Not much else of interest happened today…so here are a few quick notes about music-stuff.
(1) My brother and I rehearsed at my house this evening. We’ve been practicing at his house lately (what with all them kids running around, it’s just been easier that way). Tonight was the first night back at my house (unsure if that’s a “permanent” thing or not at this point…failed to ask). Kind of a welcome change for me for a couple of reasons. I liked being back at home because all my guitars, amps, etc are there…having the scale of an amp and vocal speaker is a BIG difference from an acoustic guitar and a bass amp (that I usually can’t hear too well) in Dave’s basement. Plus—don’t get me wrong, I love my sister-in-law, nieces, and nephew…but I sometimes feel like a little bit of an intruder in the house on Tuesdays. Don’t know why… I guess because I’m usually there on Fridays too and I feel like I’m just kinda taking up space on Tuesdays. I just feel like I’m interrupting sometimes—though you’d be hard pressed to find anyone more hospitable than Dave and Valerie, especially when it comes to family. (In other words, it’s MY issue.) So, on that level, it was nice to be in my own basement, where I’m only in my own way, ha ha. Don’t misread me…I could be perfectly happy rehearsing at Dave’s place forever…but it is nice to warm my amp back up now and again, anyway. (I hope none of that sounds bad. It doesn’t sound bad in my head…but these things are so easily misread. And yet I still write them down. Hmph…)
(2) Bought the new Old 97’s record today (“The Grand Theatre – Volume One”). It’s good. Likely to find its way into my top ten of 2010.
(3) And I just wanted to post my “Music to Work By” list…which, believe it or not, is the main reason I’m posting. 🙂 So here you go…
Slobberbone – “Crow Pot Pie”
Neil Young – “Greendale”
Old 97’s – “Drag it Up”
The Who – “Quadrophenia” (both discs)
Tree By Leaf – “Postcard from Rome”
Individual Song (in tribute): Solomon Burke – “None of Us are Free”
Here we go with another random post… Kick off your shoes, unbutton your pants, and put on some soft jazz. This is gonna get weird.
Bought Joe Hill’s first book, “Heart Shaped Box” (see previous entry for more about him). It’s really good. It’s creepy—but not overly creepy, more like suspenseful. It does a good job of sucking you into the characters before the plot goes nuts. Then when the plot DOES go nuts, Hill did a really good job of explaining the mythos in an organic way that allows people who aren’t really fans of the genre (and, believe it or not from how much I mention Lovecraft, I just barely lean in) to come up to speed, while allowing those who are more familiar with the genre to not feel it’s dumbed down. Plus, the writing is really amazing. Pick it up. In a day, I made it halfway through the book, and I’m hankering for more tonight.
Stuff at work is fine, I guess. Things are shifting and changing and I think we’re all walking in every day not 100% sure what’s going on…but we’ll find a rhythm soon, I’m sure.
Handed Mike Feldman his copy of the demo I recorded for him. Within 24 hours, he e-mailed me to tell me it’s “great” and he didn’t suggest anything that needed to be fixed. Is it possible that I nailed it on the first try? Doesn’t sound like me… So I told him to listen to it another couple of times and let me know. But, wow…if I don’t have to fix anything else, I’m handing this thing in to the Grammy people. (Kidding.)
Running a little low on cash. Spent recklessly at the DBT show last week and I’m still feeling it. Come on payday…which is Friday…then I’ve got to pay all my bills…and this is the “expensive stuff” check…so I’ll be back to square one… Dammit.
Almost all done with my “Lost” rewatch. I’m starting up disc 3 of Season 6.
Been tired lately. I think it’s the “Fall” transition, with the days getting a little shorter and whatnot. Or whatever. I’m always tired…this probably isn’t as “new” as I’m trying to give it credit for…
I made a short list of stuff that might be eligible for my “Top Ten of 2010” music list. I’ve got 17 items that at least bear mention. Wow. Great year!
EDIT — Rest in Peace to Solomon Burke. He wrote “None of Us are Free” (among other songs) and that one found its way onto my personal “life” soundtrack. May he forever be unchained.
…and that’s it for now. Just a short one. I’ll write more later.
Stuff I Listened to at Work Today—henceforth to be called “Music to Work By” (in order):
Band of Horses – “Infinite Arms”
Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”
Centro-matic – “Fort Recovery”
Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers – “Swampblood”
Camera Obscura – “Let’s Get Out of this Country”
The Rolling Stones – “Sticky Fingers”
The Rolling Stones – “Goats Head Soup”
Tenacious D – [self-titled]
Iron & Wine – “Around the Well” [disc one]
John Mellencamp – “No Better Than This” (Which was technically on the ride home, and will probably start the day tomorrow, too.)
Joe Hill is an American author of whom I had not heard until this week. I picked up a copy of volume one of his much acclaimed comic book “Locke & Key” on Wednesday. It was kind of an impulse buy. The guy at the store recommended it, and it sounded like my cup of tea, so I bought it. It’s really, really good. I’m going to be passing this one around to others.
But he’s also written several novels. His first editions all sold out within hours. His work is sought after and adored. He writes mostly in the “horror/thriller” genre, but don’t let the label fool you into thinking it’s kids-stuff, fluff, or just scary for the sake of being scary. There’s some depth there, from what I can tell. (I’m only familiar with his basic outlines and stories at the moment—but I’ll be reading at least one or two of the books shortly.)
Put it this way… He’s not Stephen King. He’s Stephen King’s son.
“Joe Hill” is his pen name…shortened from Joseph Hillstrom King. He changed it in an effort to make it on his own merit and not just as King’s son. And it worked. He started getting published in 1997 and was popular long before his lineage was revealed. He only admitted his bloodline in 2007.
But here’s what I don’t get…
The guy looks like this:
Sure…he had a beard for some of that time…but how did people not see it?
…and how am I only NOW hearing about him?
I’m sure I’ll be recommending one or more of his novels soon. But until that time, check out “Locke & Key” if you get the chance (looking at YOU, Dave and Dad).
Records that got me through the day at work (in order):
…And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – “The Century of Self”
Billy Talent – (self titled)
The Hold Steady – “Heaven is Whenever”
Neurotic Outsiders – (self titled)
Patterson Hood – “Murdering Oscar (and other Love Songs)”
Ray Davies – “Working Man’s Cafe”
Wilco – “Being There” (both discs)
Neil Young – “Le Noise”
Leonard Cohen – “Songs from the Road”
I’m thinking of setting up a sub-page or sidebar thing to just post these lists. I think I’m going to be listening to a LOT more music at work, and I find these little lists pretty fun…we’ll see…might just keep posting them here in the footers…
Been kinda pissed off all week for a variety of reasons. So rather than do a standard post, I’m just going to list a few things that might’ve found their way into other posts…
Comic Books I Bought This Week:
Alan Moore’s Neonomicon – Issue #2 of 4 — Short review: I’ll go into greater detail this weekend on the “Empty Checking” podcast…but the short version is that I could’ve done without the ten-page rape sequence (because I felt it was anti-Lovecraftian, not because I’m a Midwestern American) and also could’ve done without the use of the word “ni**er” (even though I think he thought he was being true to Lovecraft on that one).
Red Hood: The Lost Days – Issue #5 of 6
Locke & Key – Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft — Short version: How the hell have I missed this for so long?!?
Music Stuff I Picked Up This Week:
Leonard Cohen – “Songs from the Road”
A Leonard Cohen t-shirt in a larger size than the one I bought at the show last year. (Turns out they make shirts a wee-bit too small for me in Turkey.)
Rufus Wainwright – “All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu”
Leonard Cohen: “Live in London”
Tom Waits: “Glitter and Doom”
Sodas I Like that are Made By the Vess Soda Company:
TV Shows I’ve Been Enjoying Lately:
How I Met Your Mother
Big Bang Theory
Man vs. Food
TV Experiences I’ve Hated Lately:
Watching Michael Bolton rape one of my favorite songs on “Dancing with the Stars.” (Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I actually hate MOST of the covers I’ve heard of this song. Jeff Buckley’s is awesome…but that’s about it. I’ll allow Rufus Wainwright’s version, just because he was a friend of Buckley’s and does it as a tribute…but even that isn’t too high on my list, to be honest. Some songs should just only be sung by the guy that wrote them…and I’m sick of seeing these jackass competition shows do that to such a wonderful song.)
The existence of “Glee.” Seriously. “Glee” presents a pretty good argument for why we SHOULD cut funding to music and the arts in public schools. And if they desecrate one more song I love, I’m going to have to…uhh…I don’t know what. But it’ll probably involve water-balloons.
Football announcers/commentators talking about Michael Vick as though he’s not Michael Vick.
WWE Raw. They’re doing this “PG” thing now, since Linda McMahon is running for Senate. (They say it’s unrelated, but I’m calling bullshit on that.) Now…I thought they went WAY too far sometimes in the “Attitude” era…but this just blows. If someone starts bleeding from their forehead (a wrestling staple) even at a PAY-PER-VIEW, they stop the match and patch him up. No chair-shots. No choking. Pretty much, anything that will make a reporter bring up Chris Benoit in an interview with Linda is out. So we’re almost as bad and cartoony as Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling. (Okay… I know… That was just mean…) I’m going to keep watching (because if there’s any justice, she’ll lose and we’ll get back to normal), but it’s really terrible right now.
“$#*! My Dad Says” — Works as a website/Twitter page…but this is just “Everybody Loves Raymond” with William Shatner (who—don’t get me wrong—I love) pissing all over Peter Boyle’s grave.
For those who have been wondering how my bathroom has turned out, I thought I’d post a few pictures. There’s still stuff I’m unhappy about, but now that I’ve started adding things, I’m starting to like it more. Enjoy the pics and captions below. And try not to dwell on what goes on in there…
[One brief apology/excuse. In these shots, I presently have a hand-towel sitting on the toilet tank. That won’t be there forever. I’m going to install a small hand-towel bar. I just haven’t yet.]
Click to embiggen.
…and that’s it. The bathroom is now the most expensive room in my house. Irony.