down home radio show Â» Various Field Recordings
Anthology Film Archives – New York City 12/8/07:
This show was after a screening of the film â€œBound to Loseâ€ which is a GREAT documentary about The Holy Modal Rounders. â€œThe End of the World Banjo Bandâ€ is a current project by Peter Stampfel of The Holy Modal Rounders. It’s an all banjo band featuring Peter Stampfel, John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers), Jeannie Scofield, Walker Shepard and Down Home Radioâ€™s own Eli Smith. Faced with the end of the world, seemingly the only option is actually to create an all-banjo-band. The band has 5-string banjos, banjo-mandolin, and 6-string banjo-guitar.
The End of the World Banjo Band Live!
My strategy of dropping off my business card at every trade show booth that promises quality swag paid off. I just received an MP3 player from Genivar – thanks, folks!
It’s a weird little unit. Looks almost identical to a nano, but is your plain-vanilla USB mass storage device – something that Apple could learn from, but they’re in the business of selling players tied to iTunes. It also has a standard USB connector for days transfer and charging – Apple and iRiver please note.
It seems it’s an S1 type player, so can play videos in its own weird format. It also has a voice recorder, which again records in its own special format (likely some hacked version of GSM).
It will be fun playing with it.
Update: Looks like it’s an
ATJ-2135 Actions Semiconductor player of some kind. It can record in ADPCM wav (which sox can convert), or its own weird ACT format (which can be converted using this Windows-only program).
Whoa, the Camp Combo rocked Mitzi’s Sister – in fact, they are still rocking it, as I had to head back home.
Nichol brought his enormous Leslie speaker which added to the ‘jazzeh’ sound of the evening. It was worth lugging it down.
Update: Fred Spek was kind enough to let me post the recording online:
Fred Spek’s Camp Combo – Mitzi’s Sister, Toronto – 2007-10-16 (early set).
… And I have no Polyphonic Spree on my player, alas.
I’m still midway through splitting tracks, but I thought you might like to hear:
The Apples in Stereo – Please (live in Toronto, 20 February 2007)
Complete show to follow. I’m not really in a place that I could torrent this from, alas.
I’ve been playing with XSPF, mostly so I can use the XSPF Web Music Player. There’s a Perl API for working with XSPF (XML::XSPF) which works well, but is extremely short on documentation.
Creating a playlist with XML::XSPF is pretty logical: create a new track object for each new track, then feed an array of these tracks into the playlist object. It took me a couple of hours of fiddling about (and much use of Data::Dumper::Simple, the plain man’s guide to tortuous data structures) to find that out.
The end result is this:
id32xspf – create XSPF playlist to stdout from a list of MP3s with ID3v2 tags.
It’s intended for use on a local directory of MP3s, which will subsequently be uploaded to a website. It uses MP3::Info to do the tag work.
It has some limitations:
- every file must have ID3v2 tags.
- it doesn’t handle file:// locations at all well, as their syntax is system-dependent. You’ll probably have to use the --urlbase option. For example, for Unix systems for local files in the current directory, I find -u file://`pwd`/ works well.
- it doesn’t include track numbers, as I didn’t know that XSPF supported them.
- it doesn’t create track artwork links, as this isn’t included in ID3 data.
One slightly amusing caveat about the XSPF Web Music Player is that it doesn’t understand the rate of some of lame‘s more amusing VBR presets. If you feed it files from the voice preset (56kbit, mono, resampled to 32000Hz), the results sound like Pinky & Perky …
O Canada – as performed by sampled wailing babies.
I uploaded a torrent of Friday’s show: “Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 – The Mod Club, Toronto – 10 November 2006”. There will also be MP3s, if you give it about an hour or so.
Manfred Mann and Mike Hug – The Michelin Theme
(More info at discogs. MP3 originally nicked from Steve York‘s site, and then lost on an obscure corner of my backup drive. Steve played bass on this track.)
The Hut Sut Song, perhaps the most infectious earworm you’ll ever hear.
… or if you want it a bit more accessible, here is an mp3 of The Hut Sut Song, converted from the same source.
I’ve archived an MP3 copy of Arnold Brown’s Radio 4 programme here: Ivor Cutler: Glasgow Dreamer. It’s a good introduction to Ivor Cutler’s work, and it’s a bit more accessible than the RealAudio format I had to convert it from.
There’ve been a couple of times that my 256MB USB key wasn’t quite big enough, so I was in the market for a 1GB unit. Since the iPod Shuffle was only slightly more expensive than a plain memory key, I thought it would be a good purchase.
Um, wrong. While it’s undoubtedly a decent (if slightly portly) USB key, it has huge deficiencies as a music player:
- you can’t skip to the next album in the play list.
- shuffle mode seems more like ‘play a few songs out of order from the same album until you manually skip to something different’.
- why is my music hidden away in weirdly-named files?
- iTunes doesn’t always sync all of the tunes in the playlist, leaving you with missing albums.
For me, I think the most the Shuffle will be is a way of listening to the couple of albums I’ve bought on the weekend. It is small, light, and sounds pretty reasonable, but it won’t replace my iRiver H120 for musical goodness.
I’m hosting the MP3s of King Cutler, the 1990 radio series featuring Ivor Cutler, Phyllis King, and many others.
Update, May 2008: actually no, I’m not. Jeremy Cutler asked me to remove them.
Looks like the 512MW version is on sale in Canada as the Centrios. Wish they had the 1GB version.
In partial response to the Ask Metafilter question “How can I rename my music folders on my Mac based on ID3 tags?“:
# itunes_sanity.sh - fix dir names created by iTunes
# only works for mp3s, and not actually tested on a Mac
# created by scruss on Sun Sep 4 22:05:00 EDT 2005
find "$@" -type d -mindepth 1 | while read directory
firstfile=$( find "$directory" -type f -iname '*.mp3' | head -n1 )
year=$( id3info "$firstfile" | egrep ' TYE ' | sed 's/=== TYE (Year): //; s/[^0-9]*//;' )
album=$( id3info "$firstfile" | egrep ' TAL ' | sed 's,=== TAL (Album/Movie/Show title): ,,;' )
echo mv \'$directory\' \'$artistdir/\[$year\] $album\'
So if you were in the terminal, in your music library (one up from the individual artist directories), and you did:
itunes_sanity.sh Dan\ Jones Tripping\ Daisy
mv 'Dan Jones/Get Sounds Now' 'Dan Jones/ Get Sounds Now'
mv 'Dan Jones/One Man Submarine' 'Dan Jones/ One Man Submarine'
mv 'Tripping Daisy/Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb' 'Tripping Daisy/ Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb'
If that looks okay, run the output through the shell:
itunes_sanity.sh Dan\ Jones Tripping\ Daisy | sh
and all should be well.
You’ll need id3lib, which is probably most easily installed from Fink. Also, this only works for mp3 files; I can’t grok the tag info for AAC files. And finally, this might go seriously screwy on weird characters in filenames. You know my feelings on that …