Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Music Ramblings

So it’s deeply important for me to be in the correct mindset for my imminent journey southwards. That means it’s time to start thinking about that most important of considerations before any long distance road trip: driving music. Also, in honor of the fact that I’m about to be trading in the Double Door for Billy Bob’s Texas, that means that it’s time to pay more attention to the twangier side of life. Oh, and, as always, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers are a necessary addition to any driving compilation. So let’s talk music for leaving home and driving to Dallas… “Leavin’ Song,” The Railbenders[1] “West Texas Moon,” Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers “Going Going Gone,” Jessi Lynn “A,” Dead Hot Workshop “Anywhere but Here,” Cross Canadian Ragweed “Passin’ Through,” Reckless Kelly “Careless,” Micky & the Motorcars[2] “Judgment Day,” Lost Immigrants[3] “Take it Easy,” Travis Tritt[4] “State of Mind,” Clint Black[5] “Someday Soon,” Jessi Lynn “Americano,” Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers “Bottom Line,” Eli Young Band “Hammer Down,” Cross Canadian Ragweed “Again,” Randy Rogers Band “Feels Just Like it Should,” Pat Green “Banditos,” The Refreshments Now, there’s a problem with this. See, unless I burn a CD, I’ll be listening to this music the way I’ve been listening to most of my music lately: on a seventh generation iPod Classic. I finally had to give up my Creative Zen Vision: M and dreams of the Zii EGG[6] for iTunes and the slightly distasteful feeling I’ve sold my soul to Steve Jobs. I don’t like that feeling. The problem is simple: I left my Zen Vision: M on Southwest Airlines Flight 2047 from Chicago to KC to Dallas to El Paso last Monday. Creative is mostly making garbage these days and I’m not a fan of paying a crapload of money for the comparatively low storage capacity of flash-based memory. Given this problem there’s exactly one mp3 player on the market that I can own: the iPod Classic. In my constant search for a meta-narrative I actually kind of half-suspected that the iPod would slowly win me over somehow. I’d decide that iTunes wasn’t really so bad and the thin, clean lines of the iPod are actually aesthetically quite pleasing. Eventually I’d admit that it was a move that was a long time coming and I was holding out for no good reason. I’m pleased to admit, however, that after a week of iPod ownership I still really, REALLY miss my Zen Vision: M. My list of grievances: 1. Lack of direct access to the hard drive. Seriously. I like being able to drag and drop at will. 2. No real alphabetical scrolling. On the Vision: M (and W, for that matter) there’s an alphabet scroller down the right side of the screen if you’re in a music list. So you just hit the right button, pop down to the letter you want, and then hit the left button and it goes right back. Now, I’m fully aware of the fact that the iPod can scroll alphabetically, but the feature is so balky that I’ve managed to call it up five times, one of them by accident, and I figure it requires some sort of black magic to conjure easily. Plus, in a long enough list of artists or albums or whatever the speed with which I operate the scroll wheel and the duration affect scroll speed and it will skip entire chunks of the alphabet. I have been trying to get to the Js and suddenly found myself at Z. My attempt to return to the Js then deposits me right back at A. Deeply, deeply annoying. With the Zen Vision: M there was a direct relation to the speed with which I swiped my thumb and the speed the unit scrolled. If I wanted it to go faster I touched the very bottom or the very top of the scroll bar and held my thumb. It’s just a better system. 3. No Album of the Day. This is a single option either on the menu or on the soft button that pulls up a completely random album and plays it all the way through. It’s my favorite feature ever. Now, I know the iPod has a shuffle albums feature, but it’s inferior in every way so I have yet to use it. Well, succesfully and without a great deal of annoyance. But, y’know, other than that my jump to the iPod has been a smashing success… Also -- just in case anyone cares -- I’ve turned on comment moderation for any post older than 14 days. I’ve been getting increasing amounts of spam in the comments lately (without an accompanying increase in hits, which weirds me out just a little. Is everyone out there just a spambot? Also, for some reason I've just decided this has strange implications for internet dating. I mean, let's say you're talking to some hottie over Match or eHarmony or something and she starts mentioning how you might need Viagra. Now you're all, "Sweet!" Then you meet for coffee all ready for action and it turns out your date is just a computer talking about V1a6ra and C1al1s. Also, that was probably way funnier in my head. Sorry) and it’s quicker to moderate on the front end than delete later. Fortunately the comment spammers seem to be a bit behind in the calendar department. Oh, and things seem to be progressing nicely for an early January move. I’m getting movers lined up and there seem to be available units in places I might want to live. My crack Dallas on-site team is checking in to that pretty much as we speak. Which is nice, since it’s been single digit temps up here in Chi-town the last couple days. Oh, and there were those three lovely rush hour snow storms this week. That’s already led to one of my favorite Dallas-related exchanges. I was talking to a guy at one complex yesterday and he asked how I was doing. “I’m cold,” I said. So he started in on how it was in the 30s down there and that sucked. “It’s in the single digits,” I said, “And really windy.” He, um, he stopped complaining… ------------------------- [1]The Railbenders are a Denver band fronted by a guy named Jim Dalton who recently got called up to the big leagues as Steve Larson’s replacement in the Peacemakers. He’s quite excellent… [2]I do not like this name. I like the music, though. [3]Dallas-based band. Apparently Exhibit A in my weird tendency to gravitate towards local bands with names that start with the letter L. Up in Chicago there’s Local H, the Lovehammers, and Lucky Boys Confusion. Although, to be fair, I knew about the Lost Immigrants a couple years ago, back when they weren’t supposed to be a local band to me… [4]I’ve always preferred Tritt’s cover to the Eagles original. Not entirely sure why, though. [5]I loves me some Clint Black. [6]Creative seems to be waiting for third-party developers to pay for the right to write a Plazma- and Android-based OS for the EGG. This is, um, this is a bad sign. I mean, even though it's one of the best looking pieces of hardware I've seen I can't fathom someone thinking, "Hey, I'll take a bunch of time to try to develop firmware for something that might never see the light of day!" And when you consider that I was waiting for one with breathless anticipation, then went out and bought an iPod once my mp3 player situation changed I'm not entirely sure what the odds are that anyone is actually going to give a shit about the EGG for very long. It's sad, really...


Fake Al Gore said...

I don't listen to a lot of modern country, but I do like this one local group:

He sounds a little bit like Randy Travis.

The Woeful Budgie said...

See, we San Franciscans bitch about the "cold", but at least we know when to keep it to ourselves. We know we're pretty spoiled, weather-wise.

(Although we've got nothing on SoCal. My husband grew up in San Diego, and has fond memories of going swimming in January. Asshole.)

Also: rush hour snowstorms? Perish the thought. People forget how to drive around here when it fucking RAINS.

Anydangway, I don't know if you're looking for any new music, but if you're looking to embrace the twangier side of life, you might like Cory Branan. Granted, he's more Tennessee than Texas, but he's got a few worthwhile songs.

The Woeful Budgie said...

@Fake Al Gore: Wow. Yeah, he kinda does.

Fake Al Gore said...

I have very fond memories of San Francisco. I've never lived there, but I would like to someday.

I think bad driving in rain is universal. I've heard people from all across the country complain about it, and it happens in Dallas with regularity.