Saturday, July 16, 2016

Inspiration comes of...

If you're uncertain, try Is My Computer On? If you're clueless, try Is My Computer On Fire?

I recall writing in my review of King Crimson's album Live at the Orpheum from their 2014 tour something like "gimme more." My wish has been granted. The just announced Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of the Monkey Mind is said to include one example of every song the band performed on their 2015 tour - 3 CDs worth. In Fripp's words, "What I like about this band is, that what it is actually doing is not what it appears to be doing." Available now for pre-order with an 02 September release.

Alma Thomas, Untitled, 1960. "C├ęzanne’s unfinished painting of a landscape at the Phillips Collection gave me the idea of using color to structure a painting. Painting all over the canvas rather than just drawing, he gave an architectural structure to color." source
Colin Edwin posted Alistair Peck's video for the Metallic Taste of Blood song Pashupati. I hear that MToB's third album is in the works.

Jazz. How to grow its audience? "It can't be done."

Best cities in Texas for families? Colleyville is #3.

Time lapse animation of the states and territories of 'Murica.
Similar to above but in a bit more detail and in video format.

I'm not a huge fan of infographics, but who can find fault with Sausage Around the World?

I can't tell what year this was made, but this is a great vintage documentary of the making of a Walter Lantz cartoon.

Maybe you prefer your animation more contemporary, more yellow, and more LOL funny. Hence, Bananas.

Try to look away. I dare you. source
Do bats fart?

...working every day. ~Charles Baudelaire

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Endurance is the crowning quality...

Unsurprisingly, Fort Worth is ranked as one of the friendliest cities while our eastern neighbor is ranked as one of the rudest.

110 Nobel Laureates sign a petition urging everyone to stop hating on GMOs. "There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity." (Note: I'm not necessarily a fan of the euphemism "precision agriculture.") The entire GMO debate is one that exemplifies the fact that your opinion, while interesting, is irrelevant.

Jon Anderson (Yes) and Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) have joined forces for the album Invention of Knowledge, due out on 24 June. Hear a teaser on YouTube, read more at Inside Out Music.

And Daniel Lanois' new album Goodbye to Language is out later this year, but the teaser track Heavy Sun is available now.

Unheard Bird is a double album of 58 recently discovered and previously unreleased tracks by Charlie Parker.

Perle Fine, Early Morning Garden, 1957. source
I've made no secret of the fact that I consider Donald Trump to be a repugnant, oafish buffoon. But smarter people than me have made a more rational case about why he's uniquely unsuited for the presidency: "we believe that his entire way of behaving represents a rejection of the essential character traits (the “qualities”) that our democracy requires of its leaders."

Cool video of eye-tracking of an F-1 race driver.

Shocking news: Americans and Europeans are different. Another example of the difference is air conditioning, our love of which was called an epidemic. On the other hand, it's not clear to me that Europeans know that air can actually move and circulate.

Everyone knows about six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Here's Six Degrees of Musical Separation where any two musicians can be related in no more than six steps. (Note: someone doing a cover of someone else's work counts as a step.) For example, I gave it Anthony Phillips (a very very early member of Genesis) and Pink. Seemed like a challenge but they were connected in two steps.

The 99 best business books. 7 out of 99 isn't bad, right?

The NFL 2016 rule book is online as a PDF. Maybe it clarifies what a catch is.

Peter Diamandis asks an interesting question: what won't change in the next 10-20 years? I read where someone replied that restaurant tables will still wobble and you'll still need to jam a folded up napkin beneath one of the legs. But what else? It's a harder question to answer than it appears.

The planned 5th installment of the Alien movie franchise (to be directed by Neill Blomkamp) is going to be set after Aliens (i.e. Alien 2) as though Alien 3 and Alien 4 never happened.

Does anyone care how happy Twitter is? Check out the Hedonometer.

Because you stink.

...and patience all the passion of great hearts. ~James Russell Lowell

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tact is the ability to describe others...

Lorenzo Feliciati's new album, Frequent Flyer Live, is now available from Rare Noise Records. Sample a few tracks and then get yourself the full album for only around $5.

After 23 years of restoration, a WWII-era B-25 takes flight. Be certain to watch the video.

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Everest), 1955. From an article about the Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit at the Denver Museum of Art.
They said the earth was running out of helium (which is bad because it's difficult/impossible to make more). But in Tanzania they just discovered one trillion liters of helium, which seems like a lot but is only a seven year supply at current rates of use.

Speaking of found things, check out this 100 million year old bird wing that was discovered trapped in amber.

...as they see themselves. ~Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, June 25, 2016

No one lies so boldly...

Longitude and latitude are so last century. With what3words, any three-meter squared plot of land on the planet can be addressed with a unique combination of three words. For example, angers.class.wakes.

Pie chart of the world's spoken languages.
"Name your price" (including $0) music from Markus Reuter: How Things Turned Out.

In other music news, jazz fusion band Brand-X will start a reunion tour later this year.

Ever wonder where your favorite food originated? Use this interactive map to find out.
I think I posted a version of this before but it's still cool. An interactive world map of lightning strikes, with a little audible click for each strike. I suppose this is for weather geeks only.

Favorite quote from this article: "Every week that Donald Trump remains the Republican nominee, the party comes closer to removing itself from the presidential gene pool." Trump is repugnant.

Star Wars geeks: it's confirmed that James Earl Jones will voice Darth Vader in Rogue One.

Bluegrass, with his 10 foot horns, may soon be coming to the Fort Worth herd.
Cheese.com is the self-proclaimed greatest cheese resource. Let's see, mimolette? Yep.

Swiss Army Man is like a virtual "Weekend at Bernie's." But if you watch the trailer for this movie, it gets even weirder.

From the Department of Misleading Titles comes "There's a Mysterious Sound Coming From The Carribean That's So Loud It Can Be Heard From Space."
  • It's not a mystery. It's the Rossby Whistle caused by planetary waves pushing east to west across the ocean that build up and resonate when they reach the partially Carribean.
  • They can't actually be heard because they're below the threshold of human hearing. 
  • In outer space, the phenomenon is detected as gravity field oscillations.
...as the man who is indignant. ~Friedrich Nietzsche (This explains teh interwebs, realm of self-righteous indignation.)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Live 1 by The Security Project

One is tempted to think, "What is old is new again." The Security Project is a group of performers who revisit the early solo music of Peter Gabriel. These musicians have the maturity to freshen the music without scrubbing it raw. And they have the musicality to authentically and delightfully enhance the songs.

The Security Project consists of Jerry Marotta (drums) - from Gabriel's original touring band - Trey Gunn (guitar), Michael Cozzi (guitar) (do not go to his website as it appears to have been hacked), and David Jameson (keyboards). The band is fronted by Brian Cummins whose vocal similarity to Gabriel is uncanny and to a large extent one might say that it's Cummins' performances that are central to making this whole thing work.  Without him you might end up with re-interpretations of Gabriel's songs which takes you down and entirely different path. (A friend who walked into my office while Live 1 was playing asked which Peter Gabriel album I was listening to.)

The Live 1 album consists of twelve tracks.
  1. Lay Your Hands on Me (from Gabriel's 4th album, aka Security)
  2. I Don't Remember (from Gabriel's 3rd album, aka Melt)
  3. No Self Control (from Melt)
  4. The Family and the Fishing Net (from Security)
  5. I Have the Touch (from Security)
  6. Intruder (from Melt)
  7. The Rhythm of the Heat (from Security)
  8. San Jacinto (from Security)
  9. Games Without Frontiers / Of These, Hope (from Melt)
  10. Here Comes the Flood (from Gabriel's 1st album, aka Car)
  11. Back in N.Y.C. (from the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway)
  12. Biko (from Melt)
Let the music speak for itself.


My personal history with Gabriel's music goes back to his time with Genesis. But it wasn't until his third solo album (Melt) that he really came into his own (in my opinion). But his fourth solo album (Security) really felt intimate to me. Which gave me a good feeling about Live 1 because a lot of the material is from albums three and four. 

The first thing I'll note is the fact that despite being recorded and named "live," this album sounds as though it was recorded in the studio. While there's some audience clapping between tracks, I couldn't detect any of other the typical artifacts you get in a live recording. This speaks to the band's high level of musicianship and the quality of the engineering and production of the album.

Second, the band's individual and collective performances of each track are done with vast spaciousness, where each part has the opportunity to be heard and shine on its own with a sonic separation from the other parts that doesn't compromise the whole. To my ear, Steely Dan's music has a similar quality (e.g. Aja). Another analogy is Steven Wilson's remastering of some of King Crimson's work. Either way, the end result is fantastic.

Here Comes the Flood, one of my favorite Gabriel songs, deserves special mention here due to Trey Gunn's superb guitar work.

The Security Project's Live 1 is a tribute to the music of Peter Gabriel that doesn't suffer the flaws of many tributes, a live recording that doesn't suffer the flaws of many live recordings, and a musical performance that doesn't suffer from high purpose and self-importance. Live 1 is a musically fresh and impeccably recorded performance of really good music.

The good news is that Live 2 is due for release in October 2016. What I'd really like to hear is The Security Project's version of White Shadow from Gabriel's second solo album (aka Scratch). I've always felt that song had potential that wasn't fully realized. (15 minutes after writing that sentence I find a video on YouTube of The Security Project performing White Shadow in concert. I therefore pray it makes it onto Live 2.)

You can read more about The Security Project at the band's website, securityprojectband.com, and their Twitter feed, @TheSecurProject. You can purchase their music on Bandcamp at music.securityprojectband.com/album/live-1.

"I don't know much about music, but I sure like the way it sounds."

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

In politics, stupidity...

The second album from trio Tony Levin (bass), Marco Minnemann (drums) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards) is now available for pre-order for release in mid-July. Here's a preview on Soundcloud. You can pre-order here.

I'm not quite certain of the value, but Predominantly let's you find albums by the predominant color of their cover.

Less silly than most, this periodic table documents societal issues.
This is an amazing, brief story of two B-17s in WWII that got stuck together: piggyback hero.

Who or what is Mr. Trash Wheel? Seems like a good guy to me cuz he keeps the waterway clean.

Very cool animated map showing the history of urbanization, as cities appear around the globe from 3700 BC to 2000 AD.
Another map you say? How about this one showing the worldwide origins of crops.

Newly discovered element 117 is to be called Tennissine (Ts) to honor Oak Ridge National Lab.

I didn't know there was a name for it: ikigai
Related to the picture above is this quote from Tim O'Reilly: "Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried."

People ask, "Why do you have a fish? It's not like a dog or cat with which you can have a true relationship." Science to the rescue. Fish can recognize human faces. My fish knows me.

...is not a handicap. ~Napolean Bonaparte

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Any man may easily do harm...

Here's the first of a multi-part series of videos in which Bill Evans talks about the creative process. While his focus is music, the ideas can be applied to virtually anything.

Philip Guston, Position I, 1965. This article describes how Guston found the sublime as he re-introduced figuration into his abstraction. Honestly, I prefer his pure abstractions over his later figurative works.
Library of sounds with a British accent.

See an animation of your county's daily commuters.
Yes, this is all.

...but not every man can do good to another. ~Plato