music Archives

The Week Behind 2013

It's been a good week, with much satisfaction arising from the current book project, The Art of the Shim: Low-Alcohol Cocktails to Keep You Level. All the amazing conversations of the week before and much digging in old cocktail books, thinking about principles of drink creation have been percolating in my head. This resulted on Tuesday in my finalizing the first draft of the Bibulo.us Cocktail Taxonomy and posting it for comment. Mostly Twitter chatter in reaction so far, but the process of articulating my principles for others has, as usual, clarified them and this structure is performing well as I continue to research old recipes and organize the book's recipe candidates.

This pleasant creative burbling all week was accompanied by a big experiential spike in the form of an amazing concert Sunday at the new SF Jazz Center in honor of Bobby Hutcherson. Wonderful sound and great performers! Such a joy to have this resource so close to our home.

Around those themes the week swirled along quite well with a nice mix of home life and time out on the town and up in Napa county for Joe's work.

Proud: I have been keeping up my exercise routine! Between the Fitbit, the treadmill desk, and Zombies, Run! I am able to make myself put in the effort and seeing my strength and endurance grow as a result. Very pleasing!

Completed: I think I can now say I've achieved mastery on maintaining a beautiful, uncluttered living space with minimal effort. Still projects to be completed and undulation in tidiness from day to day, but in general the place is within ten minutes of "company-ready" pretty much all the time. The fortnightly visit from the maid who does my most-hated chores (vacuuming and scrubbing porcelain) has helped tremendously in letting me put my energy into things that pay off without driving me nuts.

Learned: Twitter may not seem like it eats much time to quickly check now and then, but it is a huge time-suck if not constrained. Trying out a Pomodoro method timer to help keep me on track and not ducking into email/Twitter/etc every 10 or 15 minutes. Getting better at managing this will help me not only with completing the current to-do's but also with staying focused on work as my social media activity grows when the book comes out.

Inspired: The barfolk I've been talking to as I research the book have been just marvelous; generous, enthusiastic, customer-focused. Really looking forward to working with them a lot this year.

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 02:01 PM in creativity, Food and Drink, music, San Francisco, work, writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy 10th birthday to my iTunes library! 2012

Thanks to my return to the Apple family in 2002 and continuous smooth migrations from Mac to Mac since then, I now have a certain degree of continuity with my music collection management.

There's been a small amount of lost information due to things like tracks being replaced when I've switched from a mix from a friend or a 'best of' album to the original, but in general these are the same tracks I've had all along.

One big factor in that array of music is my habit of weeding out things that I don't like. 'Meh' doesn't cut it; a song has to be rated three stars or higher to stick around for long. Each time a track irritates or bores me (and I know it isn't just a temporary mismatch in mood), I drop it one star. If it's already down to a single star, I delete the track. This means over time, some albums and artists completely vanish, but allows me to listen to my music on shuffle play with little risk of bad songs.

The track with the most plays in my collection is, somewhat oddly, My Chemical Romance's version of "Desolation Row" from the Watchmen soundtrack, but that's a result of it being played on loop as the writing background to some action scenes I was writing in a fiction work in progress and doesn't thus reflect my general listening habits.

With it set aside, my top twenty songs are:

"As Serious As Your Life" by Four Tet (electronica)

"Wildest Pig In Captivity" by John Renbourn (folk)

"Stiff Jazz" by Dzihan & Kamien (electronica)

"Cashmere" by Nerf Herder (alternative/punk)

"Time Has Told Me" by Nick Drake (folk rock)

"Northern Sky" by Nick Drake (folk rock)

"Vaseline Machine Gun" by Leo Kottke (folk)

"['casino' from the game Grim Fandango]" by Peter McConnell (big band)*

"Hey Bulldog" by The Beatles (rock)

"A String of Pearls" by Glenn Miller (big band)

"You're The One I Want In The Next Episode" by Grease Vs Dr Dre & Snoop Dog (mashup of 50s-esque and hip hop)

"YYZ" by Rush (rock)

"Cobbler's Jig / Maltese Brawls" by John Renbourn (folk)

"Pyramid" by Backini (electronica)

"Polythene Pam" by The Beatles (rock)

"Espionage" by Green Day (lounge/rock)

"Bucephalus Bouncing Ball" by Aphex Twin (electronica)

"The Earthly Diana" by Combustible Edison (lounge)

"Lark in the Clear Air" by John Renbourn (folk)

"Peter Gunn" by The Art of Noise with Duane Eddy (electronica/rock)

 

The oldest albums in the collection for which I still retain over six songs are White Courtesy Phone by Angel Corpus Christi and Ego sum Resurrectio: Gregorian Chant for the Dead by the female vocal ensemble Aurora Surgit. The latest album added was Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones.

 

Yes, it could be said that my taste is a trifle eclectic.

 

*To my utter delight, in looking up the name of the Grim Fandango composer just now I discovered an entire sountrack album available! O bliss!

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 11:51 AM in music, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

RT RT RT 2012

RT @tomcoates: Dear Bands, I would like it lots if you would stop putting 'secret tracks' after long stretches of silence on your albums. It's 2012. Thx!

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 05:30 PM in music, tweets, warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

So now you know how it goes... 2012

Today's happy place: Watching Arlo's theme song again after all these years "A, a, a is for Arlo…" Hello!

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 01:01 PM in creativity, Dinah - preferences, linky goodness, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Right. I've got my new workout video. 2012

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 05:46 PM in friends & family, linky goodness, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Socks symphonically rocked 2012

Wow. Amazing program at @sfsymphony tonight. Perhaps my favorite yet. Love love loved the Kalevi Aho piece. Hahn & Osmo fabulous as expected

Posted on May 25, 2012 at 09:12 PM in music, San Francisco, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

swingin' 2012

It's Saturday night, we're finally feeling better, & what's our ideal activity? Sitting in the living room listening to Mel Torme. Really.

Without seeing my tweet, Joe impulsively switches to The New Pornographers. I love my eclectic sweetheart!

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 09:31 PM in am I a freak?, mundania, music, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Perhaps the perfect trade 2012

I just had a Swap.com request to trade

Swords Against Death by Fritz Leiber. 1970 Ace Book version. Cover torn, faded, worn. Spine broken. Cellophane tape across top and bottom of spine. Small pencil marked price on first page. Pages yellowed with age, but no tears or missing.

for Jethro Tull's Songs from the Wood.

How could I say no?

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 10:29 PM in Books, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

David Bowie - Starman (1972) 2012

RT @magicalipod: There's a Starmaaaaaan, waiting in the sky...

 

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 02:16 PM in music, tweets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Starting my morning with a swing 2012

Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1959 in Germany with Shakespearean Sonnet excerpts:

That was tweeted in honor of the anniversary of Duke Ellington's birth, 4/29/12. Thanks to a reminder from my first cousin once removed or something like that Rick, who added these great notes and recommended two more videos.

"Selections from Such Sweet Thunder" - from German television: concert on 2/7/1959 in Germany.
 Such Sweet Thunder was a 12-part suite that Ellington wrote based on the work of Shakespeare (released in 1957). Here the band plays the first part ("Such Sweet Thunder" - referencing Othello; solo by Ray Nance trumpet) and the third part ("Sonnet to Hank Cinq" -- referencing Henry V; this is a blues in a boogie-woogie pattern with solo by Britt Woodman trombone; by the way, it has been said that the number of syllables in a Shakespearean sonnet are equal to the number of notes in an Ellington sonnet). The band plays the first piece faster than on the album.

"Isfahan" from The Far East Suite - from American TV show in 1965; featuring Johnny Hodges on alto saxophone (and the entire wonderful sax section).
The Far East Suite is a 9-composition suite recorded in 1966 (so it was recorded after this live TV event). Johnny Hodges was one of the greatest sax players ever -- deeply influenced by Sidney Bechet and Coleman Hawkins but he turned their emotionalism into a pure bell-like tone on the alto sax.

"Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue":
Originally these were two pieces composed in 1937 -- "Diminuendo in Blue" and "Crescendo in Blue" -- then brought together as one work: "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue." The tenor sax player who solos -- Paul Gonsalves (yes, that's the correct spelling) -- began playing the solo in 1951. The solo actually occurs BETWEEN the two pieces. In 1956 at the Newport Jazz Festival Gonsalves stunned the jazz world with his legendary 26-chorus solo on this piece, revealing him to be a major player of the instrument. It was said he almost caused a riot because of the frenzy of the audience. He continued doing this solo for years with the band. I don't know when this version was filmed -- probably in the 1960s.

---

Hooray for relatives who send you things like this with which to start your day!

Posted on April 26, 2012 at 09:48 AM in linky goodness, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Good seats 2012

I acted fast when the Suzanne Vega/Duncan Sheik at Yoshi's San Francisco tickets went on sale.

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Hard to complain about how close our seats are.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 07:53 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (0)

whirlwind-of-tidying-up albums 2011

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Posted on May 6, 2011 at 11:51 AM in Discardia, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

I'm dancing in my chair to 80s music 2010

& it's making the day start very well. Slightly alarmed to find that I'm even really enjoying Mickey by Toni Basil. I'd forgotten the dirty parts.

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Posted on April 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM in friends & family, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Talk with George 2010

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Posted on March 24, 2010 at 02:30 PM in Discardia, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

post-concert visit with Ann Larie 2008

Photos and captions by Ann Larie:
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Posted on June 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM in Food and Drink, friends & family, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

New tune tonight 2008

My old pal (Polyester) Lester just asked me to take a look at this great page for a new artist on his Belletrist Records label. Ladies & gents, I give you Batter Brown!

I like the song Lying On The Pavement best of these. Also be sure to highlight as instructed on the page.

Mmm, sure do love me some of that music of Alaskan school bus drivers...

Posted on February 17, 2008 at 07:27 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (2)

Milk Punch 2007

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Boubon, half & half, a bit of dark rum, simple syrup & nutmeg, shake with ice, strain and serve with early Louis Armstrong.

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Posted on October 29, 2007 at 12:02 PM in Food and Drink, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Gallus Brothers at Amnesia 2007

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Sorry, stompin' my foot too hard to take a steady picture.


balance!

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It's never a bad idea to stop in by Amnesia and see what they have for you tonight.

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(photos by Joe)

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Posted on September 16, 2007 at 12:01 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jonathan Coulton at GAMH 2007

{photo and caption by Joe)

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We were just walking home from Sweeney Todd, and there was Jonathan Coulton. So we went in. Totally great evening.

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Posted on September 14, 2007 at 09:00 PM in music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

jazz at pearl's 2007

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@ Jazz at Pearl's, Jonathan Poretz with Noel Jewkes on sax, Lee Bloom on piano, Jeff Neighbor on bass and Vince Lateano on drums


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Jeff Neighbor

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Noel Jewkes

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Jonathan Poretz

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Posted on July 19, 2007 at 12:00 PM in music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

America Festival 2007

tmbg!

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Crowd at TMBG at Day on the Meadow

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My view of They Might Be Giants from the merch booth

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Posted on July 3, 2007 at 12:01 PM in holidays, music | Permalink | Comments (0)

the party moves on 2007

Photo by Joe.

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Posted on March 31, 2007 at 11:59 PM in music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rube Waddell: Live at Leeds 2007

(photos and captions by Joe)

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The cops arrive

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The idiot griefer who complained to the cops chats with the cops and with the band

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The Cops

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The idiot griefer who complained to the cops

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The party moves on

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Posted on March 31, 2007 at 11:58 PM in creativity, music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Eighth Plague: Pink Stëël 2007

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Posted on March 19, 2007 at 12:00 PM in music, San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday Discardia 2007

Need a little chest freezer?

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5.3 cubic feet. Nice for those who make soups or like to minimize their shopping trips to Trader Joe's.

$90 and you pick it up at my place in the Castro, SF. It's not heavy.

Still under 5 more years warranty against compressor failure. Have manual, warranty & receipt.


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Inside view of freezer with 7oz mac & cheese boxes for scale


Selling the catsuit. *sigh*

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Most unfortunate.

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From the 2003 work Xmas party. Of course someone gave me two copies.


Nice folks at Nirvana on Castro St

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When I first moved into this apartment I got a nice welcome from Brent-Dawg at Nirvana.


Another cool receipt doodle from Brent-Dawg at Nirvana

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I'd forgotten how damn cool our cards were at SoftDevices

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And that my old title was "Mission Commander".

Ah, the good ol' startup days...


Cool Halcyon sketch on the front of the awards book from 3 years ago

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Why yes, I am one of those stinking liberals

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(The joint membership is with my grandfather, who died at the end of 2001 but inspires me still)


gone now, but I always liked the business card for Friendly Spirits

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Can't knock that phone number either.


Mysterious to-do list from my former housemate, Chris P.

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disappointing 16th St restaurant

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walked by there for years, finally tried it this past year, underwhelmed


old shopping list found among other papers

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vintage probably ~2004-2005


Christmas Revels, 2004, 18th Century Scotland theme

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Dance-Along Nutcracker, 2004

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Good advice when you want to focus

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Working/playing hard today

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Amazing how much you can done when you just sit down and finally start doing it (and when you decide that a mobile phone just sent straight to Flickr is good enough photo quality instead of thinking you need to scan everything).


Good restaurant I went to a few years ago with family

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Pleasure-inducing map received on first visit to the mighty Powells Books

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Equlin?

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The logo of my friend Ron Pottol's old employer Appaloosa Interactive always reminded me of the Playboy character Femlin


Juan Muñoz sculptures

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from the December 2001 issue of Smithsonian. I'd really like to see these someday.


Almost filled up recycling bag #1 today

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old self portrait by my friend B.J. West

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Probably from 1992 since this is, I believe in the St. John St. apartment building we were living in in San Jose then.


Pictures from [a certain person] of a visit to the walrus pool at the zoo

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Happy walrus


Another friendly walrus comes to visit

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cuddly walruses

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VERY happy walrus!

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Lest you think that masturbation is some hominid-only sort of thing...


Title portion of an article by Chris Hudak

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Can't remember when this was from. First half of the 1990's I'd guess.


My favorite Heifer Project picture

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copyright Heifer/photo by Darcy Kiefel


The most intense illustration of the work Doctors Without Borders does

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The mailings with the bracelet and the hole card just shake you to realize how extreme the situation is. Children are starving to death. Still. Despite all our worldwide wealth, we still let children starve to death. And it's a slow, painful process for child and parent. And it's preventable.

Donate: www.doctorswithoutborders.org


The wonderful look of the first Lord Loves A Working Man demo album

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Which is a CD, not a record, of course.

Posted on March 17, 2007 at 12:00 PM in Discardia, Food and Drink, friends & family, holidays, mundania, music, politics & philosophy, San Francisco, sex, work, worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (0)

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