Dyers.org Turns 10 (That’s 60 In Web Years!)

jon dyer polaroid eyeOn January 10, 2002, Dyers.org started with a simple Hello World. Since then, the site has landed my face on television, in a couple of newspapers, in an iPhone app, and all over the web. In web years, Dyers.org is wearing a white belt, white shoes, and should be packing up its polyester pants to drive the Caddy down to Florida.

How Long Ago Is 10 Years In the WebSphere?

Dyers.org started up on MindSpring account when the fastest connection a geek could hope for was 1.5 megabit DSL. It ran on the Blogger platform before Blogger was eaten by Google. It predates American Idol, The Bachelor, and even the G4 Network. Back then, we were all talking about this new iPod thing that came out a couple of months before, which cost an unbelievable $399 for 5Gb of storage. We all thought we should’ve invented it, and we might’ve if we weren’t so busy playing Grand Theft Auto III day and night on our PS2s. Owners of the brand new Xbox console might’ve had a better chance if they weren’t so wrapped up with Halo.

Tweeting was 4 years away, and Tumblr and StumbleUpon were counting their anniversaries in months. No one was using LinkedIn, MySpace, or even Friendster because they hadn’t been thought of. Hell, Mark Zuckerberg was still a couple of years away from coming up with the Harvard-only web app he called “TheFacebook.”

Without vast virtual social networks in which to envelop themselves, nerds either sat home watching The X-Files and drooling about the possible release of Warcraft III, or they started blogs and blathered on and on about nothing.

And I stood there with a bunch of other nerds (wearing onions on our belts, which was the style at the time) and said, “people want to know what we eat for breakfast. We know they do.” Those other nerds became successful pro-bloggers, or hit the delete key when they realized that blogging was for teenage girls.

Despite being the wrong gender and age, I had an astounding 30 readers that I felt compelled to entertain. I kept blogging. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

What followed were years of meandering introspective blather, a couple of years of earnest pro-blogging, and 3 years of Life of Riley posts about what it’s like to quit your job and end up a stay at home dad.

And there were beards. Lots and lots of beards.

And by publishing every time I thought, “If I publish this, I’m going to look really stupid,” the original 30 expanded into a horde of really unique and interesting people. And although I don’t give you much of a reason to visit anymore, what with all the tweeting, and the texting, and the Facebooking, I know you’re still out there somewhere and I hope you’re doing well.

A Few Things I’ve Learned In A Decade Of Blogging

  • The web loves lists.
  • If Mother Theresa had a blog, someone out there would send her hate mail. You’re not Mother Theresa. You’ll get worse.
  • You can say 2+2=4 and someone is going to call you a conspiracy theorist who has been bought by the mainstream media.
  • Most of what you hope will do well won’t, and you will shake your head at what succeeds.
  • Proper tagging and promotion can more than make up for bad writing and lack of content.
  • Over time, blogging will turn you into a writer with no time to actually write.
  • Beware of bloggers who blog about blogging. There is a good chance that they are salesmen selling sales seminars.
  • Deadlines are more important than perfection because writing is never done perfect.
  • Write short, scannable text.
  • The web is fickle.
  • Give before you ask.
  • There are secret cabals of savvy folks out there who cross promote articles for each other to drive traffic. They sometimes work.
  • Blogging means that you will never be able to tell a story without someone cutting you off and saying that they read it already.
  • People you’ve never met will feel like they know you, but most of the time you’ll wonder if anyone’s really out there.
  • Stats can be exciting, but they really don’t matter.
  • You need to promote your posts, but promoting your own posts rarely works.
  • Your blog can get you in the paper and on TV. But, then what?
  • You can have your face circle the web for years and no one will recognize you on the street.
  • Whatever you publish in anger will be embarrassing in a couple of years.
  • You can be a big beard freak at the top of Google stats and there will be people will still want to hire you.
  • If your blog is not a labor of love, you’re going to have a hard time defining its success.

Going Forward

Now that the site is in its golden years, it’s sluggish and lazy, sleeping in a recliner covered in Cheetos. It occasionally snores itself awake long enough to drop something funny or facial hair related before drifting off again…which reminds me of a funny story about your Aunt Bernie. Or was it Phyl? No, no. That’s right, it was your Uncle Bob’s cousin, Linda. The one with the limp.

Hey, did you ever get that finger looked at when you went to the doctor’s last time? Because I got this stuff down at the drugstore that works wonders on… What? Oh, right.

Anyway.

Bob’s cousin Linda, you’re going to love this, falls into…Oh, jeepers Christmas, now I’m late for bingo. Listen, just stay here and I’ll tell the story when I get back. There’s shortbread in the cupboard, and tea in the…hey, can you program a VCR? The clock on there keeps flash…what do you mean “what’s a VCR?” The thing you tape Matlock with. What’s taping? Oh, for cry eye. Listen, I gotta go. I don’t have time to explain what VCRs, VAX clusters, or a 56k modem are. Huh? My pants? why they’re right on my…aw fudge.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

-Jon

Baby Talk: Not Quite A Request For NPR

#1GF! and now twenty month old #1Baby were in the kitchen. I had yet to get out of bed, so the radio wasn’t blasting out it’s steady stream of classic rock. #1Baby broke the silence.

#1Baby: Want to hear the news.

#1GF!: [raising an eyebrow] You want to hear the news?

#1Baby: Hear him. Hear the news.

#1GF!: [walking over to radio] You want to hear the news?

#1Baby: Hear him.

#1GF!: The news. On the radio.

#1Baby:The Nuuuuuge.

#1GF!: You want to hear The Nuge?

#1Baby: Hear him. Now.

#1GF!: I’m going to have a talk with your father when he gets up.

Star Trek Redshirt: Pwn, Replace, Repeat

Ah, the red shirts: the pawns of the Star Trek Universe. When three main characters and “Ensign Larry” beam down to the planet, you know who’s going to take the poisonous spikes to the face from the native plant, or the shot the chest from an angry laser-toting robot. I happen to be wearing a red shirt this morning. I should probably plan to just stay indoors after I finish cleaning all the sharks out of the mega-nitroglycerin grinder in cargo bay two.

Oh, shoot. Hey, if you’re reading this, could you come down and open the air lock door? If I don’t get the grinder cleaned before the captain gets back, I’m a dead man. Oh, and could you bring down the air lock timer manual? The damned thing is counting backwards…

Pwning The Pawns Of The Star Trek Universe

Ear Way In Hay Ee Thay Uney May

While waiting for #1GF! to get out the door this morning, I was sitting on the bed and singing to the baby. “Ear way in hay ee thay uney may. Ear way in hay ee thay uney may.”

#1GF! snapped out of her morning routine for a second. “Wait. What are you singing?”

I shrugged and repeated. “Ear way in hay ee thay uney may.”

#1GF! shook her head. “What is it? Did you make it up?”

It wasn’t an invalid question. It’s not entirely uncommon for me to make up songs. “No, I’m singing ‘We’re in the Money’.”

“Oh my god.”

“It’s Pig Latin.”

“Oh. my. god. She knows a handful of words and you’re already branching out into Pig Latin? Is that a good idea?”

I shook my head. “It’s from this movie from 1933 called Gold Diggers. Ginger Rogers sings it.”

“So…you’re singing it in Pig Latin.”

“She did too.”

“No, she didn’t.”

“Oh, yes she did.”

“In 1933.” #1GF! dipped her chin. “Riiight.”

“Really. It’s an old-school, big-production dance number until the camera gets right up in her face and she starts singing in Pig Latin. I’m telling you. It’s really weird.”

#1GF! shook her head. “How do you find these things?”

I mistakenly thought it was an actual question. “Well, during a writing break yesterday, I was looking for a little history on Esquivel, and Wikipedia called him the ‘The Busby Berkley of Cocktail Music.’ So, I was like, ‘Who the hell is Busby Bixby,’ and—”

#1GF! patted my chest. “Okay. I have to go.”

“You’ll see. I’m going to find the video for you.”

She kissed me as if she were patting my head. “Love you, gotta run.”

“It’s real,” I muttered as she walked down the hall.
Continue reading Ear Way In Hay Ee Thay Uney May

The One Hit Wonder Playlist

Reclusive author, J.D. Salinger passed away in his New Hampshire home a couple of days ago at the age of 91. He was most famous as the author of The Catcher In The Rye, which has sold over 65 million copies since it was first published in 1951.

I put together a music playlist in Salinger’s honor.

One Hit Wonders Of The 60s, 70s, 80’s, 90’s, & Today

I compiled over 175 one-hit wonders spanning five decades from 60’s through the 2000’s. There are a few good, a few bad, and a few downright ugly songs on the list, but all of most of them will drag you kicking and screaming down memory lane. The list is by no means complete, and all the song titles are available below the player.

Enjoy!


Continue reading The One Hit Wonder Playlist

Dyers.org Turns Forty-Eight (In Web Years)

Robot Cupcake At a time when my feedreader is choking on the bones of abandoned blogs that are being voraciously devoured 140 characters at a time, my blog is turning eight years old. That’s a long time for something to exist on the web without a viable business model. I think I know how the dinosaurs felt.

I had to drop to a weekly posting schedule to make room for a book and new baby, but 548,083 unique visitors still managed to drop by here in 2009. Even though that was down from 1.3 million visitors in 2008, I still feel the same awe that I felt in early 2002 when there were twenty-nine people a day reading along: I still wonder who those other twenty-six people are.

So, Thank You (Yes, You)!

The blogsphere is now packed with leaner, funnier, and better marketed blogs than this one, so I want you to know that I appreciate you spending some of your time here sifting through the literary rubble for something amusing to pocket week after week. I really do. So even though I can’t pay you in money, when you die, on your deathbed, you’ll receive total consciousness. So you got that going for you…which is nice.

Whether your one of the site’s 400 subscribers or just someone who checks in once and a while, thanks for helping to make this another great year.

Gunga galunga…gunga — Gunga galunga.

-Jon Dyer

Choose Your Own Beardventure

You suddenly awaken, and as you try to blink away the bright light that is making your head pound, you realize that you’re staring at the sky. You spit the grit from your teeth and pull yourself to a seated position.

You’re not dressed like Ralph Macchio, but you find yourself sitting in the middle of a dusty crossroad. You check your watch like you always do when the world around you lacks stability. It’s November 1st and it’s morning. I guess that’s something.

To your right, the road degrades into a stony path that leads to the abandoned mansion of the November Beard Club. To your left, the road vanishes into fields and sunshine. Something in the air vaguely smells like hope. In front of you, way in the distance, you see a man who seems to be smiling and waiting. You can’t tell if he’s giving you the finger or throwing you the horns.

Which path do you take?

If you go to the right and explore the ancient rights of November Beard Club, turn to page 147.

If you go to the left to support Movember, turn to page 92.

If you throw your razor to the ground for that long walk toward the guy in the distance, turn to page 66.

If it seems safer just to stand still and wait for rescue, turn to page 69.

6 Free Sources of Halloween Music To Stave Off The Zombies

It’s Halloween, and I thought you might need some music to keep charged up while you’re defending against the Zombie hoards. I included my own playlist from last year’s Finetune Friday, a couple of radio stations, a podcast from Hipster Please, a collection of sound effects (in case you’re looking for a free ringtone or just something to scare the kids), and I even threw in a collection of music from Disney’s Haunted Mansion.

That should be plenty to get you through the night. Although headphones may prevent you from hearing zombies sneaking up behind you, the headphone strap may provide just enough protection to keep them from chewing through to your sweet, sweet braaaains. Good luck. See you at dawn.
Continue reading 6 Free Sources of Halloween Music To Stave Off The Zombies

15+ Free Movie Downloads For Halloween

Need something to watch this Halloween but you don’t have Netflix? I’ve got you covered. Here are 10 public domain classic movies that are available to (legally) download and watch for free. They range from bad to pretty bad, but bad horror movies are part of what Halloween is all about.

If you need more, be sure to check out last year’s post, The Top 10 Music Inspiring Horror Movies In The Public Domain.

  1. The Last Man on Earth (1964)
    A plague has turned the world into Vampires, and Vincent Price is the only man not infected.
    IMDB: 7.0 stars
  2. The Sadist (1963)
    Three people have car trouble and are held hostage in a wrecking yard by a psycho and his insane girlfriend.
    IMDB: 6.9 stars
  3. Continue reading 15+ Free Movie Downloads For Halloween

20+ DIY Resources For Your Halloween Party

It’s Halloween Week, kids! I thought I’d put together a week long series of posts to get you in the spirit. As the week goes on, I’ll give up music, movies, graphic design resources, and maybe even a game, but today, we’re going to focus on DIY resources for creating that perfect Halloween party.

You need three main things for good Halloween party: something to wear, something to eat, and a creepy atmosphere. Below are costume, decoration, and food ideas for people with more time than money, so there won’t be any store bought junk or kiddie crafts in here.

Be sure to stay tuned this week because there are a lot of resources coming out every day that you probably won’t want to miss…

1. Clever Costumes

First, let’s get you a costume. You’re not going out as a hobo again this year, and it’s 20 years past the point where you should’ve retired your Max Headroom costume. Costumes don’t have to be expensive, they just have to be clever, so your first step should be to check out the How To Have The Best Costume At The Party Guide from Mahalo and get your braaain in motion. If after getting through the guide, you still don’t have any ideas, maybe the following do-it-yourself costume instructions will spark some genius.

$50 DIY Optimus Prime Costume

Sesame Street Yip Yip Costume How To

Continue reading 20+ DIY Resources For Your Halloween Party

Cartoon Eyeballs Part Deux: Mr. Sparkle


Hello, Chief. Let’s talk. Why not? In Yesterday’s post, Cartoonify Your Life Using Ping Pong Balls, I mentioned that I wished I had created a pair of Mr. Sparkle eyes before running out of ping pong balls. After I published, I found that there were still two ping pong balls that hadn’t yet left for the land of wind and ghosts. To the left is my fire alarm, which is busy banishing dirt. Join him or die. Can you do any less?

Because of the way the Sportcraft logo is laid out, the only version of Mr. Sparkle’s eyes that can be done on a Sportcraft ball is the one from the original commercial. I’m not going to admit to talking a screenshot and doing an SVG drawing of the eyeball just to get it correct as I could, but that secret dies with this week’s recycling.

To Make Your Own, Read On…

Cartoonify Your Life Using Ping Pong Balls

You’d think that sticking googly eyes all over the house would only appeal to 7 year olds, but it has a surprisingly wide appeal. I made up a set of these out of ping pong balls, and #1GF! and I have been hiding them around the house to make each other laugh for a week now. To test my sanity, I brought a set to my parents, and they had the exact same reaction as #1GF! and I did. They kept hiding them in plain site to see if anyone noticed that the faucet was looking at them. It’s a bizarre phenomenon.

These things cost a couple of bucks to make, so there’s no huge loss if you happen to leave them somewhere to make someone laugh. And because they’re only attached to things with a twist-tie, you can stash the ones around your own house so that company doesn’t think that you’re out of your mind. My only regret about this project was that by the time I thought of making a Mr. Sparkle version of the eyes, all my ping pong balls had already been sent to the land of wind and ghosts.

If you want to know how to make your own set, read on. I send you premium answer question, hundred percent.

Continue reading Cartoonify Your Life Using Ping Pong Balls

You Want Free Antivirus? You GOT IT!

Yesterday, in How To Choose The Best Free Virus Protection, I talked about a method to evaluate free virus scan products by comparing the commercial versions to the free versions. I know that only the geekiest of you got through the whole thing, and the rest fell asleep at the halfway point because I failed to mention anything about chicken monkey donkey porn. For those who simply want a recommendation for a good, free virus scanner, I applied yesterday’s method to 5 of the free virus scanners to find out if they really are recommendable.

5. ClamWin

Despite a badly stripped down UI, Clamwin has a cool factor because it’s one of the few (if not the only) open source virus scanners out there. Unfortunately, the detection rates are lower than other available free products, and the product lacks an on-access component. Without an on-access scanner, this program is only able to clean your PC after it has become infected, and really offers no protection against virus threats.

Rating: Not recommended
Continue reading You Want Free Antivirus? You GOT IT!

How To Choose The Best Free Virus Protection

As someone who used to run a virus protection system for a large multinational corporation, every once and a while someone will ask me for advice on choosing the best virus protection for their PCs. Corporations have little resistance to spending the money for reliable virus protection because they need immediate and skilled support for mission-critical operations when something goes wrong. For the home user, the question tends to be more along the lines of “What virus protection program can you recommend, and can I get it for free?”

For the personal user, virus protection has gone from a software purchase to a recurring annual payment, with consumers paying between $40 and $80 per year to have adequate virus protection on their PCs. Once those consumers stop subscribing, they no longer get updates and their virus protection becomes ineffective in a matter of days. Don’t get me wrong. $40 a year is a small amount to ask for all the research and testing goes into keeping PCs protected against the latest threats, but for some, a recurring payment can fall outside of their budgets.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get something that works as well as a commercial product, and get it for free? Well, you can. There are several products on the market that offer virus protection for no cost, but they vary widely in the amount of protection they offer. As a layperson, how do you pick the product that gives you the best protection? You don’t need to be a security expert to find the answer, but you do need to know who to look to for accurate information.
Continue reading How To Choose The Best Free Virus Protection

How To Erase Your Hard Drive Like A Secret Agent

If you’re going to retire your old PC, it’s only natural that you’d want to delete all of your personal data from it. Most people will search out what personal files they can, and delete them with a simple push of the delete key. Unfortunately, when you delete a file in Windows, the operating system only removes the reference from the master file table, leaving the actual data on the drive.

If your PC were a book and your files were chapter 9, Windows delete is like removing chapter 9 from the index, but leaving the pages in tact. The data may not look like it’s there to the average user, but until you write over that space, anyone with a free file recovery tool and access to your PC has a chance of recovering your files. That’s why if you’re going to retire a PC, the best thing that you can do is to completely scrub your hard drives by overwriting every last block with multiple passes of random data. Governments, corporations, and paranoid geeks have done this for years, and in this age of identity theft, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t either.

Don’t start sweating now. You don’t have to have a room full of mainframes or know anything about Star Trek to scrub your drives clean. With a free piece of open source software and the short set of instructions below, you can ensure that your private data will be banished to the land of wind and ghosts, which is way beyond the reach of anyone without a clean forensics lab and some incredibly skilled data recovery personnel.
Continue reading How To Erase Your Hard Drive Like A Secret Agent

Rejected Endings From Last Week’s CERN Cartoon

While I stand by my original ending for last week’s CERN cartoon, I did have a few alternate endings that didn’t make the cut. Six of them are pictured below.

Agent SmithMr. Peabody and Shermanyamato

vincentKang and KodosGeneral Zod

Now, a lot of these were a little too obvious, but I have to say that General Zod and the Yamato were closing in on the Sleestaks for the final cut.

I know there are better jokes out there though, so I thought I’d provide a template in case any of you can provide a geekier alternative. What do you think? Are you up for a little geekery?

Damnit, I can’t believe I forgot The Herculoids and Dr. Who. Gah. So many options…

Good luck.

template

Phone Home You Will, Starbuck?

#1GF! and I are sitting in Chachky’s or Flingers, and there are piles of seemingly random crap tacked up to the walls. Among the junk on the wall opposite me, there is a picture of the cast of Star Trek and a rubber Yoda mask…

Me: Hey, there’s a picture of Star Trek on that wall.
#1GF!: [turns] Yes, I agree.
Me: And there’s a Yoda head there, too.
#1GF!: [turns and turns back]
Me: You don’t know who Yoda is.
#1GF!: Uh… E.T.?
Me: [thumps head on table]
Continue reading Phone Home You Will, Starbuck?

How To Convert Your Old Casette Tapes Into MP3s

cassette tapeIf you’ve ever wanted to convert your old cassettes into MP3’s, then this is your lucky day. The process is simple enough for almost anyone to undertake, but it requires a fair amount of time and tends to produce MP3’s that are slightly noisier than those ripped directly from CD. There are, however, a few cases when it might be worth it:

  1. You have more time than money,
  2. You can’t possibly justify spending money to re-buy music that you’ll stop feeling nostalgic about next week,
  3. You don’t want the judgmental eyes of the record store clerks to realize that you secretly still like Winger, or
  4. Sadly, the band on your tape is out of print, never made the jump to CD, or broke up before getting a recording contract.

What You’ll Need

  • A walkman that plays tapes.
  • A set of headphones or speakers.
  • A male to male 3.5mm stereo cable. You can usually pick up a stereo cable for a couple of bucks at an electronics store. You don’t need a fancy, brand name cable for this as long as you make sure that the cable is stereo and not mono. A stereo cable has two black lines on the tip, while a mono cable will only have one.
  • Audacity, the free, open-source audio editor.
  • A fair amount of time.

Continue reading How To Convert Your Old Casette Tapes Into MP3s

How To Make Any Picture Look Like A Polaroid

If you’ve ever wanted a fake Polaroid for your site, but never had an easy way to make one, I may have come up with a simple solution for you. I put together a template that you can import into your favorite art program (like the GIMP) and lay on top of your favorite picture to make it look like it was taken with an old Polaroid camera. The template conforms to the size of an actual Polaroid and will work with pictures that are scaled to 314 pixels tall by 302 pixels wide. No shaking required.

fake polaroid

If you’re ready to get started, download the Free Polaroid Template to your PC by right clicking and selecting Save Link As.

For people who need a little bit of guidance, instructions on how to make a Polaroid with this template in GIMP are included below.

Enjoy!
Continue reading How To Make Any Picture Look Like A Polaroid

The Unofficial College Freshman Survival Guide

Because our friends have a daughter who will be heading off to her first year of college soon, I wondered if I could come up with a list of tips that might make her freshman year easier. As I started thinking of things from my own college experience like “Being on a first name basis with the Dean of Discipline makes it harder to get away with things” and “When people start acting like nudity and needles are normal, it’s probably time to leave,” I started wondering if any advice I could dispense to a college freshman would be applicable in today’s college experience.

When I was in college, there were no laptops, there were no digital cameras, and we had to go to computer labs to use Gopher because there was no World Wide Web available to the general public. Know how much we worried about getting a less than flattering picture of us taken with a camera that wasn’t invented and put on an internet that didn’t exist? About as much as someone stealing our uninvented ipods or 90 pound, $300 dollar a minute cell phones. Shit man, the only phones in my dorm were hall pay phones that the served about 30 guys each, so you were lucky to find out if your girlfriend dumped you two weeks after the fact. Coming from a technological dinosaur age like that, I really started to wonder what the hell kind of advice I could offer the constantly-connected freshman of today.

The more I reminisced, the older I felt, so I put everything aside, had a cup of tea, and watched Matlock until I drifted off to sleep under my afghan. When I woke up after a couple of hours of dreaming about snorting coke off the small of Angela Lansbury’s naked back, I realized that an incoming freshman might get better advice if it came from a number of people in a range of ages, rather than from one guy who is twice the age of most college freshmen and quite possibly deranged.

I recruited help from students and alumni who are a little closer to their college years, and asked them to offer their advice on what can make a freshman year a bit easier. Below are sets of independently written advice that range from me, at the top of the age group, all the way down to a current college sophomore. Surprisingly, there were a few similarities that span across all age groups.

If you’re heading off to college for your freshman year (or know someone who is), I hope you find something in here that makes the year a little easier. If you’ve already completed your freshman year, why not lend a hand and add your year and ten pieces of advice in the comments? Matlock would want you to.
Continue reading The Unofficial College Freshman Survival Guide

7 Ways To Conquer A Naturally Unruly Beard

Thad asks:

Jon,

I’ve been working on my beard, but the longer hairs tend to go in the wrong direction once they get more than an inch long. Is it natural for longer facial hair to grow at an angle?

Thanks.

I have to admit that I laughed when I first got this e-mail, because even though I get a good portion of my traffic from beard related posts, I don’t consider myself to be an authority on beards. I am, however, someone who has grown a decent number of beards over the years despite a distinct lack of natural beard growing ability. Maybe there are some men out there who were born to grow perfect beards, but for most of us, getting a beard to look halfway normal takes a little bit of effort.

As I typed up a quick response, I realized that although my suggestions were pretty basic, they were the result of years of trial and error, and might be beneficial to other guys whose natural ability is throwing roadblocks onto their roads to beardedness. If you have a problem with an unruly beard (or know someone who does), here are 7 tips that should help to get those renegade patches back under control. And they require only a little more effort to implement than growing the beard itself
Continue reading 7 Ways To Conquer A Naturally Unruly Beard

Brad Sucks – Making Me Paranoid

Seriously. Where did this near obsession with learning to remix songs come from? And why am I doing it all manually with free tools like Audacity? And Why do I keep remixing the same song over and over? I wish I had answers, but this is what happens when you leave me home for a year without any deadlines.

There are a few obvious glitches in the mix, but it took me literally a working day’s worth of cutting and shifting little bits of audio in Audacity to get it this far. The vocals were changed from 120 BPM to 164 BPM, the guitar pitch was shifted down a full step, and I had to carve up a lot of both songs to get them to fit together. I still missed in a couple of spots, but I’m chalking this one up to a learning experience. I had to give up with a “good enough” before getting it perfect because there’s only so many times I can listen to the same two second clips over and over before I start losing my mind.

Enjoy?

Making Me Nervous (The Black Remix)

Back To The Beach: The Surf Playlist

The Dyers.org fake surf album It’s summertime, and all the surfers and hodads are once again sharing that sandy divide between land and sea. No matter which side of the divide you’re on, there’s nothing like some reverb soaked surf-strumentals to make that grey cubicle feel more like a day at the beach.

You won’t find any Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, or beach blanket nonsense here, because if it isn’t instrumental and filtered through a reverb tank, then it really isn’t surf. I know that there are people out there who like the Beach Boys, but if you’re going to call them surf, then you might as well call Jimmy Buffet surf. And call Winger thrash. And maybe wear a tin foil crown and call yourself “Lord Behemoth Roboto”, because if you’re going to live in a giant delusion, you might as well be the undisputed ruler of all that you survey.

Whether you’re into surf or just a hodad looking for something more than the nightly weenie roast, you can unleash the tidal wave of surf instrumental goodness by clicking on the green button below. Ten points goes to anyone who can name all the surf artists listed on my fake Surf! album cover…

Enjoy!


Continue reading Back To The Beach: The Surf Playlist

A Tribute To The 1950’s: The Doo Wop Playlist

doo wop 45 Doo Wop was a specific sub-genre of R&B that was born on the street corners of the 1950’s when city kids went beyond simple harmonies of the 1940’s and began vocalizing sounds that were traditionally created by instruments. They inadvertently created an entirely new style called Doo Wop that would become a major force in popular music for over a decade. The genre had peaked in popularity by the early 1960’s, but its influence extended into the electric style of the early Motown sound through groups like the Four Tops, Temptations, Isley Brothers, and others.

I spent a couple of days researching Doo Wop bands for this list, and even though I eliminated a lot of borderline acts with a fairly strict interpretation of what Doo Wop is, I still ended up with over 130 tracks. There should be a good balance between classics and rarities, but I didn’t grow up in the 50’s, so if you notice any glaring omissions, be sure to drop me a comment.

You won’t find Little Jon & The Teen Tones in the mix (I faked the picture from an old Atlantic 45), but you can listen to the Doo Wop playlist by scrolling all the way to the left in the player below.

Enjoy!


Continue reading A Tribute To The 1950’s: The Doo Wop Playlist