A Fitter Happier Playlist 11022008

Friday, October 31, 2008 | |

The Jesus and Mary ChainIt's the post Halloween come-down that's got me listening to an eclectic variety of music. We've got some shoegazer from one of the founders of the genre, The Jesus and Mary Chain. There are also a few remixes I've run across recently, I particularly like what's been done to 'Mama Sed'. And finally some good straight forward highway rock. Springsteen's last few albums have really impressed me, I guess I always passed him off as passe and not worth my time. But he's got a great thrumming beat and his albums span a pretty broad range of sound. Perhaps a bit too long though.

Anyone out there know anything about vocal recording? Suggestions on good, easy-to-use programs? Comments appreciated.

Bubblegum Super Death

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Pumpkin Heads
Happy Halloween From Citizen Analog

Thanks to Koryo for his photo manipulation skillz

Prose from the Dust Bin

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | |

Jewish Museum Berlin
I've been feeling the autumnal rush of weird creativity lately; been conflicted about issues of time/duty/wants/needs. I had a discussion with a friend today, he said I'm showing clear signs of going through a quarter-life crisis. I'm freaking out about my place on this planet. When our father's were going out into the world their expectations of a life well lived were to get married, provide for their children and have steak on Saturdays. Our generation has taken those expectations and broken them apart and reassembled them into a shape that has a much much higher "acceptable minimum" level. I find myself here, in my office, freaking out because I haven't yet written a great novel, or recorded a well-respected album. Christie's has never auctioned off one of my paintings. Conan has never taken a pot shot at me.

I know this is ridiculous; its arrogant, and it's wildly unrealistic. The difference is the ability to be cognoscente of the unreality of it but still demand all those things nonetheless. The constant gnawing at the back of my mind that I'm not spending my time wisely is becoming a din I cannot ignore.

All these thoughts led me to rummage through some old work stored deep in the caverns of my hard drive. Folder: Writing. Subfolder: Poems and Short Stories. Filename: Fire.

I thought the first paragraph of this piece had a distinctly angsty voice and a cold emptiness that was appropriate for the season. Please leave comments, that the only way to improve. Enjoy.

Jewish Museum FacesIn the end, it is preferable to not be dead. Mayer admired this quip. He liked little self contained bits of poetry; they made him feel enormous and witty. Mayer also admired the ghostly dance of ash that surrounded him. Its blackness was entire in a way he hadn’t often seen. Black like staring into the center of someone’s eyes, movement and life and subtle hidden things. A cloud of ash pirouetted off to the left just inside the line of his periphery. Mayer turned and the ash was twirling much closer, having shifted in the currents of heat that now coaxed sweat from pores to ruin nice linen shirts. The ash wafted and twirled in erratic fits and starts, now brushing gentle black flecks across Mayer’s cheek, now backing away to give another dance and curtsy. A soiled napkin sat between Patrice’s uneaten dessert and a tidy pile of lobster legs she’d meticulously worked the meat from, separated into delicate portions, and nibbled at fastidiously. Mayer had always despised these napkins. Mayer is a man of thoroughly modern tastes and sensibilities. He enjoys clean lines, reasoned geometries, and a smattering of color when affected to do so. The frilled edging and baroque embroidery of the napkin that now sat at the end of Mayer’s gaze turned his stomach. A tiny blob of cocktail sauce marked the corner. The napkin was better for having been sullied. That bit of condiment was Pollock, and Mondrian, and Rothko. That drop of goo was salvation; dabbed unceremoniously from the corner of Patrice’s mouth. Mayer took the napkin, wet it in his water and wiped ash from his face.

Central Park in Fall

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 | |

On a little side project at work this week, I completed my very own line selector! Connections clockwise from bottom right are Input, Output, Send B, Send A, Receive A, Receive B. The design is completely passive, i.e. no power supply needed, and can also function as a regular A/B selector. Graphics done by Kate. (Excellent job BTW!)

Also spent more time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art again this weekend, and got lost trying to cross Central Park on my way home. Pictures, sight-seeing, exercise... these are not bad things run into on a Sunday.

Central Park NYC Central Park NYC

From the Basement

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Get yourself some Radiohead. There are other videos too, I guess...

With my eyes shut

Monday, October 27, 2008 | |

Al Franken
Al Franken is running for US Senate out of Minnesota.

Citizen Analog has strong Minnesota ties, so we'd like to extend our incredibly influential endorsement.

I actually haven't been following his campaign all that closely. I used to listen to Franken on Air America, so when he officially announced he was running I said to myself, "Yeah, that seems about right". He's a funny guy, I think what I appreciate most about him is that he doesn't condescend to the country. When he's attacked for saying outrageous things during his long comedy career he just says, "C'mon, you know the difference between satire and reality, don't be an idiot". He isn't constantly walking on eggshells, making sure each and every word is weighed and measured to be universally bland enough not to offend anyone. Everyone is so vanilla nowadays, just talking in circles and saying sentences that are completely hollow of meaning, but buzz with 'acceptability'.

I like Al Franken because he's funny and he trusts us to be able to tell the difference between the funny things he says, and the important things he'll do. He isn't going to bring the same flippant levity to economic policy decisions on the senate floor that he does to a joke about how fat Rush Limbaugh is.

Also, he can draw a phenomenally accurate map of the United States from memory.

Comming soon to a store near you

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Haven't you always wanted one???

What is going on here?


A Fitter Happier Playlist 10242008

Friday, October 24, 2008 | |

Jenny Lewis

I've been away too long. I spoke today with other parts of Citizen Analog about the nature of W  O    R          K . . .

It seems to me that we've all been tricked into sleeping under this ridiculous lead blanket for no other reason than, "because that's how its always been". Sometime during the early stages of World War II people got into the rhythm of working long ours, getting up early and buckling down.

15 minute coffee breaks

40 minutes lunch (drink that soda in the car fella)

Walls around your work station, neutral color pallet. Classical music (turned way down low). Bleccccchhh. It is SOUL DEVOURING. When I think of all the creative things I want to be doing it makes my heart race. Five o'clock rolls around and I bolt from the office, but alas, I'm too tired to do anything. So I wander in circles and listen to my neighbors arguing.

This whole damn thing pulls at my guts.

It isn't the THING that is the problem though, it is the DOING. I work in the field that I always wanted to work in, I love the idea of my job, and my career couldn't be going more swimingly. But it doesn't matter, I could be working in a friggin' candy testing facility and I'd still learn to hate it. It is HAVING to get up in the morning, and HAVING to be there on Friday. It's the whole damned machine. I need helping finding a way to eek out something small without having to do any sort of traditional W O R K.

This playlist is about Happiness.

Show Me Your Personality

Thursday, October 23, 2008 | |

This past Tuesday called for a late night venture into the city, to attend one stellar showing of the band Deerhoof. All this at the expense of getting home at 2am and running the next day on 5 hours of sleep was well worth it. The performance put on at Spiegeltent was utterly mind-blowing for the size of crowd, and I struggle to bring another recent live performance to mind that even slightly compares. Unfortunately, I did not get any usable video for which I deeply regret. The band that preceeded Deerhoof was not of this world, or maybe I just didn't get it. That is, if there was something to get. See for yourself if you can make it though all 45 seconds. Some tracks from Offend Maggie are included below. Highly recommend you check out this album as it has grown on me in the past week or so.


Friday, October 17, 2008 | |

This image is © Wellcome Images, but has been altered into a Derivative Work by Paul Sobczak by cropping, removing and adding content
Cake - by Todd Cloby

Text version:

I'm so full of cake.
If I eat any more cake I'd have to vomit first.
Sometimes I'll eat 2 or 3 cakes in a single day.
I love cake!
I can't be any clearer than that.
I love cake!
I'll eat every cake in New York City.
I can't even go into bakeries anymore because I'll eat all the cake.
I'll say "Where's the cake? Gimme the cake! Get the cake!"
And they say, "We know how very much you love cake, and we know you very rarely have the money for any of our cake, so get outta here, because you can't afford our cake! But we know how much you love cake, so get outta here, you can't afford the cake!"
I'll punch somebody in the head for some cake.
Give me all your cake!
I love cake!
Gimme the cake!
I love it!
I love cake!
Gimme your cake!
[crazy laugh]

As an added bonus people have been uploading their versions of cake, you can find them here.
208 versions of Cake From WFMU in NYC's archives.

Please let us know if you make a version and upload it, I am sure all of us would love to hear it.


Thursday, October 16, 2008 | |

Just an FYI, a documentary has been made exploring the history of the electric guitar. Quite exciting. Just finished watching Clif Taylor's documentary Fuzz: The Sound That Revolutionized The World which was highly enjoyable and recommend you see it. The electric guitar documentary is done by Davis Guggenheim and called It Might Get Loud, which follows the careers of Jimmy Page, U2's the Edge, and Jack White. No official release date yet, rumors are late 2008 / early 2009. You can bet you'll hear about it here.

What are you watching?

Second Nature


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There's something about museums. I found myself deep within the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art last weekend, just wandering around in a complete mental stupor. Trying to imagine the hands that made the relics before me, the process by which it could have been made, the meaning behind these ancient objects. In that moment you are drawn in and everything that previously had seemingly such meaning and importance disappears. There is only yourself and the object under observation, and upon even closer inspection, these two things become one.

Become History

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | |

Photo Cred

Is there something of value in the universe besides planet Earth? Yes.

Will I inevitably forget to close the shower curtain again? Most certainly.

I think about these things.

And Deerhoof!

I find their latest offering Offend Maggie a bit more accessible than past albums however, it can still only be accurately described as a Deerhoof album. It seems they've found a groove in creating new and strange musical arrangements that fit succinctly into 4 minutes or less (save the last song which comes in at 5:49). If the indie rock, odd and asymmetrical, female singer type thing appeals to you on any level, this shall be enjoyed. See them live Oct 21 / Oct 22!

Deerhoof - Offend Maggie


Monday, October 13, 2008 | |

A short documentary of some of the people involved in the free-folk, I mean new weird America, I mean naturalismo, or was it freak folk?

It is by David Kleijwegt who also did the latest documentary of the band Low. (I say latest because there are now at least two that I know of.)

The film included the likes of CocoRosie, Antony Hegarty , Devendra Banhart, Vashti Bunyan plus others.

On a somewhat related note Antony's latest ep is out, cant wait to pick that up

And it comes with bonus German subtitles. (the film not the ep, well I guess I am just assuming that Antony doesn't speak German. Is David Bowie German?)

THE ETERNAL CHILDREN (click with intensity!)

A Fitter Happier Playlist 10122008

Sunday, October 12, 2008 | |

Lets try this together.

This evening I peel back the skin and muscle from my head and find a pool of technicolor melodies droning their patterns unstoppable. Swirling, spitting out bits of this and bits of that.

You will listen and feel pulled body and soul into the place where music overcomes you and fills your mind to overflowing. Pushing out all your other thoughts and conversations. Leaving only raw emotion.

You'll feel that floaty uncomfortably tall feeling that goes along with good weed. And time will pass slowly.

When you've waited a long time and the music finally breaks you will feel the hot liquid rush and thrumming beat of satisfaction spiraling each notch in your spine.

I'm in a shoegazer mood...

That is how these six songs affect me. Enjoy a fitter happier playlist (10122008)

Phil Karnats



-Wolf Parade

-The National

-Vashti Bunyan

-The Secret Machines

Photo Credit = Here, Thanks

Studies In African Music

Friday, October 10, 2008 | |

Studies in African Music Volume I and II

Written by A.M Jones

Arthur Morris Jones
(1889 – 1980), was a missionary and musicologist who worked in Zambia during the early 20th century. He was stationed at St Mark's School in Mapanza in the Southern Province of present-day Zambia (called Rhodesia at the time). He is best known for his ethnomusicological work. He made an important contribution to the literature with his work in African rhythmic structure. He is also remembered for his controversial theories on scales and the music of the marimba, which he claimed migrated from Southeast Asia to Africa.*from wikipedia.

Volume I
Volume II

I found this while listening to Information Transmission, Modulation and Noise: Steve Reich and John Gibson (November 6, 1970) link

I think it will be an interesting read/study. The first book is more essay based and the second volume is the music to accompany the essay in volume one. You can purchase a copy of it for big bucks at rare book re-sellers on the internet, but this version is free. Enjoy.

Commuter Music

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 | |

Death and Rebirth at the Amusement Park

Sunday, October 5, 2008 | |

You wake up. The ever wakeful glow of the clock crashes in front of your eyes like the cymbal accented crescendo of some inappropriately early symphony. You feel a mixture of happiness and nerves. Happiness because it is Sunday and you've still got a few hours to sleep. Nerves because today could either work out very well, or fall to pieces on the floor. You wrestled a trembling yawn from your core. You return to Nod.

You wake up. You can't put it off any longer. Your jaw is acting up this morning, not a good sign. You shower and check your phone messages. Two people have canceled. Not a good sign. Shirt, check. Shorts and sandals, check. You ask yourself, "is today a hat day?". It is not. Bandanna, check. You pack your pockets full of the essentials, wallet, keys, and phone.

You find yourself in the car, driving down Riverside. You're early, you buy a McDonald's breakfast for the first time in several years. You don't even think about it, you simply realize you're leaving the drive-through lane after the fact. You feel an unexpected wave of disappointment and shame. You eat the food regardless, quickly, and throw away the wrapper so as to hide the evidence from Drey and Amanda.

Your faith in successful group dynamics is low. Committing yourself to a full day amongst company with no place to run and hide by yourself is terrifying. You worry about your headaches. You worry about the idiosyncrasies of the others. You begin to disintegrate. Your bones seize up and grind against one another. Your lungs collapse in on themselves and calcify. Your skin scales and flakes away from your muscles. The wind tussles at your hair as your component parts wrap and warp and spiral away from one another on the breeze.

You wake up. You find yourself passing through a metal detector. You have to go through twice because you've forgotten about Amanda's phone, in your pocket because she hasn't any.

You wake up. You've just defied gravity for the seventh time in one afternoon. Your mind and body fight over whose really in control of the equilibrium.

You find yourself at home. You take off your shoes and pop your jaw in and out of its socket a few times to relieve the pressure. You return to bed and recount the day.

Fleet Footage

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Who: Fleet Foxes

Where: Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom

When: Oct 4th 2008

What I Learned:

1. Robin Pecknold is an amazing live singer.
2. 4 out of 5 Fleet Foxes sported facial hair, to which each member's fun level onstage seemed to be directly related.
3. Hollowbody guitars are well liked by the Fleet Foxes.
4. Someone in the band will almost always answer every heckle or shout from fans in between songs. My favorite was "Bring on the Goat!". And no Robin, it didn't make sense to me either.

Here's some video by yours truly.

Radiohead/Chopin Mashup

Friday, October 3, 2008 | |


Graphic Fuzz

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Friday. Like the four days before it, finds me at a brisk gait towards the A line express train in Fulton Park. For no reason whatsoever I have chosen my higher quality over-the-ear headphones instead of earbuds, enabling a sort of end-of-the-week buffer on reality. Through the turnstyle, at the top of the stairs my disconnected vision tells my brain "that is my train" and shortly after, "move quickly" as my feet find a precise frantic rhythm in the decent. Without misstep I am aboard. Not only have I efficiently navigated the first leg of my commute, but in doing so secured the coveted front-of-the-first-car position, where a single lonely pane of glass grants the only parallel view of the vessel's motion. At this moment I have come to the realization that I've forgotten my lunch.

Tremendous Eyewear, Raised Dead

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"My body started to shut down. I got really, really ill. When you're starving ...you can't concentrate. I was [a] zombie, like the walking dead. I was just consumed with what I would eat, [who] I would eat."

-Tracy Gold (slightly modified)
-from "Room to Grow[l]: An Appetite for Life"

Tracy Gold, best known for her role as Nell in Wildfire 7: The Inferno found the courage to make public her experience during that dark ten year period we all work so hard to keep from bubbling up to the front of our minds.

Who next will come forward with their account of the Zombie Apocalypse. We all went through it, we all had to do things we never imagined we'd find ourselves doing. I myself will forever have the image of my beloved Patrice's severed arms clutching with deadly inhuman grip to my throat burned into my eyes. I will forever have to live with the memory of prying those cold dead hands from my neck and using them to beat my zombie dog to death.

These things happened, there's no changing that. It's time for the healing to start; it's time for us to stop spending long nighttime hours rocking rhythmically on the porch swing, pickaxe in hand, watching the fields. It's time to put away the shotguns. It's time to start trusting our neighbors again.

A small theater group in Austin is putting on a stage production of George Romero's classic:

Weird City Theater: Night of the Living Dead

How Zombies Work

My girlfriend introduced me to this fantastic comic series. If you've ever gotten to the end of a zombie flick and said to yourself, "well what next?", then this is for you. It follows a group of survivors just trying to live their lives after the world has been taken away from them. Volume four is being released this October. The following link is the first issue free from Image Comics website:

The Walking Dead

And finally...my girlfriend as a zombie:

This isn't exactly and accurate depiction of what she looks like. She doesn't normally wear pearls for one. and her hair isn't that dark in person.

Items I would grab in the ten second before a horde of nightmarish undead break down my bedroom door to feast on my delectable innards:

-Bedside Pistol
-Ornamental Swords
-Sobakawa Pillow
-Signed Bill Murray Poster
-Priceless Rembrandt
-iPod Filled with Kraftwork
-Terry Cloth Bath Robe
-Skateboard (for Shreddin' Xtreme)
-Some Light Reading
-A Single Cherry Blossom (Ode to a World Gone Mad)
-Condoms...Because You Never Know

Tenori-Paulson Plan

Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | |

Taking some initiative from Mr. Paulson, I've come up with an alternative bailout plan that's quite simple.

Instead of spending the projected 700B USD to save our financial institutions, we can purchase 301,139,947 (estimated US population) Tenori-Ons. A Tenori-On for every man woman and child in America. Political popularity will soar. (One must also realize that this plan hinges completely on Yamaha's ability to conjure up 9.5427529 Tenori-Ons per second, if we want our them in our hands this year, and believe me we do).

Not only will this cost significantly less ($361,367,936,400 < $700,000,000,000), I'm also told it is the solution to every problem ever.
Q:World Hunger? A:Tenori-On.
Q:Depression? A:Tenori-On.
Q:Smell bad? A:Tenori-On.
Q:Your children complaining because you haven't fed them in 4 days?
A:Tenori-Wait. Go feed those kids.
And finally, Q:Financial Crisis? A:Tenori-On!

Videos of this thing are all over youtube. Musicians such as Battles, Four Tet, and Jim O'Rourke have already embraced this beast. Will you be next?