My Favorite Albums (Right Now)

This is what I’m listening to…

The Record by FEAR

This is old school punk from the early 80s, when punk rock was a means of expression and rebellion.  This particular album is humorous and offensive, as punk should be.

Gothic Kabbalah by Therion

This isn’t my favorite Therion album, but I’ve been listening to it a lot lately because of some catchy songs.  I find it good to write code to because it takes you to another world.

Soviet Kitsch by Regina Spektor

This is something that’s generally outside of my musical tastes, but I like her quirky voice and odd lyrics.  She reminds me of a disturbed version of Tori Amos.

The Other Side of Time by Mary Fahl

I once claimed that Tarja has the greatest female voice, but I actually meant Mary Fahl.  This album is completely not my style of music (folk/new age/soft rock), but her voice is irresistible and addictive.

Mary Fahl

My Favorite Albums (Right Now)

These are my favorite albums, in no particular order…

My Winter Storm by Tarja

Tarja used to sing with Nightwish, but has recently gone solo.  She has one of the greatest female voices that I’ve ever heard.

Beautiful Death by Bella Morte

This is still one of the best albums I’ve heard in the past 10 years or so.

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by My Chemical Romace

I was pleasantly surprised by this new album from MCR.  I didn’t think it would be possible to live up to The Black Parade, but they did.

Kein Schwein Ruft Mich An by Palast Orchester mit Max Raabe

This is some great 20s/30s era German music.  It’s very upbeat and probably humorous (I don’t understand German).

King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime by Faith No More

This is one of the most underrated, overlooked albums of the 90s.  This is Faith No More at their best, in my opinion.

The Order of the Reptile by Ego Likeness

I saw Ego Likeness when they opened up for The Cruxshadows.  It’s some good, hard-hitting electronic/industrial/dance music.

Ego Likeness

ID3 Tag Parsing

I’ve been working on a project to read and update ID3 tags on my music collection. An ID3 tag is the meta data embedded in mp3 files that contains artist and other information. My initial goal is to batch update the “genre” field in my mp3 files. I’ve written a simple .Net forms application to do this. I found a really good library created by Novell called TagLib Sharp. The library makes it super easy to read and write ID3 tags.

TagLib.File tagFile = TagLib.File.Create(filePath);
Tag tagId3v2 = tagFile.GetTag(TagTypes.Id3v2);
if (tagId3v2 != null) tagId3v2.Genres = genreArray;
Tag tagId3v1 = tagFile.GetTag(TagTypes.Id3v1);
if (tagId3v1 != null) tagId3v1.Genres = genreArray;
tagFile.Save();

The UI is pretty lame, but it works…
tagger

tagger

More Love for Last.fm

It’s been a while since I’ve written about music, so here I go. My latest purchase is the new Morrissey album, Years of Refusal. I really like it. I would even say it’s one of his best solo albums to date. Sure, his voice has flattened out with age, but he makes up for it with his usual clever lyrics and well composed music from his band. This album is very rock n’ roll and has some catchy tunes. On a related note, I was browsing through a Portland Monthly magazine yesterday and they had a column with local alternatives to national bands. Their suggestion for Morrissey fans was M. Ward. I’m familiar with the name, but I’ve never given him a listen. I think I will.

More Praise for Last.fm

I’m generally disappointed with the state of the World Wide Web these days. The WWW used to be a simple communications tool to share information on a globally connected network. I’m not saying that it should have stayed that way, but I wish we had taken a more structured approach to innovation. I’ve written about this before, so I won’t go into it again. My point for today is that Last.fm has done things right. It’s the only modern web service that I use regularly, and it does exactly what it needs to do – nothing more and nothing less. I am sitting at work right now listening to “recommended” music, a lot of which I’ve never heard before. I have to say, there is a lot of good music out there, from the 50s to modern day. I have been “bookmarking” things that I like so I can look into purchasing them after a little more listening (Last.fm is not a free music download service).

So, if you’re interested in music and have the time to listen to it, I’d suggest looking into Last.fm. It’s free. I’m listening to the Dixie Chicks right now. I never even thought to give them the time of day, but I like what I hear.

Minor Threat Sauce

I’ve just discovered a hot sauce named after one of my favorite 80s straight edge punk bands, Minor Threat. Pitchfork says it’s so. It sounds delicious!

Made from a rare, mild breed of habaneros grown specifically for us, Minor Threat draws its inspiration from the legendary West Indies’ mustard- and mango-based habanero sauces, only it mysteriously priviledges the pepper’s fruitiness over its notoriously overwhelming heat.