Month: July 2017

Recently added to the music library

In a past post I attributed my love of Jazz to my paternal Grandfather. He was a Jazz fan too. I recall every Sunday he’d have the radio tuned to a local Jazz station. He’s been gone for 25 years but he had one hell of an impact on my musical tastes.

So new  artists added to my library:

Pat Metheney

Dizzy Gillespie

Spyro Gyra

Bob James

another from Bob James – from which the below by Common uses.

Common

In addition to Common, the following sampled liberaly from the above.
2 Live Crew’s Megamixx II
2 Live Crew’s Who’s Fucking Who?
Alkaholiks’s Who Dem Niggas
Awesome II’s Ahooga
Beastie Boys’s Hold it Now, Hit It
Biz Markie’s Cool V’s Tribute to Scratching
Black Rock & Ron’s You Can’t Do Me None
Caron Wheeler’s Livin’ in the Light
Chemical Brothers’s Dig Your Own Hole
Dan the Automator’s Music to be Murdered By
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince’s Hip Hop Dancer’s Theme
Ed O.G.’s Feel Like a Nut
Eric B and Rakim’s Don’t Sweat the Technique
Eric B and Rakim’s Eric B Made My Day
Eric B and Rakim’s The Punisher
Ghostface Killah ft Method Man, Raekwon & Superb’s Flowers
Gina Thompson’s The Things That You Do
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s Freelance
Gravediggaz’s Pass the Shovel
Heavy D’s Nuttin’ But Love
Ice Cube’s I Wanna Kill Sam
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s Deathwish
Kwame’s Itz Oh Kay
Kwame’s Ownlee Eue
LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells
Mantronix’s Get Stupid
Mantronix’s King of the Beats
Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy
Miles Davis’s Work It
Missy Elliott’s Work It
Naughty by Nature’s Let the Ho’s Go
Nightmares on Wax’s Coming Down
Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s Lots of Lovin’
Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s The Sun Won’t Come Out
PM Dawn’s Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
Poison Clan’s Action
Prince Johnny C’s Comin’ to Get Ya
Public Enemy’s 1 Million Bottlebags
Run-DMC’s Peter Piper
Salt ‘N’ Pepa’s Expression
Slick Rick’s The Moment I Feared
Succuss N Effect’s Real Deal
Terminator X’s Ain’t Got Nuttin’
TKA’s Maria
UBC’s Harlem $2.50 Pyramid
World Class Wreckin’ Cru’s Cabbage Patch
X-Ecutioners’s Mad Flava

The latter by Bob James famous for the theme music for the TV series Taxi – the track is called Angela. I also got his Nautilus track too.

Spyro Gyra – is a jazz with a Caribbean and Brazilian beat. Very nice.

Dizzy Gillespie – Swing Low Sweet Cadillac is awesome.

Pat Metheney  of course I consider as  Jazz musician heavily influence by African music.

Common – I’ve got a few of his tracks. Not jazz per say, more hip hop but makes liberal sampling of Jazz music.

 

 

Car Review: 2016 Ford Focus SE

All over the net I’ve been seeing glowing reviews of the Ford Focus RS and other models. So yesterday I had the opportunity to drive a Focus SE.

Things I like about the car:

  • Decent seating not totally comfortable as the lumbar supports are too weak.
  • Sync has improved dramatically making Bluetooth integration nearly effortless.
  • The central info window on the dash has easy to navigate sub-screens.
  • It has decent power in it’s normally aspirated form.
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel.
  • All bluetooth controls on the steering wheel.
  • Headlights are quite effective on this car.

Now what I dislike:

  • The transmission at low speeds hunts an awful lot. It’s pretty annoying
  • Engine revs pretty high. That surprised me especially since I could easily get the car to red line.
  • Minor peeve – the location of the trunk release. In many cars it’s right toward the bottom left of the dash. Ford in their wisdom chose to put it up by the headlight control.
  • Headlight control isn’t on the stalk, it’s on the dash. That once disturbs me.
  • Seating could be improved dramatically.
  • The transmissions sweet spots seems to be at  35MPH and 85MPH, but at 65MPH it hunts like crazy.

My overall judgement – the Focus SE may work for you, but it doesn’t work for me. Ford needs to put a little more effort into the car. I’d say two major areas of improvement are the transmission control and the seating system. I bet there’s an upgrade package for the seating too.

 

 

New Music additions to my library

How could I have missed these tracks. First up Bronski Beat lead by Jimmy Sommerville Once he left Bronski Beat he formed up with The Communards.

And more on the Bronski Beat – it was a three member group – and all three including Jimmy himself were gay men.

Here’s Small Town Boy:

Next is Tell Me Why

Now we move to his time in The Communards – with Never Can Say Goodbye:

Then we have the Communards with Don’t Leave Me This Way:

It’s funny – how many of the artists from 1980’s were in fact gay men. George Michael, Boy George, Jimmy Sommerville, Limal, and a whole bunch more.

 

 

Creating a nation of Dumb Fucks

So I just watched this video:

And it was President Clinton who killed the Tevatron and FermiLab – Enrico Fermi is probably spinning so fast in his grave that he could power Chicago.

But then it hit me, how many scientists have we had as our Presidents, Speakers, et al and the answer is none. Or close to none. At last JFK understood the path forward was with rockets.

But ever since we’ve had a string of science illiterates as our leaders. Granted Fermilab got gutted in 2012-2013. So maybe one of those physicists should be bread to be our next leader. Because we’ve had teachers, historians, lawyers and actors as President. How badly could we do with someone who understood science?

Just imagine were that the case we’d have colonies on the Moon, Mars, probably a huge rotating space station and maybe even anti-gravity. Wouldn’t that be cool.

How to do religion

You know by now I don’t believe in god/God/gods. None of them even existed or were real.

But it hit me, I grew up Catholic. Catholic churches are sight, sound, scent factories. Think about it, all the stained glass, the lighting, the incense that was burned on certain days, and the fact that the mass was said in Latin up until the 1960’s. And think about it, in that time before Vatican II or before the invention of the Gutenberg Press in the 15th century  – the churches must have been quite the scene and rather mystical because the mass wasn’t said in local vernacular.

But we live in the 21st century – some 600 years after the invention of the printing press. And so we have greater access to information, from books, libraries, and the web in general. And there are much greater spectacles on the web than a church could ever, in so many words hold a candle. Think about it we all have LASERS now. Either your net connection comes to you as light via a LASER  or you have a CD-ROM reader on the computer, or any number of things. That makes the net possible and well, that has done more to enhance science and destroy religion over time. And I’m so on board and good with that.

So if religion wants to survive it has to stop with the Old Testament bullshit but they’ll never do that. It is precisely why in the 18-29 age group – fewer and fewer are turning to the church. And as I said to someone recently – what irks me more than anything is the proselytizing – I mean come on, if your god is so great why do you have to tell everyone about him/her/it?

The cat is literally out of the bag vis a vis the Catholic church and even on Christianity, Islam, etc. All of the Abrahamic religions are based on what I term extreme amounts of woo. In other words, it’s all made up, the fevered imaginings of bronze age people. We’re 20 centuries or so past that and it’s time we start behaving as such. Because using a bronze age collection of texts as your basis for live is pretty much asinine.

Sed solum hominibus non est deus – which is “There is no god but there is only mankind”