links for 2009-03-30

  • Fantastic, fascinating analysis of the increasingly loud (and, as a result, less dynamic) music mixes. This is what a generation of earbud heaphones and mp3 compression has wrought. It's not wrong, either–try listening to Zeppelin on an iPod outside and see how hard it is–but it is making music less compelling in important ways. Check out Finger Eleven's "Paralyzer" for a great Exhibit A in contemporary mixing technique

links for 2009-03-16

On eating natural foods

Sometimes I wonder, as I pursue (gradually) healthier eating habits and begin shopping for food for my son, whether buying “natural” foods makes a difference. I’m fairly progressive, but I’ve never fallen hard for organic foods or shied away from processed sweets. The difference doesn’t always shout out at me.
And then I read some labels.
Consider the ingredients in the Skippy peanut butter in my kitchen. I grew up with Skippy, my wife eats Skippy, it’s peanut butter! But take a peek at the ingredient list, reprinted verbatim:
Roasted peanuts
Corn syrup solids
Soy protein
Hydrogenated vegetable oils to prevent separation
Mono and diglycerides
I always assumed, well, that’s how peanut butter is made, right? But then I got into Cream-Nut, the old-fashioned peanut butter made in Michigan and purchased at my local Fairway market. Its ingredient list:
Sea salt
The difference is a revelation. So, too, is the nutrition that comes from each–the Skippy has four and a half times as much sodium, two and half times the carbohydrates and four times the sugar.
In fairness, Skippy now makes a Natural line of its own, so this isn’t really about how Unilever is evil. It’s a reminder to myself that the processed foods of the past half-century do, indeed, come from worse places, no matter how good they taste. The current trend away from these foods is a bandwagon I’m going to try to stick with.
I doubt I can do anything to help Nate’s sweet tooth, which I inherited from my grandmother. But at the very least, I can get him hooked on the right kind of peanut butter.

links for 2009-03-10

  • Countering the article I linked to re K-Rock: WHTZ, the good ol' pop station, is #2 in this market, and it caters to the tween-and-teen crowd just like it did when I was that age. Although it's not a good sign that the station I like, WRXP, is doing worse than K-Rock, which is getting yanked (maybe RXP will inherit some listeners)
    (tags: music nyc sad)
  • K-Rock is becoming "Now FM." I wonder if it will do as well as Jack did before they brought CBS-FM back. There's room in New York for rock radio, by the way; it just has to not play the saaaame soooong allll daaaay
    (tags: music nyc)

On landing a job

How to Get Hired on aiaio, the Ai blog.
I have long been an observer, commentator and course-corrector when it comes to job interviews. Many moons ago I published a series of job-hunt best practices in this space. Titled “Interdon’t,” many of my pointers are just as relevant today as they were a decade ago.
I am continually amazed by the flagrant violations of basic job-search protocol. Among the things I’ve seen the past two weeks:

  • Cover letters with our company name in a different font, copy-pasted
  • Saying “this position is a great fit” while having a background in, say, high finance
  • Chatty letters with no resumes attached
  • Emailed resumes with no accompanying text at all

People expect to (and do) land work like this? How? I suppose they’re hired by people with similar approaches, but that’s not me.
Anyway, read the two links above if you’re looking for a job, and good luck in your search.