U2 and Apple?

So U2 and Green Day welcomed the New Orleans Saints back to the Superdome in style with a mesmerizing 10-minute performance that rivals U2’s 2002 SuperBowl appearance. And you can watch it on YouTube. The highlight of the show was the groups performing “The Saints are Coming”, an old Skids song (Andrew Careaga’s got the history). The song and performance were a benefit for Music Rising, an organization the Edge started to help replace the instruments of Gulf Coast musicians.

Now here’s where it gets weird. U2, Green Day and Music Rising partnered with Rhapsody to offer downloads of the performance to benefit Music Rising. Rhapsody, which is incompatible with Mac and less than compatible with iPods? The song is going out to radio, and a commercial CD release is planned for November 7.

So if you’ve got a U2 iPod you may have a hard time getting the latest U2 song on it, at least for now. So what gives? Did U2 and Apple have a falling out? Was Apple not willing to give the benefits to Music Rising (doubt it, seems like Apple has done charity downloads before)? Or is music so last year and Apple is too focused on video? Weird.

37Signals on Project Runway

The 37Signals guys rave about the fashion design reality show Project Runway, and I think they might be tapping into part of why I like the show: the creative, make it work philosophy.

I watched five minutes of America’s Next Top Model last night and I found myself fighting a desperate urge to strangle Oprah-wannabe Tyra Banks. It doesn’t take much to run a phrase like “you’re still in the running to become America’s next top model” into the ground, but she does it, and then dances on the poor phrase and mashes her stiletto heal into it. But beyond Tyra, the show has little focus on the actual creativity. During the judging we’re only given brief glimpses of the photos, the actual result of the whole show. Instead we have to watch the model squirm in front of the judges while they point out the most inane of flaws (you’re not showing any neck, you look too manly, your nose looks too big from this angle). The show has minimal connection to reality–I find myself scratching my head at every picture. The show’s only saving grace is the potential for a cat fight. (which is really the reality genre’s biggest strength)

Project Runway, on the other hand, has a little more meat. The clothing is the point of the show and we get a good look at it. Plus it’s a lot easier to have an opinion on a dress and see what works and what doesn’t, as opposed to some goofy high concept fashion shoot. It also helps that Project Runway requires some creative and practical skill, not just being skinny and flirting with the camera. Now I’m not saying modeling is easy, but I just can’t muster any sympathy for the stick figure girls who rely more on their bodies than their brains. Give me some creative types working against the clock anyday.

Carry on.

Retreat with Personality

In late August Head Monkey Kevin D. Hendricks joined the Personality™ crew on a weekend retreat in the resort town of Big Bear Lake, Calif. The work weekend was a lot of big picture thinking for the future of Personality™.

Consequently the Personality™ blog was brought back to life after a lengthy absence. The company is working to tell the story of their new focus, cause marketing, with a little help from Monkey Outta Nowhere.

This is Why Blogging Exists

So different perspectives can be heard.

In this case, Phil Vischer’s.

Here’s the deal: NBC has been airing edited episodes of Veggie Tales on Saturday morning. NBC is insisting the edits were made for length, not because of the show’s religious values. However, Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales and the one hired to edit the new shows (long story, but Big Idea–the company that started Veggie Tales–went bankrupt and Vischer no longer has control of Veggie Tales, though he does still do voices and ocassional projects like this one) says that’s clearly not the case based on the e-mails he’s received from NBC about what edits to make.

So either NBC is misinformed, or they’re lying so as not to appear to have some kind of anti-Christian bias.

Not that I’m surprised by any of this. I just think it’s cool that we know what’s going on because we have Phil Vischer’s blog to give us another perspective. Now all we need is the blog of somebody at NBC to show us an even deeper twist.

Update: Seems NBC is admitting to cutting out the religion in Veggie Tales, saying they don’t want to air anything that offends or excludes any religious groups. Which is really a bunch of crap. Wasn’t it SNL that aired a spoof on Veggie Tales that mocked Christians? But at least they’re owning up to it now. Lame rationale, but they’re owning up to it.

The Heat Came On Today

We’ve been having quite a cold snap this September and I finally caved today and turned the heat on. It’s not actually that cold, it’s just cloudy and chilly outside, making it not so cozy indoors. I have guilt making Lexi toughen up and endure the cold, so I opted to turn the heat on. It was 64 in our living room when I turned it on.

This is the earliest we’ve ever turned the heat on. Last year it was October 24 (and a whopping 11 degrees colder in the house when I caved). It was October 5 in 2004 and September 29 in 2003.

Top 30 Songs for the Last 30 Days?

I love looking at number and stats. That’s part of why iTunes is so cool. My top 5 most played songs are:

  1. “All Because of You” by U2
  2. “Vertigo” by U2
  3. “City of Blinding Lights” by U2
  4. “Surf Champion” by Coach Said Not To
  5. “Trolly Wood” by Eisley

Which of course shows my obvious bias for U2. But it also reflects the fact that I listened to “Vertigo” nonstop for an hour and a half the day it came out and the fact that I played How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb on repeat for the first few days after it came out. And it came out two years ago.

So here’s the question, iTunes geeks: How can I set up a smart playlist that will show me the most played X songs in the past X days? I want to see what I’ve been listening to in the last month, not simply since I started using iTunes.