Feed the World. Pictures of Starving People“In 1986, the anarchist band Chumbawamba released the album Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records, as well as an EP entitled "We Are the World", jointly recorded with US band A State of Mind, both of which were intended as anti-capitalist critiques of the Band Aid/Live Aid phenomenon. They argued that the record was primarily a cosmetic spectacle, designed to draw attention away from the real political causes of world hunger.”
>  27 December 2008 | LINK | Filed in , ,
Call Connected Thru the NSA. Rockin ringtone from They Might Be Giants.
>  21 May 2006 | LINK | Filed in
Call to prayer. Ahead of the March 28 general elections in Israel, a local cellphone operator announced that a small, right-wing, ultra-Orthodox party’s ringtone is the most requested download.
>  17 March 2006 | LINK | Filed in ,

Sing, Sing, Sing

“A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over. And I maintain that if a person can put a few common sense facts into a song and dress them up in a cloak of humor, he will succeed in reaching a great number of workers who are too unintelligent or too indifferent to read.”

    — Joe Hill
       Longshoreman, wobbly, singer, song-writer, organizer, revolutionary

>  27 October 2005 | LINK | Filed in

Closing Song

Doors close soon after the melody ends.

The first time I took the Tokyo subway system I noticed the lyrical little melody that announced that the doors were about to close. A sort of well-tempered Casio clavier running up the scales. I noticed it, but didn’t think much of it. It’s certainly more pleasant than NYC’s generic bing-bong sound, but is nothing to write home about. After all, lots of rail systems have some kind of audio cue. Then I heard the bossa-nova variation at the Harajuku Japan Rail station. Wow! That’s some funky stuff! It turns out different lines have different tunes. They also change the tunes periodically to keep people on their toes. Stay tuned to this station.

>  11 October 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

New York Subway Interface

I love a good rant. Lars Pinds has a couple on the voice, turnstiles, and Metrocard vending machines of the New York City Subway.

Ben Rubin has his own proposal for the subway’s audio cues.

>  29 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , , ,