A Blog of Very Little Brain

'What does Crustimoney Proseedcake mean?' said Pooh. 'For I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words Bother me.'

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

I have the wrong job

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Which might just bee too obvious when seeing that writer Iain M. Banks just told his publisher to stuff it for the next christmas since he was too busy playing Civilization rather than writing.

Of course, I could be founding a new company, called “Go Ogle” and then explain to the search giant what the hell was I thinking.

Then again, I could be working for Apple, running a very diligent, unbiased and profound investigation on my employer’s own |Chinese sweatshops finding them not to be sweaty nor shops. I’m a good liar, I can pull it off.

Or I could be a web-journalist, writing “beware the return of the bubble” articles, which is stating matters after the fact, as the bubble has re-manifested already in the form of “Web 2.0”, and issuing yet another of those no-warnings. I mean “don’t invest in companies that have nothing but hype to sell”? That’s like saying “don’t jump off a cliff”, or “install security updates“. It’s almost a no-brainer.

On the other hand, working for the Rolling Stones seems to be somewhat less lucrative these days.

And, in closing, this.

Written by Erez

Monday, August 21, 2006 at 4:49

Chapter 24: Of stars and rocks – a memory of accident, or accidental memory? – viewing as vouyerism – a pirated part – the author’s continous decent into insanity

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I’ve been watching a lot of RockStar: Supernova and I just had a very odd… moment.
You see, I’ve watched an elimination episode from week 2 on TV, and therefore had to get past episodes downloaded.
So it took me another week or so before I caught up with the series. I’ve just watched the latest reality episode, and they commented about something I thought I saw on last week’s performance.
Watching that episode, I was under the impression that the singer, Jill, hit Supernova’s guitarist, Gilby Clarke with the mickrophone stand. Accidently, of course, she dropped it or thrown it and it hit him.
They were watching that and commenting on the way you need to know where everyone on the stage is.
The reason why I thought it was odd, was because I was looking for that discussion about people on stage for two weeks now. That’s also the reason why I noticed that mickrophone hit. I was looking for it.

I’ll explain it a bit. As I was going over the three weeks’ worth of episodes (three episodes a week), I had a memory of that elimination episode I watched on TV. That memory was of one of the Supernova group, I think I was under the impression that it was Clark, but it could’ve been Jason Newsted, saying to someone of the contestents something about not hitting people.
I recalled that it was something to do with a stage move that didn’t came right, probably a kick that hit someone (from the audience, perhaps?).
So when the discussion arrived, it wasn’t deja vu, it was “is this from THIS WEEK’S EPISODE?” how the hell do I remember something that was broadcasted TODAY?
True, I could’ve imagined that I watched that incident. A false positive. But it doesn’t change the fact that I actually looked for the performers to hit someone from the band or the audience with their stage act.
A lot of the memory wasn’t a clear-cut “evidence” of whatever happened here. I would’ve probably dismissed it myself, if I haven’t been experiencing it. I mean, I remembered that one contestant performed the same song twice, which was true. The other two songs were previously performed by others in the show, and that made me a bit dazzled about whether I remembered the right songs.
And there was me looking for a minor stage accident. One those things that “just happened”. No bones broken or anything, just someone gets kicked or something. And then one of Supernova commenting about it.
two weeks after I stopped looking (seeing that elimination episode the second time) I found the scene I was looking for. Happening three weeks after I watched that elimination episode the first time. The only episode I had memory of, being the only one I watched up until that point.
Three fucking weeks.

I’m going to sleep over this for a while.

Written by Erez

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 at 23:51

Posted in Music, Television

Watching RockStar: Supernova

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Now I know the true meaning of painful performance. Some people can’t, and shouldn’t legally be allowed on stage.

Written by Erez

Monday, July 24, 2006 at 16:43

Posted in Music, Television

Wouldn’t you miss me at all?

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And this was really becoming a great day.

Syd Barrett died.
Barrett, Pink Floyd’s founder and creative force until his retirement in 68, and later a unique, if not always stable, musically and mentally, creator, left the music world at about 1970, and vanished from the public eye.
20 years afterwards, rumours of his whereabout began to surface, he was found to be living in Camebridge, England, with his mother, and later, after her death, alone.
He released two Albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, in 1970. Later, a b-sides and rarities compilation, Opel, was also released.
His music and lyrics is anything but conformist. He had a whirlwind in his psyche, and managed to convey it in his songs. Sometimes those resulted in a rollercoaster of sound imagery and textual harmonies, other times, it was just odd-ish.

He was one of Rock’n’Roll’s last heroes.

“For all the time spent in that room
The doll’s house, darkness, old perfume
And fairy stories held me high on
Clouds of sunlight floating by.”

A sad tip of the hat to Warren Ellis for bringing this up to my attention. Best site I know about Syd Barrett is Dolly Rocker, with this article being probably the best source of info about Barrett.

Written by Erez

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 at 20:12

Posted in Music

Do P.K. Dick fans dream of electric books?

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Been sitting on those links for a while now, curtsey of the Double Boing regarding Philip K. Dick, who is also one of my favourite authors, apart from being an excellent writer.

For starters, we have the latest episode of Benjamen Walker’s Theory Of Everything radio show, where he discusses Philip K. Dick’s works with Jonathan Lethem and Josh Glenn .

Following that, this Philip K. Dick fansite offers a scanning of a comic magazine “Weirdo” which on its 18th issue offered a story called The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick. It’s based on the events described by Dick in Valis, regarding some sort of religious, almost messianic experience he underwent during 1974, following which he wrote what later become his Valis trilogy. I tend not to recommend those books. Not because I don’t like them, but because talking about them creates a huge expectation among the listener. That listener might go and buy those books expecting something out of this world. He might just find that, or he might find a pathos filled religious mambo jumbo without too much real content. It’s sort of like listening to a Peter Hammill concert. I would sit there thinking this is the greatest experience of my life, another might try to sneak out the first moment he can.

Another nicety about this comic is that it is being created by R. Crumb which is a great comic artist with a very well recognised and well defined style. I sort of think about him as the father of many contemporary cartoons like Ren and Stimpy and their copiers.

The final piece of the trilogy is another radio show, this time from the BBC Radio 4. In Confessions of a Crap Artist, writer Ken Hollings discusses the Valis experience and tries to separate the writer from the work.

A word of warning, though. If anyone isn’t familiar with the work of PK Dick, I suggest reading one of his earlier books like Ubik, rather than trying to familiarise with the author based on those links. They discuss the later, less communicative Dick, and might give one the wrong impression about what the rest of Dick’s works are like. To anyone familiar with Dick, this is an excellent way to find out about the late works and this weird world he lived in during his final years.

Written by Erez

Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 18:47

Posted in Books, Comics, Music

Jumping the Trigger

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I guess got online for some times now, but, better late than later, as someone probably always say.

Item in question is OCReMix‘s newest project, The Chrono Symphonic and this time it’s the mother of all Game OST, the Chrono Trigger one. Probably the most loved, remixed, quoted and referenced game soundtrack, (apart from the Final Fantasies, natch).

The name hints of the nature of the project, it’s a work of Symphonic re-arrangements/ReMixes. Not a good idea. Orchestrations are a hit and miss, as not everyone who can create a good, solid tune can carry something as massive as a symphonic orchestration. For every brilliant musician like Russell Cox, there are a dozen mediocre ones like Unknown, and worse, two dozen awful ones like Jeremy Robson (Link only supplied for the sake of completeness, actual listening to Robson’s tracks is NOT RECOMMENDED). In this case, there are just too many down moments, and just too many Slow-chamber/Epic-massive transitions in almost every one. The usual problem with this kind of thinking is that repetitiveness, which works wonderfully in dance/techno tracks, usually kills an orchestrated track before it get a chance to develop.

Also, going symphonic deprives us of the more exciting and experimental works like Children of the Monkey Machine‘s Magus works, and many, many others.

It’s available to download, and torrent, through the OCReMix site, but, and that’s a big one, I really recommend listening to the original before taking a stroll through remix land. While not a prerequisite for 95% of the OCReMix site, in this case there are so many remixes done for almost every track it’s always better to actually listen to the original beforehand.

If anyone feels a little experimental, I would suggest trying the Frog songs, the Memories of Green ones, and the Wind Scene ones, to see how different remixers tackle a similar tune.

And, it would seem that after all is said and done, Cox’s “The Chrono Trigger” is the best track. Just goes to show, you can’t beat quality.

Written by Erez

Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 22:40

Posted in Music

Woes and beholds

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More software quirks. I’ll probably change this blog into “blog where I keep complaining that software X doesn’t work/has a weird bug/doesn’t do what I want/do what I want, but not how I want/looks ugly/annoys me that I can’t find anything bad about it”.

Anyway, VLC. It’s great, but there always seems to be a flaw in the ointment.
I’m using it to listen to Ormgas which is a streaming radio playing OCReMixes. And while everything is fine and dandy, there’s just a weird pause every start of a song. And I’m not referring to pauses BETWEEN songs, mind you. Every time a new track begins, it plays for like 2 seconds, then there’s a half-second pause, then it resumes. I’ve scanned the preferences dialog, but failed to find what’s causing this. Oh well.

Written by Erez

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 at 1:12

Posted in Music