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May in review (2009)

Zoe and Louie (#2)

Continue reading May in review (2009)

In regards to the heavy rainfall today…

Zoe: “There’s a thunderstorm! It’s on the outside landing on our house!”

later:

“I want to catch the rain in my buckets to keep the dragonflies safe.”

Flowers 3/15/2009

I call this one “Mum’s Vacation Snapshot”

Mum, Close Up

Football Mum

Texas Anemone

Texas Anomone (part 2)

Star Orchid (part 1)

Star Orchid (part 2)

Star Orchid (part 3)

Star Orchid (part 4)

Star Orchid (part 5)

Texas Anemone (B&W)

“The Arrangement”

Star Orchid (part 6)

Zoe. With Spoon.

With Spoon

“A Lonely Night” (DADGAD Thing)

I recorded this (or rather, I should say Raph recorded this) one evening at Raph and Kaige’s place. Raph had introduced me to a wide range of new tunings and we’d been practicing a song in DADGAD (hence the filename). He had to do something, I don’t remember what exactly, but he turned on the multi-track right before he left and I stayed around and played with the tuning a bit and some of the noodling resulted in the following. You can even hear Mika, Raph’s dog, barking in the background. And yes, the digital delay was cranked a little high, and it suffers from the lack of a compressor… if I had to date this, it was probably ‘97 or ‘98 or thereabouts.

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Download DADGAD Thing

I’m on twitter

I’m on twitter. I have no idea why.

http://twitter.com/ToddMcKimmey

(Bonus points for the totally ORIGINAL username, I s’pose)

Monthly Music Review: Chinese Democracy

After 13 long years of waiting for a new Guns ‘n Roses release, Chinese Democracy is finally, finally released. Here is my review.

Continue reading Monthly Music Review: Chinese Democracy

Tom Waits; Scarlett Johansson; Bob Dylan

My first encounter with the music of Tom Waits happened while I was working at Boeing back in the early 90’s. I always claimed a fairly broad brush when it came to musical tastes, but I’d primarily been listening to Journey, David Sanborn (as well as other smooth jazz of the time), Jethro Tull and various other bits of rock, new age, punk and what have you. Tull was my new love, suggested by a coworker, and has, for the last 17 years, dominated my ‘go-to’ album collection.

Another co-worker at Boeing suggested Tom Waits. He (coworker, not Tom) was a diminutive, quirky little guy who had trouble catching on to simple concepts. He was eventually terminated for making, as well as carrying out, some physical threats against the rest of us. It’s sad I’ve completely blocked his name…

But before that whole ball of fun, he made me a mix tape — yes, that’s weird now that I think about it — of Tom Waits songs. I popped it into the tape deck exactly once and found it completely, utterly unlistenable. Of course at the time I didn’t have any inkling or clue to his influence, nor did I pay one bit of mind to the lyrics in a song (a trend that mostly continues to today, when, very recently, my wife told me that the lyrics of a particular song I rather enjoy were about suicide… I’d no idea). I found him unlistenable in the same way I like to hear other people play Dylan songs. Outside of the Travelling Wilburys, I’ve never been able to listen to a whole album (sincere apologies to both Bill and Paul on that, I know you’ll be disappointed in me!).

After that one listen I lost the tape. I’d not put my mind on Tom Waits for years.

So fast forward to many months ago when I read that Scarlett Johansson was releasing an album. This had to be at least entertaining, I thought to myself, knowing that many of the actors-turned-singers don’t do all that well. And then I read the news that it would be a cover of Tom Waits songs.

Oh, this will be rich. 

So on day 1 of availability, I purchased the tracks on iTunes. I read the reviews as I listened to them and tended to agree with the negative ones.

If you’re looking for an album where, by the end, you know how good a vocalist Scarlett Johansson is, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Her vocals are mixed way down, they often seem just a tad beyond her range, high or low, and they’re delivered with an amount of energy that earns a “phoned-in” allegation for most performers. It’s soft, dreamy, padded with complex instrumentation. I kept thinking of it as “this would be really nice backings for a good Roger Waters” song. The mix has an overall Pink-Floyd-ish slant to it.

I played it a couple of times to give it its fair shake but it sat largely forgotten in the depths of my iPod.

One day on the way home from somewhere, Zoe was demanding music in the car and, frankly, I’d had enough of The Lion Sleeps Tonight and my aging collection of Smooth Jazz, so I rolled it over to the playlist I’d set up for the Scarlett Johansson album and hit play.

Three songs into it, Zoe was sound asleep.

I did this again and again. If she was even remotely tired, out she’d go. Bang! I’d found a purpose for this disc!

But this funny thing happened on the way to toddler dreamland — I started seriously listening to what was happening on the record. I started listening to the lyrics. The songs are miraculous. I see now why Tom Waits is so revered. His lyrics paint a picture, sometimes precise, sometimes abstract. There’s a sense of the way he sees the world.

And the CD brings all of that wide out in the open, sets a panoramic wall of sound to match the lyrical vision, and drives each and every song home.

I still don’t know what SJ sounds like. I don’t care. I love this album and not just for its mesmerizing effects on the under-4-foot crowd.

So now that I got Tom Waits, I was prepared to drop coin on iTunes and really check him out. I listened to 20 track samples.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even spend 99 cents on the man. I find it, I find him still, un-listenable. It’s as though Cannibal Corpse went Folk Americana, combining the worst parts of the Death Growl and archaic country-western.

So I shall continue appreciating him from afar and vicariously through starlet’s vanity projects.

On the other hand, I took the change I was planning on spending on Waits and I cherry picked a few tracks from The Essential Bob Dylan. Time to give him another try. Maybe in time I’ll earn Paul and Bill’s forgiveness.

I avoid the political thing, and will continue to avoid the political thing

but the ’stupid’ thing? I’m there.

 REWRITE(??!?!?!?!) History

America may be ready to write history, but I can assure you, no matter who the candidates are, what the voter turnout is, or how little this headline writer is getting paid, at the end of today, the Bay of Pigs was still a misstep, the Berlin Wall still came down, and Socrates still enjoyed his hemlock shaken and not stirred.

Seriously, does rewrite sound so much cooler than set to make?

Edit: Update! Clue bat strikes 1. Film at 11.

They fixed it!

Spatial proximity of cell phones based on similarity of numbers?

Cell phone rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Female Voice: “Hi!”

Me: “Hi… who is this?”

Female Voice: “It’s me.”

(Oh thanks for that…)

Me: “I’m sorry, I think you’ve got the wrong number.”

Female Voice: “You’re not Jeremy. There must be something wrong. I dialed Jeremy and it connected to your phone.”

Me: “You must have dialed the wrong number.”

Female Voice: “What’s your number?”

Me: “What number are you trying to dial?”

Female Voice: “xxx-xxYx” (Y representing the one digit that was different between the number she wanted to dial and the number, mine, she did dial)

Me: “I’m sorry, you’ve mis-dialed.”

Female Voice: “Well, can you just hand the phone to Jeremy?”

Yes, because your phone numbers, cell, mind you, are assigned by the proximity you are to those others who have similar numbers.

More Hair in Motion

Hair in Motion

Girl in a Window

Girl in a Window

Small gap in the daily pictures…

It appears my video card on my main machine has decided that death was a better operation than continuing to function normally. Yay for it and yay for a trip to Fry’s tomorrow.

Update… and get this… Warranty expiration?

8/1/2008.

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHH!!!

Another Sketch

I really like the way this one turned out…

Sketch, Mirror

Three ways to tell you visit the same coffee shop too often?

1) All the employees know you by name; you know all of them by name

2) The new guy, whom you’ve never met, knows you when you walk in and knows how you like your coffee made

3) The employees of said establishment have a betting pool as to what hour you’re coming in

The Fountain

Soaked!

Soaked! (In Tritone)

Tiptoe

Zoe and the Fountain

Zoe and the fountain (some more)

Giggling

Shouting at the fountain

 

Haunting

Zoe

Might as well do black and white, too:

Zoe, BandW

And there’s a link to the Larger color version.

“Are the neighbors stealing my lawn? I can’t like that.”

I’m not sure where she got this, but Zoe’s decided that if the neighbors are in their back yard, they are stealing our lawn, which results in this odd turn of phrase:

“Are the neighbors stealing my lawn? I can’t like that.”

This was the expression on her face:

Are the neighbors going to steal my lawn? I can’t like that.

Edit, edit, edit…

Due to the monitor issues mentioned a few posts below, I’ve gone back and retouched the pictures from the last few posts and will continue to do older ones. So if things look a little different, that’s why.

Zoe’s Trains

We found out today that the 40%-off coupons at Michael’s and a very large Thomas and Friends supply at that particular craft store make for a good combination.

Zoe’s Trains