All posts by Ratan X

Thoughts on “oldies” radio

Many people today probably are unfamiliar with “oldies” radio format. I enjoyed listening to it when I was in the car with my mom because it was something we could both enjoy. I couldn’t enjoy the easy listening/adult contemporary station she liked, and she hated anything loud or fast, so that made listening the modern/mainstream rock stations out of the question.

But oldies was a sweet spot we could both enjoy. The mixture of 50s rockabilly, soul, bubblegum pop and 70s AM pop sounded great together. This format has pretty much disappeared entirely from the local airwaves, and seems to be a rarity nationally as well. “Classic hits” is the new format, and it focuses primarily on 80s, with some 70s and 60s thrown in as well.

Back in 1991, the real height of the format for me anyway, there were a couple of stations playing this format and both of them focused on music from around 1954-75. Which to a certain extent is hilarious. 16 year old songs as “oldies”? Well, to somebody who was 13-14 at the time, of course they were oldies. They were older than me. How could they not be oldies? Hell, new wave songs from 10 years earlier were “oldies” to me.

Of course the real absurdity of it all is when you realize that 2007 was 16 years ago. The oldest Rural Citizens Band songs date from December 2006, which means they are now older than those 1975 songs were in 1991. Putting that aside and only looking at the pop hits of 2007, we’d need to call Kanye, Rihanna, Fall Out Boy and Arctic Monkeys “oldies” and nobody would think that.

Of course, the big difference between 1991 and now is that music hasn’t changed that much in the meantime. A song from the mid 70s sounded like an oldie in 1991, whereas now songs from 2023 and 2007 sound pretty much the same. Even punk and new wave music from the 70s doesn’t sound that different from indie rock of 2023. I can be an old scrooge and listen to the latest indie rock songs and pick out nicks from The Fall, Wire, Gang of Four, etc.

The same goes for the “classic rock” format. Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, etc will never sound right on classic rock because they’re so different than the arena rock bands of 70s. Even though Pearl Jam at times sounded like The Who or Led Zeppelin, they were far too arty to sound like a perfect ape of those bands.

In general though, there was something charming about having that division between music. Listening to oldies radio was a something far different than listening to contemporary pop and rock radio. It’s something that’s been lost.

But of course I could just be nostalgic for seemingly better times. I say seemingly better because there are plenty of painful memories from that time that I’m glad I am where I am now.

Further thoughts on Windows 10, et al

So it’s been about 5 months since Windows 10 became my daily use OS. I still have my iMac, it’s just not in use too often. Or at all. So what do I think about it?

tl;dr: it’s a toss up

The more detailed post:
Again, it’s a toss up. Both Windows 10 and macOS have their good and bad points, and their good and bad points cancel each other out. That said, the hardware Windows run on is lightyears beyond anything available from Apple in the same price range. And at least the Dell is upgradable. The Dell seems more like a computer, where an Apple product seems like a fashion accessory.

I was going to do a program by program comparison between programs, but again,  these things are mostly a toss up. Colloquy and HexChat are both free and both do IRC very well. Any annoyances between either of them are negligible. Same with Vienna and QuiteRSS. Notepad++ is far better than anything free on macOS, but GarageBand is far better than any free DAW on Windows. At least that I’ve found so far.

Also, many of my daily use programs are cross platform. Thunderbird, Firefox, Visual Studio Code, etc. The era of open source software makes differences between different OSes smaller and smaller.

Don’t get me wrong. I hate Microsoft. Always will. But Apple is every bit as evil and violates your privacy in the same ways people bitch about MS. Eventually I’ll install a flavor of Linux, but even then I won’t give up Windows 10. Simply put, it’s a very good OS. Not great, but then again, nothing Apple has released since Snow Leopard has been great either. And again, every year Apple products become harder and harder to fix and upgrade, which makes them a glorified paperweight after a couple years.

In general I’m just happy to have a fast computer that didn’t break the bank. Even if it means giving money to MS.

Microsoft Edge

I hate to say it, but Edge is a really good browser. Actually a great browser. It’s true that it’s based on Chromium, but Microsoft actually made some improvements from Chrome. And as evil as MS and Bill Gates are (and they are evil little fuckers), they’re not more evil than Google. Maybe less so.

If anything, I’m just amused to be using a MS browser again after so many years away. I remember a time (1997-2002) that Internet Explorer was the best browser around. Netscape Navigator became a bloated corpse that couldn’t correctly render CSS, and Opera was still not quite up to snuff. Even in its early days, MSIE was the best browser for Mac OS X. Safari was the first non-MSIE browser that was actually a viable replacement. I remember the first few versions that came out in early 2003. Very rough, but also a breath of fresh air. This was months before Firefox (originally called Phoenix, then Firebird) was popular and as usable. Let alone Chrome (which came out September 2008).

All of which is to say that Edge is both a great browser and has some nostalgia value added to boot.

This is the forgotten blog

Why do I never update this place? I have it to rant and rave and do whatever I want, but I never use it.

Anyway, if you care about this kind of thing, I recently wrapped up both the XR1300 and Abandoned Shorelines projects. My iMac is (still in the process of) dying and spending long hours (ha ha) using Garageband isn’t really possible anymore. I have since moved onto a plain-ass PC that so far is only running Win10. If I get around to installing a secondary hard drive, I’ll install some flavor of Linux. Most likely Cinnamon Ubuntu or Linux Mint Cinnamon.

I won’t stop making music, but it won’t be under the Ratan X moniker and I’ll probably keep it off this domain. Just for reasons of separation.

I actually like using Win10. I’m still getting used to it, and there are certain things I miss about macOS, but it isn’t the abomination so many claim it to be.

I’m typing this on a free program called Open Live Writer. The blogging software I used on macOS was shareware. Pretty much everything I use on Windows is freeware. Other than Guitar Pro (which I already had a serial for the macOS version), it’s all free.

I’ve been increasingly disappointed in the progression of macOS since the Snow Leopard days. That was the final great OS from Apple. Everything has been a progressive downhill slide. And I like Win10 better than Win7, so there is always that. Microsoft still makes me wanna puke, but Apple is no goddamn better.

Also, the cult of Apple has gotten old. Not to mention I hate not being able to update the consumer grade computers. And I’d hate to spend $5K+ on a computer that isn’t much better than the $1300 Dell I have now.

This set up isn’t perfect, but neither was the iMac. So, c’est la vie. There are more important things to worry about than fapping yourself off for not using a Microsoft product.

Farewell From The Lighthouse

This is the end, my only friend, the end…

I’ve taken the Abandoned Shorelines project as far as I can, and even further with this release. It is the 14th and last release entitled Farewell From The Lighthouse. It’s kind of a concept album of sorts, but not really. And all-in-all it’s just a hair short of 5 hours. Wow… Three epics tracks to close out the project because I can.

As always, it’s free to download and redistribute so as long as you credit me and leave the tags as is. And don’t be like Russian music pirates and charge people money for fuck’s sake!


We Mend Our Broken Bones

Today I released a new ambient album under the Abandoned Shorelines moniker entitled “We Mend Our Broken Bones” I worked off and on between June of 2018 and March of this year in small spurts. I think it turned out really well, though I do kind of miss having a super long epic track to close it out. Maybe next time…

Like all music I release, it’s free to download and you’re free to redistribute it online, provided you leave the tags the same and credit me.


A hopeful outlook for gamine lovers?

Carnival of Beauty, aka Harem of Gamines, has not been updated since December of last year, mostly in protest of tumblr’s puritanical banning of “NSFW” content. And because said ban scared away most of the blogs I was following.

But news stories today suggest that Porn Hub might buy the foundering web site and restore it to its former glory. Here’s hoping! And maybe the people who were scared away by the ban (like myself) will return and everything will be beautiful and sexy again.

NGL, I’m not a huge fan of hardcore porn. But so as long as I don’t have to put up with hardcore porn adverts in my face 24/7, this is a very positive development. Bring back the beauty and nudity!


Hoo, more than a year without posting. Are you really surprised?

In the meantime I have released two albums:

Life in a Velvet Sky by Abandoned Shorelines

Vs cover

And its obligatory remix album

Velvet Skies Remix by XR1300

Vsr cover

Also, the Harem of Gamines site is pretty much dead and will be mothballed as is. For those who don’t know, tumblr went full puritan and banned “adult” content, which pretty much nuked half of my blog.

I was able to download the blog backup, but in their impotent wisdom, tumblr did not code the html files correctly, and the files point to the images on the tumblr server, not the local copies. Not to mention, there are no index files to speak of. As much as I enjoyed keeping that blog, I have nearly 4,600 posts and I don’t have the time to hand code everything so it looks perfectly like it did back in its glory days.

I put all of the blame on Apple for not allowing apps that access adult content on the Apple Store. If soldering RAM to their iMacs wasn’t bad enough, this is the final straw. When this iMac bites the dust, I will never buy another Apple product again. I am only one man, but if everybody protests Apple’s puritanism, maybe they will reconsider.

Lastly, the CEO from Tumblr looks like a villain straight out of Law & Order SVU. The one where the middle aged man hides in the bushes outside the elementary school boy’s locker room.

Dreams of a Lost City

Well, only 8 days late this time! I know I always forget to update something. Usually I forget to upload the Flac files, or the album artwork. Or I forget to update the Oscuridad75 web site. But I always forget to update this blog! Grrr.

The latest release from Abandoned Shorelines is an ambient remake of the XR1300 album Dream of a Lost City. The new version is called Dreams of a Lost City and it’s much better than the original version.

You can download it, along with the original version, for free.



Perhaps someday I should do a concept album about the crazy cult I grew up in. It isn’t as exciting as it sounds. Anybody who is familiar with the whole “Independent Fundamentalist Baptist” scene will know all of it by heart. Of course, it seems batshit insane to normal people.

Truth is, most of my passion, anger and bitterness about the whole thing has blown over. Most of that time seems like a barely remembered dream. Or maybe somebody else’s dream.

About once a year my dad will invite me to the yearly Christmas party. I politely decline and the night of the event he’ll say something manipulative like “I missed you at the party tonight,” but that’s about as far as it goes.

Sometimes I’ll run into one of the pastors or teachers of the school/church I was forced to go to. I try to hide, but if they see me I’ll say something. They usually sneer at me like I just put a cat turd in their hand. But at least they don’t scream and rant and rave about how I’m going to Hell anymore.

Two for the price of one!

Ho ho ho, only 13 days late! It’s the perfect number, so I’m not too upset that I forgot this long.

But I released two new releases on the 13th of June. Both reimaginings of my other project’s project.

First off, The Sheltering Sand Remixed by XR1300.

Cover 18

Secondly, A Season With The Brain Police Redux by Abandoned Shorelines.


A new Abandoned Shorelines release is coming soonish. Maybe next month. Maybe August.