OK Computer

Is Radiohead’s OK Computer the best album from the 90’s? It has some competition from Nirvana’s Nevermind of course, but also from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, which were both also released in the same decade. Not to mention My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. I realize that many people consider this album to be overhyped – but I don’t care. Don’t get me wrong. All of these are great albums. Maybe even some of the best through the history of popular music.

But OK Computer is different. It effectively captures a sense of history, and anxiety of the future, of that point in time, and it’s proven to be more prescient than the others. Nevermind can be argued that it started a movement, but it’s not the same as a description of the change in society and how it views itself in the world. The separation of the self from society itself, and the impersonal interactions with others, mainly enabled through technology. From the description of ambition and greed in “Paranoid Android” that we can see daily in dozens of reality TV shows where the stars are worshiped to the disappointment and disillusion of society in “Let Down”.
The impersonal brings about societal norms falling and the resultant social ills that we see today.

Even the structures are the prescient, from the linear progression of “Paranoid Android” instead of the standard chorus-verse, to the electronic production, much of modern popular music sounds like the album – the merging of electronic and rock music.


A/V Revamp

I replaced by trusty Yamaha RX-V495 with this bad boy. A Yamaha RX-A1070.

I still have the old receiver that I bought off the floor at a GoodGuys for about $150 – maybe 15 years ago. It still sounds fantastic, but the video aspects are out of date. There is no HDMI and there is only a single optical digital input and a single coax digital input. It’s been so reliable over the years with having been moved halfway across the country twice now without any problems, I just had to get another over a Marantz that I was looking at. Growing up we also had a Yamaha receiver for like 40 years till it finally got sold when no one was living there anymore.

Hey! What’s the color of this dress?

I couldn’t have been more excited this past weekend than about the debate over the color of the dress. It’s the perfect distraction from all of the other debates to remind one that no matter how certain you are of something, some one else can see it differently and they can be just as certain as you that they are right. Regardless of the science or objectively knowing that it’s actually blue and black, none of it changes the fact that I see it one way and differently than someone else. And I’m sure of it. My other half disagrees (yet again correct) and can’t see it like I do. A great reminder, that we all perceive the world our own way, and sometimes, it’s not because someone else is stupid or have some ulterior motive if they come to some other conclusion then me.

Local Market Advertisements

One of the wonderful (or horrible) things about Austin being a smaller market is the proliferation of local advertizing on the television.
Usually there’s a tag line to help you remember, typically they are overplayed and annoying, but they are always memorable.

When I moved to San Francisco, the market is so large that almost all of the ads were national ads. I don’t think that I realized that I missed them until I got a chance to see some good local ads again.

Town and Country Leather: “Thanks for shopping local!”
I love this lady. I love that she has her face two stories tall plastered on billboards on I-35. I love the way that she says “Natuzzi” in the ad. I love that the recliners are “with power!” I love that the leather home theatre seating is so Texas and the red ones are just so horribly ugly.

Capitol Kia: “If I can’t beat a new Kia deal in Texas, I’m just gonna give it to you!”
These are great also. When we first moved here, the ads used to have just Bill Dickason, but now they have this lady in them also. Lately she’s usually holding a dog, which is just hilarious. They run constantly on the TV. It’s almost like it’s the soundtrack to your life. I love that everyone is so excited — “$199 a month!”, “500 available to chose from!”. They used to always say “Just in front of the water tower.”, but lately that’s been getting dropped. In the new ones, there’s some shots of the showroom. The best part is that there are like a dozen clocks on the wall, probably with different time-zones, because, when you’re buying your Kia in Central Texas you really need to know if now is an appropriate time to call someone in Shanghai.

Lorenz & Lorenz: “It’s just that easy!”
Unfortunately, I can’t find a recent ad on YouTube for this ambulance chaser. The new ads end with him snapping his fingers as exclamation to the tagline “It’s just that easy!” If you go to his website you can see the new ad in the player. The embed code is broken, of course. Anyway, in the old add is still pretty good. I love his look with the hair and glasses. I love that his suit is too big. I love that he just keeps saying “serious”. I really wish that there was a recent one to paste in. “It’s just that easy!”

Mitt Romney and his taxes


“Poor people have shitty lobbyists.”

I don’t usually watch too much of the Daily Show, but occasionally they have fantastic commentary pieces. Now, I really love this one. John Stewart does a good job here boiling it down to the fact that those with influence can easily bend the law to their own advantage. Once done, you can easily just explain everything by the fact that what you are doing is perfectly legal. Of course, there is never any more explanation than that. Or, the fact that you yourself are even the ones that pushes the law because you’re just pursuing your own interests.