Musings @musicandmeaning.com

Tell me, how do I feel? Tell me now, how do I feel?
"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 'Radio, NPR, etc.' category


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 PrĂ©). 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.


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?


Saturday, 24 June 2006

Hi FanAppers

If you made it this far from a link on the new Fanatical Apathy — thanks. It’s been an interesting experience re-reinventing the site. Overall there were many more things to juggle compared to last year. Man, do I have some coding stories to tell!

Seriously though, for three weeks I’ve pretty much been living and breathing The New FA, so I hope you like it.

I’d write more, but since I stayed up for the site launch, it’ll have to wait until I recharge my batteries. Thanks for dropping by, and please save me a spot in the Lurkers’ Lounge.

P.S. I know the post title css does not look right in IE. I’m working on it.

Posted at 11:25 am | Filed under Radio, NPR, etc., WordPress | 5 replies »

Monday, 13 March 2006

The A Track

This is going to take some getting used to…Anne Litt‘s Weekend Becomes Eclectic music program on KCRW has a new title: The A Track. Apparently everything else will remain the same: same host, same eclectic music selections, same airtimes. I just heard the last hour of the show yesterday, and the reason for the new name has something to do with the program being (digitally?) distributed in a daily form, so the word “weekend” wouldn’t really make sense. I didn’t hear Saturday’s program, but the playlist for it still has the WBE title. I’ll have to listen to the streaming on-demand shows before they disappear later this week, and find out what exactly elicited the renaming.

During the hour I listened, Litt played two consecutive tracks from the same artist — David Gray‘s “My Oh My” from White Ladder and “Alibi” from Life in Slow Motion. That’s rather unusual, even on her program, so I enjoyed the double-header. Looking at the rest of the playlist for yesterday, I was very surprised to see Jean-Yves Thibaudet‘s name. He’s one of my favorite current classical pianists — he’s not afraid to branch out, though (I was happy to hear him play and see his name in the credits of the recent film Pride & Prejudice). I’m looking forward to hearing his “A track” later.


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.


Thursday, 1 September 2005

Chuck Taggart’s New Orleans

I just mentioned Mr. Taggart in my last post. He currently hosts Down Home, a New Orleans-focused music program every Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. Pacific time on KCSN 88.5 FM (public radio station at Cal State Northridge). I hope he won’t mind me quoting one his blog entries from earlier today:

I have to go into KCSN tonight and do a radio show that consists primarily of New Orleans music. It’s what I do every week, but for the last few days I wondered if I was going to be able to do it. I was particularly worried about having to something overly strenuous, such as actually talking on the air without breaking down.

But I think I really need to do this. I’ll have some New Orleans friends with me, and that’ll be a comfort. And it’ll be additionally comforting to know that some of my friends out there are listening too.

We’ll let Kermit do the talking, all about “what is New Orleans”; we’ll listen to Jack Fine and his Palmetto Bug Stompers; we’ll listen to Louis singing about knowing what it means to miss New Orleans. Let’s do it together.

As I write this, tonight’s show will start in one minute.

For those folks who aren’t in the L.A. area to tune in via the radio (or get a weak signal like I do at home), tune in to a live online audio stream. KCSN offers MP3, Windows Media and RealMedia streams in broadband and dial-up flavors.

Posted at 6:59 pm | Filed under Music, News commentary, Radio, NPR, etc. |  

Sunday, 7 August 2005

Free NPR/9:30 Club concerts

Currently, I’m tuned in to the free, live webcast of Lucinda Williams‘ concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, tonight. She hasn’t started performing yet, so you can still join in on the ‘cast and listen.

I had the pleasure of listening to the live stream of David Gray‘s show at the 9:30 Club last night. There was a pretty good interview with DG by All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen before the show. The concert is still available on the NPR site, so if you’re a David Gray fan and want to hear his new songs (his new album, Life in Slow Motion, will be released 13 Sept.), check out the show.

Posted at 6:58 pm | Filed under Music, Radio, NPR, etc. |  

Monday, 18 July 2005

Music to help keep me sane and healthy VIII

It’s about time for another edition! [Previously on MTHKMSAH…]

Richard Buckner is on tour again, so check him out at a U.S. city near you.

KCRW has been touting its new (non-music show) podcasts and on-demand music programs. I haven’t tried the podcasts yet (to be honest, I haven’t tried any podcast yet) , but the on-demand feature isn’t really that new. A number of the music programs have been available in the archives; what’s new is that all of the music programs are now available on the Web as streaming RealAudio files until their next live broadcast. Yes, RealAudio. It’s not exactly crystal-clear quality, but it’s not bad if you have a high bandwidth connection. If you happen to miss a show that isn’t archived, it’s definitely better than nothing — although, for some reason, only the Saturday show of Weekend Becomes Eclectic is available on demand. I guess if I have to miss a day of WBE and I can’t tape the show for whatever reason, I’ll try to adjust my schedule and miss it on a Saturday. ;)

Speaking of WBE, Anne Litt played from Laura Cantrell‘s new album a few times recently, much to my pleasant surprise — I don’t remember hearing Cantrell on the show before. I’m still waiting for the day I hear Allison Moorer on WBE.

Speaking of Laura Cantrell, last week I tuned in to her performing live on KCRW (her debut on the west coast, apparently). She had a show at McCabe’s, which, I can imagine, was great. I first learned about Cantrell in early 2001, when I heard Bob Edwards interview her for NPR’s Morning Edition (hmm, it doesn’t appear to be available on npr.org), and bought her CD Not the Tremblin’ Kind pretty soon after that. She has a charming, honest voice that cuts right to the lyrics she sings, and she’s not a bad songwriter, either.

Cantrell’s band for the KCRW broadcast last week included Mark Spencer, a multi-instrumentalist who’s well-known for backing up Jay Farrar. (You can read a previous post, where I provide links to free and legal Jay Farrar MP3s featuring Spencer’s great lap steel work.) And I just noticed on LauraCantrell.com that J. D. Foster produced her new album. Foster produced three of Richard Buckner’s (best) albums: Devotion + Doubt, Since, and The Hill.

Well, this is fantastic…Laura Cantrell has always had free MP3s on her site, and there are a few new ones I haven’t heard yet — including a song from her McCabe’s performance! I sort of had been saving her for a future edition of "Music to help me keep me sane and healthy," but it would be a shame to wait any longer. Visit her official downloads page and download away for some folk/country music with a truly classic sound. If you’re not sure what to try first, I recommend the new single, "14th Street," "Churches off the Interstate" (written by Cantrell), and/or "When the Roses Bloom Again," which was a song (i.e. not recording) removed from the Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Avenue album (turns out it’s not a Woody Guthrie lyric). I’m downloading "Letters" right now…


Thursday, 12 May 2005

Fanatic about Fanatical Apathy

One of my regular reads is Fanatical Apathy, the blog of Adam Felber from NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!.

Anyway, so he posted a message asking for help with upgrading his blog (which was on Movable Type 2.661) and defeating the comment spam waves. I figured he’d have a bunch of offers already, but there was only one comment on the post, so I e-mailed him and said I’d be happy to help. I’d just moved this, my own blog, from MT to WordPress. So I offered to do that or upgrade to MT 3.xx.

Eventually, he got an enormous outpouring of comments from volunteers for the ol’ upgrade. I didn’t really expect to get an e-mail from him. Even when I saw his name in my inbox, I figured his message was a "Thanks so much; I’ve got it covered" type of thing.

Almost two weeks later (has it really been that long?), I’m sitting here and looking at the new Fanatical Apathy, where Adam Felber has written a post thanking me, and visitors of FA have posted compliments to me. I’ve had a pretty quiet blog life for the past few years, so this is pretty surreal.

Let me go back a little bit and explain more about the blog: I figured that the transfer of power from MT to WordPress would be a simple process, but I ran into some unforeseen…how shall I say this…quirks. I won’t go into details right now. Let’s just say that for the past week and a half, I’ve worked, eaten, and dreamt about WordPress, SQL database backups, text search-and-replace, and MT exports. For the record, let me please urge anyone using MT with a Berkeley database: Just say no. Really. This is your brain. This is your brain on MT-and-Berkeley-DB. Any questions?

Seriously, do yourself a favor and please switch to SQL; it’s much easier to manage, especially if something happens to your MT installation. (And let me clarify…Adam’s site used SQL. But somewhere, sometime, MT had switched to Berkeley.)

In the post I linked to above, Adam mentioned the attack of the giant worms against felbers.net. I really am thankful that I had about 99.1% of his posts saved locally before the virus attack, and the consequent shutdown of MT. I cobbled the rest together, but the comments may not be complete.

To the FA commenters who left a nice note about the site and/or me — thanks very, very much. And of course, thanks to Adam for giving me the chance to work with his blog and for enduring my long-winded e-mails. I really do appreciate all the kind words and the feedback. The thing is, I enjoy doing this blog stuff. Some of the quirks I encountered were a bit challenging, but as I’ve mentioned a little earlier, overall it’s fun. I love learning about WordPress and plugins. I enjoy getting something to work and look good, and still have a site be easy for the reader/visitor to roam through. So it’s wonderful when someone notices and likes something I’ve done with a site. (Shameless plug: if you know anyone who wants to set up a site/blog or otherwise needs blog or Web help, I’m available for hire. :) )

I’m not quite done yet over there, though. Since we had to launch the site early, we still have to iron out a few more things. Since I’ve worked on the new FA, I’ve grown rather attached to it, and I can tell you right now — I’ll monitor everyone’s suggestions and try to improve the site, for as long as I can. As long as Mr. Felber lets me, of course.

If you’re not already reading it, visit Fanatical Apathy. And I’m not just saying that because I worked on the blog. Adam’s writing is full of insight, humor, and aplomb. Go visit and subscribe.


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.