athelind: (clobberin' time)
Okay, new rule:

If a song has the name of a day of the week in the title, you should only play it on that day. You should never play it on the day before or day after.

Don't play "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" on Saturday, especially not early Saturday morning when people maybe just not-awake enough to be unsure about which weekend day it is.

Exceptions are allowed, of course, if the song mentions more than one day by name, and "Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend" is appropriate any day of the week.

Oh, and every Monday should include the Boomtown Rats in the playlist, by law.


athelind: (RPG: Setting the Stage)
Another song popped into my head as I was perusing responses to the last post.

It's "defiant and heroic", but in a very different sense than the rest of my examples.

... and definitely not "Wrong Publisher".






Superman never made any money ... )

And sometimes I despair the world will never see
Another man like him

athelind: (grognard)
I'm kicking around a playlist for the DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds game I'm going to be running Real Soon Now, and I'm looking for for songs with heroic, defiant themes.

This is what I've got so far:
  • Pat Benatar - Invincible
  • Muse - Victorious
  • Bonnie Tyler - Holding Out for a Hero
  • Queen - We Are The Champions
  • Remy Zero - Save Me (Smallville Theme)
  • Five for Fighting - Superman
  • Rush - New World Man



Maybes:
  • Vertical Horizon - Everything You Want
  • Blue Oyster Cult - Veteran of the Psychic Wars



Rejected suggestions:
  • Ozzy Ozbourne - Iron Man (Sorry, wrong publisher!)
  • The Beatles - The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
  • They Might Be Giants - Particle Man
  • Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick


Does anyone have any other suggestions?

This is just ONE playlist, mind. Another (which will get more use) will be purely instrumental, and there may be adventure-specific lists.


athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
And so, another year ends, and Your Obedient Serpent will be more than happy to be shed of this one. I bid 2010 adieu with two upraised middle fingers and a shout of defiance.

It's time to face forward.

I've mentioned that sometimes, the radio talks to me, that the station I most often tune to has a tendency to play certain songs over and over again, and sometimes, the songs that cycle into that repetitious rotation are ones that directly address my moods and circumstances.

Back in November, as I was preparing to move a lifetime of belongings out of [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia's garage, this one played nearly every day.

I was going to post it tomorrow, but it played again, just minutes ago.

This, then, is my New Year: No Resolutions, Just Resolve.

I've got a world and a life and a future in front of me.

And it's mine.






I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams ... )

Happy New Year, one and all!

athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
There are a few days in both Spring and Autumn, almost exactly at the midpoint between Equinox and Solstice, where the sun is at such an angle that, if the day is clear, there's a strange quality to the light that makes the world seem ... not so much unreal as hyper-real.

Today is one of those days, one of those high-definition days, and the oddness of the weather makes it moreso. Last night, around sunset, the winds came in off the desert, south-east of us, and brought a wave of warmth; it was actually warmer an hour or two after nightfall than it had been in the late afternoon. Since then, the wind has shifted again, coming from the Northwest, and, while it's still warm today (around 80), the forecast tells us that these winds will soon bring us a front from Alaska.

And you can tell. When you step outside, there's a strangeness in the air, more than just the light, more than just the wind.

Maybe it's just that there's so much change in my life right now, that these strange winds blew in at the end of a long and strange weekend.

I can feel it, though, like a tangible thing.

There's change in the air.






There's no shelter from the wind ... )

athelind: (Eye: RCA Magic Eye)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Which songs have been covered better by artists who didn't originally sing them?

Joe Cocker's classic Woodstock rendition of "A Little Help from my Friends" accomplished the amazing feat of improving upon the Beatles, and did it at the height of their popularity.



Few artists have so completely made a song their own, with such a distinctly different take on the original arrangement.

I also confess a particular fondness for the Shiny Toy Guns cover of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)". Yes, the one from the car commercial. Shut up.



I've always liked Schilling's original, but I think this band has the surreal spaciness nailed. The male vocalist doesn't quite click for me, but those haunting, resonant, slightly-processed female vocals on the chorus ... ooh.

And, call me a heretic, but ... I've always preferred Bonnie Tyler's take on "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" over the Creedence Clearwater Revival original. It irks me that this version never gets any airtime on the radio. Yes, I still listen to the radio. Shut up.



Finally ... I have the deepest respect for Jim Steinman as a composer and a lyricist, but any song he's released by himself has always sounded better when Meat Loaf sings it. I'm not just counting the songs Mr. Steinman wrote for Mr. Aday personally; I'm talking about the albums full of songs that later showed up on Bat Out of Hell 2 & 3. The only person who can handle Steinman's operatic bombast nearly as well as Meat Loaf is, in fact, Ms. Bonnie Tyler, featured in the above video with a non-Steinman song.

I would dearly love to see Mr. Aday and Ms. Tyler perform Mr. Steinman's classic duet, "Total Eclipse of the Heart".


Potpourri

Jul. 9th, 2010 01:24 pm
athelind: (Eye of the Sky God)

Snappy Answers To Cryptic Questions



[livejournal.com profile] athelind: HAVE YOU SEEN THE YELLOW SIGN?
[livejournal.com profile] jdarkwulf: Yield?


Yeah, I know, "Yield" signs aren't yellow anymore, but I still laughed.


The Spirit of Radio



I've been having increasing trouble keeping my little stereo tuned to my preferred radio station of late. It's an analogue-dial physical tuner rather than a nice digital gizmo, and, of course, I have the perennial dilemma that my own body acts as an antenna. I can get it crystal-clear, so long as I keep my hand on it; as soon as I move away, it devolves into static.

Note that it was fine up until a few weeks ago. There was a bit of channel drift, and I would sometimes have to tweak it from morning to evening, but I could get it steady on the station with no problem.

Last night, I was driving a co-worker home, so I flipped my car radio over to the classical station, since that's better background for conversation than my usual Classic Rock.

Nothin' but static.

What the hell, thought Your Obedient Serpent. Is there something about summer that screws up radio reception?

Dot. Dot. Dot.

Right. We're pointing at the Sun. Auroras. That sort of thing.

Oddly, the Sun seems kind of quiet right now, near as I can tell from spaceweather.com. We're at a Sunspot Minimum right now. There's an active region that's been pointing away from Earth, though it's swinging in our general direction.

Anyone else having radio issues? I know most of you don't even listen to radios in the car anymore, much less while sitting at your computavational intertube omnitainment terminals, but I'm interested in hearing if the tuned-in minority are having static and channel drift like I am.


athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

If you had to choose a theme song for your middle or high school years, what would it be, and why?

I don't think I would have picked this at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight, it's perfect.






Come on! Let's see what you've got... )


(Regular readers of my journal will remember that I just posted this back at the beginning of April; it's still the right answer.)

athelind: (Warning: Cognitive Hazard)
For the record,1 last night's musical violence2 is one of the biggest reasons why I consider the "Random Play" functions found on every portable music player, digital music software application, and even some CD players to be an abomination. Just hearing a fragment of a concept suite is bad enough; imagine track after track of those fragments, all mashed up in the wrong order.

Moon Brick of the 2112 HemiKilroy as Thick as a Darkside Sphere Was Here.

My eclectic musical tastes also encompass classical, jazz (traditional, modern and fusion), New Age, and Late '60s Psychedelic, so the results would be even more jarring than that.

But, wait! It gets worse! You see, my collection of "music" files also includes a nontrivial number of Librivox audiobooks and Numbers Station Recordings.

Most music software, of course, will try to dump every MP3 or OGG file on your system into one big "library", and Shuffle the whole damned thing.

It should now be clear why I never take part in those "set your MP3 player to Random and answer questions based on what track comes up" memes:3

What is the story of my life?
[An eerie child's voice recites a long sequence of numbers, in Czechoslovakian.]

What should I do with my life?
"We had gone perhaps ten miles when the ground began to rise very rapidly. We were, as I was later to learn, nearing the edge of one of Mars' long-dead seas, in the bottom of which my encounter with the Martians had taken place... ."


So, yeah.


1No Pun Intended.
2Thank you for the phrase "musical violence", [livejournal.com profile] cpxbrex.
3I don't know this person; I snagged the first appropriate result from a Google search for "random mp3 meme".

athelind: (facepalm)
AAAUGH.

The radio station just played one track from Rush's 2112 album.

For those who aren't familiar with it; 2112 is a "concept album" of the sort so beloved of Pretentious Prog Rock Bands like the Trio from Toronto. The "A" side is a single long story-based piece, divided into individual tracks solely for the sake of convenience.

Playing just "The Temple of Syrinx" is like ... like ... cutting off Star Wars right before the Death Star run.

Naturally, I have the CD, so I'm playing the entire album right the heck now, but, nevertheless, the damage is done. I'll have that irritating UNFINISHED feeling for the rest of the night.

How can you DO that?


athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
I play this track a lot, but I don't think I listen to it enough.

It's from the same album as "Man in the Wilderness", posted here a few months back, and in some ways, it can be seen as the "Get Over It" response to the "I'm So Lost and Emo" of that song.







Come on! Let's see what you've got... )



They played this song on KUFX this morning. Greg Kihn and his sidekick du jour had a brief exchange about the closing guitar riff, and how it seemed too cheerful and happy for a song subtitled "The Angry Young Man".

I listen to Kihn for his Old Rocker stories, not for his profound insights.

To me, that swirling guitar fugue encapsulates all the potential, possibility, truth, beauty, and whatever that surrounds the Angry Young Man. It's all the stuff that we miss—that I miss—when we're wrapped up in being the Man in the Wilderness.

Yeah, The Grand Illusion came out when I was 13. I'm just like anyone else: my High School Soundtrack is the Music of My Life.


athelind: (Eye: RCA Magic Eye)
I have a love/hate relationship with radio station KUFX ("K-Fox"), here in San Jose.

I hate that they play the same songs, over and over, and if I sit listening to the radio all day as I work, I'll probably hear the same song every single day.

On the other claw, a good number of the songs they play over and over are ones that I LOVE and NEVER get tired of.

I think "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" may be my favorite song of all time. Whenever it plays, I perk up and feel happy—which is weird, when you listen to the lyrics and the rather ominous chord progressions.

If you asked me flat-out what my favorite song was, "Reaper" might not be the first thing to come to mind—but it always triggers the Rock Anthem reaction (put your hand over your heart and sing along).

Dammit. I miss KMAX. I miss that perfect mix of Classic Rock and Good New Music.


blah blah blah Pandora blah blah. Yeah, it's great, but I can't listen to it in the car.
athelind: (weird science)
Why is it so hard to find a portable radio or, hell, even an entertainment center-style stereo that has a nice row of programmable radio buttons, so you don't have to twiddle up and down the dial every time some hockey game clutters up your classic rock station?


Comments from people who don't listen to the radio because of technology X, Y, or Z will be deleted. Do not open Pandora's Box.
athelind: (Default)
Why is it so hard to find a portable radio or, hell, even an entertainment center-style stereo that has a nice row of programmable radio buttons, so you don't have to twiddle up and down the dial every time some hockey game clutters up your classic rock station?


Comments from people who don't listen to the radio because of technology X, Y, or Z will be deleted. Do not open Pandora's Box.
athelind: (His Master's Voice)
[livejournal.com profile] quelonzia just defined exactly what makes a good radio station:

"They play what you want to hear, when you didn't know you wanted to hear it."


This is why I often prefer to listen to the radio rather than focus strictly on my own collection of CDs or MP3s, and why I was so dismayed by the demise of KMAX.

She was prompted to this observation after this morning's coffee run, when KUFX responded to our nostalgic conversation about Elric of Melniboné with a "triple play" of Blue Öyster Cult.
athelind: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] quelonzia just defined exactly what makes a good radio station:

"They play what you want to hear, when you didn't know you wanted to hear it."


This is why I often prefer to listen to the radio rather than focus strictly on my own collection of CDs or MP3s, and why I was so dismayed by the demise of KMAX.

She was prompted to this observation after this morning's coffee run, when KUFX responded to our nostalgic conversation about Elric of Melniboné with a "triple play" of Blue Öyster Cult.
athelind: (weird science)
Really, it is. I've given this radio station changeover more LJ attention in the last few days than I usually give global warming, civil rights, world hunger, or the latest big comic crossover.

However, two things come to mind:


Yes, KMAX was the only station in the area with that kind of eclectic music mix -- but what really hurts is losing "J.J. Maxwell", the entirely-fictional mascot who "ran the station". He was portrayed as this charming old fuddy-duddy who'd Been Around, there in the background of rock history like Forrest Gump. He'd just pop on to blather during the station breaks, dropping names and talking about old times, but he was amusing and likable and, in his own way, as entertaining as the music -- the moreso because his bits were so brief.

You know the Rush song, "The Spirit of Radio"? It opens with the words, "Begin the day with a friendly voice/A companion unobtrusive..."

That was "Max".

It's silly, but it's like losing a friend.

A friend who'd stolen my CD collection to play on the radio.


My car radio is now tuned back to K-Fox (KUFX 98.5), which plays "Classic Rock". It lacks the variety and the edge of "'70s, '80s, or whatever we feel like", and if I called and requested Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)", they'd probably ask me if I meant David Bowie's "Space Oddity", but it falls into the envied position of "sucks least" on the radio dial.

For years now, KUFX's morning DJ has been Greg Kihn, the one-hit wonder who gave us (and Weird Al) the hit single "Jeopardy". Kihn used to be really entertaining -- he was just big enough that he knows everyone in the rock world, and when he doesn't have guests and phone interviews, he's full of name-dropping anecdotes about the business.

A few years ago, though, he lileksed into The Crotchety Old Crank, waving his guitar and shouting at the neighborhood kids to get offa his damned lawn. He hasn't been too bad the last couple of days, so maybe it was just a phase.

As I was listening to him in the car yesterday, though, I realized something.

..."J.J. Maxwell" was a Greg Kihn parody.

Requiem in pace, Max. We hardly knew ye.

(Update: J.J. Maxwell was voiced by actor John O'Hurley. I now know where to send fan mail.)
athelind: (Default)
Really, it is. I've given this radio station changeover more LJ attention in the last few days than I usually give global warming, civil rights, world hunger, or the latest big comic crossover.

However, two things come to mind:


Yes, KMAX was the only station in the area with that kind of eclectic music mix -- but what really hurts is losing "J.J. Maxwell", the entirely-fictional mascot who "ran the station". He was portrayed as this charming old fuddy-duddy who'd Been Around, there in the background of rock history like Forrest Gump. He'd just pop on to blather during the station breaks, dropping names and talking about old times, but he was amusing and likable and, in his own way, as entertaining as the music -- the moreso because his bits were so brief.

You know the Rush song, "The Spirit of Radio"? It opens with the words, "Begin the day with a friendly voice/A companion unobtrusive..."

That was "Max".

It's silly, but it's like losing a friend.

A friend who'd stolen my CD collection to play on the radio.


My car radio is now tuned back to K-Fox (KUFX 98.5), which plays "Classic Rock". It lacks the variety and the edge of "'70s, '80s, or whatever we feel like", and if I called and requested Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)", they'd probably ask me if I meant David Bowie's "Space Oddity", but it falls into the envied position of "sucks least" on the radio dial.

For years now, KUFX's morning DJ has been Greg Kihn, the one-hit wonder who gave us (and Weird Al) the hit single "Jeopardy". Kihn used to be really entertaining -- he was just big enough that he knows everyone in the rock world, and when he doesn't have guests and phone interviews, he's full of name-dropping anecdotes about the business.

A few years ago, though, he lileksed into The Crotchety Old Crank, waving his guitar and shouting at the neighborhood kids to get offa his damned lawn. He hasn't been too bad the last couple of days, so maybe it was just a phase.

As I was listening to him in the car yesterday, though, I realized something.

..."J.J. Maxwell" was a Greg Kihn parody.

Requiem in pace, Max. We hardly knew ye.

(Update: J.J. Maxwell was voiced by actor John O'Hurley. I now know where to send fan mail.)

Gyaaaaah.

Mar. 1st, 2007 08:07 am
athelind: (danger)
There was a day about a year ago where, every time I got in the car, I turned on the radio to hear KMAX playing a song that was currently loaded in my MP3 player. You can't just let a station like that slip away without comment.

This morning, I listened to the last five minutes of the KMAX countdown, and the first few minutes of "The Wolf", the commercial-free country station that's replacing it.

A mildly entertaining intro piece proclaiming the new station the "alpha predator" of the Bay Area radio scene gave way to some promising rockin' banjo -- maybe country music has evolved since my last road trip through flyover country.

It has.

I can only describe what followed as "Redneck Rap", Southern-Fried voices chanting about their pickup trucks and cowboy hats.

Gyaaaaah.

Mar. 1st, 2007 08:07 am
athelind: (Default)
There was a day about a year ago where, every time I got in the car, I turned on the radio to hear KMAX playing a song that was currently loaded in my MP3 player. You can't just let a station like that slip away without comment.

This morning, I listened to the last five minutes of the KMAX countdown, and the first few minutes of "The Wolf", the commercial-free country station that's replacing it.

A mildly entertaining intro piece proclaiming the new station the "alpha predator" of the Bay Area radio scene gave way to some promising rockin' banjo -- maybe country music has evolved since my last road trip through flyover country.

It has.

I can only describe what followed as "Redneck Rap", Southern-Fried voices chanting about their pickup trucks and cowboy hats.
athelind: (barcode)
Grumble grumble grumble,

For the last year or two, my favorite radio station has been KMAX 95.7, whose format has been "'70s, '80s, or whatever we feel like", with a minimum of talk and a station breaks featuring an amusing mascot character vaguely reminiscent of Jim Backus's various personae. One of their taglines was "we broke into your house and raided your CD collection", and, well, that's pretty accurate.

Currently, 95.7 is playing a synthesized voice counting down to tomorrow morning... and, alas, their site confirms that there's a format change coming.

This would be irksome in any event, but for it to occur on my birthday... that's just rude.

As a goth Keanu Reeves would say... "Woe."


Overcoming the pain of this tragic loss, I'd like to thank everyone who sent birthday greetings my way. Thank you!
athelind: (Default)
Grumble grumble grumble,

For the last year or two, my favorite radio station has been KMAX 95.7, whose format has been "'70s, '80s, or whatever we feel like", with a minimum of talk and a station breaks featuring an amusing mascot character vaguely reminiscent of Jim Backus's various personae. One of their taglines was "we broke into your house and raided your CD collection", and, well, that's pretty accurate.

Currently, 95.7 is playing a synthesized voice counting down to tomorrow morning... and, alas, their site confirms that there's a format change coming.

This would be irksome in any event, but for it to occur on my birthday... that's just rude.

As a goth Keanu Reeves would say... "Woe."


Overcoming the pain of this tragic loss, I'd like to thank everyone who sent birthday greetings my way. Thank you!

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