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10/7/12 04:41 pm

Listening to The Flying Burrito Brothers just now on Spotify, between songs the advertisement that came on was for some new album by Big & Rich. And somewhere Gram Parsons just rolled over in his grave.

6/16/12 10:32 pm

I don't like living in a world with no Paul Newman in it.

6/7/12 10:01 pm

"Emmylou" by the Swedish country-pop (for lack of a better term) music group First Aid Kit. It makes me cry. This is a 2012 song. This gives me hope for the music of the future. They've played this song on 89.3 once in a while, which is where I first heard it. Now listening to the album on Spotify. So good. The Swedes have really cornered the market the past few years on really good pop, or soft-rock, or whatever. Picking up where The Carpenters left off (not Swedish, I know).

5/20/12 10:11 pm

Well that's embarrassing. It's been three months since I've posted to the Livejournal.

I've been keeping a journal on paper since 1986. Within the last month I've started to scan in some of those old notebooks so I can have digital copies of them all (and get rid of this huge milk crate with forty or fifty notebooks in it). And I've started writing my journal entries in a text editor and saving them directly to the computer, backing them up to Google Docs. Except for Tuesdays ("Low-Tech Tuesdays"), when I still write on paper to do my journal.

I should write some stuff here on Livejournal once in a while and save it to the regular journal, cut-and-pasted.

2/20/12 10:51 pm

It's been two of the most amazing months of my life, musically, since Christmas. But I'm afraid now the Spotify Premium has to end. See, in December, they offered a free month trial of the premium service, and I was ecstatic. Jumped on it. Come January, I was all prepared to cancel the premium a day or two ahead of the renewal time, but they pulled the trigger a little quicker than I did, and signed me up automatically for another month and charged my PayPal account the ten dollars. It's hard to get too upset about being forced to buy something you really wanted to buy anyway.

But now that renewal time is coming up again in a few days, and I'm not waiting any longer. I'm cutting it off now. I love love love the Spotify Premium. But it's really made for people who are up to speed technologically, which I am not. You need good internet access, which I don't have (256kbps DSL, rock-bottom prices, grandfathered in). You need an MP3-ready mobile device (nope) or a Wifi-ready MP3 device (nope). At the very least you need a modern computer, less than five years old, with an adequate sound card and a good connection to your stereo's auxilliary input (nope, nope, nope, and nope).

Strike six, I'm out, as is the batter behind me. So goodbye for now, Spotify Premium. Nobody made such sweet aural love to me like you did. And I'll be back, I promise (if you're still around when my circumstances change).


A Partial List Of Bands/Artists/Composers/Works I Have Either Discovered Or Re-Acquainted Myself With On Spotify In The Last Two Months:

Jimi Hendrix, Midlake, This Is Ivy League, Phosporescent, World Party, Iron Maiden, Nick Drake ("Bryter Later"), Alexander Scriabin, Ride, Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Brian Eno, Motörhead, Woodpigeon, Pg.lost, Seasick Steve, Elbow, Greg Brown ("The Iowa Waltz"), Opeth, Terry Riley ("In C"), Rodgrigo Y Gabriela, The Choir, Charles Brown, Elbow, R. Nathaniel Dett ("The Magnolia Suite"), Big Star, Galaxie 500, Blackalicious, Steve Reich ("Piano Phase"), The White Birch, Vashti Bunyan, Free Design, Pentangle, The Besnard Lakes, Dawes, The Wedding Present, Bon Iver, John Adams ("Naïve And Sentimental Music"), Slowblow, Kings Of Convenience, Canyons Of Static, Magnolia Electric Co., Jerry Reed, Ben Weaver, Lush, Stafrænn Hákon, LCD Soundsystem, Todd Snider, Erik Satie, Fleet Foxes, Phish, Fairport Convention.

Not to mention gobs and gobs of Grateful Dead.

Why am I canceling the Spotify Premium again?

2/12/12 09:53 pm

I watched some rugby on tv this afternoon. It was fantastic. I don't know a darn thing about the rules, but from what I gather it's not terribly dissimilar from American football. But I liked it a lot anyway (I hate American football; violently so). Very fast moving, high scoring, hard hitting. We Americans tend to lump it into the same category as soccer, but that's enormously unfair. I've tried to like soccer, but all the stupid fakery with imagined injuries makes it ridiculous to watch. In rugby those guys are beating the crap out of each other, and after they get hit they get right back up and continue the play. Hockey players have nothing on these guys. Blood? It's not rugby if a few gallons of blood don't get spilt.

1/27/12 10:00 pm

It's embarrassing. The end of January is strewn with broken resolutions. Shattered willpower. Shame.

I've been drunk too many times. This from a man who vowed to dry up. It didn't happen. No matter the promises I made to myself. I'm too stubborn and independent to ask for help. So I keep trying to kick it on my own. Then I slide back in the bottle.

Maybe if I write about it here on the LiveJournal I can get my act together. The latest "deal" with myself is that if I can stay sober for two weeks, I'll allow myself to buy a new stylus for my record player. I have a ton of records, and they sound terrible because (A) they're records and (B) the stylus is way freakin' old and crappy. This is supposed to be my reward for two measly weeks of sobriety. I'm writing about it here because maybe that will make it more difficult for me to shove it aside in my darker moments. Fake accountability.

The person I am at 5:30 AM sees it all so clearly. He understands that drinking is stupid. The lows far outweigh the highs. The cost in money, the cost in health. The discomfort of waking up the next day not remembering very much about the previous evening.

The evening-time version of me sees only the bottle. He has a beer and says to himself: "Oh come on, sneak a big dose of gin in the orange juice and have yourself a party!" He doesn't care how messed up 5:30 AM me will be in a few hours.

Change needs to happen. I've been saying that and writing it for months, maybe years. I guess it's mostly been just the last year or so that I've really gotten out of control. But whatever the timeline, this is a bad place to be. I need out of it.

Working on it. Today is day one. Thirteen days to go to a new stylus.

1/11/12 07:39 pm

New rule: No more smoking (outside) when it's 25°F or colder. I was out tonight in the 17°F (plus wind) and that was too cold. Not worth it.

I don't believe in windchills. They're a device made up by colder-climate people to add to their bragging rights to non-cold-climate people. "It was ten below out this morning!" they'll holler. Baloney. It was ten above, but you only heard the windchill number. (This is all for example. It wasn't ten below or above this morning, windchill or no.)

I mentioned to a coworker one time that the high temperature the day before had been -35°F in Fairbanks, Alaska. The high temperature that was. This coworker -- who is an idiot, I should mention -- responded: "That's about how cold it is in Grand Forks every day." Well, no, you fool. Maybe once in a while with the windchill it gets that low, but it certainly never gets that cold for the high temperature.

But you can't reason with stupid people.

1/8/12 01:15 am

Just listened to "About Love" by The Choir on Spotify. Nearly cried. The 90s washed over me and I was not ashamed. This wasn't "90s music" then, it was just music.

So now I'm reveling in some World Party awesomeness, and I do not apologize.

Thank you, Spotify. In 1992, we couldn't hear the music of 1975 on demand like this. It's 2012 now, and we can hear 1995 crystal clearly. Oh the humanity, thank you!

1/6/12 11:32 pm

I would abandon my wife and daughters for OlgaKay. I discovered this person yesterday, and was stunned by this beautiful Russian woman. Then I saw her juggling, and juggling incredibly well, and I nearly died with want.

Jennifer Connelly, no more. Aishwarya Rai, this is the end. Olga is my one and only now. The rest of you can sell Fuller brushes.

I can't stop thinking about this woman. I have to force myself to imagine her doing something really abhorrent, like engaging in political debate, or listening to Aerosmith, in order to function in my life without dropping it all to pursue her in California and become her slave if she would let me, or stalker if she wouldn't.
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