The SEO Rapper is Back

Posted by Aaron West at 10:45 AM in Music, Video

Chuck "The SEO Rapper" is back with a new song and a new dance. I love Chuck's flow and this video about Page Rank does not disappoint. Chuck, thanks for pumping out awesome content like this. Keep it up!


Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young (Video)

Posted by Aaron West at 5:58 PM in Music

I'm not a huge fan of the Jimmy Fallon show but sometimes it has great moments. This is one of them. Check out Jimmy Fallon performing as Neil Young. His is a scary-good rendition of the iconic musician.


This sounds totally crazy, but nearly five years ago I wrote a little AppleScript that allowed me preview an entire album on iTunes. I don't know the Apple Store didn't have this functionality from day one, but they didn't. Well, they've finally seen the light of day and created this in the latest edition of the store. Check it out.



The Internet is so gangster

Posted by Aaron West at 10:33 AM in Music, ColdFusion

I saw the first of these SEO Rapper videos a few weeks ago and watched it again after a friend e-mailed it to me today. I looked around for a few more and found some real gems. These are all fantastic but my fav is Conversion Closing. Major props to Chuck Lewis aka "The SEO Rapper."

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It's not every day I come across a record that blends everything I desire in music into a synergistic presentation of perfection. Matter of fact, it only happens about every other year or so. The last time it happened was when I discovered How To Save a Life by The Fray (on iTunes, on Amazon). Yesterday, it happened again. I was working on a blog post and wanted some background music, so I headed over to iTunes to preview some tracks. I clicked around for 10 minutes or so and stumbled across the self-titled album by Thriving Ivory (on iTunes, on Amazon). After previewing the 30 second snippets of three tracks I was sold. I purchased the record for $5.99 and began the auditory journey of listening to each track. I was positively stunned.

Thriving Ivory began when singer Clayton Stroope and songwriter/piano player Scott Jason met while attending the University of California in Santa Barbara, CA. The duo later added three band members to solidify a quintet that took the college scene in Santa Barbara by storm. The band soon relocated to San Francisco where they continued to build their fan base and experience success.

In 2008 their United States exposure skyrocketed with increased radio play and over a million hits to their MySpace page. In fact, Angels on the Moon - the second track on their album - made it into the Top 30. What drew me in were Clayton Stroope's raw, unrelenting vocals. He sounds just as good during a hard-thumping rock riff as he does on the quietest ballad. And when you think you've heard all Stroope has to offer, the songs reveal a depth as surprising as it is pleasurable. The band manages to evoke just about every possible emotion from the listener. Scott Jason's enchanting piano draws you in where the drums and guitar build a perfect climax to Stroope's trembling vocals. Several of the bands songs have received acclaim including Angels on the Moon, and Twilight. The Los Angeles Symphony's string section even makes an appearance on Hey Lady, a track about the realities of love. Scott Jason describes Hey Lady as:

I think everybody has their own Hey Lady. You know, anybody whose ever jumped into the crazy sea of relationships and had to deal with the fact that they're attracted to the fantasy of what they don't have. And when they get it it's not so interesting as it was before they had it.

It's hard to find a favorite song on this record. Every one stands on it's own and yet becomes something more when heard as part of the entire album. I've been listening constantly for two days and am still hearing new things each time through. I've enjoyed it so much I want to let others in on the experience. I've loaded up my MP3 player with full versions of the tracks so you can check 'em out and hopefully buy the album for yourself. Simply click here to have a listen.


I've been reading up on what Apples new iTunes Plus means to the consumer. Before you switch your preference to always download iTunes Plus formatted music you may want to check out some of the articles below that outline some privacy concerns.

InformationWeek Article
Engadget Article
iTunes Plus FAQ


Last.fm Bought By CBS

Posted by Aaron West at 10:24 AM in Music

The title says it all, CBS has purchased the last.fm social music networking site for $280 US million in the largest UK-based Web 2.0 acquisition ever.



It's the "in" thing! Everyone's doing it. Rarely do I jump on the bandwagon and follow others in a "community wide" blog post but I figured why not this time. I've had a few cups of coffee and sitting by the fire has me in a compliant mood.

  • living wildly 29 years
  • husband 6 years
  • father for 4 months
  • animal lover (1 lab, 2 cats)
  • drives a 2005 Nissan Titan LE
  • rides a 2003 Yamaha R6 (yes, it's fast)
  • Mac convert for 3 years
  • currently watching Heroes (owns the iTunes season pass), 24, and Prison Break
  • iTunes/iPod recently played list: Incubus, Switchfoot, Shiny Toy Guns, Daughtry, The Black Crowes, Jet, Sugarcult
  • favorite podcasts: TWiT, ColdFusion Weekly
  • Food: Pizza, popcorn, and meats
  • tries to stay away from YouTube
  • owns a samurai sword
  • seen the underwater worlds of Jamaica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and more


Single of the Week - Shiny Toy Guns

Posted by Aaron West at 7:31 PM in Music

The single of the week on the iTunes Store is a cut from the Shiny Toy Guns latest album. Le Disko, is a catchy, get up and dance track infused with bits and pieces of many musical genres. I purchased the record several weeks ago and definitely recommend folks check it out. Why not start by downloading the free single of the week. You do like free stuff right?


Select All Checkboxes in iTunes

Posted by Aaron West at 12:56 PM in Music, Mac

It's December which means it's time to break out the Christmas tunes and get into the holiday spirit. I have several hundred Christmas tunes in my library and to keep them from playing during "Party Shuffle" sessions throughout the year, I de-select the check box by each track. Well, it's time to select these boxes so the tracks will be played as iTunes progresses from track-to-track. But who wants to individually select hundreds of check boxes? Not me. Today I discovered you can control-click (command-click on Mac) one check box in your track listing and all check boxes will be affected. Since this affects all the tracks you are currently viewing, you may want to create a smart playlist with just the tracks you wish to modify.


Last.fm ColdFusion Group

Posted by Aaron West at 9:00 PM in Music, ColdFusion

I blogged about last.fm a few weeks ago. I've recently discovered the ColdFusion group (http://www.last.fm/group/Coldfusion/) which allows you to see what types of music all your ColdFusion peeps are listening to these days. If you are on last.fm, join the group. If you aren't on last.fm why not get started today! Feel free to add me as a friend once you do join.


Last.fm Is Hiring - Lots!

Posted by Aaron West at 9:58 AM in Music, ColdFusion, Jobs, Programming

I recently blogged about my affinity for last.fm. While browsing around the site this morning I noticed they are looking for a Java developer to work on the last.fm back-end, a PHP developer to work on the actual Web site, and a graphic designer to work on the last.fm site. They're also seeking a smart C++ developer who will be responsible for working on their client tools. You can check out the job postings here (http://www.last.fm/about/jobs/). Now, if we could just get them to power the site with ColdFusion!


Share Your Groove With Last.fm

Posted by Aaron West at 8:12 PM in Music

Reading through Macworld yesterday I discovered a cool Web site geared towards music lovers and Mac users. Last.fm combines social networking features like friends and neighbors lists with music charts surrounding the artists, albums, and tracks you listen to. How does it work? You download one of last.fm's Mac applications that connect your iTunes library to the last.fm servers. As you listen to music the apps submit track data to your last.fm profile on its Web site. The site keeps track of all the music data submitted from its users and records the information in various charts throughout the site. You can browse your own music charts by artist, album, and track to get an idea of your listening habits overall or by week or month. Want to allow others to see what you are listening to? No problem, you can publish your own charts on your blog or Web site (see the new pod I've added on my blog to the right).

Not only can you peruse your own listening charts you can view the charts of your friends, neighbors, and other last.fm users. This is a fantastic way to discover new music from people who have the same taste as you. Last.fm also allows you to stream any music stored in its database. As you browse your friends and neighbors music just click on the appropriate links to stream tracks to your browser. Listening to others music also adds the tracks to your own charts so you can find them later.

I'm just getting started using last.fm, but so far it's very cool. If you join the site feel free to add me as a friend (http://www.last.fm/user/trajik210). Happy listening!


Who's Listening to Your Shared Music

Posted by Aaron West at 10:26 PM in Music, Mac

iTunes version 4 introduced the ability to share your music library across your local network using Bonjour, Apple's zero-configuration networking technology. To set up sharing you simply access the Sharing preference pane, determine if you want to look for shared music yourself, and then configure what playlists (or your entire library) you want to share to the outside world. You can also set up a shared name for your library that will be shown to all viewers as well as whether or not a password is required to access your music. Just below all these settings is a message indicating how many users - if any - are connected to your library.

That's all well and good but I want to know what people are listening to. With a bit of clicking you can get this more specific information. First, you need to launch Apple's Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities), a program that lists all the running processes on your mac and various details about those processes. Next, find the iTunes process highlight it and click the Inspect button in the toolbar (or press command-i). In the process detail pop-up box that follows select the Open Ports tab and scroll to the bottom of the text window. Listed here is information on any user connected to your shared library and what they are currently listening to. Remember, just because someone is connected does not necessarily mean they are listening so keep this in mind.


Rob Thomas' Streetcorner Symphony

Posted by Aaron West at 9:03 AM in Music

Anyone reading the Music category of this blog knows I'm a big fan of music and how it's used in television and movies. A few weeks ago all the major television networks ran primetime ads showcasing cuts from their season premiers. One in particular caught my attention - ABC's. The ad showed scenes from several of ABC's shows including the already popular Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives, and brand new shows like Six Degrees, and The Nine. What caught my attention however was the music chosen for the ad. The song was upbeat, catchy, and made me want to get up and dance. And considering I don't dance - at all - that's saying something.

I immediately began looking for the song and was surprised to see the artist was Rob Thomas. With Matchbox Twenty Thomas had some huge hits like 3 AM, Unwell, and Push, but his solo work has yet to compell me to lay down any cash. I'm still not hip on his solo work, but his track used in the ABC promo - Streetcorner Symphony - is definitely worth the $1 in the iTunes Store.