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Culture: random musings
10/28/2000 random musings

Oh, man. Way too much has been going on, and it's impossible to keep up with the culture that's been sustaining me. Because it's easy to listen and work, most of this shows up in Music Listening.

10/28/2000 random musings: other writers

In the rock writing vein, I haven't been able to do much, but I found this fine example of rock criticism on the Pitchfork site. It's a classic putdown, and gives me hope for the genre.

08/03/2000 random musings

Who'd'a thunk? The photo record (at the now-sadly-defunct Pandomag.com) shows that Joel Phelps is now playing a Jazzmaster. And a fine one it is, to be sure. I'm interested in hearing how it affects the sound of the songs.

08/03/2000 random musings

Tops on the addicted-to list is Naked City's Radio, more than just a great introduction to the band--there are some masterpieces here. More to come.

07/06/2000 random musings

What's in the bag today? Naked City, Painkiller, and Spy vs. Spy. Apparently I'm on a Zorn/noise kick. A friend of mine loaned me Spy vs. Spy some years ago, and I returned it to him before he left town. At the time, it seemed astonishingly brutal--a true assault of noise. (I loved it, of course.) On listening now, it's still noisy--gloriously so--but it's not nearly as shocking to me. (This is not to say that it's completely impenetrable, jumbled, or without structure--there's a definite musicality to it.) It's interesting, though, how acclimation reveals structure. Or, put another way, as Brian Eno has said, any two sounds occurring in a sequence, repeated often enough, will sound inevitably linked.

09/30/1998 random musings: Use

It's been a while since updates. I've been under a load of work, which shows no sign of changing anytime soon--although I have managed to finish off some of my commitments. Use, a project of mine supported by a grant from the "Pennsylvania Council on the Arts", has been online since August. Check it out.

Surrounded by Memory, my piece in this year's Aliquippa Embraces Art festival, has been reinstalled in the Three Rivers Arts Festival gallery, in downtown Pittsburgh at 707 Penn Avenue. It's in the room at the back of the gallery. Go on in, sit down, and check it out. It'll be there until October 12.

The opening was great, except for a partial failure of one of my tape machines. But the piece is fully functional from a listener's point of view. I was worried about the mix, because there was no facility for mixing anything other than volume, the tape machines we were using had no noise reduction, and the tapes were CrO2--I was sure the piece was going to come out sounding like an Edison cylinder, but that turned out not to be the case.

07/20/1998 random musings

I'm also listening to crickets, cicadas, trains across the valley, one or two light planes, and distant thunder. The perfect summer soundtrack.

06/17/1998 random musings: Einstein quote

A fine quote from Albert Einstein, from the book "Before the Big Bang: The Origins of the Universe" by Ernest J. Sternglass:

Don't do what I have done. Always keep a cobbler's job where you can get up in the morning and face yourself that you are doing something useful. Nobody can be a genius and solve the problems of the universe every day. Don't make that kind of mistake. When I accepted the position at the University of Berlin, I had no duties really. Nothing to do except wake up and solve the problems of the universe every morning.

I'm not reading the book, but came across it quoted in the latest copy of my alumni magazine. Yup, I actually read it, on occasion.

06/17/1998 random musings: sell yourself

A sticker I saw as I was going home this evening:

    Sell yourself until you can afford to buy yourself back.

06/03/1998 random musings: MacArthur Fellows

Intense video artist Gary Hill, mighty writer Ishmael Reed and Tim Berners-Lee, without whom you wouldn't be reading this, are among this year's MacArthur Fellows.

06/01/1998 random musings: K advice

Some web "advice" from K Records: "Better to suck being yourself than be good at being someone else, I say."

And an interesting couple of articles on starting a pirate radio station in K's Community pages. Click on the Page Two link in the left frameset (navigation is strange, otherwise).

05/03/1998 random musings: consumer culture

I'll probably go into culture-acquisition mode soon. Any reccomendations? Write me.

04/08/1998 random musings: Short o' time

I'm currently working on a number of Web sites and preparing for software training classes I'll be conducting, so time has been short.