Just Another Blog
Monday, June 26, 2006
I haven't thrown any tunes at you lately. Since I'm checking out Sonic Youth tomorrow, I figured I'd put up an old favorite that I don't expect them to play tomorrow as it's so old (right click, save as).
I am reminded that, in those old days, if you wanted to steal music, you couldn't just get on your highspeed internet connection and browse through a vast array of peer-to-peer networks. Heck, Napster wasn't even around yet; Shawn Fanning would have been like six years old. Any way, in the old days, if you wanted to steal music you had to walk into a record store or a book store and shove vinyl records or cassette tapes down your pants when no one was watching and walk out. It happened a lot, but back then Rhea didn't care. Heck, people even copied cassette tapes to blank tapes and went so far as to make their own compilations. For some people, this would prove an effective way to win friends, influence people, and get laid.
Sister and Evol were the first two Sonic Youth albums that I ever acquired. This music was completely new and different to me. It took me a couple of listens to really come love Sister, but I was helped along by the seductive photograph inside the cassette sleeve of the small-breasted girl sprawled out on the hardwood floor, naked from the waist down. You could see nothing more than her bare hip, but her short hair, that wild look in her eye, and the suggestion of what was just beyond what the camera had captured did it for me everytime. The song contains the lyric, "Her light eyes were dancing; she is insane. Her brother says she's just a bitch with a golden chain. She keeps coming closer saying, 'I can feel it in my bones.' Schizophrenia is taking me home." I always felt sure that the picture inside was meant to capture that look.
I can't say for certain that my love of this song accounts for all of the crazy women I have dated in the years since (dating would follow some time well after my introduction to Sonic Youth), but I can't rule it out completely either.
My sister endured twenty-one hours of hard, unmedicated labor to issue forth this little fella. I'm calling him Billy Joe, although his parents, apparently, are not. Seven pounds, eight ounces, and twenty point two five inches long. He's approaching three weeks and doing well. The kid got real good genes from both sides and is likely to be as smart as he is cute.
Cannibal! The Musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Genius. Pure and bloody simple genius. And most hilarious. This predates their South Park series and is actually more tame, at least in terms of language and overt offensiveness. There's some high quality, if still b-movie, gore, but it works with the story. Parker and Stone are, I think, the greatest comedy minds of our generation. This early work with its thick satire; ridiculously obvious foreshadowing; clever anachronisms; Parker-Stone-typical, over-the-top send-ups of types like westerns, musicals, and even the sets of music within musicals; made up words; and zany lyrics is a fine example of their genius.
The movie follows the story of Colorado legend Alfred Packer who was sentenced to hang for murder and cannabalism in the 1880s after a trek from Provo to Breckenridge brought hard times in the Rocky Mountains. He was never hanged thanks to legal loopholes and a sympathetic Denver Post reporter. CourtTV offers this excellent, long, in-depth review of the historical evidence of what really happened. The evidence paints a somewhat different picture than the film, but the film does capture a lot of what is known to be true and offers up a deeper story that perhaps goes beyond what we can see from the evidence. And it does so in a most frickin hilarious, musical manner. This knocks Moulin Rouge from the top slot in my list of favorite musicals, though, admittedly, it's a short list.
Now that I know he's buried in Littleton, I look forward posting a photo soon.
Speaking of Tests
Two weeks ago, I took the LSATs again. Strangely, I've found that I am able to abstain from companionship longer than from taking standardized tests. Demented and sad and in no way social. Maybe it's just because I'm willing to pay for the tests.
The scoring and notification process has changed since my last go round, and I am expecting my scores by the end of the week. I'm really hoping for the best. I felt a lot better about this administration than others previously. The start time of 12:30 versus 8:30 on its own made a huge difference. I still didn't study as much as I know I should have, but I do think I learned some valuable test taking strategies that served me well. I also feel that I got lucky this time in that the unscored, test portion of the exam was a logical reasoning one. Both of my prior times I had to fight through two - one real, one fake - analytical reasoning sections. Those games were my weak point, and when you throw in extra-tricky, practice questions, it really helped to throw me for a loop. This time, I'm pretty sure which logical reasoning section was the test section, and, on top of that, I felt like I did better than ever on my nemesis, the analytical section.
[I know which section type was a test section due to the general setup. The LSAT has one essay section that follows five multiple choice sections consisting of a reading comprehension section, an analytical reasoning section, two logical reasoning sections, and one other section of any type that is used to test new questions. You can't ever be certain of which is the test section, though it is said that it is usually one of the first three and that if you run into a section that seems particularly difficult or obtuse, that may be suggestive.]
I'll find out soon enough. Or almost soon enough: I've been pretty stressed trying to imagine my range of opportunities given any range of scores combined with my middlin' GPA. I'd like to believe that an advanced degree with a better grad GPA helps offset a somewhat lower undergrad GPA a decade-plus ago, but it's hard to know what admissions boards might like or dislike. In any case, I find it unlikely that I'll sit for the LSATs again. Now, the MCATs, that's a different story... And still, I'm most anxious.
One of these days, I'm going to put reading, seeing, listening headers and info in one of the columns like Missy does. Of course, that would mean having to update this on a more regular basis, and, well, see the last post.
Heck, I don't even keep my MySpace profile updated. My comments on books and music there are already somewhat stale. It's enough for me to worry about this page. I do notice though that an update here and there at MySpace keeps you fresh and keeps people flowing to your page. Add a pic, change a favorite band or book, and watch your hits jump by 10. Do nothing, and watch it sit there at 187.
Any way, lots of shows coming up. Sonic Youth tomorrow. Mid July brings Social Distortion (or Peaches, same night, dilemma), Immaculate Machine, the Adolescents, and the Buzzcocks -- all within five days! August brings Death Cab for Cutie and Bowling for Soup and maybe X, Rollins Band, Cracker, Yellowcard, and/or Matchbook Romance. September thus far offers Mudhoney and the Queers. NoMeansNo in October is highly anticipated with Celtic Frost to be contemplated and considered. A test for my ears and my pocketbook.
My commitment to keeping this blog interesting or at least updated is much like my commitment to eating well and exercising in that I am constantly aware of my need to do better but lacking in real execution.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I've spent the evening updating meta data and file names on music and adding songs to the ipod. I added around 500 to bring the total to around 10,700 but still leaving me with room for another 7 gigs worth of music. I found a bunch of stuff this weekend in between studying and passed the 18k songs mark in my library. If you're curious, you can see most of those songs here. The instructions for how to create that file are at the top of the page. "Tree" is one of the oldest DOS commands I can recall learning. It's not pretty, but it shows the directory structure and file names pretty well.