Monday, June 29, 2009

Justices Rule for White Firefighters in Bias Case

What? You mean a decision was made based on actual merits and results? Race was not a factor? It's really most qualified man for the job?
This is America in the 21st century, right?
But what of the special interest groups and the bleeding heart liberals? How will they spin this?

Hey Reverend Al....go fuck yourself!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yet another musical genre

I've linked to Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree articles and reviews on Pop sites, Rock sites, Prog sites, Metal sites, and now Jazz sites.
How does anyone not at least check out an artist like this?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Will Never Wash My Ears Again (Sorry, Mom)

I Will Never Wash My Ears Again (Sorry, Mom) Listening to tunes in NYC is furlough fun Published on 6/23/2009
Rick  Koster Rick Koster
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Rick Koster has covered music, books and dining for The Day, and is a regular columnist. He also host’s the paper’s online Behind the Scenes feature. A native Southerner, Koster is the author of two books, Louisiana Music and Texas Music. He thinks, for the most part, dogs are better than people.

Rick’s Playlist - June 23, 2009

1. Hands -- Strangelet

2. Harry Nilsson -- Sings Randy Newman

3. Riverside -- Voices in My Head

4. Isis -- Wavering Radiant

5. Peter Chilvers -- Stormwatcher


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 I Will Never Wash My Ears Again (Sorry, Mom) 6/23/2009 

These furlough things are sorta fun.

I’ve had two of them, now, and while I can’t really afford any more — at least until the ol’ blood-alcohol level recedes sufficiently that I can sell a few more pints of plasma and recompense a bit of the income loss.

One very cool thing that happened, though, is that the Bride Unit and I were invited down to Avatar Studios in Manhattan for a listening party to premiere The Incident, the newest Porcupine Tree CD, which will be officially available in September.

You may or may not be weary of my frequent pontificating on the Greatness of The Porkers — archival records here at the Mighty Day indicate I haven’t mentioned them in weeks — but forget that for a minute. Pretend you were sitting in a world class recording studio with a chance to hear, well, any new recording. In an acoustically perfect room with equipment of this calibre, the pure sound quality alone is worth the trip and the experience.

In this case, it so happened that the album is by one of our favorite bands — plus you can throw into the equation the fact that Porcupine Tree’s last CD, the still-immortal Fear of a Blank Planet, was nominated for a Grammy for sound quality. Whether you like their music or not, the Porkers make records that sound breathtakingly beautiful.

This wasn’t ZZ Top, in other words.

Perhaps the only trouble with such an event is that, as noted above, the CD won’t hit the streets for several weeks. And given that The Incident is a 55-minute song cycle with a variety of connected snippets interjected within longer works, it was just a huge batch of musical creativity to wrap one’s head around in only one listen. Segments hang inside my brain like cave-bats, but a lot more is only a blur in memory. It'd be nice to be able to hear it all again and start to digest it. Soon ...

Head Pork Man Steven Wilson was on hand at the soiree although, perhaps undestandably, he stayed in a separate reception room nursing, it appeared, a glass of red wine. I can imagine it would be fairly odd for him to sit in the same room with a group of strangers staring at him, particularly since he’s heard the damned thing already about 63,000 times.

In any case, it was a pleasure to meet him, at which time I offered typical and bumblingly moronic adulatory comments that he fielded graciously by not falling into a full-bore sleep. I was so lame that I almost wish he’d commented on my thunderous lack of anything new or clever to say, but he’s too nice for such things.

So I offered him a free horse in gratitude for all his work.

Not really.

If you could attend a listening party to an as-yet-unrleased album by an artist, who would it be?

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Porcupine Tree Reveals New Album Tracklisting

Porcupine Tree has issued the following announcement about the recording of their new album:

"Roadrunner have posted some clips of Porcupine Tree working in the studio on their forthcoming album The Incident here.

"Also the cover image and subtitles to the various parts of the long song cycle that takes up the whole of the first CD were revealed at a playback in New York earlier this week. The cover was photographed by Lasse Hoile and designed by Carl Glover."

The track listing for "The Incident" will be as follows:

1. occam’s razor (1.55)
2. the blind house (5.47)
3. great expectations (1.26)
4. kneel and disconnect (2.03)
5. drawing the line (4.43)
6. the incident (5.20)
7. your unpleasant family (1.48)
8. the yellow windows of the evening train (2.00)
9. time flies (11.40)
10. degree zero of liberty (1.45)
11. octane twisted (5.03)
12. the séance (2.39)
13. circle of manias (2.18)
14. i drive the hearse (6.41)

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Journalistic Integrity in 2009

Click on the link above to check out how today's "news" reports the "facts."

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

'Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed' inventor dies at 92

'Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed' inventor dies at 92
The Associated Press
MIAMI -- The inventor of the "Magic Fingers Vibrating Bed," a coin-operated fixture in American motel rooms in the 1960s and 70s, has died in Florida. John Joseph Houghtaling (HUFF-tay-ling) was 92. His son Paul says the inventor died Wednesday at his home in Fort Pierce. Tinkering in the basement of his New Jersey home, Houghtaling invented the "Magic Fingers" machine in 1958. It caused beds to vibrate when a quarter was dropped in the device. He moved the company to Miami in 1968 and remained its president until he retired in the 1980s. The kitschy devices made their way into pop culture - celebrated in song by Jimmy Buffett and Frank Zappa and the cause of a beer explosion in the movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

(P)Review of 'The Incident'

Grabbed this from the Progressive Music Society Yahoo group.
Thanks to Geoff Kieffer for the "First Look."

Got to hear the new Porcupine Tree at an industry listening session this past Tuesday night... The new release consists of one long "song cycle" The Incident, which is made up of 14 songs, interludes, transitions... I suppose you could liken it to Marillions - Brave, or Yes -Close to the Edge, or Floyds the Wall or... any number of concept pieces, despite it not really being a specific concept piece.

Quite honestly it was a lot to absorb and I am not really certain what I made of it in one listen.. It was a bit overwhelming, however, the overall impression I got was that Steve's solo album, Insurgentes, had a pretty direct influence on his writing for this album and that the older albums like Signify, Stupid Dream, and Lighbulb Sun were more recognizable in the "pot" so to speak..

One song, Time Flies, is a wonderful homage to all things Floydian in that it liberally takes (but doesn't exactly plaugerize) from Dogs, Time, Sheep, and Run Like Hell during it's 11:40 run... Very memorable track !!!! There is a very diverse almost schizophrenic feel to the album and I have a feeling it is one that, while NOT immediate, will really grow on me and other PT fans... There is also a second disc, and ep if you will, that will be released in conjunction with the main album and it contains 4 tracks written as a band (vs. SW composition like the bulk of The Incident is) and we were treated to one song called Flicker that was actually very cool and very retro sounding...

Just thought I would share gang. The new PT will be out (in the US that is)on 9/21/09, through Road Runner Records.GK

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PORCUPINE TREE Reveal More Details For Upcoming Album

PORCUPINE TREE Reveal More Details For Upcoming Album, The Incident; Behind-The-Scenes Video Footage Available

Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 13:23:37 EST

Grammy-nominated UK recording artist PORCUPINE TREE recently confirmed the title of their tenth studio album: The Incident. The new record is set to be released on Roadrunner Records on September 22nd, as a double CD.

The Incident is a stunning 55-minute musical statement, described by vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steven Wilson as “a slightly surreal song cycle about beginnings and endings and the sense that ‘after this, things will never be the same again.’” The seeds of the idea that led to The Incident came to Wilson as he became caught up in a highway traffic jam while driving past an accident.

“There was a sign saying ‘POLICE - INCIDENT’ and everyone was slowing down to rubber neck to see what had happened,” he recalls. “Afterwards, it struck me that ‘incident’ is a very detached word for something so destructive and traumatic for the people involved. And then I had the sensation that the spirit of someone that had died in the accident entered into my car and was sitting next to me.

“The irony of such a cold expression for such seismic events appealed to me, and I began to pick out other ‘incidents’ reported in the media and news,” continues Wilson. “I wrote about the evacuation of teenage girls from a religious cult in Texas, a family terrorizing its neighbors, a body found floating in a river by some people on a fishing trip, and more. Each song is written in the first person and tries to humanize the detached media reportage.”

Additionally, Wilson delved back into incidents in his own life that had profoundly affected him, including a lost childhood friendship, a séance, his first love and the day that he decided to give up secure employment to follow his dream of making music.

The self-produced album is completed by four standalone compositions that developed out of band writing sessions last December - 'Flicker', 'Bonnie The Cat', 'Black Dahlia' and 'Remember Me Lover' - housed on a separate CD to stress their independence from the title track.

Porcupine Tree - completed by Gavin Harrison (drums), Colin Edwin (bass), and Richard Barbieri (keyboards) - took a video camera into the recording studio, capturing a few moments to share with fans. Explore the behind-the-scenes footage below.

Coming to the recording sessions following his first ever solo album, November 2008’s Insurgentes, Wilson admits that the experience of having worked alone affected the direction of The Incident. “Possibly because of having done that, this record is darker, expansive, and more experimental,” he theorizes. “But when I write for Porcupine Tree, I know the sound I’m after.”

Porcupine Tree’s latest masterpiece The Incident will be released September 22nd.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Porcupine Tree - New Album News

The Incident

Porcupine Tree are happy to announce the forthcoming release of their tenth studio album "The Incident". The record is set to be released via Roadrunner Records worldwide on 21st September, as a double CD.

The centre-piece is the title track, which takes up the whole of the first disc. The 55-minute work is described as “a slightly surreal song cycle about beginnings and endings and the sense that ‘after this, things will never be the same again’.”

The self-produced album is completed by four standalone compositions that developed out of band writing sessions last December - Flicker, Bonnie The Cat, Black Dahlia, and Remember Me Lover feature on a separate EP length disc to stress their independence from the song cycle.

Video footage of the band in the studio working on The Incident, as well as audio previews, will be available online soon. The band will tour extensively to promote the album from mid September onwards.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

The little joys in life

Considering that I have to park in supermarket parking lots every day, I am no longer concerned about dings and scratches. So it gives me great joy to inconvenience assholes like this on a rainy day.
Yes, my car is the one on the right, perfectly parked between the white lines.
I only wish they weren't crooked so I could have parked closer to their door.

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