Posts Tagged ‘Music’

More relics from The Jejune Institute on the web

June 26th, 2016


 

I have no idea what my brain does when I’m asleep. Occasionally it leads me to some strange discoveries. For example, up until today I’d always assumed “Nonchalance,” the name of the studio behind The Jejune Institute, was something they’d made up for the game’s second chapter. My own dreams proved this to be incorrect. How? We’re getting to that.

Far too early this morning I woke up after a dream, grabbed my phone, and typed something into Google. I can’t remember the dream nor the search keywords, but the results included this music page on Nonchalance’s website. (Why some of the music is listed as by “JBH & Bobby Peru” is beyond me, since those are the same person.)

To me the most interesting part about the page wasn’t the music itself, it was that it represented some relic from a previous version of the Nonchalance.com website I’d never encountered before — it predated The Jejune Institute. Needless to say, I couldn’t get back to sleep; I’d stumbled down this temporal rabbit hole and needed to know more.

While many links on the page now redirect elsewhere, Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine came to the rescue. For those unfamiliar with the service, they’ve been capturing publicly available websites for decades and storing them online. You can go back and see how your favorite websites looked back in the day, even if they’re long since defunct.

After poking around the archives of Nonchalance’s website, most of the content on early versions of the site covers their other activities, including art installations, musings on design, and related projects like Oaklandish. Only later versions of the site make reference to the “game” project they’d become best known for (click the hyperlinked word “the” in the previous sentence to see what I mean.)

The most unexpected revelation hidden in these forgotten pages is the first entry in the website’s blog (scroll all the way down) in a post from 2007, about a year before The Jejune Institute opened its doors to the public.

The post reads in part:

Picture in your mind a cartoon character sleepwalking. Observe as they stutter, step, and stumble blindly out of bed, down the stairs and out the front door on to a busy street. They narrowly dodge impending danger without effort or awareness. Cars race by, they are turned around in a revolving door, and after the languid adventure they are somehow returned to bed unharmed. It’s a certain attribute the cartoon character possesses: to be able to stumble through life with nary a care, prodigiously protected and provided for by the invisible hand of good fortune. This ability is called Divine Nonchalance.
 
And so; our titled is lifted from this phrase, which may have its origins in modern Tarot: it appears on the card of The Fool. It signifies a certain blessed carelessness, a freedom from inhibition that sparks and inspires creativity. Long ago our local clique adopted the phrase to describe certain peoples who possessed the gift. If you possess it, as visionary artists often do, than you too may be one of the Divine Nonchalants.
 
BUT BEWARE: like any other gift, it comes with a price. The special power of Nonchalance is not found on the card of the King, or of the Sun… it is found on the card of The Fool. Clowns, wise guys, drunks and musicians are the salty sort of down-trodden folk who usually possess this super power in spades. And of course; cartoon characters. This special breed of people all share the wonderful attribute. It’s a shame they’ll never quite know what to do with it. By definition the Nonchalant is wonderfully scattered, and lacking in all direction. The ride is fantastic, but it only leads back to where we began.
 
It is appropriate then that we put the title to use. Nonchalance.org is a small looking glass into the creative lives of a few east bay souls. Here is where we document our works, make audacious statements of purpose, post exhibit schedules, engage with theory, trade intelligence, and celebrate our love for the past, present and future of this glorious lifetime.

A slightly different version of the Divine Nonchalance definition can be found on this page from a 2008 snapshot of Nonchalance.com

If any of this definition sounds familiar it’s because “Commander 14,” played by Harry S. Robins, read a nearly identical script on a certain pirate radio station in Dolores Park in the second chapter of The Jejune Institute. You can listen to the full broadcast here. The part similar to the above quote starts at about 1:20. But really, you should listen to the entire thing; it’s less than an hour long and it’s quite funny. Listen to it at Dolores Park if you want the most authentic experience.

It’s amazing what mind-blowing mysteries we can accidentally unlock in the middle of the night. Assuming there’s no microwave harassment, of course.

Some love song titles

March 3rd, 2015

I Love You Lots
Photo by Jeff Golden used under a Creative Commons license.
 

Are you a songwriter? Are you incredibly lazy? Good. This blog post is for you.

As a songwriter you probably have too many things to worry about — like making your songs sound good — to worry about the lyrics. Fortunately that’s why love songs were invented: you can just say some general things about love, or even about a previous relationship. If you’re lucky some people will like your love song and play it at their wedding. Then those sweet, sweet royalty checks come flowing in!

Now that you’ve spent three minutes writing the lyrics to your love song, you must come up with a title. D’oh! Titles are tricky. Fortunately I’ve already come up with a few that you can use, all for free. Yes!

  • Love To Love You
  • I Lovingly Love You
  • Love 2: More Love
  • The Lovely Kind of Love
  • I Actually Hate How Much I Love You
  • Unlike David Lee Roth, I Am Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
  • I Fucking Love The Shit Out of You, Bitch
  • Don’t Make Me Come Over There and Love You
  • Love, Love, & Love. Also, Love
  • I Am Legally Obligated to Inform You That My Love is So Strong It’s Classified as Carcinogenic Under California Proposition 65

See? You’re almost done now; the hard part is deciding which of these fabulous titles to use! Incredible.

Differences

October 8th, 2014

The other evening while waiting for a train, I decided to write an intentionally terrible rap song about a relationship gone sour due to irreconcilable differences. Here it is in all its glory:

You ride Muni and I ride BART
That’s why we’ll always be apart
I like the Giants, you don’t like baseball
There’s no chance we’ll get along at all
You smoke pot, and I, crack
The differences between us are a fact

 
[chorus]
I say “SF” but you say “Frisco”
The only word that rhymes here is “disco”
At first I liked you, you made me feel at ease
Until I found out you still like Thee Oh Sees
Our differences are tall as Sutro Tower
I give you zero stars like Michael Bauer

 
I live in the Mission but you’re in West Portal
My love for you will never be immortal
Your startup is funded, I’m at the loan shark
We’re as unnatural as Golden Gate Park
Sorry baby but we have to disband
I’m flat broke, I’m moving to Oakland

 

I’m looking forward to my Grammy nomination.

Hip parking meter’s cousin likes music

July 10th, 2014

Hip parking meter's cousin likes music
 

Recently we learned about a hip parking meter in the Mission. Today, I have news to share with you: hip parking meter’s cousin is a big fan of music.

Okay, maybe this parking meter could stand to get some better headphones, but still, pretty smart for a parking meter.

Handwritten song lyrics taped to pole

April 11th, 2014

Hope There's Someone lyrics

I’m not entirely certain what compels someone to write out the lyrics to the 2005 hit Hope There’s Someone by Antony and the Johnsons, then tape the page to a pole in a BART station. Perhaps they were inspired by the recent Avicii version?

In all likelihood we’ll never know. It will remain as one of the unsolved mysteries of our time, just like that wooden box.

Song lyrics in C++

August 13th, 2013

The other day while hacking away on some C++ code and listening to music, something occurred to me: if I’m programming in C++, shouldn’t the music I’m listening to be in the same language?

So I took a few verses from various random songs and coded up C++ translations of the lyrics. Here’s what I was able to hack together.

 
2Pac – Dear Mama

English:

When I was young me and my mama had beef
Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time, I never thought I’d see her face
Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama’s place

C++:

// When I was young me and my mama had beef
if (this->young()) {
    this->append(new Beef());
    mama.append(new Beef());
}

// Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets
// Though back at the time, I never thought I'd see her face
if (this->getAge() == 17) {
    this->remove(getShelter());
    this->seeFace(false);
}

// Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place
mama.replacement = NULL;

 
 
The Beatles – Hey Jude

English:

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

C++:

// Hey Jude, don't make it bad
jude.it->make(!JudeState::BAD);

// Take a sad song and make it better
sadSong.improve();

// Remember to let her into your heart
jude.setReminder(new Event(JudeState::ENTER, jude.getHeart()));

// Then you can start to make it better
jude.it->make(JudeState::BETTER);

 
 
David Bowie – Man Who Sold The World

English:

Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You’re face to face
With The Man Who Sold The World

C++:

// Oh no, not me
// I never lost control
assert(this->control != NULL);

// You're face to face
// With The Man Who Sold The World
Man m;
m.sell(world);
you->setFacing(&m);
m.setFacing(you);

 
 
Lady Gaga – Born This Way

English:

Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way

C++:

// Don't hide yourself in regret
if (!you->visible && you->regret)
    you->visible = true;

// Just love yourself and you're set
you->love(you);

// I'm on the right track, baby
getTrack(Track::RIGHT)->set(this);

// I was born this way
assert(this->state == this->creationState);

 
 
The Police – Every Breath You Take

English:

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
I’ll be watching you

C++:

while(true) {
    switch(you->getEvent()) {

    // Every breath you take
    case BREATH:

    // Every move you make
    case MOVE:

    // Every bond you break
    case BOND_BREAK:

    // Every step you take
    case STEP:

        // I'll be watching you
        this->watch(you);
        break;

    default:
        assert(false);
    }
}

 
 
Kanye West – Power

English:

No one man should have all that power
The clocks tickin’ I just count the hours
Stop trippin’ I’m tripping off the power
Till then, fuck that the world’s ours

C++:

// No one man should have all that power
for(int i = 0; i < men.size(); i++) {
    Man* man = men.get(i);
    if (man->has(allThatPower))
        man->remove(allThatPower);
}

// The clocks tickin' I just count the hours
setTimer(1, &countHours);

// Stop trippin' I'm tripping off the power
you->tripping = false;
bool power = true;
this->tripping = power;

// Till then, fuck that the world's ours
if (getCurrentTime() != then) {
    that->fuck();
    world.setOwner(this);
}

Setting up Ubuntu as an iTunes music server

November 20th, 2011

If you’re like me, you’ve got a home network with a couple computers and a buttload of music in MP3, OGG, and FLAC format sitting on your Ubuntu server. You want to be able to keep all your music on that server, but play it from any computer.

What to do?

There’s a few solutions to this. If you want your music to play anywhere in the world, you can use Ampache. Ampache works great with Winamp and many other players. But on the downside, it requires some tricky setup and doesn’t work nicely with iTunes.

Another option is Forked-daapd, a strangely named piece of software that allows sharing your music with iTunes on a local network. It also works with iTunes compatible software such as Rhythmbox. Best of all, it’s super easy to setup.

This is all you have to do:

  1. Install the forked-daapd package. From the command line, you can do this:
    sudo apt-get install forked-daapd
  2. Edit /etc/forked-daapd.conf as root. Directions are in the file, but you’ll want to edit the directory to point to the path(s) of your music folders (it will recursively scan subfolders for mp3s, etc.) You may want to enable transcoding if you have OGG, FLAC or other formats that iTunes doesn’t like. Oh, and don’t forget to change the name of the share to something more fun.
  3. Restart forked-daapd with sudo /etc/init.d/forked-daapd restart

Now open iTunes and see if your server appears. It should show up on the sidebar. If you click on it, there will be a handful of songs almost immediately. It may take a while for Forked-daapd to index all your music, so be patient.

That’s it! Now you’re ready to party!

Death Metal Rooster

December 8th, 2010

I can’t stop watching this.

Song parodies from Sesame Street

December 7th, 2010

What makes Sesame Street successful is that it’s fun enough that parents will actually sit down and watch with their kids.

One of their tricks was to re-purpose modern music with clever parodies. Here’s a few I scrounged up on YouTube.

Cereal Girl (parody of Material Girl)

Hip to Be a Square (parody of Hip to Be Square)

(I Can’t Get No) Cooperation (parody of [I Can't Get No] Satisfaction)

Kids Love to Brush (parody of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)

Rebel L (parody of Rebel Yell)

Hey Food (parody of Hey Jude)

If they made an album of these, I’d buy it.

Ancient Greek Michael Jackson?

July 27th, 2010

Did Michael Jackson live in ancient Greece?

Greek Michael Jackson

Greek Michael Jackson

Spotted at the Temple of Apollo museum (motto: no flash photos, no photos with people in them, and no we don’t understand that second rule either.)