RIP Chris Squire

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Peter Gabriel, “Solsbury Hill”

Probably my favorite song.

What a great band:

  • Peter Gabriel – vocals, keyboards, flute
  • Tony Levin – bass
  • Larry Fast – synths
  • Robert Fripp – guitar
  • Steve Hunter – guitar
  • Allan Schwartzberg – drums

Hunter and Schwartzberg were in Alice Cooper’s group, Levin and Fripp ultimately met up again in King Crimson, and Larry Fast was AKA electronic music pioneer Synergy.

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RIP Sir Terry Pratchett

One of my favorite authors, Sir Terry Pratchett, died today at age 66 from complications due to Alzheimer’s Disease. His death was announced (beautifully) with appropriate humor on Twitter.

Death and Terry

For those of you who haven’t read the 40+ Discworld books, Pratchett’s Death character always speaks in all caps.

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Bruford’s “One of a Kind”

Today, while listening to my music library, I listened to Bill Bruford’s 1979 album One of a Kind. Damn, this is one of the finest pieces of music ever recorded. Each of the musicians in the band – Bill Bruford on drums, Allan Holdsworth on guitar, Jeff Berlin on bass, and especially Dave Stewart on keyboards – were at their peak on this album. Brilliant.

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Daryl Hall – “NYCNY”

This is great stuff – Daryl Hall (w/ Minus the Bear) performing “NYCNY” for the first time in 30 years. It’s from his “Sacred Songs” album that he co-wrote with Robert Fripp from King Crimson.

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Listening to every song in my iTunes library

Just got a great idea via my pal Scott MacDonald – I’m going to listen to all 24,935 songs in my iTunes library…in order.

I’m a bit of a music collector, and after 40+ years of collecting albums, 8-tracks, cassettes, CDs and MP3s, I’ve amassed a fairly large collection. At one point I had well over 40,000 songs in my iTunes library, but thanks to iTunes Match‘s 25,000 song limit, I’ve pruned it down quite a bit. I know for a fact that I haven’t listened to many of the songs, and they are still present due to packratitis and good intentions of “I’ll listen to them some day“. I’ll hopefully be able to delete many of these once and for all. Another thing I plan to do is rate all albums, and if I have the energy, most of the songs too.

To help keep track of progress, I plan to to update a page here on my website.

Here we go. Starting on 2014-10-22 at 8:45 AM EDT with A-Ha’s 1985 album, Hunting High and Low.

UPDATE 2014-12-05: 748 songs so far and still in the B’s. Finishing up Adrian Belew today.

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Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People

Via LifeHacker:

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about song writing and the structure of music, but don’t know where to start, this free online book is filled to the brim with pages that make understanding music theory easy.

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People

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Open Music Theory

Open Music Theory is an open-source, interactive, online “text”book for college-level music theory courses. This textbook is meant to support active student engagement with music in the theory classroom. That means that this text is meant to take a back seat to student music making (and breaking). It is not the center of the course.

Open Music Theory website

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I just found an old Usenet discussion (c. 1993) on alt.folklore.computers in which Eric S. Raymond and I discuss nipples. Bizarre.

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Jellyfish Flames on the ISS

From NASA Science News:

Jellyfish Flames

Fire is inanimate, yet anyone staring into a flame could be excused for thinking otherwise: Fire dances and swirls. It reproduces, consumes matter, and produces waste. It adapts to its environment. It needs oxygen to survive.In short, fire is uncannily lifelike. Nowhere is this more true than onboard a spaceship. Unlike flames on Earth, which have a tear-drop shape caused by buoyant air rising in a gravitational field, flames in space curl themselves into tiny balls. Untethered by gravity, they flit around as if they have minds of their own. More than one astronaut conducting experiments for researchers on Earth below has been struck by the way flameballs roam their test chambers in a lifelike search for oxygen and fuel.

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