Monday, December 21, 2015

The Thread was Void and Without Form, and Darkness was on the Face of the Blog

I suppose posting will be sporadic to nonexistent this week, which is another way of saying open thread. Actually, all threads are always open anyway. This just makes it official.


Blogger Van Harvey said...

Bah humbug... and Merry Christmas!

12/21/2015 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Tia the season to be busy. Merry Christmas!

12/21/2015 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

At least let us know what sorts of music Santa gets you.

12/21/2015 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I could do a thread on my top ten favorite releases of 2015. Don't tell anyone, but one would be the Herman's Hermits 50th Anniversary Anthology.

12/21/2015 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The same company put out this great box set of Slim Harpo, proving that they know their music, from swamp blues to sunshine pop.

12/21/2015 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This Northern Soul box has 8 CDs and well over 200 tracks of rare soul, and there's hardly a weak track. It's frankly a little overwhelming.

12/21/2015 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

A career spanning Van Morrison anthology. Of course, you'd need ten CDs to do the job, but this is an excellent sampler from every stage of his career.

12/21/2015 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, his immortal Astral Weeks was just reissued, remastered for the first time with improved sound quality and bonus tracks.

12/21/2015 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Is it really better, or just "better"? Not asking to be snarky, I'm genuinely curious as sometimes modern improvements really are worse.

Which reminds me, I've been chewing a bit on your observation about noise last week, how adding it just makes things worse. I don't think that's quite true (though certainly it was in the sense you meant). Sometimes, things suffer from an excess of clarity - think the added layers of makeup needed by actors and newscasters to account for the cruel detailing of HDTV, which has an unfortunate tendency to show what would not be seen by someone standing right next to one. Or how CGI is often obvious because it is too visually clean in comparison to reality.

Musically speaking, I'm thinking of adaptations of old records, that seek to remove not just some of the scratchiness to make it clearer and richer, but rather all of the "noise," which somehow takes a bit of the warmth away as well.

12/21/2015 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

The new biography of Sam Phillips, the man who discovered and recorded Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Howlin Wolf, and others, is excellent. He hated perfection, but rather, was always going for "perfect imperfection."

As to remastering, you can't really pay attention to the sound quality per se, but to the effect on your soul. In other words, the remastering needs to be in service to a deeper communication. I haven't actually heard the new Astral Weeks, I only know that the existing one was pretty deficient, being that it was 30 years old and didn't even use the original tapes.

The new remix of Beatles One is pretty amazing. It definitely breaths more life into the music, without making it at all clinical or lifeless.

12/21/2015 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In the early days of CD remastering they applied "noise reduction" to get rid of high frequency "imperfections," but that definitely drained the life out of the music. They don't do that anymore.

12/21/2015 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger swiftone said...

Noise and busy are fine in their correct dosage. They get me through the dark season. What I've missed in this year's Christmas is the Wonder of O stepping smack into the middle of HiStory. Can't get enough of that. Awesome! Truth is not a cold abstraction, but chose to wear flesh. Justice is only approximated herebelow. Beauty can smack me up side o' the head when selections of the Messiah end in a rousing rerun of " Halleluia!" Contents may settle in shipping. But the air in the top of the box may be a quiet place to dwell for a moment.

12/21/2015 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

It's definitely an art; I suppose with enough practice, they had to get better eventually. Let's just hope the remasterers never go through a postmodern phase where the goal is to make everything uglier...

12/21/2015 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Hi, DLoye!

12/21/2015 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

It's funny you mention perfect imperfection. I think that's how I use to describe the women I was attracted to. Never flawless inside and out, but perfect in their own way. I'm still looking Mrs. Perfect Imperfection though :).

12/21/2015 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Great music suggestions! I was all over Astral Weeks recently. I should check the reissue. I know I'm a little more current with music tastes than you Bob, so maybe I can turn you on to some things that came out this year also. I'm a big fan of Sufjan Stevens. His album Carrie & Lowell was beautifully haunting. Check out Fourth of July to get a sample. I also really enjoyed Alabama Shakes and Courtney Barnett this year.

12/21/2015 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger katzxy said...

Wishing you and all the OC community a blessed Christmas.

12/21/2015 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie said: "Sometimes, things suffer from an excess of clarity.."

It could just be me old eyes, but the "objects" in older movies (film) just seem less distracting thank new movies (digital). But I don't just mean the move from analog to digital. Today's movies seem too scripted or too detailed -- every pixel is polished. You can look anywhere you like in a frame because every thing is treated the same -- epic! Too storyboared.
Music today: likewise.

12/21/2015 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van Harvey said...

Rick said "You can look anywhere you like in a frame because every thing is treated the same -- epic!"

I think that has more to do with their not having an understanding of theme and principle - they throw everything in that they can think of, because they don't have any way of knowing what should be left out.

But that's more clutter than clarity.

12/21/2015 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Since this is Open Thread Monday:

I finally finished that book: The Great Christ Comet

It's a staggering piece of work (the research), and I think 400 pages. But a case of 100 pages would have done it. Every point (good points) are made 4 times. Every chapter begins with a section on what the chapter is going to be about. Each chapter ends with a summary. I lasted 200 pages and by then he had taught me how to skim. Too bad -- there are some interesting insights.

The big semi-spoiler (for me, anyway) apart from the comet story fleshed out and how it probably looked and what the magi were thinking and doing about it:

The author (claims) to have solved the date of the birth of Christ because it is recorded as a celestial event in Rev 12. He simply used astrological software to "rewind the film" of the heavens until the objects are arranged as described in the scripture.
Pretty neat to think the answer is "right up there" in The Record. All the time. Right now. It's right there.

12/21/2015 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger ted said...

Just as any good philosophy has cracks in its foundation, any cultural wasteland can have light between the dregs.

12/21/2015 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Rick, I have to say I was biting my tongue - er, holding back my fingers - when you first talked about that book, since the magi is what my new book (ahem) is about, too. Just one of those coonincidences, I guess...

As to old movies, it used to be that they added a softening filter - either a piece of gauze over the lens, or even a smear of petroleum jelly - when filming closeups of females, in order to bestow a more ethereal appearance.

12/21/2015 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

I have about every track laid down by Van Morrison on my computer at work. It's such great music to work by because, while his music is more "live!" than many live concerts, it is a supplement to my attention span. I found I cannot play classical music and concentrate, nor too much pure jazz, as they both are so full of jokes and obscurities that are delicious to suss out with my brain that I find I wander after the math of them and forget my task at hand. Van Morrison's music is like the Spirit to the Law. It's his "noisy" voice that relaxes the structures and bends the rules.

A government job needs the Slack to balance out the stress of fake slack all around me.

12/21/2015 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Merry Christmas!

12/21/2015 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

I am going to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra the day after Christmas. Not really my kind of music. I will listen to this on the way up.

12/21/2015 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Julie, you said "when filming closeups of females."

You mean... when females was women.

And congrats on the book!

12/21/2015 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. females vs. women, yes. And the males were most definitely men.

12/21/2015 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

And thanks re. the book :)

12/21/2015 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Leslie Godwin said...

Just got book. Congratulations, Julie! I'll leave a review on Amazon asap. Will read with Tristan as soon as WWE Slammy's are over :) That is wonderful that you have it out in time for Christmas, and I hope it is becomes a classic for the season!

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year. God bless all you raccoons, and newcomers, keep reading. It will all make sense in a few months.

Mrs. G

12/21/2015 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks, Leslie! I hope you and Tristan enjoyed it - the kid test is always the hardest :D

12/22/2015 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger swiftone said...

I'm delighted with the kindle version. I plan to share it with the granddaughters.

12/22/2015 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Thanks! You are the first person to order the Kindle version. I'm very glad you like it :D

12/22/2015 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Hmmmm. Is this the last post before Christmas? Well, if it is, Merry Christmas all you Coonrades! If not, I'll just wish you a Merry Christmas again.

12/22/2015 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger John Lien said...

Ok, true Christmas feel-good story. This morning my wife and I were grumbling about approximately when America went all pear shaped. She said it was 1975 because that is when a student in her class, a Unitarian, complained to the high school that Christmas carols were offending his Unit, or something, and so the religious carols were banned. Which is too bad because the German club put on an especially good shew.

So my wife decides to see if she can find ol' Grincy the Unitarian on Facebook. She did. He is apparently an Evangelical Christian, his Facebook photo has him proudly draped with a Redskins blanket, and he is a Ben Carson supporter. So, YEA! Made us quite happy to know. (and kind of made us feel a little ashamed for ragging on him like that.)

12/22/2015 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Merry Christmas to you all! A new year is coming..

12/24/2015 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Merry Christmas dear Raccoons!

12/25/2015 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

Merry Christmas, a day late.
Timing was never my strong point when it comes to dates. but was everything when I played the drums or bass for a band.

I suppose I'll be late for my own funeral, (I hope).

aka, Dougman

12/26/2015 05:31:00 AM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

My traditional music was sprinkled with some KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, Dobie Gray, Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers, Elvis,...I'm a case study for the ages I guess.

12/26/2015 05:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Popemobile1776 said...

A Solution to the Problem of the Universals

A universal reflex idea (an idea prescinded from its individuating notes, like our mathematical concept of the circle), which is a universal limited to our past experiences, is equivalent to a mathematical variable.

The perception of fixed states instead of changeable variability is the origin of the universals proper.

To say that a universal proper exists is to say that an experience, whether from the past or in the future, has, will have, or would have, been able to cause a universal reflex idea (mathematical variable) to be abstracted (for certain notes to be focused on and others to be ignored, so as to generate a vague idea), one which is similar to the universal proper asserted (except for being limited to our past experiences).

Because strictly speaking induction is a fallacy (and cannot with absolute reliability predict the future), universals appear to be a fallacy. But if universals are a fallacy, they are a fallacy only insofar induction is a fallacy, i.e., practically speaking, not at all.

Therefore universals proper do exist (as certain knowledge of what the future will be like, or of what the past in retrospect will seem like), at least to the extent that scientific knowledge (which is all deduced form induction) exists.

//*See “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything” by Joshua Foer, in which is contained an account of the psychology behind the sort of person who cannot or who at least has difficulty conceiving of universals. For a scholastic precedent, I believe somewhere in Suarez universals are called the “manes” or “ghosts,” which would confirm this objective psychological account of a failure to conceive universals with the subjective psychological account of someone who can. //

12/27/2015 07:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Popemobile1776 said...

Hi, I believe my name is Playmobile. Glad to meet you guys.

12/27/2015 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Playmobile said...

Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy Common Era New Year!

12/27/2015 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

Merry Christmas, except to his haughtiness Obama the first, emperor and admiral general .

Worth checking out a guy who fights and wins against rabid SJWs: mike cernovich of the blog " danger and play" .

12/27/2015 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger doug saxum said...

Playmobile and Jules,

What is some of your favorite music?

12/28/2015 05:34:00 AM  

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