The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I wish I was a world traveler

So I recently received a copy (from my parents, nothing exciting) of this book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die and, well it has a lot of flaws. I suppose any list does. My particular gripes are:

1) Why so many goddamn hotels? I'm gonna travel to the fucking backwaters of India to stay in a palace. I mean, I can understand having a few exemplary hotels on the list and maybe including a few others in the mentions of important cities/festivals but the fact that 205 (by my somewhat inebriated count) of the 1,000 places are hotels.
2) A non-orthagonal 20% (I'm not even bothering to count but this is 200 of 900 pages) of this book is about the USA and while I'm sure Superdawg (a hot dog stand) in Chicago is quite the experience, I'm not sure it deserves to be included if it means the exclusion of beautiful port town of Xiamen, China and the adjacent island. Also, I don't know that each of the Hawaiian islands needs its own entry. On the other hand, I have been to the Pike Place Market in Seattle so at least this way I get one point
3) Africa only gets 68 entries.

At the same time, it did have the positive value of reinvigorating my need to go visit the world. Benben, I need you! Who knew it cost $900 to fly to Brazil. I don't think I have the money to fund a trip for six months but now I can't stop thinking about it.

Alright, I'll finish watching Futurama and post some more nonsense tomorrow.

Another resolve, same as the last

I was reading the whole "nice guys finish last" blog theme/meme today and I was reminded of two things: 1) I have let myself become a little too much of an observer and not enough of a participant in life and 2) a little confidence will take you a long way.

So, I am on (yet another) attempt to be more pro-active, not even with regards to dating (as I am still on the fence as to whether I am ready to get back on that horse [and yes, that is a deliciously twisted metaphor]) but with, happily, possibly, with regards to this blog and also with my grad school aspirations and everything else. We'll see how long this lasts.

Just in case this gets some kind of random dating hits though, I will admit that my weakness (I am sure it is a result of some Midwestern patriarchal bias but too late to fix that now) is long, straight hair. Other than that, I think I am open to pretty much any female characteristic. And, also, I haven't even managed to date a woman with said characteristic for many years.

[Update] Sorry, still no actual blog substance yet. I really need someone to bounce ideas but while I have had a few nibbles on the contributor side there are no actual takers.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A week late(r)

On Friday (7/1), I went to go see a show at The Independent. Rogue Wave headlined, Helio Sequence was underneath that, and Audio Out Send opened. Audio Out Send played a pretty solid set. They are from the Bay area and I will try and see them play another time.

I have mixed feelings about the venue. It is clean and has a nice stage but it also is a little too open and I still don't feel like it's a real rock show when no one is smoking. Also, it seems rather big for a SF venue and, as a result, the show wasn't super crowded which allowed for a little more dancing space.

Helio Sequence is one of my personal bands. I don't know that they are my favorite but they seem to be one I often promote to others (along with The Wrens) and have managed to see more than once in the last twelve months. I worked my way to the front for the set because they really impressed me the last time I saw them live. The set seemed a little more laid back than the last time I saw them (perhaps a result of touring with Rogue Wave or some kind of unspecified West Coast effect). Their set was still tight and I love the drummer's style. He conjures up grandiose effects with a very clean style. The set was fun and, again, they seemed to bring the crowd around to support them. I enjoyed myself and tried to do some rockin' in a fairly laid back crowd.

Rogue Wave were the stars of the show. Hailing from Oakland, the result of a Craigslist posting, and now successful Subpop recording artist they were enthusiastically welcomed. I stayed up front and ended up next to a group of people who knew some of the band members. We ended up chatting because they were a fairly large group and they were pretty cool. I ended up dancing with some of the girls and talking with most of the group and even Graham of Rogue Wave. Ok, now to turn to the actual set. I am glad that I was up front because you could really feel that the band was glad to be home and was having a lot of fun. They played a song off their forthcoming album Cat Form(?), due out in October and played a cover of Neil Young's Wrecking Ball as a combined supergroup with Helio Sequence. That song had a poor start while the guitarist from Helio Sequence got the guitar in tune but then it got together and I enjoyed it. Apparently, they are trying to include the song on the album with the addition of the Helio Sequence guys. They played pretty much the entire album "Out of the Shadows." I good set and I had a great time, probably the best night out since I came out here.

I thought summaries were a good idea

I thought it would be nice to have summaries but didn't realize they defaulted onto every post. I now have some faint idea of how to implement them correctly but it will probably require a free weekend before that happens. So I will turn them back off for the time being.

Due shortly:
1) A sumary of the Rogue Wave and Helio Sequence concert. I've explained it to most people who are inteerested but let's get it down for the record (short answer: excellent)
2) China Mieville: I just read his Perdido St. Station and re-read The Scar.

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's better than catblogging

It's the Friday random 10.

I'll adopt it too. Here's 10 random songs that I have on my computer that get selected after pressing the magic shuffle button:

1. The Dead Milkmen - Lucky --> Well, I like The Dead Milkmen but this song doesn't do anything particularly spectacular so I'll say (5/10)
2. The Kaiser Chiefs - Every Day I Love You Less and Less --> OK, OK, so this song is just about as '80s as it gets but I love it but it's the first song off the album so they're still in higher-octane mode (5/10)
3. The Wrens - Happy --> I really love them but they're better live (I think) this song is too slow for too long (4/10)
4. Son Ambulance - Like a Friend --> Well, from slow to pseudo-folk. Meh. (3/10)
5. Comets on Fire - Organs --> Ahh, some crazy experimental rock. With an organ. I give it 4/10 though because it's really just a transition piece and not awesome unfortunately.
6. The Thrills - Deckchairs & Cigarettes --> They're Irish but they have an album about California and they're, um, kind of boring. Why did I buy this CD? Oh yeah, cause it was cheap and I kept seeing their name on concert posters. (2/10)
7. Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles (Mama Black Widow Version) --> when your genre is avant-garde, you get an automatic +1. And then I just don't have enough songs about penises. And I can use it to redeem the last song (kind of) so, hey, it gets an 8. (8/10)
8. The Raveonettes - Love in a Trashcan --> This one's for Pedro. danish surf-rock with feedback. Plus I've seen 'em live. So hey, have a 7. (7/10)
9. Chinese Artists - The Loving song of Kangding --> Um, yea, so I have this whole China fetish (if you hadn't noticed). It's not a bad song but it's nothing overwhelming. It would get more points if it was any other culture cause then you'd be suprised. (4/10)
10. Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight --> Yay. Ok, so maybe they're kind of commercial but it's good solid pop and he's telling this girl to kiss off. Something I wish I could do, so 9/10

Highly personal average: 5.1 out of 10.

And that's with only songs I've liked in the last six months.

Have a good weekend. I don't know if I'll manage to post then