amc update

News alert: American Music Club’s new album is done. (This according to an email update from the band — I can’t find any other mention of the momentous event online.) Sez the band:
Mark [Eitzel] and Tim [Mooney] spent the past couple of weeks in Denton, TX mixing with Matt Pence (Centro-matic, South San Gabriel) at his Echo Lab studio. Final mixes are in and ready for mastering…Still don’t know the title of the record.
Eitzel’s been in Denton and he didn’t even look me up? Me, who named his damned web site for an AMC song? Harrumph.
Anyway, the album is due out on Merge October 12.

chromeo rocks

In slightly happier news, the Chromeo album kicks 19 flavors of ass. Imagine the robot from Short Circuit had come alive and become 1986’s top NYC DJ, crafting electro-funk paeans to rusty robot love.
Those of you with a fat connection can listen to a streaming version of the album here. I’ve got a special place in my heart for “You’re So Gangsta” and “Rage!” Two MP3s available for download, too. Perhaps best of all, you can hear a few tracks here in what could be termed their natural environment: as the background to video of people rollerskating in too-tight shorts.

crappy pr person

How to be a Crappy Public Relations Person, Lesson No. 3,462:
Let’s say you’re the P.R. person for a public school district. And let’s say an education reporter — oh, we won’t name any names — calls you up and says he wants to visit one of your schools. He’s writing a story on a new wrinkle in the state’s testing system, and he wants to talk to teachers and students about it. It’s a story that will probably put your school in a positive light and get cute pictures of your school’s kids on the front page of a major daily newspaper.
You say yes, and he drives the 30 miles to visit your campus. You’re there to meet him. He does a quick interview with the principal, and then says, “Great! Now I’ll just go interview some of your teachers and students.”
What do you say?
A. “What a great idea! Here’s my card, with my cell number on it. I’ll go back to my office now, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call!”
B. “What a great idea! I think Ms. Smith and Ms. Johnson would be particularly good interviews, but feel free to talk to whomever you’d like! This is a free country, after all!”
C. “Oh, heavens no! You can’t talk to any teachers or students! I had no idea a reporter coming to a school and writing a story about teacher and student reactions to an educational issue might want to interview teachers and students!”
If you want to be a Crappy Public Relations Person, the correct answer is C. Today, someone passed this test with flying colors!

there is no easter bunny

There is no Easter bunny! There is no Easter bunny! “Melissa Salzmann, who brought her 4-year-old son J.T., said the program was inappropriate for young children. ‘He was crying and asking me why the bunny was being whipped,’ Salzmann said.”
In unrelated news, Ed Heeny, GOP candidate for the Florida state house, says he has found a new reason to dislike gays and lesbians: “He’s even found it difficult to shoot pool because ‘you have a situation where the lesbian community’ is buying restaurants and bars. ‘It’s really impossible to be a straight white man in this society,’ he said.”

opensoucecms hacked

What kind of jerk would get his jollies hacking apart It’s a great site that provides a worthwhile public service: letting people try out various content management systems (like the aforementioned Textpattern or WordPress) without first going through the bother of installing them on your server. Someone decided, just for fun, to kill months worth of work. I hope he’s happy.

textdrive debuts

For those who have web hosting needs, Dean Allen — the savant creator of Textism (the blog), Textile (the web text processor), and Textpattern (the intriguing tho’ still-in-development blog authoring/content management system) — is launching his new project: Textdrive, a web hosting operation. If it’s anything like his other projects, it will be elegant, robust, and worthy of your attention.
Dean is charging $199 for a year of hosting (about $16 a month). Not a bad price for what appears to be a very solid setup. But the reason I’m pimping it here is the very special deal he’s offering to early adopters: Sign up now, pay your $199, and get free web hosting for life. Rather than go the venture-capital route, he’s counting on the early signups to provide a portion of Textdrive’s seed money — he’s calling them the VC200, since he’s limiting their number to the first 200 signups. (Plus, you get a free t-shirt!)
Now, with the vagaries of Internet economics, “for life” means “for the life of Textdrive,” and who knows how long that will be. But (a) Dean is a top-notch fellow whose business model makes sense to me, (b) he’s got some good people working with him, and (c) even if the life of Textdrive is only two years, you’re still looking at a hell of a deal. If it lasts longer, of course, it’s an amazing deal.
I signed up yesterday. Read the lengthy (15 screens at this writing) discussion to learn way more than you need to about the technical aspects. At the moment, there are 33 spots left in the 200 — they’ll probably be gone in a few hours, so sign up now if you’re interested. As I said, $199 a year is a very good deal, but there are probably better ones available if you dig. But $199 for life (or even two years) is essentially unbeatable.
(Update, 4:19 p.m.: The last space just sold out.)