Wednesday, January 2, 2013
I'm cold, and we're now rocking old Fresh Prince episodes (we just finished the one where Will is pulling off his girlfriend's hair extensions, eyelashes, and lee-press on nails.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
2013 technically began with us meeting the neighbors across the street as they blew up loud fireworks and other stuff in the street in front of our driveway for new years. They were loud and entertaining, and Marie and I were just chilling on our front porch, doing the low-key thing. We heard a across-the-streeter say something to the degree of "those people across the street must think we're crazy, they're just staring at us" (obviously referring to us), so we felt it best to introduce ourselves. We had a good time with these new friends. They welcomed us with open arms - one of them even offered us a beer. The fireworks show on my street in Beacon Hill was pretty outstanding. We listened to the next door neighbors' Tejano Karaoke party till 4 AM. The good news about such a loud neighborhood (Metal band across street, neighbors do loud karaoke, other neighbors behind us have loud roosters, and of course the choo-choo train) is that I'm less worried about blaring noise from our new music room.
After waking up round noon (this wont work when school begins).......I ran at Woodlawn Lake. It was cold, wet, and a generally poor run ..... things hurt a little more when you're 32, and it's cold, and you're out of practice, and you've been eating shrimp po-boys in New Orleans the previous week.
We then bought a Washer/Dryer combo (paid for as a Xmas Gift from the family), so that's exciting, being that I've been rocking Laundromats since the age of 18.
Later,I worked out again (twice in one day, holy crap) with Marie, primarily lifting weights and doing the various P90X style pullups/pushups. Of course Marie busted out an absurd amount of one-arm pushups (those boxing lessons have done her well), and I toughed it out through general old-man soreness and also did pretty well. Daily excercise isn't exactly a new years resolution, but I'm going to do my best.
Very productive day #1 of 2013. I hope for this similar level of consistent badassery - because 2012 was often frustrating. Tomorrow we take the first step toward bring music back into our lives - I should be coming home w/ Marie's Christmas drumset. I was thrilled to be able to play a show with "Kill Idabelle", my good friends' band in New Orleans, and it went well without almost any preparation. It was my first time making loud noise in a bar in over a year, so it felt great, and reminded me that I need to keep making music. Tomorrow I pick up the drumset and dedicate the day to working on the music room. We also plan to attend many upcoming shows - Neurosis (Austin), Girl in a Coma, Dwight Yoakam, and Alabama Shakes (in New Orleans). I've basically had a year without music and I don't want to experience another one.
We've got a lot going on that I'm not putting on the interwebz - more potential life changes on the way.
Maybe I will blog more. Or maybe I will do this twice a year as usual. Who knows?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I'm releasing a "Top 101 albums list" gradually on Facebook, with writeups and everything. Here's the updated list.
*Edit* - OK - I admit a mistake - I had 2 #30 albums - this is now my OCD Favorite 102 Albums. Must rearrange.
Just a note.....these are my "favorite records". I have no desire to state what is the "greatest" record of all time. I have no intention on attempting to argue that Primus's "Pork Soda" is a better record that the Beatles "Abbey Road". Artistically, I do not believe that Cake's "Fashion Nugget" is more important than My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless". Nevertheless, these albums on my list are the records that have influenced, affected, and inspired me throughout my life. Some I've discovered in the last year or two. Some affected me more at the age of 15 than they do now (but they get some sort of Bunch lifetime achievement award)
They are also the 101 records that I would take on a deserted island. I don't know what I would do with the records once I got there, though.....can't really get power on a deserted island. In addition, I'm not very self sufficient, and would probably die on a deserted island within weeks. But that's neither here nor there.
I'm posting one a day on my facebook page, as well as a writeup and a link to an album track.
102. The American Song-Poem Anthology - Do You Know the Difference between Big Wood and Brush?
101. Shellac - At Action Park (1994)
100. The Monks - Black Monk Time (1966)
99. Destroyer - Kaputt (2011)
98. Tristeza - A Colores (2005)
97. The New Year - Newness Ends (2001)
96. Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out (1958)
95. Local Natives - Gorilla manor (2010)
94. Pere Ubu - Dub Housing (1978)
93. Pavement - Terror Twilight (1999)
92. Ministry - Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed or the Way to Suck Eggs (1992)
91. Joy Division - Closer (1980)
90. Sebadoh - Bakesale (1994)
89. Mystikal - Tarantula (2001)
88. Faith No More- Introduce Yourself (1987)
87. Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)
86. Sigur Ros - ( ) (2002)
85. The Walkmen - You + Me (2008)
84. Sepultura - Chaos A.D. (1992)
83. Sleater Kinney - The Woods (2005)
82. The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet (1968)
81. Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart (1994)
80. The Gun Club - Fire of Love (1981)
79. Jay-Z - The Blueprint (2001)
78. Ben Folds Five - The Autobiography of Reinhold Messner (1999)
77. Primus - Pork Soda (1993)
76. Portishead - Portishead (1997)
75. Stone Temple Pilots - Purple (1994)
74. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (1994)
73. Aesop Rock - Labor Days (2001)
72. Beastie Boys - Check Your Head (1992)
71. Outkast - Aquemini (1998)
70. Deftones - Around the Fur (1997)
69. Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
68. Tom Waits - Small Change (1976)
67. Paul Simon - Graceland (1986)
66. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994)
65. Beck - Odelay (1996)
64.Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom (1994)
63. Polvo - Exploded Drawing (1996)
62. ...and you will know us by the trail of dead Source Tags and Codes (2002)
61. Led Zeppelin III (1970)
60. Pearljam Vs. (1993)
59. Slint Spiderland (1991)
58. Tool Aenima (1996)
57. Bjork Homogenic (1997)
56. Helmet Meantime (1992)
55. Hum Downward is Heavenward (1998)
54. Talking Heads More Songs about Buildings and Food (1978)
53. Metallica And Justice for all (1988)
52. Explosions in the Sky The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place (2003)
51. Fugazi - 13 Songs (1988)
50. Greenday - Dookie (1994)
49. Velvet Underground - VU (1969)
48. Stereolab - Dots and Loops (1997)
47. Van Morrison Moondance (1969)
46. Cake Fashion Nugget (1994)
45. The Specials The Specials (1979)
44. Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine (1992)
43. Stevie Wonder Innervisions (1973)
42. Tortoise - TNT (1998)
41. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
40. White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)
39. Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes (1983)
38. Metallica - Master of Puppies (1986)
37. Weezer - The Blue Album (1994)
36. Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (1969)
35. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)
34. The Pixies - Surfer Rosa (1988)
33. Mission of Burma - Vs. (1982)
32. Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)
31. Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica (2000)
30. Nirvana - In Utero (1993)
29. Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime (1983)
28. Gang of Four - Entertainment (1979)
27. The Clash - London Calling (1979)
26. Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
25. American Analog Set - Promise of Love (2003)
Honorable Mention -
"A Mighty Wind" - Album Soundtrack
"Check Your Head" - Beastie Boys
"This Night" - Destroyer
"The Doors" - The Doors
"Angeldust" - Faith No More
"Repeater" - Fugazi
"Nothing Shocking" - Jane's Addiction
"I could live in Hope" - Low
"Stoner Witch" - Melvins
"Kind of Blue" - Miles Davis
"Vulgar Display of Power" - Pantera
"Slanted and Enchanted" - Pavement
"The Bends" - Radiohead
"To Bring You My Love" - P.J. Harvey
"Sticky Fingers" - The Rolling Stones
"Saturday Night Fever" - Album Soundtrack
"Red Apple Falls" - Smog
Monday, May 2, 2011
- Marie and I are married
- I'm a math teacher
- I'm down to one band (Dark Water Hymnal)
- My wife and I are on week 10 of P90x
- Apparently Osama Bin Laden is dead.
- My social life has diminished. Work is hard.
Things that haven't changed since my last post
- I'm still into making lists - posting my top 100 albums list
- Still love the idea of going on tour - we will do that in some form this summer
- I'm still a slob
mmmkay....maybe I'll try this blogging thing out again - or maybe i'll wait a few more years.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Pumping iron with my tomboy future wife?
Spinjas? Marblemaze? (my 10 year old guilty pleasures)
Finding a new band to join on craigslist (even after i'm in 4)
Sure, these are all valid. But for the sake of guilty pleasures of mine that could cause the most potential embarassment, lets go with online sports-oriented strategy games.
- Like this one. Hoops Dynasty .
- Or fantasy football.
- Or mock draft contests on saintsreport.com
- Or college basketball brackets.
I'm aware of how ridiculous it is to try to defend such a waste of time, energy, and brainpower in one persuasive essay. However, I will defend the "guilty pleasure" as a necessary method of personal therapy.
We all know that our minds are complex, and the boundless complexities of our daydreams and urges lead us occasionally into a desire for a personal pleasure that cannot really be shared with compatriots or understood in daily conversation. Maybe this is due to embarrassment, or in my case, lack of people with common interest to share these pleasures with. Either way, if those needs can be met easily in our online, interconnected society, and those pleasures do not maliciously detract from the necessary actions for every day life, then I say, INDULGE YOURSELF! (but only to a healthy level)
Do not feel guilty for having guilty pleasures! For no two people are the same, and no two people find pleasure in ALL of the same activities. The reason feeding a guilty pleasure feels like scratching an itch is because a guilty pleasure is often an interest that contrasts with your everyday social norms. While it is obvious, and not a sign of a guilty pleasure at all, that a young music snob like me might go home and put on his Gang of Four record, it is not obvious that I might do that while compiling basketball statistics for my mythical Division II team that is on a mythical 4 game winning streak in my online basketball strategy universe. It's also not obvious that after I put on my Gang of Four record, I will very possibly re-listen to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and potentially disco-dance alone, in my room, in my underwear.
Guilty pleasures define us more than our more obvious day-to-day interests that could be considered predictable given our age, sex, race, subculture, income level, religion, and location.
Enjoy them, they make you unique. Seriously.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
"I'm over at the port-a-let, having a poodoo, Shredder!"
"Bebop! This giant talking turtle just called me a Chrome Dome!"
"That Smurf! What a Nerf Herder!"
"Nerf Herder?? What the shock is a Nerf Herder, Bebop?"
Bebop was so taken aback by Shredder's lack of mastery of the English language as it relates to Sci-fi bad words, he almost muttered, "Farathoom", under his breath. However, if the slim chance occured in which the nearly illiterate Shredder had read Tanith Lee's obscure 1976 sci-fi thriller, "Don't Bite the Sun", then he would probably know that "Farathoom" meant "bloody fucking hell", and would retaliate with such vicious force that Bebop would be shredded to mince meat, and Shredder would have to find a new goon to protect him. Luckily, Bebop exercised caution, keeping his vulgar thoughts to himself.
"I think Krang said it once to his mom during that Dimension X sea cruise!", Bebop retaliated.
"Never mind that! This whole supervillian thing is hard! I can't say fuck or shit or motherfuck! I hate all these bullshit words that mask my true verbal intentions!"
"But our curse words are more creative, my Samurai Lord!"
"Still, I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle", Shreddler excla........
*poof*........and of course, as the non-Douglas Adams reading Shredder accidentally opens up yet another wormhole in the time-space continuum, Krang reappears, shazbots a brick, and finally tells Shredder to "Frak Off" for the last time.
Point: "Please come out and see my band!"
Come see my new original progressive grunge IDM progressive band, "Gilded by Trojan Horses, of Stefan". We go on at 9 PM this Wednesday night at the Pewter Pub on 7th and E. Chicago Ave. Having toiled laborously for four years creating original soul/prog/punk with influences that predate Bill Withers' third record while pulling from the raw clostrophobic energy of Gang of Four's seminal "Entertainment" and the latter half of Television's "Marquee Moon", and combining those influences with Fela Kuti's post prison years and pre and post Public Enemy New York hip-hop, "Gilded by Trojan Horses, of Stefan" combine all of those influences in creating a new psychadelic-tinged dance sound reminiscent of Pere Ubu's "The Modern Dance" crossed with the ambient instrumental tracks on Moby's "Animal Rights", as well as a subtle hint of the disco Beetoven influence from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.
And, for one night only, we will be playing our epic new record, "Get off my couch, mother earth, I'm dying in here, for thine is the kingdom" featuring the 17 minute epic, "GXJ 650", dubbed by the Dayton daily reader as "A song that is very involved, and has a lot of parts". We are also honored to be opening for Champaign's own "Swami Rama", featuring former Ammonium Nitrate Disasters lead frontman David Baab!
Please come out! The show is free, and the beer is cheap!
Yarely Horstman, 25, Sales Associate, Lowe's, Peoria, IL
Counterpoint: "Yeah, I'll try to make it out if i can"
Thanks for inviting me out, Sven. No, really! Frannie who works over down at Kinko's down there down the block already invited me to the 80's night over at the Red Horse Saloon down on 9th, and I heard they got some mad kareoke party up on 13th, next to the barber shop. I think Freddie and Mike from work are hitting up this kegger as well, but I really never seen yo band before, so I might try to check it out if all of my other options dont work out. Of course, I also got to clean my living room, my ma and pa might be stoppin by next week, and that can get stressful and all if they come see me with a dirty house. Plus that bitch who claimed I fed her roofies and shit at that party is really stressing me out, tryin to claim that she's got a grounds for a lawsuit and all that, so I don't know, I'm kind of stressed and all and I don't know if I would really get the experience. You know, just tell me when you playin next, cuz I do got a lot of shit going on. There's also dis U2 cover band goin on over at Nikki's on Constance.
I know I haven't been seen your band yet, but I heard that that magazine said that one song by the Trojan Hoses of Stefan is pretty good, and i been meanin to check it out.
Oh, and by the way, thanks for coverin me on the sales floor during my lunch break. Sorry I didn't tell you about that crazy plywood freak, I think he's bipolar or somethin.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I have to go to a coffee shop or a library to do this, and it's been a very busy week. I'll try to catch up, or hopefully the wireless in my hood starts working again. Right now, the lack of internet access + working 7 days a week (2 jobs) in lieu of the upcoming wedding is making this very difficult.
Let's hope I can catch up in the coming days!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
As a dog-lover, and having been raised with between 2 and 7 dogs in the house at all time, I will pay tribute to the Bunch Family Dawg Pound.
My mother rescues dogs for "Hope for Animals", a non-profit in Houma, Louisiana. This is her true passion. She often fosters these abused pups, many of which have been beaten by their owners or hit by cars.
The amusing cycle in the Bunch household goes like this. My mom fosters a new dog. My father says, "We can't keep another one, Ellen. We already have too many." This debate will be a point of contention around the house for a while. Two to three weeks will inadvertently pass, and then my father will predictably fall in love with said canine, and then there will be another member of the Bunch clan.
Now, my mom is not just another empty-nester looking to fulfill her nurturing needs by taking care of as many dogs as possible (though that is one motivation) - she is a true dog-lover. My OCD mother, a woman that never lets me eat dinner without using handwipes, a woman that makes sure I open a public bathroom door with a paper towel, will get down and dirty in the nastiest of ditches for a frightened puppy.
Short writeups of the Bunch clan are indeed in order
........from left to right....Ginger, Cocoa, Boy Dog, Sasha, Momma Dog, and Missy. Yoda (RIP) not pictured.
Cocoa Bunch is the true alpha dog of the group. Born in 1991, she is 18 in human years, which would make her 126 in dog years. She is now half-blind and deaf and suffers from a mysterious condition called "Old Dog Vertigo". In her younger days, she would howl on command when you said her name. She would sleep in your bed, curl up next to you, and then once she got into her comfy position, growl if you moved at all. She still believes she runs the house, though she now has no idea what the fuck is going on.
Ginger Bunch is the runt. About 13 in human years, Ginger has always been noticably tiny (never over 10 pounds). Of all the pups, her company is probably the least enjoyable, due to her impressively bad breath (which we call Ginger-vitis) and her penchant for rolling over and urinating on herself whenever a stranger comes into the house. In a pack of possibly the least brave, most spoiled dogs in South Louisiana, she's the doormat of the group.
Missy Bunch is the gregarious over-eating attention-grabbing one. If any of the other six dogs sits on your lap, Missy will jump on your lap as well, often knocking the other dog on the ground. If you pet another dog next to her, she goes completely crazy.
Boy Dog Bunchis very territorial (being the only boy), and extremely playful as well. A ball of energy, yet deathly afraid of some of the kitchen cabinets for some unknown reason.
Sasha Bunch is my sister's little pup. My sister never hesitates to tell me that the word Sasha means "defender of mankind". Sasha can't even defend her dog treats from the other dogs in the family, but she's still super-lovable.
Mamma Dog Bunch, the alpha-dog in waiting, is of an unknown age, and was sadly abused badly by her previous owner. She has a bullet in her paw, and is basically a tripod, as one of her legs is pretty much broken. For about 6 months, she was scared to death of anyone that made quick movements anywhere near her, but now, she's nothing but a cushy ball of love.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
shoots white dots at machines
greatest game ever
By a tender age
Techno villains I did defeat
and garnish their weapons
Quick man, such a bitch
laser beams everywhere
freeze the screen to win
A tear to my eye
evoked from Spark Man's theme
what a dork am I
the most socially relevant
Sunday, April 5, 2009
1. Executive order. Fund the shit out of U.S. public schools. Teachers start at 60k. Allow schools to exist as a place of varied learning, alloting classes for young students in trades and arts. End standardized testing as a sole method of grading a school's success. Allow students to flourish in the various talents that they hold, which are often ignored in the public school system.
2. Make illegal the use of auto-tune in popular radio music.
3. Repeal capital punishment (exceptions can be made for those that still continue to use auto-tune in popular music). In fact, disallow any government from having the right to kill people for any reason.
4. Place a giant invisible comfortable blanket over the circumference of the earth to protect us from the effects of global warming.
5. Somehow convince all religious sects across the world that their "holy land" is somewhere in southeast Louisiana. It would be great for the ailing economy, but maybe not so much for the murder rate.
6. Continue to promote my rock band, "The Distant Seconds", throughout the world. We will bring peace and unity to all societies, communities, and species, especially with the unleashing of our new power ballad, "I'm here for Your Severed Head".
7. Ice cream every day.
8. Somehow end the commodification of art, ideas, and thoughts.
30 days of write question submitted to me on April 4th. "You wake up today and you are in the late 1800s. Your life is completely devoid of all of the technological comforts that we hold dear. No cell phones, no laptops, no Facebook, no television. What is your day like? Do you actually make it through the day without committing suicide?"
If I was to turn suicidal, it would have nothing to do with the loss of technology, and everything to do with the fact that, shit man, it's 1880, where is my family? Where are my friends? How did I get here?
I understand, however, that this is a hypothetical (albeit a difficult one to comprehend)
Suspending disbelief, if I am in the late 1800s all of a sudden (for one day), I would not just enjoy it, I would relish it. Everyday interpersonal interaction with people would mean so much more. I might not really like living in the reconstruction era, however, and I might be utterly confused.
You see, the real point of this blog has very little to do with my answer to this question, and apparently more to do with my pitiful lack of ability to suspend disbelief.
My answer to this question depends on what I really understand this question to mean. Here are some potential answers (kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure blog)
- No technology, no memory of the 21st century, different family and friends in the late 1800s : Fine with me (but would I have ingrained knowledge of the necessary tools needed for daily life in a pre-Industrial Revolution society? I'm not very good with a plow, I presume)
- Magically arriving in the late 1800's for one day, then returning to 2009 in South Austin the next day : I wouldn't handle the no family and friends thing very well. I also think that the experience would be very strongly affected by the part of the world that I would be living in for that one day. Let's just say hanging out in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1871 would be a bummer.
Potential for spending the day at the racetrack, betting on events in which I know the outcome of, and raking in the dough: 9.5/10
- Magically arriving in the late 1800's, not knowing how you got there, and with no idea if you could ever return to the present: Again, with no concern over missing Facebook or television (maybe the band Television, but not the actual Television), I would freak the shit out. I would not see my fiance, my family, my bands, etc. In addition, I am probably pretty poor at farming, and the plumbing would really piss me off.
Potential for spending the day at the racetrack, betting on events in which I know the outcome of, raking in the dough, acquiring incredible wealth, and seeing lots of wonderful operas: 8/10
Friday, April 3, 2009
It would be in a place in which I could see a large amount of stars at night.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I've tried mouthpieces, to no avail. My mouth just fills up with saliva and I spend my first moment of the next morning just drinking a long night's worth of spit. The headaches are large in scope - a pounding, encompassing, skill splitting, yet dull pain.
I rarely bitch about this. After all, I'm a man, right? I had to think very hard about the answer to this "pain" question, because I tend to ignore my physical pain as much as possible. It's just not manly to talk about how much you hurt. While nobody likes to spend time with those constantly bringing up their injuries in conversation, it's probably nearly as unhealthy to internalize all pain.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Some people, while well-intentioned, lack the internal motivation or direction to write, read, pump, and flex those sexy brain muscles. By some people, I probably am referring to myself. If spending my last four-years post-college slaving full-time in the food service industry didn't atrophy those mental muscles, then i'm sure that my zombification was caused by a combination of beer, playing and listening to excruciatingly abrasive music, and lack of "free time" to read and learn due to the challenges of daily life.
My motivation is two-fold
- by finding the time to be creative, this will help me appreciate the importance of taking time out to vent, create, amuse, or ramble. Having a venue for personal expression is enormous.
- I could really use the practice. I used to do some excellent fiction and non-fiction writing in the university setting. I don't know why I dropped it after '04, but it's time to pick it back up. I've picked up a few bad habits, and it's time to pick up a good one.
My Brothers and sisters, let's reach out to one another! Comment on each other's writings. Let's keep ourselves active and thinking. Do it!
("Black" from Pearljam is currently coming out of a neighbors jukebox. I can't not love that song. Nostalgia has always had me by the balls, it seems. )
Monday, March 30, 2009
I'm going to keep doing it, I promise. I don't hate all blogs, nor do I necessarily hate my own blog. I just feel like my blog will be taking the place of real-life social interaction, which I'm not really having anyway.
In such a "happening" city such as Austin, and with the amount of good people that I know and wonderful companionships that I share with others, I would really like to not feel glued to my computer, when I should be out and about.
When there is a big event, show, or party, I have more than enough people to share these things with. However, when I crave a day at a coffee shop or a quick beer somewhere, I find difficulty at finding partnership at these endeavors. It bums me out sometimes.
I really have no problems with blogs, per se'; However, if blogging, e-mail, and texting become my primary means of communication with the outside world, some changes will have to be made.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Even the homeless people that straggle on in here are alarmingly friendly. What a lovely place!
( I know, you're wondering why, in three months, this is all I have to say. Well, it is not all I have to say. I'm just not in the mood for professing my life story right now)
- anyone ever heard of post-SXSW free show depression??? I think I've gone through that this week. After a week of drunken madness and sleeping three hours a night, I've been in a slump this week, possibly due to the fact that my body still craves alcohol, and I'm living off ice water and hot pockets........and partially because there's just been a lot less fun this week. At least the lady friend is back!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Pandora is my new love.
www.pandora.com, to be precise.
For those poor souls unfamiliar, what you can do is log on, and then select "start new station". Type in 10 to 15 artists that you find similar from your unique perspective, and then save the station. Pandora is a program masked as a live radio station that will play the artists you list as well as artists that Pandora determines to be similar. If Pandora misses the mark, the song can recieve a thumbs down rating. If Pandora nails it, the song recieves a thumbs up. If Pandora sends you a song better suited to another station that you have created, you can send the song and artist to that station.
Finally, Pandora has a "bookmarking" feature, which saves the titles of the songs and artists that you are unfamiliar with but would like to find out more about. I have discovered artists such as Ratatat, Helium, Black Sheep, and Little Pepper. This has renewed my interest in discovering new artists, which was an interest that has waned in the last year or so.
If you want to tinker with pandora, here is my suggestion.
Start many stations, and just play them while going through day to day activities. The station is constantly defined by the listener giving the song thumbs up or thumbs down ratings, so click it when you have a strong opinion of a tune.
In case you care, my stations are as follows
70's and 80's underground - Gang of Four, Can, Wire, Pere Ubu - the station leans a little more toward the Cure than I would like, but otherwise, it works out great for me
Alt-Country and Alt Folk - My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, Sonvolt -
Angular Rock - Shellac, Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Fugazi - kind of a strange characterization, leans toward the more abrasive, mathy side of rock. Sometimes stumbles into metal, but usually stays on course.
Clever Pop Music - Strokes, White Stripes, Spoon, Belle + Sebastian its hard to keep this one on point, but i'm trying.
Grunge-Punk-Gen X - Mudhoney, Nirvana, Hum, Melvins, Soundgarden - works great, with occasional lapses into seven mary 3 and audioslave.
Indie and Art Rock- Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Blonde Redhead - the broadest station i have, kind of larger sounding "indie" bands -
Instrumental Rock - Tristeza, Explosions in the Sky, Tortoise
Music you can dance to - LCD Soundsystem, Justice, Cake, Soul Coughing - was about to say that i was amazed at how well this potentially-too-broad station worked out for me - then they played "float on" - oh well.
New Orleans blues, jazz, and brass - Dirty Dozen, Fats, Rebirth, Soul Rebels, Bonerama - makes me cry. cuz I miss home. Perfect.
Organic Hip Hop - Roots, Guru, Tribe Called Quest - Perfect
Slow Core and Minimalism - Low, American Analog Set, Songs Ohia, Smog - not only perfect, but the only way i can hear this kind of music on a consistent basis. Amazing. Right now I'm listening to Big Sewell Mt. by Songs Ohia. Great song.
Wall of Guitars - My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Kinski - self explanatory, hopefully.
anyway, you can see this is my new obsession.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ok, here goes.....................
It's been nearly a month. I tried to keep up with this, and then things got a little crazy!
A while back (may or juneish), I had a mid-twenties crisis. I believed that I was not doing enough productive things. It drove me crazy. I came to the realization that I was 27, and had little to show for it, other than a deli job and an interesting band.
I thought that the way to combat the malaise that I was feeling was to keep the promises I had made to myself in regards to never letting the lazy bug hit me. First off, I've started taking teaching courses through Iteachtexas.com. In one year, I should have my own class. I'll tell more about this later.
I have rekindled my interest in Fresh Millions, and am now performing in the Beautiful Supermachines, bring my band total up to 3, which is nearing ridiculousness. I'm writing sports columns for Austin entertainment magazine, and need to get to writing a column for the High hat, as Hayden is patiently awaiting my submission. I spent the last few weeks moving into a beautiful home with my wonderful fiancee. Last week, we also visited new orleans, where I saw friends and family, recorded an album w/ I Octopus, visited 7 reception halls (and found a great one), and visited the church where we plan to wed (Blessed Ceelo's in the bywater)
So I responded to my previous malaise by oversaturating myself with activities. This is really cool, but I hope I don't drive myself crazy.
There are stories to tell. Crazy Whole Foods Guy hit-and-running my car while at work is a good one to tell in the future.
Just not now. Time for bed. Two columns to finish by tomorrow evening.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Batman II - The Dark Knight
Think about Terminator I vs. Terminator II. Terminator I was a dark, well-written action film allotting significant time to character and plot development through dialogue. There were small doses of stunning (for its time) action, culminating in an epic denouement. You cared about the characters, and the suspense killed you.
Terminator II was, of course, superbly epic and filled with action. It was a stunning bubblegum action flick, and the viewer learned about the characters through their actions more than their conversations. This was completely effective because of the talent of the actors as well as the well-crafted script.
In the same way, I feel that The Dark Knight differed greatly from Batman Begins.
The film was nearly three hours long, and due to the phenomenally fast pace and choppy editing, it felt like Christopher Nolan was trying to fit a good 4 or 5 hours of material into this film. If the performances, script, plot development, and art direction (Seriously, I'd have to say that Nolan's vision of Gotham places 2nd to Blade Runner as the coolest looking futuristic city modern film history) weren't completely amazing, this could have easily been a jumbled mess. However, it seemed that Nolan knew what he had in this film; an amazing cast giving perfect performances, and a brilliantly crafted epic story. Nolan directed this movie with a phenomenal amount of confidence, throwing the audience everything including the kitchen sink, while knowing that we were going to devour and savor all 160 something minutes of the film.
The Barton Creek mall was filled with four full theaters at midnight. Due to the monumental advertising campaign, as well as the positive feedback from Batman Begins (maybe my favorite comic-book movie of all time), The Dark Knight had a lot to live up to. The film quite possibly exceeded my expectations.
Heath Ledger's untimely death directly following his "Joker" performance made me WANT him to have given the performance of a lifetime. I'm very happy to opine that Ledger did, completely stealing the show, completely making Jack Nicholson's goofy "Joker" seem about as emotionally disturbing as a care bear by comparison. (while writing this, I realize that many people might find care bears very emotionally disturbing......but trust me, they're really just cute and cuddly. Go get a new shrink if this is a problem for you).
Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were as great as expected. Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gylennhall were also completely amazing in their new roles. There was not one poor performance in this film. The Dark Knight is hollywood bombast at its finest; an action packed, ADD-inducing epic superhero adventure completely eclipsing most of what has been done before it.
I will go again to see this at the IMAX. Later, I will buy this film and it will become a crown jewel of my DVD collection, so that my future kids and I will watch this together and we will love it.
Spiderman is for pussies.