Friday, July 29, 2005

sieze all my notebooks and take away my commodore

Today, the Carolina Hurricanes bought themselves a C-64. Well, a Commodore anyway.

Go to red and black hockey to read about it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

last night i walked into your room by mistake

Yesterday was the third consecutive day with temperatures right at the 100° mark. Surprisingly, my apartment hasn't been unbearable. It's actually been right comfortable. However I was kinda sweating it out late last night, but it wasn't that bad. Eventually there was a little bit of rain, which helped a lot.
I haven't been very physically active in a while, but a few years ago, I would have been out on my mountain bike every day during the summer. Oh sure, it's all shady back in the woods and whatnot. So it was maybe 98.5° instead of 100. Either way, though, I often think about how crazy that is to do stuff like that in this kind of heat. I mean I was always with plenty of hydration, but if you ask me today, I wouldn't even consider riding in this kind of heat.
Actually, today is a damn frigid day comparatively. I think the high is "only" supposed to be 89°. It's supposed to thunderstorm later tonight, which means I may have a very slow night at work. That'll give me plenty of time to focus on the Neglected Record.

Head on over to Red and Black hockey for a couple of new posts. The 2005-06 schedule was announced yesterday, and I've got one post about some irregularities in the Hurricanes schedule. There's another post explaining why the St. Louis Blues can be added to the "ON CRACK" list.

now playing:
Elvis Costello & The Attractions -- Armed Forces
Elvis Costello & The Attractions Armed Forces

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

extra sugar, extra salt, extra oil and msg

Art does not imitate life. I'll offer example #8675309

Last night, I was messing around with the a/v connections from the dvd player to the tv, so I had to climb behind the big bulky entertainment stand. On my way out from behind there, I knocked over the floor lamp I have over there.

In the movies, this would have resulted in, at the very least, a boatload of broken glass, in huge, big thick pieces. There would have been a small fire, or perhaps a very loud and brilliantly colorful explosion. Dogs would have barked, car alarms would have gone off, the whole nine yards. You know the drill.

In my case though, nothing happened. The lamp is all beat up and doesn't work anymore, but there was no explosion, and the light bulb didn't even break. I was very disappointed. The need for a new lamp gave me a perfect excuse to go to Tar-jay, though, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Next time, I'll want Ridley Scott to direct the film of "lamp knocked over". It'll be great. It'll be all dark (no pun intended) and stuff, and at the critical moment, the filming will be done at something really ridiculous like 1000 frames per second so that you, the edge-of-seat-sitting audience can see the detail on every speck of dust as it gets kicked around.

now playing:
Superchunk -- Come Pick Me Up
Superchunk Come Pick Me Up

What's the news? you say 'the silver jews'

Alright, so here it is. If Hans (or anyone for that matter) hasn't seen the most recent episode of Six Feet Under yet, that's your problem, not mine. I should not be too concerned about the spoilers that follow:

Concerning "Narm!", I think Nate's dead. At first I thought he was having another one of his episodes from his AVM. He certainly wasn't siezuring prior to blacking out. Clearly, he's had a stroke, but I don't think he's passed out or anything like that. At first I thought he was just blacked out or something like that, but after talking with Amanda about it, we think he's dead. Amanda pointed to the way his eyes were set. Not rolled back in his head, just fixed straight ahead, and wide open. Added to that, he didn't appear to be breathing. Can the paramedics get there quickly enough to rescue him? Who knows. Okay... now we need to assume that he's dead in order to move along with what I'm gonna say.

Ruth doesn't want anything to do with the business (other than being an investor), Claire has no interest at all, so the Days of "Fisher and Diaz" are over. David and Rico can't do it alone, so they'll have to get another partner, or possibly sell the business. I really don't recall Kroehner going bankrupt or anything like that. When Kroehner decided to put a funeral home right across the street, there was the fire that Claire didn't set. And that weasel who was always hounding them got fired. Although we haven't seen Mitzi in a while, I really don't remember anything about bankruptcy. Am I just forgetting? As we approach the end of the season, and the series, that might be a tidy way to resolve that. One theory.... Rico takes over and hires that freaky Angela girl. Hey, she does really good work even if she is a freak. And as long as we're bringing up old shit, lets just say that the two of them are partners, and they hire Arthur full time. I don't really think that would happen, but it's just a thought.

Okay.... Now let's assume for half a second that Nate will be revived after some period of time. Maggie will probably be able to cover up their sex act and resultant absence from Meeting by skewing the timeline of events. She'll just say that Nate showed up to give her that ride, but suffered a stroke right then. Of course Brenda won't believe her because she never liked Maggie to begin with. She already assumes that something is going on between them. We all knew this (Nate and Maggie having sex) would eventually happen, and I think Brenda did too. However, Nate might tell the story differently and they'll blow their really thin cover. Brenda will be furious either way, actually. So if he survives, or is revived, or whatever, I think Brenda's gone. She'll take off. And here's where our jokes turn out to be real. She'll tell Billy about what happened, and he'll go into a rage (nobody fucks with his one true love and gets away with it). He'll kill everyone in the Fisher family. Except Claire.

Now, back to the "Narm" incident. Nate says, "You know, this wasn't planned", but it was. He showed up earlier than she was expecting. He did that hoping that they could hook up or something. She's equally guilty of premeditation, though. She kinda set that up neatly for him to be the one giving her a ride, and with the way she'd been flirting. And then, did you see the underwear she was wearing?!? You don't wear hooker panties like that unless you're planning on getting some. I may not know a lot about women, but that's common knowledge.

That's just my two cents. What do I know?

now playing:
My Bloody Valetine -- Loveless
My Bloody Valentine Loveless

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

the sun shines out of our behinds

I expect to write a full-on post about Six Feet Under, later tonight.

For now, please head over to Red and Black hockey for my analysis of who in the NHL is and who isn't on crack. And (this should generate lots of hits) Satan. No! Not the guy with the bifurcated tail and the pitchfork and red skin and all that. Completely different.

liverpudlian lady, sophisticated male

A couple of orders of business today.

Last night was horribly slow at work. It was the first Monday I've ever worked, so I didn't know what to expect. It was dreadful. I guess there's a reason that the upstairs bar has "movie night" on Mondays. It never occurred to me before that they would do that because it's so freakin slow. So I had no problems getting the Bring a Neglected Record to Work Night off and running. I selected Dopplegänger by Curve.
Curve -- Dopplegänger

Good times. I had forgotten how much beauty was in there. Curve was among the most amazing shoe-gazer/dream-pop bands. On one hand it's kinda in-your-face and high energy, but it never really pushes you beyond a breaking point. It's still got rounded edges. It's sort of hard for me to break it down track by track, but I enjoyed it, and it filled me with lots of nostalgia. Unfortunately, it's one of those records that ends way before I was ready for it to end. It's not "short" by any means, but I just wanted more and more. The standout track Faît Accompli is, by itself, worth the price of admission, but there isn't a dog on the whole album. Since there isn't any track that makes my hair stand on end or leave me gasping for breath, I can't possibly give it anything in the neighborhood of 4, so I'll give it a 3.5 out of a possible 5 saute pans.

Something the other day prompted me to listen to static & silence by the Sundays. That one was teetering on the precipice of being a Neglected Record, but wasn't quite there. Although this is absolutely the "least brilliant" of their three albums, I still like it a lot. The song "Summertime" is so bleeding brilliant, that it makes up for any imperfections the rest of the album has. Listen to a full length mp3 of that song by clicking here. For the record, that song was the inspiration for the title of yesterday's post, and of today's post. It is also one of many songs where I sing along, but I've had the lyrics wrong all along. There's a bit that goes "Chinese-speaking girlfriend with big brown eyes". I always thought it went "Shiny, smoking girlfriend with big brown eyes". Heh. Oddly enough, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing and with whom the first time I heard that song. Likewise for "Here's Where the Story Ends". For "Summertime" it was indeed summertime, and I was in my Honda (RIP) with Garrison driving back from a trip to Atlanta. Normally a CD would have been playing, but for some strange reason, I decided to put the radio on. The first station we tuned to, and the first song they played was "Summertime". It was well in advance of the album, which I didn't know anything about at the time. It snuck up on me. Anyway, that was it. For "Here's Where the Story Ends", I was laying on the floor of my parents house in the summer just before Freshman year of college. Watching 120 Minutes. I lay there in awe. I didn't buy the record right away, but I do remember buying it. Wow. Now I've got a whole pot of very specific memories about people and places and very specific events. All of them about the purchase of or first listen to a Sundays record. Then of course, there's the roadtrip....

There's a little bit of hockey news in me, so head over to Red and Black hockey if you have time or interest.

now playing:
The SUNDAYS -- static & silence
The Sundays Static & Silence

Monday, July 25, 2005

do some people end up with the one they abhor in a distant hell-hole room?

No new hockey posts at the other place since Saturday, and I doubt I'll be posting today. Maybe a little about the opening of the buy-out season, but we'll see.

Man, oh man. Finally, something happened on SFU last night. I don't want to include any spoilers here, lest I be reprimanded. Last time I included spoilers, I nearly got killed because of it. If you saw the show, you don't need to be reminded. I'll just comment that the one thing was an inevitability. We knew, we just didn't know when it would happen. The other thing came as a complete shock. I can't wait until next Sunday.

So I watched that, then I also watched "Entourage". I know I've said before that it doesn't do anything for me, but I also know that some of you, dear readers, love the show. With that in mind, I thought I would give it a chance. I've got to admit that I liked it a lot. I'll probably get hooked on it as well.

I'm really intrigued by the previews for HBO's new show, "Rome" which will debut in August. I'd been thinking of scaling down my cable, but I don't know if I'll be able to give up HBO. I don't really watch much else, but I really like having the fancy-pants digital cable.

Tonight I'll be working. I don't usually on Monday, but it'll give me another BNRWN. Word on the street is that this'll be a one-time Monday night thing. If I keep working there, the beautiful thing is that I'll always have Sunday and Monday off. Perfect for football watching. Of course once the hockey season starts, I'll have to shake things up a little, and give up an occasional Monday for a Friday night off. I don't know what the schedule is, but I can safely assume that of my 24 games, maybe 8 of them will be on Friday nights. I do know that opening night will be Wednesday October 5, and that all 30 teams will be in action. I know I'll have the home opener, but I don't know whether we'll get to host opening night or not. I also know that I'll have two pre-season games, which I don't usually give a rat's ass about. However, I think I'll take advantage of the free tickets this year.

now playing:
Throwing Muses -- Throwing Muses (2003)
Throwing Muses Throwing Muses

Friday, July 22, 2005

new spiffy logo for the NHL

new logo!

old logo

What do you think?

coz there's 40 different shades of black

Last night's Neglected Record was Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. I had an okay time with it. I didn't have to delay or anything like that. I was able to get right down to business, and was able to give it a pretty thorough listen, then another one for good measure.
Crooked Rain ... is sort of a strange record. "Side A" is mostly ROCO songs, while "Side B" is comprised mostly of slower tempo, moody songs. It's hard to pick a favorite song from the album, but it's easy to pick one that I'd just as soon do without. I don't have a whole lot of use for the jazzy "5-4=Unity", which is allegedly a Dave Brubek tribute. I guess I can hear it, but it's a little trippy, like maybe if the Doors did a cover of "Take 5". I mean, it's all good and well, but it seems like it doesn't belong. Especially when juxtaposed against "side A" rockers like "Unfair", "Silence Kit", "Elevate Me Later" and their smash single "Cut Your Hair". I had forgotten that on "Silence Kit", they do their best imitation of The Cure by having over a minute of music before the vocals kick in. And on "Unfair" (which my be my favorite if I had to choose), they do their best imitation of Butterglory. Of course Pavement doesn't sound a think like the Cure. Just that the vocals didn't even begin until the song was half over. I don't know when the last time I listened to this record was, but I would venture to guess that it was two years. Surprisingly, though, I could still remember most of the lyrics, including the bizarre "Range Life". Oh. Did I just refer to a Pavement song as "strange" is if the rest of them are "normal"? I don't know what I meant by that.

Taking everything into account, I think I'll give Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain three out of a possible five saute pans. It was hard to give it a rating that low, but I had to do it.

For like the seven thousandth day in a row, temperatures are expected to be in the low-mid nineties with a 60% chance of thundershowers. We're getting the heat, and the humidity and the overcast (even threatening) skies, but we haven't gotten much of the rain. When we do, it rains heavily for about five minutes, and we're done. The kind of rain where, instead of taking some of the edge off the humidity, it feels worse afterwards.

In other news, the NHL Players Association ratified the new Collective Bargaining Agreement yesterday. Nearly 90% of the players were in favor of it, which was more than I expected. Today, the League will put their rubber stamp on the contract, and the big even will be the draft lottery. Sometime around 4 pm EST, they'll start the process, which will be televised live in Canada on TSN. Here in the USA, ESPNews will broadcast live updates, but will not air the actual lottery., though, will be streaming the whole event. The clubs will have one week to do their homework for the actual draft. I won't be near a TV or a computer when the lottery goes down, so I'll have to rely on my cell phone's web browser. Ahhhh, technology!

now playing:
Stereolab -- Margerine Eclipse
Stereolab Margerine Eclipse

Thursday, July 21, 2005

president gas on everything but rollerskates

First order of business today is to report another tragic loss. Donnie O'Neill, brother of Carolina Hurricanes right wing Jeff O'Neill, died this morning in a tragic single vehicle accident near Toronto (link above to the Toronto Star for details). There's a post about it at the other place. I'm not a big O'Neill fan, but this is horrible news. My thoughts and the thoughts of the entire Red and Black is the New Black and Red staff will be with him and his family.

Read about that and some more rumors surrounding the NHL draft lottery over at Red and Black Hockey .

Last night, I finally opted for Zoolander for my Wednesday movie night. It actually made me laugh quite a lot. It was, indeed, kinda retarded, but I had fun with it. For all you Wes Anderson fans out there, I noticed a couple of obvious nods to Anderson's films. Owen Wilson appears in all of Anderson's films, so just having him at all reminds me of Anderson's stuff. That aside, there's a few things that happen that have to be homage. The whole premise of the movie is ridiculously absurd, but I liked it anyway.

Okay. What's up with the dreams I've been having lately? A couple of weeks ago,I had a dream about a girl I dated when I was in the 11th grade. I haven't even seen her in 10 years, and that was a freak run-in. More like 15 years since we've had any contact to speak of. I know from a google search of her very unique name that she's married and living in California, and that she's an archeologist or something like that. Anyway, in the dream, she called me with some amazing job offer that was too good to pass up, but required immediate relocation. So I just had to leave all my stuff in this apartment and get on a plane with just the clothes on my back. Something about the deal involved moving in with her, but I never understood that aspect. I came back a week later to retrieve some of my stuff, but it was all gone, and some girl had moved in to this apartment, despite the fact that I had paid an extra month of rent. I was really confused.

A week later, I had a dream that I dreamt about Amanda dying. I woke up from the dream-within-a-dream and was confused, but really relieved to find that it was just a dream. Then I woke up for real from the main dream, and I was confused. Amanda happened to call me that day, even though she's on vacation in North Dakota with her beau. Somehow it slipped my mind to tell her that, but I know she's safe and sound.

Last night I dreamt that I was still dating Eleanor. I know where this one came from, though. I've been thinking and writing about hockey a lot. Also last night, after the movie, I watched one of my small handful of Canes games I have on the DVR. It was from March 5, 2004. A victory over the Thrashers 3-2 in overtime. This was definitely the most exciting regular season game I've seen. Fantastic goaltending for both teams, and we finally won the game on a short-handed goal by Kevyn Adams with 00:00.4 showing on the clock. A very exciting game. A road game, so I wasn't there, but super-exciting. Four days later would come the news of the Ron Francis trade. Sorry. I'm not supposed to talk about hockey here, but I was thinking that all that Hurricanes stuff is what made Eleanor show up in my dream.

If you're interested, I'm going to find a link to the video of that stunning goal by Kevyn Adams. When I find it, I'll post it at the other place.

now playing:
Neutral Milk Hotel -- On Avery Island
Neutral Milk Hotel On Avery Island

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

red wine or mud, either way it looks like blood

I've got two new hockey posts over at the other place today. One about 2004's top draft pick Alexander Ovechkin, and the other about the NHL free agency zoo that's about to open for business on Friday.

I'm really wishing that October would hurry up and get here. That way, I'll be able to stop thing about the NHL as a theoretical concept and see it as a reality.

My work schedule changed a little bit this week, so I have today off, and I'll have to close on Monday night. That works out for me because I'll have more hours, and I'll have two opportunities for Bring a Neglected Record to Work Night©. I've had fun with that, so I wanna keep it going as long as I can. I'm actually starting to run out of really exciting ideas, though. I guess I'll have to bring the entire Jesus & Mary Chain catalog, one record at a time. Stuff like that.

Tonight I've got two movies waiting for me. I'll probably make Zoolander the movie for tonight. I know it's gotta be retarded, but Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson crack me up. I don't think I'm in the mood for something serious tonight. I still may skip the Netflix movies and watch one of my own. Because of a conversation I had with someone last week, I want to see Holy Grail again. Because of the Mark Kozelek show the other day, I want to see Almost Famous again. He plays the bassist in Stillwater. I adore both of those movies and I could watch them again and again, so I may do one or the other tonight.

now playing:
The Wedding Present -- Saturnalia
The Wedding Present Saturnalia

Monday, July 18, 2005

nu bruises on old bruises

I put a new hockey post today on Red and Black Hockey. It's mostly about the rumors and talk about getting Jason Allison and Adrian Aucoin to play for the Hurricanes. Apparently there's a real good chance that both of these outstanding players could be wearing the red and black this season. I'll try to announce new posts here, but if you have any interest, please check my hockey blog from time to time. Thanks.

While I was sitting around not cleaning my pig sty and not folding and putting away the laundry and not doing a bunch of other stuff that I should have been doing, I watched "Welcome to the Dollhouse", which I got from Netflix the same time I got "Storytelling". I had kinda forgotten how rotten those kids were, and how messed up everyone is. The mother, too. Sheesh.

I may not get the pig sty clean today, but I will, by fuck, get my laundry folded and put away. It's really out of hand. I think I need a nanny or something like that. That, or a swift kick in the ass.

now playing:
Radiohead -- Hail to the Thief
Radiohead Hail to the Thief

a million miles from home, fifteen from a pay phone

Tonight was the Mark Kozelek show at Gate City Noise. It was really damn good, even if Mark was convinced that he was in Asheville. He kept making "jokes" about "hey, how you hillbillies doing?" and "man it sure is a long way out here. In the Appalachians". He'll be in Asheville on Tuesday night, but that's no excuse. You should always know the name of the city you're in. Especially if you're only playing six US dates. Oh well. I'll forgive him because the show was fantastic.

The dude who opened for him, Warren Gently, is apparently an old friend of his who routinely opens for him in the Southeastern US. I didn't like him very much. Right out of the gate, I thought I might like him. His song structure (at least on the first song) was very much like Kristin Hersh. It went downhill from there. During one song, I had to try hard not to laugh at him because he had a line that went something like "you were there looking like a mess / with your makeup running down your dress". Are you kidding? First off, that's not even a good rhyme. Secondly, although I don't know a lot about women, I do know that makeup doesn't run down one's dress, so much as it does her face. I'm no songwriter, and I don't claim that I could write a good song, but that seems lazy. Why did it stick out so much? I don't know. Moments later, he played a blues-riff driven song whose opening line was actually "I woke up this morning feeling sad". Again, lazy. We're all aware that it's a blues song by the chord structure. The clichéd lyric isn't necessary. This dude should go to jail for that. I mean to have a blues song that starts "I woke up this morning" is probably the king of all cliches. There was one song that I kinda liked. A goofy song, reminiscent of something Randy Newman would sing. Something about "my new girlfriend is going to be prettier than you". It was funny and cute, but instead of being 1:47 or so (which would have been fine), it was about 5:30 in length. It stopped being cute and annoyed the hell out of me by the time it was over.

Mark came on, and I didn't even recognize him at first. He's got all short hair and stuff. He came right out of the gate with an RHP classic "Michael", then played some new stuff that I didn't recognize. "New Jersey" and "Grace Cathedral Park" came early in the set, too. Some Sun Kil Moon songs also in the mix early. I think "Glen Tipton" and "Duk Koo Kim", both fantastic, but with as secure a place in my mind's database. Interestingly, both of those songs have boxing references. I did a little bit of research to find that Mark Kozelek is a fan of the sport, and there's one more reference to boxing on that Sun Kil Moon record. The story behind the boxer named Duk Koo Kim is really interesting, even eerie. Read about it here. He ended with "Mistress", one of my favorite RHP tunes and something else I didn't recognize.
Also, during the show (and the encores), he managed to squeeze in three cover tunes, all of which are mainstays of his performances. One was "Jesus Christ Was an Only Child" by Modest Mouse. Also, there was "All Mixed Up" by The Cars, and the Broadway tune "Send in the Clowns". The highlight, though, had to be during the encore, when he did a stunning rendition of "Katy Song", which I've always thought to be the most heartbreaking songs I've ever heard. It might be a little cheesy, but there's something to that lyric "Glass on the pavement under my shoe / Without you, that's all life amounts to" that gets me choked up every time.
Like Duk Koo Kim, Katy song is incredible, but lengthy. Duk Koo Kim clocks in at about 14:00 (14 is also the number of rounds Duk Koo Kim lasted in his fatal bout against Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini), while Katy clocks in at just over 8 minutes.
For your listening pleasure, here is an mp3 of the album version of Katy Song. Trust me, it's worth sticking it out the whole 8 minutes. I hope the link works I'm still trying to figure this mp3 posting thing.

now playing:
Sun Kil Moon -- Ghosts of the Great Highway
Sun Kil Moon Ghosts of the Great Highway

Sunday, July 17, 2005

i run around in circles till i run out of breath

First off, I'd like to introduce my new blog Red and black hockey, which made its debut today. That'll be my release valve for my hockey rants. I'll still talk hockey here from time to time, but any post where hockey is the main focus will be over there.

Because I was too busy writing about hockey, I failed to mention that I had a movie night on Wednesday again. This week, I managed to squeeze in two movies: Slums of Beverly Hills, and Storytelling.

Slums was okay. There were some things that were really good about it. The blazingly hot Marisa Tomei was good (and naked twice!). The prolific Alan Arkin was also excellent. Kevin Corrigan turned in a quirky role, as is par for him. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It's a nice comedy, and fairly well acted for when you need to see something light.
I resisted seeing Storytelling for a long time because I was so disturbed by the Todd Solondz vehicle, Happiness. Although Storytelling certainly has some dark and even disturbing moments, it isn't anything at all like Happiness. The similarity between Storytelling, Happiness and Welcome to the Dollhouse is that all the characters have really fucked up values regarding sex and sexuality. Anyway, I liked Storytelling and I would recommend it, but only to people who I know well enough to understand their taste. Oh! And the soundtrack is by Belle and Sebastian.

I'm really excited about tonight. Tonight's the night that Mark Kozelek , formerly of Red House Painters fame, will be playing here in town. At the Gate City Noise. I can hardly wait. It should be a good time.

now playing:
Belle and Sebastian -- fold your hands child, you walk like a peasant
Belle & Sebastian Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant

Friday, July 15, 2005

she's drunk every single day. she's young most of the time

An innocent girl
or a prodigal infant
has measureless worth

This haiku, written in Shakespearian magnetic poetry, had to come off my fridge. It lived there for a few years. It was "written" in the prime of my haiku phase, and I was always kinda proud of it, but it was time to go.
See, the magnetic poetry always seems like a good idea, but it was so much clutter. The other day, I took everything down. Started clean. I didn't realize until I took all of it down how much clutter it was. Really, though, I wanted to make room for my Scrabble magnets. I bought a shitpot of Scrabble tiles from Ebay and used three complete sets to make (refrigerator) magnets. I gave one complete set away, and I'm using one set for myself. I think they look great, and it was fun and easy to make them.

Work was strange tonight. Dinner proper wasn't that busy, but the late night was kinda crazy. I didn't dick around at all. I still had time to playBring a Neglected Record to Work Night©. Actually, there were two records tonight. Why? Bastille Day, of course!!! Bastille Day is the French National holiday marking the date in 1789 when French citizens stormed the Bastille prison which began their revolution against monarchy. I figure no better way to honor the French than by doing something to excess. So I doubled up on BNRWN and made sure to make one of the records French.
First off was the self-titled Turn On. Turn on was a Stereolab side project. Really just Lætitia and Tim. So there's a lot of Stereolab-like qualities. The heavy reliance on keyboards and synthesizers, the repetition of sonic themes, etc. Conspicuously absent, though, is some of the stuff that I adore about Stereolab. The vibraphone, the guitars and the vocals are all missing. So you don't get the cacophony that Stereolab gives you. I was, quite frankly, bored with this record. I'll have to give it one saute pan out of a possible five.
I was so disappointed with that, I dug out one of my "back-up neglected records". So I played Blondertongue Audiobaton by The Swirlies. Holy fucking shitballs!!!! I wanted to provide you, my dear readers, with a quality mp3 from the Swirlies, but my copy of the cd is just enough fucked up that the cdrom drive won't read it, so I can't. Since I can't do that, you're gonna have to dust off your copy of that record. I know for a fact that some of you have that record. If you don't, you should beg borrow or steal a copy immediately.
I stood there in awe of the song "Pancake", listening to it again and again. I don't understand what happened with this band. The time (early '90s) was right and the sound (washed-out wall of sound comparable to My Bloody Valentine, but much sweeter) was right, but for some reason this band flew in under the radar. They really should have been fucking enormous (at least in indie circles), but they were just another one of the really fantastic and really underappreciated bands of that shoe-gazer era. I don't get it. Anyway, I really enjoyed listening to this record for the first time in over a year. I mean, I'm really excited. I'm hesitant to issue a perfect 5 saute pans, as the album isn't quite perfect. There are a very few moments I could take or leave, but "Pancake" is so bloody brilliant I can hardly stand it. I'll give it 4 and a half out of a possible 5 saute pans.

now playing:
My Bloody Valentine -- Isn't Anything
My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything

Thursday, July 14, 2005

in the midst of life we are in debt

I breathed a sigh of relief when I found out that I was wrong about the NHL draft lottery. They just announced how it's gonna go down.

It isn't the case that every team has an equal chance, as I previously thought. Every team has achance. An article on enlightened me about it. Essentially, all 30 teams have at least one ball in the lottery. Ten teams will have two, and the Rangers, Sabres, Penguins and Blue Jackets have three balls a piece.
The way this was determined was a complicated matrix involving the number of playoff appearances over the past three years and number of #1 picks over the past four years.
What does it mean?
The Ducks, Thrashers, Flames, 'Canes, Blackhawks, Oilers, Kings, Wild, Preds and Coyotes have a 4.17% chance of getting the kid.
The Rangers, Penguins, Sabres, and Blue Jackets are feeling good with a 6.25% chance each.
Those other schmucks still have a chance.
Normally, there wouldn't be all this hoopla, even though the draft is always top heavy. It's just this kid is going to be something other than else.

now playing:
Belle and Sebastian -- Tigermilk
Belle and Sebastian Tigermilk

an accident with a three bar fire

I feel like I should give fair warning.

Now that the NHL and the NHLPA have come to an "agreement in principle", all that's left is for the teams and players to ratify the new CBA. Then we have the lottery, the draft, and a bunch of other exciting shit. Then, sometime around the 9th of October, well actually drop the puck.
The "other exciting shit" will include, but will not be limited to, making some changes to the game.

  • Wider nets? Maybe, but I hope not.
  • No-touch icing? Sure, I'll go for it.
  • Decreasing the size of goalie equipment? Who cares?
  • Eliminating the two-line pass? Yes, please.

There's about a half dozen different proposals for changing the way "off side" will be ruled. Frankly, I think you're just going to confuse fringe fans even more with the "floating blue line" or the even more confusing "Bowman line".

  • Penalizing a team that deliberately ices the puck by denying them a line change? Yes! Please!
  • Crackdown on obstruction? Whatever. We hear that every year.
  • Shootout system for games still tied after one overtime period? Mmmmmm, okayyy.

Anyway, about the warning.
I'll be talking about hockey a lot. It'll get worse once we approach the beginning of the regular season. To be fair, though, if it gets out of hand, I'll create a separate "hockey only" blog.
now playing:
Autour de Lucie -- Immobile
Autour de LucieImmobile

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

reno dakota, there's not an iota of kindness in you

I just noticed something on the iTunes store. Bow Wow has a new record out.
At what point did he stop being Lil' Bow Wow?
At what point will Lil' Kim become plain old Kim? I guess at least one year and one day. Maybe going to prison will "make her a woman", if you get my drift.
When will Fiddy Cent become A Dolla?

Go ahead. Call me an asshole. Again.

now playing:
Neutral Milk Hotel -- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aerolplane Over the Sea

you can't go blind from crying all the time

Today was one of those days where I wanted to slap the dudes I was working with. It was the night with no Spaniards. As much as I like not having to worry about the difficulty communicating with them, I actually prefer to work with the amigos. They just work, and they don't bitch about shit and bore me with their conspiracy theories.
First there was the guy who's been taking too many liberties with the employee shift meal policy. He didn't think it would be detected, but it was. He got in some trouble, and he had some conspiracy theories about that. Hey... I've got some advice for ya. Instead of hatching theories, quit stealing from the company. That's a good start.
Then there's one of the other guys who finds it so hard to believe that I'm not having sex with every single one of our female servers. Just because we get along at work doesn't mean there is, or even should be anything sexual. Maybe his inability to understand this is why this dude is 29 years old and has 6 kids with three different girls. You gotta temper that shit. Never mind that most of them have boyfriends. Aside from that, I am at the moment "ungirlfreindable". I wouldn't recommend myself to anyone as a dating option. I'm not, and never have been into the idea of casual sex, so that isn't even an option. Aside from all of that, I know that it's never a good idea to fish off the company pier. My friend Amanda will say otherwise, but it just seems like a recipe for disaster.

Then there was the radio. Sometimes it's on the top 40 station, sometimes it's on the hip-hop station. Tonight it was on the hip-hop station. I don't really like hip-hop, but if I did, it wouldn't be the stuff on the radio. I figure I would apply the same selectiveness to hip-hop that I do to rock. The stuff that's marketed for the masses usually doesn't appeal to me. Anyway, they're worse than the top 40 station in terms of how frequently they play the same songs. Alright... go ahead and call me a racist for the next statement, but I got a good chuckle out of one of the commercials. Bear in mind that it was for a partnership with this specific radio station and a fast-food chain. The ad encouraged us to come on by and enjoy tasty food from the restaurant, pick up a fly (insert name of radio station) bumper sticker and register to win tickets to the Brooks and Dunn show. Brooks and Dunn? Gosh, I hate to break it to them, but they really need to do some demographic research or target their marketing a little better. I would have to guess about this, but it's probably fair to assume that at least 75% of their regular listeners is African-American and that of their listenership, only a small per centage has any interest in country music. I'm pretty certain that Brooks and Dunn shows are attended by a crowd that is roughly 98% white, and that a good portion of them wouldn't be caught dead listening to hip-hop, let alone sporting a bumper sticker from a hip-hop station on their vehicle. Maybe I'm underestimating each of these groups of music lovers, but it just seemed like a really odd thing for a hip-hop station to be promoting. I do know this: that station has never played a Brooks and Dunn song. I'm sort of envisioning a Venn diagram in which the common area is so small that it's immeasurable.
Go ahead. Call me a racist. A prick. An asshole.

now playing:
10,000 Maniacs -- In My Tribe
10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

shiny shiny pants and bleached blond hair

I finally caught some coverage of the Tour de France last night. Of course yesterday was a rest day, so there wasn't really anything for them to cover, but they showed highlights and talked a lot and stuff like that. I don't have a high-def TV, so I don't get Discovery HD, but OLN and plain old garden variety Discovery Channel each had shows last night.
I've also been catching up on some reading about the Tour. In the articles about the first mountain stage last Saturday, in which all of Lance Armstrong's Discovery Channel team gave up, there were two excellent quotes.
First was by a Frenchman riding for team Credit Agricole who wished to emphasize that it was a minor lapse and nobody should count team Discovery Channel out.

"Don't sell the bear's skin before you've killed the bear," Moreau said.


"That won't happen again," U.S. rider Bobby Julich of Team CSC said. "You can maybe disappoint Lance once, but it's better not to disappoint him twice."

What? Are we talking about a mafia boss, or a professional cyclist?

I've spent a good deal of time visiting the website of OLN , which has some excellent high-quality video from every stage of the Tour so far. Check it out.

All this talk, and watching all these highlights of the Tour de France has got me thinking of French things. So I'll be listening to French bands for a while. I'm actually cheating a bit right now, as it might be a stretch to call Ivy French. Although they're based in New York, their frontwoman is native to France and sings in English with a heavy accent, so that counts in my book. Look for more stuff that's a little more "French" later this and next week.

now playing:
Ivy -- Apartment Life
Ivy Apartment Life

i had blisters from running all night in my dreams

With all this talk of the NHL and the NHLPA being on the precipice of signing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I've been thinking a lot about hockey. Of course, as I mentioned, the biggest thing that will happen when play resumes is that the highly regarded Sidney Crosby will be the new property of one very lucky team. And all 30 teams have an equal chance to get him. If you don't follow hockey, it's sort of hard to make an analogy to another prodigal athlete. It's not like the 2003 NBA draft when LeBron James was the obvious first pick, because it's bigger than that, but that's about as close as I can come. People don't casually say that a player is "like Gretzky". To do so would be asinine. However, this player is getting those comparisons, even from the Great One himself.
Anyway, I got to thinking about that lottery for the draft. There has never been a more anticipated draft, and this one happens to have some mystery shrouding who will have the rights to the first pick. I was thinking that if there was any justice in the world, a team like Columbus or the Crapitals or Pittsburgh would get him. These are teams that have been struggling for some time and need a lot of help. OF COURSE I would prefer that the 'Canes get him. After that, I'd like to see him go to an Eastern Conference team so I will see him play. After that, and in a less selfish way, I'd like to see him go to any one of the teams that is struggling. Especially the teams with poor attendance like the ones I've already mentioned plus the Islanders and the Preds. Of course the Islanders and the Penguins desperately need to build new rinks, but that's another story.
If you bring Crosby, they will come. All those who say they don't wanna go to hockey games anymore will still go to see this kid.

I was thinking this morning, though, about how there's a lot of teams that already have a ton of talent who have an equal chance to get him. It would seem awfully unfair if a team like, say, the RedWings gets him. They already have a roster full of aging superstars. Actually, they may not be able to sign him because he wouldn't meet their minimum age requirement of 38 years. He's still got 20 years to go before he'd be allowed to lace them up in Hockeytown. Kidding aside, I'd hate to see any team with a stacked roster get the added boost.

I spoke with me season ticket rep today about next season. I had to find out what the deal is with the seat assignments. Normally, they let us pick out the exact seat that we want to sit in. Since we didn't play, they just put me in the same seat I had picked out for last year. Anyway, PJ told me that he's heard a bunch of conspiracy theories about how the NHL was gonna rig the lottery to put Crosby in a major market. I don't know, but that doesn't make sense. The major markets do well with attendance and merchandising and whatnot. Just by sheer volume, they have to. If the League had its own interests in mind, AND they really wanted to rig the lottery, it seems like they would send him to a smaller market. Attendance would rise, people would buy a shitload of "CROSBY" sweaters, and there would be an overall heightened interest in the sport. In a large picture kind of way, but even more so for the small market team. And what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Although a team like Toronto or Detroit wouldn't see an increase in attendance (they already average over 100% capacity), the small market and "non-traditional" markets would benefit tremendously from having the kid.

I'm rambling again. I just don't think that the League would be so dastardly as to rig the lottery. I would certainly hope not, anyway.

detroit has a skyline too

Today I went to see Crash. I wanted to make a "joke" about this, but I couldn't come up with anything good. I was going to pretend that I went into it blindly thinking that it was a biopic about Lawrence 'Crash' Davis, who was fictionalized for the classic baseball movie Bull Durham. Either that, or that I thought it was a redux of David Cronenberg's film of the same name. I never saw the Cronenberg movie, but I know for sure that it wasn't a redux. Actually, the only thing I know about the Cronenberg vehicle is that there was a shitload of really graphic sex scenes.

A little bit of incidental information about "Crash" Davis. The real Crash Davis was a shortstop/2nd baseman who played three partial seasons in the Major Leagues, and never hit more than a couple of homers. Costner's character spoke of going to "the show" for just a few games. He was a catcher who hit a boatload of home runs.

Enough aboat that

I was actually a bit miffed because there weren't any previews. None. There were a shitpot of Coca-cola commercials, but no previews. I'm not going to give a long movie review or anything like that. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. And if you haven't, you should. That is, if you like movies. I was recently handed brickbats for not giving a "spoiler warning" about a SFU episode, so I'll completely refrain from giving spoilers here. Save this: Jennifer Esposito is an attractive woman.

At some point in the near future, I'll see Batman Begins, but probably not until next week.

now playing:
Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire -- Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs
Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs

Sunday, July 10, 2005

that looks like a carnival wig and two shiners

When I came home from work last night, I saw something that I didn't really want to see. One of my upstairs neighbors was clearly visible through her bedroom window. The light was on, blinds open. She was buck-ass naked. Now, as much as I appreciate the female form, that doesn't mean that I wanted to see her naked. I didn't stand there and observe, but as I approached the house from my car, I was kinda shocked. My knee-jerk reaction was of course "hey..... boobs!", followed by "what the hell?", followed by "yikes! I wish I hadn't seen that". I don't know what she was thinking parading around like that, but I really wish I didn't see that.

I got around to watching some more of those Twilight Zone episodes I had TiVo'ed.
Some of them were really good. Some of them, not so much. One of the "not so good" episodes was about a dude who has a radio that was receiving live broadcasts from 20 years in the past. Seems innocuous enough, but it looked like absolute hell. I guessed that it was filmed live or something like that. Kind of, but not really. It was one of a small handful of Twilight Zone episodes that was filmed on videotape rather than film. Video editing wasn't really possible in the early 60's so it had to be done in longer takes than it would on film. I guess they were experimenting with the new cheap way to film stuff. If the producers could go back in time, I'm sure they wouldn't use video. In the batch of good ones, there were two different episodes dealing with time travel which starred Russell Johnson (The Professor from Gilligan's Island). Although their original air dates were a couple of years apart, they were aired back-to-back in the marathon. I thought that was a bit odd. The Professor was, for a short period of time, the coach of my fantasy baseball team. He didn't do so well.

Speaking of my fantasy baseball team, I'd like to take back all the dirty things I said about them. They pulled out another impressive victory last week, pulling us into a tie for last place. They actually deserve a little bit of praise.

It's about time to go watch Six Feet Under.

now playing:
Tsunami -- The Heart's Tremolo
Tsunami The Heart's Tremolo

Friday, July 08, 2005

sweeter than a drop of blood from a sugarcube

Amid the bad news of the day was some damn good news. Even if the stories surrounding it are conflicting, I still think it's good news. Apparently, the NHL and the NHLPA are very close to a deal. Some reports indicate that they have already agreed in principle, and that they just need to draw up the particulars and get all the John Hancocks. The League and the PA both deny that the deal is imminent, but continue to indicate that things are going very well. Anyway, the rumors are that the new CBA should be signed early next week.
Be ware that this is unconfirmed, but the details from several different sources indicate that the player salaries will be rolled back 24% across the board. This is in-line with an offer they made a long time ago. Also, there would be a "team-by-team floating salary cap" maxing out at 37 million. I have no idea what differentiates a "floating salary cap" from, say, a "soft salary cap". Also in the alleged deal is that no player may earn more than 20% of his team's total payroll. Additionally (here's the part I like), 15% of every player's paycheck will go into an escrow account. If, when the season is over, league-wide player salaries come out to 54% or less of total league revenues, the money in escrow reverts to the players. If players' salary spending comes to more than 54% of revenues, then then the League gets to keep and evenly disburse the funds to the teams.

Also, it looks like there will be no all-star game next season. They've decided to make an 18-day break in the schedule which will enable players to represent their home country in the Winter Olympics.

Here's the part I don't like. Since we didn't play at all this year, there's no way to determine the draft order, unless they use the order that was used for the 2004 draft. The indication is that they'll put all 30 teams in a lottery to determine the order. That way, every team has an equal chance to get the first pick, which will be the young phenom Sidney Crosby, who has been dubbed "The Next One". Should this CBA be signed next week, there would be a turbo draft held via telephone rather than in a public venue. Of course I would prefer that the 'Canes get the first pick, but as long as he goes to an Eastern Conference team, I'll be happy enough to have chances to see him play.

It's very hard for me to temper my optimism with caution. I have to find a way, though.

now playing (again):
Sufjan Stevens -- Illinois
Sufjan Stevens Illinois

there's bourbon on the breath of the singer you love so much

Last night was odd. We were slower than a motherfucker because of the weather. Rain, rain, rain. Time was creeping by, and I thought the night would never end. I thought it would never even make it to 11:00 so I could play Bring a Neglected Record to Work. It seemed especially so because this one kid wouldn't shut up. He's obsessed with all these conspiracy theories about September 11. When he was done ranting about that, he started ranting about Martha Stewart. Why he gives a shit about her, I don't know. He kept saying that she was innocent of wrongdoing blah blah blah. Okay, fine if that's what you want to believe, but he kept insisting that she had been accused in the Enron scandal. I tried to correct him "you mean that insider trading thing with the drug company". "Oh, no", he would say "Enron.". Okay, buddy.

I'm sure he's already got some conspiracy theories going about yesterday's awful events in London. I'll have to hear about them, too.

incidentally, we normally fly the flags of England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, The UK, and of course The US outside our restaurant. There's a series of poles surrounding the upstairs patio, which is where they are. Northern Ireland does have its own flag, but we don't fly one of those. Because of the recent holiday, we had taken all the others down and we're flying 6 US flags. Not even the general manager of the restaurant knew about this, so I don't know what happened to the others. I'm sure the owner had something to do with it.

Okay... now to the good stuff.

Last night, I took several Neglected Records to work and used a complicated method to randomly pick one. The record I was supposed to do was Just for a Day by Slowdive. I started with it, but I got about three songs in, and I realized that although I still love that record, I couldn't possibly listen to it at work. You need to be laying in bed or sitting on the porch with a beer to listen to that record. So I had to abort that mission. I abandoned the complex method of random selection and picked Hearts of Oak by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Hell yeah! A damn fine record. Very punk at times, very emo at times. All rawk. There's a lot of death and suicide imagery, which kinda sucks, but it's so much fun to listen to "Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone". Check it out. I actually think that if it was marketed right, the kids would go nuts for the Ted Leo. I like it better that he's not all over the MTV and whatnot, but it's fun and up-tempo without being aggressive. Some of the hooks are awfully damn catchy too. I remember writing a review of this record for a now-defunct website run by a former friend. I gave it high praise when it was brand new, and I'll still praise it two years later. Although I enjoyed it immensely, and I'll give it 4 out of a possible 5 saute pans, I had another agenda. I realized that Sufjan Stevens was patiently waiting his turn. Instead of giving Ted a repeat listen for the sake of a better blog post, I just wanted to listen to Illinois again. I wasn't really able to give it a thorough listen. I haven't been able to do that yet. I'm looking forward to finding little things about that record that I love. In a big-picture kind of way, I'm enjoying it, though.

now playing:
Red House Painters -- Ocean Beach (no samples available)
Red House Painters Ocean Beach

Thursday, July 07, 2005

they assumed from the lack of prints in the snow that i'd been away for some time

I finally got back out to the ballpark yesterday. It's only the second time I've been out there this year. Dr. A and I went with his girlfriend and one of her many lesbian friends. I don't know what happened, but DA and his girl got in a fight, so he got the beer from his fridge and we sat on my porch drinking for a little while.

I went inside and started watching some of the many episodes of "The Twilight Zone" which I TiVo'd the other day. July 4, the SciFi Channel had a Twilight Zone marathon. Good stuff. I wish they still made shows like that. I mean, they tried to revive it a couple of different times, and they tried to revive "The Outer Limits" , but none of those efforts were to any avail.

I thought I was gonna have to go upstairs again, as the dude up there was ROCO at like 1 am. Before it got out of hand, though, he shut it down of his own volition.

I hate my fantasy baseball team. We're 4-9 in dead last. We just ended an 8-game losing streak, but it doesn't look that good this week. I'm just ready for the season to be over so I can concentrate on fantasy football. This baseball league I'm in is with some friends of mine who all used to work where I work now, plus a bunch of dudes in Michigan and Florida who I've never met. They expanded the league two years ago, and I was invited to join. I'm not really a baseball fan (although I used to be), so I reluctantly joined. I got lucky and had a fantastic team last year which finished in second place out of 12. This year, though, has been an abysmal failure. Yuck.

Okay. Now to the bit about music. I bought the Sufjan Stevens record yesterday, and I like it a lot. As I was listening to it the first go-round, I had a brief IM conversation with Reid. I had not listened to the mp3 for "Come on Feel The Illinoise ...." which he has posted on his site. So I was hearing that song for the first time. All I could think about, was that that song has Badly Drawn Boy written all over it. It's a good thing, in my mind, but it's really creepy how much it sounds like him. Right now, I can't provide you with mp3 files to make an easy comparison, but if you can get your hands on a Badly Drawn Boy record, specifically Have You Fed the Fish?, give it a listen. If you listen to the new Sufjan Stevens song, and listen to some Badly Drawn Boy, you'll probably be able to hear a similarity. Or am I crazy? I wouldn't rule out the "crazy" option.

now playing:
Badly Drawn Boy -- One Plus One is One
Badly Drawn Boy One Plus One is One

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

there's my favorite roller coaster ... the one only sissies ride

Today was a day of some nostalgia and sentimental reflection. This, Lucy, is going to require a lot of 'splaining. This first bit anyway.
Please don't pass judgment. Just read and smile and nod. Or whatever. I'll eventually come to a point.
I heard a Clay Aiken song on the radio. Shut up. Just wait for me to make a point. It really made me sad about missing my Hurricanes this year. Now that needs explanation. Since Clay Aiken is a Raleigh native (or near Raleigh, anyway), he came home to sing the National Anthem and to sing a few of his songs at a 'Canes game. As much as I wanted to hate it, it wasn't really all that bad. I know this might rival my "hey, the new Richard Marx doesn't suck!" comment, but it really wasn't that awful. Not that I liked it, just that I didn't hate it. So he sang some songs during the intermissions. My seats are lower level, right next to where the zamboni comes out. That's where he was. Our section got mobbed by teenage girls and their mothers. In a season where we sucked, this was one of about three memorable things. Again, not that I loved his songs, just that it was such a madhouse. So anyway, I'll always think of the 'Canes when I see or hear Clay Aiken. Of course one of the other two memorable events was the sudden and shocking trade of Ronnie Franchise to the dreaded Maple Leafs. Except for the death of a good friend, I've never been so sad. So I was reminded of how sad that made me all because I heard Clay Aiken on the radio.
Later on, I heard "Tiny Dancer" on the same radio, which always makes me think of two things. First, that scene in "Almost Famous". Second is my friend and former co-worker Jayhawk, who used to sing along "Hold me closer, Tony Danza".
Later, as I was driving home, I saw a woman with some serious '80's mall hair. It was rad.

Goddammit. Now I'm mad again. I won't accept "I'm going to a team who has a chance to win the Cup, so I can retire on top" as an explanation. That's horseshit. Ronnie has two Stanley Cup rings from his tenure with the Penguins. He's got all sorts of other hardware, including three Lady Byng (most gentlemanly player) trophies, a King Clancy (leadership on and off the ice) trophy, a Frank J. Selke (forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game) trophy, and he's second only to some guy named Gretzky in career assists. Fourth behind some guys named Gretzky, Messier and Howe in career points. I'm just mad that he couldn't retire on our team. He has a home here and wants to live here permanently, so I never could understand the move to the Leafs. He didn't have anything to prove. The Leafs didn't need an old man. We needed him.
Okay, I'll stop now.
Rant over.

Please note that the time when I started this post was 4:32 PM, and that today's date is 07.06.05. At least that's how we do it in America. So it was 7/6/5 4:32.
I think it's cool anyway.

Now playing:
Sufjan Stevens -- Illinois (illegal 'Superman' version)
Sufjan Stevens Illinois

it feels more like a hotel every day

I think the downstairs neighbor of areseven has a twin brother who has just moved in upstairs from me. This dude makes so much noise at an impossibly late hour. I had to go up there to pound on his door at 3:15 in the morning. Fortunately, no confrontation was necessary; the knock on the door was enough for him to turn it WAY down. Round about midnight, he was playing some music or watching TV or something and it wasn't that loud, but I could tell it was there. However, when it became really late, and I was actually trying to sleep, he was listening to Korn or some other such crap with a double kick drum, heavy bass, and the Cookie Monster "singing". As you well know, nobody listens to stuff like that with the volume turned low. It was insane. I don't know what this guy was thinking when he said "I think I'll listen to Korn at 3 in the morning. I'm sure none of my neighbors will mind". My stock explanation for this behavior is: Drugs. The kid's gotta be on the drugs.
Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about this new Sufjan Stevens record that Reid keeps talking about. I haven't listened to the mp3, but I'm sure I will love it. I've been wearing the shit out of Seven Swans, which is the only record of his that I own. Yeah. We've all read and heard the same thing about how he wants to make an album for all 50 states. So far there's just Michigan and now Illinois. The Mountain Goats were gonna do a similar project, naming an album for each country in the world, but he only got as far as Sweden and Ghana . I suspect Sufjan Stevens will at least have a couple more state albums, but couldn't possibly do all 50. By the way, I made that up about Mountain Goats. I don't think he ever intended or even joked about naming an album for each nation in the world. It just so happens that he has two albums named for countries.
Anyway, I'm going to try to pick up a copy of Come on feel the Illinoise today. Incidentally, has the different album art, including the one Reid talked about with Superman on it, and the same artwork with the Superman image taken out. There's also what appears to be a tour poster promoting "Sufjan Stevens and the Illinoisemakers". Check it out.
It's still a long way off, but he'll be playing the Cradle on Sept. 25. Sweet.

I think tonight I'll go to the ballgame. There's a chance of thunderstorms, as there is all week, but it looks pretty good right now.

It's time to go to work.

now playing:
Darling Buds -- Erotica
Darling Buds Erotica

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

i decided to have a bed-in, but i forgot to invite everyone

I hope everyone had a good four-day weekend. I hope that you had more fun than I did. I wasn't able to make any plans, and there was so much rain and whatnot that I didn't go up to the ballgame. I did absolutely nothing. Just Six Feet Under and a movie. If you happen to be Canadian, then disregard all the happy horseshit about July 4. I'll get to you later in this post.
While I'm not surprised, I am annoyed that Rico fucked everything up. Again. I'm disliking Ruth more and more every week, and suddenly I don't mind George. I hated the shit out of him when he first came on. Actually, it started with that formica incident with Arthur. After that, it grew from distrust into hate. Then when they told us he was loony tunes, I felt bad for hating a crazy person. Now I'm actually starting to like him. Too bad Billy's going to murder everyone.

The movie last night was Spun. I don't really know what to say about this. Drugs, drugs drugs. It's about some crystal meth heads. There's some good actors (Jason Schwartzman, Patrick Fugit, Mickey Rourke, Peter Stormare), but I can't say that it's a "good" movie. There's also lots of music by Billy Corgan and there's a few scenes with the pathetic Deborah Harry. Those two things weren't enough to save this movie. Parts of it were funny, but the other 92% of it made me feel so uneasy that I couldn't like it. Contrarily, Requiem for a Dream made me really uneasy, but I liked it a lot. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the filmmakers. The dude who directed Spun has never done anything longer than four minutes before, and the writers have never written anything. Requiem, on the other hand was written by the brilliant Hubert Selby, Jr , and had great direction from Darren Aronofsky. To be honest, I don't know what made me decide to get Spun, but it didn't really suit my tastes.

The other day, I had another movie night. I watched Human Nature, which I thought was pretty good. A weird story, but good. I think I ordered it when I also ordered Danny Deckchair (Netflix recommended it because it has the same leading actors). Either I never noticed in the first place, or I forgot that it's directed by Michel Gondry. I immediately remembered, though, when I noted that it had the look of a Björk video. I mean, it looks exactly like a Björk video. Specifically "Human Behavior" and "Bachelorette". The way the greens and blues are so vibrant, those two videos and this movie look like a storybook. And that's the point. I liked "Human Nature". It's fun and entertaining. Aside from looking great, it's written by Charlie Kauffman, so you know you're going to get something good there. Check it out.

Okay. Now for you Canadians. What the F?!?!? You guys are supposed to be so much better. So much more civilized, with a much better political system and all this shit, but then I read about your notorious sex killer being released from prison . Okay. It's really disturbing that there's such a thing as a person who would torture, then rape, then kill some teenage girls. More disturbing that a woman would play a key role. A thousand fold more disturbing that one of the victims was her own sister. This is not a person who should be roaming the streets. Somehow, the Courts have determined that 12 years in prison is punishment enough for her actions. I don't think so. Whether it's incarceration, death or confinement to a mental institution, this woman really needs to be somewhere. Yeah, she spent 12 years in a jail, and yeah she cooperated with the authorities, but that's absurd. I don't get what would make a person do that, and I really don't get the "light" punishment.

now playing:
Explosions in the Sky -- The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
Explosions in the Sky The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

Sunday, July 03, 2005

it's true that i stole your lighter, and it's also true that i lost the map

I'm so glad my "weekend" is finally here. This week hasn't been a lot of fun. Re-discovering the Quasi record was great, and getting to see the "Which Doobie do you be" episode was also great. I'm tired as all get-out and I have people mad at me. That isn't great. And the state of my apartment is actually horrible. Now I have two days to relax and get some stuff done.
Among the "stuff" I wanted to get done was to figure out how to provide mp3s here. I'd like to think that I have a fair amount of savoir faire, but I felt like a goddamned imbecile when it came to this. It took me about 63 thousand years, but I figured out how to make it work. Only problem is, I don't have very much bandwidth to work with, so I won't be able to make a revolving jukebox like some of the other fancier blogs. Someday, I'll learn to make it so readers won't have to navigate away from the main page to listen to the mp3, but for now, this is as good as I can do.

The first song I'll be offering you is very appropriate for tomorrow. It's actually (in my opinion) one of the greatest indie pop songs ever written, as well.

Here's your mp3 for Fourth of July by Galaxie 500.

Many of you already know this song, but I'll encourage you to listen to it again anyway. It's probably been some time since you've dragged out your copy of This is our Music. As a little piece of trivia, the drum kit Galaxie 500 used during their beginnings belonged to Conan O'Brien. They all went to Harvard together. Conan graduated magna cum laude in American History. Yeah, you knew he was a dork, but not like that.

Go see the fireworks. Drink some beer. Eat some hotdogs. Listen to Galaxie 500

now playing:
Galaxie 500 -- Uncollected
Galaxie 500 Uncollected

Friday, July 01, 2005

press the eject and give me the tape

I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath to see what the Neglected Record of the week was. So I'll waste no time.
Maybe this has something to do with my failure to go to the Sleater-Kinney show, but the record of the week was Field Studies by Quasi. Give it a sample listen here. I freakin' loved it. I remember buying this record on a whim when I went up to DC for the Radiohead show that never happened . There was about a foot of standing water in the outdoor venue. Got that? The outdoor venue was, um, flooded. It turned out to be a great weekend anyway, as I got to hang out with some of you, dear and loyal readers. Anyway, I bought the cd on a whim, and I loved it right away. I wore it out for a few months, but it had the misfortune of being in the "q" section of my cd stacks. I rarely even think about anything in the q's. Quarterflash? Nope. Queensryche? No sir. Queen? Nah. Queen Sara Saturday? (remember them, NC folks?) Try again. This is the one and only record that lives in that wing of my library. I've digressed again. Why in holy fuck did I ever let this record collect one single smidgen of dust? I played it two times in a row from soup to nuts, then I went back and played my favorite jam from the disc one more time. I mean, I liked every song on the record, so it was hard to single one out, but a gun was being forced to my head, so I chose "A Fable With No Moral". I don't know what it is, but I just love that song. Throughout the album, though, there's lots of really cool textbook Janet ("don't call me Walt") Weiss drumming. But actually, I find her ex-husband's vocal stylings to be more compelling than anything else about this band. I had a lot of fun with this album, and I intend to keep it in "B" rotation for a while. If you happen to be Dutch or Deutsch, they'll be coming to your neck of the woods this summer, and you should go. I know I didn't go see S-K, and I don't really have a leg to stand on, but I don't care. Do as I say, not as I do. Okay, here's the thing. Maybe I'm just getting too old, and I can't RO-CO anymore, but Sleater Kinney is just too loud. There. I said it. Quasi isn't at all like that.
These things aren't meant to be record reviews so much as a retelling of my listening experience, so I won't get into the nuts and bolts of it. Nonetheless, I'll give Field Studies 4 ½ out of a possible 5 saute pans.

Of course the Scrabble geek in me started to think about the possibilities of playing the word "QUASI" in a game. I came up with a hypothetical situation in which my opponent has played ZIT at H12¹, through an existing I for 22 points. It's pretty late in the game, and he thinks he's setting himself up to hook an S or an I to ZIT, getting a triple word in both directions. He knows there's only one S and one I left, but is taking a chance that I don't have either. I play QUASI from 15D ², hooking the I to ZIT. 72 for QUASI and 39 for ZITI for a total of 111. For a non-bingo, that would be a spectacular play. For the same points, I could also play QUAIS, which is also an acceptable play. But Janet Weiss plays drums for Quasi, so that's the freakin' point here. This is, of course a theoretical play that wouldn't happen over a real table. Nobody would play ZIT there, leaving the triple for the taking.

now playing:
Throwing Muses -- University
Throwing Muses University

¹ The Srabble board is a 15 by 15 grid. For purposes of tracking plays, the colums are lettered A through O (left to right). The rows are numbered 1 through 15 (top to bottom). When a play is made vertically, the coordinates of its starting position are determined by the letter first, then the number. A horizontal play is tracked using the number/letter coordinate. In the example, the Z in ZIT was placed in the center column (H), and on the fourth row from the bottom (12). The play is made vertically, so the letter comes first. It starts at H12, and that's all the info needed. Z is on a Double Letter space. 20 for that and one each for I and T. 22 points.

² In this example, QUASI was played alon the bottom row, starting in the fourth space from the left. Since it's played horizontally, the number goes first. It starts at 15D. The Q is on a Double Letter space. 20 for that and one each for U, A, S, I. 24 points for the word, but since the I landed on the Triple Word space, it becomes 72. Since I made ZIT become ZITI, I also get to triple that word. 10 for the Z, and one each for I, T , I (I don't get to double the Z since it was already on the board). 13 tripled is 39. added to the 72 is 111.