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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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A random selection from my archive:



Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives


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Moment of Zen


Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

Courtesy of Timmay

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    Thursday, March 31, 2005

    Changes, they are a-comin'

    I have to skip town for a few days, but when I'm back next week I should have some more fun photos to post, along with some big news.

    News big enough to impact the future of this website. Will Nervous Music disappear? I certainly hope not. Will things slow down? Mmm, maybe a bit. More details soon...

    Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    Sir Squeegee

    File this under potential David Lynch Moments: I witnessed a motorcyclist pull into a gas station who, rather than fill his tank, immediately reached for a squeegee. He proceeded to squeegee the helmet he was wearing, visor and all. He gave himself a little shake, returned the squeegee to its dirty water, and rode off. Isn't that weird? Or is it just an excuse to mention "squeegee" four times here. I mean five.

    Tuesday, March 29, 2005


    In culinary circles it's often bad form to own appliances and tools that are single-use. I suppose with limited kitchen space typically being the norm, it's important to consolidate when possible. However the software world can be a different matter altogether.

    With more and more development teams pushing the less software movement, new single-use applications are appearing all the time. This leads me to Dropload, a place for you to drop your files off and have them picked up by someone else at a later time. I think this is a marvelous idea and beats monkeying with Gmail's size limitations or the multi-step process of ftp-ing files to personal web space. Drop away!

    Monday, March 28, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Driver

    Omni Trio "Ocean Driver" - Given this track's title, it's only natural that Tim, Chris and I all agree that this makes for great driving music. Omni Trio is drum 'n bass producer Rob Haigh who's been releasing solid jungle for over 10 years. This track comes off his spectacular 1997 record Skeleton Keys. For those of you into really deep grooves and top-shelf synth work, you can't go wrong here. Out of print.

    Huun-Huur-Tu "Ching Söörtukchülerining Yryzy | Song Of The Caravan Drivers (Live)" - Is this great driving music? Mmm, not so much. But that doesn't make it any less fantastic. Tuvan throat singing is, umm, well, a bit of an acquired taste. But if you're willing to indulge, then Huun-Huur-Tu are the guys to check out first. I've seen them live (twice) and have dozed off to their mesmerizing vocal acrobatics (twice). Hnnnhhrrrnnnnooo. Shoo! Buy It.

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    Browser rat-a-tat Stats

    About once a month I'll login to my hosting account to see how traffic for this website is faring. I'm mostly interested in the popularity of the mp3 downloads, and I've found that, on average, each song gets about 20 unique downloads/week. Thanks everyone! I'm glad some folks are enjoying them. Actually the all-time highest was Ministry's "Everyday is Halloween" with 37 downloads. What does that say about my visitors? I just don't know.

    I also look at the browser stats. I'm curious what people are using, and how Internet Explorer has been doing with all the recent hooplah around Firefox (and the rising popularity of Safari on the Mac platform). My site is a scrawny minnow in a vast ocean of blogs, but I think my stats reinforce what other bloggers are finding.

    Disclaimer: Before we look at the numbers, I just want to say that I'm fully aware that these statistics aren't perfect. Unfortunately reporting from the original logfiles is not a perfect science, and you'll see later on that my provider states that there are discrepancies. But if we all agree that these numbers are relative estimates, then let's move on.

    Looking at the numbers for the first two months of this year, IE outpaces Mozilla and Firefox by one visit. ONE visit. Get a load of this:

    Browser Types      Unique Visits      Percentage
    Internet Explorer 196 42.06%
    Mozilla (incl. Firefox) 195 41.85%
    Netscape 24 5.15%
    Google Robot 23 4.94%
    Konqueror 12 2.58%
    Safari 11 2.36%
    Alexa Robot 3 0.64%
    Opera 2 0.43%

    Some interesting findings, however, my provider cannot claim 100% reporting accuracy. These numbers show only 466 results, but they state: "466 results from 509 unique visits of which 43 unknown/could not be evaluated." So maybe these additional 43 are Firefox visitors? Which begs the question, why didn't these register in the totals above? Were their chads not fully punched through?

    In any case, it's nice to see some variety in these statistics. Plus it looks like I'm getting about 240 unique visitors each month, which is about 8 new visitors a day (including the..ahem.. search engine spiders). So I guess that's not bad, even if people are finding me through Blogger's "Next Blog" toolbar.

    I'm not entirely sure what this exercise illustrates. I suppose I was interested to see how Firefox users matched up with IE users, and we learned that they're neck and neck. Fabulous. So I guess only one last question remains: Opera users - both of you - who are you?

    UPDATE: Whoops. I just realized that the above numbers only reflect visitors arriving through the domain. The stats do not include people who go directly to the address via a bookmark or whathaveyou. So I wonder what the true numbers are?

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines

    Recreating scene stills from movies: now there's a hobby I could really get into given the time and energy. I've always been fond of Basic Hip's Vertigo: Then and Now. I half expect to see the ghost of Madeleine floating in the background of one of the shots.

    (I wonder what I could accomplish here in Connecticut? Maybe a shot-by-shot remake of "Mystic Pizza"?)

    Now there's Kristan Horton's homage to Dr. Strangelove using everyday objects. I particularly like the War Room scene. The only noticeable omission is a crazed George C. Scott.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Spring Training Highlights

    Tim, Chris and I had a fantastic time at spring training in Arizona this year. We caught six ballgames over five days (the first day we did an afternoon/evening doubleheader). If you've visited Tim's site lately, you'll see that we had some interesting run-ins with everyone from a pizza-loving curmudgeon to a crazed heckler.

    All in all, it was a fabulous trip and some photos are available on Flickr now. To get you started, here's a lone palm that majestically rises from Tim's front yard. Click through and you can see the other 40-odd photos I took.

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Seasons

    Blossom Dearie "They Say It's Spring" - This song makes me float. I don't know if it's the drum brushing, subtle piano, or Blossom's voice. But there's a feeling to this song that's so light and airy. She's the voice behind Schoolhouse Rock's "Unpack Your Adjectives" and she's one of my favorite jazz vocalists. The album this track comes from (Give Him the Ooh-La-La) is fantastic and you should really do yourself a favor and: Buy It.

    Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood "Summer Wine" - What to say about this. It's great 60s pop. You've got a bright-eyed Sinatra duetting with a trail-worn cowboy. Endearing and at the same time ridiculous, this track is one of my favorites from their 1968 album aptly entitled Nancy & Lee. Out of print.

    Saturday, March 19, 2005

    Virtual Stan meets Pizza Bukowski

    The spring training vacation is winding down. It's our final night hanging out at Tim's and we're just relaxing and listening to music. Despite seeing six games in five days, and having these experiences, we still found ample time to laugh over Virtual Stan. If you're looking for an explanation, don't ask me. I have no idea.

    I'll be back home in 24 hours and I hope to upload some beisbol photos within a few days. You'll definitely be getting two new Tracks of the Week on Monday even though I've been absent. It'd be a shame to miss a week of free music now, wouldn't it?

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Lawrence

    Lawrence "Untitled Track 7" - This week you're getting two tracks from the same artist. Lawrence (my Dad's name!) is actually Peter Kersten, a criminally overlooked and underappreciated electronic music producer from Germany. Where many artists fall into the trap of repeating the same 4/4 beats over and over ad nauseaum, Lawrence evolves his rhythms as they lurch forward with twisted melodies and a solid sense of drum programming. Maybe he's the Underworld of microhouse? His music can feel claustrophobic and even downright gloomy at times, but every track on his 2002 self-titled debut is a stunning addition to the tech-house genre. Buy It.

    Lawrence "Fifteen Minutes with You" - I was very impressed with his debut, but Lawrence's 2003 release The Absence of Blight simply blew me away. Building on earlier themes, his most recent album opens up his sound more, occassionally letting in splashes of sunlight and warmth. Kersten continues to dwell in chilling atmospherics and dark rhythms, but this album is a little more accomplished, including a live string arrangement. I can't wait to see what this guy releases next. Buy It.

    Sunday, March 13, 2005


    It's spring training time again, folks! That means nothing new here for a while, aside from the new Tracks of the Week appearing tomorrow. I may post a word or two while away, but most likely you won't hear from me until next week.

    A parting haiku:

    Arizona says,
    Spring training awaits you, Sean.
    I concur. Beisbol!


    The t-shirts say "Ballsy Mexican Cuisine"

    We went to a Mexican restaurant last night called C. O. Jones. I'm not kidding. See for yourself.

    Great food, and even better drinks. I was thinking about taming the Mexican Monkey Margarita, or maybe the Bada Bing Bada Boom Margarita, but I decided on the Prickly Pear Margarita instead. Delicious.

    Hehe.. it's called cojones.

    Saturday, March 12, 2005 transmission

    I wonder if Ian Curtis of Joy Division would've ever guessed that the band, New Order, that rose from the ashes of his death would be pioneering a new technology to share music via a poster? A *poster*? Yes indeed. New Order is using interactive digital posters to beam song clips to cell phones via infrared and Bluetooth. Cool!

    In related news, I finally cracked open the Joy Division 4-CD box set Heart and Soul which I got for Christmas. Aside from a few live bootlegs that are circulating, this box set captures everything they ever recorded -- over 80 tracks. And I must say, it's absolutely incredible.

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    I can see my house from here

    Take a fantastic (Java-based) ride through The Universe Within. Well, golly, I was half-expecting to see the smiling face of Jim Nabors at the end, but I guess I'll settle for a bunch of quarks.

    Wednesday, March 09, 2005

    PowerBook Part IV (The Final Chapter?)

    Five weeks, a couple dozen phone calls, and a big ol' batch of heartburn later, I think I finally have some closure to my PowerBook woes. But watch, now that I announce this, I bet it'll self-destruct.

    Anyway, I'm posting this using my PowerBook which has finally seen the light of day and made its way from the Apple Support repair center in Memphis to my home. Long live the King.

    I held my breath when I first started it up -- I didn't know if I'd start hearing the plunking pinball noise again. Well, it's been about five hours, and so far this new hard drive seems to be performing better. I *have* heard the noise, but only a couple times (and not as loud). This is a great improvement over the original hard drive that made the noise, on average, 3 times a minute.

    There is one small difference this time around though. I had to reinstall the operating system due to a TrackPad problem I encountered when I first booted up this afternoon. I won't get into the details here. If you're curious, there's a long, long thread waiting for you over at Apple Support. But as a result of the reinstall, I'm currently running version 10.3.7, not the latest and greatest 10.3.8. Frankly, I'm not sure if I should upgrade right away. There have been some grumblings that the plunking noise could be software-related and may come about as a result of 10.3.8.

    Given the debates on the Apple Discussions board, I feel pretty confident that the "noise" is OK, and it doesn't necessarily mean impending doom. And I have to keep in mind that it's been a month and half since this whole debacle began and there are lots of people on the Discussions board who have reported the same noise, sometimes louder and more frequently. Yet after all this time, no one has reported any kind of damage to the hard drive or otherwise.

    So can I close the book on this now and look ahead to happy years with my PowerBook? I hope so. I guess the only question that remains is: what will happen when I upgrade to 10.3.8? I'm a little scared.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    The Icestorm Cometh

    OK, folks. New rule. The next time there's a storm (or even the slightest threat of a storm) and I have a meeting planned, I'm canceling it. My drive home from Hartford usually takes about 45 minutes. Today, though, took 4 hours. Yes, F-O-U-R hours. I-91 was a parking lot.

    I'm serious about this new rule. Even if there's a lovely light refreshing spring rain in the forecast, all I need to do is reread what I'm typing right now and *snap* meeting cancelled.

    "Spring came early this year"

    ...said Stephen when we met up with him at his weekly DJ set Techno Sol at Saucebox in downtown Portland.

    He was certainly right. Portland was beautiful last weekend. When we arrived on Thursday night, the weather was in the low 50s and, little by little, each day saw a rise in temperature until it hit about 70 on Sunday.

    During our quick visit, we bounced around the many neighborhoods of Portland, including the downtown, Pearl District, NW District, SE (Hawthorne) District, and a few others. I wasn't terribly committed to photographing the entire journey, but here's a quick peek of a few shots I got. You can click through to Flickr to see the rest.

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Seeds

    Devendra Banhart "Pumpkin Seeds" - This is my favorite Devendra song. It's what got me hooked on his debut album Oh Me Oh My... The Way The Day Goes By The Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs Of The Christmas Spirit. Phew. That's a mouthful. Recorded on a shoddy four-track (hence the fuzzy sound), this song has a very intimate quality, and it's probably one of the more tender things he's done. Go see him when he passes through your town. Buy It.

    Slag Boom Van Loon "Poppy Seed (Boards of Canada mix)" - This is a who's who of sorts in Intelligent Dance Music. IDM, an electronic music genre that reached its peak at the end of the last decade, was a breeding ground for acts like Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Global Communication. Two more artists that benefitted from this movement are Muziq and Speedy J -- the duo behind Slag Boom Van Loon. With this track, you get their techno wizardry plus the added bonus of a Boards of Canada treatment. Gorgeous. Buy It.

    Sunday, March 06, 2005

    The redeye's never a good thing

    Alyssa and I just returned from Portland, Oregon. We were there to visit Portland State University where Alyssa got accepted to an Applied Psychology PhD program. It was a whirlwind visit and we packed in about 5 days worth of sightseeing and exploring in a 48-hour span.

    We met up with Stephen twice, who was an awesome guide. More details about our trip, with some springtime photos soon. But for now, we're pooped, time to hit the hay.

    Thursday, March 03, 2005

    At least we finished the outside frame

    Looks like we won't be getting near the rest of this puzzle anytime soon.

    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    Transform your Gmail account into a personal file server, G

    We've all been blogging about the free Gmail invites coming out of our ears. I was giving them away last year by rigging little contests, like "guess my mileage" and "write the best haiku." After a while, everyone I knew had signed up and found themselves with more free Gmail invites than invitees.

    I cracked open a few of my own free accounts and created some based on permutations of my name: first-initial-last-name, first-name-dot-last-name, and so forth. Not terribly helpful, but I figured that if Gmail is around to stay, then it might not be bad to use it as a primary account one day. And while I'm at it, why not create a whole bunch of accounts for me, me, me so it's easier for others to remember (or forget, as it were) my exact address, no?

    Well, I just stumbled upon a much better use for those unloved accounts: Use your Gmail account as a personal file server. Sorry Mac users, this one looks like it's only for the Windows XP cool kids for now.

    Oh, and by the way, if you don't already have a Gmail account, your prayers can be answered at

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    PowerBook Part III (AKA is anybody home McFly?)

    Apple Support has had my PowerBook for almost three weeks now, and things still remain unresolved. Granted, the first week was a wash because of a "glitch" which accidentally put my case on hold. It was excusable, and their customer service handled it pretty smoothly.

    But who knew I'd be waiting *this* long to get a laptop? Apple's Repair Status site is basically useless because it's not giving me any details about my case as it continues to be delayed, and calling Apple Support every few days doesn't help much either. (All the while the Apple Discussions thread grows to a dizzying 170 messages.)

    A week ago, they said it would be two more days. A half week ago, they said it would be three more days. And now this morning, they're saying that they're waiting on a new part (a hard drive) which is on backorder until March 7th.

    I figured ordering a new PowerBook on January 31st would leave enough time to get it ready for my annual trip to Arizona for spring training in mid-March, not to mention actually using it for work appointments before then. But apparently I miscalculated.

    Hello! McFly! Your shoe's untied! Where's my PowerBook, McFly?