Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: iPod Commercials

Apple iPods have always been the "cool" kids on the block. Hell, Apple itself is the epitome of "hey look, I'm a cool, artsy, creative 20-something on the cutting edge." I don't say that in an insulting way: I'm typing this on a MacBook while my iPod plays Van Morrison through my stereo.

Anyway, to keep with their trendy image, they pick not-quite-mainstream songs for their commercials that always get stuck in my head until I'm finally forced to Google "iPod commercial song" to find out what it is.

Some past examples: The Fratellis "Flathead," Feist "1234," The Ting Tings "Shut Up and Let Me Go," and Caesars "Jerk it Out."

The latest commercial song has gotten lodged in my brain tighter than any other. Maybe because the commercial is just so happy with people dancing around and singing. And maybe because it's just a friggin' catchy song. Either way, I finally broke down and looked it up on my cell phone Saturday while having lunch and found out that it is a song called "Bourgeois Shangri-La" (say that three times fast...) by Miss Li. I also found out that my Blackberry can download music, but that's another matter.

Anyway, here for your listening pleasure is the FULL song. Of course, you can always click here if you want to see the happy people dancing in the video.


Audio Advancements

What's up, folks?

Over Thanksgiving break, I got an unexpected early Christmas present.

Let me explain two of my uncles to you. Terry is a music purist. He has stacks of albums he's collected over the years and a decent CD collection. But he essentially hasn't listened to any new music since 1980.

Jeff, on the other hand, buys more new music than I do. At one point he had a room in his house that had a CD shelf unit installed into the wall. So while we were visiting at Jeff's house, Terry asked Jeff where all his CDs were.

"I sold most of them," said Jeff. He has put almost all of his music on his computer and relies on an iPod to play music on his stereo system.

In fact," he said, "I have a 101-CD player just sitting in there if anyone wants it." I jumped on it. It's now sitting in my living room with my brand-new stereo receiver and turntable that I bought right before I moved in.

But what Jeff said made me think. Even though all my music is also on my computer, I couldn't imagine selling all my CDs. Terry is the same way, which is why both our jaws dropped when Jeff said he sold them.

Earlier this week, I read this article about the slow death of CDs.

Maybe it's just me being "old school," but it's really important for me to get something tangible when I buy music. I like the jewel cases, or the vinyl. I like having a CD rack that showcases my collection. It's just not the same to look at an iTunes library.

I have done my share of downloading, but that was only when I was a broke college student (I'm not much better now...) and literally couldn't afford to buy full CDs that I wanted.

I would never opt to buy an MP3 album (like they sell on Amazon or iTunes) over getting the actual thing. I love buying the CD, unwrapping it in the car and throwing it in the stereo as I drive home.

CDs will eventually be replaced, as the article above said. But I just hope that it's not replaced by something like MP3s or little chips that stream albums.

Don't take away my CDs or my vinyl. If you do, I'll be just like Uncle Terry: refusing to listen to any new music and reminiscing about the days when an album really meant something.


Fighting the Man, Pt. 2.

Now that I'm back home, I had a chance to look back through my e-mail to make sure that I was given permission to use the track that I posted on the blog. Here is an excerpt of the e-mail from Vanguard Records:

"I wanted to make sure you got an mp3- “My Old Man”- from the band’s upcoming record (The Bear, out September 8). Feel free to share with your readers as a free download if you’d like"

Which is exactly what I did. She did not say that I had to take it down by a certain time or anything like that. The link is actually dead now, but I must assume that was done by MediaFire because of this claim.

This is probably going to be a really slow process. I have to mail stuff in and all kinds of crap, but I'll let you know how it goes.

Fighting the Man

So apparently this blog has gotten big enough for me to get cracked down on by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for supposed "copyright infringement for a post I did a couple months ago about Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers.

I did a simple album review and used the photo and MP3 that the record company contact sent me in the post. It's one of the few posts that I did completely by the book.

So they took the post down because it violates the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Bull.

I did nothing but sing the band's praises and posted one song so that my readers could sample the music and I encouraged them to go out and buy the album. And let me reiterate: the record company sent me the MP3 file and said "use this."

So I'm going to fight it. I'll go through the bureaucratic crap. YouTube has already pissed me off enough with how many times they've taken my videos down. I'm tired of record companies getting all high and mighty about copyright infringement that is doing nothing but promoting these bands and records.

I'll let you know how it goes.


[Review] Sarah Jarosz -- "Song Up In Her Head."

I've been meaning to talk about this CD for a while, but it got mixed up in the craziness over the last few months.

The same folks that sent me the Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers album a few months ago included this gem of a bluegrass album by Sarah Jarosz.

I've always had a soft spot for female artists with a bit of a twang (see Alison Krauss...the Taylor Swift thing is something else entirely). But Sarah Jarosz puts together some of the most beautiful bluegrass tracks I've heard in a while in her debut album "Song Up In Her Head" (Sugar Hill).

Jarosz is only 18, but she has a powerful voice that is well beyond her years. Even more impressive is that the Austin-born singer is a multi-instrumentalist. She is credited for playing guitar, mandolin, clawhammer banjo and piano.

She is also a masterful songwriter, writing all the songs on the album except for two covers. Jarosz has a lot of potential and I can't see where she goes from here.

The opening title track is a dark, brooding song that begins "The Virgin Mary/All Dressed in blue/ Sings "My First Lover"/ For an audience of two." The second track, "Edge of a Dream," softens things a little, allowing Jarosz to flaunt her vocal ability in this banjo driven ballad.

The highlight by far for me was the haunting -- and I mean haunting -- version of The Decembrists' "Shankill Butchers." I already loved this song, but Jarosz version is shockingly powerful.

I see big things ahead for this young girl.

Download: Sarah Jarosz - "Edge of a Dream."


Why I have no faith in T.J. Yates

This may seem like a strange thing to post after UNC just upset Miami, but stick with me. The Tar Heels have an amazing defense and they are the only reason we win these games. Two of the touchdowns were on interception returns.

The running game is also very impressive: Ryan Houston played great today without Shaun Draughn to help out. Receivers have also gotten involved in the running game, which has been very productive.

But the quarterback, T.J. Yates, is mediocre at best. Yates will never win a game for the Tar Heels, he will only lose them. Best case scenario: he does just enough not to screw it up for Carolina.

I've spent many Saturday afternoons complaining about the awful throws Yates throws, so today I decided to keep track. I kept a list of all the bad throws Yates made today. I wasn't overly critical. If the receiver had a legitimate chance at the ball, I gave Yates the benefit.

Here's what I found. Yates threw 10 awful passes. That doesn't sound like a whole lot, but here is the key: six of those were on third down.

The key to an offense is ball control and how they convert on third downs. With a run-based offense like UNC's, you will get into third-and-mediums or third-and-longs fairly often. Yates showed over and over again that he cannot consistently make the throw to get the first down.

In most of those third downs, the receiver was either past the first down or very close to it. In the first three series, Yates overthrew one receiver, underthrew another and threw one behind a reciever on third down to force punts.

In one series, Yates overthrew his buddy Zack Pianalto twice, on second and third downs inside the 10 yard line.

In the third quarter, Yates underthrew a receiver on second down and overthrew a receiver on third down in the same series.

He did have a pretty good day today. He threw for 213 yards and no interceptions. But he completed just barely over 50 percent of his passes. And when it comes down to it, I don't want the ball in his hands if we have to make a last second drive.

Yates isn't an awful quarterback, but he's not a good quarterback. He's mediocre at best and you need better than that if you want to become a top-notch football program.


Please don't stop the music

I'm really trying to figure out how to get back into finding and writing about new music. It's been way too long since I've felt like I really have my fingers on the pulse of the music world.

I used to spend hours scrolling down local and national music blogs and Web sites, storing away free mp3s like I was going into sonic hibernation.

But lately, with a 40+ hour work week and my mind on sports all the time, I've really fallen off. The most exposure I get to music anymore is the Top 40 station that I switch to whenever sports talk radio goes to commercial in my car.

I set up a rockin' Google Reader with all my sports, music and random blogs with the hopes that it will make me more likely to read through and keep up with them. It's even something I can check when I have some downtime at work (which is very rare).

Anyway, I guess the whole idea of this post was to ask you guys where you get your music knowledge. If you have any good blogs that I should read or artists/bands/records that I need to check out immediately, please let me know. I'm trying to dive back in, but I need someone to show me where the pool is.

I do have one album that I have yet to review because I feel like I haven't given it a good enough listen, but it seems pretty good. I'll give you a little teaser: it's a pop-opera (popera?) about college life. Sound stupid? I thought so, too. I've been pleasantly surprised.

I still care about this blog and I'll keep it rocking, don't you worry. Just trying to figure out how to fit it in to my life right now. I know I keep saying that. You should be concerned when I stop saying that.


Sports blogs!

Part of the reason that I have been less constant in updating this blog is that I'm spending most of my day writing about sports and not wanting to write about it again when I get home. I'm still working on ways to keep this blog updated (like reviewing an album that came across my desk recently...), but you can also keep up with my writing on two new sports blogs that I'm writing for the Lake Norman News and the Cabarrus News.

Here they are: Cabarrus Prep Sports and Lake Norman Prep Sports.

You can keep up with these and look at what I'm working on everyday and find out what's happening in the high school sports world north of Charlotte. I usually end up just posting very short blurbs here, so to read my more in depth articles, you'll have to check out the actual publications online.

Let me know what you think. Or, of course, if you have any news or information that you want published on those blogs or in the paper, let me know.

Change to CoreyInscoe.com

You may have noticed that when you go to the Web site now it redirects you to "thenoisebazaar.blogspot.com." This is because my Google domain account ran out and I decided to move it over to GoDaddy.

For some reason, I can't get into my DNS settings to change where the site is hosted, so the best I can do is just use domain forwarding. It shouldn't really affect anything, except anything linked to this won't be coreyinscoe.com/whatever but thenoisebazaar.blogspot.com/whatever.

Just thought I would let everyone know. And write a little bit on here. If you have any idea how to help me fix the DNS settings on GoDaddy, I'd love some help.



Just testing out this whole posterous thing. Why is it any better than my blogger blog or my facebook page or my twitter?

Maybe because it will update them all at the same time. We'll just have to see....
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Posted via email from Corey's posterous


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: Ukuleles

I don't even really know how I can explain this one. But I can tell you where my obsession with ukuleles came from. One song. Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World." It was love at first listen.

Such a beautiful voice.... Anyway, that ukulele sound stuck with me. It sounds so simple and so sweet and fits with that chilled out, relaxed style of music that I've always loved. I fell for this instrument so hard that I finally got someone to buy one for me.

I instantly started trying to play it, but couldn't ever even get it in tune. So it's sat on the top of my bookcase for two years. Shameful.

You know what? I'm going to take it down and really get to work on it. Get it nice and tuned up and start learning some chords. Next thing you know, I'll be the next Kamakawiwoʻole.


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: "Say Hey (I Love You)"

Every summer there's that one song that perfectly embodies the free spirited-ness and happy-go-luckiness that the warmer weather, cookouts and days spent at the pool brings. It may have taken me until September to find it, but I have mine for this year.

"Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti & Spearhead is the perfect summer song. Hands down, game over, thanks for playing. I heard this song at random different times all through the end of the summer, but never could figure out who it was by or what it was called (radio DJs really need to get their act together about that stuff....).

Finally, my wonderful girlfriend saved me even more hours of Googling random lyrics and sent me the YouTube video.

This song is bouncy, fun and happy. It's a love song, or, more specifically, just "a song about a boy and a girl." There's really nothing else to say about it. You just have to listen.

I don't know who Michael Franti is, but I hope he keeps making good music. But maybe he should wait until next summer.


Lake Norman News and Cabarrus News

All the hard work the last month has finally paid off! On Wednesday, my four coworkers and I successfully launched the Cabarrus News and the Lake Norman News. So far, we have had very positive response, including an e-mail from a man who was going to cancel his Observer subscription until he saw our new section.

I had three bylines total in the two first issues, and one article that didn't have a byline. For the Cabarrus News, I wrote an article in a volleyball player at Concord High School who signed a letter of intent to play at Washington State University. I also wrote an article about a soccer game between Concord and Hickory Ridge.

In the Lake Norman News, I wrote an article on an indoor skate park that opened in August in Cornelius, and wrote a game preview that didn't have a byline.

The sections look great and I'm so excited that other people can finally see them. We're already wrapping up the second issue and moving onto the third. You can read another soccer game recap that I wrote last night and will be published in the second issue of the Lake Norman News.

And if you didn't already know, you can be our friend on Facebook and follow us on Twitter:

Let me know what you think!!


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: Indie romantic comedies

Look, I posted two weeks in a row! I'm back, baby!

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Man, I'm really in the mood for a romantic comedy right now?" If you're a guy, the answer is probably no.

I might just be the exception.

The guy at the box office or clerk at the local Blockbuster usually assumes that I'm seeing that romantic comedy because I'm with my girlfriend and she somehow tricked me into it. Well, that's not always the case. Sometimes I'm really feeling a good romantic comedy.

Now let me clarify. I'm not talking a crappy, stereotypical romantic comedy like "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past" (biggest waste of two hours ever...) where a guy and a girl don't realize how much they care for each other, then they do, then one of them screws up and works the rest of the movie trying to get the other one back and they ride off into the sunset together. No. Forget that.

I'm talking the cute, indie-style romantic comedies that have become popular recently, where the two characters just have a good relationship and that's it. They go through life's problems and deal with them.

What made me think about this was seeing "Away We Go," with John Krasinski (Jim from the Office) and Maya Rudolph. The two characters are undeniably in love and they go across the country seeing old friends and trying to find a new place to live. Sounds simple, and it is. But it was hilarious and heartwarming.

Even though it's a little different, and definitely not as good of a movie, I would put "Garden State" in the same category. Same with "Juno."

I hate the formulaic, boring and overacted romantic comedies. But give me a fun and cute love story and I'm so down. I can't wait until "500 Days of Summer" comes out....


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: One-Hit-Wonders

Ever heard of Soft Cell? How about Pure Prairie League? a-ha? How about the Manfred Mann Earth Band? Certainly you know Right Said Fred and Sir Mix-a-Lot.

No? Well, I sure do.

They were the masterminds behind, respectively, "Tainted Love," "Aime," "Take On Me," "Blinded by the Light," "I'm Too Sexy," and "Baby Got Back."

That's right, I know those artists off the top of my head. Why? I have no freakin' clue. But somehow in my 22 years of existence, so many one-hit-wonders have gotten stuck in my head it's not even funny, many of which hat their 15 minutes before I was even born.

I have to lay a piece of the blame on my step-father, who is an encyclopedia of one-hit-wonders. His knowledge dwarfs mine, but he's had a few more years to file away meaningless bands who wrote meaningless songs, one of which got inordinately popular.

I get some sick pleasure out of sneering at my nearest friend/person-I-kinda-know and asking "Who does this?" when "Breakfast at Tiffany's" comes on. And when they can't answer, I chuckle condescendingly and say "Deep Blue Something," which inevitably leads to the conversation, "Deep Blue what?" "Deep Blue Something." "Yeah, but what's the last word?" "Something." And on and on....

There's no way anyone should know that. But I do. And it makes me feel as superior as a NYU hipster smirking and leaning against the back wall at a Morrissey concert.

It's mean, I know, but somehow slightly gratifying. Try it for yourself. Next time "Somebody's Watching Me," comes on the radio (or on that obnoxious Geico commercial), spin around to your closest buddy and yell "Who does it??" When they inevitably give you a blank stare or guess "Michael Jackson" (who, interestingly, did sing the chorus and back-up vocals), laugh in their face and say with the pride that only comes from being filled to the brim with entirely useless information: "Rockwell."

(I'm going to go ahead and use this time to inform those that don't already know about the real lyric in "Blinded by the Light." He's not saying "Wrapped up like a douche another motor in the night" or any version of that. The actual lyric is: "Revved up like a Duece, another runner in the night," referring to a car. One more fun fact: this song was actually originally written by Bruce Springsteen. See, useless information....)


It's Monday, the Arctic Monkeys are on, and I'm eating green seedless grapes.

I'm really sad that I haven't been writing as much.


It's a awful truth that when you're getting paid to write, writing for free suddenly loses appeal. Even though I haven't actually had anything published yet -- a fact that continues to befuddle friends and family alike ("What the heck have you been doing for over a month??) -- I've spent most of my days on the ground doing prep work, preparing stories for the launch, training and editing.

Needless to say, the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit in front of a computer screen. But there's such a satisfying release that comes with personal writing, as opposed to reporting and story writing.

I'm realizing this more as I read the insane collection of essays by Chuck Klosterman in "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs." This guy combines the hilarious and opinionated story-telling of David Sedaris with the clinical insanity of Hunter S. Thompson. Right up my alley.

But the point is that most of his essays are late night rants that he wrote down. If you've read this blog long enough, you know that I've had my share of opinionated rants, many of which came during the months leading up to the election. I eventually decided that it was better for my readers -- and my employability -- if I stopped being so opinionated and just presented facts and remained fairly objective.

What's the fun in that?

Reading this book has made me realize that there is inherent value in hearing/reading some guy rant about everyday life, making outrageous claims -- like that the Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry in the '70s can be used to describe everything about human life or that soccer is a sport created by and for outcasts and should be banned (two actual claims in Klosterman's book) -- and backing up with creative, though sometimes faulty logic.

Now I'm not sure I can start doing that again on my blog. I worry that my current employers won't be terribly happy about me spouting off insane hypotheses about politics, sports and the music industry.

I also don't plan on putting all these into a word file to be made into a book later so that I can become the next over-the-top and edgy social commenter. OK, maybe I will. But I'm not doing it for the money. OK, maybe I am.

Anyway, I guess what this rambling is leading up to is that I want to come back to writing for pleasure more. I keep telling myself that I don't have time to write up well thought out posts for this blog, but obviously this didn't take me very long.... So maybe I'm right.

Whatever happens, I want to at least get my favorite post series back running: Tuesday Guilty Pleasure. It's been far too long since you guys got to make fun of me for some really random crap that I've fallen in love with.

As soon as I hit "Publish Post," I'm going to craft a TGP for the four (maybe less?) people that actually check this often enough to notice my absence. It will publish tomorrow at 9 a.m., the exact time I'll be walking into my office, where my writing means a pay check.

Can you believe that people would actually pay me to write? I can't either, but I'm not going to say anything.


EuroTripping: Part II

It's been a while, I know. I'm keeping a lot more busy than I thought I would. I plan on keeping this blog, but expect the updates to be much less frequent, like they have been recently.

Anyway, I wanted to post the latest in my EuroTripping series from my trip this summer, with footage from Amsterdam and Bruges. I've spent the last three weeks wrestling YouTube to get songs on there that didn't get shut down by Warner Media Group (stupid copyright rules...). Thus, I couldn't use "Amsterdam" by Guster, which sucks and I even had to get rid of the George Harrison song I was using. That being said, I got some pretty good music on there, but you've probably never heard it before.

Without further adieu, here is "EuroTripping Part II: Amsterdam and Bruges."

Now that I've gotten back into the rhythm of editing, I hope to get the final two installments done before too long. I'll let you know when they're posted.


Good News

If you read my blog a lot, you may have noticed two changes this week.

For a few weeks I was shamelessly promoting myself in my sidebar in the hopes of landing a job. You might notice that's gone. Also, you'll notice my location is slightly different.

That's because this week I'll be lugging all my still-packed boxes down to a one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte so that I can start work at the Charlotte Observer!!!

That's right, despite the bad economy and the troubles in journalism, I managed to get a job at a big metro paper.

They are starting a special project that involves publishing weekly local inserts into the Observer. Eventually, this will spread to 12 zones, but the first two will be Lake Norman and Cabarrus County. My job will be to cover the sports (mostly prep) in these two zones!

I'm super excited and can't wait to get started. But now that I have a legit writing job, the posting on this blog might start to waver. I'll do my best to keep it going -- especially the Tuesday Guilty Pleasure series -- but a lot of the will most likely focus on issues around Charlotte and local sports.

Once the Web sites go up and the publications are released, I will give you more information about them here!!

I hope you'll keep following along and see where this job takes me.


[Tuesday Thursday Guilty Pleasure] CSI: Miami

Yet again, I've managed to completely forget about TGP until two days later. This time I have a slightly more legitimate excuse: Courtney turned 21 on Wednesday. Celebrations ensued.

But I'm back now and good as new and it's time to start rocking and rolling with something that I love that I really, really shouldn't.

"CSI" is a long-running and relatively well-respected show. The characters are great, the stories are interesting and the acting is quality. Then they decided to do a spin-off.

Strike number one was hiring David Caruso, who can barely act his way out of a paper bag. His character is written to be pretty corny anyway, but he just puts it over the top. If you've never watched an episode of "CSI: Miami," let me give you a little rundown of how it goes.

[Open with a helicopter shot of Miami, some half naked people on South Beach. Then show someone get killed. Enter David Caruso.]

Caruso (Horatio
Cane): Looks like someone... [takes hand off hip, puts sunglasses on] checked out early.... [quickly walk out of shot]

[The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" starts playing]

And it just goes downhill from there.

If you're still not really getting it, watch this video. It's all the David Caruso one-liners you can handle.

Despite all it's faults, bad acting and goofy storylines, I can't get enough of this show. It takes all the seriousness of actual forensics and throws it out the window. And everytime it comes on TV, I am all over it, excited to see Horatio take off/put on his sunglasses and say that classic line. I live for that.

You can also see Jim Carrey making fun of Caruso here.


Quite Contrary Farm after-school camp

When I was working for the Carrboro Commons last semester, I had the privilege of doing a story on Marianne Prince's farming kids camp in Carrboro. When I first met her, she had yet to start the camp but had a beautiful vegetable garden and some plump chickens running around the front yard. Since then, it seems that she has gotten goats and has quite a few camps under her belt.

Now it looks like she's trying to expand with an after-school program. From her e-mail:
Also, I will be having an after school program at my house starting in the fall. If you are interested please talk to me. I am planning to offer Monday-Thursdays, 2:30-5:30. Fridays will be reserved for home school groups.

There are details on my blog, and more to come. I am currently enjoying having August to experiment with cheese-making and canning. We are also building a screened porch off of the back of our house, which should be finished by the end of August. It will become our outdoor classroom, and will allow the kids to be surrounded by animals even while inside.
Cheese making?? Sign me up!! It sounds like tons of fun.

Get more information about the farm and the camps at her website, quitecontraryfarm.blogspot.com.


[Video] The Gourds play "Gin and Juice"

Austin-based country group The Gourds have done something that only people from Austin would be willing to try: recording a twangy cover of Snoop Dogg. The Gourds' version of "Gin and Juice" is the best where-the-hell-did-that-come-from rap cover I've heard since Ben Folds beautiful rendition of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit."

This is simply amazing. I wonder how Snoop feels about it....

I just noticed that The Gourds are signed to Chapel Hill's own Yep Roc Records. Makes me proud of my second hometown.

[Live] Coldplay at Walnut Creek

For my birthday, my wonderful girlfriend got me tickets to the Coldplay concert in Raleigh two nights ago. I've always been a fan of their music, but just assumed that their live show would be ho-hum. Let's face it, a lot of their music isn't very exciting.

Man, was I proven wrong.

Chris Martin is a much better front man than I expected him to be and Coldplay can put on one hell of a rock show. Not only was the music almost perfect, but the light show was dazzling and Martin connected with a crowd as well as anyone I've ever seen, especially at a spread out amphitheater.

The set was very heavy on tunes from the new album, "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends," but the staples were still there, like "Fix You," "Clocks," and "Yellow." "Violet Hill" started off the show and "Viva La Vida" was the hands-down favorite, even though it came a lot earlier in the show than I expected.

What impressed me most was when the band did something that I have never seen at Walnut Creek: play on a stage in the lawn seating. It's nice to see the band give some love to the fans sitting in the back, who usually have to rely on the massive video screens to watch the show.

My favorite parts were when the yellow inflatable balls bounced around during "Yellow," when Martin instructed the crowd to do a "cell phone wave," and the shaky-yet-awesome cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."

Oh, and they gave out a free live CD, "LeftRightLeftRightLeft," after the show. Can't beat that.

Coldplay impressed me and with each album they seem to be getting stronger. These guys are the real thing.

Also check out David Menconi's review of the show over at The News & Observer.

Photo by Travis Long at The News & Observer. My poor camera wasn't up to the challenge.


The Game samples Imogen Heap

That's a title I never thought I would see on this blog. But it's true. Rapper The Game, with the help of Jay-Z, samples one of my favorite songs ever, "Hide and Seek," for their new song "What You Say."

At first, this appalled me. But the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It has a pretty solid groove and they use the sample well. Still, doesn't even come close to comparing to the original.

I do find it funny that Jay-Z, the guy who wrote a song called "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" was willing to put his name on a song that samples something that sounds very similar to AutoTune (even though Imogen Heap actually used a vocoder).

Tuesday Guilty Pleasure: Taylor Swift

This Tuesday is special for two reasons. First, this is the first two-person Tuesday Guilty Pleasure in the history of the series. Second, this might be my guiltiest of guilty pleasures: something that I would only admit to my closest friends.

I was going to have Courtney write this post, as it was mostly her idea, but she's too busy sunning herself on the beach, so I will speak for both of us.

For the longest time I tried not to like this artist. Even when I admitted enjoying one of the songs, I still contended that it was terrible music that no one should ever listen to. But I couldn't get away from this musician. She was everywhere: on the radio, TV and internet. I felt like it went against everything I knew as a musician and music lover to like this singer. I even used to make fun of Courtney for singing along to this person.

But despite my best efforts, I fell in love with this girl's music.

But, of course, being the proud person that I am, I started trying to find ways to justify my attraction to Taylor Swift's music. Luckily, it wasn't hard. Most importantly, she writes her own music and started out in Nashville as a songwriter. She is even trying to make Miley Cyrus legitimate by writing her new song.

But, on top of that, check out her other accomplishments: she was the first artist in the history of the Nielson SoundScan to have two different albums in the top 10 at the end of the year, she wrote a 350-page unpublished novel during one summer and she recorded this:

I'm sorry, but any country girl that can rap like that with T-Pain is good in my book. Her music may be cheesy country at times, but this girl has talent. And, more importantly, she seems grounded, down to Earth, and not just another teen star that will fizzle in a few years. Give the girl a chance.


Triangle Brewing Company

This is the 200th post on CoreyInscoe.com!! What better way to celebrate than talking about beer!

This is the part of Durham that you always hear about: the part where you find yourself locking your door and praying that the stoplights stay green so you don't have to stop. I was winding my way through tiny streets lined with broken down houses on one side and warehouses on the other, wondering if MapQuest had dealt with some technical difficulties while processing my directions.

I turned right on Pearl Street, where cars lined the street. To my right there was a big black warehouse surrounded by a fence crowned with barbed wire. Three sheets of paper were taped to the door, each displaying one letter: "T-B-C."

"No way," I thought to myself. This isn't what I expected when I decided to visit the Triangle Brewing Company a couple weeks ago.

My fears were put at ease when I walked inside. The inside of the warehouse is almost completely bare except for a couple ping pong tables, a Daytona 500 arcade game, a bar and, of course, a room full of fermenters. Now we're talking.

Every other Saturday, the two-year-old Durham craft-brewery holds tours and free tastings for anyone willing to brave the more questionable parts of the city. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

At first I wasn't sure if there was really a tour. As I walked in, I was handed a pint glass and instructed to fill up as many times as I liked. Over 100 people were already crowding the main room, all with beer in hand. For about an hour nothing happened. I thought they must have been using the word "tour" loosely.

Then Andy, the "sales" half of the two-man crew that makes up TBC, got everybody to gather around for the tour. He took us through each stage of the brewing process and described how it works, where the different flavors come from and told a little bit about the history of the brewery. I would tell you more details, but I was about three beers in at this point....

Andy on the right, Luke the beer intern on the left

The tour was OK, but the real highlight of visiting the brewery is getting to sample the beer. They usually have about five flavors on tap at a time. During my visit, I was able to sample the India Pale Ale, Belgian White, Belgian Golden and Xtra Pale Ale. My personal favorite was the XPA, which I got a growler of before I left.

I highly recommend taking a trip to Durham to visit these guys. It's a great way to spend a Saturday. They even have a little outdoor area to sit and enjoy a nice summer day. Check out what events they have coming up on their calendar.

This trip got me motivated to visit some of the other craft breweries in the area, like Big Boss, Carolina Brewing Company, Carolina Brewery and Red Oak. Look out for more sudsy posts in the future.


Conservatives say the damndest things: "Just Tax"

After two weeks I bet you didn't think I was going to bring this little gem of a series back, did ya? Well I am. I just had to do a little more digging this time to find something that was post-worthy.
This second installment is something I found on Meghan McCain's column on The Daily Beast. I usually stop by her site just to keep up with what the "young and hip" journalists are doing these days. To be perfectly honest, the stuff she has to say is usually pretty moderate and I don't disagree with all of it.

But this video she posted of some dorky guy changing the lyrics of Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" was too much.

Not only do I respectfully disagree with this guys position, but this song is pretty terrible. Apparently even Auto-Tune can't fix everyone's voice. I'll agree with Ms. McCain that the Republican party needs a lot more stuff like this to reach out to the younger folks, but this is definitely not "cute" or "catchy."

Get back to work, GOPers.

ADDENDUM: I completely forgot about this little gem that Bill Kristol said on The Daily Show earlier this week. Jon Stewart backed him into a corner that he was helpless to get out of and it's beautiful.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Kristol Extended Interview
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Stewart didn't have to do anything but repeat exactly what Kristol said: the military deserves better health care, which it gets from the government. Oops!


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure

It's a beautiful Tuesday afternoon and I'm getting ready to bike out to Maple View Farm to sit on the back porch and have some delicious ice cream, but before I do that, I feel obliged to talk about something I absolutely love but don't like to admit. 
As I've said before, I have a special place in my heart for girls who can sing and play piano. Or guitar for that matter. Just any instrument. They don't even have to be cute. But this girl is. 

Almost every morning during my junior year of college, I would pull this video up on YouTube or catch it on MTV (during one of the few times they actually play music videos) and crank it up as I got ready. It's such a fun, catchy song and a cute video. It put me in a great mood every morning. You can't beat a song like that. 
I tried to get another guest TGP from Courtney, but she didn't have anything. She told me she'd have something for me next week, so look out for that!


Rapping about Twitter?

On the way back home from my interview with the Charlotte Observer (that I hope went well), I heard quite possibly the worst rap song that I've heard in a long time. There's no other way to describe it. 
But what really sets it apart from the rest is the prominent role that social media and new technology plays in the song. This song is all about text messaging, Twitter and Twitpics. I'm not kidding. The chorus even uses an emoticon. 
Ladies and gentlemen, "LOL (Smiley Face)" by Trey Songz:
Just in case you didn't catch those lyrics, here they are in their entirety. 

Shorty just text me, say she wanna sex me
LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face
Shorty sent a twit pic saying come and get this,
LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face

Shorty called my phone, I was busy (i was busy)
Cruisin in that benz round the city (round the city)
Then I felt my phone buzz, I know that she like thugs,
And I’m a bad boy like diddy, (Take that)
Then she sent a text (text), that read (read), baby im at home,
Then she sent another one that says she’s all alone
So I text her a smiley face and said lets do the grown,
She said lol, boy you crazy, come on
Then she said actually, you aint gotta ask me
Sent the lil face with the tongue cos im nasty
Im on my way, girl I can’t wait, twitter me a picture
Let me see that ok,

Shorty just text me, say she want to sex me
LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face
Shorty sent a twitpic saying come and get this,
LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face

Go to my page and follow, if you got a body like a Coke bottle.
Shorty sending twit pics sayin come and get this
LOL smiley face, LOL smiley face

(Gucci Mane)
Email me shorty, text bay,
Gucci Mane x-rated we could make a sex tape (GUCCI!).
Pics on my iphone, gucci on her ipod,
When she turn around, ass make ya say oh god,.
Mommy real beautiful,
Manicured cuticles,
Office job, student girl, holding down her cubicle,
And she got my number to her, man that’s like a miracle,
She say she like my swag,and my 6’s on my vehicle,
GA to VA, Cali girls love me,
Brooklyn girls hug me,
Miami girls sexy, (I think I love her!)
Pull up in a stretchy…
Jump out flexing
First date sexing,
Next night sexing. (Well Damn!)


(Soulja Boy)
Lol smiley face, lol smiley face,
Soulja boy tellem bay,
Lol smiley face,
Baby girl sent da picture to my blackberry,
She fine and she thick just like Hallie berry,
Kiss me through the phone, LOL smiley face
We can go and kick it bay
Later on at my place,
She message me on myspace told me she loved me,
She texting my phone 4:30 in da morning,
Baby i’m horny, I wanna kiss you,
I can put it on you, thats not an issue,
She scratching my back, screaming out im hers,
She text my phone say I need your love,
I met her monday last week in da club,
One week later now she telling me that she in love

I can't make that up. I don't even know what else to say about it. How about you guys just tell me how you feel down in the comments. 


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure

Welcome, one and all, to yet another spectacular installment of Tuesday Guilty Pleasure, where I bravely go where no man has gone before and tell you about something I love that I really, really shouldn't.
This week we're going to take it back to the '90s with some angry chick music (I mean no offense to any ladies in the audience when I use the word "chick"). My mom had this CD when I was growing up and I could sing along to every word, even if I didn't quite understand what it all meant. Now that I get it, I still sing along to every song, just only when I'm alone. 

That's right, I know almost every word to Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morisette. I have to admit that I definitely like angry Alanis much more than I like the happy-go-lucky version, even though her version of "My Humps" is classic. There's just so much passion in the lyrics of this song I can't help but belt it out whenever it comes on. 
Fun fact: I heard on the radio this morning that this song ("You Oughta Know") was rumored to be written about her failed relationship with Dave Coulier from the show "Full House." Not sure how true the rumor is, but it will definitely make you look at the song differently, especially since he is almost 15 years older than her.  


SK6ers: "The Bear"

If you haven't already heard of them, take this chance to hear the magic that is Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. They're a great acoustic rock trio from Massachusetts that I stumbled upon at a concert four years ago and I've been a die-hard fan ever since. 
Their new album, "The Bear," is available for pre-order on CD and vinyl. I've only heard one track off it so far, but it sounded great and I'm sure the rest of the album is even more SK6ers deliciousness. Also, if you're in the Chapel Hill area, Stephen Kellogg is playing a solo set at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro with Dar Williams on August 14. The whole band will be back around on October 6 at the Cat's Cradle co-headlining with Carbon Leaf (who, coincidently, is who they opened for when I first saw them at the Cradle).
Hands down, they have the best live show that I have ever seen, with Ben Folds being the only show that even comes close. I could go into more detail, but it might be easier just to link over to some of the other posts that I've written about them to give you an idea. 
Don't miss this band when they come around. I promise that the show will be magical. I'll probably be dancing like a maniac in the first row. 


Richard Sine: "Close the J-Schools"

Richard Sine over at Huffington Post made a bold statement on his blog today: all journalism schools should close their doors. Hmmm...interesting. Let's read on. 
Shocking news from the halls of academia: Forbes reported earlier this year that enrollment in graduate journalism schools is booming. These kids are paying upwards of $70,000 (the cost of Columbia's J-School, including living expenses) for a ghost's chance of landing a job, at pitiful pay, in an industry that is rapidly collapsing. What's going to be the next hot field in graduate study? Blacksmithing? Bloodletting? Steamship design?

I don't meant to offend anyone from the noble field of steamship design, where there is actually a lot to learn. Journalism is not a profession like engineering, medicine or even law. You can pick up most media skills on the job, or with a few hours of instruction. If you screw up, nobody dies, and nothing collapses. This is why so many — perhaps most — journalism pros have built successful careers without touching J-school, and why many of them considered a J-degree a dubious credential even in the field's heyday.
OK, fair enough. I completely agree that journalism graduate school is not always worth it. I can't think of anything with journalism that I would want to do that would require me to go get a master's degree other than than boost my ego. Journalism is a skilled based industry: either you know how to write, report, edit, take pictures and design pages, or you don't. The end. 
But I think Sine's argument is a little too vague and alarmist. First, journalism school doesn't imply graduate school. I have a bachelor's degree from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Sine makes it sound like the only way to get a degree in journalism is to pay $70,000 to go to graduate school. Not true. I went to a state college and got a great liberal arts education that was focused around journalism. I don't feel like I wasted a bit of my (and my parents) money. 
Is it possible that I could have skipped journalism school and been just as good of a writer? Maybe. But there are definitely perks to getting the education. As Sine said, much of what journalists learn can be picked up in the field. But does anyone really want to hire someone who is going to have to learn on the job? That means mistakes, corrections to publish, possible libel suits and possible damage to the publication's reputation. Why do you think you need a journalism degree to even get in the door?
UNC-CH has a very experience-based J-school. I had classes where I covered a beat, created and designed a magazine, wrote columns and published an online newspaper. This gave me the chance to make mistakes and learn from them without having to worry about whether I would keep my job or how much ad revenue the publication was going to lose. All I had to worry about was my grade. 
I also learned a lot from talking with my professors, who Sine described as "old-media refugees who made the desperate leap onto J-school faculties in response to buyouts or layoffs." Sure, this is true for many professors. But does that mean that the wisdom they've gained and the experiences they've had won't help me when I'm looking for a job or working at a paper? Sine says that these "old-media refugees" can't even help students get connections in the journalism world. I beg to differ. In my job search, my most promising leads have come from former professors who hear about job openings around the state. They're still well connected. 
Also, Columbia University doesn't exactly represent the average journalism graduate program. The University of California-Berkeley offers their graduate program for exactly $0.00 for in-state students. For out-0f-state students, a whopping $14,694. My alma mater? An unbelievable $4,198 for in-state and $10,417 for out-of-state. Sine should do a little more research before he starts throwing out wild claims. 
Finally, I'm tired of the alarmist doomsday statements that many journalists are making about the industry ("...an industry that is rapidly collapsing. What's going to be the next hot field in graduate study? Blacksmithing? Bloodletting? Steamship design?") I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: journalism is not dying, it's changing. Major newspapers are dying, huge media corporations are dying, but the industry is not. My guess is that journalism is going to move to a more community focus and/or online. I especially think it's interesting that he would claim journalism is dying on HuffPo, a new media giant that might as well be the poster boy for the future of journalism. 
Journalism schools are preparing for the shift in the industry. Everyone's not just sitting back praying that newspapers will just start thriving again. I took a blogging and social media class on top of creating an online newspaper while in school. Many new classes are being offered that aim to teach students about new media or new skills that could become valuable in this new era of journalism. Anyone interested in getting into journalism would be much better off with this type of education.


Two totally different worlds...

This is the perfect example of what's wrong with the American mindset when it comes to transportation policy. 
Today in the New York Times there is a great article about a river in South Korea that was once covered by a highway but is now thriving. Not only is it pretty to look at, but it's helping the environment and the economy.
The recovery project, which removed three miles of elevated highway as well, also substantially cut air pollution from cars along the corridor and reduced air temperatures. Small-particle air pollution dropped to 48 micrograms per cubic meter from 74 along the corridor, and summer temperatures are now often five degrees cooler than those of nearby areas, according to data cited by city officials.
And even with the loss of some vehicle lanes in this city of 10 million people, traffic speeds have picked up because of related transportation changes like expanded bus service, restrictions on cars and higher parking fees.
“We’ve basically gone from a car-oriented city to a human-oriented city,” said Lee In-keun, Seoul’s assistant mayor for infrastructure, who has been invited to places as distant as Los Angeles to describe the project to other urban planners.
Those are some pretty sweet results if you ask me. We talked about this a lot in my environment and society class last semester with regards to urban sprawl. It seems that everyone wins when society moves from car-centric to people-centric, but lawmakers can't get past the price tag and little words like "initial ridership" for public transportation. But think about how much we spend on road construction each year! 
Which brings me to my next point.
It turns out that Wendi Johnson, a Wilson-based construction engineer for the state Department of Transportation, was right all along. And the central office experts were wrong.
North Carolina will spend $13 million to correct their mistake, DOT officials said today, and to implement a recommendation Johnson made six years ago.
In 2003 and 2004, Johnson urged DOT honchos in Raleigh not to scrimp on the thickness of pavement for the new 18-mile Interstate 795, a truck shortcut from Goldsboro to I-95 at Wilson.
Citing her experience with other road projects in Eastern North Carolina, Johnson warned that DOT’s planned 5-inch pavement would be too thin and too weak to support the expected freeway traffic.
Senior DOT planners rejected her plea to add 3 more inches of asphalt. They objected to the cost – an extra $2.8 million for a $196 million project.
Wow. Really? I see we have our priorities in the right place. So that puts the total cost (as of now) for this 18-mile stretch at $209 million. That's almost half of what it cost to build the LYNX light rail system in Charlotte. Wanna bet which one will last longer? Or which one is going to be more beneficial in the long run? 
And for all those who complain that initial readership is low? Let me throw some figures at you: for the first year the initial weekday ridership was predicted to be 9,100. By March of 2008 it was already up to 18,600, a level it wasn't predicted to be at until 2025. 
Public transportation is useful, as the people in Charlotte found out. Now it's time the rest of the country figures it out. 


The other Blind Pilot

Anyone who knew me in high school will remember (maybe) that I was part of a "promising" alternative rock trio called Blind Pilot with my buddies Patrick and Andy. We had some good times, played a few shows and recorded a few songs on home equipment, but it never amounted to much. I'm still convinced that given more practice time and a better lead singer (someone other than me...) we could have made it. But maybe that's just me. 
Well you can imagine my surprise last summer when during my road trip across the country I looked down at the XM radio screen and saw a song by Blind Pilot playing. My first thought was "Did Andy release one of our songs from Myspace?" I quickly realized I was wrong when the music started: it was actually good. 
With a little more research, I found that this more talented Blind Pilot is a sextet that hails from Portland. The more I learned about them, the more I liked. The two founding members, Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski, have done two bike tours down the West Coast. Literally, they rode their bikes from tour stop to tour stop. How awesome is that?
Besides being cool guys, they play really good indie/acoustic/pop music that's catchy and fun. What reminded me of this is that they recently recorded a session over at Daytrotter that's worth checking out. Who's gonna say no to free music?
Now excuse me while I whip out my guitar and rock some of my classic Blind Pilot tunes....


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure!

For the second day in a row, my body decided that the alarm clock going off beside its head was not reason enough to wake up, which is why I'm just now getting to put up this weeks post about stuff that I'm obsessed with but am slightly ashamed about. 
This week is a slight change of pace. It still involves music, but it's not a pop song. For eight years of my life, I spent every weekend in the fall on a football field. But only during half time. College band was fun, but it was nothing compared to my marching band in high school. We were a competitive band with a militaristic attitude and a history of excellence. Every weekend we went to some competition in some random part of the country and expected to come back with more trophies than we could carry, and we usually did. 
I was obsessed with marching band and still love the sound of the brass and drums. I watch drum corps whenever I can and still get chills when I listen to old marching band shows. That's why I was so excited when I found this on YouTube. 

"Drum Major Corey Inscoe and the Cary High School Marching Band!" 
Yep, that's right. I was a big enough band nerd to be drum major my senior year. That little white thing in the front waving his hands around like crazy, that's me. I loved every minute of it, especially leading the band at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis at the Bands of America Grand Nationals competition. 
I still know most of this show, too, and could probably conduct a decent chunk if I studied it a little bit. High school band was a lot of work, but I left with some amazing memories. This is one of them. 


We have video!

I finally quit slacking off and got the hang of Apple's iMovie enough to finally produce the first part of "EuroTripping," the video montage of mine and Thomas' trip this summer. There is quite a lot of material to work with, so sifting through it all has been a challenge. 
Part I includes material from Frankfurt and Berlin. The camera took great quality video, but Thomas' unsteady hand made things a little interesting sometimes. 
I'm working on Part II now, which should include Amsterdam and Bruges, Belgium. Here's a teaser: stairs, dogs and sausage. I'll let you know when it goes up! Until then, enjoy Part I. Feel free to give me some comments, or if you see anything wrong, let me know. 


Conservatives say the damndest things: Heritage vs. EPA

After the stunning success of my first weekly post series, "Tuesday Guilty Pleasure," I've decided to start a new one: "Conservatives say the damndest things." This may not be quite weekly like TGP, but I'll do my best to put one of these up every Friday. And for the conservatives in the crowd (if there are any), I'm working on doing the same thing with liberals. We say some crazy stuff as well. 
The inaugural post in this series hearkens back to a controversial post I wrote a couple weeks ago about the Waxman-Markley cap and trade bill. I got this gem of an e-mail from the Heritage Foundation and though I should share it with you. 
Inhofe produced an EPA chart generated last year during the Senate’s debate of the Lieberman-Warner cap and trade legislation. The chart showed that the carbon reductions under that bill would not materially effect global carbon concentrations in the atmosphere. Inhofe then asked Jackson if she agreed with the chart’s conclusions. Jackson replied: “I believe that essential parts of the chart are that the U.S. action alone will not impact CO2 levels.”
For example, a recent study of cap and trade by MIT concluded: “The different U.S. policies have relatively small effects on the CO2 concentration if other regions do not follow the U.S. lead. … The Developed Only scenario cuts only about 0.5 °C of the warming from the reference, again illustrating the importance of developing country participation.”

Well duh! First, let's go ahead and throw it out there that part of the reason the bill is so weak is that it would have had absolutely no chance to pass the House if it actually had any teeth because the Republicans and Democrats with no backbone would have never voted for it. God forbid we sacrifice a little bit to, you know, save the world. 
But why are they acting like this is such a big "Got ya!" moment against the EPA. Of course this legislation isn't going to mean much if other countries don't follow along. Despite what many may think, there are other people on this Earth and they're polluting too. At the G8 summit this week, world leaders are working to curb worldwide emissions of CO2, even agreeing today to not let the world temperature go more than two degrees Celsius higher and to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. 
Of course, China and India are not going to sign on too quickly. But do you really think they would consider it if the U.S. wasn't working to cut back their emissions? If nothing else, this is a symbolic gesture to show that we're taking this seriously. 
The e-mail goes on to say: 
So if other countries will not sacrifice their own economic growth to meet carbon cutting goals, then what is the economic hit Americans are taking? The left is touting a recent Congressional Budget Office study which they say shows Waxman-Markey would only cost Americans $175 a year. However, the left is seriously misrepresenting what the CBO study is. Footnote three on page four of the CBO study explicitly admits: “The resource cost does not indicate the potential decrease in gross domestic product (GDP) that could result from the cap."
First, it's nice to see that Heritage is finally listening to the Congressional Budget Office about how much this is really going to cost. But this logic just baffles me. "But -- but China isn't doing it so why should we?? It's so not fair!" What are we, bratty five-year-old kids? Grow up. Yes, this is going to cost us a little bit. We've established that. But I'm willing to pay a little price if it means there's some slim chance that we can reduce our effect on climate change. 


Google is taking over the world!!

Today, Google announced that they are releasing a brand spankin' new operating system based on their recently released browser, Chrome. Google Chrome OS is backed by Linux, but the majority of the applications will actually run on the internet. 
From CNET: "
Google Chrome OS is being created for people who spend most of their time on the Web, and is being designed to power computers ranging from small Netbooks to full-size desktop systems," Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, and Linus Upson, engineering director, said in the blog post.
The move has widespread implications.
One is that it shows just how serious Google is about making the Web into a foundation not just for static pages but for active applications, notably its own such as Google Docs and Gmail. Another: it opens new competition with Microsoft and, potentially, a new reason for antitrust regulators to pay close attention to Google's moves.
Google is all about some Web based applications, but I'm just not sure how practical something like this is. Of course, I'm not terribly tech savvy, but I have reservations about putting so much faith in the internet. Users don't always have internet access. Or what happens when the internet unexpectedly goes down?
I'm not too worried about all of this, though. I'm sure Google has all the answers, or they'll figure it out before too long. Chrome is a pretty sweet browser. I used it on my old PC because nothing else seemed to run quickly at all. And I'm pretty sure I would be lost if I didn't have Gmail and all its bells and whistles. I'm interested to see how this all plays out and how much Microsoft freaks out. 
In other news, it looks like the creators of Twitter is shopping around for a buyer and, thankfully, Murdoch isn't interested. I think I might have to shut down my Twitter account if the big bad wolf takes control. I'm thinking we'll see Google buy it before anyone else does.


Tuesday Guilty Pleasure!

First, a small aside. If you're reading this on Facebook, click the link that takes you to the actual Web site. While I love people finding my blog via Facebook, it's so much more fun and easier for me to have you comment on the actual blog post instead of in the Facebook note. Just come on over and join the party by bookmarking CoreyInscoe.com. Then you'll be able to read my fantastic updates whenever you want. And leave a little note below this post to let me know you got here safely!
Now on to the business at hand. It's time for my weekly confession of something I really like that I really, really shouldn't! This week's selection actually came from a cool little feature I saw last week that ranked the 12 greatest key changes in pop music. As a rule, I can't stand key changes at the end of songs as a way to keep things interesting, especially when it changes about five times while the singer keeps singing the chorus, straining as the notes go higher and higher. 
There were, though, a few songs that caught my attention. This weeks song is hard for me to explain. I really shouldn't like it because, as it says in the post, it's "one big key change." And it's an extremely cheesy and sappy song that no man's man would ever be caught dead singing. But when have I ever claimed to be a man's man?
Honestly, I think I have to attribute it to the way the song just continually builds (thanks, key changes) and finally peaks in a barrage of piano, gospel choir and heavy drum fills. I also love how the beginning is so dark and mysterious, too. Or maybe it's because I have this great '80s movie choreographed in my head as I listen to this song. 
Either way, there it is, another guilty pleasure.
P.S. how creepy is that video?? That was not the gospel choir I was expecting....


Lonely Island

I know I'm late on this one, but if you haven't listened to The Lonely Island yet, you're missing out big time. The rap duo, made up of the hilarious Andy Samburg and his buddies Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, first hit the scene with the classic "Dick in a Box" featuring Justin Timberlake. But arguably their best song to date is "I'm on a Boat.
(Unfortunately YouTube won't let me embed the uncensored version, but the link above will take you to it.)

You simply can't beat what T-Pain contributes to this song. His verse might be one of the greatest things I've heard all year. And the best part of all of this is that they don't take themselves seriously at all. 
Believe it or not, but they actually recently released a record called "Incredibad" that features the songs I mentioned above alongside many other comedic gems. You can check out all the videos and material on their Web site or on their YouTube channel


Steve McNair

When I saw the news last night on my phone, in the middle of 4th of July festivities, I was completely shocked. I looked at multiple Web sites just to make sure it was true. Sure enough, Steve McNair was found shot to death
For some people this may not mean a lot: he didn't have the superstar quality of Peyton Manning or the pretty boy charm of Tom Brady, but McNair was by far one of my favorite quarterbacks and someone in the game I really respected. He was a big part of the reason I started pulling for the Tennessee Titans after their heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. 
The man was a tank. He would have five injuries on five different parts of his body and would still be taking snaps. I always loved when the broadcasters would pull up this little graphic that showed all the injuries he had sustained in a season and never missed a game. He was something to watch, especially when he had the help of running back Eddie George, who, coincidentally, is the one that broke the news to Titans coach Jeff Fisher
It's a tough day for a Titans fan and for the whole NFL. Let's hope this trend that started last week will finally come to an end....


Yet another post about the future of journalism

In a post today Ezra Klein proposed that newspapers should be heavily subsidized by the government. I've never liked the idea of government control of newspapers, but this argument is pretty convincing. It wouldn't mean that all news would be controlled by the government, but there would be "public newspapers" that survive through subsidies. 
Thankfully, society has developed models for funding things we deem important but don't entirely trust to the private market. We have public universities and public centers for disease research and public firefighting departments and a public military and public roads. Why should news be different?

You can argue that it must be oppositional to government, of course, and so government funding is a conflict of interest. But many European countries have solved that problem by developing automatic funding structures free of government influence. Meanwhile, it's not as if NPR or the BBC seem particularly concerned about criticizing their respective governments (nor, for that matter, do professors at public universities seem particularly cowed).
Whatever the outcome, it can't be worse than the crap that the Washington Post tried to pull or ugly advertisements and advertorials on the front pages of our favorite newspapers.