Small Cameras pt.1-Fuji x100

I haven't had a proper camera since the digital revolution made my years as film photography student seem quaint, like minoring in tannery, or taxidermy.  Granted, there is still great work being done in film, and I'm not sure that even the best digital cameras match it yet--though they're close--but it still feels a little funny having been in likely the last class to learn hand-processing not as some retro-choice, but as the only option for aspiring professionals, just as it must've felt when the French perfected a county-wide canal system just in time for the automobile to render that method of goods transport adorable and less cutting-edge than they imagined and budgeted for. 

Since I'm travelling around Europe a good bit this year, I thought it was time to step up.

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Favorite Things: Rdio


There are heaps of great music-steaming services out there, now that, apparently, music is free.  Really, they should be used as over-qualified previewers in determining which LPs or CDs you really need in your collection, if permanence and sound quality matter to you. Among them,



  • Spotify: of which I might be a terrific fan, where it legal in Germany, where I am currently living, but alas, it is not. 
  • Pandora: the great pioneer and game-changer that plays a virtual radio station built on a matrix of similar-sounding artists.  A great service, but it won't play an entire album, and I've never been much of a singles guy. Also illegal in Germany.
  • Naxos: this is the largest classical record label in the world, and they're buying up smaller companies by the cello case to add to their online streaming service.  It is a subscription service, so you pay for access to their 800,000+ tracks but can stream them at CD quality, if you have the bandwidth. They also have a pretty deep bench when it comes to jazz.  
But my favorite of all, by a good long way, is
  • Rdio: Another subscription service (my plan costs something like $6 a month), Rdio features the best interface of the lot, tons of obscure recordings, a social feature that is (for once) actually useful--I'm not talking about updating one's facebook automatically every time a new record comes on, but the "playlists" feature, where some pretty tasteful people put together great jazz mixes, Christmas tunes, KEXP-based melodica, and other turn-ons for this traveller. 
I came to Germany with 3500+albums on my iTunes, but sometimes--however absurd it sounds to say it--that's not enough.  I don't know how I managed to cross the pond without a copy of Straight Six, by Poor Old Lu, or with the better of the two perfect Mineral albums, but I did, and Rdio was there to rescue me.
In addition to turning me on to bands like Wye Oak, and Cults, Rdio has been a treasure-trove of old favorites: Jeterderpaul, anyone? Joe Christmas? The mind fairly reels.