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The Friday Morning Listen – Paul Oakenfold – A Lively Mind

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It goes like this: I can't take a several hour car trip without music. Pure torture, is what it'd be.

Later today, I'm planning on hopping into TheWife™'s Jeep and heading out through northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and on into New York state. I'm having a genuine guys-only weekend with my old college friend Gene. I tell you, the planets must be aligned perfectly for this to happen. Okay, that or his wife has to pack up the kids and bug out to Maine for the weekend. Whatever works!

Part of the fun of a guys-only weekend in upstate NY is that you really need to have the Jeep. I mean, I love my car in all of its glorious Mini-ness, but it's not so hot for driving off through fields or scaling rocky hills (Shhh…please don't tell TheWife™ about this. She doesn't know that my fingers were crossed when I promised to not take it off road). So her maroon Wrangler is taking me on the trip. The problems start with the stereo. It's one of those pathetic things that Chrysler installs as "deluxe". Right. It's too big, plays cassettes only and doesn't have nearly enough power to overcome the white noise that the Wrangler creates with its ultra-aerodynamic box-on-wheels shape.

So…what to do? Radio Shack to the rescue! I picked up this nice iPod FM transmitter wire thingie (made by Monster) that'll allow me to avoid both regular FM radio and my scary attempts at singing. Nice.

What's even better is that I plugged it in this morning and it worked. So no story about techno-fear this week.

But…what to listen to? This is a whole different way of selecting the Friday morning music. I'm sitting there in the driveway, flipping my thumb around that wheel. Slayer? Nah, too harsh. Jane Monheit? Too sultry (for a morning Jeep ride, that is).

So I settled on Paul Oakenfold's latest because well, for one…I hadn't listened to it yet. Also, the giant gob of technolgy he uses seemed perfect for today's collision of the old and the new.

Okay, so here's the truth. I can't tell you a whole lot about the music. First of all, this poor Jeep stereo just doesn't put out enough bass to do any of his music justice. What you end up hearing is a ton of midrange and high-end juice that sort of washes everything out. Some blame might be assigned to the production, which does have a few "compression set to stun" problems. All I know is the EQ settings on the iPod could not fix the problem. Bass boost, Loudness, Dance, Hip-Hop. Nothing. By the time I got to work, I realised I'd spent more time dorking with the iPod settings than actually doing any listening. Oops.

Wait, I do remember one bit. At the end of "Sex 'n' Money", a woman's voice says "Girls just want sex and money." Is this true?

Well, at least let it be known that Paul Oakenfold's A Lively Mind was the first recording played on this newfangled Monster contraption.

Now…Oneonta or bust.

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About Mark Saleski

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Yeah, sometimes it IS true. Not all the time. Sometimes – definitely.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    Some blame must also be placed on the FM transmitter, Mark, I’m sorry to say. It is, afterall, using standard FM compression, so you’re not going to get the full range that you should be getting out of it.

    Since your Jeep has a cassette deck, seek out one of those minijack-to-cassette adapters that are out there. There’s even one that uses the deck’s controls via the tapehead to control your Ipod’s basic functions (pause, play, forward, backward) but I don’t know the name of it.

    And, of course, there’s always the hard-wired route, which is pricier, but is so much more rewarding. I’m sure that there’s something available for Jeeps by now. The end result is the best audio possible out of your Ipod, and it’s worth every penny, believe me – my wife and I were about to take the FM transmitter out and run it over after a couple months dealing with that thing.

  • Mark Saleski

    the big problem really is the underpowered-ness of the standard stereo. it needs to go because it can’t deal with the noise in the jeep, especially with the soft top on.

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