Begum Barve

(Yes, I still read plays, and now I’m going to write about them again. Call it inspiration or call it procrastination).
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pissed off

And yes, now soldiers can rehydrate their food with their urine. This reminds me of the first line of One Flea Spare, a play by Naomi Wallace in which I had the honor to perform, where Bunce the sailor’s first line explains why he was saving his piss: “it might have rum in it”.

tracks

Here’s a recent mix CD I made. It’s a bit heavy on the pop standards and light swing, noticeably lacking in the classical and electronic ends of my listening habits, but it has some nice juxtapositions I think.

1. There’ll Be Some Changes Made (Dave Brubeck/Jimmy Rushing)
2. The Anchor Song (Björk)
3. Croon Spoon (Eddie Vedder/Susan Sarandon, music by Mark Blitzstein)
4. Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan)
5. Frontier Psychiatrist (The Avalanches)
6. Daphné (Django Reinhardt)
7. Wondering Where (Don Byron, music by Scott Kirby)
8. Got My Own Thing Now (Squirrel Nut Zippers)
9. Let’s Do It (Ella Fitzgerald, music by Cole Porter)
10. And She Was (Talking Heads)
11. Re-Hash (Gorillaz)
12. Yo Mama (The Pharcyde)
13. Alabama Song (Ute Lemper, music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Bertholt Brecht)
14. Go To Sleep (Radiohead)
15. Wandering Star (Portishead)
16. The Very Thought of You (Billie Holiday)
17. Beyond The Sea (Bobby Darin)
18. Sympathique (Pink Martini)
19. Coney Island Baby (Tom Waits)

magnetic fields

I went to see the Magnetic Fields play at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, just south of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was one of the better shows I’ve seen, and just what I wanted — relaxing, yet exciting, funny banter, and a surprisingly good opening act by Australian Darren Hanlon. They played Papa Was A Rodeo, Yeah Oh Yeah (with choreography even!), Chicken With Its Head Cut Off, I Die, I Looked All Over Town, I Thought You Were My Boyfriend, Busby Berkeley Dreams, Reno Dakota, and many many others, including some from earlier albums that I had heard only once, songs from the Pieces of April soundtrack, and one from a Lemony Snicket audiobook. Apparently Lemony Snicket used to be in the band.

The Palace of Fine Arts is one of those venues with a huge wide stage and only 25 rows of seats. I’ve been very happy with concerts in San Francisco — most places are pretty small so that you don’t have terrible views, unlike the Shoreline in Mountain View, which wins the prize in my book for Worst Concert Venue Ever.

If I hadn’t just blown $60 at Amoeba I’d be tempted to buy one of Hanlon’s CDs and/or the Charm of the Highway Strip. Alas and alack…

House of Commons and Scientific Publishing

The BBC reports on a study by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee:

It advises the government to consider allocating funds to universities and other organisations to create online repositories where their research can be stored, and viewed by the public free of charge.

This is one solution to the problem, but not necessarily the best one. It is going to take some gradual change to make this happen. What I find refreshing about this story is that it really is an issue to the House of Commons and that the government in the UK is really looking after its own interest, which is to say the public interest, rather than jumping into bed with big business from the outset. The government pays for this research through taxpayer money and the elected officials actually show an interest in looking after their investment. Compare that to the culture of corporate subsidy and handouts we have here in the US.

Of course, who knows what is going to happen with this report…