July 31, 2005

Happy Birthday

Wonderful Birthday wishes go out to Mr. Harry Potter on this last day of July 2005.

Two Quick Things That Made Me Happy at Work on Saturday

  1. I turned on Bravo and Pulp Fiction was on. Not only was the movie on, but it was during the Uma dance scene, which is easily one of the sexiest scenes in movie history. When I came back later, they were at the end where Samuel L. Jackson is messing with Pumpkin and Hunny Bunny. Two terrific scenes from a movie chockful of them.
  2. The surgery lady who kept requesting patients was named Eva.

July 30, 2005

A Quick Addendum

The Velvet Underground sound like black leather jackets. I forgot about that.

July 29, 2005

I've Got Clothes in Different Area Codes

Anyone who thinks about music at all knows that the most fun part is categorizing it. Especially because no one will ever agree with 100% of what you say, and you won't agree 100& with them either. That's the beauty of intelligent discourse. These things being said, I've decided that a lot of music sounds like clothes. Here are a few examples:

  • Neil Young -- flannel shirts
  • the Strokes -- dirty jeans
  • Interpol -- single needle, tailored suits
  • Bloc Party -- track jackets
  • the Decemberists -- pirate gear
  • Franz Ferdinand -- a fine vest
You see. It's easy, and fun.

July 28, 2005

Lollapalooza starring Trey Kerby (Day 2)

So I'm a liar. I didn't post when I said I was going to. Deal with it.

ANYWAY, Day 2 of Lollapalooza threatened to be a day that resulted in the deaths of many. Temperatures were predicted to hit triple digits. Since this was the case, me and my uncle decided to not go to the festival until 5:00ish, which is just before the Arcade Fire were scheduled to take the stage. I felt sorry for Louis XIV because I hear that they perform in leather jackets regardless of the weather. This means that they are obviously insane. And a few days after the show I heard that Tegan and Sara had to end their set early due to heat stroke. All in all, not the best weather for a 10 hour outdoor festival.
So we finally arrived at Grant Park at about 5:10 after drinking some authentic Nantucket Nectar Lemonade, which was terrific. Literally within minutes, Scott's and my legs were dripping actual drops of sweat. Nonetheless, we dutifully marched our way towards the front of the crowd to witness the supposed live spectacle that is the Arcade Fire.
It is almost impossible to describe what took place for the next 1 hour, but here are some highlights: people hitting each other in the head with drumsticks while wearing motorcycle helmets, Win Butler calling the French horn a "freedom horn," marching band drums, broken tambourines and microphone stands being thrown in to the crowd, a wrestling match between two band members, Napolean Dynamite's doppleganger, dancing, psuedo-popping and locking, cymbals being removed from stands and carried around while being used, two violinists, and of course, a xylophone. The Arcade Fire are easily the best live band that I have ever seen. They have such an amazing energy that would be even better in an indoors setting. Ultragrrrl says they "make God appear," and that's about right. See them any chance you get.
After this most amazing show, we walked by Spoon, but didn't stay instead opting to get drinks to avoid likely death. Then after our refreshments we went to see the Killers.
The Killers sounded great, but their showmanship, however, leaves a lot to be desired. This is especially surprising since Brandon Flowers proclaims that he is a huge David Bowie fan. The only similarities I see between the two is a knack for natty dressing and a love for rhinestones. Irregardless of the show, the music sounded great. But obviously they couldn't hold a candle to the Arcade Fire.
Lastly, was Death Cab for Cutie, a band that I had seen last summer. Aside from the 3 songs of theirs that I like, the show did nothing for me. In fact, the best part for me was when I accidentally sprayed a kid with water in the back of his leg. I then proceeded to look around and pretend to rock in order to avoid his wrath. Though I could obviously defeat him in a fist-fight because I'm really big and ferocious.
All in all, Lollapalooza was well worth the money and I guarantee that I will see both the Pixies and Arcade Fire in concert again soon. Most likely with someone who will appreciate the glory of glamourous indie rock-n-roll.

July 25, 2005

Lollapalooza starring Trey Kerby (Day 1)

Day 1 of Lollapalooza went perfectly. To begin, the weather, which was supposed to be sunny and 96 degrees, was instead overcast and about 80. Still pretty sweat city though. Particularly my back and forehead, as anyone familiar with my sweat patterns could imagine. ANYHOW, once we got in we went and saw the end of ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of the Dead's set, and I do have to say that they have a very fitting name. Not my kind of music, but a very intense live show with two drummers at all times. It was kind of strange to see a band like that at 2:00 in the afternoon when they're clearly a night band. We didn't stay their whole set because if you don't like their music, they really aren't that entertaining. That being said, we caught the last song of Ambulance LTD.'s show which was a cover of Neil Young's "Everyone Knows This is Nowhere." Very nice.
For the 2:30 shows we decided we might as well see the Kaiser Chiefs just for the milk of it. What a terrifically good decision. The show that these fellows put on was absolutely amazing. Between the lead singer going up on to the stage supports and then bringing up a couple of fans to sing a song, it was just a really, really good performance. Needless to say, I just finished downloading their full-length, Employment.
At 3:30 we went to the Brian Jonestown Massacre in hopes that their lead singer would freak out and do something crazy. He swore at Dashboard Confessional, but other than that it was nothing. Probably the weirdest part of the day was when I overheard Dashboard (as their strangely loving fans call them) covering Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag." Good song, terrible band, so I don't really know how I feel about that.
After we had a quick bite to eat, we walked by the Bravery (seemed rehearsed) and Cake (seemed like 1997) on the way to wait for Mr. Billy Idol. For a 50+ year old man, Billy Idol looked awesome. A small Chinese (I assume) guy behind me said that he wished he was gay just for Billy Idol. The show was great, especially when Billy somehow convinced God to make it rain only for "White Wedding." He also had probably the coolest entrance in the history of music too. As he was walking in, he continually said "Billy Idol is coming." Could there be a better way to announce your arrival? I submit that there can not.
Choosing to wait and stay close for the Pixies show, we pseudo-watched Primus from afar. Much to my 1996 self's chagrin, they didn't play "Winona's Big Brown Beaver."
Then it was the moment that I have been waiting for ever since I first saw Fight Club. Just after 7:30, the Pixies took the stage. Frank Black was HUGE!!! He must have been at least 250 pounds, and probably more. Everyone else looked like you would expect them to, but Frank was enormous. Somehow, he still sounded perfect, like nothing had changed. Except of course the extra 4th grader that he was now carrying around. They played every song I could have wanted, even (surprisingly) "Head On." Just a perfectly perfect show that I couldn't believe that I was actually watching. Of course their encore was "Where Is My Mind?" Simply stunning.
After seeing a band that you never thought you'd be able to see in your life, anything else is quite the letdown. That being said, Weezer sounded very good, and they didn't play too much off of their new album, thankfully.
All in all, a totally perfect day of festival. I didn't miss any bands I wanted to see, and I didn't die from heat stroke. And, oh yeah, I saw the Pixies.

Tomorrow: Day 2.

July 18, 2005

What I Learned at the Intonation Festival

  • Not only was this a concert festival, but unknowingly, the formation of a new nation -- the IN-TO NATION. Had I known that I was seceding from the United States, I may have thought longer about going.
  • When it comes to a discussion about bands that define my generation, the list starts and stops with Head of Femur.
  • Though the first three stars on the Chicago flag represent important historical events from the city's past, the fourth (surprisingly) represents master of squelches Four Tet.
  • Death from Above 1979 is awesome live, but they would be even better in a small club with working microphones and a good PA.
  • If you're looking for backup dancers a good place to look is the streets of Chicago for 15 or so young black children.
  • Andrew Bird is terrific napping music.
  • A blanket is a must.
  • A full back tattoo of the vertebral column could be handy in the event that you need an emergency epidural.
  • I'm officially not a big fan of the effeminate male in woman's jeans look. Unless, of course, you are in a terrific rock band. Only then is it acceptable.
  • Hippies love sleeping on blankets and/or playing hacky sack and/or frisbee.
  • "Hava Nagila" is a welcome violin solo in my book.
  • Crowd clapalongs are also welcome in said book.
  • If you won't sit down when the lead singer of the Decemberists kindly asks you to, you're kind of a jerk.
  • Color changing lightbulbs - cool. Clear backpack - not cool.
  • New bands to download: Broken Social Scene, Andrew Bird, the Hold Steady, the Wrens, Les Savy Fav
  • There is exactly one person who I would have wanted to go to this festival with. Thankfully, I was her squire.

July 15, 2005

Fighting 12 Year Olds

This article made me wonder the same question: How many 12 year olds could I fight off before they overtook me? Based on the assumptions in the article, I figure I could take out 9-11. This is of course assuming that they form a circle and attack. I think that as fatigue and adaptations by the 12 year olds take place, I would eventually be too tired to fight them off. Plus the groin shot factor is a scary one.
Furthermore, I agree with the original author who suggests an attack of a portion of the circle that will likely scare off any potential back-jumping heroes. Also, I think that I would be very tough in a 12 year old fight, due to my long arms and legs. I could strike them easily without them being able to get close enough to do significant damage to the family jewels. And I think that a key to defeating as many 12 year olds as possible is to stay aggressive. Not only will this likely frighten them, I doubt that they will have honed their fighting skills to the point where they can make an effective counter-attack. It's far easier to just come at somebody rather than defend yourself from a charge. Nonetheless, of all my friends I think that Adam would obviously be the best 12 year old fighter. Not only does he also have extremely arms and legs, he also has no soul.

July 14, 2005


I know I run the risk of sounding like a bad Jerry Seinfeld, but what's the deal with dentistry? I just had my 6 month check-up and going there never ceases to weird me out. The first thing that's a little off for me is the fact that when the hygeniest or dentist is all up in your grill they don't even look at you. Its not normal for a person to be that close to your face without either a) kissing you, b) talking to you, or c) looking you in the eye. But just when you think the weirdness is over, they actually talk to you. What are you supposed to do in that situation? If you speak you run the risk of incurring injuries due to the various metal hooks presently in your mouth; but if you don't speak you're ignoring a person who is 3 inches from your face and in control of those hooks. This is why I usually go for a grunt or throat laugh, depending on the situation. Another awkward time is when something funny happens. You obviously can't smile for fear of being admonished for not saying "ahhhh." Then again, you don't want to be No Sense of Humor Guy. It's just unfortunate all around. But the thing that is most confusing to me is that you see the actual dentist for all of 3 minutes. He shakes your hand, pokes you teeth, moves the mirror around and then he's out of there. Kind of like drive-by dentistry. But oh well, I don't have any cavities so I don't really need the dentist to be there that long. Because truthfully, I've had enough confusion for one trip. See you in six months.

July 13, 2005

Make Me Wanna Review

I like the Ramones. They're the best punk band ever. Far better than the Clash, and far far far better than the Sex Pistols. Plus every third song they wrote had the word "wanna" in it. I downloaded a lot of music yesterday, and now I wanna write reviews about what they make me wanna do.

Arcade Fire - Arcade Fire EP Makes me wanna listen to Funeral more often.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! Makes me wanna learn to play a bunch of instruments.

The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike Makes me wanna smile while driving with the windows down.

Postal Service - Give Up Makes me wanna take a nap.

Wolf Parade - Wolf Parade EP Makes me wanna buy their full length (Apologies to the Queen) the day it comes out.

Arcade Fire
- "Cold Wind" Makes me wanna check out Six Feet Under.

Arcade Fire - "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" Makes me wanna watch Stop Making Sense.

Dandy Warhols
- "Bohemian Like You" Makes me wanna date a really cool girl.

Interpol - "Direction" Makes me wanna listen to better Interpol songs.

Local H - "Toxic" Makes me wanna punch Britney Spears for breaking Justin Timberlake's heart, thereby ending up with the scumbag that is Kevin Federline.

Now I'm going to go take a Postal Service.

July 11, 2005

The Ballad of John and Yoko or The Walrus was Paul

While trying to go to sleep Saturday night before early work (always a tough task due to my nocturnal habits), a sudden theory about relationships hit me. I think I'll call it the Lennon/McCartney Theory. Not terribly creative but fitting. Nonetheless, the basics of the theory go like this:

  • In every romantic relationship there is a John Lennon and a Paul McCartney. And these two personality types are related to the musical tendencies of the two greatest songwriters of all time.
    • The Lennon of the relationship will tend to be the more free-spirited and "out there," if you will. This is not a values judgment, just a statement that says the Lennon will be the slightly crazier of the two. This generalization comes from the more avant garde leanings of Lennon's music. He is widely considered the more adventerous of the two.
    • The McCartney of the relationship, on the other hand, will be more old-fashioned and tradition oriented. Obviously, the McCartney will be the one that people are more "used to," for lack of a better term. These qualities can be seen in a lot of McCartney's work, especially on the later Beatles albums, where he would reach back to old genres of music in order to satisfy his more pop-oriented mind.
  • These two personalities can co-exist beautifully (see Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and all the early releases). The strains between them can also be fruitful (The Beatles, Abbey Road). But often, it is likely that the tendencies between these two personality types will lead, ultimately, to their downfall.
  • Relationships will always be in one of these three Lennon/McCartney situations. And often times, the same relationship can flip-flop between the three.
  • Last, but certainly not least, an introduction of a Yoko is detrimental to the Lennon/McCartney relationship.
    • A relationship Yoko would be a person who is introduced that shows one of the attached (typically the Lennon) that things can be better without the other. This is neither a good thing or a bad thing. Yes it was terrible that Yoko spurred on the breakup of the Beatles, but in my opinion they were headed that way sooner or later -- too much talent. Plus all of the Beatles had successful, relevant solo careers.
So thats my Lennon/McCartney Theory of Relationships. In my own life, I have typically been the Lennon of the relationships that I have been in. I can only think of two times that I have been the McCartney, and a third where the roles weren't particularly well defined (a short lived relationship in High School). I'm not entirely sure if I like being the Lennon or the McCartney better, just like I can't decide which is my favorite Beatle. But that's my new Theory, deal with it.

July 1, 2005

Favorite Drummers Who Drum Right Now

I like drummers, hence, I am a drummer. Today as I drove to "work" I began to think about drummers. However, I realized that not many people think that drummers now are as good as drummers used to be. But that's not entirely true. Though its true that there will never be another John Bonham or Keith Moon (either technically or substance abuse-ally), there is still a wealth of formidable drummers that have played on albums released from 2000 on. Here are my 5 favorites:

5) Meg White (White Stripes) -- True, she may technically play drums like a fifth grader who doesn't know how to play the drums. But Meg has an uncanny knack for playing what sounds perfect with Jack's music. Maybe this is because she is possibly a robot.

Classic Rock equivalent: Mo Tucker (Velvet Underground)

4) Matt Barrick (the Walkmen) -- One of the fastest non-metal drummers around. He's real quick and relentless, and just powerful enough to fit the music. Tons of rolls and high-hat/cymbal flourishes.

Classic Rock equivalent: Billy Ficca (Television)

3) Matt Tong (Bloc Party) -- Very similar to Barrick, but Tong plays a slightly dancier style, very reminiscent of New Order era Stephen Morris. However, he has a little bit of a jazz influence as well.

Classic Rock equivalent: Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

2) Fabrizio Moretti (the Strokes) -- Easily my favorite "regular" drummer (see below) to listen to. Another master of minimalism. You can tell that he could do so much more, but realizes that what he does fits the music. Deceptively quick with both hands and feet, also very steady.

Classic Rock equivalent: Ringo Starr (the Beatles)

1) Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Tenacious D, Probot, etc.) -- One of the unspoken downfalls of Kurt Cobain's suicide is the loss of Dave Grohl on the drums. Obviously too talented to not front his own band, Grohl now only drums as a guest. And when he does it is predictably awesome. Definitely the most powerful drummer currently, Dave can fit in any situation and always makes that band sound better. Is it any wonder that Nirvana took off after he joined? Or that the best QOTSA record is the one that he played on?

Classic Rock equivalent: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)

Not counting the use in this footnote, the word "drummer" was used 10 times in the above posting.