Alternate Tuning

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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Best Single I Forgot About Until Literally Less Than a Minute After I Had Submitted My P&J POll

And the unfortunate award goes to:

"Black Stacey" by Saul Williams, a smart, entertaining, and moving track that is the only song I can think of off the top of my head that deals with skin-color prejudice within a black community (surely there are more).

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Is David Banner more sensitive than Kelley Polar?

I don't know, but I'll help you decide in this installment of Never Mind the Bollocks.

Friday, December 16, 2005

All About Me

Through some quirk of scheduling, I think I've managed to have more writing up at once than ever before: a review of the latest Paul Weller album, an interview with the people who put out a recent Johnny Cash box, and my re-visiting of Philip Roth's My Life As a Man. Still in circulation: yesterday's review of the new Who live DVD and my contribution to the OSF gift guide.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Song Title of the Year Award

Sufjan Stevens and David Crowder both made valiant efforts at this one, but each fell a little short (and I probably wouldn't encourage Sufjan anyway). So the winner of the 2005 Song Title of the Year award is:

Luke Doucet, for "if i drop names of exotic towns that you'll never see, in the songs that i write, it's that that's all i have when i miss my girl & you're
taking yours home tonight".

The punctuation might be a bit troubling, but it's a great sentiment, and one of the few songs I know in which the title and the entire lyrics are exactly the same.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Because Everyone Will Buy Sheet Music for That One Rad Riff

I understand the importance of sales of scores, but free tab sites aren't preventing anyone from picking up that Jethro Tull anthology of sheet music simply so they can learn to play the intro to "Aqualung" more quickly. And at the very least, site owners don't need to be jailed, you nitwits. More here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

For fans of classical music; Bedford, PA; or Wrong Note Media

I just received this announcement from good friend, sometime-collaborator, and excellent composer Todd Goodman:

I wanted to write and let you all know that a work of mine called "Sketches of Home" for string orchestra was selected by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to include on a concert on March 4, 2006. The concert is at Heinz Hall for the performing arts in downtown Pittsburgh and is free to the public. This concert is a new program started by the PSO last year where they read/perform three of the top student collegiate composers of Pittsburgh. "Sketches of Home" was commissioned and premiered this March by Nick Palmer and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra, of which I am there resident composer. I am writing now so you can mark your calendars for this (hopefully not, *wink*) once in a lifetime event. So, if you are near Pittsburgh and want to hear one of the world's greatest orchestra play a piece of mine, please plan on coming. If you have any questions send me an email.

Actually, if you have any questions you can email me or just leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Who Am I? Who Who Who Who

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My top result for the selector,
Who Are You? ,
is Pete Townshend

No surprise there, or in the ranking of my next three: Entwistle, Moon, Daltrey.

In related news, I've got a review up of the newest, surprisingly worthwhile Townshend comp here.

UPDATE: Huh. That's a kinda ridiculous looking graphic they gave me, isn't it? I'm pleading laziness/busyness and not changing it anyway.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The End Begins in a Basement

Adrien's started his year-end wrap-up at Basement Galaxy. Last year (even before I had met Adrien), it was a daily read for me, and this year should be just as good. If nothing else, his passion for such an array of music should keep the countdown and accompanying analysis interesting. Plus, there are daily mp3s.

I agree almost exactly with his recount of the year: great start, dull summer, strong finish. At one point in May or June I was even complaining that nothing was coming out I wanted to hear, which fortunately gave me the opportunity to pick up lots of back catalog stuff I had been missing out on, and which allowed my newfound love of Ray Charles to develop.

The biggest surprise to me this year is my discovery that I can actually like some types of country music. It took me long enough, and enough treading of the alt waters, but my ears are accepting this days. Pretty much, if it's on CMT, I'm still not likely to enjoy it, but people like Robbie Fulks led to Willie Nelson and I'm glad that I'm not as much a hater as I used to be.

I'm also reminded that I need to start my 2005 meaningless awards for made-up categories, which lasted only for two or three categories last year before travel, work, etc. disrupted them. Stay tuned -- I'll try harder this December. In the meantime, suggest names for the awards. The Tunies? The Alternaties? See, I'm bad with names...