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Reclaiming tastemaking for listeners in the Spotify era.

Last week, Spotify users were treated to the service’s annual “Spotify Wrapped” feature: a visual summary of an account’s listening habits throughout the year, including their most listened-to artists. New for 2020 are “in-app quizzes,” a chronological “Story of Your 2020,” and detailed podcast listening statistics. For premium users, “badges” will “crown listeners with various titles based on the ways they listened.”

For example, if a number of your playlists gained significant new followers, you’ll be a Tastemaker. If you listened to a song before it was cool (aka hit 50,000 streams), you’ll get the Pioneer badge. …


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The pop culture discussion of tech’s greater issues missed in (at least) two major ways

For those of us who’ve written about technology, generally, for quite a long time, any injection of the broader metaphysical/”ethical” conversation regarding the impact the industry has had/is having/is expected to have on our species into popular culture is inevitably an emotional event. The Social Network had an almost comical disregard for any potential function as a substantial critique of its subjects. Not that it’s particularly supportive of that argument, but Mark Fuck, himself, recently said in court, essentially, that he didn’t know what the movie was about. I’m not particularly sure, either. …


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My beautiful new rug!

I’ve spent the past six weeks or so writing about Facebook, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. As of right now, I’ve just hit 12,000 words, which — as my friend CJ Eller pointed out on Discord — is long enough to be an ebook. (Here’s a draft if you’d like to read it early, for whatever reason, as well as a copy of my notes, which are uh… huge.) I expected to take a long time from the beginning and be extensive, but when I promised that I’d have it done by the end…


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Two young men steal a wheel of cheese.

This is an excerpt from my novel project, Blimp’s Burden, about a jaded software engineer who’s new, ridiculously-eccentric boss presents a future which forces him to reckon with his mishandled grief. To support the novel’s creation with art, funds, etc, please email me.

In the right hour, the woodland springtime metamorphic processes of the neighboring Lake Geneva suburb’s in-betweens were in a paused state — the toads again hushed; the crickets tired, and the human populace, too. In the right hour, the fickle wind and the social owls were the only sound, and nothing moved but the sparse, light-footed doe…


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Some basic tips from the world’s worst poweruser.

I don’t want you to think this is just another listicle to mark as spam or ignore completely — though it technically is, I suppose. I know how it looks… because I’ve run into many of them and have been just as irritated as you. In fact, I would be so bold as to presume I’ve run into many many more than you have simply because a primary hobby of mine has always been Just Trying to Do Things On The Computer without any academic authority or hands-on training. This is a way of life for my generation and those…


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VW’s Jumbo new offering is titanic to live with and genuinely amusing to drive, but is it a condescending German prank on America?

Upon meeting an elderly recently immigrated German friend of my mother’s for the first time yesterday, she exclaimed He looks German!… and so tall! Both of these compliments were relatively true, but certainly not extremely. I am more German-looking than not, perhaps. Supposedly, I am half a product of a very large family whose elders are only one and two generations from German royalty — my legal last name is on a state sign in front of a small black castle somewhere in Der Vaterland. I slacked through two years of high school German language classes — Frau Rosa once…


Setting out upon a desperate personal journey to rediscover enchantment with computers.

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This evening, a pack­age is sched­uled to arrive upon my doorstep con­tain­ing a Com­paq Portable Plus lug­gable com­put­er from 1983 which I have fan­ta­sized about buy­ing for far too many years. Despite liv­ing in the midst of per­haps the worst pos­si­ble finan­cial sit­u­a­tion to spend $139.99 out­right on a rel­ic of com­put­ing, I final­ly just bought one any­way last Thurs­day because I’m absolute­ly fed up with life with­out the mag­ic I remem­ber feel­ing from com­put­ers. Yes, I am hav­ing a mid-life crises and The Machine is just a phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of one of my favorite sto­ries, but I expect it…


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Extratone will be refocusing as a dedicated electronic music magazine with print issues on hand before 2018 is out.

It’s been far too long since I last came to you with compelling news truly worthy of anticipation, but I’m relieved to do so today in a somewhat-epiphanous certainty that the past two and a half years of my very meticulously-documented struggle to give this project a clear direction will soon feel well worth the experience for all involved.

This week, we’re inaugurating our new top-shelf Music section with a comprehensive tour throughout the history of the streaming platforms who’ve both nurtured and ripped off the voices from an entirely new generation of artists followed by an album review which…


I was quite ashamed to realize that we’ve never once published an album review and I’m going to use my own cash to rectify this tragedy ASAP.

I want to pay $25 for a passionate ~2000 word review of an album of any genre.

If you’re interested, stop by our Discord, DM or Email me: david@extratone.com.

If you think someone you know would like to write about music for $$$, please share this information with them.

If you’d like to help us publish great music content, share a link to this post on social and/or retweet me.

Thanks!


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Note my extensive and extravagant credentials.

You and I know each other from before, but I’ve been busy for the past two years building an online magazine, so I haven’t been coming around much. Recently, I’ve returned to focus on my own tech and culture column, called Words of David Blue in Red in the spirit of my explicit and indiscreet blasphemy, which I now plan to distribute and continue on Medium within my “personal publication,” Red Letters.

David Blue

Editor-in-Chief, Neoyokel, Angst Wrangler. Writes about technology and culture intersecting across time and class. | davidblue@extratone.com

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