News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
They Got the Beat By Wesley Felter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being a person of such diverse interests as I am, one thing that really excites me is when I see a connection between things that I hadn't known about before. I've found quite a few of these lately.
Like Dave, I like music. Mainly alternative music, not too much of the harder rock. I also like some classic bands like the Beatles. One of my favorite bands is Dave Matthews Band. Dave Matthews is a crazy guy, but he's got a groove. One day I was reading the sleeve to Crash, and for some reason the name of their producer stuck in my mind: Steve Lilywhite. For some reason, the name sounded familiar, so I checked some of my other CDs, and I noticed that he also produced the Spin Doctors and U2's War. I'm not a huge fan of the Spin Doctors, but there's something about their sound that I like. It turns out that Steve Lilywhite is all over my CD collection! I've never heard of him, but obviously he knows something about what music I like; something that I don't even understand.
While I was comparing my Dave Matthews Band albums to my Spin Doctors albums, I noticed another similarity: they're both mixed by Tom Lord-Alge. It turns out that he's also credited on Tracy Bonham's recent debut and an excellent (if little-known) album by The Verve Pipe called Villains. And looking back at these connections, I can start to see the similarities in the music where I didn't before. What had seemed like a pretty eclectic mix of music turns out to be largely influenced by a few people. I wonder if the marketing guys know this, that if they get Steve Lilywhite and Tom Lord-Alge together on an album and play it a few times on the radio that I'll buy it immediately.
My other two favorite bands are U2 and The Smashing Pumpkins; imagine my surprise when I find that both were produced by U2's Flood. Brian Eno pops up everywhere; besides being closely affiliated with U2, I remember his Wired interview where he said that "The problem with computers is that there is not engouh Africa in them." Dave Matthews, a white South African himself, points out that much of his musical influence comes from Africa. Being from New Orleans, I know the rich musical and cultural heritage that came to this country from Africa, but I never thought I'd see it in U2.
Related to Eno, I can't venture very far into techno/electronic/ambient music without running into Thomas Dolby. I turns out that now he's running a company called Headspace that licenses synthesizer software to companies like... Be. "She blinded me with science!" Maybe that should be Gassee's theme song instead of "Let it be." Even an OS has a sort of music, a beat. When I'm using Mac OS, I know how things are going to respond; I can hear the hard drive grind at all the right times. Be OS is different; everything is so smooth that my Mac never seems like it's working. There's no start-stop; it just flows. Interesting.