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Topics - mgriffin

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Computers, Internet and Technology / Tell it like it is, James Ellroy
« on: April 04, 2011, 11:40:59 AM »
Author James Ellroy (LA Confidential, Black Dahlia, etc.) decided he was fed up with Facebook and wrote this classic "goodbye" to FB.

Dear FB Friends,
Fuck Facebook!!!!! -- It has proven to be worthless as a book-selling device, and is nothing but a repository for perverts, reparation-seekers, old buddies looking for handouts, syphillitic ex-girlfriends looking for extra-curricular schlong and hack writers begging for blurbs. For those looking for the REAL Ellroy shit, go to my wigged-out website:
Sayonara, Motherfuckers!!!


Hypnos Label Releases / RELEASE: NebulŠ - The Path of White Clouds
« on: March 09, 2011, 04:50:08 PM »
Artist: NebulŠ
Title: The Path of White Clouds
Label: Hypnos CD (digipak)

Hypnos is pleased to reissue this classic ambient album first released by the Stella Maris label. NebulŠ (previously known as "Nebula") is an European ambient supergroup of sorts, featuring Oophoi, Tau Ceti, Mathias Grassow, Klaus Wiese, Lorenzo Pierobon, Luna, and Mauro Malgrande. This is a beautiful, ethereal and abstract ambient recording, which certainly deserved greater attention than it received prior to the demise of Stella Maris, which existed only long enough to release two Nebula albums. That first release was a limited edition CDR but our reissue is a professionally manufactured CD in a beautiful digipak with new graphics.

The Path of White Clouds explores a serene and otherworldly soundspace. Meditative and gentle, these six tracks are sure to appeal to listeners who enjoy the more spacious ambient works released by Oophoi during the height of his Umbra and Penumra sister labels. The sound sources utilized here lean more toward the organic and physical instruments, and electronic processing and synthesizers are used subtly to accentuate the rest.

In the years since this album was released, Oophoi has grown from just another new practitioner of ambient music to a recording artist as respected and well-loved as any other. We at Hypnos have released other Oophoi works such as Athlit, and his collaboration with Paul Vnuk Jr. (of Ma Ja Le), Distance to Zero. We also have an upcoming release The Martian Chronicles by Oophoi with Seren Ffordd. Usually we focus on releasing new projects, but sometimes a significant early work becomes completely unavailable. In a case such as this, the material strong enough taht we're sure listeners will feel it compares favorably with anything recorded since. The Path of White Clouds deserves to be heard.

Track list with MP3 samples
1 The Quest 4:00 -- MP3 clip
2 Ascension 10:36 -- MP3 clip
3 Devotion 13:25 -- MP3 clip
4 The Living Mandala 9:15 -- MP3 clip
5 Enlightenment 16:20 -- MP3 clip
6 The Path of White Clouds 11:16 -- MP3 clip

Purchase direct for $12.99

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Lucette Bourdin passed away yesterday
« on: February 18, 2011, 02:27:56 PM »
Our own JKN has just posted on Twitter and the Relaxed Machinery site that artist Lucette Bourdin has passed away. Lucette was a talented recording artist who had released music on the Dark Duck and Earth Mantra labels. She will be missed!

From her web site, this statement:

Lucette Bourdin

February 25, 1954 - February 17, 2011

After a long transformational and creative journey with breast cancer Lucette made her transition into the Light at 10:40 p.m. on February 17th 2011. She will be remembered for her kindness, her art and her music. Her music was especially the product of her transformation through cancer. When diagnosed she said of her desire to create music, "if not now, when?".


Has anybody seen this video, Celeryman, featuring Paul Rudd?

I waver between thinking this is NOT funny (and that I only want to THINK it's funny for some reason I can't fathom), and that it's actual VERY funny, extremely funny... dangerously funny.

I can't figure it out. It's just so damn puzzling and absurd.  What does everybody else think about Celeryman?  There are little details in this that start to seem more inspired, but which I never noticed until I'd seen it multiple times.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Where you people sell gear these days?
« on: January 28, 2011, 03:55:16 PM »
It's been several years since I've sold electronic music gear. Back then, it was easy enough to sell things with a quick note on this forum, or if that failed, then an Ebay listing.

I don't really trust Ebay any more, as a seller (though it's mostly safe for buyers), but I'm getting ready to sell some studio gear soon.  Of course I'll list it here first, because that would be the easiest and free way to sell something, but if some of the gear isn't of interest to those of you reading this forum, where should I turn next? 

Suggestions? Recent experience with other sales outlets, good or bad?

Everything and Nothing / Forum upgrade notes
« on: January 18, 2011, 05:23:36 PM »
I've upgraded the Hypnos Forum software today from a very old version (1.1.12) to a more recent version (2.0). The most obvious change will be the appearance or "theme" of the new forum. Most people in the old forum were using the default white and blue theme (which isn't too different from this one) but a few were using the darker themes. Those previously-installed themes were incompatible with the new software so I've had to delete them (or else people would show up here and be unable to navigate) and "forced" all users into the default theme, at least for now.

I don't particularly like this default theme, but it's functional for now at least. If people want to make suggestions as to what they're looking for in alternate themes or appearance (I personally prefer a darker screen), I'll try to take that into account, without creating so many theme options as to create confusion.

Of course, let me know if you're having other problems with this new software. It should mostly work the same as before, though there are some options that work in slightly different ways. My apologies if this change is unwelcome to some people, but it was necessary as I try to manage the increasing flood of incoming spam and SEO-related "junk" accounts. I'll do everything I can to make the forum an even more enjoyable and user-friendly place as the old one... even better if possible.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome of course.

Computers, Internet and Technology / Who do you follow on Twitter?
« on: January 14, 2011, 09:45:56 AM »
I was just fine-tuning my follow list on Twitter today and yesterday, and thinking about who I need to follow, and who I don't.

I read a certain blog every day, and that blogger's only posts to Twitter are "something new on my blog today," I don't need to follow that person on Twitter.

If it's a person I might actually like, or want to support, yet their Twitter posts are endlessly boring, mundane or pointless, I don't follow them even though I actually might be interested in 1/10 of what they might post. I don't need to wade through that much clutter, and maybe if enough people un-follow them, they'll figure out that people weren't actually interested in whether or not their Raisin Bran was "so yum!!" this morning.

I follow all kinds of people, mostly not related to the kind of stuff we discuss on this Forum (though I'd be interested to hear of worthwhile ambient music related folks on Twitter). I follow a lot of writers and artists, too, and a few filmmakers and comedians.

Also there are a few news outlets I don't check very often, but they conveniently post notification of all updates to their Twitter feed, so it's a good way to find out when there's something interesting to look at.

Anybody else?

Hypnos News and Announcements / Hypnos 2011 outlook
« on: January 07, 2011, 05:15:24 PM »
It's been a sort of mini-tradition of a few years now to give a summary each January of what's coming next from Hypnos.

I posted a bit of an update at the end of the "2010 outlook" topic so most of this stuff is already known, but rather than follow-up there, I'll start a new one.

Next up for Hypnos in 2011, not necessarily in this order.

Nebulae - The Path of White Clouds

A Produce & Loren Nerell - Intangible

Steve Brand - Avatara

Seren Ffordd & Oophoi - The Martian Chronicles

I'll talk a bit more about these soon in follow-up posts. Also, a few other things that aren't definite yet, but I can at least drop hints.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / E-books in 2011
« on: January 04, 2011, 02:21:46 PM »
Anybody feel any differently about electronic books and magazines now than when the Kindle first came out?

I don't own a Kindle but I have an iPad which is great for reading books, magazines and comics, and even has a Kindle app so I can buy anything a Kindle owner can purchase, just as easily.

There's so much great free stuff to read on the thing, I haven't gotten around to purchasing a lot of books with it yet. One thing I really like is the ability to get magazines electronically. I already have WAY too many magazines all around the house, and it makes me reluctant to subscribe to more, or even purchase single copies on the newsstand. But with electronic subscriptions, you can prevent clutter, get the magazine delivered immediately, and possibly even save a little money.  Especially with foreign magazines, where postage costs make the price ridiculous for a paper copy. I could see having subscriptions to a handful of electronic magazines in epub or pdf format, and just about completely stopping with the paper copies. Some magazines have really nice production values and those might still be nice to have on paper, but some are really pulpy and monochrome and would be just as nice in electronic format.

I keep thinking I'll find a bunch of the books that I've been trying to find in print forever, and finally grab them up in e-versions, but they're not pervasive enough yet. So, those out of print obscurities haven't made it to epub yet, but maybe eventually.

I've certainly purchased more paper books since I bought my iPad than ever before, so it's hardly convinced me that people will stop buying books when they get an iPad or Kindle or Nook, but I can see how things may start to shift a little.  Anybody else?

Everything and Nothing / Did somebody want to talk about whisky or whiskey?
« on: December 22, 2010, 10:04:08 AM »
This deserves its own new topic.

Usually each year when I get my Christmas bonus I spring for at least one fancy new bottle I've never tried. This year I believe it will be Lagavulin 16 yr in the scotch category and the new Maker's 46 bourbon.

My usual favorites are Glenlivet and Laphroaig among scotches (sort of polar opposites actually), and Maker's Mark and Bulleit. I'm also kind of into rye lately.

Always in small quantities, of course.

Everything and Nothing / Can we have a serious talk about vinyl?
« on: December 21, 2010, 01:56:17 PM »
Every time we discuss the subject of vinyl (you know, as in records, not the tight pants you wear out to the clubs) it seems to end up one extreme against another.

In this corner, the digital audio crowd who think vinyl is last year's (OK, last century's) technology, and have absolutely zero use for it. They like the higher dynamic range, and the infinite playability without wear and tear. Besides, CDs are newer, and they're like, digital. Which means they're perfect, all those ones and zeroes.

And in the other corner, the vinyl apologists, whose records never warp and play back perfectly without surface noise. These guys love the bigger surface for artwork, and swear the sound quality is so vastly better than CD that even an ancient, worn-out record fills with pops and clicks is just so... gosh, warm and organic, you know?

I would love to find room for a discussion of music released on vinyl (not just ambient-ish music, but especially that), and the format in general. Any thoughts from those of you (like me) who were previously closed yourself off completely to the idea of music released on slabs of plastic, but more recently decided to start exploring what vinyl has to offer?

I got rid of the last of my turntables many years ago, and at various times over the past half-decade I've tried to resuscitate or refurbish some piece of low-end hand-me-down turntable junk, just to explore those very few records I still on hand. Those turntables were such junk they didn't do anything to re-connect me with that old enjoyment of records. They sounded terrible and fell apart, so I junked them. I finally decided it's time to get a decent (though not high-end by any means) turntable, partly to check out the cool pieces of vinyl people send me, and partly to start checking out cool & interesting vinyl releases that are starting to become available.

I've also been mulling over the idea of doing a vinyl release of some kind of Hypnos, not necessarily the start of any kind of new direction, but just something to try at least once. I wonder how other labels' vinyl releases are doing, and I guess I'll have to ask around a little bit. It seems many people are willing to pay a fairly premium price for a nice, heavy-gauge vinyl pressing in a nice package.

Can't wait to get my hands on that Vidna Obmana box.

OK, so... that's a variety of angles on the same subject. Anybody else out there been buying vinyl lately? I guess I'm more interested in newer, premium vinyl pressings, rather than the 75-cent, scratched-up garage sale or Goodwill stuff.

Everything and Nothing / Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« on: December 21, 2010, 11:15:49 AM »
Has anybody here been to New Orleans after Katrina? What little I've heard indicates that the tourism-heavy areas have been pretty much completely cleaned-up and tourism levels have bounced back pretty well. Outlying residential areas may still have some problem area, but (while I have a lot of sympathy for residents whose lives were fouled-up by the disaster) I'm mainly asking about it from the perspective of someone who would like to visit, have some fun and take in the flavor of one of America's great cities. 

Lena and I have both been to New Orleans, but not since we've been together, and we're planning to visit there some time outside the Mardi Gras window of insanity.  Just hoping to hear from somebody who has been there recently, or who has heard first-hand reports from recent visitors.

Music Gearheads Tech Talk / Any last-minute 2010 gear purchases?
« on: December 21, 2010, 11:01:08 AM »
Most years I buy a little bit of gear at the very end of December as I find myself thinking, "oh yeah, need tax deductible expenses."

Nothing big this year for me, just a nifty Akai controller that integrates with Ableton Live, and an extra, super-simple pre-amp and USB audio interface by M-Audio.

Anybody buying anything cool at this time of year? Maybe you don't care about tax expenses, but just got a nice bonus from the old day job? That used to be my main reason for buying gear in December, before tax write-offs were a consideration.

Everything and Nothing / Is everybody sick?
« on: December 16, 2010, 05:19:41 PM »
I'm around so many sick people all the time, this past couple of weeks, it's tempting to wonder if I'm catching something every time I feel tired or some body part aches.  Is everybody sick all over the place, or is it just a local thing?

Lena and I made one of our rare (once or twice per year) trips to the theater to check out the new Harry Potter movie. I thought it was very good overall, but had slightly mixed feelings about it.

First, I was impressed with how serious and adult the story felt. Downright grim and somber, even. There's not one glimpse of Hogwart's, no comic relief to speak of, and even the glimpses of magical stuff are fairly dark. Hell, even Luna Lovegood is a downer! It's not so much depressing as it is serious and troubling, I guess.

I feel like Helena Bonham Carter steals every scene in every movie she's in. Pure awesome weirdness!

In my opinion there were a couple of flaws.

The middle section of the movie comes to a complete halt. The characters are on the run from some trouble, and they hide out and... just wait. They stare at the ceiling and brood, and talk a little bit, and stare off at the horizon and... wait. What are they waiting for? I guess they're not clear on which direction to go, which is believable if the goal is to emulate real life, but not particularly dramatic. Things kick back into gear at the end, but if I were making this film I'd cut 10-15 minutes out of the middle act and flesh out the first act a bit more, as it's fairly compressed.

Also, the film was a bit muted, emotionally, even at those higher-energy scenes. I never felt a clear sense of what the characters wanted, though I understood from reading the book they were trying to find and destroy horcruxes, and they showed a little bit of this happening in the film. I'm OK with emotionally understated, subdued filmmaking but this seemed a bit too low-key for a big-budget Hollywood flick about Harry Potter.

I've spent more time discussing the film's weaknesses than what I liked about it, but I'm very impressed with the maturity of the filmmaker's approach. I guess I feel they went too far making things dour and troubled, but overall I think it's great that a big franchise movie like this could take such a grown-up approach to storytelling. I'd mostly recommend this to anybody who enjoyed the earlier installments, but it certainly is not a place to start if you've skipped the earlier stories.

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / New Hypnos podcast
« on: December 09, 2010, 05:16:28 PM »
I posted about the new Hypnos podcast in the "Hypnos artists" section, but thought I'd make reference to it here, in case anybody's eager for something new to listen to.

Any feedback or suggestions appreciated!

I intended to do Hypnos podcasts more frequently than this (it's been about a year since the last one), but I just completed the second one, which features Out and About by Herion.  The entire album is featured in its entirety (with talking here & there, otherwise people would just download the podcast and not buy the CD), along with plenty of information about the songs and the band.

Link to the podcast itself:

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider buying the CD:

Let me know if you enjoy the podcast, and feel free to suggest subjects of focus for future installments. I won't always focus on just a single artist or album, so I'd be open to nay suggestions.

Everything and Nothing / NCAA football 2010
« on: December 03, 2010, 02:21:48 PM »
Most years we have a little discussion of college football around here. So far this year I've held off, but I can't wait any longer.  The Ducks are right on the verge!  Come on guys, just one more win (in the Civil War, against Oregon State).

Anybody else following college football this year?  You don't have to be a fan of a BCS-championship-bound team to comment.


I found this article completely fascinating, especially since we were just talking about Randy Quaid and Christmas Vacation around here.

It seems Randy and his wife Evi are totally insane, and not the fun/amusing kind of insane.

Propellerheads Rebirth.  $15.

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