Gentle Hum

I’m not a true Neil Finn fanatic. I didn’t discover Crowded House until well after Don’t Dream It’s Over, and I hadn’t even heard a Split Enz song until this year. But Crowded House is still one of my favorite Australian bands…which, granted, doesn’t say much.

So when the Finn Brothers released Everyone Is Here last year I didn’t really question it’s quality before buying it. I probably should have. It’s not nearly as good as everything else they’ve done.

And then Gentle Hum (iTunes link) comes on. It’s the album closer and it’s such a beautiful song that it redeems the whole album. I’ve been racking my brain trying to interpret it. I’m terrible at this.

This bird has to sing My heart has to follow A man with no soul Is wooden and hollow

This gentle hum Is just begun This gentle hum Make us one

My wish is for you An end to your sorrow And if it comes true You’ll wake up tomorrow Alone

With a gentle hum Is just begun This gentle hum Will make us one

There For anyone who cares Solemn faces in the courtroom stare

And this gentle hum Will wake up tomorrow

With a gentle hum This gentle hum

This gentle hum Will make us one This gentle hum Is just begun

This gentle hum, coming up from before Find a loving feeling, inside This gentle hum, bringing it back to me Find a loving feeling, in your life

First off, what is the hum? I think that it’s the sound of a muted TV. This married couple is unhappy. They fall asleep in the same bed watching the same TV. They don’t have sex. So, one of the people in the couple (let’s say the dude) cuts through the bullshit and says “Hey, we’re both unhappy. We come home from work everyday, have dinner, and fall asleep with Jay Leno on the TV. Falling asleep to Jay Leno is NOT THE WAY TO LIVE!” The woman says “I agree…I hate Leno. Conan is way better, but we’re both asleep by the time he comes on.” In unison: LET’S GET A DIVORCE!!!

OR, maybe the hum is a life support machine in a hospital. One person loves the other that’s on life support (maybe this person is in a coma, or is like Terri Schiavo) but can’t take it anymore and decides to leave the hospitalized person in the past.

I’m really terrible at song interps.

Is Freddy Mercury a Homosexual?

Dan: Hey, can you send me your paper on Queen, i’m curious Jen: not right now, it’s on my computer, which is not hooked up Jen: this is my mom’s computer Dan: Is freddy mercury a homosexual? Jen: he was pretty damn bisexual Dan: does that fit into the operatic themes? Jen: his mixed male/female image does Dan: Like did you write something like “And this song ends with a half cadence, probably because Freddy Mercury was gay.” Jen: yes, i wrote that several times Dan: what did lynn think of that? Jen: she loved it Jen: “great insight, jen!”

Birthday wish list 2005

My birthday is on Sunday, so I had to quickly create a list of things for people to buy me. Here’s what I came up with:

Dan’s Birthday List 2005 Version 1.0

Clothes • I need boxer shorts • Anything that looks nice is fine too

Books • Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter – Steven Johnson • Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Creativity – Lawrence Lessig • The Cult of Mac – Leander Kahney

Music • Steve Reich – 1965-1995 (Box Set) • Gorillaz – Demon Days • Everlasting Blink – Bent • M83 – Before The Dawn Heals Us • Populous – Queue For Love

DVD • Da Ali G Show – Seasons 1 and 2 • Shaun of the Dead

Xbox • Doom 3 • Star Wars Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy • Sonic Mega Collection Plus • Midway Arcade Treasures 2 • Counter-Strike

A Diamond in the Rough

Once in a while I happen upon an album that I’ve never heard of before that after listening to it I wondered how I managed to get by without it. Last year’s album was Naomi’s – Pappallallee. This year it’s R√∂yksopp’s – Melody A.M. It’s been out since 2002…2005 is nearly halfway over and I’m finally getting to it.

Just passing on good news.

Franchised Restaurants Make Franchised People

I drove my sister to get her car today after work because it was being serviced. Afterwards we went to Uno’s for dinner; her treat.

As we walked to the entrance it occurred to me how eery it is that these franchises are the same. It’s not that they have the same menus and the same general look throughout the country.

They all have the same customers.

Out of the entrance came an older man who slowly walked to his car parked right next to the door. A family got out of a minivan to enjoy the splendor of Chicago deep dish pizza. Maybe they just finished stopping at the Walmart across the street.

We sat down at a table next to a woman and her pre-teen son. She was large…obese. She was the norm.

What are the figures these days? 65% or so of the American population is fat. That’s right, FAT. We’re mostly huge, behemoth people.

Not to say that places like Uno’s that charge $8 for a pile of greasy dough topped with cheese and meat are to blame, but the availability of cheap and quick food surely has contributed to the epidemic.

My sister was halfway through her salad when she said “There’s too much dressing on this…it’s disgusting.” At which I almost responded “yeah, they serve big things here.” But looking at this woman I held my tongue to avoid the double entendre.

I don’t see how anyone can rationalize this kind of diet as normal. The reason that we’re so unhealthy is because we don’t have enough greens on our plates. We are of a school of thought that thinks “I didn’t fight my way up the food chain just to eat carrots.”

You didn’t. We’ve been up at the top of the food chain for quite some time. If you were born in the last thousand years you probably did very little to earn the right to not eat vegetables. Primitive man’s diet consisted of meat because they didn’t have the knowledge to grow anything, and even then it was in moderation, and they got plenty of exercise.

Our culture today is vastly different. If we want a chicken leg we don’t have to work to raise a healthy chicken and then kill it. We pay money for them at a grocery store, and even then the conditions that the animal was raised in are questionable. We don’t run through the wild to kill a boar. We don’t spend all day looking for berries. Today, we pay illegal immigrants to do that stuff.

Is there really a fat gene, or is it really that the bad eating habits of parents get transferred to their offspring?

If You’re The Office DJ, You Have a Responsibility

My sister Theresa uses the only computer in our office that has speakers attached to it. This means that she has pretty much complete control over what we listen to, and it’s usually hippy Grateful Dead type stuff or what I’ve dubbed “Chicks with Guitars.” Although she likes guys with guitars too.

I don’t mind the music much, but what is kind of a problem is the variety. People don’t tend to bring in their own CDs very much, so we end up listening to the same music over and over again. For example, one person has a mix CD with Heart’s Crazy On You, and it drives me up the wall. We’ve probably listened to it 10-15 times since last Monday. I’ve told Theresa that if I have to listen to that song again during the afternoon stretch that I’m going to have to hurt somebody.

Dun, dun dun dun dun dun DUNNN!!! Crazyyy on You! Crayaiaizy on YOooououuoooOOHHhhhh!!!

AHH!!!! STOP!

If you’re the office DJ you have a civic duty to prevent this kind of stuff from happening. It is your job to play a variety of tunes that drive and motivate people through the rest of the day. Repeating Heart throughout the week does nothing but convince me that this is what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life. Life is nothing but listening to Crazy On You on repeat. If that’s life, what is Hell?

On that note, Pink Floyd makes me fall asleep. It was always really interesting to me in High School that people who wanted to declare their individuality and be almost rebel like listened to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin…music that their parents listened to when they did the same thing at that age. I hope that that stops soon.

Sweeping generalizations make for easy blog writing.

Poor Andrew

Andrew was the victim of something I’ve never seen before in my life on Saturday night. I’ve never seen a man be sexually abused by a woman before.

Scott, Chris, Andrew and I decided to go for a drink at Maxfield’s. It was a nice night, so we went out on the deck that overlooks the water. Not 10 minutes out there a group of 30-45(?) year old women come out to enjoy themselves.

And Andrew.

For some reason, this group of older women had moved from one part of the deck to the table right next to ours. There, they interrupted our conversation of how to pronounce Jean-Paul Sarte’s name to ask Andrew to take a picture for them. The larger woman in blue who asked Andrew also started to rub his chest.

Andrew, being the pacifist that he is, was polite and obliged, but she came back for more, and rubbed him some more. “I have a girlfriend.” he said, pushing her arms off his body.

“Oh,” she interjected. “You know that if your buddies weren’t here you wouldn’t be saying anything!”

I don’t think so, drunky.

She persisted, and it eventually got to the point where Andrew was going “No, this is not cool!”

“Guess how old I am!” she demanded. At that point I went to get another drink…surely no good can come from this…nothing good comes from mixing women and age guessing.

“I have a 9 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old!”

Nice…very sexy. It’s like sitting down to a really mediocre bowl of soup and being told by the guy who prepared it that he sneezed right into it before he brought it out to the table.

And if that’s not bad enough, his best friends (me, Scott and Chris) did NOTHING to help him out! Scott’s laughing up a storm while Chris smiles. I go in to get a drink. Andrew was the lamb to the slaughter, although he tried to get out of the harassment by reminding these women of our presence.

Andrew: These three gentlemen next to me have no girlfriends! Unpleasant drunk woman 1: Oh, but we like you!!! Unpleasant drunk woman 2: We’re from New Orleans!

Of course, I try to help out by suggesting we go inside.

Me: Hey man…you think it’s cold out here? Chris: No, I’m quite alright. Me: No really. I’m quite chilly. Chris: Not me.

Either Chris was COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS that I was trying to help out Andrew or he really enjoyed the show so much that he’d subject Andrew to more torture.

My favorite part about Andrew being harassed that night was when one woman said “You’re being Punk’d!” To which Andrew replied, “What does that mean?!”

Obviously they don’t know Andrew very well.

I Tuned Up My Tiger

Ok, so Tiger isn’t as bad as I thought.

My apple loops are still around and after some cleaning up the system runs alot smoother now. In fact, I score 5 points higher with Xbench in Tiger than I did in Panther. Plus, the iTunes album art screensaver is really nice.

But I still haven’t been sold on Dashboard.

How does this happen?

I graduated back in December, but figured that if I walked it’d be good. It’d be good to have some closure.

That’s why it was a little disappointing to have to celebrate this transition of my life with grey skies and tons of rain.

But the thing that was the most irritating was some guy sitting behind me. He decided it’d be a good idea to get hammered during the commencement.

He sat down with an Aquafina bottled that was apparently filled with Vodka and wouldn’t shut…the…fuck…up. I’m all for having a good time, but goddamn, do you really have to do it in a way that disrupts everything else around you? Are you so important that your pleasure has to come from the discomfort of others?

The president of the college was leaving this semester and as he talked about his tenure there he got a little choked up. That’s alright. There’s nothing wrong with crying in public during something like that…but this guy behind me asked “Is that motherfucker crying?!!!”

What an ass. 4 (or more) years of higher education and the system still manages to churn out people like this. A complete lack of respect and tact.

I’m confident that this guy amounts to nothing and will amount to nothing in his future. He will have a shitty marriage because he’ll end up marrying someone as shallow as he is. He will have a shitty job because he lacks basic thought and courtesy…unless of course he was part of a Frat, and in that case he’ll get hooked up somewhere down the line.

Bear, GET OUT DA DAMN BATHROOM!

I went to the bathroom at work and I swore that the room smelt like honey, which left this visual image in my head of a bear having a desk job. It was dressed in a shirt and tie, and while his manager was away he snuck off to the bathroom with a honey pot.

He closed the bathroom door and wiped his brow. The bear licked his lips as he pulled out the honey from under his shirt. He moaned as he tasted his delicious honey, and then:

Manager: Bear?! Are you in there?! Bear: GRrrr…. Manager: Bear, you got a call on line 7! Bear: Growrrr!! Manger: Bear, this is your last warning! Bear: Rarr….

And that’s why it smelt like honey in the bathroom. It was honey or cigarettes…more likely cigarettes.

I Got Tiger Upercutted

I installed Tiger on my Powerbook yesterday (archive and install), and while I like having the newest things I do have some issues. • Spotlight will kill your pre-2003 Powerbook. It’s those 4200RPM drives. They really are the suck when it comes to this. • Airport reception is significantly down, although I’m going to try deleting some cache to get it going again. • Not as fast as expected and in general seems to bog down the system even more. • All my Apple Loops are gone! Well, the factory ones, and I can reinstall those from the Logic disk. • I haven’t been able to listen to music through my stereo because there are no drivers for the Firewire Audiophile that work with Tiger yet. Plus, when it doesn’t work the device constantly blinks, and I can’t turn it off because it’s the link to my firewire drive that I’ve placed underneath the desk because it’s loud. • Toast is now dead to/for me. No more burning iTunes Store files?

At work we got a new 20″ iMac…and I’m envious. It’s just SO MUCH SPACE! The display is nice and bright compared to the Powerbook. It’s also MUCH faster in general, and my Powerbook has twice the RAM. I’ve been telling myself that I won’t buy a new machine until I finish my album or until 10.5 comes out, and this makes the wait that much longer.

The Cost of Honors

When graduating college, one may be offered to purchase a special color cord that symbolizes academic achievement during his or her tenure at the school.

I find this to be quite ironic because it’s really another way for Josten’s to commercialize what should be an occasion that shouldn’t be marked with showy fabrics and academic bling-bling. But typically if one is qualified to receive such an honor like wearing the gold honors chord or the various other cords that represent how smart you are, they go for it. They go for it because these are the kinds of people who end up being professors who like how their voices sound.

And the more cords you’re awarded with, the more it adds up. I guess it’s the last resort to get money out of the people who got the most scholarships and therefore paid the least amount of money for an education. If you graduated cum laude and were in an honor society or two, expect to pay around $15 to show everyone how smart you are.

And in a way if you paid for all that stuff, it really shows everyone how dumb you are.

Procession Towards Learning Land

I’m staying at Scotty’s here for the weekend. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision to go home in the spring. I think I did. I’ve got some income going on and I’m on the way to starting the rest of my life in a relatively stress free and comfortable way.

But living at home has still been troublesome in some ways. I haven’t really kept in touch with my friends there and I don’t really have a musical outlet. I have my own projects, but it’s not the same as creating with other like-minded people.

And then there’s the fact that 21-30 year olds are mysteriously missing from the town, which may change in the future (one magazine called it “the new Lake Placid” or something like that.). Where did they all go? Maybe there weren’t really many to begin with.

Chris, Andrew, and I made a music video to a Tu-Pac song today. I’ll have to link to it when it goes online.

Episode III was quite good, at least compared to the other two. It still seems that the ending was a bit sloppy.

I saw some guy here that I was in a few classes with. He looked at me and shouted my name. I didn’t remember his name, so I reciprocated by waving my arms around like an idiot and watching for traffic so that I could cross the street.

Andrew’s begging me (and others) to move to Chicago with him. I hate Oprah.