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About Penny Lane

I'm passionate about music, a lover of pop-culture, a runner with a mad sweet tooth and an addiction to coffee. Read my musings about life, movie soundtracks and live concerts. If you see me on the freeway I am most likely singing very loudly in my car. Honk and say hi!
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Win A Velodyne “Real Music – Pure Sound” T-Shirt!

 

Black short sleeve T. Watch not included.

 

Latest design - Soundwave Logo

Here at Velodyne we always have creative ideas brewing. Check out our latest and greatest t-shirt design. This is a comfortable, high-quality, American Apparel cotton t-shirt with our iconic Velodyne logo on the front. On the back, we feature our unique soundwave design.  Comes in black only and size S, M, L and XL. You want it? You know what to do. Fill out the Rafflecopter below and we’ll announce a winner on Monday, June 25, 2012.  May the most rockin’ person win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Many thanks to our Customer Service Associate Daniel Berkley for modeling.

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Travel Back Tuesday! Happy Birthday Mark Wahlberg!

Today is Mark Wahlberg’s birthday! Some of you may not be old enough to remember this talented actor who has starred in many popular films such as “Boogie Nights”, “Three Kings”, and “The Italian Job” got his start in the music business. His brother, Donnie Wahlberg, was part of the boy band New Kids on the Block that rose to fame in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Donnie, who had production skills and an affinity for hip-hop arrangements, helped Mark get started in the music industry. Mark wasn’t incredibly talented, but was easy on the eyes and found his niche as a rap star.

Happy Birthday Mark!

Soon, Mark made a name for himself as “Marky Mark” with his back up dancers “The Funky Bunch”, releasing such popular dance titles as “Good Vibrations” and “Wildside”.   His music career was short-lived, and he soon turned to acting. Thank goodness because he can act. And, he’s still easy on the eyes.

Let’s celebrate Mark Wahlberg’s birthday by remembering where he came from and enjoythis blast from the past:

http://youtu.be/-eSN8Cwit_s

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Wordless Wednesday: Digital Drive PLUS

Just a little iPhoneography fun today. What better subject matter than the deep, soulful, low-distortion, bass of our Digital Drive Plus.

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Dick Clark Was Like Family

RIP Dick Clark 1929-2012

I’ll always remember exactly how I felt when I heard the words, “America’s oldest teenager died today at the age of 82.” I as at work that day, April 18, 2012. When my co-worker told me that the legendary radio and TV personality had passed, a wave of sadness washed over me. Dick Clark is the same age as my Grandpa, who isn’t in the best of health. There is a certain time in my childhood,  my “halcyon days” of which my Grandpa, and Dick Clark, were a big part.

During the early 80’s I spent a lot of time with my Grandparents, often spending the weekend at their house. Saturday mornings were always the same. I woke up to my favorite breakfast, typically consisting of french toast or waffles. My Grandpa got up early and liked to work in his yard, so would often finish up his breakfast as I sat down. He was typically pretty serious but always had kind words and nicknames for me. My Grandma loved to spend time in the kitchen and kept a pretty tidy house. That meant that after breakfast, I got to watch cartoons and keep myself busy until her cleaning was done. During that time I always measured the time of day by what  TV shows were on. I always knew that when American Bandstand started, my TV time was soon coming to a close. Once Soul Train came on, it was time to shut the TV off and “be productive”.

I still remember the American Bandstand theme song like I just heard it yesterday. Dick Clark was a handsome man, so friendly and full of good energy. Not to mention, pretty cool too! He was bringing all these great new musicians to the small screen, right in our home. Otherwise I may have only heard them on the radio but never actually see them perform since I was still too young for concerts.  American Bandstand brought all kinds of people together to dance and have a good time. I didn’t find out until many years later but in the early days of American Bandstand these shows were some of the first to have desegregated live audiences. I enjoyed watching the attendees of the show dance and smile at the camera just as much as I enjoyed the music. As a young girl with a future ripe with possibility, I always hoped that when I was old enough I would someday make it in to the audience of American Bandstand. It just looked like so much fun.

Time moved on, and as I got older I started dreaming of other things. I spent less weekends at my grandparents. I watched less American Bandstand. However, Dick Clark was always a staple on New Year’s Eve. Without fail, for most of my life I rang in the new year watching the ball drop in Times Square and doing the countdown with Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve. If there was a year here and there where I missed the broadcast, I always knew I could count on watching the next year. Over the years, Dick Clark aged, but never lost his good looks or amiable personality. I was heart broken in when he had his stroke in 2005. That year, I was with friends in Santa Cruz, CA. We had our families together to ring in the new year and we were looking forward to seeing Dick Clark make his first appearance after spending much time rehabilitating. We were all quiet when he spoke. We had to listen intently. His speech was slurred and garbled, but he still had that friendly, happy look in his eyes. It made me so sad, because he was trying so hard, and wanted so badly to be there. It was HIS show. HIS baby. But it was clear he had  long way to go before things would be the same again.

It turns out, things wouldn’t be quite the same. Due to complications of his stroke, his appearances on  New Year’s Rockin’ Eve would be minimal and Ryan Seacrest would take the helm. The show was still entertaining, but I missed Dick Clark.  Sadly, after his massive heart attack last week, he won’t be back at all. America will feel a void for a very long time, as for most, it feels like losing a part of the family as many of us grew up with him in our  homes.

I’ll leave you to enjoy this clip of a Daytime Emmy Awards tribute to Dick Clark and American Bandstand, in which you can see how touched he was at the very end and became emotional. I’ll admit I did as well while watching the clip.  I am glad he received this tribute while he was alive, so he would know how much he meant to everyone. Goodbye, Dick. We’ll miss you.

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Getting Inside Outside Lands

If you haven’t heard of Outside Lands, it’s not too late. Tickets for this 3-day music, food, beer, wine and art festival in Golden Gate park August 10-12, 2012 go on sale tomorrow at noon.  It shouldn’t take you long to decide if you want to go. The full lineup has just been released and it is going to be incredible!

This festival began in 2008, and quickly burst onto the scene making quite the splash. Headlined by the most killer current artists and several stages with newer, up-and-coming, supporting acts, Outside Lands is geared toward being eco-friendly. There are bio-degradable cups, plates, bowls and utensils, solar-powered stages, and a refillable water program which encourages reusable water vessels to cut down on use of cups. Outside Lands also offers a bike valet service to encourage attendees to bike to the festival. Additionally,  golf carts are not used for production/transport but instead utilize cargo bicycles to go easier on the environment and conserve resources. I have never heard of such a thing, have you? Pretty cool.

The food and beverage choices are tantalizing, with some of the best local wineries, breweries and restaurants providing the festival fare.  While the food lineup has not yet been released, based on the previous years you can be certain this won’t be your typical hot dog and cardboard-pizza concert menu.

Outside Lands offers VIP cabanas based on availability, which overlook the main stage, and include hosted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, access to catered food, a private entrance, 20 VIP tickets and 4 parking passes. No shortage of creature comforts to enhance your festival experience!

VIP, 3-day passes  at $495 are also offered based on availability and grant VIP’s Polo Club lounge seating, special viewing areas, access to massage therapists, access to restroom facilities, VIP food selection and beer, wine and cocktails.

Don’t have the cabbage to throw down for a cabana or a VIP pass? Regular 3-day passes were offered on an early bird basis for $165 that have already sold out. The regular 3-day ticket will go on sale tomorrow for $195. It’s not clear how many of those tickets are available, but when they sell out the price will go up to $210 and then $225. Other extremely helpful passes that may be purchased are a 3-day parking pass for $149.50, and a 3-day shuttle pass from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for $29.50. Fortunately the Civic is also very close to other public transportation such as Bart, Muni and Caltrain.

While I love to indulge in good food and wine with the best of them, it really comes down to the music for me. Who could pass up seeing legends like Neil Young, Stevie Wonder and Metallica at the same festival as Skrillex? One of the headliners for the festival this year is The Foo Fighters, one of my all time favorite bands. I have been a fan since they were founded in 1994 by Dave Grohl, former drummer for Nirvana. While I have loved all of their albums over the years, I was immensely proud of them for cleaning up at the 2012 Grammys (6 trophies!) and especially winning Best Rock Album. I have seen them live twice, and was completely blown away. Check out the Foo’s performance on Saturday Night Live last year of their 2012 Grammy-winning Best Rock Song, Walk. Dave and the boys just BRING IT.

I am also a huge fan of Jack White, who we featured on yesterday’s post as well as Beck, Franz Ferdinand, Norah Jones and more recently Fitz and the Tantrums.

And lastly, I leave you with this soothing, soulful melody by newcomer to the scene, Alabama Shakes. The Shakes first full length album was just released for streaming this month. I am pretty confident we will be seeing a lot more of them in the future. Enjoy!

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Tips to Properly Care for In-Ear Headphones

Velodyne's vPulse In-ear Headphone

Personal audio products are invaluable to many of us who can’t live without our music. When I run long distances, nothing keeps me more motivated than invigorating songs. I am fortunate that my current set of earbuds have been with me for over a year, so I haven’t experienced much downtime. Time and time again, I hear of friends complaining that their earphones from all price ranges have stopped working, sometimes after only a few months. Some choose to stick with cheaper brands and go through them like crazy, not thinking twice about tossing them out for a new pair. This practice can become expensive over time. It is ideal to keep them in good working order for as long as possible, especially if you splurged on a pricier set.  Here are some tips to keep in mind to give your earphones the best possible chance at a longer life.

The vPulse comes with a handy case to protect your earphones

  • Keep them in a case when not in use. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, or even specifically for earphones. The goal is to prevent exposure to debris. A roomy pouch or sack that will prevent the cord from getting crimped, caught or tangled is ideal. Avoid stuffing them into your pants pocket, which is very popular, as excessive rubbing and pulling could damage the cord.
  • Treat them gently. It seems the most common method of “caring” for earphones – which I don’t recommend – is to wrap the cord around iPods or other listening devices.  In general, try to avoid tightly wrapping or folding the cord, and unplug it from your listening device. When unplugging the cord, grasp the plug rather than pull on the cord.
  • Replace foam covers from time to time. Some earphones have foam that covers the earbud that is inserted into your ear canal. This material can break down over time and is not meant to last forever. Fortunately, these covers are very inexpensive to replace.
  • Keep them away from water. Submerging your earphones or holding them under running water generally won’t end well. Just sayin’.
  • Keep them clean. Dirt, oils and earwax  may  interfere with listening quality. There are different cleaning methods recommended depending on your specific type of earphone, but a soft cloth with a dab of rubbing alcohol should safely remove any debris from your earbud. If your earbuds come with removable parts, such as a silicone cover, cleaning these occasionally will prevent buildup as well.

If your earphones have stopped working, try cleaning them before you give up on them and move on to another pair. Otherwise, check your warranty information to see if you are eligible for a replacement.

How do you store your earphones when not in use? If you have any other recommendations for general care or tips for prolonging the life of in-ear headphones we’d love to hear them!

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