Just keep writing, October 16, 2017

I watched pal Drew Yeaton work in Ableton briefly and it was pretty incredible. He laid down a keyboard and drums beat, fixed up all the off-beat stuff, and proceeded to tinker with his myriad of synthesizers and effects rack with speed. I had no idea what his hands were doing as he moved from MIDI keyboards, mouse, and computer keyboard like a blur. Seems pretty cool!

I talked myself into and out of porting this website to Jekyll three times over the past week. Hence, the writing dropped off, which is silly because I just blogged about not tinkering with blog tools in the last month. WordPress.com doesn’t quite do the things I want it to and its syntax highlighting is keeping the dream of the nineties alive. I’m writing these short form bits in lieu of a sidebar thing for now. No idea how I’ll make do with the code highlighting.

The Good Place is an amazing show. Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, and the rest of the cast are fantastic. There is an amazing-for-a-comedy twist. Do not read the internet until you watch the first season of this show. It’s just started season two, get on board now!

Fun

Cannonball Adderley:

It’s called “Fun”. F-U-N, fun. That’s something you can do, when everything is mellow.

Here’s to mellow times. Seemed appropriate for a Friday.

The mystery of good art

The trick about good art is that it has some mystery, an unknown. The problem is that if you get too close to the art, you risk unraveling the mystery. If you deconstruct it, engage it, or study it, the unknown becomes known. Thus, if I really enjoy a song (in particular), movie, etc. I stay away from taking it apart to see how it works. I’d rather enjoy it for a long time.


I have this problem where I over-listen to an album. It started in my teenage years. I learned all the bass-lines for Pearl Jam’s _Ten_. After that, I couldn’t listen to the album for ten years; I knew all the secrets, all the interesting bits. Rewind a year ago, and The Who’s _Live At Leeds_ was my jam. Now, I can’t listen to it.

But I’ve been very rigorous about listening to Bruce Springteen’s _Born To Run_. It is such a perfect piece that I only allow myself to listen to it once a month[1]. No more. Similarly, I won’t let myself learn to play any of the songs on the guitar. I want to maintain that mystery.


I wonder if there is other art like this. Could you get overexposed to a Mondrian painting or a Hemingway book? Even with works that are more popular in their sensibilities, is it possible? Is there such a thing as too much _Starry Night_ or _Ghostbusters_?[2]

The bottom line: enjoy good art, but take care not to over-enjoy it.

fn1. I even feel like I’m cheating if I listen to Born To Run in anything but album-form. To hear “Thunder Road” or “Jungleland” by itself feels incomplete, like I’m missing something.

fn2. Yes, I just put these on the same level, even though I’m not much of a van Gogh aficionado.

Last.fm's shame aggregator

Most Unwanted Scrobbles – Last.fm aggregates the tracks and artists that people don’t want the internet-at-large to know they listen to. Britney Spears appears twice in the top five songs, along with Nelly Furtado, Amy Winehouse and Avril Lavigne. The Beatles, Radiohead, Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne are the top 5 arists (along with Unknown.)

So I guess Last.fm users are just too damn cool to admit to some of their tastes. Me, I’m fine with letting you know I listened to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s _Mack Daddy_ in its entirety this week.