the depths

The other day I went ahead and ordered issue 1 (the only one that exists) of PRINCE-S STARthief. And I’m afraid it’s really not good.

It’s sort of a Star Wars parody that’s got maybe two small chuckles in the whole thing, and a whole lot of attempted humor that falls flat. The villains are the PEP-C Corporation. There’s a scene where a minion designated TK-421 disappoints the boss and is “carbonated,” a fate which later befalls LV-426. If get the references it’s mildly funny, and if you don’t it’s probably slightly less funny.

The protagonist is basically the only character, but is barely a character… smoking, drinking, wisecracking (or trying to) and “look at all this attitude I’m pretending to have” without any of the personality of Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan or any of the Rat Queens. She’s really just a fanservice delivery vehicle, and unsurprisingly, also completely fails to be sexy. There’s a thin sketch of a plot, but she doesn’t really care about it any more than the writer appeared to.

So I’m pretty disappointed by that particular namesake. The bacon in space painting is much more to my liking.

James Rosenquist, Star Thief

I may do this or something like it in 2020:

I don’t want to be absolutely strict about it, though.

I find my current music setup very satisfying, and would like to sit with it a while, and concentrate more on improving my skills. If it comes to something like a more precise pair of headphones, or a piece of mastering software or something, then fine. But 2019 was a year of partially reinventing my setup multiple times over, and I don’t want to do that now.

“No new books allowed” makes me reflexively rebel, but doing some re-reading does sound very nice, particularly series re-reading. I could also see getting into something like the Expanse novels though.

And while I’m not about to stop listening to new music, I do want to take some time to listen to some music with full attention. Not necessarily critically, just mindfully. Obviously I listen to my own recordings closely as part of the process, but that’s different. Before the internet changed everything, and especially before I had the disposable income to buy several CDs a month, I would listen to an album several times, while not doing anything else. Today most of my music listening is at work or in the car, and I miss the full experience.

I’ve already got some valuable feedback from Obsidian Sound — a couple of technical issues that went under my radar, to keep a closer watch on in future recordings. I feel pretty confident that I understand the outline of what will happen in the mastering process, and I’m eager for the details and results.

4 thoughts on “the depths”

  1. I’ve been thinking about this “depth year” thing too!

    This year I actually experimented with taking a month off, twice. It’s depressing to say out loud to be honest — I basically took a month off from buying new stuff. During that time I would keep a wantlist and especially with music I noticed I ended up just leaving most of it on the list, and returning to impulsive new acquisitions now & then when the month was over…

    Also having kept a listening journal for a few months now I’m realizing that I don’t tend to listen to as much hot-off-the-press music as I assume I did. I’ve realized several times that I completely missed years of output from a beloved artist as a side effect of looking up the discogs link to post in the blog as I listen. So taking a year off from new stuff… just isn’t going to make much of a difference in my listening habits, but seems like a nice thing to do anyway.

    So anyway I might join you in 2020.

  2. A few years ago, before I got into streaming, I had a couple of subscriptions that gave some number of MP3 downloads per month. I found a lot of great stuff that way… and now I keep finding out that those artists/bands are still around and have released several more things since then, but I just wasn’t aware of them.

    1. This happens to me all the time, too. Even with records I play again and again — like Angel Olsen’s first album, which I come back to a lot, was until yesterday the only album of hers I’d heard.

      There are a small number of artists that I have made a habit of keeping up with for years or sometimes decades, but I think my preferred method of keeping up with new releases is the old & boring combination of radio & music journalism.

      Probably a third of the new stuff I check out is because I saw it in Vital Weekly, and the rest is some combination of discovery-through-research (primarily discogs, but also history books and whatnot) hearing something lovely on WFMU, and a smattering of misc journalistic outlets like Computer Music Journal, The Wire, Deft Estoterica, etc.

      On the subject of returning to my own collection though — it’s so haphazard! I organized some of my LPs by genre in a really loose fashion last year, which has made a big impact on my listening, but half of what I listen to falls into the camp of something I forgot I even owned that I found on the shelf while I was searching for something else…

      Organizing my libraries would be a good depth year project, probably. Do you have a system?

  3. I don’t really have much of a system…

    I’ve got a couple of big binders of CDs, mostly still unripped, that are in alphabetical order, sitting in a closet and mostly forgotten for years. I should probably go through that someday.

    My MP3 collection is in folders by artist and then by release. I keep those on a USB stick at work, and a folder on my drive at home.

    I subscribe to Google Play Music, and the albums that I’ve added to my library were mostly tagged either “Car” or “Ambient” in the Genre field… but I tend to scroll through my whole library and ignore that tagging anyway, so I more or less stopped doing that.

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