Music whilst you work....


This thread lasted for roughly 2 weeks, and was quite difficult to mark up. Hopefully, it's easier to follow :)

Since this thread, I've been exposed to different music than my usual choices -- first, two of my friends, Mariusz and Bodzio, went on a bit of a nostalgia trip, and dug out a lot of 80s and 90s synth pop. Some, I remembered (Ace of Bass, Dr. Alban, etc.), but they were horrified to find I had never heard most of it :)

Second, Mariusz and I been spending a lot of time in the same pub recently, and that pub's jukebox has been providing the soundtrack (songs like Gnarls Barkley "Crazy", Bell X-1 "Flame", etc.) -- I think I've been spending too much time there -- one night, I went to the bar, intending to buy just a pint for myself, but one of the barmen saw me coming, and poured Mariusz's usual too (he was trying to drink a can he had brought in). I thought it was funny, and bought it anyway :)

Slayer recently released a new album, though, so now my listening habits are back to normal :)

Music whilst you work....

[Thomas] I'm sat here currently editing two documents for inclusion in LG's SVN (as promised earlier), when it dauned on me, do any of you listen to any music whilst you're hacking/working on stuff, and do you have any particular music/bands you find better suited to the task? >>

See: Heather's music

[Ben] Well, I'm a musical ignoramus compared to you, Mike, and Jimmy at least - it was weirdly fascinating to see you guys discussing all these groups I'd never heard of (hell, entire musical genres I'd never heard of!) the last time, but I'm afraid I just don't speak the language. Though I would certainly not mind learning it. I just have no idea of where to even start. >>

See: Place to start

[Kat] I'm surprised to hear you say that, actually. your music collection's pretty eclectic, and you've talked about some seminal moments in your life and the soundtrack to those memories.

[Ben] Hmm. I guess that's a perspective I don't consider too often; music is just some wondeful thing that happens at times in my life, I don't have much control over it. :)

[Kat] The stuff that Thomas, Mike and Jimmy have talked about is often deep geekery about the music that they and I grew up with, and the stuff that went on afer that. If you'd like, we can go off to a proper music store like Tower or HMV, one that has listening stations (one with a used CD department would probably be the best bet) armed with a list from The musical set here, and get you caught up.

[Ben] Yeah, actually - I'd love that. Right now, these are just names that I don't have anything to connect to.

[Kat] Meanwhile, there's all this cool (IMHO) stuff you've introduced me to that I'd guess they don't know about. Deva Premal, Prem Joshua, Eileen Quinn, Catie Curtis... and a wealth of sea shanties.

[Ben] [grin] Much of that is kinda specialized, though.

[Ben] Most times, I don't listen to anything at all when coding - well, except the creaking noises my brain makes. However, if I actually think of it before I start - rare as that may be - I do find music helpful... in some strange way that I can't describe. >>

[Thomas] Hehe, perhaps true of most people. (For instance, I am listening to the album "Music From Big Pink" by The Band).

[Jimmy] I'm mostly listening to Tool's "10,000 Days" and Opeth's "Ghost Reveries" - intelligent metal.

To preempt the calls to justify that statement... Tool play polyrhythms, Opeth mix in jazz, folk, and rock with their death metal :)

[Kat] We seem to go through phases of remembering to put on music, and competely ignoring the presence of our CD and .mp3 collection. The music thing is about reaching that Zen flow trance/meditation state, no?

[Ben] Not really. It's more like facilitating the state my brain is already in - although I'd be hard-put to say what that is, exactly. Coding space, I guess. :)

[Ben] If I'm just cranking a short script, I want something fast and aggressive; "The Best of Van Halen" (with "The Drill Song" on repeat for a couple of loops) comes to mind. Southern rock will do, too: ZZ Top's "Cheap Sunglasses", or almost anything by Molly Hatchett.

[Thomas] Hehe, I can see you being a ZZ Top fan, actually. I'll forget you mentioned Van Halen though. :P

[Jimmy] I like Van Halen in small doses, but I'm a guitarist, so that's my excuse :)

[Ben] I also have a few odd favorites that could work: about half the tunes from the "Blackhawk Down" soundtrack ("Hunger", "Barra Barra", "Mogadishu Blues"), Green Day's "Brain Stew", Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole", Bad Religion's "Punk Rock Song", and so on. Stevie Vai's "Paganini" is an excellent example of that genre.

See: Slint

[Thomas] "Brain Stew" is a fine track by Greenday.

[Jimmy] Vai is rare... a guitar virtuoso who makes music you can listen to :) "For the Love of God" is probably my favourite... umm... piece of his.

[Ben] Sounds like another fun recommendation.

[Thomas] I liked his stuff he did with Zappa probably the most.

For code where I have to actually think :), light classical is right up my alley. I also love Deva Premal's chants ("Gayatri Mantra", "Om Namo", "Teyata"), which most people won't be familiar with; by the same token, Master Charles's "Synchronicity" CD - which is just a progression of the 'Om' chant with the crashing waves in the background - rocks my world. David McLauchlan's gorgeous piano work - whether "Everything I Do", "Lady in Red", or "Sunset Serenade" - lets me just lose myself in what I'm doing while it sneaks bits of beauty into my brain, unnoticed. Some of Elton John's "Live in Australia" can be wonderful, but something like his "Take Me to the Pilot" would interrupt my train of thought - not sure what makes the difference, there. Steven Cragg's "Discovery" (didgeridu music) works well. Anything relaxing, in other words.

Strange contrast, now that I think about it.

[Thomas] Very, but if it works for you...

[Ben] And that is exactly the thing that I love about music, little as I know about it. There's something for almost everyone.

[Thomas] I myself have noticed that if I am programming I tend to listen to the following bands:

Edgar Broughton Band
Screaming Trees
Patti Smith

[Ben] Haven't heard of a single one, sorry. :

[Thomas] Hehehe.

[Kat] You've probably heard some Pavement and Patti Smith. Patti Smith's one of the grand dames of punk. You may have heard her voice on "Because the Night".

[Thomas] Her and PJ Harvey are very alike.

[Ben] I may well have heard them, but I have no way to tell; the names, again, don't connect to anything in my mind. I really would like to explore that space, though.

[Thomas] And if I am doing general stuff (such as emails, IRC):

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Incredible String Band
Nick Drake
Yo La Tengo >>

[Ben] Ditto for these.

[Thomas] Eh? Never heard of Nick Drake? I'll have to correct that.

[Jimmy] And quickly!

[Thomas] :)

Ben, as soon as I am settled elsewhere, I'll send you over a legitimate (as in, not copied) copy of, hmm... I think 'Bryter Layter'.

[Ben] [smile] Thanks, Thomas; I'm looking forward to it.

[Kat] I'm really curious about these. I have a vague sense that I like Incredible String Band and Yo La Tengo, but I don't know that I'd be able to pick them out.

[Thomas] They're distinctly different. :) Yo La Tengo is shouted out in Mexican I believe, usually in Baseball for, "I have the ball". They are one of the most dynamic and longest-surviving indie bands from the 80s onwards.

[Jimmy] Yo La Tengo... a band I never remember to look for :( I'd say I'll make a mental note to seek them out now, but I know I'll forget again.

[Thomas] "I Can Feel the Heart Beating as One" is the best starting place for them. It's a great album.

[Thomas] The Incredible String Band (IBS to those in the know. :P) are a folk-psychedelic band, and often quoted as pioneering psychedelic music with folk. Proponents of the band, Mike Heron and Robin Williamson have done a tremendous job over the years. :)

[Kat] But then, I like Nina Hagen, so my musical tastes are a bit suspect.

[Thomas] Someone has to, I suppose. :)

[Ben] More dark areas in which I'm completely ignorant. You might as well have said, "but I like ketchup-and-garlic sandwiches with mayo, so my judgement about nuclear physics is probably invalid." :)

[Heather] Given the kind of people I know, if they were willing to say they like ketchup and garlic sandwiches with mayo, I could suspect them of knowing nuclear physics to more than the "hey don't they experiment to see if atoms shatter into different pieces when you try different types of hammer?" kind of level...

But I still wouldn't know what music they like. I like filk music, ergo my sense of style can be dubbed "eclectic" at minimum and earns its own mana points sufficiently to run circles around the bad guy in the Harry Potter books at the high end.

Lots of weird things can be said about a "style" of music that is defined more by what thoughts it evokes than by how it's been made.

[Thomas] The odd thing is that all of those bands I've grouped above have similar music styles -- maybe there's some unconscious psychological motivational aspect to them which makes me concentrate on a specific task? Mind you, as I am listening to "The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter" (a fine album, btw) anything would be a better alternative. Heron and Williamson are insane. :P

[Ben] Erm... well, that's never been a black mark against a musician. I actually think it's seen as a plus, in most cases. :)

Heather's music

[Heather] I find that I mainly have music roaming through my head when my multiple CPUs aren't full. When this occurs during coding phases, I find it pleasant, but it's hard for me to nail down what the sources are, because (as I already posted to a later bit of this thread) my tastes start at eclectic and go on from there.

However, besides the kind of oddbits that you could purchase from Random Factors or hear snips of at "The Virtual Filksing" (a non representative sampling only in that there's insufficient variance to break the notion that similarity is to be expected).. some of these things might be found in a normal record store:

Mannheim Steamroller
various instrumental bits of just about any era which give a strong sense of tale-to-tell-told-by-music.

Pat Benatar
Led Zeppelin [*]
Billy Joel
Aaron Copeland
various singable pop hits that lack a horrible degree of repetitititititiitibeness.

D'Cuckoo whalesongs some deeply rythmic and/or "atonal"[>>>] stuff just because it sometimes meets one or both of the other two traits.

In some cases I like things that other people like, but not for the same reasons. E.g. Bette Midler's "God is watching us" I like because it begins with a delightful image of the Earth in space, and then makes me laugh my butt off (what? is he watching us on TV? He's sure not looking very closely). It is a very nice piece of instrumentation and her human voice blends into that quite well. I don't think this is what most people see in it.

Place to start

[Thomas] One of the nice things about music like this is that there is no correct place to start -- just pick somewhere and run with it. I blame my father for my current music tastes. During the era of 1965 - 1968 essentially, spawned a whole underground of psychedelic music which has been one focus of mine, and something my dad was more apt to reveal in, given it was his era (I was twenty years too late by the time I was born).

[Jimmy] Heh. My Dad, I think, had similar tastes. Fruup?

Pick any band at that time, and follow a trail. You'll always find a link, even things like joining Kevin Ayers, Roy Harper, Wilde Flowers, Caravan and Pye Hastings together. (All proponents of the Canterbury Movement in England, along with many other small and esoteric bands.)

[Ben] I take it you mean "buy a bunch of their CDs and listen to them"? Or something else? Seriously, I'm just that clueless in the world of music.

[Thomas] You could do that, I suppose. I wasn't quite meaning you just go out and buy anything -- there's some very good stuff from that era, and some not so good stuff. :) It depends what you like. You've mentioned 'Strawberry Alarm Clocks' to me before (they're great, of course). So I wonder whether to stick to offering America underground music, or British underground music...

The Canterbury Scene in England produced some great stuff.. hmm. If you can get hold of an album by Caravan, called 'In The Land Of Grey and Pink', do so. It has a pink and grey cover (oddly enough) of a landscape.

Or, if you can't find that, you ought to be able to pick up a copy of the album: 'Forever Changes', by Love. That has to be one of the best albums to come out of the 60s, quite frankly. It should be in every music collection.

Alternatively, rather than sticking to a specific band (I suck at suggestions, by the way), I could just rattle off some band names, and a likely song you might like.

[Kat] Huh. I'd assumed he meant "read up on them, while listening to the music to understand the commentary". Wikipedia is often full of band lineage notes.

(On the other hand, this time I'm utterly at sea with the groups Thomas mentioned, myself.)

[Ben] Ah - a clue! :) OK, I'll admit it: I've never read a "band lineage" note in my life. Perhaps I should start, if I'm going to get any of this.

[Kat] And so it's revealed: you failed to have that sort of misspent youth, where you spend gobs of time reading music mags for obsessive fan details. (this is also what one misses out on by not spending time reading album liners, etc.)

Meanwhile, to get you started:

[ducking before Thomas/Jimmy/Mike pelt me with linernotes in disgust]

[Jimmy] Pfft. I freely admit to not having had a social life as a teenager (though my son probably counts as proof to the contrary).

[Thomas] It's very difficult for me to suggest a place to start, and I am willing to send you over some purchased CDs for you to listen to -- you may or may not like them, but there's no loss to me in doing so.

[Ben] Well, thank you! That's a very, very kind offer, Thomas. I'd love to be taken on that kind of a guided tour.

[Thomas] Okey Dokey. :)

Van Halen

[Ben] [laugh] There's a period of my life when I really liked their stuff... I think you were a bit young to appreciate them then. Actually, I think you just weren't around, yet. :) They're much better when they're new and fresh, I promise; it's after they've laid on the shelf for a while and got stale that they get all nasty and moldy.

[Thomas] Heh. Indeed, wayyyy before my time.

[Kat] Oh, dear. my brain went there, and...*shudder*

I'm olde enough to remember VH in their late 70's early 80's prime, and I don't remember getting them then, either. I think I was a year or two too young. (More musical confessions - the first album I bought for myself was a Rick Springfield LP.)(My later obsession with Duran Duran, Adam Ant, and a bunch of "New Wave" bands will be seen as some as no improvement.)


[Thomas] I wonder if you'd like 'Slint' as a band? They might be a little too heavy for you, I am not sure -- although you cite Nine Inch Nails (ugh!) so maybe not. ;)

[Ben] If there's any common factor in my NiN "usage", it's something like "I'm done with this shit, can we just move on already???"

[Thomas] I wouldn't have said that. They're rather on my "radical fringe" in terms of taste. Many have commented how peripheral it is to my usual folk tastes.

[Ben] In fact, I recall a relationship breakup when I was in Bermuda, after which I played "Head Like a Hole" non-stop for what felt like several years but couldn't have been more than a week. :)

[Thomas] Oh dear.

[Jimmy] Heh. Breakup songs are great (for a given value of 'great'). My favourites are: Smashing Pumpkins "Soma", Jeff Buckley "Last Goodbye", Pearl Jam "Black".

[Thomas] Slint were a band who really pushed the limits of Mathematical Rock back into the mainstream (early 90s). Indeed, their album Spiderland won several awards, and whilst it only has six songs on it, most of them are over five minutes long, with sparse lyrics (often only the odd word as an interjection); their drowning, and syncopated guitar rhythms though are excellent.

[Jimmy] And the dynamics change completely without warning :) From delicate pieces you almost have to strain to hear, to almost heavy metal loud.

[Thomas] They've also got quite a few of their songs hidden away on a few films. The critically-acclaimed film 'Kids' [1] for instance features the song 'Good Morning, Captain'.

On Sat, Jul 01, 2006 at 12:18:01PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> Slint were a band who really pushed the limits of Mathematical Rock back
> into the mainstream (early 90s).  Indeed, their album Spiderland won
> several awards, and whilst it only has six songs on it, most of them are
> over five minutes long, with sparse lyrics (often only the odd word as
> an interjection); their drowning, and syncopated guitar rhythms though
> are excellent.          ^^^^^^^^

[Ben] I assume you mean 'droning', like bagpipes; I'd hate to think of music interspersed with gurgles and choking...

[Thomas] Hmm. I am not sure, actually. They don't drone, although I still think drowning is more apt. :) You're just going to have to find out, I suppose... :)


On Thu, Jun 29, 2006 at 04:20:24AM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
>  The Incredible String Band (IBS to those in the know.  :P)

[Ben] The only IBS I've heard of is Irritable Bowel Syndrome - which isn't much of a compliment to a band. At least I wouldn't think so; perhaps some heavy-metal or punk fans may disagree.

[Thomas] Heh. Woops. Some of their songs might give you IBS... :)

[Kat] Somehow, I'd have thought Thomas meant "ISB", but "Incredible BS" has much amusement value.

(p.s. Wikipedia confirms my assumption: The Incredible String Band (or ISB) are a Scottish acoustic band who...)

Intelligent metal

[Ben] Wow. My eyeballs are making whirring noises as they spin in my head. I think that I have to find some examples of this somewhere, it sounds so weird.

Off in search of some MP3s...

[Jimmy] Tool's latest album is their most... out there musically (though their last album did have a song with a set of time signature changes that were chosen because they were part of a Fibonacci sequence). It's worth buying just for the CD booklet, but it's good to hear heavy metal with a tabla solo :) (Oh, and there are a few Slint influenced moments :)

[Thomas] A bet you're a fan of A Perfect Circle, too. :P

[Jimmy] Damn! Caught. Yeah, I like most of their music - they're the only band I've heard who mix goth and metal well, and "Weak and Powerless" is one of the catchiest songs I've ever heard.

But it's definitely the sound of one guy sitting in front of his computer, playing with guitar effects, and recording the results :)

[Thomas] Your credibility rating just plummeted. They're one of the worst bands my ears have had to endure. ;)

[Jimmy] Well, I will admit that [what I heard of] their last album was complete and utter shite, and there are quite a few songs on their other two albums that made me glad of MP3 players and the ability to hit 'delete' :)

[Thomas] I did this with They Might Be Giants, and let's just not go into why I was listening to them in the first place...

[Jimmy] But, for the most part, I like them.

[Thomas] How that baldy-head [4] manages to do anything is beyond me.

[Jimmy] Um... which one? The singer, or the guitarist/guy who does the music?

Their lyrics are also quite intelligent... "Forty Six & 2" dips into Jungian psychology (among other things - Wikipedia has a quite extensive article about it), for example. (It also has a part where the guitarist plays a variation on the main riff with the rhythm turned backwards. It has to be heard to be believed.)

[Ben] Do you have to be a guitarist to appreciate it? Or can mere humans hear it as more than noise? :)

[Jimmy] I think so. For a band that overdo the musicianship to a point well past being listenable, try Meshuggah.

Opeth are more of an acquired taste, even for metal bands. "Harvest" is a good, straight acoustic song; "Deliverance" is a 12 minute exploration of metal, rock, and folk.

Video Game Music

[clarjon1] Well, I probably seem a bit... bland... I'm sure... All I really like listening to is music from Particularly the Sonic the Hedgehog ones, but I like the others, too...

[Ben] [laugh] I love the random directions that music goes off in.

[Peter] For coding, I found that maniacal whistling tune from the recent Pepsi commercial to be very useful. Extracted it from an ATSC capture using:

mplayer -dumpaudio input.atsc
/usr/bin/a52dec -o wav stream.dump | lame - whistle.mp3

then used audacity to make a loop of the middle bit. Play it over and over, it gets a very bizarre trance-state going, I'm not sure why, but it's hell on any bugs that have tried to stand against it :)

[Ben] So, where the URL to this paragon of trance-inducing virtuosity? Don't just tease us, Peter! :)


[Ben] Wheee! That's fun. Thanks, Peter!

I don't know that this ad has ever made it to this shore - not that I'm much of a TV watcher, I probably average an hour or two a month, but I've never heard it.

[Peter] well don't blame me if they find you days later, still tranced out and whistling cheerfully, quite oblivious of the stares of those around you...

[Ben] Heh, that's never bothered me before. :)

[Peter] Wikipedia sure seems useful for finding out about music e.g.

Neil Young's "Thrasher" isn't mentioned, maybe it's not a protest song after all, but they have Tim Finn's "No Thunder No Fire No Rain". And "Deify" by Disturbed also good for fixing bugs in a hurry.

[Ben] If you want protest songs... we've got protest songs. Starting with Eminem's hyper-apt, straight-talking "Mosh":

[Peter] The stars and stripes, have been swiped.

[Ben] [nod] Kat introduced me to that one, and it just knocked me over. Wow.

[Ben] I think I actually heard something in the past year that was all game-music-like, and Kat mentioned to me that it's a music genre of its own these days, since lots of people today grew up with this stuff - but this is the first time I've ever had a chance to listen to more than just a snippet of it. Interesting.

Indie Bands

[Viksit Gaur] Doesn't anyone listen to the great Indie bands out there?

[Ben] I suspect they do; otherwise there wouldn't be any. :)

[Viksit] I've discovered hordes of bands out there, especially in the brit-rock and alternative genres which are such a refreshing change from all the more famous stuff.

[Thomas] And we're meant to guess these bands? Check my bio for the link to my music page, you might be surprised. Don't be so bold as to make such a statement without backing it up.

I mean, sure GNR is brilliant and Axl Rose has gotten sober enough to perform live again, but I'm not sure if people here have heard of Morrissey, The Smiths,

[Jimmy] Hmm... I like The Smiths in small doses.

[Thomas] Ha! Frankly, Mr. Shankly since you ask, you are a flatulent pain in the arse.

I like them in large doses.

The Cure,

[Jimmy] I like The Cure in large doses :)

[Thomas] This is stranger than I thought... six different ways inside my heart. :P

I like these in larger doses.

and other more modern bands like Snow Patrol,

[Jimmy] Medium sized doses :)

[Thomas] Pffft.

Voxtrot, The Magnetic Fields et al. Stuff definitely worth looking into.

[Jimmy] Never heard of 'em

[Thomas] Not heard of The Magnetic Fields? They're a band from New York that do synth-type music. Some of it is dire, a lot of it is quite good, such as the album: 69 Love Songs.

[Jimmy] Hmm. My sister and two of my housemates work in a music shop - maybe I should start taking advantage of that :)

[Ben] Oddly enough, for all my musical ignorance, I've certainly heard of the first three.

[Kat] Um. Morrisey, The Smiths, and The Cure, where I come from at least, hardly constitute "Indie bands". They all verge on "nearly mainstream".

[Thomas] Some of Morrissey's stuff is considered Indie. "Viva Hate" and "Your Arsenal" as albums are certainly considered as such. As for The Curem they speak volumes for themselves. :)

[Kat] I got the impression Viksit was getting at "over-played vs. indie", and by that measure, Morrissey might as well be Kylie Minogue.

[Kat] Now, if we want to talk about indie acts - Ben and I are fond of Eileen Quinn (who sings about the cruising life) and Catie Curtis, and our friends are big fans of Great Big Sea, all small label acts. Ben introduced me to Deva Premal and Prem Joshua...

What I'd really like to get is some recommendations for Bollywood soundtracks and bhangra.

[Viksit] Cool thing about a lot of these bands is also that they have creative commons licensed music as well - just get them off the next music blog.

[Kat] Er...don't tease, more specific breadcrumbs to those "next music blog"s, please?

[Ben] Never heard of such a thing, sorry. Blogs in general are, well, personal diaries - so I'm at a loss to figure out what a "music blog" is, unless it's a weird meta-pointer to Googling for '"music blog" "indie bands"'. If I had to guess where to find such music on my own, I'd start at '' - but that hardly fits a description of a 'music blog'.

[Thomas] Blogs represent nothing more than a personal prerogative to be arrogant for any given subject matter, rationalised by the fact that because it's personal, it's brought about through some kind of "belief". I have never liked blogs, and view them with contempt.

[Ben] Oh, I think that's quite an overstatement of the matter. They're just diaries put out for public consumption; I don't think anyone is out there ratonalizing their arrogance (if for no other reason, because many people don't think of arrogance as something to be ashamed of. What are you going to do, sue them for being arrogant?)

Many bloggers are just throwing empty blather at the wall, but so what? It's one of the things that makes the Net what it is - and as far as I'm concerned, it's a harmless avenue for expression that no one ever has to look at. On the other hand, there are blogs out there that are informative, well-written, thoughtful, and funny. "Burn all books because some are badly written" is, I'm sure you'll admit, not a reasonable attitude. In my opinion, universal contempt for blogs is just as unjustified.

[Thomas] If you want something musically-oriented though, look to "":

Amongst similar things. Quite frankly, you'd do better asking here. :)

[Ben] Perhaps the forum there is something like what Viksit meant by a "music blog".


[Thomas] That appeals to you? Bhangra? When I lived in Halls of Residence, my next door neightbour played "da music da bros digged, innit" much to ,y hate. It conisisted of over-the-top drums and some droning fool on vocals. But then again, I am biased. :)

[Kat] Yeah, I like bhangra. That's a kind of musical denseness that I like, as opposed to 70's progrock which makes me long for strong sedatives.

[Ben] That, by the way, was my reaction to 'Jesus Built My Hotrod': I wanted really strong sedatives... so I could feed them to those 'Ministry' people, until they either slowed the hell down so I could hear what they were saying, or until they went elsewhere to preach.

[Jimmy] Uh... the lyrics are something like "ding a ding dang a dangalong ding dong ticky ticky thought of a gun". You're not really supposed to know what he's singing :)

[Ben] Oh. [blink]

Kat's just spent the last 10 minutes or so explaining Industrial to me. I now know what to avoid by several miles. :)

[Kat] Wimp. :)

[Ben] Oh, absolutely. :) I'd rather make that noise doing something useful, instead of listening to somebody else doing it without any useful result. Wanna come hear my AirArc performance on the Miller 3025 at a 100psi at 250 amps? You might need hearing protection... unless, of course, you've been listening to industrial for a while. :)

[Kat] snrch Apropos of our morning discussion on 'what is music', I think I'd rather listen to industrial music than the music of industry.

[Ben] I also now know that some of my favorite music, the stuff that's stood the test of time for me, is called "prog rock" (although Blue Oyster Cult and Jethro Tull can get just a little too... cerebral and ivory-tower once in a while.) Never knew that. >>

[Kat] Yes... I'd agree with prog rock. I am surprised then not see anything by "Yes" in your collection. :)

[Ben] Still on CD, to be ripped later. :) I saw them in concert at the Madison Square Garden many years ago... just magical.

[Jimmy] That's the singer from The Butthole Surfers, BTW, who once released an album which had little icons in place of song titles. (Bonus points for also releasing an album called "Hairway to Steven" though :)

[Ben] [laugh] Yeah. If it's the same noise as I get while sharpening a screwdriver, I still won't listen to it, but definitely points for that.

[Jimmy] Bonus points for Ministry, too: on the same album as JBMH, they had a song called "NWO", featuring a lot of George Bush Snr. samples...

[Ben] I'm sure it added immeasurably to the "sharpened screwdriver through the eardrum" quotient and got them a few million more fans. :)

[Jimmy] two years ago, they released a song called "No W" :)

[Ben] [laugh]

Kat and I had another discussion about music last night, and it was again highly educational for me (thanks to all of you for this thread - I've learned a lot on this go-around!) Industrial as a reaction against the overmanicured music that came before it makes a lot of sense to me; however, I don't have any space in the pleasure center of my brain for that sort of statement. Understanding, yes; pleasure, no.

Interestingly enough, music along with lyrics used to carry a political message not only don't bother me but are actually one of my preferred types of songs: Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Woody and Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and so on make up some of my really happy musical memories. It may just be that the particular type of angst expressed by New Wave, industrial, punk, etc. isn't something I can relate to; like some types of jokes, I suspect that "you just had to be there". Me, I was in the islands - listening to reggae, calypso, merengue, zouk, and Jimmy Buffet. Angst? What angst? Hand me another Rum Bomb.

[Jimmy] Uhuh... Um... you listed Metallica - what period? If it's anything from their last 3 albums, well... someone had to like that crap, I guess :)

[Jimmy] There was a bit of a difference between what I meant to write, and what I actually wrote.

Anyway... Butthole Surfers weren't an industrial band, and JBMH is more a straight metal song than an industrial song.

But... didn't you mention "The Drill Song" (not sure that's the actual title) by Van Halen? Doesn't that have an actual drill in it?

[Ben] Sure. Does that make it industrial, though? Or does industrial mean "all jackhammer, all the time"? I certainly have no problem with a bit of color in music, whether it's a drill or an explosion - but when the entire "song" consists of nothing but that, with a little screaming from the psycho ward as extra flavoring, it gets boring (pardon the pun) very, very quickly for yours truly. I will freely admit that I may be missing something - I was trying to listen to the words in JBMH as a wild-ass guess attempt at trying to find something, anything in there that would make it of interest to me. That palled very quickly, as it always has before with that kind of "music". I Officially Do Not Get It. :)

[Ben] I've had those tunes for ages - since ~1990 or so, whenever they made the "Metallica" album. I definitely like their "Nothing Else Matters", and their cover of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" was surprisingly good. Surprising to me, that is; that's one of my favorite tunes overall, and I had a sharp ear cocked for bad execution.

[Jimmy] Yeah... "Metallica" was their last good album, though I had forgotten there was some good stuff on that covers album they did - I don't entirely hate their version of "Whiskey in the Jar" (which, for some odd reason, they saw fit to omit from their set list the second last time they played here. Doh!)

[Ben] I'd never heard it, but it sounds like it might be worth hearing. I've done that one myself a time or two - my favorite Newfie band, "Great Big Sea", tends to blur the line between sea shanties (many of which are Irish in origin) and just plain fun Irish songs. Well, FSVO 'fun' - Newfies have an, umm, interesting Weltanschauung.

[Jimmy] One of the British metal magazines once gave a few sets of lyrics to the British Poet Laureate to rate. Metallica's "The Unforgiven" received a very positive review.

[Ben] I'm not all that surprised; this may point to why I like them. I like music of many different sorts, but music with a good story mixed into it trumps many other varieties.

[Ben] Kat's response to it was, "This is great to listen to during a long drive!" Mine was, "This is engine noise. [pause] Wait, I've changed my mind. I'd much rather listen to engine noise."

[Kat] (It should be noted that while I'm not a rabid fan of Ministry, I am indeed fond of some of their stuff, and had been before Ben played "Jesus Built My Hotrod" earlier today.)

And that I'm fond of industrial music.

[Ben] Tastes, they do vary. :)

[Kat] (Even within a marriage. This makes some cases of splitting op the variety packs very neat.)

More Indie

[Viksit] Hehe, let me clarify some of those points. When I said "Does no one listen to Indie bands?", it was because they didn't feature in the discussion which went on earlier about the kinds of music which people did listen to - not because I arbitrarily assumed things :). I realize that might not be the kind of music which was being listened to during work for a lot of people.

[Thomas] It can feature if you like, although it has been discussed before, about two years ago. ;)

As for Thomas's comment - I did indeed go through your bio, and found that a lot of the albums and bands mentioned there are on my playlists as well. A significant amount of music on that would probably be considered Indie..!

[Thomas] Heh. Well, I don't much care for categorisations -- they're only really there to serve the media. I always laugh when I see the Red Hot Chili Peppers labelled as "Metal" -- to me, they're not metal at all. [Shrugs]. It's only a label. :)
On 7/8/06, Benjamin A. Okopnik <> wrote:
> Perhaps the forum there is something like what Viksit meant by a "music
> blog".

Well, I was referring to music blogs in context to indie bands. Let me elaborate. By Indie, I don't necessarily mean those which don't have big labels. As was mentioned, the term "over Played" might be another way of putting it.

[Thomas] Most of the music released on the Rough Trade music label should be sufficient to cover this.

Good music, but not very well known stuff. Refreshing because these are things which aren't played by every single FM channel around.. I know of bands such as Voxtrot, a relatively new one from Austin, TX which has a HUGE fan following in practically every university on the east coast. I personally couldn't say that for elsewhere, but I'm sure they're not exactly shunned.

By a music blog, I'm definitely not referring to diatribes and rants which a lot of people out there throw out as being indicative of their own sentiments and thoughts. Far from it. Which is not to say that I agree with Thomas's views on them. There are some which actually trawl through the enormous amounts of new media being put out every day, and figure out the best acts.

[Thomas] "Pichfork" are good at reviews. I still look on Amazon for any reviews I might care to read.

'Stereogum' stands out in its variety of new stuff. The author is also quite active in the live music scene, and has excellent insights into which one of those acts are worth listening to. Sometimes, the music released is under a CC license, in which case the blog also has links to royalty free MP3s of certain tracks. A precursor to buying the album itself, of course.

Others in the same genre are Asianmack and Arjanwrites. Again, a lot of this stuff may not be interesting to everyone but I find them helpful to find new music. and Pitchforkmedia are two other great indie music sites, which consistently review them, and talk about upcoming concerts, albums, good reviews, interviews et al. These are again written blog style, and may well be classified as music blogs. Note however, that there are also 'MP3 blogs', where people - bands themselves ('Phenom' is one), or others post legal mp3s when talking about bands.

As for pointers on which bands - some of my most listened to music comes from The Libertines, the Magnetic Fields, Voxtrot, Belle and Sebastian, Muse, the Cribs, Fall out boys, BRMC, the Smiths, New Order, Camera Obscura, Radiohead, Wolf Parade, Clap your hands say yeah, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Doves. Again, this is just a list (mostly) off the top of my head and an xmms playlist.. :)

[Thomas] I'm surprised you don't list bands like:

The Von Bondies
White Stripes
> > What I'd *really* like to get is some recommendations for Bollywood
> > soundtracks and bhangra.

As for recommendations on Bhangra and Bollywood tracks. Bhangra has a million avatars - but the original tracks were all released by artists like Jassi, Daler Mehndi, Jazzy B and a bunch of others. They have some really good, hipshaking music which is heard pretty often on dance floors, mostly as mixes. Bollywood music can be very temperamental in its outlook actually - you'd have to be more specific about whether you're looking for - fast music? soothing stuff? 'Masala mixes' for dance routines?

Heavy Metal

On Tue, Jul 04, 2006 at 06:36:14PM +0100, Jimmy O'Regan wrote:
> I think so. For a band that overdo the musicianship to a point well
> past being listenable, try Meshuggah.

[Thomas] It's like most bands who herald back to the Heavy Metal era -- some early heavy metal was quite good, and still had a tune to it (think Guns 'n' Roses).

[Jimmy] Blech! Sure, pick the band who best demonstrate everything that was ever wrong with metal :)

[Thomas] Now, now. Just because Axl Rose is now wearing a KFC bucket for hat, it does not mean to say his music has gotten any worse, at least. :P (I don't care for GnR either).

[Jimmy] Nah, that's just his guitarist. Great guitarist though.

[Jimmy] (But I must admit that "Sweet Child 'O Mine" is a great song)

[Thomas] I'll pretend I didn't read that. :P

[Jimmy] Heh. Understandable.

[Kat] ?!

Millions of Led Zeppelin fans are spinning in confusion to see you label GNR as "early heavy metal".

I mean, GNR postdates hair bands.

[Thomas] Pfft. Labels are always confusing. I've seen numerous bands labelled in different genres of music before now.

[Kat] "Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that emerged as a defined musical style in the 1970s, having its roots in hard rock bands which, between 1967 and 1974, mixed blues and rock to create a hybrid with a thick, heavy, guitar-and-drums-centered sound, characterised by the use of highly-amplified distortion. Out of heavy metal various subgenres later evolved, many of which are referred to simply as "metal". As a result, "heavy metal" now has two distinct meanings: either the genre as a whole or what is known as "traditional heavy metal" in the 1970s style, as exemplified by the likes of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge and others."

(Sorry, part of it is that while some of the members came from Indiana, GnR is mostly a hometown band for me (they formed up in L.A.) and i'm not a big fan of them, having called them "Buns 'n' Poses" since almost the beginning.)

[Thomas] If you go forward a few years to say the late 80s and early 90s, there was then the emergence of Industrial Rock which was just... I don't know how to describe it. Insane guitar and shouting? Some sample tracks to consider from this era:

Warrior Soul - Wasteland.
Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod.

[Jimmy] Heh. I love "Jesus Built My Hotrod". I think the best description I saw of it was 'electro psychobilly'.

[Thomas] Ha! That's one description. Try singing it if you're sober. I bet you can't. :P

[Jimmy] If I'm sober. Big if :)

[Kat] sigh I remember a time before Ministry was all metalesque.

[Jimmy] Hmm... do you mean, back when they were a bit closer to punk, or that awful, awful first album?

[Thomas] In fact, Warrior Soul were quite good, despite their low key success. >>

[Jimmy] I never heard much of them, didn't like what I did hear.

[Thomas] Hmm. Maybe you need to have your hearing tested? :)

[Jimmy] As it happens, I had my hearing tested at work 3 months ago, and was shocked to find out that my hearing is perfect. I think I got bonus points because I clicked the button whenever a forklift went by -I shouldn't have been able to hear them, apparently :)

[Thomas] AFAIK they only released two albums, maybe three. I've only heard they debut. It was alright.

See: Glam metal

Ministry are just terrible but that song is just about pa(rse|ss)able. But then there was the advent of Grunge, and Seattle finally got their place on the map. I like Seattle in this regard. It spawned such bands as: Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Perl Jam and Soundgarden, all of whom went onto have excellent careers. This tended to overshadow much else from the early 90s, but the sound as still very heavy.

[Jimmy] Yeah, those are the bands who got me interested in music. I still count the more blues-like stuff by Soundgarden and Alice in Chains among my favourite songs: "Fell On Black Days", "Tighter and Tighter", "Zero Chance" (Soundgarden), "Rotten Apple", "Nutshell", "I Stay Away", "Down in a Hole" (AIC)

[Thomas] :)

[Thomas] I actually quite liked Jane's Addiction, and the band Porno For Pyros (the link between them is that Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction formed this band from the (sad) demise of Jane's Addiction). Again, perhaps try and see if you can find:

Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealin'.
Porno For Pyros - Pets.

Or maybe it's the case, Ben, that you like electric guitar music? Got anything by Joe Satriani?

[Kat] I will continue in that "eh, whippersnappers" mock-geezer vein by noting that I was at the first Lollapalooza (and actually, I'm startled to see that I was also at every other one until '97.) and walked out on Jane's Addiction (playing last as the headliner) because my then-boyfriend and I were really there to see Siouxsie.

[Thomas] The cheek of it! I assume that's Siouxsie and The Banshees?

[Kat] Surely there isn't some other Siouxsie Sioux?

Eh, the freeform format of Lollapalooza pretty much encouraged that sort of voting with one's feet.

I see that Yo La Tengo were there, and suspect that's where I first heard them. I also remember seeing Tool for the first time there, not knowing anything about the band. The best year was the first, I think. Watching Ice-T rock out a venue full of pasty goffick youth over-dressed in velvet and wilting mohawks (on a 100F hot Southern California afternoon) was truly amazing.

[Jimmy] I remember reading that Body Count were only allowed to play on the condition that they didn't play "Cop Killer", so Soundgarden played it instead :)

I'd love to find a recording, but at least I have their cover of "Stonehenge" :)

Perl Jam

On Fri, Jul 07, 2006 at 03:23:41PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> place on the map.   I like Seattle in this regard.  It spawned such
> bands as:  Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Perl Jam and Soundgarden, all of

[Kat] grin Trying to make this thread on-topic again? Or is this some geeky band I don't know about?

[Thomas] Which?

[Kat] (You spelled it "Perl Jam".)

[Thomas] Woops. Ben would be proud. :)

[Ben] For those who may have become momentarily confused, this is Perl jam:

# Scrambled words generator (yuo cna stlil erad the rwods!)
perl -wpe's!\B\w+\B!@s=split//,$&;my$s;$s.=splice@s,rand@s,1while@s;$s!eg' <file>

Pearl Jam is just some wonky musical thing. :)

Glam metal

[Jimmy] They were a kind of glam metal band, weren't they?

[Thomas] How dare you, sir. ;) They probably do come across as such, and I wouldn't be surprised if they get lumped into that category. I think my memory is getting bad (or maybe I just don't know as much as I thought I did), but the wikipedia entry on them says they had more than the three albums I knew about [5].

[Jimmy] I'm just going by the pictures I remember seeing. AFAIR, I have a song of theirs on a cassette at my parent's house - if I can find a cassette player, I'll give it a listen :)

[Thomas] I seem to recall them headlining with other bands such as Therapy? [6] at one point. That would kind of make sense, when you consider that Therapy? were/are? a heavy metal band. They're also from the same piece of rock as yourself, Jimmy, although admittedly they came from that tiny corner of it where there's lots of dispute. :P

[Jimmy] Oh, I know and love Therapy? (though I prefer their more angst-ridden stuff to the happier rawk stuff they do now). I've seen them play twice - the first time was in a tiny club in Limerick (they played "High Noon" by DJ Shadow as an encore :), the second at Ozzfest. It was nice to see that they were as easily at home on a big stage as a small stage.

[Thomas] Hmm. I seem to know more about music than even I realised. Scary. It's a shame I was born thirty years too late for a lot of it. I should have been born in the 60s.

[Jimmy] Heh. Think of it this way - you get to look backwards, after all the chaff has been separated. In 30 years time, when everyone has forgotten about the crap clogging the charts now, the current music situation will look just as good as the 60s look now :)

(Plus, it's probably easier to get a lot of that music now than it was then, thanks to the internet).

Jesus Built My Hotrod

On Fri, Jul 07, 2006 at 03:23:41PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> Warrior Soul - Wasteland.
> Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod.

[Ben] Oh yeah? Radical, dude. What kind of bore and stroke? Did he blueprint the engine, or are you gonna run stock? Did he spring for a real K&N air filter, or are you doing this on the cheap? You know, of course, that you need those CrN-coated Clevite/PC piston rings, or you're just not in the running. By the way, there's this really rad way to hide an NoS cylinder in your gas tank that nobody would ever find, and I've got a pair of fat-ass, never-used slicks that I'll let you have for an absolute bargain!


On the other hand, if That Other Dude builds a badass racing machine, well, y'know, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to bet on him. 'Cause you've just got to be fundamentally BAD to win races.

There ain't no angels on my hood ornament.

[Cranking some Molly Hatchett music full blast]

> Or maybe it's the case, Ben, that you like electric guitar music?   Got
> anything by Joe Satriani?

Actually, I don't, but I recall that used to like Joe Satriani a lot. And I do like electric guitar - except when some idiot picks it up. Then, I just have to relax by thinking about beautiful images - like flowers, birds, that idiot wearing the guitar that he's torturing... oops.


On Sun, Jul 09, 2006 at 01:01:03PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> Heh.   Well, I don't much care for categorisations -- they're only
> really there to serve the media.

[Ben] Ah-hah!

You mean there's not a World Council For Music Categorization out there??? :)

I realize that it's only one man's opinion, but that made a certain something jell in my mind that's been quite nebulous to me for a long time. I used to wonder how the hell group X is supposed to be the same musical genre as group Y - "everybody said so", but I had not the slightest clue of what they were talking about. On the other hand, categorizing 'Yes', 'Genesis', 'Pink Floyd', ELP, and 'Rush' as a similar type of thing - well, OK, that seems to fit.

If they're just random opinions from the media, this makes a lot of sense. In fact, if they're non-random opinions from the media, that makes even more sense. :)

[Kat] They're derived from three sources - 1) record companies love to be able to assign categories to bands, because it makes their marketing easier. 2) radio stations love to have categories for bands, because it makes their playlist organization easier. 3) some fans like to have categories, because then they can shortcut figuring out what bands they might like. bands themselves seem to vary on how much they like categorization.

The radio station thing irks me, becuase now that there are two major radio chains in the U.S. (clearchannel and infinity), they tend to play narrowly focused "playlists for alleged demographics" and really discourage eclecticism. Feh.

I still miss Napster. I used to find the most amazing music by trolling through other people's folders. Bought more music during that period than before or since.

Ben's favourite bands

Since everybody is quoting their favorite bands here, I'll do a bit o'that - but I'm going to cheat by doing an 'ls' on my ~/Music directory and zapping duplicates and stuff that's not really representative. There's also a lot of things missing, since I haven't yet copied my entire music collection to my HD. Here we go, with a few comments:

American Indian Ceremonial And War Dances
Billy Joel
Blackhawk Down (movie sound track)
Black Sabbath
Bob Dylan
Bon Jovi
Bonnie Raitt
Catie Curtis
Credence Clearwater Revival
Dan Milner (Irish Ballads and Songs of the Sea)
David Coffie (Sea Shanties)
Dead Dogs (talk about indie... hilariously funny college kids)
Deva Premal
Dire Straits
Dixie Chicks (Country music that I enjoy. Whodathunk?)
The Eagles
Ella Fitzgerald
Elton John
Eric Clapton
Geno D. (Junkanoo Party Mix)
Great Big Sea
Green Day
Guns and Roses
Gypsy Soul (Flamenco)
Indigo Girls
Jimmy Buffett
Loreena McKennitt
Lynyrd Skynrd
Master Charles (chants)
Michael McCloud (Margarita music - sorta like Jimmy Buffet)
Nine Inch Nails
Notre Dame de Paris
Ozzy Osbourne
Pan Boyz (Steel Drums)
Peter Gabriel
Phil Collins
Pink Floyd
Prem Joshua
REO Speedwagon
Sea Shanties, Various
Steven Cragg (Didgeridu music)
The Doors
Tracy Chapman
Tupac Shakur
Vladimir Vysotsky (Russian ballads)
Yankee Whaling Songs

[Thomas] Ah... finally... :)

Bob Dylan [3], yep. Credence Clearwater Revival [3], yep. The rest of it is cool, and quite eclectic. I knew you liked sea shanties. I only know "A Rovin'" as a shantie. :)

[Ben] Oh, you'd probably enjoy many of the forebitters (a.k.a. capstan shanties) and halyard shanties. Some of those (e.g., "Paddy Works on the Railway") have made it into the modern world. I seem to recall that somebody here mentioned liking the Pogues, who do a version of the latter, although I have no idea what that sounds like.


In Eighteen Hundred and Forty-Six
I found meself in a hell of a fix
I stepped on a pile o'dynamite sticks
A-workin' on the railway.

A-workin' on the railway!

A really hard, driving beat and a tune that you'd recognize immediately, but I don't know how to describe it.

Hmm, I think I now know what to send you. :)

Benjamin A. Okopnik wrote:
> Beatles

[Jimmy] Um... isn't saying "I like the Beatles" a little like saying "I like air"? :)

[Ben] Well, I've heard a number of people lump the Beatles in with 'classical music' (I kid you not.) These also tend to be people who sneer at classical, so...

(Not that the opinion of anyone so lost in space means much to me, but still. :)

[Jimmy] Now, now. It's always good to have a range of opinions, if for no other reason than to gauge the gulf of stupidity.

[Ben] [chortle] You got me, Jimmy. Right through the heart. On another occasion, it would have been saying this.

> Bon Jovi

[Jimmy] Ewwww!

[Ben] Glad to oblige. :)

> Dixie Chicks (Country music that I enjoy. Whodathunk?)

[Jimmy] And... uh... not Johnny Cash? The dude covered Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, and Depeche Mode. And made it sound good, too - Tori Amos (for example) has covered Slayer, but my imagination (and sense of humour) doesn't stretch far enough to consider it good.

[Ben] Good point about Johnny Cash. I'm certainly not an indiscriminate fan of his music, but he has definitely done a number of really good ones.

[Jimmy] "Ring of Fire" is probably the only song I learned in school that I still remember. I narrowly escaped committing karaoke recently, but chose that song just in case :)

> Tupac Shakur

[Jimmy] Maurice, one of my housemates, and I were talking about him yesterday. Released 6 albums while alive... and 14 posthumously. Maurice still can't decide if that's shameless, or shameful.

[Ben] I don't know that I've even heard any of the stuff he did while being dead. }:-> I've got just the one album, and it's interesting to me because of its "street ballad" qualities (that's a major genre in Russian music that I grew up with, and the contrast between the two cultures is a bit mind-bending.)

[Jimmy] You have. It's unavoidable.


[Kat] I don't know whether you'd like the Pogues or not. I'd describe them as what would happen if Ministry sang Irish folk.

[Thomas] I'd have described them more as an euphoric Leonard Cohen.

[Kat] (and yes, that would be "Kat really likes the Pogues".)

[Thomas] Yes, I do too. And whilst I have the whole concept surrounding them, The Pogues produced the best Christmas song ever with "Fairytale of New York" simply because it's so mean and true.

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

Yay! This is why I like Christmas.

[Thomas] Let's try that again using grammar.

On Mon, Jul 10, 2006 at 02:19:26AM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
> I'd have described them more as an euphoric Leonard Cohen.


> Yes, I do too. And whilst I have the whole concept surrounding them,


[Kat] So, now that that's clear, why do you hate the concept surrounding the Pogues?

[Thomas] My grasp of basic English seems to be failing me. It's not the Pogues I hate the concept of, it's the whole Christmas Song each year that bands go for. It seems to perpetuate some truly awful songs. The exception to this is the Pogues' song Fairytale of New York.

[Kat] Oh.

Well that makes sense!

(Ah well, here I was hoping for some fascinating bit of grouchiness.)

[Thomas] Oh, I can do that too. :) If someone even mentions the "songs" William Shatner has murdered, I'll quit TAG and LGang. :P

Music Party

[Ben] ...and, in a bout of synchronicity, I've just stumbled over this:

We need a music party.

Whoever's been hiding the instantaneous transport system booth, now's your time to speak up and get away with nothing more than being glared at for a while, instead of the eternal public censure you so richly deserve. Most likely, there will never be a better moment for it...

[Viksit] Sounds like an excellent idea. Especially the bit about objects numbered 1, 2 and 3 to bring to the party. Anyone hazard a guess as to where, when et al?

Syd Barrett passes

[Thomas] Slightly off-topic, but given the recent music thread we've been having, I am sure people here will want to know. Syd Barrett, the founder and troubled genius of Pink Floyd is now dead, having died of cancer. Requiescat in Pace.

Pink Floyd's, Syd Barrett, Dead at 60

LONDON (1010 WINS) -- Syd Barrett, the troubled genius who co-founded Pink Floyd but spent his last years in reclusive anonymity, has died, a spokeswoman for the band said Tuesday. He was 60.

(Pictured above: Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett and Rick Wright (l-r) of Pink Floyd)

The spokeswoman, who declined to give her name until the band made an official announcement, confirmed media reports that he had died. She said Barrett died several days ago, but she did not disclose the cause of death. Barrett had suffered from diabetes for many years.

Barrett co-founded Pink Floyd in 1965 with David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright, and wrote many of the band's early songs. The group's jazz-infused rock made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and the 1967 album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", largely written by Barrett, who also played guitar, was a commercial and critical hit.

However, Barrett suffered from mental instability, exacerbated by his use of LSD. His behavior grew increasingly erratic, and he left the group in 1968, five years before the release of Pink Floyd's most popular album, "Dark Side of the Moon." He was replaced by David Gilmour.

Barrett released two solo albums, "The Madcap Laughs" and "Barrett", but soon withdrew from the music business altogether.

He spent much of the rest of his life living quietly in his hometown of Cambridge, England, where he was a familiar figure, often seen cycling or walking to the corner store.

Despite his brief career, Barrett's fragile, wistful songs influenced many musicians, from David Bowie, who covered the Barrett track "See Emily Play", to the other members of Pink Floyd, who recorded the album "Wish You Were Here" as a tribute to their troubled bandmate.

The band spokeswoman said a small, private funeral would be held.


Films is another hidden interest of mine, although that's likely to be another topic. Suffice it to say that this film (and its follow-up, 'Bully') is very good, even if it mostly about sex:

[Ben] Wow. Thomas, you're a walking encyclopedia of cultural information. Oh, and "mostly about sex" is not an "even if" to most people; a simple thought experiment tell me that sex in movies outsells everything except perhaps violence. I mean, "Sound of Music" was a big deal in its time, but it just can't compare to the box office take today, am I right? [2]

[Thomas] Yeah, the hills are still alive with that pukable shite. That film still makes my stomach churn. (I was always a Mary Poppins fan). Not that Kids was ever a hit in the cinema. I don't even think it got released there.


Each of the words in that last sentence weighs 450 lbs./ft^3. If that doesn't make them irony, I don't know what will.

[Thomas] I don't see any rust... ;P

[*]A fondness for Led Zep's songs led quite amazingly to me getting an ordinary dose of social life in Junior High. I have no idea what kind of person I'd be instead if I'd stayed painted completely with the nerd stereotype.
[>>>]atonal, only in that they don't follow the popular scales laid down by musical theory; as in my reading, I'll take it if it's internally consistent and therefore plausible within its own self-declared context, thence to enjoy on its own terms.
[3](1, 2)

Ever heard of "The Band"? The album "Music From Big Pink" ought to be right up your street given Dylan and CCR.

[Ben] I've heard of them before - I've actually got something by them in a Vietnam-war-era music collection, but I've never particularly focused on them. Thanks for the recommendation!


I can't think of anything apt, so I'll resort to pointless name-calling.

[Jimmy] Ah. The 'nyah nyah na nyah nyah' approach. Tastefully done ;)

[6]Another favourite band of mine.