February 2009 Archives

Well, this sounds familiar

Last night’s Academy Awards telecast tried some new things. Most importantly (to us) they swapped out longtime musical director Bill Conti for the accomplished Michael Giacchino, who has scored things like Lost.

His plan? To take traditional musical themes, extract the melodies, and then put the rest into a completely different genre. Sound familiar?

Even better: Giacchino doesn’t know how to conduct — he writes his music by humming into a computer.

Ladies and gentlemen, Microsoft Songsmith was at work before your eyes last night. And you didn’t even know it.

“Nightswimming” by R.E.M. is one of my favorite songs — period. Here’s what it would sound like if instead of Mike Mills’ piano playing and John Paul Jones’ orchestra, Michael Stipe had simply sang into Microsoft Songsmith.

Today’s Classic Hit by Microsoft Songsmith is an actual Classic Hit! Here’s Elvis Presley, The King himself, face to face with The King Of Cheese, Microsoft Songsmith. Enjoy!

we like cake

I love me some tasty cake. I hate TastyKakes, but I love me some tasty cake. So I’ve recently been turned onto Jen’s Cake Wrecks blog, and what I found today certainly qualifies (we’ve already submitted it to her):

I love this cake. I love that it, presumably, is what you bring to the union hall to celebrate a work stoppage. I also love the strange white mess that is in the middle of the lane.

Fix your RSS feed, Obama

The White House has a blog. And I think this is pretty cool, given that the previous administration’s level of technology familiarity began and ended with a Big Buck Hunter arcade unit.

But they seem to be using a software platform that is not sending out RSS 2.0-compliant XML. Instead of creating a new entry designate, it’s appearing to use the same GUID for each entry. Which means that when NetNewsWire receives an update to the RSS feed, it uses its “changes” function to apply the new news item to the old one. Which results in some rather hilarious typography. See this screenshot.

So the past is partially blind, and they’re busy using what used to be my money. Sounds about right!

The British podcast Sonic State covered Songsmith yesterday. It features such wonderful words as “gobsmacked.”

Also, one of the guests drinks in the same pub as Noel Gallagher, and said he was going to download my Classic Hit by Microsoft Songsmith: “Wonderwall” by Oasis and play it for him, though he admitted it might get him… I forget the word, but it was some cheeky British term for getting your ass kicked.

They also describe my Classic Hit by Microsoft Songsmith: “White Wedding” by Billy Idol as “Brilliant” — but Linus Torvalds already said that.

Listen to the Sonic State podcast here.

Today Microsoft Songsmith takes on one of the classic hits of 1980: “We Got The Beat” by Go-Go’s. Did you know that Belinda Carlisle contributed very little actual writing to the Go-Go’s songs? Of course you did: the real artistic genius in that group was Jane Wiedlin.

Anyway, here’s some steel drums, bongos, and wood blocks.

Today Microsoft Songsmith takes on “Shock The Monkey” by Peter Gabriel. This is one that WNYC’S Soundcheck episode delved into pretty deeply. They liked it, saying it forces you to really listen to the song in a new way, and perceive some of the emotional value lost from the 27 years of commidification at the hands of pop culture.

Okay, those are my words. Here’s the video.

Take two of Microsoft Songsmith frontin’ and maxin’ with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Post coming later with a publicity update. WNYC in New York City covered us yesterday for about 20 minutes. It was freakin’ awesome.

I don’t know if No Doubt’s “Hella Good” is a Classic Hit. I do know that Songsmith turned it into something from Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time (the Lost Forest theme, I think) as performed in an auto repair shop… in Osaka.

Another day, another Songsmith. I kind of like the groove Microsoft Songsmith put together for this track. I wonder what Pet Sounds would sound like if Brian Wilson had been given today’s technology.

Probably not like this.

Another new Classic Hit by Microsoft Songsmith. Michael Jackson told me to show him how FUNKY STRONG is my fight. So Songsmith gives you STRONG FUNK.

Download the mp3

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    This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

    January 2009 is the previous archive.

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