Damn It Janet

The video won’t embed (SO ANNOYING), but this is a pretty cool little time capsule moment.

To my knowledge this is the only full interview that Tim Curry gave about his part in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Recorded during the week that the film was released in 1975, he talks about his roll in the film and whether or not he would play the part again! The Interviewer is Mark Caldwell and the Interview Director is Colin Grimshaw. Clips were provided by Fox-Rank. Fox has (June 2012) reviewed and released any copyright claim on the film footage appearing in this video. The interview was shot in black and white (the film is in colour)!

I always forget how much ass this soundtrack kicks. Mark and I were in a college cover band that played “Sweet Transvestite.”

Does A.I. Mean Artificial Iceman?

This is creepy, but also fascinating. Makerbot and I were discussing the new Val Kilmer documentary recently, and how sad it is. In case you didn’t know, Val had cancer and can no longer speak. Well, no some fancy computer people have been able to re create his voice with AI, and it sounds just like him.

 

Ashes to Ashes

I’m sure it’s old news to Makerbot, but I was not aware there was an alternate ending to Army of Darkness. Rather, an original ending that test audiences hated, prompting a rewrite / reshoot.

Bruce Campbell Twitter is also great Twitter, if there is such a thing.

Solar Parhelion

Also called Sun Dogs, “they can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but are not always obvious or bright. Sun dogs are best seen and most conspicuous when the Sun is near the horizon.”

Music Will Save Us All?

As this site’s extremely senior medical correspondent, I’m happy to report that I received my first COVID 5g chip a couple of weeks ago and am scheduled to inject the second one tonight. My corpuscles and sinews have nearly hit the intended full metal zone vibrato. More on the uh, science, here.

How Does It Sound?

“I remember being in a car on Neil’s ranch with him when CDs first came out, and he was lamenting how the sound was so damaged. He was pretty horrified by it, and I was kind of amazed. He really made me aware of the damage the fidelity had taken.
“I don’t have Neil’s ears to really get as bothered as he is by it,” Lofgren says, “but it is an extraordinary difference when you know what you’re doing and you get the sound right.”

This week’s obsession is the fantastic article The Pagan Mechanic Rides Again: Neil Young’s Adventures on the Hi-Res Frontier in Wired.

Stuff I learned, down various internet wormholes, which you all probably know already:

A CD holds about 600-700 MB of data. At the time the format was invented, that was 50X as much as a hard drive, so it seemed incredible. But music takes a lot of memory. The goal was to compress an album (say, 60 minutes of audio) onto that CD. That can be done if you sample at 44.1kHz (roughly twice the max frequency of adult human hearing) and limit the bit depth to 16 bits per sample. That gives a maximum dynamic range of 96dB between the quietest and loudest sounds – thought to be decent enough for the human ear.

A good way to start a fight among audiophiles is to suggest that we don’t need anything better than 44.1kHz/16bit. Many people insist that they can hear a difference; double blind studies do not necessarily bear this out. This blogging nerd set up a great test including the Goldberg Variations, to see if audiophiles could tell the difference between 24 bit and 16 bit. They pretty much couldn’t.

When mp3’s came along, they allowed us to compress musical data by a factor of ten. A 30 megabyte, three minute CD song becomes a 3 megabyte mp3 abomination. It sucks the life out of the music!
Neil Young says so!

His attempt at a hi-res audio player – Pono – is now wreckage in the compression and loudness wars won by lo-res streaming like Spotify. He wrote a book about it: To Feel The Music: A Songwriter’s Mission to Save High-Quality Audio.

But lo! Nowadays since we’ve all got bandwidth coming out our ears, with cloud storage and whatnot, audiophiles are excited about bigger, uncompressed audio files.

– wav: 10 MB per minute
– aiff: 10 MB per minute
– FLAC: 5 MB per minute
– DSD: 40 MB per minute

“DSD [Direct Stream Digital] has become the audiophile standard, higher than the 96-kHZ/24-bit FLAC-based audio of Tidal Hi-Fi, and even higher than the 192-kHZ/24-bit FLAC favored by Neil Young Archives.”

Listen to the inventor of DSD! You won’t understand a single word! Noise shaping and pulse-code modulation! That looks like a damn oscilloscope behind him so you know he doesn’t fuck around:

You can now obtain DSD files of a few of your favorite artists. And Amazon and Apple are getting into the hi – res game. To play hi-res files back, you’ll probably need at least a high quality DAC (digital audio recorder).
The company Qobuz has hi-res Replacements!
Itrax has other power pop like Mozart, Stravinsky, and Glenn Gould.

Mr. Young, in the meantime, has set up the cool steampunk, idiosyncratic, wonderful $1.99-per-month Neil Young Archives where you get what the artist intended. I’ve been enjoying my time there.