Thank you, President Barack Obama, for the last eight years. I and many other Americans wish you the best as you transition to back to normal-ish citizen life, and although I’m sad that you will no longer be president, I am excited to see what you and your family will do next.
Here are some things that caught my attention this past week that you might enjoy as well.
Stan Getz’s Jazz Samba Encore! and Johnny Patience’s California Dreaming photos
Jazz Samba Encore! is probably the greatest album I’ve ever heard for instantly curing winter blues. Germany gets very dark, cold and wet in the winter, and I’ve always been affected by seasonal depression.
Enter Stan Getz, and it’s an instant transformation. A grey day seems light and breezy, and the grey days shift to light pastels in my inner eye. Combine this with looking at the beautiful film photo set called “California Dreaming” from Johnny Patience, and it’s a great way to brighten up your inner world.
“Samba de Duas Notas” and “Menina Flor” are particular favorites, though the whole album is terrific.
Lead Poison by Elzhi
I heard the track “Two 16’s” as the final selection on the Mr. Choc Takeaway Abstract Radio episode, and I was immediately taken. It’s hard for me to speak intelligently about hip hop, but the backup tracks are musically engaging in their own right, and the lyrics are adventurous and self-aware.
The whole album is strong, but I keep returning to a few tracks. The first track “Medicine Man” is a startlingly strong argument for creativity as the answer to inner turmoil. “Two 16s” has backup vocals that might trick you into thinking the subject is lighter than it actually is. “She Sucks” is, cough cough, not what you might think it’s about, and there’s something about horror-themed tracks that I find really fun. There may also be some commentary on addiction in it as well. Also be sure to check out “Introverted”, “CoSIGN” and “Keep Dreaming”, which is both confrontational and inspirational.
Yes, there are some explicit words on this album, though not every track earns an “Explicit” warning.
Kirk McElhearn writes:
unCLASSIFIED, an affiliate of the Naxos Music Group, a large independent classical record label and distributor, creates playlists. They’ve been doing this for Spotify for a while, and they are now on Apple Music…
As the description says, whether you “need a soundtrack for studying…” As if there aren’t any other reasons to listen to classical music. Oh, wait, there are: there is “Serenity Now,” because classical music is “serene.” Or classical music for running, because, I don’t know, you run better with Mozart? And Supper Club, so you can seduce your date with some subtle Bach playing in the bachground.
I’d suggest that it’s marginally better on Spotify simply because public playlists on Apple Music are completely under their official curators’ control. Which is too bad since Apple Music has actually made some terrific improvements for classical organization. I’d love to see better playlists and even a Beats 1 classical show.
That last bit might just be pie in the sky wishful thinking, but their other shows are often excellent, and seeing classical get the same treatment would be a delight.
Link: Here’s What’s Wrong with Classical Music on Streaming Services (Part Whatever)
In the past few months, a lot has been happening.
My wife and I have moved into a new apartment, and in Germany that requires a remarkable amount of effort. Things like cabinets, window dressings and so on are installed by the renter, so that’s occupied a lot of my attention. Only in the past couple of weeks does it feel like we’re really in, even though we’ve been here officially since the beginning of March.
Email Sub-Weirdness S’more
Simultaneously, the service that’s been providing the email subscriptions on this website has just been awful. It had been sending repeat emails of old posts, and then finally it just stopped. The service is called Feedburner, and it’s a service that Google doesn’t really want to support anymore, so when it breaks, there’s no real recourse other than doing rain dances and hoping it starts working again.
I think, I think that I’ve fixed it by changing how emails are sent out, but honestly, this is just hard for me. I know a lot since I’ve been doing this website for longer than I care to add up right now, but it’s not my profession, so I just didn’t know how to move forward here in way that was mostly seamless and didn’t cost me a lot (or anything really, since I basically make nothing from this website).
Email subscribers shouldn’t notice anything. For folks subscribed via RSS, I strongly suggest that you subscribe to this feed:
The Feedburner feed should keep working for the time being, but I have no idea when it will shut off. It may be years. Nevertheless, I cannot move your RSS subscription for you.
This problem has been vexing me so much that’s it’s caused me to abort any writing attempts, it just felt like a knot that I didn’t know how to untie.
Nevertheless, there were some posts that weren’t sent out via email, and maybe you’d be interested in reading them. Here are the posts that aren’t just updates about performances I was doing:
I think those four are enough for now if you’re interested. I’m proud of them and hope you enjoy them.
Hitting Publish now. I hope this works.
For those of you who have subscribed to my site via email, you might have noticed that you’ve been receiving old posts multiple times. I’m aware of the problem, and I’m trying to fix it, but I’m sorry if you’ve felt in any way spammed by this stuff. It’s not intentional, and I’ll figure it out.