Ep. 1126: Microsoft plucks Plurk Video
Sean Cook of Twitter shows CNET's Ina Fried what the microblogging app will look like on Microsoft's soon-to-be-released phone operating system.
When "Has It Come To This", the first vinyl offering from The Streets, started to make it's way onto the airwaves in the Summer of 2000, Mike Skinner was a 22 year old rap obsessed kid from Birmingham in the English Midlands who'd spent the past 15 years working toward that moment. Since hearing his brother?s Run DMC and Beastie Boys records at the age of 7, Skinner had been determinedly making and producing his own music, listening and learning from the American pioneers of that genre, honing his own craft in studios in his hometown and in various bands and crews of friends from Birmingham. His early offerings were self-confessedly US influenced. "I was just trying to sound like the music I liked at the time, I just wanted to be Redman or Ice Cube, but I was a white kid from Birmingham. I was sending my stuff out to people but it wasn't anything new so no-one was interested." One of the turning points in Skinners development was the onset of UK Garage, the first identifiably British strand of rap music. "That was a really exciting time. Things were happening in England that had their own following and their own sound and it seemed to make it easier for me and my friends to relate to it. The beats were exciting and sounded new and what people were rapping about didn't seem so distant." This helped to focus Skinner towards a sound and style of his own. Mixing his hip-hop influences with UK Garage sounds, Skinner realized that if there was something lacking in UK hip-hop it was someone who talked about British culture. "I wanted to make something honest and entertaining about the things I knew. As far as I was concerned no-one else was doing that and if I could do that, and do it well, maybe that would be what set me apart" Skinner?s first move was to relocate to London. ("It seemed like more was happening there, I had more chance of getting people's attention."). He decided on the name The Streets because it "sounded good" and pressed up 200 white label vinyl copies of his first offering "Has It Come To This." Locked On, a London based garage label picked up on the track and signed Skinner up. In October 2001, "Has It Come To This" hit the UK Top 20 after months of exposure in clubs, and on pirate and eventually mainstream radio. People were undoubtedly excited about what they were hearing. Yet as most UK Garage-related artists were struggling to get beyond token hit singles and UK hip-hop had still not produced a truly credible success in it's own right, the usual skepticism followed. But didn't last long. The Streets' debut album "Original Pirate Material" was released in the UK in March 2002 and later in the US in October 2003. The reception for the record was phenomenal across the board. The press reaction was unanimous, proclaiming the album as a generational classic, radio played the singles and nearly a million worldwide sales later, it's firmly established as one of the most important and innovative albums of recent times. Over the past two years, Skinner has toured the world with his band, avoided a plethora of award ceremonies (nominated for Brit awards, The Mercury Prize, The Shortlist Award and winning an Ivor Novello songwriting award for Best Contemporary Song) and found critical acclaim not only in the UK, but in Europe, South East Asia and most notably in the US where he became the first UK rapper to make any serious impact. So what next? In May 2004 we'll find out when his hugely anticipated second album "A Grand Don't Come For Free" hits the shelves. Recorded (like Original Pirate Material) in his bedroom studio ("but with better microphones"), the album is a collection of songs linked together by a plots and subplots that whilst still reflecting the typical life of normal young Britain. ?A Grand? shifts the overall focus from the society overviews of "Original Pirate Material" to the more personal, everyday twists of relationships, friendship and just getting by. We won't tell you how good it is. You can find that out for yourselves. For Skinner, it's all in a days work. "I just have to keep making music that sounds fresh and entertains. That's what I want to do. I'm obsessed with that. I'm starting on the next one now..."
Australian police warn against using Apple Maps, Instagram pulls photos off Twitter, and Valve works on a new video game console.
The LG Chocolate felt like it wasn't given a fair shot last time, so it demanded a chance to redeem itself. Watch as it battles the new kid on the block, the Motorola Krzr.
According to the Office 10 Twitter account, Zune lovers will be happy in June. If that wasn't weird enough, they also warn you not to buy an iPhone or Palm Pre, which is probably standing orders at Microsoft. Also Natali carries knives in her sports bra quite often. Or so we have come to understand.
Gravy Train!!!'s new album ALL THE SWEET STUFF will inspire fans to pluck their eyebrows, dance like the underage maniacs that they are or fondly remember being.
Twitter finally has a business model: It's selling search ads. Yes, after all this waiting, Twitter is pulling a Google. To discuss the long-awaited monetization scheme for the microblog service, Rafe Needleman is joined by CNET's Caroline McCarthy, and the New York Times' Claire Cain Miller.
Twitter reports that football fans sent roughly 10,000 Tweets in the final three minutes of last night's game, but that wasn't enough to overthrow the all time record for tweets-per-second. Guess which film roped in 25,088 tweets per second last December? Hint: it wasn't made in America.
Today's episode of The 404 Podcast starts off with a intimate glimpse into Justin's mind, so we recommend throwing on some goggles before watching. He reveals that his name was initially supposed to be Jonathan, but due to complications surrounding the pronunciation of his name, the doctor just shortened it to the simpler-sounding name, Justin. Jeff also has a funny story about his father's name, and it turns out that it wasn't always Sweet Lou!