Caprica

I don’t know what the general consensus is amongst Battlestacked Galactica fans regarding “Caprica,” the prequel whose extended pilot is available on DVD. I’ve just gotten through it recently. It’s well worth watching, though it’s not going to give you the charge one gets upon hearing “nothing but the rain” for the very first time. It’s a slower story, so it takes some patience to stick with. But once you grasp what the show is meant to accomplish, that is, to chronicle the creation of Cylons and, perhpaps, of the Resurrection tech itself, yeh, you have me interested. What the hell. We’ll season pass it.

300 MB

On April 20, 2008, I started my own radio station.

I’d always wanted some way to stack up a queue of songs and to have them play. I’d looked at Shoutcast, but it seemed more involved than I wanted it to be. I didn’t want to have to fret about bandwidth and licensing. I just wanted to queue up the music and let it play.

Thus was borned Radio B.O.N.K. at Live365.

I heartily recommend Live365 for anyone who’s remotely interested in broadcasting online. It’s damned cheap: $9.95 a month (or less when you pay quarterly or better) for my current package, 200MB of storage and 5 max unpaid listeners. This is a good price for such an utterly foolish vanity project as is your own Internet radio station.

My station’s eclectic. “’70s. ’80s. AOR. Brass. Dissonance. Jazz. Ska. Zappa. Zeppelin.” Programming it is easy-cheezy, though I’m always looking for more tracks. I keep a Maxtor 250G drive as full as I can with favorites so I can always post what’s in my head. And I spend some time every month combing eMusic for those off-the-beaten path tracks.

Anyways, look out now. For no apparent reason, Live365 is changing its packages and giving me 100MB more to play with, starting tomorrow. Holy crap. I can barely manage what I have. Maybe I’ll start that “jazz at night” show I was thinking about. I dunno.

O Fortuna

“Everything I have written to date, and which you have, unfortunately, printed, can be destroyed. With Carmina Burana, my collected works begin.”

This is what Carl Orff, composer of the Carmina Burana, wrote to his publisher upon its completion.

I was fortunate enough to have witnessed a live performance of this piece last night at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center by Choralis, a local chorale group celebrating its tenth anniversary. That I have a few loved ones involved with the group, sure, that had something to do with my attendance and my enjoyment of the piece.

The Carmina is a piece vastly underrated by society as a whole. You’ve heard it, at least, its first (and last) movement. Hollywood uses its epic power ad nauseum, often to promote horror flicks. As a matter of fact, it is used in Michael Moore’s latest flick, Capitalism, A Love Story.

This is a challenging piece for chorus, orchestra, and listener alike. It is written in lower German, Latin and some French. The meters are outrageous, and the music is rhythmic and sometimes harsh. I was in a chorus that performed it some years ago. And we had a few folks walk out on it.

When you enter a venue where the Carmina is about to be performed, and the orchestra is warming up, I guarantee that you will hear the piccolo player fervently practicing a quick, one-bar trill that begins the third movement. This odd lick may be the hardest thing a piccolo ever has to do.

Viewing a live performance of the Carmina is like watching a very good movie. Every movement of the piece is beautiful, but there are slow parts. But by the time it winds into “Ave Formosissima,” followed directly by the power of “O Fortuna,” the audience realizes an epiphany. You’ll want to stand up and yell, my gods, Dr. Crowe was dead the whole time!

Yes, Gretchen Kuhrmann and her crew really pulled it off last evening, complete with a childrens’ chorus in the balcony and three excellent solo vocalists. Bravo.

The Funniest Story in All of Music?

Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers has stated in interview that Dylan offered the song [“Lay Lady Lay”] to them backstage after an appearance by the duo at the Bottom Line in New York. Phil asked Dylan if he had any new songs that they might record, and answering yes, Dylan picked up a guitar and proceeded to sing the song so quietly that the Everlys thought they heard Dylan sing “Lay lady lay, lay across my big breasts, babe.” Thinking it was a song about lesbians, Don Everly declined the song, saying “thank you, it’s a great song, but I don’t think we could get away with that.” Dylan did not question them about it and went on to record the track himself. Months later, they heard Dylan’s version on the radio and realized they’d misunderstood the words. The Everlys felt they’d missed a big opportunity and later recorded the song on their album, EB 84.

Kitchen Disaster Night

It was to have been a simple dinner.

I had frozen hammaburger patties. I had American cheese slices. Martin’s potato rolls. Broccolini. And tater tots. Red onions and maters and pickles. Duke’s* and mustard. Good old comfort food.

I opted to pan heat the tots in a bit of olive oil. I put water on the boil to steam the broccolini. I threw the patties into a skillet. Soon, I picked up the salt shaker to spritz the patties. I immediately dropped it.

The thing is stainless steel. Do not. Store a stainless steel shaker. On the stovetop. They tend to conduct heat. Ow.

So then I tried to open the pickles, forgetting that most such jars have a plastic lining that you need to break first. I finally got the jar open. But not without a hell of a lot of effort.

In the meantime, the plastic collander I was using to steam the broccolini had caught on fire.

Fortunately, whatever polymer it was constructed of scraped off easily from the stovetop once cooled. Still. It is not good when things catch on fire. That is = epic kitchen fail.

The meal turned out and was an excellent accompaniment with which to watch tonight’s ep of Dexter. But still. As good as you think you are en la cocina, sometimes, the shit just hits the fan. (Which is not a good thing to happen in the kitchen.)

I did enjoy a nice Mondavi Meritage 2007 with the meal, though. I am not generally a fan of Mondavi. I think they’re just sort of “eh.” But $11 was a good price. And it is a pretty passable wine. Nothing I can come up with any adjectives for. But I reckon that’s the point of a Meritage.

*The official mayonnaise of the Sure Why Not Web log.

P.S. I think no comma in Sure Why Not. What do you think?

P.P.S. Oh, crap. Duke’s Chocolate Cake.