Odds, Ends, Trivial BS and Some Sunday Rock

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~ I’ve mostly been attending to comments the past few days on my previous post: Jack Kruse: Neurosurgeon. Leptin Reset and Cold Thermogenesis. Controversy. As of this moment, 869 comments, a record smashed. And many by some well knowns in the Paleosphere, like Kurt Harris, Emily Deans, Melissa McEwen. And just as of yesterday, former NASA scientist and cold-adaptation pioneer Ray Cronise has dropped in to lend some much needed knowledge…valiantly attempting to drive the whole deal into a more constructive realm. I’m enthusiastic.

Ray & I have been exchanging emails and I’ll have a post up tomorrow to zero in on some of the cold thermogenesis & adaptation issues for further discussion in a new, less cumbersome comment thread.

~ I cooked chicken curry the other night in the midst of arguing in comments with someone named Kamal. See Kamal, I wasn’t lying. :)

Chicken Curry
Chicken Curry

~ Beatrice & I went hiking at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga yesterday morning.

Bea and Rich
Bea and Rich

~ I finally decided to break in my Equus huaraches-style sandals from Barefoot Ted’s Luna. I’m using the new “short slip on method” with traditional laces. Works great, even with hundreds of feet of ascent & decent on the dirt trails.

Almost Barefoot
Almost Barefoot

~ The other night I was idly watching TV and some sort of new hip-hop music with a performance came up and I was at once struck by the simplicity, devolution, endarkenment, and appeal to mindless masses. Your mileage may vary and I can accept that. But then again, I love classical music and I have a huge collection. I even like lots of opera and I have a small collection. I love rock and prog-rock, especially from back when rock artists were geekish and they and pop artists wrote real lyrics that can pass as poetry. Here’s a couple of examples of the former—though I heard an old pop song last night I almost included in this…but I’ll save it for later.

First up is a selection long time readers won’t be surprised about. Xanadu. Rush. Almost 10 minutes, and singing doesn’t begin until in 1/3 of the way in. Thing about this power band (3 people) is, you have three true lead musicians. Lyrics.

To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise…

I had heard the whispered tales of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops of eastern lands unknown
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost Xanadu


To stand within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise

A thousand years have come and gone but time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view
Waiting for the world to end, weary of the night
Praying for the light
Prison of the lost


Held within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste my bitter triumph
As a mad immortal man
Nevermore shall I return
Escape these caves of ice
For I have dined on honeydew
And drunk the milk of Paradise

Now watch & listen.

Next up, no surprise: Pink Floyd. Back in around 1973 I think it was, they packed up their gear, flew it from London to Pompeii in Italy, set it up in an excavated amphitheater and mashed up a whole bunch of music & video. I’ve had the DVD for many years. Once of my favorites. So imagine a bunch of rockers, shirtless, rocking out in archeological ruins. Lyrics first. Echoes, Part I.

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine
And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the where’s or why’s
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
And no one speaks
And no one tries
And no one flies around the sun

Cloudless every day you fall
Upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Comes streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning
And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I tore the windows wide
And call to you across the sky

This runs a whopping 24 minutes, but the video is really stellar with many images of ruins and ancient statues spliced in. There is a section from about 12m to about 15 that’s very interlude, so some might want to drag the slider there, but just so you know, at 15m, it goes right back to it, to finish it out as it started and even better.

Alright, so let’s juxtapose. Here’s what got me started on my own style of “recovery” the other night. The Wanted. I’m Glad You Came.

The sun goes down
The stars come out
And all that counts
Is here and now
My universe will never be the same
I’m glad you came

You cast a spell on me, spell on me
You hit me like the sky fell on me, fell on me
And I decided you look well on me, well on me
So let’s go somewhere no-one else can see, you and me

The sun goes down
The stars come out
And all that counts
Is here and now
My universe will never be the same
I’m glad you came
I’m glad you came

I’m glad you came
So glad you came
I’m glad you came
I’m glad you came

The sun goes down
The stars come out
And all that counts
Is here and now
My universe will never be the same
I’m glad you came
I’m glad you came

You can watch and listen here. I don’t mean to say that I hate it and I fully understand time, circumstance, and party time. What I hate is that this sort of thing is about all that’s being created, now. I’m sure the artists could be just as geeky and clever as what I put up before. So what’s changed?

I dunno. Morons who can “vote” by smartphone (that’s a juxtaposition oxymoron right there; can a phone be smart when used by a moron?). I dunno. I. Don’t. Know.

In the end, I suppose anyone can make a pretty good case for the general incomprehensible nature of all of the foregoing, but I like the incomprehensibility of older incomprehensible stuff better.

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  1. Oh god, are we reenacting That Mitchell & Webb Look?
    Right down to the rocket scientist being less annoying and more reasonable?

  2. “So we can steam on the way to the telly, go fill my belly. A t-bone steak, cheese, eggs, and Welch’s grape.” Biggie was paleo. Don’t hate on hip hop.

  3. Dunno either, but back then thinking, any kind of thinking, and learning/exploring were subversive, so we did them a lot and idolized those who did. Now from my admittedly oldie perspective as a mother and teacher and professor, the next generation has taken the idea of “we don’t need no education” to mean we don’t need no learning, no thinking, of any kind. Not just no formal education, not just no authority-imposed education, but no learning, exploring ideas, thinking. ** It ain’t cool. ** It induces eye-rolling and a return to gossiping on face-book and sexting on those smart-phones (popularity “voting”? yawn, so yesterday). Yes, they’re going to college at ever increasing numbers (a debatable benefit, actually) but it’s just to get trained for occupations. Does this describe everyone? No, of course not, thankfully. But the celebrity-gazing, popularity-overconcious Britney Spears kindergartners have grown up to create the single dominant culture among many smaller sub-cultures., so I guess that would decrease the number of the poetry-level popular songs… maybe.

  4. About musical tastes…

    There’s an element missing from a lot modern music that I miss: sincerity. When I was 13 years old, I somehow got a temp job at truck depot, where truckers came in to load and unload cargo. That’s the first time I heard the song “Brandy”, by Looking Glass.

    Oh, what a transformation! Almost all pop/rock/anything from the mid 50s to mid 70s resonates with me. It didn’t benefit me as the only middle schooler belting out Goodbye Stranger, but now I feel okay being very behind the musical times. I try to catch Time Life’s Best of the 60s and 70s as often as it comes on late night TV. Maybe I should get out more…

  5. BabyGirl says:

    About the music. All of that stuff sounded ok when I was stoned or tripping. But being stone cold sober it just sort of bores me a tad and seems a bit melodramatic. But most modern pop music leaves me bored to tears so I’m with on that.

  6. Patrick says:

    Very much looking fwd to what Ray Cronise has to say.

    When I read the comments on the other post, I thought that if all that came out of that clusterfuck was Cronise’s comment, it was worth it. :-)

  7. LeonRover says:

    You HAVE taken me back to my collection 12 inch stuff – which is still in boxes after my last move.
    (Now CDs and YouTube).

    The lyrics of Xanadu are back shivery – I am always taken back to when I first read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem – then I laterally shift to Shelley’s Ozymandias:

    ” the lone and level sand stretch far away”.

    But Fink Ployd?

    There is ONLY “Dark Side of the Moon”.
    Was “the Moon” a reference to Keith? To me the themes of Money and Lunatics is suggestive.

    PS Looking forward to Ray – is it a coincidental that part of his other name is Cron (tongue firmly in cheek – no, not THAT one, the one next to my nose).

  8. Back then musicians and songwriters were kings, now it’s the DJ. Seems every other song on contemporary radio consists of a woman pleading with the DJ to keep doing whatever the hell it is a DJ does.

    /damn kids better stay off my lawn
    //when I was young it was fashionable to wear onions on our belts

  9. ” Ray Cronise has dropped in to lend some much needed knowledge…valiantly attempting to drive the whole deal into a more constructive realm.”

    Thank you Great Spaghetti Monster. Amen.

  10. Audrey says:


    Interesting personal science n=1 where adding safe starch to diet dropped HDL:


  11. I had a music grizzled old prof who advised us not to turn into his contemporaries:

    “When you get old, don’t be like these guys here who think jazz was the last great art form. *creaking voice* ‘Ozzie Osborne was that greatest musician ever born, man'”.

    Jazz was considered the only valid form of music other than classical according to most of the staff and a lot of the students. A while back I spent about a year where I would listen to BBC Radio 6 in the mornings (via internet) in an effort to expand my musical horizons into the current, but that Britpop type stuff never really stuck and I finally gave it up.

    Nowadays, I just throw on a collection of classic instrumentals (Booker T & The MGs, Link Wray, The Ventures, etc) when we sit down to eat.

    I’m not completely hidebound, though. I really like this album, and it’s only ten years old. Especially the first and last track. Also, for straight ahead crank-it-up rock’n’roll it’s hard to beat Electric Sweat which is also a mere ten years old and I believe another one of Nigel’s favorite karaoke tunes.

    • I hate most modern music (especially Rap which has a silent “C” IMO), preferring Genesis from their “Seconds Out” period (1970’s).

      However, I’m really into http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUHjDJxkcSE at the moment.

      I’ve never heard of The Mooney Suzuki, but they sound O.K.

      • 60s Mustang convertible FTMFW. Actually, the stock car Mustang was pretty mediocre, shitty suspension, typical 289 (~5 liter) small block engine muscle car engine, but still cool and iconic. I had a ’72 Ford Maverick which was essentially identical to the Mustang, just not nearly as cool (but a smaller frame). I put in an aluminum (aluminium) intake manifold, Holley 4 bbl carb, aluminum headers, and a free flow muffler which added 30, maybe 40 hp. By today’s standards nothing special, but the engine had a nice classic V8 growl and I seldom had to worry about merging (see, I’m not a total nerd).

        As far as the music goes, not bad, but rather too studio polished for my taste. I prefer a more gritty mix.

    • RE Jazz: You’ve seen this already, but I don’t think Richard has.


      • That sketch nails it so hard. I love the obligatory hollow-body guitar and over-the-top drums. But actually a real jazz quartet would have a stand-up bass–fucking poseurs.

  12. It’s not that kids these days are making sucky music. It’s 1) their music hasn’t been subjected to the filter of time yet and 2) biology.

    “As you get older, your brain becomes more and more unable to handle dopamine, which, as we’ve pointed out before, is a big factor in making us feel “the chills” when a new exciting piece of music comes on.

    Because nothing you hear will have that same effect on you as the fresh exciting sounds of your youth, it will become harder and harder to get fired up about new music. Your musical taste will therefore stagnate, regardless of how on top of the trends you were at 17.


    Yeah, it’s Cracked.com, not a serious science website, but it turns out you can learn a lot from dick-joke obsessed comedy writers.

  13. Music is something really interesting. I have also heard versions of the theory that our musical tastes are set somewhere in early adulthood (when the brain matures), after which point people sell us endless iterations of stuff that matches (more or less) our personal definition of excellent.

    What is interesting to me is that I experienced something of a moral crisis right around ages 26-30, i.e. when my brain came of age, as some people would say. I found myself rethinking a lot of moral and intellectual positions I had taken over the years, throwing a lot of things out the window (like my belief in a literal, personal god), and re-evaluating my taste in everything from food (I became interested in paleo right before this happened) to physical activity (I also began to exercise differently — lower reps, heavier weights, more irregular rest patterns, etc.).

    Up to this point in my life, my taste in music was really conservative. I played and listened to a lot of classical music. I sang religious songs, too, and had a lot of hymns memorized. I played some folk tunes on the recorder and the piano, as well, but these were not something I thought much of. I had heard one or two “rock” songs that I liked (e.g. “Dust in the Wind” by the Eagles, or “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin), but was resigned to regarding most modern genres (rock, hip-hop, rap, and the rest of it) as mall-music (ugly stuff for an ugly place). This changed suddenly, overnight really. By chance, I discovered the song “Selfish Man” by Flogging Molly (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkFHKkcHNSs), and it was like the scales fell off my eyes (or the muck finally came out of my ears, to coin a more appropriate metaphor). Suddenly, I realized what it was to really care about music, and I realized that not all modern music is trash. I realized that I had taste, and that that taste included more than my repertoire of favorite classical pieces (though I still like Brahms and Bach).

    I don’t know how my musical revelation relates to the rest of what I was experiencing. Ancient Greek philosophers speculated that music had some kind of anagogic effect: “sad” music draws out the “sad” in its audience; “bad” music draws out their “badness” etc. I don’t know what exactly to think about it, except that I find it fascinating. (I also find it really funny that some of my favorite songs these days are drinking songs, even though I am a Mormon who doesn’t really drink.)

  14. Hugh Anderson says:

    Geeky, challenging, and otherwise idiosyncratic music is being made, it just doesn’t percolate up like it used to. You have to hunt it down, or regularly tune in to a good community or college radio station, wading through oceans of mediocrity.

    Another part of the problem is that technology has made music an ubiquitous part of our lives, where having pleasant sounds in the background is the norm. Ambiance and the overall sonic feel of a song take precedence over lyrics, because nobody’s really listening to the lyrics anyways. Rare is the person who throws on music and just sits there and listens and absorbs, a required activity for taking in boundary-pushing music.

    And since others are posting links, I’ll leave you all with my favorite song from my all-time favorite album, Golden Hours from Another Green World by Brian Eno, released in 1975.

    • Hugh, you just hit the nail on the head. I am one of those people who sits and listens to music (I can’t stand music while I’m working, bc I start to listen to it and can’t focus), and you just summed up why most music I hear around me sucks donkey balls, and why most people listen to it and think they like it – because they aren’t really listening to it, it’s just there as ambient noise.

      Aside: I used to temp at a large communications company who owned several radio stations, and I sometimes worked on the radio floor. I was chatting with one of the radio VP’s one day, and he asked me if I listened to their popular top 40 station (ie: pop boy-band type stuff), to which I replied ‘no’. He stared at me, blinked a few times, and stammered “But… you’re in our demographic!”

  15. Oh, it pains me that you didn’t take me up on my offer for a free pair of Invisible Shoes, Richard.

    • Sorry Steven if I dont recall. I’m gettting so many offers for so many things, almost on a daily basis.

      Anyway, I’ve had the Luna’s for some time, and I did a week at a MovNat course with Barefoot Ted.

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