Saturday, April 03, 2004

David Gray: White Ladder

White LadderDavid Gray is another of closeyoureyes' recommendations. I think the White Ladder album fits nicely between the intensities of Fuel's Sunburn and Radiohead's Hail to the Thief on one end, and the softness of Nick Drake's Way to Blue on the other.
1. Please Forgive Me (Gray) - 5:35
2. Babylon (Gray) - 4:26
3. My Oh My (Gray/McClune) - 4:37
4. We're Not Right (Gray/McClune/Pioson/Polson) - 3:04
5. Nightblindness (Gray) - 4:24
6. Silver Lining (Gray) - 5:59
7. White Ladder (Gray/McClune/Poison/Polson) - 4:15
8. This Years Love (Gray) - 4:05
9. Sail Away (Gray) - 5:16
10. Say Hello Wave Goodbye (Almond/Ball) - 9:04
11. Babylon II (Gray) - 3:40
I like all eleven. Gray's playful voice in Please Forgive Me has a Willie Nelson quality. The title song White Ladder has a delightful tempo and beat. They sound better with each successive listen.

Sigur Rós' Ágætis Byrjun is next. But as for Jack Johnson, I need a specific recommendation from closeyoureyes.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Ghosts of Rwanda

FRONTLINE marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide with a documentary chronicling one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In addition to interviews with key government officials and diplomats, the two-hour documentary offers groundbreaking, eyewitness accounts of the genocide from those who experienced it firsthand: from Tutsi survivors who recount the horror of seeing their friends and family members slaughtered by neighbors and coworkers; to the UN peacekeepers stationed amid the carnage who were ordered not to intervene; to those holding positions of power at the White House. Through these accounts, FRONTLINE illustrates the social, political, and diplomatic failures that enabled the slaughter of 800,000 people to occur unabated and unchallenged by the global community.
Even though I was prepared after watching the Charlie Rose Show about the documentary:

Editor-at-Large, Time
Producer, Frontline: "Ghosts of Rwanda"
JFK School of Government, Harvard
Author, "A Problem from Hell"
Executive Secretary, Privatisation Secretariat
Genocide Survivor
Former U.N. Humanitarian in Kigali
It was hard watching it last night. I had so many questions. I just don't have the words. Perhaps Lynne Duke of the Washington Post says it best in Heart of Darkness That Was Rwanda.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Will she bite?

I couldn't resist. I just e-mailed the article to Land Baroness. Will she bite?

The picture says it all. But, if you want to know more:
Cashing in on the Democratic party
Area homeowners see dollar signs when delegates come to Boston

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

All hot to do it now

My former Girl Next Door (a.k.a. Land Baroness) and I went to a Condominium Conversion Seminar last night hosted by Coldwell Banker. All hot to do it now, was what one of the Real Estate sales associates declared after the informative presentation given by Douglas MacLean, the attorney and owner of condoversion.

By the large number of people who showed up, you can bet that condo conversion is lucrative, even with the 150 hoops one has to go through. You definitely know this when they served us dinner for attending. My study committee with a $250K budget doesn't even get refreshments.

A humorous moment occured when Land Baroness remarked to me as a response to a question someone asked about how to get rid of tenants in order to move the process along. She said, "I'd hate to have a landlord like him". What an understatement.

I think she's going to convert one of her properties. Of course, I offered my help. It'll be a great learning experience. But I guessed wrong. As I am writing this, I got word from her that she's thinking in terms of 7-10 years. This is too far in the future. Lots can happen in that time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Nick Drake: Way to Blue

Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick DrakeNick Drake is one of the artists recommended by closeyoureyes as a response to a previous post I made about a Radiohead Album. She should know, as she a co-DJ on WERS Friday mornings (the one with the sexier voice).

Consequently, I came across Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake, a delightful selection of songs from his earlier albums:
1. Cello Song (Drake) - 4:45
2. Hazey Jane I (Drake) - 4:28
3. Way to Blue (Drake) - 3:09
4. Things Behind the Sun (Drake) - 3:56
5. River Man (Drake) - 4:20
6. Poor Boy (Drake) - 6:06
7. Time of No Reply (Drake) - 2:44
8. From the Morning (Drake) - 2:30
9. One of These Things First (Drake) - 4:50
10. Northern Sky (Drake) - 3:44
11. Which Will (Drake) - 2:56
12. Hazey Jane II (Drake) - 3:44
13. Time Has Told Me (Drake) - 4:25
14. Pink Moon (Drake) - 2:03
15. Black Eyed Dog (Drake) - 3:25
16. Fruit Tree (Drake) - 4:45
Indeed, the music is soft. Perhaps softer than what I'm used to. Neverthess, it has a gentleness that relaxes. His voice reminds me of Gordon Lightfoot (Cold on the Shoulder, Sundown, If You Could Read My Mind), but with less emphasis and less assertiveness.

In my opinion, Way to Blue is best listened to while reclining on a comfortable couch in a fireplace lit room with arms around your sweetheart while sipping Grand Marnier. This of course after a delicious dinner at a candle lit table.

Monday, March 29, 2004

One out of five

To close the loop on Madonna's music, it looks like of the five albums that I had the pleasure to listen:
1983 Madonna
1989 Like a Prayer
1998 Ray of Light
2000 Music
2003 American Life
the only one I like is Ray of Light. The others are just too eclectic for my taste.

Nevertheless, for you fans of Madonna, she's on a Reinvention World Tour 2004, and may be coming to a city near you.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

What does it have to do with Machiavelli?

I've been a long time fan of Roger Fisher ever since reading International Conflict for Beginners, one of many reading assignments in a course called International Conflict and Arms Control. I took this during the time that the Soviet Union was still in power. Perhaps the reason I liked the book so much was that it was the first and lightest of all the readings. And it was easy to understand. The rest were tough going, something I should have know. The honeymoon period to these classes don't last long.

Fisher is know to the general public later by Getting to Yes, published in 1981 and subsequently by others such as Getting Together (my favorite), Difficult Conversations, Getting It Done (another favorite) whom he co-authored.

As also a fan of Niccolo Machiavelli (The Prince, The Art of War, Discourses), I looked forward to reading this book. What I found is a repeat of the many concepts described in International Conflicts for Beginners and Getting to Yes. On the one hand it was a nice review and reminder. On the other, there was not much new. But most disappointing is the lack of additional insight contrasting Machiavelli's approach beyond those implicitly described in International Conflict for Beginners.

Therefore, unless you're a fan as I am of Roger Fisher, you might be annoyed with this book if you had read his previous work. But then, you probably are a fan already if you had. And if this is your first exposure, you wouldn't know enough to complain.