Weekend Reading – 7/13/2019

Hi all,

I’m still trying to get back into the habit of publishing these. I’m not entirely sure of the format or the best place to publish. The last few emails are email-only with no web-facing version. That’s probably not a good thing.

Web Stuff

Audio Stuff


Weekend Reading – 2/10/2019

It’s been a while, but be honest…you’re not really surprised. So instead of trying to “catch up”, I’m just going to dump the things that have been poking at my eyes and ears lately.


Audio Books (I’ve actually finished):

Audio Books (I want to finish):

Things I Think I Should Read But Never Do:


We were living in San Rafael. I was working for a company in San Francisco that my friends, and in-laws, had started. We always left pretty early to beat the traffic over the Golden Gate and to get a parking space at the office. In the morning I would usually flip on the local news to get a quick peek at traffic. The worst traffic was always on the Sunol Grade. The second worst was everything coming into the Bay Bridge. We didn't have to deal with either of those, but I liked to check the traffic report anyway.

"The lane is cleared, but the damage is done." That was always the refrain from the reporter in the traffic helicopter. I'm pretty sure I heard that exact phrase, "...but the damage is done", every morning that I checked on the traffic.

But that morning there was a bigger story. Something terrible had happened and at that time nobody was sure exactly what or how it happened. I caught a glimpse of the smoke pouring out of the first tower and it didn't even occur to me what the reality of the situation was. Before we left the house the second tower was hit. Even to the people that were clinging to the idea that the first tower was just a terrible accident, the second tower made it very clear that this was no accident.

I can't really explain why we left the house to go to work. In retrospect it seems beyond foolish. Perhaps we were in shock, unable to comprehend the situation fully. Maybe I just wanted to be at work, where I knew my friends would be and we could sort it out there.

The commute in was quick, of course. Seeing a scrambled jet flying over the Golden Gate as we crossed still didn't register the gravity of the situation. Again, I can only assume we were in a state of shock. I dropped Kat off at 5th and Bryant, the "WIRED building", and headed back up to 6th and Folsom to open the office. We had lots of internet, but no cable TV. We had a television for the game consoles, so we rigged an antennae as best we could to get the local station over the air. It wasn't great, but it was something. Most of the news sites online were getting crushed and would barely load, if they responded at all.

More and more people staggered in, and they all had to same look on their faces. It was disbelief, combined with terrible sadness. The rage had not set in, yet. We had two New Yorkers working in the office and they were frantically trying to reach people back in Manhattan with little luck. Everybody knew someone or knew someone that knew someone that was in Manhattan.

The news that all air traffic in the US was grounded and that fighter jets were patrolling hit the office. They started telling people to go home and then we realized that we might be stuck in the city if they closed the Golden Gate. It was an potential target. We were surrounded by potential targets. I called Kat and got down to her office as quick as I could and we got across before the bridge was closed.

I honestly can't remember much of the rest of the day. I'm sure it consisted of being glued to the television and waiting for the CNN site to recover from the traffic surge. I do remember being scared of the wave of rage that I knew was about to hit us.

The Big 2010 Music Wrap-Up

What follows is a rambling, incoherent mess of music that I acquired in 2010. Some of the notes are interspersed with the list and some are at the end. It really just depended on how I was feeling about that particular batch of albums. Some random numbers for 2010: 1073 "songs", 3.1 "days" of music that takes up 8.17GB.


Contra is really a good album. It took a while to grow on me, but Giving Up The Gun was an instant hit. Low vs Diamond was fun at first, but it just doesn’t have any staying power. For that matter, neither did Manchester Orchestra. The OK Go album was really not what I was expecting. It takes a much mellower tone than their previous work and I guess I wasn’t ready for what they had to offer this time.





We Have Band and Phantogram were recommended based on Cut Copy. Neither are as good. I also finally got into The National and they skyrocketed up the play count chart.


I grabbed two more from The National and Alligator is just a phenomenal album. It’s more “rock” than a lot of their more recent stuff, so be warned if all you know is High Violet. The Chemical Brothers continue to put out the same album, and for some reason I continue to buy them. Orbital, just when I think they’ve retired for good they put out an amazing single. Goldfrapp has gone a bit soft, so if you really liked Black Cherry or Supernature, you might not dig this one.


Holy crap do I want a new Hives album to come out. The Black and White album came out in 2007. Sleigh Bells was a nice treat and it sounds like The Spice Girls teamed up with Ministry and rocked the hell out. Harlowe is nice and mellow and How to Destroy Angels is your typical Trent Reznor side project.


The Wolf Parade album is good, but not quite as good as Apologies to The Queen Mary and The Love Language reminds me a lot of Arcade Fire.


I’m not sure why I don’t like James anymore, because they used to be one of my favorite bands. Nothing on this most recent album really grabs me. The Interpol album is okay, but not great. Underworld did a bang up job on Barking. Brandon Flowers really needs The Killers. Weezer is Weezer. In the Hall of the Mountain King from The Social Network soundtrack is great.


Kat found Starfucker and these two albums are quite enjoyable.


Please get everything by Matt & Kim that you can, it’s great stuff. Yes, I bought the Kanye album…what?


Pick of the bunch is The Limousines and you should really see their video for Internet Killed the Video Star

The Music of Spring

Previously I had been hunting for new music, and I did a pretty good job finding bands that I liked. Then I took a little break from "new" and went back to "tried and true." Mostly. The last two and a half months have seen releases from some of my favorite groups and they did not disappoint. For the most part. Please note that I've restricted myself to just albums released in 2009.

## March ##

* [White Lies](http://www.last.fm/music/White+Lies) - To Lose My Life... ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=307643489&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VT1HCO?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B001VT1HCO))
* [U2](http://www.last.fm/music/U2) - No Line on the Horizon ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=305352505&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001S6HZTE?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B001S6HZTE))
* [KMFDM](http://www.last.fm/music/KMFDM) - Blitz ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=307806392&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001W2F8IO?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B001W2F8IO))
* [Gallery of Voices](http://www.last.fm/music/Gallery+Of+Voices) - EP ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=309066786&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001YXUEVC?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B001YXUEVC))
* [The Prodigy](http://www.last.fm/music/The+Prodigy) - Invaders Must Die ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=303886662&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U8M162?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B001U8M162))

Over on [These Three Bands](http://3bands.patandkat.com/2009/04/white-lies/) I said "**White Lies** sound like The Killers covering Interpol with The Bravery producing." It's dark brit-pop with very polished production values. I love it. The **U2** album wasn't bad, but it's certainly not something that I queue up. If I hear a track it's only because I have my iTunes Smart Lists set up so that I actually listen to the new music I buy. But, I don't hate it either and I assume that artists would rather inspire a feeling (positive or negative) rather than indifference. **KMFDM** have brought back a lot of "the sound" that drew me to them in the first place. Well done, gang! **Gallery of Voices** was recommended to me by Greg. It's 80's synth-pop and it's glorious. **The Prodigy**. Yeah, I know...really? Yes, really. This album is great fun and has some great running tracks. Or driving fast tracks. Whichever.

## April ##

* [Skold Vs. KMFDM](http://www.last.fm/music/Skold+vs.+KMFDM) - Skold Vs. KMFDM ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=305841946&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001UZ20ES?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B001UZ20ES))
* [Pet Shop Boys](http://www.last.fm/music/Pet+Shop+Boys) - Yes ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=310338370&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002708NAA?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B002708NAA))
* [Depeche Mode](http://www.last.fm/music/Depeche+Mode) - Sound of the Universe ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=312231947&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0026GBIB6?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B0026GBIB6))

**Tim Skold** does great stuff and in general I love when he works with **KMFDM**. This is no exception. **Pet Shops Boys**. Yes, yes...I know, and I don't care. I am a fan of pop music. Pet Shop Boys used to make incredible pop music. They hit a bit of a dry spell, in my mind after Bilingual. They're back. In my mind this is their best work since Very. **Depeche Mode** are old. They look old and sometimes they sound old. There are some great songs on this album, but as a body of work it's just okay.

## May ##

* [Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse](http://www.last.fm/music/Danger%2BMouse%2B%2526%2BSparklehorse) - Dark Night of the Soul ([NPR](http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104129585))
* [Passion Pit](http://www.last.fm/music/Passion+Pit) - Manners ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=313243604&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0027D4ADG?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B0027D4ADG))
* [Green Day](http://www.last.fm/music/Green+Day) - 21st Century Breakdown ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=315611219&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00299EKQK?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B00299EKQK))
* [The Crystal Method](http://www.last.fm/music/The+Crystal+Method) - Divided by Night ([iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=312157069&s=143441)|[Amazon](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028FOFBA?ie=UTF8&tag=pberrywebedit-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B0028FOFBA))

**Danger Mouse** has once again shown the world that the major music labels don't know what they're doing. He's not alone in this effort, of course, but he is a bit of a media darling and so it helps get the message out. Good. The methods of production and distribution are no longer in the hands of the labels. I guess they're still good for payola schemes though, so there's that. The album is interesting, but not something I'll put on heavy rotation. You should pick up **Passion Pit** if you want to like MGMT but need something more accessible. **Green Day** is Green Day. It's fun, punk-pop. **The Crystal Method** have been quiet for too long. I know they've been doing a ton of work, but TV show themes and DJ albums were not enough to satisfy my needs. I'm still giving this album time to grow on me. It's good, but I don't know where this album goes on the scale compared to their other works. If you're a fan of **She Wants Revenge** you'll love the 4th track (_Kling to the Wrekage_) with Just Warfield on vocals.