• Nerd Merit Badges

    Set 16 2006, 22h31

    Memorizing Tom Lehrer is a rite of passage for every nerd. Whether it's the basics like Poisoning Pigeons in the Park and New Math, or advanced stunts like The Elements, you have to know them if you want to earn Eagle Nerd status. What's most scary to me is listening to That Was The Year That Was and realizing how utterly on-target the political commentary still is. And the recording is as old as I am...

    Most people come to Lehrer from Dr Demento's radio show. I came to him through my parents' vinyl records. I hope to pass them along to my kids someday, thus preserving nerd culture through the generations.
  • Electronic discoveries

    Set 15 2006, 2h49

    A few months ago, I bought a Seamless Recordings sampler, called "Escapism", and discovered Jon Hopkins. At last this week I followed the trail from Hopkins to similar electronic musicians. I've been listening to Ulrich Schnauss a whole bunch over the last few days.

    Far Away Trains Passing By is my recommendation. Melodic, pretty, with just enough beat to keep a trance listener interested. It's not as deep as Hopkins' brilliant Opalescent, which has darker textures and songs with more movement. But if you're looking for slightly shoegazing mood music to work to, or to relax to while you're reading, Schnauss is the stuff.