Author Archives: ken

When a Woman Appropriates Cock-Rock

Face hidden by long hair, blasting overdriven bolts of atonal noise through sheets of white-hot feedback that obscure the instruments and the unintelligible vocals. Is this rock&roll? If the face is a white man, and the atonal noise is blasting … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Tom Baker

Tom Baker was my first doctor, and even Peter Capaldi can never replace him in my heart. Near the peak of my obsession with the show, shortly before Baker’s departure, the Human League released “Tom Baker,” an instrumental b-side with … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Amazon: Impudently Twisting the Facts

We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. George Orwell, “In Front Of Your Nose” … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Stupidity | Tagged , | Leave a comment

“Just when you think you’ve scraped the bottom…”

“…you find that you’re just scraping the surface.” For a few years in the early 1990s, during my exile in New Jersey, I worked a genuine 9-5 job. WNYC was my lifeline, and Chopin’s Marzurka in C Major (Op. 24 … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Streaming Music Down the Drain

I hate streaming music services. I hate them as a listener, I hate what they’re doing to music, and I hate their business models. I believe these services are harmful to listeners as well as musicians, and that music lovers … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

The Original Walk On the Wild Side

I don’t even remember where I bought the book. It was probably at a used bookstore; the title caught my eye immediately. I didn’t know someone had written a book based on the famous Lou Reed song. But it’s actually … Continue reading

Posted in Books, History, Politics | Leave a comment

Why Didn’t You Just Tell Them You Were a Moderate Man?

“Oh mighty thing!” said Vera to Frank, “Why didn’t you just tell them you were a moderate man and leave it at that instead of goosing yourself all over the room?” “Patience, Vera,” said Frank. Terry Shute, who was sitting … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged | 1 Comment

This Is, Indeed, a Disco

This ain’t no disco? Oh really? That Talking Heads lyric was always misquoted (as David Byrne complains in his new book) but from the look of the charts, this is, indeed, a disco. The two biggest hits of the summer … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Irregular Language and Regular Expressions

The other day a friend tweeted about “a regular expression to tell if a number was prime.” I followed the link with my eyebrows raised, because I was fairly sure that was beyond the capabilities of a regular expression. As … Continue reading

Posted in Parsing and Other Data Tricks, Programming | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dancing to a Found Harmonium

Perhaps it is a good sign that I welcomed summer with an all-day outdoor gig yesterday. I didn’t play all day; Big Road in Chelsea sponsored a stage for Make Music New York so I played a set with Big … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment