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Ben “The Blenster” Hibben
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I'm a geek! :-)
I'm a geek! :-)

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Ben “The Blenster” Hibben's posts

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Today's song is from the 1996 Romeo and Juliet movie and it is amazing.

The lyrics are dark and beautiful and intertwine modern pop culture and the story in much the way the movie does.

I love how it alludes to the story with lyrics like this:
Juliet is up in heaven, a pocket full of pills
And Jesus drives to Mexico, to get her prescription filled

This, of course, refers to the priest (who is supposed to represent Jesus on Earth) gave her the drug that causes her to appear dead.

Right after this line the energy of the song, which has been building, begins to explode and the guitar jams in a heavily distorted squelch.

There's something magical about his description of his complex encounter with her which is described thusly:

I had a dream last night, and it fit me like a glove
I was a scream last night

I had a dream last night, because she looked just like a dream
She was on fire last night, and I was breathing gasoline

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Today's song is from the excellent X-Files soundtrack Songs in the Key of X (just like this one: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BenHibben/posts/d3cS9epo9o6 ).

This song is dark with a dystopian sci-fi theme that's an expression of both fear and embracement of technology. This is a cover by The Foo Fighters and to be honest I've never heard the original version by Tubeway Army.

I bought the X Files themed CD many years ago because I am a giant nerd and was happy to find it has a lot of very good/interesting music on it.

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Today's song is the theme to one of my all-time favorite shows: Firefly.

This was such a beautiful show with amazing cinematography and beautiful, oh-so-quotable writing. Seriously; don't get me started on picking great quotes from the show; we'll be here all day.

Science fiction often allows us to explore possible futures for humanity and for a long time growing up Star Trek was one that I thought was really great; it portrayed a future where race and gender mattered less than merit and money was a thing of the past. This "ideal" future scenario was replaced by the Culture series by Iain M Banks more recently, as I view that as even better than Star Trek showed.

Unfortunately the way humans are by nature Star Trek is not likely to be terribly accurate (I like the gentle yet intentional bio-engineering that morphs humanity in the Culture series, transforming us into something more capable of handling that sort of society). If we're being honest we're just going to continue to be less-hairy highly-social apes in space and Firefly does a fantastic job of portraying this possible future.

It's no secret that I dream of being able to sail around for a few weeks at a time, captain of my own boat. That's only because I can't realistically captian my own spaceship in my lifetime... ;-)

The lyrics of this song speak to me; no matter what control you exercise over the planets he's still free to roam the stars.

No matter what has happened to me I've remained free in my mind; having endured all that I find I really love this song, this series, and the characters in it.

Who's your favorite character? Who do you think you most closely align with? What role would you want aboard a firefly vessel? Or perhaps somewhere else in the 'verse? Let me know in the comments.

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I've debated whether or not I want to post this song for the last couple of days.

On one hand I love the song, even though I didn't listen to it for quite some time, and it suits me right now as I'm flying high right now.

On the other hand it's closely associated with someone who, well, let's put it this way: if we ever speak again it'll have to start with an apology for how she treated me last time we talked. I'm not holding my breath on that one; she was pretty intent on gas-lighting me then and my impression is that she's not someone who wishes me well anymore.

At least this version doesn't have her singing in it; makes it a bit easier to enjoy I think.

This musical takes a new look at an old story and I recommend it, or the book it is loosely based on, in general for entertainment.

This part of the play in particular is quite inspiring for me; the main character (Elphaba) is choosing to abandon what she thought was her dream/path and instead embracing what she knows is right and will bring her happiness. She may walk alone but she's not going to stop and she's going to shine her light as brightly as she can.

I walk alone now, having had to take a separate path from such a close friend I once thought I'd spend my life working together with, just like Elphaba. I've worked hard to get where I am now and I'm happy to see the results starting to come back in better and better. As these two friends wish each other well, even though they can't understand each other's choices, I wished her well when she chose to leave, and of course I still do.

Here's hoping a house doesn't land on me while I'm out there Defying Gravity.

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It's Monday so let's kick it up a notch and get our blood pumping:

This is a great high-energy song for me. I love the driving beat and the references to Norse mythology.

I haven't done the genetic testing but it's thought I may have descended from one of the Scandinavian countries, perhaps through Viking raids on Scotland or from one of the Scandinavian settlements.

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Obviously I love this joke:

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My brother +hal hibben is re-reading DUNE soon and I've offered to join him; found this incredible artwork in today's RSS feed:

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Today's song is about finding comfort in our own internal struggles and how the this internal torment becomes "home" for us.

We pretend to fight it, the complacency, but in the end we stay where we are, burning, because that's "home" for us.

Change is hard. Even if it's for the better. Our brains become accustomed to patterns of behavior and feeling and we seek to maintain and propagate these patterns. We may escape on crappy job and end up in another. Same with relationships.

Breaking free is hard, so instead we pretend by complaining and making noises or ineffectual half-starts at change before sinking once back into our "home" of fire. We feel like we're making progress or doing something even though we secretly know we're not really going to follow through.

This concept strikes me powerfully; it's something I try to avoid in my own life and this song reminds me of how tempting it is to rest on my laurels and just let it be as it is now rather than to keep pushing to make it better. It reminds me that many people will talk a good game but they won't actually do the work and so I must be wary of putting too much time or energy into places where ultimately nothing good will result.

It may sound like an odd song to serve as motivation to push forward but by embracing the realities of just how easy and comfortable it is to slip into old habits we can better motivate ourselves to be wary of those pitfalls and excuses our brain will feed to us as it lies and says we should just go back home and burn in that nice comfy fire we've been in for so long now...

I hope it will help some of you, too.

(It is somewhat related, in this theme, with this song: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BenHibben/posts/NDthUHHDdGB -- "but we like it when we're spinning in his grin")

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As I mentioned in yesterday's song today's is a reversal of that theme.

Whereas yesterday we had a rock song translated into a classical sound today we have a classical song translated to rock-opera.

This is one of my favorite albums to really jam to nice and loud on a good sound system. One where the lightning crashes have people looking for clouds on a clear day.

The story is interesting; the devil Mephistopheles comes to offer Beethoven the chance to trade his fame for his soul so that he can finish his 10th symphony. In it the songs ask interesting questions like: would you trade your fame for the chance to finish your masterpiece? Is it the art or the fame you desire? Though tempted Beethoven refuses to sign away his soul for more time to work on his art but is then blackmailed with the torture of an innocent orphan.

There are several great songs on this album and at least one other will eventually make it to this due to the power of the lyrics.

I love playing this for folks; they often love the music but can't quite place it.

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Today's song is softly expressed on cello in the classical music style, however the musical source is a bit different, though no less complex.

This is a cover of Metallica's song Fade to Black that I find pleasing.

True story time: I once worked in the sort of stuffy office that considered "no tie" to be "business casual" and had exactly the sort of managers you'd expect from reading that description. They were great guys but they were pretty conservative in their views. One day while listening to Apocalyptica play one stopped by my desk to ask who I was listening to and if he could get a CD of them. He was surprised to learn that he was listening to Metallica when I answered his question regarding who the composer was. He'd never even considered the idea that he might like anything from Metallica.

While I'm not a die-hard fan of Metallica there are a few of their songs I really, really like and I admire the rich complexity and technical detail typically put into their music. I sometimes like to show people the sheet music to a Metallica song so people can see this for themselves. Their Black album (still my favorite of theirs) was one of the first CDs I ever bought (I bought two that day, the other being Salt-N-Pepa).

Tomorrow's song is a reversal of today's theme; 10 internet points to anyone who can figure out what I'm up to in the comments before I post tomorrow:
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