...the power of the Theatre Brook.
by suggesting we listen to Gang Starr's Above the Clouds.
Twist my arm why don't ya.
One of my friends is working on a video project that he's uploading to Youtube.
I spent entirely too much time on it today, but I finally got it so we can stream music to two different Airport Expresses. I've been wanting to liberate the living room speakers from their wired oppression for some time and Misa bought another airport the other day. Like most Apple products the setup was quick and easy, but the signal to the bedroom speakers kept dropping out when trying to stream to the living room ones simultaneously. I fixed the problem by doing a manual configuration and setting it up as a WDS network to support internet in the bedroom (damn cement buildings). Then, based on some online recommendations, I changed the multicast rates (the default is 2Mbps) to 11 - there's a Spinal Tap reference in there somewhere - on all of the Airports and it seems to have fixed the problem. For good measure I also made sure that interference robustness is being used.
We heard this in the gym the other day. I'm not sure how I feel about having enjoyed it.
We had this friend, Basil, who used to often say about one Benny Mardones song always included on his mood music tapes: 'I defy any woman not be touched by this song.' We always stipulated, though hearing it again through that link really calls my judgement into question...
Anyway, for me the song that has remained at the pinnacle of my poignancy hierarchy has been The Ballad of the Sad Young Men. The lyrics pierce through me every time.
Here's one of the Shirley Bassey versions.
A group I had never heard of called Then There Were Two's version.
WERS - Emerson College Radio out of Boston has all sorts of feeds.
Looks like 88.9@Night (formerly Flavor of the City), has been pushed to 10pm (from 8), but it's (as far as I know) still the best hip-hop in Boston. Honorable mention to WHRB (Harvard) at least back in the day when my boy Dangerous Drew was spinning.
I've talked about the now-defunct Trinity Roots many times, but now from Todd some more great music from Middle Earth.
Over the years I've had a number of bands' first albums that I considered 'the best freshman outing ever'. I'm listening to one of them now.
Do you have an all-time favorite first album by some band? Please list it (or them) in the comments.
Mine have been (not necessarily in chronological order).
Van Halen - Van Halen
Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley - Robert Palmer
Dire Straits - Dire Straits
The Chronic - Dr. Dre
Talisman - Theatre Brook
Home - Spearhead
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
August and Everything After - Counting Crows
First Take - Roberta Flack
Princesses Nubiennes - Les Nubians
True - Trinity Roots
I've mentioned them before, but Trinity Roots is the first band to speak to me as powerfully as BMW. I know that artists (hopefully) evolve, but how could they have broken up? Anyway, I rarely do any looking for videos on the net and rely on my friends to send stuff my way. It seems my trust has not been misplaced.
Home, Land, and Sea <live>
For a long time now I've had a bookmarks folder where I would dump everything with which I didn't have the time or energy to deal. Sort of a dysfunctional browser tickler file. I found something a little bit ago that I wanted to dump in there and thought that it might be a good idea to put my 'other' folder in my bookmark bar (rather than hidden away behind the scenes) for easy packratting of new stuff. Unfortunately in the middle of a drag I was prompted about a cookie and inadvertently dropped the folder onto the current blank tab. Well, about 40 <deny> clicks later I have all manner of sites up that've been gathering e-dust in the darkest reachest of my Camino. Master procrastinator that I am I decided to try to cull their numbers and got lost in a morass of things that I don't remember.
Lo and behold I come across a site called Spinshell.tv and there on the front page is a video that has Traci's face on it. Turns out that these folks did a nice interview with the proprietress of The Pink Cow and so now any of you who haven't been there before can get a sense of it and her.
Got to hang out with some old friends last Saturday. Alan is in town from Oxford en route to some fieldwork in Australia via Wellington. Nate is also back here for the next couple of years doing his dissertation field work.
While we were hanging out and preparing some nabe, Kevin played us some music (YouTube link) from the artist that he represents. If'n I can get it to work (やっぱり駄目だった）I'll try to include a sample of his music in this post either now or in an update.
Posted in extreme haste...
Chris, Alan, Kevin, Nate
Turns out that Taiji, lead singer of the best band nobody heard of (at least that hasn't disbanded) has put together a project with some of the best pop and r&b vocalists around. It's enough for me that he has included Sakura, who I love. The CD isn't out yet, but remember that you heard it here first.
So within two weeks I saw references on two separate NBC shows (Scrubs and Studio 60) to Corinne Bailey Rae, who I've never heard of. Cursory searching yielded no obvious link between NBC and EMI (Bailey Rae's label). Anyone know anything about this? Am I being paranoid?
On Sunday, we got up pretty early and then tooled around the city. We ended up having a damn good meal at a mediterranean place in SoHo and just kinda meandered around looking for places to buy souvenirs. Around 3 or so I took the Teradas to the theater where they went to see the Lion King. They seemed to really enjoy it, and it gave us some time to just kick back and to find a decent place to watch some jazz. We decided on Smoke. At the corner of Broadway and 106th, it was a nice change from the glitzy, high-priced places in the theater district. It was everything you could ask for in a jazz club. It was dark, with just-this-side-of-garish decor and only seats about 30 people. We had some good food, lots to drink, and got to see two sets before we headed home.
Monday we all went out to breakfast, and then went down to the southern end of Manhattan to take some statue pf liberty pics. We then went to Ground Zero. After we said goodbye to Todd and Amy, we headed out for the Empire State Building. A confluence of mistakes kept us from entering, and as consolation we had dinner in an Irish pub in the neighborhood.
Tuesday the Teradas met up with their friend Mizuno-san again, and so Misa and I flew solo. We went back to Tent and Trails and I bought a coat, a patch for my camelbak, and some cool cool dishware. After meeting back up with the Teradas we just stayed home, ate up the last of our food and had an impromptu bday celebration (for me).
Wednesday (yesterday) we flew from NY to San Fran. The flight was pretty empty, and I slept more than half of the way, so it was one of my better flights. Our hotel is very close to one of the stops on BART and so we just hopped on the train at the airport and were checking in 20 minutes later. We chilled for a little bit and then headed out for dinner.
Misa's parents used to live in SF, so they gave us a bunch of suggestions of places to go and one of them was Scoma's. It is very touristy (ie - filled with tourists), but the food was out of sight. I am chagrined as a New Englander to say that they may have the best clam chowder I've ever had. Of course, the portions -- like in most restaurants -- are off the scale as compared to what we're used to, so we split two entrees between the 4 of us. After dinner the combination of jet lag and traveling had gotten the better of us and we all crashed out around 9 ish.
This morning we got a late-ish start and headed back out for the wharf. We got some MUNI passes and then got on one of the cable cars. We took one of the Blue and Gold bay tours. I was pretty skeptical about this, as I'm generally not one for tours, but it ended up being pretty cool. Of course the audio that plays on the boat is pretty damn cheesy, but the weather was fine and we got to get pretty close to both the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz. On the way home we walked up the crazy part of Lombard Street.
Tonight we met our friends Ashish and Momo-chan for dinner. Actually Ashish's mom is visiting from India, and they also brought along his cousin's son who just got his MA from Stanford. Stellar Chinese food at Empress of China.
...and we're caught up.
Tomorrow is our last full day.
Been cruising around today since my morning class. First a stop at Book First in Shibuya to look (to no avail) for some technical books on sake making for my boy Todd. Couldn't find anything that has more information than the ones that he already has, though. Ended up picking up some other things he should find of interest.
And, of course, picked up a thing or two for myself. Next I headed to the Loft to get some Dr. Bronner's soap -- gotta remember to transfer that stuff to my check-in bag when I get to Narita -- one bottle for me and another one (unscented) to use to clean my workout clothes ala Nate.
After a failed attempt to locate the Apple Store in Shibuya, I walked to Harajuku to look for a tenugui store that I went to a few years back. No joy there either, as my memory isn't what it used to be. Oh well. After some aimless wandering near Aoyama 1-chome, and looking around the cemetery after finding it by accident, I went to the Apple Store in Ginza. I did some emailing and other online stuff there. I am starting to get a handle on how the neighborhoods of eastern Tokyo flow into each other. I'm still a novice, so I decided to take advantage of my vacation mindset and just meander around. I certainly could have picked a better day as it is like Africa hot today, but gotta go with the mood.
Just paid my rent, which I had totally forgotten about until yesterday, and now I'm sitting in The Hub, a chain of British-style pubs, having what passes for fish and chips and trying to figure out what I can do between now and my 6:00 class. I'm thinking about walking to Shinbashi (I'm about halfway there from Ginza already), and seeing if there isn't a store that I can buy some omiyage in.
BTW, I'm listening to "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. It is playing on the jukebox, and I hadn't realized until just now that the song/group had changed since the last one. Having been in a moreorless musical vacuum for the last 5+ years, I have no idea what is passing for pop music these days. Whenever I am somewhere where I can get a peak at what is out these days, I am usually struck by how similar it sounds to stuff I have heard before. I guess I shouldn't expect anything different...
On the rare occasion that I feel the need to listen to something from the last 8 years or so, I listen to one of the online radio stations through ITunes. I haven't had a whole lot of success with this method, but I probably only try it once every 6 months. A little offtrack but...our apartment in New York is supposed to come equipped with both a CD and DVD player, so I looked at cables in the Apple Store so I can attach my IPod. They wanted about $25 for some (seemingly) high-end connectors from Belkin. As if.
OK, it's 3:00 now and I gotta get moving before lethargy takes complete hold of me. Probably post more later as I'm planning to stay up most of the night to make it easier to sleep on the plane tomorrow.
Spearhead cd review.
...then you see me!
Had a surreal Japan moment the other day. I'm working out at the Komazawa Park public gym, surrounded, as you would suspect, by Japanese people. All of a sudden Peter Cetera's Glory of Love, came on the sound system.
Please forgive the expletive infixation, but it perfectly sums up the way I was feeling.
UPDATE: Bill Simmons' take on the movies.