good riddance, 2005

well, 2005 pretty much sucked for me...so roll on 2006. you kids stay outta trouble.



a history of violence

took my dad out to the movies tonight and we decided to catch a history of violence. i enjoyed it, especially the ending. the characters were set up nicely, but not so slow that you'd get bored. once the moving was rolling, i lost track of everything around me and was absorbed in the story. all of the performances were spot on, i cared about each of the characters, although the wife and daughter characters weren't fleshed out as much as the males in the cast. the daughter was around 6ish, so there obviously wouldn't be much to her. the wife wasn't some bimbo female only there for her looks, but to me she was still kinda fluffy (the devoted wife who becomes bewildered as the plot twists and turns) seeing as how the movie focused on the actions of the male characters. i'm not saying she didn't do a good job, just that the film wasn't as concerned with her as much as it was with other characters.

without giving away the ending, i'll again say that it really appealed to me. i hate hate hate the typical steven spielberg wrapped-up-with-a-bow ending. so check it out. some are saying cronenberg has gone mainstream, but
a good movie is a good movie and the "mainstream" tag shouldn't matter, as long as the film is well written, acted, and directed.


eternal sunshine

couldn't sleep tonight, so i watched eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. my buddy, vanessa, had been pushing this flick on me ever since she first saw it last year. i kept resisting because i don't really like jim carrey. last week, i was at the store and saw a copy on the cheap, so i figured what the hell. so yeah, she was right...i like it. jim carrey is so not jim carrey in this movie. he and the film in general seemed pretty genuine, and i didn't feel like the film tried to emotionally manipulate me. check it out.


my new favorite website

now you know what i want for christmas!

have a lovely weekend, i'm off to southern california, where it apparently never rains. i'll be in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, bitches. i'll update the mixtape when i return.



top gigs of the year

lists. you love em. you hate em. you love to hate em. so yeah, in no particular order, here's mine:

@ bimbo's 365 club
i was expecting a couple guys with laptops. wrong. it was a full band and man, they fucking rocked the house. i loved the "dead cities" album, but i wasn't keen on the new "before the dawn" album. this show converted me; the new stuff sounded fucking great live and i now love "before the dawn heals us".

neko case @ the bluebird (in denver)

my buddy rick lives in denver. we hadn't hung out since he moved there about three years ago. we were talking on the phone when he mentioned neko was playing two nights. what better excuse does one need to go visit? not only did i get to hang out with a good friend, i got to see neko case twice in a weekend. the goddess did not disappoint. i even pulled a fanboy move and chatted her after the second show. i also got her autograph. i don't usually do things like that, but hey..it's neko.

puffy amiyumi @ the fillmore

their songs are pure power pop. stylistically, they borrow from everything and anything but they make it their own. ami and yumi are both super cute, which doesn't hurt. yeah, it's kinda geared towards the kids (see the hihi puffy amiyumi show on the cartoon network), but who fucking cares when you're having that much fun.

mono @ bottom of the hill & lobott gallery

more japanese goodness. the third and fourth times i'd seen them in less than a year. each show was totally worth it. my favorite quote about mono was on the shrinkwrap sticker on the "walking cloud" album. it said "i had no idea a guitar could be so loud". these guys (and girl) gently walk you up to the edge and let you take in all the beauty, then they push you off. go see them. get an album. something.

the chemical brothers @ coachella

i admit it, i'm not a huge fan. i have a couple albums and i like them okay. i wasn't planning on seeing them, but nobody else was really playing during that time slot and cc wanted to go, so i tagged along with her. holy cow, these guys were absolutely badass. they had the crowd going crazy. if i weren't such a lame ass dancer, i woulda kicked up a storm. fuck, i should have anyways...that set rocked. end of story.

bauhaus @ coachella

peter murphy. upside down. singing bela lugosi's dead. nuff said.

the go! team @ bimbo's 365 club

fun! fun! fun! i dragged a bunch of friends and hockey buddies to this one. the only problem i had was that the vocalist, ninja, was turned up in the mix. one of the things i love about their album is that the vocals are hard to decipher. but that's just picking nits. it was a bouncy good time.

ted leo/pharmacists @ the el rey & bimbo's 365 club

saw him in los angeles in february, and then here in san francisco in september. his melodies are really catchy and the lyrics are thoughtful. ted leo is great. that is all.

seu jorge @ bimbo's 365 club

like most anyone else, i discovered seu jorge from the wes anderson film, "the life aquatic". his david bowie covers are heartfelt and he shines a new light on these classics. i picked up his album, "cru". it's kinda all over the place (in a good way). the guy's voice is amazing and he's charismatic onstage, but kinda humble at the same time (if that makes any sense). my buddy karen was sposed to come with me, but she flaked at the last moment cuz of work or something. karen, if you're reading this...well, you already know you missed out. i brought my brother along and he really enjoyed it (and i thought we couldn't be musically further apart).

the new pornographers @ bimbo's 365 club

the pornos rock some catchy melodies and hooks. oh yeah and they have some chick named neko case singing for them. how fucking cool is that? their between-song banter is hilarious. get their latest album, "twin cinema". "sing me spanish techno" is the best pop song you've never heard.

the pixies @ the san jose civic auditorium

i got a free ticket to this. for some reason, this show didn't sell well at all so the promoter (bgp, i think) sent emails out for free tix to try and fill the place. the civic is like a high school gymnasium. it's a shitty venue and it's an hour away from san francisco. however...IT'S THE FUCKING PIXIES. c'mon people...WTF. yeah, they may have oversaturated the market with their seemingly endless tour, BUT IT'S THE FUCKING PIXIES! so i went alone. they fucking rocked and i bopped along for the whole show. so now i can say i've seen the pixies twice and can happily die.

sigur ros @ the paramount

i nearly didn't make it to this. i was gonna skip it because i'd seen them a couple times before. that changed when i got the new album. i couldn't stop listening to it. the show was sold out but i had to get a ticket. i tried for two days before finally contacting someone about 3 hours before showtime. getting to the paramount (in oakland) proved to be a nightmare. there was major bridge construction going on that weekend and four of the five entrances were closed. i sat in traffic for 30 minutes before abandoning my car near the waterfront. i ran to the BART (train) station and arrived in front of the venue in less than 20 minutes. why hadn't i fucking thought of that before? anyways, i met up with the nice couple who were selling their extra ticket and went inside. the show was beautiful, ethereal, and magical. pretty much all of the above and definitely worth the time. go, if you have the chance.

wilco @ the greek theater

this is perhaps my fifth or sixth time seeing wilco (they seem to play here a lot). another band i'm not obsessive about, but i like everything i've ever heard of them and i've never been disappointed by one of their shows. i also saw them earlier in the year at coachella. these guys know how to rock. go, go, go!

slint @ the great american music hall

i didn't really know much about them except that they were considered to be groundbreaking and influential, despite a short-lived career. they played three sold-out nights here and were very intense.

dirty three @ the great american music hall

warren ellis is a madman. these guys are almost the opposite of what i'd expected, judging by the albums i have. the albums are kinda soft and warm, to me. i kinda got lucky. i had no idea they were playing and my friend michael emailed me that day saying he had an extra ticket. fucking hell, i was really lucky to see them...and it was very good.

tortoise / daniel lanois @ the independent

second time seeing both of these artists. tortoise are amazing musicians, man those guys can play. and omg, the two drummer thing fucking kicks ass. john mcintyre must have a pact with satan in order to be that good. and after tortoise's set, daniel lanois comes on and tortoise is his backing band. christ, talk about an embarrassment of riches. lanois' beautiful, haunting songs backed with the virtuosity of tortoise. it really doesn't get much better than that. now if daniel can take care of his krusty the clown hairdo...


more musical resonance

the other day, i put on everclear's "so much for the afterglow". some of you indie-music snobs may scoff, but i really don't give a fuck because i enjoy some of their music. when everclear are at the top of their game, the melodies are catchy, the guitars are crunchy, and the lyrics have a deft touch to them. so anyways, and the song "father of mine" comes on and punches me in the stomach. i hadn't listened to it in a long time and had kinda forgotten about it. the thing about the song is that if the lyrics had been reversed to be about his mother, it would practically be about the relationship (or lack of) between my mother and i.

there are a couple verses that absolutely kill me. one is where he says
"sometimes you would send me a birthday card
with a five dollar bill
i never understood you then
and i guess i never will"

the other one is
"i will never be safe
i will never be sane
i will always be weird inside
i will always be lame"

the song closes out with the lines
"my daddy gave me a name
and he walked away"

there's a kind of simplicity to the song which makes it hit that much harder. he just gets right down to business and it's not pretty. i think i was nearly in tears the first time i heard that song. i realize i'm not the only person who has ever gone through this and, in a way, it's kinda nice to know that there's somebody out there who shares and understands the pain. listening to this song is good, it's kinda cathartic; one of those confronting-your-inner-demon-and-beating-the-shit-out-of-it things. give the song a chance, you might like it.

weirdly enough, some of the people on my hockey team were talking about their mothers tonight after our game. one guy mentioned how he stopped talking to his mother for a month or two. another guy was going on about how stressful this past thanksgiving was, as he and his girlf had gone to stay with his parents for a week. then one of them turned to me and asked me about my mother and i replied that i hadn't spoken with her in at least five or six years. he apologized somewhat awkwardly, but i waved it off. it's not a big deal and how would he have known? i could have lied and said my mother was doing well, but there's no reason to hide it because it's part of who i am and i'm okay with it.


50 Foot Wave

yesterday, i had a musical moment of clarity involving the band, 50 Foot Wave. for those of you who may not know, this band is fronted by Kristin Hersh, known for the Throwing Muses as well as her own solo work. anyway, i had bought the album when it was first released. i liked it, but i didn't love it. yesterday, that changed. i had it loaded up on my nano. walking to the train station after work, i wanted something aggressive and loud, so i clicked this album. listening this time, it was different. maybe it was my state of mind after a long day, and week, at work. i had caught up to where this album was. everything about it clicked with me and i was practically bouncing down the street. listen for the line where she kinda half-whispers, "i'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair" and then screams "and soap him into my eyes!"...man, that had me grinning a wicked grin.

clickety click, bitches:
http://www.throwingmusic.com/freemusic/ (download)
http://www.throwingmusic.com/catalog/ (purchase)
http://www.beestung.com/ (muses and km live sets)
http://www.throwingmusic.com/blog/ kristin's blog


every time it rains, you're here in my head

  1. sat in your lap
  2. james and the cold gun (live)
  3. babooshka
  4. running up that hill (a deal with god)
  5. night of the swallow
  6. l'amour looks something like ou
  7. this woman's work
  8. under the ivy
  9. hounds of love (alternative mix)
  10. the wedding list
  11. suspended in gaffa
  12. cloudbusting (the organon mix)
  13. how to be invisible
  14. under ice
  15. oh to be in love
  16. the handsome cabin boy
  17. the man with the child in his eyes
  18. the infant kiss
  19. wuthering heights
  20. waking the witch


help me create a kate bush mix

my buddy, jennifer, is not familiar with kate bush. i've been charged with the task of making a mix for her (jennifer, not kate bush). the music jen likes tends to be danceable, which makes this task a bit difficult as my favorite KB stuff is not very danceable at all. i was supposed to work on this over the weekend, but i'm a lazy bastard. which doesn't mean i didn't think about it, i just haven't done it. anyways, tracks i'm thinking of including are:

suspended in gaffa
running up that hill
l'amour looks something like you
jig of life
oh to be in love
this woman's work
under the ivy
night of the swallow
the wedding list
wuthering heights
how to be invisible
and dream of sheep

so many to choose from...hmm, anyone have any suggestions? this'll be for a regular 80 minute cd.


sony drm (digital rights management)

anyone following this shit? i'll just post a few links, i don't have the technical expertise and i can't say anything more eloquently than what's already out there. however, i can help point you, my peeps, towards information. all hail teh internets! and don't buy any more sony shit.


here's the cut/paste version of the timeline from the boingboing article, which is linked above.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sony anti-customer technology roundup and time-line
Since Hallowe'en, we've been posting the details about he revelations relating to Sony's DRM systems, which show jaw-dropping contempt for their customers, for copyright law, for fair trading and for the public interest. With all these posts strung out over a couple weeks, I thought it was high time we put together an omnibus post, summing up all the posts to date:
Oct 31: Sony DRM uses black-hat rootkits
Mark Russinovich, a security researcher, discovers that Sony has been sneakily installing "rootkit"-based DRM on their customers' computers. Rootkits are black-hat hacker tools used to disguise the workings of their malicious software. Removing Sony's rootkit nukes your Windows installation.

Nov 3: Sony releases de-rootkit-ifier, lies about risks from rootkits
Sony announces a "service pack" for its rootkit DRM. It deceptively downplays the risks the rootkit presented. It turns out that the remover doesn't actually work, either.

Nov 3: Felten on Sony's rootkit-"remover"
Princeton DRM researcher Ed Felten analyzes Sony's rootkit "remover" and concludes that it's a hunk of junk: "they're almost certainly adding things to the system...they're not disclosing what they're doing."

Nov 3: Defeat WoW spyware using Sony's rootkit
Warden, a program used by Blizzard to scour World of Warcraft players' system and report on the contents to the company can be defeated with the Sony rootkit. Blizzard claims that Warden only detects a few programs that facilitate cheating, but researchers have found evidence to the contrary.

Nov 8: Defend against Sony's rootkit with DRM-ripping software
AnyDVD, a DVD-ripping program, advertises that it can also inoculate you against the Sony rootkit.

Nov 9: List of CDs infected with Sony's rootkit DRM
EFF releases a partial list of CDs believed infected to infected with Sony's rootkit. Buyer beware -- you're better off buying music from someone else.

Nov 9: Sony's EULA is worse than their rootkit
EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann analyzes the license agreement that accompanies Sony's rootkit DRM (that's right, a license to listen to an audio CD!). It is unbelievably outrageous, the kind of thing that makes you want to get a torch and a pitchfork and head over to the nearest Sony office.

Nov 9: Wanna sue the pants off Sony?
EFF is looking for people who bought rootkit-infected CDs to join a potential lawsuit against Sony

Nov 10: Sony Music CDs infect Macs, too
Mac users shouldn't be smug -- Sony's audio CDs also contain an app that patches OS X's kernel with unspecified restriction-software; though Mac users have to take a few more steps before their computers are compromised

Nov 10: Fantastic screed against the coders who wrote the previous Sony DRM junk
This isn't the first time Sony's been caught doing crap like this; the last time around a geek wrote an amazing rant excoriating the coders who helped Sony write its anti-customer malware

Nov 11: Sony will stop shipping infectious CDs -- too little, too late
Twelve days after being caught using rootkits, Sony announces that it will stop shipping rootkit-infected CDs. No recall of the existing rootkits, though -- and Sony doesn't come close to apologizing. Buying Sony CDs is a great way to screw up your PC, but a lousy way to acquire music.

Nov 12: Sony's *other* malicious audio CD trojan
Princeton DRM researcher Alex Halderman reports on the other malicious software found on Sony CDs, a Suncomm product called MediaMax. MediaMax is a vicious little bug, which spies on you and reports on your deeds to the mothership.

Nov 12: New Sony lockware prevents selling or loaning of games
Sony patents a piece of software that can prevent you from playing a game that's been inserted into one console on another console; speculation is that this is destined for the PS3. Kiss game rentals, loaning and re-sale goodbye. Also, if your PS3 breaks or is stolen, you might as well toss out all your games, they're useless without it.

Nov 13: Sony's malware uninstaller leaves your computer vulnerable
A Finnish researcher discovers that the "uninstaller" for Sony's rootkit leaves a ton of crap behind that hackers can exploit -- he can reboot your computer just by getting you to load a web-page

Nov 13: Sony's rootkit infringes on software copyrights
There are strong indications that Sony ripped off a Free Software-based library called the LAME Encoder for its rootkit. The LAME Encoder is licensed under the Lesser GPL (LGPL), which was released for free re-use by public spirited programmers who merely requested that they be acknowledged. In Sony's zeal to protect its copyrights, they had no compunction about clobbering the copyrights of those software authors.

Other stuff:

  • Sony lied about its rootkit. They said it didn't phone home with information about your deeds. It does. When they were caught in the lie, they said that they didn't pay attention to the information it sent back, so it's OK
  • Microsoft is building a Sony rootkit-remover into its anti-spyware product
  • Lawsuits against Sony are already underway in Italy and the US
  • At least one piece of malicious software that exploits Sony's rootkit has been discovered in the wild

Update: Christopher sez, "You missed one in your Sony timeline that I think is excellent. A call from Dan Goodin over on Wired to boycott all Sony products until they make amends..."

Update 2: Rob sez, "This a reference to the NPR interview where Sony BMG Global Digital Business President Thomas Hesse puts his foot in it saying, 'Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?'. The NPR interview aired Nov 4."


christmas in november

cc hooked me up with a black ipod nano. i'd been eyeing one for a little while now, and she kinda blindsided me with it. i initially felt a little guilty because it's such an expensive gift and considered returning it to her, but she convinced me to keep it. very cool of her, and now i don't have to carry my cd's with me to work any longer.

crazy 88

on the night this pic was taken, this team (crazy 88) played as well as any team could hope to play. not even counting the fact that we were missing a couple of our female players, so the ones who did show up were absolutely amazing. period. playing with these people is always a lotta fun, even if we get pissed off at each other because of a missed defensive assignment or a bad pass. it's all good in the end. anyways, yeah...we weren't expected to win that night against a couple teams that had kinda manhandled us earlier in the season.


the world of warcraft

i play world of warcraft with some friends. it's enjoyable and addictive. we play a lot, while chatting and talking shit to each other. we're on a pvp server, so we get the added attraction of being able to kill players of the opposing faction. there are two factions, horde and alliance. we're horde, who are the evil baddies. my character is an undead rogue. very fun. here are a few screenshots i've taken recently.

these first two pix are me attacking this alliance guy who went afk. he tried to hide in a lake, but his head was barely sticking out so he wouldn't drown. so i killed him. the second pic is his body hanging in the water. i love that graphic, it looks so real. yeah, i'm desensitized.

the third pic is a paladin i killed. normally, paladins are a bitch to kill. this one was dumb. she tried to kill two monsters at the same time. she finished one off, and i jumped in and killed her while she was trying to kill the second one. after killing her, i had to finish off her monster.

this one is amusing. during the couple weeks leading up to halloween, costumes were implemented in the game. you would go to the local innkeeper and trick or treat them. every so often you'd get a wand that would transform you into something else. in this case, i was turned into a bat. so we were playing in arathi basin (which is like a team-based pvp area) and i left the bat costume on to see what would happen. you can kinda see me in the middle of the pic. the alliance people pretty much ignored me, but got wise after a while. the funniest thing is this horde character called Eatbanana who notices what's going on and calls me "first cuff" in general chat (my character name is Fisticuff). english is probably not his first language (not meant to be racist, just an amusing example of imperfect english). as my cousin would say, how cute.

this last one is just me plowing thru some lower level area while chatting with my cousin. good times.


twelve year itch

while on my lunchbreak, i walked over to virgin records today and picked up the new kate bush album. i listened to both discs a couple times this afternoon. initial impressions:

i'd always suspected, and now it's been proven, that kate bush could sing all (well, not all...) the numbers of pi ("pi") and make it sound goddamn good. she also sings about dirty laundry and washing machines ("mrs. bartolozzi") and it's engaging. the song about her son ("bertie") is really pretty, it's arranged like a traditional irish song, or at least how i'd imagine a traditional irish song to sound. "king of the mountain" doesn't sound as electric as it did when i first heard it. i think that's because a bit of the excitement may have worn off. or perhaps there's a difference between the album version and the single.

the second disc felt a little more dreamy to me, but that may have been because i was exceptionally sleepy at work. probably post-lunch coma. i wasn't too keen on the male voice in "the painter's link", but that may take some time, kinda like "jig of life" did. the last few tracks, especially "nocturn", were spectacular.

the new site is active, and i'm sure all the fansites are buzzing with activity and praise.



city mouse or country mouse?

as much as i love san francisco, i've been thinking lately of living somewhere rural. i'm just tired of the crackheads and screaming sirens. tired of wondering if someone's fucking with my car. tired of the city workers with their jackhammers, creating new potholes in the streets so they can fill them again. i'm tired of being asked for spare change when i can't really spare any. i wonder what it would be like to live somewhere that's not easily accessible. it might be cool. i dunno, just thinking.


running up that hill

so last week, through a seemingly innocent inquiry for her phone number, i discovered that my sister is now a born-again christian. here's the disclaimer. i couldn't care if she were muslim, wiccan, or non-practicing catholic, let alone christian. you put your faith where you want and you believe what you believe for whatever reasons make sense to you. i have absolutely no problem with it at all. when people try to convert me and get all up in my grill, that's what upsets me.

my email signature reads "lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven", which is the title of a gy!be album. i like the phrase, it conjures up an interesting visual. so last week, i realized i didn't have my sister's current phone number and i emailed her asking for it. she replies with the number, letting me know how she and her family are doing and asking me how i am. it's all good. the next paragraph contains the following (para)phrases:

  • i shouldn't be raising my fists in anger at god
  • i should watch pat robertson and the 700 club
  • i should go to church to meet people with integrity and values
  • if i go to church, i might meet a girl who might soften my hardened heart and help crack my shell that i've built up against women

you get the idea.

we go back and forth. she says she took my email signature as a sign that i wanted to religiously connect with her. she says she wanted to share god's promise with me and that everyone in the family was afraid to talk to me because i am unable to communicate in a loving manner. the more she went on, the more she sounded like our mother...just kinda going on and on to anyone who will pause to listen. she said she's always been a christian and always will be. actually, that's not true, she came to visit two years ago and there was not a word about it. she accused me of having a satanic bible, which i do have. the funny thing is i got it from her when we were teenagers. i just wanted to check it out a bit, big deal. i have a king james bible as well, but she didn't see fit to mention or ask about that.

so we went at it pretty good. yeah, i was/am upset with her, but not because of her beliefs. like i said, i couldn't care which religion she subscribes to, as long as i don't have to hear about it. it's such a personal issue. if you find someone to connect with, that's great. if you know the other person isn't interested, then let it go. if they want to ask, they'll ask. the thing that pisses me off is that she's throwing that, plus all this other crap, in my face. it's not fucking cool at all, especially when she doesn't know me half as well as she thinks she does.

i stopped writing her kind of abruptly. she can have the last word, i don't fucking care. anyway, i hate arguing. am i right? no, religion is subjective. i respect her belief and it's my choice not to go that route. am i wrong to get upset? no, we're all individuals. if i didn't get upset, i would think there might be something wrong with me. and while i have plenty of faults, i don't think they're as extreme or pronounced as she makes them out to be.

so what have i learned from this? i'm not sure, really. i do know that i probably won't talk to her for a while, i'll just get bent outta shape if i do. besides, we aren't exactly the closest of brothers and sisters, it's not like we spoke every week. all i do know is that i'm not interested in religion and i don't want anybody trying to get me on their team, so to speak. i did ask her when she converted and why, but i didn't try to talk her out of it. i'm not trying to make myself out to be the victim, i don't think either of us is wrong. i just would rather she not try to convert me, i thought she would know better.


uk pop brigade

i've been going thru another clash obsession lately. the first clash album i'd ever bought was london calling. the reason i bought it was because it was listed as rolling stone magazine's number one album of the 80s, and i wanted to hear why. as a kid, punk rock frightened me. i didn't understand it and i didn't know anyone who did. i simply wasn't exposed to it in a good way. i'd see people on the streets with green hair, torn jeans, and slogans on the backs of their jackets and my dad would just say those were the bad kids and that i should stay away from them. that was my experience with punk rock as i was growing up.

so i bought london calling, and it was good; very different from what i expected. it didn't, however, strike me as the number one album of the 80s. i decided to try a couple other clash albums, later picking up sandinista! and combat rock. i felt there were good moments in each, but they weren't compelling enough. sandinista! alone was a lot to absorb, and it just didn't hold my attention for whatever reason. fast forward to a few years ago; something, i forget what, drew my attention to london calling once again. i figured i should give it another chance and listen to the songs i usually skipped over. this time, i was stunned. how did this album pass me by? wtf was wrong with me?

i went back to sandinista! and combat rock and amazed myself with what i'd been missing. then i went on a binge and bought most everything i could get my hands on. the UK and US versions of the debut album, give em enough rope, rockers galore (an interview disc with 9 or 10 tracks), super black market clash, from here to eternity, westway to the world (dvd) and the essential clash (another dvd). i had been advised by reviews and a few other fans to avoid cut the crap like the plague. last year, i even bought the 25th anniversary reissue of london calling just so i could check out the grainy dvd of them making the album in the studio with that crazy ass producer, along with the second disc of "vanilla tapes" demos for the album. pretty cool to hear the early versions of the songs.

i think i like the US version of the debut better than the UK version. it has more punch to it, i feel, and the UK version seems to run out of gas towards the end. i also think i enjoy the debut album more than london calling. it just has that raw sound, but still has that pop sensibility. christ, that sounds so pretentious. you know what i mean, but i can't think of any other way to say it. y'know, it's like catchy and stuff.

also, when i first put on from here to eternity, it simultaneously rocked my lame ass and bummed me out at the same time. these guys were a powerful live band and it killed me to know i'd never have a chance to see them in person. fuck, if only i had gotten into the music when i was a kid, how different things would be. i just didn't understand it back then. but goddamn, from here to eternity is a rockin album. the performances are taken from all over, but it sounds like it's one complete show. when i bought it, i thought it might be some kinda crappy posthumous record label cash in, but they did a good job on it. definitely recommended.

so here are ten clash tunes i can't live without (no order and subject to change, of course!):
  • police on my back
  • white man in hammersmith palais
  • complete control
  • guns of brixton
  • i'm not down
  • hateful
  • know your rights
  • spanish bombs
  • career opportunities
  • i'm so bored with the usa



my cousins and i after the hockey game on friday. aren't they lovely? see the resemblance? we're all so h0ttt!

slight return

it's still a little sore, but i've pretty much recovered from my shoulder injury. it's taken two long months. this past friday, i made my return to hockey. the team made it to the playoffs. the deal was win the game, then play the championship game immediately afterwards. lose the game, then go for beers, no big deal. we won both games. i even scored a shorthanded goal in the first game, thanks to chuck's excellent play. he did all the legwork, all i had to do was tap the puck over the goal line. sandra and francine played all of both games, as we had no other female subs, and they were amazing. i think they spurred the guys to play that much harder because we knew they were getting tired.

anyways, we beat Ball & Chain (first game) and the Hamstars (championship game)...two teams that have pretty much had their way with us as of late, which made the wins that much sweeter. we got some crappy bladium (that's the name of the rink) hats for our efforts, but you know...i'm gonna wear that hat because we fucking earned it big time.

memo to ivy of the Hamstars: tell your boyfriend to keep his fucking mouth shut. if he's gonna talk shit, he really should start playing and back it up. it's one thing to boo the opposing team (and there's nothing wrong with that), but it's downright disrespectful when you make personal remarks (about people you don't even know) and friends of the team are around. show some fucking class.


dream a little dream...

i just woke up from a dream about my sister. in the dream, these two guys had climbed into the back of our truck while we were stopped at a red light. they took all the boxes of bottled water we had in the back and they were carrying it off to sell it. then, i had found out that someone had a key to my stepmother's apartment, so we drove my stepmother home and went inside with her to make sure she was okay. she had an enormous pool inside her apartment, so my sister and i decided to swim a bit to relax.

i was under the water's surface when i saw a baby shark following my sister. somehow, i managed to get her attention and motioned for her to swim faster. i was able to catch up to the baby shark and grab it. i held it while my sister swam back to the apartment. i saw too, while clutching the shark. i was still holding the shark when i got out of the water and i walked around the apartment to make sure everything was cool. i had been out of the water for a while when i realized my arms were tense and tired from still holding the struggling shark. i walked back to the pool. i placed the shark back in the water and after a minute of reorienting itself, it swam away. that was when i woke up. what could it mean?


ends of the earth

michael emailed me today. he had an extra ticket for the dirty three, who were playing tonight at the great american music hall. i have a few of their albums ("ocean songs", "whatever you love, you are", and "she has no strings apollo") which i like enough so i figured it'd be cool to go. from what i know, they're a three-piece band, the main instruments being guitar, violin, and drums. there was a fourth person for the show, playing violin and bass. these guys were exhilarating. the lead violinist, warren ellis (who also plays with nick cave and the bad seeds), was a fucking madman. for the most part, he played with his back to the crowd. he played with so much fire and passion, you could see it in his body movements and you could hear it in the music. and it wasn't just him, it was all of them. when they homed in on a groove, you could feel it in the air, it was almost something you could grab. it was beautiful.

i think dirty three are one of those type of bands one has to see live in order to really appreciate what they're doing. the albums that i know, they seem so subtle; like they're holding back. on stage, they simply let loose. they have a deft touch, as well. they know how to pull it back in and have the audience hanging on each note. they're playing a second show, so i recommend going to see them if you're in san francisco tomorrow night (wednesday) with a few hours to spare. even if you're not around here, just go whenever they come to your town. you'll thank me for it. A+++++++!!!~~~!

some links for your clicking pleasure:
u.s. tour dates (there are european dates listed at dirtythree.com):
11 San Francisco Great American Music Hall
12 San Francisco Great American Music Hall
13 Los Angeles Knitting Factory
15 Chicago Metro
16 Boston Museum of Fine Art
17 New York Bowery Ballroom


angry asian man

there's an article here about one of my favorite sites, angryasianman.com. most anyone who knows me knows that i'm half chinese. i grew up mainly with the chinese side of my family (my dad), but i don't really speak the language or even look like i'm related to my dad. see the previous post+pic regarding my cousin. i'm getting sidetracked, so anways...angry asian man, yeah. i'll let the site speak for itself; check it out and bookmark it.


godspeed you! black emperor > lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven

i love this album, plain and simple. it would definitely be on my list of desert island discs. it's kinda like classical music for the 21st century. there are four tracks, each averaging about 18-20 minutes in length. to me, the music on this album conjures up feelings of hope, wonder, sadness, fear and dread. the strings are beautiful in the movement with the preacher's sermon, they really evoke this melancholy, gloomy feeling. (the monologue is transcribed here, if you'd like to check out the original page.)
...prepared in innocence to meet our king of glory
and so we have this
you have it in your secret windows
and you're understanding to understand it and to bring it forth
it takes minute detail
it takes a holy life
it takes emotions
it takes dedication
it takes dedication
it takes a death
and only god can allow it
and you couldn't do it if you're not the seed of god
and so the path through the great corridors
these are corridors unto his perfection
that is which the prophet and the oarman summoned has penetrated
that through this great sea of blackness
that i penetrated through these corridors
and i went through that last segment
where i went through these dark serpentines
i passed through that corridor
where they sat
where they are
and when you penetrate to the most high god
you will believe you are mad
you will believe you've gone insane
but i tell you if you follow the secret window
and you die to the ego nature
you will penetrate this darkness
oh yes there's many a man or woman
that's been put in the insane asylum
when this has happened to them
and they're sitting there today, people think they're insane
but they saw something that's real
and they see it when they're on drugs
the only thing is they see it
not through the light of god, and the way i show you
i show you to see it through the light of god
and the understanding of god
because when you see the face of god you will die
and there will be nothing left of you
except the god-man, the god-woman
the heavenly man, the heavenly woman
the heavenly child
there will be terror under this day of night
there will be a song of jubilee waiting for your king
there will be nothing you will be looking for in this world
except for your god
this is all a dream
a dream in death
my favorite track is the third one, or rather the first track on the second disc. it starts off with a man reminiscing about the old days of coney island. he talks about how people used to sleep on the beach there and also mentions he got lost at coney island as a child. the music fades in and it's like a scene from a movie or something. i can almost visualize this old man thinking about the old days and perhaps wondering how the world got to where it is today. maybe he's sad and he's wondering about the end of things, of his own life. maybe he's thinking about ending his own life. maybe he's thinking of ending it all, but somehow finding hope and strength to continue on. or maybe he's suicidal but too frightened to go thru with it. or maybe i'm a lunatic.

i love how the music hangs ominously, like a dark cloud signaling some sort of impending doom. a guitar (i think it's a guitar) screeches above it all, like the siren of an oncoming ambulance. the song sloooowly builds and, finally, it all comes together around the twenty-one minute mark. the last two-and-a-half minutes are completely fucking worth it. the power of the band really shines in this movement. it almost feels like they're about to lose control and explode, but they ride it out and deftly reel it all back in for a tidy ending.

i feel kinda pretentious, using the word "movement", but i don't know what else to call it. "section" and "part" would apply, but "movement" just feels right. i dunno, i make no claim to being any sort of professional music review writer person, but i can tell you what i like and, most of the time, why i like it.

some gy!be links for you, if i haven't completely put you off them by now:
constellation (the label)
live shows at archive.org (32 shows for you to choose from!)

ps -- check out the letter to gy!be on the constellation site, it's really kinda touching. here's a pic of it...


sigur ros

saturday was another lazy day. i woke up before noon, which is early for me on a weekend, and i started checking craigslist for tix to the show. alternating between napping and sending emails to sellers who never responded to me, it looked hopeless. finally, around 4pm, i got a response. this guy's friend from sacramento bailed cuz she was having car troubles. we arrange to meet at 8pm in front of the venue.

i leave here around 7pm, forgetting about the bay bridge retrofit. there are a few different ways to get onto the bridge from downtown san francisco, and all but one of them were under construction. the traffic was horrendous. i tried every shortcut i knew. it was nearly 7.30 and the approach to the bridge looked to be at least half an hour wait.

finally, i say "fuck this" to myself, spin out of the traffic and head towards market street. i leave my car on the embarcadero and make a dash for the BART train. i get down there and a train is just pulling up. i hop on and i kinda guess at where my stop should be, since i'm not too familiar with oakland. i get lucky, i'm a couple blocks from the paramount and i arrive at 7.50. i meet up with raul and kristin, a very nice couple from san jose, we make the exchange and i head in.

amina, the support group, are excellent. i need to get their album. they double as the string section for sigur ros. sigur ros do not disappoint. all my stress and troubles disappear while they play. it was fucking great.


my fifteen minutes

it's been pointed out to me that i've gotten a little bit of interweb noteriety for being a kate bush geek. it's simultaneously frightening and amusing. i like how they omitted the "fucking hell" part. i was wondering where some of the comments were coming from. thanks, stefan. here are links to the stefan and psychbloke's sites, as they also are mentioned.


black friday

the other day, i found out a former coworker died. i'm planning on going to the wake tonight. we weren't best friends, but we did talk a lot when we worked together. she was cool, i liked her and respected her because she worked hard. once, we were talking for an hour or so about old school motown stuff that we liked. i went home that night and made her a mix cd of the songs that had come up during the conversation. omg, she was so happy when i gave it to her a couple days later. i swear, for a month straight she would tell me about how she listened to the cd i made her the previous night. she said she would put on the cd and not let anyone touch the stereo until the disc was finished. it was cool that something so simple could make a person so happy. i love when you can connect with someone through music.

i left that job three years ago and have seen her only a couple times since then. i was walking home from work when my friend called to let me know what happened, i stopped in my tracks as my heart sank. i'm not the emotional type; i don't cry easily, but man, i've been feeling ten kinds of awful all this week. this, coupled with some other crap that's been running through my head...so, yeah...

return of the king of the mountain

King of the Mountain
Could you see the aisles of women?
Could you see them screaming and weeping?
Could you see the storm rising?
Could you see the guy who was driving?
Could you climb higher and higher?
Could you climb right over the top?
Why does a multi-millionaire
Fill up his home with priceless junk?

The wind is whistling
The wind is whistling
Through the house

Elvis are you out there somewhere
Looking like a happy man?
In the snow with Rosebud
And king of the mountain

Another Hollywood waitress
Is telling us she's having your baby
And there's a rumour that you're on ice
And you will rise again someday
And that there's a photograph
Where you're dancing on your grave

The wind is whistling
The wind is whistling
Through the house

Elvis are you out there somewhere
Looking like a happy man?
In the snow with Rosebud
And king of the mountain

The wind it blows
The wind it blows the door closed

image and lyrics pilfered from katebushnews.com, so check em out...


long lost cousin

two weeks ago, my dad drops me an email saying my cousin, A, asked him for my email addy. i hadn't seen her in something like ten years. so we get in touch and it turns out we've been working within two blocks of each other for the past year. even before RE moved office last year, i was still within a 15-minute walk from her office. small world, huh? and all this time, we never bumped into each other. we had lunch last week and shot this pic before heading back to our respective offices. i even dragged her to the new pornographers show tonight. we had a pretty good time. christ, i look like some weirdo stalker dude or something. i'm gonna stop taking pix of myself.


here's the cover of kate bush's upcoming album, aerial. fucking hell, i can't wait for it. so here are ten kate bush songs i can't live without.

  • running up that hill (a deal with god)
  • night of the swallow
  • under the ivy
  • l'amour look something like you
  • babooshka
  • this woman's work
  • james and the cold gun
  • violin
  • waking the witch
  • suspended in gaffa
hmm. nothing from lionheart or the red shoes. that's not to say that lionheart is not a good album. it is, but it just doesn't have my favorite tracks. the red shoes, however, is another story. what a disappointing album. it has a couple good moments, but i feel it completely pales in comparison to anything previous to it (including lionheart!). put that under your christmas tree!


the innocence mission

i've been listening to a fair bit of the innocence mission this weekend. i think i've finally collected most, if not all, of their releases. that one lakes of canada promo single is a bitch to find, but i did manage to get mp3s of it. the gus gus remix of snow is especially good. their regular releases are as follows:

  • the innocence mission
  • umbrella
  • glow
  • birds of my neighborhood
  • small planes
  • befriended
  • christ is my hope
  • now the day is over

it's difficult to pin down a favorite, they're all very good. i don't know which one to suggest to you, either, as you can't go wrong with any of them. i guess i'll go out on a limb and say that glow is my fave, as it sounds really....complete. not exactly a gushing endorsement, but you'll have to trust me on this one. i guess they could be classified as a christian band, but their lyrics aren't as straightforward as many of the bands of that genre. the songs hint at it, but they don't come off as preachy. karen peris' voice is absolutely gorgeous and most of the music is sparsely arranged, especially after the first three albums. they really have gotten better with time. check out their site, there are a few mp3s to sample.

a list of ten favorite IM songs (no particular order) for you to check out:

  • today (small planes)
  • the lakes of canada (birds of my neighborhood)
  • everything's different now (glow)
  • every hour here (umbrella)
  • one for sorrow, two for joy (befriended)
  • mercy (the innocence mission)
  • small planes (small planes)
  • 500 miles (christ is my hope)
  • bright as yellow (glow)
  • snow - gus gus remix (lakes of canada single)

enjoy ^_^


king of the mountain

that's the name of kate bush's new single. i heard it today on bbc radio one. perhaps there's a bit of fanboy talking, but i think it's really good. it has a nice texture to it. the opening has this kinda dreamy and ominous feel to it. there's one point where the backup vocals sound like a the horn on a passing train speeding through the snowy darkness in the middle of the night. pretty damn cool

there finally is an official site, www.katebush.com, where you can hear a snippet of the single and sign up for a newsletter. the message states that the site will launch on november 7th.

some other links if you're interested:


beg, scream & shout!

the other day, i skipped out on work (due to my ailing shoulder). i went up the street to find some lunch. there's a music shop along the way, that i rarely see open. however, they were open this time, so i decide to pop in. i'm browsing, wondering if i should purchase anything when i stumble upon a box set i've been seeking for the past year or so. it's rhino records beg, scream and shout!; 6 cd's of 1960s soul. released in 1997, i passed it up at the time, thinking i might get it later. bzzzt. wrong answer. the next time i checked, it was out of print. argh! i gave up and forgot about it until last year, when someone on bowlie mentioned it in passing. i could only find copies on ebay for about $200 or so, which is a bit pricey. pricey enough to make me wait. so i'm in this store on ocean avenue, the creative music emporium (which i think is a cool name for a music store), and there it is on the shelf.

brand new in shrinkwrap.

$100 price tag.

holy fucking shit.

seriously, i let out an audible gasp and whispered an "oh. my. god." i picked it up and looked at it, the burgundy color was bleached out to a dull brown from having sat there for so long. big deal.

i bought it.

i mentioned to the store-owner (super nice guy called joe) about my search for this holy grail. he laughed and said he was so used to seeing it on the shelf, he was surprised that someone was buying it. he had been planning to keep it for himself if someone didn't buy it at some arbitrary point in the future. we talked about some other sets that were being released by motown, coupla music fans just shooting the breeze. how fucking cool is that?

i can't begin to tell you how good this set is. it's 6 discs, 144 tracks. the cd's are packaged in little trays that resemble 45s. if you don't know what that means, i won't bother explaining it. also included is a set of cards, one for each song. the card lists the artist and the story behind the track. i haven't gone through them all as of yet, but i will soon.



sigur ros have done it again. this album is gorgeous. now i wanna see their show here next month. originally, i was gonna skip it as i've seen them a couple times. i really want to hear the new songs played live. i gotta try to find tix, it's sold out. if i do get some, i'll probably end up overpaying some, but it'll be worth it as their live shows are a treat.



let's exchange the experience

kate bush's new album, aerial, comes out november 7th. her last album, the red shoes, was released in 1993. i think this is the longest i've ever waited for an artist to release an album. the fact that the red shoes was so disappointing to me has me hoping that this album isn't more of the same. a lot can change in twelve years.

my first encounter with kate bush was in 1985, while i was at pete's house. we didn't have cable and pete's family did, so i was always channel surfing at his place. the
single file video was playing on the usa network, which i found out after watching the program. i was mesmerized by this woman who was singing and dancing while in these strange chainmail costumes.

the next week, i went to tower records and looked her up. i bought
hounds of love, which was her latest album at the time, and fell in love. goddamn, that album is good. it's beautiful, magical, and wonderful. i eventually picked up just about everything she released. if i had to pick a favorite album, it'd be the dreaming (with hounds running a close second).

kate bush is responsible for my most expensive single musical purchase. the box set,
this woman's work, had all 6 albums plus two discs of b-sides. it was import only. i couldn't find it around here, but a friend of mine in los angeles had located it at aaron's records. i begged him to buy it for me. it came out to about $225, so i wrote him a check and mailed it off. i already had the albums on vinyl, and now i had them all on cd and i didn't care. rapture.

so yeah, two more months and a new kate bush DOUBLE album! YEAH! put that under your christmas tree!


spilt milk

lately, i've been obsessed with jellyfish's spilt milk. released in 1993, the album is over 10 years old and it still stands up. i go through phases like this past week, where i'll listen to it at least 2-3 times a day. it's that good. you can hear all the influences (beatles, beach boys, and queen, for example), but it doesn't sound like a shitty ripoff. it's meticulously crafted power pop. the harmonies, the handclaps, the crunchy guitars...it's got enough hooks to keep you hangin' for days and days. spilt milk was their second and final album, the first being bellybutton. the first one is good, don't get me wrong, but spilt milk is a huge leap forward.

sadly, this can easily be found in the used sections and bargain bins. i don't understand why more people don't love this album, get it if you can. check out new mistake, which is the album's tour de force and centerpiece. it would be tough, but i guess if i had to pick only one song to represent this album, new mistake would be the one. so if you claim to like pop music, do yourself a favor and get this. hell, if you don't like it...i'll buy it from you and give it to someone who will appreciate it.


flying jelly attack!

np: teenage fanclub > manmade

so we made it to the aquarium yesterday, it was really cool. i didn't see any big sharks, so that was kind of a bummer. the jellyfish were mesmerising and the otters were super cute. i got to touch some starfish, a skate and a big black manta ray. it was like touching a wet suede coat. cool.

my puffy cd's finally arrived from japan. the titles are:
  • solosolo
  • amiyumi
  • jet
  • fever fever
i'm still waiting for cd's by the go! team and the innocence mission. i also ordered an old puffy tour-shirt (2002) from bar/none records. i hate waiting.



np: gillian welch > revival

my buddy rick, from bowlie, is here for the weekend. we've just been hanging out, talking and drinking. we went to ocean beach today, just to check out the view. i snapped this pic by sticking the camera out of the sunroof of my car while we were parked there. i thought the pic turned out kinda cool, so there it is. i love how the clouds look dark and ominous, like they maybe foreshadowing some sort of imminent doom. the empty park bench adds kind of a cool touch to it.

we went to amoeba before we hit the beach. i picked up the following:

chapterhouse > whirlpool
michael penn > mr. hollywood jr. 1947
teenage fanclub > man-made

i was a bit surprised to find the chapterhouse disc, as i've been looking for it for a while. i guess it's out of print, but there was only one copy, and it was used for $7.99. i've had mp3 copies of it, but the quality of the files are not very good. anyway, if you're into some shoegazey goodness, check this album out.

the teenage fanclub album is cool. it always cracks me up how much they sound like the byrds or something. i guess "cracks me up" isn't the right phrase. not that i don't like their sound, i just find it to be eerie...or something. i was able to listen to it a couple times, and it's pretty good.

i tried to listen to the michael penn disc, but it's difficult to do that in a car given his style. i'll probably have to check it on my headphones while i'm at work, or while i'm here at home typing out bullshit like this. i saw him perform at cafe dunord a couple months ago, and i enjoyed the new songs he played so i'm fairly certain i'll like the album.

time for bed, we're gonna try to get up early (read: before noon) and trek down to monterey to check out the aquarium. i haven't been there in quite a while, i hear they have a couple sharks in captivity there and a jellyfish exhibit, both of which sound really cool.


music, music, and more music

np: puffy amiyumi > nice buddy


i guess yahoo just got this up and running, it's pretty cool. i used it at work today a couple times and was able to find what i was looking for. you know the drill; just type in the artist and/or song title.

unfortunately, the above mentioned puffy amiyumi track doesn't show up in search. it's too bad, because it's a fucking great song. andy sturmer is truly the godfather of puffy, it's pure power pop goodness at full tilt. i love it when they sing "if i could, i'd eat the clouds, it's how i feel". perhaps if you ask nicely, i'll let you come over and listen to it. if you wanna go buy it, it think it's called "don't stop!" in english. on hmv.co.jp, the title is "hajimari no uta"...but i don't know what that means. the cover is pictured above.

i've also been running with a stereolab obsession. i went to amoeba the other night and bought four albums, which brings my stereolab collection to nine titles, essentially doubling what i had.

  • abc music
  • dots and loops
  • margerine eclipse
  • mars audiac quintet
  • peng!
  • refried ectoplasm (switched on volume 2)
  • the first of the microbe hunters
  • transient random-noise bursts with announcements
  • switched on volume 1
teenage fanclub are playing tonight, at bimbo's 365 club. i have an early game, so i think i'm gonna hit the show right afterwards. i've seen teenage fanclub once, opening for radiohead in 97 or something. it was when ok computer was released. it was a great bill, i thought. i've never been a huge fan of tfc, but i've always enjoyed their jangle power pop style and their sometimes quirky lyrics. i have four of their albums:

  • bandwagonesque
  • thirteen
  • grand prix
  • four thousand seven hundred and sixty-six seconds
i'll probably try to pick up a couple more if i make it out there. i always like buying cd's at shows. it's a nice souvenir and it's a good way to support the band since they usually own those copies. there's no middle man to take a percentage of the sales. anyways, see you there.


the long and not-so-winding road

driving home from the go! team gig, i stuck my camera out of the sunroof as i was heading down gough street.


always dreamin' about you

np: puffy amiyumi > fever fever

so yeah, i bought a few cd's tonight:
  • david bowie > scary monsters
  • david bowie > stage
  • king crimson > larks tongues in aspic
  • uk > concert classics vol. 4
  • juana molina > segundo
  • juana molina > tres cosas
a few of us watched the virgin suicides over the weekend. i really love that movie, it's got this dreamy quality to it. the mood was completely ruined, though, by johnny fucking talking over the whole goddamn thing. christ, i wanted to beat the shit outta him. anyways...

i've been obsessing over puffy amiyumi, as well. "always dreaming about you" from fever fever is totally stuck in my head, like bubblegum. it's such a sweet and cute song. i'll put it up on the mixtape this weekend.

i downloaded the aforementioned segundo album last week, and it's wonderful. i don't even speak spanish and i fucking love it. i read up on ms. molina a little bit, apparently she's a comedic tv actress from argentina. her first album (she has three available, of which i bought the latter two) is standard actress-turned-singer fare (according to the review i read). segundo (the second album) is where she turns a bit experimental. tres cosas is the most recent one and was recommended by allmusic.com. i haven't heard that one yet, i'll probably check it out while at work tomorrow.

speaking of work, my job has become nearly unbearable. anyone got anything for me?


ello ello

hihi. i'm gonna try using this for a while to see if i like it. if i do, cool. if not, no biggie.