You've Been Asleep for a Hundred Seconds

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Sold Out... gasp!

After a splendid meal at Agua Verde last night with FCW and Okie and their respective significant others in which the loss of the classic sitcom Wings was lamented, I went swung by Sonic Boom in Ballard to pick up a copy of the Brian Wilson's newly released album SMiLE. And to my shock, disappointment, and delight it was sold out! They told me they would have copies in today. Still I think its impressive that Brian managed to sell 40 copies of SMiLE in one store on the first day.

Instead of my plans to listen to SMiLE, I just went home and watched the first disc of Homiceide: Life on the Streets Season 5. Yep, it still the best show ever. Andre Braugher is god.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


I was just listening to John Cale's song "Sudden Death" and a line struck me as odd. Here is the full verse for context:

Conference is over and they're calling out the guard
The minister of justice looks so tired
The gunman on the roof picks his target carefully
The last thing they expected to see was sudden death

Wha? Isn't that stating the obvious? Of course no one expects sudden death! That's why it is sudden!! Maybe there's some irony going on here that I don't get or something.

Also why is there a chain of print shops in Seattle called Sudden Printing? Printing is something you may want to happen quickly but suddenly? No thanks! I was hopping that it was owned by Mr. Sudden, which would make the name ok, but apparently it is owned by Mr. Bristol.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

CD Revue: Magnetic Fields - i

The Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt loves to make concept albums. The Charm of the Highway Strip is made up entirely of songs about the road and travel, Holiday is filled with songs about far way places, and the epic triple 69 Love Songs is just that 69 love songs including at least one song beginning with each letter of alphabet. "Xylophone" and "Zebra" are songs that suggest may be that wasn't a good idea. The concept for this album, the band's first tin five years, is songs be ginning with the letter I. Unlike previous concepts seems completely arbitrary. And the songs are arranged in strict alphabetic order which does harm to listening experience because while "I Die" is a good song it doesn't work as an album opener. With the exception of over the top "In an Operetta", the songwriting is just excellent as ever. "I Don't Believe You" and "I Don't Really Love Your Anymore" are classic pop songs. Unlike 69 Love Songs, Merritt sings every song on the album. His voice has vastly improved over the years and his plaintive baritone really unites the songs. The arrangements are really ornate with lots of string in addition to the typical banjo and ukelele touches that are the Merritt hallmark. Some people have said that this album was some sort of sell out because Merritt used real strings and real instruments instead of electronic samples, which is completely stupid its not like Merritt made a specific choice to use synthesizers in the past that was just all he could afford. Now he isn't recording in his kitchen he can get real musicians to flesh out is ideas and on songs like "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend" synths are used on purpose not as a default.

Working on the Weekend

I'm at work on Saturday and it doesn't suck! I woke up at 7AM on a Saturday and it doesn't bother me. What is wrong with me? I'm actually having fun!

I could chalk it up to having some realative fun projects to work on lots of coffee, but I think my choice of music today has more to do with than anything. I listened to Lampchop on my way in on the bus this morning. That definately got me in the right mood. And I've been listening to Andy Partridge and The Apples in Stereo for most of the day and that is some really happy pop music.

Andy's song "I Wonder Why The Wonderfalls", the theme to the late great short-lived TV series Wonderfalls (on DVD later this year), has to be the best song of 2004 and proof that even if XTC never actually does anything as a band again Andy will still produce great songs. And Andy's rejected demos for James and the Giant Peach are the best children's music never heard by children. The Apples' album The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone has to be one of the poppiest albums in history. It's bubblegum with some emotional weight. "The Bird That You Can't See" is like a great lost Jackson 5 song. It really is a sahme that the colaboration between The Apples' frontman Robert Schneider and Andy Partridge fell apart that really would have been something.

It really is amazing how the right music can totally set your mood and make a day that could have been hell a lot of fun. Music you rock!

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Return of Jack Tanner

While reading the big Cynthia Nixon comes out of the closet article in in the New York Daily News, I was excited to find that her current project is Tanner on Tanner, a sequel to Tanner '88. Robert Altman and Gary Trudeau's 1988 mini-series about a liberal Congressman's failed campaign for the White Housewas re-aired earlier this year on the Sundance Channel and comes out on DVD next month. When I was watching this series, which includes frequent appearances by real politcal figures, back in the spring I wished Altman was doing the same thing now and wonder what it would turn out like. But I didn't expect them to actually do a whole new series! Tanner on Tanner starts on the Sundance Channel on October 5th.

CD Revue: The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free

Concept albums almost always fail. Sure the album could be great but rarely does the concept hold up or work. This album is an exception. A Grand Don't Come For Free is the first successful hip hop concept album since Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet 14 years ago. Compared to The Streets' first album Original Pirate Material the beats and tracks are rather pedestrian, but that's because Mike Skinner puts the story first and the album is the better for it. The takes place over the space of a day in which Skinner reflects loses a thousand quid and reflects on a failed relationship. "Could Well be In" recounts the intial hook up. "Fit But You Know It" details her vanity. "Dry Your Eyes" is one of the best break up songs in a long time and the first hip hop romance song to really move me. I mean break out the hanky! Skinner reportedly almost scrapped the the Streets moniker after Original Pirate Material, thank god he didnt!

CD Revue: Elf Power - Walking With the Beggar Boys

Newsflash! Elf Power are a bunch of nerds! I know, who would have thought that a band called Elf Power would be nerdy. In the past the Athens, Georgia band specialized in lo-fi psychadelic prog pop; music to play Dungeons and Dragons to. But lead singer/songwriter Andrew Rieger has pushed the band into poppier and poppier territory with each album. With Walking With the Beggar Boys they have finally made a pure pop album wth . "Never Believe" is a power pop gem, easily one of the best single of the year (Download it here). "Walking With the Beggar Boys" sounds like lost T-Rex song with a gang vocal chorus, a freak out guitar solo, and a call and response bridge. "Drawing Flies" is a great indie pop song, And the hits keep on coming after that. Riegers voice still is a little weak and the later tracks all kind of merge together in my memory, but this may be Elf Power's finest momment.

CD Revue: Lambchop - No, You C'mon

Nashville's Lambchop is band I came to late in the game well after the hype of How I Quit Smoking and Nixon. I really like their laid back country/soul sound. I even like Kurt Wagner's strange voice. But No You C'mon may be too laid back even for me. It's great music to listen to at work as it can sit pleasantly in the background will you concentrate on other things. But nothing on the album stands out and grabs you. No "The Man Who Loved Beer" or "Up With People". I'm sure I'll get it's companion album Aw C'mon but its not the top of my with list.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Surreality TV

Spacey Stacie J. was booted from The Apprentice tonight. What did she do to deserve this fate? Did she screw up on the project? Nope? Was she resposnible for going overbudget? Naaah? What was her crime? Being a dork and social awkward on the first task.

The fact that she didnt get along with anyone else would have been a decent reason for booting her, but the all the women on her team completely lied and said that Satcie J. being a spaz and making bad jokes with a magic 8 ball was a sign that she was insane. That it was the most "disturbing momment of my life". That they were "scared and had to leave the room". What a bunch of bullshit. Nice job of countering that stereotype that professional women are catty backstabbers, ladies.

CD Revue: Badly Drawn Boy - One Plus One is One

When your first album is one of the defining records of the decade, as was Badly Drawn Boy's classic The Hour of Bewilderbeast, how do you follow it up? Thus far Damon Gough (A.K.A. Badly Drawn Boy) has chosen to focus on the more mainstream elements of his songwriting. On One Plus One Is One that proves a mixed blessing. Sure there are some great songs but like the anthemic "Year of the Rat" and the goofy "Four Leaf Clover", but the much of the album is one decent but unspectacular mid-tempo number after another. The sense that anything could happen on the album is long gone. While I love Gough's songwriting I hope he doesn't continue this middle of the road path. Badly Drawn Boy used to be cutting edge, now it something you consider buying for your mom's birthday. And I still don't understand how One Plus One Is One.

wednesday tv report

Lost more than lived up to the hype. This show is phenomenal. Great cast. Simple yet insane premise. Matthew Fox made forget he was ever in Party of Five. I cannot wait for the next episode.

I tried out Veronica Mars just to see if the UPN could actually have a good drama that did not involve Buffy or Star Trek. Damn this show was surprisingly excellent! It is strangely reminsent of Buffy, Twin Peaks, and The O.C. yet minus any overt weirdness and completely its own thing. The title character is played by the girl from the Mamet film Spartan, who is really likable here. She is a high school girl who helps out her private detective father, played by the dude that played Eliot on Just Shot Me. As dumb as that premise sounds its all done very smartley and there is this huge mystery involving super rich people and a murdered teen girl all in the back ground adding weight to the show. Veronica Mars moves to tuesdays at 9 next week i'll defiantely be watching/taping this show.

The season premiere of Smallville was excellent with the introduction of Lois Lane, black kryptonite, flying, a potnetial Lana as villian polt, and an appearance my Margot Kidder. But I am wary because Smallville always seems to have great premieres then it loses it way halfway through the season. I hope they can avoid that trend this season.

Vote Dickie!! (but don't see his movie)

I love John Sayles. From The Seacacus Seven to Matewan to Lone Star to Sunshine State, his films are always smart, unique, and intriguing. But his new film Silver City is a misfire.

I was really looking forward to especially after I came across this website for the film. The website is great satire of political campaigns but the film can decide what it wants to be. Chris Cooper is fantastic as dimwit Gubenatorial candidate Dickie Pilager. His perfomance is one of the best George W. Bush impressions ever. But its not clear if the movie is supposed to a satire, a thriller, or a story of personal growth. Its also not clear if this a story of political corruption or the plight of illegal immigrants. Sayles should have either made picked a story and made a 90 minute film about that or stretched it out into a sprawling 10 hour HBO series.

Other thoughts on the the film: The politcal corruption portrayed in the film was rather hohum. With the corruption that happens in the real world, fictional corruption really ought to take it to the next level to be meaningful. Danny Houston was fun as the lead but he also seemed out of place but that may have been because he kept sounding like his father the late great director John Huston. I did not believe that Chris Cooper was Michael Murphy's son. Murphy is only 12 years older than Cooper! Billy Zane with shaved head and bike shorts is not believable as a heterosexual man. The myriad of big name star with small roles in the film was distracting. Rather than meeting new characters it was Oh look there is Tim Roth! Thora Birch! Richard Dreyfus! Daryl Hannah! etc....

Following on the heels of mediocre Casa de los Babys, or as Headstart calls it Casa de los Boring, I wonder if maybe Sayles has begun to lose it. Hopefully his next movie about Jim Thorpe will be a return to form.

Vincent Gallo, a Van, and Gordon Lightfoot

On Sunday, I saw The Brown Bunny with Merychippus. Maybe the longer cut of this film was really awful but the film I saw was pretty impressive. First it should be noted that have an affinity for slow-moving contemplative films featuring beautiful scenery. Movies like Gerry or George Washington. The Brown Bunny mostly features writer/director Vincent Gallo's character Bud Clay driving cross country in a van from one motorcycle race to another. The digital camera work is great and I really liked how the driving at night scenes looked. I loved the driving scene where Gordon Lightfoot's "Beautiful" played on the soundtrack. About every five or six minutes or so something other than driving happens. Sometimes its something mundane other times it is something surreal. It all culminates with the big blow job scene with Bud's ex-girlfriend Daisy, played by Chloe Sevigny. The BJ is real and well lets just say while the length was not that impressive the thickness was. The scene was shocking but not the oral sex but for what else is revealed during and after it. The revelation puts the whole film in a different perspective and puts the reality of many of the previous scenes in question. To say more would spoil it but The Brown Bunny is one of those films that gets better the more I think about it. If it wasn't only playing at 9:45 at the Varsity, I might have to see it again.

Sickly Sadness

I haven't blogged much lately owing entirely to this never ending cold bug coupled with the fact that i have to work 52 hours this week to make up for time lost to to being out sick last week. I havent been sleeping well at all either. I finally got a good night's sleep last night. Mainly because I just set my alarm for 7:45, rather than setting it for 6:00 and then resetting it 5 times before actually getting up at 7:45 like have been all week. I feel far better as a result hopefully I have turned the corner.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Making Suckitude History

The 2004 Seattle Mariners are currently 55-91, which puts them on pace for a 61-101 season. The 2003 Mariners finished the season 93-69. Only two other teams have gone from 90 wins to 100 losses in one year.

1914 Philadelphia Athletics 99-53-6
1915 Philadelphia Athletics 43-109-2

1997 Florida Marlins 92-70
1998 Florida Marlins 54-108

Unlike the Mariners, those were both fire sales after winning pennants. The Mariners did not have a firesale of all their best players they just straigh up sucked this year.


This Sunday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. In addition to talking like a pirate, to celebrate I am going to officailly declare that the Pittsburgh Pirates are no longer my favorite baseball team as I am far more intimately involved (mentally at least) with both the Mariners and the Red Sox. I will not discard my Pirates hat (my 6th) as it is a sign of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom. I will also illegally download some music and when I go to the movies I will yell "Aaaarrrrgh!" and other pirate insults at the screen when during those Manny Makes Movies anti-piracy PSAs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

TV Scheduling

Monday: Other than Monday Night Football There is absolutely nothing to watch on Mondays. The only thing that looks remotely promising is Everwood but I'm already watching enough teen shows.

Tuesday: Wow, this night looks almost as barren than Monday! The only thing im planning on definately watching is Scrubs which is strangely on at 9:30 after that scary Siegfried & Roy CGI show. Veronica Mars on the UPN looks quirky and promising. I know Gilmore Girls is a great show but I'm to far behind to really get in to it now and I do plan on watching it on DVD.

Wednesday: Finally a night with two shows (Lost and Smallville) that I am really excited about and they are in at the same damn time slot. Smallville had a rather down year last year mainly steming from less Clark/Lex unspoken homeroticism but last season ended with a big surprise so it will be interesting to see where it all goes. Lost, the new show from Alias producer J.J. Abrams, looks like it has the potential to be awesome. The concept of a people stranded on a deserted mysterious island after a plane crash has me very intrigued.

Thursday: The best reality shows ever, Survivor and The Apprentice, back to back! Mark Burnett is a genius. The Apprentice looks like it could be better than the first season. With Survivor you never can tell how good it will be until the season starts but after the last series the show is definately on a roll. I'll also be definately watching The O.C., when it starts back up in November. The result of the shows out there are pretty uncompelling. CSI, like Law and Order, is a good show but not one i'll ever feel compelled to watch regularly when it is so readily available in syndication.

Friday: Hopefully, I'll have something better to do that watch TV on my Friday nights but if I'll definately be watching/taping Star Trek: Enterprise. Yes, I am a Trek watching geek. After two mediocre seasons, Enterprise really gelled last season and while the season ending cliff hanger featuring Nazi Aliens was silly I am anxious to see how it turns out.

Saturday: The networks have finally given up on Saturday nights. Most of the shows are reruns. I may try to watch or tape The Amazing Race. But i'll proably just watch College Football.

Sunday: Regardless of what the networks put on this night HBO owns Sunday night. I am really excited about the third season of The Wire. It is criminally underrated and is as good if better than the best HBO shows. King of the Hill, The Simpsons, and Arrested Development will be worth watching as always. I plan on watching Alias when it starts back up in January and Desperate Housewives looks interesting. I am also very hyped about Boston Legal. James Spader and William Shatner totally saved The Practice from its self and now they have a new show built around their characters that looks like a lot of fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I Heart Ron Sims

There is only one good choice for Governor this year, Ron Sims, and unfortunately he will probably lose today's primary. I haven't always been a fan of Sims in his time as King County Executive, but he has completely one me over in this campaign. Sims is the only candidate with real ideas and not vague platitudes about putting education first or some of the bullshit Christine "my mom was a short order cook!" Gregoire spouts.

Sims realizes the only way anything will get fixed in Olympia is by fixing the fucked up tax system. Sims wants to remove both the Sales Tax and Business and Opertations (B&O) tax and replace them with a graduated income tax while lowering property taxes. An income tax is iminently more fair thatn a sales tax which is hopelessly regressive. The B&O tax is one of the dumbest taxest ever devised as it taxes a businesses revenue rather than its profit, which means that even if your business lost money you still have to pay the tax and that tax could be what makes you close your business. Sims plan would end the boom-bust cycle that state goverment goes through with the sales tax where revenues are bursting in good times and come come up short in bad times.

Sims is also a realist and said in last weeks TV debate (which Gregoire strangely boycotted) that if his tax reform plan does not get passed there is not will in the legistalture or in the public to riase existing taxes then cuts will have to be made. Sims is not a veteran of Olympia which while Gregoire portrays that as a negative I see it as a big positive. Olympia needs some one that can shock the system not just coddle the establishment. Vote Ron!

Vote Dammit!

Today is the Washington State Primary and I am already tired of hearing people bitch about how they hate the new closed primary. First, people really need to get over this because it was a change mandated by the US Supreme Court and it is not going to change.

More importantly its a fairer system. Why should people that aren't willing to align themselves with a party get to choose that parties candidates for the general election? Republicans should choose the Republican nominee and Democrats should choose the Democratic nominee. Its not like you are required to vote a straight party line in November. This is how most states have done it for centuries. The Washington system is even a lot more flexible than other states systems. In New York state, voters have to be officially registered with a party with the state prior to election day to be able to vote in that party's primary. In Washington you can vote as Democrat in one election and vote as Republican or Libertarian in the next primary and your choice is completely anonymous!!!

The new system also keeps a party's opponents from picking the worst possible candidate for it. For example, in 1996 I voted for batshit conservative Republican Ellen Craswell for Governor in the primary rather than voting for Norm Rice or Gary Locke on the Democratic side. And I wasn't the only one either crossover voters like me gave crazy Ellen enough votes to win the Republican nomination over more electable and moderate candidates. Then in November the crossover voters went back and voted for Gary Locke, the Democrat. It was kinda cool we were able to foil the other side but it was also profoundly unfair.

So quit whining and get out there and vote or send in your absentee ballot. Even if you can't bring yourself to declare a party at least vote in the non-partisan races. No voting so you can stick it to "the man" only makes you look like an arrogant asshole.

Friday, September 10, 2004

They Put the Q in QB

This picture was in the Seattle P-I this week. Did they have to choose the most homoerotic photo possible of the Seahawks' two bald quarterbacks, Matt Hasselback and Trent Dilfer? Not that there's anything wrong with that! Their first names already sounded like gay porn star names. Trent looks like he's planning on how best to molest Matt. Granted Hasselback doesn't look that bad but I really didn't need to know that Trent Dilfer was a bear. If the Seahawks manage to live up to their Super Bowl expectations I might actually forget about this photo.

What Not to Say to Strangers

My friend FCW recently sold a desk to a gentleman through an online classifieds service. The buyer mistakenly overpaid for the item and FCW had been slow in repaying him. When FCW apologized for the delay and enquired when the buyer was leaving work today, so she could drop off what was owed the buyer had this reply (it should be noted that FCW is a married woman and that the buyer met her husband when he picked up the desk):
Actually I do want to "SEE YOU". Something you said on the phone that night, just reminded me of a painful world I am sadly a part of!

What? It's possible this guy is not a native English speaker but there is a long way from "hey, where's my money" to "you reminded me of the painful world." I'm not even sure if its meant to be a come on or a denunciation. Wisely, FCW has decided to donate all future unused furniture to charity.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

tee vee

I watch a lot of television. Maybe too much television. Scratch that. Definitely too much television. Anyway that's not going to change and I'll probably be writing TV a lot more as the fall season gets into full swing.

Tonight, I missed out on the big premiere of Joey because I was watching the end of the Colts-Patriots game on ABC (Go Pats!). I do plan on checking it out next week. I don't have particularly high hopes for it but I do hope it does well if only for the future of the sitcom format.

I did however watch the first episode of The Apprentice and this season looks even more promising than the first. The people look even more cut throat and bitchy than on the first show. Pamela's mocking of the little kid with the bad haircut was both funny and totally inappropriate. Tall fraggle-haired black woman Stacie J. appears to be completely batshit and should be this season's Omarosa. I think if I was a black woman I would be very pissed off at reality TV right now.

Nick Lowe Uber Alles

I took a midweek mini-vacation to Portland with Headstart to see Nick Lowe at the Aladdin and it was excellent. Somewhat surprisingly after living in the Puget Sound area for 16 years I had never spent any significant time in Portland. And in my ignorance I even developed a bit of a distaste for the place. Maybe that stemmed from being a Sonics fan and thus hating the Blazers. A few brief stops in Portland on my road trip to the Bay Area last summer peaked my interest, as did the fact that the best new band of the last few years, the Decemberists, hails from Portland. Anyway Nick Lowe's first serious West coast tour in 20 years is what finally got me down to Portland and frankly I was impressed.

Portland is not Seattle. It has totally different vibe in fact it reminded me of Olympia, if Olympia was 5 times as big. The town town is cozy and seems very livable. After checking into the Hilton, (we got a super cheap PriceLine rate so Paris Hilton wont be buying anymore Ugg boots at our expense) we found our room to be a spacious corner room with a great view. Next we rested a bit (Headstart was still suffering from an awful cold) and then went to the Hawthorne district and found it very charming and reminiscent of the best neighborhoods in Seattle but with a more relaxed feel. Following dinner and nice crepe restaurant we headed off to the Aladdin.

The Aladdin to my surprise was not a club but was a small theater. Smaller than say the Neptune or the Egyptian movie theaters in Seattle. We came in toward the end of opening act Geraint Watkins set. We managed to score some seats in the front row off the the right next to a nice British guy named Kevin. The highlight of Geraint's set was a boogie woogie cover of the Beach Boys' "Heroes and Villains".

After the opening act we spotted Seattle pop rock stalwarts Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 and R.E.M. and John Ramberg of the Model Rockets in the lobby. Their appearance was not surprising because they are both in the Nick Lowe cover band the Lowebeats, but it was still exciting that when we ran into Scott at the merch table he happily responded to Headstart's "Hi, Scott!" and really seemed to recognize us from countless Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellow's shows at the Crocodile. In addition to the momentary star-fucking I did manage to pick up Nick's new tour only live album Untouched Takeaway.

Nick's performance was stellar throughout. He started with "There Will Never Be Any Peace (Until Got is Seated at the Conference Table)" While focusing on later material he played stuff from every era of his career from "Cruel to Be Kind" to "What's So Funny About Peace love and Understanding?" to "Soulful Wind". Initially he was just playing solo with acoustic guitar and his stage presence was very reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock minus the incessant blinking. Later Geraint Watkins joined him on the keyboards and they played some surprising tunes "Half a Boy and Half a Man" and "She Don't Love Nobody" from the Cowboy Outfit era. Nick encored with a superb combo of "Heart of the City" and "The Beast in Me".

Afterwards I reunited with Headstart, who due to her nasty cough had elected to watch from the side against the wall, and we waited in the theater to see if Nick would come out. In waiting we met several other nick fans most of who were very nice but one guy was really weird and kept talking about some K-Tel collection he used to have. Eventually Nick came out to the front and Headstart had her copy of the Labour of Lust LP autographed and Nick signed my CD booklets for Party of One and The Jesus of Cool as well as his new CD.

Today we took things easy and just swung by Powell's on our way out of town. Both Portland and Nick Lowe really impressed the hell out of me and I definitely want to see more of both. And I had an abosultely wonderful time with Headstart even though she felt awful the whole trip. As always she's the perfect traveling companion.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Another Bush Gem

We've got an issue in America. Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.
George W. Bush, speaking on tort reform yesterday.

Yeah, how dare those trial awyers stand in the way of doctor-patient sex!

Monday, September 06, 2004


The final day of Bumbershoot was a mix of fun, giddiness and exhaustion. I woke up feeling under the weather and wondered if I was coming down with what Headstart has been suffering through this weekend. But on a day that promised Harvey Pekar, Nick Lowe and the Pixies I didn't consider doing anything other than soldiering on.

I started out with Harvey Pekar. He was even better than he was last night. The Bagley Wright was completely packed and Harvey was loving the crowds vibe. He started off repeating some of the same stories from the night before but late lauunched in to some new stuff and really got going during the Q&A portion. Afterwards I hooked up to Headstart, who hadn't been able to get in but was near the front of the autographs line. Headstart got an American Splendor DVD autographed while I settled for a handshake.

Headstart had hooked us up with some VIP passes so it looked to be an exciting day. After getting some lunch we headed over to see Nick Lowe and Sprizee later joined us for a bit. We had some choice seats upfront. While waiting we realized that our VIP passes likely would get us backstage where the illustrious Nick was and it was very cool to stand around next to him but when the show started the sound backstage proved less than satisfactory so we tried to return to our old seats but of course they were now taken. And the sound where we were able to stand was less than ideal and considering that we are going to Portland on Wednesday to Nick again we decided to bag it.

After leaving Nick I realized how profoundly exhausted and sick I was feeling. The whole Bumbershoot rigmarole was getting tiring on the third day. Eventually I decided it was best to call it a day rather than feel worse tomorrow. Does this make me a lame-o for missing the Pixies? Hell yeah! Will I probably regret it> Hell Yeah! Am I still glad I bailed and went home to rest? Hell Yeah! Err maybe. Oh Well...

Headstart was ever the trooper and is probably enjoying the hell out of herself with Sprizee right now!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

More Bumbershooting

I just completed my first day of bumbershoot in which I saw no music. Of course, I did overhear some music but I didn't actually go to see any acts. First was the One Reel Film festival. The program I saw was three science related films. The best of which was Chaos Theory, which shockingly starred Greg Lee Of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego fame.

After the films, I met up with Headstart, and she showed me the awesomely "exciting" volunteer job she's been doing for the One Reel fest; packing and mailing the previous days films in FedEx boxes and mailing them off. After we dropped off the FedEx boxes at Kinko's we got some dinner. Headstart had a free drink ticket so went to a beer garden, the first for both of us. The bouncer at the door informed us that on Saturday night there was a 15 year old girl passed out on the grass that had been drinking vodka all day that had to be ambulanced out. He said, "15 year olds ain't like they were when I was a kid". Truer words were never said. Otherwise the beer garden proved to be as boring and lame as I suspected.

Next we checked out the art installations in the northwest rooms. There was an entire room dedicated to comics and at the Fantagraphics booth we chatted with some of Headstart's former co-workers and I picked up a copy of Steve Brodner's new book Freedom Fries. After that we mostly saw a bunch of art that made me think this is art? And think of this recent Peter Bagge cartoon.

Then it was time for the main event of the night the Graphic Novel Panel. Hosted by Fantagraphics owner Gary Groth, the panel featured Harvey Pekar, Gilbert Hernandez, Peter Bagge, and Jessica Abel. Harvey was as crumudgeony as ever. Some of the interchanges between Harvey and straight man Gary were high comedy. I could watch them banter for hours. Peter Bagge was as glib and goofy as I expected. Gilbert Hernandez was pretty quiet but when he did say something he was to the point. I was most impressed by Jessica Able who in addition to totally being my type proved herself to be one of the most erudite thinkers in comics today. Ellen Forney was also in the crowd and asked some good questions. Harvey Pekar had the best point of the day, "If more people do comics, the more good comics we'll have."

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Today I went to Bumbershoot for the first of three days. Usually the crowds are too much to just go to Bumbershoot for Bumbershoot's sake, but some of the acts this year were too good to miss. Over all it was a great day. All three acts were entertaining and met my criteria for a good show. That criteria is a) keep the set under 90 minutes including encores, b) only one brief encore, and C) at least one cover song preferably one that hasn't bee recorded for an album.

Merychippus and I arrived at around 8PM. After a little Vietnamese, we headed over to McCaw Hall to see Nancy Sinatra. Neither of us are big fans, although I do have some admiration for her work with Lee Hazelwood in the 60s. Were already going to see Robyn Hitchcock later in the evening so we figured why not? The crowd was a mix of older people with white hair, middle-aged gay men, and young stylish hipsters. The show got off to a good start with "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" from Kill Bill Vol. 1. Then there were a bunch of songs that I had no clue about but sounded ok. During the song "Drummer Man" Nancy introduced here drummer who to my shock and surprise turned out to be Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello and the Attractions fame! Go Pete. During another song there was reel of clips from her movies including scenes with Frank and Elvis. She also sang are really awful song about her dad that apparently was written by Bono and The Edge. Nancy also covered Art Garfunkel's "99 Miles from L.A." and Morrissey's "Let Me Kiss You". During the goofy LSD song "Sugar Town", she came down into the crowd and started shaking hands with her fans and letting people sing verses it was all very Vegasy. She closed with "These Boots Were Made For Walking". While she didn't play "Some Velvet Morning" I have to say it was really strange and fun show, the kind I would never pay to see on my own and can only see at Bumbershoot.

On our way out of the Sinatra performance, I spotted Robyn Hitchcock with a guitar on his back walking against crowd looking very tall and wearing a polka dot shirt and some extremely bright purple pants. Who wears purple pants? I guess Robyn Hitchcock. After grabbing some dinner we walked around for a bit AND and chuckled at the long line to see Nickelback in Memorial Stadium. Later, I spotted SNL's Fred Armisen also with a guitar on his back.

Eventually, we ended up near the Space needle and I realized I hadn't been up in the Space Needle in like 20 years not since before I moved to Washington State in 1988. Since our Bumbershoot tickets got us half price admission to the observation deck we decided to go check it out. I'm sort of embarrassed to say this but it was pretty cool being up there and seeing all the different parts of Seattle from that vantage point. Most surprising was the fact that as expensive as the coffee was up at the top of the Space Needle it was cheaper than coffee at Bumbershoot, also the uniforms they make the elevator operators wear are a crime against humanity.

Then it was back to McCaw Hall for Pedro the Lion. I know Pedro has been around Seattle for a good while but somehow had escaped ever actually hearing their music. I was expecting some sort of drudgy mopey emo sludge but I was pleasantly surprised at how poppy they sounded. I may have to further investigate their music! Lead singer David Bazan sounds freakishly like Ron Sexsmith, if Ron had decided to become an indie rocker. They fulfilled my cover quota with a really nice cover of Randy Newman's "Social Science".

After Pedro finished their set a lot of the younger hipper looking people left and we were able to move up the second row. Robyn started out the show with an excellent cover of the Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and proceeded to put on one of the best acoustic shows I've seen him do and I've seen him like 9 or 10 times. About half way through his set Robyn moved to the piano and shocked my playing a great version of "Queen Elvis". I think he did that song on guitar the first 6 times I saw him and each performance of the song bored me to tears, but on the piano it was really special. Later Robyn brought out Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 and Sean Nelson of the Long winters and Harvey Danger to sing and play with him. Overall an excellent show that left me really wanting more.

One bizarre sidenote about the Robyn show. About halfway through the show a tall skinny nerd sat down in front in the middle of the aisle. Quickly the Opera House security guards, who wore dark blue suits, informed him that he couldn't sit there. He started arguing with them and started to whine when one of the guards put his hand on his shoulder. Eventually he moved to a front row seat to the left of us and through the rest of the performance he proceeded to hoot loud loud guttural sounds at the stage. At the end of the show before Robyn came back for an encore, I looked over and the man had taken off his t-shirt and was hooting louder than ever and waving the shirt over his head. I think this may be the first time ever I have seen a shirtless man at an in door concert. Thank you weird shirtless man for making this experience even more memorable.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Quote of the Week

Don't you know? You're like Pete Best.
Bitter after all these years, just let it go.
-The Thrills, "Your Love Is Like Las Vegas"
Download this song here.

Pointless Statistics

I don't want to be like this guy* and post the most mundane details and statistics of my life. But I have long believed the words I, love, and you were the most common words in popular music titles. I have 9640 songs on my hard drive at work (over 600 hours of music), so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to investigate this theory.

485 songs with the word I in the title.
381 songs with the word you in the title.
335 songs with the word love in the title.
299 songs with the word my in the title.
296 songs that start with the word I.
193 songs that start with the word you.
178 songs with the word your in the title.
136 songs with the word me in the title.
65 songs with the word baby in the title.
50 songs with the word die in the title.
40 songs with the word rock in the title.
38 songs with the word dead in the title.
33 songs with the word dance in the title.
26 songs with the word cry in the title.
26 songs with the word heart in the title.
20 songs with the word hate in the title.
13 songs with the word music in the title.
1 song with the word mutilation in the title.

So from this completely biased sample of my music tastes, it looks like my theory holds true. Yay me....

*Wheelson deserves complete credit for this link.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

More VMA Carnage

Go Fug Yourself is my new favorite snarky blog. If you scroll down to Tuesday and Monday there are some terrific pictures of VMA fashion atrocities like Beyonce, Hilary Duff, Lenny Kravitz, and Jimmy Fallon.

I'm straight really! Honest!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Blogging and Work

Ever wonder why this blog is semi-annoymous? Here is the reason. I don't want that to happen to me. I rarely complain about my job on this blog (mainly because I really dig my job) but i like the idea that I could bitch about work here if I felt so inclined. While it sucks that this person lost their job, I can understand the employer's side of things, and I dont want to end up in that sort of situation.