Archive for the rant Category

Old Grind Gag

Posted in abnormal, Coffee, Comedy, music, rant, roasting, Sociology with tags , , , , , , on April 7, 2008 by howsoonis08

I just thought I’d share a really shitty situation that I found myself in this morning. As many of you who read this know, it’s essay season… I’ve been bombarded, and now am overjoyed to say that I have ONE left! Anyway, continuing with my story…

I stayed up all last night finishing up an essay that was to be handed in at 4:00pm today. The writing was going great…I really enjoy writing essays of sociological theory class…. however, I ran out of coffee beans around 4:00am. I guess I could have started drinking tea… but I decided to instead try to make a shot of espresso from the coffee grinds that don’t quite make it into the portafiliter. I didn’t know how long they had been there for, and knew that it would most likely taste like shit because of the oxidation that would occur quickly after the grinding was done, but I decided to go through with it. This is a bad idea…

Don’t try this… it was disgusting… it literally made me gag. Needless to say, I battled the night with the help of tea instead of coffee.

So I guess…. don’t make shitty espresso from really old grinds… and …. don’t be a jackass and do something you know you shouldn’t…. just drink tea instead.

Is Vogue magazine Racially profiling?

Posted in Commercialism, Controversy, Culture, fashion, perception, Race, rant, Sociology, Symbolic interactionism with tags , , , , , , on March 31, 2008 by howsoonis08

On the cover of the newest edition of Vogue magazine is an example of racial profiling?

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Take a good look at the new cover, and think about some of the emotions and profiles that come in mind… King Kong… primal…. primitive…dangerous…aggressive…powerful…criminal… Aren’t these thing we should be moving away from? Especially on the cover of a magazine that represents ‘high’ society in North America?

“So when you have a cover that reminds people of King Kong and brings those stereotypes to the front, black man wanting white woman, it’s not innocent,”

“Images of black male athletes as aggressive and threatening reinforce the criminalization of black men.”

Whose standpoint is coming through in these pictures? What is mistakenly being represented? Keep in mind that this is the first black man to ever pose on the cover of Vogue magazine…

I am not taking a side in this argument, what I want is to generate discussion on my post… Pease let me know what you think!

Dancing should get Rad again!

Posted in Culture, fashion, music, Music Video, rant, unique, video with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2008 by howsoonis08

People need to do awesome dancing again… dancing like the Charleston… It was popularized in 1923 and developed in African-American communities in the USA. At the time the Charleston was seen as quite a provocative dance… but compared to some the stuff that goes on now, it’s pretty clean! For me, the Charleston never really hit its peak till it was incorporated into American 1930s and 40s swing music.

Anybody know any other rad dances that should come back into fashion?

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Man… My grandma taught me how to do the Charleston… just not quite like this!

You’re Daddy’s Rich, and Your Mamma’s Good lookin’

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, Culture, fashion, Film, music, Music Video, rant, unique, video with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2008 by howsoonis08

After reading break ends, it seems as though school takes the form of a drill Sargent beating you with a non-stop onslaught of work. I’m a bit behind on my blogging assignment, but that because I’m chin deep in a pile of assignments; probably caused by my own procrastination.

Because of all of my recent late-night cluster-fucks of essay writing and studying, it’s provided a great opportunity for listening to hours of music. For me, picking music to study to is as tedious of a task as it was for John Cusack to build the perfect mix tape in ‘High Fidelity.’ You want it to grab your attention (for keeping you alert and attentive to your work), but you don’t want it to keep your attention (you focus needs to remain on whatever your doing). You want it to fill the silence, but it can’t be intruding….

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Lately, I’ve found my music of choice in Sam Cooke. It’s perfect really… the music is beautiful, his voice is beautiful, they’re smooth pop songs so you don’t really have to pay attention to what’s going on, they make you happy, and (seeing as how the songs are only about 2 and a half minutes each) there is always circulation; you’re not hearing the same song for long periods of time (I find that it can make me tired). Another favorite has recently been Guided by Voices, ‘Half Smiles of the Decomposed’ in particular. It seems as if the whole album just floats by.

On that note, I’m going to leave you with some videos of the two artists mentioned above and I’m going to get back to school work. Enjoy the shit out of these.

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I appologize for the sound on this one…. but you’ll have to turn up your speakers. This is Sam Cooke singing ‘You Send Me’

 

This is Guided By Voices with ‘Bulldog Skin’. Not off of “Half Smiles of the Decomposed,” but off their 1997 release “Mag Earwhig.”

 

He did not mean… To BLOW your mind…That thing happens…. ALLL of the time!

Posted in 80's, abnormal, Culture, music, Music Video, rant, unique, video with tags , , , , , , , on February 13, 2008 by howsoonis08

Michael Angelo Batiothe fastest guitar player ever! And one of the corniest/funniest dudes I’ve ever seen (through youtube) perform. Of course, this is just a matter of opinion, but the guy is just hilarious!

Skilled to the max, and totally credible, Michael Angelo is honestly pretty phenomenal… There’s just no way in hell I could take him seriously…

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He’ll give you! The keys to the Lamborghini! Haha, that’s pure diamond gold! Equipped with a 29 fret guitar, Michael Angelo is here to blow minds! I would expect nothing less from a man with the name Michael Angelo; he’s got some pretty big shoes to fill! You can be sure that this guy’s amp goes to eleven! Please, please, please check out these videos!

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Double Neck!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! WHATS UP!!

FOUR NECKS??!??! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!! – sweet explosion effect!

 

Sometimes Less is More – Dynamical music and coffee

Posted in Coffee, connoisseur, music, percussion, rant, unique with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2008 by howsoonis08

Just recently I acquired the opportunity to take part in breaking in a new espresso machine! The parents of one of my friends decided to indulge their inner-kid and buy themselves a late Christmas present. Knowing that I would be very interested, my friend invited me over for the virgin voyage of the machine. What really interested me in this instance was that fact that the machine was a super automatic espresso machine; something I had never seen in action, nor tasted the coffee it produced.

Because this machine was new to them, I wanted to make sure that they had good beans to test the machine. They took my advice and chose to go with Cupper’s Espresso Zilla espresso blend (this is an amazing coffee shop in Lethbridge, and we are very privileged to have the opportunity to access such high quality coffee and high quality knowledge from owner and staff. Please visit their site!), what this also provided me was a good background for how the coffee should taste. I’ve been running Cupper’s coffee for a long time, experimented with different blends, done tastings with the owners, so I know how the coffee should turn out.

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When the time came down to tasting the coffee (something I will be mentioning in a later post), the shot just was not up to par… We did a number of runs with the machine (we had to! they just got it! it’s exciting!), adjusted the grind settings, and we got it to produce a reallly good shot, but still fell short. The shot was bitter, and a bit weak… I thought that it was due to a build up of excess coffee left in the machine between the shots (I’ve read about things like that happening before).

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that sometimes less is more. Having the ability to change little variables such as the tamp pressure, amount of coffee in the portafilter, warming the system, and really nailing down the grind for the roast can add such a difference in the espresso shot. Of course, you must take into consideration that economically the super automatic is fantastic! and produces a very substantial shot of espresso! This is perfect for many individuals, but for the purpose of linking this to music, I’m going to maintain my point by elaborating on the fact that less is more.

Being a percussionist, and constantly listening and applauding/criticizing others work, a pretty hard thing to not notice is the fact that a lot of the time…less is definitely more. A local jazz musician, and a very good friend, would always emphasis the dynamics of music and notion of musical time by saying “it’s not always the notes themselves that count, but the spaces in between the notes that you have to pay attention to.” I’ve always took this to heart, and after you take the time to consider it, and reeaaally start to pay attention to it, it’s a very powerful idea. I’ve listened to many drum solo’s, and I find myself noticing more and more that the ones that I really enjoy, ones that make you smile, are the ones where the drummer has total control over every dynamic point during the solo. I’ll post some good examples, and I hope you’ll enjoy them!

This guys got the best facial expressions ever!

So ‘in the pocket’ it’s not even funny!

Dave Weckl looks like a dink. But fabulous dynamics!

Misconstrued Perception

Posted in Coffee, Commercialism, connoisseur, Consumerism, fashion, Indie rock, music, rant, Symbolic interactionism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2008 by howsoonis08

Is consumerism and commercialism altering perceptions on the art of coffee and music? In my opinion…without a doubt.

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What is “indie”, or “indie rock” for that matter? I used to think that I knew. I used to think that indie music was short-form for independent music. The genre of indie rock is now more of a fashion for consumer culture and another way for capitalists to turn music into a commercialized product. They play with the label of indie rock, attributing it to underground culture and counterculture. Just another way to falsely assure the masses that they are “individual”, “unique”, and part of a countermovement to mainstream culture. It is used now to incorrectly describe the bands sound in affiliation with their independent label, or means of production. It’s a blanket term that covers many artists, grouping them into a category that appeals to a society who is constantly looking to rid themselves of characteristics of the collective; conforming to a symbol of individualism, despite the fact they are doing the exact opposite. Indie has been appropriated by commercialism to mean something that was originally not intended; it has new meaning now. It was only a matter of time before someone was smart enough to see that they could market this idea.

I’m not judging anything about the music itself. There are many artists coming out with the label of “indie” that are wonderful to listen to, and by no means should artists be judged by their label. Also, I’m not saying that there are not truly independent bands emerging from various music genres. I just wish that truly independent musicians wouldn’t get tagged under the genre of “indie”. Am I symbolically representing myself through the music I listen to? Most likely… but I would say that their is very few that could get away with saying no. Do I mean to? Not necessarily… I did for a long time, and now realize there are definitely more important things in life than defining yourself by symbolic culture. Althought I’ll never get away from it.

Now what about coffee? How have peoples perception of coffee changed? There are about 13, 000 Starbucks around the world, and in multiple countries; opening Starbucks every 6 minutes… About 44 million people a week go to Starbucks. Starbucks coffee is the most caffeinated coffee on the market. So what am I trying to get at? I want to argue the fact that Starbucks is altering people’s perception of coffee from something that is a taste sensation, to something to feed an addiction. Among other things that I think is horrible about Starbucks, this is what I’m going to try to argue. Usually when I talked to people about coffee, the response is usually something like this: “I really needed a coffee this morning, I had a horrible hangover and needed to get picked up.” Where is the enjoyment in that? Doesn’t it seem as if people are using coffee strictly for the caffeine, as a means for energy? I’m sure that symbolic imagery also has some sort of ties, but my opinion leans more towards coffee as a means of caffeine. It really is a shame that more people don’t take the time to appreciate all things that go into coffee and all aspects that change the qualities of coffee. We need to remember that we are trying to make something consistently that naturally doesn’t want to be consistent. Starbucks and other coffee chains have constrained coffee to something that can be repeated over and over again with very little frequencies of variability. So what Starbucks is doing is dealing caffeine legally and consistently. Of course this is just my opinion, and I would love to hear discussions!!

And for some neat indie rock picks, check out: Pavement, Guided by Voices, Built to Spill, Jesus and Mary Chain, Polvo, and solid old Sonic Youth

(Am I secretly representing myself symbolically through these bands?? Fuck… This just gets confusing.)