Rail Band: Nantan

She’s a Freight Train, Man, Watch Her Swing

Kimberley sent this to me earlier this evening. I’ve been waiting to stream TANGK until we tear the shrink from the LP but that’s starting to seem like unnecessary depravation. What a wonderful song!

The Precipice of Becoming a Musical Dinosaur

When Do We Stop Finding New Music? A Statistical Analysis | Stat Significant

I’m an outlier with regard these statistics, which is to say they don’t really apply to me. It’s probably the way I seek music, which is usually to come upon a style or genre or artist and then dig in exhaustively. Another factor is determined by what kind of music I want to make myself. So, for example, the last 10 or 15 years, roughly ages 40-55, have been a time of breathless discovery, ranging from West African and high life music to Salsa to the drone compositions of Lamonte Young and Tony Conrad to creative and improvised music of all sorts. I listened to almost none of this stuff prior to my 30s, a decade spent in discovery of other kinds of improvisation, jazz, americana, post-rock, and more. What does ring true for me is “From 30 onward, we listen to more music outside the mainstream.” I think the statement originally refers to listening to music from mainstreams past, but in my case its application is my journey into much farther out territory than I used to occupy.

I imagine that some of the despair the author faces stems from listening habits and streaming as one would have listened to radio, from trusting the algorithm(s) to do the legwork.

But it’s still interesting to think about, to consider how much of what we’re after sticks with us from earlier and more formative times. I’m doing this myself in a way with My Life with Peter Gabriel, following a single artist through my own life and music, examining the formation and extension of that influence.

It’s Totally Insane

NYC will allow companies to test autonomous vehicles on its streets | Gothamist

“It’s totally insane. Pedestrians cross streets in Manhattan, like no other city in the country,” said John Samuelsen, the international president of the Transport Workers Union. “They do whatever they want, whenever they want. These vehicles are not prepared to deal with that type of pedestrian interaction.” It’s totally insane. Pedestrians cross streets in Manhattan, like no other city in the country,” said John Samuelsen, the international president of the Transport Workers Union. “They do whatever they want, whenever they want. These vehicles are not prepared to deal with that type of pedestrian interaction.”

Search Engine

Another podcast worth a listen, though for very different reasons from those that would draw you to Serial, is Search Engine. The episode I checked out (via Robin Rendle) is called “Is there a sane way to use the internet?,” and featured a conversation with Ezra Klein, whom I like very much. Sounds like the show follows a formula in which the host, PJ Vogt, asks the guest a question, the conversation that follows is the answer. Looking forward to listening to more of this one.

Serial

The new season of Serial (season 4) is terrific so far. A compelling, thoughtful look at Guantánamo Bay. The show has been sort of hit-or-miss for me: Season 1 (Adnan Syed in Baltimore) set a high bar, not just for this show but for podcasting in general. Season 2 (The Army deserter) was difficult to follow at first — might have been an editing problem, trying to get too many characters into the story, maybe too complicated for the medium. Season 3 (Cleveland Courts) was back on top.

There’s the confusion, too, of Serial Productions shows, produced through the New York Times, which are mostly great but not the show Serial. “Nice White Parents” takes place in the neighborhood where our shop is, so that was enlightening is some personal ways. I didn’t (or haven’t?) gotten through the Laramie show but on balance, these are all great shows and I recommend them.

Sara Koenig recorded a message recently (which I can’t find but you probably can if you want to) explaining the distinction between Serial and Serial Productions. It was helpful. I can’t be the only listener who was missing new seasons due to a seemingly complicated subscription array. One might resolve this by following both producers on X (formerly twitter) or something. My solution was to subscribe to Serial Productions via RSS and Serial in Overcast.

Chicago String Jazz Summit


Each time I catch wind of Tomeka Reid’s Chicago Jazz String Summit, I think, “I’m going to make it this time!” And then something intervenes, like that I don’t live in or near Chicago, or that the shop might need my attention, and I buy a tee shirt and say “I’m going to make it next time!” Well, next time is in May. We’ll see how that works out for me.