February 21, 2006

Who is Scout Niblett?

As it happens, Scout Niblett was only known to me, for the past two weeks, as the name of someone who appeared on a poster next to the elevator on the ground floor of our building. Every day, I walked past the poster for Scout Niblett's upcoming performance/appearance (Feb 25, for those keeping track), and every day, I mused to myself on the name Scout Niblett, accurately (as it turned out) making the connection to the character from To Kill a Mockingbird and inaccurately (as it turned out) connecting it vaguely to Green Giant Corn Niblets.

Every day, for two weeks, I walked upstairs, having seen the poster, sometimes several times a day, mentally vowing to actually look up Scout Niblett on-line, so that I might sort these and other associations. Every day, that vow lasted only approximately as long as it took me to reach the top of the stairs, supplanted by other, presumably more important, activities.

You would be entirely justified in wondering: if it takes him two whole weeks just to look up some random singer on the Internet, how much longer do matters of consequence require?

I'm just saying, you'd be justified.

July 31, 2006

Rhythm and Bass

Nobody asks me about how one should go about tackling large writing projects (such as the major revision of a book manuscript), and with good reason. I remember when I first began teaching writing, back in the Middle Ages, and one of the things that I talked with students about was the perfectly acceptable idiosyncracy of each person's writing process. Me? It's generally easier for me to write barefoot, for example. And there are certain types of music that I wouldn't otherwise listen to (really fast, fairly monotonous dance, for example) that seems to help.

Even though I advise people not to fall in love with their quirks, to the point where they are unable to write without fulfilling some arcane combination of steps, I must admit that my own romance with my procedural preferences continues unabated this summer. I've undoubtedly mentioned before that I'm best suited for a planet that rotates slower than our own does--for whatever reasons, I am consistently able to be awake for 18 hours and to sleep for 8. Unfortunately, this does not add up to 24, and so my waking/sleeping times slowly cycle through small issues like it being light or dark when I bed down or wake up. Were I able to simply move 2 time zones to the east each day of my life, I would be on a regular schedule. It takes me a little while to rev up my writing, but once I'm on a 26-hour schedule, and up to speed, I'm capable of really grinding it out--roughly 50 pages or so in less than 2 weeks, for example. Not earth-shattering, but bear in mind that I'm also just working for a pace that I can maintain.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that I've managed the latest version of my annual mix disks. Actually, there's a year missing, 2005, that owes its absence to a long ugly story of monitor crashes and stupidity on my part. I may try to recreate 2005, but probably not. I'll just tell people that there was no music released that year.

As I've mentioned before, I often feel compelled to apologize for the limits of my taste when it comes to music. Increasingly, I'm alternapop, with a little world, electronic, and obscure added in. If anyone's interested in having me burn this for them, drop me a note or leave a comment. Trades are encouraged, but certainly not required.

That is all. Happy Monday.

my 2006 mix

October 31, 2006

Nouvelle Nouvelle Vague

For the past year or so, I've been recommending to anyone who will listen the first album from Nouvelle Vague, a band from France that renders 80s music into bossa nova. Turns out that there's a new album out now, with covers of, among others, the Cramps, Bauhaus, U2, Blondie, and the Cure.

That'd be me rushing over to the iTunes store.

[via Cool Hunting]

January 15, 2008

new year = new mix

With the timely demise of MMVII, I figured it was time to tidy up my playlist of songs from the last year, and burn them to a disc. As you may recall, this is an annual ritual of mine, where I trot my increasingly-it-seems-more-inclined-towards-indiepop musical tastes for friends and enemies alike to see. This year's mix went on a test drive with me to Iowa over the holidays, and after a few tweaks, I have deemed it suitable for sharing:

the playlist for my 2007 mix

Officially, I'd like to encourage everyone to go out and purchase each of the CDs upon which these songs appear, to assemble your own parallel playlist in a legally acquired copy of iTunes, and to burn it on a blank CD for private use only. Or you could just leave a comment and/or drop me an email.

As in past years, these aren't all songs released over the past calendar year--that's just when I happened to start listening to them. And no apologies for the fact that my tastes are different from yours--that's the risk you run. And just so's we're clear:

a panel from Cat & Girl

That's all.