April 3, 2009

"You can play a record without electricity, and you probably will always be able to find a way to play records, whereas CDs will become extinct."

"I'm intrigued by the fact that you could be on Mars with no electricity, but if you have an old mechanical record player, you could just turn the crank and play it with your physical movement."

***

What old vinyl record do you picture yourself cranking a tune out of on Mars?

***

Sitting in the stand of the sports arena, waiting for the show to begin.
Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine, a good friend of mine
follows the stars, Venus and Mars are all right tonight.

74 comments:

Bob said...

Sheb Wooley, Purple People Eater.

Crimso said...

I would think Ziggy Stardust would be obligatory.

Lem said...

On Mars with no power?

Don't You (Forget About Me)

Won't you come see about me?
I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby

Tell me your troubles and doubts
Giving me everything inside and out and
Love's strange so real in the dark
Think of the tender things that we were working on

Slow change may pull us apart
When the light gets into your heart, baby

Don't You Forget About Me
Don't Don't Don't Don't
Don't You Forget About Me

Will you stand above me?
Look my way, never love me
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down

Will you recognise me?
Call my name or walk on by
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down, down

Hey, hey, hey, hey
Ohhhh.....

Don't you try to pretend
It's my feeling we'll win in the end
I won't harm you or touch your defenses
Vanity and security

Don't you forget about me
I'll be alone, dancing you know it baby
Going to take you apart
I'll put us back together at heart, baby

Don't You Forget About Me
Don't Don't Don't Don't
Don't You Forget About Me

As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
As you walk on by
Will you call my name?
When you walk away

Or will you walk away?
Will you walk on by?
Come on - call my name
Will you all my name?

Roger von Oech said...

You can read a book without electricity, but you can't read read a Kindle or laptop without juice.

Richard Dolan said...

Why go with something low-rent? It would be too much like taking a golf club to the Moon.

So: Holst, The Planets. (And I have it on vinyl.)

Drew W said...

I guess any one of those wonderfully eccentric solo albums by former Replacements drummer Chris Mars.

Top album: the Hoodoo Gurus' Mars Needs Guitars! (I have it on vinyl, too.)

Bissage said...

It's not just records you can play without electricity.

I used to floss my teeth with the audiotapes left over from my grandfather’s old reel to reel machine.

The fidelity was astounding . . . but only once.

Southbound Blues said...

Ziggy played guitar...

I'm A Feline said...

Fly me to the Moon
And let me play among the stars.
Let me know what Spring is like
On Jupiter or Mars . . ."

- "Fly Me to the Moon"
by Bart Howard, 1954

Zeb Quinn said...

You might be able to play it, but could you hear it?

john said...

Richard Dolan -

I hope you have Steinberg's Planets (conducting the BSO); it's simply the best version for play on Mars.

Henry said...

Mariah blows the stars around and sends the clouds a flyin'.

Mariah makes the mountains sound like folks were up there dyin'.

Mariah, Mariah, they call the wind Mariah.

k*thy said...

Boy, and to think I was looking at unloading mine.

What was I thinking?

Smilin' Jack said...

"I'm intrigued by the fact that you could be on Mars with no electricity, but if you have an old mechanical record player, you could just turn the crank and play it with your physical movement."

No you couldn't. If you were on Mars without electricity (and plenty of other modern technology as well) you'd be dead, and dead men don't turn cranks.

MadisonMan said...

What Zeb said.

Christopher said...

How about "Destination Moon" by the late, great Dinah Washington:

Come and take a trip
On my rocket ship -
We'll have a lovely afternoon;
Kiss the world good-bye,
And away we'll fly -
Destination Moon!

Bissage said...

In space no one can hear you floss your teeth.

Christy said...

A terraformed Mars, Smilin' Jack, a terraformed Mars! Check out Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series.

Surely we must choose Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.

For pure irony, how about a virtuoso of the synthesizer? My first thought was Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Center of the Earth.

john said...

Christy - don't you mean Will Robinson?

Peter V. Bella said...

Something else you will not see on Althouse(to paraphrase alpha moron)

That is right. He is gone. He has left us. He claims to have entered a life of monism or onanism; ala Ernest Borgnine. He will no longer be among us. Some say he is dead, some say he is with Elvis, Morrison, and JFK.

There is an Obituary:
Trooper York, bra fitter and semi-famous blogger drowns. Trooper York drowned in a vat of beer while valiantly trying to fight off efforts of rescue personnel to pull him out.

We do not know the truth. But, for now, he is gone.

matthew said...

Raymond Scott's music always sounded a little alien.

It's not for nothing that his music was often used on Mars with looney toons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfDqR4fqIWE

Eli Blake said...

On Mars with no power?

Let's see, first problem is you'd have to figure out a way to continue to artificially filter your air (of course you'd be in an enclosed dome because otherwise your head would explode from the very low air pressure, from air that is mostly carbon dioxide and you can't breathe it anyway.

Second, you'd probably be grateful for any hint of a greenhouse effect there was because the temperature would (depending where on Mars you were) probably vary anywhere from a relatively cool day on earth (= a blistering day on Mars) to like -150 degrees. Average temp. would be about - 40 degrees.

Third, you'd have to figure out a way to run your water pump.

Now, the advantage of living on Mars is that there are no clouds (although there are occasional dust storms.) So you could erect solar panels and have the ability to collect as much energy as you'd want. And on top of that I would assume that any Martian colony would have an ample supply of batteries they could charge during the day from excess solar energy and use during the night as needed. True that Mars only gets about a third as much solar radiation per square inch as the earth does but that just means you'd need a larger solar array (not like you'll be running into urban sprawl issues.)

So no, as a matter of fact I don't believe that energy will be a problem when we build colonies on Mars. Providing for physical needs such as oxygen, food and water will be a challenge, far more than energy.

former law student said...

When I was a kid, I made a player with an armless turntable, a rolled up sheet of card stock and a gramophone needle. I didn't try LPs but even 45s did not sound that great; you really need the higher speed of the 78 for any kind of fidelity.

SteveR said...

I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain

ak said...

The 78 of the Ink Spots "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire."

Eli Blake said...

Besides, if I am stuck on Mars with no power, then I don't listen to music at all-- I read Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

BTDGreg said...

This one, maybe?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

In space no one can hear you floss your teeth

LOL, you're killing me man.

Zeb Quinn said...

And it all assumes that you survived the Van Allen Belt too.

Smilin' Jack said...

So no, as a matter of fact I don't believe that energy will be a problem when we build colonies on Mars.

The main problem in colonizing Mars will be finding people dumb enough to go there. You don't see people lining up to colonize Antarctica, and Antarctica is the land of milk and honey compared to Mars.

mcg said...

A terraformed Mars, Smilin' Jack, a terraformed Mars! Check out Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series.

I tell you what, as soon as you discover a viable way to terraform Mars without electricity, I'll get rid of my CDs.

Joe M. said...

One of the reasons why I like vinyl.

But I do not think that Ziggy Stardust would be appropriate. I would go rather for "Life on Mars?"

It's a godawful small affair
to the girl with the mousy hair
...

TMink said...

Vinyl completely rocks. I am digitizing mine at the 24 bit 96 khz level (better than cd quality) and they sound fantasticly lifelike when compared to my cds, even when the cds are ripped at full quality.

That so many people here still have and enjoy their vinyl is a happy surprise.

Trey

mcg said...

"I'm intrigued by the fact that you could be on Mars with no electricity, but if you have an old mechanical record player, you could just turn the crank and play it with your physical movement."

This guy kinda sounds like Keanu Reeves' character in Parenthood, only that character actually said a couple of borderline intelligent things. (Like, for instance, this.)

mcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Note the assumptions in the silly statement. If I were on a beach with only my swimsuit, towel and a vinyl record, I couldn't do a damn thing with it except fling it across the water or see how far it would go in the sand after throwing it in the air.

Lawgiver said...

Album Bringing It All Back Home

Songs

Subterranean Homesick Blues.

Ah get born, keep warm
Short pants, romance, learn to dance
Get dressed, get blessed
Try to be a success
Please her, please him, buy gifts
Dont steal, dont lift

It's All Right Ma, I'm Only Bleeding.

It's All Over Over Now Baby Blue.

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last.
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun,
Crying like a fire in the sun.
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue.

veni vidi vici said...

"And it all assumes that you survived the Van Allen Belt too."


And since Van Allen had some of the most notoriously damp 'n pungent crotch rot ever recorded by seismographs, surviving any time behind his belt is really saying something.

chickenlittle said...

Judging from the warm crackles and the white rings of wear on the jackets, I'd say my favorite vinyl was a a toss up between Electric Ladyland and Let It Bleed.

I never owned any instrumental surf on vinyl, but if I did, I'd want my favorite to be Our Favorite Martian by Bobby Fuller.

traditionalguy said...

The question of course is whether there will be electricity available in the USA after the Cap and Trade energy restraint system has made it too expensive to produce and use for frivolous purposes. That plan is designed to drive up the costs of coal powered generation and thereby reward The Saudis and other oil producers at the expense of American energy users.

Revenant said...

if you have an old mechanical record player, you could just turn the crank and play it with your physical movement.

I haven't seen anybody raise this (to me) fairly obvious point:

You can turn a crank to generate electricity, too. CD players don't require much power. It wouldn't be a particularly difficult task to rig up a way to power a CD player with a hand crank, if for some bizarre reason you didn't have access to electrical power the normal way.

chickenlittle said...

@revenant: Wasn't there a recent story in the news somewhere about a gym or club where the people's treadmills and exercise bikes powered the video and music?

Kylos said...

Trey, 96khz? Wasted space, man. You're probably doing good to be even hearing 20k without the more dominant lower frequencies overpowering it, and 48k is more than double the expected nyquist frequency. Granted, I've never even had a sound system that could reproduce 96khz, so I'm being only theoretical here, but it seems that either you have better ears than most humans or you're just overdoing it a bit.

Lem said...

I thought extinctions were a bad thing.

If anything we should buy more cd's to save them ;)

Joe said...

You can't mention Mars music without stopping by the Mars Hotel!

Cedarford said...

Eli Blake went through some of the problems but the largest is if you want to play your tunes in the beautiful Martian outdoors, on your handcranked record player because somehow you are miraculously surviving there with no electrical devices or heaters or air recyclers....

Sound requires molecules to propagate and follows an inverse square law. We can hear a ship 3,000 miles away because sound is propagating through dense water. What will happen if you set up to listen to a hand-cranked record player on the Martial surface, excluding the matter of sound-insulated helmets? Well, Martian air is 800 times less dense than Eath air at the surface. So from 6 feet away, it would like being on one mountaintop here watching some guy on a mountaintop 6,000 feet away cranking away and only hearing very dim sounds or what could be curses from the cranker.

And of course a few other commentors had to point out the comment is also dumb because for the same effort you could hand crank an electric generator and play CDs.

Good news is you theoretically could get great sound on (1)Venus(2)Jupiter (3)Titan.

Bad news is (1)You would roast to death and your vinyl would be dripping carbonizing puddles at your feet in seconds. And you woud also long have been crushed. (2) As you descend through the Jovian atmosphere, you would reach a band where you have great sound. Unfortunately the light gases would make everything sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks. And disappointed, you would descend further and be crushed to death. (3) Tiatan might have great accoustic properties, but it is so cold the record would shatter, the hand-crank metal would shatter, and your uninsulated arm shatter.

Eli Blake said...

smilin Jack:

Antarctica is devoid of non-scientific settlement by international agreement.

I completely reject the premise of your assertion.

It is true that today it would be a Herculanean undertaking to colonize Mars, likely far beyond either our budget or our resources.

However I do not believe that humanity once having filled the earth is therefore condemned to eventually fade away of ennui until we either kill ourselves off or are dispatched by machines which have evolved to the point where the declining dregs of humanity become simply an irritant.

Rather, technology will increase to the point where the colonization of Mars and other planets becomes feasible, and then practical and finally (if it has not happened by then) desirable or imperative.

Just as humanity has moved upwards by standing on the scientific, academic and cultural backs of those who came before us, so too will those in the future reach for the stars by standing on a foundation we are building today.

In some ways they may curse this generation.

But in others they will use what we are learning, such as the possible detection of other earth-like planets using the Kepler satellite. We may not be able to travel to other star systems but we can even today learn which ones people might someday want to check out if they are looking for worlds to explore and possibly live on.

So call me 'stupid,' (your word, not mine) but I believe that someday there will be people living on Mars.

What was science fiction to Jules Verne (going to the moon, submarines) has by now become reality. So too what is science fiction to us will one day become reality. Keep in mind that your cell phone is virtually everything that was imagined in a Star Trek communicator from thirty years ago.

srfwotb said...

How does one breathe on Mars with no electricity?

Eli Blake said...

Of course Cedarford,

I assumed that humans would exist on Mars (or anyplace else we are talking about) in a pressurized, oxygenated environment. Otherwise as you point out there would be instant and certain death so the whole question becomes irrelevant.

I think I alluded to the low air pressure on Mars when I said you would need energy to keep the air filtration system working or the pressure would make your head explode.

Eli Blake said...

srfwotb:

Exactly my point at 11:19 (not picked up by Cedarford.)

rhhardin said...

You can play records with a pin stuck into a 3x5 card very nicely. It's not great for the records.

Any kid knows the former.

Kensington said...

Life on Mars by David Bowie, of course!

Slightly OT, look at the video, featuring Bowie dressed like a ginger lesbian. Tells you everything you need to know about how weird the 70s were.

Smilin' Jack said...

Antarctica is devoid of non-scientific settlement by international agreement.

There is an international agreement preventing nations from claiming territory in Antarctica (same applies to Mars, BTW) but nothing except sanity prevents any individual from moving there.

Mars will never, ever, be colonized. I just wish there were some way to collect on bets about that.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I'd want to bring a flute or a guitar and make some Martian music. It seems crazy to go to an inspirational place and play a recording. I'd feel like those people who go on hikes and talk on their cell phones.

Sara said...

I still have my original vinyl "Hot August Night" and all my original Sun records: Elvis, Jerry Lee, Conway Twitter, so those would be going with me.

Donna B. said...

Conway Twitter -- your fingers just performed a time fart.

mcg said...

And how could you mow the lawn without electricity?

JAL said...

No wonder some folks drop by here, shake their heads, and leave.

Jimmy said...

Sgt. Pepper...EOM

JAL said...

Speaking of Mars and unrealistic ruminations reminds me of the moon consensus building exercise I was in once upon a time.

A group is stranded on the moon a long way from their base with x number of objects, including (my memory is somewhat dim, though I have this thing saved somewhere ...)a revolver, a life raft, some water, some oxygen, some food, a flare or two maybe, and some other odd objects... you get the gist....

The group was supposed to prioritize a list of what they would need in order to get back to the base. All the groups worked separately, then we got back together to share about how we used consensus. And how closely our group got to the correct priorities.

Our group never got the list finalized. We weren't very consensual, it seems.

Me? I ended up taking (after the oxygen, of course) the water, and told everyone else if they wanted to come with me they were welcome, but I wasn't going to try to get back to base without the water. (I tend not to be about consensus in life and death situations.)

Just a random rabbit trail.

I did not play my copy of Buffalo Gals, either.

Christy said...

Hand held high. Me! Me! I'm dumb enough to want to go to Mars.

amba said...

I actually once (around age 10) walked into a deserted cabin full of mouse turds by a pond in the woods near a Y summer camp in Illinois, cranked up one of those old Victrolas, and what came wavering out was an unearthly "I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls . . ."

Flexo said...

In your mind you have capacities you know
To telepath messages through the vast unknown
Please close your eyes and concentrate
With every thought you think
Upon the recitation we're about to sing

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary, most extraordinary craft

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary, most extraordinary craft

You've been observing our earth
And we'd like to make a contact with you
We are your friends

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
Calling occupants of interplanetary ultra emissaries

We've been observing your earth
And one night we'll make a contact with you . . .

Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flexo said...

Forget Mars --

Packing my bags -- going away
To a place where the air is clean
On Saturn
There's no sense to sit and watch the people die
We don't fight our wars the way you do
We put back all the things we use
On Saturn
There's no sense to keep on doing such crimes

There's no principles in what you say
No direction in the things you do
For your world is soon to come to a close
Through the ages all great men have taught
Truth and happiness just can't be bought or sold
Tell me why are you people so cold

I'm......
Going back to Saturn where the rings all glow
Rainbow, moonbeams and orange snow
On Saturn
People live to be two hundred and five
Going back to Saturn where the people smile
Don't need cars cause we've learn to fly
On Saturn
Just to live to us is our natural high

We have come here many times before
To find your strategy to peace is war
Killing helpless men, women and children
That don't even know what they are dying for
We can't trust you when you take a stand
With a cold expression on your face
Saying give us what we want or we'll destroy

I'm......
Going back to Saturn where the rings all glow
Rainbow, moonbeams and orange snow
On Saturn
People live to be two hundred and five
Going back to saturn where the people smile
Don't need cars cause we've learn to fly
On Saturn
Just to live to us is our natural high

Revenant said...

Mars will never, ever, be colonized. I just wish there were some way to collect on bets about that.

You and me both.

blake said...

In space, no one can hear you fart.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Krohn was less interested in the literalness of Mars occupation, and more interested in the massive gap in technology needed to play one versus the other.

As pointed out, fairly primitive tech could be cobbled together quickly to play a record. The electronics in a CD player require a bit more magic.

mcg said...

The best of both worlds? :)

former law student said...

You can turn a crank to generate electricity, too. CD players don't require much power. It wouldn't be a particularly difficult task to rig up a way to power a CD player with a hand crank, if for some bizarre reason you didn't have access to electrical power the normal way.

But somehow the clockwork motor antedated the electric generator by quite a few years -- I suspect it's not trivial to make.

In any event, you don't need a crank to spin an LP -- a wheel and axle will do.

TMink said...

Kylos wrote: "Wasted space, man."

No pal, hear before you criticize! Check out hdtracks.com. You can get Raising Sand at 24/96 for 16 bucks. It will SLAY you.

But don't take my word for it, check out what Neil Young has said about hirez digital.

The best theory that I have heard is that the 16 bit 44kHz leaves enough gaps in the sound that the brain has to work hard to fill in the missing pieces. This leads to listening fatigue because the brain is literally working harder.

Add more information, and the brain works less hard, and you can listen and enjoy longer. But the proof is in the pudding. At hdtracks you can down load free samples tracks.

I think part of our disconnect, apart from your not having listened to them yet, is that you are coming at it from a frequency response and math angle while I am coming at it from a perceptual angle. I am certain that your statements are accurate about frequency, but give them a listen before you decide about perception, it is not as neat a science by a long shot.

My wife, friends, and 14 year old daughter can hear the diff between records ripped at cd quality or higher rez, so it is not my golden ears. 8) My wife would say they are tin anyway.

Trey

sonicfrog said...

Electric Light Orchestra's "Eldorado"! It has relevance on so many levels.

sonicfrog said...

PS. What would a record sound like in Mars's thin atmosphere.

Clyde said...

What, nobody mentiond Elton John's "Rocket Man"?

"Mars ain't the kind of place to raise your kids,
"In fact it's cold as hell..."