Things to read in the Sunday Times

The New York Times has become an almost universal media punching bag for both the right and the left. But it doesn’t mean they don’t publish some of the best stories in any newspaper anywhere. I have my qualms about the paper — I think that they have never properly covered what I call vernacular art music* — if you don’t look at the Times, you’re missing out. This weekend, in the Arts section alone.

There are hours of recordings of Thelonius Monk working with arranger Hall Overton on the arrangements for his historic Town Hall concert. What could be more marvelous than that?

Renaldo Kuhler, a scientific illustrator, has spent more than 50 years creating and illustrating his own private world.

A documentary with philosophers talking philosophy, that I totally want to see. On my brother’s blog, he had a guest post from philosophy professor Jack Russell Weinstein, about his new radio show about philosophy. While I am fascinated by philosophy and philosophical questions, I have no patience for reading philosophy, so any time I’m able to hear philosophers speak in the vernacular, I love it.

*vernacular art music is any music that is outside both the commercial and academic music worlds. It comprises most popular electronic music, noise, acoustic music inspired by traditional folk, atypical rock, inspired amateurs. It’s where real people listen to real music.

Oh gratification, why are you not instant?

I decided, after getting some money on EBay, to buy Pluggo from Cycling74. Looking around I had two choices — $159 from AudioMidi or direct (and downloadable) from Cycling 74 for $199.

Since this was an impulse buy, I went with Cycling74. I paid a bit more, but I know people who work there, and sometimes you have to step up and represent, right? Plus, I thought I’d get to immediately play with it, since I was downloading.

Oops. They don’t just take your money and mail you an activation code, all automatic and computery — apparently someone at the office has to notice that you’ve paid, and then e-mail you your code. And, there’s like 4 or 5 people who work there, and no one’s in the office doing boring things like product activation on the weekend.

So I have to wait until Monday I guess to get all activated. Damn!

Testing 4 5 6 …

Testing the Livejournal cross-post plugin. If it works, you won’t have to friend the scarycrusher feed on Livejournal if you want to see my blog posts…

And if that makes no sense at all to you, as you were!

The Danse Society? Who knew?

I was browsing through some John Peel ‘Festive 50’ shows that I randomly downloaded and was captivated by a track he played in 1983 by the Danse Society.  I’d never heard of them,  but they are contemporaries of and fellow travelers with New Order, the Cure, etc

But they seem to be a missing link between a bunch of different styles — Punk, Goth, New Wave, and even U2 at their grindiest. But they seem to have their own thing going on — songs like “We’re So Happy” sounds like Blue Monday era New Order, if Ian Curtis still sang for them.

Seduction: The Society Collection – The Danse Society  at Last.fm.

I have been realizing for a while that there’s just too much great music in the world. I do my bit, but I can never even begin to listen to it all even once. Hell, I don’t have time to listen to all the music I already own.

Hewlett Packard Software Is Horrible

Tonight I wanted to print a mailing label for something I sold on Ebay. I didn’t have the printer driver installed for our HP6980, so I went looking for it.

I found it and installed it. It made me reboot and then did some more stuff after rebooting. But what it didn’t do, apparently, is install a printer such that I could print from applications.

So then, I went looking some more, and found that HP has a network printer wizard. Great! Downloaded and ran that, and it went off on an endless loop looking for drivers. Oh, and it mis-identified my 6980 as an ‘all in one’ printer, when in fact it is just a printer.

Finally, I tracked down the actual driver INF file in c:\program files\hewlett packard and the printer wizard was able to finish installing the printer.

But all that bullshit took me 90 minutes I’ll never get back, and I shudder to think what someone who doesn’t hack on computers for a living would do faced with all that Fail.

And to top that off, HP printer drivers install a shitload of resident programs and such, and sometimes those programs go haywire.

Why can’t they just WRITE A DRIVER that satisfies the OS requirements, and INSTALL IT SIMPLY with clear feedback to the end user about what it’s doing? They’re on the right track with their Network Printer Wizard but that software doesn’t actually work right, exactly.

HP used to be one of the premiere computer companies in the world. How the mighty have fallen! Maybe if they’d only given Carly Fiorina a half bazillion dollars to run the company into the ground instead of a round bazillion, they’d be able to hire some engineers that can write a fucking printer driver correctly.

JJ Fad Reunion

Reunions: JJ Fad Set To Get Supersonic All Over Again.

Maybe I’m old and crotchety but what really grabbed my ear back when hip hop was a new thing was that it was fun.  And few tracks were as fun as “Supersonic.”  In my circle of friends, “The S is for Super, The U is for Unique”  regularly comes up in conversation.

So yeah, I’m sure that JJ Fad in their 40s might not be cutting edge, but I’m hoping it will be fun.

Tres bizarre…

Livejournal user rape_blossom sure does know how to find them. Warning, a couple of candidates for rotten.com.

computer insanity

It’s no mystery that since I’ve had a computer at home for 25 years, and have been pursing music with the computer for at least 15 years, that I will have built up quite a collection of files.

And finally I’ve instituted a backup strategy beyond unjustified optimism — I’m using SyncToy to copy files to a backup external drive.

What I didn’t realize that beyond the 600 odd gigabytes of various things — a whole lot of mp3 and wav files, sample sets, etc — that there are almost 850,000 separate files. The initial sync — i.e. a bulk copy, in effect — took over 12 hours.

Considering that my first computer had 64k of RAM, and 2 280k floppies, this seemed insane to me, but there you have it.

Music I’m liking

Anything byMartyn. Like 2562, someone who isn’t interested in just cranking out cracks in a particular style because it’s an easy way to sell tracks. All of Martyn’s stuff so far is really thoughtful, deep, and funky.

SO FAR SO SO: Retrospective 1995-2005

I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, so here goes. This is a collection of unreleased songs from my back catalog. There’s all sorts of genres represented, but in choosing the tracks, I tried to pick songs that were the best example of I was doing at any given time. I haven’t dated them here, but some of them date themselves. For example, when was it a big deal to do an Amen break track? When were 90BPM hip hop instrumentals something people made a million of?

These tracks are lousy with uncleared samples; consequently if anyone actually recognizes a sample of their work and objects I’ll remove the file.

If someone takes a particular shine to a track and wants to remix it let me know. Most of these only exist as mixdowns of long-lost percursor files and sequences, but if I can provide individual sounds, I’d be happy to.

So Far So So — one zip file

1. NYE[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/01%20NYE.mp3]

2. Morton’s Shadow (samples from Morton Subotnick “Silver Apples of the Moon” and DJ Shadow) [audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/02%20Morton%27s%20Shadow.mp3]

3. Lucas[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/03%20Lucas.mp3]

4. Noise Dub[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/04%20Noise%20Dub.mp3]

5. Grandiose (with Lucas Williams on Guitar)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/05%20Grandiose.mp3]

6. Sweetness (samples Lush)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/06%20Sweetness.mp3]

7. Windchime[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/07%20Windchime.mp3]

8. Monked (samples Theleonius Monk and Weather Report)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/08%20Monked.mp3]

9. The Wrong Trousers (with Axy Jeeb)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/09%20The%20Wrong%20Trousers.mp3]

10. Mayday[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/10%20Mayday.mp3]

11. Little Miss (samples Raymond Scott and Elaine Elias)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/11%20little%20miss.mp3]

12. Inna (samples Inna & the Farlanders)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/12%20Inna.mp3]

13. Hubert (samples Hubert Laws)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/13%20Hubert.mp3]

14. Honey (samples (samples Sweet Honey In The Rock)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/14%20Honey.mp3]

15. Gee Why[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/15%20Gee%20Why.mp3]

16. Busy Signal[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/16%20BusySignal.mp3]

17. AD Remix (based on samples from Andrew Duke)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/17%20AD%20Remix.mp3]

18. Labor Day[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/18%20Labor%20Day.mp3]

19. Nativity (samples some crazy bible story 7″ record)[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/19%20Nativity.mp3]

20. Redux [audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/SoFarSoSo/20%20Redux.mp3]

Creative Commons License
SO FAR SO SO by Kent Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.cornwarning.com.