There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Friday, July 20, 2007

Foreign Exchange

Oh, now this is cool. Apple has started a new feature on iTunes called Foreign Exchange, where they get a band that sings in English and one that sings in another language to translate one of each other's songs into their native tongue and cover it. Wir sind Helden, one of my favorite German bands, is one of the two bands chosen for the first release. Some band called +44 (ex-Blink 182 near as I can tell; not a fan of theirs, but no matter) covers "Guten Tag", and Wir sind Helden covers +44's song "When Your Heart Stops Beating" as "Wenn dein Herz zu schlagen aufhört". I can't seem to find a page on Apple's web site or within the iTunes Music Store that explains the program or that you can keep an eye on to see where this goes next, but it's a neat concept, one worth searching periodically to see what they've done.

I stumbled across this when I visited Wir sind Helden's site (which they have in German, French, and English) and discovered that they have a new album out, their third. You can see a couple of videos from the new album on Wir sind Helden's MySpace page. I particularly like the one for "Endlich ein Grund zur Panik", a takeoff on old Japanese monster movies. The video for the album's title track, "Soundso", is an exquisite corpse thing, which is a nice idea but maybe doesn't work quite so well. Near as I can tell with my next-to-nonexistent German, there seem to be a couple of fan-created videos from a contest they held on the page as well.

The new album looks to have come out in late May, but my usual sources for German CDs don't seem to have it. The U.S. iTunes Music Store, however, does have it, and even DRM free if you want. And there seem to be a number of U.S. stores carrying it, including Amazon and CD Universe, but for exhorbitant prices. Now I just need to decide if I'm willing to do without that shiny piece of plastic....

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Posted at 10:21 PM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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