February 29, 2004

"Well it's not jazz when you play it like that." - Karl Hendricks Trio

Well, holy crap, Lopez and I signed an agreement to buy a condo yesterday, approximately six hours after seeing the joint with our realtor. We'd seen the property a week ago, and figured it would be gone by the time we had our act together. But sellin' people wanna sell, and we were ushered quickly into the process and I'd say we are pretty darn excited. The place is about eight blocks away, about the same size as we have now, and has a parking space. Come the middle or end of April we will probably be getting in there, and between now and then we have a lot of technical crap to take care of. So there.

Saw the Gaugin show at the MFA yesterday with H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable and Cardini. I spent a lot of time looking at the paintings, not having ever really studied his work. And after deciding I could make nothing of it with all of the tools my liberal arts education has given me, I was gratified to receive affirmation from H-Dawg (whose painting and grasp of the art I hold in some esteem) that in fact, "Yeah, it's just shit." So there you go. Not a bad exhibit on the whole as far as big budget wall-decorating sessions go, but you could save yourself some dough and blow your mind open wider by taking in the current student exhibition. Just sayin.'

P.S. today is Leap Day. Since I only get to point that out once every four years, I thought I'd make a point of pointing.

I traded in a stack of comped freebie records and some other destined to be cast off goods this afternoon and bought myself the first Beatles Anthology set and Archer Prewitt's Three, so perhaps I will have something to say about that, as well as the two Tubeway Army discs that H$ gave me, later this week.

That is all.

February 27, 2004

"Sure I care about you now, just not right now."- Moped

Very briefly:

Here is a hot Ride bootleg.

Where is the outrage? This story seems to skip over the fact that the U.S. ordered the illegal surveillance. As bad a job as President Bush has done, I think Tony Blair is even more culpable for consistently doing what Bush tells him to do. Wanker.

And finally, where is the coverage? Kumar and Teaching the Indie Kids... have each linked to this immensely disturbing story. This is the kind of thing that is just far too worrisome to actually worry about.

In other news, last night, spurred by a convo with The Good Doctor and Tim Mendoza, I sat and listened to the Evan Dando solo outing Baby I'm Bored. I was surprised to find that it wasn't more than half-bad. The end of the record peters off into foul territory, but the first half or two thirds have decent songs. For the most part they lack energy and Dando's voice is noticably ravaged by all the crack and whatnot. But there is a touch of cleverness and a few hooks to keep it at least a little interesting.

Last night I also listened to Consonant's Love and Affliction straight through for the first time, and the Doctor is right, it is superlative. Big guitars, good melodies. It's rock the way rock should be.

That is all.

February 25, 2004

"Everything rests upon me as pearls are strung on a thread."- Kam Fong

I think this is hysterical. But in hindsight, I think it is probably even more funny if you don't know anything about it. So without an editorial contextualization, check this out. Oh, yeah, it will take quite a while to load, even if you have the fast-ass Internet like we rock here in the 02139.

The Good Doctor hipped me to this about a year ago at the Middle East when we were talking about illegally recording conversations and stuff from cordless phone conversations and stuff, which of course, no one we know ever did. But anyway, a post on ILM reminded me this archive existed, and lo and behold there is some good stuff here. Mostly jam band stuff, but there are a couple of Fugazi shows there too. All nice and legal like.

Our relational database tool was offline for a while at work today, so I reacquainted myself withe current goings-on on Atom Goren of Atom and His Package fame. Found a link on his web site to this very amusing slate of advice.

I may finally get sucked into the re-release craze, at least in the sense that it pertains to records I already bought. There is speculation that the Merge rereleases of Dinosaur Jr.'s SST records will include bonus material. I must have it. I suppose I should get around to buying the first record some day, too.

You should all go to the Self Starter Foundation web site and sign up for the email newsletter, as Newmyer has been sending links to an MP3 blog of sorts with the more recent emails. I scored an awesome Clues-era Robert Palmer jam from the most recent one. Stengelero hipped me to this one. So worth it. While you are at Self Starter Foundation site, you should buy all available Haywood records. But I guess that goes without saying at this point.

So this week I have been listening to an awesome two-disc Yo La Tengo comp, the Iron and Wine EP that came out last summer or so, and tons of other random stuff off the IPod. The IPod update: 1861 songs, 8.15 gigs, 5 days worth of tunes.

That is all.

February 22, 2004

"On to me from the beginning."-S.Q.U.I.D.

I'd just like to briefly recognize the awesomeness of this, as pointed out to me by the excellent MP3 blog Burned by the Sun. I actually read the posting last week, but didn't click through to the article until this morning by two things: one, last night in a trailer before we saw Mystic River, I heard what must be the song mentioned here used as music for an upcoming film; two, the song sounded really damn good. I am hoping it'll pop up online somewhere. I was never that into the Alarm stuff that made in on to the Empty Vee back in the day. But I think I have heard from my elders that the band actually was pretty hot. Guess that still holds true.

That is all.

February 19, 2004

"Don't you remember their faces angry on the screen."- Rob V

Judy's obituary ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer today. Check it out. Not as detailed as others have been, but it is nice she received the recognition.

Still ripping the tapes, today dug out some one-sorta-hit-type stuff from the 90s from the likes of Wonderstuff, Northside, Evan Dando, Primitive Painters, Jeff Stern and Nirvana's oh-so-good "Even in his Youth," which smartypantses may know was available on the Australian tour support EP from January 92 called "Hormoaning." Perhaps exclusively? I guess the EP was also released in Japan, but I don't remember seeing the song anywhere else. If it wasn't for Villanova University's WXVU being a good college radio station in the very early 90s, I probably would never have heard it.

Speaking of Australia, Pilot To Gunner is currently touring there to support the release of their new record Get Saved. I listened to samples at Amazon and wasn't bowled over, but I'd like to buy it (or get comped yowza) to hear the whole enchilada. PTG flat out rocks.

In other news, BrigDawg has set up a rudimentary site for his (C)rock Stories series. The latest tale of drunken debauchery in the American South is my favorite to date, but you can read all of the archived stuff here. So go do it.

Saw the Mendoza Line Monday night with the Good Doctor. The band was extra amusing on stage, and graced us with what for them was an extended set, including rockers of the first order "Dollars to Donuts," "Baby, I Know What You Are Thinking" and eight or ten others. Dined with Tim and Shannon beforehand and really enjoyed learning that Tim is just a big music fan, still wowed by knowing people like Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey and being able to talk on the phone with the Twin-Tone records dood. Listened with interest to tales of REM's songwriting process, and just how it is to be a fairly respected band but still have trouble paying your bills every month. Guitars were dropped, voices squeaked by, but all in all it was a fun show and the energy level fairly high. Just a nice bunch of folks, folks who play rock songs.

Oh yeah, my Volcano, I'm So Excited review ran in Junkmedia. Not my best work. But there you go.

That is all.

February 15, 2004

"Protex Protex Blue, all I want to do."- The Clash

Cold weather means hittin' the blogmificator. Hit a couple open houses with Lopez in Porter Square today, but didn't see anything stunning. Nice neighborhood though. Dined and drank out with Team Noize Friday night in the same area, which was a hoot, and netted me copious amount of rock music to listen too. Even better, LB turned me on to a simple program for ripping tapes and records to your hard drive. As a result, I spent most of yesterday afternoon mining gems out of the boxes of cassettes here in the guest room. The real obscure crap, too. I am planning at least one CD of lo-fi lost in the 90s kind of crap. I turned up some really cool stuff yesterday.

More about my Aunt Judy here. A few obituary type things have gone around, but this is the only one that I can link to right now that I think is a permanent link.

Also, don't fail to see me with my shirt off at Dynatrite, where Grellan has finally posted his half-fictional round-up for Woody's wedding in Tortola. It should come as no surprise to you that Grellan has named Tito wedding MVP. He rises to the occasion. well, both of them do.

I have gotten even more hooked on the MP3 blogs I have been hitting lately. In the past week I have found bootlegs of a great Stone Roses show; the final Uncle Tupelo show; and a great Sub-Pop showcase in Burlington, VT from 1992 featuring Come, Velocity Girl, Codeine and others. There is just some much great music out there online that it is scary.

Oh, and you all need to see this.

And finally, and ITunes update: as of this writing, I've ripped 1,490 songs representing four days' worth of music and 6.48 gigs of data.

That is all.

February 9, 2004

"Talked to you as I climbed up the stairs, I told her."- Lemonheads

Late Thursday night or Friday morning of last week my Aunt Judy, who kicked mucho ass, died suddenly in her home. This was quite a shock, and it is sad. I grew up with two very hip aunts, one on each side of the family, and I can't claim that either is a favorite. But Judy, a fearless proponent of the arts and fierce derider of bullshitters, was particularly close to me. When email came into being, she was pretty much the only other person out there who had it, and we forged a strong friendship when I was a freshman in college by swapping messages. At the time of her death Judy had already lost her son and husband to various cancers, but was an incredibly upbeat person. She treated everyone equally whether they were a top executive or a janitor, something that was underscored by the throng of people who came to an open house in her honor at her home yesterday afternoon. She treated every one as a peer, including me and my friends; she had just referred a student to my man Luke for guitar lessons. And she was always trying to network everyone together. She would call out of the blue to say one of her former students was in the area and I should have drinks with them. She wasn't a big fan of my current career, but only because she always had bigger ideas for me. Over Christmas she joined Me, Lopez and my mom in visiting my very old grandmother, and remarked after the visit that I would be very good at working with the elderly.

Some bullet points: Judy loved Classical music and the Beatles. She owned a succession of cars, and would get a new license plate for each one bearing the word "Peace" and then the numeral corresponding to the number of car it was. When I pulled out of her drive this morning her white Volvo, Peace 4, quietly stood by. Anyhow, while I knew she was an amazing woman and veritable friend to all (unless you pissed her off by foisting injustice or stupidity upon the larger populace, in which case she would call your direct dial or email you to bitch you out for being a thoughtless dumbass, or, perhaps worse, she would tool on you in a Letter to the Editor to one of the many local or regional papers she read), my family and I are stunned by the outpouring from Swarthmore College, where she served as an administrative assistant in the music department for three decades, and from the community at large. Already over the last three days performances have been dedicated in her honor; I learned on the phone today that compositions are being written in her honor and a portion of the music department at Swat will be named for her; A relatively known local painter, a close friend of Judy's, will be painting her portrait, which will likely be hung in the lobby at the college's music offices; Food was donated yesterday by a local business she patronized for years, and a bazillion people showed up to the open house with flowers and still more food.

Judy was my aunt. She loved cats, the Phillies and swore a fair amount. She was 68.


In other news: I located the online home of Campbell Maritime. If you've got something big in the water in Seattle, my man Two Can can get it out or move it around for you. In true Two Can fashion, his latest dispatch reports that "I have many drinks, and plenty of tang. Just like the astronauts." Amen to that brother.

For those who are down with Kam Fong, the existence of this band (in Florida, no less, the last known state of residence for the man in question) should be sort of interesting. Unfortunately it bears no relation to Roper.

Not that I have watched more than 10 seconds of it, but I think the coolest thing online right now might be the live TV feed at Reuters.com, which runs a constant unedited and unmediated stream of Reuters video from around the world. The other day it was running eerily silent raw video from Moscow after the subway bombing there. This is something that comes close to the hackneyed idea of the "true promise of the Internet," at least as far as the media is concerned.

This is a little stale but worth noting: Why is no one talking about how, within hours of Bush backing off of his opinion on Iraq's pre-war weapons status (and consequently agreeing to set up a commission to investigate pre-war intelligence), Tony Blair agreed to do the same. Is Halliburton pulling Blair's strings too? Cheney must have long arms. Unfortunately, the equivocation doesn't seem to have helped the BBC's position in the scandal that has rocked them (like Klauss Meine and the boys). Read this. And this.

Finally, I am quite taken with a handful of music blogs I have started reading recently, and can unreservedly recommend them to you all. Clap Clap Blog. Flux. The Rub. And of course, NYLPM and its new offshoot, Pop Nose.

That is all.

February 2, 2004

"This boat is obviously sinking."- Modest Mouse

This whole thing is so calculated I don't feel like spelling it out for people, but here goes: JJ's performance on next week's Grammy show is hyped last night before the boob allegedly goes AWOL; Boob goes AWOL (see links supra); Denials and apologies hit the wire late last night and early this AM; then, in a heavy-handed and miraculous co-incidence, an unauthorized JJ single is "leaked" to commercial radio (that very phrase should raise eyebrows, since we all know how contrived Contrived CONTRIVED commercial radio programming is); an FCC investigation ensues. And after all that we are expected to beleive this was a "costume malfunction"?! (Thanks for treating me like I am less smart than you, Dumbass Timberlake). This is a contrived scandal designed to launch JJ's new album. The real story here is why is the titillating incident being investigated at all, when, as The Good Doctor put so succinctly in his afternoon rant, Chairman Mao Powell fails to see the need to investigate the fact that radio is owned by like two people. Bottom line: We all know what a boob looks like, but that is no reason to treat us like one. I am of the belief that in Europe the rack is a more commonplace occurrence in the media. Why must we cling to outdated Puritanism? A more instructive question for watercoolers or secretary stations of the world, including the ones in my general vicinity, is why is it wrong for the breast to be broadcast, but Reuters and AP are freely offering lucid stills of the studded mammary? Enough of that.

One of my favorite things in the world is The Onion's H-Dawg from Accounts Receivable. I hope you have all read of his latest exploits. So good.

There was a really odd news day last week. Here are some highlights. Fire story. The Return. And my favorite: Youth getting restless.

I have tried to keep myself from getting too emotionally involved in this story, just because it would turn me into a babbling lunatic. So I will let Mr. Yorke speak his mind for me (free registration required, but if you don't read this rag you are trending less cool. You don't want that).

I now have 1, 015 songs in my IPod, about 4.4 gigabytes of data. An ITunes success story: My copy of Ride's superlative "Nowhere" has degraded immensely since I purchase it 13 or 14 years ago. For $10 bucks I bought a fresh copy of the record through ITunes, burned it to a CDR, and swapped it into the extant jewel case and simply disposed of the carcass of the original disc. The latest disc ripped from my own collection is the almost equally superlative "Faith" by the Cure, FYI. Anyhoo, the 1-2-3-4-5 punch of the final five cuts of "Nowhere" is just about glorious, the high point being the rocker "Taste."

I am concerned that my radio consumption has all but dropped off with the IPod on board. It is just a phase. Still, I only tuned in for Thursday AM on WMBR last week, as opposed to all five mornings as is my normal routine. You can't beat Thursday's Breakfast of Champions with a bat, IPod or no IPod.

Had a high time at the Somerville VFW watching the Super Bowl last night. Perhaps I'll deliver details later. For now I gotta eat some Jell-O. That is all.