Music To Drive By

August 14, 2010 at 2:43 am (By Donna B.) (, )

Retriever asks for recommendations of good driving tunes to keep her and her co-drivers awake and happy.

Here’s the list I posted for her:

Charlie Mingus – Moanin’

Something fast light and airy from one of the elli’s (Locatelli, Corelli, Torelli, et al)

Grateful Dead – Deep Elem Blues

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Pump Boys & Dinettes – Vacation

Mormon Tabernacle Choir – The United States Marines Hymn

Mormon Tabernacle Choir – Hallelujah Chorus (despite bad video and spelling, it’s pretty good audio)

The Beach Boys – Barbara Ann

Earl Scruggs & Steve Martin – Foggy Mountain Breakdown - be careful… this one tends to encourage speeding!

Another one that triggers lead foot syndrome is the Ventures’ Wipeout.

John Philip Sousa – Stars & Stripes Forever

Janis Joplin – Brand New Key (I’m not sure what the title is… I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key…

Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London

Marty Robbins – Ghost Riders in the Sky

Roger Miller – King of the Road

and… as an afterthought for 55 mph driving: Massenet’s Meditation from Thais.

So…. what’s your favorite driving music?

Also posted at Opining Online.

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Old-fashioned Sounds

March 3, 2010 at 2:18 am (By Donna B.)

Via Megan McArdle, here’s Slate’s In Search of Lost Sounds: Why you’ve neverreally heard the “Moonlight” Sonata.

Because a lot of people my age grew up hearing more of the old, out of tune upright pianos prominently featuring chipped ivories and a funky smell… than we did well-made, well-cared for, and thus rare, older pianos, it’s easy to understand why we preferred the new.

The story is about the Frederick Historic Piano Collection – 24 pianos made from 1790 to 1928. They are housed in a small Victorian library building in Ashburnham MA and they are featured in a yearly concert series. Hearing one of those concerts and seeing the pianos is one of the most appealing reasons I can think of to visit Massachusetts.

There are several clips in the article comparing compositions by Beethoven, Brahms, and Debussy played on a Steinway to them played on pianos the composers might have actually used. I checked YouTube for more recordings by the pianists playing the old instruments, but didn’t find any. That’s a void begging to be filled.

Fascinating… and somewhat of an indictment of standardization. Heed this,autotune.

(Originally posted at OpiningOnline, but… a better fit for this audience perhaps?)

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Get Over Yourself

October 19, 2009 at 9:52 pm (By Donna B.)

This rant is not aimed at anyone who posts or comments on Ambiance. This is the place where I feel comfortable ranting about those who read my site, but probably don’t click links on my blogroll.

Everything is NOT about YOU. Your “sensitivity” is driving me nuts. There are so many topics where “comments are off. This isn’t up for discussion” with you that I’m almost afraid to discuss laundry soap preferences.

(scented v. unscented can get ugly.)

What has happened is that someone I love dearly has become over the last ten years a moonbat leftist unwilling to listen to any idea not already incorporated in her worldview. This worldview has become more and more restricted over the years.

While the comment that set off this rant is rather mild, it is just the latest among many that I have felt I must “swallow” while trying to explain myself in an unoffensive way to someone who finds almost everything offensive.

What can I do? And don’t worry about offending me, because most of the time that fairly hard to do. I’m open to hearing all advice even if I don’t take it.

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Off The Cuff Thinking

June 15, 2009 at 12:22 am (By Donna B.)

Are there two distinct “political” or “worldview” tendencies based on biology?

The current Democratic and Republican parties do not define either liberalism or conservatism in terms other than the liklihood of re-election. The political parties exist only for their own self-interests, the public’s interest be damned.

The political parties are too self-centered to actually realize and put into play what might actually work in their interest because of the “public be damned” attitude of both.

The two party system has rendered “the house divided” a reality.

Both parties have doubled down on their ill-considered bets and the house will win.

But what is the house betting on? It’s safe to say the house is betting on both losing, but when the house wins, who wins? My guess is ultimately nobody because that is who the house ultimately represents… if all have placed their bets on one side or the other.

What happens to those who didn’t bet? These are the ultimate losers. Or, if some definition of political unity could be written, they would be the ultimate winners… and as such could lessen the penalty of the losses on the extremes.

So perhaps the middle — those who do not place a bet — are the ultimate winners. And because they are, those who did place a bet will not suffer the extreme punishment of winner take all.

Why and how could this be so? Precisely because the middle bet simultaneously that the extremes were both right and wrong. The only way is for one or the other of the extremes to be completely correct. How likely is that?

It’s not very likely because the extremes are, in reality, very similar. Let us take for example the extreme ID view that all reality was created at once and universal truths can therefore never change AND the opposite extreme view that reality is always changing and that there are no universal truths.

At least, I think these views are presented as opposite. Is that correct?Opposites are very unique things in that they have nothing in common and when combined yield something neutral.  It is only by accepting grey as the outcome of all colors that opposites make sense.

Thus grey would be the color of utopia, would it not? It is, as well, the color of moderation. Therefore there might be a connection between moderation and utopia. Is it as much a fantasy to wish for a moderate world, accepting of all as it is to wish for one ruled by either liberal or conservative values? Which of the three would be the worst? The second worst?

Is the thing most wrong with the middle is that it lacks conviction and the fire of certainty? Is that lack what makes it appealing to some?

Posted by Donna B. in a haze of fuzziness and wonder.

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