Welcome and Right On!

To your left you will notice two new additions to my blogroll. The first is a good friend from college, and bad-ass-bassist, Mark. Mark and I spent a fair amount of time together back at the day, between Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, and just hanging out. We have been out of touch for too long a time, and I was pleased the other day when I found out that a mysterious e-mail was in fact from Mark.

The second is Mix-Master-Dorf (aka Patrick Mixdorf). I'm not sure if I am the first to refer to Pat with this moniker, but I am taking credit for it. I know Pat from a few meetings via mutual friends, tall tales, and numerous e-mail threads. His is a brand-spanking-new weblog.

Both of these fine individuals responded to the list of 100 albums I noted below, and both shared my viewpoint, and expressed it in a much better fashion than I. Mark's response is here, and I think Pat attempted a response in the comments at the bottom of the list, but I do not see it there, so I will add it at the end of this post.

What really bugged me about the list, which I completely neglected to note in my previous post, was the hypocrisy. He claims to impart upon us his infinite wisdom of why these albums are undeserving. In doing so he takes on the roll of the music critics he reviles. He is a music snob. His reason for disliking so many of these albums is that they, in his opinion, don't live up to the hype that other music snobs attach to them. I hope my response did not come across as so much music snobbery, as me offering my opinion. Many, many people that I hold in very high regard often exhibit what I consider questionable taste in music. But that's OK.

Here is the Response of Mix-Master-Dorf.

Like the music critics you claim to revile, your self-righteous and patently self-gratifying attempt at telling people what music they should enjoy comes across as mean spirited and most importantly misses the point of music altogether.

The best albums and music have a visceral appeal. An unbiased opinion (if such a thing is even possible) may show those albums to be crap, but if it floats your boat, who cares.

Like great literature, some albums ought to be listened to because they played a significant role in the development of music. Anyone whose ever read (or tried to read) Ulysses by Joyce knows that great literature can be incomprehensible crap. The same may hold true for Coltrane and Davis, but that doesn't mean it's not worth a listen.

If you own them because you think you must, you're an idiot, but if you bought them out of a sense of exploration or personal growth, good for you. Maybe they weren't what you expected, but you're better for having tried.


But your honor...

24 Reasons You are Wrong

Here is a list of 100 albums some guy thinks you should remove from your collection immediately. Many he listed are from artists it is in fashion to hate or be sick of. I agree with a few of his choices, disagree with many, and am not familiar enough with others to make a judgment. Some of the commenters really take offense. While the list doesn't get to me like some of them, I felt compelled to offer my rebuttal. Here are a few of the more obvious reasons he is wrong. Thanks to Sean for the link (I think).

U2- The Joshua Tree. Well, I agree that Bono is much too self righteous, but The Edge is too cool for school. And this is not a bad or even over-rated album. Leave it right where it is.

Nirvana- Nevermind. Over-rated? Yes. But still a good album. If you don't already own it, don't sweat it, but if you got it, keep it.

The Beatles- Let it be. Screw you pal. It seems to be cool to hate this album. I disagree heartily. The "Naked" release is better, but even the Spectorized version gets five stars from me.

Miles Davis- Bitches Brew. I don't own this album, but I have heard it on a few occasions (but not for quite some time). While not high on my list of to buys, he is overreacting.

Pearl Jam- Vs. Not their best (if you only buy one Pearl Jam, buy Yield) but still a good album.

Beck- Midnight Vultures. Are you kidding me? "Christina Aguilera of the indie set." Sure, except for the fact that Mr. Hansen is a fucking musical genius.

The Who- Tommy. I hope my sister is sitting down while reading this.

Beastie Boys- Paul's Boutique. Often hailed as their best. I prefer Check Your Head, but still a great album.

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sugar Sex Magik. A band that is cool to hate. You probably don't need more than one RHCP CD in your collection, but this is a good album.

White Stripes- White Blood Cells. Wrong answer. This is a great album, five stars. But I see from this entry I see that this list was compiled back in '02. I guess he was right about closing the book on Jack and Meg though, that Elephant disk went nowhere...

Dave Brubeck- Time Out. If this guy wants to get rid of his copy, buy it from him. It is a masterpiece.

John Coltrane- Giant Steps. What the ftuyhjnokmhg,jk... Sorry I fainted there for a minute. If this guy doesn't have the ability to appreciate anything more complex than big band music it isn't your problem. Buy this album.

Morrissey- All recordings. I don't own any, but I know some people that this will piss off, so I put it in here.

Jane's Addiction- Nothing's Shocking. Blah blah blah... Another band that it is cool to hate. I am starting to wonder exactly who the poseur is here.

Tori Amos- Under the Pink. Wrong. Another five star album.

Green Day- Dookie. Yet another band that is cool to hate. Someone said this album was analogous to a can of Pringles. One tasty pop song stacked on another. They were right. Dookie is a stack of great thee-minute pop songs. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Sarah McLauchlan- Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Surfacing. He's right about keeping one, wrong about it making a difference. Remember that "Building a Mystery" song? That was on Surfacing. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is the keeper.

U2- War. No! No! No!

The Beatles- Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart's Club Band. While I tend to think that this one is a bit over-hyped in its importance, it is still one of the best.

Grateful Dead- All Recordings. Now, I'm by no means a deadhead, but they did make worthy contributions to music.

Bob Marley and The Wailers- Legend. Well, he said it himself. It is a fine album. It's not my fault his friends played it into the ground.

Sublime- Sublime. Again, very good album. And again, not my problem he has bad non-musical associations with it.

Beastie Boys- Check Your Head, Ill Communication. Check Your Head is great, and Ill Communication is very good. Keep 'em.

The Doors- The Best of The Doors. WRONG!


Water, water everywhere... Well at least there used to be.

NASA announced today that they have enough evidence to conclude that water was once abundant at the Opportunity landing site. While this was a big and important announcement, it is hardly a sunrise. This is exactly what scientists have long suspected, and what the rovers were sent to confirm. The evidence comes in the form of a rock that exhibits layers of sediment containing salt, and other minerals indicative of a body of water that has evaporated. What is important about this discovery is that it tells NASA where to look for signs of life in future missions.


Starship Stacy and the Vector Kings

Here are a few photos from the gig. I guess that was over two months ago, but here they are anyway. Thanks to Jon Murphy for providing them.

Dan and me, laughing about something. What, I'll never tell.

Krista gets sooooo excited when she plays.

No more laughing!

Krista finally proves that she can do two things at once.
Ah, that's the stuff...

Hello is anyone still here? The past couple of weeks have been wearing me down a bit. This is due, I think, to quite a bit of overtime, along with other work related frustrations, lack of sleep (what sleep I have had has been less than restful), lack of exercise etc. etc. etc. All of this has led to me spending my waking hours in a daze. And not a good daze. A large part of my problem may have been cabin fever, and that my friends may be at an end. I can smell it.

This weekend Krista and I managed to all but finish up the electrical work in our kitchen, so I feel like I actually accomplished something, which helps. We pulled out the grill for the first time this year, and cooked-up some tasty burgers. I started up the bikes yesterday to blow out the cobwebs, and that helped improve my mood immensely. Today I couldn't resist, and logged about 15 miles. Hopefully this all signals an end to the funk I've been in. Tomorrow I hope to get back into my regular exercise routine. What a difference one weekend can make.