Friday, February 03, 2006

It's Friday. Oh yes, yes it is.

I’ve been doing some writing exercises as of late. I signed up for 100 Words, which is sort of like National Novel Writing Month, but with more of an emphasis on being concise instead of writing really, really fast. The gist of 100 Words is this: You write 100 Words – exactly 100 words, not 99, not 101 – every day for a month. Which can be tricky, I confess, but it’s an exercise. Particularly an exercise in making a point in as few words as possible.

I’ve also been dabbling with One Word, where you go, click a button, and are presented with a  single word and given 30 seconds to write the first things that come to mind. It’s an exercise, for one, of freeing your creative instincts, and just going with the flow, but also, I think, an experiment in free association, and getting a glimpse into your psyche. It’s unnerving, but every word I’ve had for the last three days I’ve been able to write about in connection with my current mental state. Which is either a weird coincidence, or I can twist just about any word to make it appropriate to my current mental state.

And of course, the Friday Random 10 – which, for a change, is occurring on a Friday – is a fantastic writing exercise as well.

Having said that, here’s the Randomness.

  1. Jon Brion – So Now Then – I wasn’t planning on using this as my zero song, but it was already cued up, and I’ve quite fallen in love with it. It’s from the Magnolia soundtrack, but instrumentally, it reminds quite a bit of Brion’s “Knock Yourself Out” from the Huckabees soundtrack, which is another song I quite love. There’s also something about this one that meshes with my “cautiously optimistic” sense, that seems to pervade just about every sense of my life. There’s hints of tragedy throughout it, but ultimately a feeling of hope, more than anything else.

  2. Enigma – The Roundabout – From the third album, the last one I officially bought and paid for. I think I was getting a little bored of their schtick by that point. But then, I’m pretty hard to satisfy, musically. I have 9,000+ songs on my hard drive, but most of the time, if I’m gonna just cue up some music, it comes from the same batch of four or five artists. I’m weird like that.

  3. Joe Satriani – The Bells of Lal (Part 2) – Went on a Satriani downloading binge months ago when there were a few albums worth posted in Usenet. And then I never listen to his stuff. I enjoy it small doses, but for the most part, he actually doesn’t do much for me. Technically proficient as a guitarist, for sure, but bordering a bit too much on the mechanical for my tastes.

  4. Crash Test Dummies – How Does a Duck Know – Wow, haven’t heard this song in fricking ages. And it’s a great one. What ever happened to these guys? Are they still around?

  5. Counting Crows – Round Here – Mm, another good one. I adored this album for the longest time after I got it. I didn’t warm up quite as much to their later efforts, but there are still definitely some good tracks on those too. Quiet, sad, contemplative music. Definitely my kind of stuff.

  6. They Might Be Giants – Which Describes How You’re Feeling – This song is kind of annoying at the best of times. This is an early demo version, which borders on mind-destroyingly annoying, which says a lot, considering my love for all things TMBG.

  7. Jewel – Little Sister – Sounds live. It’s a song I don’t recognize. And I find myself wondering, where did this come from?

  8. Nine Inch Nails – Metal – Fantastic cover of a Gary Newman song. It sounds familiar, vaguely, but I’m not sure if I was actually familiar with the original. Someone lent me a Gary Newman CD many, many moons ago, and I think it never found their way back to the original owner, in spite of the fact that I never once – not even once – listened to it. I am a sad, sad panda sometimes.

  9. Mike Oldfield – Tears of an Angel – From his newest release. Which somehow doesn’t appeal to me so much, because it’s more individual songs than an album-wide kind of masterpiece, but there are still some fantastic tracks on it. Like this one.

  10. Joe Satriani – Always With Me, Always With You – Just to prove that I don’t completely dislike the Satch, fate cues up this song, which is one of his absolute best, and one which manages to stir my soul at least a little every time I hear it. Very, very nice, in spite of the kind of 80-ish drum track.

  11. Wonderful – No artist info on this track. It sounds either like Annie Lennox, all by herself, or the Eurythmics. I’m guessing a solo track, but I not going to be held to it. (NOTE: Just gConfirmed it (which is my new word for using google to confirm something (man I love nested brackets)) and it is, in fact, Annie Lennox, and it is, in fact, from a solo release)

And that, my friends, is the Random 10 for Friday, February 3, 2006. People don’t feel sorry for the fact that I’m at home, typing this crap, on a Friday night when I could be out doing…well, something else, presumably.

Good night, and good luck.

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