Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ode to Barry Godber (1946-1970)

My last round of Random Flickr Blogging made reference to the cover of In the Court of the Crimson King. For starters, I wanted to post the original album cover, so that readers would better understand the reference. The more I kept looking at the image, the more I wanted to delve further into it.

I was one year old when this album was released in 1969, and it took me about 15 years to catch up to it. I distinctly remember seeing the cover for the first time and not having any clue as to what the hell was going on over there. But yet, this cover art set this album aside from every other piece of vinyl in the shop. After listening to the album and freaking out multiple times, I came to appreciate that Crimson cover. Now, just like Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with its timeless simple prism design, one look at that cover tells you everything you need to know. And the artist didn't even live long enough to view the impact of his vision.

That artist was Barry Godber, a computer programmer and artist who was friends with Peter Sinfield, King Crimson's (and later ELP's) lyricist. The word is that Peter brought a few tracks from the album to Barry for ideas on a cover. The result was his interpretation of the 21st century schizoid man, with the smiling Crimson King adorning the inner sleeve. Interestingly enough, this was the only painting he had ever made. Shortly after the album's release, Barry died of a heart attack at the age of 24. I'm unable to find much info about Barry, aside from some recollections from Peter Sinfield himself.

I won't make you split up into discussion groups to think about one's purpose in life, and so on. However, I will say this: I raise a glass to Barry Godber, a man who gave us one of the most compelling and memorable pieces of album cover art. Ever.

Cheers, Barry.
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Monday, February 26, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 1569

(Random Flickr Blogging explained)

Originally uploaded by bbobbydiggitaal.

Only later, after waking up from his drug-induced stupor, did Bobby realize that he was the victim of a shitty haircut.

Originally uploaded by briansugar.

Greg complained to the wait staff that he wanted his own son removed from the restaurant for causing too much disturbance.

Originally uploaded by sassafrascal.

Nothing says you love each other quite like getting drunk and sick at the same time.

Originally uploaded by josephp101.

Joe's best attempt at recreating the album cover of In the Court of the Crimson King.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Long Live Rock

I just wanted to give a shout out to Carrie from LongLiveRock.org, who was kind enough to post my pics and review of the Joe's Pub ITA gig from the 20th.

If you have any interest in checking out some rare Who-related audio and video, then you should visit and bookmark LongLiveRock.


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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What a week (The Sequel)

Monday: Barnes & Noble

Monday was an extremely brisk and chilly day in New York, but somehow those days are ok when you have the day off. We still had to wake up early to make sure we arrived in the city in plenty of time to support Rachel Fuller's appearance at a Barnes & Noble (Lincoln Center) event meant to raise awareness about down syndrome. The event's MC was none other than Bob McGrath. You know - Bob from Sesame Street!!

Bob started things off by making sure we were happy and we knew it, so we clapped our hands. He really knew how to work the room between the singing, storytelling, and interaction with the crowd. Chris Burke, known for his role as Corky on Life Goes On, made a brief appearance as well. The event closed with a special segment on Melissa Riggio, a high-school senior with down syndrome, who has written some beautiful poetry that Rachel Fuller had put to music. After a rather nervous conversation with Bob, Melissa joined Rachel at the piano and helped perform her material. The atmosphere was very supportive and we had a wonderful time. Note: If you would like to see some great photos from the event, please visit Jason Hare's gallery.

Once things calmed down in the event area, we had a chance to have a nice chat with Pete Townshend, who accompanied Rachel to the event. Specifically, we spoke for a little while about blogging and how particularly wonderful it is that a platform like this exists for free. Of course, the freedom has its price, as I informed him that Blogger has been known to crash about once a month, leaving bloggers and readers alike twiddling their thumbs until the servers come back up. Pete was very warm with us, and it was especially nice to have a grounded conversation in a non-gig environment.

Check below the fold for details about last night's In The Attic concert at Joe's Pub in NYC.

Tuesday: In The Attic - Joe's Pub

The pics from this event have been posted to my photo site.

Things were off to a good start when the temperature increased nicely. This made for a more tolerable queue when waiting outside the venue to be let in. This time around, Joe's Pub had a much better system for letting people in. In fact, it was quite similar to airline boarding with everyone being admitted in manageable groups. Once in, we made our way to the mid-section of the bar. This vantage point was just fine since we were between the two large poles that could've made for really lame obstruction.

Rachel came onto the stage a little after 9:30 (9:41 by a certain somebody's notes) and started things off with her set. "I Can Fly" was a new addition to her setlist, and it sounded quite nice. Jimmy Fallon, returning as Attic co-host, played a couple of numbers. He even treated us to another Car Wash For Peace. In between acts, Jimmy and Rachel did something of an impromptu skit that involved piano sales. Note to Rachel: You did some great stuff during this segment; please consider composing some instrumentals that would show off your mad piano skillz. Amos Lee was next on the roster. I wasn't familiar with his material at all, so it was nice to hear some brand new music, from my perspective. His songs had a nice mellow feel to them. Pete and Rachel accompanied him for one or two songs as well. After Amos came Rachael Yamagata. She really proved to be quite a character, with the right vibe for the evening. A guitarist and drummer (hi-hat and snare) backed her up on a couple of songs, after which Rachel and Pete came out to add their support to her sound. I would definitely recommend checking out some of her material.

I was curious to see how J. Mascis would do. While I knew of his band, Dinosaur Jr., I only knew of one of their songs, Feel The Pain (which I really like). J played a couple of nice tunes, and then invited Pete to join him. Little did we know that J wanted to perform See Me, Feel Me / Listening to You. Everyone went apeshit when that got underway. I was especially psyched when Pete shouted "More! More!" in response to J's soloing. Truly, a great moment.

Next up, Mr. Townshend. His inspired set was on fire from the moment he started. Acid Queen, The Real Me, Drowned, Won't Get Fooled Again. I'll just leave it at that, because any attempt at putting Pete's set to words would be foolish. The icing on the cake came when Lou Reed joined Pete at the end of the show to play some Velvet Underground material. Both Pete and Lou were really into the moment, and it was clear that by the end they were both quite moved by the unique experience.

I do hope that Rachel and Pete consider continuing the live Attic shows, as they're such a unique and wonderful experience.


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Monday, February 19, 2007

Monday Cat Blogging

Im in ur lap reedin ur blogz

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 6754

(Random Flickr Blogging explained)

Originally uploaded by cospho.

Initially thought to be a myth, we now have irrefutable proof of the world's first schizophrenic super-hero, whose multiple powers could kick in at any time.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Location, location, location

Maps of War is an interesting site that contains 90-second Flash movies that show geographical changes and influences over thousands of years, based on specific topics. The first one I came across was the history of who has controlled the middle east over time. Funny how the middle east is always the place to be.

The next one I found rather interesting was the geographical history of religion:

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I am Spartacus

As per the lead of Driftglass. Come on and join in, folks. The water's fine.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Won't get moved again

Just a friendly reminder to all fellow Wholigans that our boys are moving, yet again, to a different channel.

As of tomorrow, they will exist on channel 29.
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Monday, February 12, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 1610

Originally uploaded by eileenflaughlin.

She who smelt it, dealt it.

Originally uploaded by P i v o.

Armed with nothing but a pair of boxers, Jay repelled the cliff face in a valiant attempt to retrieve the rest of his clothes that were tossed in a fit of anger.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Game: Guard the Button

Yes, in true Ren & Stimpy fashion, I am asking you to guard the Big Red Button. The big jolly candy-like button which, at this very moment, is beckoning you closer.. and closer..
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Right on cue

Quote from one day ago:
Man, if it isn't ratty toilet plumbing sending gallons of water into our office, it's no heat.
Today at 2:30pm EST, inches away from my desk: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

Shoot me.
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Open letter to John Edwards


As everyone is well aware, yesterday's article in the NY Times basically spoke of a gentleman who wants you to dance when he says "Dance!"

Clearly, you knew what Amanda and Melissa could bring to your table. Otherwise, the job offers would not have been made. You were aware of their dedication, loyalty, talent, and mastery of the written word. You knew how inflential they could be in motivating the blogging/netroots community. Your knowledge and feelings about these individuals cannot be nullified overnight by one person's statement.

As of late, our president has shown that sticking to one's guns is a bad thing; it's a sign of stubborness and refusal to accept reality. You have the opportunity to redefine how one sticks to his guns, by doing the right thing. It's not about one person's inane complaint. It's about your confirming how great a job Amanda and Melissa could both do for you and your campaign, and showing that you believe in what the netroots community could do for you.

Please consider doing the right thing and stand by your original decision to keep them on board.

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Gee, thanks Sirius

According to a post in Sirius Backstage, the powers that be at Sirius are none too impressed with their subscribers' feedback:
Management on Talk and Music sides of the business regarded listeners as worthless SPERM (Self Proclaimed Experts of Radio & Music).
This excerpt is from an ex-host's post on the Backstage message board, so it is kind of tough to accept this assertion as bonafide fact. However, I will say that if this even applies to just one person in Sirius management, then Sirius might want to review their relationship with customers who pay money for their service.
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By the way..

I obviously installed Snap Preview into the template. If the new Snap Preview window that you see hover over the links starts to piss you off fiercely, let me know and away it will go.
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I hate my office building

Today is the second day this week where the heater has simply stopped working. FSM forbid that the damn thing works during the coldest week so far. Yesterday, it at least kicked back on soon after I arrived. But today, it was far more sinister.

I mean, everything is comfortable this morning. I come back from lunch and start doing some work when I notice my fucking fingernails starting to turn blue! WTF?!?!? Man, if it isn't ratty toilet plumbing sending gallons of water into our office, it's no heat. That's right, you heard me. Toilet plumbing.

Rant over.
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Monday, February 05, 2007

Random Flickr Blogging: 3549

(Random Flickr Blogging explained)

Mosaïque aux perroquets
Originally uploaded by Antiquité Tardive.

In an exhibit that opens this week, museum visitors will get to see historic record, through mosaic, of birds showing extreme care for their offspring. In this particular section, we see evidence of a young bird made to wear a scarf in the colder weather.

Originally uploaded by cospho.

The documentary crew was informed, in no uncertain terms, that the interview was now over.

Originally uploaded by mhpaceflickr.

While kept under wraps for quite some time, the discovery of love children from the Blue Man Group was inevitable.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Death of a Salesman

(or, "Travelling Salesmen Can't Read")

As the sun rises on a new day of work, the Space Cowboy approaches the office door. Before entering, he admires the simple sign affixed to the door that should deter any ambitious capitalists from entering:


Several days pass by when there is suddenly a knock on the door. The Space Cowboy turns around, irritated, towards the door to find a gentleman decked out in a lovely three-piece suit, and carrying a briefcase with sample items.

Salesman: "Hey there! I was wondering if I could have just a minute of your time.."

Space Cowboy: "Actually, no. We're not interested. Hence, the sign on the door."

Salesman: "I know. I've seen that on other doors but this will really only take a minute."

Space Cowboy: "You're absolutely right. Within 60 seconds, you will be out of this office, since we do not want any solicitors. Good day."

Salesman: "Look, I just want to sh..."

Space Cowboy: "I believe I said Good Day!"

Our Cowboy understands at this point that the direct message in the original sign is not clear enough for the aggressive salesmen to comprehend. Day after day, he mulls over the idea and waits for his muse to inspire him in writing the clearest of messages to post on the door. And then it hits him:

Since our original "No Solicitors" sign didn't work, here it is in plain English that might be easier for you to understand.

We will NOT buy anything that you are offering. So, just leave us alone.

Enter at your own risk.

This sign manages to work its magic for a good couple of months. But, there's always that one guy who thinks the sign doesn't apply to him. Or, it might even be that he was a child left behind who never learned to read (cue Oscar-winning musical score). And so, in walks the salesman, blissfully unaware of his imminent doom, with assorted coloring items in hand. Let the games begin.

Salesman: "Hi there. I know you're busy, but I'll only take a minute.."

Space Cowboy (smiling): "Did you see the note on the door?"

Salesman: "Umm.. yea.. well.."

Space Cowboy: "Here - let me show you the note on the door." The Cowboy walks calmly to the door and starts pointing out every word on the note as he is reading it: "We will not buy anything that you are offering. So, just leave us alone."

Salesman: "OK. Well, I spoke with a woman upstairs who had a similar note and she bought two."

At first, the Cowboy is momentarily stunned at the salesman's cahones in dismissing the recited polite version of "Please get the fuck out." But our hero is not one to be thrown by a lame pitch. No, he isn't.

Space Cowboy: "Two, eh? Well that's great for her. But you see, down here we actually mean what we say on this door. Let me show you again just so you understand. We will not buy anything that you are offering. So, just leave us alone. Good day."

With defeat clearly etched in his face, the salesman dejectedly walks out of the door, becoming the coagulated mass he was all along.

"You're the same old story, it's the same old crime, and you got some heavy dues to pay. I'm a Space Cowboy, bet you weren't ready for that."

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Comfort Food

Two days ago the sore throat manifested, and I knew I was in for the battle. So, I hunkered down and drugged up to get a good night's sleep. Yesterday, the congestion was in full swing. Luckily, Lisa was able to get some awesome matzah ball soup the night before and that was a major help. Then, to help things along, I watched a bunch of the DVDs from the Adult Swim cartoon, Home Movies.

The great thing about this is that I actually discovered this animated series a few years ago because I was sick and couldn't sleep. Now we've come full circle and I can enjoy any episode from the first two seasons. While there are gems in every single episode, I have to confess that my favorite involves the composition of a rock opera based on Franz Kafka. Above is a clip that shows the various music moments of this episode. Pure genius.

And it will make you feel better too!

UPDATE: I totally didn't know that seasons 3 and 4 were on DVD as well. Guess what I picked up during lunch? :) As an offset, I also picked up the next two books in the Symphony of Ages series, by Elizabeth Haydon. There are some cool characters in that series, so consider giving it a read.
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