Aug 26, 2003

REAL-TIME MUSIC REVIEW #1... Still by nine inch nails

REAL-TIME MUSIC REVIEW #1... Still by nine inch nails
Currently (as of right this minute) listening to the first tracks of Still by nine inch nails... it’s really something – the equivalent of an acoustic album for an electronic/industrial group, it’s really quite powerful. I’m in the mood for quiet, introspective work that may have something else lurking beneath the surface. I’m not sure if this album is an anti-mix collection of older stuff, and in the interest of being as true to life as I can, I’m posting my thoughts as writing, rather than the cleaned up version that would come after I go online to check what the heck this album really is. It’s a bold move for Trent Reznor, considering how much of his work thrives on the rhythms that he creates, and the mechanical constructs in which his wounded persona lives. But perhaps at the end, this is the most raw, the most brutally honest that he could create because he has discovered that his voice in itself is the best instrument to capture the pathos that his menagerie of characters are living.

Wait – there’s a live band coming in, or at least that’s what it feels like – fading up in the aftermath of the fragile. There it is – there’s the volume that I was looking for – and it’s just his voice coming up over the explosive (live?) thunderclaps of percussion that wave over the track. And the feedback of the guitar that lives beyond that one track... that may be the beginning of a more electronic album that I... wait. Now we are in The Becoming, and it is again a piano... playing a rhythm that repeats.

OK – now I hear the electronic sounds that I was expecting all along. What a ride. “It’s a part of me – it’s inside of me. It’s changing me. I am becoming.” His vocals are still very much at the forefront of this track. It’s great to hear a real piano (or realistic piano sound, at any rate) be used in this context. I wish that I had the whole album. Damn file sharing has given me a listening experience without the climax that I would have hoped for.

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Mercury in Retrograde

My partner tells me that mercury is in retrograde. That explains why in the past couple of days, my imac pretty much died, the work laptop came down with that famous virus of the moment, whatever its name is, and I can’t seem to get anything else to work either. Earlier, I might have thought, what a load of crap. But now... it’s not so easy to dismiss it, because I’m sitting in the middle of the storm. Well – at least there wasn’t an unfortunate incident with the power drill that I was using quite a bit while setting up the apartment this weekend.

Been listening to a lot of music again – which really makes me happy. And as usual – it’s a pretty wide range of things. Never was a big fan of Elton John, but have really been getting into Tiny Dancer after watching Almost Famous last week. Recently got Sigur Ros’ important album, Ágœtis byrjun, which is just a remarkable piece of work (and was actually quite hard to find at the major chains... had to go, forgive me – what can you do when you have a gift certificate?). Also getting into Zeppelin – it’s amazing that it’s taken me this long. Found a cool site (sorta done in a hack job style, though) that brings together some of the major Tolkien references in Led Zep songs. After finding that gem, I decided to look a little more, and found the following, far far more extensive list of references in music throughout the years and the genres. I was amazed at what i found there. It’s remarkable how many people have used his work as a launching pad for their creative ideas. Some of the Scandinavian fantasy metal bands are truly scary in how they’ve based their entire catalog on his stories.

I guess the same can be said about most fantasy writers, for that matter. You know – that makes me wonder. Have there been any really good fantasy writers out there that have decidedly POC characters as the main protagonists? And when I write People of Color, I don’t mean AOC (Aliens of Color), because I don’t care how many Tangerine, Aqua, and Violet bi-pedes from another galaxy are in the plot, they still can’t make up for the oppression by The Man of people of earth tone colors (Shout out to TC) right here on the blue planet. I guess that’s why I’m still a big Star Trek fan. Even though it treats human race as a conquered issue (i guess I can afford it this, because it IS supposed to be way in the future + it’s science fiction, after all), it still deals with issues of oppression, hegemony, assimilation, conflict within the sphere of different species in the Universe. Star Trek may be a joke in a lot of ways, but the writing, when it was good, still broached many topics that were very tough for others to even begin to talk about back when Rodenberry’s saga first came to the small screen.

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Aug 19, 2003

yeah. so a lot of good things have happened lately, with connections increasing between myself and friends from the past... but with it also comes some interesting questions about time management and trying to do too much - a common issue for me to ponder and work on (while i'm sleeping).

co-worker is giving me heartburn. hoping that this thing will disappear, but the good angel side of me hopes that it won't be too sharp an axe if it falls. why do some folks have to escalate and make things more of an issue that they gotta be?

been listening to sigur ros' album... the one that actually has a title. also got the donnie cd, the colored section, but i don't like it much. i think that i don't like r&b, only "new soul", as narrowly defined by erykah badu, jill scott, maxwell, and a select few others. i don't have time for all those runs in the middle of songs about things like mac'ing. only mac'ing i'll be doing is on my pair of trusted iMac G3s, and the new powerbook in the household.

is there anyone out there? holla if you're reading this.

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Aug 4, 2003

just realized something else - the list of serendipitous connections grows ever longer. looking to go offline and write real letters again. any takers?

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i-hate u-haul

one other thing though. i just remembered: I HATE U-HAUL. They suck so bad, i want to throw up.

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well - it's been a while since the last post. it's actually been 3 months to the day. guess that's what a wedding will do to you... throw your whole routine into a dizzy sliding spinning craziness. anyways - so the deed is done, and i'm a happy man as a result... but it's a hard thing to adjust yourself with someone else in the room. get your mind out of my pants - i just mean that you have to consider a lot more when you're co-habitating and you're trying to meld your life with someone else. i'm open to any tips if there are any out there.

it's been quite a week with faces from the past... the weekend before, i reached out to an old friend from peeling, who came through in a flash when i needed it. meanwhile, a newer friend from the old crew came out to my b-day gathering, while i got a much more surprising call from an old old friend with a personal peeling connection, who remembered me after all these years for an opportunity that shocked me to no end. more about this later, but what a week. inspires me to reconnect with some folks that i've been lax about speaking with over the years. life is short, and so few people really care... can't let those relationships go without a fight. makes me think about contacting a peace corps writer that i once knew well... perhaps if even just to talk about the springsteen show that we went to on july 24. but more about that at another time. it's time to go to bed...

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