Saturday, July 17, 2004

A tale of two worlds

Last month, on August 26th, I finished reading Donald Norman's book Emotion Design. The article Over half world's homes have running water, WHO report finds appeared in that day's newspaper:
"The fact we've got so many people on the planet who actually have water at home is a stunning success," said Jamie Bartram, coordinator of water, sanitation, and health at the WHO in Geneva. "The economic and health benefits for the poor population of ready access to water are huge."
Then I reflected on the discussion in the last chapter of the book, "The Future of Robots" and thought, oh great, some of us are designing emotions into robots even before all of us have running water at home.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Patti Scialfa - Rumble Doll

This is a delightful album. Nice rhythms, great voice. I like all 12 songs. It's just what I expected after watching the Music Choice show last Sunday night.

1 Rumble Doll Scialfa 3:26
2 Come Tomorrow Scialfa 3:54
3 In My Imagination Scialfa 4:22
4 Valerie Scialfa 4:59
5 As Long as I (Can Be With You) Scialfa 4:47
6 Big Black Heaven Scialfa 3:38
7 Loves Glory Scialfa 3:47
8 Lucky Girl Campbell, Scialfa 4:08
9 Charm Light Scialfa 3:44
10 Baby Don't Scialfa 3:11
11 Talk to Me Like the Rain Scialfa 3:44
12 Spanish Dancer Scialfa 4:50
Review by Tim Griggs
Rumble Doll proves that Patti Scialfa is more than a beautiful redhead with good connections. The 12 songs on the album don't necessarily jump out at the listener on the first listen. Instead, it's more of a slow seduction. Scialfa, who penned all the songs on the album, incorporates a '60s-style vibrato reminiscent of Ronnie Spector; however, the production is low-key compared to '60s girl singers produced by Phil Spector. There's not a bad song in the bunch, and the title track is a gem. Mr. Scialfa is a lucky man to have such a lovely and talented wife.
That was a joke right? Mr. Scialfa a lucky man? Apparently Mr. Scialfa is Bruce Springsteen. Cute.

Gordon Lightfoot - The United Artists Collection

1 Rich Man's Spiritual Lightfoot 2:44
2 Long River Lightfoot 2:46
3 Way I Feel [Version 1] Lightfoot 3:43
4 For Lovin' Me Lightfoot 2:25
5 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face MacColl 3:10
6 Changes Ochs 2:30
7 Early Morning Rain Lightfoot 3:04
8 Steel Rail Blues Lightfoot 2:48
9 Sixteen Miles (To Seven Lakes) Lightfoot 2:05
10 I'm Not Sayin' Lightfoot 2:28
11 Pride of Man Camp 2:41
12 Ribbon of Darkness Lightfoot 2:39
13 Oh Linda Lightfoot 3:09
14 Peaceful Waters Lightfoot 2:01
15 Walls Lightfoot 2:51
16 If You Got It Lightfoot 2:28
17 Softly Lightfoot 3:23
18 Crossroads Lightfoot 2:56
19 A Minor Ballad Lightfoot 3:13
20 Go-Go Round Lightfoot 2:37
21 Rosanna Lightfoot 2:39
22 Home from the Forest Lightfoot 3:02
23 I'll Be Alright Lightfoot 2:25
24 Song for a Winter's Night Lightfoot 2:58
25 Canadian Railroad Trilogy Lightfoot 6:19
26 Way I Feel [Version 2] Lightfoot 3:02
27 Wherefor & Why Lightfoot 2:51
28 The Last Time I Saw Her Lightfoot 5:10
29 Black Day in July Lightfoot 4:10
30 May 1 Lightfoot 2:19
31 Magnificent Outpouring Lightfoot 2:20
32 Does Your Mother Know Lightfoot 3:33
33 The Mountain and Maryann Lightfoot 3:35
34 Pussywillows, Cat-Tails Lightfoot 2:48
35 I Want to Hear It from You Lightfoot 2:22
36 Something Very Special Lightfoot 3:19
37 Boss Man Lightfoot 2:10
38 Did She Mention My Name Lightfoot 2:27
39 Long Way Back Home Lightfoot 3:02
40 Unsettled Ways Lightfoot 1:51
41 Long Thin Dawn Lightfoot 2:57
42 Bitter Green Lightfoot 2:42
43 Circle Is Small (I Can See It in Your Eyes) Lightfoot 3:26
44 Marie Christine Lightfoot 2:54
45 Cold Hands from New York Lightfoot 5:16
46 Affair on 8th Avenue Lightfoot 3:25
47 Don't Beat Me Down Lightfoot 3:16
48 The Gypsy Lightfoot 2:45
49 If I Could Lightfoot 4:02

Eva Cassidy - Imagine

1 It Doesn't Matter Anymore Anka 3:13
2 Fever Cooley, Davenport 3:57
3 Who Knows Where the Time Goes? Denny 5:41
4 You've Changed Carey, Fischer 4:48
5 Imagine Lennon 4:36
6 Still Not Ready Izzi, LaSota 4:48
7 Early Morning Rain Lightfoot 4:05
8 Tennessee Waltz King, Stewart 2:33
9 I Can Only Be Me Wonder 3:17
10 Danny Boy Weatherly 3:43

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen

Sorry closeyoureyes, I didn't like any of the song. But it seems, Thom Owens thinks differently:
Review by Thom Owens
Expanding on the hook-laden songcraft of their eponymous debut, the Ben Folds Five turn in another glitzy array of Todd Rundgren-esque, piano-driven pop on their second album, Whatever and Ever Amen. Though it isn't as consistently tuneful and clever as their first record, Whatever and Ever Amen has a snazzy sense of popcraft — the hooks of "The Battle of Who Could Care Less," "Brick," and "Fair" sink in nearly as effortlessly as Billy Joel, Elton John, or Joe Jackson — which makes the record enjoyable ear candy. Occasionally, Folds' smug humor — whether it's the alternative rock skewering of "The Battle" or the borderline misogynist humor of "Song for the Dumped" — can undercut his melodic gifts, but Whatever and Ever Amen is confirmation that the showy pop pleasures of his first record were no fluke.

What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

That's the premise to the new movie Before Sunset. I just saw the prequel Before Sunrise
'Before Sunrise' portrayed the attitude of an X generation's point in time, now a decade later 'Before Sunset' shows how idealistic youth gives way to adult reality, making it all the more poignant. And this time round, time is of the essence, too. Where the young Celine and Jesse spent some 14 crazy and unbidden hours together their adult versions only have 90 minutes onscreen real-time to figure things out before Jesse has to catch his plane back home. Will he catch it in time? Will he want to? The ending comes as a complete surprise and pulls off that rare thing again; it leaves you hanging but completely satisfied. It leaves you hopeless if you are a cynic and hopeful if you are a romantic.
Well, I guess I'm a romantic. I suspect that I'll remain a romantic after watching Before Sunset.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Patti Scialfa followed by Robi Draco Rosa

I'm going to have to block out Sunday nights from now on between the hours of 9pm and 11pm to tune into the broadcast of Music Choice on CN8, The Comcast Network. Last night was the second time that I stumbled in by accident. The first was a month ago, on The Corrs.

Similarly, I tuned in late to Patti Scialfa who is completely unknown to me. It was a delightful sight to discover this georgous red-head (though not as georgeous as magnolia, of course) singing harmony with the other red-head Soozie Tyrell, the violinist in the band. The energy of the band was so engaging that I gladly set aside my normal preference for soft music. This is especially significant, as it was getting close to bedtime and I certainly don't need too much stimulation.
MUSIC CHOICE® presents singer-songwriter and E Street Band member Patti Scialfa featuring special guests Steve Jordan, Nils Lofgren, Willy Weeks, Clifford Carter, Mark Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, and Soozie Tyrell! This rare and intimate television performance, filmed in New York City in April 2004, includes some of the most talented members of the world-renowned E Street Band like you've never seen them before! Patti will be performing songs from her upcoming solo release, 23rd Street Lullaby, which is due in stores June 15th. Don't miss this unique opportunity to see one of rock's finest female artists!

After the show on Patti Scialfa, I decided to see what Robi Draco Rosa is all about. He's complete new to me also. After five minutes, I was hook for the rest of the hour, even though it now past my bedtime.

I'm not usually a Latin music fan, although I like Santana and Mango Blue. But I found Robi Rosa very different. He has a very provocative stage presence. I have only one word to describe him, eclectic. Sufficiently so that I'll have to listen to his albums to get a better appreciation.

There were a couple of songs that I'm sure closeyoureyes will like, for someone who like the music of Fuel.
MUSIC CHOICE® presents Robi Draco Rosa as part of our concerts in June! Latin singer-songwriter and producer Robi Draco Rosa began as part of the teen pop sensation Menudo and then became the lead singer of the critically acclaimed alternative band Maggie's Dream. Robi also helped to write hit Latin pop songs "Livin La Vida Loca" and "Cup of Life" for fellow Menudo member Ricky Martin! Robi's latest endeavor, Mad Love, is a passionate Latin rock album that features introspective tracks and bluesy guitar riffs. Don't miss this breakthrough show!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

It is about the bike

I read the book three years ago and came away with an admiration and respect for what Lance Armstrong had to go through to survive his cancer and to come back stronger that ever to win the Tour de France. I do think it was not about the bike then. But as we are in the midst of another race, I can't help think that now it is. Nevertheless, I hope he wins again.