Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Dilettante's concert for the day #1:

My first concert from the Internet Archive is of Pinback live at the Showbox in WA in February of 2008. If you haven't heard of Pinback, they are a great Indie Rock band from San Diego. Primarily composed of two guys, they evolved from a side project into a band with a solid following. They feature great harmonies and distinctive bass play. Highlights of this concert for me are the songs "Barnes," "Devil you Know," and "From Nothing to Nowhere" - Enjoy!

Here is an Embed of the Concert:

And Here is a Link to the Concert:

While I was away. . .

A friend sent me this YouTube clip- gotta feel for this guy, but these days you have to check your email at least once in two weeks even if you are out of the country right?

Friday, August 21, 2009 one of the best sites on the net!

If you haven't checked out before, I suggest you run and give it a look-see! This site is an amazing repository of knowledge and media- from the written word, to movies and concerts! The content is completely free and easy to download. Personally, my favorite part of the Archive is the Live Music Archive, with thousands and thousands of free concerts to download! If you are a Grateful Dead Fan this site is manna from heaven, about 7,000 thousand Dead concerts alone! I must admit that the concerts tend to favor Jamming Bands like OAR and Blues Traveler, but there is a little bit of everything there. I will post links to my favorite concerts in the archive from time to time- you can listen to many of the concerts on an embedded music player on the concert's page, so there is no downloading necessary. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Born to Die. . .Stevie and Zoya!

Stevie and Zoya was a cartoon that used to run late nights on MTV in one-minute segments. I remember seeing these shorts while I watched 120 Minutes, back when MTV still played videos! What I used to love about them:
- The soundtrack, complete with mistakes and outtakes integrated into the cartoon, and crazy sampling from disco soundtracks and completely random noises- The "Alien Invader" noises are my favorites.
- The great narration by Russell Johnson, the Professor from Gilligan's island! "All Crime!" - The Animation- crude in some cases, but things move fast and a lot is conveyed in the minute long segments- packed with action and supreme coolness! The series was made by Joe Horne, who later worked on cartoons for Disney and the Cartoon Network. Horne has recently made some new Stevie and Zoya cartoons, but I am not as big a fan of the new ones- the style is based on Flash Software and does not have the cool use of sound and the sensibility of the first cartoons. And Russell Johnson is totally irreplaceable!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An ode to contract lawyering. . .

This is 90% BS- but funny in parts-


I spent several years in Philly and DC as a simple coder, and my experiences were good ones for the most part. I have many stories of my time in contract law, and I still have many friends that do it, and do a great job at it! This guy lays it on pretty thick- but I guess you have to use hyperbole to get attention these days.

Come for the wars, and maybe learn a little along the way!

One of my favorite local/DC sites is the Columbia Heights News Forum. It was started some years ago (Before my time in DC) because the Columbia Heights Yahoo Forum had degenerated into threats and name calling. Who ever started the site had good intentions, but most of the site has not been updated for about a year now, and the site has fallen into disrepair. However, the News Forum is still goin' strong!

The Forum is characterized by a ongoing debate/war/eternal-mutual-headbanging-against-wall-session between (generalizing here) two points of view:

1. First are people who are newer additions to the Columbia Heights neighborhood, and support general business development and gentrification.

2. Second are people who have lived in Columbia Heights neighborhood since pre-gentrification times and their supporters, who support business development along lines that support the improvement of the pre-gentrification community, and condemn the class-divisions that gentrification can bring to a community.

I say that I am generalizing, because you have to understand several points about the site. First, there is a lot of overlap between the views of people on the two sides, even though they don't always like to admit it, and second, the latter point of view is supported by two posters, who have their own agendas and do not always do a great job of supporting themselves. Of course, the "defenders" of the former point of view have their own faults- they generally make decent arguments, but spend too much time repetetively insulting the defenders of the "anti-gentrification" view. If you look at the different discussion threads on the site, the threads always seem to start with a nice post about developments within the community, and then degenerate into the same old arguments over and over again, ad nauseum, ad infinitum!

Now you might say- "Wait this sounds boring, WTF do you want me to sit through these repetitive arguments?" I would agree that many people would be put off by sites that have these constant wars, but personally I think I thrive on conflict! And additionally, I think it is interesting to get a window into the minds of people in a gentrifying neighborhood like Columbia Heights- there are many ways to develop a community, and finding the right way or ways is a great cause for debate. Sometimes, I just wish that the "anti-gentrification" crowd had better defenders, who expressed their views cogently and did not constantly lead threads off target! My personal views fall somewhere in-between the two camps, but it does not look like either side is really searching for a "gray" area!

So please check out the site- if you live in CH or the NW of DC, it might be actually be helpful for you. And you can even try to post yourself- though good luck on getting approved by the ghost moderator!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BBC6- Is there a better way to stream?

Streaming BBC6 music is probably my favorite way to pass the hours and get focused on my work. The DJs on BBC6 are probably the most knowledgeable people that I have heard play music- and the station actually supports them and gives them the freedom to play what they want. If you can stream music at home or at work, you have to check out the station.

As for the music on BBC6- the DJs play a great deal of new Indie/Alternative music before it comes across the pond to the States, great bands you know or should know. What separates BBC6 from other Indie/Alternative stations if that the DJs play music from the 60's up as well- a lot of punk, Bowie and obscure stuff you might not have heard of before! So check it out and enjoy- my favorite DJ is Marc Riley- he was in the seminal British New Wave band The Fall, and is on Mon thru Thurs from 2-4 PM Eastern time!

Getting back into it. . .

Boy i think I started this blog in March of 2006, one post and then silence. I deleted it, and I am going to start anew! This blog is going to focus on whatever I want to talk about- local affairs, food drink or music. Enjoy!