Category Archives: Personal natter

Hang tight + radio

I’m pulling together the threads for the next few posts.   Should be back in a week.

Also, for anyone who cares, my radio show Lost Frequencies is now 9-11pm (rather than 9pm-midnight).  The decrease was for no other reason than my own sanity.   Expect commensurate increase in coherent sentences and overall programming quality.

Thanks as always go to the brilliant KRTS-Marfa Public Radio for having me, and for letting me do what I do, free of rules, bounds and playlists, every week.

KRTS streams.  You can and should tune in to hear me.

Posted in Personal natter | 2 Comments

I owe it all to the 45rpm record

Office Naps is officially five years old.

Office Naps is five years old

Office Naps is five years old this week. Thanks to foxgrrl's flickr stream for the photo.

Thank you, dear reader, for all of your support, stories and positive feedback over the years!

Posted in Miscellaneous Flotsam, Personal natter | 8 Comments

Goodbye Trish Keenan

Trish Keenan

Trish Keenan. Image courtesy of the Warp Records website.

I first heard Broadcast’s “Long Was The Year” back in 2000 on WFMU’s webstream.  The attraction was instantaneous.  Pulsating feedback and cavernous production shimmered with a strange, magnetic beauty, the bassline was pure ‘60s Los Angeles pop.  Percussion and hand-wired pop electronics descended in dense, shifting layers of melody.  At the center was the voice, a gorgeous presence exuding mystery and enunciating Sleep, long and fast, Let the past be the past with icy-warm reserve.  This was Trish Keenan.

It was one of those momentous, too-rare minutes that changes you, even as a hardened music fan.  Reality unspools a little, new worlds open up.

Broadcast defied all experiences of getting extremely excited by a group only to learn the remainder of their work was largely mediocre.   Rather, to dig into the Broadcast discography was to submerge oneself deeper in a universe of glorious sound.  It was a universe shockingly aligned with my own tastes, my own sensibilities, my own ideas.  Broadcast made it easy to think that this universe had been constructed precisely for me.

Again, defying all pop music patterns, Broadcast’s attractiveness only strengthened in ensuing years, even with my once-ardent enthusiasm for contemporary music continuing to fade.   With each new release Broadcast broke ground in some new way, forever expanding their sparkling vision into new fringes of the cosmos.   Each new Broadcast release was worth obsessing about because Broadcast had obsessed about it.

Every fan will have their favorite album or song.  For me their magnum opus will always be 2003’s Haha Sound.  It’s one of the best albums of the 21st Century.  It’s one of the best albums, period.  Their last full-length release – 2009’s Broadcast & the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age – was magnificent, a kaleidoscopic, extremely psychedelic collaboration with simpatico artist Julian House, and a long-overdue addition to their sterling discography.

Details about Broadcast in the media have largely and rightfully concentrated on their music.  Perhaps that’s why it’s impossible for me – merely a musical admirer – to separate Trish Keenan the individual from Trish Keenan of Broadcast.   One senses, though, that Broadcast’s music was, at least in some way, an embodiment of herself.  It emanates deep intelligence and an inquisitive spirit, one excited and haunted by the creative possibility of inner worlds.

It’s been some small comfort to read different personal accounts of Broadcast’s music since Trish Keenan’s tragic passing several days ago.  My own experience is hardly unique.  But Keenan’s music meant a great deal to me.  And now a beautiful world has sadly closed.

Deepest condolences to her family and friends.  Goodbye Trish Keenan, may you rest in peace.

Posted in Personal natter | 4 Comments

No post this week

As I scramble to wrap up an exciting new phase of the Exotica Project.  Stay tuned.

Also, so help me God, Office Naps is now on the Twitter.

Posted in Personal natter | 3 Comments

Back again

Well now, been a while.

First of all, if you’re reading this, thanks.  Especially for those who’ve emailed, left encouraging comments, and otherwise continued to work through the site’s archives.

It seems like for over six months now I’ve been looking for the right moment to return.  It’s been a fairly busy time – I wrapped up graduate school, found gainful employment and moved to west Texas – but clearly the right moment, or the right state of mind, for reactivating Office Naps has been a much longer time coming than I’d hoped it would be.  Thanks for hanging in there.

There are a few noticeable formatting and display changes, some of which are the consequence of a long-overdue switch from Blogger templates to a self-hosted WordPress site, some of which are just basic improvements to image formatting and the like.  Minor tweaks and revisions will be ongoing, with the postings themselves being kept to a hopefully more manageable basis – hence the new tagline. But otherwise the basic format and premise of the site will remain the same as ever.  Please tell your friends, update your RSS feeds, comment, email me, etc.  (And do check out my new, other website, the Exotica Project.)  And thanks again.

Posted in Personal natter | 7 Comments

A note to kind Office Naps readers

Some of you have noticed that your author, who has made it a habit to drop things for months at a time, then to only suddenly reappear like that errant stepfather, has done it again.

A bit of explanation. When one’s waking hours are spent pitch-adjusting blue audograph discs or wondering whether more time shouldn’t be spent with something called digiprov, other things – important things – perspective, for one, updating music blogs, another – tend to get pushed aside. Healthier souls, even in their busiest stretches, commit themselves to at least some daily moment of relaxation or favorite activity. The word, I think, is balance. That’s something I’ve never much messed around with.

But Office Naps is something that we record collectors strive for. An unmediated, unregulated forum for our collections, simply, and an audience there to pay the tiniest bit of attention. Believe me, having someone, anyone, to listen to your music and your various exhortations about music is a true pleasure. And you, readers, you’re more than just anyone, you’re the best.

Which is to say I’ll be back. Just give me another month or two.

much love,
Little Danny

Posted in Personal natter | 37 Comments

Farewell, for a little while

It’s come time to say goodbye, if for a little bit.

My first semester as a full-time graduate student at the University of Texas’s School of Information just lurched to a start. It’s a turn of events that came only with a characteristically protracted process of procrastination, and I do miss the security of the old computer programming job that sustained me for seven years. But this, this decision – it seems inevitable now that I’m actually here. On Office Naps, discussing 45 rpm records always superseded news of my personal life, but it will likely come as little surprise to many readers that I am pursuing coursework in archives and preservation – audio, specifically. It’s exciting.

Photo courtesy Ron Slattery’s bighappyfunhouse

Office Naps was something I that began as spare time activity, a trifle for my own amusement. I just knew I wanted to discuss music. Thinking about music’s place in the context of American post-War history is a big thing for me. I wanted to freely elaborate on music and, moreover, I wanted to do so online, where much discussion about records is either acutely anti-intellectual or mired in hopelessly cutesy collector talk. I half-heartedly thought that I might reach artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, pop culture freaks, amateur historians, bloggers, etc. Anyone, really, who loves interesting music and enjoys reading about it. The generous encouragement and word-of-mouth support from readers and other bloggers was not expected, though, and it absolutely sustained me. Better care was taken with the writing, research leads were followed more assiduously. The site evolved, organically, into something bigger as well as something that assumed a bigger part of every weekend. But my efforts paid off. Readership increased with every month, and now surpasses over one thousand visitors on a daily basis. I’m proud of that.

With my initiate’s anxiety and enthusiasm, I’ll be concentrating my efforts on the new direction, much to the exclusion of recreational writing, recreational anything. One thing, though: more than radio, more than club DJing, an audio blog is a supremely satisfying activity. I ’m hooked. Office Naps isn’t going to go away, and I do hope everyone will drop by occasionally. Expect mixes, podcasts, various digitized flotsam as well as the familiar thematic 45 reviews to be floated your way, just on a less frequent basis. Got an idea for a guest post or three related 45s you’re dying to write about? I’d love to hear from you, too. And – it may be a year or two, it may be a mere semester – but weekly Office Naps will be back, as surely as the junkie’s quest for vinyl curios continues unabated.

much love,
DJ Little Danny

Posted in Personal natter | 59 Comments

Office Naps takes the week off…

…as I move back to Austin and gird myself for the beginning of my graduate school career. Like Rodney Dangerfield’s Back to School, just not as hilarious. More soon.

Posted in Personal natter | 3 Comments

New at the Lonely Beat:

A bit "Lotus Land," a bit "Key Largo," Dizzy Gillespie's "Rumbola" is rarely-heard side, recorded in 1954, and a lovely example of dark jazz noir in an exotic Latin setting.