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Showing posts from February, 2011

Breaking down Borders

Mere minutes after I heard almost all of the Borders in North Texas were closing, I figured I should make a trip to at least one of the stores. The second-closest one to my house will remain open, but the ones in Lewisville, Uptown, and Highland Park already have the cheapo "Store Closing" signs up. As un-shocking as this news is, I have to admit there is a bit of sadness I feel about this. If it weren't for Borders sending me weekly coupons for 20-40 percent off a book, I probably would have not gone to one on a regular basis. In turn, I might have not had the large and diverse (at least in my mind) library in my house. Then again, the reason why my to-read shelves are filled with books is thanks to Half Price Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. As a matter of fact, as of a year ago, I stopped regularly going to Borders to pick up new books. If went into one, it was to check out their bargain section. Why I stopped going regularly was based on their prices. I was remi

I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight

Not too long after I finished completing my Rush catalog, I decided to fill some holes elsewhere in my library. I'm not trying to be a total completist here, but if there's a band who's consistently good (and I like), then it's worth considering some looking around local used CD stores. After I found $2 copies of Oasis's Be Here Now and Don't Believe The Truth , I figured I should finish my collection with a copy of Dig Out Your Soul . I still maintain the attitude that (What's the Story) Morning Glory is my favorite Oasis record from start to finish, but I'm glad I found other tracks, like "Mucky Fingers," very much worth my while. My reasoning for a lapse in following Oasis can really be summed up by my initial impressions of Be Here Now and Heathen Chemistry . I was simply tired of them and tired of reading about them. Oasis was a band perfect for the British weeklies, given how Noel and Liam knew how to get editors excited with choice wo

My first show

This week's edition is with Guyton Sanders, drummer for the Demigs. Turns out, we've shared bandmates before: he briefly played with Dave from the 11:30s in one of Dave's many post-11:30s projects. Small world, er, scene.

(18 holes of) Golf!

After a handful of practice runs at a few driving ranges, three years of Wii Golf, twenty years of Putt-Putt, and a few years of carrying the score sign for the Doug Sanders Golf Tournament, I finally hit the links for eighteen holes. With a mostly overcast day on Saturday, it was perfect weather to try a few things with Matt and his father, Jeff. Over the course of four hours, I hit a few great shots (including one drop from the sand trap into the hole), but there were plenty of mulligans and strained back muscles by the end of the day. Still, I look forward to my next round. Helping matters was how encouraging Matt and Jeff were. Neither claimed to be greatness with the woods or the irons, but they definitely had experience. I don't know if I could have asked for better people to do this. I'm happy to say the golf clubs my father gave me are still in tip-top shape. Give me a few more rounds and they will have seen more action than they ever did in the last forty years. I need

Gone with the Schwinn

Until this past Sunday, I had not been on a bike since middle school. That's right, a good twenty years since a ride. Once I climbed back onto my Schwinn mountain bike from 1991, all sorts of good feelings came back. With new tires and a helmet on my head, three miles flew by. And I've taken a ride every single day since. Helping matters is that the weather has been the exact opposite of what it's been in the past two weeks. Sunny skies and 70 degrees -- very similar to what Donna and Noel have enjoyed as well. Also helping is that Diana can take rides with me on her bike. Getting my old bike back has been welcome because frankly, the exercise routine I've had for the past two years was wearing thin. As much as I love taking Victory out to either the dog park or up and down three miles of hills, there are limits. I wanted to have a little more consistency with pace. I figured it would nicer to not have things like cars, other dogs, and poop breaks to interrupt. Since V

Good things

I turned 32 yesterday. Henry Rollins, Jerry Springer, Peter Tork, Peter Hook, and Prince Michael Jackson also celebrated another year of their lives. I'm incredibly happy to say that my life in the 30s is shaping to be much better than my life in the 20s. I was 22 going on 23 when I graduated college. So much of life was a big series of question marks then. These days, there are still plenty of question marks, but I think I have a better handle on them. I think about plenty of possibilities instead of assuming the worst and thinking there aren't any. I think things really boil down to how view your life instead of defining it by age. I don't think I ever set myself to achieve a goal by x-amount of years. Merely living life and not letting life go completely down the tubes, you can accomplish plenty. There are people that I've known (before and now) who, with age, give more and more up on life. The longer the life, the less satisfying. What's the use since it's n


After a very long and stressful week of dealing with ice-filled roads, I received some news I wasn't surprised to get. But when I received the news, it still stung. I finally received word back from an agent who believed in POST and tried to find a suitable home for it with a "name" publisher: he politely passed on When We Were the Kids . I make no bones about how When We Were the Kids is a slightly more difficult read compared to POST . There are a couple dozen speakers, all describing a music scene that once existed. I have yet to read an oral history that didn't have a couple dozen speakers, all almost sounding like it was from one voice. This is the nature of the beast. I'm not trying to be difficult -- I can't really think of any other way in presenting a story like this. Would you really believe a story about a multi-person rock scene from one speaker or narrator? I wouldn't. I've lost track as to exactly how much time I've spent on this bo

Gamelan D'Drum

Due to weather issues, only one performance of the heralded, Stewart Copeland-penned "Gamelan D'Drum" was this past weekend. And I was lucky enough to see it. Darryl wrote a pretty thorough write-up of the performance, but I wanted to add some of things I noticed. As a drummer who is usually cautious about a 35-minute drum-fueled piece, I had some slight hesitation this would be a repetitive novelty after a few minutes. Thanks to the Dallas Symphony performing behind the five percussionists of D'Drum, I was pretty taken the entire time. Plus, conductor Jaap van Zweden was absolutely the real deal: he clearly cared about the music and conducted in a (dare I say) artful and precise way. Given that my knowledge of composers is limited compared to my knowledge of say, death metal or emo punk, I thought of composers like Bernard Herrmann, Igor Stravinsky, and John Williams while the piece was performed. Meaning, the many various sounds of percussion were at the lead while

My first show

This week's edition of My First Show features Don Cento, someone I saw play many shows with Chomsky. He talks about seeing Van Halen on the same bill with Metallica and Scorpions. Also on the bill, the still-hated Zeppelin-like Kingdom Come. Fun times.

Allow me to break the ice

Driving in this morning while freezing rain and high winds made it hard for me to stay on the highway, I thought about something that's been making me laugh a lot lately. It's all here , a collection of puns spoken by Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin , as portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm not someone who thinks Batman & Robin is the worst film in history (that distinction, currently, is a tie between The Beach and the original When A Stranger Calls) , but I've never had a desire to rewatch the film. I remember seeing the film in the theater with my bandmates at the time. I didn't hate it, but I'd say I was entertained. The whole "It's not nice to mess with Mother Nature" line bugged me though. All these years later, there's this crazed desire I have to watch the movie again. No matter how bad those puns are ("Allow me to break the ice" and "What killed the dinosaurs? The ice age!" are some of my favorites), I wan