Thursday, August 30, 2007

Clean Machine

I have had nothing to blog about lately. I've avoided it at all costs for the past couple of days. I cleaned 70% of the apartment today, just to avoid blogging. Alas, Amanda's late getting home, and rather than clean, I'll blog.

Damn. I can't think of anything to blog about. I listened to a bunch of music today. I listened to the first Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album, forgetting how fantastic it is.

Well, I've got nothing, so, have a looksee at this.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Daily Show

The Daily Show has been very on point this past week. I don't have cable, but I do watch the show through Comedy Central's website. This clip in particular struck me as great.

And this was pretty interesting, but it made me feel a little weird. It's probably the best PR move I've seen the army do in... ever. Pretty shrewd if you ask me. I doubt they'll get any recruits out of this, though, I'm pretty sure I like the brass in charge more than I ever have before.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Del Scorcho and The Spaghetti on My Lawn

Two nights ago I went to see Wolf Parade with my friend, Brian. It was an awesome show. The opening band we saw was kind of bullshit. Unlike the first time I saw Wolf Parade when Holy Fuck opened and blew everyone's minds. Wolf Parade were on fire, though. And drunk. They took to calling themselves Del Scorcho (because of the Tecate they were drinking in large sums). Sums? Amounts, more likely. They played a bunch of new songs that were great, but the best parts were the old songs. Only because they were so tight on those songs. I spent the time after the show contemplating if this was a better show than Parts & Labor which up until that night was the best show I've seen this year.

When I actually think about it, this has been one of the best years for shows in a long time. Two nights of Yo La Tengo, TV on The Radio, The Rosebuds' last show at Kings (with the indescribable greatness that was Monotonix), the last night of Kings itself, Parts & Labor, and now Wolf Parade. There were even more shows that I missed out on, and a few biggies on the horizon. Like next month's Andrew Bird show at The Carolina Theatre.

I would have posted this yesterday, and it probably would have been fresher with more anecdotes about the actual show, if it weren't for my neighbors. I've complained about them here before, and I'm going to do it again. Yesterday in between my shifts, as I walked home, I saw a crazy stir of flies right by the walkway to the house. Oh god, could this be Tabitha, I thought? (Tabitha is their declawed house cat that they make live outdoors). No, it wasn't as awful as that, instead, it was a pile of spaghetti with meat sauce. Nowhere near the trash can that was sitting fifteen feet away on the curb (which wasn't even picked up, I'm starting to get mad at the trash men too, but I'll leave that for later). This complete disregard for well, everything is infuriating. There's also the room sized rug they've had on the curb for more than a month, the trash bags they leave on the ground to rot when one of our two cans are full.... FUCK! When I go outside this afternoon, if I see a pile of spaghetti still, I'm gonna lose my shit. It's clearly not our spaghetti. We haven't had spaghetti in weeks.

I did make an amazing dinner last night, though. Pan seared rainbow trout with whipped sweet potatoes, roasted marshmallows, and finished with a pecan shallot brown butter. It was the best thing I've ever made.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time Machine

Today I visited the two previous websites I've made. They were more geared towards art, which I've regretably just kind of stopped doing. I just feel kind of weird about doing anything like that anymore. Well, in case you are interested in seeing what I was up to in high school, drawing pictures and writing poorly... feel free to visit these sites.

I'll warn you, they're anglefire pages, so they're pretty slow. There are a ton of pictures, and I can't link to any of them directly off the pages because of the limited bandwidth of angelfire.

A Message Left On The Forehead Of God (immediately after high school)


The Toothpaste Jones Experience (during high school)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Left Hand/Right Hand

Last night while we were waiting for our sushi to arrive at Sushi Thai, I made an assertion that I wasn't completely sure was true. That I could still write with my left hand, since I was forced to for quite a long time when I broke my arm in kindergarten and there were some complications with the screws they put in my arm. I'm not sure why I said this, and was afraid when I picked up the sushi ordering pencil, that I'd reveal myself as a unidextrous fraud, and Amanda would leave me in search of a truly ambidextrous lover.

Luckily, handwriting is like riding a bike. Well, sorta. It's kind of slanted and I can't fit it in the lines yet, but, you know, better than I thought it'd be.
Well, fuck. I just spent a long time writing the rest of this piece. From here I was transitioning into how under appreciated the Who are, then the internet ate it as I was "publishing" it. And I'm actually not too upset about it. I'm upset in that I spent a long time writing something and it just disappeared. But not upset in that I lost something good. I ended up doubting the merits of my position, and finished the post by saying as much. The Who are/were awesome, but when measured against the greatness of their nearest competitors, The Stones and The Beatles, they are in their right place.
The one valid point that I think I made was that The Who sat in this strange spot in the mainstream where now only a small number of their songs fit into the formula of either radio station format that they belong in. Too weird or r&b inspired for classic rock, too loud for oldies stations.
At any rate, this is my 100th post, the fourth and final permutation of it (barring another internet accident). It went from describing this wonderful little bit of getting lost between our house and the sushi place, to complaining about my lawyer fucking things up for me, to my frustrated and ultimately defeated piece on The Who.
Here is where I would like to hand out thank yous and what nots. First, thanks to everyone for reading my blog. Thanks to other bloggers, like Marco, Jenny, and Mike. Thanks to Parts & Labor for letting us into your show even though you weren't quite sure who we were, and thought we wrote for a different paper. Thanks to my brothers Dan and Tyler for going on photo adventures with me. And finally, thanks to my loving girlfriend, Amanda from whom I stole the idea of writing a blog in the first place. So here's to at least another 100 posts, if not 200.

And fuck The Who for making me write one of the worst things I've ever written, and thanks to the internet for eating that post.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Dynamite Brothers @ Slim's Last Night

My brother, Dan and I went to Kings Slim's last night to see one of favorite local bands, The Dynamite Brothers. I brought my camera along, but didn't feel like taking too many pictures. I got three good ones, and these are they. The second opening band was pretty good, though I didn't catch their name, and didn't have enough cash on me to buy a CD. I woulda if I coulda. I'll probably do some research and send them an email saying the Hatchet would like to review their album. They were from NYC, that was about all I caught. Dan got some good pictures of them, and I'll see if he'll let me put them up.
As I'm reading over this post, and I notice that I'm not writing very well. Hopefully that means that I'm saving all my writing powers for that extra paragraph I want to add to the Creeping Weeds review. Maybe I should go watch some Rome Season II before writing mortis sets in.

Dan in the parking deck last night.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Creeping Weeds- We Are All Part Of A Dream You're Having

here is my review of Creeping Weeds' We're All Part Of A Dream You're Having. it will appear in the next issue of The Raleigh Hatchet. (I added a paragraph, and Amanda fixed an awkward sentence to the original draft)

Like waking up to find Patrick Duffy in the shower, or when Lisa Simpson grew a world from her baby tooth in a bowl of Coca Cola. Philadelphia’s Creeping Weeds are impossible characters singing songs from deep inside of dream sequences. The music is shambolic, yet carefully layered thus recalling obvious influence Modest Mouse. Yet Creeping Weeds aren’t trying to be Modest Mouse, thankfully. No one’s yelping or trying to wrap their head around the entirety of existence in this band. Not that that’s a bad thing, but you know, things like that are best left to the professionals. The press release that accompanied this CD told me to read it if I liked The Beatles, Modest Mouse, or Neil Young. Read if I like the Beatles?! Read if I like cake on my birthday?

The stand out song of the album is the seven-minute "Derelict", tick-tocking it’s way into a twisted, ass-less funk riff. Xylophones and sitars pop up unexpectedly in the slow build of the song, echoing surf guitar leads the bass into the final minutes, where that funk riff finally gets an ass and starts shakin’ it. Then it starts slowing down, sounding like the last sputters of that perpetual motion machine that you were sure would work when you dreamed it up last night. I’m not sure why I keep coming back to the idea of dreams when I listen to this album. Is it the suggestion of the title, is it a concept album that I’m not listening intently enough to? Is there brilliance in a concept album that floats in the ether? That doesn’t announce itself? Or is this just a regular, dreamy style album, and I’m reading too much into it?

We Are All Part of A Dream You’re Having sounds like the second album that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah wanted to make. It’s more rounded out than the unbalanced experiments of Some Loud Thunder. The shifts from serpentine epics to lilting country numbers isn’t jarring, it’s smooth and considered. Even inside that lilting country number, "Our Country Home", moves made here seem natural, that, in other hands, would seem like hammy parlor tricks. At one point in "Our Country Home" they abandon the back porch for the angular rocking of the rest of the album, only to drop back into the countryside for thirty seconds at the end of the song. Creeping Weeds move about the album like it’s a perfect mix tape. That one where you got that perfect transition from "Get On The Good Foot" to "Swordfish Trombones".

Creeping Weeds have made a strong debut that stands above other entry-level indie rockers. There’s a sense of ease in their playing, even at their most wound-up. The musicians play together like a relaxed conversation between old friends. This album hints at the bigger things that they are capable of, not unlike the hints of that first Modest Mouse album, with a similarly long title.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You Follow Me, Tabitha

I've spent the afternoon digging through the piles of promo CDs that Amanda's gotten in for the Hatchet, and I just found a doozy. Nina Nastasia & Jim White's new album "You Follow Me" is leaving me gobsmacked. You know what, I don't like that word. It's not only insufficient, it's an ugly looking word. I'd rather say... I'm floored? But that doesn't even work either. The idea has been implied by now, I guess.
The record is just guitar/drums/vocals. It's a bit folksy, or singer songwriterly, but then again, not. Maybe I'm just having a terrible time trying to describe this. It's just very good, especially surprising for something I know nothing about. It's a pretty tight record, no throwaways, like the ideal of a great Cat Power record. One where she miraculously avoids making a dirge about suicide.

A very pretty cat came up to our back door last night. Her name was Tabitha. We couldn't get a hold of her owner, so we assumed by her declawed paws that she was a housecat who got out and got lost. She was a tabby that was half gold and half brown/black. Half of her face was gold, the other half the standard tabby color configuration. There were gold patches that popped up in unexpected places, with little white boots for feet. We brought her in for the night, which upset Coltrane and Black Sabbath, but we assumed that this cat was lost, and that it definitely shouldn't be outdoors without claws. This morning her owner called and it was one of the girls who just moved in next door. She's out of town, and she just left her cat out in this shitty heat. That's awful. When she gets back we're gonna give her a good talking to about caring for your cat. You shouldn't let a declawed cat live outside, she can't defend herself. Especially against the fairly mean white and black cat that swats at our window when Coltrane or Sabbath are watching birds from the inside. I just went out back and saw that the food bowls she had set up for Tabitha on her back stoop are empty! It's a shame. So, Tabitha, if you've somehow surpassed standard cat knowledge and learned how to read, and happened upon this post while you were Googling yourself, you're welcome to come over and stay the night whenever you'd like.

Guilt By Association

Fun little video from a contest to make a video for this Guilt By Association compilation that's coming out soon. There's going to be a release party at the West End Wine Bar on Franklin St (Chapel Hill) on the fifth of next month. It's got some great looking tracks on it, like the above Petra Haden song, as well as Superchunk covering Destiny's Child and Will Oldham covering Mariah Carrey.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This Time Tomorrow

We had a great time at the beach this past weekend. Here's some photographic evidence.

Rambo, Karl Rove, The Gallant People of Afghanistan

I have a friend who swears by "First Blood" the first Rambo movie. He's a smart guy, and I normally respect his opinion, I don't know about this one though. I haven't actually seen any Rambo movie ever, until this afternoon. Today, I watched Rambo III, at the recommendation of Marco. A movie dedicated to "the gallant people of Afghanistan". It was hilariously over the top, even biting the idea of an inappropriately under aged sidekick from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Rambo fights alongside the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, saving his friend so the Americans can continue to supply rockets to the founders of the Taliban and al queda. After a ridiculous battle scene where, I shit you not, a tank crashes into a helicopter, head on.

I think that Stallone spent all of his time and money thinking that one scene up. The rest of the movie is just hodgepodged madness. The Afghani version of Short Round wasn't the only trick stolen from another, better movie. In the last hand to hand combat scene, where Rambo fights a very large Zangief-like Russian. While held in an inescapable bear hug by Zangief, Rambo notices the grenade on his nemesis' vest, pulls the key on the grenade, and boom. Completely stolen from the end of Raising Arizona.
The best part was when, in the fiery aftermath of the battle, his sidekick who looks a lot like the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asks him if he'll stay and fight. To which Rambo replies, "Maybe next time". Oh, I laughed so hard as Rambo and his buddy ride off to the Pakistan border in a bombed out Russian Jeep. It's so funny to see how the jingoism machine swings from side to side so quickly. I've got to give props to Stallone for not going back to fight his former friends in the new Rambo movie that they're making. He's saving Christian missionaries in Burma or something ridiculous like that. It'll still suck, though.
I was pretty much isolated during the trip to the beach, so I wasn't prepared for the fantastic and vexing news of Karl Rove's resignation, when I heard about it late last night. And I'm not sure what to make of it still. Admittedly, the time that I would normally have spent reading articles about this was spent watching Rambo III. (I thought that it would have served as a good frame for this post, or maybe I just wanted to lay down after a long lunch today). Either way, I suspect that Karl Rove's resignation might be part of some complicated political deal between the Democrats and Bush. This does sound a little out there, and maybe I'm thinking this way because I've seen every episode of The West Wing, but the timing doesn't make sense. Not in a "I'm resigning because there's nothing left for me to do with such a short amount of time left in this administration" way, because, there's plenty of time for him to continue tramping all over the Constitution. And it doesn't make sense in a "there's a lot of political pressure for me to resign" way, because the Plame case would have been a much better time for that kind of resignation. No, I think this is a move in a game of brinkmanship between the President and the Congress.
Okay, so here's what I think. I was completely flabbergasted by the Dem's vote to give Alberto Gonzalez more power of the warrantless wiretapping. It just could not be explained in a satisfactory manner to me. So, maybe the Dems gave Bush what he wanted for Karl Rove to resign. But where does that leave both parties? What do the Dems actually gain from the resignation of Karl Rove. Well, more leverage to get him and any other advisors to testify, would be one thing. Is there anything that the Dems can get out of what they gave Bush? Are they doing this with the thought that they'll indict Gonzalez for perjury and Rove for masterminding the whole AG firings, anyway? I hope so. I'm holding out with optimism. I've been let down by the politicians in Washington again and again and again. And I'm not sure what kind of optimism mine is, the optimism for a constitutional showdown between two branches of the federal government, is that actually optimism? Am I just the guy in the lunchroom that goes from table to table, looking for anyone who's arguing and starts chanting "fight! fight!"?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Buckets Of Rain

So, here's hoping that the rain stops, or at least isn't happening at the beach, I'm heading out there in a matter of hours.

I had this really wierd dream, where I was going around Carborro with Amanda, only I was a sort of pariah in the town and I was Bart Simpson. No one wanted me inside of their stores/bars/restaurants. So I had to sit outside and wait. A dog chased me away from Orange County Social Club, so I started walking aimlessly around town. I ran into my friend Melissa, and we hung out on the streets, giving fake shortcuts to all the people riding their bikes. Eventually a bike enforcement agent came by, and started hasslin' us. He told us to throw all of our ice into the ice recycling machine. It was a long chute in the middle of a sidewalk, a slow moving metal conveyer belt inside the chute. As I'm dumping the ice down the chute, I knock a few plastic food containers below the chute. I look up and now Melissa's the bike enforcement agent, and she's writing me a series of tickets. "I'm writing you up for littering!" Which seems silly to me, I have this idea that I'm more environmentally aware than she is, so I feel that I have some leeway in knocking some plastic under a large moving metal device. No such luck, I stick my arm down the hole and pull up pounds and pounds of plastic food containers, she throws out the ticket. We walk into the back of a restaurant, and it's staffed by the kitchen staff of my restaurant. Jair, the lunch cook in our regular universe, hands me a cheap plastic acoustic guitar. I quickly bang out a really loud White Stripes song, "Screwdriver". I add the lyrics from their song "Cannon", the part about John The Revelator.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday Catblogging

Lots of shit goin' down. I won't bother you with the details and legal mumbo-jumbo. Suffice it to say, I'm chomping at the bit to be getting on my way to the beach this weekend. In place of a tale of car troubles, the man keeping me down, and the slowest week ever at work, here are some pictures of cats, and a bonus me being bored and playing with Photoshop picture. Have a great day, probably weekend. Ah, I can't wait for grouper sandwiches

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Gotta Get It On

Went to a party last night at some stranger's house. Whose name I can't remember. Sorry, stranger, I'm no good with names. I'm also going to apologize, stranger, I broke your plastic chair while I was horseplaying, trying to kick Jenny and remain seated. So, now might not be the greatest of times to ask you, stranger, but I remember you taking pictures of Marco and I dueting "Let's Get It On" karaoke style, if you could email them to me...

It was one of the few instances where I didn't bring my trusty camera with me, and we bring the house down with some earth shattering soul stylings.

Quote of the night... "How long does it take after you see a tiger tied to a lampost while you're jogging, for you accept Jesus as your personal savior?"

Technical Notes:

  1. I fixed the link for Marco's blog in the link bar.
  2. This is my 91st post.
  3. Today, I continue my Raleigh Taqueria tour 2007

Saturday, August 4, 2007



Our old pals at FEMA continue to impress with their vigorous fucking up of everything they touch. The Associated Press reports that those infamous "FEMA trailers" might just be poisonous. FEMA has suspended any donating or selling of the trailers while a study is being conducted into whether they are the cause of fomeldahyde poisoning. This is one in the extremely long parade of disasters post Katrina.

In my opinion, Katrina wouldn't have been nearly as deadly if Conservatives didn't exist. If they were a fringe group like Michigan militias. The corner cutting, the shrinking the size of the government until you can drown it in a bathtub philosophy of modern conservatism can be directly blamed for fuckups like these. The chintzing on the materials and quality of the levies, the poor response time, the backup of trailers being handed out in the first place, American citizens being actual refugees in their own country, in one of the nation's largest cities... you can trace each of these problems beyond apathy and into private contractors doing work the government should be doing. Why did Roosevelt big government work and post-Nixon big government not? The conservatives slowly worked to hollow out the carcass of the beast they killed, and when something heavy landed on it, it crumbled to dust. Bodies floating, bloated and face down, convience stores serving as the banks of the deadly river... I've been more ashamed of being an American in the past six years... And what's being done? The Senate caves in to Bush and EXPANDS his warantless wiretap program? Only after Bush nixes the actions of his own director of National Intelegince's deal with the congress. And the Senate passes it by a large majority. Why are they so spineless? They have the power to just vote it down. They have a majority in numbers, why would they cave to the worst president ever? He's not even popular anymore, what threat does he pose to them?

Fuck it. I could go on about this for hours. But I'm done for now.

Things That Make Me Feel Warm Inside, This Trailer For The New Wes Anderson Movie, Bourbon, "Muzzle Of Bees" by Wilco...

I can't wait! I absolutely cannot wait for this movie to come out. I just can't. Jesus it looks good. I've always been a huge fan of Wes Anderson, as is evidenced by the top of the blog, Life Aquatic is my favorite movie of all time. I try to throw in little references to it whenever I can, especially the leeches part from the Lightning Strike on Ping Island scene. Sigh. September can't come quick enough.

Though, I was secretely hoping that the movie what we caught a glimpse of in Wes Anderson's American Express commercial.