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Showing posts from 2011

Something/Anything

Here's the reality of being a lifelong music fan/audiophile: I now accept the fact that my entire library cannot be consolidated to digital. It's not like I'm against having everything in one place. It's more the nature of the beast that comes with collecting vinyl and bargain bin CDs in addition to everything else. As much as I had apprehension towards vinyl before, the source of changing the opinion around comes from the quality of the needle, turntable, and the actual vinyl. With less of a demand for CDs year after year, deluxe remasters could be a thing of the past. (And I'm not hot on the idea of shelling out $200 for a set including a remastered CD, 180-vinyl, DVD, and book.) For example, I don't think Columbia Records will not get around to producing massive reissues/box sets for the rest of Bruce Springsteen's catalog. Instead of buying a thin-sounding version on CD, I gladly will add The River and Nebraska to my vinyl collection. The same goes f

My first show

For this week's edition , I had the pleasure to interview Mark Pirro from the Polyphonic Spree and Tripping Daisy. Lots of great stuff to share, including the first time he played with Tripping Daisy.

WWWTK Tumblr

To help promote When We Were the Kids , I decided to create a Tumblr page for it. For sanity's sake, the information on that page will be general in nature, featuring mainly links, photos, and clips. Theme Park Experience will continue to be the hub for all my online adventures.

How to be a professional

In the spirit of this excellent site, I offer a few things about how to be a professional in the workplace. Don't talk to your co-workers like they're your childhood friends. Also, don't talk to them like they're five years old and have learning deficiencies. There are many different ways to communicate with adults. These extremes are not the only ways. Know the difference between a "crisis" and a crisis. A true crisis can involve a loved one in a serious accident and needs to be attended to right away. A "crisis" is when you can't find your favorite kind of socks. You do less with less. Still waiting to hear about how a workplace benefits from doing more workload with less people? You're not alone. Don't say, "You're only human," and then berate someone for being human. Humans make mistakes. Remember this and say this to yourself. If you say you're coming in early tomorrow to help out, that means you're co

My first show

My First Show is extra special this week. Instead of interviewing one person or a band, I interviewed a bunch of local artists I interviewed this year and got their take on their favorite shows. And I got them to preview what's coming up for them in 2012. You can read the whole meatball 12-inch here .

Have You Forgotten?

I graduated college ten years ago this month. It was also ten years ago when I saw a movie by Cameron Crowe in a theater. Coming out of Vanilla Sky with my brother-in-law, I felt like the world was much bigger and vaster. A few weeks later, I saw the movie again and still loved it. Since Crowe released only one more film in the ensuing years prior to this year , it's not like I had an embargo with his work. Elizabethtown interested me, but I never got around to seeing it. When the basic idea was announced, not surprisingly, online movie writers got excited about the prospect of something on par with Say Anything . Based on the response when the movie actually came out, there was a large degree of disappointment. (Seems like Nathan Rabin remains the most vocal about the film, especially with his bookend reviews of the film in My Year of Flops .) This year, Crowe released Pearl Jam 20 , a decent look at the band that suffers from a common dilemma with band documentaries: there w

"I miss the dog more than her"

I know a guy who likes to tweet a lot about his personal life on Twitter. A little too much, if you ask me. Usually the tweets are about missing his home state, trying to pick up girls, and thinking about girls he used to date. There are many reasons why I don't write that kind of stuff on Twitter, and his feed is ample proof of what I don't want to explicitly put out there. But, as much as I don't really see eye-to-eye with this guy on how to represent yourself online, I've found myself slightly seeing eye-to-eye with a tweet he wrote earlier this year. Very slightly. Missing his ex-girlfriend's pet more than his ex seemed incredibly harsh when I originally read it, but I thought about the general innocence that comes with a pet. Be it a cat or a dog, the pet doesn't really grow much after the kitten/puppy stage. Since the most they do is meow or bark, you don't get asked why the sky is blue or when's supper. The perpetual state of cuteness can easily

WWWTK 12.15.11

Another update on When We Were the Kids . Given my state of being between full-time jobs, I have a lot of free time, but I haven't spent hours a day working on another draft. Am I wasting away by not taking advantage of this? I don't think so. I've lived with this book for almost five years and I want to take a little time away from it before I release it. I'm awaiting some feedback from a friend on his take with the book. I'm hoping his take will help me shape the final draft. Then it will go to my editor and the publishing train will start rolling soon after. Unlike what they say about one's second book ("You have all the time in the world to do your first, but you have very limited time to do your second"), I've had all the time I've wanted with working on this. And I'm grateful. Once again, that William Goldsmith line came into my head: "The truth takes time to tell." Of course, this is a fictional book, but I don't

My first show

This week's edition was a true treat: I interviewed all three members of Here Holy Spain at once. Drummer Scott Brayfield was part of the first interview I ever did with a band, back when he was in Slowride. Was a really good catch-up with him and meeting his bandmates. They're good people who make good music.

Outta My System

Wrapping up the week, I did a few more DC9 items. Saw My Morning Jacket pulverize the Verizon Theatre, saw Scratch Acid rip Trees apart, and I talked with Travis Hopper about his band Elkhart and playing music for his daughter.

My first show

This week's edition is with Graham Jones from Yukon Blonde. He mentions seeing Moneen, a band I saw back at the old Door a few years ago. Pretty incredible live band, flying dreadlocks and all. He also mentions seeing Bob Dylan, someone I tend to only hear horror stories about.

Conditions of my parole

I covered Puscifer's show on Saturday night at the Majestic. Quite a different kind of show than anything I've seen before, but it was quite enjoyable. Interesting side note: Sitting next to me was someone I've read a lot of ire about from Zac Crain: the Dallas Morning News ' music critic Mario Tarradell. Tarradell was very friendly and engaged in the show (just read the guy's live Twitter feed ), and I didn't ask what he thought of Zac. Remember, there's what you say in person and then there's what you say online for everyone to see. Pretty different worlds.

A year in music

In hopes of not sounding like a total whiner, 2011 turned out to be one of the hardest years of my adult life. My girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer and she decided later in the year she didn't want to be in a relationship anymore. The guy who taught me how to be a traffic reporter died after a lengthy battle with emphysema. My band broke up. And I got laid off. Some year where I was looking forward to January 1st to start anew, eh? You bet. That said, I enjoyed a lot of music, among everything else I'm into (which, more or less, consists of reading books, watching movies, golfing, and reading about MMA fights). So without further ado, here's this year in review: ------ Albums Released This Year That I Really Liked (And Not Really In A Particular Order) Rival Schools, Pedals You know when a band spends way too much time (as in, more than two years) to release a new album and the album sounds like warmed-over mush? Well, Rival Schools didn't do that with Pedals

Born Alone

Many years after I came to Wilco with Being There , I finally saw them live. Here's my review . Also, this week's edition of My First Show is with Dave Wilson from [DARYL]. Read all about it here .

Get off the pot

No matter what I'll be doing in terms of full-time work next year, I will have another book out. After five years of work, When We Were the Kids finally arrives, even if it's via self-publishing. The hard thing is letting this story be unleashed to the world. I'm not embarrassed by what I've written; I'm more like a protective parent who doesn't want his child to get beat up on the playground within an hour of going to school. What's very hard about writing a fictional story is that I have a hard time knowing when something is truly "done." Storytelling and editing collide and you become addicted to tweaking. I'm convinced that if it weren't for deadlines, most books would never be published. I have intentionally only showed snippets of the book to a couple of people. I don't want too many proverbial cooks in the kitchen, but I appreciate honest feedback. And I want the kind of feedback that doesn't tear me limb from limb under

You do less with less

The night before Victory and I went down to Houston for Thanksgiving, I finally finished watching The Wire . Yes, the show that's required viewing if you want to be a white person in the know. I can now join the many folks who find it to be one of the best TV shows of all time . . . because I agree with them. Solid show from top to bottom and all that good stuff. What I found most compelling was the final season, where a portion is shown at The Baltimore Sun . With buyouts coming and a pressure to deliver a different kind of content in print, there is plenty of drama. And even though I've never worked for a daily paper, I found so much of what was depicted to be spot-on, especially given my layoff last month. In particular, there's plenty of inspiration in what series creator David Simon did when he himself took a buyout at The Sun . By then, his first book had been turned into a TV series ( Homicide ) and he made the transition into making The Corner miniseries and The

My first show

This week's edition is with Robbie D Love from the Red 100s. And I saw My Jerusalem on Friday night. Show reviews and blogging resumes next week. This is the first time in 11 years that I get to enjoy Thanksgiving without the pressure of zooming back into the swing of things.

Silver Side Up

Knowing my habits, because of the Twenty book, CD, and documentary, it doesn't come as a shock that I've decided to circle back to Pearl Jam albums I've neglected. Namely, their albums after Matt Cameron joined the band. Plus, I hadn't listened to Ten since, oh, 1993. It's not that I think the band lost the plot. Rather, I blame Creed and Nickelback. Up until now, my thoughts on Pearl Jam post-Dave Abbruzzese were, "Pearl Jam got weird." Meaning, less of rip-roaring drums and guitars and more atonal experiments. This is a rather unfair sentiment, especially because of some powerful songs on Yield . I get this all now, and I'm enjoying albums like Yield and Pearl Jam . I can safely say I won't be praising Creed's My Own Prison or Nickelback's Silver Side Up any time in the near future. For me, and many other people who got into grunge as adolescence kicked in, those bands typified what major labels wanted Pearl Jam to be when Pearl J

Gone for Good

Seems like all the really great pre-Thanksgiving shows are tonight, So I'm having to make a Sophie's Choice. Instead of seeing [DARYL] re-unify (my Q&A on this can be found here ), I'm seeing My Jerusalem play (I interviewed their frontman here ).

American Capitalist

Yet another round of show reviews and articles. Saturday night, it was Five Finger Death Punch (review here ). Last night, it was the Misfits (review here ). Plus, as yet another preview of the Jayhawks' show tomorrow night (which I'll be covering), My First Show is with Mark Olson (read it all here ). No rest for the wicked here. Just having fun and staying active.

11/22/63

I don't have a bucket list. But when a situation arises where I'd be foolish to not follow through on, I usually go for it. Well, a friend of mine got a pass for me to see Stephen King speak at the Majestic last night. And I went and it was everything I thought it would be. Promoting his latest book, 11/22/63 -- a fantasy novel about a man traveling back in time with a hope to prevent JFK's assassination -- it was pretty amazing to see King speak on the same street that JFK was shot. In only 45 minutes, he talked about plenty of stuff. Here are some of the highlights: -Based on all his research (especially following this thought, "Follow the gun") he's convinced Oswald acted alone. -The idea for the book came to him in 1971. -Seeing video of fervent extremists from the sixties reminds him of Tea Party members of today. -An interesting what-if: had Oswald's wife agreed to reconcile with him the night before, would he have not assassinated JFK? -He a

What lay-off? (cont.)

Still churning out a lot of stuff for the Observer . In this week's print edition, I did a story on the Jayhawks. And in the past few days, I covered the Touché Amoré show and the Youth Lagoon show . And this week's edition of My First Show involves a lot of laughing. I had the pleasure to interview Mike from All That Remains and we didn't talk a lot about metal. We talked more about John Mayer.

What lay-off?

I've been a very busy beaver as of late with DC9 stuff. First I covered the Youth Brigade show last Thursday, then it was We Were Promised Jetpacks' show on Saturday, and then it was Joe Lally's show last night. And I'm covering at least two shows this week. I'm definitely not taking my full-time job's layoff lying down.

In the Pit of the Stomach

When I heard We Were Promised Jetpacks were coming back to the DFW area, I was very excited. I wanted to cover their show by interviewing one of the members beforehand. Turns out, I talked with guitarist Michael Palmer, a lymphoma survivor and my story became a very, very personal matter, beyond what I thought of their new album. This is a story that I hope gives other survivors inspiration. And of course, another story of someone saying, "Fuck Cancer." Read the whole thing here .

My first show

My First Show is with Michael Palmer from We Were Promised Jetpacks this week. You can read it here and stay tuned for my feature on the band later in the week. I also covered the Explosions in the Sky show over the weekend. It was great -- with what I could see of it. Here's my review .

RIFed

Six years ago this month, I found myself without a full-time job. Last Wednesday, the same thing happened again. Only this time, I sensed the position termination coming, per acquisition by another company over the summer, and I thought about my options with moving forward. Now I'm considering what to do next -- and if ever there was a time to try something outside of the field I've been in, well, it's time. I could reflect on this like Charlie Brown foolishly believing Lucy was going to hold the football long enough for a kick. I could lie on the ground asking myself why I believed this time would work. But that's not what I've been thinking. For many reasons, the story met a natural conclusion -- and I have the desire to write another story. The advice I like to give to anyone considering entry into a field where it's hard to find any work: get experience, even if it's not exactly what you imagined yourself doing. Know your limits, but be unafraid to fi

My first show

My First Show this week is with Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blonde. Definitely one of most fun interviews I've done this year. A longer Q&A on the band's legacy and her solo work will be online later. For now, enjoy this week's edition .

We'll have Halloween on Christmas

There was a time when the thought of not trick or treating on Halloween saddened me. It was when I watched an episode of Our House and Chad Allen's character opted out of the activity, claiming he was too old for it. I couldn't fathom turning down the opportunity to get free candy from the neighborhood and dressing up in a costume. Couldn't fathom it at all. And yet I haven't done it since middle school. These days, I love handing out candy, within reason, on my street. My neighborhood is inundated on Halloween night with families and we run out of candy very quickly. As much as I enjoy Halloween, I don't celebrate it like Christmas. I know people who decorate their downstairs and front doors with witches, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns. Aside from the pumpkin carving party Matt and I help host, the most Halloween decoration you see is the plastic jack-o-lantern filled with candy. Yesterday, on a trip to find certain pieces of the costumes we'll wear this

DOMAXXIII

Everybody -- freelancers and staffers -- chipped in to write about the winners of this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards. I wrote about three acts: Warbeast, Ducado Vega, and the House Harkonnen. Read the whole enchilada here .

My first show

When I do My First Show, all that I ask for is somebody who's willing to share with me about first show experiences. I know many people scoff at 3 Doors Down's music, but when Chris was willing to answer my questions, I couldn't say no. So, here's this week's edition .

Moving (and not moving)

I helped a friend move over the weekend, moving her only a few streets away from where she was. It was a smart thing for her to do -- going from a small apartment complex in a sketchy area to a chilled-out carriage house in a pretty quiet area. As I helped lift some rather heavy boxes and figured out ways to get some of the furniture out of the old place and into the new one, I thought about when I'll be moving next. It's been seven years since I had to do that, and I'm in no rush to pack up and move away. If I were to move, it would have to be in a better living situation than the one I'm in now -- and I'm pretty happy with the one I've had for seven years. I can understand the desire to own less if you move every couple of years. I moved ten times in college. Prior to that, I moved twice. Huge difference. And in the college experience (and post-college), I was ready to settle into a place and try and stay there for more than two years. But now I'm becom

The Power of Myth (monoculture edition)

Steven Hyden recently wrote a spot-on piece for Salon.com on how monoculture is a myth. As I read it, I thought about how glad I was that somebody wasn't falling in line with a context-free, romantic view of the past. I wished there were more speaking up and saying this. Especially lately with all this grunge nostalgia. Hyden and I are close in age, so when he talks about being young and seeing an album like Nevermind have a monumental impact on pop culture -- and not just the music industry in the early nineties -- I can relate. He also remembers the other big names in music during those times. Names that are not as celebrated these days. Once my classmates did see it, a number of them purchased “Nevermind,” as I did. But many of them didn’t. Some preferred Pearl Jam. Some liked N.W.A.’s “Niggaz4life.” Some didn’t care about music at all; they’d rather play Tecmo Bowl. Then there were the millions and millions of Americans who bought Garth Brooks’ “Ropin’ the Wind,” the best-se

We got stars directing our fate

There are times in my life when people run into each other when there is no scientific way of explaining how. A lot of people take the easy way and proclaim it's God while others can claim it's pure luck. Somehow, it seems like a mixture of both to me. Yesterday, had it not been for a large family taking multiple pictures of themselves on the midway section of the State Fair -- the spot where Matt and I wanted to take pictures of ourselves -- I would have never run into my longtime friend Tim, his wife-to-be, his cousin, and his cousin's parents. Three of these five live in Houston and I rarely see them these days. And these were five people I didn't know were going to be at the fair at the same time Matt and I were to be there. Usually, I hear about how someone was at the same show I was at, but we never saw each other. You see a check-in via FourSquare on Facebook after you've come home and realize, "Hey, we missed each other. Shoot!" Say it's the

Overblown

Grunge nostalgia is a mixed blessing for people like myself. I weigh pros and cons -- hoping to not minimize or over-embellish the impact. Sure, it's great to remind others how important bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden were to me and people my age (as well the people at MTV and the journalists who covered what we saw and read). But it would do a disservice to younger generations by claiming this time in rock history was the greatest ever. I wouldn't say there has been a massive flood of grunge nostalgia in terms of products to buy, but it has made a lot of people talk, write, and think about it. Which I find healthy, in general. For me, as a consumer, I have a lot of hesitation towards checking out the various permutations of the Nevermind reissue. While it might be nice to sample Butch Vig's mix of the album, I don't think it's something worth owning. And with the B-side bonus tracks? Well, they can be found on other releases (and not just the Out

My first show

This week's edition is with Ed Breckenridge from Thrice. I've had the pleasure of seeing these guys play three times in the DFW area, including that first show at Rubber Gloves with Red Animal War and Samiam. I remember how some people laughed when Teppei brought out his BC Rich guitar for a song, since it's such a "metttttal!" guitar. A few years later, when I saw them open for Dashboard Confessional, there was a girl behind me constantly calling the band "T-rice."

Use Me

I might not be playing in a regular band these days -- and probably won't be playing with a regular band for the foreseeable future -- but that doesn't mean I have given up the drums. Hell no. For as long as I have working limbs and a desire to tap along, drumsticks will be nearby. Last week, I took up an invitation to play on a jam night at a small bar a little north of where I live. I'm happy to say that I had a wonderful time and will be back. Playing old school blues and R&B is not something I've ever done in front of people. But like I realized when I played southern rock songs at Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp last year, if you've played something John Bonham and Bill Ward have played, you've received a partial education on the blues. All the years I've spent watching a guitarist motion around, whether on the neck or with the foot going towards a distortion pedal, came in handy for this jam. Playing a slow blues song that I was not familiar followed

Near Wild Heaven

As much as it's old news at this point -- and many thought this should have happened a number of years before -- I've been meaning to write about R.E.M.'s decision to call it a day last week. With this week's edition of My First Show featuring a remembrance of seeing the band on the Monster tour, I have a few things to share. I read plenty of well-written tributes to the band last week, but the one that really rang true for me was -- no surprise here -- the one The A.V. Club did. With fond memories in them, writers like Noel, Josh, and Kyle hit the bullseye on what's it like to be a fan of this band. Keith's final line really hit me: Some music you hear. Some music marks you, and shows you where you’re headed before you even know. Referring to where he was in his life when he heard the R.E.M. records that impacted him the most, it's interesting how the band was there at pivotal moments. I, along with many others, can understand the sentiment. Even th

Crawl Space

After many months of trying, I came to a conclusion last night: Breaking Bad will probably not be one of my favorite all-time TV shows. I say this fully acknowledging the show is very well-written, acted, and produced, but at the end of the day (moreover, when I'm thinking about something to watch over dinner), I cannot join my friends in the near-universal praise. I played catch-up with the series during its hiatus before season four began, so this is my first season I've watched week-to-week. And I've passed the point of whether or not I should continue watching the show. I don't hate the show per se; I can't give up on a show with characters I've taken a lot of time to know. I want to know how the series will end, so I'm hanging on through the end of this season and I will watch its final, fifth season when it airs. Without going into spoiler territory, I point towards never-ending chasing of tails. When there's a problem that seemingly can't

In the end, all you can hope for is the love you felt to equal the pain you've gone through

Two weeks ago, I reviewed Tim Kasher's show at the Loft. If you haven't read the review yet, I thought it was a great show overall that became a little unglued at the end. Well, at the end of every show review for DC9, we do a "Critic's Notebook" mentioning personal bias, random quotes, or whatever else we feel like sharing that wouldn't fit in the body of the review. In the case of the Kasher show, I wrote the following in my Personal Bias section: I am a fan of Kasher's stuff, but there are times when I find Album of the Year and The Game of Monogamy very hard to listen to. It's not because of the music -- it's the brutal honesty and vulnerability found in the lyrics. I think I needed this show. There was a sentence between the second and third sentence that didn't make the final draft. I'm not pointing fingers or whining at why it was excised. Rather, I figured I'd explain a little more about what I was talking about. Frankly,

My first show

This week's edition is with Eric Larson, bassist for Ume. He grew up in Houston and his first punk show was at the same venue that mine was. Great talking with him, and Ume is incredible live. And if one just wasn't enough for this week's edition, I also interviewed Tom from the Horrors on his first show experiences. Read that one here .

First World Problems

I've recently encountered a phrase that fits perfectly into understanding the severity of something: first world problem. Often a hashtag on Twitter, the phrase has stuck and it's spawned some funny sites like this one. In many ways, I find this an evolution of the Stuff White People Like blog : white people with a certain amount of financial security and particular lifestyle habits poking fun at themselves. It's all harmless and I find the humor in it is as well. Yet knowing about this self-awareness makes me even more cautious to talk about my "problems." It's a great gauge to understand what's an earth-shattering problem and what is not. Merely watching snippets of a Real Housewives show or My Super Sweet 16 can show you plenty. I try to be careful about what I whine about -- knowing full well that I am a lucky and fortunate person. It's like that line in Swingers (in the same conversation that spawned the title of this here blog), where Rob

Postcard from 1952

A few years ago, I hoped to interview somebody from Explosions in the Sky for a Punk Planet feature. Their album, All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone , blew my mind and I wrote a very lengthy review. Well, I never got to interview somebody for a Punk Planet item because the magazine closed down, but I was happy to make up for it with the Observer . In addition to yesterday's My First Show, I did a half-page feature that also runs in the print edition. You can read it here .

Where you're from, where you are

In hopes of making interviews into friendly conversations, I'm always searching for icebreakers. Be it the town they're from, mutual friends we have, or when I saw them play live, I like to have things a little loose and fun. I definitely don't want to sound like a robot feeding questions into a mainframe computer. Lately, I've talked with many a folk who are from the Houston area and it's always a fun topic. Earlier today, I conducted an interview for an upcoming My First Show piece and Houston was brought up quite a bit. Given how pop-punk was brought up as well, the conversation went deeper than the surface. It's about searching for reference points and finding spots to explore more, even if it's about a past life. These days, I visit my hometown only a couple of times a year. I try to strike a balance between having my own life in Dallas and having Houston as my home away from home. I'm always welcome to make the four-hour drive, yet I prefer to be

Cold Love

In this week's print edition, I wrote the main feature . It's on Maleveller, probably the only metal band I've interviewed where we could have talked at length about Richard Hawley and Elliott Smith. Also, I covered Tim Kasher's show last night. It was epic to say the least!

My first show

For this week's edition , I interviewed Tim Kasher, someone I've been a fan of for many years. So far, I've seen Cursive four times and the Good Life once, and I've never come away disappointed. And if that wasn't enough, I also interviewed David Rogers-Berry from O'Death for a bonus edition of the column.

Tied to the '90s

I've spent a lot of time during this Labor Day weekend combing through many used-CD bins at a couple of Movie Trading Company locations. With a special of "Buy two, get one free" with 99-cent CDs, I've amassed a few small stacks for a total price of three new CDs. While this makes my library even larger, I can't help notice what I've bought: almost all of these CDs were by bands I remember from high school or college. Only a few came out after I graduated college, which was ten years ago. I'm talking Neil Finn, Dance Hall Crashers, Catatonia, Space, the Juliana Theory, and Underworld, to name a few. Records that I remember holding, whether I was at a Best Buy or at my college radio station. There's a different set of memories there -- and quite different from seeing songs saved as MP3s on my computer. I find this stuff to be treasure. I doubt some of this stuff is on the Internet -- and it's been cheaper to get them in the used bin instead

Here come Omar

Last week, I decided to make a purchase that some could say was foolish, but others could see as smart. And I couldn't help being self-conscious about it: I bought The Wire on DVD. There's a joke about being white and liking this HBO show that ran for five seasons. (Read probably the best explanation why right here .) Seems like everyone I know that has seen the show loves it, and will profess its greatness at any given moment. The day I purchased the set, I quipped on Facebook that I was "officially white." I have yet to hear anyone say a negative thing about this show, but there was some hesitation when I considered buying the whole shebang. This show was on HBO, a network that has its tendency to have original programming where people you don't normally root for as protagonists. But since this show's on HBO and not network TV, you can't say anything bad about it, right? Well, I still have burns from being a big fan of Six Feet Under bef

Serve the Servants

If your life was changed in 1991 or 1992 by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, you shouldn't be surprised there is renewed interest in talking about how good things were back then. You know, it's only been twenty years. (Cue rolling of eyes and head-slaps to those that remember this era like it was ten years ago.) From here on out for the rest of the year (and maybe some of next year too), you will hear plenty of reminders about how much albums like Nevermind and Ten were game-changers. Writer Simon Reynolds recently wrote an excellent piece about 90s nostalgia, tying it in with his book, Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Past . He starts off talking about how Nirvana's '92 performance at the Reading festival will be shown at this year's edition of the festival. Then he throws in plenty that is well worth your time. This got me thinking about how I have responded to news about Nevermind 's reissue, Pearl Jam's forthcoming documentary,

My first show

This week's edition is with Casey from the Dear Hunter and Andrew from Life On Repeat. This is what happens when one guy answers the questions well in advance, but the answers are short and to the point. So when another band is playing in town and a member is willing to elaborate, you get this as an end result.

Summer on the links

A little update on my golf game. I'm still playing and there's no reason to stop playing. Lately, Matt, myself, and Jeff (Matt's father) have ventured far and wide in the area to play. Sure, there are plenty of courses around here in the Dallas area alone, but we've recently played in Gainesville (which is about 90 minutes away) as well as in Marietta, Oklahoma. Why play so far away when there's so much to offer around here? Well, when my golf partners want to go there, I tag along. Prior to playing in Oklahoma, I had never stepped foot in the state. Yes, after living under the state for 26 years, I finally paid a visit. I'd like to go back there soon, just not when it's 105 and sunny. It felt like being in a fireplace, waiting for a match to be struck at any minute. There's an old-school charm to these courses and I love that. Shorter holes without any fancy water fountains or brand new houses next to the course. (Not that there's any wr

On (Still) Reading . . . The Dark Tower

The year has past its halfway mark and I'm still trying to climb up the Dark Tower with Roland and his ka-tet. I wasn't planning spending all this time dissecting Mid-World, thankee-sai, and Blaine the Mono, but that's how it's gone. You could ask why would I bother with such a difficult read. Well, since I'm a fan of easter eggs in books, TV shows, and movies, this series is ripe with them. And I still agree that if you read this mash-up of King Arthur , Lord of the Rings , and the Man With No Name trilogy, you have a much better understanding of Stephen King's other work. While I was in Florida, I read two non-King books in four days. Those who are friends with me on GoodReads know that is warp speed for me, but I think my patience with the Dark Tower series helped me immensely. The pacing of the series is slow, but after I read The Stand , I'm used to that. A few weeks ago, I decided to read a short story from Full Dark, No Stars in one morning