Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where I left off...

Right. So I made this blog last year with some half-cocked plan to actually update it frequently with tales of my exploits and descriptions of the various musical and cultural events I attended. Looking at the idea, it was doomed to fail from the beginning. I'm quite terrible when it comes to writing out long descriptions of things I've done, by the end of the process I always feel that I've in some way come off as a conceited, self absorbed jerk and that my sentences bear repetitive structures. In the past these things would be cause for me to avoid updates, making the excuse that "oh I'm just too exhausted to write today" or "that's not even something worth sharing" and the latter was probably true in some cases but I digress.
The short story is since I started this thing last fall is that I've been to around 10 big shows, began pursuing a long term whim to be a DJ and as a result have done several sets at parties and events; and I've quit my job at starbucks and begun a whole new, more exciting journey into the world of specialty coffee: learning how to be a "real" barista which has revealed an entire world of information to me. I've met some awesome people since last fall and continue to seemingly every day.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that I'm going to make another pass at this and put to words the interesting and exciting things I learn on my current quest to figure out what I eventually want to do with my life.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why I like vinyl

I've gotten really into collecting and playing vinyl records recently, and instead of going to bed so I can wake up at 5 for work I decided to make a list of reasons why.

Records are big and come with giant pictures of the album artwork.

Most records aren't any more expensive than cds

They have a warmer sound when played

To me, it's the closest to actually being able to physically hold and see music, the sounds aren't in some file or recorded into a cd. They are actually physically cut into the plastic. So cool!

It's quite enjoyable to go hunting for rare recordings and then actually find one

They can be an investment but I'd honestly never sell any of mine.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'm a hip hop snob; I don't Lil Wayne and I don't think Lady Gaga should even be called hip hop.
This list is in no particular order.

P.O.S. aka Stefon Alexander is a rapper from Minneapolis who can spit something like a million words in a minute (not really but he's pretty fast) His background is in punk rock and he doesn't try to hide it in his songs which have been known to contain fugazi samples. Socially aware and incredibly heavy, sometimes I wonder why nobody's ever heard of this guy.

Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover. Actor, Writer, Comedian, Donald Glover is the modern image of a renaissance man. He's released a few albums now -all for free- as well as his "I am just a rapper" mixtapes in which he raps over popular indie tunes. His wordplay is probably some of the best I've ever heard.

Mos Def has been around for a while and still never gets radio time, I don't understand.

Mickey Factz is what I think Kid Cudi wishes he could be. No, he doesn't have MGMT to prop him up on his tracks and he doesn't need them. His music favors synths over sampling and definitely has more of a "club" vibe to it but his lyrics are usually pretty personal unlike most hip hop. He might actually break out soon, I can never tell who record labels are going to turn into a megastar.

Cool Kids- a duo hailing from Chicago, they favor minimal beats and don't care that they stand out. They are probably two of the coolest cats alive.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

MUSIC RELATED POST: John Legend & The Roots "Wake Up"

Upon a whim I bought the above album from the starbucks where I work. It turned out to be one of those experiences where you try something without really knowing anything about it and it turns out to be great; like my first time trying sushi but without the diarrhea.
I picked up the album before a break, put it in my car and was instantly blown away by the reworking of Baby Huey and the Babysitters' song "Hard Times" featuring an appearance by the rapper Black Thought.
By the time my break was finished I had listened to the first three songs on the album and spent the rest of the work day waiting to blast the remaining songs from my stereo.
"Wake Up" is funky, soulful, plus all sorts of other things and really drives forward the idea the idea that this world needs to be changed, first by changing the way people treat one another.
My aim really isn't to review the album just to express how surprised I was by it but some notable tracks include "Hard Times," "Our Generation," "Humanity" and "I Can't Write Left Handed" Check it out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Crystal Castles

At around 4pm on Wednesday I received a text message from my friend Jacob reading "come to crystal castles tonight! it's at 730 at the masquerade1 do iiiittt" Knowing fully that at that point I had already been up since 4 that morning and had to be at work at 5 the next morning I decided to take the only logical path and respond inquiring where I would meet him before the show.
I decided to try out my new Nikon L35 af point and shoot camera during the show so I grabbed that and left for the nearest supermarket to see if ticketbastard™ was still selling tickets. They weren't. I continued onward anyway in hopes that I could buy one at the door or be "that guy" in front of the venue asking if people had extra.

An hour later I arrived downtown, parked my car at the sketchy kroger across the street to skip paying for parking and crossed north avenue to the Masquerade. After inquiring with a cheery man in an outfit marked "STAFF" I learned that I could still buy a ticket from the venue.
Jacob arrived a few minutes after me and we chatted with others around us whilst waiting to get inside.

The opening band was Bear in Heaven, which I will confess that I felt like their music was familiar but had no idea who they were until I saw the merch stand that had a copy of their album. Bear in Heaven played a pretty good set that I took no pictures of and then we waited for Crystal Castles to come out.

About two hours later, after much shouting from the crowd to hurry up and get on stage, the band appeared and immediately began attacking our ears with "Fainting Spells"
The rest of the show was made of lots of crowd rushes and near trampling deaths (Jacob and I actually pulled a girl who fell out from underneath someone) punctuated by crazy-fun dancing. I'd do a breakdown of their setlist but I'm terrible at that and I don't remember the order in which they played the songs, which were all very enjoyable to hear live.

An hour and a half after the show began, it ended; and exhausted, we left to go get beverages at the kroger along with about a quarter of the people who went to the show, ticking off the employees working there.
I got home by about 1:30 completely worn out, passed out for 2 hours or so and then left for work.

It was definitely the best imaginable way to kick off a fall which is filled with awesome concerts. The lack of sleep was worth every bit of it.

more pictures from the show @

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I've really been getting into The Who lately. By "getting into The Who" I mean that I've been sitting in my room listening to their records, watching Tommy, Quadrophenia and The Kids Are Alright, and shopping around the internet for parkas and a nice skinny tie to complete my 1960's mod outfit. I'll never be able to afford a vespa sadly so I suppose there are some dreams that I will have to bury.
Something did strike me though upon jumping into this collection of music from before I was born-there is no youth culture today that exists the way it did back in 1960's Britain. I find it somewhat disappointing that urban tribes no longer wish to even acknowledge their own existence and that the sense of unity these groups doesn't really even exist.

If you haven't already you should check out the film Quadrophenia. I think it's a great adaptation of the album and they recently turned it into a play!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Douchebags, Queen, and Asian Cuisine

I have a story from last night which I find rather amusing. I think it's worth sharing with the whole wide internet (or at least my blogger followers, 0 people!)

Last night my friend and I, lacking anything better to do, decided to drive around and find somewhere to eat. We settled pretty quickly on a restaurant called Tin Drum located in our local outdoor suburban mega-retail center called The Avenues, a well established meeting point for just about every 16 year old girl and 18 year old redneck boy with a lifted truck in the county. We quickly got some dinner, (Teriyaki stir-fry for me. I'm eating the rest of it now and it's awesome) and decided to dick around the Barnes and Nobel until it closed. \
On our way back to the car we crossed paths with some of the local fair who inhabit the Avenues parking lot after dark, five highschool boys in cutoff t-shirts sitting in the back of a lifted truck and their collective fifteen-year-old girlfriend. As we passed them they gave a cat call and shouted "heya fag boys."
Usually I would just ignore them but for some reason last night I was not in my "ignore the stupid redneck" mood and in unison with my friend we replied with a passing "Just fuck off dude" and the resulting conversation was as follows:
Douchey guy: "Heya why don't you come back here and say that to my face?"
Myself: (with my back turned still walking): "I would dude but me and my fag buddy are gonna go make out"
Other douche: "One of you is walkin with a limp, what's the matter too much dick up your ass?"
My friend: "Yeah man it was your dad's cock!"
At this point we were pretty much in his car, and pulling out of the parking space when we noticed that one of the lads had taken great offense (perhaps he had just lost a father, but I doubt it) and was trying to chase us down. He got to where we were just turning the car around and began searching around for a garbage bin. He located one, threw the lid off and grabbed an empty water bottle which he threw at my friend's car. It missed sorrowfully.
My friend decided to leave him with one last comment before we left which went something like "We gotta go man, I need some more of your dad's nice thick cock"
As we drove away the boy let out a roar of anger and gave chase but could not run quickly enough to catch our car. I'm still giggling like a stupid little girl about the look on his face.

Oh, so today I found some great condition copies of "News of the World" by Queen, "Who's Next" by The Who, Bad Company's self titled, "Out of the Blue" by ELO and Fragile by Yes amidst the typical collection of crappy gospel records at the Salvation Army Store. Only $1 a piece!