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Showing posts from March, 2011

Surrender to vinyl (again!)

I've given in. Kind of. I still have a lot of hesitation with beefing up my vinyl LP collection. These days, it's still CDs in the car while I have my iTunes at home. There's no reason to change things around. Vinyl is big and clunky and there's always that snap, crackle, and pop on playback. To me, vinyl is staying in, taking it easy, and listening to music for hours. That's not where my life is on most days. Yet something happened while I researched my feature story on True Widow: I could only hear the record on vinyl. Under strict instructions by their label, nobody in the band could burn me a copy. They couldn't burn a copy for anyone. I had to listen to a test pressing on vinyl while hanging out with the band. That was it. No driving around, listening to it in my various moods. I had one chance, so I took copious notes as I sat at Nicole's dining room table and the band sat on the couch. I still stand behind my views on the album. But I will say th

My first show

This week's edition is with Sean Kirkpatrick from the Paper Chase and Nervous Curtains. Interesting little fact: he was (and I think still is) the piano teacher for my old housemate/bandmate, Jason. We love our small little world.

Let Me In

I send many thanks to Matt Reeves for slipping one past the goalie. For a buzzer beater. For a Hail Mary pass. I'm not surprised to say I enjoyed Let Me In , Reeves' take on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, Let The Right One In . And I enjoyed it much more so than Tomas Alfredson's Swedish film adaptation, Let The Right One In . Yes, I'm happy to say what could have been a forgettable, pointless, exercise in redundancy greatly exceeded my expectations. I knew Let Me In would be a worthwhile film, but I didn't imagine I'd be heaping so much love its way. When I saw Let The Right One In , I did not understand its high praise. I found it to be praiseworthy. It was like if Gus Van Sant went to Sweden to make a vampire flick. I did not hate the movie (quite the contrary), but you could count me out of the kind of enthusiasm the film seemed to generate during its theatrical release. I should disclose this -- I saw Let The Right One In without its original, the

Just checked in

Last week, Diana received serious news about her health. This was a kind of serious news that made her, along with her friends, family, and me, quite nervous. Did she immediately write a blog post or make a grand declaration about it on Facebook, mere minutes after the fact? Nope. She collected her thoughts and wrote lengthy posts on her new blog . All along, I thought she did (and continues to do) the right thing in sharing this news. I'll let her speak for herself about her health ( this post is a good starting point). If you want to follow her progress, by all means, read her blog. She's a talented writer, among many, many other things. While she, along with her family and I, received the status about her condition, we decided to not make a public announcement on our various ways of online communicating. I'm not a fan of having an open invite to a pity party, especially via Facebook. And neither is she. Slowly, more and more people close to us got the news. You can

My first show

This week's edition is with Chris Bonner from THe BAcksliders. I definitely enjoyed his part about seeing KISS as a kid and then taking his kids to see them many years later.

Fast food for yuppies

As the wait continues for In-N-Out's Texas debut, Matt and I decided to check out Elevation Burger . I had heard some good things about the place, so I figured it would be worth my time. I'm no expert when it comes to burger places, but Snuffer's remains a must-visit place for me. Even though I visit the place (maybe) once a year, I hold the place in the highest regard. Now after having Elevation, I think I've got a tie going on. Elevation makes a big deal about the quality of their beef, and it is something to cheer about. Matter of fact, that's probably the best thing about their food. Yes, this was still a greasy burger, but it didn't taste like processed meat claiming to be 100 percent beef. Plus, the added cheddar was absolutely delightful. While the amount of fries they gave me was a little too much (and their prices were a tad high), I see plenty of reasons to go back to the place. As Matt and I left the parking lot, he declared the place was "f

Adam

My computer access has been sparse for the past few days, but I did read Pete's post about the death of Adam Carter, bassist of Spector 45 and the Felons. I didn't know Adam too well. We had mutual friends, but I never hung out with him one on one. I had seen him play with the Felons a couple of times, but I got to know him when he ran sound for the Pull Tabs. He was life-saver at the venue we were playing. You see, when a venue books a rock band, you should expect a rock band to show up. And a rock band that doesn't play loud is not a rock band. So when this venue (that has rock bands all the time) believes a loud band scares off customers from keeping a beer tab, they tell bands to turn down. As somebody who has been to this venue before, I've seen the venue packed and the bands playing at full volume. So, why tell any bands to turn down? Before working with Adam, a couple of soundmen at this venue told us to turn down, whether it was a guitar amp or me to tone do

Turn Off the Dark

Amidst the weekly coverage about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and its problems, I've tried to keep things at an arm's length. But when my parents got to see a preview over the weekend, I felt compelled to read this thorough article in the New York Times on the play's troubled production. I have yet to hear from my parents on what they thought of the show, but I already wonder what constitutes a great adaptation of a comic book into another medium, be it a movie or a musical. Whether or not the Geek Chorus (yes, you heard that right) and Arachne will be in the final version of the play since director Julie Taymor has left the project, I'm curious what kind of appeal this play is going for. Given how much money has been spent so far, it's definitely for a very broad audience, but I wonder how broad it is meant to be. These days, its appeal is on the same level as watching a certain portion of a highway that is often the sight of bad car wrecks. This plays right

I didn't even recognize you

I seem to be in the middle of a streak. Not the kind of streak Ray Stevens sang about or something the Dallas Mavericks tend to have every few weeks. Instead, it's involving me attending a wedding and people I have known for a long time don't recognize me. The people that don't recognize me have a very valid excuse: I was thirty pounds heavier and had a crooked goatee around my mouth when they last saw me. But this was me ten years ago. Maybe I should have befriended these people on Facebook or sent a random hello message before the wedding. That thought never really crossed my mind. And besides, not everyone is on Facebook and I don't have everyone's e-mail addresses. You know how when you're in teens and grow a lot vertically and horizontally in only a few months or years? That's a very valid reason for not recognizing someone you don't see every Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's the, "I remember when you were only this [hold your hand in the

I'll just look it up

Prior to hitting up the Trashcan Sinatras show, I was reminded of the difference between my generation and a younger generation's approach to technology. As I've mentioned before, I love having my old bike and riding it. I had to get some new handlebar grips since the old ones had fallen apart. Figuring it would be easy to glide these rubber tubes on my bike, I didn't think of looking online about how to put them on. Why in the world would I stop and do that? Seemed like a no-brainer situation. Well, after forming three blisters on my two hands (two of them were on my thumbs and they both formed and ripped off in the span of a few minutes), I was about to give up and try again the following morning. I sat down at my computer and typed in a few words with a Google search. Finding a video tutorial on the topic, I realized there was a secret: spray hairspray on the inside of the grip and the grip will easily slip on. After grabbing a can of hairspray from Matt's bathroo

The Big Payback

Two of the three books I bought at the soon-to-close Borders were books I've had my eye on for a while. I've already read one of them and I'm in the middle of reading the other one. (The third book, I should mention, was purchased as a birthday gift for my father.) The two books were Mustaine by Dave Mustaine and The Big Payback by Dan Charnas. Ever since I saw Dave Mustaine's appearance in Some Kind of Monster , I wondered about the guy. I knew he has said choice words about Metallica ever since he was fired from the band, but after I watched his conversation with Lars Ulrich, I had a lot of questions. I'm happy to say I got a lot of answers by reading Mustaine . Not only is there a first-hand account of the early (garage) days of Metallica, but plenty behind all those times I saw Megadeth videos on MTV and Dave's various appearances on the channel (including the time he was a political correspondent in the '92 election). There's very little in the