Sorry about the late notice, but apparently there’s a blogger party tomorrow (i.e. Friday) at K Lounge, 30 W. 52nd St, starting from 8 p.m. onwards. I’ll probably be making an appearance, though given that I’m somehow triplebooked, it’ll be towards the later end of the evening…
September 2005 Archives
Hey, it looks like we’ll be getting a new $10 bill in 2006. I like the front, I gotta admit—it harkens back to currency of the 19th century, I think. The back, on the other hand, is a total disaster. Well, can’t win them all…
I’m gonna steal from myself a bit in introducing this next clip: it’s the first movement of Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in c minor in a stunningly remastered performance by von Karajan and the Berliner Philharmonic:
This 1963 recording of this monumental work has recently been remastered by DG and is now available as part of the DG Originals series. I have to say that they did it right; quite frankly, the sonic quality of this recording is spectacular. I have also heard (and will later review in this space) an other DG Original CD (Gundula Janowitz singing Mozart) and the quality of that disc is also fabulous. If these two CDs are indicative of the sonic quality of the rest of the series, I cannot and will not hesitate to recommend them. The best part is that they’re all mid-price.
It would be a shame if the performances weren’t worth the effort that DG has put into the remastering process; fortunately for us, we have Karajan leading the Berliner Philarmoniker through an astounding performance. From the powerfully ominous opening, with its pounding timpani and sheets of strings, through the sublime allegretto and through to the famous Beethoven-inspired theme of the finale, the orchestra plays as one instrument. In other words: buy this.
I suspect that Phil Spector got his ideas about a ‘wall of sound’ from listening to this symphony.
Brahms was Beethoven’s self-appointed musical heir; he fought against what he viewed as the romantic excesses of Wagner and Liszt. Certainly, in form, this symphony is very traditional, with four movements, all in the right places; from the point of structure, the only thing a traditionalist might find fault with are the violin solo in the Andante and the sheer length of the piece (this performance, which cuts the da capo exposition in the first movement, runs a solid 46 minutes). Brahms even tips his hat to the old masters by using a theme that is directly descended from the finale of Beethoven’s 9th.
However, in terms of tonality and harmonic structure, Brahms sounds more like Wagner, Liszt and Mahler than he does Beethoven. His sonic palette is clearly and unambiguously mid- to late-nineteenth century romantic; in fact, Strauss would later use some of the same aural vocabulary in tone poems such as Don Quixote.
Well, if you remember the comments contest, it’s still going, more than a month later, simply because I never figured that it’d take this freakin’ long (I’m sure that someone was just about to make a comment about a lack of posts that are worth commenting on, so I’m saving you the trouble).
Anyway, as you can now see, we’re now 42 comments away from the magic number. The general rules are no ballot-box stuffing (i.e. no more than three comments in a row) and no spam; other than that, it’s pretty much a free-for-all…
My cell phone is dying. The circuit that controls the vibration motor has permanently closed; this effectively means that whenever the battery is attached—whether or not the phone is actually on—it buzzes and vibrates like… well, like a cell phone on perma-vibrate.
It was pointed out at a party last Saturday night that this effectively coverts my phone into a dual-use device; unfortunately, I’m not really equipped to take advantage of it…
So I’m somehow on the list to go see a press screening of Serenity tomorrow night (I was probably going to go see the movie anyway, based on buzz I’ve heard, so why not save $10.50?). And I’m telling people that I’m on the list, and they’re like, “well, what’s the movie about?” And I’m like, “well, as far as I can tell, it’s a space opera about a renegade space ship captain who’s smuggling a wanted passenger through space while on the run from the galactic empire.”
And then I paused and realized that plot summary sounded awfully familiar (no link—you kids should be able to figure it out). The buzz around the film has been very high, and Whedon has an established track record for reinvigorating seasoned tropes—most notably the vampire genre—so I’m definitely looking forward to it. Plus it’s apparently got a babe who likes to play with large bladed weapons, and that’s always a plus. Admittedly, I’ve never seen Firefly, the show it’s based on, but then again, neither did anyone else, so in that sense, I’m a fair test of the impartial viewer. Anyway, the PR firm that’s setting up this screening was kind enough to provide a more official synopsis (they were also kind enough to provide access to the Universal Art Department FTP server, where I pulled the above image with the abovementioned babe from):
Joss Whedon, the Oscar® - and Emmy - nominated writer/director responsible for the worldwide television phenomena of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE, ANGEL and FIREFLY, now applies his trademark compassion and wit to a small band of galactic outcasts 500 years in the future in his feature film directorial debut, Serenity. The film centers around Captain Malcolm Reynolds, a hardened veteran (on the losing side) of a galactic civil war, who now ekes out a living pulling off small crimes and transport-for-hire aboard his ship, Serenity. He leads a small, eclectic crew who are the closest thing he has left to family –squabbling, insubordinate and undyingly loyal.
Hm. I wonder why “Emmy” isn’t a registered trademark.
- Go into your archive.
- Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
- Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
- Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
“I think that it’s really odd that they government would send me money when last week they sent me an envelope with instructions on how to pay estimated taxes for the rest of the year.”
So, buried in this Times review of what promises to be an utterly unwatchable television series is buried this little gem:
Though the pilot was directed by the accomplished film director Taylor Hackford (“An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Ray”), “E-Ring” incorporates the rah-rah quality of last year’s movie “Team America,” but here it tries to be serious, not satyrical.
It only took me all summer to get around to making a clean version of this… so who wants a copy of the latest mix CD?
HereIType has returned from the void and has started blogging again.
Yes, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Which reminds me: Pirate keyboards are very simple; they only have the “RRRRRR” key….
My brother helpfully translates a kid’s guide to tomorrow’s German general elections.
My favorite part:
The PDS (Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus, Party of Democratic Socialism) was the party that was always voted for in GDR, East Germany.
That’s a really nice way of saying that they’re a bunch of godless pinko commies…
Yes, it’s the Velvet Yoda Elvis!. I don’t want to know how they came up with the idea…
Once nice thing about the end of primary season is that I won’t have to deal with the flood of campaign fliers cluttering up my mailbox. Today’s count was nine different fliers.
Remember, today is Primary Day (if you live in New York and are a registered Democrat).
- Mayor: Anthony Wiener. Not that this really matters, since Bloomberg’s gonna wipe the floor with whomever the Dems field for the November race.
- Public Advocate: Andrew Rasiej. He’s the choice of the cyber-saavy. The current incumbent has been pretty much invisible since getting elected four years ago.
- Manhattan Borough President: Brian Ellner. Admittedly, Scott Stringer will probably win in a landslide, but ya gotta like a gay politician who uses that as a campaigning point.
- District Attorney: Leslie Crocker Snyder. Interestingly enough, the NYC Campaign Finance Board Voter’s Guide has no information on this race.
A few notes:
- I’m not sure where I’ll be partaking for the hurricane fundraiser tomorrow (Monday). The Pegu Club is still a possibility, but the Flatiron Lounge has the distinct advantage of being relatively close to school and somewhat closer to home. ;-) Here’s a list of some other fundraisers.
- A note to the young woman who was walking down First Ave in Midtown yesterday: yes, that was a spectacular… uh, ‘outfit’. However, since I was on a bicycle sharing the road with large MTA buses, the distraction it caused was a distinct hazard to my health.
- The one thing about the NFL season is that no-one knows anything until at least Week 3. Though one thing you can count on is that quarterbacks who throw for 300 yards in a game usually lose.
- The wings from Dallas BBQ are pretty darn good.
- I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by the redesign of The Guardian, a newspaper that I’ve never actually read a paper copy of. But I am. One curious tidbit from their redesign site: They’re switching to a Berliner format, which is kinda midway between a broadsheet and a tabloid. But the curious thing is that even though the newspapers in Berlin employ a multitude of sizes, none of the Berlin newspapers actually use the Berliner format.
That’s all for now. Toodles.
“If there were one thing, though, I wish there were a blogging tool that could infect comment trolls with genital warts.” Rebecca Blood interviews Heather Armstrong.
Rebecca MacKinnon reposts a great Bloomberg story about how FEMA has been turned into a patronage mill.
If you’re wondering how the Federal Government could so completely fail at the basic task of protecting its citizens, this is a must read.
The funny thing is that Sky News is owned by Rupert Murdoch…
The Museum of the American Cocktail has established a relief fund to help with the Katrina recovery effort; to further the fund, they’re launching the Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour!, which will be held on Monday, September 12, from 5-7 p.m. To help you find a location near you, here’s a list of participating establishments. I’ll be partaking for the cause, most likely at
the Pegu Club the Flatiron Lounge (there’s still a small chance that I’ll be at the Pegu Club, but it’s much more likely that you’ll catch me at the Flatiron).
Will Work for Favorable Dicta has a few complaints to lodge about Advantage Rent-A-Car. Ok, perhaps more than a few.
Both the Tulane and Loyola law schools in New Orleans are shut down for the fall semester (if not longer). In response, almost every law school in the nation has opened their doors to displaced students.
Legal Blog Watch reports that all the professors at Tulane and Loyola are accounted for, and Susan Crawford (one supposes that I should refer to her as Professor Crawford, as I’m in her class this semester) muses that this could provide a real-world test for the virtual law school.
If any displaced law school students want to know more about going to school in New York or my school in particular, please drop me a line.
It’s been a while since I did a roundup on this website.
- Mitch McCabe, New Yorker and confirmed blue-stater, goes to Wyoming.
- Shauny wonders if the wrong kind of bread will doom her marriage.
- Rick Bruner lists new proposed slogans for the Republican Party. My favorite is “You Mean, This Isn’t What Jesus Would Do?” Related: he’s been covering the spectacularly inept Bush administration response to the situation in New Orleans. Unrelated: Bruner points out some of the bootylights of his recent trip to Central Europe.
- Susan Mernit compares two views of New Orleans.
- SarahSpace has been having medical misadventures.
- Entirely unsurprisingly, fellow law school victim Patrick Runkle has been ensnared in a web of cyber-accusations spun by a nutty Moonie GOP politician from Iowa. And when I say unsurprisingly, well, of all my friends, Patrick just seems to be the most likely to accidentally get a crazy moonie on his case. Though Ken Goldstein is a close second.
- Glennalicious is writerblockedicious.
- Lia is obsessed with Albert Einstein.
- Rossi wants a middle path.
- The Laid-Off-Dad family has returned from that giant space between the coasts.
- The Postmodern Courtesan experiments with talking dirty and can’t quite pull it off.
- Tony Pierce is writing about race and journalism.
- Maccers is trying a new all-nausea diet. It seems to be working.
- Mdm. Crumpet has found a very practical use for the internet: finding cheap gas.
- The very smart David Weinberger ponders the stupidity of the US Patent Office.
- Displaced New Orleansians are looking for a 1BR in Brooklyn, reports Rachel Kramer Bussel.
- Searchie writes about the great mythical river Oceanus.
- The Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum is closing!.
- Obsessed with death La Depressionada is. Though with a name like that, it seems it would follow…
- Whybark uses World Blog Day to wander through his past.
- PG notes uncanny similarities between recent Boondocks strips and her blog posts.
- The Blowhards ponder all those Russians playing injured in the US Open.
- Sparky wonders what all those people are looking for.