The Summer That Sting Set Himself Free

A vivid memory has kicked off a few days of music nostalgia. It's 1985 and I'm driving home from the only job in my life that gave me any working-class cred, a summer gig pulling up and replacing carpets at apartment complexes across East Dallas. My thumbs are healing from cuts because I'm too inept to use an X-Acto knife properly, which my boss Eric predicted would happen on day one and considers quite hilarious. The DJ on KEGL makes a big deal out of playing for the first time the first song ... (read more)

'Place to Be' by Hiromi Uehara

Heard this song for the first time tonight on the Concord Records site and couldn't believe how great it was. ... (read more)

Garth Brooks Unretires for Shows at Wynn Las Vegas

Garth Brooks, who announced recently that he was coming out of retirement, has sold out his first 20 shows at the Wynn Las Vegas resort in less than 24 hours, according to a report from the Associated Press. Brooks retired in 2001 and said that he'd promised his daughters -- then 4, 6 and 8 -- to make his family the top priority in his life. When he was approached by Steve Wynn, Brooks was skeptical. "I said he couldn't afford me," Brooks said. "I was wrong." The deal got the approval of his ... (read more)

A Mulatto, An Albino, A Mosquito, My Libido

Ladies and gentlemen, the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. They also rock Shaft, Psycho Killer and Teenage Dirtbag. When they played London's Royal Albert Hall in 2009, the sold-out crowd of 6,000 included 1,000 people who brought ukeleles to accompany them on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." ... (read more)

The Heavy: David Letterman Likes Them Now

On Jan. 18, the British band The Heavy impressed David Letterman so much with their song "How You Like Me Now?" that he did something he's never done before in the history of his program -- he asked for an encore. The YouTube video is the televised broadcast -- which edits out most of the encore -- but you can see it in full in high quality on Letterman's web site. Paul Shaffer and Letterman even perform part of the encore. There have been some great live performances on Letterman, including TV ... (read more)

And Now You Want to Be My Friend on Facebook?

I was poking around Google Reader when I found a recommended six-month-old blog post by Google engineer Mark Chu-Carroll on why he will not be attending his high school reunion: ... it's twenty five years since I got out of that miserable ------- hell-hole. And people from my high school class are suddenly getting in touch, sending me email, trying to friend me on Facebook, and trying to convince me to bring my family to the reunion. (It's a picnic reunion, full family invited.) Even some of ... (read more)

Homeless Man Performs Radiohead's 'Creep'

On Friday, the Opie and Anthony radio show invited several homeless men they pulled off the street into the studio to promote their annual "homeless shopping spree" bit. When they learned one of the men was a musician who had written some songs, they procured him a guitar and he performed Radiohead's "Creep." There's more details on Daniel Mustard's appearance on Sports Inferno and Reddit. ... (read more)

RSS Advisory Board Becomes Publisher of Media RSS

Last night, I finished creating a copy of the Media RSS Specification as part of its move from Yahoo to the RSS Advisory Board. We found out 21 months ago that Yahoo was amenable to the idea of finding a custodian to publish the spec, so several board members and I have been working with them to make it happen. Media RSS is a namespace that extends RSS to support sophisticated distribution of audio, video and image files. In the five years since it was created by Yahoo, it has become extremely ... (read more)

Auto-Tune the News: The Early Years

Eight years ago, Evan Gregory of the Gregory Brothers, the mad geniuses behind the Auto-Tune the News YouTube videos, gave the commencement speech at Swarthmore College for the class of 2001. The speech, which ended up on NPR, is partially delivered in pirate. ... (read more)

Richard Corliss Makes Excuses for Michael Jackson

Before Michael Jackson's death Friday, I wasn't aware that I had any affection left for the King of Pop. Like millions of others, I grew up watching Jackson and the rest of his family grow up. Janet Jackson's my age, and when she played Penny as a 10-year-old on the sitcom Good Times, I was in love. I decided to save myself for her -- not that she appreciated it -- until I finally gave up at age 18. I'm not the only one who still had some affection for Jackson, but the extent of the tonguebath ... (read more)