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Muxtape 2

"When New York Was New York"

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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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    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Surreal

    Nurse With Wound "Optical Illusion Pad" - The sheer idiocy of music choice this week can be blamed on the lingering turkey coma. Steve Stapleton's output has often been referred to as surrealism in musical form. The most accessible NWW release is Rock and Roll Station from 1994. This track is lifted from those sessions, namely the 1998 follow-up of b-sides and throwaways called Second Pirate Session. Surprisingly this extra stuff holds up pretty well if you don't mind listening to the equivalent of a Dali or Duchamp painting. (Incidentally, I wouldn't be surprised if his next album is called Lingering Turkey Coma.) Buy It.

    Marcel Duchamp "The Creative Act" - Speaking of Duchamp, here's a little lecture from the king of all French Dadaists. This was recorded somewhere in Texas in April 1957. Don't ask me where I found this. Futhermore, don't ask me what he's talking about. Maybe if you overlay this track on top of the Nurse With Wound, you may end up with something more interesting a la the radio shows Tim and I used to do. I don't think this is available for purchase - and why would you?

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    Trip the ginger fantastic

    No helicopter pad this year. I guess I just didn't have the creative spark I had a couple years ago. I think I ate too much paste this year too. However I did find myself making similar land mines again. I can't decide if they're front lawn stick art, land mines, or poorly groomed rhododendrons. Anyway, here's what I came up with this weekend:

    Alyssa stuck with a nice green color scheme, and the skating rink in the side yard is a nice touch:

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005


    Dammsugare: The one new Swedish word I learned while in Stockholm last week. It's the name of a popular dessert that looks like a vacuum cleaner, or more accurately a dust sucker. They look like this:


    The weekend in Sweden and the following week in Luzern, Switzerland were both fun and productive. Not only did I get to try a dammsugare, but I got to meet this fella at Skansen in Stockholm. More photos can be found by clicking on the reindeer.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    The holiday shopping season is upon us

    In the spirit of all the little web apps released this year, there's one more that you might find helpful to stay organized this season: GiftBox.

    GiftBox is an online gift manager so you can keep track of what you're buying for all your friends, relatives, and enemies. It's free to use if you want to keep track of only three holidays, otherwise it's $19/year for unlimited holidays. Happy shopping and crowd dodging!

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Orange

    Boards of Canada "Aquarius" - Want to hear me say the word "orange"? Listen closely at 1:30, and again a few moments later, and again and again throughout the rest of the song. It's actually not me, but my friends think otherwise. This track is one of the highlights off of BoC's stellar debut album The Music Has the Right to Children. Their newest album released this fall isn't different enough to set itself apart from its predecessors. Yet it's still a highlight from this year's worth of sublime electronic music. Buy It.

    Wendy Carlos "March From A Clockwork Orange" - This song is lifted from one of my favorite scenes of Kubrick's film, A Clockwork Orange. Alex wanders through a futuristic record store with all sorts of lights and gizmos and (?) records. You'd think in the future they'd be selling music on something other than records. But vinyl purists would never let that happen I suppose. Buy It.

    Saturday, November 19, 2005

    Why 2005 has been a huge year

    The wonderful moments in my life since the beginning of the year:

    January - Got engaged
    April - Accepted new job
    April - Moved back to Massachusetts
    August - Got married
    November - Bought first home

    Yup, you read that right. We just purchased our first home together. A townhouse in Millbury, and we're psyched. We're still very early in the process, but we're hopeful that everything will proceed smoothly so we can move in January. It's new construction, nice amenities, good location (may shave a minute or two off the ol' commute), and generally a place we feel can definitely be our home for the next few years.

    Between projects at work, the home buying process, and the holidays, I'm out straight through January. But I hope to keep things up here just the same. (Case in point, stay tuned for photos of Stockholm now that I'm back from my work trip.) But now back to preparing for our new place. Wish us luck!

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    When in Europe, do what the Europeans do...

    ...which is to say, do not offer any Tracks of the Week. No music this week. A thousand pardons. I'm in Stockholm, on my way to Switzerland momentarily. Here for work, and I won't return until the weekend. Hope all is well with everyone state-side and I'll be back really soon.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    It's a great day to be a Bobcat

    Twice in the last week, I could've sworn I've seen Niles L. from Bates jogging along Memorial Drive as I made my way into work. Both times I spotted him jogging with someone else across the street from the Trader Joe's.

    If anyone reads this, and is in touch with Niles, please say hello for me! Mike, do you stop by here? Basil, do you keep in touch with Niles? I wonder what that man is up to.

    A couple months back I also spotted Caitlin S. jogging at roughly the same spot. What is it about Batesies and the merry banks of the Charles?

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    When your entree becomes your beverage

    Around this time every year, the fine folks at Jones Soda release limited edition holiday packs. At first thought this seems like a generous offering. Once a year you get some new fun flavors while you get psyched for the holidays! Well that sentiment quickly goes out the window when you discover the actual flavors.

    Chris and I stopped by a Target on our lunch break yesterday to pick up the 2005 "National" holiday pack (because apparently they have "Regional" ones too). Get this: For $10 you get 5 bottles of soda with the following flavors:

    Cranberry - now that sounds nice
    Pumpkin Pie - could be a little heavy, but worth a try
    Wild Herb Stuffing - what's that now?
    Turkey & Gravy - in my soda??
    Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto - oh good lord!!?

    I've yet to attempt any of these, but I'll probably try them before the month's up. Wish me luck. If you want your own, run to your nearby Target. Despite the questionable variety, they won't last long.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Tracks of the Week: Remix

    Sven Väth "Harlequin Plays Bells (Alter Ego Remix)" - This week I'm spotlighting remixes that I feel are superior to their originals. This track was always on heavy rotation at my radio show in college. It's a great one to speak over. Actually, the entire remix CD is wonderful. Reworkings by Underworld, Speedy J, and Hardfloor are also available on the disc. But there was always something about this Alter Ego mix that I've been drawn to. Buy It.

    Psychic TV "S.M.I.L.E. (Greedy Beat Syndicate Remix)" - For me, the best Psychic TV releases are still Towards Thee Infinite Beat and its companion remix album Beyond Thee Infinite Beat. But why is this version better than the original? Three simple words: Daffy Duck sample. (Plus some nice "Key Largo" film samples sprinked throughout.) Buy It.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Ten Taco Titan

    Some people can hold their breath underwater for more than sixty seconds. Others are able to belch the alphabet. Me? I can eat tacos like they're going out of style. I really can't remember my all-time record in one sitting, but it was well into the double digits. Last time I documented our taco dinner count was over two years ago. We've had plenty of tacos since, but I guess I was always too full to write about it here.

    Tonight was a different story, however. I decimated the competition and finished off a mighty 10 tacos (versus 2 by Alyssa). Simone was a no show this time, but I hardly consider her competition. And why am I not full?

    I suppose I should clarify the type of tacos too. I'm talking homemade tacos, single hard shell, with fresh ingredients. None of this Taco Bell sludge. If you ever wish to challenge me, I'll happily go taco-to-taco with you. Just bring your own shells.

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Bob yer head to the minimal beats

    Donnacha Costello has released a really great mix on his website at The 45-minute mp3 entitled Costello Can't Sleep is a mellow trip through minimal house and techno. The mix features some of his new material from this year, but also digs into the past for some old Plastikman and Vapourspace. Wonderful stuff.

    This reminds me of what I heard on WZBC a few weeks ago during a Test Pattern spotlight on the Boston label Unlockedgroove. I enjoyed that hour on radio so much, I dropped them an email to ask if I could get a copy of their first compilation The Appliance of Science, Volume 1.

    No word back, but when I checked the site again tonight I discovered the four track comp is available for download. I should certainly show my support and buy the vinyl from Forced Exposure. But I don't have a turntable! Maybe it would look nice on the wall in one of those trendy IKEA record frames?

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Mo' Beta Blues

    Basil and I exchanged emails today (hi Henry!). He was searching for the online service that provides slick invoicing. (It's called Blinksale.) He commented on how many new web-based apps are surfacing each day. It really is amazing.

    Back in February, when Adaptive Path coined the term AJAX, it seemed to open the floodgates for a new onslaught of ideas and innovations. Granted one article may not have been the tipping point (and don't confuse your AJAX with your Web 2.0), but it certainly seems that we're being inundated with good (and bad) new products lately - Blinksale, Blummy, Backpack, Bloglines, Basecamp, Backbase, Bindows, and those are just a few B's. Are you watching Windows Live? That looks interesting too.

    If you're at all interested in being a beta stalker, check out the Museum of Modern Betas, and you can even subscribe to their feed so you'll never miss the next big thing. But if you want to play, you have to keep up. You don't want to end up a Beta Loser, do you?

    I guess my only question is where will all of this take us? I mean, you can now gather a feed for your feeds (OPML) and you can tag your own tags (TagTagger). It seems like this is starting to disappear up its own arse. I wonder what a post-meta-postmodernist would say?