Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tony Randall

Tony Randall is probably best known for playing the role of neat freak Felix Unger on the sitcom The Odd Couple. If I really tried I could probably use that fact as an intro to a discussion of something 'heavy' like theoretical physics or something. Think about it: Felix was ultra-orderly, his roommate Oscar was a slob. Order vs. Chaos, anyone? But that won't happen here. I don't wanna talk about Tony Randall the actor. I'm gonna talk about Tony Randall the song.

Tony Randall is a song by west coast riot grrrl legends Bikini Kill. It is somewhat atypical - more sing-songy than a guitar-driven bombast. Thematically it fits in well with other more aggresive tracks.

I see two major themes running through this song. (Your mileage may vary. Part of the fun of this sort of thing. Don't tell me I'm wrong - PROVE IT. Won't hurt my feelings. Promise:) )

First theme: popular culture often gives a skewed view of the way things are. Or in the words of the lyrics: "false history". Ironically, this skew can be enlightening. The lies we tell often say as much about us as the truths.

Second theme: (and this is totally complimentary to the first) a mismatch betweeen the intention of certain situations and the intentions of some that would take advantage of those situations.

I'm referring to the couplet "this is a punk club/Not a strip bar". We came here for music (cribbing from Comsolidaed there :) ), not to provide eye candy.

And, this being my blog, I have examples from my own life. Examples are good. We like examples.

I'll spare you the example involving Arch Enemy's We Will Rise. I tried writing that but couldn't get it to come out right. So you just get the second, more self-effacing example. Or as I affectionatly think of it, "why Dave is an absolute failure at picking women up at bars/shows/whatever".

This is a long standing phenomenon with me. If I go out to listen to a band (and I rarely go out for any other non-work reason), I'm there to LISTEN TO A BAND. I'm more likely to ask someone to leave me alone than I am to get to know them. Doesn't really do much for my social life.

But at least I always have a REALLY good answer for "how was the show?"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Phone fun

I'm actually starting to have fun with my phone.

It was really just a matter of reorienting my expectations. I was getting so frustrated at difficulty doing what I wanted to do a certain way that I was losing track of the bigger goal - using the phone in a way that improves my day-to-day existence. I don't have trouble getting things from my phone to my computer at all, so ...

I've added on an unlimited data plan and mostly worked the kinks out. During downtime at work or whatever I've been keeping up with some mp3 blogs I just don't have time to otherwise. If I hear something I like I save it to a storage card for easy transfer to my desktop. Makes it a lot easier to get a feel for what is out there when the majority of the download happens while I am doing something else.

If anyone still thinks mp3 blogs are evil, don't forget ... I TOOK A DAY OFF WORK to buy the US release of We Are The Pipettes, even though I already had mp3 copies of 13 or 14 of the 16 tracks on it. Make something I want, and it is very likely I'll go to some length to support the artist, even a little bit.

As usual, surfing the net leads to some unexpected places. The other day I ended up reading about various 'flavors' of feminism. Didn't set out to ... was just following links. Helped me make some stuff kicking around my mind more concrete, though. I've been toying with a critical/social theory of disability (it's the sort of thing us over educated liberals think is fun). Why? Why not. Helps me articulate my experiences to put them in a more formal framework.

Speaking of concrete experience, got a little more than I would like this past week. My left leg decided that moving in a useable manner just wasn't something it wanted to do. My legs are usually a bit stiff, but this was that exponentially. The very definition of "stiff as a board". Identified what was possibly going on, dealt with it, but still. Missed 2 days of work. Hard to go to work when you can't walk down the hallway to your desk.

Ah, the stuff I have to put up with sometimes.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Because I Can

This post being done from my phone.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Naughty device

I haven't posted anything in awhile. You may be wondering why. No, I didn't get so busy looking for music that I couldn't do anything else with my computer. I finally got my phone, and now I've been spending most of my computer time dealing with a naughty device.

The plan was simple - transfer files between my computer and my phone with a SD card, a medium both are supposed to be able to read. I say 'supposed to', because my Linux box is having trouble with it. It reads it just fine - I can get stuff from the phone to the computer using my plan. The other way though ... I can't for the life of me get my computer to write on the memory card. Some might point to this sort of thing as a reason to abandon Linux and rejoin the Windows monoculture.

But the problem I am having is not Linux' fault. See, I have a naughty device.

The card reader I have - an essentially unbranded generic device - would be a tremendous value if I could get it to work. It cost me all of 6 bucks for the reader/writer itself.

But with cheap hardware you often get coner-cutting. And here the corner cut was testing the reader on a variety of devices.

My understanding (and it took an awful lot of investigation to even get this scant info) is that many cheaper card readers will broadcast that they support standards that they do not. Thus, when the operating system believes what it is being told by the card reader and tries to communicate in full compliance with the standards the device CLAIMS TO SUPPORT - well, confusion results. And, apparently, eternal write protection.

Here's the kicker: Windows machines do not even try to use these particular communication standards - standards fully specified for the device! If the item is only tested on Windows and is not entirely supporting the standards it claims - well, you would never know.

So, it is the device itself that is naughty. Not (for once) Windows. Not Linux.

My naughty device.

THE MORAL: you should spend more than 6 bucks on pieces of computer hardware.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

One Weekend Under AGroove: The Chalets

And the winner is ...
You know, this would be a lot more suspenseful if I hadn't put the band's name in the title of the post.


Official Site

The Chalets are my favorite of the bands I was introduced to during 'One Weekend Under A Groove'. Although I had heard the name before (and even mentioned them here on the blog!), I hadn't actually heard the band.

Hoo boy was I missing out. This is what happens when the only way to acquire a disc is to pop for a $30 import. Folks generally aren't going to want something they've never heard. Yeah, there's Itunes and stuff, but 'haven't heard it=don't know if I want it' still applies. And some of us want the liner notes and disc artwork you don't get with itunes. Scans just aren't the same as the actual physical object.

I'm thinking $30 might just be worth it here. The Chalets deal with many of the things I like in music.
  • Lots of female vocals. Not exclusively in this case, but lots.

  • Harmony. Lots of it. Most of the Chalet songs I've heard are sung by two or more vocalists harmonizing.

  • Plenty of guitar. The Chalets don't exactly shred, but often songs are built around a strong, central guitar riff.

  • Great pop songwriting. Those guitar riffs back songs which have a great rhythym and flow. There is the occasional misstep (see "Love Punch"), but the writing is usually solid.

  • Fun. This is difficult to quantify, but the band seems to really be enjoying itself.

... and did I mention lots of female vocals?

If you doubt any of what I just said, just watch this video (yes, I've been messing around YouTube again). It's kinda goofy at times, but that just adds to its charm.

Second place in this non-contest went to The Long Blondes, whom I covered the other day. Long term I can see them overtaking the Chalets in my affections, but for now they come in second.


Other parts of my life didn't stop while I screwed around listening to music. Been building up a backlog of non-music topics to cover here. Also things are in the works that could either be really cool or horribly disappointing. We'll see. And no, this has nothing to do with women.

Well, only sort of ....

Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Light from my computer's monitor cuts the stygian darkness. Slowly a progress bar crept across the screen. 61% ... 62% ... 63%. Little did I know the horrors that awaited me upon completion of the download ... The horrors of VOO DOO!

Up from the graveyard of music video past that is YouTube rose VOO DOO! Watching the video seemed like a good idea at the time. I really like Rachel Sweet's voice. I knew her career suffered from pretty extreme mismanagement, but, I thought, how bad could it be?

I could scarcely have predicted the terror of VOO DOO!

SHIVER ... at the sight of an artist with a unique vocal talent being given material that in no way makes use of that talent!

SHUDDER ... at the "come hither" looks that come off as "Look out! I'm going to vomit!"

SHAKE WITH FEAR ... at the not-quite-a-sweatshirt, not-quite-a-night-dress outfit!

Seriously, check it out. See if you can resist the pull of evil from ... VOO DOO!


Little post for Halloween here, 'One Weekend Under A Groove' finale is coming next ....

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: Speedround!

Many of these groups I didn't hear enough of to say much about. Others I simply didn't like enough to investigate further.


Jangly guitar pop. Not a female in sight. Another thing makes them somewhat different than many of the other groups I looked at - they're Americans.


I kept running across this band when looking at stuff about The Pipettes. Someplace even said "If you like the Go! Team you'll love the Pipettes." Apparently it's not transative.


Really nice vocals. Didn't really look at the band very in-depth though.


This really reminds me of something. I can't figure out what. Late 60s West Coast (SF) rock, but what? Like it though.


An entry in the nameless creepy/dreamy genre I spoke of last post.




Ditto again. But El Perro Del Mar is often described as being more like "traditional" girl group, so I guess I need to hear more.


This is really nice. Pretty straightforward girlpop.


The link I followed described it as bleak, which is pretty spot on. Vocals are more talking than singing, which is a little annoying, but that may be unique to this song.


Described as "indie-dance". I really liked "Oh Marie", not a big fan of the other Ladyfuzz I listened to.


Many of the groups I liked like Sleater-Kinney. I guess I just didn't hear the right stuff then. Should be right up my alley. They are considered Riot Grrrl deities. I didn't DISlike them, just ... I think I need to hear more.

Phew. Who woulda thunk it would take two weeks to mention two days' worth of listening? Only one group left. The winners (was this a competition?) You can figure out who they are from what I've said already. Or you can wait for the post.

That's what I'd do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Test: Ignore This

This is only a test. Had this been a real post you would have been given further instructions about where to go and what to do when you got there.
Shangri-Las up there. Beauty. The long haired one is Mary Weiss.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One Weekend UnderA Groove: Always Coming Home

We should start at the beginning. In this case Brighton, in the UK.
Brighton has a pretty active music scene, a result of the fact (according to Becki Pipette) that the place is otherwise pretty drab and dull. An active music scene implies more artists call Brighton home than just the Pipettes (although do you really NEED more than the Pipettes?)



Bat For Lashes hails from Brighton (in case you thought I was non-sequitering again ...)

There is a genre that doesn't have a name that I know of. Typified by songs with an almost creepy, dreamlike atmosphere. Kate Bush is the patroness of the style. Julee Cruise is an adherent. As is Bat For Lashes.

I have to be in the right mood to enjoy this style, but when I am, I REALLY enjoy it. Great for just kicking back and letting go, trancelike.

I'd like to provide a better description, but this is music that demands to be experienced, not described.

An article in a paper in my hometown led to my discovering a band from Brighton. Looking at another group from Brighton - the Pipettes (duh) - led to my discovery of a band from my home town. Just follow the links. 'Influenced' and 'Influenced By'. Eventually you'll run across ...


In Studio at MPR

Hank Hill would call them "Got Dang Doo Wop Band". Minnesota Public Radio calls them "Gosh Darn Doo Wop Band". I'll just use "GDDWB" and let you fill in the rest.

What was surprising about GDDWB for me is that they are from my part of the world and I had not previously heard of them. I'm more out of the loop than I realized ...

GDDWB is the most 'retro' of the many 'retro' bands I listened to. Solid girl group material that could be from 1962. You won't find any 'post-modern' reinterpretations or any of that sorta thing. Just pop the way I like it. Give them a listen at the MPR link above.

Ya know, these little reviews are getting to be more work than they should be. I'm falling behind on other stuff I would like to talk about. But I still want to get through all the music I found that weekend. If only there were a quicker way ...

Monday, October 22, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: What Took So Long?

During 'One Weekend Under A Groove' I finally checked out a few artists I've known about since working for my previous employer - so that's over 3 years. I just got around to actually sampling their work. Like I said, sometimes things take me a while.



I stumbled across a mention of Holly Golightly following the "influenced .." links from ... I'm not sure where. With Golightly there are many possibilities. She borrows freely from many pre-Beatles genres - and a little post-British invasion too.

If Holly had been around for that event she would have been one of the invaders. See, she's British. I first learned about her from a very local source - one of my bosses at my previous job. He was a big Holly Golightly fan. For some reason I don't think I ever listened to the Holly Golightly CDs he would bring to work.

But now there is a pretty good chance I'll have my own Golightly CDs to listen to. I didn't listen to much of that artist that weekend, but enough to know I'm interested in hearing more.



When I stumbled across/rediscovered Holly Golightly it got me thinking about other groups folks I've worked with liked but I somewhat inexplicably never listened to.

One of my former coworkers was a fairly big fan of Rasputina. Many goth-types are. Not being a member of that teenage social club I figured there wasn't anything there of interest for me.

Boy howdy was I wrong. I finally got around to listening to Rasputina, and I like what I hear. Very much.

The first thing you'll notice about Rasputina is the quality of the vocalist's voice. Sweet - but not too sweet. Innocent - but not too innocent.

Next you notice the quality of the songwriting. The material often deals with obscure or unusual topics - Mutiny on the Bounty - starvation in Bolivia - that sort of thing.

Ah, who am I kidding. The first thing you'll notice is that THEY'RE PLAYING CELLOS. Yes, Rasputina is 2 cellists and a drummer. But firmly within the rock paradigm.


You know, Rasputina made me realize how cool cellos can sound in rock. I'm not talking ELO or Phil Spector strings, but as a central driving component of the piece. Kind of set me off on my next little quest - I figure the idea of a metal band based around orchestral strings (I'm not talking of a band known mostly for covers like Apocalyptica; I'm talking originals) is too cool for it to be new. It's out there - and I'm looking for it.

NEWS FLASH: There is a whole Wikipedia entry on what I'm thinking of.

Might be tiring, though. We've already been to New York, England, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland (OK not there yet). And to think we started in Brighton (England, home of the Pipettes)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: Hair

Yep, hair color is pretty important.

Not in any big cosmic sense. "Blondes have more fun" is a common little saying, but all you can really tell about a person from the color of their hair is uhhh ... the color of their hair.

Even given that, I generally see brunettes as more attractive than blondes. It probably has something to do wieh a broader human affinity for the exotic. I've lived my entire life in the upper midwest. We have a strong northern European heritage here. Natural blondes are fairly commen here. Heck, you can't walk down the street in Minneapolis without tripping over one.

This two-band overview is one of the only places you'll ever see me prefering blondes to brunettes.



Funny thing is, none of them are blonde.

Now, this is what I call music. Solid pop songwriting for a combo that leans more towards rock than pop. They have gotten attention for their stylish appearance probably even to a greater extent than for their music. Pity, that. This stuff delivers.

I have to give special attention to the song "Once and Never Again". Taking the form of advice from an older more experienced person ("You're only 19 for God's sake ..."), the song is a fitting antidote to some of the melodramatic excesses of our musical predecessors.


Sub Pop (their US label)

The Brunettes are Kiwis. No, not flightless birds. Nor green-fleshed fruit. (Kiwifruit enphasize what I said earlier about affinity for the exotic. Originally marketed under a different name, the fruit was a commercial flop until given the more exotic-sounding name "kiwi".)

No, what I mean is The Brunettes are from New Zealand.

With a name like "The Brunettes" I wanted to like this band much more than I did. There are some really nice touches in their music. I have a soft spot for alternating male and female lead vocals, a technique used to good effect here.

But, on the whole, they are just too saccharine for me. There is an almost cloying sweetness here. Nothing I would throw my radio out the window for (yeah, like The Brunettes get radio play in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul market :/ ). But also nothing I feel compelled to run out and buy.


This post is a good example of "yes, I do edit these things." It may seem I digress a lot. And I do. Way my brain works. But consider: in the above I spared everyone digressions on botany and rugby. Didn't notice? Then my editing worked, dinnit?

The Brunettes were an add-on to "One Weekend Under A Groove". See, I didn't actually listen to them the weekend in question. Sometimes it takes me a little while to get around to things.

Friday, October 19, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: Yee-haw!

Going back to the theme of stuff happening before I knew I cared, seems I missed a few more shows I may have gone to. Rasputina were in town this spring and The Brunettes a month ago. Both shows took place at the 400 Bar, which is a nice cozy venue. Not to mention within the last few weeks missing Gito Gito Hustler and Bat For Lashes.Heck, I wouldn't even know of those two if I hadn't seen ads for their respective shows after they happened. Again I say oops.

But I'm not always a day late and a dollar behind. Most of the artists I listened to during One Weekend Under A Groove were new to me. As was the next artist I want to talk about. The interesting thing here is that although she was new to me, I've had a couple of her songs for over 15 years.



You're probably wondering how I could have had Rachel Sweet material for 15+ years and just learned of her last week. Rachel did much of the voice work on the songs Amy Locane lip syncs to in the (horribly underrated) movie Cry-Baby. I taped that off HBO when it came on first-run so have had songs with Rachel Sweet vocals for a long time.

But until last weekend I didn't know that, so I still would say she is new to me.

When Rachel first became nationally known she was marketed with a jail-bait image, but what really is important is not post-adolescent male fantasies or her appearance, but her incredibly BIG voice. It has just a touch of Southern twang but is otherwise comparable to some of the Blues belters (I'm thinking Janis here ...)

Her first recordings were pretty much straight country. She had greater success when she added New Wave or whatever into the mix. But the country roots are still apparent on tracks such as "Wildwood Saloon" off Rachel's debut album Fool Around. The song is about drowning a broken heart in liquor, a tried and true country topic. Throw in a pickup and a bassett hound and you pretty much have a country music archetype. I don't usually go for ballads, but I really enjoyed this one. I do go for extreme emotions, and this tune literally drips despair. Gets me depressed just listening to it.

Also depressing, but not in a good way, is ...


Official Site
Discover Joanna Cotten

I watched this song on YouTube because the title suggests so much possibility. Will it sound like the chronologically and physiologically unlikely spawn of Eddie Cochran and George Clinton? Chuck Berry licks over Bootsy Collins bass lines?

How about listenable but fairly generic pop country.

We get the latter. Dissappointing, that. I really like the title ...

AND, I think Joanna might be a bottle blonde. I usually hold that against folks. See, hair color is pretty important ...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: I Must Cleanse Myself, Send In The Japanese Ladies!

I realize that title has ... inappropiate conotations. That is entirely on purpose. :)

The sheer amount of pop I listened to last weekend left me feeling in need of a good cleaning. Get the sugar off. Not that I don't like pop - I do. Very much. And I'm not talking Brittany Spears or American Idol junk. A lot of nods to the early 60s in what I was listening to - no big surprise, given that is pretty much my favorite musical time period I didn't actually experience first hand.

Love it though I do, it can leave me feeling like I need to roll around in the dirt a bit (picture a bird taking a dust bath). And what would be more suitable for rolling around in than a style called crust?


Official site

'Crust' or 'doom metal' - whatever you wanna call it, I'm a little outside my comfort zone here (not too far - I have other doom metal but pretty much avoid it) [originally I said 'crust' here, but that is more a statement about cleanliness vis-a-vis my underwear, so 'doom metal' it is.] Reviewing this album as part of One Weekend Under A Groove is a bit of a cheat. I've actually had this album for a few weeks, but just got around to listening to it this weekend.
On the whole, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The standard 'doom metal' plodding is replaced by more sonically varied plodding. This makes it a little hard to review. I'd like to say "this is the sort of thing you'll like if you like this sort of thing", but it might actually be TOO musically interesting for some folks who ... enjoy ... the ... plod.
One really enjoyable track on this release the drummer trades vocals with the band's usual vocalist. The primary vocalist uses an 'extreme metal' gargle-with-draino style (which sounds interesting coming from a Japanese female), while the drummer's style is more of the high-pitched squeek you are used to from Japanese female vocalists. So the track alternates between a low rumbling 'uhhuhhuhh' and a just-sucked-helium 'eeep eeep eeep'. (There are actual lyrics, but 1: they are in Japanese, and 2: this style isn't known for clarity of diction anyway.)

Gallhammer left me feeling a need for something a little lighter. How about blending pop songwriting with a grungier style? But I would hate to abandon the theme of all-female Japanese bands ...

So I won't.


Official Site

So, you may wonder, why am I reviewing a single song? I knew I wanted to talk about this band, but neither I nor anyone I know have any Gito Gito Hustler material. So I did the obvious and trolled the net for some. At some point, by the looks of it quite recently, somebody made the rounds and asked everyone who had GGH mp3s posted to remove them. Discussing the music industry's apparent desire to slit its own throat really is the topic for another day.

So, I'd like to provide useful information about this band, but it is difficult given that I've only actually heard the one song. But the song I listened to ("Maybe Love") was good. GGH is often described as pop-punk, but they are more punk (or garagey) than pop. Even though I feel somewhat stymied in my efforts to hear the band, I think I've heard and read enough to put Gito Gito Hustler on my "buy it but don't necessarily spend too much energy finding it" list.

As long as I'm talking all-female Japanese pop-punk, I MUST mention Shonen Knife. This post is already getting longer than I like, though, so just hold that thought.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It Ain't Easy

Today (oct 15 2007) is Blog Action Day. The theme this year is environmentalism. Hey, I think. as a (somewhat) old lefty who has been involved in environmental issues for years I might have something to contribute ...

One positive side effect of being a little older (and I stress a little - I'm only 37 fergoshsakes) is that I have some experience in stuff to draw upon.

You're probably asking how something titled "It Ain't Easy" could possibly be empowering, or even useful in a positive sense.

If I don't say it someone else is going to. Oh boy are they going to. Advocate for any social issue and folks come out of the woodwork to 'help' you by pointing out any percieved inconsistancy or the futility of baby steps.

The 'help' I get most (too) often is a seemingly deep concern with my shoes. See, I avoid leather. Don't buy it. Don't wear it. When this comes up (I rarely bring it up but don't run from the topic) almost invariably folks say "but your shoes are made of leather."

Umm, no. Not in 17 or so years. These are man-made materials.

"Then those are made of petroleum products! That is inconsistant with living green ..."

These folks must be wearing shoes made of leather from magic cows that consume no resources, do no damage to riparian ecosystems when grazed en mass, and so on.

I think this. Don't say it. My 'magic cows' rant is personally satisfying,but not very useful in real life discussion. You want to educate, to motivate, to explain in such situations, not denigrate the person who has just volunteered to step into the line of fire. Being witty and effectvely discussing the issues are sometimes incompatible.

But the issues here are environmental issues, not shoes.

Although changing the shoes one buys is a nicely effective baby step towards reducing demand for products from intensive animal agriculture - one of the largest human activities with often negative environmental effects.

Would it 'save the earth'? Of course not. I'm not gonna lie to you.

But sometimes doing the little things, acknowledgeing that they AREN'T the big changes, and striving towards those larger things rather than patting ourselves on the back and stopping after a few baby steps is a good thing.

Because, you know that big step?

It ain't easy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: Intro

I've been meaning to getting around to talking about what I did LAST weekend, but another one has come around and I want to mention THIS one before it becomes irrelevant. Plus I need to set up something.

I fully intended to use this weekend to bring myself in to this century, music wise. I did quite abitof surfing and downloading Saturday. not so much today (Sunday) but I'm still putting other things I might be messing with on hold while I scratch this itch.

I've listened to more recent music yesterday and today than in a long while.

So in the interest of educating my gentle readership I'm going to post actual reviews. This'll be fun. For me anyway.

Tentative listof bands to be covered:

Afternoon Naps
Bat For Lashes
Camera Obscura
Joanna Cotten
Dear Euphoria
G.D. Doo-Wop Band
Gito Gito Hustler
The Go! Team
Holly Golightly
Gore Gore Girls
Long Blondes
Noonday Underground
The School
Rachel Sweet

You may notice these are largely UK bands. It happens. Not on purpose.

Also, only TWO of these groups have primarily male vocals, at least in the songs I listened to. Hey, I knows what I likes.

And thirdly, only one artist not active in the 2000s+, with another two more closely associated with the 90s. I'm finally entering the 21st century. :)

Mostly pop up there. Makes me feel a little unclean ...

But tomorrow is blog action day, so we'll have to wait on that.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Missed It By That Much

Our first catch of the day.

First gratuitous pop culture reference anyway.

The title of this entry is pretty much an accurate descrition of what happened. I missed it by *THAT* much.

It feels a lot like I imagine Luke felt in Star Wars after this exchange:

Ben: Those are Imperial blast points [on that jawa sandcrawler]. Only stormtroopers shoot with that precision. They must be looking for your droids and tracked them to these jawas.

Luke: Which means they would have been led ... home.

[Very paraphrased. Hey, I sort of eat and breathe this stuff, not (usually) memorize it.]

I was surfing around the net, idly looking for live Pipettes mp3s and such. I found mention of a studio appearance they had done on The Current (Minnesota Public Radio's rock/pop station).

Cool, I thought. A Pipettes in-studio from a radio station in my part of the world. Then like Luke realizing what those blast points implied it hit me.

My part of the world.
The Pipettes.
That means they were ...

And indeed they were. They did a show at the 7th Street Entry (you've seen Purple Rain? The Entry is basically a broom closet in the club in that movie) back a few months ago.

Putting it before I would have cared.

Missed it by *THAT* much.

Monday, October 8, 2007

It's Symbolic, I Guess

I mentioned earlier that I picked up We Are The Pipettes pretty much on release day (OK, day after). Probably won't surprise anyone that there is more to the story than "Hey, Dave bought a CD".

There are a few angles in the whole event that I can spin into a blog post. I've pretty much been beating into the ground WHAT was purchased and WHY. I'll continue to do that. Trust me :)

But there is a bigger aspect here. What I didn't buy.

I'm sort of continually financially strapped.. That hasn't changed. I had this gift card I won at work a few months ago and used part of that. There was only half of the original value left, since I had used it back then to pay for one of my once semi-weekly runs to the comic store.

I had fully intended to exhaust the card with another comics run. When I'm hitting on all cylinders I can easily blow through $150/month just picking up new issues.

But then I got smacked with a shovel. Everything with transportation and such really kicked me into survival mode. I pretty much abandoned things like comics. Things that were a pretty big part of my life.

Well, I survived. But didn't neccesarily go back to the way things were before my trial by fire.

Long ago (relative time) on this blog I 'fessed up that music was really my first passion. It's back - big time. I'm more like I was before college, in the 80s-early 90s, when exploring the music I love - and exploring new music - was foremost.

It's not a regression - Regress No Way! - so much as a reshuffling.

Of course this 'rediscovery' has been helped immensly by the fact that We Are The Pipettes is the best NEW album I've heard in many a year.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I Get It

I was watching some MMA the other day, and one guy had a chinlock on his oppenent and was (I guess) trying to work into some kind of submission hold. The commentator said "what he should do is hit [the other guy] on the side under the armpit." Why should he do that, I wondered?

Well, I found out.

The next day I was getting out of bed and fell on a box, hitting myself on pretty much that exact spot. Winded me for 2-3 minutes, hurt like the dickens, and I still can't cough or sneeze without experiencing spasms of pain in the area.

So if you get in a barfight or something, I highly recommend the upper side as a target.

Other things I've gotten recently in addition to an understanding of why the upper side is a good target:

We Are The Pipettes US release

First full-length from this group released in the US. About a year after coming out in the UK, and it really should have been released earlier, but at least its out now. Lesson for the RIAA here: I have 13 of the 14 tracks here in one form or another already. Didn't stop me from SCHEDULING VACATION so I could pick up this disc on release day. Track-by-track review later.

Hey, I didn't put a link there.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


On Tuesday while I was waiting after work for my bus to arrive a guy came up to me and struck up a conversation. I wouldn't wish multiple sclerosis on my worst enemy, but I kind of hope this guy has it.

No, I'm not being nasty. Read on.

He started talking to me because he saw that I was using a walker and, since some day he may be doing the same, he had some questions about how it was working out. He has been experiencing fairly rapid deteriation in the muscles that are used in walking - thus the curiousity about the walker. His doctors have presented rapid-onset MS as a possible explanation.

But this is just a better-case scenario. Of course his symptoms may just be transient. A temporary glitch in our imperfect universe. That is the best-case scenario. So, if we perchance don't have that best case, what other possibilities are there?

One possibility, as I've mentioned, is MS. Another possibility put forward by his doctors is ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Most folks today are probably more familiar with Stephen Hawking as someone with ALS.

From my perspective as someone with MS it seems vastly preferable to ALS. Both can be debilitating to be sure. There is one big difference though - folks can have MS for years The average life expectancy of someone with ALS is 3-5 years after onset of the disease. Of course this is just expectancy. Individual results may vary.

Even still, seems like a pretty major 'Sword of Damocles'-type thing.

Yes, MS sucks. I wouldn't, as I said, wish it on my worst enemy. I can't imagine a perspective where it is not a better possibility than ALS.

At least I don't feel like I have an expiration date.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gore Gore Girls/Fun Fun Fun


I should be all over this band like white on rice. Just look at some highlights from reviews posted by their record label:

"Rollicking girlie guitar-and-handclaps in the vein of Holly Golightly, the Chalets and the Pipettes." Playboy

"Detroit garageists sound like the gum-popping, guitar-toting granddaughters of Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys?" USA Today

"While the Raveonettes have successfully reawakened the dreamy, girl-group soulfulness of the ?50s and ?60s, the Gore Gore Girls are here to remind us there was a raw, rebellious side to that era as well. Get the Gore is a rollicking blast from the past ? a sound like go-go dancers emerging from the garage." Nuvo Weekly

A couple of notes here:

I've never heard The Chalets. Looks like I have some homework to do.

The Raveonettes did a show in Minneapolis. I checked out samples of them on the net, was unimpressed, decided against going. I'll look again, though.

Notice the Playboy review mentions my current musical obsession The Pipettes.

I guess "50s and 60s" is technically correct for girl group, but the 50s part - well, really late 50s.

But I'm not a huge fan yet. Not a detractor, just not a fan. Intrigued enough to keep listening, though.


So I'm buying a cellphone. I'm always on top of this sort of thing :) Figuring out WHAT I'm getting, within the constraints that I have, has been quite a bit of fun. Think I've settled on the Cingular 8125 (which is a rebranded HTC Wizard ...) Looks like I'll be able to do pretty much everything I want it to do. Making phone calls is not very high on the list of wants, but pretty high on the list of needs.


So, this post needed to be more in the light/happy vein. Why? The next post is kind of a downer again. It happens. And I've experienced Daffy Duck levels of frustration this past week. Even so, my primary concerns have been with the music I listen to and the cellphone I'm picking up, so there ya go.

'Perspectives' is next.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baked goods

More baked goods!

I came home from work the other day and hanging from my apartment door was a plastic grocery bag. Inside: a loaf of Chedder-Jalapeno Foccacia. A mysterious loaf of bread!

The source was plain to see - the manager of my apartments gave me rides to the grocery store while I was getting the whole transportation/grocery thing worked out after loosing my license, and one thing I picked up pretty much without fail was a loaf of that bread. She thought it would be a nice gesture to surprise me with some.

And it was. Certainly an unexpected one.

I guess that is the upside to the stuff I've dealt with the past few months. People just sort of spontaneously give me baked goods.


I've been connecting the dots lately. Two seemingly very diverse styles of music are pretty much my favorites: girl group and hardcore. Digging deeper I've managed to come up with connections I hadn't realized before. Superficial and not-so superficial. But that desrves several posts of its own. And it'll get them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I've visited New York City once, in the mid-ninties. I anda few others were inNewark for a conference and took a day trip in to NYC, taking the train across the river to the World Trade Center.

When we got there we went to the desk at the WTC staffed by a woman whose job it was to guide us towards the attractions of the city. "So", she asked, "What are tou looking to do in New York?"

I replied, "I want to buya bagel from a street vendor."

She looked at me like I had just sprouted spots. Unusual request, I guess. But she quickly recovered and instructed usto walk in pretty much any direction and we would come across a stand within a block or less. Which we did, and I had my bagel.

I sometimes wonder if she had to work on this day 6 years ago.

Profundity is where you find it. Many were awed by the WTC when the towers came down. Or by the cost in lives.

The thing that resonated with me is that I had eaten there. In a very real way this personalized 9/11 for me. A connection was there that I could not have felt had I merely watched events unfold on TV.

I considered many ways I could bounce various topics off today being 9/11, but decided to leave it at that and one small request:

Have kids? Hug them extra tight today.
Someone you are close to? Same thing.
Do something nice for someone.

And then (this part is optional, but symbolic) ...

... share a bagel.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

What are you listening to II? (Ants)

It wasn't accidental that I left off last entry mentioning that Patti Smith song. But hold on to that thought ... I have other concerns for the moment.

None of those concerns have to do with ballet. "to II". "tutu". Get it? But I'm not playing. Completely an accident.

But, anyway, welcome to yet another rambling music-related entry. It's just like school except hopefully more entertaining.

Speaking of school-type stuff, I learned this week that 102 species of ants are recognized as regular residents here in Minnesota! 102! Amazing, because I can vaguely come up with 4: little black ones, little red ones, medium-size black ones, and big (for an ant) black ones. What is out in the world we live in never ceases to amaze me. Guess I hung on to that sense-of-wonder we all had when we were much younger Sometimes this stuff just makes me stop and go "whoa" ...

I realize I'm pushing the envelope on "interesting" here.

I said I was gonna talk about music, not ants. But my computer is running hot. Think I have to lay off here and figure out why ...

Oh, yeah. Pipettes.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

What are you listening to?

My coworker Amber has a blog. One thing about her host that is really neat is that you can tell readers what music you've been listening to. I mean, I could do that too, but on her host it is 'built in'. This inspires me to let all of you out in the blogosphere in on what I'VEbeen listening to. That, and the fact that I've just learned how to embed YouTube video on here and want to play around with that.

First, the guys. Probably 3/4 of what I listen to has female vocals. Except hardcore/punk/whatever. Some of myf avorites in that genre have the ladies front and center (FUAL for one, and I'd be surprised if that is NOT the first mention of that group on the net ...) But anyway, older Bad Religion has been in my CD player as of late.

Here is some:

Now it's the ladies' turn. The angelic voices, the dulcet tones of female vocalists ...

That will seem really funny at the end of the post.

I already linked to one Pipettes tune - here is another.

And we can't forget Patti Smith. A few posts ago I asked how I got to be 37 and not own any Patti Smith stuff. I've since rectified that situation, and Patti is in fairly heavy rotation on my personal playlist. Here is a low-key vrsion of my favorite song:

And finally some Arch Enemy. Normally I dislike 'I just gargled with Draino' vocals, but ...

So what's the common thread? These songs inspire dancing, or at least motion. Well, that Patti Smith one not so much. But one of her few chart 'hits' was about dancing ...

The Bunny Story

A vignette more than story.

But still we pack 3 protagonists into it, short as it may be.

First, of course, is me. It's my blog after all. I play the dispassionate observer. Funny how often that happens. For such an emotional guy, that is. Just watching and making a hypothesis.

Second, the observed. The bunnies. (Hop hop). At one time, they would ... cavort ... doing bunny stuff ... on the empty field near my workplace. I'd watch their antics while I was waiting for the short bus to take me home each evening.

Third, a hawk, the villian of the tale. Although there really isn't a villian. This isn't a fable. Critters are not moral agents, for the most part. (Anyone who has lived with a dog who pooped on the floor because he felt slighted knows what 'for the most part' means.)

So now we have the observer, the observed, and a third party. The observation: I haven't seen the bunnies in a while.

The hypothesis:

The hawk ate 'my' bunnies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Well, their stage costumes are polka-dotted ...

Monday, August 27, 2007

I Don't Like Mondays

Brenda Ann Spencer stole my birthday.

Well, considering that she is 6 years older than me I guess she couldn't really steal my birthday. I hadn't had one yet. But still ... You kinda want to like the folks you share your day of birth with (April 3, if you're wondering).

I don't know Brenda Ann Spencer, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be too fond of her if I did. She did one of the many things that evoke instant dislike in me.

She opened fire on a playground full of kids. Killing 2 adults, wounding 8 children.

But that is not what this post is about.

Songwriter Bob Geldof read this news item and wrote his band's second hit (well, 2nd in the UK. Didn't do as well stateside.) That song, "I Don't Like Mondays", is based around Spencer's response when asked why. She responded, "I don't like Mondays".

The song is rightfully considered by many to be a classic. It has one of the best explanations of "why" I know of.

Why war? Why famine? Why murder rape pestilance etc etc?

"I don't like Mondays".

But that doesn't make any sense you might say. That's not a reason.

Again from the song:

He can see no reasons
Because there are no reasons
What reasons do you need?


There. Not quite as dark as last post. But really, when your topic was immolation and rape and suffocation there really aren't many ways you can go that don't lighten things up a bit.

So upward.

And, hey, somebody is waiting up there for us. Wearing a polka-dot dress?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Don't Care

This would be the 'very' part of 'very dark'. You've been warned.

This is several intertwined stories. I don't know any of the other participants except through the news. Which is my part in the story, mostly. Just reading the news.

The lead story a few days ago was Youssif, a kid from Iraq. I'm not sure why, but this January several masked assailants doused Youssif with gasoline and set him on fire.

For some reason this didn't get press, Last week, though, it was all over the news. For two days the image of this burned kid stared at me whenever I visited Other times the image would creep into my thoughts.

It was that kind of image. Haunting.

On the third day the photo was replaced with that of some guy in Florida's sentencing (his name is well known. I choose not to use it).

In 2005 this guy raped 9-year old Jessica Lunsford.

Which left him with a problem. Our society rightfully frowns on such behavior. What if Jessica told?

So he silenced the victim. Not with threats but with plastic.

He wrapped Jessica in garbage bags and buried her alive.

The obvious question is: why did this guy think this was acceptable?

If an answer was given to this I don't know. Maybe he didn't like Mondays or something. Maybe something in his head was broken.

But at anyrate, he was tried and convicted. He was in the news for his sentencing.

So what is my part in this story? My troubles pale in comparison to immolation and suffocation. After all, bad stuff happens. Screws fall out all the time. It's an imperfect world.

Both these stories seemed greater than just 'bad stuff', though. And they hit me pretty hard. Partly because I've been physically and emotionally tired lately.

Not exhausted. I've been exhausted, I know exhausted. This ain't it.

But back to that guy. I said he was sentenced. Didn't say what the sentence was.

It was death.

Let me be absolutely clear on this. I oppose capital punishment. It is down right embarassing to live in a country that allows the death penalty.


Even though it probably means giving up my imaginary membership card in the imaginary bleeding heart liberal club...

I really don't care what happens to that guy in Florida.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Said It

Yep, I said it.

You may have missed it. One of the advantages or disadvantages (let's just say things) to having some background in literary analysis is that you notice stuff like this. Even in your own writing.

Said what? you may ask. A few posts ago I said:

insert your favorite stereotype of how disabled folks are supposed to act here

First time on this blog I self-identified as 'disabled'.

Generally, I don't do that. It has nothing to do with denial of anything. If you read my blog with any regularity I've said enough about some of my troubles that you'd probably agree with the identification. If you are one of the lucky folks who gets to actually see me often even more so. And I'm around myself 24-7.

But still I don't self-identify very often as 'disabled'. Really it has to do with how I look at these things. Or how others do.

'Disabled' is often used in a way that implies that it is the central element of one's existance. I see it more as a 'by-the-way' sort of thing. I am a huge comics (and pop culture in general) fan, possibly an even bigger music fan, a long-time vegetarian, social activist, unapologetic left winger, cook, computing enthusiast, have a couple degrees ...

And, by the way, I have a chronic disease and resultant fairly severe mobility issues.

But if I say 'disabled' folks tend to forget all but that last point.

So I don't say it much. Or feel it much. That is in and of itself subversive. Hard to forget I kinda like music when I spend 1/3 of the blog talking about it.

So am I disabled? The State of Minnesota says so. My doctor agrees. Me? See above.

So, that was a little dark, huh? But not so dark as to justify my warning on the end of my previous post. Just another case of my overselling something.

That is assuming I'm done.


Histiography of popular music

Sometimes you stumble across something that you just need to shout about and tell the entire world about what you have found. So it is with The Pipettes, a British group with solid roots in pop. Check them out - for folks on the American side of the pond, a US release comes out at the tail end of August!

In case you missed the hyperlink to the group's site, here it is again. Check out the 'About' link on the group's site. It has some of the wisest comments about popular music I have read.

I particularly like the recognition that there is no single history of poular music, but multiple histories. The one given on the site matches my own view of music history more closely than the traditional Beatles-centric view. Don't get me wrong - the Beatles are a fine band. For me, though, 1964 is an endpoint rather than beginning.

The history I advocate begins July 31, 1927. A.P. Carter convinced his wife Sarah and sister-in-law Maybelle that they should all journey to Bristol, Tennesee and audition for a record producer seeking talent. And so modern country music was born.

Sure there is more to the story than that. A.P. had to get those songs from SOMEwhere. But stories have to start someplace.

The Carters lead (as I said) to country, which is an important component of early rock and rockabilly (think Sun studios), leading us (somehow) to the pop of the pre-Beatles 60's, including groups (Beach Boys, girl groups generally ...) that heavily influenced 4 lads from Liverpool.

So I guess the Beatles are in this story.

But really I am just using the history stuff so I have an excuse to mention The Pipettes. They are about a gajillion kinds of cool. Really fun stuff.

And everyone can use some fun. Especially when things get a little dark.

Not to sound ominous or anything, but (and I telegraphed this last post) the lights are going down around here again. It's gonna get dark for a while.

How dark? Stay tuned, but I can say ...


Friday, August 24, 2007


I have a decision to make.

See, usually when I look in the local free weekly newspaper I see one or two bands I'd like to go see. I was reading a copy while waiting at the bus station for my ride home. This time I saw 7 shows. Seven! Namely:

The Donnas
Suzanne Vega
The Bangles
They Might Be Giants
Arch Enemy
2007 Minneapolis Metal Massacre
Bad Religion

So now I have a decision. Just how badly do I want to see these shows? For Bad Religion and Arch Enemy - pretty badly. The problem I have is this: the venues these shows take place at are probably not laid out with accessability for folks like me in mind. I haven't been to First Avenue in years (where most these shows take place), but I don't remember anything particularly positive from the standpoint of getting around ...

So I have a decision to make. Do I dig real deep, try real hard, insert your favorite stereotype of how disabled folks are supposed to act here, and go to these shows? Or just say to heck with it and save myself the aggravation?

I'm leaning towards the latter.

Am I the only one who sees the first often used as a subtle putdown? I'm all for trying and everything, but I can't stand the "you did not entirely succeed, so you must not have tried hard enough" attitude.

There are days when my brain tells my legs to move but it just ain't happenin'. Not because I'm not trying or not thinking in a positive way.

But because my immune system is eating at my nervous system.

Sorry if sometimes that ticks me off.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The important part of the title up there is the plus sign. I have always been fascinated by the way things seem to end up connected somehow.

Members of the band Rancid have a weekly show on XM radio channel 53. Today they spent the first part of the show talking about football (what my people call soccer :)), Beckham specifically. The connections between football and working-class punk music is well known, but something mentioned on the show made everything much more specific. It also ties together a few of the things I've mentioned in past posts in a really unexpected way.

Seems a former manager of Manchester City (not sure exactly who) is a major Oi! fan.

Incidentally, City is top of the table in the Premiership. That's #1, kids. Hated crosstown rival United: 16th. We're only 3 games in, but still.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I hear we have an election or something next year here in the USA. It's a little early to call (heck, we don't even know who the candidates will be yet ..), but of two things I am certain:

If Hillary makes it through the primaries and takes the general election, my brother will be horrifically traumatized, and

If the above happens, we, as a society, will need to come up with something to call Bill.

What to call the male spouse of a female president has never been an issue (and probably won't be one any time soon - sorry, Hillary. Just sayin'.) First gentleman?

Bill Clinton has come up with an idea himself. A little bit of word play - first laddie.


We've had major flooding just south of where I live here in Minnesota. I was watching the news, and an anchor asked a field reporeter to describe the situation on the ground. "The situation here is fluid."

Heh. That's funny and probably totally inadvertant.

"Fluid." Floods.



I've taken to getting up a little early each morning so I can devote some time to listening to my satellite radio. The other day I listened to a few songs on XMLM, XM's metal station. One of the songs was by Soulfly, who are kinda a big deal but I was unfamiliar with. Unfortunately I can't tell you the name of the song. I certainly have that ability and remember the title, but can't in the sense that I choose not to. I want to keep this blog accesable to a variety of readers, and part of that is not using profanity here. Not that I don't use profanity in my daily language, but ... time and place, you know?


One group that used profanity in their music in a way that annoys me is Youth of Today. It often seemed Ray (the vocalist) was going out of his way - even to the detriment of the song - to swear. Unfortunate because there is otherwise plenty of good to be said about YOT.


One of the other songs I liked on XMLM that morning was by a band called Arsonists Get All The Girls. Great song, but that is one of the worst band names I have ever heard.

And I have heard plenty.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Patti Smith

There is a scene in the movie Chasing Amy where in one short burst of dialog the three Kevin Smith New Jersey trilogy movies (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) are tied together into one cohesive whole. This article on does that to a certain extent for my jumble of musical interests. I never connected the Ramones and early 60s pop before (although I should have ... I mean, really, they worked with Phil Spector ...) I stumbled across the article surfing around trying to answer one simple question:

How did I get to be 37 and not own any Patti Smith records?

I was aware of Smith. Just didn't feel compelled to buy any of her stuff.

Until now.

When I was growing up I would sit in front of the radio and wait for a specific song to be played. This was the early 80s, so that often meant sitting through a lot of junk justifiably forgotten today. (Yes, a lot of my faves come from that era. But let us not forget it was also the era of REO, LRB and other bands with more letters but even less interest for me).

Recently I've found myself listening to XM44 waiting for a Patti Smith song to be played. ANY Patti Smith. It's been quite a while since I've done that sort of thing.

One cool thing about this current obsession is that I can see at least 2-3 blog posts coming from it. All of them about Patti Smith. Or none of them.

Depends on how you look at it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do ya wanna dance?


Do ya, do ya, do ya, wanna dance?

Probably not. Unless binary inspires you to put on your boogie shoes.

But wait.

Imagine those digits are the representation of a song on a CD. (I pick Prince's "Controversy" from the album of the same name, but pick whatever ...) In that context (as read by a CD player), ones and zeros definately will help you get your groove on.


The above is a much smaller version of what was supposed to be the main part of 3 posts ago.


This is funny looking at it today:

I've heard guys with 10-megabyte hard disks complain of feeling cramped.

Thinking in Forth - Leo Brodie - 1984
Considering how cramped my 80-gig drive is ...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I don't know what this means

Blogger has a neat new feature where profiles with similar interests are linked. Just for fun, I clicked on the link for one of my favorite books, The Passion.

249 other profiles list that as a fave book.

A little under 90% of those profiles are from female bloggers.


The real surprise, though, was the number that listed interests that could be called 'tree-hugging hippy crap'. (I can say things like that for the same reason I can find humor in having MS. Self-awareness and all ...) The Passion is not a book I would associate particularly with folks showing a particular enthusiasm for things like ... uh ... nature and stuff.


Hey, I screwed up again! I wrote this entry in two parts at work and emailed them to my home account. At least that is what I intended. I'm not sure if I forgot to email part one or accidentally deleted it, but here is the second half... Crud, the first half led directly from my previous entry. Oh well. So it goes.


Speaking of dance [which I was in the missing first half], if you go pogo (that's a play on a slogan for the Pogo comic strip), you could do worse than check out I stumbled across this blog looking for info on Dead Silence, a Colorado hardcore outfit that I liked quite a bit but that has always seemed to be unknown on the web. (You can find anything on the 'net HAH!) I've spent much time there the past few days. Every band covered in the 80s hardcore section either 1) I listened to 2) I intended to check out but never got around to or 3) would have intended to check out had I known they existed.


Also check out the e-book Free Culture. More on that later ...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sooner or Later

You're probably thinking I'm referencing Hank Williams with the "see the light" jazz in the previous post. Bzzzzzt wrong answer. "I Saw the Light" is a great song, and would be on a top 100 list of them if I ever made such a thing. But what I was thinking of, what was going through my head, was the Jeff Healey band's "See the Light".

Remember that. It's important.


Sunday I got a chance to listen to Oi!sters on XM radio 53. I've meant to tune in to that show as long as I've had my receiver but just never actually did. Wish I had before, because I enjoyed it quite a bit. You may remember how dissapointed I was with the Slam-A-Lot show on XM 53. It is touted as the hardcore show but was mostly metal, or at best "metalcore". Hey, I enjoy that style, but if you order a strawberry shake you want strawberry, not chocolate.

Oi!sters was truer to its advertising. Plenty of good old-fashioned working-class themed punk rawk. Exactly what I wanted to hear.

As pretty much everything does, this inspired many an hour of surfing the 'net. I was curious: was the Wikipedia definition of Oi! worthwhile (unlike the Wikipedia definition of girl group)?

I was pleasently surprised to find it was. As a bonus, I also discovered a great way to waste a few hours (or, if you're like me, a few days): I've only played around with it a bit, first connecting 7 Seconds to other bands, then Funkadelic. I was a bit surprised by the longest path I found - Madonna->Funkadelic. Expected that one to be shorter.

After playing around on that site for a while I returned to Wikipedia, looking up straightedge bands. Apparently there have been 3 'waves' of straightedge. I fit in best with (guess it) 'old school straight edge', even though I was listening primarily during the 'youth crew' era. (Confused? You won't be after checking this link out. Or, at least not by this anymore).
One of the articles mentioned the pro wrestler CM Punk. Straightedge posturing is part of his in-ring gimmick. Interesting. I really dig this kind of connection between disparate interests.


Remember Jeff Healey? I told you he would be important. He played the leader of the bar band in the movie Roadhouse. Also in that movie was Terry Funk. A professional wrestler.

See? Sooner or later everything comes down to pro wrestling. Somehow.


A little housekeeping here: this post is again way off task, but the next few should be more on-topic so to speak. Not that I'm abandoning the idea of not talking about what I'm talking about. Even though I'm talking about it.

Oy vey. I'm giving myself a headache. If only things were as simple as left and right, black and white, 0 and 1.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/See The Light

Well, Shinders folded.

Chances are this means nothing to you. Shinders was a Minneapoliis area newstand/collectables store. It was founded in 1916 and from 1992-2004 was my employer. 4 years of the current (prior to the recent shutdown) ownership managed what the Great Depression, WWII, Vietnam, and Iraq failed to do: shut 'er down.

I have fond childhood memories of Shinders. It was always a part of what "big city" to me. A place I could pick up the latest issue of "Maximum Rock n Roll" or whatever. Where I could feel a part of whatever pop culture clique I was aspiring to. Where the folks picking up "Better Homes and Gardens" were the odd ones out, and folks like me looking for obscure imported titles were the norm.

As an employer Shinders was a mixed bag. I was probably lucky to move on when I did. However, it was during my time at Shinders I moved from casual comics reader to die hard collector. It is a hobby that greatly enhanced my life, and working at Shinders had more than a little to do with my becoming passionate about it.

The downtown location used to be open 24 hours. I remember the lights, shopping in that store at 3 am.

Those lights are gone, now. There are other places with similar product, but Shinders is gone.

One commentator after the shutdown said he couldn't understand why folks were so loyal to that store.

Guess he never saw the lights.

Friday, July 27, 2007

My Tshirt Disturbs Me

Yesterday I was wearing a t-shirt from '92, around the time of the "Death of Superman" storyline in the (guess where) Superman titles. That is relevant because the shirt depicts (guess it again) Superman's funeral. (Don't worry. He died but he got better ...)

The shirt depicts a funeral procession with many of the DC heroes following behind the pall bearers carrying the casket. For fun I will sometimes try to name them all. Since many of them are at best minor characters, this is quite a task even for an alpha geek like me. Yesterday, looking at it, a few things bugged me a little.

1) No Lori Lemaris.

Come to think of it, I don't even know if she was in continuity (or real in the fake Superman universe) at that time. Goofy as DC comics may sometimes be, they have stayed away from things like mermaid girlfriends in modern continuity.

2) Beast Boy is a pall bearer.

The pall bearers include many of the heavy hitters hero-wise ... and Beast Boy. Why? I can't fathom it really.

3) No Batman.

Granted, Bats had his own problems around that time (broken back and all), and was in a "crabby pants" phase and probably didn't want to hang out any way. Still seems like a pretty major omission.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How I'm Spending Sunday

If it is not Sunday when you are reading this, you may wish to wait untill that day for maximum effect.

Or not.

Spending most of today using my computer. Thought I'd take the time to rip an old cassette I have from the Finnish band Terveet Kadet and make a CD. Not going well. The source material isn't terribly well recorded. GIGO. Sounds like mud no matter how much tweaking I do.

My other computer-related project is debugging a comic-book database I'm writing in Java. I've been working on this project in one form or another for over a decade. I get a useable product and then restart. I'm just having fun, so it doesn't really matter.

This post is totally off task. Doesn't fit into the structure I have for this blog at all.

[Ominous music]

Or does it?

[Ominous music fades]

The Lost Post (Freakwater)

Well, everything turned out for the best with loosing my last post. I'll never get that hour and a half back, and I haven't found a way to retrieve what I had written, but it set events in motion that ended a years-long quest.

First though, the external sites I linked to. I went through the trouble of tracking this stuff down, might as well use it: Hayseed Dixie, Otyg, Finntroll, The Angels. Obviously I had a musical theme, but I may use the same general themes in a later entry, so like the guy in the Monty Python sketch says: "Say no more!"

Pity I lost the post. Best writing I've ever done. Shakespeare quality really. Would have changed the world of music criticism forever. And who's going to contradict me? :)

Actually, losing the post saved me the embarassment that would have resulted from posting it. See, I made a little mistake. In one part I mentioned a band but couldn't quite remember the name - and got the name wrong. It's funny how memory works. The group in question records for a label out of Chicago. I was using the name of another band also releasing stuff on a Chicago label.

The group I was misnaming is Freakwater. Being able to say that represents the end of a quest.

The quest began several years ago when I heard this haunting Carter Family-style cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". It was a "Brian Wilson" type moment for me. (The first time Brian Wilson heard the Ronnettes "Be My Baby" on his car radio he actually had to pull over and stop driving. I call that a Brian Wilson moment - you hear a song and it just floors you, expanding your notions of what music can be.) I've since heard it again once or twice, but could never quite remember who it was.

I figured I might as well link to info on the band as long as I was redoing my original post. In looking for info on a group whose name I could not remember I finally found the information I had been looking for on and off for years.


Saturday, July 14, 2007


I continue to be befuddled by Blogger. I've taken to just signing in to make a new post right off my blog's page, but today doing that froze my browser. No problem, that has happened before, I just kill the process the browser is running as, it goes away, all is right with the world. Only today I couldn't kill the process and had to reboot entirely. Weird.

And I have a reason to want to blog today. No, nothing notable is going on in my life, and my desire to ramble about girl groups isn't THAT compelling, but when life pretty much hands you a topic, well, you gotta blog about it.

Three things that have a common thread:

Thing one:

I sumbled across the MySpace page for the band (A).P.P.L.(E). I probably haven't thought about them once in the last dozen years. I listened to them a lot in the early/mid 90s. I kind of like when folks play with expected musical paradigms, and with a style that can only be described as folk-punk (folkcore?), (A).P.P.L.(E) do just that. Glad to see they're still kicking around. Real blast from the past for me.

Thing two:

A coworker lent me a big stack of CDs. Mostly anime soundtracks, but one of the non-Japanese discs was

THIS STINKS. I just lost 1 1/2 hours work finishing this post ... and no, nothing beyond the above was saved as a draft. I'm going to bed, and maybe redo this tommorrow ...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Live Earth

You readers don't know how lucky you are. I had a different post in mind, but 2 things happened:

1) The Live Earth concerts were today
2) It was the hottest day of the year, and heat tires me out - even when I'm not actually out doing anything in it.

I had planned on listening to the concerts on XM, but spent enough of the day in a situation where I had to be able to hear anyone buzzing my apartment that I just said to heck with it (another effect of hot weather - almost complete lack of ambition). I did manage to catch the summary show on NBC, which included at least some of what I was interested in.

Madonna - I really prefered her performance at Live 8. Too much emphasis today on the non-musical aspects of the performance. I like Madonna, but really wonder - why did she get TWO songs on NBC when everybody else got at most one?

Metallica - I never thought of them as a global benefit performing sort of group, but there they were. Unfortunately the song shown on NBC was "Enter Sandman". These guys did 3 straight-on classic albums (Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice For All), somebody thinks we need to hear a song off a less-than-classic album. I guess the fact that it was a commercial success decides these things ...

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Continuing the theme of bands I like doing material that doesn't grab me ... If you're going to play an older song, at least make it from your artistic high point. But again, probably the whole commerial success thing.

Duran Duran - Speaking of older songs, it is either cool or sad that the one NBC broadcast ("Girls on Film") is nigh on 25 years old. But I liked it then, liked it today.

Roger Waters - The good first: giant floating inflateable pigs are cool. It's axiomatic. And the giant inflateable floating pig was present. The bad: performed "Another Brick in the Wall II" (no points for creativity, but an OK choice) with a bunch of kids on stage - and I'm pretty sure they weren't miked! They made little hand motions and stuff, but the kid vocals were clearly lifted from the album.

Those were pretty much the ones I was looking forward to. Pleasant surprise: Garth Brooks. He did almost an old-time spiritual, a la "We Shall Overcome". I enjoyed it, which is not what I expect as a reaction to Garth Brooks. Only one performer inspired me to channel hop and wait for it to be over: Shakira.

Not a mind-blowing musical experience by any stretch, but not a terrible batch of performances either. I give it (what I heard of it) 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.

You're probably wondering how you are lucky to get this little rant rather than my original idea. Stay tuned. "What's In A Girl (Group)" is on its way. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Letter

I'm posting this from work. Which is probably wrong, but oh well. I picked up my mail before work. I got this bizarre card in it.

Yes, card not letter. But I have this little game where I title posts after songs. I don't know of a song called "The Card" ("Postcard", yes. But not just "card". Synchronicity here: that is a Boris Grebeshnikov song ... I mentioned him a few posts ago ...) Thus "The Letter".

The card was from the manufacturer of the drug I inject daily to control my MS symptoms. It congratulated me on one year of taking the drug.

Weird, huh?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


No, I'm not going away.

Final words (probably) on Chris Benoit here. And they're not even mine! But they are very similar to what I would write.

Final climb: I'm tiring of this metaphor. I had planned on a big celebratory post and virtual flag-raising. But things didn't turn out that way. Reached the summit, on the other side just more mountains.

Oh well.


I guess.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I'm gonna be the coolest kid in the neighborhood

I was feeling kind of down today. Let's face it, I've got plenty lately to feel down about. Even grocery shopping didn't work as a pick-me-up (I usually enjoy that activity. Go figger.) I stumbled across something that improved my mood.

I'm going to buy a T-shirt.

Not just any shirt, though. I came across a domestic source for shirts featuring the band Guitar Wolf.

Guitar Wolf is not horribly well known here in the US, even though the movie Wild Zero, featuring the band, is out on region 1 (US/Canada) DVD. Here are some links to learn about them: wikipedia, official site, MySpace, IMDB.

How I stumbled upon this shows the benefits of having a short attention span when using the Internet. I started trying to answer a simple question: who is touring currently as TheTime? Morris Day of course, but the rest of the group? They played a free concert tonight Unfortunately I couldn't go, but it got me curious. I of course ended up on Wikipedia looking at the current lineup. There was a link there to other Prince-associated artists, so I started clicking on some of those. Eventually that got me to the entry on Vanity 6. There was a link there to a list of girl groups.

I have to say, the definition there of "girl group" is flat-out wrong. The working definition seems to be groups fronted by multiple female vocalists. And many girl groups are indeed that. But other groups that fit that definition are most assuradly NOT girl groups. Including Vanity 6. But I digress.

Anyway, on this list was a link to an entry on Puffy AmiYumi. I like that group, so I clicked there. This linked me to a list of Japanese groups, which led me to Guitar Wolf, whom I had not even thought about in quite a while ...

I also might get a shirt for my favorite Japanese band Judy and Mary (the vocalist, Yuki, reminds me of a hyper Ronnie Spector. Who had been sucking helium.) I'm not sure because the one I found is a homemade shirt. No money gets back to the artist, which is important to me even if the artist's cut is small.

But anyway ... I figure once I get the shirt I'll just about be the coolest cat my workplace has ever seen. Of course no one but me will know (we are trolling some pretty obscure waters here), but that's part of being cool.


Saturday, June 30, 2007

100 Worst Cover Songs ... EVER

Over at RetroCrush a list of the 100 worst cover songs just wrapped up. I didn't have a chance to contribute, so glad to see one of my picks - Madonnas simply awful cover of "American Pie"- made the list at #5. Would have liked to see Bananarama's cover of "Help" on the list though. I like Bananarama, but their version of "Help" is pretty painful.

Best cover ever? Easy. "I Love Rock and Roll", Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Generally people don't even know it is a cover.

Best cover (music geek edition)? "Fever", (Little) Nell Campbell. I've only seen this on a bonus disc from the Rocky Horror Picture Show movie soundtrack box set. Lush, seductive, a little bit creepy. Just like good love songs should be.


I hate typos.

Previous post:

Rotterdam is in the Netherlands. Ooops. I meant Rothenburg. Actually, I'm not sure where I was. I was 16 and in a bar. Germany. Southern Germany. And the town name had an R in it ...


"I choOse to lead." Missed an 'o' and changed the tense ...

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bitsand Pieces

Just assorted junk that really doesn't fit elsewhere, and will probably alienate many of the folks who read this blog. So it goes.


If anyone is interested in more background on Chris Benoit, his biography on Wikipedia is here. I spent some spare moments at work reading through pro wrestling related articles on Wikipedia. It was a lot of fun, really. Ther is an article on there concering slang and jargon used in that industry that may make it easier to understand me sometimes. I tend to use words and phrases in everyday speech that ocasionally assume familiarity with such things. Not so often wrestling, more often things like comics and genre cinema.


Speaking of Wikipedia, picking a topic and following the links is a great way to waste time yet emerge a more knowledgable human being. Don't take anything as gospel truth until verifying it, though. The user-generated nature of the thing doesn't always lend itself to accuracy (not that Wikipedia articles are necessarily incorrect though. In studies they have compared well to things like Encyclopedia Brittanica.) The most recent probable ionaccuracy I've stumbled across was in the entry on 80s/90s hair metal outfit Gorky Park. The article states they were the first Russian group to appear on MTV. I am 90%+ certain this is incorrect. Problem is I don't know what the correct thing would be with ant certainty. I do know as fact Boris Grebeshnikov's video for the song "Radio Silence" got airplay - and predates Gorky Park's "Bang". I also vaguely recall a benefit concert which included a Russian artist.

I have contributed to a few Wikipedia pieces. Mostly on 70s/80s rock and various food-related tidbits. Am I a supergeek or what? :)


I've been a soccer fan since a trip to Germany in '86. Watched the World Cup final in a bar in ... Rotterdam, I think.

The one English club I am a supporter of is Manchester City. I don't really pay enough attention though. So imagine my pleasent surprise to discover a few months ago that my favorite US Men's National Team player Demarcus Beasely was on loan from his regular club to City!


Cingular has sponsored Jeff Burton and the 31 car for the past few years. But Cingular's name is now AT&T. Nextel, sponsors of the Nextel Cup (top division in NASCAR), was going to disallow a name change on the car, arguing that although Cingular had been grandfathered in, AT&T would be a NEW sponsor. Agreements between NASCAR and Nextel prohibit new sponsors from the telecommunications industry. AT&T sued, and at the end of May judgement came down in their favor. So the paint scheme was changed, and the car now races as the AT&T 31 car!

OK, enough rambling for now. I promise to be more cohesive and coherent in the future!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I've 'fessed up to being a pro wrestling fan here before. One of the wrestlers I've always enjoyed has been Chris Benoit. Benoit always had the ability to put together a very entertaining match, even when working with someone less talented. Chris was a great athlete and wrestler.

He was also a murdeer.

This past Friday Chris Benoit strangled his wife Nancy.

On Saturday he asphyxiated his son Daniel.

On Sunday he commited suicide, hanging himself.

What personal demons drove him to this? We don't know. To those media outlets falling over each other in a rush to explain it as an extreme case of 'roid rage I repeat: we don't know.

What I at least know: to some extent we all have demons we have to dance with. The choice is ours. Do we lead the dance or give up control to darkness?

I chose to lead. Chris Benoit unfortunately chose surrender.

Whenever a tragic situation occurs we often seek some cosmic meaning in it all. Something beyond the 'just the facts' sense. So what does the past weekend MEAN?

To me, there is now discomfort in what was formerly a very enjoyable activity: watching a Chris Benoit match. To Nancy's parents, loss of a daughter and grandchild. In the big cosmic sense?

Not a damn thing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There was a stormy day in March

I think I mentioned it before. Snow heavy ... HUNDREDS of accidents across the Twin Cities metro. I had one.

But my case was a little different in the eyes of the law from the other hundreds.. See, I have multiple sclerosis. And being shook up after the accident (as anyone would be) my MS symptoms were positivly raging. So the state canceled my drivers license.

Ah, but all I had to do to get reinstated was a simple exam. I had that exam yesterday.

Got nervous (lots of anxiety!) My leg pooped out on me and I failed.

So, I feel like I've just taken a stiff chairshot in a shootfight.

I don't even really have a chance here to catch my breath and process this. I am having a REALLY hard time, folks. But still I have crap that has to get done ...

Helluva 100th post, huh? I'd like to have posted something celebratory, or at least one of my stupid lists ... But life got in the way.

See, there was this stormy day in March ...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Weather (Climbin')

Dang it. Just when I was starting to see the summit a storm brews up. Can't see much -- too cloudy.

Ah well. Perhaps it is for the best. Gives me a chance to get better situated for my final advance.

[Note from the non-metaphorical real world: the weather WAS a factor in this little pause in progress. Last night we had a severe thunderstorm roll through about 2 AM. First time I've seen one that major that late. Consequently, I'm running on about 2 hours sleep. Not a good situation. That'll mess you up even if you don't have MS. So, when my ride was too sick to take me to a driving evaluation I had scheduled I was actually a little relieved I had good reason to reschedule.]

And now for something completely different ...

99 posts on my blog,
99 posts on my blog,
If Blogger should crash,
Make recent posts trash,

Then ...

98 posts on my blog

And so on.

Friday, June 1, 2007

It was 40 Years Ago Today

Blog entries are supposed to be timeless, but this one is really tied to today being June 1, 2007. 40 years after.

After what? The release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

So I thought I'd take this opportunity to reconsider the film based on the album. You know, the one with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton which came out when both those acts had a lot of star power. I mean, people were practically issued a copy of Frampton Comes Alive at birth. Some of the biggest names of the era in a fiilm based on one of the biggest albums of all time. How could one go wrong?

So ... considering .... thinking about it ...

Still stinks.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

By the Power of uh... the Internet

Before I start, I just want to publically wonder why Blogger her doesn't always play nice with my system. I just spent 15 minutes recovering from a very frustrating system freeze trying to log into my account. Ended up having to reboot. Jus' wonderin'.

I've been on the Internet (apparently style guidelines say it's OK not to capatalize that now, but I'm old school) thing here for a long time. Pre-dating the web, in fact. (That'd be Usenet-only access ... there was no web yet, so that was really all there was). In all that time my primary usage has been keeping tabs on pro wrestling. Really. This wonderful tool has allowed me to talk with the creator of my second-favorite TV show, argue with a famous SF author (OK, that was on GEnie, but it coulda been the net), and discuss English usage with someone halfway around the world. My brother has recieved advice on turtle-keeping from a well-known expert. Well, well-known amongst those who have some knowledge of turtle-keeping experts. All that potential power used to keep up on events in an industry of admittedly niche interest.

But now I've found an even more marginal use for this power. I ordered pizza.

From the place down the road.

So much for the power to span the world, I guess.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lay Down Sally

It is not unusual for the English language to be abused in song lyrics, usually to maintain a rhyme scheme ("you and I" in Bryan Adams' "Run To You") or rhythm ("E-gyp-ti-an" in The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian"). Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" doesn't seem to have a reason for its linguistic abuse. Try it: sing "lie down" instead of "lay down". Fits just as well.

The two phrases mean different things, though. Not in the cosmic "Dust in the Wind" sense of meaning. Dude. The more mundane sense of how a person who speaks English interprets the particular vocalization "lay down".

"Lay down" is a command to put down something being carried or held. I can't help but having visions of King Kong scaling up the Empire State Building, hapless Sally clutched in his fist. Eric stands on the sidewalk, musically imploring Kong to "lay down Sally" - put her down.

But the intention of the song is to invite Sally to have a lie-down, you might say. I know that. I take that intent into account. I don't really think the song is about King Kong.

What Eric meant to say trumps what he actually says. "Decoding" the lyrics is dependant on intent.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Moment of clarity

First though:

Clearing up. Can definately see the summit now. For awhile there looked like I'd need an airlift out, but looks better now.

And I'm no longer being pelted with stuff. Well, no more than usual.

Main event:

So, you may be wondering why I keep talking about mountains. Simple. Metaphor.

Sometimes it is just easier to talk about something other than what you're REALLY talking about. It can be illuminating as well - there are facets to the idea of mountain climbing that I really wasn't aware of looking at the actual situation. I'm going through a rough patch right now and will admit to being sick of talking about it in the numerous situations where speaking metaphorically is inappropriate. This blog is not such a beast.

So, mountains.

Plus, it amuses me to make references to other things. The whole idea of a mountain standing in for difficulties was suggested by an Elvis song. Not the first with the idea, but I happened to hear the song at just the right time.

On the topic of references, this post and the previous both have references related to the band Pink Floyd.

I'll take that as proof things are 'clearing up' for me.

I mean, I didn't even try really.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Still climbing

Saw the summit briefly the other day. Obscured by clouds now, though.

And this damn grizzly keeps pelting me with stuff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wrestling is Real

In my previous post I misspelled "poruresu". If I'm going to use Romanizecd Japanese terms, I should at least get the spelling correct. Bet you didn't even notice, but still.

One of the frustrations in my life is the reaction people give me when I reveal I am a long-time pro wrestling fan. "But that is so fake!" they helpfully chime in.

Well, thanks. Even though I have a BA (double major no less) and a BS apparently I lack the mental muscle to determine when I'm watching something scripted.

And "scripted" is a preferred term. Or "worked", but that is more jargon. I wouldn't want to confuse anybody. Yes, the outcome is predetermined. Yes, the participants work out what will happen when ahead of time. Yes, dire enemies in-ring are often good friends behind the scenes.

But still I watch it. I like a good story, and even though the characters are painted with a pretty broad brush, much of the time pro wrestling tells a pretty good story. Besides, it's not fake.

But I should show, not tell.

I have a DVD laying around titled Rob Van Dam: One of a Kind. In one match, RVD climbs to the top ring rope (around 8 feet above the floor, including the ring itself), jumps across the area around the ring (around 10 feet), over the ringside barrier (about 4 feet tall), landing on his opponent who is on the other side amongst the ringside seats.

He actually made this jump. And landed on his opponent. Without seriously injuring himself or anyone else. In one move. No wires or trick camarawork.

See, not fake. Not convinced? Try it.

But he is trained for such things, I hear the protests. Yes, he is. Doesn't change the facts at all.

"But, but ... It was scripted!" Yes, it was. And?

I have to feel pity for someone who can't sit back and enjoy a good lie.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cupcakes (no figure skates)

Today is May 13, 2007. It's a holiday. Shame on you if you forgot.

It's not really a holiday associated as some are with food, but I have some chocolate stuff laying around waiting to be eaten. Might as well use the day as an excuse.

That would not be such an easy choice to make for some folks. For instance, I had an elementery school classmate who was allergic to chocolate. Couldn't eat it. If she did, things would end up badly.

This made bringing treats for the class sometimes difficult. Most kids LOVE chocolate, almost as much as they hate not getting what they want.

So when it was my birthday that year and I could bring treats for the class my mom did something special. She made chocolate cupcakes (what the other kids wanted) for the class. And a special non-chocolate cupcake. No one asked her to. She wasn't fishing for praise or looking for special acknowledgemment. Sometimes, when something is right (in this case, being inclusive of my classmate), you just do it.

I don't know if she ever realized the example she was setting for me played a major role in some of the concerns I showed later in life. Sometimes you just do what is right.

Sorry, no figure skates. I can use what I wanted to say about that in a later blog entry. I can probably catch the end of today's NASCAR race on TV if I finish here. And I have that chocolate. It's not going to eat itself, you know.

Love ya Mom.