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lovesick, broke & driftin' [29 Apr 2005|04:00pm]
Lots of new stuff in the last couple weeks. Way too much. Is there such a thing?

American Hi-Fi - Hearts On Parade - perfectly fine power pop. more consistent than the new Weezer record
Basement Jaxx - The Singles - one disc of hits, one disc of b-sides, one hell of a color-drenched & silver foil-embossed digipak. double-disc import for less than twenty bucks, how can you beat that?
The Bravery - not good. free promo copy from a friend, forgive me
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities - too much to absorb all at once. gotta love those Murder Ballads b-sides
Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant - Sister Phantom Owl Fish - didn't get around to listening to this yet. picked it up at Metro when i was floored by their set opening for Fantomas
Fantomas - Suspended Animation - best packaging of the year, hands down
Feist - Let It Die - waited months for the domestic release, ended up buying the expensive import anyway when i found out the US version had horrible art and fewer tracks
Garbage - Bleed Like Me - still absorbing this one. looking forward to them at Metro next week
Hanson Brothers - Gross Misconduct - Nomeansno's beer/Ramones/hockey side project. picked it up at NMN's jaw-dropping Bottom Lounge show
LCD Soundsystem - finally picked this up for ten bucks at Rolling Stones after passing on it for eighteen bucks everywhere else
M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts - picked this up at their Empty Bottle shows. not as powerful as the new record, but still fairly essential
M83 - Teen Angst - latest single with b-sides that actually justify purchase of the single, unlike most bands' b-sides these days
Stars - Set Yourself On Fire - why didn't i see these guys with Apostle of Hustle at the Bottle? stupid
Urban Outfitters & Filter Magazine - For Tsunami Relief - charity compilation with two discs of mostly good, mostly unreleased indie rock (not pictured below, couldn't find a good image of the cover)

Don't have the actual retail versions of these, but I've pre-ordered & downloaded both, so close enough:
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth - wish i hadn't pre-ordered it. yes, it's that bad
Weezer - Make Believe - better than i expected it to be, not nearly as good as they're capable of. the melodies are slowly but surely taking over my brain like a parasite, or cancer, or something. Rivers always brings the melody

nerdy collage of album covers behind the cut...Collapse )
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baby steps [06 Mar 2005|10:50pm]
Should I actually start posting to this thing again? Will I have the conviction to stick with it? Should I just move to Blogger where are the cool kids are? I dunno. For now, here's a quick recap of the tunes I picked up in the last week or so.

Hounds of Love
The Futureheads - Hounds of Love (parts 1 and 2) import singles - Maybe the best band in the world at this very moment. Good acoustic & remix b-sides.

Here Come the ABCs
They Might Be Giants - Here Come the ABCs - Mostly lackluster and passionless on first listen. The verdict is still out.

The Incomplete Triangle Sectioned Beam
Lansing-Dreiden - The Incomplete Triangle and Sectioned Beam EP- Excellent stuff, especially the full-length Incomplete Triangle. Highly recommended.

I love this album art.
Frank Zappa - Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch - Unlistenable wanky shite for the most part, but it was on sale and I like one song. Apparently I'll buy any stupid crap if it's only $7.99.

Beam me up, Scully.
Catatonia - Mulder and Scully 7" single - for the jukebox I'll have someday

M83 - Don't Save Us from the Flames EP - You know you love M83. Don't deny it. This track owns. I can't wait to see them at Empty Bottle next month.
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[15 Dec 2004|11:31pm]
I lost one of my two best buddies today.


May 25 2001 - December 15 2004

Rest in peace, Bear ... I miss you ... I love you.
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new tunes from the last couple weeks [21 Oct 2004|04:51pm]
The Arcade Fire - funeral
Bowling for Soup - punk rock 101 DVD single
The Clash - london calling - 2CD/DVD legacy edition
John Frusciante - DC EP
AC Newman - the slow wonder
Sigur Ros - untitled CD/DVD single
Elliott Smith - from a basement on a hill
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so it begins [13 Oct 2004|12:28pm]
Tonight: pre-Expo party at Vince's house
Thursday through Sunday: 20th annual Pinball Expo
Sunday evening: sleep like the dead

I'm not going to get much rest in the next four days.
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pretentious bullshit overload, system shutting down [08 Oct 2004|04:57pm]
Just tried to access the Sound Opinions Message Board and saw the following message:
"Board Offline - Board will be down for rest of day due to upgrades / cleanup"

What, you mean I actually have to go out and have a life on Friday evening? The devil you say! Oh well, there's always rec.games.pinball... no danger of a life developing anytime soon.  =)
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worst... roadtrip... ever! [05 Oct 2004|04:59pm]
Sunday afternoon on the way home from Pinball Circus in Minnesota I stopped to buy a few $1 chips from Majestic Pines Casino (my dad collects poker chips). Noticed the car was up-shifting fairly late, so I checked the transmission fluid and sure enough, it was low. Bought some from a nearby gas station, problem solved. About an hour later on the highway I had to slow down for traffic, and when I got back up to speed the car had trouble up-shifting again. Figured I might not have added enough fluid since the diptsick reads differently when the engine is hot from expressway travel. So I pulled off at the next exit, bought some more tranny fluid, back on my way. At this point I'm thinking at *worst* I have a slow leak, and that I'll have to stop a few times on the way back to Chicago, then get the thing looked at ASAP Monday morning.

This time the fluid didn't last nearly as long, so I knew I had a fairly serious leak. Pulled over *again*, called Lisa to ask her if she could meet me halfway, just east of Rockford, IL. The plan was for me to hobble along the last 45 miles or so, stopping once or twice to replenish the fluid. So I added transmission fluid for the *third* time, then hit the road with my fingers crossed.

I'd like to add that the wind was blowing about 30 mph in Wisconsin that day, which made the flimsy paper funnels from gas stations frustrating at best. Transmission fluid gets added right to the tiny diptick hole, unlike oil. Trying to hit the mark while the wind was tossing the funnel around and blowing my t-shirt up over the back of my head was maddening. Oh, and did I mention the second gas station had a bee infestation? That's right, motherfucking bees, dozens of them. The *only* thing not blown away by the wind. I quickly gave up on swatting them away, resigned to the fact that I'd have several landing on me and buzzing around my face while I wrestled with the goddamn paper funnel.

Where was I? Oh yeah, I'm hitting the road to try and limp along for 45 more miles to meet Lisa. What I was going to do with my car at that point was the least of my concerns... I just didn't want to get stranded. Less than a mile back on the highway, I knew my trip was over. I was *already* low on fluid after just filling it (a little more than full actually, to compensate for the speedy leak). I managed to crawl to the next exit, find a phone, and call Lisa, but she'd already left. Didn't think I'd catch her, but it was worth a shot. This is the point where her night gets ruined, because I have no way to reach Lisa in her car. She'll be driving an hour, waiting who-knows-how-long for me to arrive, giving up, then driving an hour back home.

Got back in the dying car to drive it across the street in hopes of *eating*, which I hadn't done all day, figuring out what to do next, etc.. Then the car figured out what to do next all by itself. It blew the transmission out completely, taking a reddish-brown fluid dump in the left turn lane at a busy intersection. That's all she wrote. Play with the gear shift all you want, it's not leaving neutral; I have no transmission.

Called a tow truck, of course. When the guy arrived he glanced at the soaked asphalt and said "let me guess, 1995?"
"Yeah, why?"
"Because '95s always blow the transmission out the side."
He walked around behind the left front tire, looked underneath and said "yep. Well, where do you want it towed?"
"Uh, to any place that does transmission work and will look at it tomorrow morning. Got any in mind?"
"That transmission's completely blown out, it's gonna cost you fifteen hundred or two thousand to get it fixed."

I knew he was right, or at least close, and I knew the blue book value of my car was under $1500... so no transmission shop. He asked how much money I had, presumably to pay him for a ride home. I told him I lived 2 hours away, so that was a no-go. He then offered to trade me a Chevy S-10 pickup for my carcass, but it was a moot point since I can't drive stick (the kids these days, eh?). Finally he offered to trade an '89 Chevy Astro Van (automatic) for my car. My initial gut reation was "no f'n way! This guy's trying to take advantage of the fact that I'm stuck." After mulling it over a for a few minutes, I realized that even if he was *somehow* getting the better end of the car swap, that I was getting a good deal as well.

If I trade, I get to drive home tonight, feed the cats (instead of calling Lisa *again* to ask her to do it), go to work tomorrow, and the guy won't charge me for the tow.

If I don't, I get to pay for the tow, a hotel room, waste a vacation day, rent a car for the next few days, pay more than the blue book value of a 10-year-old car to get it fixed, then drive the rental *back* to Wisconsin and pick up my car.

So... I'm now the proud (ha!) owner of a 1989 Chevrolet Astro Van, spray-painted black, with only two seats and an interior that looks like it housed a fraternity and/or a meth lab. Took it to Merlin's this morning and found out the brakes are life-threateningly piss-poor, and the exahust system is so bad that I'm actually breaking the law by driving it. It would cost around $1000 to get it safe & street-legal, which of course I'm not paying. I wasn't kidding myself by thinking I had a substitute for my daily vehicle; I traded a piece of junk for a ride home, and it got me home, dammit... that's all I cared about.

So... anyone want a free van to tinker with?  =)
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new tunes [28 Sep 2004|03:05pm]
Picked up Earlimart's new album today, as well as the long, long, LONG awaited Brian Wilson album Smile. Thought about picking up the new God Lives Underwater record as well, but I'm not paying $18 + tax for music I haven't heard from a defunct band. It was supposed to come out 3 or 4 years ago (a drop in the bucket comapred to Smile's 37 years) but was stuck in record label limbo. I'm not usually fond of "last gasp" type efforts from bands, so I can't justify paying for it 'til I hear the thing. Yeah yeah, I know I can sample it online, I just didn't have the time before hittin' the rekkid sto'.
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pinball revelation [26 Sep 2004|03:43am]
I'm unstoppable on White Water and Twilight Zone when I'm drunk! Mike's birthday party was a blast. =)
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home sorta home [21 Sep 2004|01:40pm]
Picked up my bedroom furniture from Dania in Northbrook this past weekend. All of Dania's stuff comes *completely* unassembled (even the drawers), so I'll be busy for the next few nights. Not like I wasn't already busy, heh.

Oh, random sort-of-celebrity sighting. I saw Micahel Jordan's mom shopping there a couple weeks ago. I'm surprised she wasn't at one of the mega-high-end interior design studios in the area. Maybe she needed some junk for her guest house.  =)
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now i've seen (heard) it all [14 Sep 2004|05:56pm]
Last night during Monday Night Football I heard `float on` by Modest Mouse. I shouldn't be that surprised since it's a catchy-as-hell radio hit, but still... Modest Mouse and pro football are odd bedfellows. Reminds me of a decade ago when the jocks started rocking out to Nirvana.
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so close, yet so far [07 Sep 2004|01:00pm]
Breakshot is one 25-cent bussed resistor network away from working 100%. At least I hope that's what's wrong with the center lock post. Vince, Mike, and I have tried everything else, including rebuilding the opto emitter board, as well as the connectors for both the emitter & receiver boards. Guess I'll find out later this week when the Mouser order arrives. [fingers crossed]
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headline: Des Plaines man arrested as 'sleeper' spy for Iraq [31 Aug 2004|03:12pm]
A supposed Iraqi spy was arrested yesterday about a mile northeast of my place. Here's an excerpt from today's Chicago Sun Times article about it:

An Iraqi "sleeper" who was planted in the United States by Saddam Hussein's spy service and who once worked security at O'Hare International Airport lied about his intelligence ties, prosecutors said Monday, slapping the Des Plaines man with federal charges. Sami Khoshaba Latchin, 57, of the northwest suburb was arrested Monday and charged with making false statements to U.S. immigration officials when applying for citizenship in 1998. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said Latchin did not disclose his membership in the Iraqi Intelligence Service and affiliation with Iraq's then-ruling Baath Party.

Want to read the rest of the article?Collapse )

I don't know what to make of the whole thing... just thought it was interesting that one of those things you always read about in the news happened so close to home.
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is it just me, or... [26 Aug 2004|12:08am]
...is Nick Cave irrelevant these days? Just saw him on Letterman and was barely able to sit through the whole thing. He was playing a hammy, tuneless, solo piano version of The Mercy Seat. Sounded like a Neil Diamond impersonator covering Nick Cave in a hotel bar. Come to think of it, Nick kinda looks like Neil Diamond these days.

Is his new album one of those "stripped down new versions of my old hits" affairs? Can't figure out why else he'd be dragging out the old stuff, as I'm pretty sure he's already done the greatest hits thing. Letterman said something about it being a double disc set, but I wasn't paying much attention at the time.

Don't get me wrong, I like some of his material... hell, I *love* Murder Ballads, but it's been a steady slide down from there. Maybe I'm just losing a taste for maudlin, melodramatic music in my old age. [shrug]
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new CDs, etc. from the last few weeks [25 Aug 2004|04:40pm]
American Hi-Fi
- self-titled EP - two tracks from their (currently import-only) Butch Walker-produced album `hearts on parade`, plus three demos of non-album songs

- passion for life - live CD & DVD set

- 18: b-sides + DVD - two discs for seven bucks (used), can you blame me? I wasn't crazy about the `18` album, but its b-sides are better. Plus the DVD is absolutely *loaded* with content... easily worth seven bucks on its own.

Modest Mouse
- float on - import single with bonus tracks

Sahara Hotnights
- kiss & tell - new studio album, chock full o' tuneful power pop... what's not to like?

Secret Chiefs 3
- book of horizons - latest studio album featuring Trey Spruance, the Estradasphere lads, Eyvind Kang, Danny Heifetz, William Winant, and a bunch of other ne'er-do-wells.

Butch Walker
- letters - new studio album (not that new to me, since i've heard most of these songs live for the last two years)
- this is me... justified and stripped - `letters` bonus disc with 10 live acoustic tracks & two live videos
- heartwork - EP with 2 album tracks, an acoustic version of one of them, a Cars cover song, and a *great* new original song: `last flight out`

Seven-inch singles for the jukebox I keep telling myself I'll buy someday:
- Kelis - milkshake b/w instrumental version
- Kelis - trick me b/w instrumental version
- Moby - that's when i reach for my revolver b/w whip it (death metal version)
- Outkast - hey ya! b/w instrumental version

Other new music-related stuff:
- American Hi-Fi t-shirt from their recent tour
- ticket for Phantom Planet & Sahara Hotnights @ Schuba's, 9/20/04
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"you'd better do as you are told, you better listen to the radio" [24 Aug 2004|10:42pm]
I'm listening to WXRT's broadcast of the live Sound Opinions taping I attended last night. Both Mavis Staples & Robbie Fulks sounded great playing mere feet from my seat on stage. The spoken segments of the show were hard to decipher behind the PA and without stage monitors, so I'm listening tonight for two reasons: to hear the music again, and to hear the interviews in their entirety for the first time. I was impressed enough by Robbie's band (especially the amazing lead guitar player) to check 'em out again sometime.
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"even the looo-sers... get lucky sometimes" [19 Aug 2004|04:29pm]
After being in TestDirector training all day (zzz...), I came back to my desk to check the ol' voicemail. Someone from XRT (the only rock station in Chicago worth listening to) had called to tell me I won a contest. Monday night I'll be seated onstage at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park for a taping of my favorite show, Sound Opinions. Mavis Staples & Robbie Fulks will perform.

Right after that I checked my e-mail and found a message from the Sound Opinions mailing list. Whaddaya know, another contest: "We will take the first five correct email answers to the following question: What city does Ministry frontman, (and hint, ex-Chicagoan), Al Jourgensen now call home?" I happen to know that Al lives down on the Mexico border in El Paso, TX... long story short, I won a signed Ministry CD. Guess that ends the debate of "to buy or not to buy?" for Houses of the Molé.
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hot off the press from VH1 news [16 Aug 2004|10:59am]
headline: Britney Covers Bobby Brown's 'My Prerogative' For Forthcoming LP

In other news, the production team of Christian Carlsson and Pontus Avant begin their second week of closed-door sessions with Ms. Spears in an attempt to teach her the spelling, pronunciation, and definition of "prerogative".
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music ate my wallet [21 Jul 2004|02:03pm]
New CDs from the last week or so:
- Broken Social Scene - Bee Hives
- Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (expanded edition)
- They Might Be Giants - The Spine

- Butch Walker - tickets for August 7th, 9th, and 10th shows. (the August 6th show is free)
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brief encounters in mercedes benz, wearin' hepatitis contact lens [21 Jul 2004|01:39pm]
From the good news department: Beck has recorded a new album with the Dust Brothers for October release. I'm hoping for Midnite Vultures 2: Electric Boogaloo.
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