Music's Power to Trigger Our Memories (A Holiday Feature)


Goats_head_soupRemember that great Stones' ballad you heard on your first date with that first great crush? Well, despite music's importance to our lives, very little is known about the memories and emotions that are often evoked when hearing a piece of music from our past. Does music have a more powerful effect on memory than other influences, like images, words, or smells?

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“Last.fm” -The Social Music Revolution

Last_fmThe Web 2.0 boom has brought with it many wonderful websites and tools for us to implement in our lives. I’m a member and user of most of them and they are just new ways of doing old stuff. But this doesn’t mean that I like them any less, o’contraire, it means I like them that bit more. And one of my favorites is the music community Last.fm.

Last. fm. launched five years ago and has become a social networking favorite with 15 million active users. It has become a massive repository for music information (artist and song wikis, listening data from users). In the U.S., companies like Pandora, MOG and iLike, now featured on Facebook, all compete with some of Last.fm’s features, although none of those startups has built the basic social network/community of last.fm.

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Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band -40th Anniversary

Sgt_pepper_cover_2Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatle's magnum opus, ranking #1 on Rolling Stone's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, will be 40 years old in on June 1st. In The Times critic Kenneth Tynan described Sgt. Pepper as "a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization."

The album, which included for the first time the printing of lyrics on the back cover, is a global icon that transcends generations  -a breathtaking, a mysterious and colorful pop art collage by Peter Blake that showed the band, in gaudy mock-military costumes, presiding over the burial of the "old" Beatles, with head images of high and low cultural icons in the background including included Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Karl Marx, WC Fields, Aldous Huxley, Marlene Dietrich, Laurel and Hardy, Oscar Wilde, Marlon Brando, Leo Gorcey, Lenny Bruce and Mae West.

The Sgt. Pepper period ushered in some important musical innovations, both from within the band and the rest of the musical industry as complex lyrical themes were explored for the first time in popular music, and songs were growing longer (such as Dylan's "Desolation Row," "Like a Rolling Stone," and "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands").

Posted by Casey Kazan.

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Amazon End Runs Apple -Free DRM: is it Happening?

1786109705_3_2You may not realize it, you may not even care, but the music you buy off the internet doesn’t like you.

In fact, it hates you and everything you stand for. It doesn’t want to be played on anything but one player, and even then only a few times. It dislikes the fact that more than one person can listen to it, and that some even listen to it for free; the dirty scoundrels! So as a result it does all in its power to stop you. It has restrictions and constraints that stop you from playing it on more than one device, and in sending it to your friends.

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Biologist Converts Protein Into Classical Music

Gris_violin_2_2Every protein has its own unique sequence. By assigning each sequence its own unique auditory signature, UCLA scientists were hoping to be able to “listen” to their research.

We want to see if we can hear patterns within the music, as opposed to looking at the letters of an amino acid or protein sequence. "We can listen to a protein, as opposed to just looking at it," said Rie Takahashi, a UCLA research assistant and an award-winning, classically trained piano player.

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iPod Death Clock

IpodOne of my best friends went through four iPods in one year. I suspect she's not alone. Check out this cool iPod "Death Clock": just type in your iPod registration number and see how long you've got left on yours! (I suspect an 1st-gen iPhone Death Clock will be next). Posted by Casey Kazan.

iPod Death Clock


DaVinci Code Chapel Reveals Ancient Secret

Davinci_code_chapel_entrance_2A musical mystery hidden in secret code for almost 600 years -symbols carved into arches in the Scottish church featured in the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" -has been solved according to a Reuters report. The 15th Century Rosslyn Chapel is about seven miles south of the Scottish capital Edinbugh.

Thomas Mitchell, a 75-year-old musician and ex-Royal Air Force code breaker, and his composer and pianist son Stuart, who became fascinated by symbols carved into the chapel's arches say they have deciphered a musical score encrypted in the chapels arches.

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Lyle Lovett "Road to Ensenada" -Today's Hot Playlist Pick


Lylelovett0628Ah, Lyle! He ranks right up there with Dylan in my book as simply one of the best American singer-songwriters extant, whether playing raconteur, philosopher king, or Julia-Roberts wounded romantic. The Road to Ensenada spins amiable yarns about his headgear with "Don't Touch My Hat," the backfired seductions of the samba-paced "Her First Mistake," and swings buoyantly through "That's Right (You're Not from Texas). In his Amazon review, Sam Sutherland notes that "In between, he sneaks a fresh string of dark love songs ("Private Conversation," "I Can't Love You Anymore") that sustain his formidable standards." As always, I've posted to the full-length Rhapsody tracks.Posted by Jason McManus.

MOGs "Magic Button" -The Music Social Network

281x211_2MOG's tagline capturers the charm and genius of the online "social" music service -"A music asylum run by its inmates" (just our kind of place!).

Mog's new redesign offers more fine-tuned filters to bring the best music posts to the surface, including shared MP3 streams, and music videos from YouTube in a way that is customized to your personal music collection.

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