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Messages - chris23

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Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: July 14, 2013, 10:01:53 AM »
I listened to the samples of 36 - Shadow Play. Some of the tracks are fantastic. But some of them seem oppressive and loud to me, starting with the first track.  I might hold off on this one (and I will probably regret it later when it goes OOP).

Stray Ghost - Those Who Know Darkness See The Light
A great release on the Time Released Sound label. A blend of modern classical and experimental minimalism.
Samples on Bandcamp: http://strayghost1.bandcamp.com/

Horizontal Excursions - Symphonica Helvetica
This is a free Roger Martinez download on Bandcamp from A Strangely Isolated Place series. This is ambient music at its finest: soft chords, a slow evolution of textures and tones, and the sensation of drifting and floating. 
http://astrangelyisolatedplace.bandcamp.com/album/horizontal-excursions-symphonica-helvetica

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Thanks again Chris.....really appreciate it!

Funny story: We had some friends over for a dinner last night. We were outside on the patio. The windows were open and "A Tide Pool of Memories" was still playing on repeat; the sounds quietly flowing from the upstairs to the outdoor patio.  There was a pause in the conversation and someone said "that is the most lovely and soothing music I've heard in a long time." *No one* in my social circle appreciates ambient music, so this may be a break through!

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I've been listening to this on repeat all morning. It is truly excellent. Check it out if you haven't already.

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bandcamp
« on: July 12, 2013, 02:41:35 PM »
CD Baby is still the only decent way to go for digital distribution though, which isn't Bandcamp's thing.

What does that mean, exactly? I'm a bit naive on how things work on the artist, label, distro end.

325
Now Playing / Re: Too much music?
« on: July 12, 2013, 10:51:39 AM »
Why wife likes to kid me about my music collection. I could listen to a unique CD a day for several years simply on the basis of what I own now. (And I have a feeling my collection pales in comparison to that of other forum members!)

But I don't feel ashamed of it; I never look at the CDs on the shelves and think "God, what a waste." Music (and other forms of art and literature) are important to me. It is something I want to invest in, something  I want to collect, and something I want to be able to share with other like-minded individuals. It is important to me to feel that those purchases support the artists and the broader community.

I wish I had more disposable income to invest in buying music. It saddens me to know that some artists and labels have to confront the dreaded financial question "Is it worth it?" 

326
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: July 12, 2013, 06:48:44 AM »
I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
The end of the world is nigh. Lucifer has been offered an extraordinary proposition: If he can live as a mortal for a month without sin, God will allow him to enter the kingdom of heaven rather than banishing him for eternity. Lucifer, thinking "Why the hell not?!", enters the body of a washed up writer, Declan Gunn, and, in the process, shares his own story about God, creation, and various events described in the bible. He never has any intention of seeking redemption, but, in the process of living as man, gains some new insights into the ways in which temptation, evil, and good function in social relationships.

I'm on the fence with this novel. On the one hand, I enjoyed the angle of telling biblical events from another point of view. (It turns out, for example, that Lucifer was trying to thwart rather than facilitate the crucifixion because he knew the implications of the event for God's plan. Lucifer's insight into Pontius Pilate's struggles and the power of the mob are quite keen.)  On the other hand, Lucifer, when placed in human form, turns out to remind me of a drunken, rude bloke at the pub who doesn't know when to go home. I'm not a big fan of exploring the concept of evil as if it has its roots in the carnal. I'd rather consider it as something deliberate; something motivated by choice and reason. I'm agnostic, but I guess I've always imagined that, if something like Lucifer were to exist in human form, he would be charismatic, patient, and subtle in his ways.
 
 

327
A great new short film for the track "Salt Photographs" by Brambles.

If you're not familiar with Brambles, give this a spin. The song is very typical of the Brambles style. And the video is quite lovely.

Salt Photographs / Brambles on Vimeo

328
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bandcamp
« on: July 12, 2013, 06:18:30 AM »
I love Bandcamp for all the reasons you've stated. I would also add that, as a consumer rather than an artist, there have been many artists from whom I've purchased digital files and/or physical CDs simply because of the experience that the Bandcamp platform offers. I have stumbled across the work of lesser known artists serendipitously by exploring Bandcamp. I have bought albums from well known artists that I wouldn't have bought other wise simply because I had the opportunity to hear the entire release a few times and get "hooked" on it. Finally, the potential for impulse shopping is huge on Bandcamp. Want that CD? Buy it. And while you wait for it to arrive in the mail, enjoy your immediate digital download. I'm sure that kind of tricksy benefits many artists.

Here is my Bandcamp profile/collection: https://bandcamp.com/rcfraley

329
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: July 08, 2013, 05:15:55 PM »
Bruno Sanfilippo - Urbs
M. Griffin - Fabrications


These arrived last week, thanks to the Hypnos sale. I loaded them to my iPhone and took them with me on my recent travels and enjoyed listening to them while walking around SF. Both of these albums pair surprisingly well together due, in part, to their experimental and sparse, uncluttered qualities.

This is another situation where I'm wondering why I never picked these up upon release! I guess it is the standard problem of too much music and not enough time (or money).


330
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: July 08, 2013, 05:07:03 PM »
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
This novel is explores the tension between the needs for autonomy and connectedness in the context of a dark and twisted ghost story.  The distribution of reviews on Amazon is completely flat--averaging at 3.0 stars. I think this novel is frigging brilliant, however. Strongly recommended--especially if you like a bit of strangeness and also appreciate stories that take the relationships between characters seriously.

331
Everything and Nothing / Re: SF record stores
« on: July 07, 2013, 09:41:08 PM »
Thanks for the tips, all. Just got back from my SF travels and managed to visit Aquarius (Mission St.), Amoeba (Haight), and Rasputin's (Haight). Amoeba was the jackpot store of the bunch, having extensive electronic, experimental, and new age sections to explore (in addition to the standard fare). Rasputin's was worthless. :(

Picked up some nice bargains that I'm looking forward to digesting this week:

Sylvain Chauveau - The Black Book of Capitalism (Type)
Maps and Diagrams - Get Lost (Time Released Sound; non-deluxe edition)
Stray Ghost - Those Who Know Darkness See The Light (Time Released Sound; non-deluxe edition)
Pleq/Spheruleus - Quietus Gradualis (Time Released Sound; non-deluxe edition)
Deepchord presents Echospace - The Coldest Season (Modern Love; gave away my old copy)
Ingenting Kollektiva - Lost Beyond Telling (Invisible Birds)

I'll prob post a line or two about these in "now playing" as I digest them.


332
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: July 04, 2013, 05:55:13 PM »
I might explore the Shift set in August. I don't want to be hooked and then have to wait for resolution.

Is everyone hanging out without me? (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling
A funny mini-memoir by one of the writers and actors from The Office.

333
Everything and Nothing / Re: SF record stores
« on: July 02, 2013, 01:16:43 PM »
Thanks a bunch, gang. Those pics of Aquarius records look familiar. I think I've been there before! Getting excited.

334
Everything and Nothing / SF record stores
« on: July 02, 2013, 05:41:29 AM »
Hi, all. I'll be in San Francisco for a few days. Are there any record stores you Bay Area locals would recommend for ambient music? In the past, I've gone to the Haight St. Amoeba when I'm in town, but it has been many years since I've visited that location and it might be a difficult one to reach since the transit system is down due to a strike. I'll mostly be downtown and in the mission district near Valencia.

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I just picked this up (thank you Big Hypnos Online Store Sale!). Absolutely amazing! I'm not sure why I didn't grab this when it was first released by Stella Maris; I loved Genesis. But I'm now telling myself that it was worth the 10 year wait so I could get the beautiful Hypnos version. The cover art is truly lovely and complements the music well.




336
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 28, 2013, 08:37:12 PM »
Atmospheric Conditions. Yummy.

Bubble - 01
Downloaded via Bandcamp another John Sobocan release titled 01 and released under the name Bubble. This contains several tracks that appear on the Databloem release. Overall, this is really great stuff, but it seems to be flying under the radar.
http://bubble9.bandcamp.com/album/01

337
A comic from The Oatmeal that you'll appreciate:



338
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: June 28, 2013, 08:20:26 PM »
Based on a recommendation over at Boingboing, I picked up the Kindle version of Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5).  It's a great deal for a 550 page book at only $4.99.  Out of 176 reviews, 166 of them are five stars.

Originally begun as a short story(Wool 1), the book tells of a dystopian future where humankind lives in underground silos, where the outside is toxic & where even discussing the outside will get you sent to die outside.  You can buy the individual stories that make up the series separately or save a buck or two & buy the omnibus edition.

Before I was even halfway through with this book, I ordered a few more of author, Hugh Howey's books.  It helps that the Kindle editions are only $2.99 so there's not much risk in discovering a new author.

So far I am loving Wool and am looking forward to more of Howey's works.


Just finished Wool--the omnibus edition. Fantastic stuff. Part of the fun is the journey you take with the protagonists in trying to learn exactly what their world is all about, why certain things are taboo (e.g., speaking of the outside), and why certain things they've taken for granted might carry a different meaning if the world doesn't work the way they've been taught (e.g., the price of cables/texts vs. the use of porters). The final segment seemed a bit unfocused and ad hoc to me. But, overall, great storytelling.
   

339
I decided to give Skyrim a try. I'm enjoying it so far. I love the openness of the world and how few constraints there are for exploring it.

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PS3 or any PC game that isn't too demanding of a video card. I'm into a lot of things, although my preference is to steer away from scrollers or anything that requires twitch-style reflexes.

I was a WoW addict from 2006 - 2009. So I'm thinking that Skyrim might be worth exploring. But I'm also intrigued by The Secret World. Has anyone given that a shot? http://store.steampowered.com/app/215280/

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