Archive for November, 2005

Two Fifty

How many movies of IMDb‘s top 250 have you seen? allows you to create and track your list. As for me:

Teen Repellant

Aah the endless possibilities of disturbing air molecules:

The device, called the Mosquito (“It’s small and annoying,” Mr. Stapleton said), emits a high-frequency pulsing sound that, he says, can be heard by most people younger than 20 and almost no one older than 30. The sound is designed to so irritate young people that after several minutes, they cannot stand it and go away.

Shrub Trending

Ooooooh! Blue is my new favorite color.

Air Guitar

Be very, very afraid:

Aspiring rock gods can at last create their own guitar solos – without ever having to pick up a real instrument, thanks to a group of Finnish computer science students. The Virtual Air Guitar project, developed at the Helsinki University of Technology, adds genuine electric guitar sounds to the passionately played air guitar.


Pandora is a fun little project that creates a radiostation for you based on the artist/song you initially gave it. I typed in Frank Zappa upon which it started to play what it thinks is Zappa-related music and informed me that:

Based on what you’ve told us so far, we’re playing this track because it features a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, demanding instrumental part writing, mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation and a vocal-centric aesthetic.

Mild rhythmic syncopation, eh?


What’s the closest thing to Zappa these days? I would say Ween comes close. These guys fondly take the piss out of just about any musical genre — and they do so with admirable flamboyance. Case in point: 12 Golden Country Greats, which I purchased just this morning (lyrics!). Check ’em out if you hadn’t already. You will not regret it.

Begging The Question

Paul Sempschi says:

“Begs the question” is a logical phallacy whereby someone has created an argument based on his thesis (Eg. God has created the universe because the universe was created by God). “Begs the question” is not to cause one to ask further question. Sorry but it really, really bugs me when people abuse this phrase.

And look, he is entirely correct!

Stuttgart ’88 (1)

So we went to see the insanely talented Rufus Wainwright at the AB yesterday and a mighty grand time was had. Since I’m seriously lacking in caffeine at this time of the morning, I won’t go into the details — besides I have a sneaking suspicion you’re more interested in certain other things

Update: with thanks to Bert, here’s a photogallery of the FZ venue.

RIP Chris Whitley

It’s turning out to be a sad week for rock ‘n roll: Chris Whitley has died of lung cancer at age 45. Having seen him live a couple of times, Whitley’s feverous onstage energy never failed to amaze me — not to mention his unique way of playing the guitar. Some mp3’s are available to download here.

Help Michael Brecker: Get Tested

Back in August KUR reported how Michael Brecker had been diagnosed with MDS. Now it seems the initial search for a donor, including Michael’s siblings and children, has not resulted in a suitable match. In a remarkable effort, M-Audio is offering to pay for the testing of as many people as possible at any National Marrow Donor Program center. Let’s hope this gets a big response.

Bands And Authors

61 Bands and their corresponding Authors. Some good ones:

  • Kate Bush — James Joyce
  • The Beatles — Roald Dahl
  • Captain Beefheart — Allen Ginsburg
  • Green Day — Dan Brown
  • Steely Dan — Raymond Chandler
  • Yes — H.P. Lovecraft

… which of course begs the question: Frank Zappa — ? ? ?

Engrish Yes

Plastic models of Rick Wakeman’s keyboards, accompanied by some mysterious commentary:

Mini-Moog Synthsizer is a favorite of Rick. Rick uses this Synthsizer very much as musical instruments. It has had the modulation lamp that favor has it from the lamp of a plastic model of the tank. The photograph that I took is suitable and the focus is not suitable. Excuse me.

Couple More

More Zappa related doodles from last Sunday — kudos if you can tell who they are. :)

couple more Zappa sidemen

Tip Of The Day

1. Obtain Belgian nationality.
2. Write obscure song about rape.
3. Wait for 25 years.
4. Profit!

RIP Link Wray

Link Wray has died earlier this month in Denmark at age 76. Wray (homepage, currently unavailable), hailed as the inventor of the power chord and the “fuzz” guitar sound, was a big influence to the likes of Pete Townsend, David Bowie and Bob Dylan. In the liner notes of one of Wray’s albums Townsend wrote: “He’s the king. If Link Wray and Rumble hadn’t been there I would never have picked up a guitar.” Some of Wray’s music can be downloaded here.