Friday, September 29, 2006

On my turntable: Big Star - In Space

In Space (2005) features some of my favorite Big Star songs, which is a bold statement when you consider how amazing the first two Big Star albums were. In Space holds up, though. Fave songs: "Dony", "Lady Sweet", "Turn My Back On The Sun", "Mine Exclusively". I highly recommend this album for Big Star, Alex Chilton, or Posies fans.

Buy In Space on LP at Insound:
Buy it at Insound!


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Thursday, September 28, 2006

On my turntable: George Harrison - Living In The Material World

Living In The Material World (1973) was George Harrison's first album of new material after the mammoth All Things Must Pass (1970), his first post-Beatles LP. Although the album (and its first single, "Give Me Love") managed to reach number one, it remains overshadowed by its predecessor.

I love this album's personal and spiritual feel. I first purchased it at Don Leary's record shop, in the fall of 1979. Just this week Material World was re-issued on CD in remastered and repackaged form. A vinyl version is slated for October 9 release.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Scissor Sisters scandal

So a number of major chains are not carrying the new Scissor Sisters album, and a part of me can't help but think that bigotry and homophobia are involved. Of course I'm a bit biased on the issue. Decide for yourself:

Scissor Sisters' Ta-Dah Cut Out Of Major U.S. Retail Chains

Monday, September 25, 2006

From my window

Sick day on the couch.

2006 Quarter III

The best of July - September, 2006

"I Don't Feel Like Dancing" - Scissor Sisters
"Steady As She Goes" - The Raconteurs
"Bubbles" - Free Design
"An Easier Affair" - George Michael
"Message To The Boys" - Replacements
"Spirit of Rock 'N' Roll" - Brian Wilson
"5th of July" - Watershed
"Hair" - The Early November
"I See The Rain" - Sid n Susie
"We're All In Love" - New York Dolls
"Twin Cinema" - New Pornographers
"August" - Love (Arthur Lee RIP)
"Yo Mister" - Patti LaBelle
"Why Should I Love You?" - Kate Bush
"Wives & Lovers" - Burt Bacharach
"Check Out My New Jesus" - Joy Zipper
"Nightclub" - Daniele Luppi
"I Don't Know Why I Love You" - Brand New Heavies
"Darlin'" - Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass
"Cottonfields (a capella)" - Beach Boys
"Wheels of Steel" - Grandmaster Flash
"Kathryn" - Sean Lennon

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On my turntable: Free Design - Heaven/earth

Tonight I'm dealing with (hopefully) the tail end of an unpleasant cold. I've got a minor fever and cough, and the house smells like sick person. You know that smell. So I needed some music to mellow out with. I won't say much about this album, since typing is annoying me right now.

Osmonds Cartoon

In the early 70's, my Saturday mornings always started with the Osmonds and the Jackson 5ive cartoons. Check out the great opening to the Osmonds show:

On my turntable: Weezer - Make Believe

As you can see from the picture on the left, I'm trying something new with the "On my turntable" blog feature. This is a pic of the actual record that's currently on, in the handy dandy little "now playing" display stand. Call me a geek if you like. I can take it.

So Make Believe (2005) is a good record. It's the first Weezer I've purchased since the Blue Album (1994), although I've obtained some nifty 45's here and there. Rick Rubin produced this one, and it's a keeper. The best song by far is the first single, "Beverly Hills", but rest of the album is consistently good as well. I bought this album new from for a mere $6.99. No lie.

Purchase Weezer's Make Believe on LP at Insound:
Buy it at Insound!

Friday, September 22, 2006

On my turntable: Cheap Trick - One On One

One On One (1982) is one of my favorite Cheap Trick albums. The album was the band's first after the departure of bassist Tom Petersson, who left after 1980's excellent All Shook Up. The only thing that I don't like about this album is that Robin Zander sounds like he's trying just a little too hard. On most songs he is screaming as much as he is singing, which is just unnecessary. The songs rock though, and the album features one of the band's best singles, the overtly Beatle-esque "If You Want My Love", which remains a highlight of Cheap Trick's live shows. Why why why is this band not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame??

Goldy Beagle

A pic I took this afternoon at the St. Paul Student Center, U of M.

Former stomping ground

Today I'm on the St. Paul Campus of the U to attend a writing workshop. I used to spend a lot of time over here, especially my senior year when I lived walking distance from campus.

Things in the Student Center look pretty much the same, except the area where I used to watch my stories, which is now part of the expanded Snack Bar. I tell ya, it's getting harder for a guy to watch his soaps around here.

Right now I'm at one of the study tables in the Classroom Office Building, where things don't appear to have changed one bit. It's always a little freaky (in a good way) coming back to St. Paul campus, since I hardly ever get over here. In the tunnel that connects the Student Center and COB I got a flashback rush of being back in 1988.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Iraq For Sale

The truth can't stay hidden forever. I reckon this movie should expose a few details about the war:

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Today's research

Leo and I went to the new Minneapolis Central library today so I could get some books for the paper I'm writing. I felt like a kid with my new library card, thinking about all of the books I could potentially check out. Nerdy, I know. Anyway, I just checked out three books today, on the history of the U of M.

On my turntable: The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema

finally purchased Twin Cinema (2005) this week after being tempted with various tracks over the past year. I know very little about The New Pornographers, but I know I like this album quite a bit. I'm listening to side 2 as I type this, so I've not even listened to the whole album, but I dig it so far. The LP (on Matador) is pressed on quality 150 gram vinyl. I recommend.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be careful what you wish for?

This first week of the semester has been filled with lots of reading. I'm currently just a little behind, and will need to read every night in order to catch up, in addition to working on the first paper that's due next week. I know this is what I wanted to do, and I'm still glad I'm pursuing this PhD, but dang! This really is a lot of reading. It's a good thing I'm interested in the subject matter.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

iPod 10

The last ten songs shuffled in my iPod:

ELO - "21st Century Man"
Julian Lennon - "Day After Day"
Beach Boys - "Surfin' USA"
Wesley Willis Fiasco - "Girls On Film"
Partridge Family - "Summer Days"
Prince - "4 Blank Seconds"
Kiss - "Psycho Circus"
Salvation Army - "I Am Your Guru"
Rev Run - "Mind On The Road"
Kiss - "Do You Remember Rock 'n Roll Radio"

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tonight's records

Here's what spun on the turntable tonight during dishes and bunny play time:

Susanna Hoffs & Matthew Sweet - Pillowcase E.P. (2006)
Scissor Sisters (2004)
Rolling Stones -
Bigger Bang (2005)
Free Design -
Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love (1970)
The Wackers - Wackering Heights (1971)
The Vines - Highly Evolved (2002)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My latest celebrity acquisition: Wendy & Lisa

This is one of the cooler autographs I've received. It arrived in today's mail.

Wendy and Lisa.

First day of school!

Today is the first day of the new school year at the U of M. I took this blurry picture (I was drunk with excitement!) this morning from a bench on the East Bank. Note the leaves on the ground signalling the end of summer. I'm looking forward to my first PhD course which begins tonight.

Friday, September 01, 2006

On my turntable: Free Design - Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love

My brother used to have a record in his jukebox called "Kites Are Fun" by the Free Design. At first we would play the record as a joke, because it seemed like such a hokey song. Yet, the tune was so catchy, and the production so bouncy, that we soon started playing "Kites Are Fun" because it kicked ass.

In 2004, Light In the Attic records reissued the Free Design catalog on CD and 180 gram vinyl, beautifully remastered with all original artwork. The records are fantastic, especially the Kites Are Fun (1967) album and Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love (1970), both filled with incredibly inventive pop vocal gems. This group has unexpectedly become one of my favorite groups of the year.

Right now, during Light In the Attic's "Summer Sale", all Free Design albums are 50% off!!! Check it out:

Light In The Attic store