WordPress Discover: Music

For April 2020, to get bloggers in the same spot, WordPress Discover has returned.  This week WordPress Discover is helmed by blogger Krista Stevens.

Today’s theme is “music.”  Krista asks about favourite albums.  My favourite album going is the Indie effort Groove Denied, by Stephen Malkmus, which came out on the Ides of March last year, 2019.

Sticker

It was exciting to learn about it.  It’s the second reinvention of himself Malkmus has presented, the first his solo career that followed his famed 1990s band Pavement, and now with what I’d estimate is a trilogy of albums so far, after five years between album releases.  What I mean is that Pavement did albums in the nineties, which were Malkmus along with several bandmates, and then there were several Stephen Malkmus solo records in the 2000s and 2010s, which ended with what to me was a fairly loud silence, a paradox.

After five years, Malkmus reinvented himself with kind of a second solo career.  The highlight for me was the album from 2019, Groove Denied.

If you don’t know about record albums, the groove is what the arm of the record player reads to play the music.  I take that the expression “Groove Denied” is a reference to streaming services that play digital recordings.  A record player is an analogue machine.

It is interesting for me that Malkmus’ vocal delivery, although perhaps a little dimmed by the passing of years, remains, to my ear, identical to how he sounded when he played with Pavement.

The songs Stephen Malkmus composes have always been brilliant, in my humble opinion, but Groove Denied seems outstanding.  There are three music videos for Groove Denied, handled in the United States by Matador Records, and it was a treat to watch them last year on YouTube.

Last year was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pavement record that went into the Top 5 of the year, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, in 1994.  The X shape on the cover of Groove Denied reminds me of the X Stephen Malkmus is wearing in the Pavement Slow Century DVD, when he comments on Pavement’s feud with the Smashing Pumpkins.

WordPress Discover: New

For April 2020, the WordPress Discover challenges are back.  Ben Huberman is leading them this week.

Today’s Discover theme is the word “new.”  The challenge suggests reflecting on a new activity.  “New” sometimes carries with it a connotation of “young,” and what is younger and as delightful than the going platform for fifteen-second video, TikTok?

StockSnap_FH0ORSRVWZ

Photo by Jakob Owens from StockSnap

It is clear that the social media video service TikTok appeals to the young, but some adults use it, and while I suppose it requires discretion, there are a lot of funny fifteen-second videos that are wonderful.  Teaching myself the use of TikTok has provided the biggest payoff for me of late, in terms of an activity that doesn’t do anything short of providing enjoyment.

Why should youth culture be exclusive to the young?  If you have any interest in cultural phenomena that characterize youth culture, whether you’re an adult or not, TikTok provides video-format feedback for your interest in a way that is mostly unique to the platform.

I invented a strategy to discover videos.  The most popular entries among the fifteen-second video presentations don’t always interest me, but I devise ten phrases at a time, which is how TikTok works, that I use to search for people who have cool videos.  I run through them and see what jumps out of the results for me.

For example, any short phrase, like, for example, the two-word phrase “next message,” provides a variety of random but potentially interesting video results.  It certainly isn’t scientific, but that’s the tact I take in my pursuit.  Obviously, fifteen seconds is a very short time, but even a few minutes on TikTok can pay off.

For example, specifically, any interest in, say, Star Wars is easily accommodated.  There are so many Star Wars fans on TikTok, and, as I’ve said in another post about TikTok, the phenomenon of identifying yourself by a Lego Star Wars picture is persistent.  Although the latest film trilogy has concluded, with Season 2 of The Mandalorian and also Season 7 of the animated prequel-era Star Wars series The Clone Wars, Star Wars continues to be a “presence,” like Obi-wan Kenobi was for Vader in 1977’s Star Wars film, aboard the Death Star, it is true that any interest in Star Wars is easily met on TikTok.  Wonderful, all in all.

I appreciate the April 2020 Discover challenges.

WordPress Discover: Scent

The month of April 2020, WordPress has reopened daily Discover challenges, hosted this week again by Ben Huberman.  Today’s theme is the word “scent.”  I thought of food that instantly makes me hungry:  pancakes.

P1000321

For many years running, my family ate a Sunday family breakfast of pancakes, after returning from church.  It was nice.  Sometimes there would be a cassette tape of music playing, and sometimes there would be for me a cup of tea, as I didn’t drink coffee until beginning in my mid-teens, I think.

 

Later that day we would go around to my mother’s parents’ house and have a visit.  The smell of pancakes remains quite pleasing for me.

 

Last night was the last quarter of the moon, my wall calendar tells me.  I know things are hard.  My readership for the blog is small but consistent.  I have benefitted in terms of expanding its reach, from reading the daily Discover essays this month, and many days writing in response.

 

It interests me to read where the blog’s visitors say they are coming from.  In these days of social distancing, WordPress is among the best socializing I enjoy, as far as interacting with new people goes.

 

My present routine, to publish, discover, and comment, has helped me with the focus I have for writing in my blog, and for feeling better organized to be interested in it and to work at it.  While it is purely for interest’s sake, I am part of a small business that my father operates together with me.

 

We take care of a small cemetery, usually every week.  We are on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

 

Although I have temporarily shelved my editorial calendar, owing to the emergency, you do have the option of visiting me on Facebook and following and commenting on this blog post.  I appreciate your time and I wish you well during this spot of bad luck.

WordPress Discover: Book

Today is my niece Clara’s tenth birthday.  Happy birthday, Clara.
I have been perusing the April 2020 WordPress Discover articles.  This week they are again driven by Ben Huberman.
Today’s Discover Challenge:  book
StockSnap_1OBXVC1ARF
Clara is in the third grade.  At the point when I was in the third grade, I think my preferred intrigue was beasts, and obviously, she is a young lady.  However, I think my favourite book, when I was a third-grader, was the classic, The House with a Clock in its Walls, by John Bellairs.  It’s a 2018 film.
My nephew Mack, Clara’s brother, is in uni, and when I think back of books I read in college, that weren’t on the syllabus, I remember reading The Mosquito Coast, by Paul Theroux.  I think I wanted something familiar to read.  There is a film, the 1986 film featuring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren.  Harrison Ford had starred in the Star Wars films which saw son pitted against father.  I think he was following that set of motion pictures with another film that was about the idea of Father’s relationship with the child, and furthermore about the connection among machines and nature, likewise a topic in that first Star Wars three.
If my mother were to ask me, I would recommend Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life, by Richard Carlson.  It’s an antidote to stress.
For my dad, who has likewise been my supervisor for quite a while now, I would prescribe a progressively unordinary book, the novel Humans by Donald E. Westlake.  It’s a novel truly about a fight among God, and the Devil, for the whole planet.
If Kris was still with us, as she loaned me her Holy Bible, which I wish I’d demanded to return, I figure I may have gained favour with her if I’d brought her A Million Little Pieces, the splashy novel by James Frey, that transformed into contention, with Oprah Winfrey.
These books I felt were appropriate.

WordPress Discover: Light

Ben Huberman again has the reins of the April 2020 WordPress Discover challenges. Today’s theme is light.

I think of feeling light when I look at the effect upon myself by something as kind as a few words on the Internet, from a person I respect, as is the case with the blogger behind the Beauty Beyond Bones blog. Her blog is one I enjoy reading, perhaps paying her a compliment at times when it is more appropriate, to someone who is a talented writer and who gives back time. She is a proud Catholic blogger, as well, and, as today is Easter Sunday, I know this will be a challenging day, given the circumstances of the holiday this year.

Her blog is about her experience in life celebrating Jesus, and she sometimes recounts current events and her response to those, or sometimes how life continually gives back to her and what she, with her perspective and intent, makes of it. There are qualities in her that I admire, and some of the design elements of her blog appeal to me when I look at what she thinks to assemble. Her blog is here:

https://beautybeyondbones.com/

I want to also include a found photo of the hospital located in Fort Erie, not too far from where I live, in Canada. You can see the light about the place. It is an alternative interpretation of the word light and a symbol of triumph, all the more so south of the Canada-U. S. border, where, the news is saying, the crisis is mad.

found photo of Fort Erie hospital

I hope that the blogger who writes Beauty Beyond Bones gets through unscathed, as I hope every American who I think is the bee’s knees likewise manages to pull through the current troubles without being afflicted.

You may comment and/or follow, of course.

WordPress Discover: Bite

WordPress Discover has returned for April 2020, and this week the writer Michelle Weber has taken Discover bloggers on a wander, with a word every day, to get bloggers looking at shared encounters.  Today’s word is “bite” and, while I don’t like to offer advice, one phenomenon I have observed is that, by the time you are responding to somebody’s food on the Internet you know that you’ve reached a rhythm where likely the best you can do is effect what positive change that person contributed, and go from there.  I would prefer not to seem as though I’m presenting a false rationale.

It’s a perception given the fame of those sorts of delineations.  The inclination I have is to connect cautiously when nourishment is in question, and I’ve had the experience of family, kinfolk mentioning objective facts on the Internet of what they’re keen on eating, individuals that you could never avoid, and even with them, I attempt to evade a lot of input on their dishes.

Adage

Suit yourself.  Ideally, you’re not inhabiting a scene of the TV show Survivor. However, a decent approach is to sit about and eat.

You don’t have to do a huge amount of that.  A drink may improve the pot, yet not to the degree you’re under the table, I’m certain, and there ought to be openings where no such cure is important.

I’m a hopeful person.  I wouldn’t deliberately steer you wrong.

As today’s Discover essay points out, it’s a Saturday, and while it doesn’t touch on the holiday, you probably know that it’s the Saturday before Easter Sunday.  Trouble or not, I am making my usual jaunt tomorrow, to my mom and dad’s house, to celebrate our faith.  It will take us faith to get through this.

You’re welcome to follow and/or to comment.

WordPress Discover: Orchestrate

social distancing

Today’s Discover challenge, by Michelle Weber, is about the word “orchestrate.” The last piece of music which moved me is the song battle born by The Killers.


The Killers

Up against the wall (Up against the wall) There’s something dying on the street When they knock you down (Up against the wall) You’re gonna get back on your feet Cause you can’t stop now (Cause you can’t stop now) Did they break your heart? (Did they break your heart?) And did they cause your soul to mourn Remember what I said Boy you was battle born

While The Killers are a great band, I didn’t initially have a strong positive reaction to this song of theirs.  Eventually, though, it began to move me the way a piece of music does, giving me the odd moment of pause while relevance in the song hits home with me.

What would it be that is “dying on the street?” I wonder briefly when I hear it.  There is a Pavement song from 1995, Grounded, that has a similar lyric. Both are interesting songs.

Everything Is Nice: The Matador Records 10th Anniversary Anthology

The Thwarted Search, a Chaucerian stanza

ChristineBolton, a poet, pointed out tonight that a Frank Hubeny is hosting “D’Verse Poets.”

Hubeny is prompting a seven-line poem, such as a Chaucerian stanza, a seven-line poem in iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ABABBCC. Or any Christine wrote that she is up for the challenge and she chose to write a Chaucerian stanza, her first one. Her poem is good and you can find it at:

https://poetryforhealing.com/2020/04/09/lying-eyes/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lying-eyes

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Impressed, I tried my amateur hand at such a poem myself.

The Thwarted Search
a Chaucerian stanza

Not bringing here among ones seldom met
Less reason shap'd without much duress back
Evaluated in those facts long set
How such affairs withheld often for lack
Would most uncommon times have but the knack
To lead further again but less fulfilled
If I have no such luck it's uncontrolled
Academia

WordPress Discover: Pairs

The April 2020 WordPress Discover challenges continue with another essay by Michelle Weber, on the subject of “pairs.” Today’s Discover challenge for me is particularly enjoyable. I am thankful.

five best books you’ve ever read, and a song

Photographer:
Suzy Hazelwood

the stranger, by Albert Camus
killing an Arab the cure

a gentleman deals with the death of his mother. killing an Arab might have been the first single put out by the cure. i am sure the cure were inspired by the stranger when they wrote this song, which, despite its theme of “killing” is not a song about hate

brave new world, by Aldous Huxley
chrome injury the church

in the future, a man from lands outside civilization tries to come to terms with how people are living. chrome injury is a song from the church’ first record, a new wave record entitled of skins and hearts

bonfire of the vanities, by tom Wolfe
a well-respected man the kinks

an accidental hit and run are the minutes that serve to ruin a rich man’s life. a well-respected man tells the story of a man whose desires are controlled by his need to fit into “normal” society

one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, by Ken Kesey
ballad of Dwight Frye Alice cooper

a rogue goes into an insane asylum rather than face jail time. Alice cooper’s song ballad of Dwight Frye from their first album love it to death is on a similar theme, about a deadbeat dad who gets locked up

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
born to be wild Steppenwolf

a man “throws away his wristwatch” and travels the united states. born to be wild by Steppenwolf is identifiable as being about that same kind of thing

by the way, you’re welcome to follow and/or to comment

WordPress Discover: Curve

A lovely word, curve. The curve is the subject of today’s WordPress Discover prompt, moderated by Michelle Weber.

I have a photo, from February 5, of the curving drive into the cemetery I help care for. It’s on the outskirts of town, just a little cemetery. If I was being honest, I would say I am not sure I’d like to be there after dark.

Louth United Church

I take the cemetery onto Facebook. We have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Owing to the health crisis, I’ve had to slow right down on the number of times I post to Facebook, as I don’t want to seem too out of touch. I’m keeping it active, of course, until such a time I can resume, one might put it, my “editorial calendar.” 🙂

I was glad for the Discover prompts this month, from WordPress, as they provide fuel for the creative fires.

I find putting myself into something like that helps with managing stress, as anxious energy spills out onto words. I occasionally look to a guru like Tim Ferriss, who wrote The Four-Hour Work Week, years ago, or whatever source of advice that seems savvy that comes up, on Twitter, for example. I really have a couple of guidelines I borrowed from Four-Hour Work Week, although I’m nothing like that.

I haven’t been working that hard lately. There just hasn’t been a call for it. Funeral services are an essential service in Ontario, and it is usually just two or three of us at the cemetery, so I think we are okay to do some work.

There don’t seem to be too many people around most of the time. I would stay home without concern if I had to. My dad, who handles the monetary details of the work, among other details, is free to drop the duty in the short term, and he knows that.

It sounds pretentious, but at the moment, I guess it really is about playing the long game. I hope you like the photo. The congregation disbanded in the year 2006.