My current obsession is rooibos tea, served with a teaspoon of heavy cream and lightly sugared. Really hits the spot towards the end of the workday.
I bought this sampler back in 1981, when I was 13 years old and had a paper route. It was a double vinyl LP for $2.99, which was quite a steal.
In retrospect, it was a pretty much all over the place musically, but then, so was I.
Someone mentioned this comp on Facebook a few months ago and I ended up looking it up on Discogs.
I decided to try to see how many of the tracks I could track down, 35 years later, and was pleasantly amazed to find that, with only a little work, I was able to find that every track was legally streamable. (Re-assembling this on Spotify, Tidal, or other services is left as an exercise for the reader.)
When you think about it, that’s pretty incredible: a compilation of new artists, selected specifically for their relative obscurity, and 35 years later all of the songs are easily available through the mechanisms most used by modern listeners to play music in their homes and on the go. What are the odds that a slate of 22 catalog artists from 1946 would have been available in 1981?
We’ve got a ton of them, and more every day. Better make some homemade spaghetti sauce or something.
I don’t know if this is useful at all if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music, but I wanted to see how their new(ish) embedding/linking tools work. It’s also an excuse to share a few songs from what has been my favorite record label for a few years now, Ghost Box Records.
Will quick-boil these and toss them with a touch of salt, coriander, and olive oil to go with tonight’s grilled pork chops.
Prep Time: 40 mins | Cook Time: 5 hrs | Difficulty: Medium
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1- 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin and salt over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding.
Melt 1 tablespoon the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker as it is finished, using 1 tablespoon of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker. Throw the pierced jalapeno in on top of the chicken.
Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges.
Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and raw sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender.
Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch or cleargel into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the colour is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.
Serve over hot rice and peas, topped with a generous amount of chopped cilantro.
I’ve been using last.fm for almost 11 years now. Primarily, I use it as a statistical database of my listening habits, or at least the portion of my listening that happens on internet connected devices / services.
Of course, last.fm is useful for more than just cataloguing your listening habits. It’s a streaming radio service, a community site for talking about music and more. For me, though, it’s always been most amusing as the place where I can go to remind myself what I was listening to 5 years ago, or which songs I’ve listened to most, or whatever. For example, I found myself wondering how many songs I listen to in a day on days when I work at home. 40 lines of Python later (including whitespace 😉 and reasonable exception handling) and I had my answer.
Unfortunately I’m not sure if this is useful at all to non-subscribers, but I put a few minutes into compiling a playlist on Rdio this morning.
The idea behind it its simple: songs that get in and get out in less than two and a half minutes. No flab, no self-indulgence, not many solos. 😃
The embedded iframe is currently a Flash wrapper. (sigh)
Maybe they fix that someday...
I initially was just going to link to this excellent article in a links post, but it’s so well done that it deserves a post of its own. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been obsessed with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and latter day music that’s absorbed its influence. This is a copiously linked article that’s loaded with trivia for anyone who has even a passing interest.
Give yourself a few minutes to read it; you won’t be disappointed.
Over on Facebook, I somehow walked into a buzzsaw… er I volunteered a list of my favorite ever techno tracks. Below are YouTube links to them. There are embeds available below the fold. (If Facebook were less of a silo, I would have simply embedded the post here – the comments were worth looking at.)
I've been listening to a lot of this sort of thing lately: library music, hauntology, whatever genre name you want to hang on it. For those of us "of a certain age" it's the sound of old instructional films, elementary school filmstrips, etc. I suppose it's a sort of nostalgia, but it's looking back at a time that never was; a Gernsback continuum of shiny jumpsuits and jetpacks.
I owe a longer post about this sort of thing, honestly, but for now I'll leave you with a simple video.
There's a new release on my favorite record label, Ghost Box: Electronic pop pioneer John Foxx, with Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Jon Brooks (the Advisory Circle). There's a nice Pye Corner Audio mix on the EP as well.
If you’ve got a few seconds, you can help me out in-game by throwing an FB “like” on the following two links:
If this post looks really weird in your aggregator, it’s because it strips/sanitizes style attributes out of rendered html. There's no way around that (that I’ve found, at least) without invalidating my page by using height and width attributes on my images... I wanted to use the high-DPI icon for those lucky folks with “retina-class” displays. Also, if you noticed this page changing 30 or 40 times since it was initially posted, it's because I want to kick CSS right in the nads.
The fadeout of this song pretty much encapsulates everything I love about music.
I didn't plan for it to work out this way, but a business visit to Querétaro, Mexico coincided with Día de los Muertos. A colleague and I took a walk through the downtown plazas, which were an amazing blend of sights, tastes, and aromas. It was a tremendous amount of fun. I took quite a few pictures; you can find the Flickr set here.
I was a junior in high school when I got into ZTT Records in a huge way. Apple’s Ping may have a long way to go as a social network, but I have to admit it’s a huge thrill directly interacting with a musician I grew up following.
(that should really be Querétaro, above, but I really don’t have the energy to fight the encoding and escaping war across the internet today…)
I spent 4 days working in Querétaro, Mexico last week. It’s a fascinating place. I get the impression it’s a bit of a boomtown. There are all sorts of global corporations that have significant operations there. It has the benefit of being centrally located, but far enough outside the enormous Mexico City to avoid the issues of overcrowding and traffic there.
This was my very first visit to Mexico and I'd hoped to take a lot of pictures, but it wasn’t to be, primarily for logistical reasons. Usually when I visit a city for the first time on business I try to arrive a day early so I can actually see some of the city beyond my hotel room and the office park, but I had to book this flight very late and the only flight in was a day later. The workday there is about 10-11 hours, partially to accomodate for the extended lunch most office workers take. As a result, our workday started around 8AM and we usually didn’t finish up until ~ 6:30 or 7PM, and sunset was about 7:30PM. I only shot pictures over a 90 minute stretch one early evening.
A couple of my hosts took me out to a nice seafood lunch at a place called Los Delfines (The Dolphins). On the way back, they gave me a quick ride through the old streets of downtown. The city is hundreds of years old, so the street layout has all these cool, super narrow roads with buildings that come right up to the (also narrow) sidewalks. They told me that downtown Querétaro was very safe at night, so I resolved to come back and walk around after my workday was finished.
As soon as I finished up work on Thursday, I went to my room and quickly retrieved my camera. I decided to stick with the kit lens, which was a pretty good decision in retrospect — it gave me coverage from 18-55mm IS, which was fine for all the street scenes. I debated bringing my nifty fifty, since it’s a much “faster” lens than the kit lens, and I knew I'd have very limited light, but I also knew I'd miss having the wide-angle coverage of the 18-55. I really didn’t want to bring multiple lenses as, for street shooting, doing lens changes is awkward and even a little dangerous.
Even on a Thursday, there were all sorts of things going on as I walked through the various plazas and roads. There were street vendors selling jewelry, dolls, clothing, food, and artwork. I saw a preacher conducting a service with in the corner of one plaza, while a couple of blocks away there were a bunch of older folks ballroom dancing on another plaza while an audience of folks watched.
It's worh noting that, despite all the gringo fearmongering I'd heard from various people before making my trip, at no point did I feel less than 100% safe my whole time in Mexico. Despite all the breathless certainty that I would be kidnapped and beheaded by swine-flu-infected Uzi-toting gangsters, the people I met were friendly and helpful.
I felt like I was walking through a Mexican transposition of La Dolce Vita, which is a pretty good feeling to have.
Full set of photos on Flickr.
An entire city surrounded by an airport.