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Messages - chris23

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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:

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A comic from The Oatmeal that you'll appreciate:

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.

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.

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?

Anyone played anything lately that they'd recommend? My wife and kids are traveling at the moment, which suddenly leaves me with some free time on my hands. I'm tempted to splurge on Bioshock Infinite or Skyrim.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 26, 2013, 12:55:30 PM »
John Sobocan - A Soft Circle
A nice, minimal, down-to-earth ambient release from Databloem. Soft ambient textures, slowly shifting chords, and natural field recordings. 

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: June 23, 2013, 06:32:33 PM »
Good review! It really was a fun read. I'm sure I'll revisit it sometime in the near future.

Recently finished: The Faculty Club by Danny Tobey
A thriller about a young law student, Jeremy Davis, who is eager to fit in and be successful at a top-ranked U.S. law program. There are rumors of a secret society, the V&D, to which only the most ambitious and select students are initiated. After realizing that he has not been selected to join the club, he charges himself with learning more about the society's secrets. And, as you might expect, those SECRETS MIGHT POSE A GREAT DANGER TO HIM AND THOSE HE LOVES. A fun read; I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 23, 2013, 06:24:29 PM »
I not well acquainted with the darker side of ambient, so I love seeing your recommendations, phobos, and exploring the samples.

Been traveling this past week and listening to music loaded on an old iPod:

Steve Roach - Possible Planet
When this first came out, it seemed like a natural extension of some of the themes explored in Early Man. In hindsight, however, this really stands out as a unique release in the Roach cannon. It a wonderful set of soundscapes, combining a wide range of frequencies and textures.

Sawako - Hum
Experimental and whimsical goodness from 12k.

Oophoi and Tau Ceti - Celestial Geometries
I haven't listened to this in a long time. I was blown away revisiting it. Some of the best space music evar.

Has anyone listened to the two new 12k releases? Illuha's Interstices and Seaworthy/Deupree's Wood, Winter, Hollow?  I've listened to the samples and can't quite decide whether I want to take the plunge.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Ambient cover tunes
« on: June 18, 2013, 09:08:48 PM »
This is a stumper.

If you want to use a potentially overly inclusive definition of ambient, the following may fit the bill:

Hammock did a cover of Catherine Wheel's Black Metallic
The Sight Below did a cover of a Joy Division song

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: June 14, 2013, 07:13:03 PM »
Ishq - Sama and Flowering Mountain Earth

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: June 14, 2013, 06:53:45 PM »
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
OMG. So much fun! If you grew up in the 1980's and have a nostalgic fondness for Zork, Atari 2600, early Apple computers, Rush, and the movie Wargames, you absolutely MUST read this book. The story is set in a future world in which the majority of people escape their miserable realities by logging into a massively multiplayer world, called the O.A.S.I.S., that serves a variety of functions that are currently served by our MMOs, social networks, online stores, etc. The dying designer of the world has hidden an "Easter egg" somewhere in the world and, whoever is the first to find it, inherits it all. A great adventure that will leave your inner Geek screaming for more.

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