urbpan: (dandelion)
So, much of 2016 was terrible. I won't go into why, you either agree with me or you think the chicago cubs are more important than america. So much death and heartbreak, and my response has been to drink way too much, eat garbage, and scroll down my tumblr page with a dead look in my eyes. In an effort to become a healthy productive member of the Resistance, I am making this post to remind myself that creativity is the animating force of humanity, and that making an effort to be creative--even if that output is terrible, and much of it will be--will make me feel like a better human.

BLOGGING: if I can get god damned photobucket to work, I'll resume taking pictures of urban nature and dogs and public art and other things that make me happy, and post them here. And tumblr and probably facebook too.

NATURE WALKS: This continues to be vital--get out there, take pictures, talk to people about what we're seeing, blog about it, watch the seasons change, drink in life and nature.

PODCASTS: I kind of have two now: Species of Least Concern, which is about urban nature and such, and Doc Talks, which is conversations with my dad. I have other ideas too, the limiting factors are my own damn laziness, and the fact that it costs money to upload and store these things. I'm on soundcloud at the moment.

MUSIC: I love music and I wish I made some. It's kind of easy to make on GarageBand. It will be terrible, but I should just do it. No one needs to hear it. I'm better at coming up with titles than anything else--two songs that need to be written include "Kill the Nazis" and "White People Get Your Shit Together."

CLAY: My most persistent fantasies involve making stuff out of clay--I have an airy comfortable studio, Alexis throws beautiful pots and vases, and I make monsters to stick on them. I do not have a studio or a wheel, but I do have a box of Sculpey and I should get back to making monsters with it.

BATTLE VEST: I have no need for a battle vest, a piece of denim armor covered in buttons, patches, spikes, and bones. And yet I keep making one, in my imagination. I blame @KatieAaberg. I have a shit ton of patches and buttons, all I need is the vest and the ability to sew. It would be good to know how to sew. It would be fun to resume collecting bones, too.

Other things: I dunno. I'm writing this with an overcaffeinated brain during a break at work. The above items were making my mind itch, but I'm sure there's other stuff that I want to be creative with that I'm not thinking of right now. Also I ran out of anti-depressants two days ago so I should probably deal with that.
urbpan: (dandelion)

What the hell? I was not cool enough to be into much of this stuff at the time, I was cool enough to be dancing to Madonna's "Like a Prayer" with lesbians. Watch out for the lyrics on that soundgarden song, don't play it with grandma around.
urbpan: (dandelion)
I just got back from a run and I want to share the music that was shuffled at me. It's a range of tempos and moods, but all VERY intense:

behind the clicky )
urbpan: (dandelion)

(Not sure about the last stanza)

Vaporized by Syrup USA from 1998's All Over the Land

I found your records all over Lexington; REM and OMD
It was a secret message in the library book
Only half the story
You can go for week
I don't know where you could be baby

Vaporized you are out of sight
Wishing on a lucky star
Vaporized you are out of sight
Wishing you would come back down to earth
I feel it in the air
You're nowhere to be found

The stars are lying for you
I believe I'm glowing too
Can you breathe the air way up there?
Does it make you stronger too?

The air I breathe belongs to you

The stars are lying for you
I believe I'm glowing too
Can you breathe the air way up there?
Does it make you stronger too?

The air I breathe belongs to you
The air I breathe belongs to you

Vaporized you are out of sight
Wishing on a lucky star
Vaporized you are out of sight
Wishing you would come back down to earth
I feel it in the air
That you're nowhere to be found

Silly over water
Slide into your living room
Watching from the sofa I too begin to land
Standing on the TV
Like you're on the moon
urbpan: (dandelion)
 photo IMG_0741_zps311f6c33.jpg
New Years Day! Alex and I getting our Rock Band on.
urbpan: (dandelion)
I just heard Faster Pussycat's "Ship Rolls In" for the first time in probably over 20 years. I used to like Faster Pussycat for some reason--perhaps there are other songs of theirs that hold up better. That song, however, is a blatant ripoff of the New York Dolls signature tune "Personality Crisis." I don't know how I never noticed before--I feel kind of like a dope: not only is the chord progression and event the melody almost EXACTLY the same, but the Dolls clearly were the fashion inspiration for the later band as well.

Then again...

urbpan: (Pan (from Pan paperbacks))
just pictures of musicians )
urbpan: (dandelion)

I went and described Spore as best as I could, meanwhile you can listen to their first album in part or whole whenever you want. Here's "Splinter" my favorite song of theirs.
urbpan: (dandelion)
In the 90s, arguably the best band playing in Boston was Spore. They were a noise rock outfit with the kind of dynamics that Nirvana would later turn into superstardom. Their songs might start sounding like a plaintive moan and would work their way to blistering raw noise. They also had a great sense of melody to hang all this noise on and make you want to keep listening, and to get the songs stuck in your head. Most songs made use of two vocalists, male and female, whose tones related to one another in a way similar to John Doe and Exene Cervenka from X.

The female vocalist, Mona Elliott, was in several other bands over the years, and has continuously released solo material. She gave me permission to share her latest, which I think is just lovely, making use of a rolling funky midtempo drumbeat and overlapping her own voice. It builds as much tension as Spore, without the splattering release--making it more powerful music, really.

She's made it available as a free download, so you can own it now!
urbpan: (dandelion)
I have a Pandora station I named "Bong Water on the Van Carpet." Right now it's playing "Comfortably Numb." Out of curiosity I checked "why was this track selected?"

Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features mystical qualities, a subtle use of vocal harmony, a clear focus on recording studio production, mixed minor & major key tonality and string section beds.

Riiight. Honest, mom!
urbpan: (boddingtons)
 photo tmg-slideshow_xl_zps143289d4.jpg

This has been floating around facebook lately, a map of the Boston rapid transit system with the station names replaced with nearby bars. It appears to come from a website called thrillest.com about which I know nothing. I can't seem to find a very good resolution image to post here (subject to change) but it's clever enough that I want to post it now.

I do go to a lot of bars in Boston, but looking at this map it looks otherwise. Mostly that's because I have favorite watering holes near the ones they list here. Most of these are very big, very loud places.

Bars I've been to:
Red line: The Burren (good), The Field (pretty good)
Blue line: The Black Rose (my dad loves it, in a touristy part of town I avoid), Bill Ash's Lounge (basically the only choice on Revere Beach).
Orange Line: Brendan Behan (great, but no kitchen), Bella Luna (haven't been to the new location, but pretty nice back in the day), Fireside Tavern (Alexis hates it but my dad and I had a real nice time there--a little pricey for the neighborhood)
Green Line: The Haven (Scottish restaurant kind of expensive--right across the street from the Brendan Behan), Corrib Pub (okay), The Publick House (overrated, had a really bad experience there with lemonade, of all things), CornWalls (haven't been in a really long time but I liked it--only English pub in town), Paradise Rock Club (it's a rock club, doesn't really belong on the list), White Horse Tavern (gross, many better choices nearby), Wonder Bar (pretentious and nasty, I'd much rather walk the 4 blocks to The Model cafe than go in that place again).

Not on the list are my favorite bars Flann O'Briens (instead they have the Mission Bar and Grill, which I've never been in, because Flanns is right there, and has really good cheap food) and The James's Gate (which is a ways past the Behan, not super close to the T lines).

The bike ride today was great, lots of great company and laughs. We did get soggy and despite having 5 million raffle tickets none of us won anything. Great massage though. In a few hours I'm off to Providence for Bowling for Rhinos!

Edited to add: I really like this song, might as well make it easy for you to listen to. Firewater are known for melding genres; this is a Gospel/Drinking song.


May. 3rd, 2014 09:13 am
urbpan: (dandelion)
When I posted my last snapshot (of a fluorescent light panel) I skipped songs until I got to "Fluorescenses" by Stereolab. Yes I'm terribly clever. Then just now I turned on the music again and heard the coda at the end of the song. One of Stereolab's singers speaks French as a first language, so when she sings in English she accents words slightly strangely, the emphasis often falling on an unexpected syllable. More than once I've listened to one of their songs a dozen times then all of a sudden understand something new. This time I heard this:

i'm ok
i feel good
i can breathe
fill my soul
i'm ok
feeling good
why do i
swim in blood?

urbpan: (dandelion)
 photo IMG_5544_zpse5a0a484.jpg

On Saturday we played Beatles Rock Band.
urbpan: (dandelion)
 photo IMG_5273_zps603d033a.jpg

Playing Rocksmith in the basement.
urbpan: (dandelion)

Mostly the first two minutes but also the rest of it but especially the first two minutes.
urbpan: (dandelion)
 photo IMG_4287_zps1e76cbb9.jpg

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
-Thomas Hood

urbpan: (dandelion)
In case you haven't noticed, I'm momentarily obsessed with a certain band. Unfortunately, I keep writing their name incorrectly.

They are: The Darkest of The Hillside Thickets. My apologies for past instances writing "darkness" and omitting one of the "the"s. They are a Canadian concept band making music inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft.

I came to be aware of them on account of this song being available as Rock Band DLC:

I just bought their album "The Shadow Out of Tim" on the strength of the songs "Nyarlathotep" and "Marine Biologist" (best chorus ever? "He's got a bathyscape...!")

I'm trying very hard not to buy this t-shirt since I already have too many t-shirts and 25 dollars is too much even for one this spectacularly amazing. I would totally buy it at a live show, but I would have to go to Canada, since they refuse to cross into the US since our border security is obnoxious.

Members of the band are also involved in the Caustic Soda podcast, which I tried to listen to once and got annoyed with it. I'm going to try again.
urbpan: (dandelion)
 photo 352371da-5e01-41d0-b6a3-171b7be1a5e7_zps3edddb41.jpg

On Monday, I received a phone call at precisely three o'clock.

But what about Sunday? )

Pop music

Jun. 7th, 2013 08:54 pm
urbpan: (dandelion)
Sitting at the table, going over my journal adding new tags as you do, with my music on shuffle. A Flaming Lips songs comes on and I start bouncing in my chair. It has a happy triumphant melody, totally catchy while being surrounded by scratchy distorted guitars. (I love that shit.) I've heard it before, but I can't think of the title, and it would be good to be able to find it again when I want to feel like it's making me feel.

I'm a little stunned by the title when I click on the iTunes window. I've been putting my music up on my LJ posts, maybe you've noticed, maybe not, and I imagined what it would be like to scroll down one of my posts and see this title. I search for the lyrics and come up with this:

Cat killing dogs, pigs eating rats
every mouth will eat you up the king bug laughs
Belly of the heart Belly full of bats
the chromosomes seem not to want the fetus...

they beat you up
they make you leave
sticking needles in your knees
knowing God will be pleased
should make it easy

Snakes eating frogs, toads eating gnats
when the space ship beams you up boy, get drunk fast
Rubber bullet barn, titty suckin calf-
goats and roosters Bees and bugs Amoebas!!

They blow you up, make it breath
make it feel like a disease
and though its hard to believe it makes it easy.

urbpan: (dandelion)

Five years ago, July 5th:

This has been the only video game (outside of FB scrabble) that I've played for the past five years. The best parts about it are the communal noncompetitive experience, the pretend instruments that change it from a video game to more of a role playing thing, and most of all the weekly release of new songs. So the game comes with 50 or sixty songs, some of which you are sure to like, some of which you can't help but hate, and some that are unknown to you. But every week for the past five years new songs would come out, and you could choose to buy them and download them or not. I have a collection of over 500 out of nearly 4000 possible songs for the game.

Every week I wanted something like Bad Brains or Firewater to come out, and alas they never did. BUT Dead Kennedys and Mission of Burma songs came out! Almost all of Nirvana's catalog became available, an alarming amount of Jonathan Coulton songs, as well as single tracks by Liz Phair, as well as Paul and Storm. And I learned about bands I'd never heard of before, like Mastodon and Avenged Sevenfold. It was literally my only source of new music for most of the past five years.

This week Harmonix released the last downloadable content for Rock Band they intend to release. My dreams of They Might Be Giants finally relenting and joining in the fun are dashed--Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd as well. Countless indie rock bands from the 90's pop up on my iTunes shuffle "Damn this song should be on rock band!" It is never to be.

The final song released is Don McClean's "American Pie," whose "sad dulcet tones" are a "sad but fitting conclusion to Rock Band's five-plus years of musical history curation..."

I fucking hate that song.


urbpan: (Default)

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