\ˈdäk-sik nän-ˌsen(t)s\

(doxic nonsense)

…where customer satisfaction comes first

January 14th, 2012

“Dear Amazon.com Customer,

We recently lowered the price on an item you purchased: “Undun” by the Roots. Because we want you to benefit from the new price, we are sending you a $4 credit good for music downloads at Amazon MP3.

Here is your promotional code: XXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX

Visit http://www.amazon.com/mp3credit for redemption instructions and see below for additional information.

The credit must be used by January 9, 2012.”

Well, this is simply an awesome policy.

take this Hallmark holiday and shove it up your

February 14th, 2011

Blah blah blah rant; blah blah blah rave but, wait… playlists:

Suck It, Hallmark:

  • Glory Box” and “SourTimes” – Portishead ‘Roseland NYC Live:’ Maybe the best one-two punch of gut-wrenching broken-heartedness ever recorded.
  • Can’t Cry These Tears” – Garbage: Catharsis is a lovely thought, but not so easy to achieve.
  • Why Can’t I Forget Him” – BlakRoc: I can’t wait for Nicole Wray to get huge and record a whole album like this.
  • Why Can’t I Fall in Love” – Ivan Neville: Yes, it’s from the ‘Pump Up the Volume’ soundtrack. And, yes, that scene is made of awesome. But this is also my favortie hopeful-ish blues song. Well, at least one of my favorites.
  • Ruin My Day” – Jon Brion: Painfully, painfully true.
  • The Moth” – Aimee Mann: What better metaphor to describe what we go through in the name of our beloveds?
  • Invisible Ink” – Aimee Mann: “I feel like a ghost who’s trying to move your hands over some ouija in the hopes I can spell out my name.”
  • Keeping the Weekend Free” – Liquorice (covering Franklin Bruno): I lived through more than a few weekends like this.
  • Harlan” – Freakwater: Not only is it a great “baby come back” song, it’s about a county in Kentucky, and it was written by a bass player.
  • Winter Winds” – Mumford and Sons: “And my head told my heart ‘Let love grow,’ but my heart to my head ‘This time no, this time no.'”
  • Ballad of Cable Hogue” – Calexico: “She promised me she would be there when I’d return: she didn’t say she’d have an army there as well. She whispered, “J’taime, Baby,” as she fired that gun at me…”
  • Modern Romance” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Depending on the day, this song is either hopeful or very depressing for me.
  • Romance” – Beth Gibbons: This whole album sums up a phase of my life, but this song could score the montage of, say, 2003-2006 for me.
  • Better Things” – Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings: Enough with the sad stuff: an empowering swat at the heartbreakers out there.
  • Here Comes the Sun” – Nina Simone covering The Beatles: If the Sharon Jones track couldn’t cheer you up, this should do the trick.

OK, Hallmark:

  • Shoe In” – Ida (covering the Secret Stars): Just listen to it. Simple, stunning, honest beauty.
  • Maybelle” – Ida: Walks the fine line between beautiful and sad.
  • This Tornado Loves You” – Neko Case: This sums up my “I would love you so much you couldn’t stand it” problem pretty well.
  • Yours Truly, The Commuter” – Jason Lytle: Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is someone else.
  • Don’t Take My Sunshine Away” – Sparklehorse: This song has all of the trademarks of a sappy love song, but is rescued by a Herculean does of earnestness.
  • Unsingable Name” – Mike Doughty: This song is the soundtrack to all of the times I haven’t been able to tell someone how I feel. There is a whole playlist in my iTunes built around this song.
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” – Lauryn Hill (covering Frankie Valli): A classic cover of a classic song.
  • That’s How Strong My Love Is” – Candi Staton: I think we all want someone to feel like this about us.
  • Winona” – Matthew Sweet: Creepy indie rock love song about obsession with Winona Ryder: what’s better?
  • Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs: I don’t know why I love this song so much, but I do.
  • Rafael” – Seam: Indie rock honesty at its finest.
  • Suicide Machine” – Hum: A love song to an alien who got the singer hooked on drugs: “And all my wishes spin the fishes in the air and every one is a different shade of you.”
  • Apollo” – Hum: Similar subject matter to the above, but lonelier.
  • Fireflies” – The Quavers: One of my favorite songs ever.
  • Thirteen” – Big Star: If only high school had been like this.
  • 95 North” – Ida: “After the first time we kissed I drove for an hour in the wrong direction.”
  • Shoe In” – Secret Stars: The original version of the song that starts this list. It’s so good it’s on the list twice.

the mouse is keeping me down

December 8th, 2010

your imminent release of “tron: legacy” has me in a bit of a frenzy: i bought daft punk’s soundtrack to the movie yesterday, and i’m not a huge fan of daft punk, nor usually of movie soundtracks. and i never want to listen to anything from the movie before i see it (being a sound designer and all, i like to be surprised by the composers and music supervisors and sound editors), but i bought it anyways (in no small part because the amazon .mp3 store was selling it for $3.99 yesterday).

then i did what i had been meaning to do since i saw the first trailer for ‘tron: leagcy:’ i went to amazon to buy a dvd of the original ‘tron.’ but, because you’ve stopped production so that you can sell some sort of boxed set, no one has them in stock, and the market opportunists, riding on your wave of imposed scarcity, are selling copies for upwards of $200. ok, no sweat, i’ll just try to netflix it, and buy the dvd later. no dice. as far as i can tell, there is no legal means by which i can watch you movie.

i want to watch your movie. i am willing to pay to do so. i was willing to shell out, i don’t know, $25-$35 for the two-disk twentieth-anniversary dvd set. maybe more.

instead, you have given me absolutely no way to watch the movie. which also means you have given me absolutely no way (and no reason) to give you my hard-earned cash.

so, instead, i plugged in the words “tron,” “anniversary,” “dvd” and “torrent” into google, and in the time it took me to make coffee and oatmeal, i have an avi of the movie and am well on my way to having an uncompressed rip of the dvd as well. and i bet it won’t take long to find disk two. and, yep, i’m seeding it back.

you did it to yourself, mouse. just you and no one else.

thanks, but no thanks (if words could kill)

November 19th, 2010

“sorry, *********, but if you’re going to send me unsolicited bulk email, please use the bcc field so that you’re not giving my email address out to a bunch of people that i don’t know. also, i’d rather not receive unsolicited bulk email. nothing personal. -m”

music-nerd data-porn

August 15th, 2010

so i discovered last.fm a little over three years, and i’ve faithfully (read as: automatically) submitted my listening whims to them (via the awesome scrobblepod). every once in a while i’d check out my last.fm profile to see what the algorithms thought i might like, but i mostly kept streaming them my listening data in hopes that someone would do something truly awesome with it:

Last History screen grab

frederik seiffert created the brilliant LastHistory which takes your last.fm listening data and gets all scientific with it. the analytical mode plots individual tracks versus when you listened to them (with color coding representing genre), but the real magic is personal mode, where the same graph is supplemented by photos from your iPhoto library as well as events from your iCal calendars. and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for someone to statistically graph out your life with respect to what you listen to and where you were (infered by iCal and iPhoto data and metadata).

what fascinates me is that i can look at my LastHistory graph and immediately notice a few big spans where i either wasn’t listening to music via iTunes/iPod/iPhone, or i wasn’t scrobbling that information to the last.fm servers. looking at the iCal data that corresponds to the empty chunk of the graph, i see that, well, august and september was when my laptop got stolen in the middle of moving into this apartment and finishing my first off-broadway design, so that six week gap is pretty understandable. january and february 2008? i was in la jolla working on a show, drove to work in a rental car, and probably didn’t have internet access at the company housing. july 2009: in london with the TEAM and, honestly, not really using my iPod. it’s also interesting to track my sleep habits with this data: when i’m home, i usually fall asleep listening to an album, so that’s pretty well documented here. what’s also evident is when i shift time zones, marked by the moving of the silent band that usually hangs out between 3am-ish and noon-ish.

i find all of this, yes, a little creepy, but also extremely compelling: this is what i want out of my personal data.

invisible ink

April 3rd, 2010

i can listen to pretty much any aimee mann song and hear it as a parable directly about my life. i know this doesn’t make me special: i know most (if not all) people could say the same. but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful to me. if you don’t have live at st. anne’s warehouse or the special edition of lost in space, you’re missing out on some gems.

blah blah “amazon associate” blah blah blah “tiny percentage of your purchase” blah blah blah blah blah.

kcmp 89.3 the current

March 15th, 2010

the current is responsible for most of my purchases at the amazon .mp3 store these days. some recent awesomeness bestowed on me by them includes:

  • broken bells – ‘broken bells’: debut album from james mercer (of the shins) and danger mouse.  good in a way i haven’t figure out yet, but definitely good.
  • edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros – ‘edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros‘: “home” is toe tapper that just got under my skin (in a good way), and the rest of the album is just as awesomely weird.
  • jason lytle – ‘yours truly, the commuter‘: reminded me a lot of sparklehorse when i first heard him.  then i started listening to (and buying more) sparklehorse.  and then things got very sad when mark linkous passed, and now i can’t stop listening to either of them.

so go ahead and add the current’s live stream to your iTunes: i listen to it almost every morning, and i swear it makes me a better person. or something.

blah blah “amazon associate” blah blah blah “tiny percentage of your purchase” blah blah blah blah blah.

jump cut

March 15th, 2010

so, i launched ecto, and found a couple of drafts of posts from the past… well from the past. one was going to be “songs that are even better than their kickass titles,” which hopefully i’ll get around to eventually.  another was both the beginnings of a review of no bird sing‘s debut album and an attempt to both use my amazon associate account for the first time (while also figuring out how to disclaim that, yes, i will receive a fraction of a percent of your purchase if you buy something from amazon via my link.).  so, in this past sixteen or so months, i have thought about writing here, apparently. and that counts, well, kinda next to nothing.

anyways, this is an attempt to get off my ass and start writing things longer than 140 characters, and to share things with the void of the internet.  i’m thinking of very brief reviews of new albums, and maybe some recipes. i can promise with almost full certainty that there will be no more poorly conceived and poorly written epic prose homages.  i stopped posting here (i think) because i finished/grew tired with playing with the form of the site (learning php, markdown, polishing up my css), and, quite frankly, twitter was serving my appetite for content creation.

but you can’t post a recipe in under 140 characters, nor can you really give an album its just dues. so i’m going to try to go into depth with some of that.  but i’d also like to follow john gruber’s lead and write long posts when they need to be long, and write short posts when they essentially just need to share a link.

so… yeah.

(untitled, unfinished, unreleased attempt at something reflexively annular)

November 3rd, 2008

he finds that walking in midtown can be just as aerobic as it is frustrating when traveling solo. large circumaural headphones can function as blinders, narrowing not just his field of vision but in fact the whole scope of his attention, allowing in only what is necessary in order to navigate yes automotive but mostly also human traffic in the most efficient and expedient manner while completely ignoring pretty much everything else. he ponders whether this an innately moral choice (ie. does this selective narrowing of attention/willful isolation say something about him as a person or what?), and decides to come down neutrally on this particular issue, for the moment.

he hates eating alone more than almost anything else in his life, and supposes that this has just as much to do with the programming of his upbringing as it does the fact that it highlights the solitary nature of his current lifestyle, which just because he has come to terms with it doesn’t mean he has to be proud of it, or even be particularly happy about its status as fact, and so basically tries to avoid thinking about it, much less exhibiting it in his choices and actions. how he allowed himself to return to the same diner again, with the same large novel again, and order the same dish again, is a mystery even to him, as he considers this to be an eating pattern on the order of “crazy cat lady” in terms of loneliness. in considering this, the term “creature of habit” surfaces, giving him chills and filling him with a particular dread.

he realizes that he only puts cream and sugar in his coffee in diner-type situations, and figures that this is probably an unconscious homage to his father’s mystical fascination with the swirling cloud figures of cold dairy liquids being slowly absorbed by piping-hot coffee. that and maybe also due to the fact that most diner coffee absolutely requires at least three packets of sugar and the dilution of a considerable amount of creamer to be even remotely considered palatable (the possibility that this all might be just an excuse for high-lipid dairy products and refined sugar actually does not even occur to him).

the grilled chicken club sandwich is the consummate non-breakfast diner food, at least in his opinion. it is perfected by american cheese and mayo, in harmony with bacon and white bread, though no one wants to admit it in quite those terms: it is negated by the rather pretentious selection of a fancier cheese or less-processed and therefore (theoretically, at least) healthier bread, if you ask him. this already pro-level diner dish is taken to a whole new class of excellence with the addition of edible cole slaw in a ceramic dish (both qualifiers hard to come by in his experience) and, perhaps most importantly, a good, solid, fresh-tasting pickle spear. the french fries occur as more of a fact of the plate than as a result of a conscious decision on the part of anyone involved. part of the pleasure of the grilled chicken club lies in the degree of difficulty in eating the sandwich without dropping anything or looking like a ravenous slob. the same is true of most barbeque sandwiches. after consuming chicken breast meat in sandwich form, the cleaning of the spaces between ones teeth with a toothpick is a not necessarily un-pleasurable but potentially compulsive act, and he finds one toothpick to be inadequate, but three or more to seem greedy when taking them from beside the register while paying.

he likes eating rather a lot. and primarily (though not solely because, c’mon, who is he kidding here) enjoys drinking for its prandial and gustatorily pleasurable aspects.

it occurs to him that it might be more efficient, though way less satisfying and/or enjoyable, if he could actually consume his money, rather than giving basically all of his earnings away in trade for things he ingests.

blindered with headphones, large novel under his arm, toothpick in corner of mouth, and thinking about his exotically interesting-sounding profession, he marvels the destroyingly dull nature of his current high-profile job, and laments that it doesn’t really pay more than the moderately more-interesting but certainly lower-profile work that he usually is engaged in. the term “stunningly quotidian” comes to mind, and he casually but with certainty applies it to his thoughts on his life in general; and then, just as matter-of-fact-ly and surely, though without a necessarily causal relationship, applies the term to his existence as a whole.

summer babe

July 19th, 2008

i should be prepping for scotland and getting ahead on paperwork for the top of next season, but i’m having a hard time focusing and being productive in the brutal heat today. so, a list of my current summer music obsessions:

  • ratatat’s ‘lp3’ is my favorite new find
  • minus the bear’s ‘highly refined pirates’ narrowly edges out the rest of their amazing albums
  • i picked up louis xvi’s ‘slick dogs and ponies’ because i heard “air traffic control” on the radio repeatedly in la jolla and simply fell in love with it
  • the quaver’s ‘lit by your phone’ (and anything by t. griffin, really) is truly inspiring
  • the black keys: i just can get enough of anything this band does
  • aimee mann’s new ‘@#%&*! smilers’ was a very welcome surprise
  • pavement’s ‘slanted and enchanted: luxe and reduxe’ reminds me of teenage summers back in ky, but with added peel sessions and live versions
  • r.e.m.’s ‘new adventures in hi fi’ continues to blow my mind
  • jimi hendrix’s ‘band of gypsys’ has been a summer favorite of mine for a long time and my favorite of all his works
  • the english beat’s ‘i just can’t stop it’ is another perennial favorite

i can’t recommend any of these highly enough.