November 2019 Notebook
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Monday, November 11, 2019

Music Week

Expanded blog post, November archive (in progress).

Music: Current count 32345 [32307] rated (+38), 221 [220] unrated (+1).

Pressure continues to build on my psych crisis. Hoped for a break today, but may have underestimated the holiday. Maybe tomorrow? I've been in a rut for nearly a month, getting damn little done. Still, might as well knock this out. Don't actually have much to say about it, anyway.

Next week will either be much better . . . or worse.


New records reviewed this week:

  • Ben Allison/Steve Cardenas/Ted Nash: Quiet Revolution (2018, Sonic Camera): [r]: B+(***)
  • Byron Asher: Byron Asher's Skrontch Music (2018 [2019], Sinking City): [r]: B+(**)
  • The Bad Plus: Activate Infinity (2019, Edition): [r]: B+(**)
  • Kenny Barron & Mulgrew Miller: The Art of Piano Duo: Live (2005-11 [2019], Sunnyside): [r]: A-
  • Harold Danko/Kirk Knuffke: Play Date (2018 [2019], SteepleChase): [r]: B+(***)
  • David Friesen Circle 3 Trio: Interaction (2018 [2019], Origin, 2CD): [cd]: B+(***) [11-15]
  • Andy Fusco: Vortex (2017 [2019], SteepleChase): [r]: B+(**)
  • Mary Halvorson & John Dieterich: A Tangle of Stars (2018 [2019], New Amsterdam): [r]: B+(**)
  • Kevin Hays/Mark Turner/Marc Miralta: Where Are You (2018 [2019], Fresh Sound New Talent): [r]: B+(***)
  • Zlatko Kaucic Quintet: Morning Patches (2018 [2019], Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka (2019, Polydor): [r]: B+(*)
  • Kronos Quartet: Terry Riley: Sun Rings (2019, Nonesuch): [r]: B
  • Travis Laplante: Human (2018 [2019], New Amsterdam): [r]: B
  • Jeffrey Lewis & the Voltage: Bad Wiring (2019, Don Giovanni): [r]: B+(***)
  • Joe Morris & Evan Parker: The Village (2014 [2019], Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Ted Nash/Steve Cardenas/Ben Allison: Somewhere Else: West Side Story Songs (2019, Plastic Sax): [r]: B+(**)
  • One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2019 (2019, North Texas Jazz): [cd]: B+(*) [11-22]
  • Evan Parker/Lotte Anker/Torben Snekkestad: Inferences (2016 [2019], Fundacja Sluchaj): [bc]: B+(*)
  • Marta Sánchez Quintet: El Rayo De Luz (2019, Fresh Sound New Talent): [cd]: A-
  • Sirkis/Bialas IQ: Our New Earth (2018 [2019], Moonjune, 2CD): [cd]: B+(**)
  • That Dog: Old LP (2019, UMe): [r]: B+(**)
  • Jeremy Udden: Three in Paris (2018 [2019], Sunnyside): [r]: B+(***)
  • Michael Zilber: East West: Music for Big Bands (2018 [2019], Origin, 2CD): [cd]: B+(*) [11-15]

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • Bulawayo Blue Yodel (1950s [2019], Olvido): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Lloyd McNeill: Treasures (1970 [2019], Soul Jazz): [r]: B+(**)
  • Lee Moses: How Much Longer Must I Wait? Singles & Rarities 1965-1972 (1965-72 [2019], Light in the Attic): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Phil Ranelin: Collected 2003-2019 (2003-19 [2019], Wide Hive, 2CD): [r]: A-
  • Tribe: Hometown: Detroit Sessions 1990-2014 (1990-2014 [2019], Art Yard/Strut): [r]: B+(***)

Old music:

  • Ben Allison: The Stars Look Very Different Today (2013, Sonic Camera): [r]: B+(*)
  • Ben Allison: Layers of the City (2017, Sonic Camera): [r]: B+(**)
  • Harold Danko: After the Rain (1994 [1995], SteepleChase): [r]: B+(**)
  • Harold Danko Quartet: Tidal Breeze (1995-96 [1997], SteepleChase): [r]: B+(***)
  • Lloyd McNeill and Marshall Hawkins: Tanner Suite (1969 [2015], Universal Sound): [r]: B+(*)
  • Lee Moses: Time and Place (1971, Maple): [r]: B+(***)
  • Phil Ranelin: A Close Encounter of the Very Best Kind (1996, Lifeforce): [r]: B+(***)
  • Phil Ranelin: Living a New Day (2005, Wide hive): [r]: B+(**)
  • Phil Ranelin & Tribe Renaissance: Reminiscence: Live! (2009, Wide Hive): [r]: B+(***)
  • Phil Ranelin: Portrait in Blue (2015, Wide Hive): [r]: B+(***)
  • Pamela Samiha Wise: A New Message From the Tribe (2017, Tribe): [r]: B+(**)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • Lolly Allen: Coming Home (OA2) [11-15]
  • The Diva Jazz Orchestra: Diva + the Boys (MCG Jazz)
  • Rozina Pátkai: Taladim (Tom-Tom)
  • Charlie Porter: Immigration Nation (OA2) [11-15]
  • Bob Ravenscroft & Inner Journeys: Phantasmagoria (OA2) [11-15]
  • Toh-Kichi: Baikamo (Libra)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Another "going through the motions" week, so no introduction. I noted a friend of a friend commenting that people don't realize how much time it's going to take after the 2020 election to undo the damage Trump has inflicted (and is continuing to, no doubt with a special flurry after he gets beat, including a bunch of pre-emptive pardons). This person was citing the difficulties Laura Kelly has faced since becoming governor of Kansas, but it's a general rule. For me, the best election news last week was the defeat of Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell, who spent his term making shady deals with real estate developers. One of those was to wreck McLean Boulevard, which used to hug the river from 13th North to Pawnee (23rd South), but now will have its downtown passage moved so realtors can offer exclusive river views. Unlikely that would ever have passed a public vote, but it's also unlikely that the new mayor will be able to undo the blight. Of course, a big part of Kelly's problem is that the state legislature is still controlled by Republicans. The bigger the Democratic wave in 2020, but more a new president will be able to do. But still, the task list is daunting, and growing every day.


Some scattered links this week:

Monday, November 04, 2019

Music Week

Expanded blog post, November archive (in progress).

Music: current count 32307 [32276] rated (+31), 220 [224] unrated (-4).

Not as physically miserable on waking up this morning as last, but more deeply troubled. Figured I'd get even by doing a long groan and rant here, but 9-10 hours later, when I finally got started, all I wanted was the day to be over with. So I'll spare you the details on two major personal crises, other than to note that one I made some headway on today, and the other I sensibly put off until tomorrow. That leaves two or three technical problems that are easier to talk about. The one that bothers me most is the new computer.

To recap, I order a bunch of parts to build a new computer:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8-Core 3.2GHz CPU
  • ASRock X570 Steel Legend Motherboard
  • G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 64GB (4x16GB) DDR4 3000 SDRAM
  • XFX Radeon RX 570 RS 8Gb Graphics Card
  • Intel 660p Series M.2 1TB Solid State Drive (SSD)
  • Lite-On DVD Burner SATA
  • Corsair RM Series 750W Full Modular Power Supply
  • Fractal Design Focus G Mid Tower ATX Computer Case
  • AmazonBasics DisplayPort 6 Foot Cable
  • Logitech M705 Cordless Mouse
  • Samsung 32-Inch UJ59 UHD 3840x2160 Monitor

I'm reusing a Logitech K740 Mechanical Keyboard, plus (for now) a pretty cheap set of speakers -- gear originally attached to an old (and pathetically slow) machine that will be retired (or maybe used as a print server, as it's the last machine standing with a parallel port for my HP Laser Printer). Originally I misread the motherboard specs and thought I could make do with onboard video, but turned out that was dependent on a different CPU, so I had to add the video card. When I did install the card, the machine came up nicely, and I loaded Xubuntu 18.04 LTS easily enough.

Main problem I ran into then was that the default fonts were awful small on the high-resolution monitor, so I've had to find the various places where they are defined and tweak them up. The new machine is as powerful as I expected. However, I ran into a problem: the machine freezes after some period of inactivity. I've spent 3-4 days chasing after this problem, and still don't have a handle on it.

The obvious suspect is the power save and screen lock functions of the window manager. I've scaled them back (and eliminated light-locker all together). That eliminated the blank screen, but the system would leave either just wallpaper or the full workspace window when it freezes (in which state neither mouse nor keyboard wakes it up). I wondered whether parts of the window manager crashed, in which case it should be possible to ssh in from another machine -- but active ssh sessions are disconnected when the machine freezes. I've poured through syslogs, but have yet to find anything enlightening (obviously have more of that to do). The box felt a bit warm to me, so I wondered about thermal. Inserting an instant read thermometer through the back grill registers 93F, which doesn't strike me as unusually hot. Also, the timing always follows inactivity -- I played music for about 5 hours last night, then it shut down a few minutes after the music stopped.

Good news, I suppose, is that reset wakes it up, and reboot is pretty quick. Still, the most vexing problem I've run across in 6-8 computer builds -- rather dispiriting given my age and psychic frailty. Also, I shot way pass my original budget, so I'm extra reluctant to swap in extra new hardware. Plus this has come at a time when I'm also having to deal with repair/replace questions on dishwasher and car. One bit of good news is that I seem to have managed to repair the dishwasher leak.

[PS: I have ascertained that the freeze is a kernel panic, more specifically a watchdog timer detecting a soft lockup during a system call (timeout is 20 seconds). This indicates a bug in a kernel module, although I suppose it could be caused by a hardware fault. I need to better understand the context to figure out how to fix the problem or work around it. It would be helpful to get a call trace, which would map the source back to an application program.]


Not much to say about this week's music. Swapping out the old computer before getting the new one working forced me to spend more time working off the promo queue than streaming. As for the "old music," I picked up a friendly download of Carmen McRae's Live at the Dug -- one of the few records recommended in Will Friedland's The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums I hadn't heard), and thought I'd check out a few more promising albums without taking a deep dive.

In recent weeks I've been the best-reviewed new albums plus identifying other new ones of exceptional interest. Not much to report on that front this week: top-rated this week was Michael Kiwanuka: Kiwanuka (12), followed by Miranda Lambert: Wildcard (7), and Sudan Archives: Athena (4). The other new release that looks most promising is: Jeffrey Lewis & the Voltage: Bad Wiring.

Among records I previously reviewed, the best to finally appear last week were: Roger Kellaway: The Many Open Minds of Roger Kellaway [A-]; and Roberto Magris: Sun Stone [***].


New records reviewed this week:

  • Areni Agbabian: Bloom (2016 [2019], ECM): [r]: B
  • The Carter Family: Across Generations (2019, Reviver Legacy): [r]: B
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Ghosteen (2019, Ghosteen/Bad Seeds): [r]: B
  • Clipping.: There Existed an Addiction to Blood (2019, Sub Pop): [r]: B+(*)
  • Dave Douglas: Engage (2018 [2019], Greenleaf Music): [cd]: A- [11-08]
  • Nick Dunston: Atlantic Extraction (2019, Out of Your Head): [cd]: B+(**)
  • Lorenzo Feliciati/Michele Rabbia: Antikythera (2019, RareNoise): [cdr]: B+(**)
  • Floating Points: Crush (2019, Ninja Tune): [r]: B+(**)
  • Calabria Foti: Prelude to a Kiss (2019, Moco): [cd]: B
  • Hal Galper Trio: The Zone: Live at the Yardbird Suite (2016 [2019], Origin): [cd]: A- [11-15]
  • Francesco Guerri: Su Mimmi Non Si Spara! (2019, RareNoise): [cdr]: B+(**)
  • Jerome Jennings: Solidarity (2019, Iola): [cd]: B+(***) [11-09]
  • Per Texas Johansson: Stråk På Himlen Och Stora Hus (2019, Moserobie): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Lakou Mizik: HaitiaNola (2019, Cumbancha): [r]: B+(*)
  • Miranda Lambert: Wildcard (2019, RCA Nashville): [r]: A-
  • João Lencastre's Communion 3: Song(s) of Hope (2019, Clean Feed): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Chris Lightcap: SuperBigmouth (2019, Pyroclastic): [r]: B
  • Lil Tjay: True 2 Myself (2019, Columbia): [r]: B+(*)
  • Fredrik Ljungkvist Trio: Atlantis (2019, Moserobie): [cd]: B+(***)
  • Maurice Louca: Elephantine (2019, Northern Spy): [r]: B+(*)
  • Nellie McKay: Bagatelles (2019, Palmetto, EP): [r]: B+(*)
  • MIKE: Tears of Joy (2019, 10k): [bc]: B+(**)
  • Mute: Mute (2018 [2019], Fresh Sound New Talent): [cd]: A- [12-13]
  • The Niro Featuring Gary Lucas: The Complete Jeff Buckley and Gary Lucas Songbook (2019, Esordisco): [cd]: B [11-08]
  • Northern Ranger: Eastern Stranger (2019, self-released, EP): [cdr]: B+(**)
  • Nicholas Payton: Relaxin' With Nick (2019, Smoke Sessions, 2CD): [r]: B+(**)
  • Roberta Piket: Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz (2019, Thirteenth Note): [cd]: B+(**) [12-06]
  • Polo G: Die a Legend (2019, Columbia): [r]: B+(**)
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Colorado (2019, Reprise): [r]: B+(***)

Recent reissues, compilations, and vault discoveries:

  • James Brown: Live at Home With His Bad Self (1969 [2019], Polydor): [r]: A-
  • Johnny Griffin & Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis: Ow! Live at the Penthouse (1962 [2019], Reel to Reel): [cd]: A-

Old music:

  • Carmen McRae: Torchy (1955, Decca): [r]: B+(**)
  • Carmen McRae: Sings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday Classics (1961 [1962,1997], Columbia/Legacy): [r]: B+(***)
  • Carmen McRae: As Time Goes By: Carmen McRae Alone Live at the Dug (1973 [1974], Victor): [r]: B+(***)


Unpacking: Found in the mail last week:

  • David Friesen Circle 3 Trio: Interaction (Origin, 2CD) [11-15]
  • Hal Galper Trio: The Zone: Live at the Yardbird Suite (Origin) [11-15]
  • Roberta Piket: Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz (Thirteenth Note) [12-06]
  • Marta Sánchez Quintet: El Rayo De Luz (Fresh Sound New Talent) [11-22]
  • Jim Snidero: Project-K (Savant) [01-24-2020]
  • Sirkis/Ballas IQ: Our New Earth (Moonjune)
  • Michael Zilber: East West: Music for Big Bands (Origin, 2CD) [11-15]

Daily Log

Got a "summons for jury service" from the 18th Judicial District Court, Sedgwick County, Kansas. Filling the form out online, and on paper.

"The clerk may be contacted by telephone at (316) 660-9101, by fax at (316) 941-5355, by email at jury@dc18.org, or via the Kansas Relay Center at 1-800-766-3777."

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Weekend Roundup

Late getting into this, and beset by more problems than I can cope with these days, so no introduction. Nothing fundamentally different. Just lots more of the same old shit.


Some scattered links this week:

Etc.

Picked up the following link during my search, before realizing that it was old:


Oct 2019