Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Gorirraz and Raptops

It's pissing rain here in Boston - has been for the last two or three days actually and will continue into tomorrow - but am I upset? NO! Why? Because... I've got rhythm, I've got music. I've got..... alright, alright - I'll stop. But I'm very happy today. As mentioned above, I'm swimming in new music today. Where to begin........

Headed out to Newbury Comics today to pickup the new Gorillaz disc, Demon Days. For those of you unfamiliar, the Gorillaz are, for lack of a better term, an animated band - literally. Couple years ago, Blur frontman Damon Albarn embarked on what I guess you would call a solo project but instead of showcasing the real musicians, he hooked up with animator Jamie Hewlett to create a cartoon band as a front. The whole thing took off and became hugely successful, largely because the music what a hell of a lot better than anyone expected it to be, and today marks the release of the bands second disc, when originally there weren't any plans to do more than one.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.. I'm still listening to the thing, and so far it's damn good. I'll probably post a review at some point in the future with a few tasty tracks for download but in the meantime check out the website. It's got some spectacular interactive flash animation and games and stuff. And, oh yes! If you happen to be in the Boston area and want to meet the musicians, head on down to the downtown Newbury Comics location (Newbury St.) and pick up the CD. When you pick it up there (and only at that location) they'll give you a wristband which gets you a spot in line for the signing which will occur later tonight - around 7:00 or so. Word is three out of the four musicians are going to be there (Damon Albarn included.) I'd do it but personally I don't feel like waiting for hours in a cold drizzle. I like the band, but not THAT much.

Surely one CD can't make me this happy, you say. True dat, yo. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I had 14 free iTunes credits to use or lose. Well - I used 'em. Stayed late at work to grab them all, actually. Here's the list. Read and weep... or laugh:

  • The Raveonettes - Love In A Trashcan
  • Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five - The Message
  • Bill Cosby & Quincy Jones - Jimmy's Theme (Mario Caldato Jr. Remix)
  • Joy Division - Disorder
  • Alana Davis - Wide Open
  • Autolux - Here Comes Everybody
  • Ry Cooder & Crossroads - Feelin' Bad Blues
  • UNKLE - Lonely Soul
  • Booker T and the MG's - Melting Pot
  • Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic
  • Fugazi - Margin Walker
  • A Girl Called Eddy - Tears All Over
  • Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot
  • Bill Laswell - Beyond The Zero
You can look forward to some of these gems appearing in the "listening" section on the right in the future. As for what's there now - Archie Shepp is badass. That song in particular. Take a listen and see if you can't figure out why I often think of it as "The Streets of San Francisco foot-chase theme."

One last thing about iTunes - I know you're sick of it - but they finally put the first two Garbage albums up there for purchase. PHENOMENAL stuff (although I'm clearly biased.) Pick 'em up, won't you?

Enough music jibber jabber.

I work at a Japanese women's university. Specifically, I do all the computer work for said Japanese women's university. Now gentlemen, before you start spouting off about what a lucky bastard I am and blah blah blah, I'll just mention that my first day here I had to sign a "non-fraternization clause" (don't ask) , and that all of the student computers I have to support are running Japanese versions of Windows. I don't speak a lick of Japanese - nor can I read it, obviously, so sometimes things can get a bit... difficult. The students however, are life savers. They are all hear to learn English, and many of them make the most of their opportunities to converse in it. They often function as excellent translators when I point to a Windows error message and ask them what the hell it says. Case in point - this morning I arrived at work to find a beat up old laptop on my desk with a yellow post it that said, "Hello Eric-sensei. Please make my computer fix. It go drop and broken." Translation: "I dropped my notebook. Please fix it." I chuckled heartily and toyed with the idea of writing my own post-it back which said, "Your computer are screwed. Eric-sensei can't make fix. Sorry." Thankfully, she just dislodged the battery and the machine was still functional - unbelievably (never drop your laptop folks... disastrous things occur.) It got me thinking about the English language and what a bitch it is to learn. This student's English needed a little work, but it was still understandable - which is a huge something when you consider the vast differences between English and Japanese. Takes a lot of guts to immerse yourself in a culture with which you're unfamiliar, and speak a language that's more foreign than even most other foreign languages.

Still - the results can be funny as hell. I give you Engrish.com - a fantastic website which shows what can often happen when people attempt to translate from one language to the other. Careful - many of these will have you on the floor. Lest we forget how difficult this process can be however, and what a pain in the ass English is to learn, we have this little nugget to remind you. Enjoy.


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