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Showing posts from November, 2009

After All These Years

This is a fun topic to come back around to: revisit your favorite records from years past and say what you think of them now. Since a number of sites have done "Best of" lists for the decade, let's review, shall we? 2000 I don't think I came up with a list for this year, but At the Drive-In's Relationship of Command was definitely one of my favorites of that year. The first nine songs really blew my mind, but it wasn't until years later that I grew to love the entire album. After the first nine songs, I just grew fatigued of the near-constant sonic assault. Now I think of that record as important in so many ways, so far as influence on many bands that came afterwards, and how powerful this record still sounds. 2001 Memory is very clear on this one: Ryan Adams' Gold . While I always liked the record, it wasn't until I was stuck in a 50-minute back-up on I-45 through Corsicana on the day before Thanksgiving that I realized this was my favorite recor

Cursive

My review of Cursive's Black Friday show is now online. Watching the four-band bill on Friday was like watching many Dallas Cowboys' wins: Everything came together in the last part. The mighty Cursive arrived at one of Denton's finest venues with a relatively new lineup. Whereas the last time they came through DFW with three additional members on various instruments, the band had only one auxiliary member this time. Oh, and a new drummer as well. But, despite the ever-changing lineups, Cursive has yet to disappoint live, and the show at Hailey's continued the winning streak. Read the rest here .

A year in music

I heard plenty of good/great stuff this year, and with only a few weeks left in the year, I thought it was time to share. Since I like to list the artists that I listened to and enjoyed the most during the year, regardless if they put a new record out in 2009, here's the whole enchilada. Thank you, Jason Hensel Jason, my good friend, bandmate, and housemate of five years, decided to move out and buy a house at the beginning of the summer. As he prepared to pack everything up, I combed through his vast CD collection to burn copies of anything and everything I've wanted to hear but never got around to. As I filled up half of a CD-R spindle, I came very, very attached to Beth Orton's first two albums, Trailer Park and Central Reservation . I shied away from Orton's material for years because I was led to believe it was mostly electronic with some forays into folk. Luckily, especially upon listening to Central Reservation , I realized the opposite was true. Since summ

What Have I Done?

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure," says Bill Cosby. And I agree completely. The problem is, my fear of failure is much greater than my desire for success. Except when it comes to writing books. I've tooted my horn quite a bit about why writing POST was such a big deal for me. It was, for the first time, something I wanted to start and finish, and not chicken out on or lose interest in. I was determined from the day I decided to write the book and -- save for a few fleeting moments while watching a certain section of Spider-Man 2 in the theater -- to never give up. Why that desire was so strong is that I'm usually easily turned off by things when I hear about potential, severe downsides. Case in point, if I were to quit my job today with no other job lined up, I'd think about the struggles friends and family encountered with finding a new job. Couple that with all the things I went through when I was laid

It was in the laundry room with Mr. Mustard and the candlestick

The ongoing comedy from my laundry room has yet to give a curtain call. Yesterday afternoon, a washer and dryer repairman came out and checked to see what the problem was. Turns out, there's nothing wrong with our dryer, but an electrician must come out and fix the wall's outlet. So that means yet another day of no working dryer. That also means I'm down to maybe two more days of clothes, and that's it. I have not done a proper load of laundry since October 30th. Jason was kind enough to let me do the rest of my laundry while he hosted a party at his new house. When I was led to believe that the dryer was fixed a week later, I went ahead and did a load. The deal was, that was when I found out that the dryer had very little (and eventually) no heat. Since some of the clothes eventually dried out, I got a few more days. Now with two sets of towels and sheets that need to be washed in addition to nearly two weeks of clothes, I'm grasping at straws. I have a couple o

You mean I gotta drink this coffee hot?

Tomorrow marks the fourth time I will purchase Clerks , as well as the second time to purchase Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back . What's the occasion? Well, Clerks and Chasing Amy debut on the beloved Blu-ray format, and since it's available in a three-pack with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back on Blu-ray, I figured what the hell. But a better question can be: why the hell am I buying these Kevin Smith movies again? The answer is simple: with new bonus material on these BDs, I can't resist. I have yet to encounter a flimsy, unfunny, or boring commentary track from Kevin. I even bought the special edition of Road House just to hear Kevin and Scott Mosier's "fan" commentary. I find this pure entertainment that is worth hearing again and again. So, my hopes are high with the long-awaited debut of the Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party on the Clerks BD and the new commentary and featurettes on the Chasing Amy BD. Yet earlier today a fellow View As

My Life is Right

While I have a tremendous bias towards this article on original Big Star bassist Andy Hummel (I lent the author my copy of Rob Jovanovic's Big Star biography for research), I found such a breath of fresh air in what Hummel had to say about his post-Big Star life. Too often, I hear about how the life of a full-time musician, along with a full-time actor's, is the glamorous life. As in, this is the dream for those who don't want the apparent dread that comes with a regular, 40-hour day job. Well, there can be dread in almost anything you do job-wise, even if it's a job you love. But the point at hand is how Hummel prefers the life he's had after quitting Big Star in the 1970s. He's married with children and works at Lockheed-Martin. On paper, that sounds like an ordinary life, but I've found that life only looks ordinary on the surface. Hummel still plays music, and that's what I find even more endearing about his path. Too often, we hear about a fu

Feels Creamy

Sometimes, there are epiphanies that are simple but profound. Recently, an epiphany came to me after reading a single list out of the A.V. Club's recently-released book, Inventory . Flipping through the book before I went into the theater to watch Where The Wild Things Are , I turned to page 114 and saw a large picture of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. With the list's subheading of "1 Amazing Mid-'90s Sketch-Comedy Show That Towers Above All Others and Still Provides Endlessly Quotable Material More Than a Decade Later," I figured it was time to jump in the deep end with Mr. Show . Since my epiphany came from a book filled with lists, I figured it would be fun to explain my reasons in a list. Feels Creamy Why It Took a Good Ten Years and A Couple of False Starts For Me To *Get* Mr. Show 1. I had seen the show a couple of times late night on HBO when it was originally on. I don't remember laughing at a single joke. That said, I laughed really, really hard

The Dryer Trilogy

Normally I prefer to talk about movies and music, but the problems in the laundry room keep rearing their head. It's like a comedy of new issues when one is solved. This past Friday and Saturday, a very friendly and hardworking electrician came out and swapped out another breaker. Getting the right breaker was a multiple-trip-to-Home-Depot ordeal, but he found the right one and installed it. With the dryer's light coming back on and the dryer working, everything seemed to be working . . . for a few minutes. For whatever reason, before the electrician came out, the dryer would randomly stop a few minutes or ten minutes into a cycle. When I would open the dryer, the light would be off and I would then flip the breaker. One day of laundry meant flipping the breaker nearly a dozen times. (Yes, the lengths I will go to get laundry done.) So I start up the dryer as the electrician finished putting away everything, and it stops two minutes in. I flip the breaker, start the dryer ag

The Crash

My first full-page feature for the Observer is online. This one is on The Crash That Took Me. A few years ago, downstairs at Sons of Hermann Hall, the wooden staircases and walls started to shake as two bands in the room above played a song that sounded like something off of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless . Four guitars played one bendy riff at top volume, and drums pounded like wrecking balls. The song was called "Bloody Basin," and the two bands onstage were [DARYL] and Black Tie Dynasty. Now, in 2009, you could say this was a defining transition moment for Dylan Silvers. Read the rest here . Also, I reviewed the band's newest record, and it is here .

Unmasked

Last night, I decided to check out the new, modern retelling of V . As apprehensive as I am about the idea of remakes in general, I make special exceptions from time to time. Like Battlestar Galactica , I had no longstanding love for the original series, so I came to V like a cold fish. Almost. I've told this story before, but I don't think I've told the nuts and bolts of the whole story. So here's the context. Though I spent a lot of time playing by myself in our house when my family lived in New Orleans, there were a few times I went over to friends' houses and played. One friend was named Janelle, and I seem to recall going over to play a handful of times. This was the early 1980s, and I can't remember my exact age, but I was maybe five or six years old. A lot of neighborhood kids would come over to Janelle's house, and one day, a boy a few years older than me wanted to watch a show called V . I had never heard of the show at the time, but I still vi

The Dryer Wars

The dryer woes continue, but they have made for a rather amusing adventure in getting my weekly laundry done. And this has made me wonder about my laundry habits in the first place. While I own enough different outfits to wear for maybe two or three months without a trip to the laundry room, that number is greatly reduced by the number of clothes that fit the size I currently wear. Thanks to sticking to a regular exercise routine and being mindful of what I eat, a lot of my clothes are too big for me. I still want to hold onto these articles of clothing, mainly out of fear I'll gain back all the weight I lost. So in other words, I wear maybe a quarter of the wardrobe I actually own. I own a lot of T-shirts (mainly bands I was really into while I was in college), and while T-shirts are fine to wear to my workplace, I prefer to not wear them everyday. Pretty much every work week involves khakis, loose button-down shirts, and socks. I wear clothes until they fall apart, so I have m

Hey, remember the 90s?

I can't remember exactly when or where I heard this last week, but something about 1990s nostalgia was brought up in a conversation. Something was mentioned about how it was going to be the next nostalgia trend with people my age and younger. As in, more modern bands referencing 90s bands and people throwing parties centering around a theme that is very 90s-centric. And within just a few days, I talked with some friends at a party that were en route to a party where people were asked to dress up as a character from a 90s' sitcoms. I know nostalgia doesn't stop, and I don't think nostalgia is a bad thing, but I find things strange to experience nostalgia for an era that actually lived through. Being a teenager who was born at the end of the 1970s meant there were no 8-tracks, Led Zeppelin concerts, or a Vietnam War to deal with in your teenage years. So it's easy to imagine how things were much cooler in the 70s when the Ramones and the Clash put out their debut al