volvo-hybrid-double-decker-bus-london1-005There Is a Light That Never Goes Out | The Smiths 1986

Take me out tonight Where there’s music and there’s people Who are young and alive Driving in your car I never never want to go home Because I haven’t got one anymore Take me out tonight Because I want to see people And I want to see light Driving in your car Oh please don’t drop me home Because it’s not my home it’s their home And I’m welcome no more And if a double-decker bus Crashes in to us To die by your side Is such a heavenly way to die  And if a ten ton truck Kills the both of us To die by your side Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine  Take me out tonight Take me anywhere  I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care And in the darkened underpass I thought Oh God my chance has come at last But then a strange fear gripped me And I just couldn’t ask Take me out tonight Oh take me anywhere I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care Driving in your car I never never want to go home Because I haven’t got one No I haven’t got one And if a double-decker bus Crashes in to us To die by your side Is such a heavenly way to die And if a ten ton truck Kills the both of us To die by your side Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine Oh there is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out There is a light and it never goes out


from the album the queen is dead |  F#m–A–B chord sequence | flute section <originally written as guitar part> based on C#m arpeggio | synthesizer strings instead of real string ensemble |  similar narrative to that of james dean character in rebel without a cause


on youtube

sotu 2014 | moments & issues

sotu 2014 moments & issues

…how the son of a single mom can be president of the greatest nation on earth | my recovery has not been easy, he says, nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy | …no one who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty | it’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “mad men” episode

source:  white house sotu video with enhanced graphics

a book about the screwdriver & the screw

one good turnone good turn: a natural history of the screwdriver and the screw (2000) by witold rybczynski is an offshoot of a new york times article on “the best tool of the millennium” — a quick, entertaining & informative read

my father’s hobby was carpentry & when i was a child, my brother or i was his assistant in his weekend projects <benches, tables, chairs> / our job was to hand him the tools he called out \ these were the manual, non-electric versions / my favorite was the carpenter’s brace shown in the picture above \ it was an elegant looking tool & easy to use – even a child could  / fast forward to the present -> i’ve had my share not of making but assembling furniture:  mission style bookcases, game table & chairs, a lutyens garden bench & very heavy teak garden furniture / in our ikea furnished|diy world, the majority of us have most likely relied on the screwdriver at one time or another \ and  i bet most of us know the phillips screw

the socket-head screw such as the phillips is an improvement over the slot screw / for one, less injury from the blade screwdriver slipping out of the slot \ the phillips screw became the industry standard during world war ii when wartime manufacturers widely adopted it / but before the phillips screw was the robertson screw <drawing for his patent application in the picture above> \ while phillips is the international socket screw, robertson is used only in canada & by select american woodworkers / interestingly, based on tests conducted by consumer reports, the robertson screw is superior to the phillips screw <works faster, less cam out> \ phillips was the better businessman

how commonplace the screw is now belies its long history & ancient roots / curiously, it was not a “universal” invention & its use did not spread quickly <the use of buttons is another one of those non-universal innovations | hard to believe but there were cultures that did not use buttons!>\  the screw is the only major mechanical device that the ancient chinese did not independently invent & in fact, they had no knowledge of screws at all / archimedes whom rybczynski dubbed as the “father of the screw” invented the screwpump <also called archimedes’ screw> \ it consisted of a helical surface contained in a cylindrical shaft & can be used to draw low-lying body of water for irrigation / but it was much later that the helix shape was leveraged as a fastener \ the earliest use of the screw as a fastener was in the 15th century / tediously handmade, imprecise, produced in small quantities, expensive & practically no market for it \ a major improvement of screw production by making it an automatic process was achieved only in the 18th century / now screws are cheap & easily available and the screwdriver,  a household tool

my experience with tools continues \ i’ve never handled wrenches, screws, nuts & bolts with as much regularity as i have in the past two years / it’s because when our rowing team goes to regattas outside pittsburgh, our shells are transported via trailer to the race location \ that means a series of de-rigging & rigging of our shells and tools come handy

the screwdriver | screw as “the tool of the millennium”? / it is hard to argue with that — scientific tools that enabled knowledge & discovery and devices & machines that drove industry would not have been possible without them \ we would not have ikea either

i learned of this book because i’ve read rybcyznski before

kraftwerk | electronic music pioneers


last week, a friend excitedly emailed me saying that he had gotten tickets to kraftwerk‘s sold out concert in chicago in march / he was so excited that he had to tell somebody & really didn’t know anyone else who cared 🙂 \ true — not many know kraftwerk, much less their influence in electronic music / i was in a statistics class & his enviable news broke my concentration \ i then read that they will be conferred a lifetime achievement award by the grammy’s / it’s great that with this honor, more people would know of their contribution to music

kraftwerk is an original / formed in 1970, they pioneered electronic music & were innovators / their studio was their sound lab & they made their own instruments <they have a patent for an electronic drum kit with sensor pads, they use a custom built vocoder>\ this friend had introduced me to kraftwerk when radiohead came out with “king of limbs” which i found too electronic <my preference is for acoustic sounds> but he suggested i listen to some electronic bands /from among his suggestions i was drawn to kraftwerk \ they were revolutionary for their time | they looked nerdy weird & they used weird instruments | their sound was unique & their music catchy / i hear them in today’s electronic dance music & in other bands i like such as new order / i am fan of coldplay only because of “talk” — it used <with pemission> the main riff of “computerliebe,” my favorite kraftwerk

back in april 2012, we tried to get tickets to kraftwerk‘s retrospective exhibit at moma / it was the first time  moma presented a  musical act as an exhibit \ for eight consecutive nights, they played each of their albums in chronological order / i excused myself from a meeting to get into as thousands of others did \ neither of us could even log on to the website / and so i am very happy for him & also very envious!

a book about a made up irish soul band

the commitments

the commitments (1987) is roddy doyle’s debut novel <first of the barrytown trilogy> made into a movie in 1991 and into a musical in 2013

this is the story of young unemployed working class kids who form a soul band / what gives the story its character is that the kids are from dublin \ jimmy rabitte, their imaginative ringleader, declares that the irish are the blacks of europe -> dubliners, the blacks of ireland -> north dubliners, the blacks of dublin / ergo they should be a soul band, the commitments

their commitment was to soul, the music of the people, simple music by ordinary people for ordinary people \ thus joey the lips fagan <the most experienced & oldest> found it alarming that dean <sax> had been listening to jazz <abstract, intellectual, musical wanking> and who did charlie parker play to? “… middle-class white kids with little beards & berets. in jazz clubs. jazz clubs! they didn’t even clap. they clicked their fingers.” \ but for dean jazz was art, self expression, no rules, no walls <while soul was – “four corners an’ you’re back where yeh started from”>

the story ends with the band breaking up due to internal strife / jimmy & the rest form an irish punk-country band \ i would have liked the book more if there had not been the movie / which captured the essence of the book but gave it even more color with the outstanding musician-actors & great soul music <mustang sally>!

if you google “irish soul band,” the commitments will surely turn up along with some real irish soul bands — who seem to be popular at weddings

question & answer


just revisited* question & answer <a 1989 collaboration of pat metheny, dave holland & roy haynes> / the guitar-bass-drums trio is my favorite jazz format because of q&a\ it is the perfect combination of instruments & musicians and such great material! <especially the title song, change of heart & all the things you are> / critics & my guitar teachers give higher praise to trio 99->00 by another metheny trio | the one with bassist larry grenadier & drummer bill stewart \ but to me this is the ultimate trio & the perfect session

and i’m speaking about the original “untampered” version \ it was remastered in 2008 & sounded different from when i first heard the album back in 1990 / the original recording sounded organic,  a real live jam session of three great musicians, each instrument holding its own but all three coming together to tell a story \ to my ears the remastered sounded too clean & clinical <especially roy haynes’ drum runs> just not the way i remembered it / to which my summer guitar teacher responded that i should get my ears checked & that i definitely needed professional music help 🙂

*what made me listen to it today was reading in guitar player that the great  jim hall passed away last month <he recorded a guitar duo with pat metheny in 1999>