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.