Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Not a headline from The Onion. A real headline from the world of 2016:

Bob Dylan, the brilliant, iconoclastic musician who has for decades defied people’s expectations, was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday morning.

Dylan was awarded the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the American song tradition.”

One of the most prominent musicians of the last half-century, Dylan had long been rumored to be considered for the prize, but literary watchers considered his name among those in the running a novelty. He is the first American to win the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993.

The room of watchers at the Swedish Academy seemed shocked by the announcement, one calling the decision “radical” when asking Sara Danils, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, about the choice.

She compared Dylan to the poet Sappho, and then suggested the interviewer begin with Dylan’s record “Blonde on Blonde.”



I never put any stock in the Nobel Prize in Literature (or Peace, for that matter) and can conceive of worse choices. But I was unaware that Jack Black’s character from High Fidelity was on the Nobel Prize committee.

So here’s the opening track of Blonde on Blonde:

Perhaps the lyrics offer a glimpse at how the committee came to its decision…

File under: 2016. This year…

Six Degrees of Marty Feldman

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Probably because I was searching for various clips following Gene Wilder’s death, this video about Marty Feldman’s life came up on YouTube. I thought I’d see a few minutes of it and actually ended up watching the whole thing.

Here in the U.S. Feldman is probably know mainly for appearing in Young Frankenstein, but in the UK he was revered as a radio and TV comic writing and performing genius who held his own working with many of the people who would later form Monty Python. Indeed, Feldman co-wrote the famous “Four Yorkshiremen” skit Python would later adopt as their own, and when Python first went on the air, Feldman was staring in his own Marty show on the BBC.

It’s worth a watch.

Shoegazer Sunday: Unreleased Slowdive Soundtrack Album I am the Elephant, U are the Mouse

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Next weekend is the Levitation festival in Austin, where Slowdive will be headlining Friday night. In celebration, here’s an entire unreleased Slowdive soundtrack album. Some of these are minor fill pieces, and others you’ve heard before (“Cranium (Film Mix)” is “Blue Skied an’ Clear”). And I already post “I Believe” a while back, but it’s worked its way into my Slowdive Top 10.

More information (and a download link) here.

Shoegazer Sunday: Dominique Fricot’s “I Miss the 80s”

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

This is probably more pop than Shoegaze, but Dominique Fricot’s “I Miss the 80s” is a fun little song that has a dream pop vibe to it.

Having lived through the 1980s, my only caveat is that these are not the cultural referents I would have personally deployed. Even given that, the song still evokes a bit of wry nostalgia. But part of the point of the song is that it’s not first-hand nostalgia, it’s second-hand nostalgia refracted through the prism of the popular music and movies of the era by someone who was “too young to really know.”

It’s also probably the finest song to ever talk about Jennifer Grey’s nose…

Berkeley Breathed Wins April Fools

Friday, April 1st, 2016

With Calvin and Hobbes 2016:

Another Speed Downhill Mountain Bike Run

Monday, February 29th, 2016

I know these things are basically “Hey, how’d you like to expose yourself to the possibility of catastrophic injury for the greater glory of Red Bull and Go-Pro?” but I’m always impressed with these downhill speed-runs where they basically clear out half the population of some steeply graded city in South America for some nervy bicycling lunatic to careen down streets, stairs, sidewalks and goat-paths at a breakneck pace for our amusement.

Memorial Service for My Father on Friday

Monday, January 18th, 2016

The memorial service for my father, Murray Wayne Person, Jr., is set for this coming Friday:

His family invites you to celebrate his life at Unity Houston, 2929 Unity Dr. Houston 77059 at 10:30am Friday January 22nd, 10:30 AM Friday, January 22nd, with a reception immediately following in the same building.

Shoegazer Sunday: Under Electric Light’s “Waiting For The Rain To Fall”

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Under Electric Light‘s “Waiting For The Rain To Fall” starts off an awful lot like David Bowie’s “Heroes,” then goes off in its own direction.

RIP: Murray Wayne Person, Jr. (1943—2016)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

My father, Murray Wayne Person, Jr. (May 1943—January 3, 2016) passed away in his sleep this morning in Houston after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July of 2013, and after surgery to remove it doctors discovered it had spread to his lymph nodes. In early December 2015 scans showed it had stopped responding to the chemotherapy that had previously kept it in check and he was put on hospice care in his own home, as per his wishes.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Delois Person (who cared for him in his final illness and was at his side when he passed), his sister Sharon Evans, his son Lawrence Person, his daughter Camille Person Prevo, and his granddaughter Lyric Prevo. He was a member of Unity Church of Houston, where he managed ushering until stepping down due to his illness.

My father was a smart, stubborn, and occasionally difficult man. He obtained an accounting degree from night school at the University of Houston, and spent his life supporting his family working as a CPA and comptroller for a variety of companies. He had interests in science fiction (and read The Hobbit and part of The Lord of the Rings to me at bedtime when I was a child), astronomy and coin collecting. I generally got along well with him, the only difficulties arising because we were entirely too much alike.

My father had competed in football and track in high school, but his terminal illness gradually robbed him of his strength, as the aftermath of the surgery (including a return stay for an infection) and the regular visits to MD Anderson wore him down. During his own father’s terminal illness, he said “There comes a point when a dying man needs to die like a tired man needs to sleep,” and he had finally reached that stage and was ready to go. Assistance from Houston Hospice (including an in-home hospital bed and liquid morphine) greatly eased the difficulties of his final days.

I came home for Christmas and said goodbye to him on December 29, while he was still (intermittently) lucid.

As he donated his body to science there will be no funeral, but will likely be a memorial service in Houston later this month.

Bring Back MST3K Biggest Video Kickstarter Ever

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

The final fundraising tally was $5,764,229, plus $600,000 in “add-ons.”

Bring Back MST3K “became the most successful crowdfunded video project of all time, surpassing the Veronica Mars movie, which previously held the title with $5.7 million.”

Joel Hodgson and his team did a masterful job generating momentum over the course of the kickstarter (Felicia Day! Jerry Seinfeld!). Now they’re going to make 14 new episodes, which wasn’t even a stretch goal when the started out.

Now all we have to do is wait until November 2016…