Monday, February 28, 2011

The Song Is You

"everyone dies in my movies. everyone dies ain't that beautiful? and all things blow up."
-all black cinema

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011


These are a couple of possible pieces that might be included in the art work for the Eric & Magill vinyl pressing. I really like Eric Hancock's scratchy pen style and both of the pieces capitalize on depth and perspective, two things I feel like I'm short on in my life right now.

Eric & Magill have reached their Kickstarter goal, so the record will get pressed fo-sho. You can still donate on their Kickstarter page for the next couple weeks (a $25 donation secures you a copy of the record, so you can just think of it as pre-purchasing it), so do so if you can and maybe they'll use the proceeds to do a tour or something.

Best of luck to those guys.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If You Don't Love Me, Let Me Go.

I had the lyrics to part of this song stuck in my head the other day during class. I knew it was The Decemberists, but I couldn't place the actual songs, or which album it was on, or, even, the actual words. All I could remember was that it was exactly what I was feeling at the time.

I think the words I was trying to remember were "I am the heart that you call home" and "I have written pages upon pages trying to rid you of my bones". It didn't work, by the way. I didn't really want it to.

I went home and have been listening to Decemberists albums ever since. Once, I thought I had forgotten what I was looking for, and another time questioned if I would know the significance of the song to what I was feeling a few days ago. Luckily, it all came back when the song finally played. It was disarmingly beautiful and hope snuck up on me in a way I didn't think was possible anymore.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Velour 100 was a band that was around when I was young, but I never got into them as much as David. Every once in a while I'll pull out the albums I have a give them a listen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On Critiquing and Appreciating.

Does critiquing something mean that you don't like it? If you don't wantonly love everything, does that make you a negative person? I'm not ridiculous enough to think that my opinion really matters, but I feel that cautiously warming up to books, music, movies, art, etc. is just as fulfilling and gratifying as being in love with everything. Personally, I think it saves me a lot of anxiety to not really expect much. I tried going around being disappointed with everything and I didn't really like how I felt. I tried to learn to take things as they are and leave my expectations out of it and I found that it was much more satisfying to enjoy something for what it was, rather than disliking it for what it was not.

Perhaps this has resulted in a detachment in, or a difficulty to be moved by, a lot of art. However, one must also take personality into account when judging such things. I am traditionally find much more joy in an honest conversation than I do in any song or movie or book. You know the way people hear a song and you can see on their face that they are moved; they are changed? I rarely get that way from hearing songs that I love. I get that way from talking intimately with someone I love.

Just because I don't light up and beam when I hear that song on the radio, doesn't mean I don't enjoy it. Just because I don't feel faint when I see a band I like play my favorite song in concert doesn't meant I'm not having a good time. If there is a problem, it probably stems from an expression of enjoyment, rather than the feeling of enjoyment.

What I try to write here on this blog concerns things that I enjoy and appreciate, mostly in terms of pop music. When I try to sound especially enthusiastic about something, I don't feel like I am actually saying what I feel about it, but rather I feel like I'm trying to write something so that somebody else might feel compelled to listen, based on something I said. In conversation, I don't readily feel this burden to convince someone else. Perhaps I don't come off as enthusiastic if I just say something like "I like this," but I'm usually oblivious to the fact that I'm supposed to be enthusiastic or risk sounding sarcastic.

That being said, I like this. I love you.

It looks like Radiohead is going to release another album. I hope that it's good. They really haven't done much for me since Kid A, but they're still a lot better than most stuff out there; even when they're disappointing. The new album is going to be called The King Of Limbs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Faux Fir on Morning Blend

If you're going to do a morning show, wear your bathrobes! Faux Fir of Milwaukee plays some psycho keyboard pop and tries to get the ass out of bed shaking.

Warm Tone of "Americana" on Vinyl

I had a conversation with some friends about name brand and generic items a while ago. We discussed the products that we felt mattered to spend the extra money to get, what we perceived to be, necessarily better quality. These items included toilet paper, cotton swabs for the ear, and beer.

Some people, myself included, feel that vinyl is a superior medium for listening to music. But, unlike some, I am completely aware that this is nothing more than a perceived notion that doesn't really make it true. There are so many qualifiers that play into what you ear besides the actual item being played that it's hard to tell what factor is making one sound better than the other-if anything at all.

A crappy turntable is unlikely to sound better than a quality CD player. A CD and a record played on the same high quality system are even likely to have factors that will make them sound different. The quality of the record and the CD, the volume and tone levels will factor into what a person hears. This is all nitpicking, but I bring it up to acknowledge that I am aware that comparisons aren't always apples to apples.

However, I can say, in all honesty, that Starflyer 59's "Americana" sounds amazing on vinyl. I recently overpaid for a copy on eBay to fill in a gap of my collection and was floored by how good it sounded. It was much fuller and warm sounding than I had ever heard it and I don't even have a respectable sound system. Holy cow.

The only downside is that it came with a lyrics sheet, something that the CD did not, and now I know for sure that every last song is sad and hits very close to home. Six albums later, Jason Martin wrote a song with the line "Hey, man, did you write that for me? It sounds like it." which I took as something he was constantly asked by obnoxious fanboys. Now that I know what the words are on "Americana", I'm in the same boat as the fanboy.

"Please, say what you mean. You've got time for everyone but me. Don't tell me after how I feel"
And that's the whole song.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Green Line Overdrive by Smart People Factory

I'll admit two things. Less than two years ago, I had solidified a guitar playing philosophy for myself that submitted that I should use the fewest effects pedals as I could. Not including a tuner, I was thinking as little as two. I flirted with the idea of one, but felt completely justified using two: a rat distortion and a delay. I have the Line 6 delay modeler, so that's really like having three delays at once and access to a dozen others with the flip of a dial. It was a loophole I felt fine exploiting.

Then, I unfortunately began to appreciate the subtle differences between an overdrive and a distortion. Then, I began to appreciate all sorts of things and, before I knew it, I had myself a small collection of pedals. After a while, I tired to limit my purchases to pedal kits that I would build myself, but I recently broke that rule by scoring a Green Line overdrive off of ebay for less than $100.

I came to know this little guy by copying what I had read Jeff Schroeder used to record the Lassie Foundation album "Face Your Fun". Most of the effects were pretty standard, and some I already had. However, Schroeder wrote in the band's recording diary very flattering things about both the Green Line ("sounds really, really good) and the Boss OD-1 ("awesome fucking pedal!") which made me covet them. I also really want a Fender Bassman reissue, but don't have them dollars.

The Boss OD-1 was pretty easy to find on ebay. I even got a modified pedal that is more true to the original 80's circuit than later models. The Green Line, however, was a pain to find. On the Smart People Factory website, which is cleverly designed, there isn't a whole lot of ordering information and nobody responded to my email. I went out to the Pacific Northwest over the summer and came across a couple in some guitar shops. They were expensive and I was poor and there on somebody else's dime. Once every six months or so, for two years, I might come across one on ebay, but they'd always sell for more than I had or was willing to spend. Today, however, I finally lucked out.

There's always the chance that this will be a bust, and once I have the actual pedal, I won't really like it all that much. But who cares? At this point, after all I went through to get one, I'm going to love it like I would a bad movie. "Hey, it's not as bad as AIDS."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

$hare the Love

Eric & Magill are trying to raise money to press their album "All Those I Know" on vinyl. They're giving the record away for free on their page, so the least anyone could do is cough up a buck or two to help them out.

They are offering some boss incentives: a $25 donation gets you a copy of the vinyl, so basically, you're just paying for the record that you bought, $250 gets you the record and they'll right a nice song about whatever you want. $500 will guarantee that the song is on their next record. A donation of $1 or more will get you a kiss on the lips from me.

This was one of my favorite records of 2010, and I'd love to see it get pressed on vinyls. Help them kids out!