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