critical reading for the rude

won’t let the angels take you away

I used to go see Mike West in Hattiesburg any time he came to town.   I love this guy.  Here’s part of his recent story with his new wife, his kids, Truckstop Honeymoon, and setting up anew in Kansas after Katrina destroyed the 9th Ward of New Orleans.


August 10, 2007 Posted by | music, video | Leave a comment

in yr eye

Yes, finally getting round to them young Arctic Monkeys.  And that’s just what I need today.  Makes a fine chaser after The Jam.

I reek of coffee, I need a (big) shave, and today I look friendly to no one but needy students and my wife.


July 17, 2007 Posted by | music | 2 Comments

head in the past

“Driving while looking in the rear-view mirror”. McLuhan, wasn’t it? Well that’s me. Responding to yesterday… or, at best, today.

Some folks think I’m some kind of radical technophile. My boss lady recently expressed surprise that I have books in my house. Said she reckoned that I’d stow all my needed media on a nice machine. But I like bookshelves. Paperbacks going brittle and yellow. Something about knowing that the book has a limited number of reads in it. How many times will this book get read by me and my wife and my son before it finally goes to loose pages and crumbly bits in one of our hands? I like that. Being in the cycle. Earth to tree to page to brain to dust blown back out into the yard, to Earth. My son will read books his great-grandad sends. These here ideas were important enough to me to send them forward in time to you.

Here’s an Elric adventure that smells like pipe smoke.

I can’t catch up, though. The newest music? Forget about it. I’m listening to My Bloody Valentine and John Cale and Digable Planets and the Cocteau Twins. I’ve heard of the Flaming Lips. I’ve heard Luke Vibert and 16 Horsepower, but I haven’t yet metabolized them. I’m still on, like, Stereolab and Michael Hurley and Deltron 3030. Can never quite catch up.

New moves in architecture? I’m just now touching on Sophia Vyzoviti. I just can’t quite catch up.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | books, music, personomy | Leave a comment

pandora silence

A Day of Silence

Hi, it’s Tim from Pandora,

I’m sorry to say that today Pandora, along with most Internet radio sites, is going off the air in observance of a Day Of Silence. We are doing this to bring to your attention a disastrous turn of events that threatens the existence of Pandora and all of internet radio. We need your help.

Ignoring all rationality and responding only to the lobbying of the RIAA, an arbitration committee in Washington DC has drastically increased the licensing fees Internet radio sites must pay to stream songs. Pandora’s fees will triple, and are retroactive for eighteen months! Left unchanged by Congress, every day will be like today as internet radio sites start shutting down and the music dies.

A bill called the “Internet Radio Equality Act” has already been introduced in both the Senate (S. 1353) and House of Representatives (H.R. 2060) to fix the problem and save Internet radio–and Pandora–from obliteration.

I’d like to ask you to call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to become co-sponsors of the bill. It will only take a few minutes and you can find your Congresspersons and their phone numbers by entering your zip code here.

Your opinion matters to your representatives – so please take just a minute to call.

Visit to continue following the fight to Save Internet Radio.

As always, and now more than ever, thank you for your support.

-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

June 26, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol, music | 1 Comment

reactable doctor who

Would someone please do the Doctor Who theme with reacTable please and please film it and put it on YouTube if you please? I will be the pal of the persons who do that.  In fact, I will find a piece of information for them for free*.

*Subject to terms and conditions. I’m an info-pro and I can do that. Make your request in the comments for this post, Mr. or Ms. First Person to reacTable the Who theme!

June 25, 2007 Posted by | info viz, making, music, video | Leave a comment

music for factories

Is this strangely beautiful, or am I just evil?

June 25, 2007 Posted by | biz, geo/pol, making, music | Leave a comment

nostalgic music meme

Top hundred music in the 90s mostly sucked… So this meme I’m tagged with from CW is tricky. I think I’ll mutate it. Here are the 5 top songs that came across my Pandora page in the last couple weeks and why Pandora says I like them so much.

Frank Zappa. Camarillo Brillo, 1973.

basic rock song structures
acoustic rhythm piano
mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
a busy horn section
major key tonality

John Lennon. I Found Out, 1970.

basic rock song structures
extensive vamping
mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
minor key tonality
a dynamic male vocalist

Morrissey: Boy Racer, 1998.

hard rock roots
a subtle use of vocal harmony
mixed minor & major key tonality
a smooth male lead vocalist

My Bloody Valentine, Sometimes, 1991.

basic rock song structures
a subtle use of vocal harmony
extensive vamping
major key tonality
heavy electric rhythm guitars
a breathy male lead vocalist
an unintelligible vocal delivery
acoustic rhythm guitars

Brian Eno: Driving Me Backwards, 1974

basic rock song structures
mild rhythmic syncopation
acoustic rhythm piano
repetitive melodic phrasing
mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
minor key tonality

I’m tagging Angel, Vinay, and Jared with this one.

June 14, 2007 Posted by | blogs, music | 2 Comments

cale ugly

John Cale’s going through something weird again.  He’s flirting with ugly, but can’t get it quite right now; follow me.  He gets it “raw” well enough, and Black Acetate said it about as best as could be said: the old guy can rock.  But he’ll never get it as ugly as he got it on Fear, and he’s gotta know it.  John Cale is not Tom Waits.  John Cale has different strengths.  John Cale can talk out the side of his mouth better than Waits can make ugly into interesting.  But this is apple/oranges business.  John Cale, listen: What was it Don B said about the real challenge was to write a really bad sentence?

May 30, 2007 Posted by | music | Leave a comment