Friday, April 27, 2007

Start Spreading The News...

Today, I leave for my last visit to New York. In two weeks I will become a permanent resident. Yes, I'm leaving DC - the city of class presidents - for the city that never sleeps, to become an insomniac. I'm taking a job there with a great ad agency; I'll be a front-end web developer for them. So, excitement abounds in my small corner of the world.

I've had a good job with great people the last two years, and I will miss them and my friends and family here in the DC/Maryland area. There will be much visiting. But as a wise man once said, wherever you go, there you are.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Two Months Late

King For A Day » Bobby Conn

Website: || Running Time: 52:00 || Label: Thrilljockey

Bobby Conn used to fancy himself the Anti-Christ. He ended the charade after the 2000 election, apparently realizing it's no fun to play at evil when there are real false prophets and deceivers running the country. His last album -- 2004's Homeland -- mocked and satirized Bush's America with genre-hopping indie rock. His new album King For A Day is lighter fare: instead of the Washington Post he turns to US! Weekly, and uses the fantasy world of his dreams, rather than the nightmare of reality, for inspiration.

An attempt at rock opera(though absent any real narrative, the album is the soundtrack to a planned companion movie), the record delves into the cult of celebrity and the power of delusion. With nary a heavy, depressing issue in sight Conn is free to channel Freddie Mercury and David Bowie and create some dramatic soundscapes and witty pop songs. Backed by most of his old band The Glass Gypsies, Conn touches on glam rock, psychedelia, a little disco and pop filtered through experimental indie rock.

The album opens with an eight minute instrumental(something the Anti-Christ might do, I grant you), "Vanitas". Sparse acoustic guitars and lonely drums join an ominous Latin chorus -- ominous being the token role for dead languages -- before an onslaught of electric guitars and violins hits. The pyrotechnics feel cathartic, clearing away the dreariness of past records and current times for truly diversionary material.

The lazy, dreamy title track "King For A Day" sails right along through Conn's night job of worshiped, entourage toting rock star whose toes are sucked by adoring European fans before crashing under hammered power chords, pounding drumming and the realization he still has to be back at his day job Monday morning.

Which raises the obvious question, what kind of day job could a man who dresses like Eddie Izzard and gets shrimped in the basements of English rock clubs possibly have? I imagine him fronting the revived Queen instead of Paul Rodgers, not backing a Dell workstation. "Love Let Me Down", a hazy look at love from a star's stage, could find a place on Jazz. "Twenty One" delves into some disco pop, though Conn's falsetto sounds disturbingly like the creepy senior-citizen pedophile from Family Guy. On "(I'm Through With) My Ego" he delivers an over the top, lounge worthy vocal performance.

You never know where he'll go next, and he mixes it up with mesmerizing instrumentals: the mystical, marching "A Glimpse Of Paradise" and the frantic, driven "Sinking Ship". You know those moments when everything clicks and a note or a voice resonates with something in you and that oh hell yes feeling takes over? "Mr. Lucky" has one, now a favorite of mine. After Monica BouBou's soft voice fades out at the three minute mark, Conn belts out a passionate, swaggering "I wanna live!" over a blazing blues-rock guitar. And if I told you it was a time-traveling Mick Jagger, you would believe me.

Bobby Conn may tire being socially conscious, but he never tires of putting out original, great sounding records.

eMusic || Amazon || iTunes

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ten New Messages - The Rakes

Ten New Messages » The Rakes

Website: || Running Time: 43:37 || Label: V2

2007 is the year of the sophomore album. Bloc Party, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the Arcade Fire have already released theirs; soon, the Arctic Monkeys will follow. One offering, though, has slipped under the radar: Ten New Messages, from the UK band The Rakes. Which is a shame, because it's the best so far.

Like their 2005 debut Capture/Release, this album is effortlessly cool and deceivingly simple. There's nothing here you or your friend's band couldn't play after a few listens, but -- and this is an important but -- no one else could put it together quite like The Rakes: the sharp, energetic post-punk hooks and Alan Donohue's everyman, escapist lyrics are a perfect fit. His slightly detached vocal style is perfect for the chugging guitars surrounding him. Intelligent, Donohue writes lyrics that are witty ("on the subject of my love life/ I've been left behind") but don't bash you over the head with conceited English-Lit-speak attempts to show you how clever he is.

Ten New Messages largely sticks to themes of it's predecessor: everyday life and drudgery, but adds a dash of social commentary. Besides "Terror!", Capture/Release left the world outside the office and the bar to itself; this record gets right into it with "The World Was Mess But His Hair Was Perfect". Instead of a Bright Eyes style metaphorical Bush ass-reaming, though, Donohue views things through the eyes of a guy just trying to a have a good night out while the world goes mad: "You slag off America in the pub/ Saying the war was shite/ Then in the club/ Drink some Buds and smoke some Marlboro Lights...". The channeled commentary continues on "Suspicious Eyes", a commuting tale told from several different perspectives: the person who suspects a suicide bomber is on the train, and the guy with a beard and a bag wondering why they're "all acting like they've never seen a brown person before". "When Tom Cruise Cries" deals with the horror of a real terror attack contrasted with the fake drama of celebrity rags, as Donahue narrates us through his experiences trying to call someone during the 2005 London bombings.

The constant presence of fear makes the record feel like a darker addendum to Capture/Release, still, it offers some careless fun with "We Danced Together", a song that will keep all those skinny, beautiful girls who want to dance(but want "credibility", not "Fergalicious") from abandoning the hipster venues where no one but them ever dances for real dance clubs(that play "Fergalicious", or at least a re-mix). Just for that, this should be every skinny-jean and tie wearing boy's song of the year. "Little Superstitions" is The Rakes first stab at a "love" song, layering a little sweetness on top of their ultra-catchy sound. The album ends with "Leave The City And Come Home", a slow, bittersweet summary of all the urban "perks" that sound ridiculous and empty when spelled out(yes, I live in the city; no, I'm not moving -- I've mastered the phrase "well, that isn't talking about me.")

eMusic || Amazon || iTunes

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Furious Fingers

In my review of Marnie Stern's debut album, In Advance Of A Broken Arm, I said that her guitar playing must be a thing to behold. Thanks to YouTube, we can...behold it. Some videos of her playing live(all of these show her playing some insane guitar on "Vibrational Match")

Finally, here's a proper music video for her song "Every Single Line Means Something":

Why Slate, Why?

I'm reading something on when I see an interesting sidebar link: an article about the legacy of the MLB Wildcard. So I click on it, and I briefly gaze upon Slate's home page before the most horrifying internet ad of all time takes up the ENTIRE screen:

I don't know about you, but this isn't the face I want to see filling up my monitor on a Monday morning:

Maybe it's the mis-aligned eyes, or the pained expression - but blown up to 1024 x 742 pixels, this face is horrifying. Thanks Slate, thanks a lot.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

After A Wet Weekend, Reflection

Dumbest Thing I Did Last Weekend: I saw A Perfect Stranger.

Dumbest Thing I Said Last Weekend: (after putting on a baseball cap) "Wow, I look like Matt Damon in that movie were he wore a hat."

Dumbest Thing My Girlfriend Asked Me To Do Last Weekend: She wanted me to wait outside while she was doing some midnight shopping at the 125th St. PathMark grocery store. For anyone who doesn't now, 125th is main street Harlem, and being whiter than Woolite, I stand out. Imagine the possible conversations, had I waited outside:

Amused Passerby: Hey honky1, what are you doing here?

Me: Er, waiting.

Passerby: For what?

Me: ...Gentrification?

Dumbest Thing I Saw: The last fifteen minutes of RV, the Robin Williams comedy, also starring Larry David's fake wife -- playing William's fake wife -- JoJo, Jeff Daniels, and some forgettable people. On the bus ride home, the driver started the movie with only the aforementioned fifteen minutes left to go; surprisingly, no one asked for him to rewind it, and I had no problem following the plot.

All things considered, a pleasant weekend. The torrent of rain in NYC delayed my return a day, meaning an extra day with my girlfriend, which is always good.

Back at the office, things are...normal. For the most part. Still, job security does not exist for a government contractor. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

1True Story: One my first DC apartments was on S street near North Capitol; I went exploring shortly after moving in, and after rounding a street corner around the Shaw/Howard University Metro stop, I heard "What up, HONKY!" shouted from a passing car. I thought that was hilarious.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's With The Wheel?

I'm troubled by the film Maverick. I haven't found hidden anti-semitism(unless the James Coburn character is intended to be a Jewish stereotype, which given recent events, seems strangely plausible) which is what everyone looks for now in Mel Gibson movies(it's much easier to find latent racism in old Seinfeld episodes; Kramer "accidentally" dons blackface through overtanning in one them for Christ's sake1). In fact, what's troubling me has nothing to do with Gibson, the over-abundance of country music, or suspending the disbelief that Alfred Molina is capable of being scary without six murderous mechanical arms. No, what troubles me is Jodie Foster.

Maverick is the only movie in which I find Foster attractive. As Annabelle Bransford, she is a conniving, seducing thief. She has long curly blond hair, wears low cut dresses, and breathes hard when excited. And like most men, I do enjoy her Southern. In no other role does Foster make me enthusiastic to see her naked. Why is that?

I know Foster's Clarice Starling was supposed to be a virginal, sexual foil to Anthony Hopkins' demented Hannibal Lecter in that movie with a dead moth on the poster, but whose title mentions silent lambs. She is porcelain, pure, and her legs are probably joined at the knee2. Which is why I never went for her; kissing her would be like kissing your sister. She's practically a nun with a gun. The relationship with Lecter just screams closet goth, plus he would probably rip your face off for looking at her twice. Or once, even.

In Sommersby, she lets Richard Gere aka Arman Tanzarian hang even after she knows he is an impostor(not her real husband), and therefore innocent. Why? For that final, Oscar grubbing final scene by his grave. Another strike against the film is it's another "noble white man helps black people" movie, which I think we've all had enough of(now "noble white woman teacher helps black students"...apparently that's not played out yet).

It's impossible to think about her character in Nell in any sexual way, because you will go to hell. She plays a couple of annoying single mothers in Panic Room and Flightplan. In the former she's completely neurotic, and in the latter she's still grieving her recently deceased husband -- no real shot there. In fact, Contact is the only other movie where I find her even remotely attractive, and that's mainly because she is a)brilliant, b) passionate, and c) puts out on the first date with Matthew McConaughey. Which brings me to why I think I find her irresistible in Maverick.

Annabelle Bransford is a slutty bad girl. She uses her looks and her charms in tandem with ruthless cunning to be an exceptional thief. She won't pester you to marry, but she will fuck your dad when you're not around. She's all for hour-long trysts in hotel rooms, but then she'll rob you while you're soaking in the tub. She's the girl mom warned you about, yet still can't resist; she's the Queen of Hearts, always your best bet3. Especially if you think half the fun is in the chase, because you will be chasing her -- usually to get back your wallet.

I'm not sure what it says about me that I find all of these things irresistible; I guess -- like many immature twenty-somethings -- I find the allure of the exciting, damaged, and sexually aggressive members of the opposite sex too strong to break free from their siren call. It would help, though, if Clarice ever let anyone get to second base.

1The episode is "The Wife"; Kramer's black girlfriend is horrified when he shows up "over-tanned" and her father/grandfather, I can't remember which, says "I thought you said you were bringing a white boy home! I don't see a white boy! I see a damn fool!"

2Thank you, Adventures In Babysitting. I know they are remaking you with Raven-Symoné, but you'll always star Elizabeth Shue in my world.

3You may think bashing Maverick's abundance of country music while quoting Eagles' songs makes me a somewhat of a hypocrite. You're wrong, but duly noted.

Lunchtime Discovery

In a little over a month, my co-workers and I will move from our current building. A new, shiny, and overcrowded building next to the Stadium construction site awaits. In preparation for the move, everyone has been instructed to throw out all non-essential items; old, unneeded papers and equipment have been tossed into the trash for weeks. Even the hallway bulletin board is being cleared; the once colorful array of flyers, retirement notices, and inane carpool invites has been reduced to only a few items -- some of which have been buried a long, long time:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Some Good News This Morning

From Yahoo's front page this morning:

Why? Why? I'll tell you why: because there is a God. A chocolate loving God. Read the story here.

We All Know Who Would Do It

There are things and times you don't miss until they are happening, usually because you're taking life way too seriously. That's been a problem for me lately, so Saturday afternoon I sauntered up to Paul's car at the Greenbelt Metro in the least serious way possible(short of hopping and skipping).

I brought Weird Al's "Straight Outta Lynwood" because I thought Paul would find it funny, but we talked and caught up over all the best parts. That bothered me a little. I wanted him to marvel at how funny it was, because I'm vain; it was a very foolish whim in retrospect. But I'm a fool at heart.

If there is one person in the world everyone should talk to, it's Paul; I always have animated, hilarious conversations with him. Whatever talking to Dick Cheney is like, talking with Paul would be the complete opposite. Paul and I get into trouble when talking in cars, though, and it's all the fault of The Simpsons. Once, The Simpsons made us two hours late; today, the pop-culture heavyweight nearly got us killed1.

Nine years ago, Paul was driving me and our friend Aaron to visit another friend at Washington College, which is in Maryland's Eastern Shore. It was freshman year for all four of us(Paul, me, Aaron, mutual friend attending college in the vast marshes of the Eastern Shore; yep, that's four), so this was our first visit to WC. Jamie -- the mutual friend -- had given us good directions, which we ignored while we traded Simpsons' quotes for hours and hours after crossing the Chesapeake Bay. We ended up some absurd distance(that increases with each retelling of this story) past our exit, and we've joked since then that we are forbidden to discuss the show while Paul is driving(or while Aaron is sleeping).

Today, ignoring our past experience, we traded Simpsons' lines for a mere thirty seconds before Paul almost slammed into the back of a car stopped at a red light.

"Paul, you're gonna hit that guy," I mumbled.

After coming to a screeching halt behind the oblivious near-accident-victim, Paul gave me a thoughtful look.

"I'm surprised how calmly you told me I was about to kill us, 'Paul, you're gonna hit that guy...just, putting that out there...'," he said.

I replied I was frozen with fear and it happened too fast. In reality, I was eerily calm because of all my friends, if you -- Paul -- end up getting me killed, I will be very surprised.

1Paul disputes that this was the fault of The Simpsons. He says he was distracted because he was pointing out the dental office of a friend. Paul, I know quoting The Simpsons is fun, but we can get our fix in non-vehicular settings. We shouldn't even do that shit on the Metro; we would kill dozens of people.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ten Questions With The Mats

A musical meme courtesy of minijonb(congrats on 200 posts!). The band choice was a no brainer:

01: Pick a band and answer only using song titles: The Replacements
02: Are you male or female: Androgynous
03: Describe yourself: White And Lazy
04: Your best piece of advice: Fuck School
05: Describe your last relationship: Treatment Bound
06: Describe your last crush: Lovelines
07: Say something to someone you have a crush on: Within Your Reach
08: Say something to an ex: Seen Your Video
09: Say something to someone who hurt you severely: You Lose
10: How do you feel right now: Unsatisfied

Modest Mouse, Late On A Monday

We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank » Modest Mouse

Website: || Running Time: 62:28 || Label: Epic

When we last left Modest Mouse, their fifth and -- contrary to popular belief -- second major label album Good News For People Who Love Bad News charted 18th in the US and "Float On" became a huge mainstream hit. Would overexposure ruin another indie act? Their first major label album, The Moon And Antarctica, was only popular among college radio DJs and the Pitchfork folks. Even licensing "Gravity Rides Everything" to Nissan didn't kill the band's indie credibility, however, "Float On" took the additional step of not only being used by a car company(Ford) but in the process was involved in one of the most cringe-inducing television moments in recent memory when the an entire gaggle of American Idol singers covered the song.

So, surely their new album We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank would find some way to cash in, right? I mean, when was the last time you heard The Flaming Lips1 covered on American Idol? Isaac Brock and company, however, don't seem to care -- or are oblivious -- to what's going on around them; they just keep making great album after great album. Pity the mallternative who buys this record expecting more of "Float On".

Right away Brock spits out maniacal, guttural, throat-busting laughs among sharp, ringing guitars2 on the opening track "March Into The Sea". A dark moment of madness, and a vertigo inducing departure from the ethereal, drifting opening combo of "The World At Large" and "Float On" from Good News3. "Dashboard", the second track, is the feel-good apex of the album; a steering-wheel slapping, windows-down driving anthem. After the first three tracks, however, the album is much darker than Good News.

"Florida" is a rollicking, menacing rant of a song; Brock's rapid-fire, crazy hobo delivery balanced by James Mercer's long, fading chanting of the title chorus. "Parting Of The Sensory" features one of the best delivered Brock laments yet: "This fits like clothes made of wasps! Oh fuck it, I guess I lost." Acute, almost stream of conscious lyrics are Brock trademarks, and reading the liner notes of We Were Dead... is almost as enjoyable as listening to it. Face it, you're not going to catch everything, even after many listens. On "Parting Of The Sensory", I thought the closing lyric was "Someday you will die and some how some thing or someone steals your coffin", but it was actually "...steals your carbon." I can't decide which sentiment is more morbid; sometimes it's best to simply marvel at the crazy shit Brock spits out.

This is the first must-buy album of the year(and judging by the billboard charts, I don't have to tell you that - in fact, this entire review was probably pointless). Success has not soured this formerly indie band; it hasn't subdued Brock's eccentricities; it hasn't turned the music over-moronically poppy.

Still, I can't wait to see a car commercial blaring "Dashboard" as cardboard cut-out hipsters drive off into a summer of adventure.

1Honestly, I don't watch enough American Idol to know if this is actually true; for all I know Idol contestants have been murdering everything from "Bad Days" to "Are You A Hypnotist?" since 2002.

2I purposely didn't mention Johnny Marr, because if it wasn't for music blogs and press releases, you would never know he was playing.

3Technically, a short horn intro opens Good News. That's one thing I do miss on the new album: short little song fragments, usually peppered throughout a Modest Mouse record. That's being really nit picky, though.

eMusic || Amazon || iTunes

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Future Is Now

Wil Wheaton1 is a prophet. Nary a week or so ago, the erstwhile Wesley Crusher suggested five things to improve iTunes. Two have come true in the past few days. Clearly, Wheaton has some kind of future sight. Does he already know the results of the 2008 election? We should monitor his whereabouts; that way if he moves to New Zealand we'll know to follow.

Anyway, the two accurate predictions are Apple's deal with EMI to offer premium quality, non-DRM tracks for $1.29 on iTunes and the new "Complete Your Album" feature that allows you to buy the rest of an album at a discounted price if you bought a single or two off of it. So we have Apple hand-holding one of the big record labels as they tip-toe into DRM-free waters, and a new iTunes Store policy that essentially says "We are done screwing you over. Really, we ran out of places to keep the bags and bags of your money, plus we need to save some space for June."

Long-term, paying thirty-cents more for premium songs -- ignore the fact that an average listener can't tell the difference between current AAC encoded tracks and CD quality ones, because it will make your head hurt -- songs that you are free to put on any device, rip any number of times, cut-up, remix, and even put on a godforsaken Zune for all Apple cares; that will have the most impact.

Short term though, "Complete Your Album" is what I'm excited about. A quick click in iTunes, and I discovered I have...256 albums I can complete.


I've spent at least $256 on iTunes singles?

This must be what alcoholics feel like when the fat guy who runs their AA meeting tallies up how much they spend getting blitzed each week. Shit, this is why I own the latest Modest Mouse, CYHSY, and Rakes albums but still haven't furnished my ninth-month old apartment with anything beyond my bed and a desk.

What, exactly, can I complete? Well, here's a sampling:

I Have No Respect For Money: Hot Fuss, The Killers. I bought one single off of this album because my CD was scratched and one track, I can't remember which, wouldn't rip. It's only ninety-nine cents, right?

With Apologies To That Stoner Guy From High School: Sublime, Sublime. I download "What I Got"; I can have the rest of the album for around $7...or I could just buy "Santeria" and "Wrong Way" and have all three "essential" Sublime songs. Well, besides "Date Rape" and "Caress Me Down". Five essential songs then.

I Love The 80s: Billy Idol's Greatest Hits, Billy Idol; Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi; Songs From The Big Chair, Tears For Fears; Riptide, Robert Palmer. At the age of eight, Bon Jovi's album title sounded vaguely, disturbingly dirty. I was very sheltered and repressed. Robert Palmer was a musical James Bond; he is sorely missed.

You Weren't There Man, You Don't Even Know...It Was Like...Fucking...Trenchant, Man: Music From Big Pink, The Band. "The Weight" is the only song I wanted, because I'm a heathen. This album I might actually complete someday, just to make good with the hippies.

A Man Hitting On Me Recommended It: Permanent, Joy Division. I'd never given this album a listen -- it's hard to hear everything in the "classic" cannon -- so I downloaded "Love Will Tear Us Apart", and I really liked it. Apparently not enough to completed the album though; maybe saving a buck will change that.

I Have A Morbid Sense Of Humor: Live Era '87-'93, Guns N Roses. "I Used To Love Her", the greatest song about killing your girlfriend and burying her in your backyard ever written.

Sweatin' To iTunes Singles: Ultimate Survivor, Survivor. "Eye Of The Tiger" is the only Survivor song; I refuse to believe otherwise.

Because The Guys Will Never Know: The Bonnie Raitt Collection, Bonnie Raitt. "Love Has No Pride" is a great song, and I don't have to defend my tastes. Besides, I don't own any other Raitt tunes. Honest.

I Also Enjoy Xena Warrior Princess: Blurring The Edges, Meredith Brooks. Since "Bitch", Brooks had one of her songs -- "Shine" -- used as the theme song to The Dr. Phil show. Also, she is friends with Brian De Palma and produced a Jennifer Love Hewitt album. It's really a case of good news bad news with this woman.

I Really, Really Want To Have Sex With Her: Hear Me Cry, Sonique. It is enough that "It Feels So Good" is a beautiful piece of music, but it doesn't hurt that Sonique is exactly my type: a beautiful, unattainable English DJ slash singer. There aren't too many of those running around.

The Benefits Of My Parents Keeping The Dial At Oldies 100: Cameo Parkway: The Best Of ? And The Mysterians, ? And The Mysterians. "96 Tears" is a perfect rock and roll song. That simple, addictive tingling keyboard, the cocksure vocals, this is garage rock at its best.

Because The Guys Will Never Know II: Music From The O.C. Mix, Vol. 1. Look, Jason Schwartzman was the drummer for Phantom Planet, who recorded "California", that has to count for something right? Right?

I Really, Really Love The 90s: Dookie, Green Day; (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis; Tidal, Fiona Apple; Fashion Nugget, Cake; Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt; Core, Stone Temple Pilots; Smash, The Offspring; Temple Of The Dog, Temple Of The Dog; Urban Hymns, The Verve; Rubberneck, The Toadies; The Fragile, Nine Inch Mails; Candlebox, Candlebox; Blind Melon, Blind Melon; Americana, The Offspring; Frogstomp, Silverchair; Sparkle And Fade; Everclear; Black Sunday, Cypress Hill; The Battle Of Los Angeles, Rage Against The Machine; The Globe, Big Audio Dynamite II; Crucify EP, Tori Amos; Bacdafucup, Onxy; Cereal Killer Soundtrack, Green Jelly; Social Distortion, Social Distortion; Get Lost, The Magnetic Fields; Make Yourself, Incubus; Republica, Republica; Bad Days EP, The Flaming Lips. Errr...well, my musical taste during my salad days is a mixed bag. Plus, I'm totally lying about listening to The Magnetic Fields when I was in high school, they came much later.

I can't think of anyone who went from super-lame to super-cool thanks to the internet; one day my friends and I are trading jokes about the best way to kill of Wesley Crusher(you could use the pointy end of the communicator), the next, we're geeking out to his blog.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Fragments

  • Never underestimate the power of music. Sniffling, feeling sick to my stomach, I was going to skip my workout yesterday. I tried one last thing: a quick spin of my ":Mix(Energy)" playlist on my iPod. Several energetic songs later, and I was ready to go.

  • I hate it when a metal song(or any rock song) is very mediocre, but has a kick-ass solo in it. What do I do? Do I listen to it again just to hear the solo? I could manipulate the start/stop times in iTunes to just play the solo, and have dozens of twenty-second guitar solo tracks floating around my playlists...yeah, I'll do that. Still, it bugs me.

  • One thing I find amusing about blues music(or old Bill Cosby albums), is how nonchalantly the subject of wife beating comes up.

  • Top 5 Drifters Songs: 5. Money Honey, 4. Spanish Harlem, 3. White Christmas, 2. On Broadway, 1. There Goes My Baby

  • The other day I realized I almost never listen to a proper album while commuting; it's always a shuffled playlist. Why do you think that is? It's such a rare occurrence, the last two times are distinct memories: listening to the Drive-By-Trucker's Southern Rock Opera sometime last summer and The Replacement's Let It Be the winter before that.

  • This is a very boring week. I dreamed last night that I replaced the light bulb in my closet. I was disappointed to discover this morning I hadn't actually done it.

  • "Life is a school for angels. Love is the Teacher, so do your homework without fear. Death is merely graduation." - Jeffrey Kuehl, Starbucks customer from Wilmette, Illinois. (The Way I See It #187)

    If there's one thing I like with my morning hot chocolate, it's a reminder of my inevitable death. If Jeffrey Kuehl is correct, my death will also be pointless, since I don't believe in angels; something that would surely land me in the back of a class of the recently deceased, angels to be. What kind of homework would Love assign? I hope it's fucking. And I hope Love would grade on a curve. Anyway, this has to be one of the weirdest answers to the meaning-of-life question I've ever heard. And is it weird that this quote mentions death, and it's number is 187?

  • I totally forgot this weekend was Easter(something else that will land me in the back of angel class). Someone asked me if my girlfriend was coming down for Easter weekend, and I just stared at him and blinked. I mumbled something about her coming in late April, hoping that would help. Hey, that means today is Good Friday, which makes me think of the Black Crowes' song "Good Friday", which makes me think of Chris Robinson's now ex-wife Kate Hudson, who I saw on cable the other night in 200 Cigarettes, which also had Dave Chappelle, Christin Ricci, Paul Rudd, Courtney fucking Love, Martha Plimpton, Jay Mohr, Janeane Garofalo, Casey Affleck, and his big brother Ben Affleck...which after watching led me to conclude that the elder Affleck is a pretty good actor, especially in comedic roles. This line of thought is also why I am destined for Hell.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Gym Security

I never used a padlock to protect my gym locker until today. That's roughly twelve years of leaving my belongings naked to whoever came upon them. Why do that? I never felt it was a serious threat; not serious enough to spend eight or nine dollars to prevent, anyway. Of course, if you ask people who know me, they would say something different:

A Random Friend: He's too trusting.

My Brother: He's fucking stupid.

Girlfriend: He's too trusting...and fucking stupid.

Today, though, I bought a metallic green lock to protect my locker. Why? It was the first time I had my laptop with me. I was planning on hitting up an Internet cafe right after my workout. Access at my apartment has been slow and sporadic lately. And has trusting -- or stupid -- as I may be, I'm not leaving a two-thousand dollar computer sit by itself, unprotected, while I do singe leg raises1.

So World(or as my mother calls it, common sense), you win. I'm using a padlock. Happy?

1Interestingly, I have no problem leaving my laptop -- albeit in its carrying case -- next to sweaty gym clothes while I shower.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


The Rainy Day Hits of 4/4/07

1. "Elanore", The Turtles - The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands
2. "Spectral Beings", Jesse Sykes and The Sweet Hereafter - Like, Love, Lust & The Open Halls Of The Soul
3. "Canadian Idiot", Weird Al Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood
4. "Yellow Sun", The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers ("You're making me hungry/but what's really funny/is it's not sunny/anymore")
5. "Just Couldn't Tie Me Down", The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
6. "The High Road", Bettye LaVette - I've got My Own Hell To Raise
7. "A Lack Of Color", Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
8. "Mr. Jones", Counting Crows - August and Everything After
9. "Hotter Than Hell", KISS - Hotter Than Hell
10. "It's Alright", The Redwalls - De Nova
11. "We Will Rock You", Queen - News Of The World
12. "Is She Weird", The Pixies - Bossanova
13. "Lay It All On Me", The Black Crowes - Lions
14. "Face The Blood", Sondre Lerche - Phantom Punch
15. "I Go To Sleep", Sia - Sounds Eclectic: The Covers Project
16. "Mother's Little Helper", The Rolling Stones - Flowers
17. "Crazy In Love", The Magic Numbers - Sounds Eclectic: The Covers Project