Aziz listed seven songs that he is currently “into.” I might as well, too. Most of these you’re not likely to hear on the radio, so I’ve uploaded mp3s.

Naftule’s Dream, “Speed Klez.” John Manning is the Tony Levin of tuba players.


Polysics, “Rocket.” The eccentric ending theme of the eccentric show Moyashimon.


Don Ross, “Dracula and Friends (Part One).” Motown on six strings.


Alkan, “Finale: Presto” from Symphony for Solo Piano, Op. 39, #7. (Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano). It is not true that Alkan was crushed to death by the Talmud, nor did his obituary begin, “Alkan is dead. He had to die in order to prove his existence.”


Gilbert and Sullivan, “Three Little Maids from School Are We.” If you want your kids to grow up hating Gilbert and Sullivan, play Iolanthe twice a day every day. Many years have since passed, and I can now appreciate the craft of G&S without too much pain. This number is from The Mikado.


Mayumi Kojima, “Poltergeist.” I’ve posted this one before, but it remains a favorite.


Kou Otani, “Ailes Grises.” A favorite for several years now.


Update: Here are the official directions.

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

I’m not gong to tag anyone (though I would be curious to find out what Steven’s, Erik’s and Maureen the Suburban Banshee’s current enthusiasms are). If you feel like playing along, go right ahead.


The inhabitants of the moon never see an earthrise or earthset. However, spacecraft orbiting the moon, e.g., the Kaguya, do. Here is the earth rising and setting, as recorded in HD. (Via Aziz.)


Speed Racer is probably worth skipping (though I might listen to Racer X). If you’re looking for an exciting race story, I recommend instead the Kuricorder Quartet’s take on “Highway Star”:

Here’s the quartet again with some tunes you might recognize.


Understatement of the week:

Something tells me the commenter hasn’t met all that many nuns.


Give peas a chance:

(Via Blackadder.)

Still life with Marx and Engels

Fred recently discovered Komar and Melamid. I first encountered them half a lifetime ago when they made an appearance at Wichita State. Their schtick then was that they bought and sold souls. They were particularly proud of purchasing Andy Warhol’s. The business wasn’t as lucrative as they had hoped, though, so by then they only accepted souls on consignment.

They came to Fred’s attention through their fusion of musicology and statistics. By polling, they attempted to define the characteristics of the “most wanted” and “least wanted” songs, and then realize the songs. I’m afraid that I’m the in the 28% that dislike the wanted song. The unwanted song, however, is an amazing hodgepodge of accordion, bagpipes, tuba, banjo, operatic soprano and obnoxious kids, and it’s worth 22 minutes of your life. Once will probably be enough.

Oh, yeah, Komar and Melamid are painters, too.


Mr. Darwin is the son of a planetarium lecturer. He reminisces about the artificial skies here.

Token Christmas post

When I first began maintaining a weblog, I posted a MIDI arrangement of a traditional tune every day. It was fun initially, but eventually it became more of a chore than a pleasure, so after a year I reduced the frequency to four times a week, and ultimately stopped posting the arrangements altogether. Earlier today I uploaded about 650 of the tunes. You can find them here. There are all kinds of melodies there, from Medieval bicinia to strathspeys and reels, rounds, Shaker songs and tunes from the Near East and Asia. The following are some of the Christmas (or Epiphany) songs I’ve arranged.

A la Media Noche
A la Nanita Nana
Berger Secoue Ton Sommeil
Brightest and Best
Corde natus ex parentis
Dziasiajw Betlejem
El Cant del Ocells
Masters in this Hall
Fum Fum Fum
Gesu Bambino le Nato
Hush, My Babe
La Journada
Menybol Ar Angyal
Nesem Vam Noviny
Noel Nouvelet
Puer Natus in Bethlehem
Quem Pastores Laudavere
Touro Louro Louro
Tu Scende Dalle Stelle
“Twas in the Moon of Wintertime


If you enjoy progressive rock and if you have work to do, under no circumstances visit Prog Archives. I just discovered that the site now has embedded players that let you listen to examples by the musicians discussed — entire pieces, too, not just twenty-second samples. Earlier I heard The Strawbs’ “Hero and Heroine” and “Benedictus” for the first time since my tape player died, and I’m listening to electronic music like Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream right now. I had plans for the evening, too.