Musings @musicandmeaning.com

Oh, the truth will form and fall apart again.
"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Archive for April, 2003


Tuesday, 22 April 2003

Musically inclined

On KCRW, Anne Litt subbed for Nic Harcourt on Morning Becomes Eclectic yesterday, but unfortunately I only heard the last, oh ten minutes. Guess I’ll have to catch it in the archives.

BTW Litt was away both days last last weekend (Cathy Tamkin and Kevin Lincoln filled in), but was back this past weekend. In the few minutes that I was able to listen two weeks ago, I tuned in right before Lincoln played a Kathleen Edwards tune — I’d never heard her on WBE before, so that was neat. Edwards was Richard Buckner‘s opening act for a long stretch of his last U.S. tour (he’s playing Europe right now), so I saw her perform solo when they stopped locally last December, and talked to her for a bit after the show. She was back in L.A. a few days ago but I didn’t get to see her this time around.

Other NPR shows: On the last Wha’dya Know, one of the audience quiz contestants turned out to be a well-travelled folky singer/songwriter called Lis Harvey, with whom I wasn’t familiar. She apparently was just a big fan of the show, and didn’t resort to any self-promotion on the air, which was refreshingly odd. When I visited the notmuch.com site, her name was linked to her site — that’s really the only reason why I even knew about her site. Haven’t listened to any of her music yet.

And although I’ve mentioned Says You pretty often here, I don’t think I’ve ever commented specifically about the music on that show. Simply put: fabulous. I love pretty much every single group that’s been on the show: the Dactyls (all the incarnations of the Dactyls — including the Neo Dactyls and the Mighty Dactyls), Tom Eaton & Pick 3 (sp?) and Plu Perfect & the Past Participles. They all have their own styles and repertoires and they’re all acoustic. Personally I miss Plu’s many homages to music from the Roaring Twenties, but I’ve noticed that theme recently now and again.

BTW, for all Says You fans (hi madbard), here’s an article about the show (and its Boston University alumni) that you may find of interest.

Yet another Gilmore Girls reference: I was watching a tape of season 3 episodes and noticed (for the first time) that in the dance marathon ep from last fall, one of the classic tunes that got played happened to be "These Foolish Things" — which is one of my favorites. Too bad it was an all-instrumental dance. It would’ve been nice if a singer had crooned along on some of the songs, e.g. "These Foolish Things." Why not be even more authentic to the swing dance band era?

Closer to home: I finally updated the "What’s in my CD player" list, after a five-month hiatus. There’s no review for the Peggy Lee/Benny Goodman album yet, but when I do add some notes I’ll post an update here.


Wednesday, 16 April 2003

Rory’s going to Yale

In the world of the Gilmores, that is.

Well, it makes sense. I’m guessing she will want to live in a dorm, and Paris will choose Yale as well. So many questions…I wonder how the whole Lorelai/Rory interactions will work out now. On the phone and on weekends? Will the grand-Gilmores still want their Friday dinners with Rory, now that she’ll be leaving Chilton? New Haven is on the other end of the state. What about Lane and her band? Goodbye, Dean and Jess. Perhaps also to Louise and Madeline…and Mr Medina. And goodbye, Chilton uniforms.

And since the show was set at Yale earlier this season, with Pomona College standing in for the actual Ivy Leaguer, I wonder if there will be any more location shoots at PC, if even for bumper/establishment shots. Although, I suppose they could do that with the real Yale. I imagine that whatever happens, it won’t include regular shooting at PC (I would be surprised, since PC is so choosy about giving permission to film). So, out of necessity or not, the producers/location managers will forget that Yale previously looked like Marston Quad, and start over in a completely different location — which will of course dismay all of the continuity-obsessed fans of the show. I’ll have to ask my Yalie friend Kitty for what artistic liberties the sets reveal.

So begins a new chapter of the Gilmore saga in a few months. And yes, I’d like to remain spoiler-free for the rest of the goodbye-filled episodes this season, thankyouverymuch.

If you want my comments on last night’s episode: it was all right. Had its moments. Plot-wise, it was definitely a transitional episode, though, and in some scenes was too obviously so.

But you know…I wouldn’t mind having a "Babette ate oatmeal" T-shirt. Even a "Rory’s going to Yale!" shirt would be nifty, although I would prefer one that said "Rory went to Pomona!" (which is true in the real world, even if it was for just a day). Too bad Kirk wasn’t selling those.

Posted at 1:23 am | Filed under Television |  

Monday, 14 April 2003

A friendly reminder

This time last year, my primary hard disk decided to fail. As in, not just your typical "crash," but it physically just wouldn’t initialize at all. I’d never had that sort of failure before, and I hadn’t archived my data in a long time, so I ended up losing everything that had been on that HD. What I miss most is the irreplaceable e-mails from friends and family, for their sentimental value. I mean, not the typical short messages like "Are we meeting at 7?" but the true letters. Correspondence that cheered me up immensely.

But losing my primary disk and having to rebuild wasn’t a thrill either. So, just remember to back up your data on something pretty reliable (I would not recommend Zip disks or other removeable disks of that ilk) and make more than one copy, for safekeeping at different locations. If you don’t archive that often (every day/week/month), then at least do it every time you modify or add an important project or document. It’s cheap insurance.

Posted at 11:43 pm | Filed under Musings & everything else, Tech/geek |  

Thursday, 10 April 2003

My favorite things

Here are just a few things that cheer me up, in no particular order. I plan to continue adding more to this list in future blogs and then compile them into a more complete document as time goes by.

  1. Sitting outside and looking at the night sky and its faraway inhabitants
  2. Playing guitar
  3. Jamming with other musicians
  4. A hug from a loved one
  5. The Pacific Ocean breeze sweeping o’er us
  6. A postcard from a friend
  7. Someone laughing at my jokes
  8. Weekend Becomes Eclectic on KCRW
  9. A really good episode of Gilmore Girls
  10. A really fun episode of Says You
  11. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Cream Soda
  12. Finding a long-lost friend
  13. Kindness
  14. Feeling safe

Quote for the time being:

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.

E. M. Forster, "The Tercentenary of the ‘Areopagitica’," Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)


Sunday, 6 April 2003

NBC’s David Bloom dies covering Iraq war

I read the above headline from the AP wire and my reaction was simply, "Oh, no."

[Image of David Bloom, with the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, reporting for NBC News] Bloom died of a pulmonary embolism that was not (directly) combat-related. According to the Yahoo/AP report, the close-quarter conditions of traveling (immobilized legs) may have been a factor in the clot.

I always liked David Bloom. When I first saw him on TV a few years back, I learned that he was a Pitzer College graduate, and thought the Claremont Colleges connection was pretty cool (even though he was a Pitzer Sagehen, he was still a fellow Sagehen). Last fall he even wore a Pitzer shirt on the air and talked a bit about college as a part of a special college weekend broadcast. Never met him, but he seemed like a genuinely nice guy who was very enthusiastic about his work as well. I hadn’t been watching much war coverage on TV, but I did see some of his reports early on — about a week or two ago. I’ll remember him best as both an NBC News reporter and anchor/substitute anchor for Weekend Today and Today. He was 39, and is survived by his wife and three young daughters.

Bloom is the second U.S. journalist to die in this Iraq war, following Michael Kelly from the Washington Post and the Atlantic Monthly.

[Read more about:
David Bloom’s life and career
Memories and thoughts from the Pitzer College (and Claremont Colleges) community, including notes from Bloom’s friends, former classmates and professors
Newsweek/MSNBC’s David Alter remembers Bloom
Tim Russert and Katie Couric remember Bloom (video)]

Image of David Bloom from nbcmv.com.

Posted at 3:26 pm | Filed under News commentary |  

Thursday, 3 April 2003

Another exclusive from NPR

I’m a couple of days behind posting this, but let it not be said that the folks at NPR News don’t know a good story when they find it…see this exclusive NPR feature, "Shellac, the Sound of the Future"

(BTW if you missed the previous years’ features, be sure to check out the one from 2001.)

Posted at 2:01 am | Filed under Radio, NPR, etc. |