I sort of like it.

A freind whose opinion I sometimes trust saw this duo of rock royalty at Music Fest last weekend and liked what he heard.  The first song I listened to was pretty bad, but this one has some things going for it: good melodies, harmonies, and chording.   It’s too long and proggy in places, and perhaps owes too much to the White Album and Pink Floyd.  Whoever made the video has worshipped too long at Terry Gilliam’s altar.  It mostly just makes me want to go back and watch the real thing.

Bring On the Alcarelle

David Nutt, psychiatrist and director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at Imperial College London, has been working on a safe alternative to booze since he discovered an alcohol antidote as a PhD student in 1983. From an article in The Guardian, here’s the cool science-nerd part …

What Nutt now knows is that there are 15 different Gaba receptor subtypes in multiple brain regions, “and alcohol is very promiscuous. It will bind to them all.” Without giving away his trade secrets, he says he has found which Gaba and other receptors can be stimulated to induce tipsiness without adverse effects. “We know where in the brain alcohol has its ‘good’ effects and ‘bad’ effects, and what particular receptors mediate that – Gaba, glutamate and other ones, such as serotonin and dopamine. The effects of alcohol are complicated but … you can target the parts of the brain you want to target.”

Handily, you can modify the way in which a molecule binds to a receptor to produce different effects. You can design a peak effect into it, so no matter how much Alcarelle you consume, you won’t get hammered. This is well-established science; in fact Nutt says a number of medicines, such as the smoking cessation drug varenicline (marketed as Champix), use a similar shut-off effect. You can create other effects, too, while still avoiding inebriation, so you could choose between a party drink or a business-lunch beverage.

Ultimately, the aim isn’t for Alcarelle to become a drinks company, but to supply companies in the drinks industry with the active ingredient, so that they can make and market their own products. You would expect that the alcohol industry would view Alcarelle as its nemesis, but Orren says that industry players “are approaching us as potential investing collaborators”. This doesn’t surprise Jonny Forsyth, a global drinks analyst at Mintel. “The industry is increasingly investing in alcohol alternatives,” he says. “We have seen a lot of investment in cannabis … They’re looking at nonalcoholic gins and soft drinks because they know people are drinking less [alcohol], and this is a trend that is going to carry on. If the science is right, and if it’s easy to mask the taste, I think it’s got a great chance.”

Full article here.

Bid On That Axe, Eugene

David Gilmour is probably my all time favorite guitar player, and he’s selling a bunch of his guitars for charity. 120 of them. He’s even selling the “Black Strat” that he played on Dark Side of the Moon, Wish you Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. So that’s the guitar that was used for Time, Comfortably Numb, Shine on You Crazy Diamond, and Run Like Hell. Day-um… I’d just like to see that guitar, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to own it. Check out the auction here…  

So if you’ve got $100,000 burning a hole in your pocket, go pick one up.

Reading Is Fundamental

What are any of you bastards reading these days? Believe it or not, I put down the band bios for a minute and I’ve been enjoying the hell out of John Dies At The End. It’s got kind of a MIB vibe, if the agents were a couple of twenty-something college dropouts.

In this reissue of an Internet phenomenon originally slapped between two covers in 2007 by indie Permutus Press, Wong — Cracked.com editor Jason Pargin’s alter ego — adroitly spoofs the horror genre while simultaneously offering up a genuinely horrifying story. The terror is rooted in a substance known as soy sauce, a paranormal psychoactive that opens video store clerk Wong’s — and his penis-obsessed friend John’s — minds to higher levels of consciousness. Or is it just hell seeping into the unnamed Midwestern town where Wong and the others live? Meat monsters, wig-wearing scorpion aberrations and wingless white flies that burrow into human skin threaten to kill Wong and his crew before infesting the rest of the world. A multidimensional plot unfolds as the unlikely heroes drink lots of beer and battle the paradoxes of time and space, as well as the clichés of first-person-shooter video games and fantasy gore films. Sure to please the Fangoria set while appealing to a wider audience, the book’s smart take on fear manages to tap into readers’ existential dread on one page, then have them laughing the next.

Oob La Do Do

Anyone going to pick up the remastered White Album? I don’t have $140 laying around, but I’d really like to hear the Esher demos. Also, and I know I will take heaps of abuse for this, I could do without about half that album.