Thursday, March 26, 2009

Velvet Underground's The Gift--Eyes in the Box--Self-mailing

Self-mailing has always been one of the primary subjects of this blog. Or at least that was one of the aims of this blog in the foggy days of its creation.

The Velvet Underground has been an abiding interest of mine.

Now, how is it that I never made the connection between these two?

Lyrics from The Gift (off of White Light/White Heat):

It was a New York company. You could go anywhere in the mails. Then it struck
him. He didn't have enough money to go to Wisconsin in the accepted fashion,
true, but why not mail himself? It was absurdly simple. He would ship himself
parcel post, special delivery. The next day Waldo went to the supermarket to
purchase the necessary equipment. He bought masking tape, a staple gun and a
medium sized cardboard box just right for a person of his build. He judged that
with a minimum of jostling he could ride quite comfortably. A few airholes,
some water, perhaps some midnight snacks, and it would probably be as good as
going tourist.

How is it that I never made this connection before?

Notice that both subjects make it into this post. It's taken me four and a half years to make the connection. Sheesh.

I guess I never listened to it very carefully before. I just like grooving to it's funky noise jimjam. It's actually kind of annoying to listen to the words--it's distracting.

Stroyzek Ski Lift

Stroyzek Ski Lift
Originally uploaded by antiresonance
It's spelled Stroszek, I think.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Sing the Body Eclectic

I use a lot and my new years resolution from 2004 was to be less full of shit, and my new years resolution from 2005 was to try to be nicer to be people--so with that preface, I'm pretty much showing how much of a hypocritical asshole I am. I think my new years resolution this year is to not be so hard on myself, but also not be full of shit and also be nicer to other people. This is all very difficult. But I've just befriended someone and I've cut and pasted their "about me" write-up here:

My Music Library (will be updated periodically): 01-26-2009

I created that HTML page using foobar 2000. It is the greatest media player of all time hands down.

My library consists of 41793 songs as of February 13th 2009. Only 0.6% of my music library is lossy. The remainder is composed of lossless formats, predominantly FLAC, but also wav, monkey's audio, and wavpack.

I take great pride in my tagging as I try my best to use official names for artists and albums. With english, I follow strict rules of capitalization with titles. Languages such as French use different title formats so i'm doing that as best as i can too.

I'm constantly fighting with's tagging. Artists like "Smashing Pumpkins", "Tommy Dorsey & Frank Sinatra", "Queenadreena" etc. has "Smashing Pumpkins" as "The Smashing Pumpkins" and "Tommy Dorsey & Frank Sinatra" as "Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey" to name two examples. Forget about this new auto-correct thing. It's ridiculous. If they are going to auto-correct they need to figure out official names and stick to that.

We have some elitists, people who strategically scrobble and or a combination of both on I am neither of those. I stay true to my musical taste. You might ask yourself why I have more than one profile. The answer to that is simply because I go through different musical moods every now and then so I like to scrobble artists that are new to me so I can have an accurate picture of what my mood is that week or month. I also do it for the recommendations.

As I'm sure you have noticed by looking at any one of my profiles, my musical taste is very eclectic to say the least. I like to think that I know a lot about any given genre or period of music, so don't be afraid to ask me questions if you have any. It annoys me when someone thinks they have eclectic taste or that they "listen to everything" when it really seems that they listen to different sub-genres of the same genre and maybe a classical music artist here and there.

Anyhow, I sent him a shout asking him what was the most eclectic thing he's ever listened to. That, of course, was a jerky thing to do. But at least I've recognized it as being a jerky thing. But reveling in the jerkiness of it goes against my 2005 new year's resolution of trying to be nicer to people. But, surely, one elitist is allowed to be jerky to another elitist about being elistist, are we not?

People always say that they have pretty eclectic taste in music, and, post 90s I think that is we live in the age of eclecticism. Napster and Limewire started making music exploring a lot easier. Actually, it was necessary. I remember looking for Waylon Jennings tracks and finding all sorts of stuff that I still don't know what it is. Most of it sucked. I remember searching for 'drone' and 'noise' and 'drum samples' and found some mic in stuff and other intriguing crap. Some of it was weird. I keep it all because I am a digital packrat. And now via you can download the AC/DC discography and everything Jack Johnson ever did; you buy Bitches's Brew and maybe Jack Johnson mentions Ali Farke Toure and now all of the sudden you have an eclectic selection of tunes in your iTunes library. Oh, and you listen to some Mozart (as my new fellow eclectic friend writes about), so you are a bonafide eclectic. Or you can just own everything Tom Waits did; and that's basically being eclectic right there because his style of music is basically like every style ever done. (That's the voice of the asshole that I'm supposed to be working on reducing pursuant the 2005 resolution.)

With you can get some idea of how eclectic your tastes are. Objectively. I've found an eclectic test and now there's even a SUPER eclectic meter. How do you measure eclecticism? From what I've gathered is that they measure how related (via the tags) the different artists you listen to most. If you have a big spread, your more eclectic. Firstly, I think you should have eclectic taste. Diversity is the seasoning of existence. Secondly, I think that the greater variety that your taste exhibits, the more likely you have a better idea of what is good and what isn't good. But I download a lot of stuff, and a lot of it is crap, and keeps track of it all. (You can erase your tracks, so to speak. And I sometimes erase my meltmaster leavings because I listen to it more often than I quite like to let others know. But who gives a damn? The digital life is strange.) Anyhow, the eclectic taste score can be taken here.

Take your top 20 artists. For each of these artists, collect the top 5 similar artists. The resulting number of unique artists is your [b]eclectic score[/b]. If the score is small (extreme = 5) your musical preferences are very limited, and if it is large (larger than 80, extreme = 100), then you have an eclectic musical preference. You can compute your own score at

My eclectic score is currently 83/100

And then here's the SECOND level of eclecticism. I'll dive right into it to see, quantitatively, objectively, just how SUPER-ECLECTIC I am. Here we go. Pray for my hipster soul:

meltmaster's super-eclectic score is


As this number is larger, you have a more eclectic musical preference. People with scores over 700 have bragging rights. People whose score is below 400 should consider more musical styles!

The following are the artists with the most occurences in your list

* Magazine (8)
* Wire (8)
* Public Image Ltd. (7)
* The Sound (6)
* Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band (6)
* The Fall (6)
* Pere Ubu (5)
* Echo & the Bunnymen (5)
* Gang of Four (5)
* Mission of Burma (5)
* Silver Apples (5)
* Television (5)
* Amon Düül II (4)
* Harmonia (4)
* Neu! (4)
* Faust (4)
* Lou Reed (4)
* Can (4)
* Boredoms (4)
* Cluster (4)

UPDATE: Okay. I've got a response from my new friend. I feel like an ever greater asshole now. He responded to my jerky question with sincerity.

thats an interesting question. the thing about my listening habits is that im all over the place. my library and what i listen to is probably more eclectic than ur above average listener with eclectic taste. i dont listen to one genre more than the other and i listen to many different genres. so a question like "what is the most eclectic thing" couldn't really be answered as i listen to everything and anything equally. in my case u can call the most popular artist "eclectic" because i listen to that just as much as i listen to lesser known and or artists that are considered obscure by popular standards.

And thus the quantification and qualification of eclecticism becomes ever the more elusive! (And I'm still full of shit.)

Feel free to post in comments the most eclectic thing you've ever listened to.