Thursday, March 29, 2007

white chocolate

So at work today we had this big meeting at work today and in the mddle of the meeting they are discussing this exclusive CD we have with Joss Stone and here she comes to sing a couple songs.

Now I am not trying to be elitist, but some 19 year old british girl singing 70 soul? Come on. It just seems so trite and manufactured. I will say her voice wasn't too bad live, so I do have some respect there but.......I don't know. Maybe it has something to me listening to What It Is lately and it's hard to here this imitation of funk and soul.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

must see tv

Just got done watching Lost and is it just me or did it seem like an episode from the Twilight Zone or the Outer Limits? Especially with the eyes opening right at the end. I half expected a voice over from Rod Serling at the end.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Last week on the bike

Well last week was my first week on the bike for the season and what a wild week.

Sunday the 18th was the first time I was on a bike outside my house since last October but it was just a short ride to meet H for brunch no big deal really except that it was about 35 degrees or so and it was probably the coldest temp I had ridden in. Now I know that makes me seem like a sissy and I do have friends who ride all winter long every year, but this was cold for me (although in the end it wasn't really that bad so we will see come next fall).

I was too busy during the week to try and get out but since I was off on Friday L and I went out for short rides on Friday and Saturday. It was the first time I was able to check out my new bike in real riding situation. We only went about six miles on Friday and 8 on Saturday, but it was nice to just get out and get used to the new bike.

Sunday I went on my own for a short ride that was into a headwind for most of it and that sucked. Granted getting a bit of a tailwind for part of it was nice.

overall week 1 and 23 miles so not too bad.

Hopefully the rain stays away tomorrow and Thursday so I can get out after work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

whatcha doing Thursday?

For your consideration


Show was very funny. I highly reccomend the second installment of the Return of the Bearded Gentlemen on the 29th.

Otherwise go here

before we were dead

From somewhere in '92 until the beginning of '04, I DJed in pretty much every imaginable situation for a techno DJ. Clubs, house parties, raves, big fields in Wisconsin whatever no difference to me. Prior to this I had a pretty voracious appetite for all kinds of music but due to limitations of funds and just being so into what I was doing as a DJ, my tastes narrowed and I didn't listen to much outside of the techno I was playing or maybe some dub to chill out.

Sometime in the middle of all this I started dating a girl who was into the local indie rock scene about as much as I was into the techno scene (friends with a number of bands, went to all the shows, blah, blah, blah). Matter of fact the first night I met her, I was at a friends getting ready to go spin at a house party and she was like you have to hear this album and put on Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Airplane Over the Sea." Nor really what I was into at the time, but she was so passionate about it I gave it a chance (as an aside that is now one of my all time favorite records).

From there I introduced her to the techno scene (our first date was dinner and then a rave I was spinning-I know how lame) and she introduced me to her scene (lesson 1 - indie rock guys don't like rave guys; at least then they didn't). She also introduced me to more music and I immediately fell in love with Olivia Tremor Control and The Dandy Warhols, but there were a number of bands that I just didn't get. The Make-Up was one of these.

Another band that I REALLY didn't like was Modest Mouse. The music was jagged and tinny sounding, and I HATED his voice. There is nothing more irritating than Isaac Brock at 5:30 in the morning after you have been spinning and hanging out at a rave all night after working all day long.

Time goes on, people stop dating, but I kept exploring the indie scene and finding more and more bands that I was into.

Then one day "Float On" happens. I kind of ignored it at first because of who it was, but it was a good song and it was everywhere (admit it, it's going through your head right now isn't it). Soon enough I had the album and liked it-a lot. It didn't remind me of any of the previous stuff I had heard from them. Either they had changed or I had forgotten. Either way, I didn't care.

Soon enough I found a used copy of "Moon & Antarctica" and picked that up and loved it as well.

Which brings me to their new album "We were dead before the ship even sank." To me this album sounds like an extension of the songwriting for "Good News..." It even opens with a little ditty that is reminiscent of the horns intro on Good News.

I didn't like Dashboard at first, it is obviously the Float On of the new album, but over repeated listens it has grabbed me and the big epic chorus in Florida reminds me of something that I can't place my finger on even after repeated listens, and maybe because of this it stands out to me as one of the better tracks on the album.

Unfortunately it is not as good of an album as Good News. To me Good News was a damn near perfect album, there is not one song I don't like.

We Were Dead just isn't as solid, it is a good album though and despite its flaws I would recommend it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Busy weekend so far

It's been a busy weekend so far though Sunday looks to be a study day for me.

Friday L & I went to an art opening at Cliche, a clothing boutique she likes. The art wasn't my thing, but L found a great new top and another handbag to add to her collection. After that we went to the Walker to check out the film Urban Explorers. If you are not familiar with urban explorers, they are people who explore abandoned buildings, caves, sewer systems, etc. The film focused on a group from around the twin cities, but also traveled to Chicago, Florida, Scotland, and Paris. One of my favorite parts was in Florida with this warehouse in the everglades where NASA abandoned the remains of the largest rocket engine ever created. It was pretty incredible stuff and I would highly recommend checking out the movie if it comes your way.

Saturday we checked out the latest Electric Arc Radio show and like the one in January it was a tone of fun. I thought Brady was on fire this time and with Walker Kong as the musical guests its hard to go wrong (is it just me or does Ackerman kind of have a Elvis Costello thing going on?). Following that met up with pals Brian and Sarah for a tasty dinner at Tum Rup Thai. This was my first time eating here and I can say it is highly recommended.

Sunday so far has been about meeting up with Heidi for some brunch at the Modern and hopefully taking it easy the rest of the day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

let the games begin

Today is more than just a good day, today is a fabulous day.

Why? I am finally the owner of a new road bike.

I had done all my research over the winter and decided on the Specialized Roubaix and with spring on it's way, I decided now was the time to try and grab an '06 before they were gone.

I went to Eric's and got fit last weekend and luckily for me they had one '06 left in my size. I had them hold it until this weekend to test ride it (of course I wasn't planning on a 20 degree drop in temp) and made up my mind to go for it.

Added Shimano M520 clipless pedals, a computer, and I was ready to go.

Now it looks like the weather will warm up a little this week so it should be perfect to get out there and ride a little.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Steppin' Out

I 'm a little behind on these as I got all of them a few weeks ago, but whatever. Better late than never right. And after all I had the flu and the ToC was going on too. In the end, I have no good reason for being such a lazyass.

I've been pretty upfront about my feelings about Various Productions. They are oneof my fav groups of the moment and they just released a new song via Boomkat that is only available digitally until march 22nd. For those who only know their album "Luv U' may come as a bit of a shock, but it is classic Various Productions if you go back to some of the vinyl only tunes out there. The beat is more jungle than dubstep and it contains a brilliant vocal by Same Brain Ents who I know nothing about but expect to hear more from soon.

It's not new but I picked up the Mary Anne Hobz "Warrior Dubz" CD a month ago now and it has barely left my CD player and has been in frequent rotation in my Ipod. FOr those that don't know Mary Anne Hobbs, she is a DJ and hosts a show on Radio 1 in the UK that was formerly know as the Breezeblock and is now known bu the ungainly Mary Anne Hobbs: BBC Radio 1's Experimental Show. She plays an eclectic mix of Jungle, Grime, Dubstep, Techno, Leftfield, and a number of other styles. For this unmixed collection she has grabbed a number of killer tunes that may be exclusives, but don't quote me on that.

The tunes span the spectrum from jungle to techno with a focus on dubstep and grime inbetween. The highlights that have fast become tunes that I cannot live without would have to be the upbeat (for him) but still killer darkness of "Versus" by Burial, the hyped up dark grime that is Plastician's "Cha Vocal," and the insane jungle of Spor's "Hydra"

Don't think for a second though that there are any sleepers on this with tunes by Digital Mystikz, Terror Danjah, The Bug, Loefah, and many more. If you are at all interested in this sound you need this CD yesterday.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Music and the problems with Liberals

New music Tuesday and a couple of anticipated releases with super quick one listen reviews

Air - Pocket Symphony
I was not a fan of Talkie Walkie. I just found it a little disappointing, so I wasn't sure what to think of their new album, but I am glad that I did. Upon first listen, it reminds me of their older pre-10,000 Hertz work. The track with Neil Hannon, "Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping," sticks out as perhaps my favorite on first listen, but I am looking forward to giving it a good follow-up listen at home or in the headphones

Arcade Fire - Neon bible
I was pretty tentative about this album as well, since the last couple of sophomore albums I picked up were disappointing to say the least. The $7.98 price tag at your friendly neighborhood Target helped make up my mind, and I am glad it did. While not as good as their first album at first listen, it is definitely a solid release. Interestingly "intervention" is the one track that sounds the most like their debut, but there are a number of other solid tunes, especially the latter half of the album-"My Body Is A Cage" being one of them.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Islamic State of Iraq cont'd

    In todays' Strib, Michele Bachmann has an editorial clarifying her position and statements from the interview that caused the drama last week.

    In it she discusses separate statements by militants in Iraq claiming to be part of Al-Qaeda and also by the leader of the Iranian Guardian Council heralding the coming of the "Islamic State of Iraq." This then is what she so ineloquently tried to explain in her interview.

    I do appreciate her trying to explain her remarks, although I would say that if she mangles her positions this badly when she doesn't have the time and staff to write them, she might want to work on those interview skills a little bit.

    Now I do have some issues with her interpretations however (all emphasis mine).

    First she says:
    Rather, I meant that America's adversaries are in agreement that a divided Iraq benefits their objective to expel America from the region, resulting in Iraq being a safe haven for terrorists.
    and she then quotes an Reuters news article saying:

    "[A]n Iraqi militant group led by al-Qaeda has called for a separate Islamic state in Baghdad and other areas with a large Sunni Arab population, according to a video posted on the Internet on Sunday."

    she then adds:
    That same year, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who leads the Iranian Guardian Council, hailed the coming of the "Islamic State of Iraq," believing that the Islamic revolution that had begun in Shia Iran was being exported to Iraq.

    This would lead one to believe that the groups that our troops are fighting in Iraq are working together and have a shared objective. However anyone with a little bit of knowledge might notice that the two groups speaking of an Islamic state are Sunni and Shia.

    Aren't these the two groups that are currently killing each other when they aren't killing our troops?

    I could be wrong but I don't see them collaborating and if they did somehow manage to create the Sunni Islamic Iraq, and the Shiite Islamic Iraq wouldn't they probably be fighting each other.

    And let's add that if we are all pro-democracy and against religious based nations, then when are we going to invade Saudi Arabia?