Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Speed of a Meme Test

Via PZ and our own Jack Goff comes a project to measure the speeds of the internet meme.

All you have to do is post this link Acephalous, measuring the speed on your blog, ask your readers to do the same (he suggests begging but homey don't play dat).

Then when he presents his findings at MLA he will have some concrete data to show whether or not we really have the voice and visibility we claim. . .worth finding out.

Unfortunately this exercise planted a John Prine song in my head. The best way I know to get one out when that happens (and if you work in the jingle game like I do a song stuck in your head and be fucking hell with teeth) is to give in and run it through. . .

The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

You come home late and you come home early
You come on big when you're feeling small
You come home straight and you come home curly
Sometimes you don't come home at all

So what in the world's come over you
And what in heaven's name have you done
You've broken the speed of the sound of loneliness
You're out there running just to be on the run

Well I got a heart that burns with a fever
And I got a worried and a jealous mind
How can a love that'll last forever
Get left so far behind

Repeat Chorus:

It's a mighty mean and a dreadful sorrow
It's crossed the evil line today
Well, how can you ask about tomorrow
We ain't got one word to say

Repeat Chorus:

You're out there running just to be on the run
You're out there running just to be on the run
You're out there running just to be on the run



Blogger Pogo said...

I love John Prine. This song is reminiscent of Angel From Montgomery.
When you're bored, talk to me of your pickup preferences. I'd rather pick the brain of a pro like yourself than wade through back issues of Guitar Player.

12:25 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

Usually I run stock. That's because I like the sound of Strats or Pauls or. . .so I run stock. On the strats i build i went with Alembic out of San Francisco. They used to do the sound and custom guitar work for the Dead and they have a lot of products that mimic the great old Fender and Gibson stuff from the 50's and 60's. For the acoustic instruments I usually like the extra warmth you get by playing into a mike. I have a 1940's RCA radio beauty (I've been offered well into the 5 figures for it by producers and told them to fuck off it's mine). Although there are venues (like when i'm playing carols in the mall) where the ambient noise makes that impractical. For times like that I use F.R.A.P. (flat response audio pickup) gear, run it through a pre-amp and then into a PA unit. The ceramic bridges on the Ovations are also the bomb. When choosing pickups the important stuff to know going in is, what sound quality and shape are you looking for, your playing style (how hard you hit, what kind of pick if any), and go from there. Seymore Duncan, Music Man, and a host of niche market products are out there. I can be more specific if I have more information, but my inclination is usually leaning toward the stock end of things. On my telecaster I used the middle pickup off a strat for the neck and a big ass soapbar humbucking off a paul at the bridge. it screams like forty singed butt demons from hell.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Pogo said...

I'm pretty satisfied with what is on my guitars now - but I suspect I'll be replacing the strat pickups at some point in the foreseeable future. They're currently an offbrand called Nightime in a HSS configuaration. Most of what I play is classic & southern rock stuff, with Hendrix, Page, Clapton and the Allman Brothers making up the bulk of what I'm trying to learn. The pickups that came on the Sheraton are a couple of undesignated alnico (I think) humbuckers. Unless I'm doing Travis picking, which I do occasionally just for grins, I use a fender medium or soft pick and am not all that aggressive in my striking. I do very little chording except for a bit of the chording that Hendrix used in stuff like "All Along the Watchtower" I'm really pretty clueless about what came on what when and how they differed and am just sort of trying to build a knowledge base about the respective pickups that are out there to eventually consider changes to what I have. Later.

10:03 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

a 12 pack of dr. pepper delivered to your local music shop back room denizen should get you hours of good conversation on what's hot and not. i am still a big ass fan of replacing along the lines of stock. but there are some beautiful humbucking jobs out there, exotic gold foils and all kinds of shit. i used demarzio gold foils when i replaced the gear on my L5. they are very hot but quite warm. stiffen up your picks. go heavy. you'll hit even lighter and never get any pick noise. a stiffer pick will add mucho mph to your speed runs (i know that sounds strange but it's true because of the lighter grip and stroke, and you get a sharper attack profile which will translate into a longer run before you have to strike again)

my favorite gadget is called the eBow. it sets up a magnetic field which when positioned over a string gives you a total sustained tone. they're weird to get used to but once you get the hang of it they can be pretty wild.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Pogo said...

I love it when you talk that way. Actually, I was fooling with the controls on the Epi last night, and the pickups on it give me more than I realized. Between them and the amp, I can get a decent version of pretty much anything from a warm, soft jazz to dirty rock. I'll have to see how I feel about the strat when I get it back from the tech. I will give a heavier pick a try. Speed runs are kinda beyond me yet, but anything that helps me pick up speed is worth trying. I was watching Phillip goof around the other day, just mimacing an incredibly quick fingering, and was amazed at how much faster his 10 year young fingers move than my 55 year old ones do. If he would only practice... Is an eBow like the bow Page used to use, or was his just a bow?

9:41 AM  
Blogger BadTux said...

No pick noise? But... but... I *want* pick noise! Well, if it's the right kind of pick noise, a percussive rasp when I want it, not when my pick wants it...

I could never get a consistent pick. I'd get some good ones, wear them out or lose them, and never be able to find any more that had the exact identical stiffness and sound and touch. One day I was cutting up an expired credit card with a pair of scissors, looked at the fragments in my hand, and haven't bought a pick since... people think I'm making an ironic statement about American consumerism with my choice of picks, but (shrug)...

John Prine is one of my musical heros from the country genre, along with Townes van Zandt and Emmylou (no need to say the rest of her name). "Your Flag Decal Won't Get Ya into Heaven Anymore" is a special favorite in these days of fervent flag-waving on the part of morans...

4:31 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i can get that with my 1.14 mm monsters. i damp the strings and get that bo diddly chunk. I am always on the look out for stiffer, tougher picks. the credit card thing is a good one, i've done it, another emergency stop gap is the older, bigger bread bag clips.

John Prine is a treasure for sure. I love his stuff.

blow up your t.v.
throw away your papers
move to the country
build you a home
plant a little garden
eat a lotta peaches
try and find jesus
on your own

kind of a theme song for me. i've done exactly that, 'cept for the jesus part, but hey, ya never knows does ya?

9:01 PM  
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3:55 PM  

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