It was second class but what's to lose

I find your lack of Data Jockey disturbing.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

Did I mention I marathoned Star Wars this past weekend? Episodes IV, V and VI, then all the bonus footage, including that 3 and a half hour documentary that was really only interesting for the first 45 minutes.

The story of the web-log banner is each week I just photoshop the hell out of one of my pictures, giving it a general shoegaze/4AD blur. I came across the current picture as a nice mid-week replacement [full story begins here].

Never ever really empty

Dear Live Nation,

You ought to be ashamed of yourself for a 50% mark-up on a ticket. Lord knows I'm all for capitalism and don't mind paying for the luxury of picking up a ticket at will call, but not when that's almost as expensive as the ticket. For reals - I sometimes don't even notice service charges, but in a case like this [I like Skinny Puppy and all, but don't need to see them], you got too greedy, because now I'll just pick up my ticket this weekend in person, netting you $0.00.

In other news, I spent the afternoon researching how early I was going to have to show up to the big GA Wilco show next month, and the answer is inconclusive! Last year folks apparently waited either hours or showed up 20 minutes before the show and were right up front. If anyone has any advice on the Pines Theater, I'd appreciate it...

In other news, the new Wilco record? My God, it's full of stars. I listened to it twice in a row Sunday night and could barely hold back the tears [I was not in a good space to begin with, and I'm not getting into it].


I've been a junkie for almost 2 years [remember when you had to code your own badges from the raw rss feeds? yeah, that sucked ass], but two hundred and eighty million dollars? Whoa. I'm not anxious that it's going to get ruined here, more of a congratulations to the founders.

"I'm feeling empty,

Ha! The holiday weekend was busy and revealed aspects of my personality that I do not like.

Saturday night Jen and I went to Mohegan Sun to see Margaret Cho. We ate first and unlike Unca's, I was a little disappointed in the service at Fidelia's. It was all like GET THE LEAD OUT TOMMY [our waiter], WE GOTS MONEY TO THROW AWAY. We got out of there about 30 minutes before we had to queue up for the show [general admission], leaving not a lot of time to roll bones. I did well though. It still freaks me out when I make half a week's salary in 30 minutes.

Margaret Cho was...well, we preface by noting I've only seen her formal shows/tours, and never a stand-up act. It really had the look and feel of someone trying out new material - most of the jokes were shorter with less contextual flow from joke to joke. The jokes that worked [Project Runway, internet cruising, powering sex toys...] hopefully will get worked into longer pieces and then placed into her next show. What didn't work? I'm never a fan of political humor since I don't follow politics closely enough to 'get' enough of it, and Margaret's pretty political. Additionally, I tend to fall slightly right of center politically, so the extreme left humor completely sails over my head. I did enjoy the more popular references, which again will probably be worked into the next show.

She had an opening act [which kind of bummed me out, since I was hoping for a solid 90 minutes from Margaret], who's name I can't find [I blame you, internet], who held - his - own. It was a FTM, who'd gotten far enough that I guess we go with the male pronouns. Jen and I both agreed that his act got better as he talked more about the trans process, because you know that's got to be full of comedy gold. Comb-over on your ass indeed.

The big-ass no photography sign, I obeyed. I had planned on encore shots, but there was none, and about a 5 second curtain call, for real, she was gone before my camera was out of my pocket. After 4 shows in 3 nights there, I'd be pretty anxious to get out of there too, actually.

The Cabaret Theater is group seating with strangers. We had some snotty queens to our right, those new-fangled super-youth queers across, and yet another sleazy married couple to our left, who Jen totally snapped off on right to their face, making her my total hero. The chatty lady kept going on and on about being in a masters of fine arts program, and when Jen finally got the concentration out of her [since she was being real evasive about it] she properly responded "Installation art? I did that. In the eighties."

After the show I went back to try and make more money, but made the mistake of playing at a table with no mojo, and trying to change that instead of just walking away. Jen said her HP wasn't pushing her towards any specific slot machines so we just bailed. Would I go see Margaret Cho in a club gig again? THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY NOT EVEN THOUGH I'M GLAD I WENT.

An absense of dark, but

So last night was the big movie screening over at MIT, where they showed Is It Really So Strange. I had pretty high hopes for it and it actually came really close to hitting them.

First though, I had no idea when Bill told me about this that it was in a way tied into the current Cameron Jamie exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center. Also, sometimes I forget that Bill's kind of well known, as he whirled me through the exhibit real quick before the film - it was pretty impressive.

ANYWAY, the film itself was so well done, especially for a music documentary ["the, if you will, "rockumentary""] with no music. That took some settling into, but turned out to work really well - the scene where everyone talks about the first song they heard? No way would that have had the same impact if it had been scored.

Additionally, I still can't remember the first Smiths song I heard [probably "The Headmaster Ritual" but maybe "The Queen is Dead"]. As was outlined in the film, my generation's obsession with The Smiths was more isolated as we all sat in our own bedrooms alone, playing the vinyl over and over. Quickly trading cassette tapes before class to double and triple our growing music libraries. The second wave of fans that this film focuses on are a much more social bunch than we ever were.

And a pretty bunch! I had totally forgotten the whole James Dean/greaser/1950's Americana vibe that was so integral to some of Morrissey's early work. Hands down, my favorite scene was when the director William E. Jones appears on camera to have his hair done into a pompadour. It was the most delicate act to watch.

I think that's where I was a little misguided about this film - that it would be so good, and that it would treat it's subject with such respect. We all know Morrissey fans are a little laughable - but other than the father/son combo there was no one in that movie I could laugh at, and I went in SO ready to point and laugh at the freaks.

ANYWAY, next week there are 2 more events directly related to the Cameron Jamie exhibit - Wednesday's lecture "America's Fascination with Pro-Wrestling", which sounds awesome, but I can't make it, and Thursday's screening of Hell House, another cult-film documentary I've always meant to see but never got around to it.

You know what else I realized with this film? I never owned the first Smiths album. That's an indie kid felony - I'm gonna have to relinquish my safety glasses until that's taken care of.

I posted this as a comment over on Karl's blog, and he said it worked, so I'm giving it the front page treatment here:

The multiple artist in a iPod glitch is a pain in the ass. Here’s what I figured out a few months ago.

During an iTunes upgrade (I believe from 6.x to 7.x) there was a major change in how your library was sorted. If you right-click on an individual track and “Get Info”, you’ll now notice a tab that wasn’t there before - “Sorting”. This is now how your iPod now sorts it’s artists: no longer by Artist Name, but Sort Artist Name.

The point of this was now, I can file “50 Foot Wave” under “F” and have it still read as “50″ on the iPod. It can read as “David Bowie”, but be filed under “Bowie, David” like a record store.

During the upgrade, iTunes “re-indexed” all of your artist tags, filing things in multiple places (Chet Baker under both “C” and “B”, indefinite articles like “A” and “The”). The way that I’ve found to fix this is to select all of an artist’s songs in iTunes, right-click and select “Apply Sort Field --> Same Artist”.

This fixes it for me, but there’s probably an easier way, or at least some sort of automated hack that can be plugged in to do it for you…

Pulls harder than gravity

I picked up tickets for Margaret Cho's Saturday night Mohegan Sun gig this morning for Jen and I - I haven't seen her since Revolution Cho, so it should be all good and fresh.

Also, you know what I found yesterday? Amazon Mechanical Turk. It's kind of like a white-collar sweatshop - when people need menial tasks that a computer should be able to do but can't they turn to INTERNET USERS! I've already made 20 cents.

He realizes and itemizes

All I got today is an event and a story:

Is It Really So Strange is a movie about Morrissey, which normally would bore me to tears - however, the film focuses in on one of the most fascinating aspects of the crooner - the absolute idol worship he gets from Latino's in East LA [apparently he's bigger than Jesus there]. Screens tomorrow for free, my Boston peeps.

Remember how last weekend I went to the Indian casino and came home with some $$? Monday night I was grocery shopping and went past all the braces by the pharmacy, and entered the most bizarre logic zone when trying to decide if I should get a new brace for my painful wrist disease. Like, trying to justify spending the $12.99.

Of course I just got the damn thing [the old one was pretty skanky], which immediately kicked off a whole new shame spiral where I realized that at the age of 36, I spend my "mad money" on new orthopedic braces. Kind of like how last Friday night my roommate and his boyfriend came home to find me watching National Bingo Night on the couch with a quilt over my head. Classy.

Then turns to sunlight

So amongst everything else, did I tell you I found a new favorite band? Listening to all that unknown Lollapalooza crap [you can thank me later for not informing you of what I thought of every band] I found a beautiful gem in Colour Revolt.

A few weeks ago I put on the tracks I had grabbed on the commute home from work, and within the first few seconds, I turned to my imaginary carpooler Ed and said in my best Demi Moore voice with tears welling up - "I never thought I be so tired at 23".

Anyway, that's exactly how their music feels to me. [myspace streams, hype machine downloads]

In other music news - that Mogwai soundtrack for Zidane? Yeah - there was a reason it was taking it's sweet time being released in this country and the answer is it blows. By Mogwai standards, that is.

She ionizes and atomizes

So last Saturday was the big dance-pop show down at Mohegan Sun. Village People were putting on a free show for the casino set. Admittedly, I didn't really care very much about Village People, I just wanted to gamble and figured it would sweeten the pot for whoever I would drag along on the road trip.

John and I got there around 3, and he doesn't even really gamble [weird, I know], so he opted to watch me/bring me luck instead. I rolled dice for 2 hours before we went to dinner. It went well.

The whole Wolf's Den thing means you have to start lining up around 6PM if you want to get a seat, apparently. We got in and seated a little before 7, and it was just weird, I tell you. No platform shoes or glitter or drag queens or ANYTHING - it was all grandmas. We were seated at a table with Pat and Joan and a kind of sleazy looking married couple. The show started promptly at 8, because the Village People are hella-old by now and probably have to be in bed by 10.

The show itself was pretty predictable, well, other than the crowd which included some kind of bachelorette party. You know, the whole Village People thing is all pretty common knowledge to me at this point - but now I'm not so convinced that the rest of America gets it, wink wink. For reals, the ladies LOVE the Village People. Is it like a Chippendale thing? But they're not taking their clothes off. I'm pretty sure it was that Sex Over The Phone video that did it.

I took some pictures but they didn't really come out, as usual, but more on that in a sec. I like this shot, because Joan [lower right] has her fingers in her ears because it's too loud:

Here's Joan [in the fuscia] working her YMCA:

Pat and Joan, talking about the nice Indian boy:

John asked what I was going to do with the money I won and I didn't know. I had just assumed I would put it in the bank, but now I've pretty much sealed buying a new camera.

After it ended all the grammas and grampas went back to their slot machines. I gave the casino a little of it's money back and then we went home. Would I go see Village People again? THE ANSWER IS ODDS ON 6 PLEASE I MEAN PROBABLY NOT.


Screw you guys, I'm goin home!

You can't look in on one way eyes, Ohio

Drove crazed grooming my lies

So earlier this week guess what? I was sick again. This time it was a sinus headache with a side of fever and fatigue - I slept for almost 36 hours in a row. In a way, it was kind of sweet.

I even thought about trying to repeat the feat this weekend [the sleeping not the sickness] when an even better idea popped into my head - CASINO GAMBLING AT MOHEGAN SUN, which I was like 40% into. I went to the website to see who was playing and miss MARGARET CHO is - next week. This weekend though? For free in the Wolf's Den?


I called John and he was totally into it too. I'm bringing my camera and getting into full-on starfucky mode, because if I had a picture of me with the Village People I would be like Cher.

You should note here I really don't like the Village People, this whole spur of the moment adventure is part of my fascination with camp, much like last summer's Canobie Lake trip.

yr living in a fantasy world

So last Friday was the big indie electronic show at Avalon. LCD Soundsystem played with Yacht.

For a long time I had just assumed LCD Soundsystem was just a fancy name for a DJ, and it sort of is, but there's a lot more going on. Live, there were 5-6 people playing the songs that James Murphy wrote and recorded by himself.

It ruled.

It's been years since I've had that kind of concert experience - I got there early and staked out my spot up near the front. Opening with Us vs Them got a small pit started behind me, like at a hardcore show. Murphy stopped briefly to remind the aggressive boys that dancing with girls was much more fun, and was completely ignored as everything exploded around and behind me as they tore into "Daft Punk is Playing At My House".

[I couldn't find a set list online, however I did come across what seems to be a nice free set of bootleg remixes from Sounds of Silver.]

Pretty much any old song and the place exploded - the new stuff also got good reactions. Most noticeably/obviously was "All My Friends". It was what they were doing on every song - starting minimal, slowly rising into screaming and cacophony while keeping everyone moving with their steady 4/4 beat. For reals, Al Doyle went nuts on his guitar for the last few minutes of it. I just started screaming it was so intense. So loud. Actually, the intensity level reminded me of Mogwai, only instead of an internalized shoegaze rage, this was an external primal release.

Other set highlights? Only the most amazing encore imaginable. Coming back into "Someone Great", a cover of Joy Division's "No Love Lost" [where I truly realized how similar this live set up was similar to New Order] and an odd closing number of "New York I Love You". I didn't think closing out such a high energy night with a balled would work - but it totally kicked ass.

And why was it such an awesome gig all around? When the lights came up and I hit the street my shirt was drenched in sweat. Like dripping from the workout I had just been through, and dripping from the sweat of all the kids crashing into me.

Opener Yacht reminded me exactly why I hate 98% of all electroclash.

I was able to get a few shots off with my new phone during the few moments I wasn't being thrown around. Most of them didn't really come out. However, I was up close enough to tell that James Murphy is packing some heat below the belt - I swear if he wasn't stuffing then he could probably do some serious damage. Just sayin'.

LCD Soundsystem

New York I Love You

Nuclear Arms


One hand clapping, awake but napping

So originally, the plan for tomorrow was to go hear Chuck Palahniuk read at the Coolidge Corner theater. Lucky for me, the day that I was going to go very far out of my way to get tickets, I checked the listing again, and saw that it started at 5PM. There's no way I'd even get there for the last 5 minutes so I didn't bother getting tickets. I figured I'd still show up for the requisite book signing, since I haven't picked up the new one yet, and have a hole in my deep catalog.

Then, I became completely and totally obsessed with LCD Soundsystem. I picked up Sound of Silver a few weeks ago, and quite randomly threw "Someone Great" into a playlist of new stuff to check out. When it randomly came up, well, it killed me:

I wake up and the phone is ringing,
Surprised as it's early.
And that should be the perfect warning,
That something's a problem.
To tell the truth I saw it coming,
The way you were breathing.
But nothing can prepare you for it,
The voice on the other end.
I actually spent a few hours trying to remix it with Audacity, and while I got a pretty awesome sludgy ambient noise out of it, it could hardly be called a remix.

Originally I had planned to check out the show this Friday long before I had heard this. Now, I'm absolutely compelled to go. It got moved to a larger venue, more tickets opened up, and to be perfectly honest, I'm way more excited about this than I was about Ben Gibbard. I'm bummed it's early [7PM] and across the street from a baseball game which equals NO PARKING. I now have to race home, change into my safety glasses, cardigan sweater and indie rock courier bag, and race out by train so I can get there early, so I can get right to the front by the stage, so I can sing along at the top of my lungs with James Murphy and cry.


Dear Sallie Mae,

You can suck it. For the last time.

It only took 17 years but I now own my BA free and clear. And immediately my thoughts turn to "I wonder what used BA degrees go for on eBay? Because I'm not really using the one that I just finished buying".

So last night was the big Indie Pop show at the Somerville Theater last night. Ben Gibbard [from Death Cab For Cutie] played with David Bazan [formerly Pedro the Lion] and Johnathan Rice.

Ben opened with a cover of "To Sing For You" [Donovan], and melted it seamlessly into Postal Service's "Brand New Colony", which is the first time I started crying.

I want to take you far from the cynics in this town
And kiss you on the mouth
We'll cut out bodies free from the tethers of this scene,
Start a brand new colony
Gibbard's songs work well when stripped of the full band [Death Cab] or electronica [Postal Service], further cementing my position that he's probably one of the greatest songwriters of the century. Five songs into the set, Title and Registration proved to be his first misstep.
There's no blame for how our love did slowly fade
And now that it's gone it's like it wasn't there at all
And here I rest where disappointment and regret collide
Lying awake at night
Beautiful, right? I was totally tearing up again, until he cut it short, joking about being out of tune. Which I had noticed, but was willing to forgive in exchange for some heartbreaking lyricism. But now that he had pointed it out, it was of course all I noticed throughout the rest of the evening: Ben Gibbard really can't sing very well. When sitting at the piano for "Soul Meets Body", I wasn't sure how he was going to pull it off - I thought maybe he would spare us the falsetto, but no.

I don't think the crowd seemed to mind much - Plans material was well received, as was old and obscure 7 inch split singles. A sing-along was had by all, and a bit too loudly from some young girls near me for my taste. He played a few brand new tracks, which sounded kind of meh, but I bet will be improved by a band.

Other notes? "Recycled Air", a nice Postal Service ballad, kind of flopped - it works so well on the record but stripped of its electronic ambience it lacked it's recorded punch. More covers - Harvest Moon, All Apologies also both fell flat for me. Good job with "Such Great Heights" - riding somewhere between Postal Service and Iron and Wine's cover.

I've always like David Bazan live and on record, but even I realize that he's been writing and singing the same song for 10 years now. Don't get me wrong - it's a great song. But he's definitely an acquired taste. Opener Johnathan Rice went in one ear and out the other.

If I sound cranky I was - I know I was lucky to see this sold out show in such a small venue, but here's what the top of the Somerville Theater looks like:

I've found out that row LL in the center balcony is the last row. I could feel half of the sound moving beneath me and not reaching up to the nosebleeds. So, would I go see Ben Gibbard again? THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY NOT, BUT WE STILL LIKE DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE.

Additionally, I rescued my review of the last time I saw DCFC from the old and broken web-log.

Truly sorry, I see clearly

I bought a new phone this weekend [go full qwerty keyboard!], and am ready to retire my old Flavor of Love ring tone ["The bitch - she, she spit in my hair, and a little tiny bit got on my face, so I'm gonna whoop that bitch's ass, and I mean it"].

'Cause when life get ahold of you, it uses no Vaseline. It simply bends you over, and it's very painful.


Additionally, Thela's "You ghetto banshee bitches..." will make an excellent alternate.

I can't remember exactly what the deal was, but I checked out a few more Lollapalooza bands way back before getting sick. I remember The 1900's were pretty generic. I remember Illinois was pretty generic.

However Mickey Avalon totally caught my ear. You know, like this could be the afternoon act to see kind of thing.

PLUS his kind of music? It is RAP, BOY-EE! Actually, musically, it wasn't as jokey as his image may make it seem - I think he kind of takes himself a little seriously. However, is the the first unknown-to-me act I may have to see at Lollapalooza this year? THE ANSWER IS YES!

Pulled the scabs off of regrets

So last week, before I got sick, was the big noise pop show at the Orpheum. Modest Mouse, Man Man and Love as Laughter. I didn't bother to take pictures because I was in row N of the orchestra and knew that they wouldn't come out from back there.

A few weeks ago I was starting to try and figure out what makes some indie rock bands better than others. Love as Laughter were fine musicians, but were missing that something that would make them above average. I just kind of sat there.

Man Man, however. My God. If you are a band of six men dressed in white, banging on anything available for 40 minutes, chant-singing, running around - well, you only are one of the best bands ever. It was actually slightly reminiscent of another "man group", only without the theatrics. I'm not sure about running out and buying their records [I can't imagine it's the same at home alone], but would I go see them again? THE ANSWER IS YES. AND I WOULD ALSO HIRE THEM TO PLAY MY WEDDING!

Modest Mouse. This is how I define what makes some indie rock bands better than others: Would I suck the DNA out of the lead singer?

So I wasn't a total fangurl, mostly because at row N, it's a little tough to get worked up about a boy. There was dancing and singing along a plenty through the first 2/3 of the set. Johnny Marr was there too, and looked like he was having fun. Also, he looked really old. He got to take some of the between-song banter while Isaac smoked. I think that was my only complaint: it was song - everybody move around, change instruments, tune things, towel off, drink, smoke, say hi to the audience - then play another song.

Once they hit "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" all of that changed. That shit was scorching. That must have been 15 minutes of awesomeness - after the song proper, including top-of-lungs sing-a-long we then got the jamming, the incoherent ranting, only to have it start right up again with "Doin' the Cockroach". This was the moment I had been waiting for, this was the bliss.

Half the encore ["Bury Me With It"] was amazing, but it didn't really matter by then as I was pretty spent. I was hoping for "Out of Gas" or "Cowboy Dan", but they're not playing them this tour. Still, it was most of what I hoped it would be, once things got moving. Will I go see Modest Mouse at Lollapalooza this year? THE ANSWER IS THEIR SET SHOULD JUST BE A 45 MINUTE TINY CITIES.

Our hearts are used up, cracked and dry

As cranky as I got at the end of my Wordpress era, BostonNOW [via] really got it right in macking out all of the community-blog features of Wordpress. I set mine up in minutes.

I had totally meant to check out their initial meeting one Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago - something came up and I can't remember what now - because turning web-logs into print-news-logs seems like a neat idea. So it's been bookmarked, delicioused, blogged, etc. Let's try a new primary news source for a week.

What inspires me most about BostonNOW is the fact that maybe after a week of just posting bits of crap about the internet and what shows I've been to, I can take an hour and actually write something [ok, a 'piece'].

Oh yeah right, and last night I decided to write a book. Again. And be a photographer and movie star.

I'm upset and I leave the doors wide open

Remember when Modest Mouse played the Orpheum? Man, that seems like years ago even though it was only last Friday. I've been so sick since Sunday - for reals, I don't think I'll need a high colonic for years. But I have so many stories and no time to tell them, as tonight I can finally move 10 feet from a toilet bowl.