October 15, 2007

Catching up on Music

Lately I haven't been listening to very much music.  I've been busy with work, then last week I caught a cold and was sick all week.  I still came into work, but left pretty early and slept a lot.  I'm finally just about over that, but work has gotten busy again as I have to prepare a talk for the TREC conference early next month, and there isn't much time to coordinate with my supervisor about it.  I also sprained my ankle a week ago, and haven't been running since then.  Usually I listen to some music while I run, so I've been missing out on my usual music listening opportunities.

Radiohead

I just bought Radiohead's "In Rainbows", but haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.  (Well, I'm listening to it now.)  I think it is great that they are distributing their music themselves, and love the "pick your price model".  I thought I would pay about $7 or $8, but ended up paying 5 pounds plus their processing fee, and who knows how much that is in American dollars.  Maybe something like $13?  It is a bit more than I wanted to pay, but I completely support their move to a new business model for self-distribution.  I should mention that another favorite band of mine, Bishop Allen, also sells their stuff on their own website for very reasonable amounts. 

Inspired by Radiohead

One group that I've been keeping my eyes on, Hard 'N Phirm, has a new post on their website where they are distributing for free two songs of theirs that are Radiohead inspired: "Fitter, Clappier" (not so great, but worth a listen for the price) and "Rodeohead", which is very nice.  A kind of blues-grass Radiohead montage.  More than that you, you really should check out the video for their song "Pi".  The Youtube clip is below.  I think it is hilarious and a great parody of the 80s style "Electric Company" edumacational TV shows. 



Flight of the Conchords

Not too long after finding that Pi video (forwarded on by someone) I heard about Flight of the Conchords from the Hard N' Phirm guys.  I have their website's RSS feed in my feed reader, and it popped up one day and said I should check out the HBO show "Flight of the Conchords".  So I did, and I thought it was hilarious.  I thought it was great, and that my little sister would love it.  She always seems to hang out with people that are cool, but are somehow cool in spite of themselves, with a bit of a nerdy flavor.  That kind of describes the Flight of the Conchords guys pretty well, I think.  (Contrast this with myself: I am definitely nerdy, but have not even been able to attain the geek-chic style that has somehow popped up.  I just land squarely in the "geek" demographic.)  Since I thought Jana would like this stuff so much, I bought her the DVD for her birthday.  Sadly, her birthday is in October, and the DVD isn't shipped until sometime in November, but as long as she doesn't read this website she'll still be surprised.  Who expects a birthday present a month late?  (Outside of my sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends?)

For your enjoyment, I recommend that you check out the Flight of the Conchords song Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros.  It is very funny.  It is also probably findable on Youtube. 

Say Hi

Another group that I absolutely adore, Say Hi To Your Mom, recently changed their name to the shorter "Say Hi", and put out their newest album, "The Wishes and the Glitch".  The album is supposed to be released on Feb. 5th, but if you are up on the interweb stuff you can order it from their website and get it now.  It is a mere $7 for the digital download, which is I think a bit inaccurately named as the "Immediate Digital Download" because I ordered two hours ago but haven't received any download instructions yet.  I suppose they will show up within a day or so, but that doesn't quite fit my description of "Immediate".  More like, rapid.  According to the FAQ, you should get the link for the download from 12-24 hours after your order, or on Monday if you hit them up over the weekend.  I guess that means that they have a human approving the process somehow, which kind of baffles me since you really can automate the whole process.  It is kind of rapid I guess, but not nearly what I would call "Immediate".

Still, I'm a huge Say Hi fan, I absolutely love their 2004 album "Numbers and Mumbles", and like their other stuff as well.  I'm really excited to listen to the new one - even more than the new Radiohead album.  With Radiohead, I expect a good album.  With Say Hi, I expected something that could be only good, but might possibly be mind-blowing, or at least has a very good chance of being very specific to me and my life.  What I mean is that I can sometimes very strongly identify with Say Hi's music in a way that the more large-issue, big-world, Radiohead stuff doesn't reach me. 

Radiohead will not sing about being a 13-year-old kid hanging out with your friends dreaming of robots and spaceships.  Say Hi very well might.  Or he might have a song about falling in love with a girl, and then falling out of love with that girl, but not wanting to face it, and wanting to talk about spaceships instead of the relationship.  Sometimes I misunderstand and relate so poorly to women that I don't understand why a conversation about spaceship design would be a bad thing when we should be talking about failings in communication about our relationship. 

I really like the range that can come out of Say Hi.  Of course, not everything is gold, but I think having valleys to go along with your peaks makes life more interesting.





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