Zero 7 (ft. José González): Today. It’s scientifically impossible to make the “samba” preset on a Casio keyboard sound good, but they somehow did it here.

Date posted: September 22, 2020 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

The short version of the story is, I started writing Soul Coughing music again. I called up Soul Coughing and said, “Do you want to do this?” I got back a hot plate of crazy.

Huh. Mike Doughty has spent the last 20 years slagging Soul Coughing and is now releasing an album that was supposed to be the follow-up to Ruby Vroom, from 1994.

Date posted: September 1, 2020 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I know everybody thinks the music they loved when they were 18 changed the world, but it really did feel like something different was happening in those years.

Jesus. Nothing’s Shocking turns 30 this year.

Date posted: August 23, 2020 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I was doing a little side work last night and fed the last of Rob’s CDs into the spare laptop. The final tally is 755 albums for a total of 196GB of data. There’s some organization to be done internally—some of the Gracenote metadata comes through wrong, splitting single albums out into separate folders, or incorrectly categorizing best-of albums as compilations (which doesn’t file them with in the artist’s folder, but in a catch-all folder called Compilations). This shouldn’t take long. The other thing that has been inconsistent has been album art; I’ve got iTunes set to seek out and find it but it’s at a 50/50 success rate. I don’t expect it to find the artwork for obscure classical albums but it should be able to find the cover for Eagles Greatest Hits.

Both carousels are completely empty and both still make terrible noises when powered on, so I’ll ask Karean to dig out Rob’s folders and drop them off so I can refile everything. This week I’ll order a thumb drive and transfer everything for her; I’ve got to build another stand for the balance of Rob’s CD’s and put them someplace safe. Then, while I’m at it, I think I’m going to rip my collection over again to higher quality and correct the metadata, and start pruning the legacy files on the server.

Also on the order list is an internal SSD drive to free up an internal drive bay, update the OS, and speed up the machine.. With that and a thorough cleaning, the server should be good as new and ready for another six years of solid service.

Date posted: August 16, 2020 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

We’re currently experiencing that wonderful synchronicity homeowners enjoy when lots of little things start failing all at the same time, leading to repair bills and irritation.

  • Aforementioned washer woes.
  • The work sink in the basement backed up last week after a load of laundry and took most of the night to drain itself; we called Roto-Rooter and they sent a guy out who wanted to charge me an absurd number to  snake it. Having already phoned a guy who quoted me less than half that price to do it later that afternoon, I got R-R to match that price and he cleaned it to the sewer line. This is not the first time we’ve had this problem, and I expect we’ll have to call someone else in another fifteen years.
  • We’ve run the downstairs air conditioner, a monster 18,000 BTU unit, out of one of the dining room windows, for the better part of 10 years. The plug it was attached to had been original to the house until some investigation revealed it was poorly jumped from a different line—some asshat had cut insulation off a different circuit and taped two wires around it to bring power to the plug instead of adding a junction box the way they should have. We ran it this way for several years, risking certain incineration, before we found it and had an electrician fix it. Yesterday the plug decided it would quit completely, and when I put a tester on it, the readings made no sense—It indicated open neutral under no load. When I plugged in a fan. and turned it on, the tester then indicated hot-ground reverse, which is Not Good. So, we moved the AC unit into the living room and called another electrician.
  • The refrigerator, which is only two years old, is struggling to keep up with the Maryland humidity. Part of that is due to the A/C being off and the upstairs windows being open for most of the morning. Part of it is because it’s been sitting in the old coat closet with the door closed, which doesn’t help ventilate it. Part of it could be because we haven’t replaced the air filter yet. This is not our first rodeo with balky refrigerators, so I tend to believe it’s something to do with the location or operator error. I took the door off the closet to see if that helped, but it looks like we’ve got to call somebody to look at it.

There’s a special evening scheduled at our pool for immunocompromised swimmers tonight, and I am sure as fuck going for a swim.

* * *

As of today, we are at 525 CDs completed, for a total of 145GB of data. The second carousel wasn’t as full as the first—maybe 300 of 400 slots were full—so the final number should be somewhere in the 6-700 range. There are a bunch I haven’t ripped, like the ones I digitized for Rob back in the day, where I’ll substitute clean copies from my discs instead. There are a few others that came from other folks that I don’t have the originals for.

Date posted: August 12, 2020 | Filed under appliances, music | Leave a Comment »

Backstory: there’s an online talk show by two comedians who dress up in corpsepaint called Two Minutes To Late Night, and they interview various metal bands. They have a house band and usually have the guests play a couple of songs, usually covers, as part of the show. It’s funny and interesting and the guests are always unique. Because of COVID they can’t tape the show live, so they’ve gotten an amazing assortment of artists to remotely tape covers, usually deeper cuts from an artists’ catalog. This is a cover of Rush’s Anthem, featuring members of Tool, Primus, Mastodon, and Coheed & Cambria; it’s like a Venn diagram of amazing covering one of Rush’s best songs.

Date posted: August 10, 2020 | Filed under entertainment, music | Leave a Comment »

I finished ripping the entire contents of one of Rob’s disc changers this afternoon. As of this point, there are 396 albums digitized, for around 117 GB of data. About halfway through I gave up on trying to get the discs back in to the player in the exact order they came out—it was just too difficult to do, and because of the way the carousel is made, I wouldn’t be able to get all the discs out unless they came out in batches. So they’re now stacked on two spindles I made with some dowel from the basement, and I’ll find someplace safe to store them until I can get the cases from Karean.

Because he stopped buying CD’s in the early 2000’s, as we all did, the collection is an excellent cross-section of music from the 90’s, plus a sizable chunk of classic jazz, a score of classical discs, and more than a dozen CD’s with my handwriting that I’d ripped for him—Thievery Corporation, Massive Attack, Supreme Beings of Leisure, and other downtempo and trip-hop albums.

Date posted: August 7, 2020 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

This is a cover of an Interpol song that, in my opinion, improves upon the original. And everything on that Interpol album is pretty fucking tight to begin with. You may have issues with Hazel English’s voice but I dig it.

* * *

I’ve got a batch of Shiner Bnock-Off in the fermenter waiting to be kegged this weekend, but both my kegs still contain the remainders of the last two batches I brewed. This means I need to drink through the rest of them in a hurry—Darn. They feel empty but I’m still able to pull beer out of them. I ordered a session IPA kit from Northern Brewer on Monday but with the delays in fulfillment and shipping I don’t know when that will get here.

* * *

Yesterday I put the seedlings outside for a couple of hours in the shade to start hardening. They got very leggy until I adjusted the lighting, so some of them are taller than I’d like; when I went out to check on them there were several that had blown over in the breeze. It’s overcast today so hopefully they’ll do a little better and stay upright. The goal is to get the soil bins prepped over the weekend and have the seedlings ready to go by late next week. I’m also thinking they need to be transplanted into bigger starter pots so they get more nutrients while they’re hardening—some of them are a little wilty, which is concerning me.

* * *

The front porch continues moving slowly forward. The patch next to the front door is 90% complete and the hole that claimed my thumb has its second skim coat of mud. Jen and I tried to hang one of the headboard panels last night but we could not find a way to get it to stay up without flopping out of place almost immediately. I’d built an 8′ brace for Jen to hold, but what I realize now is that we need three of them about six inches longer so that they’ll snug the panel up against the ceiling until I can tack them in place. The big thing right now is to get everything cleared out of there so that we can work without tripping over furniture or air conditioners or other junk.

Date posted: April 16, 2020 | Filed under brewing, garden, music | Leave a Comment »

Jesus, I’m old. Lost Souls, the first album by Doves, is 20 years old this year. Rise and Sea Song are absolutely two of the best tracks of 2000, bar none, and that was a decent year for music (if you knew where to look).

Date posted: April 4, 2020 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I read this morning that Adam Schlesinger, the founder and songwriter of the band Fountains of Wayne, died from complications of coronavirus on Wednesday. I was never a giant fan of FoW—Stacy’s Mom was a pretty good tune—but I was a huge fan of another band he co-founded called Ivy, whose album Long Distance has been one of my favorites since I stumbled across it ten years ago. He was, by all accounts, an extremely busy and prolific writer with multiple projects, so Ivy’s output was sporadic; their last album was released in 2011. In any case, this is shitty news.

Date posted: April 2, 2020 | Filed under entertainment, music | Leave a Comment »