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27Aug2015 1845: Time to Split

My bike is well past senile at this point. The fundamental structure is still solid but it's starting to wet the bed as often as my old Town Car. A month ago it was a sudden air leak in the rear tire. This month it's a sudden failure in the seat adjustment. The nut has also rusted on to the bolt, which wouldn't be so bad except that it's rusted on just slightly too loose to hold the seat in place. I just spent 90 minutes failing to drill it out with my little cordless drill. And men, cross your legs, because none of us are going to like the next option. I've never seen such low average reviews for an entire range of products before. Maybe nut splitters are just a flawed concept? I would sleep easier knowing that the world has not perfected nut splitters.

Followup book report: Seveneves became sufficiently awesome. It took nearly four hundred pages to rev up, but once forward motion began it gripped my grey matter. I listened to a couple spoilery discussion podcasts afterwards and apparenly Neal Stephenson has been trying to make Seveneves as a TV show / videogame / movie / miniseries / comic book for a decade now. He finally just threw up his hands and did it his own damn self. That's why there are so many dense page-long paragraphs detailing the minutiae of his creation and I can almost forgive it. If you go too deep into your own fandom you run the risk of a Chronicles of Riddick.

[Amy Helm - Rescue Me] begins by rhyming "strong" with "long", follows up with "smile" and "while", and continues to set my teeth on edge for a full four minutes while she revives the gospel sound of the 70s.

[Anderson East - Satisfy Me] turns it back to the 50s and the earliest origins of funk, back when only Detroit was in the business and no white people were allowed to listen to it. Somehow they manage to disguise what must be a similarly insipid rhyme scheme under layers of pretty good song.

Is this a song about beer or weed? Or could it be both? Nope, [Watkins Family Hour - Hop High] is a slight folk song that could very well derive from 1850s Appalachia. That's the last time anybody in America was named Lulu or talked about a "railroading man".

[Triptides - Hideout] is...psychedelic surf rock? The band name would make sense. This resembles one of the many tinny sounds that flooded radio after grunge released its death grip upon pop culture.

For once the random singles seem to flow together: [Hippo Campus - Suicide Saturday] is using the same guitar pedal as the Triptides but halves the tempo. It sounds like the New Radicals took some mood-leveling scrips and decided to sing their sad lyrics in a happy key.

19Aug2015 1830: Space is the Place

Today on Monty's Behind the Curve: I'm probably the last person to recommend you should read Seveneves. I'm not even halfway through, but Neal Stephenson is always a safe bet. It also has a hell of an opening line:

The Moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason.

If that doesn't get you hyped then I can't help you, and books with absolutely smashing opening lines never ever go awry. The energy naturally dissipates afterwards but I've heard vague spoilers that this goes places. I didn't hear spoilers as to when, because two hundred pages in and people are still having didactic conversations about orbital mechanics. This worked in The Martian because it was an inner monologue, but it works less well when tossed between two or three characters. That opener will carry me through another fifty pages or so, but if not-Neil-DeGrasse-Tyson and not-Elon-Musk don't start moving forward with a plot I'll be back to unrecommend the book.

In all my years of peripheral Cibo Matto fandom -- consisting solely of owning Pom Pom and now Hotel Valentine -- I've never heard somebody try to imitate their sound. [Jenny Hval - Sabbath] gets closest, kinda like the not-Weezer last week, and Jenny brings a little additional Bat for Lashes flavor as well.

Two years ago?! Google brings us 2013's freshest dance beats with [Jutty Ranx - I See You]. Did this guy appear on Random Access Memories? It sounds like he wanted to.

[Gibbz - I Found You] is yet another modern interpretation of Lionel Richie: the synth, the falsetto, the topic of love, all would fit right into a cassette Walkman. And is Google having a laugh with the whole "I See You / I Found You / All the Pretty Girls / Rescue Me / Satisfy Me" run they have here? These titles could themselves be lyrics in one of these bouncy pop songs.

[Kaleo - All the Pretty Girls] is a heartfelt country-folk love song about Samuel, the small-town mack daddy, and how Kaleo only gets his sloppy seconds. Kaleo is naturally more circumspect in his description of events, but that's the essential tenor of his tenor.

12Aug2015 2130: Celebrations

Oh shit somebody got married! Congratulations, bro!

My week-long vacation was quite lovely, beginning in a damp hotel with three totes of board games and ending in a clouded vineyard with all my family, old and new.

I can't recommend Stillwater MN enough for some real picturesque shit. I also came out two games richer because of course I can't walk past a game store without dropping a Grant. I was finally introduced to Lords of Waterdeep at my brother's bachelor party and came to understand why it's one of the more beloved worker placement. Somehow nobody in our game group had a copy of that, we do. Evolution also arrived from the Kickstarter maelstrom and looks to be a rollicking stupid time. Sumbitches always be after my Horned Long-Necked Burrowers.

[Ducktails - Surreal Exposure] brings the weenie-folk aesthetic, complete with a harpsichord and replete with lame rhymes. It triggered some sort of sense memory of [Pearly Gate Music - Big Escape], which I enjoyed far more -- although comparing the two now I can't quite make out why. Go listen to Big Escape, is what I'm saying.

[Earthly - Glaze] is glitch music, like all the worst parts of a Katamari Damacy soundtrack

[BAILE - Leaves (feat. Felicia Douglass)] is a "feat", and unfairly early in the month's list. But it's a "feat" in the chill 90s sense of a trance band remixing a Sophie B. Hawkins song, not in the 00s sense of a rapper teaming up with another rapper to smoke more weed.

The spelling on [Rozwell Kid - My Head] put me on guard against a rap song, but then HOLY SHIT: Weezer! Not actually Weezer, but the least shameful ripoff I've heard in ages. It's time to be ennuitic about the non-travails of a whole new century!