Here's a short list of artists I've been listening to over the last week or so. Click for additional stats on what else I like lately.

On the upstairs porch, at the Mansion on Judges Hill, Austin, TX, 11/9/07. Lonestar beer is the local swill, and is comparable to a Pabst, Stroh's, etc.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Guillemots Tracks

Love what I've heard from this band so far. How cool is it that the group features a Scottish drummer, Brazilian guitarist, classically-trained English pianist, and a Canadian upright bass player? So what exactly do these guys sound like? No clue.

I haven't stopped spinning their fantastic From the Cliffs EP since I got it two weeks back. This first track might be the best song I've heard all year (next to that new "Timbaland o'Lakes" joint, of course).

Guillemots -"Trains to Brazil" - "Mad Up Love Song #43"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pervy JonBenet guy: Total genius

Is John Mark Karr just a big fat perv? Well, yes he certainly is, but not just a perv. News broke that he did NOT kill the little princess cowboy child, as he had confessed. (What a shocker!) How about that, a news story to prove that the news story wasn't really news at all. The story about the negative DNA results isn't even on CNN's homepage right now. Is the media a little ashamed they made this the biggest story in the world for more than a week? They ought to be.

Even more, Karr will probably make off with a fat book deal after all this. He's already writing a JonBenet book anyway right? He's been through this whole circus, and probably has a pretty unique point of view.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Camping Labor Day Weekend?

This one is worthy of a duel post. Who's down for a potential car camping trip o'er labor day weekend? If you read this blog on a regular basis consider yourself invited. If the Indy crew shows interest we could arrange a southern/mid-illinois spot. Otherwise Wisconsin should not be ruled out. No major backpacking type shit, just the basic car camping.

Who's down?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mew Tracks

Following up on the previous Mew post -- It's hard to say how well these tracks will come across outside the context of the full record, but give'em a try. The album is mostly a continuous player, with no spaces between tracks (a la your Dark Side of the Moons), but I hope you'll still enjoy. Highlights:

"The Zookeeper's Boy"
-- If there were a single on the record this would be the one. "Zookeeper" definitely leans on it's arena-rock tendencies, but the more subtle moments recall the last (more fleshed out) Sigur Ros record.

"Chinaberry Tree" -- Here's a cut that really typifies the approach to the album: tons of small ideas (both melodic and rythmic) and very little space for embellishment. This one starts off with a Impossible Shapes-esque, neo-psychedelia, only to drift off to some crunchy Tool-isms, and land

"Louisa Louise" -- Just a fantastic, anthemic tune. Everything a closing track should be.

Message for ID: Don't overlook these. I think you may, in your old age, dig this shit. It is surprisingly "core."

Read some reviews: Stylus Tripwire Pitchfork Spin

Imagine me and Mew, and Mew and Me

Just got my hands on this new disc, And the Glass Handed Kites, from Danish space-rock quartet, Mew. Besides being newly crowned as the ugliest piece of cover art in my CD collection (I love how ferocious the biggest head looks), it's also one of the best and most unique listens of the year.

So far, critics have name-checked a surprisingly wide variety of groups as possible influences including My Bloody Valentine, Dream Theatre, Sigur Ros, OK Computer-era Radiohead, Disintigration-era Cure, Dinosaur Jr. and even f*cking Queensryche (which is probably the most accurate of all of them!). Between the endless synth washes, the tightly-synched bass and drums, and punchy guitars, this one is delectibly prog-olicious.

Check bank here later today for a coupla tracks.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Real Naptown

Sometimes it's fun to play and just see what pops up. This morning I took a trip over to, on pure curiosity. Little did I know that it would turn out to be the best message board ever.

Hit that link and check out these fools that like to argue which is the true Naptown -- Indianapolis, Indiana or Annapolis, Maryland. Some of my favorite posts:
08/08/2006 1:50 PM
317 [Indianapolis area code] naptown up date 12 murders last weekend i know you see it

08/10/2006 6:49 AM
only thing filling Indy pockets is dick. Yall Indyans bending over and licking each others brown pockets. Aint no creativity comin outta your bumfuck town. Get your own rep. Cause ya aint stealing ours. Naptown, Murdaland (MD)

08/11/2006 1:00 AM
Thats why Indianapolis has less gay people then annapolis and detroit. What now "not the real Naptown." Yall ain't so hard now bitches. Go sew quilts or something.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

the huh now?

Anyone noticed that the NFL has adopted a new title for their injury list, the "Physically unable to perform list," or PUP? What the hell happened to the good ole disabled list? First of all, saying a player is either "on the pup" or "on the physically un-blah blah" sounds incredibly silly and/or long winded.

Is this a P.C. thing? What's wrong with the word disabled?

Friday, August 18, 2006

If you ask me...

... John Mark Karr didn't kill Jon Benet Ramsey, but he sure is putting on one hell of a show. The biggest indicator: his ex-wife Lara claims she was with him in Alabama when JBR was killed. Karr said he drugged JBR, but no drugs were found in her system during the autopsy. Even more, Karr's expertise on the case is so well known that he was used recently as a resource for a JBR documentary. Combine all of that with the strange statements and admissions he's made to the press, plus the fact that the's a convicted pedophile, and this is really starting to look more like a false admission.

The guy wants to be famous, plain and simple. Look at the way the guy is mugging for the camera in these photos? Don't most suspects tend to avoid the camera?

Check out that last one. What kind of police operation purposefully sits a high-profile suspect in front of the media like that? Could it have been voluntary? Doesn't it seem like Karr is soaking up all the attention he can get? If you ask me, this guy just wants to be famous. I'm still pointing a finger at the parents.

So how much longer before we get Elian Ganzalez part II?

Thursday, August 17, 2006


So cool to be in downtown Chicago this week. There are all kinds of jets (and possibly some migs) flying around and cutting in and out of the Skyscrapers. They're practicing for Air & Water Show this weekend.

NFL's a'comin

Man, I'm getting stoked that it's almost time for real Football season -- you know, instead of these four pointless weeks of preseason that provide more season-ruining injuries than good games and memorable moments. Here's who I like out of each division:

EAST: New England (10-6)
WEST: Denver (12-4)
NORTH: Cincinnati (13-3)
SOUTH: Indianapolis (12-4)
Wildcards: San Diego (10-6), Jacksonville (11-5)

Yup, I'm counting the Steelers out this year. There's a huge question mark around Big Ben, and the loss of Randle El and the Bus will be the difference since their combined TD passes were almost as many as Ben's last year. I have a hard time picking The Chargers, but they're run defense is insanely tough, and that will pay dividends in the AFC West, where the run donminates most offensive schemes. I like Cincy to have the best record in the, not only because they have insane talent, but also because their schedule is breezy.

EAST: New York Giants (11-5)
WEST: Seattle (12-4)
NORTH: Minnesota (11-5)
SOUTH: Carolina (11-5)
Wildcards: Detroit (10-6), St Louis (10-6)

That's right, Detroit, baby! All the way to a first round playoff loss! Now that Harrington is gone, I really think this team has a chance and we all know how weak NFC North looks. As for the rest of the conference, I could really care less. The NFC has been ruining Thanksgiving since Barry retired.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Talkin' Colts Preseason

Adam Vinatieri - Dude comes out in the 1st quarter and does the three best things a kicker can: (1) drops a perfect surprise on-side kick, (2) gets a touchback on his first real kickoff -- something I haven't seen from the Colts in years -- and (3) hits a 53-yard field goal. Sure didn't take long for me to stop hating him. What? Dude played for New England???

Peyton Manning - Even though he only played one series, it's hard to argue against 3/5 for 50-some yards and a TD pass. Great way to start the season.

Dominic Rhodes - Surprised to see him running up the gut with such confidence. Rhodes isn't a huge back, and I expected to see him come out and adopt the Edge-esque sweeps and stretch plays. Contrary to the beliefs of most, I think the Colts running game will be fine without Edge. The O-line is back, and that means more of the same holes James had such success running through.

T.J. Rushing - could be a solid kick return man this year, as evidenced by his first return for 60ish yards. He bobbled the second try and got pinned back at the Colts 10 yrd line, but I still like the potential here. Time will tell whether Rushing stays the man, or if Mungro sees more time on special teams.

Borat Trailer

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan will end up being the funniest movie this year. Just check out the trailer.

Ron White, Published Author

Say what you will about the Blue Collar Comedy Tour (examples might include: "This blows," and/or "Who thinks this sh*t is funny?"), but I believe Ron White is a man of blunt honesty, and such qualities just aren't as valued as they should be in America. For instance, this question and answer from a recent interview:
[USA Today]: Before we go, maybe we should talk about the book for a second. Why exactly did you write it? Did someone tell you to do it, or is this something you thought about doing for awhile?

[White]: I did it for the money. The publishers put up a ton of money to get me to do it, and I also had an arrangement where I had to put no effort into it whatsoever. They illustrated my act ... I threw in some road stories about my drug days, and days where things weren't going so good, it turned into a book-shaped product that I haven't read. I just hope the people that do buy it enjoy it. It seems overpriced to me, but if you want it, there it is.
It takes serious integrity to admit that you have no integrity. The whole interview is pretty solid -- give it a look see.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Learn to love you some movie slideshows

Don't miss Slate's "unusually moronic movie trivia slide show." Aren't they all moronic? (Click the pic to view the slides)

While Slate thinks that these slide shows typically discourage pre-movie conversation, I have to disagree. What's wrong with a little mindless jokeateering at the expense of the poor souls who actually write and compile these slides?

Either way, it hardly matters. At best we're a year or two (maybe even months) away from watching continuous live-action commercials before every flick. Moviegoers are so well-qualified (teens go to see "Not Another Teen Movie," couples to the latest Aniston / Vaughn vehicle, etc) anymore that pre-movie space is worth mega-bucks, especially on a natoinal scale. With theatre conglomerates growing ever-large, it's only a matter of time. Enjoy the crappy slideshows while you can.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Beck

More supposed "leaks" from Beck's upcoming album, The Information, hit the super-highway earlier this week. Check out Stereogum for the full run down.

Here is the only remaining posted studio track ("Nausea") and a collection of live performances of songs that should appear on the new record. I actually kinda dig a few of these:

"1,000 bpm" (live at Bonnaroo)
"The Information" (live at Sasquatch)
"???" (from his MySpace page)

Again, these are clearly not leaks, at least in the traditional sense.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What I did on my Lollapalooza Vacation

Saw a little or most of the following acts, and enjoyed occasional highlights:

Saturday: Cold War Kids, The Go! Team, Built to Spill, Particle, Gnarls Barkley, Disco Biscuits, The Flaming Lips, The New Pronographers

: Hot Chip, Nickel Creek, Andrew Bird, The Shins, Poi Dog Pondering, Wilco

Sorry I missed (Sat/Sun only): Sa Ra, Feist, Calexico, Lyrics Born, Sonic Youth, Kanye West, Of Montreal, Deadsy, Broken Social Scene

Not sorry I missed: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Thing that mostly sucked: The walking. The distance from the Northern-most to Southern-most stages was exactly a mile. Couple this with 60,000+ people going in every which direction and plan on spending 40 minutes just to get where you need to go. Everyone who went must have missed at least one high priority show because of this.

Thing that mostly did not suck: Lots of water fountains, portapots and shade. While not as fan-friendly as the Pitchfork fest last weekend, I do have to give multiple props to Lolla management for putting together the resources to make it all happen and to the crowd for keeping it chill all weekend. At $3 a piece, water was definitely overpriced. The food could have been a little more reasonable as well, but I don't feel like there was any major gouging.

Biggest Surprise: The marketing presence. AT&T's air conditioned tent was like walking in to a giant spiderweb of an advertisement. Everywhere you look people were giving away free shit, be it CDs, lip balm, mist fans, fake tattoos, whatever.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Lollapalooza Photos

A few from Saturday:

Friday, August 04, 2006

A few New ones

My grubby paws are all over a couple of anticipated new releases. Here's the quick first take:

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: Then the Letting Go
Hard to believe that Will Oldham released three records since his last proper studio release, 2003's totally underrated Master & Everyone. The live collection Summer in the Southeast was loud and ragged, and showed signs of an Oldham we hadn't heard on record since the Palace days of Viva Last Blues. Prior to that he got his collab on with Matt Sweeney on last year's Superwolf, and put on his cowboy boots to rework some of his oldies for countryfied Greatest Palace Music.

So what's this new one sound like? Well, basically you can expect the same formula as Master, with the occasional string quartet popping in and out of the mix. This disc is full of duets, slight blues inflections, and on the whole, softened edges. Not as quite as tastefully reserved as Master, but compelling none-the-less.

The Black Keys: Magic Potion
Why mess with a good thing? If you liked their first three records, this is more of the same (no complaints here). If the Keys are your idea of average, middle-of-the-road garage rock, don't come looking for any revelations here. Same guitar tones, same heavy pentatonic blues riffing, though a slightly different, less-overdriven sound for Dan Auerbach's gnarled vocals. Great songwriting as usual -- Auerbach proves again that he can make the most boring blues cliches sound fresh.

J Dilla: The Shining

It's not just named after the Kubrick flick, it basically is the Kubrick flick. Various audio samples from the film are littered throughout the 12 tracks ("Here's Johnny!" and the like make numerous appearances). Stylistically The Shining shares many of the same production traits that made this year's previous Dilla release, Donuts, such a quality listen. The beats stay mostly straightforward, while he let's his undeniable knack for layering speak for the whole. Highlights include "So Far to Go," featuring D'Angelo and Common contributions, and the Guilty Simpson/Madlib collab, "Baby." Early verdict: the tracks are almost as hot as those on Donuts, and it's great to have quality MCs in the mix, but the film samples can be overwhelming and nearly ruin several tracks, IMO.

If you could pick one...

... road sign to describe yourself, which one would you be? If I could pick, I would be this sign in a second.

Need help picking a sign? Check out the Google Image results for "Road Sign." I can imagein that the...
Milwaukee 300 miles
Chicago 200 miles
Indianapolis 50 miles
... would easily be the best sign choice if you ever were asked this question during a job interview. You could be all, "I can see my goals and know what it takes to get there." That answer would get you paid.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


There have been now two new Beck tracks "leaked" in the last week, both available only briefly. A couple of days ago yours truly posted the YouTube link to Beck's "Think I'm in Love," which was promptly pulled from YouTube only hours later (likely due in large part to the copious stream of traffic coming from this very Blogspot address). Prior to that, his Beckness briefly posted and prompty removed the new track, "Cell Phone's Dead" on his very own

You have to admire the job his marketing and P.R. people are doing -- truly innovative work. First they get uber-indie tastemakers, Pitchfork, to essentially re-run their press release annoucing the debut of "Cell Phone's Dead." Pitchfork is one of my first stops each morning and by the time I visited at 9am the track had already been removed. Naturally I was eager to hear this song so I searched all over the [brand spanking new] website but couldn't find the new music.

Then, only days later "Think I'm in Love" leaks on to the ultra-hot, mega-blogged with a full motion, albeit ultra low-budget video. Did some fan get their hands on the leaked track and put this vid together? I can't remember, but wasn't Beck lipsynching? That would rule out fan involvment obviously. I highly, HIGHly doubt this is the work of a fan. Nevertheless, the video was removed from YouTube, and the page was updated with the following statement:
"This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner RIAA because its content was used without permission."
So, Beck, even if this album doesn't break any new ground at least it can go down as a textbook how-to in online guerilla music marketing. Well done, chap.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


... seem like something I should be paying attention to. Does anyone listen to these? Can you recommend some good ones to check out?

Know thy limit

Reading this Slate piece that asks "How drunk was Mel Gibson?" I came upon this handy dandy blood-alchohol calculator. Check it out and know your limit (now .08 in all states).

Also, remember that moderate drinkers will absorb about one drink* per hour, while heavy drinkers (the "Alchys" among us) will absorb them even faster. As you know, food consumption or lack thereof can have a significant impact on your blood-alcohol level as well.

*One drink = 1 oz. 80 proof spirits = 3 oz. glass of 12% wine
= 12 oz. glass of 5% beer

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Beck - "Think I'm In Love"

Here's some new music from Beck's forthcoming release:

Update From This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner RIAA because its content was used without permission. (Editor's note: sh'yeah right. more on this to come.)

What's gotten in to this guy? First he makes a mediocre album (Guero) with the previously unstoppable Dust Brothers and now even the new Nigel Godrich-produced tracks show signs of being thin on inspiration. Could it be the recent marriage? Happiness is often a gateway drug to crappy music. Homeboy needs an old-fashioned drug habit.

In all fairness, I think the muted bass sounds great (a Godrich production holdover from the Sea Change era). It's just the double-track vocal thing and boring melodies that have me worried. The best thing about Beck's music is the way he fills the holes with interesting melodic phrases, instrumentation, toy gun sounds, ticks, bloops, beeps and so on. The post-Sea Change stuff just feels empty.
This blog hosts original music and recordings by Mike Hicks.
Click here to access all of the the songs that have been posted thus far. Please feel free to comment, or email me.

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