Friday, January 30, 2004

Odd Amazon Reviews

I first became aware of the subculture of spoof and parody reviews on Amazon with regard to various New York Times Book Review-style literary criticisms of Family Circus cartoon books...

Today I'm killing a little time with the demented mind of Henry Raddick. Some amazing stuff, here, if you're in the right mood. A few examples among 284 reviews:

Creative Healing : How to Heal Yourself by Tapping Your Hidden Creativity by Michael Samuels, Mary Rockwood Lane
A nightingale finds its voice November 26, 2001
Many thanks to the authors for helping me to tap into my boundless creative energy and thus tackle my morbid obesity. My poundage has remained pretty static but at least I have been able to detract from it by holding my friends and family spellbound with my beautifully crafted semi-autobiographical free-verse epic poems and impressed by my congealed lamb fat sculptures. Thank you Mr Samuels for allowing my spirit to soar.

The Ale Master: How I Pioneered America's Craft Brewing Industry, Opened the First Brewpub, Bucked Trends, and Enjoyed Every Minute of It by Bert Grant, et al
Excellent November 16, 2001
Despite the title sounding like something a barfly might slobber at you before he pitches into the details of his acrimonious divorce, this is a facinating and thought-provoking autobiography.

Don't Shoot the Dog by James L. Kopp
Tremendous November 16, 2001
Kopp's marvelous guide shows how to train a dog without resorting to desperate measures. Thanks to this book I have kept my spaniel Barry in line with a couple of mock executions.

Super Bowl Commercials

The Channel 4 morning news show previewed some Super Bowl commercials today. Don't let me ruin your weekend if you want all this to be a surprise Sunday afternoon/evening...

My favorite was Homer Simpson for MasterCard. I never knew the Kwik-E Mart accepted plastic, much less Moe.

Jimi Hendrix for Pepsi loses points because it features a Telecaster instead of a Stratocaster. C'mon, people...

Muhammed Ali for Linux/IBM loses points for comprehensibility, but gains points for incomprehensibility.

Parading Scotsmen for Sierra Mist is not bad, considering it is, as they point out, just Wrong. Is that some kind of Marilyn Monroe homage?

I hope it's a good game, cuz I sure as hell have no interest in the pregame hype or half time show. Anyway, Papa Murphy's pizza is on the menu for Sunday, so there's always that to look forward to...
Bootleg Series Volume Six

News about a forthcoming Bob Dylan double CD...

On March 23, Columbia/Legacy will release Live 1964: Concert at Philharmonic Hall -- The Bootleg Series Volume 6, a two-CD set documenting the all-acoustic, October 31, 1964, Halloween-night concert by Bob Dylan at Philharmonic Hall in New York City. The recording captures a 23-year-old Dylan at a transitional moment in his career, two months after the release of Another Side of Bob Dylan, the last acoustic album he would record before ... the electrified rock heard on Bringing It All Back Home, several songs from which he previewed at this concert.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Woody Guthry? Moe Asch?

Smithsonian Label to Sell Folk Catalog as Downloads

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Billboard) - Nonprofit label Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is making its entire collection of 33,000 folk and world music songs available as downloads for 99 cents apiece. The service will debut April 1 on the label's own site,, and later this spring on the Smithsonian's site.

The Folkways catalog was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., after the death of label founder Moe Asch in 1986. The recordings, which date back to 1948, include material by Woody Guthry, Leadbelly, Brownie McGhee and Pete Seeger.


Well, typos notwithstanding, it'll be worth browsing the catalog in a few months to see if there's any more Ellen Stekert tunes available in addition to that Songs Of A New York Lumberjack CD-R we got for Aunt Etta last year...

Friday, January 16, 2004

Recent Playlists

Nth of Pril has been posting WinAmp playlists recently. Interesting to see what other people are listening to, especially when it's not completely unfamiliar stuff! I was unsuccessful in creating a new playlist yesterday, so instead, here's the track listings for a couple recent CD-R's.

Radio Dave - Twisted Mix 2004

1 Lou Reed - Perfect Day (demo)
2 Lyle Lovett - The Summer Wind
3 Pearls Before Swine - Wedding
4 Gene Clark - One In A Hundred
5 Flying Burrito Bros - Lodi
6 Souther Hillman Furay Band - On The Line
7 Mallard - A Piece Of Me
8 Lyle Lovett - Moritat (Mack The Knife)
9 Lou Reed - Hangin' Round (demo)
10 Flying Burrito Bros - Bony Maronie
11 Graham Parker & the Rumour - Pouring It All Out
12 Flying Burrito Bros - Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
13 Richard & Linda Thompson - Calvary Cross
14 Jorma Kaukonen - Song For The High Mountain
15 Pearls Before Swine - Did You Dream Of
16 John Martyn - Couldn't Love You More
17 Richie Furay - I Still have Dreams
18 Randy Stonehill - I've Got News For You
19 Leonard Cohen - Story Of Isaac
20 Lyle Lovett & Randy Newman - You've Got A Friend In Me
21 Flying Burrito Bros - Wake Up Little Susie
22 Flying Burrito Bros - One Hundred Years From Now
23 Flying Burrito Bros - Money Honey

Like a lot of my CD-R's over the last year, this was intended to free up a little space on the hard drive by making one last backup of some stuff that's been on there a long time.

Radio Dave 2003 - Mental Movie Music (Director's Cut)

01 Tornadoes - Telstar
02 Spooner - Feeling Good Is Gonna Come Easy
03 The Toys - A Lover's Concerto
04 People - I Love You
05 Justin Hayward - The Actor
06 Wild Man Fischer & Mark Mothersbaugh - The Way We Were
07 Spooner - Wild Winds
08 Graham Parker & Rumour - Pouring It All Out
09 Blues Image - Ride Captain Ride
10 Bloodrock - D.O.A.
11 Nick Cave - Time Jesum Transuentum Et Non Revertentum
12 Spooner - Fugitive Dance (House Mix)
13 The Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
14 Dondero High School Choir - Fox On The Run
15 Eddie & Edie & Reggaebots - Some Velvet Morning
16 Van Morrison - Ringworm / You Say France And I Whistle / Have A Danish
17 Jorma Kaukonen - Song For The High Mountain
18 Hugo Montenegro - The Good The bad And The Ugly
19 GE Silicone Products - Sand
20 The Dictators - Kiss My Ass

Same deal applies here. The original version contains 100MB or so of movie files instead of the last three songs, but it made a pretty decent Road Movie Soundtrack when Paul and Michele and I went to Madison between Christmas and New Year's, so I assembled this version for distribution through the usual channels, if you follow me. Since I don't have the technology for visitors to leave Comments, you'll have to write me (e-ddress to the left) if you have any questions. I got a nice note from somebody once after I posted a Playlist with a couple obscure Cat Stevens songs on it. Hopefully those will continue to outnumber the cease and desist orders and threats of legal repercussions from the RIAA and other friendly entitities dedicating to Protecting The Rights Of America's Recording Industry.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Teleology and Solipsism

USS Clueless is the domain of Steven DenBeste, who works as some kind of a software engineer in San Diego. He's justly renowned for his lengthy essays on various scientific, intellectual and political subjects. I find "Teleology and Solipsism" to be very amusing and interesting, considering I couldn't define either term if my life depended on it.
in 1991, computer programmer Chip Morningstar and a couple of other programmers were invited to give a speech at a two-day "interdisciplinary" Second International Conference on Cyberspace.
Randy and I were scheduled to speak on the second day of the conference. This was fortunate because it gave us the opportunity to recalibrate our presentation based on the first day's proceedings, during which we discovered that we had grossly mischaracterized the audience by assuming that it would be like the crowd from the first conference. I spent most of that first day furiously scribbling notes. People kept saying the most remarkable things using the most remarkable language, which I found I needed to put down in writing because the words would disappear from my brain within seconds if I didn't. Are you familiar with the experience of having memories of your dreams fade within a few minutes of waking? It was like that, and I think for much the same reason. Dreams have a logic and structure all their own, falling apart into unmemorable pieces that make no sense when subjected to the scrutiny of the conscious mind. So it was with many of the academics who got up to speak. The things they said were largely incomprehensible...

We retreated back to Palo Alto that evening for a quick rewrite... Then we set about attempting to add something that would be an adequate response to the postmodern lit crit-speak we had been inundated with that day. Since we had no idea what any of it meant (or even if it actually meant anything at all), I simply cut-and-pasted from my notes. The next day I stood up in front of the room and opened our presentation with the following:

The essential paradigm of cyberspace is creating partially situated identities out of actual or potential social reality in terms of canonical forms of human contact, thus renormalizing the phenomenology of narrative space and requiring the naturalization of the intersubjective cognitive strategy, and thereby resolving the dialectics of metaphorical thoughts, each problematic to the other, collectively redefining and reifying the paradigm of the parable of the model of the metaphor.

This bit of nonsense was constructed entirely out of things people had actually said the day before, except for the last ten words or so which are a pastiche of Danny Kaye's "flagon with the dragon" bit from The Court Jester, contributed by our co-worker Gayle Pergamit, who took great glee in the entire enterprise. Observing the audience reaction was instructive. At first, various people started nodding their heads in nods of profound understanding, though you could see that their brain cells were beginning to strain a little. Then some of the techies in the back of the room began to giggle. By the time I finished, unable to get through the last line with a straight face, the entire room was on the floor in hysterics, as by then even the most obtuse English professor had caught on to the joke. With the postmodernist lit crit shit thus defused, we went on with our actual presentation.

That's taken from How To Deconstruct Almost Anything, which is worth reading in its entirety.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Rhino Handmade

Okay, just had to link this page. The Rhino Handmade Catalog. Limited Edition rereleases, $20 a pop. Good buddy Paul gave me the Television Live disc for Christmas, but I still need the Stalk-Forrest Group, and the Neon Philharmonic would be nice... Yeah, I could spend a lot of money here. Not as much as at Mad City Music, but on a par with Discipline Global Mobile, I'd say! (I'd make the preceding links, but the Mad City website doesn't do justice to the store, and uh, I'm too lazy to link to DGM. Click on the Fripp blog to the left and navigate to the store, okay? Cool. See ya later.)
"Johnny's Garden"

A song from Stephen Stills' Manassas double-LP. Here's a 1970 photo of Johnny the Gardener (Taken by Henry Diltz courtesy the Rhino Records website) in the garden with Stephen and Peter Sellers. Sellers evidently sold the house (and garden) - Brookfield House in Elsted, Surrey - to Ringo Starr, who later sold it to Stills...
Noel Harrison CD from Rhino Handmade

My old friends Pete and Carole Stultz should order up this CD: Noel Harrison - Life Is A Dream - from Rhino Handmade. It's a 26 track collection from the three Reprise albums, Collage (1967), Santa Monica Pier (1968), and The Great Electric Experiment Is Over (1969), plus "Windmills Of Your Mind" and something like 3 unreleased tunes.

Folky soft rock on the surface, this material often leans into psych with its daring orchestrations. Anyway, that's what it says here. Don't think there's any Dylan tunes here (he'd done some on a previous LP for London), but there's around three Leonard Cohen songs as well as Arlo Guthrie, Donovan, Gordon Lightfoot, Tom Paxton, Joni Mitchell, and Judy Collins...

I wonder if I can find an e-mail address for Pete Stultz? I haven't heard from him for a while. But, I might have gotten a Christmas card from them again this year; I'll have to check. Good folks. I thought of them when I bought an Elgin Community Orchesta LP at Goodwill last Fall. Okay, that's enough keyword spamming, maybe Carole or Pete will Google their name and find this blog. Hi, guys!