September 27, 2005

Harmonica Solo [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at September 27, 2005 5:29 PM

Looks like another busy week for me; I may not get the chance to post roadtrip pictures until the weekend (or later). ("Busy" in this instance entails things like seeing The New Pornographers in concert and going to the opening of Serenity.)

Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Vol. 1: My brother got me watching these while on the road. This is of course Cartoon Network's show detailing the exploits of former superhero Birdman, who has become a lawyer representing various other Hanna-Barbera characters. One episode has the Scooby-Doo gang fighting marijuana charges, while another has Fred Flintstone as a Mafia don, complete with a Bedrock-style parody of the Sopranos opening. The episodes are consistently hilarious, not just from the parodic aspects but from absurdist twists and lightning-fast sight gags. As an added bonus, The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert does some of the voices.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Howl: I had a number of reasons to be skeptical of this album: I thought their previous effort, Take Them On, On Their Own, was mediocre; I kept seeing mixed reviews of Howl; and of course for them to call the album Howl is a bit pretentious. But, it's actually really good! It's a total departure from their previous sound (which was rock in the manner of Jesus and Mary Chain) to an acoustic blend of folk, blues, and gospel styles. Yes, the lyrics are mostly (in the words of one reviewer) "prison and Jesus", and yes, one song features a harmonica solo. But it's all really well-done, and the new sound suits the band much better than their old one. "Ain't No Easy Way" alone is probably worth the price of the album.

Howl's album cover is designed to look like an old LP cover (complete with a meaningless "Side 1/Side 2" division). Unfortunately, this artwork is marred by a big ugly copyright notice informing the buyer that, when inserted into a Windows machine, the CD would only be playable by the accursed Windows Media Player. I discovered this only after I had paid for the CD and was quite annoyed until I put it in my computer and learned that I had inadvertently defeated the copy-protection by having CD Autoplay turned off. Then it was just kind of funny.

I have a backlog of music to review so maybe I'll do another music post later in the week.

Tags: Music, Open Thread, Television

That cartoon sounds very funny.

Posted by: Mason | September 27, 2005 6:07 PM

You say it like it's a bad thing, dude--harmonica solos KICK ASS. Superficially it might seem like a really simple insturment, but when you listen closely it retains some of the elements of the vocal expression of the player, much like the kazoo.

Posted by: Lemming | September 27, 2005 7:14 PM

I went to a cafe today (Kerouac cafe) in which I ordered a "blended Kurt Vonnegut to go." Sometimes I am easily amused. The drink is pretty good---milk, ice, orange and rasberry extracts, and a shot of espresso blended together. The way we get to order it is especially cool. :)

The workshop I am attending is on phylogenetics and its connections with math and cs. One talk today had an intro slide about the Church of the FSM. I instantly gained a lot of respect for the guy who did that. Also, since some kind of evolution has been germane to just about every talk, it did not surprise me at all when somebody took a pictorial shot at Bush (the slide used primate evolution as an example). I love evolutionary biologists. :)

Posted by: Mason | September 28, 2005 4:10 PM

As I recall, Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law is mostly done by the same people that did Space Ghost, Coast to Coast. I could be mistaken though. I should check IMDB or something.

Posted by: Mike^2 | September 28, 2005 4:35 PM

Seen in a Slashdot story summary about the failure of the Do Not Call Registry:

"More than half of registered consumers say they're still getting unwanted calls, according to a recent phone survey."

What confuses me is the half of respondents who responded to the random telephone survey saying they aren't getting any unwanted calls.

Posted by: Lanth | September 29, 2005 1:09 AM

Yeah Lanth, caught that too. In addition, anyone know the rough percentage of the general populace that flat out don't use a land-line, or perhaps at least screen it, etc? I'm guessing it might be fairly small, but I've not had a phone plugged into mine for over a year.

Posted by: Lemming | September 29, 2005 10:19 AM

My experience with the donotcall registry has actually been pretty good. I wouldn't say the calls went to null, but they were reduced considerably. With one or two exceptions, they were always from organizations who I believe are exempt. (I remember reading when I first signed up for it which class of organizations were exempt, but I don't remember any precise stuff now.) For example, I kept getting call from Atlanta's police department (or some police organization in Georgia) because they were exempt. (Not that there aren't other reasons they might be calling me, but let's ignore that for now.)

Not to jinx myself, but I've gotten other organizations to actually stop calling me. (When the Pasadena Fire Department called me at 8am to ask me for money, I was not at my kindest in my response. The next time they called me, I very pointedly told them not to call me anymore, and they have complied thus far---which could very well just be luck, but I have my fingers crossed.)

Also, I remember reading something about spam calls for cell phones now, so that people will have to put those numbers on the do not call registry to (in theory) prevent the same nastiness there.

Posted by: Mason Porter | September 29, 2005 2:41 PM

I am too ashamed to post this to the main page, but you guys may be amused to go to Google, type pretentious music into the search box, and hit I'm Feeling Lucky.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | September 29, 2005 10:29 PM

That rules! I approve!

My web page only got up to 3rd for 'sarcastic words of wisdom'.

Posted by: Mason | October 1, 2005 10:15 AM
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