Archive for August, 2006

Top Wikipedia Pages

WikiCharts — Top 100 — 08/2006

I’m not surprised by all the porn and sex page views. What I am surprised by is that the first celebrity (other than the Simpsons) listed (#27) is Eric Clapton.

Do nerds secretly love Clapton?

I needed someplace to put this.


Party at the Fair

Last night I was at a party at the Minnesota State Fair. A party with loud, truly creative music. A middle-aged woman danced in circles in a babydoll dress while her gray-haired husband played mastered guitar feedback. Confetti was blown out of huge orange horns. Streamers jetted from air guns. A salt-n-pepper bearded man encouraged us to sing along with a punching nun toy.

This was no ordinary party. It was meant to be a concert with Sonic Youth and the Flaming Lips playing for us. But it was a party, no doubt about it. As all the big music rags and blogs have already pointed out, Wayne Coyne of the Lips begins the show in a plastic bubble rolling across the crowd, but it’s way cooler in person. I’m sure it’s even cooler if you’re in that crowd of people, but being able to breathe and not feel like a sardine sometimes beats the mere possiblity of a good story.

As fun as the show was, I felt a bit gyped. The Lips played basically for an hour, but it felt like they hardly played any songs. The banter was funny, but I wanted more music. They only played “Race for the Price” from the Soft Bulletin, which is a tradegy. But Sonic Youth sounded exactly like their records, which surprised me.

photo courtesy s4xton.

Thanks, Bob!

I went to a listening party for Bob Dylan’s upcoming album, Modern Times, tonight. I’d heard about it via Sterogum. It was totally free and way better than I imagined. And that was just the food & drink! There was a huge food spread in the side room at Grumpy’s, plus two drink tickets each.
A rep from Sony/BMG was there, and she promised to play at least the first six songs, possibly the whole thing. Well, I’m pretty sure she played the first six songs about four times, not the whole album. It sounded all right. Nothing spectacular. But a listening party isn’t really the best place to hear Dylan. I really like two, slower songs. The first two songs sound very similar–bluesy with a big band. I couldn’t really hear the lyrics.
There were about 30-40 people there, much smaller than I imagined. I think there were six women total, but that was to be expected. All age groups, and there was even an amputee. I had no idea what to expect, but it was really fun.

200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s

I expected more Dylan from Pitchfork’s list. Or maybe that’s just because I’ve been listening to so much Dylan lately.

To me, “The Times They Are A-Changin”‘ is pure wonder. I can barely believe that one, quite young, man wrote this Sermon on the Mount Part II. It’s like the song has always existed. That first verse, “Come gather round people/where ever you roam…” gives me chills every time I hear it.

I have this strange thing that when I look at old pictures of talented people, I think about their future work. Like everything you will create is already in your mind, you just have to grab it. Like looking at pictures of the Beatles in Hamburg, you have to really think hard that these are the same guys that will write “A Day in the Life.”

You are lucky if you grab the creative and do it, and let people know about it. By studying old folk songs, and living that lifestyle, Dylan was able to perfectly emmulate, and actually improve upon, folk music in a way no one could have imagined. He has an old soul.

Anyway, I am disappointed that no early Dylan songs were included in Pitchfork’s list. And out of nowhere the Jackson 5 get #2. It should have been “Be My Baby,” a song that inspired so many, including Brian Wilson.

More Picture Fun

In this picture (from Andrew Bull via the BBC), is the runner:

a. making the winning approach at the World Slip n’ Slide Championships held in Putsborough Sands, North Devon

b. partaking in the Annual Devon Nippers Surf Lifesaving Competition, Putsborough Sands, North Devon

c. a member of British Aqua Marinas

Leave your guess as a comment.

Writing with Live Writer

I have composed this post with Microsoft Live Writer. It’s a what appears to be superb new (and free) blog publishing tool. The interface is very Web 2.0 and all the necessary options, plus more, are available. I’ll have to play with it some more. Hopefully this will mean no more lost Blogger posts.

I had a yummy chicken Cesar salad from Quizno’s today. It was really delicious. I’m not sure if it was the salad or something else that upset my stomach later, but I don’t mind. They even give you a real fork! What a revolutionary idea–no waste, I get a fork to keep at work without depleting my home resources, and it’s stronger than any plastic one. Thumbs up, Quizno’s!

Poor Laura B.

From my trusty Google Sidebar:Hehheh. Mount.

What a weekend. What a last couple of weeks, actually. I’ve had a lot of fun and been very disappointed in myself and others. And if you just said to yourself, “Duh, Truth Hurts. That’s life. You should get out more,” you are so right. Where should we go?

I hurt my toe last night while frantically going for my ringing phone. I ran into the coffee table. It hurts really bad, but it’s not terribly swollen or black and blue so I don’t think it’s broken.

I got a new guitar. I love it. I can’t believe I played my old one for so long when it sucks so bad. Still, I’m sad to leave it. I have no idea what to do with it though.

I was introduced to someone as the blogger from The Truth Hurts over the weekend. You know, fame, for some people, is hard to manage. It overwhelms them. Me–I handle it with the grace and wisdom of an old pro.

Flattery will get you everywhere with me.

Daily Fringe…Electronically

I subscribe to the Fringe Festival emails, but I haven’t gone to a single play since I moved here. I don’t really have a good excuse for this except that I dislike people so much. And by people I mean traffic, parking, and people outside cars, too.

Anyway, I love the emails, especially the dailies since the festival actually started. Here’s an excerpt:
Ode to Tuesday

Oh, Tuesday!
Sweet Tuesday!

Known for your elections!

Second day!

Day separating water from water,

day of Tiw,

Martis diem,
day of Nightcap return.

Embrace me, sweet Tuesday
Bob says you’re grey

But he’s wrong. No—

you are black as the Forest

on Eat Street.

Hark! Tuesday!—
sixth day of Fringe.

Stuff and things,
profound and poignant.

Onto The Daily Fringe.

Verily maketh I hands of jazz.

If I could write a poem as good as that, I’d never stop. Even the slightly modified weather reports from varying local stations are beautifully written odes to the English language:

Tonight: 65°F. Happy little evening clouds. Just a few here and there. Wherever you’d like them to be. Tomorrow: 88°F. Angry little thunderstorms possible on the overnight.

They sound like Yoko Ono sky pieces from Grapefruit. Anyway, I just wanted to let the fine Fringe folks (or is it just Matthew?) know that even their emails are full of inspiring originality, and that their talents to do not unrecognized.

Product Review: the Intuition

I hate shaving my legs. In fact, I rarely do it during the winter. When I spent a semester in England, I don’t think I ever shaved my legs, which scared my southern fundamentalist Christian roommate to pieces (she called it “unnatural”).

Because I hate shaving, I’m always looking for shortcuts, especially since the globe keeps mysteriously heating up at rapid rates and I am forced to wear capris. I figured that the Intuition (take a look at the link, it’s not the official website) would be a nice shortcut.

And in many ways, it is a nice shortcut. You don’t have to lather up with a can of shaving soap because the razor is inset within a bar of soap. So you just need to wet your legs and shave. You completely skip a step. This is especially important to me because part of the reason I shave infrequently is because I wear glasses and do not own contacts. That makes seeing what I’m doing in the shower very difficult at times. So a lot of times I’ll shave in the tub with my glasses on.

But the Intuition offers additional safety with the razor set within the soap. However, and here’s the catch you knew was coming, the soap wears out incredibly fast. The razor is still perfectly good on mine (which I’ve used proably five or six times), but the soap is gone for all intents and purposes. So now I have to switch razors. I should not have to throw away a razor after using it five times.

I’ll give the Intution a 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a great idea. Now if they would just sell the soap that goes around the razor by itself, it’d be 5 stars. But I suppose that wouldn’t make anyone any money so it’s out of the question.