Friday, March 30, 2007

Poop 'N Munch

Austin enjoying a lite snack this evening in his pooper box:

New Beach Boys CD: May 15, 2007

The Warmth of the Sun, the new CD compilation by the Beach Boys, features 28 songs selected and sequenced by Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love, and Bruce Johnston. It's a nice, although somewhat underwhelming, list of tracks with a couple of gems tossed in ("All This is That", "Forever", "Don't Go Near The Water"). Overall the disc will serve as a useful companion to the Sounds of Summer (2003) CD.

Scheduled release date is 5/15/2007.

Track list:
1. All Summer Long
2. Catch A Wave
3. Hawaii
4. Little Honda
5. 409
6. It’s OK
7. You’re So Good To Me
8. Then I Kissed Her
9. Kiss Me, Baby
10. Please Let Me Wonder
11. Let Him Run Wild
12. The Little Girl I Once Knew
13. Wendy
14. Disney Girls (1957)
15. Forever
16. Friends
17. Break Away
18. Why Do Fools Fall In Love
19. Surf’s Up
20. Feel Flows
21. All This Is That
22. ‘Til I Die
23. Sail On, Sailor
24. Cool, Cool Water
25. Don’t Go Near The Water
26. California Saga (On My Way To Sunny Californ-i-a)
27. California Dreamin’
28. The Warmth Of The Sun

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Easter at Apache Plaza

I've heard from some people that meeting the Easter Bunny at Apache Plaza used to be a big event. Not sure what year these pics are from, although I'm guessing it's the late 60's:

Otters holding hands

This vid, posted today at, is one of the sweetest, cutest things I've ever seen. Turns out that otters will often hold hands while napping so that they don't drift apart. True story. Watch towards the end when they "re-hold" hands. Friggin adorable.

Monday, March 26, 2007

2007 Quarter 1

Here's my personal best of the first three months of 2007:

(v) = vinyl
(d) = digital download
(cd) = compact disc

"#9 Dream" - R.E.M. (d)
"Again & Again" - The Bird & The Bee (d)
"Wind It Up" - Gwen Stefani (d)
"Kiss Kiss Kiss" - Yoko Ono & Peaches (v)
"Candy Daze" - The Vines (v)
"Parachute" - Sean Lennon (v)
"Floating By" - The Red Button (cd)
"Guitar" - Prince (d)
"Friction" - Television (v)
"Black Gown (acoustic)" - Lemonheads (v)
"La Vie En Rose" - Belinda Carlisle (cd)
"Another Gay Sunshine Day" - Nancy Sinatra (d)
"Grace Kelly" - Mika (v)
"I'll Keep It With Mine" - Rainy Day (v)
"Tomorrow" - Sean Lennon (v)
"Another Cold & Windy Day" - Bee Gees (cd)
"Boing Backwards" - High Llamas (v)
"Winter's Day" - High Llamas (v)
"Dancing On The Lip Of A Volcano" - New York Dolls (v)
"Not A Second Time" - The Smithereens (cd)
"Dover Mine" - Cowsills (v)
"Do The Dog" - The Specials (v)
"Purple House" - Prince (d)
"Come On Everybody" - Rick Springfield (v)
"Mu-Cha-Cha" - Judy Holliday & Peter Gennaro (v)
"Miss Otis Regrets" - Lemonheads (v)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

On my turntable: The Wild Swans - Space Flower

I've never really liked anything I've heard by The Wild Swans, except for this whole album. With song titles like "Melting Blue Delicious", "Tangerine Temple", and "Vanilla Melange", Space Flower (1990) comes off as a bit of a cash-in (perhaps a parody?) of the psychedelic paisley-pop of the late 80's. Sincere or not, it's still a really far-out record. While the CD is probably the more common version of this album, it is definitely worth the effort to find it on vinyl - it really does sound better.

Listening to this album reminds me of driving around in my hand-me-down Chevette in the summer of 1990. It was my senior year of college, I was working at a record store, playing in a band, living in St. Paul, and hanging out with some pretty cool friends. In general, life was mostly sweet.

Easter at Apache Plaza

Easter 1986, two years after the big tornado:

Hymies SALE next Saturday, 3/31/07

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On my TV: "The Electric Company"

This is the intro of The Electric Company that I liked best. What a great show.

Easter at Apache Plaza

In the 1990's...

YAY - New Wackys!

During a quick stop at Target today I found the ALL NEW 5th series of Wacky Packages. Life is sweet.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bird and the Bee on VINYL

I've just been informed that The Bird and the Bee's debut album will be released on VINYL on May 22, distributed by Caroline. Thanks again to Josh for the info!

Sir Elton turns audiences gay? Really??


"Some religious leaders in Trinidad and Tobago don’t want Elton John to perform in their country because they’re worried he’ll turn the audience gay. “The artiste is one of God’s children, and while his lifestyle is questionable he needs to be ministered unto,” Archdeacon of Trinidad and Tobago, the Venerable Philip Isaac, told the Jamaica Gleaner. “His visit to the island can open the country to be tempted towards pursuing his lifestyle.”"

Rant of the day: I SUPPORT THE TROOPS

I want our involvement in this illegal war to end.

I don't believe that you can support the troops AND support the war at the same time.

War = death.

Are Iraqi's not people? Why are they somehow less important than Americans? Thousands upon thousands of innocent people (not just Americans) are dead from this war, and continue to die.

Supporting this war is merely supporting a criminal President and his millionaire oil buddies turned politicians. They do not know what they are doing, and this country is paying the price.

I am sick of hearing people say that supporting the troops means that we need to STAY in Iraq. That's bullshit. I support the troops.

This fucked-up Texas swagger shit that our President throws around does NOT represent most Americans.

Impeach Bush.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Today's task: paper writing

Today I will be writing a paper that ties The Strawberry Statement with student development theory. Although I don't expect to finish the paper today I do hope to get a healthy start on it. I'll spin some records, drink me some coffee, and write while Austin hangs out and keeps me company. Life is good.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Song of the week: The Bird and the Bee - "Again & Again"

I saw this video on the cable TV this afternoon and was transfixed. I've been digging this style of brazillian jazzy lounge pop a lot, probably since Austin Powers came out. The song, "Again & Again" is by a duo named The Bird and The Bee. Their new EP is on the Blue Note jazz label, although not currently on vinyl from what I can tell. Anyway, check out the video:

buy it at insound!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

On my turntable: R.E.M. - Out Of Time

This album sounds so much better on vinyl in my opinion. The strings and bass, in particular. This was the first R.E.M. album that I remember getting legitimately excited about upon its release. Very much a college record for me.

Speaking of R.E.M., they kicked ass at the R&R Hall of Fame ceremony on Monday. They were so tight, and they made Van Halen look silly and sad by comparison. If I remember right they played "Begin the Begin", "Gardening At Night", and "Man on the Moon". The band released a brand new internet single this week (with Bill Berry on drums), a cover of John Lennon's "#9 Dream".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What I'm reading: The Strawberry Statement

I'm reading this book, by James Simon Kunen, for a class. It was written during the days of Vietnam, although there are times when I'm reading it thinking that it could just as well be written today. Here's an excerpt - if you insert "Bush" in place of "Johnson" and "Iraqis" in place of "Vietnamese" you'll see what I mean:

"I don't understand why our government has us fight the war. I don't know. Are they incredibly evil men, or are they stupid, or are they insane? How can Johnson sleep? How can he go to bed knowing that 25,000 American boys-and countless Vietnamese-have died because of his "policies." He obviously doesn't consider the Vietnamese to be people at all...But what about the Americans? He thinks perhaps that the war is not going well. Doesn't he realize that wars can't go well, that people always die in them and that's not well?"

CD Warehouse in Dinkytown: CLOSED

I'm sad to see this store go for a couple of reasons, one being that it was a decent place to buy & special order vinyl. The second (and most significant) reason is that it was the last surviving music store in Dinkytown. I've always considered music stores to be a vital component of our culture, far more than just physical buildings that sell CD's. Our society has become disposable to the point that I don't think students even care that they've lost the last place on campus to buy music. They are probably content getting it all online for "free". I fear that most people consider music itself to be disposable, and I consider this tragic.

Yeah, this makes me sad.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Minneapolis may ban Circus Animals

Yet another reason to feel proud about living in Minneapolis. According to an article at the StarTribune, the Minneapolis city council will be voting on a ban against bringing circus acts using animals into the city. This is great news -- the business of utilizing animals for entertainment can be horribly cruel, not to mention unnatural.

From the article:

"City Council members Ralph Remington and Cam Gordon say they hope to amend city laws to bar circuses from bringing elephants, tigers and other exotic critters into Minneapolis. "It's adapting to the times and trying to be more humane in our treatment of wild animals," said Remington, who represents the 10th Ward. The proposed ban could be introduced later this month, said Remington."

On my turntable: David Cassidy - Cherish

This album, for me, is a throwback to the Northeast public library, where I borrowed this on cassette in the early 70's. Cherish (1972) was released at the height of The Partridge Family when David was the biggest thing on the planet. In may ways it is essentially a Partridge album, as it uses the same musicians and songwriters that created those records. Several great songs on this album: "Being Together", "We Could Never Be Friends", "I Am A Clown", and Cassidy's own "Ricky's Tune". The album also has two top 10 hits: "Cherish" and "Could It Be Forever."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Short Essay: "What I did for my 41st Birthday"

Had a simply loverly day today with Leo. We began the festivities at the Godfather's Pizza buffet. I know what you're thinking -- that's enough birthday celebration right there! After pizza we went to Down in the Valley, Unique Thrift Store, and Electric Fetus so I could browse vinyl (no purchases though). Our final destination was the legendary Needle Doctor in Dinkytown, where Leo bought me a shiny new stylus for my turntable's cartridge (for you audiophiles, I use a Technics SL-1200 equipped with a Grado Prestige Green series cartridge). Tonight we went to Half Price books and Target, which is standard Friday nite fare. Some may call our lifestyle boring, but we call it simple. Simple is good.

Thanks to Leo for the wonderful birthday, and thanks everyone for the Happy Birthday wishes!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Countdown to 41

In three hours I'll be 41. My grad school friend Penny always used to tell me how good she thought 40 felt, and I have to agree with her. It seems like my thirties were spent fixing mistakes of earlier years, making things right, and finding my identity as an adult. With all of that out of the way, 40 did indeed feel like a good place to be (not counting the awful shit that's happening with the country at the moment). Here's hoping 41 is just as good. Peace.

I usually do a "gratitude list" around the end of the year, but it seems appropriate to do one now. Allow me to self-indulge.

Things for which I'm grateful from the past year (not necessarily in order):

-The times I've been able to spend with my family, who I love very much
-My partner and puddin', Leo
-My friends (F&F!)
-Being a member of the Basilica of St. Mary community
-My sweet bunny boys, Austin & Simon, who make me laugh
-Having my friends Jan & Brad back in Minnesota after 10 years
-The super cool people that I get to work with, and the opportunity to spend my work days at my Alma Mater (Go Gophers!)
-The opportunity I've been given this year to start my Ph.D.
-My awesomely awesome record collection
-My relatively stable health & the good doctors & health professionals that work with me
-Living in the great city of Minneapolis

Today's record store

This morning I ventured to Roadrunner Records, which is such a great store for vinyl, especially used. I don't like to go there unless I've got at least an hour to spend.

Today's purchases:

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Mother's Milk (1989)
The Mighty Lemon Drops - World Without End (1988)
Duran Duran - Carnival (Japan import) (1982)
Salt-N-Pepa - Black's Magic (1990)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

March of the Record Shops 2007

Today's stop: Treehouse Records

Treehouse is a great store for new and used vinyl, particularly new 7" vinyl. Today's big score was The Specials (1980), which I've been looking for. I saw a few goodies (including Ramones' Brain Drain) that were out of my price range. There were lots of great $1 LPs though, which I don't think I saw last time I was there.

Today's other purchases:

Blondie - "Maria" 12" (1999)
Elton John - 21 at 33 (1980)
Jesse Johnson - Every Shade of Love (1988)
Yes - 90125 (1983)



Outta control!

Last night's midterm went well. I only blanked on one question, and gave pretty solid answers on the rest. To celebrate I'm cracking open an ice cold Vault Zero. I know -- this rock and roll lifestyle has got to stop.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On my turntable: The World of The Partridge Family

It's now 2:30, and I'm done with the studying. I started reading and reviewing for this test last Friday - I'm approaching the point of information overload. My test is at 4:30 and I need time for my brain to breathe.

I looked for an album that would bring me some happy fuzzies and decided on The World of The Partridge Family (1974). I remember begging my mom to buy this for me when I found it at the Record Shop at Rosedale, probably in 1975/76. The album is a double -- that's right, TWO LP's worth of Partridgey gooey goodness. I can see myself listening to this record on the little record changer my brother & I shared (with detachable speakers - high tech), laying next to the window & digging the Partridges. Happy memories of a good childhood in Northeast Minneapolis.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Today's reading

In the field of Student Development research, authors Pascarella & Terenzini are legendary. Unfortunately their highly factual and important book is a bit of a dull read, and there's lots of it to read for tomorrow's midterm. I'll get it done though. The good news is that I find this stuff more interesting in 2007 than I did in 1995 when I read it the first time around.

Welcome Back, Eclipse Records

Now I have the "Welcome Back, Kotter" theme in my head (hence the picture of the cast from said show). Anyway, Eclipse Records, formerly on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, has recently re-opened in its new location on University near Selby. I went there today for the first time, and it's a real swell space. Eclipse has very good prices on new vinyl, and they will order anything that's available if you ask. They have a myspace page with contact info. Check them out and spend your money in their store!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ann Coulter drops the F word

Talking to a group of Republicans, Ann Coulter called John Edwards a faggot. FAGGOT. And this woman sells millions of books. Incredible.

Read HRC's response HERE.

Vacation, had to get away

Ah yes, the promise of a week away from work. I've chosen to take the week of my birth as vacation. I'm not going anywhere - just relaxing at home and around town. Of course I have a list of things that I'd like to get done, which I have conveniently misplaced. Too bad so sad. I'll likely visit my favorite record shops. I have a midterm on Tuesday for which I will be studying this weekend.

And now, relax and enjoy the Go-Go's performing "Vacation" on Solid Gold:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wintair Wondhareland

The U closed today at 2:30, something that almost never happens. The last time the U closed due to weather was in 1994.

Here's a pic I took tonight from our living room window.

So long Apache Theater

Demolition of my childhood movie theater started earlier this week. It's being replaced with senior housing and a liquor store. I spent many many hours of my life in this building and I'm sad to see it gone.

Apache Theater pics