October 18, 2006

October 17, 2006


I need to post this for posterity's sake. I never want to forget it



September 12, 2006


Now I'm really excited. I'll be buying it at lunch.

September 11, 2006

What's Goin' On

new job...crab cakes...Buddy Guy...happiness...piano playing...I'm From Barcelona...Ghostface Killah...Girl Talk...Idlewild...da Bears...man hangs...cuddles...Madden '07...hustlin'...C.R.E.A.M....business lunches...tabouli...hummus...weight loss...dress clothes...Ice Creams...

...to be continued

August 27, 2006

Pitchfork is crazy

Though I may have thoroughly enjoyed the Pitchfork Festival, I had no idea it would produce so many strange results. First, as documented below I was blown away by Diplo's set (and to a smaller degree, A-Trak's). This has resulted in a strange purchasing habit for me. Here are the last 4 cds that I have bought:

  • DJ Shadow - Endtroducing.....
  • Girl Talk - Night Ripper
  • Common - Be
  • Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Unbeknownst to me, seeing an exhilarating DJ set turns you into an exclusive rap music fan. However, at this very concert, my then-girlfriend Eve evidently met somebody. While we were there together. Of course, in typical Eve fashion, I knew nothing about this until we had already split (for other reasons). I truly hope that she is happy, and that whoever she ends up with treats her well.

The Blowtorch is not typically meant for personal reflection, so I will spare the details. Things were good most of the time, but then everything exploded in the end. I wish her the best.

August 2, 2006


I would have never guessed that my favorite performance at the Pitchfork festival would have been a DJ set. But Diplo's Sunday night closing performance was so much fun, I could have died. Literally. The rumor around the park was that the tent was 120 degrees. While Boo and I were standing just outside the tent, we could feel hot gusts of wind escaping. We danced for an hour in the sweltering heat. And the last transition of "Bombs Over Baghdad" to "Deceptacon" was unbelievable. Between that and A-Trak's Saturday night set, I finally "got" club music.

July 20, 2006


The reason I like beards is because I hate mowing the lawn.

Think about it.

July 10, 2006

Bling Bling

Thankfully I have good taste, for I must pick out the ring.

Sidekick day-i-yay!

June 28, 2006

Tough Break

I'm not a huge fan by any means, but Sleater-Kinney broke up. I liked The Woods quite a bit, but that is really all I've heard, save for a couple of singles here and there. That's too bad.

June 27, 2006

Why CDs Are Terrible

Couldn't agree more.

Rockquation: Weezer = (Pavement + Built to Spill)/2

June 12, 2006

Back That Thang Up

I haven't written forever so here is what has been stewing in my dome lately:

I have been listening to St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley and Broken Boy Soldiers by the Raconteurs a lot lately. I like them both a lot.

Me and the Beautiful Lady saw the Eagles of Death Metal a couple of weekends ago. They rock sauced it, and the bassist creeped us out immensely. The only thing that could have made the show better was the removal of three sets of people: 1) Green hat-hippie dance girl, 2) the Giraffes, 3) Moshing idiots (one of which who disgraced his Pixies shirt). Those seven people sucked so much.

I saw a picture of a grolar bear (grizzly and polar bear mixed) and it is terrifying.

I think Bears Are Scary would be a good band name.

I have the intro to a song finished right now, and it sounds soooo good. I'm really proud of it.

My girlfriend is now officially a Guitar Hero and a fisherwoman.

We Are Scientists - June 21. the Liars - June 17. Pitchfork Fest - July 29-30. Yeah, we're hipsters.

Earwax Cafe has the best black bean burgers evs.

That's just a sampling. I'll write more later.

May 14, 2006

3 on 3

Three things I love:
1. My mom.
2. My girlfriend.
3. The Secret Machines show.

Three things I don't:
1. Glass breaking on frames.
2. Cold weather after it's been warm.
3. Long drives in small cars.

May 8, 2006


you're amazing.
you 're amazing.
you' re amazing.
you.re amazing,
y 're m z ng
ou a a i .
y o u ' r e a m a z i n g .

i love you, boo.

May 2, 2006


I'm going to go see the Secret Machines with my boo in 11 days. They will be so psychedelicious. Aside from working and making progress on a few tracks, I have no news to offer. Soon, I plan to write a small piece on bands you're not sure if you can take seriously or not, but I don't feel like it right now.

Currently rocking Tots the Pod: Band of Horses - Everything All the Time - this is really good to listen to when you're driving during daylight hours through the countryside.

Rockquation: Neil Young and Crazy Horse + the Shins = Band of Horses

April 25, 2006

Do This

I think you should listen to "Do you Realize" by the Flaming Lips. It's really good.

Also, when your girlfriend gets a new job, it is nice to buy her Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVDs.

April 24, 2006


I'm totally in love with the song "Do You Realize" by the Flaming Lips. It's amazing.

I'm starting recording on three songs today.

I need to write more.

April 12, 2006

Don't Call It a Comeback

Last week, me and the Lady went to the Metro twice for two absolutely stellar rock and roll shows. First, on Monday the 3rd we attended a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah concert. This was her last birthday gift of this year, and the show was suitably rockin'. The opening band, the Brunettes, were surprisingly great. They're from New Zealand and have a total Architecture in Helsinki thing going on, which was fabulous to witness. They finished the show with the all-time creepiest thing I have ever seen at a concert. During their last song, they began some sort of chant that involved Mary-Kate and Ashley; and while they were playing this song they donned Full House era Mary-Kate and Ashley masks with the eyes cut out and finished the last 2 minutes of the song. It was surreally terrific. CYHSY eventually took the stage and played their entire debut album (save for the instrumentals) along with 2 new songs. One of the new songs, "Satan Said Dance," was unbelievably groovy and absolutely fantastic. You can find a live take on the internet somewhere, because I have it and you should too. They even played "Clap Your Hands!," which I was extremely curious to hear. Essentially, it was made in to a more standard song that maintained the circus-like appeal of the original. Go see them if you can.

On Saturday, we went back to the Metro (and miraculously avoided being towed again) to see Gogol Bordello. The opening band, Dub Trio, was terrible and a strong candidate for worst opening band I have ever seen. But they headliners were totally ridiculous. The only way to properly describe them is by stating their musical style (Ukranian Gypsy Punk -- their description) and providing a link to a picture (here). They were just bonkers from beginning to end, culminating in the moustachioed lead singer and backup chick riding around the crowd on an enormous marching bass drum. Before that, there was a lot of jumping, sweating, squeezeboxing, and general mayhem. I agree with the Lady when she states that it may have been the best low budget show that she has seen. Another strong recommendation if you get the chance.

Lastly, the Metro is even more awesome now that they have banned smoking. This means you do not smell like an ashtray for 72 hours after enjoying a concert. Go there often.

April 3, 2006


Even though the lady doesn't like it, I'm a big fan of "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Then again, I'm a fan of both Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo and I'm not positive if she is. Anyhow, I stumbled upon a few Gnarls Barkley related things and I am terrifically happy that this collarboration is happening.

Here are the links:

Enjoy. I'll be at Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tonight at the Metro. Suckers.

March 31, 2006

I'm Not Sure What To Make Of This

I was at Best Buy yesterday and I saw that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is now available there. At first I was sad about it, but then now I think it's a little cool that a band with no record label or anything of that matter can really make it if they try. That is encouraging. Plus I will be enjoying their stylings with The Lady on Monday, which is off the chay-ain.

At the very least, I'm glad she convinced me to buy it while they were still truly indie. That is why her and I are far more awesome than anyone alive.

March 29, 2006

You Can Find Valuable Lessons Anywhere

If I have learned one thing from R. Kelly in my lifetime, it is this:

If you plan to have sex with an underage girl, and then proceed to urinate on her, it is not wise to videotape it.

Like I said, a valuable lesson. Thank you R. Kelly.

March 18, 2006

2 Things About Rock Music

I've been listening to two late 2005 releases a lot lately, so I'll share my thoughts.

Nice and Nicely Done - the Spinto Band These young fellows sound like if you put Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Pavement in a blender, set the controls to pulsate, and removed the pretentiousness. Occasionally, the lyrics are a bit immature, but that can be funny sometimes. They have essentially synthesized two divergent strains of indie rock into a very pleasant experience. Like I said, the lyrics can be a bit cutesy but they never miss a trick when it comes to the actual music.

The Loon - Tapes 'n Tapes Here you have another "it" band that has been said to reference Pavement. However, I find their particular brand of rock sauce to be more of the Modest Mouse-ian variety. Though the album definitely has a cohesive feel to it, at closer examination there are many different directions that are explored. All in all, I think they sound a lot like Wolf Parade minus the Bowie influences. The only Pavement qualities I can see are the opaque lyrics and musical experimentation, but not in the actual sound. At times acoustic driven, and at times a full on rockstravaganza, The Loon is a stellar listen throughout the record.

March 13, 2006

Andy Samberg is Kablamo

Saturday Night Live has been on a decidedly downward spiral since the Sandler/Farley/Meyers years. Aside from a slight re-emergence involving Will Ferrell (one of the all-time best cast members) the show has been extremely lack luster. But as of late, there have been a few transecendent moments involving one Andy Samberg. He is easily the funniest member that is on the show now, and I would go so far as to say the best since Ferrell. He's just the right amount of goofy and funny, and he has the ability to be a mainstay for a couple of years. I'm sure you've heard about "Lazy Sunday" and the Natalie Portman rap (both of which he helped write and perform), but he has also been a key contributor to sketches I have loved such as "Huge Taco" and "Lettuce Talk." It should come as no surprise then that his website is so funny. Him and the other two guys, who are both writers for SNL, have a ton of absolutely bizarre skits and music videos as their group, Lonely Island. You can see the gangsta rap seeds of "Lazy Sunday" in the absolutely hilarious "Kablamo." As long as he doesn't drift in to Jimmy Fallon territory (which is a frighteningly feasable possibility) I can see him becoming a reason to watch SNL every week. As soon as they get rid of some of the older cast members (Parnell, Sanz, Dratch, etc.) and focus on the new blood (Samberg, Hader, Wiig, Armisen), the show could actually become close to what it was in the early to mid 90s.

March 9, 2006


I'm not writing about poop anymore, because I don't want to. If you are truly interested in advanced techniques, email me and I'll share my wealth of knowledge with you.

The last couple of nights have brought two very strange stories. I will share them with you now:

  1. A few days ago I got an email from a kid who has the same name as me. It was especially strange since the spelling was the exact same, and let's face it, Trey Kerby is not a common name. We exchanged emails, and eventually he told me that his real name is Robert Marion Kerby III but everyone calls him Trey. It's weird enough that our names are the same, but the fact that he shares the name Robert Marion with my maternal grandfather is downright eery.
  2. Today, Byrd (my bird) mysteriously escaped from his cage and was nowhere to be found for the greater part of the day. There were no feathers that could have presented clues to his whereabouts or that could have hinted to him being eaten by our cat Foo Foo. Eventually, I found him frightened and hiding underneath my dresser. I still have absolutely no idea how he could have got out of his cage.
After those two stories, it is safe to say that I have had my fair share of weird for the week.

March 5, 2006

P Is For Portman

Not more than one hour after it happened, the Natalie Portman gangsta rap extravaganza is already being buzzed on the internet. Boo and I agreed that it would be all over the place tomorrow and that we would download it. We were right.

More poop tomorrow.

March 2, 2006

The Thinking Man's Guide to the Work Dump - Part 3

As we covered yesterday, location is by far the most important factor when planning your work dump. However, millions have been made by being in the right place at the right time. Which brings us to our second lesson, timing your work dump. By making a poor choice on the timing aspect, there could be disatrous consequences. But with strategic planning, timing can be broken down in to a science.

First I would like to propose my idea of dividing your work day in to fourths. Take your typical eight hour work day. Assuming that the day runs from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm the one quarter divisions would be as follows:

  • 10:00 am = 1/4
  • 12:00 pm = 1/2
  • 2:00 pm = 3/4
  • 4:00 pm = day over
By using the rule of fourths, a work dump can be carefully calculated to maximize comfort and efficiency. My choice is usually to take a break for the work dump at the 3/4 break of the day. Obviously this will come after lunch and a nice break is needed to get you through the day. Furthermore, not only will you have been on lunch, most likely every one else at the office will have too. This means that you save yourself the potential embarrassment of encountering someone during the work dump process. It seems that the 3/4 portion of the day is the least busy as most people are doing their best to finish up their work in a timely manner and get out on time. This leaves you an unoccupied restroom to do your business.

However, you may choose another time and if that is so I can offer only this suggestion. Whenever you decide to take your work dump, just make sure that it is at a time where there are as few people as possible that are likely to use the restroom. This means lunchtime is usually not a good choice as there are lots of people who could potentially enter the bathroom. Just remember, smart choices bring great dividends.

Tomorrow: Advanced Tactics

February 28, 2006

The Thinking Man's Guide to the Work Dump - Part 2

The Basics

As any real estate agent will tell you, the three most important things are location, location, and location. It goes with out saying that the same is true for the work dump. Unlike the work pee, where you can choose any bathroom, the work dump requires careful choosing to provide the most ideal environment for your deed.

First, you will want to investigate the locations of bathrooms throughout your work facility. Also, if you have the time you should pay attention to the amount of traffic going into and out of these restrooms. While there may be a slight thrill in possibly being discovered to be the cause of a deadly odor, I would recommend that you stick to the least used and most secluded bathroom that you find. Furthermore, you should determine the proximity of this location to other important areas such as a break room, cafeteria, vending machine, or other high traffic areas. It is best to choose a spot that is as far away as possible from these areas as you do not want to be interrupted while you are making money performing nature's calling.

After you have made your decision of where, you need to carefully inspect the bathroom for the necessary supplies. This is a short list, but leaving any of these things off can be detrimental. There are only two items which are an absolute necessity when attemping a work dump, and they are:

  1. A stall door that closes and locks
  2. Toilet paper

If either of these two essentials is not present you must immediately abandon this location and seek shelter in a better equipped bathroom. Of course there are other items which may be used that can further enhance the work dump process, among these are air freshener, a plunger, and reading material (the last two will be covered in the Advanced Techniques portion). But as long as you have the door and the toilet paper, you have an adequate, though not particularly extravagant, place.

Of course, if you have the chance to enter a bathroom that consists of only a single toilet in a light traffic area you have found the Holy Grail of work dump bathrooms. These little heavens on Earth are often found in hospitals and similar corporations, and provide the best possible scenario for carrying out your work dump.

To review, the three essential lessons about the location of a bathroom are as follows:

  1. The bathroom of choice must contain toilet paper and have a stall door that closes and locks.
  2. The bathroom should be the most well-secluded and private that you can find.
  3. The bathroom should be as far away as possible from major locations throughout the workplace.

Tomorrow: Timing Your Work Dump

February 27, 2006

The Thinking Man's Guide to the Work Dump - Part 1

This week I will be embarking on a project new to the Blowtorch -- a weeklong series dedicated to a specific topic. And what better topic could there be than the event that most delights me during my workday, going poop. Throughout this series I will be discussing such important things such as setting, timing, additional materials, and of course, advanced techniques for the more interested. Since there is virtually nothing better than getting paid to go to the bathroom, I will do my best to educate everyone in the hopes of making their trips to the restroom more efficient and more enjoyable.

Tomorrow: The Basics

February 18, 2006

The Women In My Life Love Me

My birthday is in 35 minutes, but that hasn't stop the three special ladies in my life (mom, girlfriend, and sister) from giving me some birthday goods. Boo took me to the opera Friday night, which was so unbelievably awesome that I will right a full post about it later. And then today my mom and sis gave me a bird that I have yet to name. Needless to say, it has been a great pre-birthday.

Also 4 people in Plano have the same birthday as me. 2 of those 4 were born on the exact same day. Weird.

February 13, 2006

I Hate Horses

Saturday night was a bad night for the streets of Chicago and myself. That's all that really needs to be said, but I should mention that while driving my car I was cut off by not one, but two horse-drawn carriages. I had never realized it to that day, but thanks to that event and the interventions of my boo I have come to learn that I hate horses. So with that in mind I present you this dementedly, hilarious link:

The Horse Hater

If you don't yet, you really should consider hating horses. It's fun.

February 10, 2006

Pseudo Grammy Review

Thursday, Mr. Pat Murphy ("Murph" from here on out) sent out a mass e-mail with various commentary on the Grammys. I responded. Here is that.

If you didn't expect me to respond to this email, they you're crazy Mr. Murphy.

I'll be reviewing not only the Grammy categories that our mutual friend Murph did, but also his comments and picks.

"Here we go:

Record of the Year
Winner: Green Day
Who Murph Says Should have won: Gorillaz. Those guys are nuts and awesome.
Murph's Take: "Best band who whines about the American Goverment all the time." Guess what? You don't like our country? Move to Somalia or Iraq for a month and tell me how much the US sucks. Nice eyeliner, by the way, you prissy boy. They lost infinite cred with me this year.
Trey's Take: I can hate on Green Day as much as anyone who shares a name with their drummer. And as much as the media wants everyone to think that their album was a commentary, their singer has come out against that theory so whatever. Murph is right though, Gorillaz are crazy.
Trey's Pick: Green Day. I hate to admit that the voters got this one right. It's a beautifully produced track and a huge departure in sound from anything else Green Day has done. And all the other tracks are pretty standard fare, save for that last verse of "Gold Digger" where that weird saxophone synth thing comes in. That part alone should be record of the year.
Album of the Year
Winner: U2
Who Murph Says Should have won: U2. Have you seen the other people on the list? Gwen Stefani? Kanye "I'm the dumbest person of 2005" West? Paul "I'm a knight" McCartney? My fellow micks should have won in a landslide.
Murph's Take: How about "lifetime achievement?" Bono and friends have done it all- charity work, Ipods, classic album after classic album. Give em a lifetime award and let the guys relax and retire in the most beautiful country in the world.
Trey's Take: I can't help thinking that this is a straight up Irish dedication choice because this is obviously not U2's best work. I don't like the band but even I could tell you that they peaked with The Joshua Tree, and that All That You Can't Leave Behind was a lot more ambitious than this new one.
Trey's Pick: Kanye West. Sure he's probably an idiot. But Late Registration is the most innovative hip-hop album since Stankonia. Kanye is an AMAZING producer. Amazing.
Song of the Year
Winner: U2
Who Murph Says Should have won: John Legend (he's gonna pop up in so many hit songs in 2006, just watch). Rascal Flatts was nominated here? Thats why country music has its own network: because nobody on MTV wants to hear that crap. When are people going to catch on?
Murph's Take: How about "You had the best album, so you automatically win this award" award. Pretty lame category choices, if you ask me.
Trey's Take: I agree with Mr. Murphy here, pretty bad nominees.
Trey's Pick: John Legend. Whatever. Moving on.
Best Female Pop Performance
Winner: Kelly Clarkson- Since you've been gone
Who Murph Says Should have Won: Nobody... all these nominations were brutal
Murph's Take: How about "Song that guys made fun of more than any song in the history of songs?" I can sing this one really well, people. It was our BU Baseball short bus anthem.
Trey's Take: It's tough to say it, but this is an absolutely brilliant song. It's a perfect synthesis of indie rock sound and bubblegum pop aestethic. Surprising from an American Idol.
Trey's Pick: Kelly Clarkson. Anytime a song by a former American Idol winner can produce spontaneous gay dance parties I choose it as my Grammy pick. That's just how I live my life.
Best Male Pop Performance:
Winner: Steve Wonder
Who Murph Says Should Have Won: Seal. Seal is the man... Kiss from a rose? I mean, how many times have people gotten "action" from that song back in the 1990s? He should win every category as a "thank you."
Murph's Take: "people who wish they were as good and cool as ray charles?" (jamie foxx presents the award)
Trey's Take: I would choose Stevie Wonder over Ray Charles any day of the week. He truly is a musical genius.
Trey's Pick: Not Jack Johnson or Rob Thomas. Those guys suck.
Best Pop Performance with a Group
Winner: Maroon 5
Who Murph Says Should Have Won: The Killers
Murph's Take: "Lamest group that keeps winning grammys." I mean, seriously. These guys are beyond brutal. Over the killers, the white stripes, los lonely boys, and the black eyed peas? Ok, i was kidding about the last 2. But how funny would it have been if they Black Eyed Peas won and "My Humps" started blaring throughout the place? I've heard that killers song mashed with hip hop, and in the clubs as a housr remix. its a great track.
Trey's Take: I can't stand Maroon 5 or the Black Eyed Peas.
Trey's Pick: The Killers. In every other instance I can think of I would choose the White Stripes over the Killers. But "Mr. Brightside" is terrific. And like Murph said, it works as rock, hip-hop, and house. Just a great song.
Best Dance Recording (you knew it was coming)
Winner: the Chemical Brothers feat Q-Tip (what a weird combo. Maybe everyone got confused and voted out of insanity)
Who Murph Says Should Have Won: Deep Dish- Say hello
Murph's Take: For the committee... "These guys were cool when my kids were in high school and I don't know anyone else" award. How about the Benassi Brothers? Those guys have sold out worldwide everywhere! Tiesto? Aarmand Van Buren? This is the 2nd year they've gotten screwed on "best dance album" (last time they lost to britney spears, which is a travesty in its own right). Kyle Minogue? She's still alive???????? New Order? Who nominates these people? Are they under the age of 60?
Trey's Take: Murph would obviously top me in knowledge of dance music, but I do know that LCD Soundsystem is the real deal. That guy is crazy talented.
Trey's Pick: LCD Soundsystem. I should mention the prolific cowbell use in this song, and I just did.
Best Electronic Album
Winner: the Chemical brothers
Who Murph Says Should have won: Daft Punk
Murph's Take: "Stuff we have no idea about so we drew out of a hat." Come on. Daft Punk rocked the clubs all throughout 2005. Technologic was a staple of every DJs set of every club I went to, and people went off when they heard it. I don't get it. I really want to know who makes these awards.
Trey's Take: It's kind of surprising to me that Electronic music gets its own Grammy, but then again, Barack Obama won one on Wednesday.
Trey's Pick: LCD Soundsystem. Seriously, this disc is the truth about electropop. And if not LCD, then Kraftwerk who literally invented electronic music.

Now for my responses to Murph's new categories:
Artists who have no idea about the government, so they bash it bc they're famous and "rebellious"
Nominees: Green Day, Kanye West, Pearl Jam
Winner: Kanye. Green Day would have won, but Kanye has been so off of his rocker this year that he has to win. He has been saying some of the most unbelievable stuff this year. Including (during a "relief for hurricane katrina" spot):
"George Bush hates black people."
Yeah, he sure does. Moron. Great thing to say during a katrina relief fund spot. There's people without homes because of a hurricane, and of course, its Bush's fault. So you take the time during a nationally syndicated spot to tell the world what you think, when they're people KILLING EACH OTHER FOR A PIECE OF BREAD IN YOUR OWN DAMN COUNTRY!!! One of the most selfish acts I've ever seen.
And whoever put Mike Meyers in the same commericial for that was a genius. What a random and hilarious combo. How do you think that happened? "Who would be good with kanye?" "Yeah, Mike Meyers, he was awesome in Wayne's World!" This is coming from the guy (kanye) who announced to the public that he's addicted to p*rn, and he was on the cover of Rolling Stone in a crown of thorns. Cool it, buddy. According to Susan, you're not too well liked anymore among the "community" right now. And she knows all. That spells doom for you.
Trey Says: Murph is right, Kanye is pretty ridiculous when he's thowing about the phrase that became pretty much the funniest thing you could say in 2005. But Pearl Jam at least know their politics and support and help raise money for their causes. Very admirable. Another band to throw in the mix to replace Pearl Jam is the now defunct Rage Against the Machine. The basis of these guys' political views is to support obviously guilty criminals. And that's it. Great band though. Miss them.
Song in a club that makes you go deaf from pounding bass and makes girls grind all over you
That's a WAY better title than "best dance" or "best electronica."
I can't give it to Benassi here. As much as he's my guy and has revolutionized the way house music is today, I can't do it. His first album was LOADED, and he had a ton of GOOD songs, but nothing amazing on his most recent cd. But then again, its hard to find as song as amazing as "Satisfaction."
Nominees: David McCullen (My B*tch), Bennassi Bros (hit my heart), Daft Punk (technologic), Bodyrockers (I like the way you move), Eric Prydz (Call on me)
Winner: David McCullen
I dunno what it is about girls acting really sl_tty and saying "I just like to callllll you my b*tch" to pounding bass and pointing at you, but I like it... a lot. This was close between McCullen and Bodyrockers, but McCullen definitely got my nod for club anthem of 2006. That song makes girls absolutely go out of their minds, and guys who are doused in D & G cologne and way too much hair PRODUCT (that would be me) go after them. Song is off the hook for sure. "Call on me" is also the jam, but its getting old now. I heard it EVERYWHERE I went during the summer, and its kinda lost its luster for me.
*On a side note, dance album of the year- Benassi Bros: Phobia. Its outstanding. Pound for pound. I can't wait for their next album, which is in the process right now.
Trey Says: Listen to Murph on this one for sure. He would know.
Best singer/group that nobody admits to liking:
Nominees: Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, Coldplay
Winner: Mariah.
Reason: Even though everyone hates the girl, she is one of the best singers we'll ever hear in our lifetime. If you've ever seen coldplay in concert, you're gay by default. I'll admit to liking kelly clarkson.
Trey Says: Coldplay sucks. At least everybody knows it after that scene in 40 Year Old Virgin. Coldplay is for chicks and whiney dudes who want to get chicks.
Artists who should retire today
For the record, can you imagine Dennis Leary coming on stage, smoking a cig, to present this award? Holy crap, that would be funny. He could roast em right after.
Nominees: Fallout Boy, Young Jeezy, Los Lonely Boys, Jamie Foxx
This was a tough one. I'm gonna go with...
Winner: Young Jeezy.
I don't bash hip hop too often, but this guy sucks. Like, really badly. Notice how every good song has someone really cool in it, so it covers up his crappiness. Akon makes "Soul Survivor" a cool song. And the whole Snowman thing? For those of you who don't know, its a psydonym for crack cocaine. There's young kids all over wearing those shirts now... good job, man. Invest in some mutual funds, retire, and get the hell off the radio. I'm sick of your ugly, no talent a__ taking time from people who are trying to break into the business.
Trey Says: Remember when Jaime Foxx used to be somewhat funny? Me too. He takes himself far to seriously today. And everyone knows the only reason he got to release a record was because he was good in Ray. But I hate to break it to you Jaime, the reason people liked the songs in Ray was because they were Ray Charles' songs and not because you were singing them. Stick to acting.

And last but certainly not least:

Trey, you've gotta be pretty happy with the nominations for best alternative. I can attest to you liking all those bands before they got nominated. Nice work, young grasshopper.
Trey Says: Funeral by the Arcade Fire should have won this award. They are one of the truly amazing contemporary bands. Their live shows are legendary and their music is just out of this world. I could write words and words praising this band but I'll stop this by saying you should hear their album. If you ask me for it, I will burn it for you because I think you should have it regardless of who you are."

Enjoy. Comments and debate are encouraged.

January 29, 2006

Design Additions

For the first time ever, the Blowtorch has added additional information on the right hand side of your screen. There will be periodic updates to the catalogue. So now, whenever you want, you can enjoy the online goodness that I do.

January 27, 2006


Just the other night, Fusilli and I were watching Lost (or as you might know it, The Best Drama on TV) and a commercial comes on. Very strange commercial, lots of oranges and blues, no dialogue. Well eventually, they say that the product is the Gillette Fusion and it's coming 2/5/06. Needless to say, I've never seen a preview for a razor, nor has my boo.

Fast forward to last night. After helping the pretty move in to her suitably gorgeous house, I return home to a package on my counter. What is in this package you ask? Thats right. The Gillette Fusion. Now I don't understand why I would receive a promotional razor in the mail, but this isn't the first time. Back when I was 16ish I got a Mach 3 in the mail. When that happened I figured it was because I was starting to be a man, and some evidence supporting that theory has been reinforced with this latest mailing. For instance, not only had I recently seen, and been confused by, the Fusion commercial; I had already planned on shaving last night. Coincidence? I think not. Furthermore, I started my first full-time (not some-time) job this week. This is surely a sign of manliness, and obviously supports my theory that Gillette will mail you a free razor when they sense that you are becoming more manly. I expect to receive their newest model whenever I buy a house and things of that sort.

But back to the razor. The only way that I can describe it is by referencing an old Saturday Night Live skit that was on when the Mach 3 was first released. In this skit, the old SNLers are poking fun at the proliferation of blades that are appearing on razors. "HAHAHA look! 4 and/or 5 blades!" Pretty funny at the time, but I got news for you Jack -- the Fusion has 5 blades. On the front. And another on the back for trimming. Now I can't see why a face would need 5 blades, but here is my guess:

  • Blade 1 - the Point Man. First on the scene. Gets rid of the majority of the foliage on your face.
  • Blade 2 - the Clean-Up Man. Gets all the hairs that Blade 1 missed and leaves you smooth.
  • Blade 3 - the Icing on the Cake. Cleans up after the last two. And just makes sure everything is perfect.
  • Blade 4 - That Guy. "Hey. You guys shaving hairs off faces? I'll shave hairs off faces."
  • Blade 5 - the Mystery Friend. Not really sure how they got there, but there they are. Kind of just along for the ride.
Sure I was using personification1 above, but you get the idea. It seems that a face would be able to make due with 2 blades, or even just one if its done by a barber with that knifety thing. 3 seems just about ideal, and anything past that is just superfluous. Not to mention the little fellow on the back who just straightens you up and helps produces fine, well-manicured facial hair lines, a formerly surefire indicator of homo/metrosexuality. But now that perfectly coifed facial hair is as easy as a turn of the razor, you'll be seeing guys with perfect lines everywhere. Not too manly. Needless to say, I will be shunning this blade virtually always.

So that's the Gillette Fusion in a nutshell. I don't know why it's advertised. I don't know why I got a free one in the mail. I don't know why there are 3 "extra" blades. But it left my face pretty smooth so I can't complain.

Almost forgot. It has a terrible name. But thanks Gillette!

  1. A powerful literary device.

January 23, 2006

New Favorite Song

If you think Tom Cruise is creepy (and honestly, how could you not), then you will enjoy this link that I stole from Stereogum.

"Having My Alien Baby"

It's silly. Enjoy. And this will hopefully be the last post that is only a link. I'm busy.

January 21, 2006

April Can't Come Soon Enough

The week of April 2nd is shaping up to be pretty much the bomb awesome. First, on the 3rd (Monday) I will be seeing Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with my boo. I'll be buying those tickets in 2 hours and 44 minutes. And then on the 7th (Friday), the Strokes come to town. So basically, by the end of the week I will not be able to hear a thing and be very happy about that fact.

January 18, 2006

Bad Tattoos

This website compiles a ton of pictures of people with absolutely horrid tattoos. It's hilarious, so click on it and enjoy.

January 15, 2006

Links Fest

Here is a list:

  1. "Ize of the World" is my favorite song off of First Impressions of Earth. Lyrically, it is the most philosophical thing that Casablancas has written, which is certainly a departure. And musically it is the best signifier of where the Strokes are at right now. There are experimental bits (the noise freak-outs at beginning and end), Strokesy parts (the verses and Casablancas screaming), a guitar solo that includes that synth-like effect, and more complex song structures. It's a microcosm of what they tried to accomplish with First Impressions of Earth, a blending of experimentalism and traditionalism.
  2. I think that my pinky fingers are set low. When I put my hands in to gloves, all my fingers reach the tips of the gloves except for my pinkies. They seem to be about a 1/4th of an inch shorter than I would assume they would be.
  3. Killing Bono, by Neil McCormick is a surprisingly good book. It's the author's true story of trying to make it in the music business after having gone to school with Bono and the rest of U2. The writing is like that of a less talented Klosterman and succeeds in humanizing Bono, which I thought was impossible since he seems to be a world saving, AIDS curing, nuclear bomb dismantling robotron.
  4. The Blowtorch is the #1 Google search result for "you know how i know youre gay you listen to coldplay." And I couldn't be happier.
  5. Da Bears play their first playoff game today. They're going to win. Just like the Denver Broncos.
  6. Their is a lot of good music coming to the area in the near future. Arctic Monkeys, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Ladytron just to name a few.
  7. I won't be going to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's show because it is on my mom's birthday, which is more important.
  8. I got a digital camera for Christmas, and after I enjoyed it for all of one day I left it at my Grandma's. I haven't seen it for three weeks. I am an "idiot."
  9. If you aren't already reading Questionable Content, you should be. It should also be noted that they sell t-shirts that rocker chicks tend to like.
  10. Speaking of selling t-shirts, head on over to Threadless. Lots of cool stuff, and if you use that link I get the hook up.
  11. This list is a blatant rip-off of the Soulseeking feature over at Stylus Magazine.
  12. I just got my goblin feet on the original Arcade Fire demos. They're quite different from Funeral. There is more of a Neil Young influence to the music, not just in Win's voice. You can also sense a bit of Radiohead in some of the songs (like the superb "My Mind is a Freeway"). These were made before Regine joined the band, so the orchestral instrumentation isn't there, and 2 of the songs have a different singer who is no longer in the band. If you see these around on the Internet give them a listen.
  13. Here is a short list of blogs that have influenced (read: been ripped off by) me and the postings on the Blowtorch:

January 10, 2006

More First Impressions

Here is a set of reviews of the 3 Strokes albums, courtesy of Tiny Mix Tapes. I think they're spot on, except that I like "Razorblade" and the reviewer thinks it is filler. Agree to disagree.

January 7, 2006

Frankenberry, improving racial relations since 1971

In hindsight, this is a very bizarre story. I remembered it on my way to work this morning:

My freshman year of college (2001), I, like many freshman living in the dorms, would often enjoy breakfast at the oft-maligned Krasa Center. While the Kras has quite the array of choices for both lunch and dinner, their breakfast selection is very sparse and always repetitive. With that knowledge I sent my mom on a mission. To improve my breakfasts, I had her get me a box of Frankenberry.

If you're not familiar with Frankenberry, I feel a little bit sorry for you. Essentially, Frankenberry is the strawberry flavored cousin of Count Chocula. Rather than a chocolate flavored morsel, Frankenberry's is pink and stawberry and the marshmallows follow the same design. It is my favorite cereal and can be easily combined with Count Chocula to form a delicious hybrid that I like to call Dr. Chocoberry. But I digress.

After my mother delivered the coveted Frankenberry I soon began singing it's praises. This lead to an all to familiar "Prove It" challenge. Since there was rarely milk in my dorm fridge, my box of Frankenberry would often accompany me to the Kras for breakfast. While this in and of itself may sound strange, the story takes an even more bizarre twist.

One day while enjoying my Frankenberry, an older black student named Levar (or possibly Lamar, my memory fails me here) saw me eating the hard-to-find cereal.

"Is that Frankenberry? I love that stuff! Where do you find that [expletive]? I can't find that [expletive] anywhere!"

I explained to him that for some unbeknownst reason, tiny Plano, Illinois' Super Walmart often stocked Frankenberry, and even occassionally BooBerry. He was immediately jealous and shocked. I had no idea what to expect next.

"I'll give you money to have your mom get me a box."

I didn't know what to say. But after a little coaxing, Levar(Lamar) convinced me that he was good for the money. I also rationalized that even if he never got his Frankenberry, then I would have two boxes which isn't so bad. It was a while before my mom could deliver the goods to me at school, but Levar(Lamar) never forgot about their delivery. Consistent questioning of "When are those Frankenberries coming?" and "You got that Frankenberry yet?" only served as a reminder to me of how bizarre the situation truly was.

Eventually my mom delivered both my box and Levar(Lamar)'s. He couldn't have been happier the day that I handed over that delightful fuschia box and he immediately paid me the money that he had promised. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would become the Frankenberry supplier to Benedictine University, but it sure did feel good to spread the strawberry cheer.

January 2, 2006

The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth

After my stint as the music critic for Benedictine University's own Candor, I have become a well-respected member of the press. What else could explain the fact that I got the newest Strokes album, First Impressions of Earth, early?1 Needless to say, I was both ecstatic and surprised that I obtained this highly anticipated released three days prior to its scheduled release date. Though I have had the album for about 3 weeks due to leaks, I still was glad to have the actual casing and high quality versions of the songs. And my first impression (pun intended) is that this album will get horrific reviews from the alternative music press, such as Pitchfork. But I think that this is unneeded and a little unfair. Room On Fire was maligned for sounding too similar to Is This It and now that FIOE is such a departure from the typical Strokes sound I have a feeling that it will get blasted in reviews. Nonetheless, here is a track by track review of the new album:

  1. "You Only Live Once" - a typically Strokesy song that sounds a lot like Blondie as my boo has mentioned. This is probably the most expected sounding song on the album, and would be a good choice for a single.
  2. "Juicebox" - the first single with a bassline that totally rips off the Peter Gunn theme. Julian has called this an "ugly song," and I understand that. It seems to be one of those love it or hate it songs, and it appears there is about a 50/50 break. I think it sounds very similar to "Planet of Sound" by the Pixies and I like it.
  3. "Heart In a Cage" - there is some serious wailing on this track. This is the first album that has a real lead guitarist distinction for Nick Valensi, and he performs throughout the songs.
  4. "Razorblade" - my favorite song on the album even if it is a total Barry Manilow ripoff. Once again there is a big Valensi guitar solo, and it's once again it is really good.
  5. "On the Other Side" - if you like the Julian Casablancas croon, you'll probably like this song. He goes nearly Johnny Cash low on the chorus, which is pretty cool.
  6. "Vision of Division" - this sounds like a pretty typical song until the 1:50 mark where there is an almost System of A Downish solo break thing that comes pretty out of nowhere. This song, along with "Heart In a Cage" show the Strokes stretching their legs the most.
  7. "Ask Me Anything" - the closest relative to this song off the top of my head is "Eleanor Rigby" by some band called the Beatles2. This is the first Strokes song that does not have any guitars or drums in it, and they are replaced by the always creepy Melotron (written and played by Nick Valensi). The chorus is "I've got nothing to say," and the rest of the lyrics pretty much attest to that.
  8. "Electricityscape" - the intro riff on this song is the darkest one that I've ever heard from this band, but the chorus is typically light and hooky. I'm a little disappointed that the chorus' drums actually resort to the disco pattern that has been all over the radio for the past year, but I guess they work.
  9. "Killing Lies" - Nikolai Fraiture helped write this song, which is a rare occurence to wrest a song away from the perfectionist Casablancas. On a whole, this sounds like a song Interpol would do if they weren't totally into gloominess.
  10. "Fear of Sleep" - the answer is 24, and the question is how many times is the phrase "fear of sleep" uttered in this song. This is an old Lou Reed trick, and everyone knows how much these guys love VU so it's really not surprising to hear. Then again, a lot of the songs are about New York just like you know who.
  11. "15 Minutes" - have you ever wondered what the Walkmen would sound like if they did an Irish drinking song with a lounge singer as the frontman? Me neither, but at least the song isn't terrible for the last 2 minutes. Definitely not as good as a fame-is-hard song as "Take, Take, Take" by the White Stripes.
  12. "Ize of the World" - I forget how much I like this song every time I listen to it, but it sounds very Room On Firey. Also, this has a bunch of Julian yelling which is always pleasant and desirable. And for the first time on record, Fab doesn't sound entirely like a drum machine while he's playing. Real abrupt ending here, a la "She's So Heavy" by those Beatles guys.
  13. "Evening Sun" - this is a very relaxed song, and that's about all I have to say about it. Oh yeah, it was cowritten by Fab, so there you go.
  14. "Red Light" - the drum intro is ripped off from "Rock-n-Roll pt. 2," and that's not bad. Plus you get that weird guitar effect from "12:51" on not one, but two guitars. Very danceable song, so I like it.
This album is a big break from what is expected, and though I think that will result in some needlessly bad reviews it's nice to see them trying out a few new things. The musician in me really likes the complicated guitar parts and differing song structures. I think that most of the experiments are successful, and a couple of them fall flat on their face (I hope to never hear anything like "15 Minutes" again). It's pretty widely known that these guys are equally big fans of Pearl Jam and the Velvet Underground, but this is the first time that there is a very grungey influence to the music. It's shown throughout with the soft-loud songs and the wealth of solos. And though this is clearly not as strong as Is This It or Room On Fire it's still better than most of the music being released nowadays.

My score: 7.9
Predicted Pitchfork score: 6.2

  1. Full disclosure: A small independent record store somehow got their copies early and stocked them. But I am a big deal. Trust me.
  2. But not even close to nearly as good.