddla T ‘Want U Now’ (feat. Ms Dynamite) * * Dorian Concept ‘Her Tears Taste Like Pears’ * * Zomby ‘The Forest’ * * Offshore ‘Jen At The Station’ * * Emika…

Music sampler from SubPop

Apologies from admin. This posting was lost in the ether for god knows how long. Worth a look! **** SubPop has made a music sampler available for download, the site is worth the visit just to see the tribute to circa-90’s web design, and yes that is the right URL, just don’t let your significant other see that you visited it.

NPR, NME (also P4k, Paste, Uncut) release “Best Albums of the ’00s” – Reliably, predicatably, play to own audiences

NPR: An important distinction: We’re not looking for everyone’s favorite albums or songs, but rather ones that had some sort of historical significance. These are the game-changers — ones that signaled some sort of shift in music, or ones that were particularly influential in some way. We’re looking for the albums and singles people will still buy, share, listen to and talk about for years or decades to come.” NPR: The Decade’s 50 Most Important Recordings is the plain, unadorned, list. You can see a written discussion of the list here. They take pains to say that these are “important”…

New Brisbane bridge named after Go-Betweens

Not content with having critical success, these attention seeking songsmiths have finally been given the ultimate accolade, having a major civil engineering project named after them:   New Brisbane bridge named after Go-Betweens

HEH! Prince Zimboo comes to rule…

Prince Zimboo “Love Diareha” – A fun, funny track with a great groove. This deserves to be huge. It wasn’t on YouTube yet so I cobbled something together and put it up. Zimboo first came to our attention with his contribution to the Major Lazer record earlier this year. Despite the brevity of the track, it was obvious that the Prince was onto something… Then I heard Toddla T play “Love Diareha” on the “In New DJs We Trust” show on BBC Radio1 at the end of August. It was just soooo different from everything else that I tortured my…

New musical meme

New musical meme: Type “Classic Hits by Microsoft Songsmith:” into YouTube and have fun. (Songmith info on Wikipedia) A couple of my favourites: Which just gets it completely wrong, to hilarious effect. And: Which is more like a mash-up of old.