Saturday, October 04, 2008

Saturday night ramble

Well, I seem to be feeling about the same as BobG. I never watch debates. They are just as effective as talk shows: no one's mind is changed about anything, and in fact, each side comes out feeling stronger in their own convictions than they did going in. Also I have an inherent distrust of all politicians and I believe they are all crooks to some extent, regardless of the letter that goes after their names.

I don't have anything to say about the bailout, either. It was unconstitutional, and wrong. But then most actions of our "government" are unconstitutional and wrong, so why should this be any different?

I worked some pleasant optional overtime this morning, reading a route on Ridge Country off of Wetmore. It's a quiet neighborhood, the houses are small and crammed in close together and the meters are arranged in an obvious pattern so it goes fast. 517 meters in about 2 1/2 hours. I'm still trying to put aside some extra money to buy a new handheld radio. For every Saturday I work overtime, I give myself an allowance of $25 for fun stuff (ammo, books, music, pipe tobacco, etc.).

I downloaded another free mp3 from Amazon, an instrumental called "Archipelago" from Quantic. It was listed in the dance genre or something like that, but it's a nice piece that combines some groove with some ambience. I like it, and might have to check out more of his stuff. Quantic is just one guy who does electronics plus a wind instrument or two.

Way back in the 80s there used to be this station in S.A. called KLLS, I think it was. It was a "soft rock" station or something like that. Anyway, late on Saturday night (from 10-midnight) they started carrying this new show called Musical Starstreams. I became a regular listener for just that show. Later on, KLLS switched to a country music format (which they remain to this day, I think) and dropped Starstreams. But then later on there was another station, I don't remember the callsign but it was on 106.7, that played "smooth jazz." Which basically means elevator music with saxophones and far too much Kenny G for any sane human to bear. But they started carrying Starstreams too, and I was able to hear it again. Unfortunately, the only station in S.A. that carries it now is a low-power college station that I can't pick up out here in the sticks (KSYM, 90.1). Several years ago, they would make their entire 2-hour program available for download from their website. Eventually the music nazis cracked down on them, but before that happened I managed to download several programs, which I burned to CDs for permanent safe storage. At one time I had begun breaking them into individual tracks, but lost most of them in the computer crash of a few years ago. For the past couple of weeks I've been doing that again. Fortunately Starstreams keeps their entire playlist archive available on their website, all the way back to the very first show.

I listen to and enjoy a lot of different kinds of music, but when I first heard the stuff they played on that show I thought, "This is what I've been searching for my whole life..." Anyway, it was an excellent starting point for exposure to a great many artists that I would never have heard of otherwise, and now with the magic of the internet I've been able to track down other sources, because you just don't find this kind of stuff at your typical music store around here.

And my digitally remastered CD of Jimmy Smith's Back at the Chicken Shack should be arriving in the mail any day now. The month after that should bring Signals, which will complete my Rush-on-CD collection.

I will try to get back into more music blogging in the future. I don't know if it's worth reading about, but I enjoy writing about it. So tonight I'm in an ambient mood, and here are the next ten.

Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors -- Flow
Opera to Relax -- From Life 2 Life
Skin to Skin -- Daimon
Trial of the Bow -- Father of the Flower
Worldbeat -- Winters Lake, Solace
Akumu -- Chimera
Auriavizia -- Rainbow Drops
Christopher Franke -- Purple Waves
Chris Armstrong -- Starless II
Loreena McKennitt -- The Mystic's Dream

And usually on Saturday night I try to post some graphics in a Lovecraftian vein. Today I went a-googling with a few choice search terms and eventually found this photo called Danse Macabre by Walter Kimmel at the Westchester Photographic Society.

Suitable for the season, I think. Except for the obvious road, it reminds me of some creek bottoms I have wandered through, where the water has stood often and long enough to kill out all the small underbrush. The scarred hollow on this tree almost looks like a mouth, doesn't it?
...and the old bee-keeper told me that sometimes the boughs whisper to one another in the night wind, saying over and over again. "Oida! Oida! -I know! I know!"
--H.P. Lovecraft, The Tree


  1. I remember Starstreams. I never actually set out to listen to it on purpose, but I recall catching it a few times. Looking at their affiliate list, nobody in Colorado carries them. But 3 stations in Alaska!?

  2. That is odd. I would have figured Boulder for a likely place.

  3. I'll have to check out Starstreams.

    "..."smooth jazz." Which basically means elevator music with saxophones and far too much Kenny G for any sane human to bear."

    Unfortunately, that is too often true. I like a bit of "smooth jazz", but my preference in saxophone is Mindy Abair. Most of the time I tend to listen to Dave Brubeck, Myles Davis, Benny Goodman, and a lot of other oldtimers of jazz.

  4. Hi: I'm glad you liked my Danse Macabre picture. It goes nicely with the Lovecraft quote...

    Walter Kimmel