Thursday, May 11, 2006

When I do my best work

2 am, of course. Seriously. During the summer (and other periods where I can sleep to a reasonable double-digit hour) I find it easiest to put all of my thoughts down in a cohesive manner at some reasonable single-digit hour in the AM. (See: first Kingdom of Loathing ascension... that was at about 3:30 am.)

So, time for a quick lesson and a review.

I neglected to do my homework. I'm not talking about forgetting to do some of Professor Dodd's Aplia bitchwork. This is as in me saying "Oh, it's a PCIe card! Those don't need power hookups." My research? Exactly two PCIe cards that I've installed, neither of which needed a connection to the power supply. This was a woefully inadequate sample size, particularly regarding the higher-end of the graphics card market. So now I get a fun chore, viz. upgrading my power supply!

It occurred to me about the time I was taking a Philips screwdriver to my computer case to determine how to dismantle my current power supply that maybe I'm in over my head?

Review: Rosenrot

I didn't even know until three days ago that Rammstein had released an new CD. I bought it two days ago. It did not dissapoint.

The best thing to be said about Rammstein is that, despite slight deviations about their "mean," their sound is pretty much the same as it's ever been. I can't point to a Rammstein CD that's my favorite or least favorite, and that's the hallmark of a great band. Their quality is consistent, and it has been over the last twelve years. Sure, Rammstein has varied its tempi a bit, added more languages, including English (marginally successfully), Russian (more successfully), and now Spanish (amusingly--you'd just have to hear it). But their music isn't any worse now that it was on Sehnsucht or Herzeleid. And for that matter, aside from the greater variation, it's not hugely better either. What you see is what you get.

Listeners, always clinging to their precious genre labels (see "alternative rock"), have of course tried to categorize Rammstein. "Industrial," they call them. Or "thrash rock." "Dark metal" and my favorite "Tanz-metall," which is apparently "Dance metal" in German. Show me the dance where they play Rammstein... all right, maybe don't, because it would probably be pretty scary. My point is, don't try so hard to group bands. Rate them on their sound, their artistic merit, not on their categorization of similarity to other bands. That said, if you've not heard Rammstein, they're a German band that would be most broadly, generally, and accurately classified as "metal." I can appreciate evoking the "industrial" genre too. And, despite your feelings toward metal or industrial (or heck, toward Germans), they're really good.

As for the new CD, it's almost all quality music. "Benzin" is apparently some quite clever social commentary about addiction to gasoline. If you're fluent in German, feel free to confirm or deny that for me. "Rosenrot," "Wo bist Du," both very good. And then we get to "Te Quiero P**a!" If you're about as familiar with Spanish as I am, this means nothing to you as an obscenity or anything else that would merit replacement of "ut" with "**" in the middle of the word. Evidently the title of this song (in slang--Babelfish doesn't even recognize it) translates to "I want you, whore!" And (again, despite the subject material) it's the best song on the album. Rammstein plus bullfighting music in the background? Oh, yeah.

Currently listening: Shuffle in iTunes, which has produced "Vertigo," Jump Little Children; "Suteki Da Ne [orchestrated version]," Nobuo Uematsu (from Final Fantasy X); and "The Last Time," the Rolling Stones.

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