Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Random Ten: Halloween Edition

Plucked at random from my iPod's Halloween playlist: Artist/Title/Album....

1. Howlin' Wolf/ Evil/ His Best: Chess 50th Anniversary Edition

2. The Cranberries/ Zombie/ Stars: The Best of 1992-2002

3. Ryan Adams/ Halloween Head/ Live 2007

4. Vaughn Monroe/ Ghost Riders in the Sky/ Stampede! Western Music's Late Golden Era

5. Screamin' Jay Hawkins/ I Put a Spell on You/ Cow Fingers and Mosquito Pie

6. Ray Parker Jr./ Ghostbusters (12" Single Remix)/ Chartbusters

7. Jim Carroll/ People Who Died/ Catholic Boy

8. Dave Edmunds/ The Creature From the Black Lagoon/ The Dave Edmunds Anthology

9. The Ramones/ Howling at the Moon/ Ramones Mania

10. Reverend Gary Davis/ Death Don't Have No Mercy/ Harlem Street Singer

Friday, October 28, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Random Ten #30

Here are the first ten songs to pop up on my iPod; Artist/ Song/ Album:


1. Orchestra Baobab/ Ndeleng Ndeleng/ Made in Dakar

2. Fountains of Wayne/ Hackensack/ Welcome Interstate Managers

3. Eleanor McElvoy/ Mother's Little Helper/ Love Must Be Tough

4. Loretta Lynn/ This Old House/ Van Lear Rose

5. Sinead O'Connor/ Dagger Through the Heart/ Just Because I'm a Woman: A Tribute to Dolly Parton

6. Elvis Costello/ This is Hell/ Brutal Youth

7. Destroyer/ Dark Leaves Form a Thread/ Trouble in Dreams

8. M.I.A./ Paper Planes/ Slumdog Millionaire OST

9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs/ Down Boy/ IS IS EP

10. Jenny Wilson/ Anchor Made of Gold/ Hardships!

Get well soon, Loretta Lynn!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Complaint Department

Reader "aaron" writes to complain that I hadn't provided any commentary on Ocuupy Wall Street, and that no email link was provided (he added a comment to my Random Ten).

To that I replied:
Thanks for caring enough to complain. Posting links to my email has gotten me on too many robo-spam lists, where people all over the world receive viagra offers or Nigerian scam letters, with my email link as the return address! I don't want that to happen again, but you can email me anytime by starting with the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, followed by my last name, then the "at" symbol, then "cox" followed by a dot, and "net" to finish up.

That unlinked address is now affixed beneath my profile picture. As for the #OWS movement, I haven't had much to say because I've been ugly busy. But I did attend the Occupy Tucson gathering on the first day, armed with a slightly wonky protest sign:


I'll explain my list of demands in a future post. Can you spot the typo?

Algorithm Serendipity

Back in September, Kevin Drum described how Netflix streaming works for him:
Basically, I think of something I want to watch and then go look for it. Usually it turned out that my choice wasn't available on streaming, which made the service pretty worthless to me. Apparently, though, most people don't work that way. They just dive into the streaming library and browse around until they find something that looks good. If that's the way you work, then the streaming service is a pretty good deal.
And that's basically the way it works for me; I go looking for something that might work for Family Movie Night, and every once in a while the Netflix algorithms recommend something that hits that sweet spot, and works equally well for the kids and the grownups.

Well, this Saturday, we hit the jackpot.  On a chance, we tried a Belgian claymation toon entitled A Town Called Panic. And all of us laughed our butts off.

Apparently the feature grew out of a five-minute TV series, which was so damn wacky and imaginative that people couldn't get enough of it. The feature film is in French, with subtitles, and the animators' voices add to the general air of lunacy. I can't recommend this highly enough, though I don't want to give away too much, either. Just go stream it, then check out their official website.

The soundtrack is a thing of wonder, too, and turned me on to this garage-punk wacko, among others.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Random Ten #29

Here are the first ten songs to pop up on my iPod; Artist/ Song/ Album:


1.  Swati/ I'm On Fire/ Small Gods

2. Spade Cooley & the Western Swing Dance Gang/ Shame on You/ Shame on You

3. Kaki King/ Playing With Pink Noise/ Legs to Make Us Longer

4. Muddy Waters/ I Love the Life I Live, I lIve the Life I Love/ The Chess Box

5. Tundje Oyelana/ Ifa/ World Psychedelic Classics

6. Rodney Crowell/ Til I Gain Control Again/ The Rodney Crowell Collection

7. Jeff Buckley & Gary Lucas/ Satisfied Mind/ Sings to No One

8. Dwight Yoakam/ Understand Your Man/ Kindred Spirits: A Tribute to Johnny Cash

9. Mavis Staples/ You Are Not Alone/ You Are Not Alone

10. Glen Campbell/ Witchita Lineman/ All the Best

The Yamato Drummers

As both my kids are studying Taiko drumming with the Odaiko Sonora collective, we took them last week to see a performance by the Japanese masters Yamato. Minds were blown.

 These people get up at the crack of dawn, run 10k, lift weights til lunch and then drum together all day and half the night. They're on tour 150-200 nights a year, so they're probably coming near you sometime soon. You don't want to miss it.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Random Ten #28

Here are the first ten songs to pop up on my iPod; Artist/ Song/ Album:


1. Ellie Greenwich/ You Don't Know/ Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found

2. Elvis Presley/ Don't Be Cruel/ The Number One Hits

3. Daniel Lanois/ Rocky World/ For the Beauty of Winona

4. Pete Johnson and his Boogie Woogie Boys/ Baby Look at You/ The Real Kansas City of the 20s, 30s & 40s

5. Franco/ Ou Est Le Serioux?/ The Rough Guide to Franco

6. Thelonious Monk/ Blue Monk/ The Composer

7. Los Mirlos/ Sonido Amazonica/ The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru

8. Bajofundo/ Pa' Bailar/ Mar Dulce

9. Natalie Merchant/ Wonder/ Tigerlily

10. Duran Duran/ The Reflex/ Seven and the Ragged Tiger