Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Random 11

It's one more random than 10!

Yesterday, I was humming along, listening to tunes while I was working (yes, actually working). I have all my music on an external hard drive because my old desktop hard drive isn’t quite big enough for it all. All of a sudden, the music stops, iTunes locks up, and the hard drive starts making a clicking noise.

Ruh-row. Houston, we have a problem.

I restarted and re-connected and ran diagnostics and swore oaths, all to no avail. My drive of less than a year appears to have bitten the digital bullet.

This is precisely why I will never fully embrace the digital age. I am definitely an electronics geek, and I love being able to have all my music on a device smaller than the calculators I used in high school science class. But still, it’s frightening how gigabytes of data can just go poof because Gigabyt, the Norse god of data storage, wakes up on the wrong side of Asgard one morning and takes it out on you. I want the soothing reassurance of having rows of CDs and books and game boxes on my shelves, knowing they are there for me if I have a digital meltdown.

I luckily have said music collection on my iPod, and most of the other stuff on the hard drive is on other hard drives or flash drives or CDs or those IBM data cards with the holes in them. I just hate the backup pyramid scheme we have to go through. I need to back up my hard drive and then back up that back up and before I know it, I’m in a hall of mirrors where I see myself stretching out in 20 directions toward infinity, not knowing which image is the original one.

So today’s list goes back to my pre-home office days of using my actual iPod instead iTunes to do the Random 11. Hopefully the iPod won’t go belly up before I can get a replacement hard drive and download the hack I need to move files from the iPod to said hard drive, because Apple omitted that convenient feature at the behest of the RIAA to combat piracy, which would be fine if we lived in the Unicornverse where everything was perfect and your hard drive never died a sudden, horrible death.

1) “More Than This,” Roxy Music. So 80s in its sound, yet it still sounds timeless because of Bryan Ferry’s voice.

2) “Oxford Comma,” Vampire Weekend. Features not only a grammatically themed title, it uses the word “diction” in the lyrics. This debut album was one of the best summer CDs I’ve bought in a while. I really like the video, very Wes Anderson.

3) “The Wizard,” Black Sabbath. VH1 Classic, my new go-to channel for all things music, ran a pretty entertaining series of documentaries on heavy metal called, of course, Heavy. The series showed Sabbath in their prime, including Ozzy being Ozzy. Watching that footage, it’s hard to believe that he went from singing about sorcerers and black magic and iron men to pitching cell phones for Samsung. That has to be weirder than some of the acid flashbacks he’s had.

4) “Lazy Susan,” Oakley Hall. I saw them open for Calexico a couple years ago, and they were just very unremarkable. They were enthusiastic, they put a lot of energy into their show, and they weren’t bad. It’s just that you could hear better versions of this heavy Americana music from a lot of other bands. It’s like the ingredients are there but something goes wrong in the baking.

5) “Go! Go! Go!” The Blasters. See, then you have a group like The Blasters. Their 80s take on rockabilly wasn’t that much different than the original rockabilly, but they managed to turn up the energy and tweak it just enough to be really good, even if it wasn’t very original. Such a fine line between stupid and clever.

6) “Mary Anne With the Shaky Hand,” The Who. Too much flower power for my taste here. It reminds me of “Listen to the Flower People.” And, of course, here I am ripping off two jokes from another movie to use as my own. Ah, hypocrisy. It’s a shame they can’t make a combustion engine that runs on that, because we could make a car that could drive to moon and back on one tank.

7) “2007, The Year Punk Broke (My Heart),” Los Campesinos! A recent Song of the Day entry at Three Bulls. A record that just oozes charisma, like that person in high school who was so nice and fun, she could navigate multiple cliques and be friends with various groups of people who would normally despise each other.

8) “Tenderness,” General Public. Speaking of high school...This was one of those songs I wouldn’t let myself like when I was a little metal head (see also: Duran, Duran) because, you know, I was 15 and a fucking idiot about not wanting to seem soft. But it’s truly a great single. It doesn’t have the timelessness of something like Roxy Music. Instead, it’s like a little gem locked in a time capsule, making you happy you found it because it’s truly of its time.

9) “Optimistic,” Radiohead. I like Kid A, the polarizing Radiohead album, a lot. It was the first album of theirs that I ever heard all the way through, and I loved it for being so cold and robotic—unusual for a man who hates Pink Floyd for the same reasons. Like I said, I’m a hypocrite. In fact, “Optimistic” is the least enjoyable song for me because it’s like Radiohead chickened out and threw in something that sounded like an Ok Computer b-side, so the fans wouldn’t completely flip out.

10) “Catch Me Now I’m Falling,” The Kinks. Old Kinks songs that talk about how fucked up things were in the late 70s really are perfect for our current economic climate. Which is unfortunate for us.

11) “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” Jay-Z. I can’t help but think of Chappelle’s Show because of a sketch where he keeps yelling for someone to “turn my headphones up” while recording his new rap song. This one still gets the booty muscles grooving, though.

Have a good weekend, and hug your digital media tonight, while you still can.


Anonymous said...

as re: backup hall of mirrors - you might be referring to this

the dirt of your shoulders mix with bittersweet symphony is really kick-ass.

Von said...

"More than this" is one of my most favorite songs ever. I'm so going to iTunes for that right now. I love you so very much right now.

Von said...

Ack! I can't buy it until I get home! But I want it now! My hands are shaking! I need me som Roxy Music!
(fyi - my word verification is reothrust, this is getting nasty)

Jennifer said...

I think somebody needs to write a post only using verification words.

Mine is "mauctin"! Is that an emotion or a bodily by-product?

fish said...

I like iPod Access although it will cost you $20 to register so you can do more than 5 songs at a time...

ZenDenizen said...

I'm a big fan of random rules myself.

A friend claims his verification words were "lap dance" but I refuse to believe it.

rotten mcdonald said...

Actually, if you are fully syncing your iPod, when you connect it to iTunes again, it will sync everything back.

My verif word is frier. I'm hungry now.

punch cards. Heh. I did some programming with those. weee.

3. Ozzy pitching cell phones. I get the feeling everything feels like a drug trip to Ozzy these days. He's only got two or three connected neurons at this point. Did you ever see on The Osbornes when he'd make a trip to Chipotle? The look in his eyes....

8. see, I was in college at the time, so I had left mostly my metal days behind... I was allowed to like the song. A few years back, they stopped by Summerfest on a reunion tour. It was excellent, but the most remarkable thing was that most of the crowd brought strollers, and there was a ring of parked bambinos around the clamshell...

You are allowed up to THREE spinal tap references in any blog post, as long as none of them are 'go to eleven'. So, you know, pony up with a drummer exploding or a 'none more black' if you want....

The Uncanny Canadian said...

Brando, beware the iTunes sync! It will only sync what is on your hard drive with what is on your iPod, so if your hard drive is blank, it will erase all of your iPod music. I always turn the setting to manual to prevent catastrophe.

Use Senuti to get the music back on your hard-drive. Beautiful interface, flawless performance, and free. It is great!

And I totally agree with you on the Vampire Weekend. Woohoo!

rotten mcdonald said...

oops, sorry about that. Ignore my iTunes sync advice. I was thinking about the iPhone sync, which allows for purchases directly.

How about this: can you mount the ipod as a hard drive, and in iTunes, use the Add to Library function to add the iPod library back into the iTunes HD?

whoissecretdubai said...

a humble request...(for anyone not allowing this post through--not spam--)

Anyone happen to know who Secret Dubai (the blogger: is?

Anonymous said...

if you're on windows, as i am
apparently the latest version of Winamp plays songs directly from an ipod. i like it :)

my word is nockopy - RIAA warning y'all!osy

Churlita said...

That suck about your hard drive. If you know any super geeks, they might be able to save it for you.

Roxy Music reminds me so much of living in San Francisco in the mid-eighties. Ah, nostalgia.

BOSSY said...

Bossy feels SO OLD when you speak of your iPod as Old School!

Anything wrong with those round things with the hole in the middle?

Whaddya mean, "Donuts"?

Von said...

I just got "socklime" on another blog, and I see below it's perchy. OMG - it IS some sort of code...

Brando said...

Thanks for the tips on moving my tunes from the iPod to the hard drive. My drive appears to be under warranty, so it may not be that bad of a loss.

Also, aif, I was thinking of the scene in Conan the Destroyer where Der Governor has to smash all these mirrors to kill the monster he's fighting. I've forgotten all the calculus I've ever learned, but I remember that.

wendy said...

I don't know what I'd do without my hall of mirrors....

verification word is that garbage that has done something bad?..

Snag said...

I've got lurig for verification. As in, "The police arrived to find a lurig scene involving Brando, his hard drive, and a goat."

"More Than This," is the one song lost somewhere on my hard drive that I can't find to return to my iPod, and I'm too cheap to buy another copy.

I have transferred songs from my iPod to my hard drive before. I just remember you have to be careful to do it right or you can erase everything.

A couple years ago I signed up for Carbonite on-line backup service. It's pretty cheap, $50 a year, and easy and automatic. It also makes it easy to transfer data to a new computer and has the advantage of being remote in the event of theft or fire. There are other similar services and while I'm sure there are readers of this blog who can depress me with all the reasons this isn't a good solution, I take my comfort where I can get it.

Anonymous said...

I'm probably older than a goodly portion of yall, and I was just a pup when Roxy Music was touring in the late 70's early 80's. Bryan Ferry had a voice like milk chocolate. Not a great deal of substance, but it sure felt good.

My verif word is allisms. Don't know what to make of that.
Too bad about your drive problems. Hope you figure it out. Loved your blog. Thanks.