Quotulatiousness

April 22, 2015

SpaceX Launch You Up (Uptown Funk Parody)

Filed under: Media,Space — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 15 Apr 2015

THIS VIDEO IS A PARODY OF THE ORIGINAL “UPTOWN FUNK” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars and does not infringe on the copyright of Sony Music Entertainment (SME).

This video was created by fans of SpaceX and does not reflect the views of SpaceX or its partners.

You Elon MUST share this SpaceX music video, and help promote the future of science and space exploration! #GoBold (Lyrics at the bottom!)

H/T to Boing Boing for the link.

April 18, 2015

QotD: The danger of the “deadly genius” in art

Filed under: Media,Quotations — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

There are entire genres of art that have self-destructed in the last hundred years — become drained of vitality, driven their audiences away to the point where they become nothing more than museum exhibits or hobby-horses for snobs and antiquarians.

The three most obvious examples are painting, the literary novel and classical music. After about 1910 all three of these art forms determinedly severed the connections with popular culture that had made them relevant over the previous 250 years. Their departure left vacuums to be filled; we got modern genre literature, rock music, and art photography.

Other art forms underwent near-death experiences and survived only in severely compromised forms. Jazz, running away from its roots in honky tonks and dance halls, all but strangled on its own sophistication between 1960 and 1980; it survives today primarily as smoothed-out elevator music. Sculpture, having spent a century losing itself in increasingly meaningless abstraction, is only now feeling its way back towards a figurative vocabulary; the most interesting action there is not yet in the revival of mimetic forms but in artists who speak the vocabulary of mathematics and machine technology.

What makes an art-form self-destruct like this? Many things can contribute — hankerings for bourgeois respectability, corruption by politics, clumsy response to a competing genre. But the one we see over and over again is deadly genius.

A deadly genius is a talent so impressive that he can break and remake all the rules of the form, and seduce others into trying to emulate his disruptive brilliance — even when those followers lack the raw ability or grounding to make art in the new idiom the the genius has defined.

Arnold Schoenberg (classical music). James Joyce (literary novels). John Coltrane (jazz). Pablo Picasso (painting). Konstantin Brancusi (sculpture). These men had the knack of inventing radical new forms that made the preexisting conventions of their arts seem stale and outworn. They produced works of brilliance, taught their followers to value disruptive brillance over tradition, and in doing so all but destroyed their arts.

Eric S. Raymond, “Deadly Genius and the Back-To-Zero Problem”, Armed and Dangerous, 2004-09-24.

April 12, 2015

Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight

Filed under: Media — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

April 10, 2015

The Jailer’s Daughter on the CBC

Filed under: Cancon,Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Well, technically it’s the CBC’s website, but still it’s nice to see the band getting a bit of exposure:

Click to go to the CBC artist page for The Jailer's Daughter

Click to go to the CBC artist page for The Jailer’s Daughter

April 5, 2015

Neil Young – “Old Man”

Filed under: Cancon,Media — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Uploaded on 16 Jan 2009

Sing-A-Long

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

Old man look at my life,
Twenty four
and there’s so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.

Love lost, such a cost,
Give me things
that don’t get lost.
Like a coin that won’t get tossed
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that’s true.

Lullabies, look in your eyes,
Run around the same old town.
Doesn’t mean that much to me
To mean that much to you.

I’ve been first and last
Look at how the time goes past.
But I’m all alone at last.
Rolling home to you.

Old man take a look at my life
I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me
the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes
and you can tell that’s true.

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

Recorded 23rd February 1971
BBC Television Theatre,
Shepherd’s Bush, London.

April 4, 2015

Pete Waterman’s £1 million model railway collection

Filed under: Britain,Media,Railways — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Model railways can get expensive, but they don’t normally get into seven figures (and that’s approximately one-tenth of the total value):

Pete Waterman’s indelible links with pop empires and reality television overlook the personal vocal abilities of the mogul himself. In the late 1960s, when his infatuation with trains and their miniature replicas began, he funded his acquisitions by starting the flying choir — a venture in which his singing entertained wedding-goers at different churches across Coventry on Saturdays, earning 10/6 a time.

A guinea a week from his paper round and “five bob” from fetching coal in his sister’s pram also helped him replicate the sights he would witness from the tracks stretching past his childhood home. “When you live in a council house and these things go past your door, it’s your first encounter with beauty,” recalls the man whose collection, according to auctioneers Dreweatts, is of “incalculable” value 56 years in.

“There were people sitting with white tablecloths and table lamps having dinner. It was magical. Think of the contrast: we didn’t even have glass in the windows at home.

“I set out to create the best, and I have done for railways what some people have done for model cars and planes.”

Waterman is about to put £1 million of his scratch-built model trains under the hammer in Mayfair. It’s only a tenth of the full collection, but selling the live steam and 10mm to foot-scale models will raise enough to safeguard his full-size steam engines, held around the country under the direction of the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust.

“These full-size engines won’t be back in steam for ten years,” he admits. “I’m 68 now and this is probably the last chance I will have to restore the engines held by the trust. So I’m making sure there is enough money in ten years’ time to continue the job.”

Besides, he feels the artefacts going on sale are somewhat anomalistic. “They no longer fit into the wider collection. It’s almost like I was into Pre-Raphaelite art and I’m now a modernist.”

April 3, 2015

QotD: The long decline of Rolling Stone

Filed under: Media,Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

The gap between Americans raised before World War II and after was huge in a way that’s difficult to recall for those of us who came of age after the ’60s. Greatest Generation parents who might have grown up without on-demand indoor plumbing and survived the Depression and fighting in Europe, the Pacific, North Africa, and Korea came from a different planet than the one on which they raised their kids. To their credit, they bequeathed to the baby boomers a world that was still full of major problems but one that was much richer and full of opportunities. And to their credit, the boomers (of which I’m a very late example, having been born in 1963) readily went about using new opportunities and freedoms (expressive, sexual, educational, economic) to build the world they wanted to live in.

In the late ’60s and a good chunk of the ’70s, youth-oriented pop music was central to that project. Whatever you might think of the Beatles’ music, their very existence — and their constant self-recreations — made everything seem possible. They were far from alone as pop music maguses, too.

Simply by talking with major pop figures, Rolling Stone could be a vital and compelling magazine because it served as something like a boomer conversation pit. Over time, however, music stopped playing the same sort of vital role in generational conversations — don’t get me wrong, it’s still a part of it all. But as the mainstream in every area of life splintered and recombined into a million different subspecies, no single form of cultural expression matters so much to so many people anymore.

That’s a good thing for the culture and the country (and the planet, really), but Rolling Stone has been looking for a replacement core identity for decades now. The magazine that once published New Journalism masterpieces about David Cassidy and stardom, Patty Hearst’s rescuers, and “Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse” had trouble figuring out how to deal with a world in which pop and movie stars were less interesting than ever (and more disciplined in terms of talking with the press) and in which men and women of good faith might actually disagree over complicated aesthetic and ideological matters. There has been a lot of good writing and reporting over the years, but there’s no question, I think, that the magazine is chasing trends and insights rather than creating them.

[…]

In a world in which pop culture — especially youth-oriented pop culture — allows a thousand flowers to bloom in a way that was unimaginable even 40 years ago, Rolling Stone can no longer get by simply by talking with Patti Smith or John Lennon or Bob Dylan for 25,000 words at a time. It might have reinvented itself as a clubhouse where people who love music or movies or whatever could get together to argue over politics, economics, and policy. That could indeed be interesting, especially in a world where large chunks of young Americans are going right, left, and especially libertarian. Just as there is no longer one dominant mode of music, there is no longer one dominant mode of politics.

But the people at the helm of Rolling Stone cannot seemingly even acknowledge that anyone who might disagree with them on, say, the effects of minimum wage laws on the poor, is worth a second thought. All they can do, out of a sense of liberal guilt, is publish radical calls to arm that they must know are ridiculous. Sadly, a magazine that was once required reading for anyone who wanted to know what the younger generation cared about is now a pedantic, insecure, and ultimately ineffective tool of Democratic Party groupthink.

Nick Gillespie, Rolling Stone‘s Sad ‘5 Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For'”, Hit and Run, 2014-01-04

April 2, 2015

Gordon Lightfoot – Canadian Railroad Trilogy

Filed under: Cancon,History,Media,Railways — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

March 29, 2015

Neil Young – “Mideast Vacation”

Filed under: Cancon,Media,Middle East — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

March 27, 2015

Stanley Jordan – Autumn Leaves 1990

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 12 Jul 2013

Live in Montreal Jazz Festival 1990

Bass player Charnett Moffett

The drummer Tommy Campbell

H/T to Victor for the link.

QotD: Perfectionism

Filed under: Media,Quotations — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

It’s all so subjective, you know? I guess I shouldn’t complain. I’ve learned over the years that people get upset when they tell you something is their favorite movie and you go, “Really? You liked that piece of shit?” That’s the sort of thing Sean Penn would say. So I now tell people, “Thank you, that’s great,” and move on. But you know, I remember John Lennon saying that if he could, he’d go back and burn most of the work the Beatles did. He said he’d rerecord all the fucking songs, and I get that. Most of my work I would just stomp into the ground and start over again.

Gary Oldman, interviewed by David Hochman, “Playboy Interview: Gary Oldman”, Playboy, 2014-06-23.

March 22, 2015

Neil Young “From Hank to Hendrix”

Filed under: Cancon,Media — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

March 15, 2015

Neil Young – Harvest Moon (unplugged)

Filed under: Cancon,Media — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Uploaded on 13 Oct 2010

Neil Young and friends on MTV Unplugged playing Harvest Moon.

March 8, 2015

Neil Young – Long May You Run (unplugged)

Filed under: Cancon,Media — Tags: — Nicholas @ 05:00

Uploaded on 13 Oct 2010

Neil Young and friends at MTV Unplugged playing Long May You Run.

H/T to Brendan McKenna for the link.

March 5, 2015

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (Full album, 1964)

Filed under: Media,Religion,USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

The album that made me start paying attention to jazz…

Published on 9 Dec 2013

JOHN COLTRANE
“A LOVE SUPREME”
1964
(Impulse)

Genre: Modal Jazz, Avant-garde Jazz

Tracklist:
1. A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement
2. A Love Supreme, Part 2: Resolution
3. A Love Supreme, Part 3: Pursuance/Part 4: Psalm

Personnel:
John Coltrane, tenor sax
McCoy Tyner, piano
Jimmy Garrison, bass
Elvin Jones, drums

H/T to Josh Jones at Open Culture for the link.

What can I add to the chorus of voices in praise of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme? Recorded in December of 1964 and released fifty years ago this month, the album has gone on to achieve cult status — literally inspiring a church founded in Coltrane’s name — as one of the finest works of jazz or any other form of music. It cemented Coltrane’s name in the pantheon of great composers, and re-invented religious music for a secular age. Composed as a hymn of praise and gratitude, “the bizarre suite of four movements,” wrote NPR’s Arun Rath last year, “communicated a profound spiritual and philosophical message.” That message is articulated explicitly by Coltrane in the album’s liner notes as “a humble offering to Him,” the deity he experienced in a 1957 “spiritual awakening” that “lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life.”

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