I set out to take this weekend slow. And what’s more, to make the most of it by waking early each day. My original plans were to finishing up planting the various flora and fauna we’d purchased but not completely installed last weekend. But some late-season rains put the brakes on that. The rain was nice tho, it was particularly heavy for California – with thunder and lightning which is a rarity here. Back in Florida, thunderstorms are a daily occurrence in the summer, so they tend to make me a bit nostalgiac.
Y’know, I’ve heard of anger management problems, and I don’t think I have one of those. I do think, however, that I have a frustration management problem. Sometimes, I get unbelievably frustrated – with everything. Today is one of those days. Usually, some small legitimate thing triggers the frustration… but from then on everything else just seems to get picked up and added to my big rolling snowball of irrational frustration. On days like today, everyone drives infinitely slow. Everywhere I am is just an obstacle that’s keeping me from where I want to be. Everything I’m doing is just a waste of time keeping me from getting to what I really want to be doing. I finally get to a point where I feel like I’m about to jump out of my skin, then I realize I’m upset over nothing and just let it go. It’s usually right about then that have to use the bathroom and a stray pubic hair somehow gets plastered across my pee-hole and splits my normally manageable precision stream of urine into an un-aimable V shape consisting of two separate streams. It’s God’s little way of telling you to give up. Yeah, I definitely have a frustration management problem.
I haven’t talked music in a while. Maybe that’s because the latest records stacked on my multi-platter arm are somewhat well known to begin with. It seems that either the collective ears’ of America’s youth are finally responding to the weekly subliminal indie dosing they get from the OC, or I’m simply experiencing a loss of power to my commercial-acceptance shields. But you gotta admit, the recent explosion of MTV2-phyllic new-new-wave rock acts really do have an addictive sound. And with that in mind, I was pretty pumped that Sharaun and I managed to score a bunch of tickets to a local small-club show by one of the aforementioned aforenamedcoattail-riders, the Bravery, that’ll be going down next week. With their album in-hand I’m really looking forward to it. Aside from the best the “new alternative” stable has to offer, I’ve recently acquired the latest Ben Folds album, as well as the new Stephen Malkmus joint. Both are worth investigating if the Killers and their extended family-tree are beginning to wear on you.
Work on the digital migration project continues. I’m halfway through Lennon, and have started my first real attempt to cross-check what I’ve ripped with the complete database of what I own. The goal is to find holes in the ripping, and make dang sure everything I own is digitized before I start selling off the then-redundant discs. When I started all this, I actually printed out a copy of my database and highlighted each album as I ripped and verified it, sometimes making notes if something was notable. But the whole effort has dragged on so long that I’ve not only lost track of what I was doing, I’ve lost the printout. So now I’ve got this folder full of music and no real way to check it against what I own. But, with a little creative manipulation of the DOS ‘tree’ command, and some fancy cutting/pasting tricks – I managed to get a side-by-side list of my collection and what’s already been ripped to the drive. I’d like to thank OpenOffice 2.0 beta for most of my data manipulation and srpreadsheeting, if you haven’t yet – check it out.
Speaking of software – having the right tools has played a large part in my willingness to pick up this project again. Ripping discs is not so bad when they’re all commercially available and the ripping program can look them up in freedb to get all the track names. But bootlegs, transfers from vinyl, and other rare/odd discs just won’t freedb – meaning the only option is to type all the information in by hand. I recently downloaded a couple more utilities that have proved perfect for the task of tagging those pesky non-freebd-able albums. Moosic Organizer lets you actually search the freedb site and manually apply an album to one that won’t lookup on its own. And MP3 Book Helper has an “import from CSV file” feature, which allows me to copy a bootleg’s tracklist off any website into a spreadsheet, save it as a CSV file, and tag the album in one-click that way. Sure beats typing every track in by hand.
Finally got around to watching Ray tonight, great movie. Watching some of those club scenes was really powerful. Seeing greasy, sweaty, hard-working musicians pouring their every ounce into their instruments… it reminds me of the feeling I got the first time I heard Otis Redding’s set at the Monterey Pop Festival. Kyle brought over a tape his dad had made. Side A was Wilson Pickett; side B was Otis. Some was live, some was studio, and it was my first real chance to actually “listen” to soul music. On that day, we had decided to pretend we were kids again – and had broken out our old slot car tracks. His track was compatible with mine, so he brought over his cars and track, and we pieced together a massive circuit that sprawled and twisted its way around the floor of my bedroom. We must have listened to that tape three or four times through as we gunned our little cars on to victory. Up the side of the bottom bunk along vertical U-turn, around the 4-layer spiral, down the extended straightaway and into the hairpin around the closet door. For some reason that memory stuck with me, the four speakers I’d arranged in each corner as a mock quad setup blasting Try A Little Tenderness over the clicks and clacks of little cars moving from section to section on the track. Some things I think you’re just supposed to remember.