June 10th 2009

Just Dropped In

Watched The Big Lebowski again last weekend. Classic.

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March 16th 2009

Musicians

Musicians

I have some particular interest in music as it relates to thought processes. I find myself as much in awe of the way musicians move from one harmony to the next as I am of musical dissonance. In the music of ancient China, musicians played different instruments, but the same note on each in a Confucian sense of order and place and responsibility. Present-day discordance may not necessarily challenge this order–consider how the varied repeated strains of a Philip Glass composition combine and interweave in a similar movement, yet with starkly different outcomes.

So, this link to a Scientific American article on how musician’s brains keep time with each other has me rapt. How does that happen?

In any case, there’s one modern band that captures what the Sci-Am blog is talking about:

If the video isn’t enough, the song is listed below.

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March 2nd 2009

Drummer Steals the Show

Drummer Steals the Show

Crazy drummer

Thanks J-Walk

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February 23rd 2009

The Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine

Heard Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” this morning.  Worth sharing.

Living for the City

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November 22nd 2008

Drums, Part 1

Drums, Part 1

Downloaded my monthly allotment of songs (50) from emusic today.  I’m the kind of guy that spends, like three years in a used record (or book) store, only to finally leave with nothing I first intended to get.  I browse a lot.  I got to thinking about the music I like, and how drumming fits in.  Last night, my wife and I rented The Visitor, a great movie about human relations post 9/11, which features African drumming.  So, I downloaded some of what emusic had of Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead drummer who has built a solo career encouraging. developing and cataloging drumming from all over the world.

I’ve been a fan of good drumming since King Crimson and Yes turned me into a Bill Bruford nut (see Drums, Part 2), but progressive rock is sometimes lacking in something human and hopeful.  Where Bruford turned to jazz to find that sentiment in his solo voice, Hart turned to African rhythms, which add a different influence.  Hart’s world music projects have a sense of hope and beauty to them that is like no other.  Drums speak to something deep within me (all of us?).

Here’s what I downloaded:

While I was in an African mood, I also got (but it isn’t drums per se):

You too can get 50 DRM-free downloads: Get 50 FREE MP3s from eMusic

While you’re in the mood, check out the websites:

Finally, a few songs to whet your appetite:

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November 8th 2008

Neil Young’s Cars

Neil Young's Cars

What can I say about Neil Young, eh?  I revere him the way some people revere Bob Dylan–no, that’s not true exactly.  The people I know that revere Dylan do so in spite of his revelations that it was all a means to an end, all those incarnations of Dylan were just ephemera.  The real Dylan waited all these years to present himself.

Young is who he is–his heart is on his sleeve.  His music has wandered in and out of various genres as he has grown.  I’m particularly partial to the era of heavy electric sound, but all of it enthralls me.  He doesn’t mumble his lyrics and market his mystique… and his lyrics are political from his heart, not his pocketbook. (And I love his lyrics!)  His Bridge School concerts and other charity work have endeared me.

But this isn’t about his music, this is about his cars.  The San Francisco Chronicle says

Leave it to Neil Young to make green technology cool.  The rock legend has created a company called Linc Volt Technology to promote the conversion of existing gas-guzzling cars into vehicles that run on alternative energy. But we’re not talking about boxy little e-cars here. Young, who likes his cars old and big, is launching his effort by converting a 1959 Lincoln Continental to run on electricity and natural gas.

Young’s cars include a Mercedes and a Hummer already converted to running on vegetable oil, but after talking to a Kansas entrepreneur, he decided to go with a new technology entirely.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell: For short runs, a car can be plugged in, charged and then run strictly on electricity using a rotary engine and its batteries. For longer hauls, there’s also a generator in the car that runs on compressed natural gas. When electricity runs short, the generator kicks in and refuels the batteries. To make matters even more interesting, the car’s generator will actually feed electricity back into your home when it’s parked and plugged in in the garage.

Read the Chronicle story and then check out the Linc Volt website for more details.

More Neil Young:  The Bridge School, Neil’s Garage

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