the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Tag: economy

Links for 5.9.09: Live Nation loses, The National plays, Mississippi Drift…

*Concerts: Live Nation lost $102.7M in Q1 of this year. Attendance was down 22%. Kind of a lot of money. If we’re using that scale, I basically held even.

*Video: Check out The National playing “Somewhere Around the Bend” on Jimmy Fallon.

*Sponsorship: De La Soul has done one of those commissioned running songs for Nike. It’s called “Are You In?” I only wish eccentric rich people would commission weird-ass songs purely for their own perverted personal pleasures. But that’s just me.

*Economy: Readers tell Money what it’s like to try to live on unemployment checks. Spoiler: It makes you tense.

*Industry: Vevo – the “YouTube for music” hires a CEO. I thought YouTube was the YouTube for music. [silicon alley insider]

*The Internet: Ze Frank on celebrity, identity and proximity. And the internet. And Ashton Kutcher. Spoiler: Ze wishes that Ashton wouldn’t care about him.

*Movies: Read the New Yorker‘s Anthony Lane on “Star Trek.” On J.J. Abrams: “He is the perfect purveyor of fictions to a generation so easily and instinctively jaded that what it craves, above all, is a storyteller who—with or without artistic personality, and regardless of any urge to provoke our thoughts or trouble our easy dreams—will never jade.” With or without artistic personality. HAAAAAAaaaaaaaaa.

*Local: Mississippi Drift – Read this old Harper’s article about modern-day hobos setting off from Minneapolis on a self-made barge. I remember reading this when it first appeared in the magazine and promising myself never to become a river-traveling hobo.

*Today’s links: Zero. New scale, unexplained.

*Question: This blog is coming up on two years of operations. Should it be about music, internet culture or just whatever the fuck I’m interested in? Thank you for your time and attention. I am also happy to take your answers via twitter. Regards.

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Links for 4.27.09: Meat cards, vinyl and job loss

*Food: Meat business cards are memorable, but spoil quickly. Like so many business relationships. Umm, what? [presurfer]

*Economy: This Slate map of American job losses is impressive and scary. I still have a job as of this writing.

*Vizzie: Wiredsets grabs an infographic of vinyl sales from Nielsen SoundScan. Bars! Big dots!

*Apple: A certain musician is planning on performing only with iPhones. I find the long-term AT&T contracts to be off-putting. Related video: Watch a dude spin records on an iPhone. [waxy]

*Videogames: You can play frisbee golf with Tiger Woods. Some call it frolfing. Somebody bring a oney!!! WHEW!!!! I was channeling my 8th grade buddies right there.

*Twitter: Check out a map (built with Yahoo! Pipes) of your Twitter followers. Better in theory than in execution. Like a certain blog THAT YOU ARE READING RIGHT NOW???

*Today’s links: Bite me.

Links for 4.7.09: Zappos’ map, Subservient birthday, Baracklava…

*Warning: These links aren’t that musicky. But here’s a list of albums that are best listened to in their entirety. To soothe the savage beast. And by that, I have no idea what I mean.

*Retail: The web object of the moment is a real-time map of what people are buying across the country from Zappos. Zappos is like the Nate Silver of shoes. Also, it looks like people are ordering really ugly shoes all the time, like forever.

*Economy: Read A Tale of Two Depressions for a comparison of the Great Depression and our current financial meltdown. Situation: Bad. Reaction (this time around): Better? [3quarksdaily]

*Birthdays: It’s the 5th anniversary of the launch of Subservient Chicken. You know you’re really getting on in years when INTERNET BULLSHIT from yesterday is turning five years old in front of your eyes.

*Dessert: A restaurant in Turkey made Barack Obama’s face in pastry – Baracklava. I find the dish too flaky for my tastes. FYI.

*Literature: Site-specific fiction – some short stories were commissioned for the Royal Parks in London. Readers are meant to walk about the scene as they read. DUDE: Maybe there’s something to be written about a guy sitting on a bus? Reading about a guy sitting on a bus? (I don’t know where it ends.)

Links for 4.4.09: Postal slang, fish counting, undriving…

*Language: At the post office, a “deadhead” is a vehicles that travels without mail. See Schott’s collection of U.S.P.S. jargon here. I call junk mail “winter coats.” No, I don’t.

*Update: ZERO update from Sam Beam of Iron and Wine on the podcast I have proposed to do with him. I’m starting to think that this podcast will have to wait until at least Q3.

*Music 2.0: Yahoo Music to launch Artist Pages soon. [techmeme]

*Economy: Jim Cramer says the Depression is over. Uh boy.

*Nature: Fish can count. We eat fish. Therefore, we can count. LOGIC.

*Green: Read Worldchanging’s post on undriving. “Un” seems to be the prefix of 2008 and 2009.

*Local crime: Two Dozen More Bodies Found in Lake Wobegon. [s4xton]

Links for 3.24.09: Hipster Depression, vodka gummis, Neil Young…

*Economy: Forget the recession, there’s a Hipster Depression. With beards. And toenails, I’m sure.

*Photographs: Wired snapped a bunch of pictures at SXSW. Now they’re asking you to guess – Band or Fan? Poor parallelism! [murketing]

*Cooking: If you like vodka and gummi bears, you will love making your own vodka gummi bears. You could also just buy a huge bag of gummi bears and a bottle of vodka. [neatorama]

*Newspapers: Examine this NYT visualization of newspapers size and indicating the dire straits some are in. Also, here’s a list of newspapers the Silicon Alley Insider thinks will survive the financial meltdown. I don’t mean to sound unappreciative, but I don’t appreciate the Star Tribune at all. OK, I meant to say that. [waxy]

*Twitter: A song about Twitter. On a blog. Reading those words, I hate the English language for its flexibility. And myself. [shorties] Also, check out this list of the 50 Best Rock Star Twitters from Stereogum. Also, I’ve been following @arjunbasu, one of the subjects of this article, for several monhts. What he’s doing works.

*Music: The Neil Young Archives, long talked about, will open up for superfans in early June. The details are here. [daily loper]

*Today’s links: D+. Not enough quips. Or interesting shit. Pass the gummi bears.

A Great Recession Guide

I link to economy stuff sometimes, and it’s often pretty depressing. Sorry. The global economic meltdown itself isn’t anything close to a light topic, but there are a growing number of sites out there aggregating the ideas, images and other ephemera that detail our economy’s decline – often explicitly referencing the 30s and The Great Depression as they do so. Below is a mini-guide to the lighter side of the current, prolonged recession.

*Brands: Salon has created a brand graveyard for dying companies.

*Images: The Guardian has started a recession photo pool on Flickr (apparently with a good number of fakes finding their way in there).

*Markets: This tumblr aggregates pictures of stock brokers with their hands on their faces. Crying, crying into their cupped hands.

*Work: Try reading Unemploymentality, “the definitive unemployment blog.”

*Housing: Slate launches a photo gallery of abandoned houses.

*Happiness: The Bright Side Project – “sunshine delivered daily” to offset the gloom. [kate]

*Facial hair: Buzzfeed calls recession beards the look of the day. I always called them drifter beards.

*Fashion: The Recessionista is a blog dedicated to “savings on fashion, dining out, and entertaining in the global economy.” (I couldn’t find much in the way of Depressionistas…yet.)

*Video: Gawker recently created compiled a collection of recession-themed ads that you may watch.

*Music: Here’s Phish’s summer touring schedule, and some comments from Trey Anastasio: “As a longtime fan of Depression-era swing bands, he has been thinking about Phish’s role in the current recession.

“For people in hard times, we can play long shows of pure physical pleasure,” he said. “They come to dance and forget their troubles. It’s like a service commitment.” (Earlier this year, I noted that Bonaroo, Coachella and other music festivals were offering layaway as an option to fans who didn’t have the immediate funds to purchase tickets.) [via itsworsethanyouthinkitis]

*Local note: Good news. The casserole is the king of recession-era foods.

*Note: Kansas has been considering ending the death penalty in the state. Due to recession-fueled budget pressures. The bill moving to abolish it is was on hold, but is now BACK on the table. Regards.

Non-music links for 3.1.09: David Foster Wallace, the Dunbar number, That’s What She Said…

*Reading material: Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters over the years. [daring fireball]

*Friends: Read this post on Facebook, the evolution of social networks and the Dunbar number, which states, “that the upper limit on the number of other people that any human can maintain as a stable network is around 150.” The average number of friends for Facebook users is around 120.

*The Economy: It’s Worse Than You Think It Is.

*Reading: The New Yorker takes on David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel, “The Pale King.”

*Rule of law: Do you want the opportunity to read a bunch of boring bills before they’re voted on? Read the Bill. [huffpo]

*Twitter: That’s what she said. Aggregating the tweets that received the reply “That’s what she said.” [buzzfeed]

*Warning: Avoid black mead.

Links for 2.18.09: Low’s slowcore, Detroit’s dead zoo, Hendrix vodka…

*The Wilds: Check out these photographs of an abandoned zoo in Detroit. (I have over 10 cases of Tabasco sauce hidden on the grounds of Como Zoo in case we get to the Mad Max part of this recession. You’ll never find them.) [mefi]

*Local: Drowned in Sound is profiling key bands in the slowcore music, including Duluth’s own Low. “In an early interview, from 1996, Alan Sparhawk joked that Low originated from an idea to make the slowest, most depressing music possible.” I went to a few Low concerts back in the day. People sat on the floor and I was shushed. VEHEMENTLY.

*The economy: Watch the story of our credit crisis told in terms an 8-year-old can understand. Delivered in a patronizing tone somewhat reminiscent of Al Gore circa 2000. [notcot] On a related note, consumer spending is looking bad for the next couple of months.

*Booze: You can’t buy Jimi Hendrix vodka because the MAN says Hendrix Electric Vodka is copyright infringement. Did they call it “copyright infringement” when he played the national anthem like a motherfucker? Well? Did they? (That may not be germane to the conversation.)

*Nightlife: There’s a Snuggie Pub Crawl being planned in New York. I’m still a slanket man. But I can’t tell you why. (Not really sure.) [gothamist]

*Twitter: The microgblogging platform is ready to integrate Summize and make search more central to the experience. I need to learn how to use this tool (twitter).

*Rhetoric: Christopher Hitchens was beaten by thugs in Beirut. Sent by Mother Teresa’s people, probably?

Links for 2.11.09: The Beamcast, arctic unicorns, nudity…

*Podcasts: It has now been exactly one day (approximately 24 hours), and still no word from Sam Beam, Iron and Wine or Sam Beam’s people about the podcast. I’m starting to get nervous.

*Twitter: The New York Times‘ David Pogue says that “Twitter is What You Make It” (oh, insightful). Apparently, I have made it an endless echo chamber of my own stupidity. Actually, that makes it sound too interesting.

*Names: Santogold is no longer Santogold. She’s Santigold. To me, she’ll always be Santogold. Until I’m feeling absurdist; then she’ll be Santugold.

*Video: Would you like to see arctic unicorns at play? Go for it, pervert. [eyeteeth]

*Economy: A former co-worker of mine talks about the differences in the way men experience being laid off vs. women who are laid off. He is petting a cat.

*Biz: Sirius XM is on life support. Will satellite radio be something consumers are willing to spend real money on in the new economy? Discretionary dollars are not flowing outward these days. Also, BusinessWeek thinks Obama should kill the Live Nation – Ticketmaster deal.

*Nudity: MGMT will appear in Playboy. I’ll be honest: not only do I not read it for the articles, I don’t read it at all. [daily swarm]

*Type: Check out this photo set of typewriter ribbon tins.

Links for 2.9.09: Recency bias, super-muscular cows and David Bowie avatars…

*Grammys: What Grammys?

*Graphs: Nate Silver writes for Esquire magazine about “recency bias.” He uses an example from the baseball world to eventually talk about the economy.

“Each year, baseball teams bid against one another for free agents — players like CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and A. J. Burnett, the trio of stars whom the (apparently recession-proof) New York Yankees have signed for more than $400 million. One might assume that with that sort of money at stake, teams would do their homework. After studying the free-agent bidding process for many years, however, I have concluded that this money is not generally well spent.”

*Books: The American Book Review puts out a list of the top 100 opening lines of novels, beginning with “Call me Ishamael.” (WHICH DOES, IN FACT, RULE.) Now I ain’t much of one of them, uhhhhhh, READERS anymore, but it looks like I’ve slogged through a disproportionate number of these. I was partial to #31 through my 20s. I wonder if much has changed. [good]

*Avatars: A person who lives in the same world as you and me has collected screenshots of a variety of videogame characters who look like DAVID BOWIE. That is all. (No nipple conductors in sight.) [the daily swarm]

*Hedgehogs: Being a serious deconstruction (with samples) of the music from the Sonic the Hedgehog videogame series. [waxy]

*The Economy: Key metrics around America’s job situation are the worst they’ve been in more than three decades. (January had the largest single-month drop in jobs since 1974.) Ugh. I well you this because I care.

*Politics: Artist Peter Max paints 44 Obamas. I have officially been brainwashed: Non-Fairey “Hope” Obamas look weird now.

*Farm animals: These mega-muscular super cows (video) may sicken you. Or just blow your mind. But seriously. As Will.i.am would say, W.T.F’ing.Hell? [mefi]

*Food: This Is Why You’re Fat, a tumblr devoted to foodstuffs that are disgusting in their excess. Yum. [everywhere]

*Videogames: The knitter of this fine scarf was a huge Guitar Hero fan. But what song does it represent?

*Lists: The top ten current television show theme songs, according to one source, includes tunes from Family Guy and Two and a Half Men. This is why we cannot have nice things. And by this I refer to God smiting us via the global economic meltdown. [the daily swarm]

*I am tired.

12.13.08: Brown M&M riders, Year in Ideas, Oasis on Mpls…

*Riders: The Smoking Gun has uncovered Van Halen’s famous “No Brown M&Ms” rider. [vulture]

*Ideas: The New York TimesYear in Ideas includes avian dancing, neo-neo soul, FiveThirtyEight.com and spray-on condoms. Oh, and some other, more important stuff, like having to do with the economy and science and shit like that.

*Movies: An orchestral version of the Star Wars saga – Star Wars: A Musical Journey – that has been condensed down to just two hours will play in London’s O2 arena.

*Economics: Hypebot tracks some of the big layoffs happening in the music business.

*Songs: The Indie Music Alphabet for this year includes Bon Iver, so I was contractually obligated to post it. [shorties]

*Television: The Benny Hillifier will add Yakety Sax to anything. [mefi]

*Video: I probably already should have linked to the Robocop Rap, so I shamefully do it here, buried. Where the readers are fewer. Whew. Feel better already. OOH! Watch this video! [waxy]

*Packaging: This is sort of off-topic for the blog, but packaging that upcycles (as in the case of this wine box that becomes a lamp) – or in the case of this knoend lamp, uncycles – itself is worth thinking about. Look, I try to stay somewhat on topic around here, but it’s hard.

*Local: Oasis on Minneapolis: “the middle of nowhere.” Weeeee.

Links for 8.9.08: Dylanomics, Bernie Mac dies, sexiest music vids…

*Dylan on the economy: The Freakonomics blog asks readers to use Bob Dylan lyrics to talk about current economic conditions.

*Wow: Bernie Mac died. He was 50.

*Race: Did L’Oreal lighten Beyonce’s skin in a recent ad? [buzzfeed]

*Sex and videos: Nerve collects the 50 Sexiest Music Videos. I have to admit that Billy Idol’s “Cradle of Love” made me feel weird when I was 16. And by “weird” I mean that I can’t say what I mean. GOODBYE. [fimoculous]

*Paternity: Clay Aiken is a father. Now I am really depressed.

*Facial hair: Everyone knows I’m more of a beard guy, but the HoustonPress compiles 5 of the top moustaches in rock. Jim Croce. [earfarm]

*Monster stretch: Could customer-service savants Zappos.com be getting into the music biz? Valleywag makes a leap based on some cryptic twitters. (If they do get into tunes, I have some Santogold I would like to return.)

*Personal update: On the plus side, I have not seen anyone LARPing yet today. (I really haven’t.)