Tuesday, May 25, 2010

7 Gays a Week

Apparently this Rainbow store has a very strict policy 
regarding the number of gays allowed in the store per week.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On my turntable: Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

In honor of the big ol' bus ride that begins tomorrow. 

This is the most recent pressing of Magical Mystery Tour (1967), the direct metal master version. I have read some criticisms of this series, knocking the sound because the manufacturing utilized a digital master.  Personally, I think the sound is terrific. While I understand the logic behind wanting to keep the process analog (to keep the sound true to the original release), there are plenty of true analog pressings of the Beatles catalog out there. I figure there's no harm in having a digitally mastered pressing as part of the mix.

Friday, May 21, 2010

On my turntable: Red Hot Chili Peppers - By The Way

"Universally Speaking" was one of my favorite songs from the last decade. When By the Way (2002) first came out I felt like it would be a waste of money to buy the whole LP just for one song. After not seeing this record in the racks for a while I decided it was worth buying when I found it this afternoon.  

What a great album this is!

By the Way is the Chili Peppers' follow-up to 1999's highly acclaimed Californication, which I've never heard. After listening to BTW all afternoon I'm now very interested in getting Californication as well. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5:58 PM

First one to show up for the last GAPSA 
Executive Board meeting of the academic year.  

UPDATE: I was the only one to show up to the meeting,
because the meeting had been canceled. Had I read my emails
I would have known. Just look at that clueless idiot look on my face.

May 19th is World IBD Day!

Some facts about Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (from the IBD day website):
* Worldwide, five million people live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases. In the U.S. alone, 1.4 million Americans have IBD, including over 150,000 children.
* Crohn’s disease can inflame any portion of the digestive system while ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon (large intestine). Symptoms include persistent diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fever, and fatigue.
* IBD can impose a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life through ongoing symptoms, reduced ability to work, social stigma, bathroom access, difficulty with physical intimacy, and a restriction in career choices.
* Although IBD is treatable with a number of medications and surgeries, it is still not curable.
* Diagnosis of Crohn’s or colitis can be complicated and can take many years.
* Children are diagnosed with Crohn’s and colitis on average at age 12, and are vulnerable to growth delays with irreversible consequences.
* The unpredictable nature of these painful and debilitating digestive diseases create a significant burden on the community and the economy: more than $1.26 billion USD in direct and indirect costs annually in the United States, according to the American Gastroenterological Association.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"brief candles"

A quick video I made tonight working with some candles Leo had burning in his meditation space.  When I was an undergraduate studying video production I enjoyed shooting with candles because of the contrasts they can create, and how the flickering sometimes saturates the frame with different shapes of light.

The age of video

5.18.2010, originally uploaded by jeff's fancy blog.
I got a new Flip camera yesterday. 
Here's my first venture into what's 
bound to be lots of new video projects! 
This vid is a quick tour around my office at work.

Monday, May 17, 2010

On my turntable: DEVO - New Traditionalists

If my memory is correct, New Traditionalists (1981) was the last new DEVO album to garner big attention in terms of charts and numbers and all that jazz. The band continued to release new music throughout the 80's, but with the passing of new wave the public cared less and the band struggled to find a new niche. In the past few years DEVO has slowly been regaining momentum, based largely on the strength of two of the best singles of their career, "Watch Us Work It", and their latest, "Fresh". 

I had only two DEVO records back in the day: The 45 for "Girl U Want", and the New Traditionalists LP, which I got from RCA Music Service (I might have also had the "Whip It" 45, but I'm not positive on that). This week New Traditionalists becomes the latest in the DEVO vinyl re-issue series, pressed on clear vinyl. I've been listening to the album for the past 2 days, and while it's not as exciting as its predecessors, it features some great tunes such as "Jerkin' Back N Forth", "Beautiful World", and "Through Being Cool".

On June 15th DEVO will release a brand new full-length album, Something for Everybody (pictured, right).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

On my turntable: The Beatles - Rubber Soul (US MONO!)

Part II of a dream came true for me today when I found this lovely specimen at the record store (Part I happened 2 weeks ago when I found a similarly nice mono copy of Revolver).  This record is the level of pristine that one only dreams about finding, especially when it's a piece of vinyl that is now 45 years old. A first pressing mono copy of Rubber Soul (1965) in such nice shape books at around $120 (I paid $17).

I am still a bit stunned.

Top 5ive

My friend Kyle blogged about his top 5 favorite songs, which got me wondering about my own. While my list of faves probably changes from day to day, there are some constants that have probably earned a permanent spot in the Top 5ive by now.  So here's five for today, without too much time or thought behind it:

  1. "For Pete's Sake" - The Monkees
  2. "I Feel Fine" - The Beatles
  3. "Don't Listen to the Radio" - The Vines
  4. "Debbie" - B-52's
  5. "Revelation Sunshine" - Cree Summer

So what's your Top 5?

On my turntable: Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis

For years I've toyed with buying this album after seeing it pop up on multiple "greatest LPs of all time" lists. An audiophile pressing is currently in print, and on those days when I'm not finding anything at the record store I'll venture over to "S" and see if Memphis is there.  There's always one thing holding me back, and it's that damn "Son of a Preacher Man" song.  It's the classic drunken girls-night-out jukebox singalong, and it drives me crazy.

Today I had no excuse not to take the risk when I found Dusty in Memphis (1969) in the clearance bin for $.50.  Upon first listen (only after repeated cleanings because this record was terribly dusty (pardon the pun)) I understood all the fuss. Memphis has all of the elements of an instant classic: top-rate musicians, arrangements, songwriters (Bacharach/David, Goffin/King), and a songstress at her artistic peak.  It is indeed a gorgeous record, and absolutely worth 50 cents. :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On my turntable: Jefferson Airplane - Crown of Creation

Crown of Creation (1968) is probably my second favorite Airplane album, behind the sublime Surrealistic Pillow (1967), and almost tied with the powerful Volunteers (1969). Considering how much I enjoy the album it's a little surprising that today was my first listen to this work on vinyl.

One reason for the delay may be that most of the copies I've seen have had covers that were beat up all to hell. The copy I bought today has a nice clean sleeve and also includes the original "Brumus" insert (shown below), which features lyrics & credits.

Crown of Creation was a bit of a return to form for Jefferson Airplane, following their barely accessible acid freak-out of an album After Bathing At Baxters (1967). The social statements remain intact, but for the most part Creation is a series of FM radio friendly tunes.  Standouts include "Lather", David Crosby's "Triad", Balin's "Share a Little Joke", and the title track.

Our big gay wedding blog

In case you've not yet noticed the sidebar link, Leo & I have started a blog documenting the days leading up to our fancy wedding in Washington D.C. next month.  Check it out if you're interested.  I've encouraged Leo to contribute as well.

And now as an added bonus, here's a sweet tribute video to the classic show Love American Style, featuring the original theme song performed by the legendary Cowsills:

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

On my turntable: Love - da capo

I had a 15% coupon for one of my stores that was burning a hole in my pocket, so I headed out tonight and bought Love's da capo (1967). I had a beat up used original copy that I rarely listened to, so I figured it was time for a new copy. Sundazed did a beautiful job with this - it sounds gorgeous.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

10:06 AM

5.2.2010, originally uploaded by jeff's fancy blog.
My last big paper of the semester, which I'll be finishing today 
(all fingers crossed).

On my turntable: Josiah Wolf - Jet Lag

Jet Lag (2010) is the first solo album from Why? drummer & multi-instrumentalist Josiah Wolf.  I first became interested in Why? after reading the sticker on the front cover of 2005's Elephant Eyelash:
"Elephant Eyelash is gorgeously rendered jangly psych-rock folk-hop spread across 12 songs that bleed and breathe all over one another."
So I bought the album, as well as its follow-up, Alopecia (2008), which featured the curious track "By Torpedo or Crohn's", a tune with lyrics seemingly in reference to the pains of living with Crohn's disease. I passed on the band's next LP, Eskimo Snow (2009), partly because the tracks seemed a bit dark for my taste at the time.

When I heard that Josiah was releasing a solo project I figured it was worth a shot. The songs I sampled online seemed to have quite a Van Dyke Parks influence to them, which I liked.  In contrast with Why?s often crazed intensity, Jet Lag is melodic and at times beautifully fragile. Overall it's a very different experience from Josiah's work with Why?.

If you're a vinyl-head I recommend finding this record soon, since only 1,000 copies were pressed. Each copy comes with a code for a free digital download. You can read more and sample some tracks at the album's label site: anticon records.

TOUR NEWS: Josiah is scheduled to play in Minneapolis at the 7th Street Entry on Saturday, May 22. Hope to see you there!