Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Great Music Trawl - December Edition

So tonight I did my monthly Internet music trawl and came up with some interesting things.  I come up with interesting things almost every month, and I guess I could make a note of them here, why not?

So what is the monthly music trawl?  I have a subscription to emusic, so I have 75 downloads each month (and I often buy extras - yes, I'm a junkie).  I have stopped listening to music on the radio, as the redundance of the music usually bored me to tears and morning DJs around here are loud and crude and I just can't get into that.   The last morning radio show I liked was Tim and Yvonne on 93.3 in Dallas - but that incarnation of that station has been stone cold in the grave for a long time now, along with the morning show.  So I very much listen to stuff I find on the Internet.  I have found some great stuff.  Here is what I found for this month:

The Magnetic Fields.  They issued 3 albums in 1999 called 69 (vols. 1, 2, & 3), each with 23 songs - love songs.  Ha!  And I figured the love song has been dead since at least 1993.  But apparently 69 of them appeared in 1999.  The song that made me know I would like this group is called "The Book of Love" and it's about being in love with a reader.  :D   

So that was 69 of the 75 downloads.  You can guess, can't you, that I had to buy extra tracks this month.

Next I found Langhorne Slim.  He is described as being sort of country/folk, but he's more folk than country, or at least most of his better songs are (other songs are more sing-along-with-your-beer-glass-swaying).  But he's acoustic and cool, and the killer song is "Restless," all about how one could blame one's screwed up inability to commit on lots of things, but deep down really you're just (you guessed it) restless.

So really, that should have been enough for the month, but it's December, and therefore it's a month for excess, so of course I ran up against The Cribs.  They are AWESOME.  They are the band tonight that I am the most excited about - sort of Killers, sort of really 80's pop, current album (Men's Needs, Women's Needs, Whatever) produced by one of the guys in Franz Ferdinand (hooray!) so you can kind of hear them in there from time to time too, anyway, it's the album I'm listening to right now.  And did I mention JOHNNY MARR JOINED THE BAND???  Yeah.  Ok.  HAD to have it.  Here's the deal, though: for some reason, it wasn't currently downloadable on emusic, so I had to go to Amazon and buy it.  (The track Be Safe stands out because it's spoken instead of sung, but really the whole thing is fantastic so far.)

While on Amazon, a thumbnail for Weezer Chrismas caught my eye.  Couldn't be good.  But I gave the samples a listen.  Yeah.  Most of it wasn't good - let's face it, most carols just honestly sound bad when played by rock bands, especially rock bands as tied to a solid beat as is Weezer.  The exception?  O Holy Night - the complexities of the flowing accompaniament made it interesting enough that I downloaded that track.  Why not?  It's my favorite religious carol, and so I kind of collect versions of it, some better and some not as good.

So then I was done for the night.  Except then I was writing this post and clicked back over to emusic to check something and I couldn't help but start playing the sample that popped up and it was really good.  Best of Stereophonics.  Which is a band I've definitely heard of but don't know if I've ever really heard.  They are super good.  So I downloaded the Best Of album for a nice overview (some bands are too prolific to ever catch up with for real).

Anyway, so that is what happened tonight while I was trawling for music.  A nice evening.  And now there is stuff to listen to for the next month.  I'm such a geek, but I enjoy this way too much.  It's like I'm still twelve recording songs I like off the radio.  Yeah, I'll never grow up.

Monday, December 15, 2008

To be fair, Amilynne nails it here.

A bit of art history while we wait to go to the Uffizi in Firenze. Michelangelo greets Julius upon the former's return from Carrera on a trip to procure marble for the latter's amazingly grandiose tomb.


Amilynne Gets It Wrong

Amilynne and I got in a discussion today over Christine's World. The discussion was prompted by my telling her about my trip to MoMA. I took the above picture just for her, but I guess now it's for everyone. Anyway. So here I am standing next to this amazing painting. And here's how Amilynne got it dead wrong.
You see, the painting is of Christine, who has fallen and can't get up, and is so dreadfully far away from the farmhouse, she could pull herself along with her hands, but that would really be a rough job, and by the time she got there, her pretty pink dress would, at the best, be grass stained, and at the worst, be torn to rags. How did she get there? Don't know. But the immensity of the space between her and the house shows that she's not getting back any time soon.
Amilynne about died when I said that she couldn't get up. She says that Christine chooses not to get up. She is just there relaxing.
Amilynne is usually right on mark, but this one she absolutely doesn't get. See how Christine is downhill from the house? See how there is almost a swirling vortex between her and the house? See how her hair has flyaways on the sides? See how the farmhouse door and the path to it point away from Christine and off the side of the painting? (There aren't even any windows facing Christine - the house is blind to her.) See how everything is late autumn dead and not early spring green and alive? She's not going to make it in before the first winter storm blows in and freezes her to death. She is not calmly relaxing. She is not at home in bed eating bonbons.
So free will or determinism? For once, Amilynne seems to be the optimistic one.