Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Clerical Error in Row 13

Sunday night I listened to most of William Orbit's Pieces in a Modern Style. By the time I turned it off I had three songs left so I put them on my iPod for the walk to work Monday. Last night I planned to (and did) paint the stairs while listening to the two Oranj Symphonette albums. Ooops.

The Orbit disc defines boring. Light classical pieces programmed (not performed) into MIDI and played back with lots of washy pads. No need to listen to that one ever again. Oranj, however, was a real treat to hear. I haven't heard the first one, Plays Mancini, "since the divorce" as the saying goes, but it was as fresh as if I had just heard it last week. Both albums did carry a certain flashback factor though. They were in such heavy rotation for me (and certain others) during a very specific time that listening to them brought up all sorts of memories. And as saccharine as Francis Lai's theme for A Woman and a Man can be, the Oranj version was like a tiny dagger in my heart reminding me of a long forgotten moment of pain.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's funny 'cuz it's true pt.2

I find it interesting that my recent vinyl obsession and my return to smoking (no, not cigarettes) have led me to a renewed interest in not only rock in general, but rock that is psychedelic and/or textural and/or expansive. As I've joked, less than 24 hours after I bought a bag for the first time in over a year and a half I also bought a Grateful Dead record. And while that certainly has the greatest comedic value, largely due to this post, a quick run down of recent purchases and acquisitions reveals this trend. On vinyl: My Morning Jacket, Apollo Sunshine, Pet Sounds, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (on the turntable right now), and digitally: Silver Apples, Spacemen 3, Can (I mean really, Can fer chrissakes!) Now, if I start to listen to Phish again you'll know I've really lost it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dual discos, and a potential new start.

When I first heard Pretty Hate Machine (probably '91) it was a revelation. Not only did I not know that you could make music that sounded like that, but I didn't know that one person! could do that. However, by the late nineties I wasn't really interested in anything but Jazz and lost track of what Mr. Reznor was up to. For the project I "got" and listened to the entire discography. First of all, it re-enforced my belief that re-mix albums blow. Take a decent song and make it go dikka-tsa, dikka-tsa? No thanks. As for the regular albums, the first two I enjoyed, although probably as much out of nostalgia as anything else, and the rest I thought were ok. I feel like NIN is a band I should like more, but I just can't get past the goth-esque "I'm so afraid of God" thing. There are moments here and there of musical or textural beauty, but the over-all impression (for me) is that I just don't care. That being said, I did really enjoy Ghosts (perhaps because it is instrumental) and am seriously contemplating buying it on vinyl despite the $45 price-tag.

Last week I went to Maine for a few days, and my entire ride up was the Nirvana discography. Even after this recent listening I have such mixed feelings about this band. Because they were good, but they were also overrated. And while Kurt was saddled with that "voice of a generation" tag, he was very much the embodiment of that moment. It's not that he, or his band, were extraordinary visionaries, more like they were the absolute stereotype of what was happening at the time. The first time I heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was over the loudspeakers at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert (openers: Smashing Pumpkins (who I hated) and the completely unheard of Pearl Jam) and while I had been hearing buzz about Nirvana by then (Nov. '91) it was just another new good band, not some out-of-the-blue bolt from heaven. Now, in 2008, the still-played hits from these albums have the feel of classic rock chestnuts, which I guess they are. And none of my impressions of individual albums changed. I've always thought Bleach was overrated by people who wanted to pretend they were on the bandwagon earlier than they were. Nevermind is as poppy as they get. Incesticide, being a b-sides & rarities collection, has some hidden gems and some throwaways. In Utero is still my favorite, noisy and angry. And Unplugged revealed that some of their songs were actually good.

On a completely different subject, it looks like I'm going to be moving to Providence and going back to school. A confluence of forces have conspired to lead me to these decisions. The first is that Chris not only sort of has to sell the house, but also wants to move to someplace warmer. (He is, after all, old.) That made me look at my life and think about where, physically, I wanted to be. As he talked about Florida as an option I looked into Full Sail University, which has certain benefits, but then I'd have to move to Florida. As I started to think about school, I decided to look into URI, specifically the Continuing Education (or Old People's College as I like to call it) up in Providence. Then there is a social element. With Harry starting college this semester I'd have a sort of school buddy, even though we'll be at different campuses. Next is the fact that I'm now in the system at as220 and have the opportunity to grow that a bit more. And finally, Kyle has been dating someone who lives in Providence so he spends most of his time up there anyway. The other night he and I met after work and when I asked if he wanted to move to PVD he said sure.

All the chips are in place. Let's proceed.

So, I have. The other day I met with an advisor to get the ball rolling. He told me some things that I might have figured out on my own, but it was useful to hear from someone in an official capacity. And yesterday I filled out my application, mailed it along with my CCRI transcript and called my high school to have them send that transcript. Next week I plan to meet with a financial aid advisor, and perhaps the heads of a couple of departments. So things are moving forward. Future, here we come!