Tag Archives: Music

Musical Interlude


Today’s Music: See Below

This is what the inside of my office looks like.

Haven’t posted in several days. Because I’ve been getting the tar kicked out of me.
The pic of my work area doesn’t begin to convey the mayhem…

3 servers. One of those had a bad disk controller that took a few to replace.
1 KVM. That I put in multiple service calls for. Because it didn’t work.
Ah, but it did. Thanks Belkin, for the worst instruction manual ever.

This is what the inside of my head looks like...

This was all done in a hurry, for a new data center we are setting up. So it all needed to be done in a hurry.
As you can see, there are boxes and hardware everywhere.
On the bright side, since it was a rush job, I was able to ignore all the normal requests so I could focus on this.
And except for some small odds and ends, we finished on or a bit ahead of schedule, and everything will be shipped out tomorrow.

Here’s part of the soundtrack that’s been playing in my head and on my pc through the project.
These are all songs that get my adrenaline up and energize me. Gossip and RAM have great or thoughtful lyrics, Dire Straits makes no sense at all, but I love all of them.
And I strongly recommend against listening to any of them while sitting in traffic…
Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control

Dire Straits – Solid Rock

Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name Of
***This is in no way shape or form a child appropriate song – lots of F**k You in it, and a very strong message
that being said, I love this one, and think you should play it as loud as you can

So the boxes are packed, and tomorrow should see a slow return to office order, and I’ll be able to get back to you guys, especially reading, commenting on and enjoying your blogs.
And the Friday Foolishness poll is already taking shape in the unfiltered recesses of my mind, so there’s that to look forward to.

Until then, don’t forget to vote on last week’s poll before it closes.

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You’ve got to hear this – Volume one


Today’s Music: Derek And The Dominoes – Layla (for comparison with the below)

Sometimes I hear a song from a genre I wouldn’t normally listen to, like Aloe Blacc’s single, I Need a Dollar

Sometimes, it’s from a band I like, and it’s exactly what I expect, Like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s album, Edge of Forever

And sometimes, an act I like puts something out that takes my expectations and sends them running for cover.
In a good way.
That was the case with Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton’s Play The Blues (Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center).
It’s all here – New Orleans blues, Chicago blues, Delta, some Ragtime, and a few dirges.
Eric Clapton has a growl in his voice on some of the tracks that I haven’t heard before.
Wynton Marsalis defies reality with a plunger at the end of his horn.

But it isn’t just the Wynton & Eric show. There’s plenty of room for some spectacular keys from Chris Stainton and Dan Nimmer. Fantastic rhythm from Ali Jackson on drums, Great upright bass by Carlos Henriquez. Victor Goines (clarinet), Marcus Printup (trumpet) Chris Crenslaw (trombone) round out a phenomenal horn section.
Taj Mahal even shows up at the end with his banjo for a couple of tracks.

From the opening rollicking track, led off by a playful ragtime riff and Eric Clapton shouting about ice cream, the album grabs and doesn’t let go.
Wynton and Eric trade vocals for most of the album, and their two instruments blend and play off each other incredibly well.

To give you an idea, here’s a song most people know, reworked for this show. As a dirge.

If you have any interest in either of these performers, or the blues with aNew Orleans tinge, you can do a lot worse than pick this up.
Two world class performers working with each other to create a level of music I don’t think either of them could have created on their own.

How could I not have expected that?

Friday Foolishness – With a bit of Serious too


Today’s Music: Gossip (A great band that never caught fire. Check ’em out!)

First off – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a great idea, with a terrible execution. It protects media producers, but goes way overboard – if a kid posts a YouTube video of themselves singing a Justin Bieber song, they can be sued for piracy and infringement.
While they are guilty of many things for singing Justin Bieber, piracy probably isn’t one of them. Congress should write a law that is more specific to the problem, instead of this, which is very general and can be applied almost anywhere.

If you agree, please click the black bar over the logo, or here if the bar isn’t above and sign the petition.
If not, hey, that’s cool too.

And on to the silliness…

Last week, we asked about jellybeans!
And The winner is “STEAK! (Because jellybeans suck)”. I couldn’t agree more.

Although, kudos to Brian the Kwyjibo, who actually used logic for this (really?!?) to not choose Black Licorice so that he wouldn’t be eaten, or as he says…
“I voted for black licorice after a little internal debate, because I also like pina colada. But then I thought, Wait, what does he mean when he asks “What flavor of jelly bean would you be?” If I wanted someone to eat me, I’d pick black licorice (or pina colada) since those are the best. But if I wanted to survive, I’d definitely NOT choose one of those.”

And now what you’ve been waiting for, This weeks Friday Foolishness Poll:

Again, voting ends Thanksgiving night at 23:59.

While you wait for the results, please enjoy some Cat Juggling.
Roll the ugliness…

Friday Foolishness, and Check. Your. Calendar.


Today’s Music: GWAR
The video is slightly disturbing, the music isn’t bad. Think KISS on a really bad high. Their guitarist passed away last night, so they are Today’s Music as a tribute.

Next, to the old business –
The hands down category winner to last weeks Friday Foolishness poll is Other.
The Written In answers are as follows:

– Are you suggesting that only bloggers should be responding to this poll?
– I ain’t admitting to nuthun.

In reference to the first answer, you know, it didn’t even occur to me to add a non-blogger answer. How silly of me…

And now, on to the new silliness!!! (even though there is rarely anything but silliness around here…)

I was going to go with a rant today, since there was Christmas music playing when I bought my coffee this morning. When I paid, I asked the girl if it was a one-off, but no, apparently that’s all they are playing now. And for the next. 8. weeks.
But I think I’ll save that for a more detailed diatribe, maybe this weekend.

So, in keeping with the theme of Friday Foolishness, another question.
This was going to be part of another entry, but I would like your thoughts on the matter.

And non-bloggers should be able to get in on this one too!
(If you write in an answer, please include contact info if you like)

‘Cause folks, it don’t get no foolisher than that.
Have a good weekend!

A conversation with IrishPaul


Today’s Music: Sammy Hagar

IrishPaul Instant Messaged me on my way to the train this morning.
Here is the conversation…

IrishPaul –
Happy 50th birthday to moody bastard Larry Mullins junior

El Guapo –
That’s why you’re up at 7 am?

IrishPaul –
Going to bed now. Was watching a movie.
Why are you up?

El Guapo –
You. Suck. I’m going to work.

IrishPaul –
What kind of a****le goes to work before 6pm? Don’t forget, we’re going to The Drums next Monday.

El Gupao –
Real world a****les. Haven’t yet found a surfing sponsor, so off I go.
Yeah, I’ll be there.

IrishPaul –
Right. I’m off to bed alone – bonus.
You going to Chickenfoot.

El Guapo –
Bah, not a big enough fan. Thought you hated Hagar.

IrishPaul –
I do but want to see Michael Anthony Hall and Joe Satriani. So I’ll bear with it.

El Guapo –
Have a good time.

And since I know he hates that crap, today’s music is Sammy Hagar. Because I had to be on my to work at 7 am. And he was finishing his day bartending form last night.

So there it is, a tiny snippet of my real life.

Bah.

Cut it out, Canada.


Today’s Music: Oh, Canada

I like Canada. A lot.
I’ve been there several times, most recently to see The Cars at Sound Academy in Toronto.
I’ve loved seeing the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Parliament in Ottawa.
I loved hanging out with Charles DeLint at the bar he plays at weekly. He invited me up onstage, and lent me a guitar so we could rip through a twelve bar blues riff with his band.
He took us out for lunch after we spent the day exploring the Byward market, a really nice indoor/outdoor shopping area filled with the products of local craftsmen and street musicians.
My wife (the most wonderful girl in the universe) and I spent a lovely afternoon strolling through the Ottawa government seat, and walking along the Rideau river.

Manhattan at noon, 29 October

I’ve skied at Tremblant and loved, and have nothing but nice things to say about Montreal.

More recently, I’ve enjoyed the tulip festival. They really are beautiful. The way you arrange them shows why you elevated the festival to a national event.
My wife and I loved your museums, and admired the clean orderliness of your street.

Brooklyn, 20 minutes after Manhattan

And on the same trip when we went to see The Cars, we also stopped at Niagara Falls. It’s true, the view is better from the Canadian side.
So all the times I’ve been to Canada, I’ve had nothing but fun.

Queens, 35 mjinutes after Brooklyn

But you have a dark secret.
Any architect building a freestanding home in an open area will tell you, build the hedges along the north.
During winter, the cold air comes down from the north. That’s how the jet stream works.
And what’s north of New York?
Canada.
That;s right. I said it.
Canada is sending us the snow.
I like snow. I like sledding, skiing, sitting on the porch watching it build up. I like driving in fields through it, catching it on my tongue, and making naked snow angels in it. Ok, that was once, and i was really drunk at the time. But I enjoyed it.

But now you’ve gone too far. It’s October. There are another 60 or so days of fall. Which I can’t enjoy. Because it’s snowing.
The snow Canada sent.

Look, I admit it, the U.S. can be mean to Canada. We ignore you, we run roughshod over your entertainment industry by selling you our music/tv/movies. And I know you have to pay more for those same books and dvds we insist on sending you.
But I’m begging you, please, turn off the snow.
I gave your anthem the “Today’s Music” slot.
I like real maple syrup.
I’ll even admit (under duress) that I own a Bryan Adams cd (it was a long time ago and I’ve no idea where it is anymore.)

So stop with the snow already. At least for another month or two.

The view out my window 15 minutes later.

Or we’ll send back William Shatner.

From the ticket stub bin – Rodrigo y Gabriella


Today’s Music: Groovelily

 

Every so often, I hear a new band that makes me stop what I’m doing and listen.
One band like that was Rodrigo y Gabriella. The first time I heard their debut CD, it was all I could listen to. I’d been taking guitar lessons at the time, and I went between wanting to play like them, and just thinking I should put it down and give up.

Rodrigo and Gabriella had been in a speed metal band that broke up. They picked nylon sring acoustic guitars, went to Ireland and started busking, developing a style that was a combination of speed metal and classical guitar, with flamenco flares. The result is astounding.
So when they announced dates at Terminal 5 in Manhattan, I made sure I got tickets.
Terminal is a good sized room (capacity ~3000), with 2 balconies and plenty of bars. No seats, and the crowd gets a bit sloppy (watch where you step!)
The night of the show, I met my girl (the most wonderful girl in the universe!) for a quick dinner nearby, and we went over to the venue.
It was packed. Sold out.
The main floor was wall to wall bodies, as were the balconies. Not sure how full the rooftop smoking lounge was, but everything inside was full.
There was an opener. I don’t remember who the opener was. That’s a good thing, as the opener wasn’t good at all.
Then Rodrigo and Gabriella came out.
Just the two of them, on their two classical guitars. Beating. The. Hell. Out of them.
They were really good. At times their hands were moving faster than my eyes could easily track. Rodrigo was stretching the individual strings, doing leads over intricate chord and rhythm patterns Gabriella was pounding out. And she was also working in slaps of her guitar top, doing rhythm guitar and percussion at the same time!
They played through the whole album, but the highlight of the show for me was Gabriella’s solo.
Rodrigo did his solo, then left the stage and Gabriella came back on by herself. She started off slowly, speeding up as her chord changes grew more complex and her strumming hand also drummed the guitar top faster and faster between strums.
Then, and this is what really blew me away, she laid her head down on the side of her guitar and kept playing, even faster and more intricately.
I’ve never seen anything like that. Her entire body was attuned to and focused on her guitar. Her music was transcendent, going beyond a performance to almost a religious experience.
When she slowed down and finally stopped, smiling out at the crowd, the room exploded in applause.
Rodrigo came back out, and the two of them played the rest of the set, which was incredible.
All told, they did about an hour and forty five minutes, a decent length set.

But if they had only done twenty minutes, and that twenty minutes was Gabriella’s solo, that would have been worth the price of admission.