This Day In History: 03/05

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

One thing I really miss in modern popular music is the "satisfying ending". The rise of radio as a lucrative transmission medium brought about the extinction of most song endings. Radio stations try to limit or remove all dead air from their broadcasts, so most employ the practice of fading in a new song as the old one fades out. Fewer modern arrangers use endings at all now, since they'll most likely never be heard on the radio.

Songs that stop but don't end tend to fall into two major categories. The first type concludes on a neverending vamp which gradually fades into obscurity, as if the writers knew they had something catchy but couldn't figure out a clever way to end (think KISS and "I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night"). The second type just picks a random spot and stops, most often on an unstable metric beat or at the end of an antecedent phrase, leaving the listener "hanging". These songs can hide behind "artistic expression" as their reason for a stupid ending.

Type one songs can (and often do) mutate into type two songs when the band is lucky enough to be popular and go on tour. Obviously when live, the band can't just fade out (although there are some band that probably should, permanently), so by necessity they just have to stop somewhere. My guess is that the lead singer chooses the stopping point for his own benefit, so he can shout that first line once more and look "cool".

Of course, there are tons of examples of music from the past fifty years that have solid endings, like much of the work by Kansas, Tower of Power, and Dave Matthews. Many of the more modern examples of endings tend to be by groups inspired in part by jazz and the big bands. It seems that groups with a stronger instrumental drive choose to end more than singers with backup bands.

I could be a theoretical musicologist, except they're probably not allowed to use the word 'stupid' in a thesis.

A story from the "Absurdity in Airport Security" file

Tourist: "How do I get to Natural Airport?"
DC Resident: "Excuse me, do you mean 'National Airport'?"
Tourist: "Uh, I thought it was 'Natural,' like it was just natural -- you know, they didn't have to build anything."

- recounted in Bob Levey's Washington

tagged as music | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

The chicken nuggets pictured before you are easily the most repulsive chicken nuggets on the face of the planet. They look nothing like the cover art, and although the first bite sets up positive comparisons to the texture of McDonald's nuggets, it all goes downhill from there. The remaining bites will lead you to believe that some evil scientist used his atom ray to liquefy the insides of a chicken and then squeezed it wholesale into vaguely breaded pockets like some macabre icing applicator. The aftertaste is even better -- if I had to give it a fragrance name for enterprising perfume makers, I would be torn between "homeless man's crotch" and "mucous of doom".

Today is the first day of my Spring Break even though the real one starts this weekend. -- I have no teaching responsiblities until Tuesday, March 18, so my glamorous and dangerous profession of "coding" (thanks Kathy) will be my main focus for a couple weeks. Maybe I'll take a few trips out to St. Mark's or the beaches too (if it ever stops raining). I'd drive somewhere more interesting and far away if gas weren't so damned expensive.

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Friday, March 05, 2004

Today, I'm taking the day off to run some errands, buy some housal stuff, and smuggle more goods across the border to Loudoun County. It's supposed to get up to 76 degrees by the evening.

I also finally got around to doing a little shuffling in the Links section. I've put a few additions below so you don't have to click more than one time, lazy American.

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    rondo a b a c a b, who dug the money pit, tarestesia, canadian brass midi, eats beech trees, why doesn't my grandfather clock chime on the quarter hour

If you ever have to describe something as "tasteful", it really isn't.
New Link: Sling's Dojo
New Link: Tradebark
New Link: Mark Connor's Site

permalink | 1 comment

Monday, March 05, 2007

URI! Zone Idol

For visitors not already in the throes of late-stage Alzheimer's or alcohol-induced memory loss, I had a "Write My Lyrics" contest a couple weeks ago . Today you get to read and vote upon everyone's lyrical masterpieces, with the winner receiving a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com and and a contract to write the lyrics to a new song by the grindcore band, Seven Minutes of Nausea.

There were five entries:
  1. The Effing Snow
  2. Who You Are
  3. Shac's Lamentable
  4. Winter in NOVA
  5. Cat Fight
Download or Print the Entries (TXT)
See the score (GIF)
Listen to the Recording (1.5MB MP3)

Once you have decided upon a winner, vote using the Poll buttons in the left sidebar. Please play fairly and only vote once -- if I sense any funny business I will erase your vote and shoot you (also known as the Harris-Cheney Method of Vote-Management). Voting ends next week, on Sunday, March 11.

Swords everywhere
Man sues Microsoft for not hiding his porn from the FBI
Police chief went to school with the dog

tagged as contests | permalink | 0 comments

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wedding Day

Last night, Larry and Janice were married at the Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac, Maryland, which required a trip through the miniscule one-lane exit from the Toll Road to 495 that Chompy (the human) will grow to hate if he visits me or Kathy with any regularity. The synagogue was next to a fire station and underneath a thunderstorm, which made the ceremony quite exciting for multiple reasons.

The reception was held at the Normandie Farm restaurant, just a mile down the road. The couple really does have red eyes -- it's not just shoddy photography.

I don't remember what the song was for the first dance, because I was too busy trying to top my old First Dance pictures from previous weddings (of other people, of course). After this dance, there was a little hava and a whole lot of nagila.

Once the DJ had run out of dances to make people do, the couple was hoisted up in wooden chairs and paraded around the room, just like they do in the movies. This did not last long because the chairs were hoisted by old people.

I left around 10 since I had to work the next morning at my usual time. I drove through a horrible downpour and barely made it home alive to discover a message from work that the servers were down. I got on the phone with the server people and eventually came into the office once my long-distance calling card ran out. This exact scenario also occurred over President's Day weekend, when I spent 15 hours on a conference call from 3 PM to 6 AM. Luckily, this time the problem was resolved by 1 AM (which is incredibly late if you are me and go to bed at 10). Good thing my girlfriend is out of town -- otherwise I wouldn't be such a diligent troubleshooter!

Congratulations to Larry and Janice! I'll post the rest of my pictures when I'm not operating on 0 hours of sleep.

Previous Wedding Photos

Jack & Kristy
Kathy & Chris
Anna & Ben, Part I
Anna & Ben, Part II
Philip and Kara

Playing dead to get sex
Eat whale and save the planet
Iranian to pay 124,000-rose dowry

tagged as media | permalink | 4 comments

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Name that Tune Results

Congratulations to Anna Ahlbin and Kathy Smith who correctly guessed all ten answers in the Name that Tune contest (within the first three days of the contest, even!)

Each winner will receive a $12.50 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Runner-ups were Doobie (8 of 10) and Rebecca (7 of 10). They were each going to get $2.22, but Amazon is now lame and makes $5 the minimum gift card amount (so Doobie gets $5, and Rebecca gets a hug).

No other guys submitted entries -- are women better at reading lips than men? Or are women just infatuated with my sexy mouth?

Watch the movies below to see the clips from the contest with the original songs dubbed over the top (This is obviously the best part of the contest!). Highlight the blank space to the right of each button to see the answer.

#PointsAnswer
11 (3MB, AVI) Journey - Don't Stop Believing
22 (3MB, AVI) Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
32 (2MB, AVI) David Bowie / Queen - Under Pressure
42 (3MB, AVI) REM - It's the End of the World As We Know It
52 (2MB, AVI) Aerosmith - Cryin'
63 (4MB, AVI) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop
73 (2MB, AVI) Guns n' Roses - Nighttrain
83 (2MB, AVI) Beastie Boys - Girls
94 (3MB, AVI) Metallica - Enter Sandman
104 (2MB, AVI) Van Halen - Hot for Teacher

Thanks for playing! See you all next year!

Pink dolphin appears in lake
Green Ford Escorts target of hate crimes
Take a bite out of crime dog

tagged as contests | permalink | 7 comments

Friday, March 05, 2010

I has a hat.

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, March 05, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend marked the start of a wind-down at work, which means that I only worked full-time on one of the two days. We tried to go out for dinner at a local African restaurant on Saturday night, only to find that it (and most of the surrounding strip mall) had gone out of business before Christmas. Instead, we ended up back at Pattaya Thai for various grains in noodle-form.

On Sunday morning, I started reading about new cars, and continued to wonder why the Honda Accord has gotten so massive in the past decade. I'll probably be getting a car in the same class as the Accord, since the only thing an Acura would get me is a higher insurance premium and fancier paint. Give me a radio that can play MP3s, an engine that supports and promotes aggressive driving, and good rear visibility, and I'm happy.

On Sunday, we had my parents over for a late birthday stir-fry dinner. Stir-fry dinners are the same as regular dinners, except that your house smells like beef and green peppers for two to three days afterwards. We then watched the movie, Tower Heist, which was cheap and cute.

How was your weekend?

Computer programmer is 5th most sleep-deprived job
The Nutcracker Croc of Cretaceous Texas

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 4 comments

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Composing Spotlight: Unfinished Works

Here are more unfinished fragments from long-abandoned Finale folders. The first is the introduction from a samba, which I started in my senior year of high school:

Unfinished Samba (0:43 MP3)

This piece never got further than the introduction for one likely reason: I was too inexperienced to actually write a samba. Sure, it's easy to write a chord while the trumpet player pretends to be Rafael Mendez, and it's also easy to copy the piano part out of a Victor Lopez samba chart. After that, some compositional skill may be required.

Next up was a trombone-euphonium duet from undergrad:

Unfinished Fragment (0:16 MP3)

This was the first stab at a piece for Dave Day and Dave Ball, which I ultimately deemed to be "pretty lame" and eventually morphed into Clown Facades.

The third fragment was the introduction to a Chick Corea-eque brass ensemble piece that I had planned to include in my fifth year recital:

Unfinished Fragment (0:18 MP3)

I think the reason that this one died on the vine was that it's more fun to listen to music where chords include all off the white keys on the piano than it is to write that type of music. I ditched it pretty quickly, and started on a more Stan Kenton-esque piece, Vanishing Point, which was far more fun.

tagged as music | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Memory Day: Snapshots

Even in the olden days, it snowed!

tagged as media | permalink | 1 comment

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Lilyhammer, Season Two:
This season lost a little freshness compared to the first, but remains as charming and understated. I would have liked to have seen more of Torgeir's story about remaining relevant and appreciated, as it didn't really go anywhere. Also, the final episode of the season was one long homage to The Sopranos -- unnecessary, awesome for fans, but probably worthless to anyone who didn't watch the show it was respecting. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B

Justified, Season Five:
The plot this season wasn't as tight as previous plots -- the new family of Crowes was fun but not as menacing as the Crowders or any other nemeses featured previously. Momentum also slowed down every time the story switched over to Ava's storyline in a women's prison. With Orange is the New Black having already exhausted the setting, Justified had nothing to add. On the other hand, the dialogue continues to crackle, and it's worth watching the show just to enjoy the banter between Raylan and Boyd, plot be damned. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B

Bosch, Season One:
This police drama from Amazon Studios is based on a series of crime books that I've never read and features a great performance from Titus Welliver, also known as "The Man in Black when LOST was starting to suck" and "the human representation of Sam the Eagle from The Muppet Show". The show itself is well-acted and entertaining, if a bit slow-paced. It's more successful at police-y stuff, and comes off as a bad The Wire clone when it tries to tackle anything related to politics. Overall, it wasn't amazing, but I'm really glad that Amazon is trying new things. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

The Other Size of Zero by Elizabeth and the Catapult:
I got this album at the same time as Like It Never Happened, and it was overshadowed by the more outspoken tunes on that album. However, the core of this album contains some solid coffeehouse pop songs weighed down by a few weightless tunes that last forever without going anywhere.

Final Grade: B

tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments

Monday, March 05, 2018

Pet Peeve of the Moment

tagged as random | permalink | 1 comment

Friday, March 05, 2021

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Big Year (PG):
A quiet, low-key movie about bird enthusiasts trying to see the most different bird species in a single year. It's not hilarious (although it seems like many of the reviews online hoped for 100 laughs per minute), but it's not really trying to be. We watched this because Rebecca had just read and enjoyed the source book.

Final Grade: B

7 Wonders: Duel:
This is our favourite two-player game at the moment. The instruction manual reads like an awful translation, where the writer tries to avoid confusion by overexplaining things but just ends up making it more confusing. Once you've played a few games, you'll find a nice little strategy game where there are always plenty of levers to pull and potential paths to victory.

Final Grade: B+

Vice Principals, Season One:
I picked this show out because I missed watching Walton Goggins star in things. This is a dark comedy about two vice principals competing to become the principal of a high school. It goes a little bit too far, especially in the second and penultimate episodes, but it owns the vibe it's trying for and has some really funny scenes. The show is at its best when it focuses on the teachers acting less mature than the students, or on the budding bromance between the two leads in spite of the fact that they detest each other.

Final Grade: B

Weighted Blanket:
To make up for the lack of crazy holiday party this year, my company bought everyone their choice of swag in the $100 range. This weighted blanket (twin size) was the least useless gift in a sea of Bluetooth devices, air fryers, and unnecessary electronics. While it did help me stay asleep more consistently in the few days I tried it, it made getting up to use the bathroom a war between bladder control and gravity. It also exacerbated my constant feelings of cat-flattened ankles. I might try it again someday when Rebecca sleeps with fewer than 500 pillows of her own, but it just doesn't fit my lifestyle right now.

Final Grade: B-

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

 

You are currently viewing every post from a specific month and day across history. Posts are in chronological order with the oldest at the top. On the front page, the newest post is at the top. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2022 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

Jump to Top
Jump to the Front Page


May 2003
SMTWHFS
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
OLD POSTS
Old News Years J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
visitors since November 2003