Tuesday, January 31, 2006:

Gotta Go / Five O'Clock World

Victor Scott -- Gotta Go
Some time ago I got an email from Spoilt Victorian Child mentioning the Victor Scott release on the SVC record label, and I've been remiss in mentioning it. I've listened to it a bit; and if it took me awhile to warm up to it I think that's more my fault than the music's--sometimes I'm immediately taken with music I later hate and sometimes I'm immediately guarded towards music I later love. Scott's music falls in the latter category: it's bold, it strikes out in all directions, exploring, experimenting, poking and prodding, finding things and turning them over and giving them a vigorous shake to see what falls out. There's hip-hop, mariachi instrumentals, folkish pop ballads, soundtrack stylings with dialogue samples, the ghost of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and brassy butt-shaking dance music with bawdy double entendres.

I've gone with the freaky thumping joie de vivre here because it's what I'm feeling most at the moment.
[Victor Scott's site]
[Buy the CD at SVC records for 3 quid and get a free B-sides CD]

The Vogues -- Five O'Clock World
The Vogues were popular in the 1960s and 70s and "Five O'Clock World" was their biggest hit. They had some other good ones (including ones that charted, like "You're the One" and "My Special Angel"), but this one's just the one for me right now: lyrics about the daily grind at work presented with an easy melody, backing harmonies, yodelling, and yips. It's just a very confident, accomplished, and comforting sound; the song is concise and perfect, a bullseye.
[The Vogues -- Greatest Hits]


Voice of experience: if you are, say, changing from one DSL company that sucks to another that takes over your line days before even shipping the modem, thus rudely ending your internet connection while claiming that they haven't and claiming also that they can't help you, you can get back online through the new company without waiting for their modem. So if you're ever tempted to spend most of a day on the phone talking to a number of tech support people--from the concerned and helpful to the deeply confused and helpless--taking their advice, rebooting the computer when it doesn't need it, checking drivers that are uncorrupted and firmware that's current, swapping cables like thumb drives and tapping the reset button on your modem enough to send a sonnet in Morse code, don't. Just go to and change your login from x@y.z to a@b.c, and don't forget to change over to the new password. And, as long as both services support the same connection type (e.g. PPPoE), that's that, you're in business, good to go, connection clipping along like normal. It doesn't matter that the modem's user interface says it's a modem for "y.z" service or that after you log in with the other company it tells you you're logged in with the previous one. It's just cosmetics. When the new (unnecessary) modem arrives you can unwrap it and use it as a geeky paperweight, or leave it in the box in case the older one fails sometime later.

Which leads to the assumption that DSL companies make a big to-do about contract lengths and charging $150 "for the modem" if you cancel before a year is up because the modems really don't cost all that much, but they do serve as a handy way to sell you a cheap plastic box you don't need at a markup they don't deserve.

One positive that emerged from the 8+ hours of fruitless phone conversations was a bit of sympathy with the tech support workers (even the incompetent ones): it must be daunting trying to solve problems that have six trillion possible causes, and there must be long stretches of boredom mixed in with the frustration as they sit waiting for some unseen computer to reboot and log on and let them continue.

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Here's the cure if you've been feeling the lack of a horrible MIDI of "Five O'Clock World" (warning: loads in the background).

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