Scratch Pad: Drive-bys, Lennon, Reznor

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, usually in the morning over coffee: collating most of the little comments I’ve made on social media during the preceding week. I tend to think of social media — Twitter especially, though I’m taking a break, and Facebook to a degree, and increasingly Mastodon — as my public scratch pad. It’s informative to revisit a week of thinking out loud in public. Also, knowing you’ll revisit what you say pulls in the reins a bit, in a good way.

▰ My year-end streaming summary tells me I’m in the top 20% of Led Zeppelin listeners. I’m like, whatever, streaming is just a subset of my listening. And then I look over at the turntable, and there’s a Led Zeppelin album on it.

▰ The new Metallica single sounds like someone asked an AI to make a new Metallica single

▰ A car just went by blasting “Blue Rondo à la Turk” — couldn’t they drive around the block a few times, or maybe even idle?

▰ “You will hear music until your call is answered.”

This feels like a prophecy more than it does a voice menu narration.

▰ I would totally join a cult that worshipped a trinity of tuning forks.

▰ Just the occasional note of astonishment as to how good the speakers on my 14″ MacBook Pro are — the stereo separation, the range. It’s kind of incredible. (Right now listening to the new Bill Frisell album on Blue Note, Four, featuring Johnathan Blake, Gerald Clayton, and Greg Tardy.)

▰ Been listening to a lot of Brad Mehldau, the pianist, lately. This one, his cover of “Dear Prudence,” hits hard on the 42nd anniversary of John Lennon’s death. This is from Mehldau’s Largo album. It is, I believe, just him, Jim Keltner (drums), and Darek Oleszkiewicz (bass). The record is over 20 years old. He has a new solo piano collection of Beatles covers due out in 2023. Keep music alive by interpreting it anew.

▰ The primary purpose of voice menus is to reassure us that voice AI is not nearly ready to take over the world.

▰ Ooh, time to take a break from the CD player, ’cause a new Trent Reznor / Atticus Ross score has arrived: Empire of Light, the new Sam Mendes film (or, perhaps more importantly, the new Olivia Coleman and Michael Ward film). And on that note, have a good weekend. See you Monday.

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