cristovau: (Fresh)
So, today is my new quasi-monthly holiday "PAYDAY!" and it coincided with emusic.com sending me a "We'll double your booster pack purchase right now" e-mail. Now, emusic has been a quirky and nebulous service. It originally featured independent and hard-to-get artists and labels with a reasonably affordable subscription service. I liked it as a means of filling out my music collection. Then, they added a lot more labels and major artists were available, but the per album price was higher. Now, they have dropped the prices and a lot of labels and it is similar to the original service - EXCEPT - they have added a streaming service that includes all previously purchased items. So, it is quirky, but full featured.

Anyway, I dropped in $50 for $100 worth of downloads. I chose 17 albums today, with a mix of Brazilian, some alternative-punkish, and classical recordings. It is a big load of music. The classical is especially pleasing to me. I must be getting old.

Anyway, here is what my $50 got me today:

A Creature I don't know - Laura Marling
A Sense of Place: Ravel, Sheng & Shostakovich - Triple Helix Piano Trio
Adagio I - Thomas Hlawatsch
Buddha - Blink-182
Cantigas de Alfonso X El Sabio - Orquesta del la Asociacion Espanola
Crystal Tears - Andreas Scholl
Debussy: Harp Works - Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam
Enemies - Pele
Every Night for you - Juned
For Keeps - The Field Mice
Forever Hasn't Happened Yet - John Doe
Mandolin and Guitar Recital - Alison Stephens
Romantic Harp - Patricia Spero
Songbook for Isabella - Musica Antiqua of London
The Medieval & Renaissance Harp - Elena Polanska
Timeless - Joyce
Why try to Change me now? - Maya

Looking forward to enjoying this in the months to come.

More anon...
cristovau: (Fresh)
I have no idea why, but the soft rock wonder of the 70s is calling to me today. It started with Chicago's Greatest Hits, then Michael Franks, and now James Taylor. Don't get me wrong. This is good stuff. But it seems an odd thing to feel crave.

Ah well, January Cold I battle thee with the rock that is soft.

More anon...
cristovau: (Fresh)
So, this is a 100% affectation, but I have been enjoying listening to cassettes in my car. It is a funny sort of thing, I guess. I pulled out a case of cassettes when I was cleaning out the garage and then I pulled a dozen of these and have them loose under the car stereo. There is something visceral and delightful about pushing in the cassette, and rewinding and the whole process. Plus, since I full stopped buying cassettes in 1993 or sometime around then, it is a guaranteed 20 year old time machine. This morning’s tunes? The Gin Blossoms’ “New Miserable Experience.” Still amazing.

I acknowledge that this is probably about me getting older, but if it is good enough for Dean Winchester, it is good enough for me. Get off the sidewalk, kids. I am driving here.

More anon…
cristovau: (Fresh)
So, due to some late week illnesses, Bess and I decided heading out to a Bar Mitzvah and being disease vectors was probably a bad plan. As a result, we had a nice quiet weekend. Good thing, too. It might be a while...

On Friday, we had some kids over for a sleepover as a favor to Bess' ex-husband. The girls were great, and they get along with our kids extremely well. However, I fear they have a much lower thresh hold for video drama and TV than my kids. Free Birds was a bit too intense. However, the Lego Movie was okay.

On Saturday, I slept in ludicrously late. I woke up a few times, and went back to sleep, but I was in bed til noon. It might be the only time in 2014. Then I tacked the mountain of dishes in the kitchen and did some laundry and had an in-home day. We finished watching Free Birds with the kids, and then Bess and I caught Saving Mister Banks. It was a pretty awesome, and inspiring. Great performances.

Sunday was a religious school day for the kids. I did some more housework, and then Bess and I went out to do some Hanukkah shopping. We narrowly avoided getting trapped by tree-lighters in the town center. Then we tried a new (to us) Chinese place which has a web page order form. We are living in the future. Also, it was delicious and near the Shadows of Amun Site!
http://www.westfordgingertree.com/

So, it was a nice, restful weekend. I'd hoped to do more around the house, but at least the kitchen looks much cheerier. It sort of felt like my life without hobbies. Curious. I'd be bored, but efficient. I guess this is what normal people do?

Today, I briefly rediscovered LinkedIn. I will probably forget about it tomorrow again.

I also racked my brain for other songs to sing from my dusty memory. My focus was on Sting, and aside from "Fields of Gold", I wondered if I knew my old favorite, "Fortress Around Your Heart." As it turns out, I can't get the words quite right from my cold memory. However, I did discover I knew all the words to "Murder by Numbers," by the Police, and it sounds okay without accompaniment. Indeed, it is quite creepy when I sing down a third or stretch it down a fifth. I sort of want to sing it at Shadows of Amun, but 1. Out of Period and 2. SPOILERS! Anyway, I should probably look at all three songs and polish them for the song project.

Also, I probably should get a real video camera... ...I mean just in general. I am an American DAD! Don't camcorders get passed out with babies in this country? Geez!

Anyway, more anon...
cristovau: (Fresh)
So, I have had a thought for a big project for 2015. I am considering a daily narcissistic singing youtube post. I sing a lot, and I know a variety of songs. I am not embarrassed by singing without accompaniment, or easily embarrassed in general. I would like to challenge myself to learn new songs or polish them at least, and maybe create an artifact of my singing efforts. During Ira's Bar Mitzvah, many relatives commented that they didn't know I could sing. That is just wrong, cause I sing a LOT.

I'm not sure how much time this would take. I am not thinking of superior recordings, or multiple takes. Chances are, I will sit down for an hour, sing a dozen songs, take another hour splicing them into a dozen videos and then chosing the best seven for the week in question. Two hours a week can't be so bad. The other option would be to do it all at once, and that might take a half hour start to finish. My hope is to start soon, and build up a back log of quick performances.

So, what do people think. Do you think something like short daily video of me singing would be achievable? Any suggestions? Is it worth it?

More anon...

EDIT: Having just played with Youtube, this will be easier than I though, especially if I am not too picky about video quality (which I am not) or editing... or, if I am good with letting the youtube serve take time with each edit. I think my time scale is really much shorter, and I can work on quality of singing and recording.
cristovau: (Fresh)
I have switched to the Moto X phone, which has limited storage. No longer can I swap out micro-sd cards! This is okay. I have tons of music streaming from Amazon. However, if I intend to listen to my offline (crazy, that) I must download some and that brings back the top 10 albums idea!

So, I have what are the top albums you could not live without right now? Curious music fiends are curious...

(This has been cross-posted to G+ and Facebook, which is a curious experiment right there)
cristovau: (Default)
Here are two albums I recommend to myself because I like them. You might like them, too.

Posiden and the Bitter Bug )

Hadestown - by Anais Mitchell and Company )

I'm sure that I have been listening to other things, but right now, I couldn't really tell you what. I have been sort of fixated on these two CDs. With the caveats I presented, I well recommend them.

More anon...
cristovau: (Default)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere who got it courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] osewalrus:

Instructions:
* Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
* List (and upload, if you feel like it or are able to do so - Not, based on other nots) 5 songs that start with that letter.
* Post them to your journal with these instructions.


The good [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere gave me the letter T:

(1) "There's a Carp in the Tub" - Robbie Shaefer
(2) "Tainted Love" - Soft Cell
(3) "Time Stands Still" - John Dowland
(4) "Take this Waltz" - Leonard Cohen
(5) "Two of us" - The Beatles

That is a good bit of fun. Feel free to join in.

More anon...
cristovau: (Default)
Courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere who got it courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] osewalrus:

Instructions:
* Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
* List (and upload, if you feel like it or are able to do so - Not, based on other nots) 5 songs that start with that letter.
* Post them to your journal with these instructions.


The good [livejournal.com profile] shalmestere gave me the letter T:

(1) "There's a Carp in the Tub" - Robbie Shaefer
(2) "Tainted Love" - Soft Cell
(3) "Time Stands Still" - John Dowland
(4) "Take this Waltz" - Leonard Cohen
(5) "Two of us" - The Beatles

That is a good bit of fun. Feel free to join in.

More anon...
cristovau: (Default)
Having discussed this a variety of people, I have come to several different definitions for what might be included as Steampunk music. These are in no order.

1. Actual Victorian music: Steampunk is rooted in Victorian sci-fi, so why not?
2. Altered Victorian music: Waltzes with a bass beat. It sounds disco, but again, why not?
3. Olde Tyme music: This is early radio or bluegrass influenced music, vintage feel. Good instruments.
4. Dark cabaret: Modern vaudeville or theatrical stuff (think Dresden Dolls) - vintage and simple.
5. Goth/industrial influenced: Goth had Victorian angles, and this Steampunk adds more.
6. Oldies: Classic songs from other genres that might be listed as Steampunk, but belonged to other genres.

Now, I have seen samples of all of these called Steampunk. I think I would like to have representatives of all definitions included when I'm DJ for Klockwerq, but for that I'm under the added pressure of providing dance music throughout. Luckily, it is just two and a half hours.

If anyone has any favorites or additional thoughts about these definitions, please let me know. This is such an undefined (or over-defined) genre and I am quite new to the concept, and open to clever thinking.

More anon...
cristovau: (Default)
Having discussed this a variety of people, I have come to several different definitions for what might be included as Steampunk music. These are in no order.

1. Actual Victorian music: Steampunk is rooted in Victorian sci-fi, so why not?
2. Altered Victorian music: Waltzes with a bass beat. It sounds disco, but again, why not?
3. Olde Tyme music: This is early radio or bluegrass influenced music, vintage feel. Good instruments.
4. Dark cabaret: Modern vaudeville or theatrical stuff (think Dresden Dolls) - vintage and simple.
5. Goth/industrial influenced: Goth had Victorian angles, and this Steampunk adds more.
6. Oldies: Classic songs from other genres that might be listed as Steampunk, but belonged to other genres.

Now, I have seen samples of all of these called Steampunk. I think I would like to have representatives of all definitions included when I'm DJ for Klockwerq, but for that I'm under the added pressure of providing dance music throughout. Luckily, it is just two and a half hours.

If anyone has any favorites or additional thoughts about these definitions, please let me know. This is such an undefined (or over-defined) genre and I am quite new to the concept, and open to clever thinking.

More anon...
cristovau: Brooding with Hair on STair (Moody me)
So, [livejournal.com profile] new_man got an offer he couldn't ignore and needed a replacement DJ for his Steampunk Dance Party, Klockwerq. After considering possible alternates, he asked me if I would be interested. Both nervous and honored, I accepted.

Eeep!

So, I actually do have some credentials. I DJ'd on WSHL throughout college. I was deeply goth for six months in 1989 and then a whimsically amused bystander of the whole scene thereafter. I have opinions about dance music and the genre. I have a lot of theater work and improvisation and persona work under my belt.

Still, Eeep!

I think it is because I have been such a homebody and, y'know, a suburban dad. Being a central part of a fabulous urban night out is definitely different for me, now. I'd appreciate any steampunk-related advice you might have (assume I know that gears and codpieces don't mix) but mostly, it would be great to see some familiar faces there.

More Eeep! anon..
cristovau: Brooding with Hair on STair (Moody me)
So, [livejournal.com profile] new_man got an offer he couldn't ignore and needed a replacement DJ for his Steampunk Dance Party, Klockwerq. After considering possible alternates, he asked me if I would be interested. Both nervous and honored, I accepted.

Eeep!

So, I actually do have some credentials. I DJ'd on WSHL throughout college. I was deeply goth for six months in 1989 and then a whimsically amused bystander of the whole scene thereafter. I have opinions about dance music and the genre. I have a lot of theater work and improvisation and persona work under my belt.

Still, Eeep!

I think it is because I have been such a homebody and, y'know, a suburban dad. Being a central part of a fabulous urban night out is definitely different for me, now. I'd appreciate any steampunk-related advice you might have (assume I know that gears and codpieces don't mix) but mostly, it would be great to see some familiar faces there.

More Eeep! anon..

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