A View From The Handbasket

Monday, November 14, 2005
Random notes
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:51 AM
My iPod sits at my desk at work, always plugged in. It hasn't been away from a power source long enough for the shuffle feature to reset itself, so I've been working through all 6510 songs in a single, months-long shuffle session (as I type this, it's on song 4813). Yesterday was my birthday, and one of the first songs to come up (yes, I worked yesterday) was "Birthday" by the Beatles. Spooky. They're becoming sentient.

In other music-related babble, I made the mistake some time ago of becoming interested in Frank Zappa. Usually, this is a straightforward proposition, you decide you like something, and blithely pick up some well-reviewed CDs to dig deeper. Yeah, audiophiles will get worked up over relatively minor sound-quality issues, but you'll run into that with anything.

Zappa is a whole other universe, though. His catalog is in what can kindly be called disarray. Pick up one of the currently available CDs, or (horrors) paw through the used bins, and you might be confronted by anything from a 60s recording with re-recorded 80s bass and drums to sound quality comparable to an 8-track-tape left on the dashboard of a Ford Torino since the Nixon administration.

The curious and the masochistic are invited to check out the invaluable Zappa Patio, currently in the capable hands of David Goodwin, to get an idea of the problem. If you make the same grevious error of judgement I did and start collecting Zappa records, look before you leap. It's a cold hard world out there.

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