Last time I wrote about my conducting a informal survey of my collection to determine which artists I had started listening to since I was 33. I haven’t even started that effort yet, but I did think that it would be a good idea to devote a posting to at least some of the artists that fall into that category.

* Sound Tribe Sector 9: Better Day

Carrie has a recording by these guys, and I was interested enough to go ahead and get as much of their catalogue as I could.

* MV & EE: Foxy One

I first heard these guys at a live show at The Tractor in Ballard about nine years ago. I like their blend of noise-rock and folk.
* The Ting Tings: Fruit Machine

Would you believe that I was introduced to this group by my kids, via an appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba

* Emmylou Harris: Here I Am

Another artist that I was introduced to by Carrie :)

* Tycho: Montana

I stumbled upon this artist in 2014 while listening to an internet radio station.

* Whole Wheat Bread: Old Man Sampson

I believe that I’ve first heard about this group in 2007, the year that I met Carrie.

* Lourde: Royals

I first heard Lourde (this song, as a matter of fact)at a cafe in San Francisco last year.

* Dzihan & KamienStiff Jazz

This artist is one of the many that I downloaded during a download party that I attended while I was attending the UW.

Here I Am, by Emmylou Harris, for no other reason than it was my dear sweet wife, Carrie, who introduced me to this wonderful artist :)

Recently I came across an article that cited a study whose main assertion was that people in general tend to stop listening to new music around the age of 33. Seeing as how I’ve passed that age long ago ( :) ), that got me to thinking: out of all of the music that I listen to these days, how many of them are by artists that I’ve discovered after I turned 33?

Fortunately, I have a pretty good defining event to go by when it comes to my answering this question: I left Hawaii for Washington State in 2002, and that was the year in which I turned 33. A bit of a dodge, true, but I’m more than willing to forgive myself the seven months in between the move and the birthday :)

Out of the random sampling that comprise the songs of this week, there is only a single song by an artist that I started listening to post-33, Le Orme. Even though this group has been around since the late 60’s, I’ve only recently started to listen to them. I might have to conduct a more thorough review of my total collection!

  • Le Orme: Felona
  • Mullos: Argentine Dawn
  • DJ Me DJ You: Because
  • Ministry: The Dick Song
  • Moby: Find My Baby
  • Afro-Mystic: Follow Me
  • The Orb: The Land of Green Ginger
  • Basehead: Ode To My Favorite Beer
  • Men Without HatsThe Safety Dance

This week’s winner:
Ode To My Favorite Beer, by Basehead. Paradoxically, (especially after my self-aggrandizing handwringing regarding my openness to discovering artists that are new to me), out of all of these groups, I’ve been listening to this one the longest, well over 25 years :)

One thing that I have been thinking about on an on-and-off basis lately has been my relation to my newly adopted hometown of Seattle. When I’m elsewhere, such as in San Francisco or Salt Lake City, and someone asks me where I’m from, usually my first answer is “Seattle”, even  though that’s not really the truth. I’m far from being native to Seattle; I consider myself to be native to Maryland, although technically, that’s not even entirely accurate, since I wasn’t born in that state (smirkingly, I say I wasn’t born in any state in this Union :) ). Truth be told, however, I’ve spent more time outside of Maryland (almost 25 years as of this posting) than I have living in it (except for a brief couple of months in Bethesda back in late 1996). Out of those 25 years, I’ve spent more than half in the Puget sound area (since January 2002). And (taking a breath), out of those (as of this post again) 13 years, I’ve spent almost 9 in Seattle (since the summer of 2006).

Which is a pretty convoluted way of me saying that I may be a native of Maryland, but if anything, I’m native to the Puget sound region, since I’ve spent more time here than I have at any single place in my adult life. And since me saying “well, I”m from the Puget Sound area” is a mouthful (and a rather confusing one to the uninitiated), I shorten it to “Seattle” and call it good.

A few weeks ago, I read that Google Code was in the process of shutting down. Having used it to host my various code snippets almost since its inception in 2006, I regarded this news with a mix of relief and sadness; Sadness because that site provided a means for me to be able to access the code that I hads written from any machine (which is really valuable because, since 2006, I’ve gone through one iMac, two MacBooks (I’m on my third) and two PCs. Any source of truth in the cloud is a welcome one for me :)

Relief – this is because, truth be told, I haven’t really been using Google Code as of late. Ever since I started working at Expedia in 2013, I’ve been using GitHub because, frankly, I prefer Git over Subversion. With Subversion, the central repository is always treated at the master, and all of your operations revolve around that paradigm; Git, on the other hand, favors a more decentralized approach, meaning that a lot of things can be done locally even before you push your changes out to be shared. I  think back to the time while I was working at Cequint when I took the entire testing framework and drastically rewrote it to take advantage of Spring; after it had taken me a couple of weeks to write, refactor and test out my changes, it took me another few days to deal with the inevitable merge issues that occurred when I updated my local copy of the code with the changes from master, and another day or so past that helping my teammates with their own workspaces. Given that I was taking as much advantage of branch development as I could at the time, looking back I am  thinking that there was really no sane reason why the post-coding effort should have taken as long as it did. I’m entirely confident that had I been working in Git, it would have taken half the time (worst come to worst, I would have had my teammates blow away their local copies and do a fresh download, a process that, using Git, would have been far faster than doing the same with SVN).


I shudder to think how the entire  process would have been had I been using CVS!

More than just about anything else, listening to music has been a big part of my life.

Most of my more tangible memories from my childhood and beyond revolve around music. As a kid, I’d visit Jazz clubs in Baltimore with my parents and extended cousins; I remember hanging out with my dad during his practice sessions with the Jazz group that he was once a part of; and perhaps the fondest memory that I have with my father is of the time we went to an all-day Latin Jazz concert at Wolftrap and ended it that evening listening to Dizzy Gillespie (whom we both had actually met a few years earlier).

Music also informed my life as a young adult. A group of friends and I went to see the Monsters of Rock in DC in 1988, where we heard Van Halen, Metallica, Kingdom Come, The Scorpions and Dokken. Guns ‘n Roses “Sweet Child of Mine” featured pretty heavily at a party that I attended right before joining the Navy. As I mentioned before, “Heaven or Las Vegas” was in heavy rotation at the bar in South Philadelphia that I spent a lot of time at during my stay in that city; then there was Lollapalooza, where I got a chance to see a few of my favorite bands – Siouxsie and the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails – and one that would quickly become a new favorite – The Butthole Surfers – live. I even tried Body Count on for size for a little bit, but they really weren’t my thing.

I truly enjoy the social aspect of listening to music, especially when it is truly spontaneous. There was a Raggae Festival in Golden Gate Park that I happened upon during one of my excursions where, for one day, it was me just hanging out with a group of welcoming strangers just relaxing and chilling out for a few hours (no, I didn’t partake :) ). Lastly, there was a street festival in the Mission district that I found during another excursion; a Puerto Rican band set up shop in an alleyway and there was a group of us just dancing away for a solid three hours on a relaxed San Francisco spring day.

My dad’s musical tastes helped shape mine, particularly when it comes to Jazz. I get my appreciation for Miles Davis, Woody Herman, Stanley Clark and Herbie Hancock from him. I can also attribute the fact that I listen to Jefferson Starship, Steely Dan, Chicago and Donald Fagen to him as well.

Over the past few decades, though, family, friends and acquaintances have introduced me to a lot of new groups. One high school friend, Jeff, introduced me to Siouxsie and the Banshees; another, Calvin, introduced me to a Japanese metal band, Loudness. Yet another introduced me to Rush. When I was living with my good friends the Wachters right after moving out of my parents’ house a mutual friend, Paul, introduced me to King’s X. While in the Navy, various roommates had introduced me to Front 242, Ministry and Throwing Muses. One of my college friends gave me pretty much the entire Pixies catalogue. My brother Carter introduced me to The Up on In, Can and Trans Am.

More than they probably know, I have been influenced musically by some of the people that I have been in relationships with over the years. Sarah, my ex-wife, introduced me to Eric Darken and Cafe Noir, and she helped me get into The Orb and LTJ Bukem. The first woman that I dated upon moving to Seattle introduced me to The Aquabats. And Carrie has given me Sound Tribe Sector Nine and Emmylou Harris, whose rendition of “One Big Love” was one of the songs that played at our wedding.

All this is really just a long and convoluted way of me saying that at many of the best times in my life music has been present. Listening to my old favorites and finding new ones has long been a central joy of my life.

This week’s selection run the gamut from Techo-Country to African influenced World Groove to Industrial Metal to Funk and pop. It ends with a creation that I composed roughly ten years ago in honor of a now inactive music label.

  • Thomas Dolby: 17 Hills
  • Future Loop Foundation: Freetown
  • Dee-Lite: Groove is in the Heart
  • Big Country: Hurt
  • Ministry: Lockbox
  • The Aquabats: Radio Down
  • Ride On: Parliament / Funkadelic
  • Ministry: Shove
  • Wyndam Hill: Tony Burrell

Winner for this week: Freetown by Future Loop Foundation. Jazzy and exotic, it just felt like the right song for the occasion.


I was sitting at a bar in Columbia City the other day when I noticed a man walking a very familiar-looking dog outside. At that moment, it hit me: it’s been close to six months to the day since I made the painful decision to let Axia go.

Her energy is still missed from our house, and her presence is still missed from my life. She was a constant factor in my life for over years, and, regardless of whether or not she was human, I can’t – will never – deny the fact that any being that has been a part of ones daily life for that long will very much be sorely missed when they are no longer so.

In an attempt to explain her being gone to the boys, I told them that, since Axia was so old that her body was starting to not work, she was taking on a different job. No longer was her job “being our dog,” but rather “helping the apples to grow.” I was hoping that (a) by confining the death experience to dogs (Axia in particular), the boys would be less traumatized and worried about their own or their parents’ demise, and (b) they would have a sens that Axia would, in some form, always be with us. Hamhanded attempt, to be sure, but it seems to have worked alright.

Axia in the Apple Orchids, we will always miss you.



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