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Tbray Ongoing

ongoing fragmented essay by Tim Bray
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SotD: Fine and Mellow

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray -1h et 11min ago

This is a song not on­ly per­formed but writ­ten by Bil­lie Hol­i­day; it was a hit in 1939, the flip side of the beau­ti­ful but grue­some Strange Fruit (the fruit was a lynch­ing vic­tim). Fine and Mel­low is sad too, but a fair­ly stan­dard man-treats-me-bad blues. It’s a treat for the ears and the heart. Read the article
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SotD: Death Don’t Have No Mercy

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray 23h et 11min ago

Death Don’t Have No Mer­cy is a very old, very dark blues by Rev. Gary Davis which has been cov­ered lot­s, by Dy­lan and the Dead among oth­er­s. But to­day I’m plug­ging a live ver­sion record­ed by Hot Tu­na in 1992. Read the article
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SotD: Ashes the Rain and I

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 15/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

The James Gang was a stripped-down band that most­ly played prim­i­tive rock and roll (which I love) very well, and Rides Again is an ex­am­ple of that, but Ash­es the Rain and I isn’t prim­i­tive at al­l; five min­utes of con­tem­pla­tive beau­ty. Read the article
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SotD: Brahms’ Variations

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 14/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

To­day, let’s do clas­si­cal mu­sic, as in a great big splodge of or­ches­tral goo by a dead Ger­man. Brahms op. 56a and 56b is a set of vari­a­tions on a the­me; he thought the theme was Haydn’s, thus called it Vari­a­tions on a Theme by Joseph Haydn. But now they think the Haydn at­tri­bu­tion on the theme is sketchy, so now you’ll see ’em la­beled some­times as the Saint An­tho­ny Vari­a­tions. Any­how, this is a su­per tasty splodge of goo, the kind of thing or­ches­tras ex­ist to play. Read the article
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SotD: Jah Glory

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 13/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

Third World have al­ways had had a dif­fer­ent sound, lean­ing quite a bit on sweet har­monies and in­stru­men­tal fla­vors. It’s reg­gae all right, but im­pure like most great mu­sic, and sounds as tasty as any­thing you can imag­ine. Jah Glo­ry is such a sweet wel­com­ing thing, a soar­ing song of wor­ship. (You don’t have to be­lieve in Jah.) Read the article
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SotD: Dear Darling

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 12/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

Mary Mar­garet O’Hara, a daugh­ter of Toron­to, hasn’t record­ed much and hasn’t had hits and these are ter­ri­bly sad things be­cause she’s a gem, a won­der­ful un­con­ven­tion­al song­writ­er and singer. Her stuff gets pret­ty far out over the edge some­times, but Dear Dar­ling is a love­ly straight-up coun­try tune, hard­ly weird at al­l, or on­ly in places. Read the article
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SotD: Mercy Street

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 11/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

No­body could call this ob­scure; Peter Gabriel’s So sold a kazil­lion copies and was right in the cen­ter of the zeit­geist for months back in the late Eight­ies. The songs were good, the sound was good, and (e­spe­cial­ly) the videos were good, which re­al­ly mat­tered in 1986. Mer­cy Street was not one of its big hit­s, which al­ways as­ton­ished me; I thought it by far and away the album’s high­light. Read the article
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Photo Antiphony

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 11/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

Mobile-phone cam­eras are bet­ter this year than last, and next year they’ll be bet­ter again. The no­tion of car­ry­ing around a heavy chunk of met­al and glass called “a camera” is be­com­ing dif­fi­cult to de­fend and this makes me sad, be­cause I like cam­eras. Us­ing the big fat Samyang 135mm F2 is giv­ing me strong opin­ions about what a cam­era has to be to be­come the anti-phone, the one you’ll take along even though there’s a good cam­era on your phone. Read the article
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SotD: Fantaisie Impromptu

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 10/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

After the hot gui­tar a cou­ple days back, I thought some more flashy solo­ing would be fun, and the world cur­rent­ly has no­body flashier, on any in­stru­men­t, than pi­anist Yun­di Li, who seems to have re­brand­ed him­self as YUNDI. But I end­ed up at this Frédéric Chopin Fan­taisie which has, yes, flash, but lots of mu­sic among and be­tween it, and Mr Li re­al­ly seems to un­der­stand Mr Chopin. Read the article
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SotD: Broken English

Tbray Ongoing By Tim Bray on 09/02/2018 pm28 21:00:00

This the ti­tle track from Bro­ken English, an al­bum by Mar­i­anne Faith­full, on which ev­ery song is good and some are ter­ri­fy­ing (not this one). Read the article

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