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Proto-Pod, Priest Worship and Coked-Up Songs

By Mike Breen · July 22nd, 2009 · Minimum Gauge


If there was a Nostradamus of the digital music era, it might well have been Kane Kramer, a British inventor and businessman. Thirty years ago Kramer filed patents for his digital audio player, called the “IXI.” The device resembled one of those old hand-held electronic football games and held a whopping 3 minutes and 50 seconds worth of audio (roughly three Ramones songs or 1/10th of the live version of “Freebird”).

Amazingly, Kramer’s initial reports on the device suggested music download services (using phone lines) that would cut down on overhead for record companies and offer high-quality digital recordings for consumers. Legal wrangling kept Kramer from renewing the patent. Apple and several other companies now, of course, make billions selling his baby. We’re not sure what else he’s invented, but whatever he’s got a patent on — music pills, sex robots, devices that electro-shock telemarketers through the phone — we’re investing right now.


Speaking of Nostradamus (in a far less intellectual way), a Cleveland-area man is getting a lot of attention in the Metal world for listening to the recent Judas Priest concept album of that name every single day for more than 390 days.

The 49-year-old man told Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer that he has listened the record — a double album! — every day since its release on June 17 last year. According to the newspaper, the man works in a truck repair shop, lives with his dog and likes to fish. Better things you can do in the hour and 45 minutes it takes to listen to Nostradamus each day: exercise, study for the bar exam, watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop, find a wife.

We’re not sure what’s more shocking — that he's wasted that much time listening to one album or that he admitted it. At least listen to British Steel, dude! We couldn’t make it through Nostradamus once.


When is a commercial not really a commercial? When it’s a music video and single! The ad execs at Coca-Cola decided that its brand was so popular, they didn’t even have to put its name in ads for the soft drink. The company’s new campaign is actually just a Willy Wonka-inspired music video and song called “Open Happiness,” featuring Cee-Lo, Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy, Brendon Urie of Panic at the Disco, Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes and R&B singer Janelle Monae.

The song — which never mentions Coke — was released as a single on digital outlets and did well in China, but never took off here. In a New York Times story about the campaign, the marketing manager for Coke said it was the “communication” the company was doing surrounding the song that would help people make the connection.

The tune — a sing-songy piece of fluffy Pop tripe — makes us think of putting on some Slayer, smoking a ton of pot and eating Cheetos. And what goes great with Cheetos? Coke! Brilliant! We are eagerly awaiting the freecreditreport.com album and full-length feature film.



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