Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


SXSW 2018 Music Stars

Filed under: Art,Fun,music,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

As picked by National Public Radio.

When I was in college, a good friend of mine who happened to be a jazz musician and a dual English and History major, told me I was “tragically unhip”. Sadly, he was not wrong. I’ve spent no small amount of time since then trying to shake that reputation, mostly without success. But, along the way, I somehow managed to rub up against a little bit of cool. And, I’ve allowed myself to explore those who are the opposite of “tragically unhip”, namely indie musicians. My musical tastes were curtailed a bit when I was married the first time, but after the divorce, I started to expand my musical horizons again. Aided by the internet and a great music-blog culture, I’ve found lots of really good, enjoyable, and obscure music. Enough to impress my wife with my eclectic and voracious tastes, though maybe not enough to impress my now professional saxophone-playing friend.
In any case, I’m always on the look-out for new music and new musicians. Now that I live in Texas, I’ve got a much more heightened awareness of South By South West (aka SXSW), which is happening this week. It’s become so much more, but SXSW started as a music festival. And lots of new music still finds its start there. Since I’m old now, and too busy to actually attend SXSW this year, I just went to NPR’s SXSW 2018 coverage page and started listening to music. It’s all free to stream, and if you hit the Austin 100: A SXSW Mixtape sub-page, you can download their 100 song picks from the festival for your listening pleasure. Totally worth the small effort, I assure you. Especially if you’re looking for the “next big thing” in music.

Enjoy the tunes, and your weekend!

This post first appeared at my personal blog, Use Your Words.


From Strange Places

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Personal — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Sometimes, my inspiration for living comes from strange places.

This morning, I got, as usual, a note from the Writer’s Almanac. For those of you who are blissfully unaware of the dark underbelly of the writer’s life, there are a huge number of sites, books, and shows dedicated to the craft of writing. The Writer’s Almanac is a brief, daily segment on National Public Radio that provides regular notes about famous authors and work, not to mention a poem, as, I believe, inspiration to those who wrestle with words and ideas as a higher calling. It also happens to be a website that offers a regular e-mail newsletter, thankfully, that I have gotten for some time now, since I never seem to catch the radio show anymore.

According to that newsletter this morning, today is Frank Capra’s birthday. For those of you not familiar with that name, he directed It’s a Wonderful Life, and several other everyman hero sort of movies that have been quite correctly dubbed classics. Well, not only have I been a fan of the “regular Joe beats the big villain” movie, but I’ve also been a closet Capra fan for years. Mainly, I think, because I identify with his slightly downtrodden characters who make “good”. So, I guess, it shouldn’t be a big surprise when the following Capra quote inspired me:

“I wanted to glorify the average man, not the guy at the top, not the politician, not the banker, just the ordinary guy whose strength I admire, whose survivability I admire.”

Anyway, I thought I’d share that with you all because, well, I admire that, too. And, I hope, I’m more and more that guy as time goes on.

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