April04, 2016

Since the release of our last album not much has been happening in gfs-land. I have a few coals in the fire at the moment: a batch of songs that need vocal tracks and mixing, a couple of collaborations, an acoustic album idea, and a b-sides/outtakes/demos album, but I'm putting it all on hold for now. After upgrading my iMac's OS, the computer has slowed down and needs a ram upgrade. Until that is taken care of, I can't complete much work. Unfortunately, I don't have the spare cash to cover that expense. Maybe I can make some extra bucks on Amazon Mechanical Turk?

I'm also debating whether or not to get a cheap 8-track. It may not be as flexible or powerful as a DAW, but at least it provides the freedom to record without a computer.

It's getting closer to summer, which means it's concert season. This month we're seeing The Smashing Pumpkins at Majestic theatre. I'm really, really looking forward to that one, especially because their setlists are favoring deep album cuts that haven't been played much, if ever, live. Apparently, they're playing one of my favorite SP songs, "Whir."

In May, we're seeing The Cure. This will only be my 2nd time seeing them in concert, and I cannot wait! We may or may not check out Deftones in Oklahoma City, but probably not. Our wallet is already getting tapped out. All these great bands performing live and releasing albums (new releases from Deftones, The Melvins, The Field, and more). I can barely keep up.

These days I'm listening to music with the terminal application cmus. Over the years I've used many music players, such as Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTunes, Foobar2000 and VLC. Lately, it seems like listening habits are trending toward cloud streaming apps, like Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, or streaming from a local cloud with Plex or Kodi. But I like listening to music stored on my local computer. Internet connectivity still isn't guaranteed everywhere. Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy having music that "belongs to me." I guess it feels right because that's what I'm used to.

Cmus is bare bones and utilitarian. Since it runs entirely in a terminal window and is launched from the command line, there isn't much to look at. It's just text. But that's great! I want to listen to music, not look at something pretty. Honestly, I don't care what it looks like, as long as it plays music and gets out of the way. It's all controlled with keyboard shortcuts, which is awesome. I have to click a mouse constantly at my day job, and the more I can get away from doing that in my personal life, the better. Plus, it feels like control is faster when everything can be done with quick keyboard commands.

Terminal window programs can be beautiful and graceful, too.