Best headphones?

February 6, 2014

I absolutely love the new KEF M500 headphones my wonderful husband just gave me.  He searched high and low for a pair of headphones to replace the Sony MDR-V700s I was using.  Since I switched to the KEFs, I now realize how heavy and uncomfortable the Sonys were.  The KEFs are light, ridiculously comfortable and the sound is perfect.  I also love the way they look – they’re on the smaller side of full-size headphones, look like on-ear headphones, and sound like over-ear headphones.  They are sleek, and best of all, they don’t have a brand plastered all over them! (There is branding on each side, but it’s acceptably minimal in my opinion.)  The device-side of the cable has an angled L-plug, which I find convenient especially when plugging into my laptop, since I’ve got a very cluttered desk and it’s a tight fit.  These headphones retail for $299, but I have seen them on Amazon for as low as $249.  Keep watching!

If you’re looking for a masterfully beautiful album to listen to on such wonderful headphones, I would like to suggest HD from ATOM™ if you like minimalist, pristine, scientific, electronic music that wrenches the soul out of machines and feeds your heart through your ears.  (I’m kind of in love with this particular album.)  The quality of this release demonstrates the quality of the headphones particularly well.

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Leather cleaner?

November 14, 2010

Natasha, I’ve been thinking about your water-stained purse all week, and I finally figured it out!  I’m sorry I forgot all about this stuff when you originally asked me about it.  Lexol is the stuff you should try.  You can buy it at any shoe repair place.  It’s about $6-8 a bottle.  Lexol has a leather cleaner (in the orange little jug) and leather conditioner (in the little brown jug).  I have used the leather conditioner many times and it does clean the leather as well.  I would think the conditioner will do the trick on your purse.  Just shake very, very well before opening and apply LIBERALLY.  I practically pour this stuff on my leather, but you should try a little bit at first, like a sensible person would.  Ignore my leather conditioning abandon!  Rub it in a ton and then buff it.  It’s great stuff.  Plus, it doesn’t smell toxic to me.  Many other leather conditioners do.

I must thank you for asking me about a leather cleaner, because your question made me buy a new jug of Lexol and condition my boots and jacket. I don’t ride anymore, but because of Lexol, they still look good even after 20+ years.

These days are over.

These days are over.

Granted, I’ve never taken a spill in them, but they did survive a particularly brutal late-80s Jane’s Addiction show, the Metallica AJFA Tour, Monsters of Rock (at least 2 shows), that legendary Faith No More / Voivod / Soundgarden show at the Ritz, Rollins Band stagediving, a few CMJ Marathons, a mosh pit that included members of Biohazard and Last Crack and working in the music industry.  I’m just saying.


Good songs for cardio?

June 13, 2010

This is what I like for the Lifefitness Elliptical, sorted by MPH range (my speed has more to do with how the song makes me feel than a straight up BPM):

Under 4.5MPH

  • Frequency by FM Belfast
  • Get the Funk Out Ma Face by Brothers Johnson

4.5 – 5 MPH

  • Tropical by FM Belfast
  • Hell’s Bells – AC/DC

5 – 5.5 MPH

  • Underwear by FM Belfast
  • Absolute by Scritti Politti
  • Obsession by Animotion
  • Please Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna
  • Bossy by Lindsay Lohan
  • Rain by The Cult
  • Thela Hun Jinjeet by King Crimson

5.5 – 6 MPH

  • Destroy Everything You Touch by Ladytron
  • Ready For the Floor by Hot Chip
  • Sleep Deprivation and Audacity of Huge by Simian Mobile Disco

6 – 6.5 MPH

  • VHS by FM Belfast
  • Lotus by FM Belfast
  • Mad World by Tears For Fears
  • Collarbone by Fujiya & Miyagi
  • Superstition by Stevie Wonder
  • Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective
  • Hello Operator by The White Stripes (sounds a little slow, but it totally gets me going)

Over 6.5 MPH

  • Your Disco Song by Vitalic
  • Pay Tomorrow by Tim Exile
  • In Our Hands by Bjork (Soft Pink Truth Remix)
  • Bullet with Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins (this is good for interval training, because I go at a bunch of different speeds during this song – 5-5.5 for the verses, 6.5 – 7 for the chorus and 9-10 for the bridge)
  • Lips Like Sugar by Echo and The Bunnymen (also good for change ups, I go 5.5 on the verse and 6.5 on the chorus)
  • Photocopier by Fujiya & Miyagi
  • Goofy’s Concern by Butthole Surfers (7.5 – 9; one of my favorite songs!  Love it!)
  • Magnetic Warrior by Archie Bronson Outfit (completely awesome)
  • Billy Electron (Venger Remix) by Milanese

Other songs I like for cardio, but haven’t timed yet on the elliptical, so I don’t know where to put them are:

  • If It Ain’t Broke by The Limp Twins
  • Jetson and Steadycam by Dutch Uncles
  • Get Low (Original Mix) by Justin Martin (Haven’t been this excited about an electro song for a long time.  May have to start break dancing again!)
  • Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective
  • No Security (Rustie Remix) by Crookers featuring Kelis
  • Breakdown by Fu-Schnickens
  • Too Lost In You (Various Productions Remix) by Sugababes
  • Don’t Turn It Off (Brennan Green Mix) by 40 Thieves featuring Qzen
  • dudun-dun by Para One (really kicks in around the 2nd minute)
  • Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) by The Icicle Works
  • Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Soulwax Remix) by Kylie Minogue

What should I avoid at karaoke?

June 13, 2010

Ballads.  Dear God, please avoid the ballads.  Unless you truly bring it, and own the song, no one wants to hear your rendition of Wicked Game.


Favorite quotes?

March 26, 2010

I was reminded of this quote this morning on the elliptical machine at the gym.  Chilly Gonzales sampled this in his absolutely brilliant and enjoyable PIANIST ENVY (link to free download).

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!
Rocky Balboa
Speaking to his son in Rocky Balboa (2006)

This next quote is from Frank Herbert’s masterpiece, Dune, which is one of my favorite books of all time.  I memorized this quote to repeat over and over to myself during labor.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn to the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
— Frank Herbert (Dune)

And, I just love this one because it’s so true.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
— Robert A. Heinlein


What did you learn today?

February 26, 2010

At the Chilly Gonzales show at Joes’ Pub tonight, I learned 4 things.

  1. I am so glad I didn’t miss this show because it was the single best live performance I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen Slayer live, mind you!). He is a passionate monster whose potential for evil is as yet, thankfully unrealized.
  2. In the words of Gonzales (slightly mangled by my memory), an entertainer is someone who “takes their worst qualities and renders them useful.”  Yes!
  3. He also said that the purpose of being on stage is to feed your ego so it doesn’t do strange things while you are out with it during the day.  This must be why I do improv (next show, tomorrow — Friday — Sparks Cafe 8 p.m.!!!) !
  4. The arugula salad at Joe’s Pub could use some hazelnuts.  If it just had hazelnuts, it would be really good.

I have video if anyone is interested, but for some reason WordPress won’t recognize a .mov  file.  Weird, right?


Favorite record of 2009?

February 11, 2010

Tim Exile – Listening Tree

Honorable mention:

Rustie – Bad Science EP

Simian Mobile Disco – Temporary Pleasure


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