Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yo Le Convoco

what i'm listening to right now: I Summon You by Spoon

Not much to report on this evening. Busy day of walking/working/walking/working/walking. A few random thoughts have popped into my head. Like... Dead Meadow are sounding more and more like Spacemen 3. I'm not entirely enamored with the new Rosebuds album (we have a promo copy). I'm getting more and more into photography as the days pass. Tomorrow night, I'm making a tofu version of saag paneer. I'm really enamored with the new Bill Callahan album. It's fantastic, at times jaunty and featuring the best disco song the Rolling Stones never made with Lou Reed. I've been watching the first season of Pete & Pete on DVD, it has lost none of it's magic in the convening years. I think T. Rex is entirely overrated, not bad, just overrated. I miss my friend, Ruben. He moved to California, and I haven't seen or heard from him in a year. I'd love to have a camera like the ones that took photos of Abraham Lincoln. I think I might end up living in the midwest in the next couple of years. I'm taking my stereo and my record player into the shop tomorrow. I've got a boom box that plays in mono, and that's gonna be it. Outside of the computer's speakers for a couple of weeks probably. I'm upset. Probably why I can't form a coherent post tonight.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back From The Beach

what i'm listening to right now: Beneath The Valley Of The Underdog by Mudhoney

I've returned from my short little vacation. Got a couple of old NC indie/punk 7 inches from the early nineties down in Wilmington. I'm about to put them on after I'm done posting. If there's anything of note, I'll tell you about them later. I've missed the internet, and this was one of the first things I stumbled upon when I got back on. Fox News hasn't updated their list of soldiers who've died in Iraq since December. I hope it's just a mistake. It's not, though. It's Fox News, and they have priorites. Like getting Helen Thomas out of the front row of el Presidente's press room. Man, I wish I could have spent another day at the beach. Or ever. Ever would have been a nice amount of time to spend there.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


what i'm listening to right now: Tonight by Iggy Pop

This is an entry from Conservapedia a right wing Christian fundamentalist answer to Wikipedia. Endless hours of laughter are possible.

The existence of unicorns is controversial. Secular opinion is that they are mythical. However, they are referred to in the Bible nine times,[1] which provides an unimpeachable de facto argument for their once having been in existence.
In the original texts, unicorns go by the Hebrew name Re-em whereas the Greek Septuagint used the name Monokeros.[2] Unicorn itself is Latin. All three names mean "one horn".

While popularly characterized as a horned member of the horse baramin, it is likely that the unicorn was actually quite unhorselike. One recognized theory is that the unicorn was actually the rhinoceros,[1] however a growing number of Creation researchers are theorizing that the unicorn was actually a member of the ceratopsian baramin.[2]
Post-Noachian references[1] to unicorns have led some researchers to argue that unicorns are still alive today. At the very least, it is likely that they were taken aboard the Ark prior to the Great Flood.
How can anyone expect to be taken seriously when they say that unicorns are real. And that biblical scholars say so. Find me a biblical scholar that's not a wingnut, and ask him/her if unicorns are real. Wait, maybe I don't want to know what they'd say. I'd be too upset if someone who went to college believes that.
thanks to Sadly, No for originally finding this

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Going To The Ocean

Saturday I'll be heading to Holden Beach for a couple of days. It'll be in celebration of our anniversary that was on Wednesday. As I try to do before every trip I take to the beach, I made a mix CD for the trip. This is the track list, it's still tentative, I might change it before we leave...

1. We Dance- Pavement
2.Magazine Called Sunset- Wilco
3. Sweet Adeline-Elliot Smith
4. For No One- The Beatles
5. Nice Dream- Radiohead
6. American Girl- Tom Petty
7. Heart Of Stone- Rolling Stones
8. Emma, Get Me A Lemon- the Walkmen
9. Maybe I'm Amazed- Paul McCartney
10. 16 Military Wives- The Decemberists
11. Let's Go Crazy- Prince
12. Here Comes Your Man- Pixies (the transition between let's go crazy and this is perfect!)
13. Satan Said Dance- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
14. The Crystal Lake- Grandaddy
15. Postcards From Italy- Beirut
16. Your Southern Can Is Mine- White Stripes
17. Heart Of Saturday Night- Johnathon Richman (Tom Waits cover)
18. Timorous Me- Ted Leo
19. Hurry Up, Let's Go- Shout Out Louds
20. Good Times, Bad Times- Led Zeppelin

I like it. It's not so obscure, digging in the vaults as I usually go. But it's fun. It's meant to be fun for a nice, relaxing trip to the beach. And outside of the Beach Boys, I don't think there's someone I connect more with fun at the ocean than Tom Petty. Not for any certain reason. Not that he sings about the beach. But he's probably the greatest (mainstream) American rock musician of the past twenty to thirty years. His only competition (in the mainstream American category) would be REM and Bob Dylan. Bob's been faltering since twenty to thirty years ago, and REM has been faltering since the mid nineties. Of course, outside of the mainstream, plenty of American artists who are better. The British have a lock on that mainstream rock thing.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Time Wasters, Or My Theme Song Is A Cock Rock Song With A Dickensian Theme

This is based on a post from the blog of Jenny, whom Amanda knows much more closely than I do. I do enjoy her blog, though. The premise of this is like those silly chain mails that are rampant, but, it utilizes the shuffle feature of the ipod, so that seems fairly fun to me...

1. How am I feeling today?Shuffle says: "Wash The Day" by TV On The Radio
3. What is my best friend's theme song?Shuffle says: "Microphone Fiend" by Eric B. and Rakim
4. What was high school like?Shuffle says: "My Friend Goo" by Sonic Youth (super-hip, oh yeah!)
5.What is the best thing about me?Shuffle says: "You Don't Know Jesus" by Mogwai. tell me about it.
6. How is today going to be?Shuffle says: "So Many Animal Calls" by Q and Not U. dance party at the vet's. cats and marmosets, dogs and falcons...
7. What is in store for this weekend?Shuffle says: "Shake Appeal" by The Stooges. heroin fueled dance party. this time, no animals.
8. What song describes my parents?Shuffle says: "Wave Of Mutilation" by the Pixies. well...
9. How is my life going?Shuffle says: "Playland" by Mission Of Burma. yeah, that works.
10. What song will they play at my funeral?Shuffle says: "Big Heartbreak" by the Rosebuds. that would work really well. really, really well. wow, this song sounds different to me now.
11. How does the world see me?Shuffle says: "All Things Must Pass" by George Harrison. very Buddhist.
12. What do my friends really think of me?Shuffle says: "My Wife" by The Who. my friends think my wife is gonna kill me?
13. Do people secretly lust after me?Shuffle says: "I'm Sticking With You" by the Velvet Underground. Innocently, and childlike, people lust after me, secretly.
14. How can I make myself happy?Shuffle says: "Hurry Up, Let's Go" by The Shout Out Louds. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands, lots of times before the song starts
15. What should I do with my life?Shuffle says: "Introduction" by Quasi. Well, that gets me started.
16. Will I ever have children?Shuffle says: "Pancho And Lefty" by Townes Van Zandt. two of them, and they'll be tragic outlaws.
17. What is some good advice?Shuffle says: "Walking With Thee" by Clinic. "if you climb up the stairs, you climb up forever". not sure where that'll get me.
18. What do I think my current theme song is?Shuffle says: "Good Times. Bad Times." by Led Zeppelin. can't go wrong with a Dickensian cock rock song for your theme.
19. What does everyone else think about my current life?Shuffle says: "Jimmy Jazz" by The Clash. So, the police are looking for me, at least my friends are diverting them.
20. What type of women do you like?Shuffle says: "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys. it is the most perfect song ever. and it really works as an answer for this question.
21. Will you get married?Shuffle says: "Little Red Corvette" by Prince. that sounds like a yes. with lots of sex.
22. What should I do with my love life?Shuffle says: "Use It" by The New Pornographers. I think that's what I'll do with it. I'll use it.
23. Where will you live?Shuffle says: "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" by The Beatles. the dance floor, that's where I'll live. that's all I need, really.
24. What will your dying words be?Shuffle says: "Emma, Get Me A Lemon" by The Walkmen. the possibilities of this are endless.
25. When I'm having sex, I say...Shuffle says: "Dog Paddle" by Modest Mouse. hmm....
26. When I meet a girl for the first time I say...Shuffle says: "Sex Born Poison" by Air. double hmm....
27. When my parents are angry I say...Shuffle says: "The Heart Of Saturday Night" by Johnathon Richman. If they're angry, I'm out on the street in a three street town.
28. Will you ever get the career you want?Shuffle says: "Sleeping Bear, Sault St. Marie" by Sufjan Stevens. that's fairly ambivalent
29. What do your colleagues think of you?Shuffle says: "Blinded By The Light" by Bruce Springsteen. I'm a teenage diplomat. and they probably know me better in the cover version.
30. Do you believe in god?Shuffle says: "AT&T" by Pavement. "maybe, someone is gonna save me..." "room service calls, roooom serrrvice ca-aaa-lls, in the random halls" so, yes?

that was fun.

Two Years, At Least 78 More To Go.

what i'm listening to right now: smile in your face by Prefuse 73

Today is Amanda and I's (mine's?) anniversary. Two years ago today I was stealing her away from her boyfriend and becoming without hyperbole, the happiest man in the world. Okay, maybe that's hyperbole, I'm not sure how one would measure that. And I haven't met the Dalai Lama. Yeah, he looks like he's a pretty happy guy, maybe I'm number two, maybe number eleven. But at least in the top fifteen. I'm completely in love, and I hope to be married soon. At least engaged by the end of the year. We're going down to Holden Beach this weekend. We're gonna go have some fancy food, some fresh fried fish, some pancakes, and we're gonna watch the moon float above the sea.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Egg Film Noir

what i'm listening to right now: A Magazine Called Sunset by Wilco
Egg Truck Crashes On Highway, Driver Nowhere To Be Found

It's midnight, and this guy has been driving these eggs on this same route forever. Maybe he nods off, and crashes his truck. Egg yolk bleeds out from the trailor of the truck onto the cold pavement. The man pulls himself out of the truck and doesn't know where he is, or who he is. Just that it's cold and it smells like eggs. Insert endless possiblities for intrigue here. He could roam the country trying to find his real identity. He could be picked up by some CIA guys on their way into DC, carpooling to some clandestine meeting with an oil tycoon telling them who to bomb. He tells them his story, which is short. Perfect patsy for an assassination they've got scheduled in Prauge, and their normal guy has called in sick. Maybe he runs to a house in the country side to call for help. The homeowner is a sadist, and locks him in his gimp-box. I wanna know what happened to this guy.

special thanks to Anita Tikoo for her picture of the eggs and toast.

Friday, February 16, 2007


what i'm listening to right now: In On The Kill Taker by Fugazi

It's been a long time since I've sat down and listened to Fugazi non-stop. As a teenager I was fucking obsessed with Fugazi. They were the greatest. band. ever. I was political, angry, loved loud, intricate music. I'm still all of those things, but for some reason, I had gotten away from listening to them with the frequency of when I first heard them.

So today, I was listening to the mix CD that my girlfriend, Amanda made me for Valentine's Day. She put "Furniture" by Fugazi on it. As soon as the song was over, I put in a CD I hadn't listened to in maybe a year, Steady Diet Of Nothing. My first Fugazi CD. Followed shortly thereafter by every CD they made in a matter of weeks. I really liked Steady Diet, but was unprepared for the way that Repeater would affect me. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but Repeater kind of changed the way I thought about the world. In a teenage context that makes complete sense.
In the pre-ipod era, I was pushing carts at Target and listening to CDs on my walkman. It was one of the coldest nastiest winters I can remember. I think I was in ninth or tenth grade. And I was just pushing carts to see them reappear moments later. Having nothing to show for my work. That Fugazi CD was the one I listened to the most then. Over and over again. And the ultra-left sloganeering of Guy and Ian, the hypnotic bass, and those crazy ass drums sold me. I quit my job shortly thereafter. I actually got in a car wreck before I could quit. And Fugazi was on 88.1, the college radio station, moments before I was hit by a car and then hit a lightpost.
I got real political after that CD. I wasn't much of a political person before then. My father was (is) a conservative, and Fugazi were liberal. I had to choose a side. My dad hadn't and still hasn't made any records, Fugazi made 8 records. Fugazi won. That, and Republicans stand for everything that's wrong in the world. That might have influenced my decision somewhat.
I miss Fugazi, I wish they would get back together. I've really liked the Evens records. Especially on their newest one, you can hear where certain songs would be amazing Fugazi songs. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Moses vs. Jesus

what I'm listening to: On Fire by Sebadoh
I just got back in contact with my long-time friend, Matt Sigmon. He's a fantastic sculptor, and his site is now in my link bar. I've known Matt since sixth grade. Apparently we were in the same first grade class, but I don't remember anybody from first grade. I went to a school different from my kindergarten (in Ohio) and the rest of my elementary days (Brentwood Elementary). Anyway, there have been intermittent periods of not seeing or hearing from each other over the past couple of years, we went to different high schools, he went to college, is getting his masters in Atlanta, and I chose the waiting tables route. Anyway, it's always exciting to hear from Matt. He did tell me he likes the Ying Yang Twins now. And yes, Matt, that is something to be ashamed of, unless you're into that whole extreme misogyny thing.

This video is for you, Matt.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Majority-- Shouting Fire In A Burning Theatre

what i'm listening to: Turn It Out by Death From Above 1979

(this is a post from my Myspace blog, it's political and very, very angry)
63% of the country wants us out of Iraq, this year. A staggering majority of this nation is anti-war. So anti-war that they want us out of the war, essentially, now. Like, start packing. Like, shouting fire in a burning theatre.
Yet, everytime I open a newspaper, or watch CNN/MSNBC/Fox "News", there is no one speaking for the public's point of view. Are the pundits/reporters so out of touch with the general public? Despite the coverage of the war from the mainstream media, a crushing majority of the country wants out of the war now. They want to end it in 10 months. 10 months. So, a woman who just found out she's pregnant, and she answers a poll, and wants her baby to be born into a world without the war in Iraq.
63%, that's not 100%, Jeff. I know, but according to Bush's math, 51% is a stupendous victory with a mandate. So, this should be where it ends. Instead, Bush is moving two aircraft carrier formations into the Persian Gulf. Not to crush the Iraqi insurgent's airforce, but to provoke conflict with Iran. U.S. trained and commanded Iraqi special forces are kidnapping Iranian diplomats. Can we do a recall on Bush? Good God, he can't be allowed to continue his orgy of death and destruction. Write your representatives and Senators TODAY. Tell them you're part of the majority, and you want your country, that you love, out of this war by the time that shiny ball drops in Times Square.
post script:
Of course, Barack Obama wrote the bill that's in Congress right now that would take the war away from the President, and end it within the year. Another reason why I'm voting for this man.


what i'm listening to right now: Get It by RJD2

(just a few random post ideas that couldn't get fleshed out into a single post)

It's hard to get me to post things during my weekend, which is Sunday/Monday. We usually just try to cram everything that we didn't do during the week into 48 hours. My best friend, Brian, Amanda, and I went to the Jackpot to play pool last night. I got some really good pictures while they shot pool. I am in love with my camera. There's something up with it, though, and I'm having difficulty uploading my pictures to my computer... So, at the Jackpot, Bart, the manager/publisher of the Hatchet, told me that he's been getting hits on their site from my blog. So that means that there are actually people reading my blog! That's incredibly exciting! People, reading my blog. Thank you, everybody. After the drinking/shooting pool/pictures, we went back home and Amanda and I worked on another mixtape. Which reminds me that I've got to work on finishing my super-long post about mixtapes.

I'm pretty excited about Valentine's Day. I got Amanda a... well, she reads this blog, so I probably shouldn't say what it is. Valentine's Day isn't that big of thing for us, though. Next week is our anniversary. Two years. We'll be heading down to her parent's beach house for that weekend. The weather probably won't be too nice, but it's a fairly signifigant place to us. This time last year, we were running off down there just to have a place to stay together. She was at her parent's after leaving her boyfriend, and I was still living at my parent's, at the time looking for my own place. The beach, and the Comfort Inn across from North Hills was where we'd stay whenever we got the chance.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Man-Crush on Barack Obama and Highlights of Republican Bumbling

what i'm listening to: The End Of Love by Clem Snide
I just finished watching Obama's announcement speach. It was moving and exciting, and sold me even further on this man. I don't think any other politician has ever appealed to me as much as he does. He will be the next president of this country. I will put my all behind that goal. My all not being that much compared to other's "all", I won't be able to go to Iowa or New Hampshire, (that would be awesome, and if there's someone that would want to bankroll that...) For the past couple of years, I've been dismayed by how Democrats have acted. This year, and last years election excepted. Previous to that, though, Dems have been bumbling fools. Falling for every trap that Republicans had so obviously laid right in front of their eyes. I think the tables might have finally turned, thankfully. At least there are more Democrats who walking around with their eyes open. There are still remnants of the mole-people who used to make up the majority of their old minority. I think Hillary Clinton is one of those. She hired a "faith advisor" who is there to help her court the evangelical vote, which she'll never get. She's saying some more of the right things, but still thinks that she has to be more Republican to get enough votes. It's not needed, as last year's election shows.
Obama spoke of ending the war, by next year, in fact. Obama spoke of hope, of restoring this nation to it's old glory. Of unions, of broadband internet in rural and urban areas, of education, of ending poverty. Obama spoke of hope and it didn't sound cynical. It didn't sound like "you'd better hope", it sounded like "we all here, hope, together."

Republican Bumbling Report:
The "pro-life" party has just given itself a new name. The "pro-cancer" party. At least that's how they'll be seen if they don't completely forsake "Focus On The Family" and similar groups. FoF and others like it and affiliated with it, are pushing against the mandatory vacination of all children for Human Papillomavirus, the cause of two thirds of cervical cancer. Why? Why would someone want to stand in the way of curing cancer? Why would someone be "pro-cancer"? Well, obviously, a childhood vacination will encourage pre-marital sex. HpV is a sexually transmitted disease. In the logic system that these pro-cancer groups employ, if you just wait till after you get married, you won't have to worry about getting cancer from sex. Don't worry about the thought that no one knows they carry HpV, and a woman's husband could give it to her. Even if both had been abstinate from cradle to the altar.

At what point do these people completely lose all credibility? I issue the challenge to all of the NC republican legislators to renounce this pro-cancer group, and approve the requirement of a childhood vaccine for HpV.

Links for this post:

Friday, February 9, 2007

Walmartwafen Air Strike.

what i'm listening to: Magic Potion by Sun Dial
All of you who personally know me, know that I have a blood vendetta against Wal-Mart. Human rights abuses, union busting, small business crushing, demoralizing, and now, Nazi iconography.
Thanks to the power of blogs, Wal-Mart was forced to pull one of their "retro" t-shirts that featured a Nazi skull design. They've been busted twice before for anti-semitism related activity programs. (information on those events in the links up-top.)
Gotta run back to work. Hopefully I'll have time to write a full post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Story Of Yo La Tango (Starring Amanda & Jeff)

what i'm listening to: The Race Is On Again by Yo La Tengo

(this is a post from my myspace blog, which I don't regard as much as this one, but I thought it was good enough to transfer to the big boy.)

The past two nights were spent in Carrboro, rocking out to my absolute favorite alive/together band, Yo La Tengo. They did two nights at the Cat's Cradle, and it was amazing.
Listening to them always make me think of when I bought my first Yo La Tengo CD. I was with Amanda before we'd gotten together. I'd been a fan of theirs for a long time, but hadn't bought any of their CDs, and Amanda and I went out record shopping and hanging out before we were in our relationship, but while we were totally crushing on each other. That night, after buying some CDs at Schoolkids, we went down the street to Cup-A-Joe, where a mentally ill girl came up to us and started an uninvited conversation. She pointed to my copy of the Independent, which I was furiously staring into trying to avoid her. She told us she didn't like that paper, because it was pro-abortion. She then went on a rather creepy/long rant about how abortion was the new holocaust. We left shortly after that and listened to Fakebook in the car on the way to Lizzy's for much deserved beer(s). Lizzy's no longer Lizzy's anymore, and we're no longer totally crushing on each other, we're totally in l-o-v-e. Anytime I hear Fakebook now, I remember how much I wanted to steal Amanda away from her boyfriend and run away to Mexico with her. Well, maybe not Mexico, I doubt we would have made it that far. Maybe Lexington, Kentucky?

Yo La Tengo/Rosebuds (Night Two)

what I'm listening to right now: Seven Seas Of Rhye by Queen

Two nights of thunder. We got a little closer to the stage this night, and suffered with longer bouts of ear ringing. Yo La Tengo's set was fairly close to the night before, a little more eclectic, a little more switching around instruments and such. I was kinda disappointed to not see any of the Rosebuds join in a song with Yo La Tengo, like Mac from Portastatic did the night before.

Speaking of the Rosebuds, they were excellent, I'm not that much of a fan of their current drummer, a little heavy handed. Whatshisname who looks like he should be in the Strokes, who's probably been their best drummer was on bass tonight. The new songs were really good, though, and a lot more of Kelly singing.

I'll have more pictures tomorrow or later tonight, that's all I've managed to get downloaded and cleaned up so far. Oh, a few corrections to yesterday's post. That "fifties song" that I mentioned was actually "Watch Out For Me, Ronnie" from I'm Not Afraid Of You And I'll Beat Your Ass. Not sure how I missed that. AND what I mistakenly called "Swing For Life" was "The Story Of Yo La Tango", similar melodies.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Yo La Tengo Night One

(pictures will be up wednesday afternoon)
what i'm listening to right now: Incinerate by Sonic Youth

Loudest. Show. Ever. Yo La Tengo melted my face off. It was amazing, transcendent, perfect, much more than I ever wanted it to be. More than I knew it could be.
Portastatic opened. Which I was trepedatious about at best. In the past two times I've seen them, they were plodding and ponderous. Last night, they played up to their potential. Mac was on fire, writhing around with the guitar, throwing his all into each song. That honestly could have been enough, just going to a Portastatic show that didn't suck.

Not wasting any time, Yo La Tengo got on stage fairly quickly and just dived right into it. They started with their new instrumental, "El Es Gay" and went right into the hot fire that is "Pass The Hatchet, I'm Goodkind" for a good twelve minutes after that. For the rest of the night, they effortlessly switched between massive feedback attacks, gentle ballads, the loudest punk song ever, actually, the loudest song ever. In the middle of the show they did this hardcore punk take on a fifties song that I couldn't recognize, and I'm pretty sure Ira just turned up every knob attached to his guitar and just went crazy, it was like fax machines playing bumper cars inside your head. It was ungodly and yet, it renewed my faith in the future of mankind. After that they stretched out on "Blue Line Swinger" and a complete redo of "Swing For Life" (I could be wrong about that, it might have been something else, but it sounded like the melody from "Swing For Life"). In the middle of "Swing For Life, as Ira was completely abusing his guitar, tossing it in the air, behind his back, stabbing it's neck into the ground, he killed the guitar, and had to get another one to continue through the rest of the song. They ended the show with two encores, the first full of covers "Speeding Motorcycle", "Picture Book", and "Luci Baines". The second encore, was "Our Way To Fall" and "Green Arrow". They did "Our Way To Fall" perfectly, a perfect ending song, which Ira pointed out, saying "If you're anything like us and have read 'How To Be An Entertainer', you know that should have been our last song... But it's cold outside, and you don't want to go back out there right now, so we're gonna end with an instrumental that's a real downer." They played the beautiful "Green Arrow" and left the stage. My ears rang for the rest of the night. Tonight The Rosebuds open, the first time they've played out in maybe six months in the area. Their new album is coming out in April, it should be great.

Monday, February 5, 2007


what i'm listening to right now: "Bring It On Home To Me (live)" by Sam Cooke
Pretty good game, not the best in memory, but definitely a good one. Especially good since I watched it with a room full of Colts fans.
The true highlight of the night, though, was Prince!
That shit was transcendent! Dude had a marching band!
He turned that Foo Fighters song, "The Best" into a scorching soul-rock song, effectively squashing all of Dave Grohl's earnestness and overwrought emoting. Then, he played "Purple Rain"! That was the one song that I really, really wanted to hear. And he killed it, in the rain too, I thought he'd get all pissed about it fucking up his hair and whatnot.

I can't write about Prince, or any musician that I'm that obsessed about, I sound like a sycophant. Anyway, I'm leaving for the first night of Yo La Tengo soon, more about that later.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Late Nights With The Big Tuna

what i'm listening to right now: "Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives" by Voxtrot

After work last night, Amanda and I went to The Raleigh Times for a few drinks and some salads. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this on the blog yet, but the two of us have gone on a diet. So far I've lost somewhere around 15 pounds. That explains the salads. We've been going to The Times since it opened and the lights were much too bright for a bar. It's since gotten much busier. So we had to hover like falcons over the couple of tables they have there. We got a table because we were waiting for Amanda's cousin, Steven and his friend, Becca.

Steven has been a very good friend to me over the past two years. He was the first of Amanda's relatives that I met, and also the first among them to accept me. Initial relations with her family were chilly at best. After stealing Amanda away from her longtime boyfriend, Shaun, I was referred to as "that Jeff" by her parents. Since things have warmed significantly, I've been able to get into arguments with her aunts and survive, her parents like me now, deleting the article "that" and just referring to me as "Jeff".

Back at The Raleigh Times, we continued to drink down the PBR pitchers and got to retelling Amanda and mine's epic story of "falling in L-O-V-E."

To break away from the narrative for a moment, my cat, Coltrane, has crawled behind the books on my bookshelf and gotten himself stuck. He can't really meow or purr right, it's a mix of the two, kinda like a Spanish meow. Throwing some rolled R's in there. back to the narrative...

I don't have the room here to relate our story, thought it's something that I plan in doing in the future in a post with less miscellany. In the course of our tag teamed story telling, Steven told me that he thinks of me as one of his cousins. That made me feel great. It sounds kinda cheesy, but that feeling of acceptance is amazing. After everything we went through, I've always been kinda nervous that I'd do something to be shunned by her family. Just being someone from the outside. It means a lot.

I probably didn't fully communicate what I wanted to say in this post. I'm not sure. Like, there was this whole thread that I wanted to run through this about Radiohead's Kid A, which Stephen is absolutely in love with and is really emotionally attatched to, it was playing while I was coaching the rest of them on to kill off the two pitchers they bought at last call (I was driving, so had stopped by then). The point is, I really look up to Stephen and it matters a lot that he thinks of me as a cousin. He's going to Ikea in D.C. today to buy $500-600 in furniture. Hope I can do that one day. Actually, I can do that one day. I just need to learn how to save money, well, I know how to do that, I think it's the cat's fault. That's why I let Coltrane figure his own way out of the bookshelf. Getting even for that 300 dollar flea treatment.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Snow Day! Or How I Get Off Track And Completely Trash The Hold Steady.

what i'm listening to right now: "The Room Got Heavy" by Yo La Tengo

Well, it snowed for a few hours, if that this morning. My bosses in their infinite wisdom closed the restaurant for the day. Really could have used the money, but I spent the day with my family out in the woods (North Raleigh). Made everyone fajitas, and listened to my brother play guitar. Lately, he's really been into The Black Keys, and he's gotten their sound down pretty good. We were listening to their ep from last year, Chulahoma, while I was fooling around on his computer. I didn't know he'd stopped playing when the song "My Mind Is Ramblin'" started, that was the best recording of a guitar I'd ever heard! It sounded like it was right there in the room, the fuzzy warm edges of an amp buzzing away next to your ear. It was fantastic!

And every time I've heard something that great lately, I've thought of all the money people have wasted on that Hold Steady album, Boys and Girls in America. Which might have the worst sound guitars since.... I really can't think of what sounds worse. The guitars sound like a cartoon version of what a guitar solo should sound like. Maybe like something that Jesse and The Rippers would have performed in their "Full House" hey day. heyday? One word or two? Anyway, if you don't remember, Uncle Jesse, the one-time Beach Boys drummer had a band that would do a sitcom writer's approximation of rock'n'roll. Not to say that The Hold Steady are crass extensions of a television series. Or that they would be. With what sound like roots in punk, they might have some semblance of indiethics. I'm not sure, I don't know enough about this band. I just know that most people who've had the chance to have their thoughts on music published last year frothed and panted at that album's feet. But, man, those guitars! I spent money on "Boys And Girls In America", and I'm very upset that I did. It sounds like if the guy from Red House Painters was a snotty punk who was backed by The E-Street band on it's worst day, and instead of the cheesy saxophone of Clarence, they've got this bullshit guitar squealling all over the place. Sure, singer Craig Finn could score points for having some smart lyrics. Yet, plenty of people have smart lyrics, I listen to smart lyrics all day long. Smart lyrics can only get you so far, melody and the music said lyrics are being recited over are key as well. Let's take for example David Bowie. Bowie's lyrics are awful. The only reason he's gotten away with this for decades on end is because he can sing, and he knows his way around a melody. Craig Finn writes good lyrics, but he speak/sings them with no attempt at a melody. Others I've talked to about this album have told me that it almost sound like an attempt at selling out. At reaching a mass Nickleback like audience with lowest common denominator music, tapping into what Springsteen did thirty years ago with songs about teenage nights. But what they don't realize is that the arrangments are too busy for the 96rock drivetime ear, and that he's sing/speaking! That worked for Lou Reed... once! If there's someone who can change my opinion on this out there, I completely welcome their attempt. As it stands, I'm just not buying it.