Saturday, January 31, 2009
Dan is a serial entrepeneur having started CouchSurfing.com. I can't wait to see how this idea plays out.
Friday, January 30, 2009
First up, via Matt Ziser's Facebook Feed comes this excellent song (and video) by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed
Next is "the Making of 'Middle Cyclone' from Neko Case." It's a bit of a documentary on Neko Case's new album.
The Gonzo Gal posted Neko's People Gotta Lot of Nerve.
One of my all-time favorite Pearl Jam songs, Crown of Thorns. Actually, as Eddie notes in the clip, it pre-dates the formation of Pearl Jam, and actually comes from Mother Love Bone, a band that guitarists Stone Gossard & Jeff Ament were in. The band broke up because the frontman overdosed on drugs. If you listen carefully in the kitchen scene from Say Anything with John Cusack, you can hear this song playing in the background. I love the bluesy, Mike McCready solo and the emotion in Vedder's voice.
Finally, here's a great song I discovered this week at I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS. The song is by the Band of Annuals and is called Something True. I've been playing it non-stop on my ipod. Warning: it's Mas Sensitivo.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I commented on it via Twitter at the time but this post captures the spirit better.
“All of a sudden, the clapping doesn’t subside and I don’t see their team coming out and I realized they’re clapping for me,” said Robinson, who is brother-in-law to new president Barack Obama. “I got to tell you, I was completely taken by surprise. It was almost as emotional as being at the inauguration. That kind of outpouring, I’m not used to.
“It says a lot about the student body, it says a lot about the fans at Cal. I was quite moved. Listen, I was as choked up as I’ve ever been. I had to fight back the emotions because we had a game to play. When I tell you I was taken by surprise and moved, I can’t explain it because I’ve never been a part of something like that.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"It was the quietest locker room ever; you could hear guys' belts hitting the floor. I should have done something. I should have thrown some helmets, said some things, done something to remind us that we were still just one game from winning the thing. Even if it meant picking a fight with Barry Bonds."
Monday, January 26, 2009
One Final Toss for the Dooze - reminded me of my dog, Browser, who has passed. My step dad found her on the side of the freeway in a cardboard box. He took her home, trained her (stepdad was in SF Police Dog Unit) and she became our dog. She had giant eye brows, was pretty small and was a total mutt but she was a tough old bird. Her specialty was taking on coyotes and mailmen. I miss her.
Once people have taken [an avalanche safety] course, they are MORE LIKELY to be killed in an avalanche than those who have not taken the course.
Zappos Knows How to Kick It - thanks to Lauren Novita for sending this article which is a playbook on how to build great corporate culture and how to deal with a tough layoff. My favorite little snippet, "Any employee can give any other employee a $50 bonus for a job well done." Now, that is trust in your employees and deploying money to back up all the warm and fuzzy talk.
My favorite LuvvBugg post of the week includes a senator...
I'm late on this, but the White House has changed its communication policy.
Matt Belloni's interview of Anna Friel in Esquire was great. Esquire has some screwed up format for viewing their articles online, so it's really hard to find, but go to page 90 and you'll see it and the pictures, which are really good too.
Zero in Japan vs. Zero in America - fantastic article on the differences in the US & Japanese banking systems, and this is not good news for the US.
My Inauguration Story by Roseanne Cash. Heart warming story that I highly reccomend.
Banker's pay is/was out of control from Paul Kedrosky.
We can't all be Keynesians at once from Paul Kedrosky - meaning we all can't inflate our currencies and issue mountains of debt...because someone needs to buy that debt.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Basically, Frank wants to stabilize the quickly deteriorating population via hunting. It seems counter-intuitive, but his argumnent is that local tribesman don't have an economic interest in the Lion population. In fact, they actually poison lions because the big cats prey on the cattle herds. However, hunting would bring in lot's of money and ensuring that a good chunk of it lands in the tribesman's pockets would motivate them to protect lions. It's an interesting idea. Regardless, something needs to be done, as there are only about 30,000 lions left in West Africa...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I got the tour of his training facility last month and its really high tech. I also got to hang out with some of his athletes. Phil has created a really cool culture at Sparta Science, where there is peer pressure to not only do well in sports, but for high school kids, there's a peer pressure to do well academically. I got the vibe that the kids looked at Phil like an older brother.
Anyways, I'm happy for Phil that he has started such a great business and that they are doing well and he's helping a lot of people. Phil was featured in Tom Billups Rugby column and he has a weekly column in the Palo Alto Daily News called Sparta Point.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Also, @GrahamMudd posted a friday song of the week on Twitter.
Finally, I really like Andrew Bird's new album and this song is pretty cool.
Andrew Bird - Anonanimal
Have a great weekend.
http://favtape.com/scottorn/Belloni%27s%20Best%20of%2008%27/shuffleMatt was kind enough to write a few words on each selection. Matt is not a music critic, he only plays one on TV. The list is meant to be taken in the spirit of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity mixes, as in not too seriously.
1. "Float," Flogging Molly - This would have made any of my lists. But with the world going to hell in 2008, I'd vote this odd beer-swilling anthem the song of the year. Drink, that's all you can do.
2. "Constructive Summer," The Hold Steady - I've heard them described as the bar band in heaven. Sounds about right. I didn't love this album as much as "Boys and Girls in America," but I dare you to have a bad time while the Hold Steady are playing.
3. "DLZ," TV On the Radio - I wish I was 1% as cool as these guys. Or maybe I wish that this song started playing every time I got off the elevator at work.
4. "Man-sized Wreath," R.E.M. - Who would've guessed I'd enjoy an REM album as much as anything released in 2008. They're the Mickey Rourke of guitar bands, and I welcome them back to relevance. Same sound, and Michael Stipe's voice and lyrics have gotten far more interesting with age. Great line: "If nature abhors a vacuum, then what's between your ears."
5. "Run to Your Grave," The Mae Shi - We caught the very end of their set at SXSW and I was surprised to find myself humming this song the next morning. Then I downloaded it and realized it's the catchiest track of the year.
6. "Weekend Wars," MGMT - Hard to believe this album came out in '08. A bunch of great songs, like "Kids" and "Time to Pretend," but this one gets my vote probably because I'm not sick of it yet.
7. "Surprise," Gnarls Barkley - This should be the theme song if (or, rather, when) they do a "Hawaii 5-0" remake. Are you listening, Ben?
8. "L.E.S. Artistes," Santogold - Santi White worked in A&R for a label then went and made her own record with an amazing single. It's interesting that this doesn't happen as often in the arts as it does in other areas of business.
9. "M79," Vampire Weekend - Fine, ladle on as much shit as you'd like. I don't care that it was probably blasted from the roof of every frat house on Warring, this album (and this song, probably its most maligned) are great.
10. "Ragged Wood," Fleet Foxes - I'm not a big My Morning Jacket fan, so if there's ever a steel cage grudgematch to crown a mainstream alt-folk jam band champion of the world (and, Lord willing, there will be...and NBC will televise it), I'll be rooting for Fleet Foxes.
11."I Was Made for You," She & Him - Orn, either I'm becoming more sensitive in my advancing age or I've started enjoying Sunday Morning-esque albums in an ironical way. I'd like to think good music transcends heartlessness.
12. "Holy," Love as Laughter - Good rec from my friend Mark, Sam Jayne is a great indie frontman. These are the kind of songs Jack Johnson thinks he's writing.
13. "My Medicine," Snoop Dogg - A national treasure. Even singing country. Especially singing country.
14. "Jai Ho," A.R. Rahman (and friends) - A perk of my job is that studios sometimes send me the soundtracks to their movies. I listen to them all on the drive home (I highly recommend navigating traffic to the over-the-top intense score from "The Dark Knight") and that's usually the extent of my interest. But the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack I kept. A.R. Rahman is the John Williams of Bollywood, and the "Slumdog" music perfectly
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Anyways, it turns out that queueing is hazardous for your health if you are on a boat going down in the middle of the ocean. Great article on why more Britons Than Americans Died on the Titanic. I miss London a lot.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
10 Dec 2008 : Column 527
Mr. David Cameron (Witney) (Con): … I am going to ask the Prime Minister again about the need to get banks lending to businesses. Putting taxpayers’ money into the banks was something supported by all parts of the House in order, yes, to rescue the banking system, but as the Governor of the Bank of England says, the purpose of recapitalisation was not
“merely to protect the banks”,
“the flow of lending to the real economy could continue at normal rates”.
The Prime Minister: The first point of recapitalisation was to save banks that would otherwise have collapsed. We not only saved the world— [Laughter . ]—saved the banks and led the way— [ Interruption. ] We not only saved the banks— [ Interruption. ]
"Everyone has their tumblr crush, but few of us are crazy enough to not only pursue it, but also move nearly 5000 miles in the process."
On Kobe vs. Lebron:
"Most NBA players haven't given up their claim on Kobe as the best player in the league. That comes on the strength of three NBA championships and a litany of last-second shots in the great tradition of Jordan and Jerry West. But the torch is being passed, ever so gradually, and Kobe knows that. He badly wants at least one more title as LeBron makes his ascent. Who knows, in two years the Cavaliers could be an elite, title-winning team -- or James will have joined some budding powerhouse in the 2010 free-agent market."
On the Celtics:
"You bet the Celtics are annoyed at the widespread ascent of Cleveland's status. They have to be thinking, "We're the ones with the rings. What the hell have the Cavs done?" More than anything, there's a backlash against the Celtics' severe trash-talking, primarily from Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Personally, I enjoy the Celtics' attitude. They're not settling for just one title; they've come out with a vengeance, a little mean streak."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Shalon is working on t-shirts and organizing a get-together the day before, but at the very least, it would be great to have your participation!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
In the dark space of Bowery Ballroom—a room that is not small—it felt like several hundred of us were sitting in Vernon’s head. The intimacy of his songs was matched by a focussed performance that collapsed the space around us. And then, after the demanding and cathartic “Skinny Love,” Vernon retuned his guitar and chatted us up, saying, “How are you guys?,” as if he’d pulled up in his truck to help us move a few pieces of furniture. That personality—“a pretty present person” is how he put it to me—only makes it easier to open up to the music.
Here is a video interview on New Yorker's site of Vernon and here is the song, The Wolves that the article talks about at the end. For good measure, I'm throwing in Re: Stacks, another one of my favorites.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
"There's a Neil Young cover in there (Oh Lonesome Me) that i've always thought was the most depressing breakup song ever. i think M. Ward took it to a whole another level though."
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
-Ty, Huntsville, Ala.
SG: Two days. And it's amazing the Knicks haven't thought of this yet.
"People think entrepreneurs are risk-loving. Really what you find is successful entrepreneurs hate risk, because the founding of the enterprise is already so risky that what they do is take their early resources, the small amounts of capital that they have, whatever assets they have, and they deploy those resources systematically, eliminating the largest risk first, the second-largest risk, and so on, and so on." -- Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Inc.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Mike Walton's link. Mike is VP of Marketing at Jott, a company I really like, and he flagged a couple really interesting posts related to 1) Fremium Business Models and things like churn, Average Revenue per Customer, etc, 2) Designing Quality User Interfaces, and 3) Gladwell's post about work and curiosity which I couldn't agree more with.
Charles Hudson's thoughts on Free Powered Business Models. Charles is a friend of mine who is an incredible networker, very thoughtful in the advice he gives and is a "go to" guy around gaming and virtual goods. It feels like he has upped his post frequency, so definitely start checking him out.
Fred Wilson's post o Hype Machine being the "Rolling Stone of our Time." I couldn't agree more. I use Hype Machine everyday. It's intuitive, finds all the best music, including live stuff which is what I really like, and its Zeitgeist is to definitive word on what was great in any give year.
Own Your Zip Code by Seth Godin is fantastic.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The excerpt (read the whole thing):
"You have to convince that cash-is-trash.
How do you do this? Well the first answer is just print money.
And that is what the Bank of Japan (BOJ) did – and what central banks around the world are still doing. And it doesn't work. The reason that it doesn't work is that people are more than happy to hold the money idle in enormous quantity. It yields 3-5% post tax real after all.
Just printing money is not enough. You need a real shock.
The Ben Bernanke suggestion – and he really did suggest this: load up a helicopter and throw it out the window over downtown Tokyo. If that doesn't work continue doing it until you get inflation."
Sunday, January 11, 2009
-- Scott Ostler's always excellent sunday column from SFGate
In these turbulent times who doesn’t need additional capital to get through these cold winter months? Because of your strong record of providing banking services to me, I would like to offer you a special opportunity to raise capital and gain liquidity in one easy step. This offer is available only to you, and it is only available for a short time.
Friday, January 9, 2009
33Forever Top 33
Second, Andrew Miller's brother, BJ, is in a sweet band called Health. Their song Crimewave was covered and made the HypeMachine's Top 50. Pretty cool stuff. The drums are awesome BJ.
Here's the cover: Crystal Castles - Crimewave (Lazrtag Remix)
Here's the orginal.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
"[Bird] never records melodies or even writes them down. He assumes that if they’re worth remembering, he’ll remember them. The longer they remain lodged in his head, the more likely it is that they will eventually be fashioned into a song. “It’s like I’m my own Top 40 radio station, playing the things that get under my skin,” Bird says. “The ones that really stick are the hits.”"
Bird drips with musical talent and after seeing him life at Northwestern and hearing him explain his music, this quote doesn't surprise me at all. His music is really complex and it takes me a long time to find a way in, but once I do, and I always do, look out. It's not easy though and often times I put down his music for a while and then return to it. I return to it looking for the basic personal satisfaction that comes with listening to music, but I also return because I know how hard he works on it and how hard it was for him to "make it."
A lot of that is covered in the NY Mag piece, but I still remember the look on his face when I saw him in Chicago a few years back. The Riviera, I think, was sold out, it was clear he had "arrived" and when he walked on stage he took a few moments to soak it all in. Then he leaned into the microphone, and in his quiet voice he said, "I used to live a few blocks down the road, and ride my bike by here everyday. Thank you for coming to see me play here. It's a dream come true..."
And with that he started an amazing show. I'm one of those fans that he won over one at a time, and it keeps me coming back.