14 August 2007

The Golden Age of Leather

I was possessed the other day to search for information, video, and MP3s of Blue Oyster Cult the other day, and found a torrent with pretty much every recording the band ever made. Some of them I had never heard of, and after listening to them, I understand why. Some of the early releases have out-takes and demos included, which are interesting to hardcore fans, but not so good that anyone will curse the limits of the LP for consigning the tracks to obscurity. There are also demo versions of a few songs, which sound more like something you'd find if you picked up an old reel-to-reel machine at a thrift store and checked out the included tapes in cryptically marked boxes.

In the midst of an article about William Gibson's new book, I ran across links to sites that purport to be an online magazine he writes about in the book, so something along those lines. While perusing the one that could be seen from this side of the great firewall, the first link I hit was a blog entry from someone whose life closely resembled the plot of the book. So we're left with an author writing about readers writing about an author writing about his readers writing about an author writing about his readers, and now me writing about all of that. Did your brain explode yet?

All Thumbs is a display of thumbnail images of TV stations Jeff Kadet received in Macomb*, Illinois. Back in a previous century, I used to scan dead channels when there was nothing interesting on, and fiddle with the antenna until I thought I saw something. In the summers, we could get CJOH-6 fairly reliably. They showed reruns of "Hogan's Heroes" every afternoon for as much of my childhood as I can recall. There was a channel 2 station out of Buffalo, but the one time we could actually watch it was an event that we talked about after purchasing a Betamax ("just think, if we had this thing the night we saw channel 2..."). The UHF channels from Rochester and Syracuse were iffy at best. Of course, I also had shortwave radios, and made antennas by stringing wire as far as it would spool between two trees.

*How long can you look at the name before you start fitting it to the tune of "My Humps"?

Because I was thinking about death recently, I wound up finding Death by Caffeine. The joke I've been telling for years is that I passed away in 1982, but the twitching that results from so much coffee gives the illusion of life. Of course, now that I saw all those wonderful stay-awake-forever drinks, I'm bummed that I can't practically get them sent to me here. Perhaps I'll have to go see what Metro has, and settle for that.

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