Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lunch Disgusting

I get home from work pretty early nowadays. Right around the time Laura is having her late lunch snack. Today I walked in on a most disgusting display.
That's right. Yogurt, Kraft singles, pickles, a chocolate Easter bunny, and to wash it all down, a tall glass of sweet tea. What can I say? My wife is disgusting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

18 With 42 Years Experience

Happy Birthday Dad!

All Cylinders

How 'bout those Mets! First place after two series sweeps of legitimate teams, Atlanta & L.A. and taking 3 out of 4 over Chicago. They were a laughing stock a week ago, but thanks to the arrival of Ike Davis and a little lineup juggling, Reyes is hitting all over, Bay's finally getting pitches he can hit, there's triples being given out for free, Wright came out of his slump. They're running the bases like maniacs and making teams nervous. 39 year old 220 pound catcher Henry Blanco stole second base! His first stolen base in almost a decade. They're surprising everybody, especially their tentative fans. But it won't last forever. Tomorrow off and then into Philly. Ooh if they can at least keep this up thru the weekend I can hold my head high come Monday morning.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All Our Pretty Everything

I took this photo from the couch when Laura got home from work today. Is the shine from the sun or from her belly? We'll never know for sure. Sometimes you don't even have to move to get one for the album. She looks like she's smuggling basketballs. What kind of a place would you need to be smuggling basketballs into? Maybe an flea circus. Or an ant farm. She's got baby-head tho. Went online looking for a new baby themed shirt. I wanted her to get a Sonic Youth tee. Maybe something from the Goo or Dirty era. No dice. They can be pricey. Or maybe a Breeders shirt. And old Breeders shirt. That'd be funny. Because she's a breeder now. A real Deal sister. The one with the fuzzy helmet. I have that one but the helmet faded away a couple years ago. I'm not sure what it is about them but I'm drawn to the old shirts of bands I listened to in highschool for her. She found another one that had an incidental reference to Nirvana. We went with it. It'll be delivered by USPS.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's almost time for dinner and the Mets are in the throws of their second of two games today. Won the first convincingly. This one's not going as well. I think it's grilled chicken for dinner. Mystery flavor. And some salad. Maybe an orange cream soda and finish off that birthday cake for dessert. Lost is on but jock at work told me it's a repeat. Did I tell you how I matched my morning shift coworkers to the Breakfast Club cast? I ended up being Bender by default. Don't worry. It all works out.



Eyes: James Loney gets tossed
Ears: Avi Buffalo - What's In It For?

Oh Baby Baby, Oh Brother



You can teach an old trick new dogs

Doubleheader


Santana in game 1. Due for a stellar, maybe even Santana-esque outing. Oliver Perez pitches the second game. He's due for something. Been due a long time now. Playing the Dodgers sans Manny. 1 game out of first. Phillies floundering. Time to make a move. Annnnddddddd.... GO!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Expert Cake Decor

Baby Learns Astrophysics

We've been looking at baby stuff online, and we're becoming concerned...

Having The Best Day Ever?

So I'm 32. Feels the same as 31. Feels the same as 27 really. Maybe a little less vigor. But just a little. I got about 200 messages from people online to have a happy birthday and wishing that I'd have the best day ever. That's a lot to live up to folks. It rained all day so we stayed in. French toast for breakfast. Yogurt with fresh blueberries & granola for lunch. Then we paid off a few credit cards, which felt great. After that we turned to the Babies R Us website to start filling out a registry for the upcoming showers that will undoubtedly occur within the next couple months. Mark your calendars. No specific date yet. Just mark them. Little music, little movie, little cat nap and you got yourself an award winning birth day.

Tonight? Tonight I will take a hot shower, turn on the baseball game, and Laura is cooking me beef wellington & bought me some bottles of root beer and orange cream soda. For dessert, well, if you don't know what I'm having for dessert, you just don't know me at all now do you?

Aural Quaterly: January-March 2010

Oh boy I'm late with this one. Better late than never tho right? I've had a rough time of it lately, with much less free time spent listening to music, being a working man and all, but I still manage to get in a few good listens, and a few not-so-good. Let me tell you about it.


JANUARY

Last year started off hot & heavy with some pretty crazy music. This year, not so much. Not that the music was bad. It was just quieter. I fell in love with Laura Viers (left) and Owen Pallet's new albums. Quality songwriting on the latters Heartland without resorting to the bells & whistles, literally. Viers' July Flame is this years go-to album if I want to be put into a nice relaxing mood, maybe after a long day or an even earlier morning. Definitely a great record to be kept close by, just in case.

Spoon (right) did something cool. They demoed an album, then released the demos and called it Transference, and while it's not their most amazing work, it still beats the hell out of 10 or 20 other albums I heard in January. Something about these guys, they can do no wrong. And I was so stoked by hearing These New Puritans were releasing a new album, but on first listen was actually really disappointed. Hidden has grown on me and shown itself to be a more in depth take than I originally had decided upon, but I don't think it will surpass the last one.

I am so hot and cold with this Eels band. We all remember Novacaine For The Soul back in like what 1996? But since then it's been a love/hate thing. Mostly hate. Mostly indifferent. But this new collection of songs on End Times had me coming back time and time again. I've never wanted to hear an Eels song as many times as I did Little Bird. Great heartbreaking stuff. And in late January Beach House (left) completed my sully mood music with Teen Dream, a sad and lovely electropop record the likes of I've not heard in some time. Still hearing these tunes once a week. Is 2010 gonna chipper up a little?

Yeah it is. I cheated on this one, since it leaked back in late November last year and for some reason I took to it like a fish. Surfer Blood (right) presents Astro Coast. C'mon, doesn't that sound delicious? And it is. Laura & I listened to this one together and by the second track we were both like, "When are these guys coming to town?". Utilizing unexpected effects with outstanding results, and killer melodies to back them up had they faltered. Expect to be shouting lyrics and air drumming your ass off. And then from Yamon Yamon came a strange litte album called This Wilderlessness that had on it songs I had to hear a few times. A quirky little tracklist, with hardly any discerning between tracks, a constant ebb & flow of all that is right in the underground world of guitar & drum that renewed my faith in the irreverent.

Let's talk about Jaga Jazzist, the band that may have written the perfect song in Swedenborgske Rom, but that was then. This is now. And tho they can never live up to the brilliance of that song, they can still release albums like One-Armed Bandit that reminds me that not everybody writing instrumental music has fallen into the same trap of building around the swell. Jaga Jazzist still has something to say. And Pit Er Pat (left) has always been another one of those bands falling into the background, maybe I'll listen to a track or two, maybe I'll check them out. I'm glad I finally did because so far this year The Flexible Entertainer wins wackiest, wildest and most interesting release.

I'm not gonna lie, when I heard the first single off the new Vampire Weekend album Contra, I was massively underwhelmed. But after repeated listens, some forced, this album has really grown on me, even that Cousins song, and tho naturally it can't have the same affect as their debut, it's still a good album. I'd even go as far as to say it's great. Lotsa radio friendly tunes on there, which c'mon, they gotta make money, plus they may have written their catchiest chorus yet on White Sky. Well done boys.

Great tracks came off albums by Skybox, Infinite Body, Magnetic Fields, Scout Niblett, Citay, Pony The Pirate, Get Well Soon, Summer People, Folded Light, Dante & The Lobsters, OK Go, Hawksley Workman, Emancipator and Slow Six in January. Good way to kick off the decade.


FEBRUARY

February got right down to business, knowing it had too many big albums to fit into the shortest month (what a cruel joke Gregorians). I barely know where to start myself so let's begin with the disappointments and work our way up, shall we? Midlake! Oh my dear, ambitious Midlake (left). How you thrilled me in the fall of 2006 and even now your older work makes me smile and appreciate my yard and my books, but I feel like you've treaded ground with The Courage of Others, and while it will undoubtedly end up somewhere on my best-of list come year's end, it won't be high and it will be with a sigh.

That said, everyone of the veterans delivered in February. Xiu Xiu (right), holy cow how much do I love Dear God, I Hate Myself. The title alone, but then how you've mastered to turn the ugly into such amazing music. Bravo. I wish I could've seen you nowadays. The kids from Los Campesinos seem to have become bittered by their road-weary lives on Romance Is Boring, and it works for them. They don't seem as whiny and more "here it is, like it or not". I like it. Shearwater put out the Golden Archipelago which seems a little lofty at times, but it's still Shearwater, so they got that going for them. Hot Chip put out a decent album called One Life Stand with their best song ever on it. That stuff is anthemic.

I finally got into Clem Snide and wondered what I've been waiting for. The Meat Of Life is quite the collection of storytelling that both inspires and dampens spirits with the best of them. Thee Silver Mt. Zion did the do that they and only they do these days, but honestly there wasn't enough there for me to justify repeat listens. That stuff on Kollaps Tradixionales takes a very specific, perhaps semi-apocalyptic mindset. Field Music (left)took on the massive feat of releasing a double album, and tho it doesn't span the sonic horizon that Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness did, it's the only other album of such bulk that I've had such ease navigating. Bravo Field Music. Measure is a major success.

Also of note, Peter Gabriel put together some covers of his favorite tunes, removed all the percussion elements and recorded them with full on orchestra and the result is actually quite breathtaking. Scratch My Back covers such stalwarts as David Bowie, Neil Young & Paul Simon, he also nails tunes by indie darlings like Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, Magnetic Fields and even takes on Radiohead. Worth it folks. One day you'll thank me.

There were a handful or two handfuls of newbies jumping onboard the February release race. Yeasayer (right)took a big step towards becoming a powerhouse releasing Odd Blood and album best described by them as "Enya with bounce". Not being a fan of Enya myself all I can say is that this album transcends a scene, and manages to take the best of the last 30 years of experimental pop music and smash it into one finely packaged record. Serious stuff. A band called The Muslims changed their name (timing?) to the Soft Pack and then Soft Pack went on a self-titled endeavor playing their lo-fi rock to vapid acclaim.

The computerized landscape had it's share of newcomers too. Pantha Du Prince (left)takes the genre of shimmery ambient techno to new more melodic states of elation and actually makes me thank goodness for the ibook on Black Noise. And Madlib, under one of his many guises, this time releases a jazz-funk-fusion stunner full of dedications with Miles Away by The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble.

I was highly anticipating the first release of Fang Island (right), a band described as making the sound of "everyone high-fiving everyone else". And as weird as that may sound, the second you hear their eponymous debut, you'll say "Oh yeah!". With a strong sense of standard songwriting, Bluebrain put out a catchy-but-not-too-catchy album called Soft Power that rises and falls at all the right times. Pleasant straight thru. Strange Boys put out a garage rock record that gives new meaning to garage. This garage has no oil stains on cracked concrete, or clanky metal automatic door, or Mom interrupting to change the wash to dry. Be Brave was made in a garage that had a herd of giraffes, a trunk full of Civil War pistols and a French chef flambéing quail.

And not to be outdone by Field Music's attempt at double vinyl madness, Joanna Newsom (left)released a triple disc set and man, this thing is a beast. Her last album was a scant five tracks in under a hour. Have One On Me is a full 18 ridiculous songs that takes over 2 hours to get thru. And in the end you'll be exhausted and impressed and touched and you'll be wondering when you can put aside the time to hear it all again, only better.

The honorable mentions this month came from We Are Wolves, Yukon Blonde, Lightspeed Champion, Errors, Marina & The Diamonds, Zeus & Wolf People.


MARCH

This is the month where I really lost track of things. I managed to get a bunch of listens in but there's still a handful of things I know I'd be clamoring about that I just never got around to. That's the way I think it'll go from here on out. Quality versus quantity. Let's see what we got tho.

Liars (right) are a band like no other, what with their own little brand of dark-yet-dancy art smash rock. Making themed records that seem to have no theme at all, and rollicking around a studio banging on instruments and churning out gem after eccentric gem. Sisterworld is no exception. And Frightened Rabbit is a band from Scotland that I've read quite a bit about but never actually heard. Finally, on their 4th release, The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, I cave, and so far it's my favorite straight forward rock album of the year. Great melodies & lyrics, favorite Scottish band since Idlewild.

When I heard Beulah broke up I, like so many others, was pretty crushed, because three albums was just not enough. Many years later, Beulah frontman Miles Kurosky goes solo and releases The Desert Of Shallows Effects, and tho it is obvious it's not full-on Beulah, Miles has enough tricks up his sleeve to make up for the missing parts. This is a very smart, entangled record that warrants repeat listens. Also going solo was frontman of Sigur Rós, which c'mon, Jónsi Birgisson (left) has never written a bad song. Not even close. But he does manage to stretch his arms and his legs on this and get a little crazy on Go, but there were signs of this on the last Sigur Rós album. Rollicking & beautiful & introspective & all those other things you'd use to describe something that's completely out of your understanding.

There was a suspicious release last year by someone calling themselves jj. No one really knew much about them/him/her but the music was adorable enough to keep the buzz a-buzzing. This March she, it turns out, released a full album called jj nº 3, and tho the songs are decent, I think I liked it better when there was that bit of mystery. Tresspassers, a fairly unassuming album by Kashmir got under my skin with a few of it's tracks, no matter how I resisted. Standard Fare did their whiny garage pop tales of woe well enough to for me to give The Noyelle Beat the honor of waking me up on a few early morning drives. And Besnard Lakes made a dark and disturbing slow rock record called The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night that I think I liked, but I'm a little nervous to admit to it just yet. An album that I've only partially digested is People Songs by Power Animal (right). I've given it a few spins, starts off strong, meanders a bit in the middle, decides on a landing spot, misses it, circles round again, takes a moment to reflect upon itself, and finally crashes in a glorious explosion in a field full of poppies. And all that from only a few listens.

Now on to the top dogs. Free Energy. This album has no right being played as much as it has been, but the ears know what the ears want, and the ears want Stuck On Nothing. And out of left field came a little group better known as Dinosaur Feathers. Like the Dodos, but better songwriting. Like Mountain Goats but less dismay. Like dinosaurs with feathers is this Fantasy Memorial. And even tho the idea of James Mercer, the brains behind The Shins, and genius beatmaker Danger Mouse coming together to make one band seems like it may make the world implode, it didn't. Broken Bells (left)is a good record, but considering the ingredients, it comes off as the lowest common denominator.

Heros of March are The Morning Benders. Completely changing their sound on Big Echo from to a more cosmic cave filler, some of these songs are bigger than their britches, so you better buy new britches. And trying not to seem like one of those one-off glory hound actress trying to segue into music, Zooey Deschanel teamed back up with Matt Ward to make Volume Two of She & Him (right), and boy it's a good little album. A couple of the my favorites songs of the year so far on there, so well done. Maybe She should stay in Portland and out of Hollywood.

Falling into also-ran category is Ruby Suns, Dum Dum Girls, A Weather, Freelance Whales & Aloha.

Alright so... any questions?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Clearing Way For Me Birthday

Tomorrow's my birthday. I'll be 32. 11,688 days. 280,512 hours. That doesn't seem like very many hours. Maybe I did the math wrong. Today I tried to get most of the yard work out of the way, and tho I mowed the lawn, tore down the pool, gathered all the lumber from around the house, started cutting up the down trees, cleaned half the shed, pulled that toilet out of the forest and cleaned the trash from the woods after that savage bear attack on our garbage cans last fall, I'm still not done. I couldn't get the weedwacker going again. I think that thing has it in for me. Watch, Laura will come home tonight and start it right up. Bastard thing. But the idea is to rest as much as I can tomorrow on my birthday, but I think we'll end up doing some early morning yardwork. That is if either of us see early morning. I have a feeling she'll sleep in and on a Sunday, especially on Sunday that just so happens to be the celebration of your 32nd year of life, I think I'll manage to stay under cover for as long as I can without getting stir crazy.

But I figured out what I want today for my birthday. A bike. Not a ten speed or anything. One like up there^, but maybe in green. So depending on what time you read this, you might not have much time before the bike stores close tonight, and it's in bad taste to buy someone a birthday gift on their birthday so why are you still reading this and not in your car right now? Anyhow, I took a bike ride this morning, on break from cleaning out the shed, and it was lovely. I felt like I was 7 years old riding the campground gravel roads, my legs were burning but I kept pedaling. I saw two cats, three deer and two old folks working on their garden out front. It put in me in such a good mood, that is, until I got home, or almost home and ran into my wife, who I had left in bed a short 20 minutes before. She was in the car, dressed and off to work. She thought she had to close but instead she was already late.

Eyes: A clean yard
Ears: MGMT - Song For Dan Treacy

Finally 500

It took them almost 20 games but the Mets are at 500. And good thing with series from L.A., sans Manny, and those cocky Phillies coming up. They seemed ready to come out of this funk at just the right time. Plus it's always fun to see the Braves play awful baseball. And man were they awful. Can't wait for tomorrow on ESPN. Let's see how many flies they can drop in one series. Double digits?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Out Damn Spot!

Public Enemy #1

P1180431


Public Enemy #2

P1180471


Public Enemy #3




#1 Disassembled

P1180467


#2 It's a start

P1180472


#3 What can I do?

I Don't Wanna Be In A Band

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clean Cracks And Crash Cones

I've been framed!

P1180408

I think someone broke into our house, grabbed some of Laura's favorite cereal and had themselves a breakfast in bed. That's the only explanation!!

IMAG0276

I was driving in today on 33. All of the sudden the road was split by cones. Cones right down the middle of the two lanes. No warning and definitely no indication as to which side of the cones I should be on as to best avoid whatever was taking place on one side or the other. Then I began seeing smashed plastic from previously mentioned cones, a sure sign of travelers before me trying to decide which side of the cones they should venture on. I stayed true to my right lane and since it was 4:30 am stayed at an easy pace. I eventually spotted signs of construction ahead and tho not a single human was around, the sun lamps notified me as to where it was safe to pass. Adventure!!

P1180414

I came home today and finally cleaned the baby's room. We had scheduled it for this past Sunday, but a Law & Order marathon had other plans. Laura seemed bummed about it so I took the reigns and the vacuum to its limit and sucked every crack between those wood slats clean as a whistle. The office is packed with all the furniture that was in there so I guess the office has now become a very large storage closet. New closet!!

I cut my elbow on the wall.

The Good Of Facebook

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unhappy Hipsters

A new blog for you to check in on every couple days and waste some time...

One obstacle he hadn’t considered during construction: How difficult it would be to convince a one-night-stand he wasn’t plotting to kidnap and kill.

Was it the wooden highchair that left him so sour? The baked Lays paired with milk? The greedy cartoon lump reaching for his snack? No: the lilies.

Unfortunately, she’s the only one who thinks “Antiques Roadshow” is a comedy.

Catalogued The Letter H

Oh Boy. I've spent a lot of time at the keyboard this weekend. But I got a lot accomplished. Or at least I feel like I did, which is half the battle. The weekend has wound down and we've served ourselves some butter chicken. It's settling much better than the Swedish beef curry couple nights back. Good thing. I don't know if I could go the full term without that deliciousness.

We watched Law Abiding Citizen today. Good movie. Reminded me of Seven a little, but much less twisted. Seven lite, if you will. I was confused at the end tho because the whole film I realized I had been rooting for the wrong guy. I had my hero and villain switched up. Oh well. I find I do that in real life quite a bit too. C'est la vie.


Eyes: Mets Vs Cardinals on ESPN
Ears: Free Energy - Dream City