Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fleet Foxes

Life is so beautifiul. The world is your oyster. Tomorrow is your canvas. Despair is the Satan I will not allow through my gates. Fleet Foxes are the light that floods out between the bars of those gates. I'm not religious. I believe in some great being. I will drop the religious overtones now, thats not what this post is about.

This post is about this self-titled record by Fleet Foxes. When I first heard it I didn't know what to think. I didn't know how to feel. Should I have been sad? Should I have been happy? Should I have felt any manliness within me slip away? I'll tell you what it felt like. It felt like that part in some epic movie where the hero uses a legendary weapon on the entire marching evil force thats plaguing the right. The weapon robs all of their souls, sends their bodies to be consumed by the sun and are then shat out into an asteroid field light years away. The hero then gets the best woman in the world and BBQs are hosted on Monday's everywhere worldwide to commemorate this victory.

Seriously, this band is best heard on nights when the weather is in the 60s, the wind is blowing, and the ladies in your car need to find a place to pop a squat. This really happened to me once. We stopped and parked on NE 29th street just off of Miami Ave. I was playing this record in the car and when the girls came back they had reported seeing a Fox in the distance. I came by and I shit-you-not there was a wild fox just hanging out running around. It was one of the few magical moments in life that happen from time to time. It needed to be recorded, and here is what I've presented you exactly.

Killer songs include but are not limited to (in order of how they appear on the album):
  • Sun It Rises
  • White Winter Hymnal
  • He Doesn't Know Why
  • Heard them Stirring
  • Your Protector
  • Blue Ridge Mountains

The band is currently a 5-piece from Seattle, you can label them as indie-folk if you want the easy way out. If you want to go the hard way, you're going to have to listen and generate your own opinion. They include a mandolin in their band which is an instrument that dates as far back as the days when simultaneous orgasms were introduced to man and woman. I hope you enjoy this composition and the record. If you are affiliated with Fleet Foxes, please come to South Florida. I know many people who will rejoice and be thankful. For me, this was one of the records that turned on the end of this decade and will inevitably welcome many to the next one.

I've intentionally not discussed the cover art, because although I think good things about it, that exposition would probably derail the prose above and would also require more intellectual prowess than I'm able to execute at this time. Don't hate. I'm spent and need to carry on to other orders of business.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Bike Gods are Speaking to Me

So yeah, I go reach in the fridge for a snack and realize the aluminum lid of my yogurt has Trek all over it. Maybe this is meant to take me the Trek way. Maybe I'm reading too into it.

The final three hard tails that I'm considering

It's really just adding three more bike and a new color option to one of the bikes I showed below. The new bikes ares probably a bad decision in terms of how high I can go in price, I've seen them from $1300 to $1800, so I think its a pipe dream for right now but the 8000 is so beautiful. Here's the latest two-wheel drive action:

  1. 2010, Trek, 8000, 2-toned Matte White/Matte Platinum (drool)

  2. 2010, Trek, 6500, 2-toned Matte White/Matte Blue
  3. 2010, Trek, 6700, 2-toned Gloss Black/Pearl White
    I think that sums it all up. I think that if I were to get any other mountain bike than the ones I've listed here thus far it'd be something used from Craigs, older bikes, a modded or custom made bike, if any.

The 8000 upgrades from the 6700 (shown below), mostly in part to the upgrade RockShox Reba fork and Trek's own "Alpha Red Aluminum" frame which is the lightest and stiffest frame Trek makes before upgrading to a carbon fiber ride. Allegedly, and as it should be expected, The Trek 8000 would be a bike that'd last for years and years and would probably be the fastest hard tail I'd ever own. Trek also has a 6 month 0% financing option which makes this move even more appealing.

For the full bike compare between the Trek 8000, 6700, and 6500, checkout this link. The MSRPs are listed but thats usually the highest price you should expect to pay for these. Any bike shop I've been to has, without heavy heckling or discussion, advertised lower prices.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

One More Mountain Bike to Investigate

I actually went browsing Giant's website a little more after having a discussion with my friend Chris Funk yesterday. He shared with me that he spent some time managing a bike shop and claimed that Giant carries better componentry for your dollar than other brands. This whole time for some reason I've had the opposite impression. I've felt that it was just a brand you were paying for but after a deeper dive and some investigation, I found a bike to compete in my lineup. Here's a new hardtail contender:

  1. 2010, Giant, XTC 1, Black with white and blue accents
    The components are only a 'hair' better than the Tassajara on my previous post. Aesthetically I think its kind of classy, like a tux for mountain bikes. I also think color mods would actually look pretty cool if I try to personalize. As far as looks go, however, I'm still torn between the Tassajara and the XTC 1. I think my next point of investigation is how does the Giant warranty compare to the Gary Fisher warranty and then cross-examine model-specific reviews.
At the moment, this point in time, I'm in-between this bike, the 2010 XTC 1, and the 2010 Gary Fisher, Tassajara.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rainy Friday Morning 11 List

Today is a week before Christmas and its grey in Miami. The good news is that it's going to get a little colder this weekend. After the cold front passes, I expect the moisture to go away and have a mostly-beautiful Christmas week. Here's a top 10 (err, 11) if you're online, bored, and want to see some new stuff.
  1. A white bronze Rubik's Cube.
  2. Asylum's top 100 weirdest stories of 2009.
  3. I need a new watch. These are good candidates.
  4. A new Clash of the Titans is coming.
  5. Iron Man 2 is coming.
  6. Enhance: a video collage.
  7. Nuns snowball fight.
  8. Growing up Mega Man was one of my favorites.
  9. Vertebrae necklace.
  10. Sexy times with Kyle Johnson.
  11. Pin-up from Miami.

Postcard Project

I have some postcards that I want to send out. I don't want to ruin what they look like. They aren't Christmas-centric which I think most of you would appreciate since it would be an unusual card to receive during these times. They were provided to me from a loved one in another country.

If you want to receive one, email me or comment your mailing address below.

Tim McMahon's Rockin' Christmas VI

Every year, for the past 6 years, my friend Tim makes a holiday mix, scratch that, it's a proper Christmas mix. If you don't celebrate Christmas I ask that you look past that and check it out - this time of the year is festive and celebratory - those vibes are captured herein.

It's the 18th of December and I was beginning to lose hope on the continuity of these records. The mix is eclectic, atypical, includes classic and new bands, and is effective at it's message. Here's the tracklist:
  • Dear Santa Claus - Billy Childish & the Musicians of the British Empire
  • X-Mas Song - Fireflies
  • A Christmas Camel - Procol Harum
  • If Christmas Can't Bring You Home - Reigning Sound
  • Christmas in Space - Touchers
  • Little Stars - Holly Golightly and The Greenhornes
  • It's Christmas Time (Yeah We're Gonna Rock) - The Flat Duo Jets
  • Happy ChristM.A.S.S. - M.A.S.S.
  • Come on Santa - The Raveonettes
  • Space Christmas - Shonen Knife
  • Happy Fucking Holidays - Starfucker
  • Plastic Christmas Trees - Summer Cats
  • Flowers for Albion - Parenthetical Girls
  • I Don't Intend to Spend Christmas Without you - Claudine Longet
  • Mr. Santa Claus - Nathaniel Mayer
  • Ain't No Chimneys - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
  • Christmas Time Is Here Again (1967 outtake) - The Beatles
This year's mix also includes a supplement mix, which is a tradition that began 2 years ago. I only began reposting his mixes last year and as long as he posts these, I will repost them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

4 8 15 16 23 42

Titled, "Lockeness Monster" found on this post.

So now that Rita Morgan has passed my focus is in the direction of a different tropical situation. The final season of LOST is coming in less than 2 months. That's right. The final season. I can't believe it. I just may have to rewatch season 5. Also, checkout the original source of the image above. Lots of LOST "art" and toys.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The First Days of Spring - Trailer

Caught this from Twitter after a friend posted about her "iPod in San Francisco." I can't see the connection. I don't know what it means but the video made an impression. The use of the seasons, although clichéd, appealed to me (of course it did) and it reminded me of 500 days of Summer - this would best be fitting as a prequel but I'm 99% sure there is no connection.

The beginning dialogue sounds like a dude and his conscience remembering a time when he felt alive, when things mattered, when adventure was the only priority. I reflected on that. Also found the video to be inspiring and become less fearful of change and evolution.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Explosions in the Sky

I think the first time I ever heard Explosions in the Sky it was on WVUM 90.5FM while driving some place. I managed to remember their name when I got home and I started searching for stuff. That was at least 5 years ago. So I got this record first and to this day I still think its my favorite amongst all of them. I've seen them twice, once in Toronto and once in New York and their live performances were just as good if not better than the private experience. I've been lucky to see them with amazing weather and that really helps for some reason. Everytime I see them live I wish I could teleport some people there to witness the amazingness.

Download it.

They're considered a post-rock band, all their music is instrumental, the songs are long, dramatic, and require patience. If you give them a chance you just might find a special beauty, triumph, and vigilance not quickly realized from the slow churned beginnings of their songs.

If you put a gun to my head and ask me which my favorite song on The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place is, I'd tell you it's Memorial. There's something about the way the drums pick up the guitars after the 3rd minute to a new soaring plateu and after the 5th minute the entire set of instruments are surviving evenly. After the 7th minute, they almost destroy it all but it still it seems like they're subtle at that too. Imagine Mogwai's "Like Herod" but a few degrees less conquering.

Memorial sweetly transitions into Your Hand In Mine, which is another great one. All their songs seem like victory-after-the-fall and illustrate that with long epic climbs with each instrument. This record inspires me. Even though sometimes I want them to crank it a little heavier, I can adapt. I think thats why I say they require a bit of patience. After thats said and done the reward is qualified. The image in mind is Mel Gibson as William Wallace after the long and drawn battle has been cleared.

I can't close the post without saying that the first track on the record is what ultimately drew me in: First Breath After Coma.

Intrumental Morning

I think that if we didn't live in Florida the decision to go on a road trip would be so much easier. Last night Explosions in the Sky came on random via iTunes on my drive home and it triggered my weird mood this morning. Then I ran into AbstractNumbers Youtube page and found a few things in common. It's an Explosions in the Sky morning

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fall be Kind, Winter be Kind

Lately I've been enjoying music more and more while being stationary. For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed music the most when driving by myself. Staring into the road trying to beat the light rays to the horizon and letting every special wave of music splash into the middle ear is like an instant dose of medicine that propels every thought down the canals of reason, anxiety and cerebral release – a feeling most of us know quite well.

The year is coming to an end and this record proves that’s true… “Fall Be Kind,” Animal Collective's new EP, starts off with a song that reminds me of the first time I ever rode a Disney ride – remember the kinds that would take you through different areas with different music and the themes would go from dark to light and back again? It moves on to What Would I Want? Sky, and this track is quite lovely especially after the second minute it transforms into something beautiful like the first time you’ve ever really seen a sunset as an adult or the overwhelming nature of expectations of living and loving.

I’m gonna skip the third track because I don’t understand it yet. I don’t know whats happening and it’s all out of focus in my mind. #4 or On A Highway, reminds me of a Boards of Canada song I can’t remember and seems appropriate for this cloudy day full of cold fronts and warm fronts and rain. water. a heartbeat and an exit sign.

The last track, I Think I Can, is my favorite. Just listen to it.

Download the EP in a zip from Rapidshare.

Hope you like it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Play it by Trust

One of the other things that I saw that really blew my mind was a piece by Yoko Ono. I don't care that it was by Yoko Ono that much. What I thought was killer was that it was two chairs and a table with a chess set. All of it was in white. At first glance you think "oh a chess set, ok thats cool." Then the coolest gallery host in the show approaches and he tells me that that this piece is his favorite (amongst a whole set of chess-related art pieces that aren't really connected.) Anyway, this piece is called "Play it by Trust" and on the back of each chair there is a silver plaque that says "Play it by Trust." What's fascinating is that all the chess pieces are white. Therefore each player needs to memorize which pieces are theirs and which are not. This presents an interesting situation when after some time playing your opponent one of you begin to forget which pieces are whose. It is a true challenge and the notion of trust, chess, and the opposition harmonizing like that is pretty fucking incredible. Do you play chess? If not, you should start. Want to hear the bonus? The host asks me to pick up one of the chairs. the chairs are painted in a white enamel and are tall but quite slender. Anyhow, I put my arms around it and.... and... I ... I pulled and it was motherfucking heaviest fucking chair I've ever picked up in my life. True story. The piece is one in 6 in the world and it goes for a hundred grand. There was good chess and great chests too! Among that gallery there were other things like other amazing chess boards, photographs, a motion picture titled "8 by 8" which shows a feature story of an actual chess games -- some hotness dressed in a dress of another time is the queen and some vile dude traps her and kills her. It was rather funny. The "good chess and chest" joke is not mine. It was the host's. I did fail yesterday though. I didn't photograph the 7 foot cheese grater.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I had a dream last night

I'm in a tropical or sub-tropical climate. My surroundings remind me very much of Miami Beach, city-side. It’s definitely a weekend night because there are people out and in their cars looking like they are going someplace with intentions.

Next thing I know I’m approaching the condo that I was heading towards which faces the beach and has several stories. The city-side lights and noise are drowned out by the building and the only source that guides me through the darkness is the full Moon’s blast of redirected sunlight. As I got closer to the specific apartment I noticed two individuals dressed all in black with masks and bags full of tools looking like they don’t belong. I quickly stepped back and leaned against the corner wall to analyze the situation. I noticed they were thieves, burglars, and possibly even ninjas and understood that I was the person that had to do something about it if good could overcome evil in anyway. This was a massive dose of responsibility I just convinced myself of and sure enough as they began to climb the wall to enter through what appeared to be a second floor bedroom window, I surreptitiously approached.

After I crossed the line of being-10-ft-close, I sprinted hard towards the dude closest to me, pulled him off the wall and body slammed him towards floor where he also connected with the concrete balcony – he was instantly unconscious due to the blow to his head and lungs. The second jumped down from the second floor and crash landed on top of me. Since he had so much weight with the tools and gear for their robbery he was clumsy and made his offense with his gloved hands. We both fell to the ground and I used his momentum to turn him on his back against the floor with my knees against his shoulders providing only a 10% chance of escape. It was either him or I so I made sure to land a few knuckle sandwiches and keep the goon at bay. I got up and noticed both dudes were sluggish, hurt, and only coming back to consciousness.

The next thing I did implicates me as the bad guy but I rationalized it as further punishment for the ninja goons. I took both their wallets and ran. I ran through the boulevard where people began to amass and I reentered the lights and noise that make the night alive. I crossed an intersection and almost got hit by what looked like an x-girlfriend in a red Yugo of a car (reminded me of the Bourne series). All I could think about was the notion that the ninja goons would be getting up soon and looking for me, chasing after me, and that my hands had blood on them. Real, red, krovvy on my hands and clothes. It now became a matter of the police as well as the goons so I fled towards the darkness again and the closest area seemed to be the port so I made my way and found a spot in the shadows where I could use my undershirt to wipe off the blood and then took the undershirt with me by folding it and putting it in my pocket. I was suddenly a twisted mercenary of justice, but why did I take their wallets? Not very heroic or Batman-ny. If I were to become a super hero, that would be the first and only time I would do that as a lesson to myself.

There was a boat about 50 yards away that was about to leave the port. It was about 300ft long and seemed to be a small cruise ship. It looked modern, new, powerful, high-tech, and expensive. I decided to go on and saw most of the passengers sitting on the upper-deck waiting for the captain’s announcement. They all anticipated a great journey. The captain began to mention with excitement that they were the first crew and passengers to embark on a trip of this kind. He reported the ship being the fastest and most fuel efficient in its size and will be the first to travel around the world stopping at every continent and unveiling some of the more beautiful and desolate parts of the wet world where civilization hasn’t yet sprawled.

The boat left the port and I was on it. I was stuck. If I showed myself the crew would call the police and I would surely get into trouble. I could see the city disappearing and I began to think of my family, my job, my loved ones, the unswimmable distance getting larger. I began to think that my life would now change. I would be considered lost. I would have to hide amongst the crew and passengers. Food and shelter would be difficult to find.

The reality in this dream was a parallel universe to our own. It reminded me of LOST, but different. The geography was different. A mere half hour outside of the port of what appeared to be Miami the captain announced that Mt. Lauderdale would be coming up to our left. Beside it on the bay I saw a beautiful arrangement of ships aligned to make a star in the water. The ships towards the inside vertices of the star had the largest masts and they had flags and festive lighting. The lighting was so powerful that you could see a pale blue of the water around them and small jet ski’s and fishing boats cruising around them.

The boat made a U-turn and headed into the deep darkness of the great ocean ahead of us. I understood a new adventure approaching, a life change.

Then I woke up and sent a tweet about this and decided I should get up and tell the story with as much detail as possible. This was it. Now breakfast. I’m off today. Won’t be back at the office till Monday – Cyber Monday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday. Laundry. Music. Prints.

The weekend was good because there was lots of bike riding for Charity, fun, and the sake of getting dirty on both days. Actually there was no time to do chores so today I took it upon myself to get on my laundry and clean.

Laundry Mondays are weird. The music progression has been all about The Pixies and PJ Harvey, and the result is definitely obscure. Getting home from work I noticed traffic had amplified about 3x from the usual and couldn't help deciding that it must be the holiday frenzy that has everyone losing their fuzzy warbles.

Thanks to MeMelodia I discovered this pretty sweet site - Visual Technicians - that sells various kick ass screen prints. My favorite are Bill Murray, The Gun Show, Mad Max, The Beastie Boys, and Jason Lee. Most of these are sold out. I think it'd be a great venture to collect every Bill Murray film, all the Mad Maxs, and compile the best film scenes with The Beastie Boys sampled. (Mad Max isn't sold out. wink ;)) That'd be quite the project anyhow. Just under these words is an example of Castle Greyskull which was way ahead of its time and is coming soon to the print making shop.

I actually owned the toy model but have no inkling of a fraction of a thought or idea of how it was disposed of or what its destiny became.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cool Drawings in the a.m.

I found these drawing by Mel Kadel and I thought they were really cool. Visit her site to see more. Read an interview with her on Fecal Face for more. Checkout the Google images produced when searching by her name.

Saturday Morning Top (and Odd) 10

  1. I saw a white ninja eat his fist.
  2. Creepy dog image with a cute girl.
  3. The Ideal Woman Necklace.
  4. T-Shirt Heaven at TopatoCo.
  5. The Large Hadron Collider is back online.
  6. An extremely brave and hard to look at series of self-portraits by Kerry Mansfield pre and post Mastectomy. (NSFW)
  7. An extremely epic water skiing attempt.
  8. We Are All Connected
  9. What if your ears were your eyes?

7 years ago in Cuba

7 years ago today I visited Cuba with my parents. It was my first, and only, time there since I was 8 months old. I took 394 pictures and, I can't believe it, nearly 90% of those photos were shot in 640 x 480. Here is one example.

I mean really? This is just one example. Could the digital cameras of 2002 been that low res? Maybe I was just trying to save disk space. Either way, its a shame. The photos aren't that great anyway. This one's is a shot of Ernest Hemingway's hunting closet. Yes, I was there. The house is very impressive and filled with his hunting trophies, relics from expeditions, and his art collections. Naturally, there is more to capture than what you see below but this blog is like a tiny window into a bigger story.

Cuban's used to call Hemingway "Papa" and they claimed him as his own during his time there. Coincidentally my father whom I also call Papa, took a flight 2 hours ago down to Cuba and is visiting my grandmother - his mother. She is now 94 years old.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Woke up this morning...

...at around 6am for no reason at all, grabbed my phone and started to play this song off its speaker. What I did next was to play back the last 3 months in fast-rewind in my mind pausing every now and then allowing the playback to go slowly every so often. This song keeps coming up in my thoughts weekly.

It'd be cool to start a coffee book just on window shots from airplanes. Maybe I'd title it "Just Like Honey." Cheese?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wilco's Greatest Hits

So there's this Guatemalan girl who drives me a little crazy. Not romantically, we're just friends. Sometimes we annoy each other and she even calls me out on shit publicly, to set me straight, when she finds the need to. It's really like she's an adopted sister or a sister from another mother. You can follow her on Twitter @ctothethird if you want. Her updates are a'ight.

Anyhow she's been nagging me for what seems like decades for some tips and pointers on how-to enjoy Wilco and what some of my favorites are. I got fed up, I compiled this playlist and repackaged it in a zip file with the filenames changed to describe the order of the songs in the playlist, or how they should be played.

Here's the file C³!
Download via Rapidshare

For those of you who are Wilco fans and are curious of what this selection is comprised of, check it out here:
  1. At Least That's What You Said
  2. Hummingbird
  3. Company In My Back
  4. I am Trying to Break Your Heart
  5. Jesus, Etc.
  6. I'm the Man Who Loves You
  7. Either Way
  8. Impossible Germany
  9. A Shot in the Arm
  10. We're Just Friends
  11. California Stars
  12. At my Window Sad and Lonely
  13. One by One
These songs have traveled with me around the world and will probably remain in constant orbit of my universe. I would also travel for these songs. They own a piece of me. This is my own Wilco's Greatest Hits playlist.

Checkout the poster section of the online Wilco Store. Some of the serigraphs kick ass.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Uncut, uncensored, video of a video: Flaming Lips "Watching the Planets" [NSFW]

The main source of this video @NME isn't streaming very well here so I found this recording of a recording on Vimeo. I like the bikes, the forest, the booty, and the tune. Pretty radical of Wayne Cone, the main dude, baring all towards the end. This is part of the Flaming Lips' latest album, Embryonic, and is track #18 so you can effectively say that its their absolute latest piece of mass produced music.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Commemorating "El Barrio, Biking, and Salvatrucha"

Who doesn't like what happens when black and white are close to each other? Who doesn't like Sharpies? Depending on how you answered those questions you may want to consider your stay here. Anyway some of this work I really enjoy but some of it I feel is also a guilty pleasure. I think some of it borders cheesy but for the most part its more than grated dopeness. What I've posted here I appreciate. Mike Giant has an online store too, buy a shirt or buy me a book.

I agree with omitting the spokes.

This one is part of the White Walls Gallery show in San Francisco. It's called "Salvatrucha." Checkout all the pieces from that show here.

Inspiration via Video

I got on a Devo exploration tip after seeing that video from the previous post with the Wes Anderson faux-trailer. When I saw the video I started thinking about when I was a kid and in after school care playing Nok Hockey and it reminded me of the smell of freshly cut wood. This video rules because the music is like the sum of two waves, one with a well-defined period and then a very dissonant wave, riding on top. (If you can't visualize that just ask me sometime in real life if you know me and I will happily explain.) Props to these guys for doing it their way.

This next one just reminds of me elegance and the beauty of a cleanly executed proof. It also reminded me of Complex Variables where I got a C+ after working my ass off. It was one of the coolest classes I ever took. I got to bring in left-field examples from other classes such as the Wronskian function.

Untitled or 'Blogging again is like trying to start a chainsaw that's been in the garage for 3-years without turning once.'

In the spirit of proper blog ejaculate on the internet backbone where we all connect, collaborate, and calculate, I’ve regurgitated a consecrate post. It’s been many months since I’ve blo-argh-gged. Nonetheless, I’m in a different dimension and the plow of life, thankfully, has provided a sturdy transmission.

That means its been a hard year but collapsaform will help defibrillate creativity outside of all the routine cycles. What's absent in my current existence is an outlet for words (new blog?), a hands-on hobby/craft, a muse, superhero powers, a cave I can call my own, and large sets of academic and complex mathematics. Sometimes a few good math problems do generate happiness and clarity (I'm serious). There is always a way.

More than just a stack of words, I've brought some goodies:

  • Some music: The latest Flaming Lips record, which I happen to appreciate - Embryonic. Available here for your downloading pleasure via Rapidshare. Go buy it if you really like it.
  • Some vids: This guy Alex apparently really likes Wes Anderson - and so do I. This project/video seems like it must've been a lot of fun to make. Here is his site. The video below shows what would've been a trailer for a mock-Wes Anderson film festival.

  • Wallpaper: A link to my current desktop background.
  • An illusion: A photograph or a painting? A painting I thought was a photograph.
  • I call this talent: Some inspiring and kick-ass illustrations of Thor, Loki and Odin.
  • Hotness: A cool photograph featuring Sasha Grey. (above) Gratuitous? Perhaps, and not very "in-line" with my standard posts but I wouldn't be honest if I said I didn't want to share it online. it's also part of an experiment.
Writing a post on an a blog that is clearly undefined is like being handcuffed to a toboggan on a clear day with no brakes or means of escape - live or die the journey will happen and the post will go live. Only after its been done will I know if it was the right thing to do. I need to take in any feedback, rewards and consequences and then learn.

Anyway I think its important to document what music I've been listening to these past few days, iTunes says my recently and most played are (in no order): Charles Mingus, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, Clinic, Clint Mansell (MOON soundtrack), Weezer, and Russian Circles.

The void

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Frankel - Anyonymity is the New Fame

Frankel - Anonymity is the New Fame (2009)
Download via Rapidshare
Official band site.

I got this record by association really. I was looking for new pop record. I can't remember how I found this but the cover, I think, is what got me. It reminded me of Arcade Fire's Funeral, probably because of the similarity between diagonal composition of this album art and the feather on Funeral.

The music is very soft with clear vocals, gentle guitars, defining keyboards, pianos, and subtle to amplifying percussion. It was exactly what I was looking for. I think this record is like 3 parts Elliot Smith, 2 parts The Shins, 1 part Catpower, and 1 part Blur. Among other tastes and satisfactions, the record makes for perfect Sunday music.. Favorite songs thus far include:

  • Faux Science
  • Nowhere
  • Weather Balloon
  • Comfortable
  • Keep You Inside

Videos inspired by the new Akron/Family record.

Over the past couple weeks there are a few records I keep going back to and the new Akron/Family "Set 'em Wild, Set 'em Free" is one of them. There's something about the sound that keeps me locked in. I found two videos on Vimeo where there music is featured and wanted to share them here.

One of the videos includes what is currently my favorite song on the new album "River." I have no idea what the video montage is about but I think the song is so good that I get mesmerized and end up watching the whole video. Towards the end of the video there's a closing clip with zombies that seems out of place. On that closing clip the music changes featuring a different band called St. Vincent. Not to be confused with a different Akron/Family title.

The other video is actually of them performing someplace in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On this video they're playing "Sun Will Shine" which I think is the masterpiece on the new record. It's a public performance in an outdoor area and the band really lets the audience have it face to face.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Random 4th of July Links

Lately, I seem to have lost some steam with the blog. It just doesn't feel like it used to. I've considered deleting it because it seems to be missing awesome. It's not that I don't have anything to say but by the time I get to the computer to blog all the things I thought I'd want to write about go away. Even these top 10 posts are getting kind of lame. This was the best I could muster this morning. Some aren't so bad.

  • Happy 4th of July, preserving the Declaration of Independance - WIRED.
  • The fattest states in the US - nom nom nom.
  • I would not want to be on this train.
  • There should be more bloody mary's in our lives. These mixes look promising.
  • Checkout this Vimeo video showing off some fixed-gear biking goodness. I'm inspired to get a road bike and a fixed gear bike. Priorities, priorities... sigh.
  • ffffound.com is a pretty cool site. I found this photographer's site off of it. This is one of his pictures. I think it shows a beautifiul young moment of love.
  • Awesome Soup of the Day!
  • The coolest outdoor sport's spaces. Of course it's in the Netherlands.
  • I remember seeing a lot of these posters in college.
  • My favorite pizza.
  • The most badass wolf t-shirt belongs to this guy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today's Top 10

  • This looks like it JUST happened.
  • My friend's family restaurant was selected as Miami's Best Seafood by the Miami New Times: Boater's Grill. I need to go.
  • The best home parking space.
  • Geeky graffiti.
  • I enjoyed this, Bob Dylan cover.
  • Travel for your mascot: Petairways
  • I had a databank once. These are fancy.
  • Facebook vs. Twitter [pic]
  • Iranian Election Crisis, some content not suitable for everyone. [link]
  • Advertising FAIL
Not much of a top 10. Seeing as I haven't made one of these in a while and am rusty these will only get better since I've been posting more. Trying to get back into the swing of things.

Sonic Youth - The Eternal

Sonic Youth - The Eternal (2009)
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Visit their official site.
Checkout their store.

I've been meaning to get this. I first experienced Sonic Youth prolly on MTV's 120-Minutes in the very early 90's. One word comes to mind: Experimental. This word was slapped on the band everytime anyone would speak a word of them. Noise and Alternative were common associates as well. At the time of my first listenings I was a young buck and music seemed to be changing or at least I was conscious of music in a deeper sense than ever before.

Anyhow this post was inspired from a conversation last night were the evolution of music and how people experience it has changed over time. An example of that is how in the 50s most of the music culture was more Rock and Roll a-la Elvis. I don't mean to diss Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, or other amazing musicians of the time. The point is that with the entrance of the 60s music took on a different position on the world. So much so that the whole country was changing. The conversation went on to wondering on when would we be able experience a musical or artistic revolution as relevant as 50s to 60s?

But then the conversation caved on itself. Take into account how much information we are fed on an hourly basis today and compare that to the amount of information people would be subject to in say, 1957. I think the news we'd get in one day is equivalent to two weeks in the 50s. There's so much information and such a faster rate of generating ideas that its possible that we wouldn't be able to detect a musical revolution if it happened right in our face.

Anyway, I think there will always be time to enjoy Sonic Youth. Monday, Sunday, or Friday - doesn't matter. They deliver a sound thats easy to revel in, dance or sulk. Despite the progression of their music which has also become more clean, less noise (with this album). You can still here their signature in the vocals, instruments, and the musical structure of the songs. It's quite beautiful I think.

Daydream Nation, Goo, and Experimental Jet Set, Trash, and No Star, are prolly the three records that I engage with the most and I don't do enough of that either.

Isis - Wavering Radiant

Isis - Wavering Radiant
Visit their official site.
Buy the vinyl record from their store.

I saw Isis in Austin on May 19th at a great venue called Emo's with several indoor and outdoor rooms complete with graffiti, flyers and printed artwork, useable bleachers, and all on various levels/floors. It was actually on a trip for work and had to do a presentation at 7am the following morning but I didn't care. It was also a plus that I found out about the show from a work colleague in Austin who also provided transportation to the show, a very cool guy who also appreciates metal and Isis.

I had heard Wavering Radiant before attending the show so the material wasn't brand spanking new but the live experience was. I think, because of the cleanliness in the sound of their new material and the exploratory ventures having more of an ambient or atmospheric ecosystem, I have to say that the recorded media experience is better than the live experience. Not because they suck live, the performance was actually quite incredible and was very well delivered. Its just that I enjoy Isis moreso in a private setting when I'm doing my own thing. This over standing in the same spot nodding my head in a sea of heads. As the band progresses their music is more and more something that I play in the background to zone out, drive my car, or to help me get in the zone when trying to do other things - be productive, etc. This is what happens when I listen to Isis.

Radiohead Covering New Order

Checkout this studio performance of Radiohead covering New Order's Ceremony. (You Tube link)

A friend of mine showed me this the other day and since then I got on a Radiohead and Joy Division binge and its never been so good, well almost never. I'm as much curious as I am cautious about covers. Most times they don't reproduce the original artists intentions but maybe thats not the point. I think the point in this case is just to turn down the suck and turn up the awesome.

I don't know if Radiohead is even in the business of doing covers. I think it does show that they do have great appreciation for this song and the artists behind it. If you haven't seen it, I hope you enjoy it, as much or more than I did.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Home, is where I want to be ...

I've been in this weird place/phase lately where nothing and no one feels like home. This video and this version of the song reminds me that home does exist. It just needs to be rediscovered. The video shows off David Byrne's on-stage kookiness which I'm sure made him great during his hay-day. His outcries during the song make me get up and holler the lyrics to the top of my lungs. Checkout this display of synchronicity. (You Tube link)

Talking Heads - This Must Be the Place (live)

I've never been a big fan of Talking Heads. Some of their songs I really like (this one, Once in a Lifetime, Psycho killer, Road to Nowhere), and some I don't care for. The studio recording of this song sounds completely different so be aware before you run off to getting it.

My brother, from another mother, who is a struggling genial architect, shared this video with me and since then I play this video at least once a week - which is more than I see him!

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (2007/2008)
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Learn about the band from their Site
Learn about the band from the Wiki
Buy it from Amazon.

On Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 in Club Revolution in Ft. Lauderdale I attended a Bon Iver show. Bon Iver is pronounced Bon Ee-vair in case you're wondering.

Their live sound was more enjoyable than the original recordings because they mixed it up a bit. Some songs engaged the audience more than not and the percussion performance was much more pronounced than expected. I honestly remember very little as I was talking near the bar for most of the night but everything I remember I enjoyed and felt happy to be there. This post really sucks but it's an honest one. Hey at least you get something in the end. I've also been asked for a link on this material a few times this week. Enjoy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I doodled tonight: w0rm

I was going through a green duffel I use and somehow found this curled up worm on my bed. Not really a worm, probably a part of the millipede family. I picked it up with a sheet of paper and was going to flush it down the toilet. On my walk to the toilet I figured - how weird is it that this is what humans do now? After thousands of years if we find a worm in our house we throw worms in the toilet or put it in the trash. So, I decided to doodle him first. It posed for me in its curled up position and I did my best to capture its beautiful stripes and curled up toes.

When I was done I mistakenly dropped it and it uncurled and started running away. I was amazed at the fact that it was alive and that we had experienced that together. I picked him up again and threw him in the grass in the backyard. The End.

Russian Circles - Station

Russian Circles - Station (2008)
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Learn more from their official site.
Buy their CDhere.

So I visited Austin about 3 weeks ago and went to a Pelican/Isis show was very impressed with Pelican's live performance. I told all my friends and they all pointed me to this band. This is the first record of theirs that I deluge my ears with and I think I clearly understand why the band was recommended to me.

I've been enjoying the record all morning as it's helped me get through the day way faster. I drove to work with them on shuffle and I sat at my desk and got to work with my Sennheiser HD 580 Precision headphones on playing stations starting from track #1 titled "campaign." I don't know much about the meaning behind the songs as I've done little research but the record is definitely a campaign in well-defined, kick ass music.

Well-defined is to say that the songs and their recordings do an excellent, clear, job of expressing what each instrument intends to convey without a mash-up of sound in a series of longish, brooding eulogistic metal overtures.

As I listened I thought the music would be great for anything from a serious zombie movie or a super secret black ops film. I imagine the opening credits to a movie where passenger jet is being escorted to the runway for take-off. I don't remember the rest of the ideas that came out of that imagination daze. Anyhow, enjoy the record.

I doodled tonight: ChArgE

Now with film grain.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Band of Bees - Octopus

A Band of Bees - Octopus (2007)
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Visit their own site for up-to-date band info.
Get the CD from Amazon.

I got inspired to download this entire album after watching this YouTube video that they are not allowing to embed anymore. I thought it was pretty cool and I very much consider myself a listening man. ;)

The music is very easy listening pop that carries lots of psychedelic and garage influences. They're a 6-piece British band that I think will compliment this coming summer very well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I doodled tonight: I call it (6,4,5) by 2

Bicho raro. Rocketorch hexagon and blockeyelash parallelogram being absorbed by a pentapus black hole.

Today's was a weird/off day. At least I got to play some Left for Dead. Actually, I was on the phone and someone actually said the word "ridonculous." Could that word be so popular right now? The person who said it is actually a blogger. Two weeks ago some guy in Austin used it as well. Dear reader, if it happens again I will let you know.

So this is the second doodle post. I'm finding it therapeutic doodling and think will start a doodling series on here. Why not. Actually there should be a blog 100% dedicated to doodling. I'm gonna search for such a blog now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I doodled tonight.

I never doodle. i took the shot with my iPhone. The shapes come from a guitar pick that I traced over and over again. Towards the bottom of the picture there's a golf hole. I think the inspiration for that was to draw a cornered flag and a window with a view to a place with thousands of pomegranates.

That's my subconscious telling me to eat healthy - I think.

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (2009)
Download via Rapidshare
Order from the band direct.
Order the LP from Amazon.

I'm going through my first run through this record. I'm on track 5 right now. After track 2 I knew I wanted to keep listening and I haven't flailed in the slightest.

Lately my writing has gone to shit because I find myself wanting to write about gardens and greens and everything that makes me feel like I'm in a garden with some kind of running water. I know its fucking horrible. Maybe I'm thinking of Hawaii, maybe I'm LOST-sick and am too anxious about the next season not happening till 2010. Today, for a second I decided I didn't want the series to end - ever. Maybe this record should be a part of the last season. Maybe it fits in with the island and the black smoke monster.

One of the excellent things behind the seemingly gentle music on this record is the impression that the band made a heavy investment in producing every recorded second to attain some kind of esoteric and intense sound. On every second the music carries many layers of sound with texture and depth within the instruments and within the voices. The record is a meandering in dreams and memories.

This stuff may never air on the radio. At its lowest point you may find this to be the soundtrack in some trendy clothing store. At its highest level it could find itself in a Kubrick-like remake 10 years from now. In between it would fit well in 80s classic The Abyss or a LOST episode.

These songs are soft, confident, and compelling enough to earn a whole record listen - and they do. I recommend this record when moving slowly or just wanting to relax, preferably with dimmed lighting. Seriously though, I think this will become a favorite for many. It already is.

I would love to hear your own thoughts. I feel some of these tracks like Fine for Now and I Live With You are like Jeff Buckley meets Super Furry Animals meets Animal Collective.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Beware

Bonnie Prince Billy - Beware
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Order the Vinyl LP from Amazon here.

Will Oldham writes incredible lyrics. I can end this post here. I really can. Bonnie Prince Billy is Will Oldham's pseudonym btw.

He's from Kentucky and I like this because I've met quite a few people, separately and without coincidence, from Kentucky in the past few years - all good people with unique and endearing stories to tell. I haven't met Will but would be pleased to. Anyhow, without a doubt, Kentucky and its culture seems like a hidden gem or a culture whom South Florida (where I'm from) has been sheltered from and is underrated. I'll be excited the day I step foot in Kentucky for reasons outside of BBQ and Bourbon.

Over time I've also, and without common incidence, suggestion, or tragedy, become curious and keen to country, folk, blue grass, and other Southern musical influences. Bonnie Prince Billy is the latest example and I've recently put his Beware record in heavy rotation. I think I listen to it because I hear happiness's ability to thrive in a whirlwind of endangered love and with each narrative lyric the narrator's triumphant sense of clarity is surprisingly refreshing - heroic even. Although most of these songs are about love, lust, and death and may seem dark or bleak, there's a sunlight-bright honesty in the lyrics and they've demanded my appreciation.

This music also throws away almost everything that is part of the daily routine. Makes me think of observing mountains and witnessing wildlife in a place where there's lots of green and dense trees. It makes me think of being outside. Standing on dirt. Getting struck by an evening gust of country air. Seeing a beautiful woman's silhouette wearing a dress with lace. Slow dancing. Full moons that make it seem like day.

As of this posting, my favorite songs on here are:

  • Beware Your Only Friend
  • I Don't Belong to Anyone
  • I Am Goodbye
  • Without Word, You have Nothing
  • Afraid Ain't Me

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Beck - Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime

I think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was the last movie that made me cry.  This song/video captures one of the saddest songs in the movie - an adaptation by Beck of The Korgis' Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime (1980).  

The moments captured show the extremes from which the relationship swung.  From kisses and tossing leaves to paying someone to erase their memories of that person.

Funny fact:  you know how there are songs you may sing on your own in the shower or in the car and you believe to the gods that you can sing and have a great voice?  This is one of those songs for me - the Beck adaptation - not the original.  The two songs are quite different if you pay attention.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Beirut - Gulag Orkestar (title song only)

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Beirut - Gulag Orkestar (single)

I first heard this song at work from a friend's cellphone. It was like a gypsy version of Big Bird had just entered the office in the form of a vulture. The first appearance of the percussion in concert with the dramatic brass and the painful cries are what make this track an instant classic.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Morning Top ...

Today's list...is in....
no particular order...

  • William Shatner became an element of comedy at somepoint in our culture. Can this ever become comedic? Personally I think they're trying to rip off some of the awesomeness from the new Batman movies. I don't mind much anyway...

  • For all the web nerds like me - I found this funny: What if web browsers were women?

  • An awesome collection of hubble collected star clusters.

  • This is going to deliver a lot of awesomeness. Seriously, actually, this is going to be friggin' amazing! AND it would make for an excellent birthday present to me ;)

  • New wallpaper on my desktop friends - I picked the one on the right.

  • Watchmen spoofs that are just begging to begin... heh.

  • Ha-ha

  • I used to think Sloane Peterson and Linda Barret were the hottest women in the universe.

  • Who says flip-flops can't be hardcore!?!!

  • Next Bike Miami is March 14th.

  • Pretty cool Hong-Kong based design house: AllRightsReserved

  • Cool pic of a car speeding through a tunnel. I like how the car, which is stationary in reference to the camera is SHARP.

  • Trying to finish reading Watchmen today. Silk Spectre isn't the highlight of the movie but here are a collection of kick ass shots of her.

  • I guess if you're going to visit a nude beach, it might as well be one of these - who's with me!?