Thursday, February 28, 2008

Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue

So I've posted about Whiskeytown, I've posted a few Wilco records, how have I not posted about this record!!? I don't know and hopefully if you listen you will see how it's challenging to do so. On the other hand, however, this is just a blog so I should take it easy. By the way, although a very minor accomplishment, I can play California Stars on my guitar.

Mermaid Avenue is one of my favorite records, that could be why it's here. Released in 1998, the record is a collection of unrecorded songs by the American legend and folk artist known as Woody Guthrie. On this record, Billy Bragg and Wilco collaborate to play them. It's inception came when Nora Guthrie (Woody's daughter) approached Billy Bragg about the idea. Nora wanted new musicians and music lovers to familiarize themselves with the type of music in hopes of generating a positive influence on today's musicans and music lovers.

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Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue

The record is bouquet of romantic, political, and fun pieces. The vocals are done by Billy Bragg and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, which put together an American and British mix of sound. The songs powerful by music and/or lyric all the time. Up till now I haven't introduced Billy Bragg, but the two sentence edit is that he is a live and rockin' British singer/songwriter whose songs are usually romantic or political or both. He's actually extremely active in different movements within British policy I mean, check this out. If anyone wants to know more or sample some of his own work please let me know as I have a few records of his solo work. At that point I'll do a better job in his introduction. This post isn't about Billy Bragg.

I'm doing a shitty job with this post. Maybe really, I don't have the skills to convey how I really feel about it. I just want to share it with people who are looking for it or looking for a new sound that makes you believe that love exists, pain can succeed, and also that hope is not always waste of time - the record is proof of these claims within the axioms of my universe. ;-)

Some of the greats in here are, in no particular order: Walt Whitman's Niece, Way Over Yonder in The Minor Key (which is fun to sing along to), She Came Along to Me (my current favorite in the record), At my Window Sad and Lonely, One by One (one of the most heartbreaking songs), and Another Man's Done Gone (Tweedy greatness exemplified).

And thats all I've got to say about that. (just recently watched Forrest Gump again)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pakistan Resumes YouTube

Good things come in small web pages.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pakistan Blocks YouTube

Sigh, could you believe this? I wonder what kind of oppressive decisions governments will make when we are old and our children read news and blogs.

I guess they'll be missing things like Borat, the secret agent chipmunk, buffalo vs alligators and the such. They're missing out now. :(

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday Afternoon's Ten Piece

Slow day today...

  1. The armadillo girdled lizard owns all.
  2. The Joshua Tree has fallen.
  3. Funny how things work...
  4. Who's conducting this sex?
  5. The torrent of all celebrity sex tapes.
  6. The world's greatest music collection.
  7. A baby praying mantis.
  8. Training to be creative?
  9. The washing machine in my building broke.
  10. I saw The Bourne Ultimatum today. It was great!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Juno - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I am a Vampire, I am Vampire, I am a Vampire!

Hilarity ensues on some of the tracks found on this soundtrack such as "Vampire," by a previously unknown group(by me) called Antsy Pants. The chosen songs are definitely within the tones of the movie: Comedy, love, a punch in the gut, and heart wrenching goodness. The Kimya Dawson tracks really have that innocent folky sound which I think is analogous to Ellen Page's character in the movie while playing the guitar. These songs really set the mood.

I found this snipet on review. The director had this quote on there:

“At one point, I asked Ellen Page before we started shooting, ‘what do you think Juno listens to?’ And she said ‘The Moldy Peaches’. She went on my computer, played the songs, and I fell in love with it. Diablo and I discussed putting a Moldy Peaches song in it where the characters would sing to each other. I got in touch with Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches and she started sending me her work, which was beautiful, and that became a lot of the soundtrack.”

On the same review the author provided a quote by Kimya Dawson, I thought this was cool:
“Some of those songs were recorded in my bed in Bedford Hills, under the covers, on the 4-track. And when people were coming up to me telling me I did a great job it felt weird because I didn’t do a job. I wrote a bunch of crap when my heart was hurting. Everyone else had to do a job. The songs were already there. Just floating around in space. I didn’t do anything specifically FOR the movie. Except record some instrumental versions of a couple songs that only have two chords. That was easy. so, yeah…”

Juno is probably one of the greatest movies of 2007. IMDB details here.

There are also other strong performers in here like The Kinks, Buddy Holly, Belle & Sebastian, Sonic Youth, Cat Power, The Velvet Underground, and The Moldy Peaches. Some of these choices seemingly make the outfit a lot like a Wes Anderson soundtrack. I mean that in the sense that you'd find Mark Mothersbaugh and then a few other littered tracks by some popular and not so popular acts. Here Kimya Dawson's music creates that analog to Mark Mothersbaugh. Still very different types of selections within each soundtrack.

On the last track you even get to hear Michael Cera and Ellen Page's rendition of "Anyone Else But You" which is charming to the slurpee power. Seriously a lot of these songs are made of the essence which defines "extreme cuteness without deliberate repugnance." Maybe thats subjective. I dig this though. I confess.

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Juno - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Juno - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

More on the total lunar eclipse.

My friend Iggy at work shared this link with us at work. I had to share this link for all you blogger punks to see. Some beautiful shots of the transition during a total lunar eclipse.

Follow this link to view the WHOLE TRANSITION EFFECT.

btw, I have no idea who those kids are...

From the Real Genius soundtrack

Chas Jankel's "Number One"

Download or listen here.

Call it whack or what you will but this song was always really inspiring to me. It appeared in Real Genius's soundtrack. Real Genius was and is probably one of the coolest movies ever with a badass soundtrack for it's time.

Definitely among Val Kilmer's finer moments in film. (he has made some trash in the past couple years, poor guy). Anyhow, this song is a rare find and I know any 80's freaks will enjoy it.

Bush's approval rating at an all time low.

The perception is that our President is doing a very bad job. Apparently his approval rating from all Americans is a sorry 19%.

More Information Here.

The results presented here are based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews conducted among a nationwide random sample of adults 18 years and older. The interviews were completed February 16 through 19, 2008. The theoretical margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.

Woman Saves Lion then...

Apparently some woman found a lion hurt and on it's way to imminent death. She took the kitty home and restored it's health. When the lion's health improved enough, she called the zoo and they took it in. This is the lion's reaction after seeing the woman again...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Total Lunar Eclipse

Tonight there is said to be a total lunar eclipse. This is one of the three main types of eclipses.

  1. Penumbral
  2. Partial
  3. Total
Of these three, the first two are very difficult to see with our eyes. They are really the same type of eclipse but on a different phase of the earth's shadow. This should be analogous to the existence of two different hemispheres.

Anyway, the third type, the total lunar eclipse is a site to see. The moon's color shifts as if passing through a red filter - thats the earth's shadow! With a decent imagination you can imagine it's Mars and visible with the naked eye! It's sweet. Right now I'm pissed because it's very cloudy outside and there's no way I'll be able to get a good view.

Here's a video showing what it looks like. The music is quite cheesy, you may want to turn your speakers down.

From the ridiculous to the sublime...

My dad used to say from the ridiculous to the sublime there is but a fine line.

This image may or may not be relative.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Morning's Top 10 List

  1. I've now hit 70 days since having quit smoking.
  2. Some good nutritional tips.
  3. Follow me on twitter.
  4. An important part of musical history. Woody Guthrie.
  5. On the other hand, there are many sad American truths.
  6. And a sad day for bats, too.
  7. R2D2 waste.
  8. My next car.
  9. Bebo? Explained.
  10. Today's top 10 was tough to produce. I figure I should make one of these a week. Here my last bullet, and a popular breakfast/lunch/dinner option, dangerous given certain contexts, and responsible for the past 4 years of my life. Peanut Butter & Jelly.

Joy Division - Les Baines Douches 18 December 1979

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Joy Division - Les Bains Douches 18 December 1979

1979. My year of birth. It's incredible to think of all the things that happened in 1979 while all I could do was bottle feed and cry. I mean a lot of things happened in 1979.

This record delivers a side of Joy Division that people aren't aware of when listening to most of their studio recordings. They were a more aggressive band in the live space. The drums have a stronger presence and the overall sound is much more gritty. The overall treble is higher.

So much so that Shadowplay and These Days, are perfect day and night examples from their studio recordings viscosity. All the instruments have a sore throat so to speak. It seems ahead of its time.

Transmission and Love Will Tear Us Apart are on the other side of the spectrum. Although completely arguable, I tend to think something is lost in this recording. (you could say something is gained - but I prefer the studio recordings for these songs)

Disorder lies in the middle. Your mood will tell you which you prefer to listen. Right now, this second I prefer this version.

This is a great friggin' record. Nuff said.

Friday, February 15, 2008

MAO offered U.S. 10 Million women.

No joke.

This guy's just f-crazy.

This show's about the creative process. Making the world a happier place.

Let's Paint,Exercise,& Blend Drinks TV!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

1990 Nintendo World Championships

I couldn't believe it when I saw this. I participated at this championship. It was amazing. The Nintendo World Championships was a triathlon for gamers at the time. Each participant had to go through three challenges.

  • Go through Super Mario Bros. and collect 50 coins as fast as possible.
  • Complete a level of Rad Racer as quickly as possible.
  • Use your remaining amount of time to collect as many points in Tetris as possible.
The individual scores would then be multiplied by some factor and the individual products would be added to give you your great score. Here's a cool link talking more about the tournament.

There was also Powerfest which was strongly associated with the championships. This was just a big Nintendo show.

The best strategy was to simply complete the first two tasks as quickly as possible then generate as many points as possible in Tetris by completing four line Tetrii. Your Tetris score was multiplied by an unbelievable factor of 12 or 24. So obviously the largest amount of weight was placed on your Tetris skill. Read the Wiki here.

I participated in this competition and made it to the semi-finalist round. It was a badass time. Way better than what LAN parties are like today.

So someone is selling a cartridge on eBay for $15k. Absolutely ridiculous.

Check out this video telling the story.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today's Forecast

RIP Roy Scheider

A day late. R.I.P. The Jaws series was an amazing one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Loose Fur - Born Again in The USA

  1. NRP Review and links to things related
  2. Unofficial Myspace page
  3. Buy the LP
  4. Ridiculous Youtube video (not official)
  5. Village Voice wiseass review
I think I found this record while browsing the Wilco store online. I was curious as it was the only other side project aside from Mermaid Avenue which is one of my favorite records. This record brings together Jeff Tweedy, frontman for Wilco, Glenn Kotche, drummer for Wilco, and Jim O'Rourke, singer/songwriter not previously associated with Wilco.

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Loose Fur - Born Again in the USA

This three piece is definitely an american underrated piece of music. It's like Neil Young and Billy Joel and out comes Loose Fur (my original metaphor). The Wiki mentiones that this record was a large influence to what is today the finished product of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hilarious Japanese Pranks with Chairs

Whiskeytown - Faithless Street

I've found this inspiring before and it's inspiring again. I've enjoyed this many mornings over cereal and OJ.

It's also capable of ripping you to pieces as much as it can put you together. There is definitely some optimism in there. This is the band's first record to my knowledge and it's a beautiful one. If you like Wilco, check this out. Check out this live performance of 16 days.

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Whiskeytown - Faithless Street

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Darjeeling Limited Soundtrack

The Darjeeling Limited. The latest in a series of Wes Anderson movies. A strange story about three very different brothers who go on a long journey to India to meet their mother who has been gone for nearly 10 years with their father's ashes.

The movie doesn't shy from Wes Anderson's style in previous films and is full of color, scenery, clever direction and a good amount of comedy.

Before the movie begins a prequel is shown with Jason Schwartzman's character and his girlfriend played by Natalie Portman. The soundtrack begins there and follows the movies scenes chronologically.

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The Darjeeling Limited - Soundtrack

Order it here: The Darjeeling Limited Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Saturday Morning's Top 10

  1. A Sad day for photo peeps. :(
  2. This is not in Niagra Falls.
  3. Great idea! Who's with me?
  4. Someone has to buy me this.
  5. The story of the tortoise and the hippo. How does this happen?
  6. Everyone should run.
  7. An abridged version to things HULK.
  8. Buy Method products at Target.
  9. While we're on that tip. I don't know if this should make me happy or sad.
  10. Last night I dreamt I was chillin' with Jon Stewart.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wilco - A Ghost Is Born

Last week I noticed a spike in users looking to download Wilco material. I'm glad to add this album to the blog.

This was the second Wilco album I ever became obsessed with me. There's something incredibly strong about At Least That's What You Said, the first track. Everything from the lyrics and how it's sung which seems like whispers or a monologue of a man amazed at the outcome of his trepidations with his partner. The piano and the guitar to me, show the picture of the scene while he's not talking - in his thoughts and also in reality as he makes his declarations. The banging of the piano really describes specific emotions. It's fluttering melodies also entertain the wavering nature of his frustrations.

Download via Mediafire
Wilco - A Ghost Is Born

Many of these tracks deserve strong and thorough appreciation and attention. I'm not a music journalist, a writer, a superfan, or any kind music professional and for that reason I won't go into every song.

Anyway, tracks like Spiders (Kidsmoke) is one of those songs that when you first listen to, dizzyness can occur as it continuously repeats a certain rhythm for around 10 minutes. I used to hate it the song. However, I remember having been to their show in Chicago in October of 2004 and being absolutely happy when I heard it and enjoyed every second.

Other songs like Hummingbird, Company In My Back, I'm A Wheel, and Theologians are extremely personal to me to this day and will continue to be. The music, messages, and symbols are such that I enjoy associating to events and symbols in my own life. Anyhow, enjoy the record.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


59 is a special number. In binary it is read as 110111. It starts with my favorite number 5 and is followed by a perfect square, 9 (3 x 3).

Today is a Wednesday. The hump of the week as they call it. I had a dream last night where i was in some stop motion cartoon smoking cigarettes. The dream then cuts to where I see myself on a silkscreen positive and someone pressed me onto a shirt. I was put to dry and my point of view from the drying rack was absolutely claustrophobic. Then I was removed and saw many versions of me in different colors and all I remember thinking was that I wanted to have a cafe con leche and tostada one more time. It was strange. I woke up feeling guilty.

It is now 59 days since I've quit smoking. Wikipedia said some cool stuff about 59 and when I read it I was prompted to write this post. Here it is:

Fifty-nine is the 17th smallest prime number. The next is sixty-one, with which it comprises a twin prime. 59 is an irregular prime, a safe prime and the 14th supersingular prime. It is an Eisenstein prime with no imaginary part and real part of the form 3n − 1. Since 15! + 1 is divisible by 59 but 59 is not one more than a multiple of 15, 59 is a Pillai prime.