Economy of Effort

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What should we do today?

Listened to Tortoise’s TNT on the way to work/school today. Haven’t dug that out in a while, but it re-affirmed why it is still my favorite Tortoise disc.

Later, after classes, I drove around running a few errands, and had Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew in the CD player. Actually, the Complete Bitches Brew Sessions, CD #1. You know, I might end up buying the regular 2CD version of that album, despite having the 4CD box set. It’s great music to listen to while driving (good jazz/fusion tends to be), but the box packaging is not very convienent for the car. Same with Magma’s Trilogie Au Trianon - despite being a compact box, it’s still not convienent. I like jewel cases because I can open them up, take the CD out, and put the CD into my car stereo without ever taking my eyes off the road. And here’s a safe driving trick: when you have a bunch of CDs in the car and need to find a certain one, just grab one and hold it up next to your view of the road, and glance at it. You can see what it is, and not take your eyes off the road for any longer than you do to glance at your rear-view mirrors and such. If it’s not the right one, then put it down and grab the next one. Might take a few tries, but it’s MUCH safer than looking down and digging through them and not paying attention to the road. Don’t hit me with your car!

Anyway, after all that, I went home. I was tired, and the couch looked inviting. I took this opportunity to listen to Tarantel’s From Bone To Satellite. I need to get my booty up to San Francisco and see these guys play live. I missed an opportunity to see them and Zoviet*France (and meet a friend from because my job started that week. But Tarantel is located in SF, so I should get a chance to see them. I wasn’t seeing anything while listening to From Bone To Satellite, though, as I dozed off on the couch. When I awoke, I looked at the clock and noticed that my Physics class had already started. Whoops. Oh well, it wasn’t an important day of class, so no big deal.

After swinging by my boss’s house to pick up her computer (doing some maintenance work on it), I went driving around town. I had Fates Warning’s A Pleasant Shade of Gray in the car stereo. Damn, but that’s a hell of an album. It’s one of the indispensable discs in my collection. I didn’t much like it when I first got it, but back then, my notion of “prog” was musical gymnastics a la Dream Theater. Over time, that perception eroded, and the Fates Warning disc was given it’s chance to shine. I think I may have told this story here before, but too bad. You get to read it again.

So, while driving in town, listening to Fates, I stopped at Tower Records. I was distraught when I noticed that not even Tortoise were in their “rock” section. I tend to judge music stores by their “indie” stock (after all, you can get Fleetwood Mac CDs anywhere). Well, after not seeing anything at all, I started looking for the jazz section. Maybe they at least had the Art Blakey album I want. Well, I looked and looked, and did not find a jazz section anywhere (despite a number of jazz artists, like Louis Armstrong, appearing in the budget bins). While searching, however, I found an “indie” section to the store. And what do you know, there was the Tortoise and Mogwai, and more. The Sea and Cake, Tarantel, even some prog-metal (Therion, Symphony X, and Zero Hour) were there. Woo! Also some electronic artists like Isis. Lots of San Francisco indie band lovin' (like Tarantel and Neurosis, but no Sleepytime Gorilla Museum… sigh). The sections were divided up by genre (rock, industrial, spacerock, metal, etc.) Well, I grabbed the Tarantel (their new album, The Order of Things) as well as a copy of Wire magazine (with the Japanese psych-rock band that I just read about at Pitchfork and downloaded an album of - Acid Mothers Temple). I’ve wanted to read an issue of Wire for a while now, and since their cover story is a band that I am very freshly interested in, now seemed as good of a time as any.

So I’m home now, listening to Tarantel and opening up the Wire mag.