Thursday, April 29, 2004

What I need is incisive political commentary but no dogma, what I need is to write elegant and efficient code, what I need is slick and robust hardware, what I need is a warm and sunny day, what is need is no regrets unless absolutely necessary, what I need is a second chance at everything but most of all at life, what I need is bloody pint of beer served for free, what I need is rest before the game, what I need is friend who I can betray, what I need is a enemy to hate, what I need is a rhythm to dance to and sleep by, what I need is no speed limits except ones which my bones set, what I need is dreams but no sleep, what I need is the ticking of the clock but no alarms to stop by, what I need is cable TV but only reruns on, what I need is sequential art but painted on a palace, what I need is to get back to something which I lost a long time ago, what I need is a change of career, though I know I love my job, what I need is a brand new car and to learn how to drive it, what I need is sustained effort at something, at anything, what I need is to win and to win bad, what I need is killing fields so that I can finish crying for once, what I need is stereo FM but no DJ's, what I need is free love but no chains. Somewhere, sometime, somehow.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

My life has become random text, punctuated my music. At this point I wish I was Superman. I want to fly, look down on the world. At night, when it's dark and all I can see are random flickers. These are the days, when quoting is easier then writing.

I stopped outside a church house
Where the citizens like to sit
They say they want the kingdom
But they don't want God in it

The Wanderer,
From the album Zooropa by U2, featuring the vocals of Johnny Cash,
Lyrics by Bono (1993)

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Old friends
Sat on their park bench
Like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends

Old friends
Winter companions
The old men
Lost in their overcoats
Waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city
Sifting through trees
Settles like dust
On the shoulders
Of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fear...

Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories; they're all that's left you

Old friends, Bookends
From the album Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel,
Lyrics by Paul Simon (1968).

Better than anything I can write in a short time. And I don't have a long time to write.

Friday, April 23, 2004

And the prize for the quote of the day goes to George Orwell for this stunning gem from his tour de force, 1984.

"What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?"

And the prize for application of the day goes to PDFCreator for creating a compelling GUI to Ghostscript. Much better than my old "print to file", "open with GSView", "convert to PDF" loop. For people who don't know what I'm talking about, PDFCreator lets your print any file to a PDF. So you can convert your Word and Excel files (all kinds of files, actually) to PDF files.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Alas. I can't ABX between PCM and Faac at -q 100. Nor between PCM and Lame CBR 128. Woe is me. I think I shall try again in better conditions with better headphones. Next time I shall not fail. My keen ears and sharp hearing will prevail.

In other news, I heard one of the best film soundtracks I've ever heard. Trainspotting. Almost as good as the movie. I'm going to get the soundtrack to Run Lola Run next. (Sorry if that first sentence was awkward. I really tried to rephrase it.) And yes, I listened to Moon Safari again. Air. Whatever happened to them. When will they make happy music again?

Saturday, April 10, 2004

It's been so long I almost forgot my password.

Anyway, here's what was interesting today:

1. Sun-dried tomatoes rock. Especially along with mushrooms and fettucini al-dente cooked in a white-wine sauce. Sun-dried tomatoes. We need more of those for sure. Mmmmmm.

2. Interesting poll on today.

Ignorance is...
  •  Bliss
  •  Strength
  •  Contagious
  •  Hereditary
  •  Mandatory
  •  Not a crime
  •  the rule rather than the exception
  •  Cowboyneal's middle name
So far "the rule rather than the exception" is leading with 39%, with "contagious" and "bliss" neck-to-neck at second and third place, with 17% and 16% votes. I don't know whether to laugh with delight or tremble with fear.

3. Restarted 1984. Maybe this time I'll also finish it.

4. Rolling Stones - Forty Licks. A long long compilation, with a surprisingly large number of largely listenable songs.

5. Got upset that all freshly mastered CD's are tweaked to sound loud and end up sounding terrible. Got even more upset that nobody has implemented ReplayGain on a CD Player.

I miss so many things.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Today, I come clean. I have proclaimed the death of good music quite a few times on this blog, when in reality exactly the opposite is true. If anything music has simply improved over the decades. Modern stars like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake are simply leagues ahead of anybody else from the past. Music back than was too difficult and disjointed from the mainstream, with overly complicated lyrics (think Bob Dylan), dull melodies (think the Beatles), grating voices (think Aretha Franklin) and terrible personalities (think Elvis Presley). Music videos did not exist which worsened the problem according to some, but my own belief is that it was a blessing in disguise. After all, most singers back then were simply not good looking enough.

The worst part of the music from the old days was the sort of fake popularity that it generated, with an entire generation that desperately wanted to have idols, no matter how terribly they sang or how ugly they looked. This kind of devotion to mediocrity still rears its ugly head now and then, with FM producers announcing an Oldies special or worse yet entire radio stations devoted to so-called Classic music. This can only be attributed to regressive fans, who are afraid of change and can't accept genuine musical progress when they see it.

It can safely be said, that all music produced in the late Nineties or later is simply much better than anything produced before it. Our entire generation can testify that modern music legends like Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias have more stage presence in their toenails than no-talents like Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison ever had in their lifetimes. And bands like Westlife and NSync make us look back at past bands like The Rolling Stones and Dire Straits and wonder in shame, what could our parents have ever seen in such terrible acts?

We can only take comfort in the fact, that finally, after years of listening to terrible music and pretending to like it, we have finally seen the light and accepted the timelessness of the music of the present. The future of modern music is bright indeed. There you have it, finally a coming to terms with reality. Another person really ignoring light, finds out on life. Viva Britney!