Christmas Music (3/n)

Today’s Christmas music isn’t a home recording … it’s just ridiculous. I got this tape sometime in high school, at a white elephant gift exchange. Just checked Amazon to see if it’s available anymore — seems it’s out of print, but two sellers are both offering the album on CD for about $60. Is this thing some sort of cow collector’s item?
The “album” in question is It’s a Cow Christmas. Two sample tracks follow:

  • First sample is the first two tracks. Posting this one mostly for the spoof of Handel, even if it is a bit short. Also, I’m planning on posting a minidisc recording of the real Hallelujah chorus next. Hallemoojah Chorus & Angus We Have Heard on High.
  • As for the other track I’m posting …. well, if you had a specific type of illness (a fever, perhaps) and this illness had only one cure, and if you had this illness around the holidays, your physician would likely prescribe this song, as it does indeed contain “more cowbell” than most songs. By my estimate, the following mp3 is approximately 99% cowbell. Carol of the Cowbells.

Christmas Music (2/n)

Continuing with this “amateur minidisc recordings of Christmas music” series, here are a couple more from the archives (that is, Christmas two years ago). The Round Rock Caregivers (who I gather are now called “Faith In Action Caregivers – Round Rock“) hold a benefit choral concert every year at Christmas time, where the choirs from the sponsoring churches each perform a few songs. These two were sung by our church‘s choir (of which Natalie is a member).

Again, the recording quality isn’t the best, but it’s better than no recording at all.

Christmas music (1/n)

So, here we are at T minus 8 days to Christmas and almost T plus 3 months since last posting maybe it’s time to break radio silence again — literally, this time! At my parents’ church every year at Christmas, as his gift to the congregation one of the priests plays Silent Night on the harmonica. Two years ago, I brought my minidisc recorder and cheap, homemade stereo mic to church and recorded it. Then I didn’t transfer it to a PC until after the new year, so I didn’t post it (who wants to listen to Christmas music after Christmas?). So here it is, finally.

Silent Night – Harmonica: Fr. Henry Petter; Vocals: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton congregation

The quality is what you’d expect from the equipment and the “microphone placement” (on my lap in the pew), but I think it’s still listenable. Might be slightly better with headphones. I cleaned it up a little in Audacity: added fade in and out, and a high-pass filter to lessen some of the pretty serious thumps in the first half (doors closing, possibly?).

Expect more bootleg Christmas music postings in the next few days …

(selections from) the top N most often played songs on iTunes .. on my iBook .. which i don’t use for music-listening that much anymore


  • Delta Mk II – The Orb Orblivion
  • I miss you – Bjork
  • Fluffy – Spaceghost – Musical Bar-B-Que
  • Dry The Rain – The Beta Band – The Three E.P.‘s
  • Army Of Me – Bjork
  • Summertime – Miles Davis
  • Asylum – The Orb – Orblivion
  • Dark & Long – Underworld – Dubnobasswithmyheadman
  • In A Landscape – William Orbit – Pieces in a Modern Style
  • Car24 – Yoko Kanno + The Seatbelts – Cowboy Bebop OST 1
  • Couldn’t Cause Me Harm – Beth Orton – Central Reservation
  • Hyper-Ballad – Bjork – Post
  • The Steward of Gondor – Howard Shore & Billy Boyd – LOTR ROTK
  • Everything Is Wrong – Moby – Everything Is Wrong
  • Circles – Soul Coughing – El Oso

Top 10ish from the iPod .. which i use nearly everyday but still doesn’t include all the music i listen to
(can’t export a songlist of iPod tracks for some reason?)

  • Postal Service – Such Great Heights (played 23 times(!))
  • The Shins – New Slang (18)
  • DNTtel – (This is) The Dream of Evan and Chad (15)
  • Mogwai – billisdead (14)
  • Coldplay – Don’t Panic (13)
  • DNtel – Fear of Corners (13)
  • Royksopp – In Space
  • Beth Orton – Sweetest Decline (12)
  • Claude Debussy – Claire de Lune
  • Son Volt – Chanty
  • Aquabats – Welcome to Eltingville (11)
  • Bjork – Triumph of a Heart

other bands and albums that showed up near the top

  • Garden State soundtrack
  • Royksopp – Melody AM
  • Postal Service – Give Up
  • DNtel – Life is Full of Possibilities
  • The Shins
  • Gotan Project
  • Sigur Ros

Some of those have been on the iPod longer than others ..

I loaded a few sessions of Steven Garrity’s Acts of Volition
into my iPod … yet another great way to discover new music. 🙂
The first track he plays in session
is by the Postal Service .. very nifty. Kind of reminded me of DNtel
a bit, which would make sense since one of the guys is from DNtel and the other
did the vocals on The Dream of Evan and Chad.

Also nifty is the video of the Postal Service playing live in the studio at KCRW.
Too bad it’s in realvideo 😛

more Austin City Limits Festival

So after Jay Farrar we caught Patty Griffin .. pretty good. Checked out the
“art market” (shopping), got something to eat, and found ourselves a place to
sit and listen to the String Cheese Incident .. never heard ’em before, but
they were pretty cool.
Someone had told us they were a jam band, kinda like Phish .. I guess that’s a
pretty fair comparison .. never seen Phish live though. We only stayed for
their first 1-hour set (wanted to avoid a massive bus line again), but I heard
during their second one they brought out a giant flying pig that Pink Floyd
used to have at their shows. Crazy. But our plan worked and we only waited
15 minutes for a bus that night.

So on Sunday we met some friends from work and had lunch before heading to the
park. Got there and met some more friends who were listening to Paul Thorn
(who was, apparently, pretty funny). The sounds from Soulive on a (much
bigger) nearby stage caught my ear so I wandered over by myself. Sounded very
nifty, very ‘funky’ .. this scenario was pretty much repeated through the rest
of Sunday — not me wandering off, but the collision of two separate but
equally interesting acts appearing simultaneously. We sat down for Lucinda
Williams, but left early to sample some G. Love and Special Sauce.. partly a
mistake: did get to hear G.Love’s “Cold Beverage”, but we missed Lucinda
forgetting the words to a song and cursing and swearing because of it. Then we
plunked our chairs down in front of Ben Kweller for most of his set, where he
played his whole new album from start to finish, “just like Phish”. cool.
But we left early again to go witness Polyphonic Spree, who happen to be
responsible for the music in this
VW Beetle/Apple iPod ad
. They were odd .. picture 25 people in white robes
or long t-shirts or something jumping and bouncing around on stage. They
sounded alright though .. I think they were a bit overhyped though, so some people were disappointed.

    Other bands we managed to see:

  • Yo La Tengo: very soft, almost put me to sleep,
    but sounded nice .. apparently we missed their loud-and-rocking songs

  • Karl
    Denson’s Tiny Universe: as we were walking by the Heineken stage (on our way to
    get seats in front of the massively crowded capmetro stage in preparation for
    Ween and REM), I said “hey these guys sound pretty good … kind of like the
    Greyboy Allstars .. hmm” and I
    looked at the schedule “Karl Denson … hmm, name sounds familiar .. is that
    the guy from the Greyboy Allstars” .. and it is. So that was fun. They did a lot of the music
    fo Zero Effect, which is
    how I found ’em.

  • Ween – they were alright, but I guess we’re not really ween fans .. we
    were there to secure some good seats for REM

  • Beth Orton — only caught a little bit, but she sounded good .. again, couldn’t
    hang around cause we had to get back to the friends who were saving our seats
    for …

  • R.E.M. — amazing! wonderful! awesome! yeah, they were pretty
    great .. the setlist from the
    show. I recognized most of the songs .. 2 or 3 were new, and will be on
    their new 2-CD greatest hits thinger coming out soon (Animal, Bad Day, and (I
    think) Final Straw). They “ended” with Man on the Moon, and then of
    course came back for an encore .. we kept thinking they would be all
    predictable and do End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), but they
    did 3 other songs before getting to that one .. fun 🙂

Lots of people at the festival had flags and other things on tall sticks to
help stay together and find each other and stuff … so in the crowd in front
of the capmetro stage someone had a tree .. or a part of a tree or branch or
something, 15 feet tall maybe. The funny thing was that both Ween and Michael
Stipe said something about “the tree” when they were up on stage.

oh yeah, also, I’m lazy and don’t have any pictures from the weekend up yet
… soon!


.. not to be confused with the ACLU. First two days were pretty good …
Friday we left work at 4:something, drove downtown, parked, rode the shuttle,
and arrived at the park at about 6:00. So we listened to Leftover Salmon for a
bit, and then met up with some people just in time to catch all of Steve
Winwood’s set .. that was about 7:00, which was neat because in front of us
there was good music and behind us was this cool looking
orange-and-pink-and-purple sunset (I have a picture somewhere, will upload it
later). After that, we wandered some more and caught bits of Spoon, Patrice
Pike, and Keller Williams (who was doing some odd song about plastic surgery
“she got a boob job. she got a WHAT?!” with this funky bass along with it ..
and no, not at all related to the real estate
). And then we returned ourselves to the CapMetro stage to see Al
Green .. much fun. That man has a lot of energy .. and it’s kind of contagious.
And after all that we went home .. ok, we started to go home: we walked from the stage to the park entrance, then we walked back along the park fence for 10 minutes, and then we got in the hour long line for the buses. This is, apparently, much better than last year where it took as long as 3 hours to get on the bus.

Yesterday we made it down to Zilker around 2:00, wandered a bit, looked at the
shops, heard Endochine, the Dandy Warhols, wandered some more .. then we
planted ourselves (in the chairs Natalie bought that morning after deciding
that a blanket on the grass isn’t that comfy, and you can’t see as well ..
which was good because it rained on-and-off most of the day) in front of the
HEB stage, where at 4:00, Jay Farrar took the stage. First song was just him
and a guitar, then he was joined by his band. Sounded quite a bit different
than Son Volt, but not completely so. New instrumentation, for one .. sounded
like more keyboards or something in one of the songs. And then the band went
away for a while and he played Tear Stained Eye and Windfall, which was really
cool. And then they all played one more new song ..

(the festival recap will resume later .. have to go finish up the
festival today: Lucinda Williams, Ben Kweller, Beth Orton, REM .. yay!)

Aha! xmas.wav solved

A long time ago I tried out BeOS .. and there was this file, xmas.wav, tucked away somewhere. It’s kinda neat
and geeky .. everyone once in a while, it comes up in my playlist and I think
“where the heck did this come from” so I google for part of the lyrics and come
up with quotes and crap and other people wondering where it came from and
people saying “it came from BeOS, duh” and more people saying “well, yeah, that’s where I got it, where did it come from before that?” and so on.

But today, I googled “i saw my future enlarged” and was rewarded with this page which I’m copying here so as to never lose it again.

virtual (void) lyrics by baron arnold

From the album non album track

Into the future I charge

I spawned an arrogant thread

I saw my future enlarged

And then I had to reboot a hundred times,

Untangle threads

And corporate crime

You may never find love down a T1 line

I made a simple demand

I caught a private reward

I made an elegant stand

My faith and patience restored

And then I had to reboot a hundred times

Through lonely beds

And worn out rhymes

You may never find love down a T1 line

I made paper out of paper mache

I drew sonic insurrections out of what you tried to say

hey, an extra verse 🙂
More googling reveals that the file was actually in “/boot/optional/sounds/virtual (void)” .. not sure why I have it as xmas.wav