Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Hi Everybody!! Hope you are enjoying this year, so far, which, for a minute there felt like a “new year”, the way it always is, you know. Anyway, I’ve been away from the blog too long lately but it’s not cuz I don’t want to write, on the contrary, I’d love nothing better than to be able to have all the time in the world to devote to nothing except writing (reviews and other things), but as it is, things come up “IRL” for me – sometimes things that are my own problems, other times it’s because I’m taking care of a sick girlfriend. Well, no, sick isn’t the word, really, more like distressed, suffering, in pain & it seems that the drs whom she sees are either incompetent, at least partly incompetent or they just don’t give a damn. I’m on the fence about that, kinda, but I’d probably say, if I had to, that it’s a bit of both. So, forgive my extended absence: all you lovelies whose great albums I’ve reviewed over the last few years, please feel free to contact me whenever you have a new CD coming out, I’d be happy to help. Until then…happy dreams! (BTW, up next should be a review for the smokin’ new album from WOODS, who, last year, brought us the interesting City Sun Eater in the River of Light, whose review you can also read here, just do a search for Woods or the album title & it’ll bring it to you or you to it, depending on your POV. Anyway, so, FYI (especially you, daniel g. -you know who/what I’m talking about- oh & sorry about that long-winded email I sent back, after you had just asked me what I thought of their new album (WOODS’s new CD, I mean). I hope to incorporate a bit of that into my review, or maybe I won’t… >smiles< OK, see you REAL(ly) SOON!

While Lichtenstein’s lovely 1964 painting, Nurse, was just auctioned at Christie’s this last week, going to a Chinese buyer for $120 million, putting it into the “over $100 million club”, along with such other greats as Picasso, Warhol, Munch, Modigliani and Francis Bacon, among others, I thought I’d give my readers a glimpse at a couple other of Roy’s groovy paintings.  One is In the Car and the other is Oh…All Right  (each one is pretty self-explanatory, so I found no need to differentiate each by title: their titles will be obvious).
One thing I’ve always loved about Lichtenstein’s work is the hard work and detail he put into these paintings, i.e., all the tiny dots that went into much of the color comic strips of which Roy did a fabulous job in capturing the essence of as well as the vivid colors that just jump out at you.  I do so hope that you will enjoy this as much as I do…-KM                                                                                                                                    roy-lichtenstein-ohhh-alright-1964roy-lichtenstein-in-the-car-c-1963

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The tale of acid sage Dr. Timothy Leary’s prison escape and subsequent exile is among the most amusing stories in the annals of drug culture lore—though sentenced to an absurd twenty years for utterly petty offenses including possession of a couple of roaches, Leary was able to game the prison system: as a reputable Harvard psychologist, it happened that he himself had designed the psychological examinations he was given by prison administrators to determine his security and work situations. He got himself assigned to a cushy gardening job in a minimum security facility, from which he handily escaped, issuing an outlandish revolutionary screed to taunt authorities shortly after he fled. Via a series of sneaks involving the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, an arms dealer, and a socialite whom he eventually married (how has this not been a TV mini-series yet? Get on this, Netflix…) Leary ended up in Switzerland, where he met with the German Kosmiche band Ash Ra Tempel, with whom he recorded the album Seven Up.

Hi there.

This is the second annual “Best of…” year-end, wrap-up, wherein I pick what I felt were, indeed, the best releases of 2014 – at least the best that I’ve heard.  I’m sure I may have missed out on something, by someone: I didn’t get a chance to hear EVERYTHING that was released over the past year.  What this list is reflecting is the various albums which I’ve reviewed here, at Independent Review.

I’m not much into ranking things or countdowns; “top ten” lists, etc.  The following is just a breakdown of the some of the most memorable albums.

And – as I am not “counting down” albums here, whatever lands in the number one spot, isn’t necessarily the all-around “Best Release of the Year”.  I’m just going to go in order from the beginning of the year up through the end.  Also – if you’re curious about a particular album, do a search for it and read the review for it.

Hope you will pick out at least a couple examples here and give them a listen to, if not outright buying a copy.  Many Thanks and a Happy New Year to all!  -KM.

* According to Independent Review

“Best of 2014” (In chronological order)

1.  Owls:  Two

2.  Hew Time (Self-titled)

3.  Xiu Xiu:  Angel Guts: Red Classroom

4.  Electric Bird Noise:  Kind of Black

5.  These Curious Thoughts:  Inventing Dr. Sutherland & His Traveling Hospital

6.  Denial of Service:  Totentanz (Official Bootleg)

7.  Sea Rocket Jasmine: The Window

8.  Lee Negin:  The Cheeze Chronicles:  Volume V

9.  Stagnant Pools:  Geist

10.  Owen:  Other People’s Songs

Well, there you are – that is my list.  And, since this is mostly a chronological list, I thought it was kind of interesting that Owls’ album, Two, turned out to be the first one on the list – because to be honest, I REALLY love that album.  I’ve been listening to Two in the car, at home, and wherever else I am, listening to music.  For more information on Two – you can read the review (if you want to find it fast, then click on “March, 2014” and you’ll get to it almost right away, since that’s when it came out & that’s when I reviewed it).  You can go to https://www.polyvinylrecords.com and, if it’s not up front, do a search for it; Two can also be purchased at Polyvinyl’s website, along with all their other releases: there are CDs for sale as well as the occasional 7″ vinyl, LP vinyl, special edition colored vinyl and you can also just pick up an MP3 version of a particular album -which won’t cost you any shipping, since you are getting it via cyberspace, with no packaging, etc. just the music and a copy of the cover so you can create your own CD cover, if you decide to burn it to a CD-R.  And then, there’s the merchandise:  plenty of T-shirts, hats, stickers, posters, et cetera.  With new titles coming out all the time.

OK, then.  Again, wishing you a Happy New Year! – Here’s hoping that 2015 is going to be as good, if not better, than 2014!  One thing that’s coming out in a couple of months is a new of Montreal album, so look for that one to be reviewed.  Their last full-length was pretty good (Lousy With Sylvanbriar) – so, I have high hopes for this new one too, Aureate Gloom, I think it’s supposed to be a little bit stripped down, a tad rawer.  We’ll see…

-KM

Infinite Means Infinite

Why the Idea of “Multiverses” Makes NO Sense at all

By Kent Manthie

All this talk about “multiverses” makes no sense at all. There is only ONE universe. And this universe is INFINITE. I think that the reason these desperate pseudo-scientists want to think that there are “hidden” dimensions that hide other universes is that the human mind is incapable of grasping the idea, the meaning, etc of “infinity”. For any of these silly “multiverse” proponents to even go beyond just sounding silly, with a lot of mumbo-jumbo, scientific jargon thrown in, that would have to reduce the definition of infinity. In other words, the universe that has been constantly expanding since its inception (the “big bang”) about 14 billion years ago, is all there is and, even as the matter within it is constantly expanding and, it has turned out, relatively recently, it is expanding a lot faster than was thought before. Anyway, expanding slowly or quickly, is irrelevant because the universe is INFINITE, and, as I already wrote, the human mind can barely fathom all the meanings & consequences of infinity. Sure, when I say to someone (well, someone who isn’t an idiot, I, of course, refer to anyone w/even a HS degree, but preferably enough knowledge-acquired autodidactically or through more schooling-both methods together are even better!) “What is “infinity?” or “What does ‘infinity’ mean?” one can, of course, give a cursory definition of infinity – the usual ones, like “never-ending” or “boundless, endless space with no beginning or end” and similar definitions. But when it comes to sitting oneself down, clearing one’s mind & then meditating, as it were, on what it means to be infinite, the consequences to that and what infinity is, outside of an academic sense, something boiled down to an easily definable answer, one can really blow one’s mind when you begin meditating on what infinity is – sure, in theory, or in an academic sense, one understands what infinity means, but that isn’t the same as trying to really wrap one’s head around what the infinite really is (and, just as importantly, what it isn’t)- for instance, we, as humans, are so used to certain circumstances and experiential ideas, like, to start with, “beginning and end” – now, beginnings and endings are very real and all around us – everyday people are born and everyday people die. But it’s not just people – there are cycles to all life – lower forms of animals, plants, microorganisms, not to mention the macro – planets, stars, etc. all start out somewhere and eventually come to an end. So, when one sits down and very deeply considers something (the universe) that has no real “beginning”-unless you count the big bang, but even before the “big bang”, when the universe was still locked up in an “infinitely” massive “shell” or whatever one calls it – all the things which were unlocked by this big bang, already existed; it’s just that it took this singularity (the big bang) to take place and – now, don’t forget, even 1 nanosecond after the big bang, everything that was released from it was already infinite – BAM: all the component parts of the universe was unleashed – wait, no, I don’t like that metaphor. The big bang was just a metamorphosis that, for some, unknown reason, at that particular moment, say 13.5-14 billion years ago, went from being infinitely dense to being infinitely,,,well, infinite and even after just one second had passed by (and remember, time, as we measure it today, is a totally man-made construct, which has no meaning except to us) the particles that eventually came together to form atoms which formed molecules and such (OK, so I’m simplifying a bit here, for the sake of time and simplicity), which resulted in giant clouds of plasma which, after some period, cooled into a gaseous substance which then cooled off more, the particles of which were able to form atoms -1st came the most simple of them all, hydrogen, then came helium, carbon, oxygen and so on and the more these atoms collided and stuck together, became the basis for more and more elements to form; once all the simple elements came together, they, in turn, collided with other elements to form newer, more complex elements which, went on in that way, until we had all the elements that we know of today, classified in the periodic table (and there are still new elements being discovered and ones that were discovered as recently as 100-200 years ago. One way to think about this is to think about colors – the 3 primary colors are red, blue and yellow. And from just those 3 colors, a large number of colors have been made – first came the secondary colors, such as green, orange, purple, etc. which were all made by interactions of the 3 primary colors, such as blue and yellow creating green, or red & yellow making orange and blue and red begetting purple. Then, with the secondary colors, you had an even wider selection of colors with which to mix and thus create more colors and those colors could mix with other colors and make newer and newer colors, ad infinitum. Anyway, so that is why this whole notion of “multiverses” (a word which doesn’t even make grammatical sense, since the word “universe” – is derived from “UNI” which equals ONE and verse, which derives from a sort of cosmos, or at a simpler level a “sea” – ONE “SEA” or “area” or whatever…You can’t, especially if the universe is infinite, get anything more – a “multiverse” makes no sense-grammatically or rationally. What these physicists/astronomers are trying to make sense of is why humans, here on earth, are, seemingly, the only form of life (or at least “intelligent” life in the universe) – but there is no proof of that. Now, of course, when one hears tales of UFOs landing in some out-of-the-way place, small town or rural area, etc or the silly stories of “alien abductions” which are, of course, either total lies, hoaxes or hallucinations – that isn’t what I’m talking about. The reason that all these UFO stories and the “alien abduction” nonsense makes no sense is that, if there are other human-like beings in the wide, INFINITE reaches of the universe, it would take at least 1000s of years, if not 1000s of centuries to get from there to here – and that’s just from a putative solar system not unlike ours, which happens to have at least one rock/iron-based planet which is just the correct distance from its host’s star/sun. It could even be that there is, in a practically unfathomably far distant galaxy, this sort of hospitable place where life may have evolved in a similar way to earth. They would have to have some sort of space program (and that’s even if the inhabitants there even had the presence of mind to have one and the idea of traveling out in the cosmos the way we earthlings have had) – and then, once they perfected their space program and were able to build some sort of super-long sustaining means of traveling, would take anywhere from 2000 to 200,000 years – and that’s if they were able to get their spacecraft to get up to incredibly fast speeds – when one talks about a distant star being, oh, say, 10,000 light years away – that means that light -which is, of course, the fastest traveling thing – 136,000 miles per second would take 10,000 years to get from there to here. And since nothing except light can travel at the “speed of light”, it would no doubt be nigh impossible for another race of humanoids from a far off star to reach us. Now these “multiverse” proselytizers would like to think that in the case that we are alone in this vast universe, well, all one has to do is, mathematically add in the idea of “multiverses” which are like simultaneous universes existing in different “dimensions”. Now that doesn’t sound like any kind of sound science I’ve ever heard of. Why is there even a need for extra-dimensional universes? That would negate the whole concept of “infinity” – and the sad thing is that, it seems like more and more so-called scientists – physicists, astronomers, etc, are actually warming up to the idea. I think this is a really silly idea. Why do you need this type of cosmology when you already have an infinite universe – it goes on and on forever – in fact, infinity is expanding – and far more rapidly than we thought. The simple way to explain infinity to someone who just can’t get their head around the concept is to say this:  if one had access to some grand, self-sustaining spaceship, which had an unlimited supply of fuel or ran on nuclear power and had enough fissile material to power this ship for thousands of generations, the ship would fly through this universe; leave the earth and reach very, very high speeds, a speed that would enable you to even leave the solar system in a relatively short time, you’d find you and your shipmates traveling, basically, forever, with no end in sight.  Infinity means that you would go on and on forever and never come to an “end point”.  So, with that, what is the point for having “multiverses”?  Surely, people like Carl Sagan had it right when he said that, in this vast, endless universe, the odds were highly in favor of there being out there – somewhere – a star system similar to this solar system and within such a system, surely there’d be planets with the same or similar parameters to enable life to develop and not just one or two, but, when, again, you try to grasp the concept of infinity, why couldn’t there be many?  The problem with us, on earth ever finding out the answer to that question is that these planets and any life – intelligent or otherwise – would be so far away:  at least millions, if not billions or trillions of light-years away which poses an impossible distance to cover.  It would take eons -and that’s when traveling at the speed of light and since nothing but light can go that fast, it’d be an even longer trip.  With the infinity of the universe, there just is no reason or logic for any “multiverses”:  that’s something that is going to be forever relegated to science fiction.

So – to sum up, just drop this whole “multiverse” idea.  It’s silly, it’s unnecessary and it, too, doesn’t grasp the concept of “infinity” – KM.