Tag Archive: iphone


I should precede my comments by pointing out I studied music in high school and college, and though I am far from a purist, I expect there’s some deep-seeded music snobbery in me.

I found this video of a band called Atomic Tom playing one of their songs on the New York subway both exhilarating and distressing. What’s so incredible about their performance is that they use now instruments, yet they’re still performing. They do the whole song using nothing but apps on their iPhones.

Click here to watch the video on Youtube. The owner prohibited me from embedding it.

There’s no question that what they pulled off is original, entertaining and creative. but that music snob I mentioned above asks: is it music? From a consumer’s perspective, the answers naturally seems to be “yes.” After all, if it sounds like music, it’s music, right?

But what makes something music? Of course you don’t have to use formal, proper instruments to make it, or else everything before the creation of our modern instruments would somehow be illegitimate. But is sampling music? Is spoken word? What about the improvised rhythmic instruments used by groups like Stomp?

My gut says that it’s all music. Any time we use our bodies or other objects in a way that combines rhythm and/or melody in some way that evokes anything in us is music. But I’ll admit is pushes my boundaries of what I’ve accepted as such in the past.

Enough from me; see for yourself and make your own decision.

If you have not yet heard about the Pomegranate Phone phenomenon, you’ve missed the latest buzz:

http://www.pomegranatephone.com/

The ad reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer talks about
how great bacon, pork chops and ham all are, and when Lisa explains
they’re all from the same animal, Homer rolls his eyes skeptically. “Oh
sure,” he says, “some maaaagical animal, Lisa.”

The Pom, which boasts a HD projector, 50 language real-time voice
translator, on-board coffee maker, electric shaver and, of course, a
harmonica, is said “magical animal.” Problem is, it’s a big, fat,
would-be awesome fake. I knew, as I was watching the phone suck up a
glass of water and spit out piping hot coffee from a modified K-cup
insert, that it was a viral video scam.

But there was this little part of me that cried out, “hey, I want to
be able to shave while speaking Farsi, playing the blues and sipping a
latte! I want it, I want it!”

The very fact that the Pomegranate is even within the realm of
comprehension is phenomenal in itself. I mean, I just picked up a G1
“Google Phone,” which sports a touch screen, full qwerty keyboard, web,
email, camera, and a high-speed connection. I can look up anything in
the universe by voice command on Google and look up any product in the
world and compare prices by snapping a picture of the bar code. I can
have my phone “listen’ to any song being played digitally and it’ll not
only find the album cover, artist, publisher and year released, but
it’ll also link right to Amazon MP3 or iTunes so I can download it to
the on-board MP3 player.

Ten years ago, I was considering my first mobile phone, whether I
really could use it or not. Now, I not only have the G1 wunderkind
phone, but as soon as I saw something better, even though my logical
mind kept reminding me it wasn’t real, I longed for it. I pined, I
coveted.

At the heart of the technology industry is a delicate dance between
wooing you with a seductive dance for the new, while also making you
dissatisfied with it, pretty much as soon as you get it. Thus the cycle
begins again. Though the Pom is laughable now, I’m sure there’s some
geek somewhere that’s watching this viral ad and thinking, “yaknow, if
I tweak my iPhone just so, I bet I could make it brew coffee…

Who says our economy’s in trouble? God bless human innovation, combined with an insatiable desire to consume.

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