Category Archives: Music

Do Yourself A Big Favor Today

Watch this video:

I do so dearly love Disturbed version of this song, and I’ve raved about their original video, which is spectacular. But their music and the accompanying video of our planet from space – I could just wallow in that combination of sounds and sights for hours.

Thank you, NASA Johnson! And Disturbed! And Paul Simon!

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Filed under Music, Space, Video

Signs & Portents

In my old age I’ve become much more of a night owl and much less of a “morning person.” Thus the reminder notices stuck to the bathroom mirror this week have been a grim and painful reminder that the world wants me starting each and every day properly pissed off.

Every morning when I get into the car, a few seconds after starting it the sound system starts booting up and I’ll be hearing (perhaps) something from Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Morrissey, Pet Shop Boys… The radio is almost always left on SiriusXM Channel 33, “First Wave.” Depending on what I was listening to on the way home the previous evening it’s possible that I’ll get an NFL, NHL, MLB, or ESPN talk show – at which point I’ll switch it to First Wave.

This morning however…

Signs. Portents. Signs AND Portents.

I get Julia Ecklar’s “Temper Of Revenge.” A favorite song, a huge favorite. But not something normally found on any of the above mentioned SiriusXM channels. Or on any radio channel or SiriusXM channel.

What dark sorcery is this??!!

Well, obviously the radio has linked to my phone through the Bluetooth connection and is playing something at random from the music stored there. How this happened is unclear – or why. But what’s really attention-getting is the song chosen “at random.”

Find me a horse as red as the sun!

Find me a blade that will make their blood run!

I will ride out at dawn while the sun’s in the sky

So the buzzards can see where the bodies will lie!

Really, it was a very calm and civil finance committee meeting! No need for horses, blades, or buzzards! Honest!

P.S. – For the record, the next song to come up at random was Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party.” The third song was “One Day More” from the “Les Misérables” soundtrack, so it’s not entirely clear where that fits in with the theme established by the first two songs. It’s possible that after two songs my personal gremlin got bored.

P.P.S. – It’s also quite possible that I don’t have a personal gremlin, I was very short on sleep, and I was anthropomorphizing the shit out of the universe until the Diet Coke kicked in.

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Filed under Music, Paul

For Cassini

Tough night. As they say, let’s not be sad because she’s leaving us, let’s be joyful because of all she showed us and taught us.

And when you’ve sworn that you’re going to put on your big boy pants and make it through the vigil, you get this thread:

Then of course you have to watch the Cassini “Grand Finale” video:

Tomorrow, maybe it would be a good thing to start working a little harder to try to figure out how to get the powers that be in Washington to fund the next mission to Saturn. Maybe a Titan explorer, a boat to sail those methane seas or a balloon to soar over those petrocarbon pinnacles. Or an Enceladus orbiter to taste the plumes coming out of the polar tiger stripes.

Or both.

But for tonight, hail and farewell Cassini. You will always be Queen of the ringed planet in our hearts.


Filed under Astronomy, Music, Space

White Noise

What sound relaxes you? What sound can you have in the background that you don’t need to pay attention to, don’t need to necessarily be involved or engaged with on a conscious level, but which gives you a measure of comfort and familiarity?

A baseball game. Not even knowing or caring who’s playing, who’s winning, who’s losing. Just that cadence, that rhythm, that flow. The sound brings back childhood memories of happy places, evenings spent by the radio listening to the home team on the road, back before every game of the season was on in hi-def, back before you got more than the “game of the week” on Saturday afternoon and your cellar dwelling team was never shown. The color commentator and the play-by-play guy, chatting and chewing over stats between pitches, the steady tone as we get the out of town scoreboard, the rising pitch and excitement as a towering fly goes back, back, back…

Rain. The pitter patter of a gentle but steady soaking, brushing through the leaves of the trees, bouncing off of the patio outside the door. Perhaps some peepers or croakers off in the pond or stream, advertising for a mate.

Thunderstorm! (My choice for the evening.) All of the calming joys of a rain storm, but with the crack of thunder every now and then, echoing across the hills, shifting and reverberating from all around as the storm slowly moves past.

Surf. The constant and never ending cascading of water in motion, running out of time and space as a continent gets in the way.

Air traffic control. A newer one, related in spirit to the baseball game, but now also a happy place that I long to return to, the left seat of an aircraft and the skies where I need to be on my game and ready to join in that snappy technical repartee to safely get from here to there. It’s almost another language, a secret tongue that only those who work and earn their way can learn to speak and be spoken to. Listening is like listening to a radio station in a foreign tongue, one you once knew by have now forgotten through a lack of use, but one which is starting to come back by osmosis as you let the white noise in the background seep into your pores.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Music

Something Special In The Mail

[EDIT: This was written AND FREAKIN’ PUBLISHED last night at about 23:40! Now WordPress is asking if I want to publish or delete it. I swear, i pushed the “Publish” button and saw it go. I was wondering why no one had mentioned it… I’m telling you, I’m needing a much better class of hallucination.]

I knew this would probably be coming, because I subscribe to her Patreon account (worth every penny, I love her and her work and her music and her art and her TED talk and her book) but I had sort of forgotten in all of the hubbub. (Stupid freakin’ hubbub!) Then I started seeing other people saying they had gotten theirs and after a while I was wondering if I might have gotten missed or lost. But again, even in that I was so caught up in the 9 to 5 chaos (or in my case, the 7 to 24 chaos) that even that didn’t get through to me.

But I recognized that sigil. I tried very hard not to squeee in the post office. I buried it in with the bills, magazines, and junk mail and waited until I got home to double check.

Even without the return address label, the stamps would have given it away.

‘Tis a thing to be cherished. And I will!


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Filed under Art, Music

Lyrical Math (Does Not Compute)

That moment when a song you’ve listened to and enjoyed for decades all of a sudden has a big flaw, and your subconscious is just sitting there grinning at you like Eddie Haskell, tongue stuck out, “Neiner, neiner, neiner! Ruined that song for you!”

Take a look at the lyrics for Charlie Daniels’ “Uneasy Rider.” You know the song.

Follow along…

Verse six – “There wasn’t a soul in the place except for him and me

Verse nine – “some guy walked in

Verse eleven – “These 5 big dudes come strollin in / With one old drunk chick and some fella with green teeth

Verse thirteen – “there was three of them and only one of me

Time out!

Even if we don’t count the bartender and the drunk chick, that’s SEVEN other guys, not three!

I call shennigans!

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Filed under Music

Your Marching Orders – June 20th

Some days you need to listen to Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” album at extremely high volume, regardless of the late-ish hour and the possible proximity of the neighbors.

Today is that day.

You have your marching orders.

Go listen to Supertramp’s “Breakfast In America” album at extremely high volume!

(Actually, it’s so freakin’ hot here that the neightbors are all buttoned up with the A/C going full blast and so are we, so unless Supertramp actually shows up and sets up a gazillion watt sound system in the room with me, they’re never going to notice. Wait, did I get sidetracked again?)


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Filed under Music