katallison: (Default)
Someday, I swear to god, I need to get back into a line of work where June means "early summer, things slow down, mellowness, smell the flowers, life is good la la la" and NOT "Oh sweet frelling Jesus, new student orientation is coming down on us like the fucking avalanche down the mountain, workworkwork stress-o-rama aiiieeeeee."

You know that the universe is in sad mismanaged shape when I (whose failings are procrastination and disorganization, and whose strengths are glibness and the ability to pull stuff out of my ass at the last second) am put in charge of logisitics for a large-scale, complex, tightly-organized multi-week event. Actually, honestly, it wouldn't be so bad if I were the only person involved in all of this, because I have great faith in my ability to tap-dance; but there are numerous other staff participating, most of whom need at least some modicum of structure, and it would be unkind (not to mention, uh, unprofessional) to say to them, "Well, hey! Just, y'know, improvise! Have fun with it!" So -- I have spent the entire day at the office, and have now produced enough schedules, agendas, handouts, brochures, planning sheets, etc., to gag a maggot.

Because I have not enough brain left to actually write or do anything else constructive, I'll post six songs I've been listening to a lot just lately:

1. Finisterre, Oysterband (with June Tabor on vocals): This has been #1 on my earworm hit parade lately; it's lovely, melancholic, nostalgic.
...last night I turned the glasses over
and I drank the bottle dry.
The moon stared out to sea all night and so did I ...

2. Transatlanticism, Death Cab for Cutie: Also with the lovely and melancholic, and slightly surrealistic.

3. It's the End of the World As We Know It, the Great Big Sea version, which I like for its rough-edged brio: This is currently my theme song for coping with impending Bad Terminal Craziness at the workplace.

4. Sweet Fire of Love, Robbie Robertson: Yowza. I'm actually not all that crazy about Robertson's vocals here, but I love this song.

5. All That Way for This, Oysterband: Which is a nice energizing political song, but I'm mostly listening to it lately because I have great fun trying to put together in my head the very cool meta Outcry-of-the-Betrayed-X-Files-Fan vid one could make to it. ("All we wanted was something worth it, worth the labor, worth the wait . . . . Look around, you must be joking; all that way, all that way for this")

6. Cheating here -- not a song, but an album, Brian Eno's Music for Airports (a.k.a. Ambient #1). Gentle, trancey, hypnotic, this is now my favorite music for accompanying any slow meditative tasks requiring focus (like weightlifting, or thinking through database queries). I can even write with this going in the background, which is a first for me.
katallison: (Default)
One drawback of my Great Music-Listening Project is getting infected from time to time with cheesy "Gee, that'd make a great vid for..." inspirations, almost all of which, upon examination, prove to be dumb and/or unworkable for one reason or another and can be painlessly discarded.

But yesterday, while listening to a new album, I got bushwhacked by an idea that is now merrily eating my brain and making me all twitchy and restless. Damn you, song! Damn you, brain! And while we're at it, damn you, Alliance Atlantis, for not issuing the last set of dS DVDs and at least giving me source! (In case I was deranged enough to try making this thing.)

It's not like I don't have a half-dozen stories I *could* be productively working on. Sweet fucking Rosie O'Grady. *sigh*

Music Meme

Apr. 19th, 2005 09:14 pm
katallison: (Default)
I said I was going to do this, right? So let's see...

Total Volume of Music Files on My Computer: Hm, they're scattered around a bit, but it appears to be around 1.2 GB. Which is a pretty amazing uptick from, say, a month ago.

Last CD I Bought: If we're talking "physically bought in an actual store," then it would be a used copy of the Itzhak Perlman/Pinchas Zukerman recording of the Bach D Minor Double Concerto, because I needed the 2nd movement to play at my dad's funeral, and I'd become unhappy with my old Isaac Stern/whoever version. (Mr. P. hates Stern's playing with a fiery passion, and he has won me over to his way of thinking.)

Last Music I Listened to Before Doing This Meme: Silly Sisters No More to the Dance, while working out at the gym.

Five Songs I Listened to a Lot This Week:
6'1", Liz Phair, an old favorite with marvelous energizing powers.
Pink Moon, Nick Drake, soundtrack to a vid I'll never make.
Quitting Time, The Roches, for story-pondering purposes.
1952 Vincent Black Lightning, Richard Thompson, because I just love this song.
Big Dipper, Cracker, which Mr. P. of all people sent to me out of the blue, saying "This is such a cool song, " and it is, wistful and melancholy.

And let's see, who can I tag with this who hasn't done it already . . . [livejournal.com profile] the_shoshanna, who needs a distraction from The Peeing Cat, [livejournal.com profile] namastenancy, who needs distraction from crazymaking politics, [livejournal.com profile] tazlet, who's recovering from surgery and probably doesn't need the aggro but could use distraction, [livejournal.com profile] eliade, who may have been tagged already, I can't remember, but was last seen trapped in a loveless cubicle of boredom and needs distraction, and [livejournal.com profile] flambeau who sent me lovely lovely music and probably doesn't need distraction of any kind but I'd love to know what she's listening to right now.

Music yay!

Apr. 14th, 2005 07:45 pm
katallison: (Default)
This is a posting of pure love for the fantabulous [livejournal.com profile] flambeau who sent me a big envelope all the way across the Atlantic with five count 'em five mix CDs, and a lovely letter containing songlists and explanation of choices. Handwritten! (My god, you know what, I can't even remember the last time I received a handwritten letter.) I have just begun dipping into the songs, and love everything I've heard so far, and am suffused with the sense of What wondrous life is this I lead, ripe apples drop about my head. And thank you so much Ms. flambeau! You're the top! You're Mahatma Gandhi! You're the top! You're Napoleon brandy! You're the purple light of a summer night in Spain, you're the National Gallery, you're Garbo's salary, you're cellophane!)

I have discovered as well that working out *with* music is a very different and considerably less tedious experience than without, and have already begun contemplating various gym playlists I'll need to assemble; slow dense trancy stuff for weightlifting, boppy rhythmic peppy stuff for the elliptical. I'm still trying to figure out what music I actually like, which sounds kind of odd and ridiculous, but -- well, listening to music is so *different* from, say, reading. Within a few sentences I can quickly and ruthlessly shove a piece of writing into a mental slot: This is excellent; this is well-executed but not to my taste; this is kind of crappy but entertaining; this *reeks*. With music, on the other hand, I'm much more in a beginner's-mind situation, which is exhilirating in a way, but also bewildering. What *do* I like? Still figuring it out ...
katallison: (Default)
Oh my god am I sore today. I didn't even get to the gym, or do much of anything outside (on a perfectly glorious summerlike Saturday); what I *did* do was completely rearrange my bedroom, which involved:
  1. Taking apart and hauling to the basement all the pieces of my old computer desk (big wooden slab resting on a 2-drawer file cabinet and a 4-drawer chest); this also involved the melancholy sorting-through of quantities of memorabilia stashed in the files and drawers (15-year-old love letters from long-dead relationships, notes for ancient X-Files stories I never wrote, photos of my trip to England with my mom back in '75 when she was--*ulp*--about the same age I am now, etc. etc. etc.) and vacuuming up huge wads of dust;

  2. Taking down mini-blinds and hauling them out to the back deck to vacuum and swab off;

  3. Completely emptying three large and filled-to-overflowing bookcases, vacuuming off all the incredibly dusty books and heaping them in boxes in the hall, and moving the (pretty damn heavy) cases to other spots in the room, also vacuuming up in the process the terrifyingly huge dustbunnies that had bred quietly behind them for the past decade;

  4. Re-stocking all the books onto the shelves, sorting out in the process a large pile to sell or give away;

  5. Moving my really damn big and heavy queen-sized iron-framed bed to the other side of the room;

  6. Purging my clothes closet/dresser drawers, and accumulating two big bags of clothes to take to Goodwill;

  7. Scraping up an ancient ossified deposit of cat barf (from my old cat who died *almost two years ago*, aaiieee) discovered in a secluded corner of the clothes closet behind some boxes;

  8. Vacuuming and washing the floor, and vacuuming all the cobwebs from the ceiling corners;

  9. Doing nine loads of laundry.

Continuing my musical explorations, I discovered that Great Big Sea and Mighty Mighty Bosstones are good energizing accompaniments for jobs of this nature. Also listened to with great pleasure: Death Cab for Cutie (Transatlantic), The Roches, Pulp. Perhaps my greatest musical find of yesterday, however, came courtesy of Mr. P., who'd been telling me about some radio show called "Little Steven's Underground Garage," the eponymous Steven being Steve Van Zandt, late of the E Street Band (and also featured as Silvio on the Sopranos). Anyway, he hosts a two-hour weekly radio show which Mr. P. had heard syndicated on a local station, but he'd found that it's also archived on and can be streamed from the Little Steven website. There's a lot of stuff on there, old and new, that I'd never heard of (Gluecifer? The Raveonettes?) along with classics like The Animals and Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, and all in all, as Mr. P. says, "I haven't heard a single song on there that I didn't want to listen to all the way to the end."

Anyway, you can go here, click "Listen to the show on our jukebox," and when the jukebox comes up, click Playlist for a page that shows you what's on the current show and offers links to shows past. (Note that the "next track" button on the jukebox player doesn't take you to the next track but the next segment of the show, so if you're looking for a specific track, use the fast-forward button instead.)

I offer this up as a small bit of payback for all the fine folks who've shared musical suggestions with me. Rock on!

And now I'm going to go take a hot shower and soak my achey shoulder muscles. And later today, in a piece of self-indulgence wholly uncharacteristic of me, I'm going with my sister-in-law to a foofy spa and get a massage and facial and maybe even a pedicure! Self-indulgent, yes indeed, but I tell you what, after yesterday I feel deserving.
katallison: (Default)
In which you, dear readers, get to advise me extensively and lift me from the crevasse of cultural ignoramushood. The Poll So Big, It Comes In Parts! And On Cutaway!

Part I: Educate me, you hip young things )
Part II: So, When/Where/How Do You Listen to Music, Anyway? )


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November 2009



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