In music news …

The genre-puréeing duo Lemon Jelly has released its third album, a “retrospective” called ’64-’95. (The dates refer to the years from which the album’s samples were gathered.) I’ve only listened through a few times, but this is good stuff, different enough from the seminal Lost Horizons, similar enough to remind you why these guys don’t sound like anything you’ve ever heard. I bought the tracks online, but apparently there is a well-designed DVD version available too. Fantastic work.

Speaking of trailblazing duos, Autechre will release a new album called Untitled (don’t they already have an untitled album?) in April. They’ll tour globally too. Yum!

I gave my iPod shuffle a try today. Works just like you’d expect: tiny to the point that you forget it is there, no skipping, etc. I didn’t miss having a screen at all. Well, that’s not completely true. I found some new music and wanted to know what the heck I was listening to. Like others I had laughed at Apple’s chutzpah in promoting random play like it was some revolutionary feature. But now I wonder if it is as simple as that. Shuffle does become more important the more music you own since the chances of listening to a track you haven’t heard in a long time (or ever) is inversely proportional to the amount of music you have loaded onto your iPod. In other words, the more music you load the more likely you are to listen to the latest tracks or known favorites. Is it possible that Apple is playing up the shuffle and auto-fill features both as a marketing angle and to remind us how much fun re-discovering music is, further solidifying our love affair with their devices? Eh, probably not.