Keith Z-G

still has a blog for some reason

I've been slacking a bit; this playlist has remained untouched since late February, when it kindof encapsulated the feeling of knowing winter would end soon but not really feeling it. Oh well, maybe the weather will take a turn for the worse again and it'll be apt again! Or perhaps together, hypothetical reader/listener, we can reconceptualize this as just a reflection upon the winter that has passed, or impatience as we wait for it to fully end.

2018C: No Standing Army

  1. Born Ruffians - Forget Me
  2. Mothers - It Hurts Until It Doesn't
  3. Jom Comyn - Long Life
  4. Jom Comyn - Couples
  5. Jom Comyn - Stay Inside
  6. Groenland - Immune
  7. The Twilight Sad - I Was Hoping That Winter Was Over

Bandcamp Corner

Speaking of the thaw, thisquietarmy has a new album called "Isbryter", the Norwegian word for an icebreaking ship. Seems like it can't be a coincidence, releasing it just as spring starts to assert itself in the northern hempisphere of our globe.


I'm not going to do that "I'm going to start posting again" thing and then just leave it forever. Nope, I'm going to update my website at least twice this year!

2018B: Peat and Plastic

  1. Marlaena Moore - Gaze
  2. Dommengang - Color Out Of Space
  3. Total Control - Laughing At The System, Pt. 2:
  4. Ought - These Three Things
  5. Total Control - Luxury Vacuum
  6. Suuns - Watch You, Watch Me

Starting this stretch out with the opening and title track from Marlaena Moore's Gaze, which I've continued listening to incessantly. And Dommengang gets another track this time around, too. Blame Past Keith; I mean, it's a song that sounds like early Everclear that's also referencing H.P. Lovecraft, I'm 85% sure I daydreamed about that in Junior High.

The Suuns and Ought songs are in some respect placeholders. Not that I don't like them, but they're also there because I'm reminding myself to listen to their new albums as they come out. Suuns is promisingly just like Suuns always is, although considering I never really got into their previous album I suppose that doesn't guarantee that this one will grab me. Ought seems to be going in a more synth-y direction than previously, which does give me a bit of trepidation considering how that went the last time an Eastern Canadian band went from guitar-heavy to synth-heavy (that is to say, I really loved The Darcy's Warring and just bounced right off of Centerfold) but so far so good.

Only-On-Bandcamp Corner

Okay, I'm super confused about release dates apparently.

Firstly, we have a new album by Shakey Graves. I got a notification it was released back on the 9th, and immediately purchased it sight unseen (so to speak). But then hey, I can download it all now? So I did, and listened to it after downloading the tracks, and I was all set to include perhaps "Cops and Robbers" (which is really catchy) or maybe something else from the back half of the album like "Mansion Door" or "Big Bad Wolf" (both of which take advantage of the glossy sheen of the production work on the album) on a playlist, but not only is the album not on any streaming services yet, it's apparently just outright not released until May 4th?

Meanwhile, the diving rod of social media gave me the impression that some sort of album involving Motorbike James is coming out, so I went hunting for further clues. I eventually came to believe it's probably a new Royal Tusk album, since apparently they have another one slated for 2018 (at which point I guess I'll have another chance to finally get into Royal Tusk, who've never quite clicked for me). But in the meantime I discovered that there was already another Motorbike James album . . . back in 2011?

Well, whatever. Lets just hope time starts making sense again at some point and end this then with a band that I know doesn't have a full album out yet: Isolato, who put on a pretty fantastic show at the Sad Boys Club this weekend. That I can make sense of in space and time.

It's been quite a while since I updated "my website" here. In the meanwhile, people having their own websites (rather than just Facebook pages, Twitter handles, Tumblers that Oath deigns to allow still exist, etc etc) continues to be on the decline, and with that, music blogs. At least, I think they're on the decline; perhaps, instead, I'm just slowly falling into the "oh, I don't listen to new music anymore, just podcasts" territory that comes with old age. And there's probably a bit of that, creeping in from the corners. But I do blame the increased centralization and concentration of the internet onto Capital-P Platforms.

Anyways, the point is, I should dust off this site, and I miss music blogs . . . so why not make this a music blog? Or at least, one heavily leaning that way. I already lean towards making playlists as a way to get a handle on new music; it isn't much more effort to just record those here as I go.

So! With that in mind, here's my first one. Well, I should also link to my 2017 compound playlist, made up of the new-to-me music playlists I made throughout last year. But that's a big task to detail, and lets start small lest I falter at the firsts step. Here we go:

2018A: Step Forwards, Fearful Future

(I long have, and shall continue to, give my playlists ostentatious names)

  1. Jom Comyn - New Feeling
  2. Deep Frosty - Fire
  3. Marlaena Moore - Magic Knife
  4. Slow Place Like Home - Bats
  5. El Huervo - Daisuke
  6. Hannah Epperson - 20/20 (Amelia)
  7. Dommengang - Lost My Way
  8. Dommengang - Stay Together

I'll have more rants about music streaming services in the future, but I'm not ignoring them; here's this playlist on Google Play, and a Spotify playlist or a Play Music playlist you as the imaginary audience could theoretically subscribe to for updates as the year goes on.

Oh, and as a bonus track, here's a song I couldn't put on the music service incarnations of the playlist, since it's only up on Bandcamp (or originally on vinyl for Record Store Day 2014), but is quite fantastic; it's Teeth of the Sea very much in their dreamy and hypnotic mode, and I'm going to stop describing it now since I'm going to need a large reservoir of superlatives if I'm going to make this a music blog, yaknow? Give it a listen during a normal daily journey and let it wash over you as you remember for once to notice the endlessness of the sky.

Your desktop computer, at least. I'll update this later (including credit where credit's due to fabsh) but you can get perhaps the geekiest white noise ever pretty damn easily; basically all you need is SoX.

On Linux

  1. You probably have Sox installed already. If not, a quick apt install sox (or via your package manager of choice) should fix that.
  2. Alright, now in a terminal run play -n -c2 synth whitenoise band -n 100 24 band -n 300 100 gain +10 | play -n -c2 synth whitenoise band -n 100 20 band -n 50 20 gain +25 fade h 1 864000 1

On OSX

  1. You need to grab SoX. For my old iMac that's stuck on 10.6, I needed a slightly older version, but for any quasi-modern release of OSX you should just be able to grab the latest stable release.
  2. Unzip it; I think on OSX that happens automatically if you just click on the zip file?
  3. In a terminal now you can probably just run the following: ./Downloads/sox-14.4.2/play -n -c2 synth whitenoise band -n 100 24 band -n 300 100 gain +10 | \
    ./Downloads/sox-14.4.2/play -n -c2 synth whitenoise band -n 100 20 band -n 50 20 gain +25 fade h 1 864000 1

On Windows

  1. Probably as straightforward as on OSX, but maybe not? I'll test this tomorrow or something and update this post.
  2. Update, Nov. 23: Uhhh yeah so I seem to be failing at figuring out the right incantation; mostly the problem is SoX's ability to figure out the default audio device is apparently stymied by Windows' lack of a default audio device in the same sense that Linux and OSX have. Maybe it'd work if you install it through Cygwin?

And there you have it, the geekiest way to get some white noise yet invented.

For a person who posts so little to my various web sites, I actually have a surprisingly large number of takedown requests from people upset with me having posted one thing or another.

Here's the problem, though: I'm the kind of person who thinks that false beliefs are cancerous, and that the world would be better off if all of us humans were telepathic.

Of course people say to such thought experiments "that'd be terrible! If we knew what we all were thinking we'd be embarrassed and scared and everything'd be terrible!" And sure, that's probably true at first (and if it happened all of a sudden, it might be a very oddball apocalypse). But the thing is, much in the same way that society didn't collapse when we gave up on Victorian-era ideas of how women should dress, we'd get used to it. We, as people, often have a fear of "other" and a bad habit of failing to connect and engage with other people and ideas when even the slightest disconnect interrupts the flow of communication. So much of our time is spent either failing to understand others, or judging them for aspects of themselves that we either fail to grasp the context of, or believe are extremely uncommon and thus judge a person for. See, for example, how homophobia flourishes when people believe that homosexuality is rare. More truth and light leaves us better equiped to engage with the world around us, not less, and knowing more about other people eventually makes us less judgmental, not more.

Now, in this fictional scenario (and in anything approximating or reflecting it), again, the initial path is hard. And it may indeed exaggerate and encourage debate, because people wouldn't be able to pretend others agreed with them. And, I mean . . . yay, no? If society can only function when we never talk about anything of substance, then lets tear this motherfucker down (and you can quote me on that for all posterity, and if posterity doesn't understand the actual, more abstract meaning of specific idiomatic swear words then posterity can shut the fuck up and maybe show up some time for a nice cup of tea and maybe we can talk about how rarely language is even remotely literal---posterity, what do you feel like, I have some dried mint from my garden, is that good with you?).

Maybe life would get more dramatic, but it'd also get more authentic and progressive, I think. And we could all benefit from better understanding of other people, even if that understanding sometimes puts us at odds.

And truth, well . . . truth is kindof its own virtue. It has countless upsides: you realize vaccines don't cause autism and so your kids don't get measles and their friends don't get it from them in turn, the politician who lies gets caught in it and has to leave office to be replaced by someone whose policies are based more on facts than talking points, the old-growth forests are left standing when we actually weigh the real costs and benefits. But almost moreso, it's where real beauty comes from. Auto-tuned vocals singing focus-grouped lyrics will, for me at least, lose out every time to a faltering voice singing from the heart. The sound and fury of a Michael Bay movie holds no draw compared to staring up at the Milky Way in the country at night, and tentatively grasping what it means that we stand on a spinning sphere moving within all of that.

So when someone asks me to hide something that stands as a record of interaction between a bunch of people (in this latest case, one of them being me), I have an enormous philosophical bias against complying. The part where the conversation sitting in the public record includes them calling a friend of mine an asshole doesn't even have to factor into it.

The User asked the Machine to link to SQL tables in the first database from their ancient database frontend file.

"There is no driver installed" the Machine replied.

The User installed an ODBC driver, and again asked the Machine to link to SQL tables in the first database.

"There is no connection configured" the Machine replied.

The User then configured the ODBC driver and attempted to connect.

"Your driver is outdated" the Machine replied.

Sure that the problem was now solved, the User installed a modern ODBC driver.

"Your driver is too new for the program you use" the Machine replied.

Uninstalling the newer driver, the User tested again. Elated, they saw that their ancient database frontend now connected to the first database.

The User then asked the Machine to link to SQL tables in the second database.

"There is no connection configured" the Machine replied.

The User attempted to add to the ODBC driver configuration.

"There is no driver installed" the Machine replied, and the User was enlightened.

Okay, so I'm a bit late to the party of making fun of Diablo III. But the other day my housemates were talking about how silly the randomly-generated item names are in Diablo III, and I thought "well, surely there's a random item name generator out there for Diablo III". But either nobody has bothered or my Google-Fu is weak, because shrug.

So I thought, hey, why not just write one then? The initial version is below; source code is available (and thus you could submit pull requests with more words) at the GitHub project page.

?

Future development is intended to include more item pictures, some sort of overlay/change method to make it so the modifying words actually change the appearance (not 100% sure how I'll do that yet), and hell, maybe an Android app or something that'll let you save items.

Current item images:

Particularly meaty improvements I can think of would include then the ability to sell and trade the items with some kind of managed market using internal currency, which would be hilarious (especially when you think of the dynamics, since I'd make it so you could scrap any item for 1 unit of currency; if for some godforsaken reason people actually chose to play the game, then, inflation could quickly become ludicrous).

I hear everyone's raving about Bootstrap these days, so what the hell, lets just go and make this a Bootstrap-based site.

You can still find the old content at this page (or at a Bootstrap-ified version if you like).