Thursday, September 28, 2006

At the Movies: The Science of Sleep

I made a suggestion to see this movie to a friend last Friday and it created a chain reaction where an entire group of people got involved. Well, the reason being is that one of our acquaintances has a small part in it. Not in acting, but in voice-over. So last night we all got together at the Angelika to watch this movie.

It's about a young man (Stephane) who lets his dreams control his life. Because lets face it, reality sucks sometimes. The film is full of some hilarious dream sequences. Things really pick up with Stephane meets Stephanie. She's not very attractive, but when Stephane sees the crafty side of Stephanie, sparks emerge. Stephanie makes things with her hands and so does Stephane (note his inventions, the 3d glasses which lets you view life in 3D, a time machine and bringing to "life" a horse made of felt wool.)

I recommend this movie to anyone who is bored with the everyday mundane and uses imagination to escape. Where fantasy rules and where reality is as far away as the moon. I guarantee a lot of laughs and maybe a tear or two (if you're not made of wood.)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Junior Boys (free download from iTunes)

You like electro-pop, right? Well, then you must get the new free download from iTunes. The track "In the Morning" from Junior Boy's latest album "So This is Goodbye." I'm probably going to get the entire album as I've listened to snippets of the rest and it sounds alright by me, especially the tracks "The Equalizer" and "Count souvenirs."

And check out their website.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Trance Atlantic Airwaves - Chase (remake of classic Giorgio Moroder)

Don't know why I never got the original version of Giorgio Moroder's "Chase." From the soundtrack to the movie "Midnight Express." The original takes me back to the times when my older brother would play this on the stereo. The movie itself is a classic and if you haven't seen it, you should. About a guy named Billy who gets caught carrying hashish at the Turkish airport and is sent to prison. The scene in which you hear "Chase" is when he's trying to escape from the Turkish police.

This here is the video of the remake by Trance Atlantic Airwaves, which is pretty good. The video itself is pretty interesting too, full of cool video effects.

Then check out Giorgio's website and look at the dicography and list of artists he's produced. You know him from Donna Summer's "Love to Love You/I Feel Love" that everyone from Blondie to Madonna has covered as well as Jimmy Summerville with Marc Almond.

He was also behind Blondie's "Call Me" and Phil Oakey's (The Human League) "Electric Dreams."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Recently I did a search for I don't know what and came upon the site of this band I Satellite.

I SATELLITE make retro futurist electronic pop music inspired by the music and sounds from the golden era of analog synthesizers, the late 70's and early 80's, using vintage analog synths and drum machines for all sounds and textures. No computers are used whatsoever.

So if you're into the whole "Electroclash" genre, this band is definitely a must. I sampled some of the tracks and I'll be getting their CD. They only seem to have one full length CD titled "AUTO:MATIC" which was released in 2003. But you should check out the website. I like the black & white imagery of space and fantasy fururistic pictures. Also an impressive list of the gear that they use. I use the term "they" but I think it's only the one guy, Rod. Living in Detroit. Read the blog entries where he sometimes gets personal like the death of his brother. His list of influences are quite the same as mine (and probably yours too since he's got quite a list.) He's really into John Foxx. I can't believe anyone mentioning Fruer, but there it is. (Fruer I think released only one album with the singles "Doot-Doot" and "Riders In The Night.") And he uses only analog gear to record with. No computers. I applaud that.

I don't know how he'd feel about me using the term "Electroclash" to describe the sound, but it's the best I can come up with describing his music.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Nitzer Ebb at Irving Plaza 9/17/06

This is a picture off the website. Once again, I didn't have a camera at the show so that I could take my own pictures. This time, I could not find the charger.

I'd been running around all weekend long. With my friend celebrating his birthday and another friend visiting from Scottsdale and me walking in the rain on Friday, I have developed a cold. So going to this show was a bit of work.

As for the show itself. I thought it was pretty good. It made sense that the only instruments on the stage were percussion and drums. Now, I guess, the laptop is what the keyboards were. Looks like everything else was being handled by two Apple laptops running Ableton Live. Nitzer Ebb's music is minimal at most so everything besides the drums have to be sequenced which is why they use laptops and the keyboards are now out of the picture.

Despite being tired, I did manage to move about to the music, because you really can't avoid that when you see this band perform. And the only time I've seen them live before was when they were warm-up band to Depeche Mode's Violator tour. Nitzer Ebb is all about Electronic Body Music with hard pounding drums and sequenced bass lines. So you move. The vocals are all these "military" type chants, so sometimes, you feel like you want to march rather than dance.

The setlist was pretty good. Most of their songs were pulled out of their first two releases. Songs like "Control, I'm here" and "Murderous" got a lot of reaction as well as "Join in The Chant." But my favorite is "Shame." Other songs, if I can remember them were:

For Fun
Blood for Money
Lightning Man
Fun to be Had
Getting Closer
Hearts & Minds (my other favorite)

I wished they had done "Violent Playground." But they didn't. They didn't do too much in the encores either. One song each encore.

so It was a good show for me. It was familiar and I'm glad some of these guys are still around to keep me interested in going out to see them. It still sounds fresh and new to me.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some Great Videos - David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes"

I was only 13 when this song came out. From the album "Scary Monsters.. And Super Creeps," in the year 1980. It was the No. 1 hit at the time. I love this video. Bowie looks like a clown from outer space. And who are those behind him? One of them is Steve Strange and the other, non other than Boy George. These guys at the time were total Bowie groupies and they began a movement in England at that time called "The New Romantics" which gave birth to such bands as Visage (whom Steve Strange fronted), Duran Duran, Culture Club, Ultravox (with Midge Ure), Spandau Ballet. And I'm sure there are couple of readers that can name a slew of others. Depeche Mode and The Human League I believe were also among them, though I think they were more labeled as "Futurists."

I remember when I first saw this video. It was late night on one of those late night shows that sometimes aired videos. I remember my oldest brother was watching as well. He was chuckling at all the scenes. I myself had my mouth open and was transfixed at all the imagery that Bowie was presenting.

The song references "Major Tom." from "an early song.." Later on, a singer by the name of Pete Shilling wrote a song called "Major Tom" which was a pretty big hit.

"Ashes to Ashes" incorporated a lot of keyboards. This was a time when most rock bands treated the synthesizer as a novelty, but for such performers with imagination like Bowie, the synthesizer was a godsend. Chuck Hammer, I believe lending his hand for this track. I think Bowie also worked with Brian Eno and Philip Glass on several of his other albums.

"Ashes to Ashes" is by far my all time favorite Bowie song. Other favorites include "Golden Years", "Fashion" and off course "Space Oddity."

Monday, September 11, 2006

What's Cooking?

This is a first for me.

For the first time I went into a bookstore and headed for the cooking section. Last weekend I went to Macy's and bought one of those 10 piece cooking sets because now that I have a decent kitchen, I can cook in comfort. I never really did much cooking and the only things I made were the usual pasta and rice dishes and sometimes stir-fry. But I'm painfully making a transition from vegetarian to vegan. That's where the books come in. It's incredibly difficult to be vegan. Giving up dairy is a major step. Think of life without cheese! It's nearly impossible. But there are alternatives to most dairy products and the books will help put it together because I have no idea. These are some of the recipes from "The New Vegetarian": Soba with Green Soybeans, Cumin-roasted Sweet Potatoes and Moroccan Chickpea Casserole. Sounds great.

So the idea is to stop eating out ALL the time. Bring to work my lunch that I've prepared because all that stuff you eat out there has way too many additives and that's just not healthy. I don't know that we can cut back 100% but cutting half of all that crap is good to.

Like my tablecloth? Kinda foofy, isn't it.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Hydrostatic Equilibrium

It's a "working" template. I'm not sure if I'll stick to it but this will do for now.

The title: Basically it is what keeps the sun "together." Gravity pulls everything in while the fusion of hydrogen to helium releases energy. Without gravity, the sun pulls apart. Without fusion we have no energy. Something to that effect.

I'm not in any way an expert on Astrophysics. The study of the Cosmos is a continuing interest of mine beginning with a fascination to Astronomy. It's just my adventure in understand where we come from and how everything works even at the subatomic level.

But this blog is not just about that. My main interests are at music, art, culture and science. So it's a little of everything.

Additional info will be added as time goes by such a links to other blogs and sites.

Anyway, glad you're here.