Let Me Clear My Throat

Wow, the new collaboration between Bryce Dessner (of The National) and the Kronos Quartet, entitled Aheym, may be one of the most gorgeous things I have heard in quite some time.

I mean, seriously wonderful. I think I'll be living in these tracks for a while.

Aheym

Dice desire

I've spent the last few days at San Diego Comic-Con, as I have every year for the last 26 years. A couple of times each day, I would wander by each booth that had game materials and look at the dice.

Man, did I want some dice.

I couldn't explain the compulsion with any sort of logic or reason. Sure, wants and desires rarely can be, but this is even further off of that line than the usual cookie or inefficient-but-stylish car. I would get no more satisfaction from simply owning another complete set of polyhedrals; my games would be no more enjoyable for rolling gunmetal gray cubes with copper pips than the handfuls of black and white d6s which I already own.

But I kept going back, looking at them, picking them up, turning them around in my fingers, trying to convince myself that I really didn't need them.

Something eventually struck me: in my gamer's lizard-brain, dice must be some sort of talisman. Being the primary physical tool of the games, they embody the event. To play the game, I need dice; therefore, by having more dice, I will attract more games.

Perhaps subconsciously, I believe that if I have just the right dice in the right combination, it will overcome schedules and geography and obligations to get my friends together around a table to tell our stories again.

Funky Nassau in my ears

Everyone's earworm du season, "Get Lucky," infected me a couple of days ago. While I was humming along to the grooves that no one else could hear, it gradually shifted into something else that took me a few moments to recognize. It was cool and funky, whatever this horn-inflected thing coming from my own head was.

When it finally clicked that it was the title track from The Beginning Of The End's 1971 album, Funky Nassau, that song evicted Daft Punk to occupy my imaginary listening since then.

And I'm okay with that. Because it's good.

I'm pretty sure that it partially inspired "Get Lucky."

Musical progress

Every generation annoys the previous with its louder, faster, more aggressive music.

For the last several years, I've been disappointed in the next generation's music, but because it's boring.

I mean, we had punk and metal and industrial - we didn't necessarily start them, but we sure embraced 'em.

New music has been lame for quite a while. It was placid and didn't go anywhere. It was whiny. I was sad that we had reached some sort of musical pinnacle, and seemed to be coming down the other side.

Then came dubstep. And the cycle continues.

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