Some notes on what I'm currently listening to, reading, and thinking about.
What I’m reading shouldn’t be considered as recommendations—indeed, I often don’t enjoy them and don’t finish them. However, what I’m listening to can definitely be considered as recommendations.
For what I’m listening to, I typically link to YouTube for the songs—for lack of a better option. I highly recommend using the uBlock Origin browser extension (and the Firefox browser).
Grandaddy - He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot
Their sound and tech-relatedness resonate greatly with me; their Sumday album, in particular, is worth listening to in its entirety, but they are all excellent. In addition to being a great song, Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground) has a great video based around an old Apple computer. Also, their cover of the Beach Boy’s In My Room was a COVID-19 lockdown anthem of mine.
- Built To Spill - Goin’ Against Your Mind
Cat Power - Metal Heart
The entire Moon Pix album, on which this song appears, is great (and also features two of the Dirty Three); What Would The Community Think (e.g., In This Hole) and You Are Free (e.g., Good Woman—featuring the third member of the Dirty Three) are also excellent. I also really like the epic Willie Deadwilder. I’ve seen Cat Power in concert twice; once was very slick and professional but not all that great, and once was pretty ramshackle but excellent.
- Edward Snowden - Permanent Record
- Jeff Hawkins - A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence
- Don DeLillo - End Zone
- Signing up for another trail running race, after I enjoyed completing my first one recently (the Ridgy Didge 22km in Lithgow, NSW).
- Levels of measurement
- Getting into TypeScript.
A bit of a country-ish theme this month…
Songs: Ohia - Just Be Simple (
thanks for letting me win)Jason Molina created so much wonderful music. Here are just a few of my other favourites of his: The Black Crow (
it’s fading!), Being In Love, Didn’t It Rain, Hold On Magnolia (
I think it’s almost time), Whip-poor-will (demo version), Hammer Down (
I saw the light), I Can Not Have Seen The Light (
do I have to be alright all of the time), Long Desert Train (
never be … enough), O! Grace.
- My Morning Jacket - Welcome Home
Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator)
A longtime favourite—her and David Rawlings at the Roxy Theatre in Parramatta in 2004 is one of the best concerts I have been to (and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 2010!). She has many great songs, but a selection of one from each of her albums is Orphan Girl, My Morphine, Wrecking Ball, and Hard Times.
- Akiko Busch - How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency
- Mark Z. Danielewski - House of Leaves
- James Gleick - Time Travel: A History
- Intelligent tutoring systems.
- The design and implementation of experiment control platforms.
- Light fields.
- Low - Nothing But Heart
No Age - Cruise Control
An underrated band, with many great songs and albums.
- Nina Nastasia & Jim White - Late Night
- Being a student again.
- Looking more into NixOS.
- Starting to use type checking in Python code.
Eleanor Friedberger - My Mistakes
I really like all of Eleanor Friedberger’s solo music, and this was the first single from her first solo album. It reminds me of Minneapolis / St. Paul, where I was living at the time it came out.
The Flaming Lips - The Gash
The Flaming Lips played the last concert that I went to before the COVID-19 restrictions began. It was a great concert, at the Sydney Opera House—one of the best sounding gigs that I’ve been to. This song is off the great The Soft Bulletin album.
Tori Amos - Putting the Damage On
This song has only recently made it into my ranking of top-tier Tori Amos songs. Maybe it is the odd intro, but it hadn’t stood out to me until the past year (the same thing happened with “Hey Jupiter”—it wasn’t until I saw it played live that it became a favourite). There is also a great live version of this song.
- Mistakes in research programming and strategies for their avoidance and tolerance (see the resulting post).
- Where to start with gardening, now that I have a few areas of soil to tend to.
- Playing through Portal 2 again. I still think the first Portal is quite a bit better.
- Kim Stanley Robinson - Red Mars
- Kent Haruf - Plainsong
- A. Scott Berg - Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
- How to present all the details of a statistical model in a manuscript without distracting or alienating readers.
- The best strategy for staying warm through the upcoming Bathurst winter (my first serious winter since Minneapolis, USA, in 2012–2013).
- The writing, scenes, and characters in Don DeLillo’s “Underworld”.