Musings @musicandmeaning.com

Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup.
"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 the 'Musings & everything else' category


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Stay safe

Hi friends. Just wanted to say that I hope you’re doing okay.

I’m fine; it’s been way too long since I wrote here — sorry for the unintended lengthy hibernation. I’ll try to post again soon, but in the meantime, please take care and stay safe.

Posted at 1:24 am | Filed under Musings & everything else |  

Monday, 30 November 2009

Beethoven is listening

Recently I realized that I did not have any Beethoven string quartets on CD, or really, much of his chamber music. Last week, I consulted my music list to see if there was something I could start with. (Every time I hear something I like but don’t recognize it or have a recording of it, I add it to an ever-growing, never-ending list of music.) I saw an entry for a Beethoven “Adagio” from a chamber strings piece (no piano). It was something I’d heard on Last.fm but, as is the unfortunate case for many instances of classical music digital meta data, there was no performer listed nor a reference to the original larger work. There was an album associated with the piece, but it was incorrect (Complete Symphonies and Piano Concertos — not exactly where you’d find chamber music for strings only).

Many of the classical pieces I hear on Last.fm are from the Naxos label, so I started my investigation by looking through current Naxos releases of Beethoven string quartets and quintets, one by one. I slowly eliminated all of the string quartets, moved to the string quintets, and discovered that the recording I’d heard was actually the second movement from a string quintet arrangement of Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio in B-flat major, op. 11 (“Gassenhauer”), by the Metamorphosis Quintet. Yay! It was like finding and solving the jackpot — a jackpot of lovely music so I could listen to more of it.

The find made me curious about the original work. I like clarinet, and Beethoven, IIRC from my music courses in college, was one of the first composers to include the clarinet in non-liturgical settings. So I’d successfully identified the mystery “Adagio,” but now there was this bonus of learning about the Clarinet Trio in B-flat major, for piano, cello and of course, clarinet — something I wasn’t even aware existed but was happy to find. I ended up doing some searches for it and found a few good candidates to extend my music list (there’s even a recording with Barenboim and du Pré). Listened to some clips and, wow, another jackpot of beautiful music! I went to sleep a happy camper.

Sometime the next morning at work, I realized I needed some music and switched on the radio. Usually I don’t listen to live FM radio during the day, but Last.fm had been playing some recommendations multiple times, so a few days earlier, I had tuned in to the local classical radio station during the afternoons — the only FM classical station remaining in the L.A. area, KUSC. So anyway, I switched on the radio, and immediately I heard a piano and cello. “Hey, chamber music, nice,” I thought. Then I heard the clarinet. “Wow, this is cool. What a minute…could this possibly be…nah…” I finally went over to the KUSC site to see what the piece was.

“Ludwig van Beethoven: Clarinet Trio in Bb Op 11.”

Yes, really! I re-read it to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. (Here’s the playlist from that day. Check what host Alan Chapman played at 11:17 a.m.!)

Okay, so it wasn’t one of the recordings I’d added to my music list, and I’d turned on the radio a little too late and missed the “Adagio” movement (it would have been much weirder if I had turned on the radio during the second movement), but still! It was one of those wonderful, simpatico musical moments that happens every so often and never fails to amaze me each time. Thank you, Alan Chapman, Last.fm, musicians, Beethoven, and Musical God of the universe. Wherever he is, I’d like to think that Beethoven can hear, and he’s listening.


Related post: “Someone is listening”


Monday, 30 June 2008

Podcasts (mostly radio shows) to which I listeneth

I had Juice open, and realized that I don’t think I’ve ever talked about podcasts here.

I’m sure there are a gazillion of them out there, and if I browsed around enough, I’d probably find way more than I have time for. As it stands now, I subscribe to a bunch of podcasts but skip almost all of them. It’s basically like my text RSS feeds — I had scads of feeds before, but I stopped looking at my feed reader for almost an entire year. Then I subscribed to three blogs when I switched to Flock for my main browser at home. That worked out pretty well, but now for some reason the feed page on Flock is broken so now I can’t read the feeds anymore…

In any case, back to the topic. Here are the podcasts I hear most regularly (show URLs go to the show home pages rather than the podcast RSS feeds):

  • Radio Lab. It has the word “science” in the description, but don’t let it scare you away if you’re not a sciencey person. It is by far my favorite podcast, and the show that actually got me to download a podcast manager, just so I could automatically download Radio Lab. I had never heard of the WNYC show until I listened to earlier podcasts by way of recommendations on Ask MetaFilter.
  • MetaFilter Podcast. This is the podcast for the site MetaFilter and its related sites. It’s hosted by Matt Haughey, the founder of the MetaFilter Network, and Jessamyn West, the first moderator (primarily on Ask MetaFilter) aside from Matt. It’s probably of the most interest to MeFi and AskMeFi users. I regularly read AskMeFi and rarely check MeFi proper, so it’s nice to get the MeFi highlights from Matt and Jessamyn when they go over their favorite posts on the various MetaFilter sites.
  • This American Life. Okay, I admit it: I was never a regular listener of TAL until recently. Yes, I’d heard so much about it before, and how great it was. I’d heard some episodes here and there, but maybe it was because I never happened to hear something that I particularly liked at the time. Sure, there’s a certain consistent tone to the show, but the episodes, and the segments within them, can be fairly hit or miss depending on my temperament at the time. One week, I may not be able to appreciate a serious show that is depressing, because I just need some humor, and another week, I may think a humorous show is not what I’m looking for. Finally, I subscribed to the podcast feed and at some point, understood why it was such a public radio staple and fan favorite. And this way, if I know I won’t be able to appreciate a specific show theme one week, I can listen to it later.
  • Car Talk. A favorite NPR show that I’d listened to for a long time already. I used to listen to them online all the time via streaming audio, but once I started subscribing to podcasts with Juice, I subscribed to this one right away. A very consistent show that always brightens an hour, thanks to the great personalities and writing. (By far, my favorite segment is “Stump the Chumps” primarily because of its theme song, and the way Tom announces the title.)
  • Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Another NPR show I’d listened to years before podcasts were offered. I started listening in around 2001 or so, and at one point finished listening through all of the shows in the archives. I have plenty of favorite moments, but my all-time favorite is probably Carl Kasell singing “Fever” for an obituary question about Peggy Lee. These days I usually hear an episode anywhere from one day to four weeks after it airs.
  • Whole Wheat Radio Audio Magazine. Sometimes there are podcasts of live indie music performances at the Whole Wheat Radio’s Wheat Palace in Talkeetna, Alaska, but I also listen to the discussions and updates from the regulars at the small net radio station. I’m usually not able to listen to the concerts or discussions live over the air, so the podcasts really come in handy.

There are other podcasts that I sometimes download and listen to:

  • American Experience. Special podcasts meant to supplement the PBS series, but more often than not, I will only get to listen to these podcasts and not watch the TV episodes.
  • Live Concerts from NPR’s All Songs Considered. Excellent quality recordings of live shows. Definitely subscribe to this if you’re a music fan.
  • Fresh Air. Podcast version of the show. The only negative thing, and probably one of the reasons why I don’t download it more often, is that the feed doesn’t contain a more descriptive title of the podcast. Rarely it does, but at least in Juice, the episode names are usually “NPR: [date] Fresh Air” which makes it impossible to know what the episode is about, unless I actually go to the site to read more about it.

I’d subscribe to Whad’Ya Know, another show I’ve been listening to for years (I’ve actually listened to it far longer than any of the others here); however, only the first hour of the two-hour show is available on podcast, so I still listen to the full shows online via streaming audio.

As mentioned, I use Juice to download and manage my podcast subscriptions. Although it doesn’t offer as many features as I’d like, it keeps everything organized, and I much prefer it over having to use iTunes.


Saturday, 31 May 2008

‘The steering wheel has a cat on it’

About a month ago, I ended up on the Craigslist blog and found a reference to this catbus ad (or shall I say “ad”), which was featured in the Best of Craigslist. I rarely visit Craigslist and I had never been to the Craigslist blog before, so it was completely by chance that I managed to spot this particular page.

It helps if you’re familiar with the movie My Neighbor Totoro but even if you’re not, the ad has to be seen (and read) to be believed. I’ve wandered back over to it at various times over the past few weeks and the end still makes me laugh — the whole thing is so bizarre and silly. The sentence “The steering wheel has a cat on it” is probably the least unusual point compared to the rest of the statements made in the description.

What I want to know is, how did the catbus hold up in the New York snow and rain? ;)

Posted at 11:21 pm | Filed under Musings & everything else |  

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Stopping in to say hi

Hi folks,

How are things?  I know it’s been a while — hope you are all doing well.  Thanks to the dozen of you folks who are still subscribed to the blog feed (you know who you are). I’m still here and will be back with some new posts shortly.

Posted at 9:03 pm | Filed under Musings & everything else |  

Saturday, 31 March 2007

DP, LV and CC*

It’s hard to believe April is almost here. It’s been a busy three months. Aside from spending most of my time on the usual websites+work formula, I’ve been volunteering at Distributed Proofreaders. DP corrects errors and typesets and formats texts for the free electronic library Project Gutenberg.

DP was on my To Do list since the holidays; I signed up and, just as I figured, I really enjoy helping out there. It’s a great project for people with compulsive copyediting habits, and some of the works (I can’t say all) are quite interesting and worthwhile (or at least amusing) to read and an honor to proof. I’ve had a chance to read some poetry, some W. Somerset Maugham and some of the Aeneid, among many other examples.

Although OCR seems to have come a long way since I first used OmniPage ten years ago, it still has the usual trouble distinguishing 1 from l (that’s the number one and the lowercase letter L) and 0 and O (zero and uppercase letter O). I wish I’d had DP’s custom font back then — it’s very useful in deciphering similar characters. I also learned a fantastic term for a bad OCR result: it’s called a “scanno.” It sounds so much more fun than “typo.”

The DP website is very comprehensive and it takes a little bit of time to become familiar with the navigation, but after a few days it’s not that bad. The community is extremely active and from the looks of it, very friendly and forgiving towards DP newbies. I haven’t had to ask any questions in the forums, though, because the online help resources have answered them all. It is quite refreshing to see such excellent documentation (a very good sign) on a project website, let alone a volunteer-driven project website. I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this, but DP’s proofing summary sheet [PDF] is truly a work of art and utility that covers most major DP issues, and should be a model for style references.

Since I’m still pretty much a newbie, I’m currently restricted to the first proofing stage, which has a pretty fast workflow (at least, the English books do — I don’t monitor the books in other languages). On average I can work on a few pages (usually fewer than 10) of a particular book before it moves on to the next proofing stage. If it’s a particularly difficult book (e.g. it has a lot of scannos, uses older dialect or requires special instructions to be carried out), then it takes a little longer to move on and I’ll get to work on it more. DP is pretty good about publicizing its goals for the day/month and seems to exceed every single goal — or so I’ve noticed since I started paying attention to such things. The stats aren’t surprising; DP has been around for five years and just celebrated completing its 10,000th unique title, which gives an idea of the hefty volunteer power behind the site.

Another interesting volunteer-powered literary site, LibriVox, is relatively young at 1+ years old, but it seems to be doing pretty well. The folks at LibriVox read and record public domain books to digital audio and provide the audiobooks/individual chapters or poems for free download. They encourage anyone to read, but also are in need of volunteers to help with other aspects of the project. At some point, I hope to join the effort. I’ve enjoyed a bunch of the audio selections so far; you can subscribe to the podcast to stay updated on new releases. They’re also available at Internet Archive.

One of the other items on my To Do list was to play more chess. I like chess — I learned the basic rules during my elementary school days, but didn’t play much over the years. I only play recreationally (translation: I have no idea what I’m doing). I’ve won vs. chess computers on their “beginner/intermediate” (a.k.a. “just beat me now”) modes a few times, but I have yet to beat a computer at a moderate level.

At the beginning of the year, I started playing correspondence chess. For the most part, it works well because I only have to move once every three to seven days, so it doesn’t take up nearly as much time as a typical over-the-board game would (in one sitting). On the other hand, I’ve discovered that the longer I’m away from a game, the harder it is to remember all of the possible moves/counter-moves I’d considered. Even with the aid of a notebook, there does seem to be a certain “chess momentum” that’s easy to interrupt. In any case, the point is to have fun, but I’m planning to look through game openings and work on improving my middlegame.

While researching correspondence chess sites, I found Wulegbr’s reviews and comparison chart helpful in narrowing them down. There’s also a review page for live, OTB-style chess sites.

*In this case, CC stands for correspondence chess, not Carcassonne, of which I am also a fan.


Sunday, 5 November 2006

Not-so-random tidbits

I know it’s been a while since I wrote something here that’s not about WordPress, so here are a few tidbits — some more random than others — covering the past few months.

Nov(el) in Nov(ember). One thing or another has kept me from writing more often. I’ve been busy with projects; also I recently sustained a finger sprain, but it’s healing and I’m thankful that it’s not as painful now. If you’ve visited this site in the past few days, you may have noticed the image in the sidebar; I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month a.k.a. NaNoWriMo, where individual writers aim to draft a novel, written from the first of November until the end of the 30th. Although I’ve known about the “event” for a while, this is my first year as a participant. And although the official goal to “win” is 50,000 words, I’ll be happy if I reach 35,000. I’m looking at this as a good opportunity (i.e. excuse) to sit down and just write as much as I can, and then use it as a basis to extend and revise.

I still think of it as WBE. For the first time in what seems like a very long time, I got to hear most of Weekend Becomes Eclectic The A Track live today (Anne Litt even played from Richard Buckner‘s new album again). A belated congrats to Anne Litt and Howard Franklin on the birth of their first child this summer. (I was going to mention it in the last post along with the “first WordPress baby” news, but decided to save it until now.) If you tuned in during in the summer, you know that Tricia Halloran filled in during Litt’s maternity leave. If you tuned in recently, you know that The A Track has been cut down from three to two hours (3 p.m. to 5 p.m. PT, still on Saturdays and Sundays), while New Ground and Cafe L.A. have been expanded to three hours (IIRC, Cafe L.A. used to be a three-hour show years ago). I wasn’t around to hear the on-air announcements of the slot change, so I’m not sure what (if any) reasons were given, but I’m going to guess it had something to do with her new duties as programming director for KCRWmusic.com (I searched for press releases but there are absolutely none listed now). In any case, I was very disappointed by the news of two fewer hours of her show on the weekends, but I’ll definitely take four hours as opposed to zero. Much success to Litt in her new endeavors.

New and improved, sort of. As for KCRW’s new site, I can’t say I see a whole lot of front-end design improvements. I certainly prefer the new menus, which make it easier to navigate compared to the older site. Finding the right page was sometimes a little difficult and it wasn’t until I really familiarized myself with the (older) site that I figured out where to go for certain things. However, the new color scheme is a bit confusing at first, especially the inconsistent link colors (maybe it’s just my eyes, but the green footer link color on the purpley background is very unexpected after reading elsewhere on the site, and has a rather negative contrast effect that forces my eyes to look away). The site is still in the proverbial construction stage, but it’s a little frustrating to look for information such as the latest press releases and not find anything. Anyway, I’ve always had qualms about KCRW’s site, whatever the version, over the years. A long time ago, I participated in a survey to provide feedback and opinions about the site (the version that was just replaced) and I had a lot to say. Obviously, I still have a lot to say (for another example, why are the playlists no longer searchable?), but since the new site is not quite “finished” yet, I’ll wait and see what happens.

Not so spudly. Television-wise, I haven’t seen a lot of new shows, but I did catch the first three or four episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Perhaps my standards for Aaron Sorkin are just too high, but I wasn’t that impressed. His other shows were just so good right out of the gate (excluding the laugh track on early Sports Night); this one seems to be weighed down by too much of a self-conscious, editorializing, in-joke atmosphere in dialogue and story, and so far, a lack of focus with all of the characters it has to handle. It may be a case of a slow start and bad marketing; the promos always bill the show as a sitcom by featuring one-liners and banter, and it is so not a comedy in the traditional TV sense (remind you of ABC’s trouble marketing the aforementioned Sports Night?). Being that it’s Sorkin and Schlamme, though, and because I like Sarah Paulson‘s character, I will probably watch again to see if the show warms up and if the writers actually give Brad Whitford something to do besides stand around wearing reading glasses.

As far as the rest of TV, there aren’t any shows that have really hooked me. I saw NBC’s other behind-the-scenes-of-a-comedy, 30 Rock (which really is a comedy show); it looked promising, but I haven’t made it a point to watch. I didn’t really get into the first couple of Heroes, I stopped watching Gilmore Girls sometime last season (or was it the one before that), there’s no more West Wing, I never really got into Lost or Veronica Mars after their first years, and I stopped watching Law & Order sometime after the last-last ADA change. I don’t really enjoy any of the other cop/procedural shows: none of the other Law & Order brands or any of the CSI incarnations (I used to watch CSI original, but that was a long time ago), and sometimes I’ve seen Without a Trace or Cold Case, but very rarely. Is there some show that I’m missing but shouldn’t be? Should I give Grey’s Anatomy another try? I’ve seen maybe two or three episodes of that, but didn’t get invested. And before someone suggests Battlestar Galactica: I don’t have cable. I watch cable shows once a lot of their seasons are out on DVD.

Now, Voyager. Instead of current shows, I’ve been watching favorite series of years past: recently I watched/rewatched a bunch of old Star Trek: Voyager episodes. Voyager is the second of Star Trek’s stepchild series (i.e. not created by Gene Roddenberry); it was less sci-fi/Trek than the uniforms made you believe, and had its share of forgettable and/or recycled writing, lack of character development (Tuvok and Chakotay really got short shrift), and way too many time travel resets (count me as one of the many people disappointed by the direction of the final season and the series finale. Grrr, Berman and Braga). However, (surprisingly?) I still find myself rather fond of the show overall. I suppose it’s because I don’t think of it as Roddenberry Trek, but as a spin-off that happens to use Trek as a vehicle. My favorite character is the Doctor, who, of all the characters, had the best writing to support him over the course of the series. And I may be in the minority, but I think Seven, Naomi Wildman and Icheb brought an interesting sensibility to the show (although I could have done without “Collective,” and the writers featured Seven too often when they didn’t know how to write for the other characters). With that in mind, it won’t be a surprise to learn that I’m prone to enjoy Voyager‘s better character-driven stories, whether they are thoughtful, fun, or amusing (or unintentionally amusing). Give me those over the Q episodes or the pointless Borg fights, any day.

And what can I say, I love Jerry Goldsmith‘s theme for Voyager. I remember when I first saw the series premiere back in 1995 (hard to believe it was over a decade ago!), I felt lukewarm toward the actual episode but was captivated and moved by the theme music. The magic lies in the wonderful arrangement and strong performances — it’s engaging all the way through. I particularly enjoy hearing the splendid trumpet solos, the timpani, and the lovely accompaniment to the melody, including the the lower strings in the B theme. I’ve heard the music I-don’t-know-how-many times, and I have not tired of it yet. Sometimes I fast-forward through the opening title sequence, but more often than not, I listen to, if not watch, the whole thing; and I always listen to the version of the theme over the end credits. (I’m not sure what orchestra Goldsmith conducted for the sync recordings; I’ll have to pick up the appropriate CD and find out, because the performances are really quite good, especially the brass. I recently heard a rendition by a different orchestra; the tempo was slower and most dishearteningly, there were no cymbals! Completely unacceptable. There’s also an “extended” version of the theme on one of the soundtrack CDs; unfortunately, I think the additional measures interrupt rather than enhance the original theme.)

Well, this update should tide you over until the next one, which may be after NaNoWriMo is over. Until then, stay well. If you’re in the U.S., don’t forget to vote on Tuesday. I mailed in my ballot early, and I’m hoping for big changes from the midterms; on another note, I’m also looking forward to the cease of campaign calls. Don’t people know that calling about some candidate or measure during dinner hours doesn’t make a good impression?


Tuesday, 18 July 2006

Unsolicited definition of ‘unsolicited’

I may have to start using another word instead of “unsolicited.”

Recently, someone decided to call and tell me about “special” subscription rates for a well-known newspaper with a high readership, and wouldn’t I like to sign up? My number is in the so-called National Do Not Call Registry and I can typically spot telemarketers by looking at the caller ID, but this one got through.

“No, thanks. I’m sorry, but I don’t accept unsolicited calls,” I said, which is my default reply to a telemarketer. I was about to ask him to stop calling me when he interrupted.

“This isn’t an unsolicited call,” I heard him say matter-of-factly, and he relaunched into reading his spiel.

I certainly had not asked him to call me. I considered pointing out what “unsolicited” actually meant, but during his next pause I said, “I’m sorry, I’m not interested. Please put this number on your Do Not Call list,” and then hung up.

Now, take what happened this past weekend. Someone decided to offer a free estimate — he didn’t even ask if I’d be interested in one. His sales pitch was more along the lines of: “We’ll look at your place and give you a free estimate for our cleaning service. When can we come by?”

I said that I wasn’t interested and that I didn’t accept unsolicited offers.

“Excuse me?!” he said, raising his voice. He was clearly surprised, and from the tone of his voice, he even sounded offended. “I’m not soliciting anything!” he said.

Irony aside, that’s clearly not what I said (and we’ll ponder the definition of “solicit” another time), but he sounded genuinely caught off-guard by what I had said. I tried to explain that he was offering something I didn’t ask for. He didn’t seem to get it. Perhaps it was then that he realized that he still had my attention, though, because he went right back into his pitch. I calmly repeated that I wasn’t interested, and ended the conversation.

After this latest incident, I looked up “unsolicited” to confirm what it meant, because those guys obviously did not define the word the same way I did. Here’s its definition according to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (via Dictionary.com):

unsolicited
adj.
Not looked for or requested; unsought: an unsolicited manuscript; unsolicited opinions.

Okay, so I know I used the word correctly. But now I’m thinking about substitutes, in case more people don’t think of “unsolicited” in the way it’s defined above. Way back, my seventh-grade science teacher once described how he handled telemarketers politely but firmly. He asked them, “Did I ask you to call me?” — then he’d wait for the “no” and said, “Please don’t call me again,” and hung up. That’s one way to do it. I’m also considering saying, “Sorry, but I don’t accept phone spam.” But in that case, I wouldn’t be surprised if the caller said, “Excuse me?! I’m not phone-spamming you!”

Posted at 9:07 pm | Filed under Musings & everything else |  

Saturday, 24 December 2005

Felix dies nativitatis

Happy Christmas and happy Hanukkah.

I’m enjoying Anne Litt‘s (live) Weekend Becomes Eclectic on this Christmas Eve — there are about 10 minutes to go. I haven’t been able to listen to the show in weeks, and so it’s a bonus treat that it’s live today. I tuned in at 3 o’clock and so far it’s been — as always — rewarding (btw, the playlist appears to be missing Debussy’s "Clair de lune").

As I’ve said before, her choices around this time of the year are especially engaging, since she chooses songs that don’t usually get played that much throughout the rest of the year (including, today, tunes by Chet Baker, the Byrds, Gram Parsons, the Kinks, Dusty Springfield, Bob Dylan, Julie London, and R.E.M.). One set that I found particularly interesting:

  • Bob Marley – "High Tide or Low Tide"
  • Beck – "Lonesome Tears"
  • Billie Holiday – "Strange Fruit"
  • Emmylou Harris – "One of these Days"
  • U2 – "Walk On"

Simply put, that set has Litt’s name all over it…not because she’s ever played it before (that I know of), but because longtime WBE listeners will recognize her brand of taste. I’ve never heard that set but it was so familiar and welcome, yet unfamiliar and intriguing at the same time.

I hope there is good music where you are.


Friday, 16 December 2005

Oh, that we could always see such spirit through the year

As I was telling a few people earlier: it is really amazing how it’s the middle of December. And, to answer a few folks who have asked: yes, I’m still here and well. I’m simply aghast by how quickly the year’s gone. They say it goes faster every year, but if it’s this fast already…

That said, I’ve been thinking of some major changes to the site. I’ve had the urge sometimes to start over completely — as in, wipe the slate clean, as it were. I’d keep some posts from the past and transition some of the static portions of the site into WordPress pages. This has nothing to do with the so-called "Web 2.0" buzzword that’s been flying around lately. Simply put, I’ve often wanted to simplify the navigation and have wondered if having pages of my favorite music artists and movies, etc., is really something I want to showcase here. It’s not as if I dislike talking about "my favorite things," but I feel a need for an approach that’s different from the current presentation.

In any case, I’ll try to post more often again and not leave the dozen or so of you RSS subscribers (and unknown number of bookmark visitors) wondering where I’ve gone. (I can account for about five subscribers who are friends, but who are the rest of you? KCRW nuts? Musicians? Buckner fans? WordPressers? I’m curious who my readership is. I’m absolutely okay with lurkdom, but if you could send me a short note or leave a comment, that would be very lovely. You don’t even have to tell me your name if you don’t want to — I’m basically interested in what made you decide to subscribe.)

Speaking of subscribers, I want to thank the LiveJournal blogger who added this blog to a syndication account on LiveJournal at the end of October. I actually found out about it while looking through my logs recently. (Do we know each other personally? Anyway, if you want, send me a note and I’ll be happy to thank you again here with a link.)

Take care, folks, and happy holidays!

(Note: the date should be 15-Dec-2005, 11:25 p.m., but I’ll leave it so the feed links don’t result in 404)

Posted at 12:25 am | Filed under Musings & everything else, Tech/geek |  

Saturday, 30 April 2005

Summer surprised us

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is already the 1st of May. April is like sweeps month when you’re on the semester system. A few updates:

I haven’t forgotten about the posts I’ve mentioned writing, re: WordPress, and even that episode from Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! from a few weeks ago. They’re in the queue.

Went to the L.A. Times Festival of Books on Sunday (the site’s already advertising for next year); made it to four panels. I’ll try and write more about that soon.

I haven’t watched any television programs in a while…same goes for movies. I did switch the set on for a Dodgers game last month. That’s another thing that happened since I last wrote: baseball season is here. And the Dodgers run out ahead, 12-2 — their best start since 1955 — but in the next seven games, they’re 1-6. Welcome to the Show.

I’m listening to Anne Litt and Weekend Becomes Eclectic as I write this. I haven’t been able to properly tune in to the show for a number of weeks now, for one reason or another. I’ve had to miss it or listen to a small portion for a while now — I did get to catch some of the repeat broadcasts, which air from 7 to 10 a.m. on KCRWmusic.com, KCRW’s all-music MP3 streaming music station. Last Saturday, I finally got to hear most of the show live and felt at home right away: there was no lack of the magical WBE quality (that keeps causing me to marvel over the selection of songs). Among the playlist then: Chet Baker, Keren Ann, Mogwai, Laura Cantrell (the first time I’ve heard her on the show), new material from Aimee Mann, Willie Nelson, and the Jayhawks (first time I’ve heard them on the show, I think). Last last weekend, I was able to listen for a bit, and heard Richard Buckner’s "A Chance Counsel" during the set!

The last set that Litt just played (today): Spoon, Bob Marley, Keren Ann, Patti Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Sinatra, and Anne McCue. Excellent.