"The Sound... Of Silence" (2/5/04)
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Listen! Hear that? No, seriously, listen really carefully. Hear it now? No? Well, neither do we. That's how quiet things are right now. Forget about drama; we'd settle for an SEC filing. Another freakin' design award. Anything. Instead, though, it's been so quiet that even the crickets are apparently comatose with boredom.

But that's okay, right? Because we make our own fun down here at the AtAT compound! Why, we have it on good authority that with nothing but pushpins and an eraser, we can make a little pig! But why raid the office supplies when we've got the iTunes Music Store to play with?

Yesterday we mentioned in passing that faithful viewer djsteve had purchased a track that cost him the "best 99 cents [he'd] ever spent." The joke, of course, was that it was the second track from The Whitey Album by Ciccone Youth, which consists of a minute and three seconds' worth of silence. To tell you the truth, while we're amused by the fact that Apple is charging 99 cents for a song full o' nothing, we're even more amused by the fact that said track contains the usual digital rights management code to prevent you from playing it on any unauthorized systems. And the most amusing thing of all, of course, is that the song has a thirty-second preview.

Well, as it turns out, the Ciccone Youth track is by no means the only all-silent untune for sale at the iTMS; faithful viewers ben, Scott Levin, and Michael Wyszomierski contributed their own suggestions, too. And you know how Apple recently added a bunch of "iTunes Essentials" playlists to the store, such as "Cover Songs" and "'70s AM Radio Classics"? Well, we've compiled all the silent tracks we managed to scrape together into the first AtAT Essentials playlist, "To Be Played At Maximum Volume." Since we lack the power to add playlists directly to the iTMS, you'll have to buy each of these tracks separately, but here ya go:

  1. "(Silence)" by Ciccone Youth, The Whitey Album (1:03)

  2. "Silence" by Bill Schaeffer, Grain of Sand (1:56)

  3. "(Silent) [1]" by Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present, and Future) (0:04) [EXPLICIT]

  4. "Silence" by Guster, Keep It Together (0:30)

  5. "Silence" by Pat, Message from a Manchild (0:59)

  6. "(Silent) [2]" by Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present, and Future) (0:04) [EXPLICIT]

  7. "Silence" by Dean Taba, More Is More (1:00)

  8. "(Silent) [3]" by Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present, and Future) (0:07) [EXPLICIT]

  9. "Silent Track" by Robert Earl Keen, Walking Distance (1:01)

Note that three of those tracks, the ones by Slum Village, are labeled EXPLICIT. We've listened to them, and we have to agree: combined, that's the dirtiest fifteen seconds of utter silence we've ever not heard. It's so dirty, it's like Handel's Messiah, only, you know, quiet. So for those of you who can't handle EXPLICIT silence, go ahead and substitute these, instead-- they're the same Slum Village tracks, only CLEAN (and, for some reason, titled without parentheses):

  1. "Silent [1]" by Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present, and Future) (0:04) [CLEAN]

  1. "Silent [2]" by Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present, and Future) (0:04) [CLEAN]

  1. "Silent [3]" by Slum Village, Trinity (Past, Present, and Future) (0:07) [CLEAN]

And there you have it: nine tracks of professionally-encoded silence-- a total of six minutes and forty-four seconds of the yawning void, all yours for just $8.91. And if you like, you can even keep the EXPLICIT tracks in the main playlist, add the CLEAN ones at the end, and get fifteen bonus seconds of silence for just $2.97 more! Talk about your seven minutes in heaven, right?

It's just a shame that "15 Minutes Silence" by Deuter, as pointed out by faithful viewer Rob Hulson, is an Album-Only purchase. Especially since it is, for some reason, sixteen minutes long...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 2/5/04 episode:

February 5, 2004: Nothing much is happening, so we're just putting together novelty iTunes Music Store playlists. Meanwhile, Steve goes off on Disney during Pixar's quarterly earnings conference call, and Apple has registered trademark rights to put its logo on lingerie, veterinary apparatus, and medical lasers...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4491: A Semi-On-Topic Zingfest (2/5/04)   Ahhh, so that's why things have been so quiet with Apple lately, Stevularly speaking: Mr. Jobs is a little busier than usual with his other gig as CEO of Pixar. You already know that Steve announced the unsuccessful conclusion to ten months of Pixar-Disney negotiations last week, and unsurprisingly, that topic reportedly came up an awful lot during Pixar's quarterly earnings conference call last night, at which Steve fielded questions from analysts, reporters, and his own CFO...

  • 4492: Apples, Undies, & X-Rays (2/5/04)   Since there isn't much happening of deadly urgency in the Apple realm right this second, how about we take a mellow poke around in the databases of the United States Patent and Trademark Office? C'mon, that's always good for a laugh...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(1239 votes)

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