My Music — A Random Sampling

I love music. Music is emotive, music is connecting, music is a soundtrack that runs through my life. It has always connected me to memories of events and feelings in my life. Single songs can remind me of entire memories while other albums evoke one feeling at the beginning only to close with another by the end. It constantly amazes me that within the first seconds of hearing a song open, I can know exactly what song it is and the memories I’ve attached to it. Every time I hear We Still Kill The Old Way by the Lostprophets, I am taken back to the first time I visited Paris on my own. I am awash with fond memories of walking around the 3rd and 4th, with my iPod in my jacket, my messenger bag with Paris Guide, 3rd edition (an old and outdated guide left by the last tenant of my sister’s apartment) in tow.

The list of songs and memories goes on by the hundreds, if not the thousands, which brings me to this post. On a recently (delayed) flight from Seattle to San Francisco, while waiting in the departure area I put together an on-the-go playlist to listen to on the flight. I thought I’d share the playlist along with some info on each.

  1. Fill Me In, Born To Do It, Craig David
    Ami bought this album for me, bringing it to me in a visit to Seattle in summer of 2001. My sister, I believe, had stumbled upon Craig David at some point and was turned on to his music and shared it with me. This one alaways reminds me of living in Redmond, working as an intern in Microsoft, driving around an Avis rental car for a summer, and trips to SeaTac to visit San Diego.
  2. Last Time, Something Like Human, Fuel
  3. Hemorrhage (In My Hands), Something Like Human, Fuel
  4. Scar, Something Like Human, Fuel
  5. Knives, Something like Human, Fuel
    My first experience with Fuel was with the track Shimmer, found sometime in high school. That song is undoubtedly a favorite of me and my sister. I can’t recall how I bought this album, or even why I put so many of the tracks on my playlist. Hemorrhage, the title track from this, holds no special place to me, although I did use it often as a song at the gym when I had moved to Sunnyvale from San Diego.  
  6. Push It, Version 2.0, Garbage
    I listened to Version 2.0 incessantly in the summer of 2003 when I was in India. For whatever reason, I attached myself to that album in a particular rough patch between me and Ami and ever since then it reminds me of that hard time.
  7. Til I Hear It From you, Empire Records ST, Gin Blossoms
    Empire Records = junior high school? I saw the movie for the first time at a sleep over at a friends house.
  8. If You Only Knew, Power in Numbers, Jurassic 5
    Jurassic 5 always brings me back to UCSD. I was hooked from the very first time I saw them play a free show at Price Center Plaza probably half way through first year. In many ways, they are responsible for turning me on to small name hip-hop, and their references in their music artists such as Dilated Peoples connected me in to a much larger world of a music than known of before.
  9. Holier Than Thou, Metallica, Metallica
  10. The Unforgiven, Metallica, Metallica,
    Metallica is another band that I found in college. I remember I bought this album at the Tower Records in UTC first year, and the summer (2000) between first and second years, I took my first flight I’d ever flown solo up to Oakland to meet Jeff and to see Metallica’s concert at Candlestick Park with Derek and Manny.
  11. Samba Tranquille, Frequent Flyer – Rio de Janeiro, Thievery Corporation
    I picked up this album in SFO (some of the most interesting music has been an impulse purchase in an airport, waiting for a flight) on my way from SFO to San Diego on a recruiting trip this year. I listened to it while spending the week in San Diego, catching up with old friends and working out of the San Diego office.
  12. Keynote Speaker, Quality, Talib Kweli
  13. Rush, Quality, Talib Kweli
  14. Get By, Quality, Talib Kweli
    Ah, Talib. The best track one of any hip-hop album ever is Rush from Quality. And to come up with a track two like Get By handily puts Quality in first place for the best track one + track two combo. I bought Quality after hearing a recommendation from Manny about Talib that it was the best album he’d hear of the year and after seeing a show of his at 4th and B. I bought the album and the rest is fabulous memories.
  15. What A Mess, Man vs. Machine (Bonus Disk), Xzibit
  16. My Life, My World, Man vs. Machine (Bonus Disk), Xzibit
    At UCSD, there used to be a vendor during vendor fair that sold at ridicilus prices the promo CDs that music labels used to give to radio stations (you can easily recognize them by their covers: if they have a large notch in the spine, they’re promo disks). I picked up this double-disk set in my third year and only ever listened to the bonus disk, since it was the only one that had any lyrical quality.
  17. Rewind, Born To Do It, Craig David
    This one is interesting. While it’s on the same Craig David album I talk about earlier, this song is entertaining for the reason that only my sister and I will ever find amusing: the incessant use of the word “Selecta” throughout it. We’d heard this song on the album and in Europe in the summer of 2001, vacationing with my family, we saw the Selecta vending machines throughout train stations and airports and have never stopped finding it funny since.
  18. The Chemicals Between Us, The Science of Things, Bush
  19. 3 Libras, Mer de Noms, A Perfect Circle
  20. Magdalena, Mer de Noms, A Perfect Circle
    I’m not fully certain when, if every, I bought these albums. The Science of Things was huge when I entered college, and I frequently listened to it my first quarter at school. I have no idea about Mer de Noms, outside that it’s an excellent prog-rock album.
  21. Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Mix), The Matrix ST, Rob Dougan
  22. Furious Angels, The Matrix Reloaded ST, Rob Dougan
  23. Chateau, The Matrix Reloaded ST, Rob Dougan
    I picked up the first Matrix soundtrack in either my first year at UCSD or at the end of senior year of high school. Clubbed to Death was one of the best tracks on it, and I immediately picked up the soundtracks for the other Matrix’s when they came out simply to get the Rob Dougan tracks.

Sip Bar and Lounge

I went to Sip, a new bar in North Beach, last night with Derek, Allen/Kai, Ami and the rest of the usual suspects. Of all people, we ran in to Mike Dunleavy, of the Warriors. A round midnight, we noticed a tall white guy at least a head taller than the next person in the bar thus noticing him right away. We talked for a bit while he was waiting in line for the girls (yes, that’s right) bathroom. For a brief amount of time, he was holding on to a set of metal railings of a staircases and swaing back and forth as if either high or doing the potty dance.

Pride Weekend 2005

This weekend is the 35th Pride Celebration in San Francisco, a weekend-long event to celebrate LGBT acceptance and, well, pride. On Saturday, we went and checked out the fair in the Civic Center/City Hall lawn, with all the usual fair vendors and tons of vendors such as a Travelocity booth pitching gay-friendly vacations and the like; not to mention getting to hear members of the SF Opera perform parts of Figaro on the center stage! We went to dinner at Chow’s on Market and Church, and while taking F-Market to get there from my place, we saw such a diverse set of people on the street and on the street car. People of all ages, sizes, shapes and sexual orientations, fitting in and being accepted. At Chow’s, I stood in line for the bathroom. The line was two people deep (a very gay man behind a questionably lesbian woman), and as I waited, the person who exited the bathroom while we were enqueue was most definitely a cross-dresser. Oh, and the food was good, too.

The parade itself was great, we took a location around 5th and Market and managed to push our way to near the gate. All sorts of floats of support from all venues of live, including the (gay and straight contingents of) SFPD and SFFD, a couple of our gay city council members, and Gavin Newsom doing loops of Market on a bike (bizare). Equality and acceptance were the topic de jour. After the parade we went back to the Civic Center area (after getting burritos at Taqueria Can Cun), only to be met with a mess of people enjoying the festival and fair.

Engineering Excellence/Trustworthy Computing Conference

I’ve been in Redmond since Monday night, attending the EE/TwC internal conference that runs from Tuesday until today. Microsoft has internal conferences where people share best ideas, practices, stories and experiences from their team. The EE/TwC is three days of 50 minute seminars for eight hours a day, covering topics from “How to be a Great Program Manager” (where PMs talk about tactics and strategies on how to do your job well) to “Developing for Concurrency” (where people from SQL talk about how they optimize for concurrency and their strategies) to multiple keynotes (from Steve Ballmer on Tuesday and Bill Gates later today). It’s fantastic to see a broad slice of Microsoft and hear about the problems people are solving.

Rent Trailer

The trailer for Rent (via Trina) is online. Segements of Rent were shot on 6th Street, between Mission and Market, which is exactly where I live. For a week or two, movie busses, lights, and extras flooded the streets every night to shoot a couple of scenes. It you look in the trailer, all the New Year’s celebration scenes are from my neighbourhood. It’s pretty nutty. Club 6 became the Cat Scratch Club (?), 7th Street Haircutters became a mid 80s haircut place, some pawn shop becaome Crazy Eddie’s. It’s funny to think that to find grimy mid-80s NYC, the best location they found was the 6th area.

Two New CDs

Two new albums purchaced this weekend:

  • Be by Common
    I picked this one up by accident. At Virgin, I walked up to the listening station for the new Gorillaz CD, and started to listen to “it.” After rocking the first track I noticed the MC did not sound at all like Del and realized they’d mixed up the display, putting the Common album in the Gorillaz player and vice versa. I’ve never been a big fan of Common, none of his albums ever found their way in to my collection. I appreciated his prowess as an MC and understood why he’s well respected in the hip-hop community. The album takes Common’s lyrics and mixes them with the smooth production of Kanye. It’s most definitly a departure from the pure delivery and lyricsm of the Common from the past, but it’s a winner of an album by bringing his music more mainstream without selling out (read: BEP)
  • Remixed by Bebel Gilberto
    The downtempo mixes of Gilberto’s first album. Smooth production, slick beats and loungy remixes make this better than the original. I know that’s sacrilegious, but my first experience with Bebel Gilberto was Tanto Tempo, and hearing the eponymously named album after it was a dissapointment. The remix kicks it up by adding a level of intensity that was missing.

Free WiFi In Cafes

While wifi access in cafes is often a huge convienence, as this NYT article points out, it can detract from the cafe culture. The cafe in question eliminated their free wifi access and saw increased foot traffic and revenue. Likely, there’s a balance that could be struck that each purchace of goods could be translated in to a few hours of access.