just decoration

(doxic nonsense)

music-nerd data-porn

Comments: 0 - Date: August 15th, 2010 - Categories: music, things i say

so i discovered last.fm a little over three years, and i’ve faithfully (read as: automatically) submitted my listening whims to them (via the awesome scrobblepod). every once in a while i’d check out my last.fm profile to see what the algorithms thought i might like, but i mostly kept streaming them my listening data in hopes that someone would do something truly awesome with it:

LastHistory screen grab

frederik seiffert created the brilliant LastHistory which takes your last.fm listening data and gets all scientific with it. the analytical mode plots individual tracks versus when you listened to them (with color coding representing genre), but the real magic is personal mode, where the same graph is supplemented by photos from your iPhoto library as well as events from your iCal calendars. and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for someone to statistically graph out your life with respect to what you listen to and where you were (infered by iCal and iPhoto data and metadata).

what fascinates me is that i can look at my LastHistory graph and immediately notice a few big spans where i either wasn’t listening to music via iTunes/iPod/iPhone, or i wasn’t scrobbling that information to the last.fm servers. looking at the iCal data that corresponds to the empty chunk of the graph, i see that, well, august and september was when my laptop got stolen in the middle of moving into this apartment and finishing my first off-broadway design, so that six week gap is pretty understandable. january and february 2008? i was in la jolla working on a show, drove to work in a rental car, and probably didn’t have internet access at the company housing. july 2009: in london with the TEAM and, honestly, not really using my iPod. it’s also interesting to track my sleep habits with this data: when i’m home, i usually fall asleep listening to an album, so that’s pretty well documented here. what’s also evident is when i shift time zones, marked by the moving of the silent band that usually hangs out between 3am-ish and noon-ish.

i find all of this, yes, a little creepy, but also extremely compelling: this is what i want out of my personal data.

invisible ink

Comments: 0 - Date: April 3rd, 2010 - Categories: music, things i say

i can listen to pretty much any aimee mann song and hear it as a parable directly about my life. i know this doesn’t make me special: i know most (if not all) people could say the same. but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful to me. if you don’t have live at st. anne’s warehouse or the special edition of lost in space, you’re missing out on some gems.

blah blah “amazon associate” blah blah blah “tiny percentage of your purchase” blah blah blah blah blah.

kcmp 89.3 the current

Comments: 0 - Date: March 15th, 2010 - Categories: music, things i say

the current is responsible for most of my purchases at the amazon .mp3 store these days. some recent awesomeness bestowed on me by them includes:

  • broken bells – ‘broken bells’: debut album from james mercer (of the shins) and danger mouse.  good in a way i haven’t figure out yet, but definitely good.
  • edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros – ‘edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros‘: “home” is toe tapper that just got under my skin (in a good way), and the rest of the album is just as awesomely weird.
  • jason lytle – ‘yours truly, the commuter‘: reminded me a lot of sparklehorse when i first heard him.  then i started listening to (and buying more) sparklehorse.  and then things got very sad when mark linkous passed, and now i can’t stop listening to either of them.

so go ahead and add the current’s live stream to your iTunes: i listen to it almost every morning, and i swear it makes me a better person. or something.

blah blah “amazon associate” blah blah blah “tiny percentage of your purchase” blah blah blah blah blah.

jump cut

Comments: 0 - Date: March 15th, 2010 - Categories: music, site-related, things i say

so, i launched ecto, and found a couple of drafts of posts from the past… well from the past. one was going to be “songs that are even better than their kickass titles,” which hopefully i’ll get around to eventually.  another was both the beginnings of a review of no bird sing‘s debut album and an attempt to both use my amazon associate account for the first time (while also figuring out how to disclaim that, yes, i will receive a fraction of a percent of your purchase if you buy something from amazon via my link.).  so, in this past sixteen or so months, i have thought about writing here, apparently. and that counts, well, kinda next to nothing.

anyways, this is an attempt to get off my ass and start writing things longer than 140 characters, and to share things with the void of the internet.  i’m thinking of very brief reviews of new albums, and maybe some recipes. i can promise with almost full certainty that there will be no more poorly conceived and poorly written epic prose homages.  i stopped posting here (i think) because i finished/grew tired with playing with the form of the site (learning php, markdown, polishing up my css), and, quite frankly, twitter was serving my appetite for content creation.

but you can’t post a recipe in under 140 characters, nor can you really give an album its just dues. so i’m going to try to go into depth with some of that.  but i’d also like to follow john gruber’s lead and write long posts when they need to be long, and write short posts when they essentially just need to share a link.

so… yeah.

summer babe

Comments: 0 - Date: July 19th, 2008 - Categories: music, things i say

i should be prepping for scotland and getting ahead on paperwork for the top of next season, but i’m having a hard time focusing and being productive in the brutal heat today. so, a list of my current summer music obsessions:

  • ratatat’s ‘lp3’ is my favorite new find
  • minus the bear’s ‘highly refined pirates’ narrowly edges out the rest of their amazing albums
  • i picked up louis xvi’s ‘slick dogs and ponies’ because i heard “air traffic control” on the radio repeatedly in la jolla and simply fell in love with it
  • the quaver’s ‘lit by your phone’ (and anything by t. griffin, really) is truly inspiring
  • the black keys: i just can get enough of anything this band does
  • aimee mann’s new ‘@#%&*! smilers’ was a very welcome surprise
  • pavement’s ‘slanted and enchanted: luxe and reduxe’ reminds me of teenage summers back in ky, but with added peel sessions and live versions
  • r.e.m.’s ‘new adventures in hi fi’ continues to blow my mind
  • jimi hendrix’s ‘band of gypsys’ has been a summer favorite of mine for a long time and my favorite of all his works
  • the english beat’s ‘i just can’t stop it’ is another perennial favorite

i can’t recommend any of these highly enough.

the blues ain’t always sad

Comments: 0 - Date: June 20th, 2008 - Categories: music, things i say

case in point: los lobos and, my current musical obsession, the black keys. if you don’t already, you should own los lobos’s “colossal head” and “this time;” and pretty much every black keys album, but especially “chulahoma.” i wholeheartedly recommend listening to them in a car in summer with the windows down.

and yesterday was definitely a happy-blues day:

  • glorious weather
  • watching ej work with families for the parent/child dance at city hall (i’m finding kids utterly enchanting recently, but i’m trying not to read anything into that)
  • sharing a pint of fresh bing cherries at the park
  • the night sky after rehearsal with the roller girls (which looked almost exactly like the cover of ‘the sea and the bells’)
  • dinner with amelia at viva zapata (which brought back a few good memories of the last time i was here in new haven).

“i get all happy ‘cause my life is so damn good.” – los lobos ‘life is good’

late to the game

Comments: 0 - Date: February 20th, 2008 - Categories: music, things i say

i hope to be living proof that it is never too late to start listening to (unordered excerpt of much longer list):

  • mogwai
  • beta band
  • tom waits
  • frank zappa
  • aimee mann
  • that side project of your favorite band that you never got around to following up on

transient

Comments: 0 - Date: November 27th, 2007 - Categories: music, things i say

to the stunning readhead sitting across from me on the q train, with ipod earbuds in and the slightest, most captivating grin:

here we sit, two people on their morning commute, carving out our solitary spaces amongst everyone else on the train. i’m still waking up, listening to aimee mann’s “lost in space,” mouthing along to the lyrics, giving in to the music, and sneaking glances at you. once or twice you catch me, and the curve of your smile gets a little bigger, maybe recognizing that we’re both coping with the packed rush hour train in the same way, but more likely because i look ridiculous, mouthing along to a song only i can hear. your smile is so honest, so beautiful, so captivating, that i can’t look away, and have to close my eyes, really getting into the chorus of “invisible ink,” wondering what it is on your ipod that can make you smile like that. i open my eyes, asking myself how socially inappropriate it would be to just start talking to a stranger on the subway, only to find an empty seat across from me.

i’m sorry i didn’t get a chance to ask you, but i know i wouldn’t have anyway.

i guess that’s what i’m really apologizing for.

a list

Comments: 1 - Date: October 6th, 2007 - Categories: music, things i say

things i am into right now:

  • the guy on the 2 train home a few weeks ago reading the economist wearing the exact same “fat-albert-ass headphones” i wear every day
  • early tom waits albums, big star, the beta band, aimee mann, nick drake
  • the associated grocery store on my walk home from the train
  • visiting the above a little too frequently so i can have a respectable kitchen to cook in
  • eating nothing but homemade food at least one day a week
  • the balcony-porch-type-thing at my new apartment: i spend a good 80% of my time at home out there
  • having roommates, and siting on the above-mentioned porch, drinking beer and talking about things that don’t involve theatre in the slightest
  • brooklyn lager and miller high life (see above)
  • not having to leave the apartment tomorrow if i don’t want to
  • tonight’s extravagant dinner at the west bank with d and em

i’m starting to think a better title for this blog might have been “the stunningly quotidian.”

just another saturday night

Comments: 0 - Date: August 12th, 2007 - Categories: music, things i say

so, more than a month without a post… not that anyone should be all that surprised. i found a draft of a post called “ow my liver” about a wonderful but very drunken weekend with the vanya and st. joan casts, steve cramer, and emily and entourage for her birthday. the few nights with steve were epic, and have been dubbed “all cramer’s- eve” and “steve cramer day.”

anywho.

last night, after rehearsals, miki and i headed across the street to the west bank to blow off some steam (and how). zoe and janel were there as well, and ken was behind the bar, so, of course, a good time was had by all.

the best part of the evening, though, was the cab ride home. after packing miki off in a cab, i hopped in the next one as the radio announced a piece (whose title i didn’t hear) “conducted by leonard bernstein.” i asked the cabbie to turn it up, and we blissed our way up the west side highway until the piece was finished. for the rest of the drive, he only wanted to talk about west side story, which seems to me as a rather odd conversation to have with a cabbie, but was enjoyable nonetheless. i only remember agreeing with whatever he was saying while straining to hear the radio he had turned down, responding every once in a while when something he said broke my focus on the burried music.

i have to say: some of my favorite new york experiences have been cab rides.

oh, and, as a public service announcement, don’t try to watch a subtitled movie at 2am after a heavy-handed bartender has pouring for you.