Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oy Fay!

Tropical Storm Fay is expected to make a third landfall in or near Flagler Beach, Florida this afternoon. The storm brought up to 30 inches of rain to the Melbourne area and heavy flooding. The storm is moving slowly so Florida will continue to experience more rain and more flooding, mainly in areas further to the north.

Further south, in Palm Beach County, there is little or no flooding. This isn't a hurricane and for most people in that county there is little or no damage from the storm. My mother was not so lucky. Her roof was damaged on Tuesday. She has moisture in the garage and some plaster has fallen. A roofer came out yesterday, looked at the damage, left some materials, and promised to come back today once the rain had passed to do repairs. I guess this is just another reminder that living in Florida means dealing with hurricanes and tropical storms.

This is also a reminder that if the view held by most responsible experts in the field is that global warming will cause stronger, larger and more frequent storms. Anytime some right winger talks about "global warming alarmists" or complains about the cost of making changes in our energy policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions we need to remind them of the very real financial and human costs of doing nothing.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Never Though I'd Say This But....

I never thought I'd say this but I am very glad that John Edwards did not win the Democratic nomination for President. Enough said.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Something New From Neuronium Founding Member Carlos Guirao

Carlos Guirao was an original member of Neuronium, appearing on their first five albums. The New Digital Dream is probably still my favorite Neuronium disc even though there have been plenty of excellent albums in the years since it was first released. Guirao also played on A Separate Affair, the collaboration between Neuronium and Vangelis which is one of my favorite pieces of ambient electronic music to relax to.

After he left Neuronium in 1982 Guirao recorded one solo album and then was part of a techno duo called Programa. Aside from the mid '90s releases of In London (the Neuronium & Vangelis CD single) and A Separate Affair, both of which were recorded in 1981, there has been nothing new from Guirao in something like 23 years... until now. A friend visited Guirao and borrowed a tape of his unreleased second solo album. After listening to it he obtained permission to distribute the album, Pesadillas De Un Ser Viviente, Spanish for "Nightmares of a Living Being", at no charge via the Internet. As a result Carlos Guirao's album has been released on the 'net and can be found here. Oh, and yes, it's perfectly legal to download.

The music covers a variety of styles. It's mainly upbeat electronic music with some drumming and occasional vocals. It's closer to Programa than to Neuronium but really doesn't sound like either one. There are bits that remind me of Jean-Michel Jarre or Christopher Franke but there is probably more that's pretty unique. The 16½ opening track, "Oceanic", is probably the highlight of the album while the fifth track, "Desconocido", is probably the most interesting, at times giving just a bit of the Neuronium sound, perhaps with elements of '80s or '90s Tangerine Dream mixed in. This isn't Guirao's best work to date and there's a bit more of the commercial synth-pop feel than what I usually like, but it's skillfully done and some of the tracks are quite good. Definitely worth a listen.

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