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"When New York Was New York"

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Moment of Zen (inspired by Tim's Koans)

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    Friday, March 24, 2006

    The wheels can come off, but they always find a way of getting back on

    Things have been awfully quiet around here lately. But I'm still here folks. Not a lot of new updates from here. It's been work, work and more work. And every so often you've gotta run yourself into the ground in order to make any kind of progress. The last two days have been a bit of a breakthrough for me, work-wise, which easily translates into life-wise because frankly my life has been all about work for too long.

    I won't go into details, but I just want to assure you, loyal readers, that activity here will continue. I'm sure you had no idea, but I had my doubts for a bit. But there's no reason to retire Nervous Music even if I am super-busy. Heck, I can find you over 100,000 sites that probably haven't posted anything in over two months. So things around here aren't that bad when you put things into perspective. Nope, not at all. Things around here aren't that bad. :-)

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Nervous Music Podcast 003

    This month's podcast focuses on the glorious golden age of western swing. It wasn't quite country, it wasn't quite jazz, it was an intersection of various genres that culminated in some wonderfully entertaining music during the early twentieth century. My podcasts will not always be themed, but this time, I'm in the mood for some good ol' western swing. Giddy up!

    Nervous Music Podcast 003 (30 min, 33.9 MB)

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Wanna gota Boolmoose?

    We just returned from a wonderfully relaxing weekend in Ogunquit. Maine - the way life should be. Thank you so much Chris and Emily! The Gazebo Inn is fantastic and it's amazing how close it is to Boston (just a mere 70 miles). Every weekend should be like this one.

    On the way home, we turned off at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Thanks to a recommendation from Meg, we knew we had to check it out the next time we passed by. Another great little town. Tons of great stores to browse on a lazy Sunday. Great food, great coffeeshops, and to my excitement: A Bull Moose Music. In college, Bull Moose was a regular hangout each weekend. We'd flip through the rows and rows and racks and racks of new and used music. Their tendency to stock hard-to-find independent stuff was a huge draw for me as I coped with the frozen tundra of Lewiston.

    It's been a few years since I last set foot into a Bull Moose. So finding one today was a fun treat. And what I found inside was probably the greatest deal I've ever scooped up in all my years of music addiction.

    I've had my eye on a massive box set of Albert Ayler's jazz from the sixties called Holy Ghost on Revenant Records. It's been on my Amazon wishlist since, well, October 11, 2004. But I never broke down to dish out the $120 for it. Granted, 9 discs will set you back no matter what's on them (techicanally 10 - the tenth is an eight-minute CD of music when Ayler performed with the U.S. Army Marching Band). But this gorgeous "spirit box" of goodies comes with a 200+ page booklet, a crushed flower, photos, postcards, show flyers, and of course more Albert Ayler on CD than anyone would ever want. If you'd like to hear some excerpts, you can grab a few mp3s on the label's website.

    I've seen the limited edition box set (how could you miss it?) at Newbury Comics and Twisted Village. Picked it up, put it down, picked it up, and put it down again. I could never quite bear to part with all that money for all that jazz. I love Ayler, but not that much. Until I found the deal of a lifetime today. Instead of $120, Bull Moose had it brand new for just $78. A good deal, right? Well, not as good as that marvelous 50% off sticker plastered to it. So I just acquired I don't know how many hours of new challenging jazz for 39 bucks. I'm as happy as a jazz-lovin' clam.

    Saturday, March 04, 2006


    Pivot tables in Excel are fun. Drag 'n drop and see what happens. I do my best to keep an updated inventory of my music collection in Excel. Maybe someday I might spring for something like Delicious Library. But for now I'm just keeping my homegrown list in my fancy-dan spreadsheet.

    I'm not sure what this says about me, but a quick pivot table by music label shows how many records were released on each label. Here's what rose to the top ten of the list.

    Blue Note - 65
    Thrill Jockey - 41
    Warp - 40
    Kranky - 35
    Matador - 32
    Columbia - 29
    Elektra - 29
    Astralwerks - 23
    Island - 22
    Ninja Tune - 22

    Blowing away the competition at 65 records is the jazz label Blue Note. I suppose that's not terribly surprising. But after that you've got a healthy mix of indie labels and electronic music labels. The one question mark is the Columbia label, though. Most of Miles Davis' catalog was released on Columbia. But 29?! I have to do some detective work and figure out why that number's so high. I should also stop acquiring music. Yes, yes I should.