rone: (brock)

For this kid, who grew up in Ecuador in the `80s, David Bowie was "Let's Dance", "Modern Love", and "Blue Jean".  I didn't hear anything else of his until i caught some of his `70s hits on classic rock radio in the mid `90s.  Some time in 1997, an acquaintance gave me Diamond Dogs on cassette, but i didn't care for it.  I didn't revisit Bowie until the next millennium.

In 2002, Amazon previewed "Slow Burn" (featuring Pete Townshend on guitar) on their site and that hooked me in, so i acquired Heathen and found it quite enjoyable (and later discovered while listening to the Pixies' Surfer Rosa that Bowie had covered "Cactus").  During that time i was well into my peak King Crimson phase, so i picked up "Heroes" given that Fripp played on it, but i found it uneven and certainly overrated.  I didn't try again until 10 years later (at his point i am verifying this via my last.fm listening data), when i listened on Spotify to another of the vaunted Berlin trio, Lodger, because i'd heard "African Night Flight" on Pandora and liked it, but the album was a mess.

Then everyone was stunned when he released The Next Day.  I thought it was excellent, and i bought it; after that, i decided to listen to the albums that were released near Heathen, and that yielded better results, and i picked up Black Tie White Noise.  Things were quiescent on the Bowie front for me until the news came out, and, well, we know what happened after its release.

After his death, i resolved to listen to his entire œuvre.  Most of the pre-Berlin stuff is good but not gripping; Low is as good as advertised; the two albums after Let's Dance are as bad as people say they are; Tin Machine does not deserve the mockery it gets; and everything from then on is really quite good but nobody seems to hold it in as high regard as his other stuff.  So maybe it's just me.

One side effect of my romp through the Bowie discography was catching more of the references that peppered The Venture Bros., including this gem.

Of course, i came down with GBS two weeks after his death, so maybe i needed him more than i could possibly have understood.  Writing this up was one of the many things i thought about during the times i was lying there, unable to communicate.  So now here it finally is.

rone: (drowning cat)

The highlights of the albums i picked up in 2015, as per the 'Date Added' field in my iTunes:

  • Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love: great to have them back making music, and better writers than i am agree.  However, it's not their best.  Their albums starting after Janet Weiss joined have had an alternating great-good pattern in my estimation, and this album does not and cannot measure up to the sublime The Woods (which Phillips inexplicably does not put in his top 3 but, whatever, he's wrong), in particular its disappointing second half.  Still, it's pretty damn good overall.
  • The New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers: their best album so far.  "Dancehall Domine" is a salt caramel truffle of a song.
  • Zola Jesus, Conatus: i caught one of her tracks on college radio.  She's somewhere between Siouxsie Sioux and Diamanda Galás.
  • Florence + the Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful: somewhat disappointing.  Doesn't measure up to the previous albums.  [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda and i went to see her in concert and it was good but it sure felt like she was phoning it in.
  • Kathryn Calder, Kathryn Calder: from The New Pornographers.  A very soothing album.
  • Battles, La Di Da Di: the boys are back.  A more even album than Gloss Drop but somehow it feels like John Stanier is holding back on his killer drumming.
  • Passengers, Original Soundtracks 1: Passengers is basically Brian Eno backed by U2.  This is really quite good and doesn't sound at all like the extruded U2 product that came after All That You Can't Leave Behind.
  • Adele, 25: 21 was quite a leap from 19, and 25 is yet another leap.  Her voice is better than ever, and the songs have grown lyrically, musically, and production-ally.
  • Snarky Puppy, We Like It Here: a live recording treated like a studio recording of a band doing jazz fusion like demigods.  The musicians are amazing, in particular the drummer, who only had a few days to learn the songs.  You can sample the album on YouTube, and watch the band in action.
  • Faith No More, Sol Invictus: it's like no time has passed.  Solid effort through and through.

rone: (cotopaxi)

I remember reading, as a kid, a dramatization of the British Antarctic Expedition, which was effectively a race to reach the South Pole for the first time between Robert Falcon Scott and Norway's Roald Amundsen.  The story was told from Scott's perspective and it was somewhat tragic.  Thinking upon it now, it seems like the heroic tragedy of the failure of Scott's expedition outshines Amundsen's accomplishment, which might be a result of better British PR, or perhaps just the cultural proximity of our nations (i recall also the story of Robert Peary being the first to reach the North Pole, and of course Peary was American, except it turned out upon later determination that he missed).

I discovered I Like Trains (né iLiKETRAiNS) on Pandora (although i can't pinpoint on what station; easy guess would be Sigur Rós), and i happened to come across a video one particular song of theirs, "Terra Nova", and it was only upon viewing the video that i realized that it is a reference to the Scott expedition, which turns the song from merely gloomy into harrowing.  I didn't expect that the video, which starts out with an almost cheap feeling with obvious models, would provoke such feeling.

How could I have led these men
To their demise and they just follow?
Exploration's last great prize
It wasn't mine

And more's the shame
You will remember my name

Great God, this is an awful place
I do not think that we can hope
For any better things now

Oh, the end, cannot be far
It cannot be far, I cannot wait
Exploration's last great prize
A saving grace, it wasn't mine

And more's the shame
You will remember my name

And more's the shame
You will remember my name




















rone: (anime - (c) 2002 jim vandewalker)

I'm currently listening to NPR First Listen's streaming preview of Sleater-Kinney's new album, No Cities to Love.  And i dropped some coin on tickets to go see them at the Hollywood Palladium with my stepdaughter and her husband, while [livejournal.com profile] 2wanda babysits our adorable grandson.

I'm also working for eBay again, on the OpenStack support team.  So far, so good.

rone: (clue jar - take two)

"We have reports of augmented fourths being used in this location."

"Aw, shit, it's the tritone police!"

rone: (ngc4449)

album cover to 'Signals, Calls, and Marches' by Mission of BurmaAccording to iTunes, i have as much music from the 1990s as i do from the 2000s, and about 40% of that quantity from the 1980s.  The trend for the 2010s so far approaches the 1980s in quantity, which is a little surprising.  I guess that's just getting old, new music sucks, etc.  The latest CD cull yielded a whopping $16.25 in store credit at Rasputin, which i used to pick up:

    • Mission of Burma - Signals, Calls, and Marches
    • The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
    • Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth
    • Rush - A Farewell to Kings
I reacquired AFtK 20 years (almost to the day) after i sold it (and other CDs) for bus fare while trying to get my act together in Seattle.  Back then, i was so broke that i only had enough for bus fare, and had to beg a buck off a coworker to get a crappy burger at McDonald's for lunch one day.  I vetted the other three albums by listening to them first on Spotify.  This will really cut into the amount of disappointing albums i've gotten based on one or two tracks, or from listening to short samples.  However, none of the above belong to the 2010s, so there's still work to do, albums to buy, et cetera.

rone: (hwaiiieee)

Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" features a disco-era guitar riff over a New Wave milieu, which together end up feeling dated rather than retro, and inane lyrics (i can't decide whether "jejune" or "sophomoric" would be more apropos) sung by voices so off-key that they're a case example for why Autotune happens. I can see why y'all are so excited about it.

rone: (simian)

I had a jones for new music, but i want to avoid giving Amazon my business until they stop doing shit like dodging taxes, opposing union organization, and trying to kill warehouse workers.  So, hey, buy local.  The two local music stores are Streetlight Records and Rasputin Music.  I found Streetlight's site suboptimal for finding stuff i wanted, so i went with Rasputin, paying my sales tax like a good citizen and my shipping fee like a good "buy local" pinko liberal (i could have driven there, but ZOMG FOSSIL FUELS and anyway, i figured that there was no way that the store would have in stock some of what i wanted).  The shipment ended up split because one disc was on backorder, yet it arrived ahead of the rest of my order.  And then i got one completely wrong item, which i'll have to return.  So thanks, Rasputin and Streetlight, for sending me back grumbling to Amazon for my next music purchase.

hurf durf

Jul. 13th, 2012 08:56 pm
rone: (Default)

"By 2005, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's."
        —Paul Krugman, 1998

rone: (asplode)

Facebook ad: 'Like Hüsker Dü? Listen to Satin Gum! Catchy power pop rock.'

rone: (FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU)

A simple invocation of lynx -dump http://ronebofh.livejournal.com/tag/ | grep ' use' | sort -nr -t - -k 2 | head' yields my 10 most used tags:

  • music - 192 uses
  • friends - 136 uses
  • politics - 131 uses
  • soccer report - 128 uses
  • fuckheads - 122 uses
  • random stuff - 69 uses
  • wine - 67 uses
  • meme - 66 uses
  • food porn - 65 uses
  • pop culture - 64 uses
music: i haven't stopped listening to new music, but i've not gone to any concerts in quite some time.  Not really sure what's going on there.  I wanted to go see Imogen Heap but she was playing in the area while i was in Ecuador.  Pandora has yielded a fair amount of new artists (including Heap) now that i haven't had my XM-empowered car around ([livejournal.com profile] butterflygenius is driving it), but i've purchased a whopping 6 albums and 1 EP in the last 9 months.  I'm probably due for making a run through the wishlist (as well as take out the unwanted to the used CD store).
friends: amazingly enough, i still have some, but i've stopped talking about them because, i dunno, i suck or something.  Maybe they suck, too.  Working graveyard means that Kim and i just want to spend time together and not hang out much with others, although we are taking advantage of our fortnightly clean house and having guests over for dinner every other Friday.  So that's something.
politics: between the Dastardly and the Repulsive, it's hard to really find the desire to talk about this anymore.  I registered GOP to vote in the primary governor election for Tom Campbell, The Last Sane Republican in the Universe, but then he switched to the Senate race and started talking to Tea Party fucknuts, and well, serves me right for trying to game the system.
soccer report: still playing.  Haven't gotten injured since i got back from Ecuador (which i didn't explicitly mention, so i'm sure some of you were wondering when i was coming back).  We ended up tied for last place in Division 9, so we got to enjoy the sweet taste of relegation and are so far 2-2 in Division 10.
fuckheads: as alluded to in 'politics', they're still out there.
random stuff: the frequency of each tag takes a big dip here.  I go through this tag occasionally and recategorize the entries, because i shouldn't have that many of them here; at the same time, i have 29 singleton tags, and that's dumb, too.
wine: still drinkin', oh yeah.  That's slowed down, too, with the graveyard shift (feels funny to have wine with dinner when dinner's your breakfast).  Shit, we went to Livermore for our birthday last year and i didn't write about it.  Livermore is awesome and deserves better press.  I need to follow up on this later.
meme: more of a hall of shame than an active category.  Don't think any of you are bothering with this balderdash anymore, and thank goodness.
food porn: we still love finding delicious new restaurants (and perhaps go a little too often for the good of our pocketbook), and Kim is still an amazing cook.  She just whipped up the best chile verde of all time with half a pork shoulder and homemade tomatillo sauce.
pop culture: maybe i can find a better use of my time, but i fear that my brain is merely playing out the string of infection.








The task will be to coalesce actual writing out of the inchoate sputtering i inflict upon Facebook and Twitter.

rone: (Default)

A simple invocation of lynx -dump http://ronebofh.livejournal.com/tag/ | grep ' use' | sort -nr -t - -k 2 | head' yields my 10 most used tags:

  • music - 192 uses
  • friends - 136 uses
  • politics - 131 uses
  • soccer report - 128 uses
  • fuckheads - 122 uses
  • random stuff - 69 uses
  • wine - 67 uses
  • meme - 66 uses
  • food porn - 65 uses
  • pop culture - 64 uses
music: i haven't stopped listening to new music, but i've not gone to any concerts in quite some time.  Not really sure what's going on there.  I wanted to go see Imogen Heap but she was playing in the area while i was in Ecuador.  Pandora has yielded a fair amount of new artists (including Heap) now that i haven't had my XM-empowered car around ([livejournal.com profile] butterflygenius is driving it), but i've purchased a whopping 6 albums and 1 EP in the last 9 months.  I'm probably due for making a run through the wishlist (as well as take out the unwanted to the used CD store).
friends: amazingly enough, i still have some, but i've stopped talking about them because, i dunno, i suck or something.  Maybe they suck, too.  Working graveyard means that Kim and i just want to spend time together and not hang out much with others, although we are taking advantage of our fortnightly clean house and having guests over for dinner every other Friday.  So that's something.
politics: between the Dastardly and the Repulsive, it's hard to really find the desire to talk about this anymore.  I registered GOP to vote in the primary governor election for Tom Campbell, The Last Sane Republican in the Universe, but then he switched to the Senate race and started talking to Tea Party fucknuts, and well, serves me right for trying to game the system.
soccer report: still playing.  Haven't gotten injured since i got back from Ecuador (which i didn't explicitly mention, so i'm sure some of you were wondering when i was coming back).  We ended up tied for last place in Division 9, so we got to enjoy the sweet taste of relegation and are so far 2-2 in Division 10.
fuckheads: as alluded to in 'politics', they're still out there.
random stuff: the frequency of each tag takes a big dip here.  I go through this tag occasionally and recategorize the entries, because i shouldn't have that many of them here; at the same time, i have 29 singleton tags, and that's dumb, too.
wine: still drinkin', oh yeah.  That's slowed down, too, with the graveyard shift (feels funny to have wine with dinner when dinner's your breakfast).  Shit, we went to Livermore for our birthday last year and i didn't write about it.  Livermore is awesome and deserves better press.  I need to follow up on this later.
meme: more of a hall of shame than an active category.  Don't think any of you are bothering with this balderdash anymore, and thank goodness.
food porn: we still love finding delicious new restaurants (and perhaps go a little too often for the good of our pocketbook), and Kim is still an amazing cook.  She just whipped up the best chile verde of all time with half a pork shoulder and homemade tomatillo sauce.
pop culture: maybe i can find a better use of my time, but i fear that my brain is merely playing out the string of infection.








The task will be to coalesce actual writing out of the inchoate sputtering i inflict upon Facebook and Twitter.

rone: (brock)

Backspacer is easily Pearl Jam's most disappointing album.  Unlike Vs. or Vitalogy, the problem here isn't some gems buried among unsuccessful experiments; its biggest flaw is laziness.  "The Fixer", their first single, was promising due to its somewhat different sound from previous albums; when you hear the whole album, though, what stands out is how similar it is to the most of the other tracks: it's short, structurally simple, and lacking any musical depth.  The whole album lasts less than 37 minutes.  It's not a bad album, i suppose, but it's certainly not good.  It's eminently forgettable (Results 1 - 100 of about 71,200 for "eminently forgettable"; does that qualify it as a cliché?).  "Just Breathe" sounds like it would be much more at home on an Eddie Vedder solo album.  They'd better pick up their game on the next album.

rone: (Default)

Backspacer is easily Pearl Jam's most disappointing album.  Unlike Vs. or Vitalogy, the problem here isn't some gems buried among unsuccessful experiments; its biggest flaw is laziness.  "The Fixer", their first single, was promising due to its somewhat different sound from previous albums; when you hear the whole album, though, what stands out is how similar it is to the most of the other tracks: it's short, structurally simple, and lacking any musical depth.  The whole album lasts less than 37 minutes.  It's not a bad album, i suppose, but it's certainly not good.  It's eminently forgettable (Results 1 - 100 of about 71,200 for "eminently forgettable"; does that qualify it as a cliché?).  "Just Breathe" sounds like it would be much more at home on an Eddie Vedder solo album.  They'd better pick up their game on the next album.

rone: (dust)

I've been meaning to post this for over a year.  I think i have issues, but never mind that now.

My Brightest Diamond is a band that's mainly formed by Shara Worden, who produces music that's anchored by her gorgeous voice, which is then surrounded by haunting notes, even in the half of her tracks which are more straightforward pop songs.  Her second album is streamed on her site, in addition to some off-album tracks (i love her rendition of Kurt Weill's "Youkali").  I first heard her on XM (back then it was still XM), and Kim and i went to see her play at Villa Montalvo.  She likes to play baritone guitar, which i love, and she does crazy things with her hair.

Below you can see her playing one of my favorite songs of hers, "Apples", followed by "The Gentlest Gentleman", an off-album track.


rone: (Default)

I've been meaning to post this for over a year.  I think i have issues, but never mind that now.

My Brightest Diamond is a band that's mainly formed by Shara Worden, who produces music that's anchored by her gorgeous voice, which is then surrounded by haunting notes, even in the half of her tracks which are more straightforward pop songs.  Her second album is streamed on her site, in addition to some off-album tracks (i love her rendition of Kurt Weill's "Youkali").  I first heard her on XM (back then it was still XM), and Kim and i went to see her play at Villa Montalvo.  She likes to play baritone guitar, which i love, and she does crazy things with her hair.

Below you can see her playing one of my favorite songs of hers, "Apples", followed by "The Gentlest Gentleman", an off-album track.


rone: (brock)

Dave Grohl (Nirvana & Foo Fighters) got Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and John Paul fuckin' Jones (do i need to say it?) together in a new band, Them Crooked Vultures. They're touring now (sadly, only east of the Mississippi and Europe).

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] syringavulgaris for the heads-up.

rone: (Default)

Dave Grohl (Nirvana & Foo Fighters) got Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and John Paul fuckin' Jones (do i need to say it?) together in a new band, Them Crooked Vultures. They're touring now (sadly, only east of the Mississippi and Europe).

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] syringavulgaris for the heads-up.

rone: (lick)

A few years ago, i realized that i was sick of listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall, or as i now like to call it, Roger Waters's The Pros and Cons of Rock Stardom.

rone: (Default)

A few years ago, i realized that i was sick of listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall, or as i now like to call it, Roger Waters's The Pros and Cons of Rock Stardom.

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