Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Grammys: Winners & Nominees, Blog, Twitter Updates

The 2010 Grammys are tonight, and as usual, most of the awards have been given out before the telecast (which begins at 8 p.m. Eastern). To see who's been nominated and who's won, check the official Grammy nominees' page, Winners' names are marked "winner" and have the Grammy gramophone appearing next to them. This list will be updated as the results are announced on the show, to refresh the page to get the latest winners.

Again this year you can get updates on the awards, links to stories and videos, and news of backstage happenings through the official Grammy Awards Twitter feed, @thegrammys. And speaking of Twitter,  Imogen Heap is wearing a special "Twitter Dress" that displays TwitPics sent in by her fans, in real time.

You can follow all the Grammy news and scuttlebutt at the 2010 Grammy Awards live blog and other places on the Web, in addition to the official Grammy Web site.

You can buy music by the 2010 Grammy nominees and winners here at, and buy the 2010 Grammy Nominees album here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Apple iPad: CNet & Other Reviews... and Plenty of Spoofs

Steve Jobs launched the Apple iPad with plenty of flair on Wednesday, and the reviewers are weighing it. You can find CNet's Apple iPad review here, which as you'd expect from that site gives a lot of information including an overview, specifications, detailed information, and reader reviews.

In another article, two CNET staffers debate the merits of the iPad, looking at the audience it's meant for, how it meets (or doesn't meet) that audience's needs, what it has and what it's lacking, and how it stacks up as a reading, gaming, and work device.

PC World links to reviews of the iPad here, and also offers its own brief hands-on iPad review.

Of course, if you've been anywhere near the Internet since the iPad launch you've no doubt heard the many jokes about the product's name, which reminds many people of a feminine hygiene product. You can find a collection of a variety of iPad jokes and spoofs here. Lots of folks have pointed out that MadTV did a skit on the feminine protection/iPad idea a few years ago, as seen in the video above.

Of course, if the iPad is a hit, the jokes about the name will be soon forgotten.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Apple Tablet: OS, Design, Partners, Rumors, Etc.

***UPDATE:*** Apple introduces iPad device - follow the live blog at Mashable at that link.

The worst-kept secret in technology these days is the expected launch of the Apple Tablet, which is to happen Wednesday, January 27th, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. (There is to be live video of the Apple Tablet announcement here, but the server seems to be constantly busy. You can follow a number of live blogs of the event, including Apple Insider [below] and Mashable). 

Steve Jobs will come down from the mountaintop (metaphorically speaking) in Cupertino and have the assembled media masses ooh-ing and ah-ing with the latest shiny gadget from Apple. So what do we really know, and where does that evidence point?  

Though it's a brand-new high-tech device, the Apple Tablet is lifting the hopes of a lot of old-media businesses, says an article in yesterday's L.A. Times. A team from the New York Times has been out in Cupertino working with Apple to work on a large-screen version of the iPhone's application for the paper, and "Condé Nast Publications, publisher of 18 magazines, and HarperCollins Publishers have been approached about developing content for Apple's tablet, according to the Wall Street Journal." 

Speaking of publishers, Apple Insider says that the CEO of McGraw-Hill revealed details on some specific aspects of the Apple Tablet, noting that "the device will run the iPhone mobile operating system" (video above). They also have an article talking about what they think is the Apple Tablet design. And the New York Times notes that the Apple Tablet may give traditional publishers not only a new outlet for their products, but a new way to make money from it.

In addition, Apple Insider has set up a Web site where you can watch the Apple Tablet event live on Wednesday.
And if you're tired of the hype around the Apple Tablet or just want to have fun, the New York Times has posted an Apple Tablet game where you can guess the features and attributes of the latest creation from Steve Jobs & Co.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Buy the Hope for Haiti Now Concert Album at

A galaxy of stars from music, TV, and the movies gathered at several locations Friday night for the Hope for Haiti Now Concert, and you can order the  album of the live concert from iTunes

The concert, organized by George Clooney, was an event to raise money for relief efforts in the quake-stricken country. Performers included Bono and the Edge from U2, Bruce Springsteen, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews and Neil Young, and many more. Celebrities manned the phone banks, taking contributions from callers.

A video of the concert will be available at some point; it is also available for order now.

The organizers say that 100% of the proceeds from sales of the concert album will go to organizations providing relief to Haiti.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Great NYC Concerts On Sale Now/Upcoming: Ricky Gervais, Josh Ritter, Spoon, Jay-Z, More

The cavalcade of great live shows in New York just keeps on rolling. Here's a selection of some of the most popular or in-demand concerts that are now on sale or are about to go on sale.

Going on sale soon: 
*Mayer Hawthorne & The County, March 4, Webster Hall (on sale Friday, 1/22)
*Joanna Newsom - March 18, Town Hall (on sale Thursday, 1/21)
Ricky Gervais - May 12 & 13, The Theater at Madison Square Garden (on sale Friday, 1/22)
*Josh Ritter - May 20, Town Hall (on sale Friday, 1/22)
Carole King & James Taylor - Madison Square Garden, June 15 (on sale Saturday, 1/23)
(Tickets available at Bowery Presents for shows above marked with *)

Shows now on sale: 
Tinariwen (great guitar-driven African rock) - February 18, Highline Ballroom
Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) - February 21, Highline Ballroom
Jay-Z - March 2, Madison Square Garden
Jonatha Brooke - March 23, Highline Ballroom
Jonathan Coulton - April 2 & 3, Highline Ballroom
Spoon with special guests Deerhunter and The Strange Boys - March 26, Radio City Music Hall
Shearwater - March 27, Bowery Ballroom
Rodrigo y Gabriela - April 29, Radio City Music Hall
Chelsea Handler and special guest Josh Wolf - May 15 & 16, Radio City Music Hall

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2010 Burning Man Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets for the 2010 Burning Man festival went on sale today at 10 a.m. PST (1 p.m. in the East).  Burning Man takes place this year from August 30th to September 6th, and the theme is "Metropolis." Burning Man  is held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, 120 miles north of Reno.

As before, tickets are being sold on a tiered structure, with the first 9,000 tickets sold at the cheapest price, the next 9.000 sold at a somewhat higher price, and so on. As of 5 p.m. Eastern time today the first price level ($210) is sold out. The second level is $240. See the Burning Man ticket page for details.

You'll also find links on that page to all the other information you'll need to know about Burning Man, including a first-timer's guide, how to get to Burning Man, how to prepare for the event, and of course the ever-popular "What is Burning Man?".

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Free Music: Streaming Albums & Downloads from Vampire Weekend, Laura Veirs, Spoon, Elvis Cover Tunes, & More

There's plenty of free music to start the new year off with a bang in the form of podcast downloads and streaming CDs; here's a look at some of the notable offerings.

There are some great free streaming albums from NPR Music available now and other the next month or so in their "First Listen" series; here is the schedule:
* Laura Veirs, July Flame - until Jan. 12
* Vampire Weekend, Contra (also streaming free at KCRW) - Jan. 5 to 12
* Spoon, Transference - Jan. 11 to 19
* Patty Griffin, Downtown Church - Jan. 15 to 26
* Charlotte Gainsbourg, IRM - Jan. 18 to 26

If you want to take the music with you, check out the recent free music podcast downloads that are available. Here are some new ones:
* Coverville offers Coverville Countdown, a four-episode survey of the most popular covers of all time, chosen by listeners. Also new on Coverville is part two of its Elvis Presley cover songs podcast.
* CBC Radio 3 is out with part one of its Best Songs of the 2000s podcast, featuring the station's choices of the best Canadian indie tunes of the last decade.
* L.A. band Sea Wolf appears live in KCRW's studios for the first Morning Becomes Eclectic live podcast in the new year. You may still be able to download the previous in-studio performance, by London quartet One Eskimo.
* New releases by Yeasayer, the Shout Out Louds, Danger Mouse, and Freelance Whale are among those played in the first free podcast download of 2010 from All Songs Considered.
* The Kinks Choral Concert, a live version of Kinks songs performed with accompaniment by, you guessed it, a classical choral group, is available for download from NPR Music's concert series. It may sound like an odd combination, but Kinks leader Ray Davies makes the idea work.

Happy listening!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Nexus One Google Phone Steals Spotlight from Apple Tablet (Reviews)

Left: The Google Nexus One phone. Photo: AyoubZubairi.

Until a few days ago the rumored Apple tablet computer was the big buzz in the tech gadget space, but yesterday's launch of of the Nexus One Google phone has been grabbing all the attention since then. Here's a recap of some of the opinions and reviews of the Google phone (announced just in time for the CES 2010 expo) so you can decide whether it's a good choice for you.

One place to start is Google's own page for the Nexus One, Of course it's biased, but the 3D tour gives you an overview of the phone's features and what Google thinks are its most important assets.

Engadget offers its Nexus One review here, examining everything from the hardware to the internals, design, display, camera, telephone features, software, battery life, and more. Their verdict in a sentence: "It's a good Android phone, but not the last word -- in fact, if we had to choose between this phone or the Droid right now, we would lean towards the latter."

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal and All Things D sums up his review in its headline - "Google's Nexus One is Bold New Face in Super-Smartphones." He calls it "the best Android phone so far, in my view, and the first I could consider carrying as my everyday hand-held computer," but adds that "The iPhone still retains some strong advantages."

David Pogue, the personal technology columnist of the New York Times, offers a review of the Nexus One here, and also discusses it in a video. He finds that the Nexus One "isn’t quite as earthshaking as Google seems to think it is" and "is missing some important features that iPhone fans take for granted."

Robert Scoble links to plenty of Nexus One info from his Twitter page,, and also offers this review-in-a-tweet: "My 140 Character Google Nexus Review? Way better than Droid. Close enough to iPhone that it will take major market share. Very impressed." He also has an audio segment that answers questions about the Nexus One that he's been getting on Twitter. (By the way, Scoble is now at CES and will be tweeting updates throughout the show.)

There's plenty more information out there are the Google Nexus One, but this will give you a start.