Van Hagar Out, Van Roth In?

For those unfamiliar with the band’s history, Van Halen’s history of lead singers roughly follows this sequence: David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth, Gary Cherone, and Sammy Hagar. Now, some fans mock the Hagar years, referring to the band of that time period as Van Hagar. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind Hagar that much. I mean, sure, I probably preferred Roth, but I don’t mind him in the least on those days when I’m listening to For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge or other Hagar-voiced albums.

There’re rumors now, however, that Roth could return to the band:

Rumors continue to swirl that original singer David Lee Roth, who was replaced by Hagar in the mid-1980s, will return to the fold, despite years of enmity. Roth, who has recently worked as a radio DJ and a paramedic, told in May that he saw it “absolutely as an inevitability.”

“I’m telling Dave, ‘Dude, get your ass up here and sing, bitch! Come on!’” Eddie told Guitar World. “As it stands right now, the ball is in Dave's court. Whether he wants to rise to the ocassion is entirely up to him, but we’re ready to go.” […]

I dig the band and just about any avenue which leads to more axe shredding is a-ok with me. Just along as it doesn’t involve Gary Cherone — that man can only be described as Van Halen’s George Lazenby.

Hold Off From Upgrading To iTunes 7 If You Use Juice

Apple released iTunes 7 about a fortnight ago with, among other features, support for movies from the iTunes Store (née iTunes Music Store). Reaction to its interface updates have been mixed, but I rather like the tweaks to the interface.

Having said that, if you use iTunes alongside the podcast-subscription tool Juice, you should probably hold off on the upgrade since there have been reports of incompatibilities between iTunes 7 and Juice. Basically, Juice is still able to download podcasts, but it’s unable to automatically add them to your iTunes library (as it normally would).

Of course, these incompatibilities pertain to iTunes version 7.00 and Juice version 2.2 (the current versions as I write this). If you’ve come across this entry and it’s hypothetically December 2006, the now-current versions of those apps may very well have solved those issues.

iTunes 7-based niggles aside, Juice still works very well with iTunes 6.x (to which I plan on downgrading this evening). In case you’re not familiar with the app, Juice is an open source “cross-platform podcast receiver” for Windows, OS X and Linux. While iTunes has built-in podcast support these days, I still prefer Juice for the extra features that it offers, including (optional) auto-expiration (delete episodes of Podcast XYZ after ## days), and (optional) genre-forcing (such as forcing all podcasts to the “Podcast” genre). Oh, and it also has a customizable scheduler, so that you can have it check for new podcasts at an interval which you specify (rather than the arbitrary interval defined in iTunes).

Sirius Adds 10 More Channels. Woo?

Sirius is announcing that they’re adding ten more channels today with the headline “Sirius debuts 10 new channels to bring you more of what you want”. That sounds reasonable enough on the face of it, but I wasn’t aware that “more of what I want” encompassed:

  • A NASCAR channel,
  • A Catholic channel,
  • CNN in Spanish,
  • Not one but two French-language news channels,
  • … and a Canadian soft rock channel

Don’t get me wrong — I totally dig Sirius — but I’m not exactly thrilled out of my gourd at the news of these new channels. Well, ya win some, ya lose some. C’est la vie.

KMFDM is on MySpace?!

To me, MySpace is the online equivalent of a mall’s Hot Topic store. In case you're not familiar with them, Hot Topic is a self-described “punk” styled clothing store. However, when that includes Aerosmith and Lynyrd Skynyrd merchandise (no joke), I dare say that their punk-cred would appear somewhat compromised, to say the least. (I’m not casting judgement on Aerosmith or Lynyrd Skynyrd’s musical abilities — they’re just pretty much the opposite of punk.)

All the same, plenty of Generation Y poseurs like to shop at Hot Topic, thinking they’re edgy and counterculture when in reality they’re lining the pockets of The Man. And that’s where MySpace fits in. Sure, many users think of it as their private treehouse for them and their closest friends, but when your treehouse is home to 72 million other people, your exclusive club isn’t so exclusive, now is it?

To be sure, I have nothing against capitalism. Yes, I’m the kind of guy that buys beverages at Starbucks, and happily — hey, if a given company happens to be profitable due to an effective business model, I’m ok with that. (Well, as long as said company isn’t evil; see also Clear Channel.) Having said that, if you like MySpace because it’s a a website offering “photos, blogs, user profiles, groups, and an internal e-mail system”, that’s fine. It just doesn’t mean you’re more 3l337 for the sake of doing so.

Getting back to KMFDM, I enjoy their music and I’m on their online mailing list (so far, so good). However, in the mailing sent out today, they proudly announce the 1-year anniversary of their MySpace page. Well, what’s the use in having a MySpace page if you have a perfectly good actual domain name? All right, the maneuver be excused if they’re merely trying to make their music available to more listeners. All the same, a part of me is worried a bit that KMFDM could be somewhat HotTopicifying itself — making ventures based on marketing perception rather than substance.

Morning Edition Stuck in My Head

Does it make me totally lame if I've got NPR’s Morning Edition theme song stuck in my head?

(I have a daily scheduled task which rips it to mp3 for me and I listen to it while I'm at the gym and while I walk from the parking garage to the office.)

Update, 2005-09-29: Just as a warning, don’t even think about reading that linked BBC News article if you’re especially susceptible to getting songs stuck in your head. Damn you, Henry Mancini!