21 miles

Well, 21 and change. I was hoping to bump it close enough to 22 on the week that it would pop over to 24 and change but unless I run tomorrow and explicitly break the ten-percent rule that ain’t happening. If I ran tomorrow I would just go for it and get 25 in and that would be dumb.

So tomorrow is an off day except for mowing the lawn and suchlike.

DS9 rewatch is up to The One Where Worf Kills His Brother (or Not). Have been putting in only perfunctory time in RoF, but am clearly showing improvement in both plane control and gunnery. Too bad the MM portion of the game is dominated by five-year players, because that’s a hill I’m simply too late for.

In thinking about fooling myself into using the computational devices to exercise enthusiasms and skills long fallow I’ve been budgeting an hour a day to dump a song into the iPad using GarageBand. No fancy shit and fussing with good mics or anything, just headphones, the cheap guitar (which I have come to love for its’ questionable tunings and thing squawky tone), and the iPad. It’s super easy to get hypnotized into getting it perfect instead of getting it done, as is the case with all computery things. So far I’m about five songs into a familiar set. Next I hope to start transcribing and butchering stuff I have found from the weeks of Victrola and Edison YouTube listening I have been rocking. We’ll see. Or hear. Or something.

new word

As a consequence of my reanimated interest in Rise of Flight, I’m haunting flight sim fora. They are unpopulated, and the regular users engage in recriminations and fingerpointing to the nth degree, clearly symptoms of contracting demand. I have no idea why the market for this has gone away and don’t really care enough to try to figure it out. But today, buried amidst the unappealing crumb-fights, I came on a new phrase.

One of the responses to the commercial abandonment of the sector was the emergence of varying open-source sims, one approach of which is generically termed DCS, for digital combat simulator. I think the idea was initially to create a reference data set incorporating feature definitions and APIs that would permit cross-platform, open-source development of various hardware simulations, not just airplanes.

At any rate, the outcome in flightsim-land has been incredibly detailed simulations of cockpits for a variety of aircraft. The primary application of the sim, then, is procedural familiarization for extant real-world aircraft. The new term I learned today? “Study sim,” for sims that emphasize extremely detailed interactive representations of every little thing necessary to complete an actual flight procedure on an actual aircraft. I love the term.

well, of course. it's the same thing.

The warmly self-congratulatory NPR show the “TED Radio Hour” is apparently presenting a groveling feature to none other than Tony Robbins this evening. At four in the afternoon on a Sunday in one of America’s cities of the future, KUOW is devoting an hour to positive self-delusion. As a fundraising tool, I suppose it works out, and suspect it might.

I am highly amused that Robbins sounds somewhat like Penn Jillette, fast patter, hoarse baritone, and all.


I had totally forgotten that KING went public in spring 2011. I’m so happy to have a non-ad supported classical programming station on the air locally.

KING’s programming is a far cry from the range of material heard on WFIU in my youth, with not nearly as much screechy and blippy 20th century stuff, but that’s OK – I can get my Xenakis fix whenever I want it now. It’s still delightful to listen to Elgar by the fire while looking out the window at the snow or reading.

Oh of course

While I was able to use this tip to enable a means to view source in Safari on iPad, one cannot copy a selection from the code. Naturally. Nor can one copy a JavaScript link. So I will have to remember to fish around for a quickpost link when I get my butt into the desk chair.


This weekend, Seattle Soundfest happens at a variety of venues in Seattle. The venues are:

The Comet
The Funhouse
The Vera Project
El Corazon

Soundfest has umbrella pass pricing for the events at $150 (which includes free beer, probably PBR) and $100.

Single-day pass pricing is $40. Individual shows are also priced; I only looked up the prices for the shows I want to attend.

The full published schedule is here.


Please note that while the schedule lists starting times for each band and the organizers undoubtedly intend to hold the bands to them, there is nearly no possibility that these time will be accurate for shows that include more than four bands.

There are many, many bands playing. I do not want to see them all. I have identified the artists I wish to see and note the published starting times and locations.

NEUMOS – $25 (6 bands, doors at 6p)
Avengers, 9:45. Jello Biafra, 10:45 (5th and 6th)

FUNHOUSE – $12 (6 bands, doors at 6p)
Austin Lucas, 9:15 (4th)

It’s not likely to be able to catch Austin’s set and then catch Penelope, so my plan here is just to catch Austin.

EL CORAZON – $25 (6 bands, doors at 4p)
The Dickies, 7. Angelic Upstarts, 9. The Vandals, 10. (3rd, 5th, and 6th)

NEUMOS – $25 (6 bands, doors at 6p)
John Doe & Exene, 10:30 (6th)

I might actually just sit this night out. The only band I haven’t seen listed above is the Angelic Upstarts.

Seeing John and Exene is a possibility, though, because Exene is sick (multiple sclerosis) and it’s not clear how much longer she will be able to tour. I had thought that they might slip Dave Alvin into their lineup because I saw that the Blasters are playing the next night in town, but he’s playing gigs in California on both the 20th and the 21st. Looks like the Blasters in town on Sunday will be a Phil-only incarnation.

THE VERA PROJECT – $17 (5 bands, doors at 6p)
Cro-Mags, 8:30. Zero Boys, 9:30 (4th and 5th. Very likely to be on schedule.)

NEUMOS – $20 (6 bands, doors at 5p)
The Blasters, 9:30 (6th)

EL CORAZON – $30 (6 bands, doors at 4p)
Stiff Little Fingers, 10:00 (6th)

This is only a little tough. There’s no realistic way to hit all three of these shows for the headliners. The Zero Boys, of course, are from my home and even though I have seen them a zillion times, the last time was over a decade ago at Second Story in Bloomington. The first time was at Ricky’s Canteena in the same town when I was seventeen.

I have never seen Stiff Little Fingers nor the Blasters. Both are treasured bands in my listening habits, but especially the Blasters. I nearly *booked* a Blasters show when I was about 19; I can’t recall the details about where it was to be or why it went off the rails but for whatever reason it never happened. So it will be hard to miss both bands. But the main reason I go see bands these days is to see old friends, and the Zero Boys are old friends indeed.

Final tally: Friday night at the Funhouse for Austin and Sunday night at the Vera Project for the Zero Boys. That’s $12 and $17, so no pass for me.


OK, so, uh.

On St. Patrick’s Day, a rock musician and studio guru named Alex Chilton passed away at 59 from a heart attack while mowing his lawn in New Orleans. Chilton is best known to the average person as the author of the theme song to ‘That 70’s Show,’ a song called “In the Street” originally written for and recorded with his early 70s outfit Big Star. I won’t go in to detail about that part of Chilton’s career here, there’s plenty easily available elsewhere.

I was introduced to the music of this part of Chilton’s career when the long-unavailable Big Star records were released on CD in the mid-90s.

After the frustration of Big Star, Chilton turned definitively away from mainstream approaches to music, really kicking off this segment of his career with my favorite part of his work, the recording and engineering of the Cramps‘ first two records. It’s here that I first encountered his work. Throughout the eighties and early nineties, an eclectic range of artists worked with him in the studio, including, most importantly for the purposes of my little tale here, a New Orleans based band known as the Royal Pendletons.

This band was/is led by my ex-bandmates in Modock, Matt Uhlmann and Mike Hurtt.

On a visit to New Orleans I paid in 1993, Matt told me about meeting Chilton and excitedly outlined his supportive relationship with the band, including longterm loans of gear. Sadly, I did not get to meet Mr. Chilton on that visit, and I have yet to pay a return call on the Crescent City.

When I heard the news of Chilton’s passing on the evening of St. Patrick’s Day, I was quite saddened, and somewhat mystified by that. Thinking it through, it was clearly because I have developed an emotional connection to the melancholy parts of the Big Star catalog. I was cheered by some friends’ beautifully sad rendition of Nighttime, the title of this post:

As all this was passing through my internet browser, a memorial discussion was opened at Musical Family Tree by the site’s initiator, Jeb Banner. Many of my hometown cohort dropped by to leave a note.

A comment by one old friend and noticing that Mr. Chilton’s widow’s name was Laura combined overnight to make me wonder if he had married a friend of mine. Logging in to the site, I was stunned to find my tickle of curiosity completely confirmed. There’s more to the story, really a lot more, most of which I’ll never know.

I’m not really sure how to process all of this; after all, in the end, I never met the guy. But his music and his life directly impacted a passel of people around me, either as the Big Star guy or less visibly as an idiosyncratic and profoundly self-directed music producer. I guess in the end, my sense of loss about his death was more founded on direct social impact than I realized, and that has placed me into a reflective frame of mind.

Tuning in

So, as noted in some earlier posts, I have successfully (I hope) executed a Grand Unification of the iTunes Libraries. Unfortunately, a key element in so doing was nuking the extant actual iTunes Library files, which means all my various library playlists are history as well.

My head hurts. On the other hand, I suppose the proper methodology is to assemble some album-by-album playlists and as I am so doing other ideas will occur. How I wish for straight-up tagging instead of bullshit genre catgories. Every single song ever written or performed by Willie Nelson belongs to the ‘country’ genre, but rap-crossover records with Afrika Bambatta AND Willie also belong in any number of additional genres.

Pursuant to Dr. Zink's

Pursuant to Dr. Zink’s notice of Miriam Linna’s nascent narrative of the Ohio mafia, I found her linking to one Houndblog. The Hound was a key WFMU DJ specializing in older regional sides but years ago he relocated to NOLA (so I am told) where he owns a bar. Persons who actually live in NOLA and play the rock and/or the roll may have better 411 than I on such matters.

So, like, listen to the airchecks, read the blog, and, y’know, stay sick.