September 30, 2007

Fall Reading

It's the last day of September. Fall is just around the corner, and I'm really ready for it. I've started reading Ouspenky again, and it all seems to fit. Hopefully by the end of the year, I will have completed RAW's Cosmic Trigger trilogy, and at least half of Ouspensky's The Fourth Way. I'm also still only on the second book of George R. R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire, so I would like to try and finish that as well. I'm so glad life will be slowing down soon (hopefully).

September 27, 2007

I'm Touched...(But Not Impressed)

Well, the iPod Touch is here, and I've got to say, I'm disappointed. It feels like Apple is really gipping music lovers with this one, and that comes as a bit of a surprise. I really loved the minimalism and elegance of previous iPod generations, such as the 4 and 5G's, and the large capacity, since, afterall, the iPod was originally marketed as an MP3 portable music player. It seems as though Apple has traded in elegance and simplicity for flashy, snappy graphics and other stuff, I guess just to inflate the price and provide the illusion of "versatility". I don't really want to access the internet from my iPod...I want to listen to music; neither do I want to play around with contacts...I mainly think "music" when I think "iPod". Why on earth couldn't these things have integrated an 80 gig hard drive like the new classics, and dropped the accessories? I love the enhanced coverflow browsing, and the large widescreen display, and, of course, the touch-sensitive screen...but honestly, what am I going to do with an iPod that holds less than one-third of my library and a wifi connection?? Perhaps I could write this blog on my iPod. Fun.

September 26, 2007

Stereolab: "Sound-Dust" (2001)

I love the way Stereolab hides stellar, chilled-out retro grooves inside a cleverly-crafted bubble-pack of mystery and sinister drones, and Sound-Dust delivers their trademark sound as deftly as ever...except the music sounds quite polished and clean, in my opinion. They should have called it Sound-Dusted to be completely accurate. I wouldn't say there is any real improvement here over any previous Stereolab releases, because the Groop is very good at staying dynamic and true to the formula simultaneously, and haven't yet run out of good ideas, but I guess the selling point for me was the deftness I described initially...what I mean is, this album is quite a bitch. It's moody, it's indifferent, it's atypical, and at times, it's completely offsetting...yet it's also absolutely necessary, something most bands attempt yet seemingly always fall far short of. Even the lyrics are a bit racier, a bit edgier ("Nothing To Do With Me"'s little treasure toward the end; "Did you prescribe my daughter a pound of heroine? I'm sorry, I can't see a thing, I've blinded myself.") Each of these dusted tunes shine through on their own, rendering most common household polishing products unnecessary; the Groop's dreamy, progressive pop cuts through even the toughest caked-on dust and dirt. The album starts out reminiscent of some spacey who-dunnit flick, featuring, perhaps, some neo-Peter Sellers-esque private I, and slowly dissolves, quite literally, into a relaxed, light-hearted romp through a Willy Wonka wonderland of moog and marimba-drenched melodies, leaving the listener completely carefree - especially once the horn sections and the "doo-doo-dooo's" spring to life. Try frowning through that, Oscar. Other treats, namely "Captain Easychord", "The Black Arts", and "Hallucinex", keep the album from drowning in utter misery and heartache. The short and sweet of it; this album will dust off the cobwebs around the corners of your heart - something most music in this new millenium cannot acclaim to. Give it a whirl.

September 25, 2007

Animal Collective: "Peacebone"

Here's Animal Collective's music video for "Peacebone". This should win an award...but for what, I'm not quite sure. This song kicks so much ass it's not even remotely funny.

September 24, 2007

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (And Coffee)

I'm just sitting here, drinking Joya Del Dia and listening to Joe Maneria's "Paniots Nine", and I'm realizing that things are just not the same. There are very obvious reasons for this, but there are also some subtle, easily misunderstood reasons as well. I've been finding those hidden reasons lately, much to my dismay. Things are not the same because life is dynamic, even though it is also cyclical. What goes around comes around, and yet what comes around is a slightly skewed, used up, lifeless version of what went around to begin with. What I mean is that nothing is ever the same. Nothing is ever as powerful, or interesting, or meaningful the second time around. That perfect cup of coffee, even though I still try desperately to this day, will never allow itself to be replicated. You'll always end up with a coffee grind in your teeth, or a millileter less or more of water, or something to throw it off. This chaotic property has its upside as well. Since chaos introduces randomness into the equation of life, I have a fifty-fifty chance, for the sake of this argument, at having a more or lesser meaningful time the second time around. What if that horrible cup of coffee I've created in expectation of the recreation of the perfect cup leads me to buy a better coffeemaker, and one that makes far superior coffee each time to that one perfect cup prior? This is something I haven't forseen. Chaos induces change, which keeps life dynamic. If I could recreate that perfect cup of coffee every time without fail, life would be a static entity that surprises, and therefore, new experiences to rival my idea of perfection, would take no part in. Life is about pros and cons. You gain something if you lose something, and vice versa. I have to learn to understand this principle, and allow its effects to influence my life with at least a pinch of optimism. Things won't ever be the same, and that's only making room for the good, the bad, and the ugly still to come. It all depends, ultimately, on how badly you desire progress, I guess.

September 17, 2007

The Montauk Project

I've got this killer idea rolling around the old noggin. It's a story/screenplay idea loosely based on the 1980's Montauk project and its convergence with Project Rainbow, more commonly known as "The Philadelphia Experiment". In sticking to my usual writing style, I plan on incorporating some tightly-knit character bonds, which almost always results in a fairly interesting layer of dialogue throughout. So yes, I plan on writing a thriller with a sci-fi/government conspiracy/cover-up theme to it. Here is a small, random snippet of some of the dialogue from the story thus far.

T finally removed the sunglasses from his face, revealing two beady brown eyes flecked with green, brooding, yet puzzlingly constrained. “Tell me again…the man behind the tree was wearing…”
“Warm-up,” I said through a mouthful of hummus. “Why, do you think there’s something to it?”
“Close your mouth and chew your food, Stephen,” he said, clearly a bit disgusted with my eating habits and/or etiquette (or lack thereof). “Just getting the details.”

Just imagine Eddie Kaye Thomas as the british conspiracist (Silent) T and you're there.
More to come.

September 14, 2007

Animal Collective: "Strawberry Jam" (2007)

Animal Collective is back with their follow-up to 2005's Feels, and from first listen, it seems as though the four have once again stuck to their tried-and-true, "always never the same" approach; this album is seemingly rocketing away from Feels, rendering any comparisons therefore useless and just plain tacky. This album proves that music listeners/reviewers need to adapt a new method when dynamic albums, like this, come along; we need to learn to judge the music based on what's there, not on what isn't. Let's not turn a decent review into a snobfest. Regardless of how you choose to approach this release, you're undoubtedly going to find something worth remembering; such an extreme, experimental album as this will not leave the listener spacing out into la-la-land. I have yet to listen to this in its entirety, but so far I am very intrigued. More to come.

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