David Wong’s article on the coming video game crash seems to have inspired Steven Den Beste, who agrees with Wong that there will be a gaming crash and also thinks that the same problems affect other forms of entertainment. The crux of the problem appears to be novelty. Part of the problem appears to be evolutionary as well. As humans, we are conditioned for certain things, and it seems that two of our insticts are conflicting.

The first instinct is the human tendency to rely on induction. Correlation does not imply causation, but most of the time, we act like it does. We develop a complex set of heuristics and guidelines that we have extrapolated from past experiences. We do so because circumstances require us to make all sorts of decisions without posessing the knowledge or understanding necessary to provide a correct answer. Induction allows us to to operate in situations which we do not uderstand. Psychologist B. F. Skinner famously explored and exploited this trait in his experiments. Den Beste notes this in his post:

What you do is to reward the animal (usually by giving it a small amount of food) for progressively behaving in ways which is closer to what you want. The reason Skinner studied it was because he (correctly) thought he was empirically studying the way that higher thought in animals worked. Basically, they’re wired to believe that “correlation often implies causation”. Which is true, by the way. So when an animal does something and gets a reward it likes (e.g. food) it will try it again, and maybe try it a little bit differently just to see if that might increase the chance or quantity of the reward.

So we’re hard wired to create these heuristics. This has many implications, from Cargo Cults to Superstition and Security Beliefs.

The second instinct is the human drive to seek novelty, also noted by Den Beste:

The problem is that humans are wired to seek novelty. I think it’s a result of our dietary needs. Lions can eat zebra meat exclusively their entire lives without trouble; zebras can eat grass exclusively their entire lives. They don’t need novelty, but we do. Primates require a quite varied diet in order to stay healthy, and if we eat the same thing meal after meal we’ll get sick. Individuals who became restless and bored with such a diet, and who sought out other things to eat, were more likely to survive. And when you found something new, you were probably deficient in something that it provided nutritionally, so it made sense to like it for a while — until boredom set in, and you again sought out something new.

The drive for diversity affects more than just our diet. Genetic diversity has been shown to impart broader immunity to disease. Children from diverse parentage tend to develop a blend of each parent’s defenses (this has other implications, particularly for the tendency for human beings to work together in groups). The biological benefits of diversity are not limited to humans either. Hybrid strains of many crops have been developed over the years because by selectively mixing the best crops to replant the next year, farmers were promoting the best qualities in the species. The simple act of crossing different strains resulted in higher yields and stronger plants.

The problem here is that evolution has made the biological need for diversity and novelty dependent on our inductive reasoning instincts. As such, what we find is that those we rely upon for new entertainment, like Hollywood or the video game industry, are constantly trying to find a simple formula for a big hit.

It’s hard to come up with something completely new. It’s scary to even make the attempt. If you get it wrong you can flush amazingly large amounts of money down the drain. It’s a long-shot gamble. Every once in a while something new comes along, when someone takes that risk, and the audience gets interested…

Indeed, the majority of big films made today appear to be remakes, sequels or adaptations. One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that something new and exciting often fails at the box office. Such films usually gain a following on video or television though. Sometimes this is difficult to believe. For instance, The Shawshank Redemption is a very popular film. In fact, it occupies the #2 spot (just behind The Godfather) on IMDB’s top rated films. And yet, the film only made $28 million dollars (ranked 52 in 1994) in theaters. To be sure, that’s not a modest chunk of change, but given the universal love for this film, you’d expect that number to be much higher. I think part of the reason this movie failed at the box office was that marketers are just as susceptible to these novelty problems as everyone else. I mean, how do you market a period prison drama that has an awkward title an no big stars? It doesn’t sound like a movie that would be popular, even though everyone seems to love it.

Which brings up another point. Not only is it difficult to create novelty, it can also be difficult to find novelty. This is the crux of the problem: we require novelty, but we’re programmed to seek out new things via correllation. There is no place to go for perfect recommendations and novelty for the sake of novelty isn’t necessarily enjoyable. I can seek out some bizarre musical style and listen to it, but the simple fact that it is novel does not guarantee that it will be enjoyable. I can’t rely upon how a film is marketed because that is often misleading or, at least, not really representative of the movie (or whatever). Once we do find something we like, our instinct is often to exhaust that author or director or artist’s catalog. Usually, by the end of that process, the artist’s work begins to seem a little stale, for obvious reasons.

Seeking out something that is both novel and enjoyable is more difficult than it sounds. It can even be a little scary. Many times, things we think will be new actually turn out to be retreads. Other times, something may actually be novel, but unenjoyable. This leads to another phenomenon that Den Beste mentions: the “Unwatched pile.” Den Beste is talking about Anime, and at this point, he’s begun to accumulate a bunch of anime DVDs which he’s bought but never watched. I’ve had similar things happen with books and movies. In fact, I have several books on my shelf, just waiting to be read, but for some of them, I’m not sure I’m willing to put in the time and effort to read them. Why? Because, for whatever reason, I’ve begun to experience some set of diminishing returns when it comes to certain types of books. These are similar to other books I’ve read, and thus I probably won’t enjoy these as much (even if they are good books).

The problem is that we know something novel is out there, it’s just a matter of finding it. At this point, I’ve gotten sick of most of the mass consumption entertainment, and have moved on to more niche forms of entertainment. This is really a signal versus noise, traversal of the long tail problem. An analysis problem. What’s more, with globalization and the internet, the world is getting smaller… access to new forms of entertainment are popping up (for example, here in the US, anime was around 20 years ago, but it was nowhere near as common as it is today). This is essentially a subset of a larger information aggregation and analysis problem that we’re facing. We’re adrift in a sea of information, and must find better ways to navigate.

10,000 Days

It’s been a while since I’ve gotten really into an album, but Tool’s new 10,000 Days seems to have broken that trend. I’ve been listening to it almost nonstop for about a month now, and I’m still picking it apart. As I mentioned the other day, I have some odd musical tastes:

…I usually only listen to the music (as opposed to paying attention to the lyrics). When the music is interesting enough to me, I’ll eventually get around to the lyrics. Sometimes, I’m pleased, other times I find out I’m listening to German anarchists. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

As such, I think I generally approach music in a different way than most people. One other thing to note is that when it comes to music, I have next to no technical knowledge. Tune, chords, notes, I have a general idea of what these things are, but I’m no musician. I treat music much more subjectively than I treat movies or books; I just know what I like to hear, and that’s about it. So here are my thoughts for each song on this album:

  1. Vicarious: An excellent song, perhaps my favorite on the album. It provides an interesting transition from Lateralus (Tool’s last album) to this album. It seems to share some of the musical themes of Lateralus, though only in a subtle way. I generally find myself attracted to songs that have an interesting structure. Longer songs tend to fit this bill – there’s more time to fill and most good songs don’t just keep repeating the same thing over and over again for too long, so there needs to be some interesting transitions, etc… Vicarious does a pretty good job at this for being a medium length (7:08) song. Maynard’s singing approaches a whisper at some points in this song, but while that initially struck me as odd, I find that working pretty well at this point. One thing I like is when music actually builds towards the ending, and this song certainly does so, especially in the last chorus.
  2. Jambi: This song continues the transition from Vicarious to the rest of the album. A little more repetitive than the other songs, especially with respect to the guitar work, but it has its moments. It’s another medium length song, though its structure isn’t as interesting as Vicarious’. Still, it’s a decent enough song.
  3. Wings for Marie (pt 1): The best of the slower, moodier songs on the album. At this point in the album, the sound has shifted enough that it no longer feels like I’m listening to a continuation of Lateralus. One of the things Tool does a lot is insert these little interludes between songs. They’re nice the first time you listen to the album, but after a while, they’re just tracks that you skip. At a little over six minutes long, this song hardly qualifies as an interlude, and it’s got enough substance to hold my attention, but I have a feeling it will be overshadowed by the next song (sort of how Parabol is overshadowed by Parabola on Lateralus).
  4. 10,000 Days (Wings pt 2): One of the longest songs on the album (11:15), I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I fully appreciate this song’s structure. However, I enjoy the way it starts and gradually gets more and more involved (the thunderstorm that underlies the song is well done and evocative). On any album that I love, I find that I’ll start out loving and listening to a bunch of songs, usually skipping past various others on the album in favor of the ones I like most. But then I sorta rediscover the songs I used to skip over. I think this will be one of my rediscoveries in a few months…
  5. The Pot: Perhaps the most commercially viable song on this album, it’s also pretty darn good. It’s the shortest of the non-moody songs on the album (6:34), with a pretty interesting structure and a few good moments. As Kaedrin reader DyRE notes, this song has a certain playfulness about it which kinda breaks the mood of the preceding songs rather abruptly, but I still think it works just fine. Maynard’s voice isn’t as distorted or washed out here as it is in several of the other songs, and it really gives the song a different feel.
  6. Lipan Conjuring: One of the aforementioned intermission type songs, there’s not much to say about this one.
  7. Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman): – Another slow, moody piece. It features a dialogue between a nurse and a doctor talking about a patient. I’m not sure if this is sampled from a movie or anything, but it appears that my refusal to acknowledge lyrics includes stuff l ike this. Perhaps a future rediscovery, but I think this one will eventually fall off the playlist in favor of the faster songs…
  8. Rosetta Stoned: Only a few seconds shorter than 10,000 Days, this is one of the longest songs on the album (11:13). I either haven’t had enough time to digest the structure of this song, or its pacing is a bit off. A really good long song is difficult, so I guess some misfires are to be expected. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten to like this song more as I’ve listened to it more, so I think it just means I’m still working through the structure. There are a certainly a few shining minutes in this song that are really, truly awesome. One is about two thirds of the way in, when things slow down a bit and the percussion switches gears. The song sort of jams on that for a little while, then starts building to a crescendo where the music kicks in a little and Maynard starts singing his lines. It’s an awesome moment, and it goes on for about a minute which is great (usually songs that reach such a point peter out really quickly). Yeah, so even if it seems a bit off in the beginning, that part around 8 minutes in really makes up for it (and then some).

    Also, there’s a part in this song that really sounds a lot like Third Eye. And I think there’s another part in the song that sounds a bit like the Grudge (I think it’s on this song, but it also sort of sounds like this elsewhere on 10,000 days). I’ll obviously have to listen more, but I can here various pieces of their previous work here. I don’t want to give the impression that this song is basically a carbon copy of their previous work though. It’s very distinct, but it’s interesting to hear familiar notes from time to time.

  9. Intension: Another moody segue piece. Haven’t listened to this much, so it might make an interesting rediscovery. Somewhat reminiscent of the song Disposition, from Lateralus.
  10. Right in Two: Another great song that starts a little slow and builds until they’re really going at it. Great stuff here. Once again, I think I noticed some themes from previous Tool albums peeing out in this song, though again, this isn’t a bad thing. One thing I need to mention, but haven’t yet is that the drummer for Tool, Danny Carey, is absolutely incredible (in this song, but also in all of the others). He has a very intricate style, often incorporating other percussive techniques (like tabla) and seamlessly lapsing into a sort of controlled chaos that’s almost uncanny. It’s also nice to hear a drummer that doesn’t appear to be influenced at all by hip-hop (i.e. no Amen Breaks to be found here).
  11. Viginti Tres: – Yet another moody piece that I probably won’t listen to very much.

From a structural standpoint, it’s a very dense album, and I can tell that I’m still going to be picking it apart a few months from now. It’s also quite a strange album. Almost all of the songs are extremely long, with some having a very convoluted arrangement. This might make the album less accessible to some. DyRE tells me that the lyrics are more personal and that the album has a generally non-uplifting tone, which is something that will probably turn me off once I get around to looking at the lyrics (I’m in no hurry to do so at this point, especially knowing that). Overall, I’m quite happy with the album, though I don’t know if I’d place it above their best album, �nima. I think it says something that I wasn’t disappointed even though it’s been 5 years since their last album though.

Playlist Meme

Julenka posts the first 50 songs in her current playlist. When it comes to music, I seem to be on a completely different wavelength than most people. Part of this has to do with the fact that I usually only listen to the music (as opposed to paying attention to the lyrics). When the music is interesting enough to me, I’ll eventually get around to the lyrics. Sometimes, I’m pleased, other times I find out I’m listening to German anarchists. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. Anyway, that might be worth keeping in mind as you read this list of 30 songs which I got by putting my iPod on shuffle. Also, it seems that the practice of simply ripping a lot of CDs and putting them on the iPod have given me a quite a few songs that I would probably skip if they came up, so I’ll make some notes for each song too…

  1. The Great Below – Nine Inch Nails: Good stuff, a little different from what most might associate with NIN.
  2. What Planet Is this – Yokko Kanno and the Seatbelts: Great Cowboy Bebop soundtrack jazzy stuff.
  3. Pristina (remix) – Faith No More: This is a rarity, I think. A low-key remix of a low-key song on a low-key album of a low-key band (well, I’m not sure they were low-key, but that just makes for a better description). I doubt anyone reading this has even heard it (if you have, you better leave a comment!)
  4. Powder – Yokko Kanno and the Seatbelts: Short and more soundtracky (and thus less interesting to listen to by itself), this is from one of my favorite moments in the Cowboy Bebop movie.
  5. Er, this is a chapter from an audio book (Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point). A good book, but I’m pretty sure the audio version I have is abridged.
  6. Nice Dream – Radiohead: Decent stuff.
  7. Four Sticks – Led Zepplin: Eh, not my favorite, but not bad either.
  8. Welcome to the Machine – Pink Floyd: Same as above.
  9. In My Tree – Pearl Jam: From what may be my favorite Pearl Jam album, No Code.
  10. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Santa Esmeralda: This is a really great (and long!) song from the Kill Bill Soundtrack.
  11. Love is a Fist – Mr. Bungle – Eh, I’d probably skip it (I have to be in a certain mood to listen to early Mr. Bungle)
  12. Closer – Nine Inch Nails: Infamous, but I like the music.
  13. Ultra – KMFDM: So-so. It’s a toss-up as to whether or not I’d listen if this came up.
  14. Backyard – Guster: A good song, but it ends sort of abrubptly. Which is odd, because it fades out.
  15. Gotta knock a little harder – Yokko Kanno and the Seatbelts: Hmm, this list isn’t so random, is it?
  16. Vanity Fair – Mr. Bungle: From California, my favorite Mr. Bungle album.
  17. Ommadawn Part Two – Mike Oldfield: Great, epic stuff (though I prefer to listen to the whole album at once, as opposed to jumping in at part two).
  18. Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie: Good stuff.
  19. Alberto Balsalm – Aphex Twin: More good stuff.
  20. Lion Thief – The Beta Band: This band always reminds me of that scene in High Fidelity where John Cusack proclaims that he’ll now sell 5 copies of a Beta Band album.
  21. Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin: Good stuff.
  22. March of the Pigs – Nine Inch Nails: One of the first NIN songs to catch my eye.
  23. Rose – A Perfect Circle: A so-so song. I’d probably skip it.
  24. Echoes – Pink Floyd: One of those 26 minute long Epics. Sometimes I love that sort of song.
  25. Pushit – Tool: Great song, one of my favorite Tool songs.
  26. Wings For Marie (Pt 1) – Tool: One of the better slow, moody songs off their new album, but still slow and probably something I’d skip…
  27. Trust – KMFDM: One of the things I love about KMFDM is when they have female vocalists provide the chorus (or sing more of the song). It puts them on a different level.
  28. Silence is the Question – The Bad Plus: Piano based jazz. Decent stuff, but this song is a little slow. I’d probably skip.
  29. Darts of Pleasure – Franz Ferdinand: That’s the band, not the archduke.
  30. Alma-Ville – Vince Guaraldi: How can you not like Vince Guaraldi? I mean, come one, he did the soundtrack to the Charlie Brown Christmas!

That’s all. Perhaps a little more about music later in the week. Feel free to post your own list in the comments…

Link Dump

Time is short this week, so just a few links I found interesting…

  • Make Me Watch TV: Collaborative torture. This guy lets people choose what he watches on TV. Naturally, voters tend to make him watch the worst of the worst (though it seems that sometimes people are nice and let him watch an episode of Lost or Doctor Who). After each viewing, he blogs about what he’s seen. One interesting thing here is that, if you want, you can “sponsor” a time slot: If you pay him $5 (per half hour), he’ll let you override the popular vote and force him to watch the program of your choice. Democracy in action.
  • Life After the Video Game Crash: In light of recent bloggery, this article in which David Wong recaps the history of video games (including the beloved Atari 2600) also predicts the coming of another Video Game Crash. Basically, it argues that the next generation gaming consoles offer very little in the way of true innovation and Wong is betting that people will stay away in droves. Regardless of what you may think, it’s worth reading because Wong is funny:

    And yet, even with the enormous number of games (Metroid delayed my discovering girls for a for a good 18 months), the gaming experience itself still couldn’t keep our interest for more than a few years. Attention waned again, but this time new, fancier systems arrived just in time, offering a new and novel experience thanks to prettier graphics and character animation. And yet those systems (the Sega Genesis and later the SNES), as great as they were, eventually were retired to closets and attics and the sandy carpets of the Pakistani black market. It was a bitter, dark cloud of Japanese expletives that wafted from the meeting rooms at Nintendo and Sega when they realized their industry effectively lived under a curse.

  • The World’s Most Important 6 Second Drum Beat: Nate Harrison’s fascinating 2004 video explores the history of the “Amen Break,” a six second drum beat from a b-side of a 1969 single that’s been used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music. From there, it spawned subcultures like drum-and-bass and jungle music. Aside from the strange fact that this is a video (there doesn’t appear to actually be a reason for this – most of the video is simply a video of a record playing or a guy sitting in a room, for instance), this is compelling stuff. It covers the history of the break, but also some issues about ownership, copyright, and what constitutes art and creativity…

Apologies for the lameness of this entry. I’ve been travelling this weekend, and I’m exhausted. I’ve got several of these weekends coming up, so I’m going to try and set up some guest bloggers to post in my stead. I think the next one will be in two weeks or so. Anyway, I’ll try to post again later this week…

Lileks Podcast

Last Friday’s Bleat featured James Lileks’ first (that I know of) podcast. Since I’ve now got an iPod, I figured I might as well download it and see what all the fuss is about. It’s strange to hear the voice of someone you’ve previously only read. In this case, Lileks’ voice is much deeper than the voice I have in my head when I read his stuff.

It’s a short podcast, but the main topic is “a demonstration of the thesis that every era gets the Batman music it deserves.” Pretty good, and it’s about what you’d expect from Lileks. I only have one minor quibble – how can you talk about Batman music matching the time period and not actually go into detail on Prince’s horrific (yet appropriate for the 80s) Batdance? (Prince’s role in the 1989 soundtrack is mentioned, but no clips are played.) Oh, and 1 other minor complaint is that the podcast isn’t listed in iTunes, so I can’t set it to automatically update. Get with the program James! Anyway, this weeks was quite good, and I look forward to future installments…

Speaking of podcasts, does anyone have any recommendations? The only other podcast that I’ve gotten into is the CHUD Show (which is interesting, but probably only to movie nerds who can appreciate really bad jokes like myself).

Save it with the music

In general, the process of making a movie is a difficult one, but some genres are more difficult than others. Horror (and science fiction), in particular, require certain leaps of faith that are more difficult to accomplish than other, more conventional, genres. This places more importance on all aspects of the film. For a good horror movie, everything needs to be there, including the writing (important for any movie, but horror films usually require a little more imagination), cinematography (very important in horror), and the music, amongst other aspects.

I’m going to focus on the music because while music is important in all films, it is even moreso in horror. Films depend on music to help set the mood, and good composers are often able to do so without calling too much attention to themselves. Perhaps it’s just me, but music is often able to evoke an understated emotional response, one that sometimes isn’t recognizable until after the film has ended. As such, the auditory aspects of a film are often overlooked in favor of the other, more overt, features of the film. Yet any good horror film will rely almost as much on the sound as the visuals to provide the scares.

“Music in horror films is probably more powerful than in any other genre, so it’s good for a composer to do them because he can be very influential on the action.”

That quote is from composer Simon Boswell (found via this excellent article on sound and horror films), notable for his work on many horror films (including several by the infamous Italian director Dario Argento), and I think he’s right. Some great examples of how composers really shape the action can be heard in Jaws (courtesy of John Williams) and John Carpenter’s Halloween. John Williams’ ominous searching cue steadily builds on itself, brilliantly setting the tone for the viewer. Perhaps even more evokative is John Carpenter’s score for his seminal slasher flick, Halloween. He describes the process of writing the music for Halloween:

I shot Halloween in the spring of 1978. It was my third feature and my first out-and-out horror film. I had three weeks of pre-production planning, twenty days of principle photography, and then Tommy Lee Wallace spent the rest of the spring and summer cutting the picture, assisted by Charles Bornstein and myself. I screened the final cut minus sound effects and music, for a young executive from 20th Century-Fox (I was interviewing for another possible directing job). She wasn’t scared at all. I then became determined to “save it with the music.”

And she was right. Just try watching halloween with the sound off and you’ll see what I mean. Most of the tension fades away, and while there are certainly some creepy visuals, it’s the music that truly cements the scares in the film. The simplistic three-note piano melody that Carpenter composed for the main theme (mp3) is truly haunting. It stays with you, and plays in your head whenever the lights go out.

The scoring sessions took two weeks because that’s all the budget would allow. Halloween was dubbed in late July and I finally saw the picture with an audience in the fall. My plan to “save it with the music” seemed to work. About six months later I ran into the same young executive who had been with 20th Century-Fox (she was now with MGM). Now she too loved the movie and all I had done was add music. But she really was quite justified in her initial reaction.

There are some techniques which are more obvious than others, but if they’re done well, there’s nothing wrong with that. The aformentioned Jaws theme is an excellent example of a long musical build-up that also builds tension in the audience, who becomes convinced that something is going to happen. In Jaws, it does, but many composers have subverted that convention by using the musical build-up as misdirection (i.e. instead of a giant monster, it turns out that the ominous sounds were just caused by the family cat).

Another obvious technique is what Roger Ebert describes as the “boo” moment (or what Carpenter calls the “stingers”), where a sudden sharp noise startles the audience, which is also often used to emphasise a visual surprise. This is sometimes referred to as a “cheap” technique, but I think it’s fine if it’s used sparingly.

However, even in films that have striking themes and stingers, the music ultimately serves as a medium for subliminal suggestion, setting the mood and subtlety evoking an emotional response. In a horror film, this is of paramount importance, and that’s why most great horror films have notable soundtracks. John Carpenter had resolved to “save it with the music,” but I don’t think there was anything unique about that experience. I think most horror films need to have that musical base to truly be effective.

Update: This post has been featured in the Carnival of Music! Check it out for lots more music goodness.

The Belated Blues

Hellhound by Mitch Myers (real audio): An interesting NPR piece I heard on the way home yesterday. It is based on the story of legendary blues artist Robert Johnson, who, legend has it, sold his soul to the devil to obtain his amazing guitar skills. As if to strengthen this Faustian explaination, Johnson explored in his music the battle of good against evil and recorded songs like “Hell Hound on My Trail” and “Me and the Devil Blues.” There is some contention as to where Robert is buried, too. Two graves in different cemetaries in Greenwood, Mississippi both bear his name, and there is a popular roadside spot nearby where some believe he was interred. Myers’ story is an interesting one, concerning ghastly secret track on Robert Johnson’s boxed set. In his short life, Johnson recorded only 41 tracks, many of which are alternate takes of the same song, but his sound has had an large impact on blues and rock music ever since.

Third Eye Open

There has been a press release regarding a string quartet tribute to Tool which sounds rather interesting. “This concept, inspired by the complex compositions and unique sound of Tool, delivers dramatic interpretations of the best of the band. This album takes the band’s rhythmic guitars, assault-rifle drums, wide-ranging, multiple-octave vocals and turns them into aggressive string playing, deep and percussive cello, and vigorous yet delicate vocalizations on violin.” I have long been a fan of the Finnish Apocalyptica, who played some of Metallica’s greatest hits with their cellos (then later went on to arrange their own cello-driven heavy metal with their latest album, Cult), so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this tribute to Tool…

NIN Naming Conventions

While rifling through one of my old backup cds, I found the following image which describes the rather humorous way in which Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) names his numerous hard drives, filenames, and programs:

NIN naming conventions


Today marks the release of Tool‘s long awaited new album, Lateralus. DyRE was lucky enough to catch KROQ playing the album in its entirety, two days before its release. He recorded his thoughts during the playing. Apparently, it rocks (“fuck yeah!”). DyRE also posted a weblog entry with an awfully cool interview with Maynard and Danny Carey (I was especially pleased to see Mike Patton as a “related artist” at the bottom of said interview). All of this craziness has inspired me to embark on a perilous quest for the new album during mine lunch break. I can only hope that my co-workers understand when I start trashing my cube because the album rocks so much…