Stranger Things

Finished watching Stranger Things. I liked it fairly well. Too bad it was only 8 episodes. Sci-fi, cool music, interesting story, good characters, 80’s, multiple connected story lines. Kind of X-files crossed with Goonies crossed with some 80’s stuff. The Eleven character had a similar intrigue to the River character of Firefly. The story did feel a little forced at times and could’ve had more depth, especially to the upside down. They could’ve expanded the final episode into two without feeling too stretched. It was kind of like a really long movie. Have to wait till October for more. I may have to get the soundtrack. The theme was cool. I feel like I’d like a full-CD-length extended version of it.

Keyboard troubles

I have a keyboard (the music kind, Casio CTK-671). I like to play it sometimes. It has, for a long time now, been difficult to turn on. Many times, the light and screen will come on, but the screen will be messed up in some way and keys won’t produce sound. I can keep turning it off and on and sometimes it will eventually work, but sometimes not. It has gotten worse over time, and is now to the point where I can rarely get it going. After like a week of not being able to get it working, I was considering getting a new one. Today, I finally got it running. I’m really considering just leaving it on long term, in spite of the electricity it’ll use.

The Planets + Sō

Saturday evening I went to see Akron Symphony perform Holst’s The Planets plus some other works, including a piece with Sō Percussion. I like The Planets and was glad to see it performed live, especially, as an EVN fan, Mars. The Sō / David Lang piece I found hard to follow and understand the apparent polyrhythms involved. The other pieces I liked well enough.

This past weekend of three days was dominated by two things: reading of Dune and Independence Day events. I was reading Dune slowly at the library after work, but since I’ve taken it home, my reading has sped up dramatically. I have a habit of getting enthralled by good novels and spending a lot of time reading them, at the expense of other things. I read for many hours and several hundred pages of Dune over the weekend, and that was purposely trying to limit my reading. I like sci-fi and it is a good book so far.

To celebrate Independence Day, I went with my brother and his girlfriend the day before to see the Cleveland Orchestra’s 1812 Overture concert at blossom. They performed the 1812 Overture and two other Russian pieces. They were varied and I liked them. One was a somewhat jazzy piece that was a number of somewhat different movements. Afterward, there was a fireworks display that was also good, and we had a better view than last year.

The following day, we went to my parents for lunch. We had some tasty burgers and pulled-pork sandwiches with corn, beans, and a cucumber-salad (which I didn’t eat). I ate a bit too much and was very satiated. I didn’t go to any fireworks on the 4th, but there were plenty going off in my neighborhood. Between 2100 and 2200, it sounded kind of like a battlefield outside, with booms and whistling fairly continuously in all directions. There were some pretty large fireworks visible over houses and trees, including some from neighbors a few houses down. When they fired theirs, I could hear the loud sound of it shooting from the ground. Over a longer span, there were occasional fireworks starting at least on Thursday night and going until late Monday, maybe a couple the following day.

Flight of the Conchords show

Saw Flight of the Conchords do a live show at Playhouse Square to(last)night. The show was opened by Arj Barker (Dave from the TV show) who did a stand-up routine. It was quite funny. FOTC did about half new material, half old, but the old stuff had new parts interspersed. Funny stuff. And not just the songs: The banter in between was plenty funny itself. It was a hard hearing at times when the crowd was loud, but I caught most of it. Glad I decided to go.

Of note, playing at the same time and one theatre over was Opera Circle’s showing of Il trovatore, which my friend / coworker was involved in. I had been torn between seeing the two. I checked less than 24 hours from show time for FOTC tickets but it said they were sold out, so when I left, I had been expecting to see the opera, but intended to ask about FOTC tickets. When I arrived, tickets were in fact available. The cheapest available was $55, so I was ready to pass on that and started asking about the opera when the lady said there was a free ticket that somebody had returned and that they couldn’t charge for that I could have. I couldn’t turn that and a rare chance to see FOTC live down. Also, I had arrived late for the opera because the rapid took longer than expected. I’ve seen many of Opera Circle’s operas since meeting my coworker. So, sorry Wanda, I’ll see the next one.

I took the rapid downtown because I don’t like dealing with traffic and parking there and for one person it’s hard to compete with the price. I was a little anxious walking around downtown because of an event that happened last year, but nothing happened this year. It did, however, take some waiting.

Listening to some music, I thought it quite powerful, that it presented some important truth of the world. Then I thought that some others might not find it as such, but may find some other music powerful that I do not. “Everybody finds their own truths,” I thought, as I had many times before. Truths in everything: music, lyrics, statements, tweets, books, posts, articles, shows, scenes, thoughts, choices, situations: anything.

iTunes CDDB info for the Yars

In January, my former band The Yars released their first full album (they were all shorts or live while I was there).  I’ve had a copy of it since then, but haven’t imported it.  I had heard the songs tons of times as Dwight was working on them, so was certainly burned out on them.  I also don’t entirely like the sound direction the songs have taken, and it’s a little weird listening to another drummer play them.  And it wasn’t in the iTunes store, so they had no CDDB data.  I wanted to wait for that.  So I never got around to importing it.

Today I decided to.  It’s been in the iTunes store and other venues for months now.  But still, there was no CDDB in the Gracenote database that iTunes uses.  I could go to the store and see all the track info, but there was no way to get it to the album.  But I found this article describing how you can copy store songs to a playlist, then use one of Doug’s scripts to copy them to another set of songs.  So I went to the iTunes store to copy them to a playlist.  Unfortunately, the new fancy iTunes song playlist doesn’t allow this to happen.  The songs are like HTML elements on a page.  And I had planned to boycott getting new versions of iTunes because they had cut off support for third party access.  But just recently I think the very features that were now causing me trouble, plus the full new version number, had enticed me.  I found the “Column Browser”, which does have a Cocoa style list of the songs, but I searched every possible genre with no luck at finding the Yars.
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