Saturday, April 29, 2006

Don't Tread On Me

Altering the Star-Spangled Banner, the beloved National Anthem of the United States of America by singing it in a foreign language, changing intents & meanings in passages and finally renaming it--well, that is about as constructive & useful in encouraging meaningful and rational discussion on immigration reform (no matter where you stand on the issue) as this would be...

Some things you just don't mess with.

PS I am seriously considering removing this post. Yes, I think the analogy is compelling & relevant to the issue, but man the "bandera nueva" image really is a total eye-sore. It literally hurts my eyes just to look at it... (30 April 2006)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Yes! It's here. The Rodrigo y Gabriela CD+DVD arrived today. I'm listening to it right now. I am first and foremost struck by the fact that you just can't simply put a label on their music. I titled a previous post about their work "Acoustic Melodic Shred Guitar?" but now that I have the CD playing I have to state that title is simply too superficial to adequately describe the style & content of this album. Too narrow.

Yes, it's acoustic guitar.

Yes, they are both quite technically proficient in their playing.

Both of those aspects are important and contribute to making for some very interesting listening however it goes so far beyond that. You have to hear it to really get it . As corny as it might appear to say it, they really do seem to have synthesized all of these various influences into their own unique sound and style. At once both bold & driving rhythms & persussion sounds are combined with most delicate melody lines. The arrangements are interesting, and the production sounds incredible--full & rich, interesting dynamics & movement in the pieces. Good stuff! I don't have any of their other albums yet, but I am quite intrigued. I think this album would appeal to a very wide range of listeners. To try to put a label on their style or box them into a particular genre would be an injustice.

I took a moment a little earlier and watched a some of the DVD, a portion called 'the story' or something like that. That was one of the first things they pointed out, and it really is quite accurate. I don't think most musicians enjoy being boxed in with labels but how many actually produce something as new, vibrant and compelling as this album? Gabriela says how moving to acoustic guitar was freedom to her. Freedom to play what they want to play. I think they totally demonstrate that freedom on this album to powerful effect.

Time was when 'MTV Unplugged' performances were all the rage amongst rock players. They would take their work and translate it into another medium (acoustic guitar). The difference here is: the acoustic is the medium and since they are not locked into any specific expectations with it, it truly is a liberating platform for a very original body of work. Even the cover versions of Stairway To Heaven & Orion demonstrate this unique approach to the instrument.

This is the best musical find I have come across in years!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

London Calling

Surreal, but I suppose we shouldn't be surprised these days.

Guy gets in a cab to go the airport. Asks the cabbie to put London Calling by The Clash on the stereo.

Cabbie figures the guy must be a terrorist when he hears the line "War is declared and battle come down" in the song so he calls the police.

Guy gets arrested. Questioned. Misses plane (of course). And is finally released.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: "I said to staff you've taken me off my flight due to my taste in music, in a more colourful way.

"I mean where does it stop? What if I was wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, what if I was wearing odd socks, you know.

"I mean obviously the political climate these days is like walking on egg shells, but I mean there's caution and then there's taking it to the point where it's absurd and ludicrous."
I don't know what to say about this really. It's just incredible...

Relevant links:
Terror fear over Clash fan's song
Schneier on Security

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bittorrent: Musix LiveCD 0.39

Noticed yesterday on DistroWatch that the Musix team had released a new version of the Musix LiveCD (w/ HDD installer). This is a distribution designed with the audio & recording enthusiasts in mind.

New in Musix 0.39
  • Rosegarden4 1.2.3 (Musix is the first distro with this version, thanks to Silvan and the Rosegarden TEAM!)
  • Xorg 6.9 (thanks Adrian P. for the adaptation)
  • 4 Kernels:
    • (boot from live-cd)
    • (boot from live-cd, with realtime patch)
    • (only works installed in HD, with realtime patch)
    • 2.6.13-1-multimedia (only works installed in HD, with realtime patch)
  • Some general graphics design changes
  • KDE 3.5.1
  • All source code available from
  • eq-xmms-musix modified by Pardo (recommendable)
  • hundred of software packages updated
  • Lots of fixed bugs, and more.
Download Information:


Bittorrent (Linux Tracker Details)

GPG Signature File for the ISO

To obtain the Public Key for this project use the following command line:

gpg --keyserver --recv-keys 0x5320454D

To check the signature file against the ISO image use the following (when you have both files in the same directory of course):

gpg --verify musix-0.39.iso.sig musix-0.39.iso

I have checked the Linux Tracker torrent iso against the signature file from the FTP site and it is good. Here are the checksums I have calculated fwiw:

0772769d6454be5b49ac300f6d8c9774 musix-0.39.iso

b7048758e19ce65107469501e492e255d3307694 musix-0.39.iso