Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Today's mood: burned out

I reckon it's been a few months in the works. This week more than ever it seems like I'm burning out at work. Don't misunderstand - I *love* working at the U, and I still enjoy the nature of my work, but I think I need a change. Part of it likely has to do with my health, as I don't feel entirely on top of everything at the moment. I frequently deal with some bad days (as part of living with crohn's disease), but lately it's been more like bad weeks. I know things will work out and I still feel like things are in a good place overall. I am definitely happy about being a student again. I'm taking next week off as vacation, so I'll have a chance to regroup and catch my breath again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Top 10 best songs of 2007 (so far)

Some (most?) of these songs were released in '06, but they didn't cross my path until this year. One song, "I'll Keep It With Mine", was released on the 1984 Rainy Day LP, which featured Susanna Hoffs and Michael Quercio, among others. I found the album at a local shop a few weeks ago -- the whole album is just OK, but Susanna's performances are lovely.

"Candy Daze" - The Vines*
"Winter's Day" - The High Llamas*
"I'll Keep It With Mine" - Rainy Day*
"Guitar" - Prince
"Parachute" - Sean Lennon*
"Floating By" - The Red Button
"Grace Kelly" - Mika*
"Kiss Kiss Kiss" - Yoko Ono with Peaches*
"Another Gay Sunshine Day" - Nancy Sinatra
"Dancing On The Lip Of A Volcano" - New York Dolls*

* Vinyl release

Monday, February 26, 2007

Hate crime death in Detroit


From HRC.org:

In Detroit last week, 72-year-old Andrew Anthos (pictured) was riding on a city bus and was asked by a fellow passenger if he was gay. The passenger then followed Mr. Anthos off the bus and attacked him with a metal pipe. Mr. Anthos died from his injuries Friday night and according to media reports, police are continuing the investigation without any solid leads.

Under the current federal hate crimes statute, federal
authorities have no jurisdiction to assist in this investigation, even if local authorities were to request that assistance. It's past time for a comprehensive federal hate crimes bill and we cannot stand by and let one more person go unprotected.

Take action right now and urge your Representative to become an
original cosponsor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Teens in study prefer sound of vinyl over CDs

From physorg.com

April 21, 2006:

A Canadian scientist says teens who used to view CDs as superior to older vinyl records now consider vinyl superior to the newer format.

David Hayes of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto says the growing popularity of vinyl might be a form of resistance against the music industry's corporate taste-makers.

While conducting research for his Ph.D. dissertation, Hayes was surprised to discover the young music enthusiasts he was interviewing were fans of vinyl.

"This made me wonder why they were interested in something that is, for all intents and purposes, a dead medium," he said, noting the teenagers had switched from buying CDs to collecting LPs, often seeking obscure recordings.

Hayes research subjects said they liked the visual appeal of LP jackets and the challenge of seeking hard-to-find releases.

In yet another turnaround, teens overwhelmingly insisted the sound quality of LPs was superior to that of modern formats. They characterized LPs and the LP artists of the past as more authentic than the barrage of youth-oriented music being aggressively marketed to them today.

Hayes detailed his research in the February issue of Popular Music and Society.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Vinyl: "The gold standard of recorded music"

There is a new article at MSNBC.com about a record pressing plant in Nashville. Pretty interesting:

Plant has needle on the pulse of vinyl fanatics

New High Llamas LP - Can Cladders


Released date: Feb 20, 2007

Vinyl available directly from Drag City Records for $12.00 (includes shipping!).

Sunday, February 25, 2007

MY President just won an Oscar

Technically his film just won an Oscar, but you get my point. In my opinion, Al Gore has done more good in the past seven years than GWB has done in his entire life. It was nice to see Gore get deserved recognition tonight without Bush there to steal the election, er, award.

Early afternoon nappies

Here we see Austin in one of his favorite spots, behind the couch & beneath the living room window. He is resting in the position most commonly known as "The Meatloaf", with his front legs tucked under his body. Austin will likely stay in this location for the next several hours while I read on the couch. He's my buddy.

Today's readings

Saturday, February 24, 2007

New Yoko Ono import 12" releases

To coincide with the release of Yoko's new CD, Yes, I'm A Witch (2007), there are three new picture-disc 12" vinyl singles, released sometime in the past few weeks. Each record features the same pic of Yoko on a different color vinyl. The tracks I've heard are really good, especially Peaches' version of "Kiss Kiss Kiss". The records are available through sites like Amazon & HMV, but the shipping cost is way pricey. These records will be mine, but I need to be patient I guess.

The tracks on the three singles are:

1. Kiss Kiss Kiss - Yoko & Peaches
2. Everyman Everywoman - Yoko & Blow Up

1. Walking On Thin Ice - Yoko & Jason Pierce
2. Toyboat - Yoko & Antony/Hahn Rowe

1. Cambridge 1969/2007 - Yoko & The Flaming Lips
2. You And I - Yoko & The Polyphonic Spree

Friday, February 23, 2007

In our other bathroom


Our Lady of Guadalupe glows in the dark.

In our bathroom

I like how this picture turned out.

Oh. My. Goodness. Bachmann is WACKO


The more she keeps flappin' her gums the more we learn about her craziness. Click on the quote below for the whole story:

Bachmann on Iran: “There’s already an agreement made. [Iran is] going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be a terrorist safe haven zone.”

Right on.


My sentiments exactly.

I belong to Austin

It's official - I am now the property of a fuzzy little bunny rabbit. This morning I was sitting on the floor with Austin and he ran 4 or 5 consecutive circles around me. In rabbit language, I've been told, this means he was claiming me as his. I know -- adorable, especially considering how reserved Austin can be (unlike Simon, who is uber-affectionate). Austin had run a circle around me before, but this morning was his first series of nonstop circles in a row. So I guess this means Austin loves me. Or it could mean that I'm his bitch.

Here's a great website on the complexities of rabbit language:

The Language of Lagomorphs

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's funny because it's true

I just read that some people are referring to the Van Halen reunion as the "Three Men and a Baby" tour. That made me laugh.

Vinyl wishlist

Warning: Geeky post ahead.

I've probably mentioned that I strayed from buying new vinyl for about 6 years (1989-95, roughly). I live with the shame. Luckily Minneapolis has some kickass record stores and the internet has eBay, so I've been able to replace many of my early 90's CDs with vinyl versions. Still, there remain a handful of records that are either a bitch to find or are beyond what I'm willing to pay.

Here, to satisfy your curiosity, are the top records on my vinyl wishlist:

Stone Roses (self-titled) (1989)
Posies -
Dear 23 (1990)
Jellyfish -
Spilt Milk (1993)
Julian Lennon -
Help Yourself (1991)
Lemonheads -
It's a Shame About Ray (1992)
Redd Kross -
Third Eye (1990)
Stray Cats -
Choo Choo Hot Fish (2x10")(1992)
Prince & NPG -
Diamonds & Pearls (1991)
Ben Folds Five (self titled) (1995)
Ramones -
Mondo Bizarro (1992), Adios Amigos (1995)
Duran Duran - Wedding Album (1993), Thank You (1995)
Queen - Innuendo (1991)

Monday, February 19, 2007

The "First George W."?

Am I reading this right? Is GWB now comparing himself to George Washington? According to MSNBC Bush spoke today at Washington's grave, comparing America's humble beginnings to what's currently happening in Iraq. Oh Christ.

MSNBC: Bush Compares War on Terror to Revolution

Allow me to quickly rant against all you GENIUSES out there who voted to keep this ass in office. What was your motivation? Keeping all your unnecessary wealth? Keeping minorities in their rightful place, below the wealthy white male? Making sure that your fundamentalist "christian" beliefs remain as the driving force of the administration?

Of course asking these questions is pointless, since I know Bush supporters probably don't read my awesomely fancy blog. Still, it felt good to let loose there for a second. :) Thanks for reading. Fun and Friends!

VH 2007

Posted this morning at RolllingStone.com is a brand new picture of the 2007 version of Van Halen. OK here's the deal. Michael Anthony should NOT be replaced by Wolfgang. Wolfie needs his own band, and Michael should be in HIS band, Van Halen. Having said that, David Lee Roth looks dapper & cool in this photo. Alex looks exactly the same, and Eddie doesn't look quite right. WTF with the hat? Is he trying to be the new Mike Nesmith? Hey Eddie - maybe you guys should add "Last Train To Clarksville" to your set. Get Peter Tork on bass, give Roth a tamborine, and you could call yourselves Van Monkees. Anyway, it's exciting to see this band again and it will be VERY interesting, I'm sure, to see what sparks fly at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tonite's LPs & Chores

Chores:
dishes, laundry, bunny pooper boxes

LPs:
New York Dolls - One Day It Will Please Us To Remember...
Paul McCartney - Chaos & Creation In The Backyard
Husker Du - Candy Apple Grey
Boomtown Rats - Fine Art of Surfacing
Muffs - Really Really Happy

Chillin with the bunnies

I just took this pic of my boy Austin, who is showing us a variation of his "I'm feeling naughty" face.

"Can't Wait Too Long (Pet Rock mix)"

I just uploaded a new track to my Pet Rock music page. Check it out if you're so inclined.

Pet Rock

Saturday, February 17, 2007

On my turntable: Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire

Released last fall as Sean's follow up to Into the Sun (1998), Friendly Fire is more cohesive than its eclectic predecessor. It's also more mellow and moody. This album truly takes a couple of listens before it sinks in; I'm probably on my 10th listen now, and I friggin' love almost every song.

I don't think the vinyl pressing of Friendly Fire is very common. I purchased it from the UK Amazon site, where it was backordered for about a month. Worth the wait though. The CD version comes with a full-length DVD featuring videos of each song (which I believe you can see at YouTube).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Super cool blog of the week

The Veg Blog

Student Strike Against the War: TODAY

Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance

WA-DOMA.org

Iran War

I couldn't force myself to watch all of Bush's press conference yesterday. It seems so obvious that his War buddies are fixing to set up another Iraq with Iran. Same scenario, different year. Instead of Saddam being in cahoots with Al Qaeda, this time it's Iran giving weapons to the insurgents in Iraq. It's so horribly evil and corrupt.

Without digging into it too deeply it looks like there's some good reading over at Antiwar.com. Might be worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

On my turntable: Come On Feel The Lemonheads

I very much had forgotten how great this album is. Lately I've been of the opinion that It's a Shame About Ray (1992) is the Lemonheads' best album, which it may be, but Come On Feel The Lemonheads (1993) has to be a very close second, if not a tie. I've seen the Lemonheads three times: twice at First Avenue (in '90 with fIREHOSE and '93 with Redd Kross) and then just recently at the 400 bar with the excellent Hymns.

This LP is pressed on fancy green vinyl and comes with an unlisted bonus track, "Miss Otis Regrets". To be honest, I don't remember if this song is on the CD - it's a bit of an acoustic throwaway. Anyway - it's a great album that really kicks on vinyl.

Washington: have babies or no marriage

I think this is awesome news. A group called the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance is challenging the logic that was used to ban same-sex couples from marriage, that gay couples cannot bear children together. To counter this they are proposing that the same logic be applied to ALL married couples. If they are unable to bear children or do not have kids within three years, their marriage is not considered valid. All's fair in love and politics...

Read the whole story here

Happy Valentine's Day




To my poots mcsnoots.

I heart you.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Police reunion

I saw the Police live (one of my very first rock shows) at the Met Center on Feb 2, 1982. I really just went to see the opening band (The Go-Go's), but I remember enjoying The Police as well. The band played on the Grammys last night and they announced their upcoming world tour this afternoon. While I don't consider myself a huge Police fan (definitely not a Sting fan), I have lots of respect for them and it's good to see them together again.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hot Chicks

The Dixie Chicks' sweep at the Grammys tonight was gratifying on so many levels. The backlash against them a couple of years ago was so fierce - they were labeled as anti-American, they received death threats, and were called terrorists (seriously - terrorists?). Meanwhile the terrorists in GWB's administration continued to mislead and lie to us.

It makes me so happy to to see the good guys win again. I know it's just a music awards show, but it just feels like the people have spoken, and it's refreshing. And now The Dixie Chicks' CD will sell another couple million copies. Hmmm. How many Grammys did Toby Keith win tonight?

Friday, February 09, 2007

In my kitchen

Tonight I washed dishes and did some cleaning in the kitchen while spinning some records on my portable Numark turntable. I thought this pic turned out nice.

Top 10 fave songs EVER

I spent a whole two minutes coming up with this list, so no doubt I'm missing something, but here goes:

"Don't Listen To The Radio" - The Vines
"My Brave Face" - Paul McCartney
"Money Honey" - Bay City Rollers
"For Pete's Sake" - The Monkees
"Good Vibrations" - Beach Boys
"I Feel Fine" - Beatles
"Debbie" - B-52's
"Our Lips Are Sealed" - Go-Go's
"Does Your Mother Know" - ABBA
"Fine Line" - Paul McCartney


What's your top 10? Don't take more than 2 minutes.

Top 10 fave Prince songs

In honor of P's recent Super Bowl triumph, here's my ten favorite Prince songs, in order by release year, chosen without too much thought:

She's Always In My Hair (1985)
Life Can Be So Nice (1986)
I Wish U Heaven (1988)
Elephants & Flowers (1990)
Money Don't Matter 2 Night (1991)
7 (1992)
Love Sign (1994)
Dolphin (1995)
Black Sweat (2006)
Guitar (2007)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Smiling bunny

This pic, posted at cuteoverload.com, is quite possibly the cutest, most precious thing I've ever seen. The bunny's name is Snowball, and he's smiling for godsakes.

Official Family banner

Beatles LOVE on vinyl: postponed

The release of the Beatles' awesome LOVE on double vinyl LP was scheduled for yesterday, but now it has been postponed to an undetermined date. Boo Hiss.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Road Rules FIGHT!

I just started watching the new season of Road Rules. It seems like forever since there's been a new season. Anyway, this season incorporates new cast members with vets of the show. If you know the of Rules you know what a hothead Abram is, and that he got kicked off a previous season for getting into a fight (rules of the show dictate that you can't hit anyone). Well, tonight Abe got pissed off at this guy Adam and REALLY started beating the crap out of him. He got in a few really good hits before he had to pack his bags and go home. Dude seriously needs some anger management training. Maybe it would help if he switched to Sanka.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Dangerously cold

Holy cannoli it is cold in Minneapolis this morning. According to weather.com the temp is -13 degrees, but the windchill makes it feel like -35. In cold like this you can get frostbite in less than 10 minutes.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Tonight's dinner

Tonight I made a vegetarian version of a midwest staple, Tater Tot Hotdish. It was so tasty I seriously could eat it everyday for a week. Here's the recipe, which I modified from a recipe I found online:

Jeff's Fancy Tater Tot Hotdish
2 pounds Veggie Burger
Chopped onion
2 stalks celery
1 can thin cut green beans
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
Frozen Tater Tots

Sautee onion and celery in skillet. Pat thawed veggie burgers into the bottom of greased 9 x 13 pan. Add the onions,celery & green beans to make the second layer. Add the mushroom soup. Cover with tater tots. Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour.

New Prince song released today

"Guitar", a brand new song by Prince, was released today as an exclusive download purchase through 3121.com. At $1.99 it's a bit steep, but in my opinion this is one of the best post-Revolution Prince songs ever.