I don't think I have ever measured coffee in order to extract the correct brew. I am simply not capable of such calculations in the precoffee morning. It is a paradox that I find myself in on a daily basis: I need caffeine to have the necessary motor skills to have the coordination to even make a pot of coffee. Luckily, I have found a workaround. Experience has taught me when to stop pouring beans into the grinder. After eyeballing the level, I know that the resulting brew will be enjoyable for all. However, switch out my familiar grinder … Read more
We all need a little extra lift in the morning. Eyelids droop and every fiber of our being calls us back to bed. If it weren't for the magical elixir known as coffee, I'm not convinced we would ever get out of bed. Be that as it may, with alarm clocks ringing in our ears, we somehow (usually) manage to get it together enough to make a pot of coffee. But that's just the beginning: after coffee we (usually) need to eat. Toast is always a popular option, probably because it is so easy to make. But … Read more
Mornings are made on routines. From the moment the alarm clock wakes us up we're off and running on autopilot. Breakfast is made and devoured with barely a glimmer of recognition, and then we are off and out the door, coffee in hand. Cold coffee, of course, because we are always running late.
This performance may play out day after day, but that doesn't mean a break in the routine would necessarily mess it up. A little change could go a long way. At least in the case of having your coffee at a drinkable temperature.
A simple … Read more
I don't care how many people get their music online, it'll never replace the joys of perusing CDs and LPs in brick-and-mortar record stores.
My Morning Jacket's Jim James apparently agrees with me. He said recently, "I think the thing that people forget about is the community and the memories that are created when you come to an independent and locally owned record store that you can only get in that town."
That's right. There are other humans there, looking at and buying music. The store, if it's any good, plays great stuff … Read more
"All I can do is be me, whoever that is."--Bob Dylan
That's the thing about Mr. D, he never stands still. He's always evolving and these four newly remastered CDs, "New Morning," "Before the Flood," "The Basement Tapes," and "Dylan and the Dead," are proof of that.
I'll tell you upfront I've always had a thing for "New Morning," and I was bummed when it wasn't part of the 2003 SACD release collection. Sony put out 15 titles in one big chunk, and they were pretty amazing.
These four new titles were last remastered 20 years ago, so I had my hopes up. The new ones come in Digipak cases (matching the look of the SACD versions) with new photos, but no new liner notes or bonus tracks.
OK, now that I finally have a newly tweaked "New Morning," was it worth the wait? Released in 1970, "New Morning" kicked off the second phase of his long career. There's no big hits, but it's one of Dylan's most consistent albums, not a weak tune in there.
The sound is very warm and natural, and Dylan's vocals sound like he's in the room with you. The new CD sounds so close to the sound of my original LP it's scary. It's interesting, I can hear the analog master tape's hiss more clearly on the CD (it's not obtrusive, but it's there) than the LP (the LP's surface noise obscures the tape hiss). "New Morning" is one of Dylan's forgotten gems.
"Before the Flood" is a live, two-disc album, originally released in 1974. Dylan's vocal style was always changing, and he sounds completely different here. The songs tempos are much faster than the studio versions, and Dylan's almost screaming the lyrics. He's backed up by The Band, and they're terrific. They get to do a nice set of their own tunes. Sound quality is average for a live 1970s set. … Read more
Making coffee is never an easy task to focus on early in the day. For some, myself included, mornings are a miserable mess until coffee has been introduced into the equation. The problem is that sometimes it can be difficult even to get to that point. Luckily, some smart folks got to thinking and integrated a timer into a coffeemaker. This one innovation certainly makes life easier for those of us who don't function well without the magical elixir.
The Cuisinart Coffee on Demand 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker offers the convenience needed by morning-challenged coffee lovers. With 24-hour programmability and … Read more
Yesterday I was listening to the new TV On The Radio album, Dear Science, with a couple friends. One of them used to be a big music fan, but basically stopped following music in the early 1990s, circa Beck and Pearl Jam. Every time I play him a song by a band I like (Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse), he comes up with a terse response like "fun." If I press him, he can always come up with a reason why the artists of yesteryear are better. He hasn't bought a CD in ages, has never downloaded a … Read more
Poor, poor Jeff. He attended last night's PEPCOM event, a showcase of this holiday season's tech goodies, and left without snagging a free Jawbone headset. Not to rub it in, but I, Dan the Mantern, will be testing mine out this evening. It was a slow news week for The 404, but today's show gets a pick-me-up from B-Sox and Morning Moose, rock jocks for Lazer 103.3 FM in Des Moines, Iowa.
B-Sox and Moose, we love you guys, you're multitalented and witty, but you blew whatever shreds of decency were left at the 404. We know it felt great to be free from all those censorship rules and regulations on a "licensed" broadcast station (they can't even say "goddamn") but, come on, think of the children. All jokes aside, it was a hilarious show, the guys "went there," and we all had a good laugh. Have a great weekend. See you on Monday, if we're not canceled...EPISODE 188 Download today's podcast … Read more
National Public Radio, the home of humorist David Sedaris and the popular show All Things Considered, is opening up its API.
What NPR wants is for developers to help make it easier to share its content on Web sites and blogs, including those owned by the 860 NPR member stations.
Want to build a widget that will play Morning Edition on desktops or on Web sites or create mashups with NPR content? The nonprofit media organization will welcome you.
"This launch represents one of the first comprehensive Open APIs introduced by a major national media organization," the company … Read more