Let's Take It To Church!

When I used to be able to pick up Power 99 from Philadelphia on my cable system, I would leave it on all night while I slept. I probably heard a lot of my favorite R&B and rap songs via osmosis.

Anyway, I mention that because very late Saturday night into Sunday morning, they would play gospel music. I'm pretty much an agnostic, but I dig the sound of black gospel music.

One of the first gospel CD's I searched out since I started hearing it on the station was The Canton Spirituals' Live In Memphis II, when I heard the song "Searchin'" on a syndicated gospel show. I was hooked.

I told my friend Mark Reimiller that I was digging a lot of the stuff I was hearing on the radio on Sunday mornings. He asked me, "Is it some really jumping stuff?" I said, "Absolutely."

Every year Zomba's gospel label Verity (which the Cantons currently record for) co-releases a double-CD compliation of gospel music called WOW Gospel. I missed out on the past few years' installments but recently ordered the past four years' (2001 through 2004) from BMG's record club (which I'm still a member of via their classical division). The 2005 installment comes out this week.

Again, I'm not the most spiritual person in the world, but I dig this stuff and am more willing to listen to black gospel, which always sounds like a celebration, than some lame CCM clone of a secular band that always sounds like a lecture.

Here's something from that first Canton Spirituals album that is indeed "jumping".

Download "Holy Ghost Praise".

Buy "Live In Memphis II" directly from the label, Blackberry Records.

Buy "Live In Memphis II" from Amazon.com

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Through this site, I'm trying to share and promote good music with others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know. Availability is limited. (Disclaimer text taken directly from Bob Mould's blog)


Give And Take At The Movies.

Live Journal has been down for the past day or so because of a major power outage at the company that hosts their servers. My more personal blog exists on this system (as does my girlfriend's and several other dear comrades that I have gotten to know over the past year and a half), and not being able to read what my friends have been up to in the past 48 hours has started to give me a case of LJ DT's. According to their status report page, they're working their asses off to get things right. And no, conspiracy theory buffs, this outage has nothing to do with their recent acquisition by SixApart. So sorry.

Tara and I saw House Of Flying Daggers last night... second time in a row that I've gotten to see a Zhang Ziyi movie on its wide release US opening night, the first being the long-awaited American release of Hero that occurred only because of a Quentin Tarantino ass-kick to the collective ass of Miramax/Disney. This time around, the film was flowed to movie houses by Sony Pictures Classics. Absolutely beautiful photography and direction - I would have expected no less from Zhang Yimou based on the other films of his that I've seen, including one of my all-time favorite films, The Road Home (Zhang Ziyi's movie debut, for those of you that didn't know), but this was the best I've seen from him. Can't wait for the DVD of it to come out. (Come to think of it, I have yet to get the US release of the Hero DVD. This week, definitely.)

Tara was iffy about seeing this film at first, as she is normally not into "martial arts" films, but after we left the theatre she said that she could see herself buying the DVD when it came out. I mention this because she wants to take me to see the film White Noise, which is not normally the kind of thing I would go to myself. We'll probably do that this coming week, in spite of the bad reviews that have been flowing about it. Last week Tara and I went to see Fat Albert the night White Noise premiered and there were signs up stating that all of that evening's showings of the latter movie were sold out. Whoa. The last time I saw something like that happen, I had been in Calgary with a previous girlfriend and we, along with some of her friends, attempted to see The Blair Witch Project on opening night at a Famous Players cineplex but every showing was sold out that night too.

I changed the look of this blog a little. This format seems easier on the eyes than the all-black look I had before. Links coming soon.


Shit Towne Freezes Over

Last week (1.6.05) in my hometown we had a motherfucker of an ice storm, which caused power to go out in most of Hazleton's south side, forcing the neighborhood that both myself and Tara to be without power overnight.

Stuck for a place to rest with a little heat and do some work on my PowerBook, I stayed overnight at my Uncle Joe's place in the Terrace. That was fine. The next morning (Friday 1.7.05) the power was back on at my place. After another day of work, I came home, threw out every open container in my refrigerator, caught up on laundry, and hoped all was back to normal. The next day I discovered that my one phone line (which I use for my computer) was off. While trying to navigate Verizon's fucking automated system, my call waiting interrupts me -- on the other end is a frantic phone call from my father asking me if my power was out. What? Apparently my uncle, who lives on a side street, saw a wire dangling across my yard and, not knowing what else to do, called my father. My power cord was hanging, but since I still had power, I was fine. What happened was the ratchet holding the power cord to the house had come loose, but was still connected to my house and giving me power. Another phone call, this time to the power company to tell them that their line was slackened, and they inform me that I have to have an electrician do it. No problem as I knew of a kind and reliable one. But still, no phone service for my poor computer, and Verizon informs me that they can't come up until Wednesday in spite of the fact that without the phone service, I can't do ANY work or communicate with my agent or collaborators (I really had to bullshit him), so in the meantime I have to go to Radio Shack, buy a second 25-foot phone cord and a coupler, and flow that to my other phone line (after forwarding calls from that line to my cell phone.) What a pain in the ass. This forces me to do all my computer work in the kitchen, but at least I can listen to my Sirius boom box or my iPod while I work.

Tuesday, I come home from work and find a cardboard pamphlet from Verizon stuck in my door with the crudely scrawled note, "Line down is power line, not phone line. Call PP&L." No shit, asshole. I call Verizon and tell them that their technician (who foolishly left his ID number on his card) didn't even bother to check anything and ran off. They tell me the'll send someone else tomorrow. They don't, so I call them again and read them the riot act, complete with the vow that I will not only cancel my landlines and rely on my cell phone service (which is NOT with Verizon) for voice calls, but sign up for DSL with a rival company (actually the same company my dial-up service is currently with) and encourage my girlfriend to cancel her Verizon DSL plan in solidarity. Another hollow-sounding promise, and the phone call is concluded.

This morning, my electrician was here and he does a "temporary" fix to take the slack out of my drooping power cable, and urges me to get the branches on my tree cut before he can do a permanent repair. No problem as my electrician is cool peeps.

I'd been making "calls" to my data line all week during all this and getting busy signals until late this morning when I got the normal phone ring again. Yay. I guess the thought of two people taking their money elsewhere for their data and voice needs made them get cracking. I should have done that on Saturday!


Theme Song For A New Couple

The other day I was looking around the website ProjectHello.com, which contains romanji and English translations of various Morning Musume and related Hello! Project song lyrics, when I decided to look up the lyrics to one of my favorite H!P songs, Tanpopo's "Koi Wo Sichaimashita!" ("I Fell In Love!").

Tanpopo is one of the earliest Morning Musume subgroups. On this recording the lineup featured members Kaori Iida, Mari Yaguchi, Rika Ishikawa, and Ai Kago. At the time, Kago and Yaguchi were also in MiniMoni while they were also in Morning Musume proper! This lineup lasted a couple of singles before the project was put on hiatus. Tsnuku, the producer/songwriter behind H!P, later reformed Tanpopo with a wholly new lineup but it didn't last long. As of this writing, all of the members still record for H!P but Mari Yaguchi is the only Tanpopo member from this lineup still in MoMusu -- Ai Kago is in the duo W with fellow MoMusu and best friend Nozomi Tsuji, and Kaori Iida, the last first-generation member of MoMusu, is about to graduate from the band and embark on her solo career full-time, while Rika Ishikawa will be following suit this spring to concentrate on her new Hello! Project-backed trip, Viyuden.

The situation in the story sounded familiar, so I sent the URL to Tara, who looked at the translated English lyrics and responded, "Wow, that's creepy.  Almost sounds like us, how we fell in love so quickly, met online, fell in love.  That should be our song."

And so it shall be.

Download "Koi Wo Sichaimashita!"

Read lyrics to "Koi Wo Sichaimashita!" at ProjectHello.com.

Buy "Koi Wo Sichaimashita!" on the compilation "Together!" from CD Japan
Buy "Koi Wo Sichaimashita!" on the album "All Of Tanpopo" from CD Japan

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Through this site, I'm trying to share and promote good music with others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know. Availability is limited. (Disclaimer text taken directly from Bob Mould's blog)