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Day: January 6, 2010

Year of Record

My friend Charles has sworn off iTunes for 2010 in favor of the humble vinyl LP. Why would anyone do something so progressively insane you ask?! I could waste my time explaining it or I could just copy and paste his explanation. Here’s what he has to say about it.

I promise this will be the only post of philosophical musings on here, but people have asked so I think it needs to be said: Why am I doing this?

Literally as long as I can remember, I’ve been “into music”, whatever that means. My parents claim that they got me playing an instrument when they walked into the kitchen to find I had constructed a xylophone out of building blocks, playing “Camptown Races”. I’ve played in various stupid indie rock bands, full orchestras, and recorded solo, but this blog isn’t about creation. This is about consumption.

I’m a collector, and a pirate, with a maximally efficient way of acquiring new media. Literally thousands of albums, months of music sit on my hard drive, a string of 1s and 0s magnetized on discs spinning hundreds of miles per hour. I try not to discriminate when it comes to music, downloading everything from the new Lil John rap-rock-autotune debacle to Daniel Johnston, to Phoenix, to Trentemøller to La Bouche to Steely Dan to Shearwater. Which is great! I get a wide variety of music and influences, and am always hearing something interesting as I make my way through recent downloads.

The problem is that I’m always making my way through recent downloads, never able to focus on any music and give it the respect it deserves. The music I do care about has equal footing with the dreck, making it hard to zero in on what should be at the forefront.

Not only that, but when I do find something I love, something important to me, it’s still barely real, a digital representation on a storage device. That’s not to say that it’s not about the music, it most certainly is. When I moved abroad, I culled and razed, and got rid of everything physical, moving to all-digital. I showed up with a suitcase, a laptop and an iPhone, and that was enough to keep me going. But for the longest time, I’ve had what I care about be bits of data, and the physical media I own be the hilarious 1 dollar records from Half Price Books, the CDs I bought in high school and hung on to for no reason, the stuff that I never return to.

This year is about turning that around.

Starting Jan 1, 2010, through Dec 31, 2010, I’m giving up the digital, as much as is possible. I’ve moved my iTunes library to an external disk for safekeeping, bought as many of my favorite records as I could afford, and will be listening to only records, cds, and tapes to the best of my ability. If I want to listen to a record, I’ll have to go over to my pile of actual music, choose something, put it on, and listen to it.

There’s no shuffle, there’s no thousand songs in my pocket, there’s just albums. Wish me luck.

Neat. Keep en eye on his progress at his site, Year of Record.

By the way, that’s him, rocking out to Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love” with his pinky raised all genteel and shit, in the post below.

Karaoke – 12/11/2009

It has been a little while since I last posted photos, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been taking them.

On one of the first really cold nights of the season, we all decided to going sing karaoke. It was totally epic. I’ll give you a million brownie points if you can guess who in the group was singing musical theatre. Hint: it wasn’t the photographer.

Here is a link to the whole gallery.

Here are a few of my favorite photos.

Don’t you want to come sing karaoke with me now?

Converge’s “Axe To Fall”

Director Craig Murray was clearly inspired on this one by the Japanese film Tetsuo- The Iron Man, a proto Japanese gore horror classic. The video itself is a visual assault that matches Converge’s trademark intensity perfectly. I’ve not yet heard the record this track comes from, but Jane Doe has to be one of my all time classics. Enjoy.

Acid Girls’ “Lightworks”

Potentially not exactly safe for work…

It’s official, slow motion French courtesans having a cupcake fight is this year’s… Read more

COBRA, a bittersweet victory

No, not snakes. And not the nefarious terrorist organization from G.I. Joe, either.

I’m talking about the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (hell of a name, eh?), which has allowed me to have health insurance after losing my job back in June. And, with the shithole the economy’s in right now, the government has enacted a subsidy on COBRA payments. That is, my former employer, Ascent Media, pays 65% of my COBRA charges, about 310 bucks, every month. Sweet deal. It means that my health, dental, and eye insurance only cost me about 163 dollars every month, much better than the 475 I’d be paying without the subsidy, or, worse, not having health insurance at all.

My subsidy was supposed to end in March, which was perfect, because my former employer changed their health insurance for the third time since I was initially hired by them in 2005 and the doctor I’ve built a relationship with over the last few years is no longer covered. I figured, ok, I’ll pay for the next three months and then figure out how to get some health insurance that covers her so I don’t have to go through the nightmare of trying to find a new doctor that I like.

But then the government extended the subsidy until September 2010. Fucking hell. That means I’ll need to find myself a doctor between now and then which is a huge pain in the ass. I suppose I should be happy that I will continue to have inexpensive health insurance (I wonder if these payments are a tax write off?), but I wish I could keep going to the doctor I’ve been seeing for a couple years.

Actually, what I really wish is that health insurance wasn’t such a fucking scam and that I could just plain old afford to go to any doctor I like because their prices wouldn’t be so inflated because of the racket the insurance companies have going on. What a bunch of horrible thieves. A man can dream.