Friday, April 05, 2013
For those of you who wonder what I do all day, here is what yesterday was like. It was inspired by the Library Day in the Life Project, which I enjoyed but didn't participate in at the time, because whenever there's something that you are supposed to do at a certain time, but it's not actually required by law or your employer (like change your avatar on Facebook to support a cause or something), I get contrary and don't want to do it.
9-9:05 Processed the newspapers and put them out.
9:05-9:30 Worked on today's schedule. Two people were sick, so it took a little while.
9:30-10 Met with new employee to discuss her work schedule.
10 - 11:30 Finished up next week's schedule and worked on getting manga for the library's Manga Reading Lounge at Anime Detour.
12:30-1:30 It gets busy at lunch time. Helped a patron find books and articles on Native American casinos for her college paper. Answered an email question about returning ebooks.
1:30-3 Participated in a Google Hangout meeting on the library having a Maker Faire.
3-3:30 Downloaded ebooks and checked out an ereader to a patron. Had an interesting discussion with him about ebooks and publishing.
3:30-5 Participated in judging our contest for the best library built by teens in Minecraft.
5-5:30 Put out next week's schedule. One staff called to say they had a serious illness and might not be in Saturday, but another said their plans changed and they no longer needed the weekend off, so it all worked out OK.
Monday, April 01, 2013
So, I keep updating my cover versions mix on 8tracks because I think of new ones. My cover version playlist on iTunes now has 233 songs on it. As you may remember, my criteria for a good cover version are 1) it has to be good in itself, 2) it has to be good in a different way from the original, and 3) it has to see something good or at least salvageable about the original, not just be about mocking or making fun of it. I have also tried to find more obscure items from imports, vinyl only, b-sides, obscure EPs, out-of-print tribute albums, live bootlegs, and free giveaways on obscure blogs (Next to track down: The Party Party Soundtrack).
Favorite cover albums:
- Freedom of Choice: Yesterday's New Wave Hits - My favorite period in music - late 70's to early '80s- interpreted by some great 90s bands like Sonic Youth, Superchunk, The Connells, The Muffs, Yo La Tengo, Shonen Knife, and Matthew Sweet.
- B.E.F. Presents Music Of Quality & Distinction, Volume 1 - A novel idea - a mixture of veterans (Tina Turner, Sandie Shaw, Paul Jones of Manfred Mann) and 80's newcomers like Billy Mackenzie (Associates) and Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17) do 60s - 70s oldies with synthpop backing from Heaven 17. Good choice of songs meet good singers, except for squeaky-voiced TV host Paul Yates.
- Where the Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute to Roky Erickson - Wins for most diverse group of musicians - you gotta love an album with The Jesus & Mary Chain AND ZZ Top on it, not to mention Butthole Surfers, Richard Lloyd (Television), Sister Double Happiness, Julian Cope, Chris Thomas and Primal Scream. Basically, every possible permutation of psychedelia is represented, from metal to danc-y to garage to R & B-ish. I did delete that one Poi Dog Pondering song.
- Hit Parade - The Wedding Present - Sort of half counts, since it is a bunch of songs originally released as b-sides, then as half of two records. The Weddoes do everything from Julee Cruise to the Monkeys to Neil Young to Elton John in their early 90s chiming-guitar-wall-of-sound-with-vocals-in-the-back style, and it works to give them just enough pop punch to keep them from falling into a continuous river of sound.
- These Foolish Things - Bryan Ferry - An early classic in the field of cover versions that all others bow before, although his best cover was "The In Crowd" from Another Time, Another Place.
- Schoolhouse Rock Rocks - If you are of a certain age, you know these songs are catchy, because YOU ARE HUMMING THEM RIGHT NOW. A 90s all-star cast including Pavement, Moby, Buffalo Tom, Man or Astroman?, Ween, Biz Markie and the Lemonheads do the songs as techno, lo-fi, math rock and rap. I admit I tear up a little during "Mr. Morton".
- If I Were A Carpenter - The Carpenters are perfect for a tribute album- they wrote catchy songs, but covered them in so many layers of production and sentiment that we may feel silly for liking them. The contributors strip them down to their essence and make you think that Ian Curtis really had nothing on Karen Carpenter in the sadness department. An all-star 90s cast featuring Babes In Toyland, Shonen Knife, Sonic Youth, Cracker, American Music Club, and Matthew Sweet.
- Kicking Against The Pricks - Nick Cave - You might think it wouldn't work for the guy from the Birthday Party to sing songs that might have been featured on the Carol Burnett Show, but you would be wrong. He;s got the chops, and he puts his all into each one.
A mixed bag, but still worth it:
Hard To Believe : A Kiss Tribute - too samey (almost all grunge-type acts), but there are some good ones, and a real snapshot of the time period (remember Skin Yard?)
Scott Walker: 30 Century Man - some great songs, but too many sensitive quiet types.
Sing for Your Meat: A Tribute to Guided By Voices - a lot of obscure indie rockers just trying to do GBV and failing. Really, no one can do GBV like GBV. What about some metal, funk, techno, R & B-tinged covers? Robert Pollard writes some damned good songs - you could take the framework and do a lot of different things with them. How about Cheap Trick doing "Pantherz"? That would be awesome. But no. I should've remembered the first rule of tribute albums - if you don't know most of the artists, there's probably a reason why.
Looking forward to:
Everybody Loves Sausages: The Melvins
What are your favorite cover versions?
Friday, February 22, 2013
GIF by Beaver Paralyser
This whole Comcast thing just gets crazier and crazier. I got my official notice by mail a month or so ago that in April I would have to get an adapter or lose any TV signal. But then, it turns out that is not actually true. Plus, just to add flavor to the whole thing, Comcast is charging people for these adapters without telling them in advance. Okay, then! Nothing says, "I'm a monopoly so I can do what I want" like blatantly lying to customers. No wonder the BBB gives them a C-. The only way they could be worse would be by not actually having a product. I'm so glad I don't live in a market where they're the only Internet provider. Thanks to Julio Ojeda-Zapata as well, for keeping us informed (like me, he uses an EyeTV to record television on his computer, which will be rendered a useless hunk of metal if an adapter is needed.).
Sadly, the specter of tv-less-ness still hovers, since the FCC basically gave away the farm by allowing cable companies to scramble the signals of channels that are supposed to be free. So, I need to think of options for the future such as:
- An upgraded AppleTV model that includes HuluPlus and AirPlay mirroring of iOS apps.
- My Apple 1G hacked to put XBMC or something on it. It's old, who cares about warranties.
- Another set-top box like Roku, the Boxee Box, etc.
- An iMac with a big-ass monitor in the living room as computer & TV. My computer is getting old, I have a Bluetooth keyboard, and my Logitech remote works with Apple computers
- An antenna. Maybe the television ones work better than the radio ones that always failed to pick up signals. I could even make one with a pie tin.
- Aereo, if it comes to the Twin Cities and isn't killed by lawsuits from the networks. Listen, networks: Comcast is the one driving me me away from you. If you want me to jump to Netflix exclusively, throttling all competitors to cable is the way to do it.
- Nothing. Parks and Recreation and maaaaybe Community are the only shows that I watch live that haven't been cancelled, I could just buy them on iTunes and get anything else from Netflix and the library.
Any thoughts, dear readers?
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Somebody asked me to make my best music of 2012 list, but since I've been going crazy with the 8tracks lately, I decided to share the aural version for the benefit of everyone who hasn't gotten a mix CD from me, or anyone who wonders what I leave out (answer: usually metal).
This year I actually bought enough new stuff to make a full mix. It was an especially diverse year with old faves (Guided by Voices, The Wedding Present, The Hives), metal of both the stoner (The Sword, Jess & the Ancient Ones) and trad (Grand Magus, Acrassicauda) variety, shoegaze*(A Place to Bury Strangers, Flavor Crystals, Chatham Rise), lo-fi (Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls), Brit-pop (The Vaccines), hip-hop (Rye Rye, M.I.A.), and industrial (Nekronet). As such, you will probably hate some of it.
Grand Magus: "Valhalla Rising"
Acrassicauda: "Garden of Stones"
The Sword: "Apocryphon"
Torche: "Kiss Me Dudely:
Tar: "Hell's Bells
The Hives: "Wait a Minute"
Guided by Voices: "The Unsinkable Fats Domino"
The Wedding Present "You Jane"
The Vaccines: "I Always Knew"
Vivian Girls: "Dance (If You Wanna)"
A.R, Kane: "When You're Sad (Long Version)"
A Place to Bury Strangers: "Burning Plastic"
Chatham Rise: In Skies (Summer Gravity Mix)"
Flavor Crystals: "Mirror Chop"
Dum Dum Girls: "Take Good Care of My Baby"
Mares of Thrace: "The Gallwasp"
Royal Thunder: "Blue"
Jess & the Ancient Ones: "Prayer for Death and Fire"
M.I.A: "Bad Girls"
Rye Rye: "Boom Boom"
College: "A Real Hero (Feat, Electric Youth)"
PSY: "Gangnam Style"
*I refuse to use the term "nugaze" just because something was released after 2009. That's ridiculous.
PS. I wanted to put "212" by Azealia Banks on there, but the track is so foul I was afraid of being banned from 8tracks. Is there even a "radio edit" of this song? It would be like watching Pulp Fiction on network TV. Anyway, here it is, super NSFW (Seriously, don't listen to this at work. I'm warning you.)
Monday, December 31, 2012
Format once again ripped off shamelessly from the Librarian in Black
Books--Bring Up the Bodies, Zero History, the Old Kingdom Trilogy, The City & The City, Rule 34
Comics--20th Century Boys, Library Wars, Wandering Son, Busty Girl Comics
Magazine--The New Yorker
Movies (theater)--The Avengers, The Master
Movies (DVD)--Life Without Principle, Cabin in the Woods, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, The Raid: Redemption, Heavy Metal in Baghdad
TV Shows (streaming)-- Breaking Bad, MI-5, Burn Notice, Green Wing
TV Shows (live)--Community, Fringe, Parks & Recreation, 30 Rock, Mad Men
TV Show (DVD)--Archer, Leverage, Mildred Pierce, Justified, Homeland, The Walking Dead, Falling Skies
Items of Clothing--Engineer boots, red jeans, tiny top hats
Tabletop Games --Agents of Oblivion, Cards Against Humanity
Computer Games -- Plants vs Zombies, World of Goo, Zuma's Revenge
Albums/EPs: The Sword: Apocryphon, The Wedding Present: Valentina, Rye Rye: Go! Pop! Bang!, The Hives: Lex Hives, Guided By Voices: Class Clown Spots a UFO, Guided By Voices: Let’s Go Eat the Factory, Chatham Rise: Pre-LP Songs, Acrassicauda: Only the Dead See the End of the War, Vivian Girls: Share the Joy, Austra: Feel it Break, The Vaccines: What Did You Expect from the Vaccines
Songs –A Place to Bury Strangers: ”Burning Plastic”, Nekronet: “Bloodlust”, M.I.A: “Bad Girls”, Azealia Banks: “212”, Chatham Rise: “In Skies (Summer Gravity Mix)”
From the vault: Tar: “Hell’s Bells/Feel This”, Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings, A. R. Kane: The Complete Singles Collection
Web sites: TV Tropes, AV Club, Bitch Blogs, Fast ‘N” Bulbous
Twitter Twerps: Snarkey’s Machine, KeithATC, Chunklet, Mary Charlene, Sarcastic Rover, FilmCritHulk
Device -- iPad mini
Work Cons--Games, Learning & Society, Monstrositeen @MLA
Fun Con--Anime Detour
Library Trend–3-D printers
Concerts – Mission of Burma, Swans, Chatham Rise/Flavor Crystals, Brute Heart
Treat (restaurant) - soup dumplings @ Tea House, vegetarian platter @Fasika
Treat (homemade) -- soft scrambled eggs with broccoli & cheese with a side of fried potatoes
Boyfriend -- JSeux
Friday, November 16, 2012
Illustration from Poetry Comics by Dave Morice.
The Amalgamated Brotherhood of Dudebros, LULZers and Y U Mad Trolls has discovered a new civil right--the right to do whatever you want on the Internet with no real-world consequences until and unless it is proved illegal. Check out this opinion piece comparing a guy who posts upskirt photos on the Web to era-defining poet Allen Ginsberg:
I guess I missed the part where he included photos of dead children (without permission) in each copy.
By the way, dude, you know people who hated "Howl" had the right to snub Allen Ginsberg at parties, accuse him of destroying America, and not publish him in their poetry journals, right? I may disagree with their opinion, but they had the right to air it. What they didn't have was the right to arrest Ginsberg or keep other people from reading him.
Pretty much everyone agrees that things that are unethical but not illegal deserve social disapproval. Unless you think that actions like boycotting companies that supported SOPA is a violation of free speech somehow. I guess these dudes and their bros have the God-given right to "blow off steam" or "have fun" in really, really icky ways without it affecting their meat-space lives in any way whatsoever, unlike the rest of us.
Here's the orginal Violentacrez outing story, you can read the comments if you think I'm exaggerating.