September 26th, 2006

Land of the Midnight Snack

Package arrived today!

Earlier today, there was a big package in the mailbox addressed to me. It had a picture of one of my LJ icons, so I figured whoever sent it must know me. And up in the corner under the return address, I recognized palabrajot's LJ icon! I brought the mail in and opened the package.

Inside was a cardboard box decorated with silver pen words, reading: "Happy Birthday, KayTEE! Thanks for being you - JoMo!" Inside the cardboard box was a box containing a cool book titled "Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones", about various unusual kinds of experimental music instruments. It comes with a CD containing samples of these instruments in action. (I actually have a smaller version of this book, but this one is bigger and has more stuff in it.) You've probably heard of the theremin, but how about the Pick-Behind-The-Bridge Guitar? Or the Trigon Incantor? Or one of my favorites, the Daxophone?

Thanks, JoMo! I'll enjoy reading and listening to my present.
  • Current Music
    Hans Reichel - Le Bal
Weird Al, pretzel

Straight Outta Lynwood

Weird Al's new album, "Straight Outta Lynwood", came out today. I haven't listened to it yet... because I need to prepare.

I went to the FYE store in the Galleria and found Al's new disc in the "New Releases" display out front. Yay, simple. Problem is, I don't listen to the radio or anything. I'm thinking, I most likely haven't heard any of the songs Al's parodying. (Before I listened to "White & Nerdy" on Al's MySpace page, I'd never even heard of this Chamillionaire guy. And I don't listen to rap anyway. 'Cause I'm just too white & nerdy, think I'm just too white & nerdy.)

But hey! FYE has these nifty listening centers, consisting of a barcode scanner, a touchscreen and a set of headphones on a post. You can pick up any CD in the store, scan it in, and listen to snippets of the songs. I figured I could listen to snippets of the songs he's parodying, and maybe get some of the jokes.

Unfortunately, I can't tell from the track titles what's being parodied (with one exception: "Canadian Idiot", obviously based on Green Day's "American Idiot"). I need to open the case and read the liner notes to find out. So I bought the disk, went to the food court, sat down and opened it. Interesting: it's a dual disk; a CD on one side and a DVD on the other. Hope my CD player will play it. Then I read the liner notes. Okay, one song I've heard; "Float On" by Modest Mouse, used in the polka medley. Then I put the case and booklet (separately) back into the bag, along with the receipt so I could prove I paid for it if necessary, and went back into the store.

Unfortunately, those listening centers have a major disadvantage as compared to the listening booths that record stores used to have a long time ago: it's hard to hear the snippets over the LOUD SOUND SYSTEM IN THE STORE blasting out the latest manufactured hit-single crap. I tried anyway; I hunted down as many albums as I could, which wasn't easy in some cases; I gave up on a few of them. Snoop Dogg? Ugh, not worth wading through his huge pile of ugly album art and nasty-sounding song titles. Rihanna? Who the hell is Rihanna, and would he/she be in Pop/Rock or Rap? Eh, skip it. By the time I got to the last track, based on something or other by R. Kelly, I said screw it. I just wanted to get out of there and go home. And of course after all that work and noise, I didn't really remember any of the songs anyway.

In the car, I had a clever idea: YouTube! Maybe I can search and find videos for all these songs, and listen to them in part or whole at my leisure. After all, that was how I got to hear "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt so I could understand "You're Pitiful" (which is available for download but not on the album because James Blunt's record company decided to be asses about it).

Sooo, I've got some YouTubing to do. (Haven't done it yet because I've been working on something else.) Perhaps I'll use the disc that came with "Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones" to cleanse my palate between rap videos.