Saturday, March 01, 2008

Same Mistakes

Another song is up, in the Music by Dan sidebar to the left. If someone cannot access these songs, please let me know. I have been hosting them on a account, which I would not expect to cause any problems.

I seem to be able to do about one recording per night, but of course my nights are not always free.

This song is by Jon Brion, an amazing musician. He does a lot of film scores nowadays, including I Heart Huckabees and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is how I first heard his name. He also produced Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine" album, along with Kanye West's "No Registration". On top of that, he has a standing gig at Largo, acoustic club par excellence.

It's my third crack at the song (and there were about fifteen takes on the bridge vocal). Be glad the first ones are not on the internet. I don't know why I love this song so much. I think I like how it sneaks up on you. I like how the chorus is always the same but is constantly changing interpretation. I like the power of memory, the remorse, the chance to start again, the conflicting emotions.

The main guitar effect is distortion, but pretty clean unless I play just loud enough to break into fuzzy. I saved the settings for further study. The clean sound is just a little chorus. Not much to it really. I was a little surprised that I could play it high as a little lead and low as a little bass. This guitar effects pedal is so cool.

Overall, I think this song sounds a little fuller and better than the other ones. Also, it's louder. I need to consider going back to balance volume levels for all the songs in the player. Or just make enough songs that the old ones kind of fall off the bottom ("retire").

I am getting up to speed on the Netflix prize. The idea is to improve on the Netflix movie recommendation engine. You're basically given ratings for 17000+ movies by about half a million Netflix users, then told to predict their ratings for other movies. First prize is ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Yearly prizes of $50000 for the current leader.

There are many other people kicking around ideas. I think I will do it as a hobby at first, then slowly become obsessed with it. It is machine learning and data mining, and I have been trained to hack my way through such jungles.

I am two-thirds of the way up Mt. Baroque Cycle. The Confusion was, once again, well worth all 800 hardback pages. It is made for people like me (hackers who like history, science, romance, and tales of derring-do). Not for kids, but it is for you. The last volume is The System of the World. I'm starting it tonight.

1 comment:

Chelseagirl said...

Hey Dan,

The sidebar music player is working fine for me but wha?? I cannot see the song, Same Mistakes.

Crazy thing-- I just recorded this myself a couple of days ago! and I didn't realize until I played it back, and Jon's original, that I had massed up the bridge, going into th wrong key. Argh. It's a bitch, eh?

I love this song, too. It's honest and emotional without being over-dramatic, and the melody is dreamy.