Thursday, August 31, 2006

So long, MySpace

I just cancelled my MySpace account. The whole scene was creeping me out a little bit. The music stuff was cool, as it's always nice staying current with favorite bands and such, but the site itself has become a monster with a bad reputation.

"As New Orleans drowned..."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I doubt that I could say anything about the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina that hasn't already been said, but I'll say it anyway.

So this morning I turn on the Today show and there's Bush in some small New Orleans cafe smiling and sharing a joke with the "little people". I'm surprised someone didn't leap up and punch him right in the wishbone. What's crazy about this little PR move is that it will probably lead some people to believe that Bush has done a good job in cleaning things up in the year after Katrina. The truth is that there are still dead bodies in houses, people without homes, families, jobs, or food. It's heartbreaking and maddening that our administration has chosen, instead of helping desperate American citizens, to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into WAR. And then there's Rumsfeld at some podium shooting off his yapper about how critics of the war are confused and anti-American, or some BS like that. Unbelievable.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary LP

I am very excited about this release! Pet Sounds (1966) gets a much deserved grand 40th anniversary treatment this week with the release of a double Stereo/Mono gatefold LP. The mono LP is reportedly from a new first generation master, which is pretty exciting. The release is limited to 10,000 numbered copies.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bruce Gary 1951-2006

Of all the music related deaths of the past several months, this one has me most sad. Bruce Gary was the original drummer for The Knack. He had an amazing, sometimes jazzy, hard pounding style, that most of us first heard on the opening of "My Sharona". Some of his best work with the Knack can be heard on their third album, Round Trip (1981). Bruce reunited with the band in the 90's for a cover of "No Matter What" on a Badfinger tribute CD.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"A Different World" REUNION

Just discovered this online. Members of the cast of "A Different World" reuinited last month to promote the show's new spot on Nick At Nite's lineup. Supposedly the reunion is scheduled to air in September. Here's a nice pic from the reunion (People magazine):

Super cool website of the week:

iPod 10

The last 10 songs shuffled through my iPod:

"3/5 Of A Mile In Ten Seconds" - Jefferson Airplane
"Living On My Suspicion" - Donny & Marie
"Your Name On Everything" - Permanent Green Light
"Fat Cat" - Culture Club
"Anyone Can Tell" - Crowded House
"Pop Life" - Prince & The Revolution
"Big Sky" - The Kinks
"In The Summer Of His Years" - Bee Gees
"Broomstick" - Paul McCartney
"Jet" - Paul McCartney & Wings

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On my turntable: Polyphonic Spree - Together We're Heavy

Somewhere around 2003 I made the (somewhat unconscious) decision to abandon the CD for new music, since LPs are, in my opinion, truly the superior format. Together We're Heavy (2004) by the Polyphonic Spree was a vinyl release that strongly affirmed this decision. To be honest, I was drawn to the album's colorful artwork, with its shiny gold foil lettering, before I ever heard the music inside. When I finally took the risk and bought the album I was happy with its contents. The Polyphonic Spree is very much unlike any band I'd heard before or since; if you've heard them you know what I'm talking about.

Together We're Heavy is a lush and organic record, with many big voices, horns, strings, and more exotic instruments. My only complaint of the album at first was the singer's somewhat grating voice, which has since grown on me. Listening to it now reminds me of what a great album this is. Standout tracks: "Hold Me Now", "Two Thousand Places", "One Man Show".

Go Gophers!

Today was my Grad School Orientation at the University of Minnesota. I didn't attend all of the sessions, since many of them were geared towards students new to the U, but I did learn a lot of useful info about working with my PhD advisor, and about how to get a Research Assistantship. Hard to believe that school starts in two weeks!

Monday, August 21, 2006

"You're not the boss of me."

On Saturday our rabbit Austin took a series of little naps around the house, which is unusual only because he typically has one spot where he prefers to sack out when not in his cage. When it came time for bed I was not having much luck getting Austin to move from this spot, where I snapped his photo:His expression tells me "I don't care what you say, I ain't movin." Austin can be as stubborn as his is cute.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Krishna? Christ?

As an active Catholic, I'm technically Christian by definition. Yet, I still believe a lot of the things I learned as a wanna-be Hindu.

Does that make me a

iPod 10

The last 10 songs shuffled in my iPod:

"We Don't Get Along (live)" - Go-Go's
"Perfect View" - Graces
"Level" - Raconteurs
"Femme Fetale" - Duran Duran
"Monica" - Kinks
"Belfast" - Elton John
"Yours Truly, 2095" - ELO
"Runaway Train" - Rosanne Cash
"Papa Gene's Blues" - Monkees
"Broken Promise Land" - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint

Snuggle Bunny

A common place to find Simon in the morning is in the bed with Leo. This pic was taken yesterday, just after Simon finished licking Leo's cheek clean. Adorable, I know.

Monday, August 14, 2006

iPod 10

The last ten songs shuffled in my iPod:

"Crown Of Creation" - Jefferson Airplane
"Minneapolis" - Mpls
"Kiss The Goat" - Redd Kross
"Deuce" - Kiss
"Chasin' The Sky" - Beach Boys
"Hard Luck Woman" - Kiss
"Green, Yellow, and Red" - Rosanne Cash
"Ways Of Magic" - Three O'Clock
"Crazy Horses" - Osmonds
"Come" - Prince

Saturday, August 12, 2006

On my turntable: Donna Summer - On The Radio

On The Radio-Greatest Hits-Volumes I & II (1979) is one of the best albums of the disco era, in my opinion. The album features four sides of seamless dance music, tailor made for a homemade disco party (more about that in a second). I first bought this album when I was a student at Northeast Junior High, and for a few months it spent a lot of time on my awesome compact Panasonic stereo. By 1980 I was a Freshman in high school listening to a mess of newer bands like Boomtown Rats, Split Enz, and The Buggles, and On The Radio eventually got pushed to the back of my collection.

Today I picked up a near flawless copy of On The Radio, with a special added bonus tucked inside: a small handmade poster announcing "Jenny's Disco Party". Considering the condition of this record, I imagine it got played once at Jenny's party (which I'm sure kicked ass), and promptly got stored away at the back of someone else's record collection.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"Let us pray..."

Found this online and thought it was pretty friggin' adorable:

iPod 10

The last ten songs shuffled in my iPod:

"Human Sacrifice" - Bee Gees
"Baby I Love, Love, I Love You" - Partridge Family
"Dave Has a Problem...Seriously" - De La Soul
"For Whom The Bell Tolls" - Bee Gees
"Rainmaker" - Partridge Family
"Dumb Angel" - Redd Kross
"Tell Me How U Want 2 B Done" - Prince
"While I Play" - Bee Gees
"Bullets In My Hairdo" - Finn Brothers
"Israel" - Bee Gees

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This MADe me laugh

Don't get me wrong. I love Bill Clinton and think he was a great president. I also love me my MAD magazine. Here's a sampling from the latest MAD's "Paint Misbehavin' Dept." that made me chuckle:

Bill Clinton Rejected Portraits

Today's mood: better than yesterday.

Today started off somewhat grumpily, but I perked up as the morning progressed. I definitely feel better tonight. At lunch I spent WAY too much on some vegetarian mexican burrito that was full of unnecessary dairy and too much cilantro. The good news is that I also went to the bookstore and purchased my textbooks for my first PhD class. The last time I had this much fun plopping down money for textbooks was my first quarter of Grad school. The books actually look pretty interesting too, especially American Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century. I thumbed through the book while sitting at a table in Coffman Union, eating my overpriced burrito. Did I mention that the burrito had cream cheese in it? Who puts cream cheese in a burrito? Honestly.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Today's mood: beat down

I know that feeling "beat down" the way that I feel today is something that other crohnies understand, but since I don't have any crohnies around, I'll just blog about it. :)

Crohn's can be a complicated disease, even for those of us fortunate enough to achieve remission. There are days when I might feel moderate Crohn's symptoms like bloating, fever, cramping and/or pain, even though technically my disease is not currently "active". On top of the physical symptoms, I'm just feeling down about things like the state of the world and the horrible leadership in this country. In addition, there was another shooting in North Minneapolis last night (a Pizza Hut delivery guy was killed), which has me angry and frustrated. I guess it's an overall sense of helplessness that I'm feeling, which is never pleasant.

I know I'll be OK, and I'll feel better soon. My challenge is to allow myself to not feel well, to just exist for today. It's allowed.

*Thanks for reading!*

Friday, August 04, 2006

Today's Lunch


Arthur Lee 1945-2006


Arthur Lee, founder of the much-beloved, highly influential Sixties band Love, died yesterday afternoon at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, with his wife at his side. The cause was leukemia.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

No, no - Austin not so close to the camera - *FLASH*

Austin has yet to master the "sit still so I can take your picture" command.

Viking bar closed

The Viking bar, located on the West Bank of the U of M's Twin Cities campus, closed at the end of July. I've only been to this bar a couple of times, and it was a rough room. Still, it's sad to see such an institution close after 47 years of business.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Look Through My Window

The temperature in Minneapolis today is cooler than it has been, but the humidity is something like 94 percent. I'm sweating like mad today in my office, which is on the 4th floor of an old academic building on campus. I keep telling myself that it builds character. It also makes me cranky, lightheaded, and probably just a little stinky.

Happy Birthday MTV

MTV turns 25 years old today.

I miss the golden days of MTV, back before it dedicated itself to "lifestyle programming". When I attended college in Duluth in the 80's, my friends and I would frequently head over to Superior, WI on Friday afternoons for pitchers of beer, in front of MTV on a big screen television. It was my first real exposure to MTV (or cable TV in general), and I remember thinking it was the most spectacular thing ever. I miss the original VJs (pictured at right) and the loose, rough-around-the-edges style that MTV had back then.