adrian is rad

3/31/2006

last few days in wikipedia reading, pt. 1

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:32 pm

I’m thinking of starting a new periodical post with the wikipedia articles I’ve read in the last few days. You know, make this an actual web log of sorts. I read quite a bit of wikipedia.

Upper St. Clair (my home town(ship)—check the demographics of USC out. Pretty sweet, huh? 94.56% White, 4.02% Asian) to Bethel Park to Mt. Lebanon to Pittsburgh Light Rail.

brooklyn to brooklyn neighborhoods to williamsburg to hipster to argot. new york city to bronx to bronx neighborhoods (which one’s yours, jdawg?). staten island (wouldn’t it be funny to live on staten island?). alameda, california (an island off of oakland).

eye glasses to halo effect.

3/29/2006

comments

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:31 am

I think my comment posting’s a little bit broken. I’m not sure why. They post fine, but it doesn’t bring you to the updated post page with your comment.

3/27/2006

Breakdown of an absurd estimate

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:39 am

Today I realized I had little idea of the difference between Kid Koala and Kid 606 but that I was familiar with both of the names. This set off a set of mental excercises and estimates. Here I write about them, just to put them down somewhere.

I estimate I am familiar with about 9700 bands/ groups/artists by name.

The breakdown of the estimate is as follows:

  • 1500 bands that I like or have liked in the past
  • 200 bands that have opened for bands that I like but that I otherwise have no opinion/ memory of
  • 500 bands that I like the songs that I’ve heard on the radio but am unfamiliar with any of their other songs
  • 1500 other bands that I like what I’ve heard, but haven’t investigated further
  • 1000 bands that I haven’t liked what I heard, but have heard very little of
  • 1000 bands that I have a distinct opionion that I don’t like
  • 2500 bands that I’ve heard or read about in passing and have some idea of their genre, but haven’t heard them at all
  • 1500 bands that I know I’ve heard of but wouldn’t actually have an idea of what they sound like
  • 20 bands that friends have been involved in and band that they’ve been connected to
  • 6 bands that I’ve been involved in or pretended to be involved in

In approximate decending order, the number of bands I’ve heard of come from the following genres: indie rock/ pop, oldies/ classic rock, radio rock/pop, old-timey/ bluegrass/ country, irish/ celtic music, jazz, hip hop, comedy/ novelty, classical musicians, (south) african, other world, indian music, electronica, metal. I’m probably forgetting a few here.

More on books?

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:11 am

While I’m on the subject of books, have you read any books lately that you can recommend? I have a bunch in my list, but I’m going through them pretty well. I’m generally more into good+readable over good+seminal+hard-to-read.

Also, I have a total soft spot for books about/ set in/ by South Africa(ns), so I’ll take any into special consideration.

Anyone have thoughts on Wind Up Bird Chronicles? I don’t know much about it but I like a band called Wind Up Bird.

3/25/2006

Moneyball

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:31 pm

I finished Moneyball on Thursday night. It’s about inefficiencies in the baseball player market and how they came to be exploited by the Oakland Athletics and their manager Billy Beane. I found it really interesting for a non-fiction book. I tend to like fiction books and read very few non-fiction books because I tend to get bored with them, but this one kept my attention throughout. I’d recommend it if you like baseball at all, especially now, with the baseball season fast approaching.

A few things that struck me while reading the book is the statistical significance of baseball. A hundred sixty two games a year. A few at bats a game. A few pitches per at ball. Overall, this leads to a statistically significant number of pitches and at bats. You can really run some numbers on this stuff and figure out what is significant in winning games, which is, as it turns out, something that people have done and is explained in this book. Football, with sixteen games a year, maybe a couple more, doesn’t have much statistical significance.

Another thing that stuck me is that all these people going into baseball now are from Harvard and Yale and crap. (Theo Epstein went to Yale). Where are all the MIT people in baseball?

In somewhat related news, I’m trying to read more. In the last month, I’ve finished How We are Hungry, Karoo Boy and now Moneyball. I’m starting Mysteries of Pittsburgh now. Hopefully I can keep this up. I like reading.

Belle & Sebastian at Concourse at the SF Design Center

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:01 pm

On Tuesday I saw Belle & Sebastian at the Concourse at the SF Design Center.

My main reaction to the evening was who in the world thought that this would be a good or appropriate venue for a concert? It’s huge, making for a very impersonal show. The acoustics are horrible (lots of flat metal walls). Many of the places you can stand have obscructed or no view of the stage. I’m not planning to go back to this venue.

Shame on Another Planet Entertainement for booking shows there.

I was a bit distracted during the concert, having paid a lot plus exorbitant “convenience” fees to see a show in a crappy venue. B&S were fine, playing some good old songs and some new ones. I think they made the most of a bad venue.

jose gonzalez at the swedish american hall

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:32 pm

On Saturday I saw Jose Gonzalez at, appropriately, the Swedish American Hall.

This was my first trip to the Swedish American Hall, though it’s right above another venue that I’ve been to many times, the Cafe du Nord. It’s an interesting venue, to be sure. Imagine a Swedish Elks Lodge hall and that’s about what you’d have. Lots of tudor-like exposed beams and whatnot. It was a seated show, which was nice and appropriate to the music. The acoustics were pretty good, but it’s very reflective, especially of audience noise. Luckily the audience was pretty quiet and respectful, but all the applause sounded thunderous, even when it didn’t seem like people were clapping particularly loud or hard.

The opening band was the the Finches Have you seen the Jerk? Remember the scene on the beach where Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing “You Belong to Me”? The Finches are sort of like this. Simple and, in a way, old sounding songs with sweet lead female vocals and male harmonies. It’s just guitars and vocals. I picked up their EP for $5.

the Finches – Daniel’s Song

I talked to the guys from Cafe du Nord, who book the Swedish American Hall shows, a couple months back about this show and they were a bit worried that Jose wouldn’t fill this room. Well it ended up selling out a week or so before the show and by the end of the Finches set, it was standing room only.

I like Jose a lot. He’s sort of like the Swedish-Argentinean version of Iron & Wine. He doesn’t have a whole lot in his catalog yet, an album and a CD singles/ EPs, so maybe 15-20 songs, and they’re all about 3 minutes long. He ran through his main set not talking a lot and playing his songs without much of a break. He came back for an encore and did another 3 songs. All of this lasted about 50 minutes. I was pretty tired, so this worked out pretty well.

It was a good show, but not in the sense of Jose bringing a lot more to the live show than he brings to his recordings. He played his songs well and said a few short, funny things between songs, but that was pretty much that.

Jose Gonzalez – Crosses

in the jungle

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:31 pm

I found an interesting and extensive article by Rian Milan, originally for Rolling Stone, about Soloman Linda’s song “Mbube”, written in 1939, which was later rewritten as “Wimoweh” and “the Lion Sleeps Tonight” with hardly any royalties going to Linda or his decendents.

3/19/2006

Giordano Bros. Pittsburgh Style Sandwhiches in SF

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:28 pm

After the College DJ of the Week thing, Gumbeaux and I went to Giordano Bros. in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. They have all-in-one, or “Pittsburgh style,” sandwhiches. These are obviously patterened after Primanti Bros. sandwhiches, with italian bread, your choice of meat, french fries, and coleslaw.

The atmosphere isn’t very much like Primanti’s. I mean Primanti’s is as no-nonsense and unpresumptuous as possible. Giordano’s is only slightly more so but you don’t have a large lady behind the counter yelling at “Chjohnny.” The people are friendly and helpful.

The food is good. Very similar to Primanti’s on this account. Very slight differences make it seem a little more “San Francisco”: olive oil on the cole slaw, slightly fancier fries.

It’ll do. It’ll do good.

live 105 college dj of the week

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:57 pm

It was fun. Played some music, got some calls. Got some crazy calls. But I’ll leave those off the internet.

As I mentioned before, I got to pick about 1/3 of the music.

The music I did pick:

  • Seam “Get Higher”
  • Johnny Cash “Hurt”*
  • Jose Gonzalez “Heartbeats
  • the Smiths “This Charming Man”*
  • Jens Lekman “Maple Leaves”
  • John Vanderslice “Up Above the Sea”+
  • Oh No! Oh No! “I Have No Sister”
  • Ted Leo “Since U Been Gone”
  • Flaming Lips “Do You Realize”*
  • Sufjan Stevens “Chicago”
  • Rogue Wave “Love Lost Guarentee”
  • Pedro the Lion “Magazine”
  • Arcade Fire “Haiti”*
  • Kings of Leon “Bucket”*
  • Mogwai “Auto Rock”

* Songs from their collection. I had to pick one of my selections an hour from their collection.
+ I got at least five calls and an email about this song. So way to go for JV.

One reassuring thing was that I got probably fifteen or so calls on the songs I’d picked and maybe one or two calls on songs that they’d picked. And I have like four girlfriends from all the calls.

Tsotsi, the movie

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:35 pm

After talking a lot about it, I finally saw Tsotsi, the Oscar winner for best foreign language film.

I liked it. The first thing I noticed was the cinematography. It’s got a moody darkness to it, like the Matrix construct except more red, less grey.

The acting is fantastic across the board. Expect big things from Presley Chweneyagae, who plays Tsotsi. His is the dynamic character. He transformation is astounding. The female lead, Terry Pheto, plays her role with such softness throughout.

The soundtrack is bumpin’ with kwaito. I think I should pick it up. I’m not sure I’ll like all kwaito (which appears to be more house-like rather than hip hop-like), but I liked the stuff in the film.

3/17/2006

junebug

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:01 am

Hot dang. Junebug? good movie.

I liked it a lot.

[It's a Chicago city-dweller going to the South to visit her new husband's family, basically. A simple story with complex characters.]

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