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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Saturday, May 8th, 2010|
|Tuesday, May 4th, 2010|
|the night sky
We Are Scientists returns, with a new video and a "misheard lyrics" video at the same time
|Sunday, May 2nd, 2010|
If there's one thing which has come to irk me in indie movies, it's the reliance on the Received Wisdom Soundtrack. The lovable losers always have a soundtrack of their lives composed by bands acknowledged now
as influential, but not too
popular. There's no reason, save pandering to modern sensibilities, that the alternatives types in a film set in 1987 would have been really into the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, instead of Guadalcanal Diary and The Mission UK (in one direction), or R.E.M. and Erasure (in the other).
|Friday, March 26th, 2010|
|To me, my Rocking-horse minions!
At last! Not only have I obtained the elusive 4th-Dimensional Synthesis Device at a diabolically low price, but completely without the solar notice of that meddlesome Diamond-eyed Lucy!
Soon, I will unleash LEGIONS of home-made marshmallows upon the WORLD, thus setting an inexorable course toward my GLOBAL DOMINION! Ha!
|Wednesday, January 6th, 2010|
Submitted for your approval: The 80s Never Ended, scifi geek category.
|Friday, November 20th, 2009|
Corsets and cinchers and high heeled toddle,
Gleaming brass clockworks that make angel wings;
these are a few of my favorite things.
|Tuesday, September 29th, 2009|
Reading that Monica Bellucci has signed a petition to release Roman Polanski imposes -- how to put it politely? -- a certain subtext
upon some of her prior projects.
|Saturday, September 12th, 2009|
Notes and observations:
1) Despite being only a 15-minute walk center to center, there is no after-dark route between the St. Catherine shopping/nightlife district and Old Montreal which does not cross through Creepytown.
2) Accompaniments for breakfast toast frequently included not only jelly, but also peanut butter. It's like getting a free PB&J sandwich with your eggs!
3) Having a personal style which makes the natives presume I'm not a tourist is somewhat gratifying; having tourists presume I can offer directions somewhat less so.
4) Every hotel in Old Montreal appears to have a rooftop bar/deck. More cities need to implement this principle.
5) If your solo espresso
requires sugar, you're pulling it wrong. Yes, all of you.
6) Learn from my mistake: given the opportunity to eat bison heart tartare
, foie gras
and shaved parmesan, tell them not to bother with the prissy tasting menu bullshit, but just serve it up in a deep entree-sized bowl -- utensils optional.
7) When you first enter the Montreal Fine Arts Museum, you might suppose the long concourse up is a wheelchair-accessible ramp. Not so. It is a staircase, wherein each stair is full-width, but one-quarter height. There is no way to make ascending/descending that feel like a worthy endeavor. I think most people get all of six steps up before recalling that the elevator is right behind them.
8) One way to make multicultural insecurities vanish is to listen to a bilingual waiter mispronounce "Gewurztraminer".
|Monday, September 7th, 2009|
|The Sitting Limbo
Gin, allspice rum, pineapple juice, bitters, egg white.
Never have I had a more delicately balanced drink. And even the Violet Hour bartender seemed to have to work for it, which tells you something.
|Tuesday, July 28th, 2009|
First, we find that natural blue fruit
has all manner of positive health effects, ranging from aiding cardiovascular performance to reducing Alzheimer's.
Next, we learn that even a fake blue food
has a notable benefit toward reducing spinal injuries.
If it ever comes out that drinking Blue
retards aging, I will laugh my ass off.
|Wednesday, July 8th, 2009|
|Pierre Menard, Sound Engineer of the 'Quixote'
The new Dinosaur Jr. album just produced a double-take moment. "Your Weather" just felt so atypical and foreign to J Mascis' writing style. The truth was easy enough to discover -- it was written by Lou Barlow -- but the song is still a revelation: Sebadoh-style lo-fi pop plus late Dinosaur Jr. guitar fuzz and languor equals a perfect modern reification of the psychedelic pop/rock of the late 60s. This is the sound Matthew Sweet has been trying to rediscover (with varying degrees of success) throughout his entire musical career.
|Monday, May 4th, 2009|
|tire tracks almost 'cross my back
Memo to cyclists:
An intersection with a properly marked four-way stop applies to all traffic, including you. When approaching such an intersection where pedestrians are properly crossing with traffic, stop. Clapping your hands to attract the pedestrians' attention so they avoid you as you ride through without stopping is not a substitute
for actually stopping.
|Sunday, April 26th, 2009|
|I Fight Dragons!
There's a band which has been getting a lot of press lately in the Chicago music scene named I Fight Dragons
-- and every word of it is justified. Stylistically, the sound is fairly solidly in the modern punk-pop/rock continuum, but there are two things to note:
1) It's extraordinarily well-done punk-pop/rock. There's not a bad track on the 5-song EP* -- and frankly, I'd say all of them are considerably better than just "good." Intelligent, introspective lyrics without descending into maudlin emo, and densely layered, inviting scoring. For some artists, it would easy to accord the depth of arrangements to a studio production team, but that seems unlikely in this case because
2) The band uses NES game systems and the like as full instruments, along with the usual guitar/bass/drums rock kit. While hardly the first to do so, this atypical instrumentation does imply that the construction of orchestration is a deliberate and band-driven artistic choice.
The EP is available from a number of vendors (Reckless Records, Amazon, iTunes), but currently is also being given away free as an mp3 download to people who sign up for the band's mailing list at the link above. So check it out.
* Technically, six songs, but the first is just a 30-second intro opener, so I'm discounting it.
|Tuesday, April 21st, 2009|
While paying for groceries yesterday, the cashier informed me that my total was "Nineteen ninety-nine." I pulled a $20 bill from my wallet to complete the transaction, and the effort it took to not respond, "Here's two thousand, zero, zero," was almost physical.
|Monday, April 6th, 2009|
|arthur "two sheds" jackson
In my head, there's an entire interview with the Swedish indie band Peter, Bjorn and John where the interviewer uses every question as an attempt to get them to change the band's name to "Peter, Bjorn and Bjohn". And in my head, it's hilarious
|Wednesday, April 1st, 2009|
In a mixing cup, combine equal parts Effen Black Cherry vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and pear juice. Shake over ice, serve up with a cherry garnish.
Tastes like amaretto, only pale and much less cloying. I'm calling it a Summer Blonde.
|Saturday, February 28th, 2009|
|an open letter to Jonathan Coulton
Dear Mr. Coulton,
If you plan to keep your re-written version of "The Presidents" which includes political statements, you may wish to also revise the line reading "I don't like to make political statements," as it's inclusion makes you appear to be a disingenuous ass.
The last track on Middle Cyclone
, the most recent Neko Case CD, is 30 minutes of crickets.
|Friday, February 20th, 2009|
|mr. heat miser
Not only has this winter been colder than last year, but I also made a conscious decision to bump the default temperature a few degrees over what had been last year's default. Yet somehow, my gas use (BTUs, not just cost) has dropped on the month-by-month comparison of bills.
The only reason I can come up with is that the intense cold actually froze the somewhat drafty old windows in place, and thus became better insulators.
|Thursday, February 19th, 2009|
I have as yet failed to find an iTunes plugin which will write a permanent log of what I'm listening to. I did, however, find a plugin by Brandon Fuller called Now Playing
which allows automatic updates to a blog, Facebook page, or -- the option I chose -- Twitter.
Anyone who wants to see what I've been listening to lately can check out http://twitter.com/hisregard