Archive for the 'Random' category

Top 10/Bottom 3: August 2010

Live Control and iPad

Top 10

  1. Mad Men (oh yeah, it’s back)
  2. The IT Crowd (4th season starts Aug 10)
  3. Broadcast (seem to have the clearest sense of what Hauntology should SOUND like: warped, fragmented, discarded sonic impressions of the past)
  4. Louie (an amazingly good show)
  5. Patton Oswalt (finally saw him in concert–in San Diego during ComiCon, where he reigns as king [with Felicia Day as queen, of course])
  6. The Guild (speaking of Felicia)
  7. Ableton Live (am taking the advanced course on this program from Berklee College–it’s a great course, and I’m constantly amazed how deep and how fascinating Live is)
  8. Inception (the rare big-budget action film based around an original idea)
  9. Barak Obama (sorry all you conservatives out there–he’s saving the country and you’re trying to ruin it.  In 2 years, that’ll be crystal clear; right now, it’s not.)
  10. LiveControl (controlling Ableton Live with my iPad is awesome–exactly what I was hoping for when I bought the pad)

Bottom 3

  1. Angels (not every year can be a playoff year)
  2. Meg Whitman (if she just gave California the money she is spending on her campaign, the state wouldn’t have to lay off all those teachers)
  3. All other Republicans

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Elizabeth Gilbert and Genius

Jul 09 2010 Published by under Humor, Internet/Media, Literature, Random

Elizabeth Gilbert

This is the wonderful writer Elizabeth Gilbert talking about the nature and danger of creativity.  From Ted:

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

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Top 10/Bottom 3: June 2010

The Roadhouse--Longplayer

Top 10

  1. iPad (software still iffy but device is amazing.  Watching Netflix in my office between classes is awesome)
  2. M.I.A. (new album should be interesting)
  3. Sly and the Family Stone’s Fresh (have been listening to this a lot–forgot how awesome it is)
  4. Wind (hey, in the desert, when the wind goes away, the heat arrives–and stays)
  5. Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky (even better 2nd time around)
  6. Emeralds, Does It Look Like I’m Here?
  7. Mutek 2010 (damn–I’ve been wanting to go to this for 10 years, and I haven’t made it yet.  Perhaps next year…)
  8. BBC America (has replaced Comedy Central as my default channel)
  9. Steak (mmmmm)
  10. John Scalzi’s Whatever

Bottom 3

  1. Lost finale (massive cop-out to turn the flash-sideways into purgatory.  I never thought I’d say this, but Star Trek: The Next Generation kicked this show’s ass as far as complex, intelligent finales)
  2. Angels (Kowbell’s broken leg encapsulation of the season)
  3. Oil

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Top 10/Bottom 3: March 2010

Top 10

  1. Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me
  2. Spring training
  3. Waiting for new Venture Bros., rewatching old Venture Bros.
  4. Flavors.me
  5. Ableton Live
  6. Heater Core 365 Ableton Live Tips
  7. Lost
  8. The Bugle
  9. Top Gear on iTunes (they have the original UK versions that are 20 min longer than the ones they show on BBC America)
  10. Boards of Canada possibly, maybe, perhaps releasing something in 2010

Bottom 3

  1. California’s economy
  2. Earthquakes
  3. Republicans

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Friskies

Feb 14 2010 Published by under Film/TV, Humor, Random

I saw this while watching the Olympics tonight.  This might be the most awesome cat food commercial ever made.  Judge for yourself.

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Top 25/Bottom 10: January 2000-December 2009

Angels win 2002 World Series

Top 25

  1. Angels win 2002 World Series–At my father’s funeral in 2005, I talked about our shared love of sports, and the point I made to illustrate this love was him calling me after the Angels won the Series for the first time.  That’s how much this meant to me (and to him).
  2. The Wire: When a postmortem is written about the American experiment, this show will be singled out as a perfect illustration of how the country fell.  The detailed way in which the show demonstrated corruption, complacency, and stagnation at all levels of bureaucracy and business, mixed with the systematic defeat of anyone and everyone trying to make things better, says more about the last decade than a million hours of campaign commercials and governmental panels ever could.  It’s the most essential work of art of this century, and it will be one of the lasting gifts of our generation to generations to come.
  3. William Basinski‘s The Disintegration Loops and The River–I helped to generate interest in William Basinski’s work when I worked at the now-defunct Stylus Magazine.  All of his work is wonderful, but these two works shine above all other music from the last decade (even though they both are really over 30 years old now).
  4. Children of Men: The best film of the decade is also the most amazing science fiction films ever conceived.  Clive Owen’s acting, Alfonso Cuarón’s directing, and Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography are the three pillars in this film, which takes us on a journey through a world without children and all the chaos and confusion that this fact produces.  It’s a spellbinding, amazing work of art.
  5. Barak Obama–2nd best night of the decade (behind the night the Angels won the series) was the night that Obama won the Presidency.  And while he’s been attacked left and right for the past year, he’s still standing and he’s moving slowly but surely toward change.  I still believe.
  6. Apple’s iPod and iPhone–When I used to carry around a portable CD player and 50 CDs, I would dream of a device that could store my music in my pocket.  And then I got an iPod.  And then I got another iPod.  And then I got an iPhone.  And then I gave my first iPhone to my friend and got a new one and we both started using ours together.  And it was good.
  7. Tivo–Oh hell yes.
  8. Idiocracy–Funniest movie of the decade, and the most accurate.  We don’t have to wait 500 years for this world to come into existence; I see this kind of stupid every single day.
  9. Sigur Rós‘s Agaetis Byrjun, ( ), Takk…, and Hvarf – Heim–Band of the decade?  I think so.  Their music has defined much of the genre that is usually known as “post rock,” even as their emerging popularity has alienated the band from the critics, most of whom see the band as sell-outs because they are successful.  And yes their last album wasn’t as good as their previous work; but it’s still way better than 99.99% of all music ever, so I’ll give them some slack.  Oh, and Amiina is awesome too!
  10. Joanna Newsom’s Ys–I put this CD in my car shortly after I bought it in 2007 and it’s still in there.  It’s one of the only examples of high-quality poetry brought to life through music.
  11. The Venture Brothers–Poetry of an entirely different stripe, this series is the vanguard of Adult Swim, itself the vanguard of popular entertainment for quite some time.  It’s part Hardy Boys, part Superfriends, part Six Million Dollar Man, part dada, part I Saved Hitler’s Brain, and part…well, part everything else I can come up with.  Oh my flipping zombie Jesus is this show good.
  12. Tod Dockstander’s Aerial–Decades in the making, this is a magnum-opus from an electronic music pioneer who never really had much of a chance to practice his art back in the 60s because he lacked the credentials to use the very rare and very expensive technologies found in some high-level universities and few other places.  This is an exceptional trilogy of albums that puts Dockstander front and center in the modern world of experimental music.
  13. NetflixIt took me a while to get into this (their initial catalogue was rather minimal), but now it’s practically a religion, even for people like my mom who know next to nothing about computers.  She checks her email and her Netflix queue.  Oh, and they forced Americans to use the word “queue,” too.  That’s awesome.
  14. The Caretaker: The Complete Digital CollectionUnbelievably important music from the guy who was originally known as V/VM.  The entire catalogue is worth owning; more than that, it’s affordable.  This guy pioneered the online distribution of music.  Most of his catalogue was originally available for free download.  But I felt that I owed it to him to buy the collection and support this wonderful artist’s work into another decade (which has begun in earnest with Leyland Kirby’s latest release).
  15. World of Warcraft–This is #1 on my wife’s “Bottom 10” list for the decade.  I play it too much–and have for several years.  I got hooked when I saw that I could create a druid alchemist.  How cool is that?  Not that alchemy or druidism in WoW have anything to do with actual druids or alchemy, but it’s still fun to imagine living within a mythological world.
  16. Boards of Canada‘s Geogaddi and The Campfire Headphase–Boards of Canada’s contribution to the music world in the last decade consists of two fascinating albums and some EPs.  These are exceptional works, and they extend the ideas from Music Has the Right to Children in interesting ways.  I still check BoC’s website every day to see if there’s news of their latest release.  I bet I’m not the only one.
  17. Amazon Prime–I grew up in Riverside, about 60 miles from Los Angeles at a time when I had to go into LA to find any decent music or bookstores.  I dreamed of a day when I would live in a decent town where I could buy any of the weird stuff that I read about in magazines.  And then the Internet showed up and with it came Amazon, the first and still best stop for online shopping.  I now live in a town that is over 100 miles from the nearest pocket of civilization, and the only reason a place like this is even partially tolerable is Amazon Prime, which allows me to buy whatever I want and not pay for shipping (well, I pay $75 a year, but you have no idea how much stuff my wife and I get on Amazon).
  18. Neal Stephenson’s Anathem–Read it recently and loved it.  I’ve loved all of his novels (though the Baroque Cycle is a tough haul).  I love the fact that the kernel of this novel’s story is taken from the Long Now project.
  19. Tim Hecker‘s Radio Amor, Harmony in Ultraviolet, and An Imaginary Country–I first got into Hecker because Amour was based around shortwave radio signals he recorded in Central America (shortwave being one of my fascinations).  But everything this artist has created in the past few years is truly beautiful and challenging (a difficult combination, indeed).  Highly recommended.
  20. Stow, Scotland–My wife and I took our parents to the UK in 2006.  We spent a week at a small farmhouse in this town.  It was wonderful.
  21. Ableton Live–This is the past, present, and future of electronic music composition.  This German company will dominate the next decade because of their wise decision to merge their software with Cycling ’74’s epochal Max/MSP.  Max for Live debuted in November 2009 and will be the basis for more music in the coming decade than the vocoder was in the Noughts.
  22. Top Gear–I care very little about cars, but I love this show.  It proves that adult men can make fun of each other intelligently and with style.  Plus it’s one of the few things my wife and I enjoy watching together.
  23. Lord of the RingsThe movies were fantastic, but what I love even more is the fact that these films spearheaded the interest in fantasy and mythology.  It’s partly because of this film that I’m able to teach a class on mythology at my college.
  24. Patton Oswalt–I’ve been a fan since his 1996 HBO special (which I taped and watched over and over).  He’s more popular than ever now, and his comedy just keeps getting stronger.
  25. Longplayer–A wonderful idea.  Here’s hoping it lasts!

Bottom 10

  1. George W. Bush
  2. Dick Cheney
  3. Donald Rumsfeld (really, it’s a three-way tie for first)
  4. Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Fox News
  5. People who don’t understand the difference between “were” and “where”
  6. Terrorists of all stripes (from the 9/11 attackers to the Wall Street thugs to Republican fearmongers)
  7. Boston
  8. Reality television
  9. 99.99% of all entertainment
  10. Summers in El Centro, CA

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Top 10/Bottom 3: November 2009

Nov 01 2009 Published by under Humor, Internet/Media, Music, Personal, Politics, Random, Sports, Top 10/Bottom 3

duckclown

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Detroit Thunderdome

Oct 15 2009 Published by under Humor, Random, Travel

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Top 10/Bottom 3 September 2009

Sep 01 2009 Published by under Film/TV, Humor, Internet/Media, Music, Politics, Random, Top 10/Bottom 3

Caroline horse time

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Top 10/Bottom 3 for July 2009

A First-Draft Version of FW

A First-Draft Version of FW

Top 10

  1. Angels baseball–doing well despite the injuries/tragedies of this season.
  2. Mapsadasical–my latest source for excellent music recommendations (and some nifty photos to boot)
  3. iPhone 3GS–32 GB storage space means waaaaaay more music in my pocket at all times.  Plus it’s faster and the video camera is excellent!
  4. Landon Donovan–Redlands-born US national team player and LA Galaxy star just had a phenomenal Confederation’s Cup and is the dominant player on the US side.
  5. Finnegans Wake
  6. Pizza Chalet
  7. Sleep
  8. New Doctor Who
  9. Feedly
  10. Adult Swim in all its glory (from Squidbillies to Venture Brothers to everything else–awesome weirdness galore)

Bottom 3

  1. Summer heat (it’s 111 today in El Centro, and it’s not even July 4.  August is usually the hot month)
  2. Republicans
  3. TV networks that spend more than 5 minutes on Michael Jackson’s death

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