Ganked from [ profile] treebones. List five truths. Five things that are on your mind. Good, bad, it matters not. Lift some weight off. Then, pick five people to do the same.

1. Having one's fortune told is no better of a reason for rearranging one's relationships than it was to tell Reagan how to run the country and where to send the military.

2. There is a blurry line between scary and funny, and Jonathan Coulton knows exactly where that line is.

3. Server administration skills are rarer, more important, and more deserving of latitude than skills I possess, such as spelling.

4. SMOS stands for Secret Masters of SMOS.

5. The rules of a board game should be taught with a wide-angle lens first, then zooming in to the rule exceptions.

Daily Show Resident Expert John Hodgman, (who'll you may recognize as "Hi, I'm a PC" from the Apple commercials) and Traveling Troubador Jonathan Coulton (who I blogged about last night) seem to have some kind of co-promotional partnership, constantly mentioning each other in their blogs, and touring together. They'll appear at the Borders Books And Music on Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor on Wednesday, October 4 at 7PM. However, the only way Coulton will give a concert later that night is if we all go to Eventful and ask for it.
[ profile] atdt1991 played "Skullcrusher Mountain" for me, and Scalzi had me listen to "Code Monkey", "Mandelbrot Set" and "Re: Your Brain" on his iPod. These songs by Jonathan Coulton were enough to make me ask Lady Sarah to please see if there is any way Coulton would like to perform at Penguicon. I've been listening to his free samples and buying his music all day, and have transformed into a fan eager to tell everyone I know.

Some of his music is genuinely tender and touching, while remaining... weird. Consider for instance, his song from the point of view of Pluto's moon Charon. I can see them in my minds' eye holding hands, spinning around and around each other.

Other songs are hilarious. Listen to "Podsafe Christmas Song" if you want to laugh. The lyrics are just the tip of the iceberg of what's funny about it:

We want a podsafe Christmas song
We want a song that’s safe to play
Don’t think us rude
We don’t want to get sued
By the thugs at the RIAA
We have been good the whole year long
Santa don’t delay
Give us a podsafe Christmas song
To celebrate Christmas day
nemorathwald: (Matt 4)
Remember when Harvey Danger gave us "Little By Little"? Here is another nice quality album whose creator has released it for free download on the internet: "I Don't Know What I'm Doing," by Brad Sucks.

I would just like to direct the attention of the entire internet to the chorus of this song (mp3 link).
nemorathwald: (Matt 4)
I did something wrong, and would like to apologize for it publicly, in addition to my private apology. But I'm not sure if the party involved wants me to name him. What I did was probably legal, but ethically questionable. When I translated an artist's song into Lojban and put it into the Lojban podcast, I didn't wait for him to return my e-mail in which I asked for his permission. I had mis-typed his e-mail address.

Seeing that it was credit-attributed, noncommercial, educational, fair use, and does not displace the consumer's need for the original-- it was, in fact, represented as a karaoke track and therefore intended to be used and sung to-- I went ahead and played the voice-over translation for my listeners with the karaoke track in the background.

I have long maintained that just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean it's the best choice. Which is more important? Demanding my rights? Or maintaining the relationships that make everything move forward? Rights are vitally important, but enforcing them just on principle for their own sake is a good way to be miserable and not a co-operative member of a society. Does it matter that my action was legal? Should I do it just because of that? Not really. It's not worth the cost to personal networking. It's not worth the possibility that artists will say "I'm just not going to provide my hard work for free download anymore."

The artist says he really would have preferred I asked him first. That is what matters, because people matter. This was the first artist from whom I did not get consent. Permission is nice, but agreement is better. The principle of Fair Use is a poor and weak excuse to lose a friendly collaborative relationship with a creative person. I ordinarily know better than to risk such relationships.

DDR Song

Jan. 18th, 2006 10:00 pm
nemorathwald: (Matt 3)
DJ Particle gave me permission to blog her Dance-Dance-Revolution song Cool Dancer. [ profile] brendand, you're going to love it!
nemorathwald: (Matt 3)
I have finished episode three of jbocradi, Lojban Radio, and it's up on the web now. Click here to visit the jbocradi website, where it can be downloaded in MP3 and OGG audio formats and subscribed with RSS or Atom feeds. This episode features part one of "Robin Lee Powell's Tale of Woe," told in Lojban live and in person at Logfest 2003. After that segment, I played the karaoke track to Fredo Viola's "Moon After Berceuse", and sung Lojban lyrics to it. Thanks for the music goes to Tripp Bratton for the opening piece, to the Precursors project for the theme of Robin's Tale of Woe, and to Fredo Viola for "Moon After Berceuse".
nemorathwald: (I'm losin' it)
Do you like Dr. Who? And do you like the music of Green Day? And would you like a speech by George W. Bush mixed with Dahleks? I knew you would. American Edit has given it to you.
nemorathwald: (I'm losin' it)
SWEET LARD AND HEAVENLY BUTTER. Streampad, the free streaming music service on the web, hath delivered unto me this day a live classical concerto based on sounds from the Windows operating system.
Is patronage the new viable business model artists will have to move to in the digital future? Maybe if they can't get paid for copies of their recordings, we could pay them to write the songs in the first place. Songs To Wear Pants To is a guy who writes and records a free one-minute song when someone sends in a request, or he'll write and record a longer song with any description as long as you pay him to do so. Instead of being patronized by the Medici dynasty, artists in the future could get coins tossed in their hat by Ed Gruberman of Milwaukee. The result is like an episode of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" The lyrics to song #0257, "This Girl", are particularly funny if you read the request before you listen.

I intend to get a paid piece of music for a Flash animation I'm planning.

Eri Sugai

Aug. 31st, 2005 06:03 pm
One of my favorite musicians is Eri Sugai. She blends Japanese folk aesthetics and instruments with highly produced new age vocals, often employing a glossolalia language she developed herself. The layered celestial sound in her first album Mai gives me something clear to mean by the word "angelic" in that it presses my buttons all over the emotional range with a rain of a million shivering cloud-shaped hammers. Certain tracks can sometimes transport me to what seems to be a vaguely altered state of perception, or reduce me to tears, so that I wondered if there was something in the stick of incense included in the spine of the CD case. Ever since, I've been checking every few months to see if she produces anything else, and today that wish came true with Kaori. This album does not have previews on the Amazon site! I can hardly wait for them to ship it to me.
Did I never write about seeing They Might Be Giants live in concert? Gather 'round while I recount it, for like all classical stories, it starts off with the protagonist's world in equilibrium, something happens to break the orderliness, it keeps getting worse and worse, and then order is restored. This story follows the classical comedic structure in that there's a happy ending.Read more... ) reports: "A collection of old skool hip-hop tracks smushed together with the compositions of Philip Glass."

Philip Glass writes opera music which resembles bizarre performance art, such as the emotionless voices chanting "1, 2, 3, 4" in Einstein on the Beach, and the cold sythesizer and piano in Ankhnaten. It can make you feel like you are in an ivory tower, staring into the angsty depths of your vacant and dessicated soul; lost in thought -- spiraling into a hypnotic vortex in your own navel... crying out, what is the greater purpose? Is this why I exist? To suffer? Will I ever escape this endless loop of the same two seconds of sound? Will the higher purpose of this music become clear in the end? And then you realize, as Goethe said, "Man must strive, and in striving he must err."

Hearing this overlaid with vulgar, mysoginistic thugs using the "n" word and talking about cops, whores and record deals on the streets is disturbing. Yet each of them are energized and dramatized by the other. The pathos of Glass actually makes the rappers not seem superficial and thoughtless anymore. The gritty realism brings the opera down to earth. It would have been oddly fitting for the movie version of I, Robot had Will Smith done this. You're probably not going to save this to disk for the future, but it would be worth a listen. Try "Crystal Glass" specifically.
"List five songs that you are currently digging ... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words or even if they're any good but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artist and the song in your blog along with your five songs."

When it comes to music, I'm not ashamed to be unreservedly sentimental. I even listen to Josh Groban despite the fact that all his lyrics are hormonally-deluded juvenile romanticism-- who cares? I just enjoy it. A nice thing about Livejournal memes is that every so often they might give one an excuse to do what one already wanted to do. While listening to music that grabs my emotions, I often wish my friends could share the experience and know how it feels. It's just too bad you can't actually hear the sounds through this Livejournal post. I'd be happy to share the following songs with you if you leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.

1. "Luminosa," by Libera, from the album Luminosa.
On an early Sunday morning drive a year or two ago, this boy choir arrangement of Claude Debussy's "Claire de Lune" (yes, [ profile] netmouse and [ profile] thatguychuck, the one I told you about) came on a Canadian radio program... and I was transfixed. Moonlight rippled across Debussy's liquid harmonies, as austere and unfiltered as if it were exposed directly to outer space, the shimmering voices almost painfully exquisite in the intensity of their precision. After a long pause to catch my breath and wipe away tears, I had to buy it, and did so that evening.

2. "Rakuen," by Eri Sugai, from the album Mai.
Eri Sugai is the Asian equivalent of Enya, producing that kind of layered celestial new age sound, but distinctively traditional Japanese. The CD comes with incense in the spine of the jewel case. This track has a minute of ambient seashore sounds at the beginning before the music, but I think that's because this is a mood that must be approached from a calm state. When I hear this track I picture the most desirable woman in the world trapped on top of a skyscraper so tall that none of the surroundings can be seen through the clouds... only a distant shore. She gazes into the acoustic emptiness as birds of rythm circle overhead. This wordless vocal melody conveys aching isolation and longing.

3. "Adagio," by Samuel Barber, from the soundtrack to Homeworld.
The space strategy game Homeworld for the PC received an award for best music for this choir arrangement of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.

4. "I Breathe," by Vaccuum, from the album Plutonium Cathedral.
This swedish synthpop band bases their lyrics on science fiction. Very cool, stylish rythms.

5. "Eyes of Mercy," by the October Project, from their self-titled album.
This band (which used to be a vehicle for singer Mary Fahl before she began a solo career) produces highly uneven quality, but this is one of my favorite uplifting songs. I don't get the lyrics, but then with October Project I never do, and that's OK as long as the harmony and rythm builds to emotional satisfaction as well as it does here.
Anders Sandberg made this raytraced image of Death cursing K. Eric Drexler for coming up with nanotechnology. It's based on this filk written by Eliezer Yudkowski titled, "Curse You Eric Drexler" or "It's Hard To Be A Zombie." I love it. In case the page ever disappears from the web, here is Eliezer's text:Read more... )

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