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  • dtoub 1:46 pm on Saturday, August 14, 2010, 1:46 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , idiocy, SEPTA   

    SEPTA is short for idiocy 

    I take the regional rail line (operated by the Southeastern PA Transportation Authority, or SEPTA) all the time to the airport. I know the schedule pretty well, but do make sure to check for any changes when they issue a new schedule. I just walked to my local train station to buy tickets for Monday and noticed new schedules were out. I was pretty surprised to see that the airport line schedule didn’t give any information for transit between my station and Center City, Philadelphia. I had to ask the sales person behind the station counter what was going on and he confirmed that the trains were unchanged, but that “Septa are idiots.” I have to agree. I just tried to give them feedback on their customer feedback form, but each time I submitted it I got a CGI error (folks are still using CGI rather than ASP? Really?). Anyway, here’s my complaint to them in the hopes that someone from SEPTA will read it. 

    I just picked up the new Airport Line regional rail schedule and was very concerned. I travel from Jenkintown to the airport every other week by regional rail and strongly support it. Until now, it was easy to figure out what train to take from Jenkintown to and from the airport. Now, it’s not-the airport schedule only lists trains to and from Center City while the Glenside Combined schedule lists trains and one can only tell if it goes to the airport (and without an arrival time) by looking at the code at the bottom. Worse, there’s no easy way to tell which trains coming back from the airport will stop in Jenkintown. Even the Septa staff member at Jenkintown complained to me that this is an “idiotic move.” And I agree.

    • Les 7:27 pm on Sunday, August 15, 2010, 7:27 pm Permalink

      Isn’t ASP a microsoft technology?

    • dtoub 7:40 pm on Sunday, August 15, 2010, 7:40 pm Permalink

      Yes it is. But objectively, it is a better approach than CGI.

  • dtoub 2:21 am on Friday, May 30, 2008, 2:21 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Boulez, idiocy, Ives,   

    stupid comment du jour 

    Pierre Boulez on the music of Charles Ives:

    “I’ve also played the Robert Browning Overture and theThree Places in New England. It’s music written by an amateur. You would have to rewrite things because it’s impossible to do justice to the ideas because they’re poorly written. He stayed an amateur all his life and he wanted to stay this way. It was a choice for him.”

    Interesting. I suspect Ives would have said the same of Boulez’s music…

    And if Pierre thinks Ives’ stuff is amateurish, he’d have a field day with my crap.


    • J.C. Combs 1:49 am on Saturday, May 31, 2008, 1:49 am Permalink

      Boulez comment makes me wonder if he was purely referring to the lack of notation quality, i.e., if Ives hadn’t fleshed out the notation comments for performance purposes. Contemporary composers, in some cases, leave room for interpretation of scores for performers. But at the time Ives was scoring works, Boulez might be commenting that Ives was lacking the means to score in relation to expectations of performers of that era because he chose to stay in the insurance business and didn’t apply enough time to composing. I thought that could be the case from his following Q&A in that interview.

      Although, if Boulez meant that the score was amateur because of strictly the notes and not the notation instruction, that would be idiotic.

    • David 6:59 am on Saturday, May 31, 2008, 6:59 am Permalink

      I see your point, James. But then he chose his words poorly, since I reread the interview before writing this post and still came back with the same impression that he was dissing the music. I own the score to Three Places in New England, and while there are a few sections that are perhaps complex and not idiomatic for the respective instruments, the work is pretty performable, perhaps moreso than, say, many works by a slew of contemporary composers Boulez has conducted. Wonder if he’ll clarify his remarks. I suspect his comments reflect a genuine disdain for Ives’ music, which is unfortunate. I also think it might reflect a genuine disdain in the academic or other establishment composing world against music by those of us with non-musical day jobs. If so, then Boulez and othersnlike him can kiss my tuchis.

    • J.C. Combs 11:54 am on Saturday, May 31, 2008, 11:54 am Permalink

      It is hard to comprehend anyone would actually be serious when calling one of the greatest American composers an amateur. Go figure. Mr. Boulez, could you be a little jealous?

    • Ton Braas 6:03 am on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 6:03 am Permalink

      When comparing the stilistic features of the symphonies written by Matthijs Vermeulen (1888-1967) with works by composers of the generation before him, the polymelodic qualities of the Robert Browning Overture and Ives’ Fourth Symphony struck me. And analyzing these works there arose admiration for the professional, skilled orchestration of his ideas.
      I disagree fully with Boulez.

    • Joseph Benzola 9:44 am on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 9:44 am Permalink

      Obviously too much Syrah…too much Tuna Nicoise…way too many opera houses blown up. I’m sure he’s not much of a fan of Art Brut either. Way too many cranky French serialists whose comments no one really cares about. On another note DT, have you heard the latest Riley archive release “The Last Camel in Paris”? A nice tie in to Boulez!

    • dtoub 2:55 pm on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 2:55 pm Permalink

      thanks! No, I haven’t yet hears the Riley album but will certainly try to check it out.

    • James Ross 6:53 pm on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 6:53 pm Permalink

      I don’t know what Boulez was really saying about Ives here, but it sounds like there’s more than a hint of admiration (reluctant) and irritation (more than willing) in the comment. Perhaps Boulez sees Ives as amatuerish in his methods, unable to adequately express his musical ideas, but cannot escape the fact that the music is so powerful, and Ives’s place in music history so exalted.

      You know, in “Give My Regards to Eigth Street,” Feldman mentions a letter Boulez wrote to John Cage where he says, “I must know everything in order to step off the carpet.” Someone with that kind of intellect would probably be a bit annoyed at less-than-perfect notational practice and might be tempted to regard it as a fatal weakness.

      By the way, the release of Riley ‘s “Last Camel …” is a must-hear. It’s on Rhapsody right now, if you are a subscriber.


    • david 11:46 pm on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 11:46 pm Permalink

      I listened to an excerpt from Last Camel in Paris and it is a live version of Shri Camel, which I’ve enjoyed since it came out on LP. I’m not clear how different the live version is. It’s obviously different, since TR essentially improvises as he goes, as does La Monte Young. I think this is sorta like the extended recording of Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band that came out a bit ago.

      Have you heard Shri Camel: Morning Corona, which is available on UbuWeb? It’s amazing.

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