As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.
One of his engineers Robmix on how Jackson worked: “One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. “here’s the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here’s the second chord first note, second note, third note”, etc., etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57. He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Steve Porcaro once told me he witnessed MJ doing that with the string section in the room. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything. Not just little eight bar loop ideas. he would actually sing the entire arrangement into a micro-cassette recorder complete with stops and fills.”
Reasons why I laugh when people say he wasn’t a real musician.
“Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline; that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life. This is a story of how my life was saved by cake, so, of course, if sides are to be taken, I will always take the side of cake.”—
Does this person have kids? Because I refuse shitty cake twice a week at kids’ friends birthday parties. I generally agree with the idea, and my exception proves the rule. When cake becomes a biweekly decision, refusing it isn’t refusing the joys of life.
“We are now almost in a surreal situation where all our hard work from the past 18 months to research and build the mass market photo platform of the next 10 years is paying off, we have what appears to be a successful product / company from the outside, but we just can’t raise money and therefore have to either fold the company or sell it in the coming weeks.”—Everpix’s open data is amazing
Jeff Bercovici sat down with Gawker’s Nick Denton in an interview for Playboy:
PLAYBOY: Speaking of the establishment, what will The New York Times look like in 10 years? Will it exist? Will the Sulzberger family still own it, or will they have sold it, perhaps to Michael Bloomberg?
DENTON: The New York Times will exist. Someone else will own it. Most families, the more generations they are from the original founder, the more fragmented the ownership, and eventually the nephews, grandnieces and great-great-grandchildren want their money now. They’d rather take the purchase price than zero dividends. I think the Times has bottomed out, and now, even though the signs are mixed, it will be able to put on more in digital revenue than it loses in print. Or I hope so, because I like the Times. There should be at least one or two survivors. Even when a major disaster kills most life on earth, usually a few species survive. Dinosaurs survived and became birds. Maybe that’s the future of The New York Times: It will be the survivor of the dinosaurs, the little tweeting thing you see flying around.
“We work in a world now where fast isn’t good enough. Where quantity is fairly regularly getting edged out by quality. You shipped twelve just-good-enough things this year? You’re about to get smoked by folks who shipped three of those things thoughtfully and holistically. Where you cut corners on twelve projects to get them out the door, someone else crafted three focused experiences and left themselves little-to-no design or technical debt.”—Cap Watkins, Just Ship* (via wka)
Couldn’t agree more. I’m really tried of the “Fuck it, ship it” mentality in the startup world. Yes, being pragmatic and consistently shipping is extremely important, but it’s not the only value that matters in the equation. As usual with glib startup advice, the reality of things is a lot more nuanced and complicated than the aphorisms lead people to believe.
The whole point is that shipping lets you get higher quality feedback that makes the product better faster. Sure 12 shitty projects are worse, but what about 12 iterations on the one getting traction? And the good news is that the way to get traction is to iterate, it isn’t the other way around.
As if software isn’t creative. As if the work Twitter and Facebook have done don’t promote social justice.
The lack of appreciation for the impact of tech is absurd. Plus I just can’t lament changes in the mission, a street which seems to have few buildings greater than 2 stories. SF should build a real city with a construction boom, and make room for everyone.
I always forget about Interview magazine but I really shouldn’t because a) Warhol and b) they consistently pair interesting people together for interviews. Case in point: director Steve McQueen (Shame, 12 Years a Slave, not Bullitt) interviews Kanye West for the Feb 2014 issue.
“Bill Walton was my hero years ago. Then one night we got to play against him in L.A. when he was playing with the mighty Clippers. The game was about two minutes old when Bill turned to the referee, and said [in a high pitched, whiny voice], ‘Tell Bird to stop pushing me, he won’t stop pushing me!’ Sometimes, it’s better not to meet your heroes.”—Larry Bird (via iamcausewaystreet)
“Or you could look at commits in open source projects. Once again self selected, these people don’t even meet in person. It’s all by email, no one can be intimidated by or feel like an outcast for something like that.”—
I am on Paul’s side of the recent flame, but this quote shows a lack of awareness of some of the bad behavior women deal with online.
Obviously there aren’t enough women founders. There aren’t enough women engineers. We need to do more at every age and stage.
Also, outrage at over-sensitivity or witch hunts is warranted to a degree, but those issues matters so much less than solving the glaring imbalance. This is why I don’t like to get involved, except to say that there is a problem and we need to do more.
While I have your attention, if you know any good women engineers or people looking to work at a startup, email me because we’re hiring: firstname.lastname@example.org