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Archive for the ‘Albert Einstein’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: NONAME-Tiny Desk Concert #609 (April 3, 2017).

Noname (born Fatimah Warner) is a wrapper and crooner.  her voice is pretty and her demeanor is infectiously upbeat.  Although I don’t really love her songs, I find her attitude infectious.

The blurb says

It’s in the way she’s able to muster a smile while performing a heartbreaking tale of abortion. It’s those sometimes bleak, melancholy lyrics over brilliant, colorful production.

“Diddy Bop” is a strange mix of gentle music (delicate guitar lines from Brian Sanborn meld with synthesized flutes) and rather vulgar lines:  There’s a line “you about to get your ass beat” and lots of “my niggas” thrown around.  Phoelix (bass) sings a verse as well.  The song is only two minutes long.

After it she says she has watched many Tiny Desk Concerts and she “Just wants to be as good as T-Pain.”

The second song is actually a medley.  It begins with “Reality Check” and then segues into “Casket Pretty,” and “Bye Bye Baby.”

She says “Reality Check” is her most straightforward song, but “it would be shitty if you were like ‘damn that made no sense either.'”  I normally speak “in like, scramble-think, so hopefully you guys follow it.” “Scramble-think” refers to the clever metaphors she weaves in detailing the many ways she’s dodged destiny.

Akenya Seymour (keys, vox) takes a verse in this song and Phoelix gets some backing vocals.

“Casket Pretty” is quite an evocative expression but she repeats the lyric an awful lot during the song.  The drums by Connor Baker are interesting throughout the set, but especially in this song.

She says that “Yesterday” is her favorite song on the tape.  It’s the first song she made.  It’s vulnerable and honest and she was surprised how much people liked it so she decided she had more sadness and vulnerability for her album.

[READ: January 20, 2017] “Constructed Worlds”

I enjoyed this story very much.  It is the story of a girl who is off to Harvard.  The story is set in the early 1990s–in the time of Discman and the beginning of e-mail.  It even opens with the fascinating line:

I didn’t know what e-mail was until I got to college. I had heard of e-mail, and knew that in some sense I would “have” it. “You’ll be so fancy,” said my mother’s sister, who had married a computer scientist, “sending your e-mails.”

The girl, Selin, has been hearing all about the World Wide Web from her father. He described that he was in the Met and one second later he was in Anitkabir in Ankara. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 10, 2016] Doktor Kaboom! The Science of Santa

kaboomWe loved Doktor Kaboom! when we saw him last (which I didn’t even realize was less than a year ago).  His last show, Live Wire, mixed comedy, science and a hearty dose of believing in yourself.

And so did this one.  Indeed, this show wasn’t radically different from the previous one except that it was all about the magic of Santa Claus.  For as Doktor Kaboom! states: magic is simply science we can’t explain yet.  And in case you are worried about any Santa spoilers, the tagline reads: No iconic Holiday figures were harmed in the making of this show.

For background, the K in Doktor isn’t a zany spelling (thank goodness), it is because the good Doktor is German!  And when he asks you if you understand, you must shout JA!, not yeah or yuh or okay, but JA!

And he likes things to go Kaboom!  Ja?  JA! (more…)

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genius SOUNDTRACK: SAM BEAM AND JESCA HOOP-Tiny Desk Concert #538 (June 6, 2016).

beamhoopI sampled the Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop CD online and really liked it, so I bought it for Sarah for her birthday.  The whole album is really beautiful and I was delighted to see that they performed a Tiny Desk Concert.

Sam Beam is the man behind Iron and Wine.  He has an incredibly long beard.  Jesca Hoop is a solo performer with a few albums out (although I hadn’t heard of her before).  She looks adorable in this concert in her Oxford shirt and suspenders–they’re an interesting contrast.  And yet their voices work so nicely together.

They sing three songs from the album with Beam on guitar and both of them singing.

“Sailor to Siren” begins with Beam on lead vocals, but Hoop soon joins him to duet on most of the lyrics.  Their harmonies are so pretty, perhaps in particular because Beam’s voice is also in a high delicate register.

Sam Beam is one of the most personable performers to show up on the Tiny Desk–he seems so kind and gentle with a good sense of humor.  And Hoop complements him well.  He comments about having to sing into the microphone without looking and she jokes, “it’s like when you’re driving with someone and you’re feeding them food but you have to look at the road to make sire they don’t hit anything so you put food in their beard.”  It’s a great visual reference with his large beard and it actually gets him laugh and stop playing for a minute.

“Know the Wild That Wants You” features Hoop on first lead vocals and Beam on backing vocals and then they duet on the next verse.  The harmonies in the chorus are again beautiful.

For the final song, the incredibly catchy “Every Songbird Says,” Beam describes a video that was made for the song.  He says it’s the best video he’s ever had made for him; Jesca jumps in and says it was made for her, which makes him laugh.  He describes it as having babies with raccoon and dog heads wrestling and licking each other.

On this song Jesca’s vocals are breathier and quite different–they work wonderfully and are a fine contrast to the high notes she (and he) hit in the chorus.

This is a great representation of the album which is similarly sparse (although it does have some extra flourishes here and there).  Their voices sound just as great as on the record.

[READ: March 1, 2016] Genius

The cover of this book shows a man facing the giant but fuzzy image of Albert Einstein.  And it proves an apt image.

The story is about a man who says he was always pretty smart.  He skipped ahead two grades in school.  Although puberty was a bitch for him, it didn’t do him any real harm.  He married and had two kids.  And he now has a job at Pasadena Technical Institute.  He was brought in as a young ringer with great ideas.  But as he has been there for a while, the ideas have just stopped coming and he sees the new young people starting to overtake him–which might mean the loss of his position.

The story flips back and forth between his worklife–unsatisfying–and his home life–confusing.  His son is old enough (14) to be interested in sex.  But he has a heart to heart with him and says they can talk about anything–it seems to work. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: MAC LETHAL-“You’re vs. Your” (2012).

Mac Lethal is a YouTube sensation (he did the pancakes video that I liked quite a bit).  And, yes, he does actually have albums for sale.  He raps really fast (so fast that I wondered if it was sped up–I don’t believe so).  I am 100% behind the sentiment of this song (possessive vs contractions, this is something you used to know).

I’m a grammar freak, so it bothers me when I see these common mistakes made.  It’s nice to hear a song about it (even if it’s not a terribly catchy song or anything).

I like his name dropping and his lecture is pretty effective.  I’m a little confused by the big dick reference/joke at the end of the song…it’s not really relevant.  But his fast tongue is really impressive.  As for his singing….mmm, stick to rapping.

I like the T-shirt!

[READ: May 15, 2012] Science News Letter

I’ve mentioned before when my company sends out links to articles that are interesting or cool.  This is the second time a link to a Science News Letter has gone out.  I swear if I had time, I would love to read all of these.  I wonder how often it was published?

This letter has only two articles in it–one from Physics and one from Archaeology.

The Archaeology one is called “Find Sacred Kitten in Bronze Cat Coffin.”  And indeed, two metallurgy experts were cleaning a bronze cat (which had “bronze disease”) and inside of it they found the bones of a fetal cat.  This was one of the first times that actual bones were discovered in one of these cat idols.  There’s even a (kind of creepy) picture of the bronze statue with the far creepier caption: Cat Coffin.

The Physics article is headlined: Fifth Dimension is New Realm Entered by Professor Einstein”  What?  How cool is that… “Professor Einstein!”  Einstein died in 1955, so it’s not weird that he’d be in a Science Letter.  But still!  Einstein talking about his current theories?!  The subtitle is “Celebrating Sixtieth Birthday, Scientist Wants New Dimension To Account for Electro-Magnetic Effects.” (more…)

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