Well, I'm in Austin, Texas.
Haven't seen anything yet other than the airport, my hotel, and the highway in between. It's warm here. The guy at the car rental place said that it was expected to go into the triple digits this weekend, and advised us to stay indoors between 2 and 6pm. The other suprising thing he said: upon hearing that our flight had been "fine, but long," he said "as long as it doesn't end in a building." Oh, we decided to pay the extra $4 a day and upgrade to a red Mustang — photos to come.
Somewhat ironic happening of the day: when I retrieved my checked luggage from the carousel, I noticed that there was a blue plastic tie on the zippers — my bag had been searched and then resealed.
It was only on getting to my hotel room that I realized that, also in the name of airline safety, I had just yesterday removed all sharp objects from my carry-on luggage. After a few unsuccessul minutes with house keys, I was finally able to saw through it with stick of staples from the desk drawer.
Time for bed.
I picked up a copy of Hail to the Thief last Friday, and it is, as reported, very good. Sadly, the copy protection on the not-a-real-CD means that I can't MP3ify the tracks. My primary means of listening to music these days (music that I've purchased, let's be clear) are my computer at work (which has no removable media drives other than a compact flash slot) and my portable MP3 player, so I've only been able to listen to the album while sitting in my living room — not something I do very often. I understand the rationale for copy-protection, but this scheme has been very poorly implemented. I'm going to be fairly reluctant to buy anything more from EMI until they figure things out.
Luckily, I'm going on my first-ever international business trip this coming week — off to Austin, Texas — and apparently the discs being sold in the US aren't copy protected. Seeing as the disc I have right now won't play at all in my home computer, I won't have any qualms at all about returning it. What a pain.
There is a pretty good review of the new Radiohead album, Hail to the Thief, in the New York Times Arts section of a few days ago (June 8, for those of you who need details)... I just went and found it, having very recently realized that there is a new Radiohead album. Go read it if, you know, you want to.
Radiohead isn't giving up complexity. The new songs are full of odd meters, disorienting syncopations and skewed structures. Nor has Radiohead abandoned its old gambits. There are haunted lullabies ("Sail to the Moon," "Scatterbrain," "I Will"), acoustic guitars hinting at Celtic music but headed elsewhere ("Go to Sleep"), and songs built on hallucinatory studio sounds like "Backdrifts," which is full of reversed, edgeless notes. ("Like Spinning Plates" on "Amnesiac," which also used reversed sounds, is actually un-reversed to provide the chord progression for "I Will.")
There are some new achitects' presentations about what to do with the Gardiner Expressway on the website of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation.
These days, I tend to think that the Gardiner's not really as major a barrier to the waterfront as people make it out to be. It certainly doesn't help, but there are a lot of other factors at work. The transformation plans include some good ideas -- they're worth looking at.