Tickling the plastic

My Christmas gift to myself finally arrived yesterday after several days of neurotic polling of the FedEx package tracking site. In a box as tall as myself came the shiny new object: a Yamaha digital piano. The action on the keyboard is very nice; it is in my untrained opinion very close to that of a real piano. Like an acoustic piano, the weightedness of the keys varies — you have to push harder on the lower keys than the higher ones. The piano sounds are also very realistic. I don’t see myself using any of the other non-acoustic-piano voices (the electric piano sound particularly could be a lot more Rhodes-like) but anyway an external MIDI tone generator could always be used if I were into that kind of thing.

Now, I don’t (yet) know how to play one of these things, apart from being able to read music and knowing which keys match up with which notes. But I am planning on working up that little skill as I also use the MIDI features of the piano for composition. If any players out there can recommend aids for self-study, let me know.


As a former Cobb County resident and member of the much talked about school system, allow me to weigh in on the evolution debate. When you scientists with your book learnin’ thinking you’re so smart wind up in h-e-double-hockeysticks, we’ll see who is laughing! In the meantime, let us worship the football team.

An Admission

Okay people, it is time for me to come clean. Here it is: I don’t like the Beatles. Yes, I have some of their music in my collection. Yes, I understand that they were prolific writers whose music impacted everything that came afterwards. However, I can’t help but switch the channel every time one of their songs comes on the classic rock radio station. There it is.

You know Zep is better, so don’t front.

Artists House

Last weekend I picked up a CD at Tower by sometime Allman Brothers’ bassist and all-the-time brother of Kofi, Oteil Burbridge, and his band the Peacemakers. The CD is pretty good — a little rock, a little jazz. Don’t much care for the violin, but that’s just a personal preference. However, what’s most amazing about this CD is the record company that produced it: Artists House, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that actually gets it. Instead of suing 14-year-olds on Kazaa, Artists House encourages you to email the MP3s of the music to your friends. They even give them to you, encoded at 160kbps, on a data track of the CD. And that’s not all. Along with the CD comes a DVD containing a 24 bit/96 kHz mix, a 5.1 mix, artist commentary, a video of the recording session, sheet music (pdf), and a bass lesson by Oteil. The tray insert declares their motto: “Information wants to be free.” Well done, guys.

Update: I cross-posted this to boingboing.