some more random things...

so, i basically work with social media sites (web 2.0, this guy is a 2.0 guru, and this site is really cool) in an attempt to create new marketing and pr initiatives via these mediums. i am exploring this role, as are many in the marketing/pr field as it is still a very "trial and error" strategy, some stuff works and some does not. hopefully, we can come up with more "hits" than "misses", i think we can...in fact, i'd have to say i'm pretty confident we can. i have some possible future stuff coming with clients that may or may not be in the works....

here is something that didn't work, and something that i, thank god, would never think of perpetrating:

Sony Takes It Up the Ass for Fake Blog

transparency is just so important that it can't be over-stated. i was a blogger first (albeit a very inconsistent one but a blogger nonetheless) and now i have a job in that arena, i'm not pretending to be a blogger, i just work as one now (and a myspacer, facebooker, digger, del.icio.us'er, feeder, etc...).

one of the biggest things that i have learned is that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into the back end of these kinds of projects and can come out looking relatively small when put in front of clients and employers, or at least that's what it feels like (definitely with one of the sites which took me quite some time and is still very basic, however thats got to do with learning actual web design as i go). however, i can definitely feel myself beginning to think more creatively as my brain gets used to working in that way again after my insurance and non-profit stints. i like this.


i know i mentioned judah johnson in my last post, but i really can't say enough. the whole album is really good and might be one of the best of this year (this may have inspired me to write a "best of 2006" post, but we'll see, we all know how that goes).

last night my emusic account refilled, so by this weekend i will be 130 songs "richer". here's to hoping i make some good choices.

songs that played:
seville - cold shoulder
764-Hero - loaded painted red
american analog set - where did you come from
one line drawing - candle song
maharaj - an insect (officially now some of the most unlistenable stuff that i won and i love it)
jeff buckley - mojo pin

actually, on this note, what do you guys think of the "last.fm recently played tracks" thing in my sidebar? does it help anybody feel like they know what i'm listening to at the moment? does it help anyone discover new music? it doesn't really fit over there size-wise and i don't have the time to go in and mess with the code, but if even 1 person likes it, then it shall stay.



falling horribly behind...

as was pointed out on my wife's brand new blog in her comments section, i am now employed as a "blogger", so to speak, and should act as such. however, i am still in a content limbo and will most likely remain in such a state. so, for now, i will try to get back into things and write about life and music and other assorted things that only a few people actually care about.

the thanksgiving weekend was interesting, so here it is in "things i learned" format:

  • "emo" has lost all meaning to "kids", it is no longer the thing that i once loved and still do (in secret). apparently, the only way that the word "emo" is used nowadays is when it is followed by the word "fag"...which is pathetically disappointing on so many levels.
  • a 17-year-old confirmed for me my worst fear that i am now "the old guy that still acts young and thinks he's cool". how do i know this? i started to feel this way during a conversation with my wife's young cousin, so i asked... am i becoming "the old guy that still acts young and thinks he's cool"? the reply came, "yes". somebody sell me a burial plot. (this also relates almost directly to my first weekend learning).
  • black friday is not nearly as metal and cool as it sounds. i'll admit i was gung-ho about it; a little piece of americana that i had never experienced. 2 red bulls and a lot of standing in line later, i just needed a nap (i AM getting old). i did get some good jeans out of it though...
  • family rules, there are no other relationships like it. i wish that i had been as close to my grandparents as my wife is. i only have one left and i see my "grandma" maybe every other year when i can afford to fly to the UK.
  • long car trips with family do not rule. actually, that has more to do with the "long car trip" part than the "family" part.
  • rats eat plastic. why? i have no idea, but they do. how do they survive if they think plastic is food? answer me that.
  • my dog is awesome, many other dogs are not....that is all.
  • and last but not least, i learned that just when i give up on a season, the dawgs will come through; first auburn, now georgia tech...i am definitely more optimistic about next year than i was after the kentucky game.

my e-music account has been upgraded, so i am now at 65 songs per month...plus another 65 from, let's say, "an associate" with whom i have an agreement. anyway, here are some finds from that obnoxiously large amount of music that is now residing on an external hard drive that i purchased so that i wouldn't bring down my new macbook in one fell swoop:

Judah Johnson - Little Sounds
Antlerand - Now It's a Year

I am also really digging the new Brand New album, but they are too big to allow song downloads now...so go to their myspace and listen to Sowing Season (Yeah).

Also, local Atlanta band, Manchester Orchestra, who are good and play around town quite a bit, so maybe i will see you there....i'll be the one who looks a little more relaxed because i'm not the deer in the morning's headlights anymore.


songs that played:
failure - stuck on you
braid - quarters
mineral - july
radiohead - (nice dream)
of montreal - knight rider
outkast - two dope boyz (in a cadillac)
brand new - the quiet things that no one ever knows
matt pond pa - fairlee



a new "yob" and a nice dip in the pool...

while my updating at this blog has been, at best, woefully deficient. i have managed to parlay my prodigious blogging skills (????) into a new job with a pr firm (that is to say that i have somehow managed to completely pull the wool over their eyes and convince them that i am capable of things that i am clearly incapable of and would be obvious if they would just read this blog....hmmm, have i said too much?).

this also means that i am leaving the world of non-profits and jumping back into "corporate" America and, god, am i ever ready. however, in working for a small, indie PR firm i have managed to retain a fair portion of my soul, of this i am very grateful.

songs that played:

seville - sleep on my side
dillinger escape plan - jim fear
thunderbirds are now! - from: skulls




watch and be amazed....

this runs at just over an hour, but i may watch it 42 times.

Mineral - 1998 - Last Live Show




list of shows that i may or may not attend...

the bolded ones are the shows where you can definitely find me.


4 - The Hold Steady - Earl
7 - Mastodon – Masquerade (AM+C)
12 – Atreyu – Tabernacle
14 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Tabernacle
19 – Pet Shop Boys - Tabernacle
20 – Broken Social Scene – Variety Playhouse
20 - ICP - Masquerade
22 – Minus the Bear – Drunken Unicorn (MJQ)
23 – Minus the Bear – Drunken Unicorn (MJQ)
27 – The Decemberists - Tabernacle
28 – Thunderbirds Are Now - Drunken Unicorn (MJQ)
29 – The Album Leaf, Chin Up Chin Up – The Earl

6 - New Found Glory – Masquerade
9 - Reggie and the Full Effect, Cute is What We Aim For – Masquerade
9 – Panic at the Disco, Bloc Party – Hi-Fi Buys
14 – Cursive and Jeremy Egnik - Variety Playhouse
19 – Death Cab for Cutie - Fox
22 – Lovedrug, Brandston - Masquerade

no promises about show reviews as i made that mistake before and did not come through with anything. my blogging regularity can only be described as infrequent and disappointing... such is life.

songs that played while writing:
braid - capricorn
maritime - people, the vehicles
five eight - bad for us




i like it, i really like it...

self-described in a tongue-in-cheek manner as "straightedge texas softcore", there are a lot of things about this "band" (it's actually just a guy named Dan) that some (read "a lot" of) people will scorn...mostly the about about PlayRadioPlay! section of his myspace page.
personally, i care not. as some of you may remember from the very beginning of this blog, i grew up around a very strong "christian alternative" scene in and around Atlanta (this was before anyone called it the ATL) and the country and some of the best music that i own, and still listen to, came from that scene, both locally and nationwide.
devotion to a faith, just like to a girl (oh-so emo), and the emotions that go along with that make for honest and thoughful lyrics at times (even before Jeremy Enigk announced his conversion, the internal struggles created incredible poetry, don't even get me started on mineral).
a certain lack of gimmicky-ness is sorely missing in my music collection nowadays. he might be much younger than me and possibly still youthfully naive, but for the love of god he can write some great songs. dare i say he could give Ben a run for his money in his best Postal Service moments.

No apologies, i like it....done.

- Madi Don't Leave
- Compliment Each Other
- Decipher Reflection

these are also the songs that played while i wrote this post.

this might call for a dig into my past in a later post, just to prove a point.




could this really be happening again...?

according to the website itshappeningagain.com, it actually is....well, happening again.

holy long list of expletives....this would be an uncredible experience.

(click image for larger view)

read more about it here.

TITR myspace page



new good music....

i love hot water music therefore i love the new band that has been formed from bits and pieces of that band: the draft.

if you also like hot water music, then you will also like the draft.

do you see how beautifully simple my logic is, it is so beautiful in it's simplicity.

some people say my middle name is, in fact, "logic". others just call me "so-crates". i try to remain humble but the sheer amount of adulation makes it difficult.

so to all of you.... you are welcome. i will indeed keep bringing you delicious new music when i feel so inspired and it will remain brilliant in its delivery.

here is a bit of biographical info from the website:

Jason Black, George Rebelo and Chris Wollard had ventured out of suburban Florida with a focused purpose- turn a few chords and a melody into the most alluring and innovative sounds you've ever heard. Often mentioned in the upper-echelon of post hardcore with Fugazi and Quicksand, this trio made raspy vocals, odd time signatures, and awkward melodies a thing of beauty. Jason, George, Chris and new addition, Todd Rockhill performing under a new moniker- The Draft, continue pleasing crowds with hard hitting, prideful vocals and intelligent melody. At the peak of musical integrity the new name has rejuvenated the trio to a level unrivaled by past projects.

you can also check them out on their myspace page where you can also download some songs.


songs that played during this posting time:

failure - segue 3
the decemberists - eli, the barrow boy
at the drive in - enfilade
planes mistaken for stars - scratching rounds



new release tuesday...

the new cursive album, happy hollow, drops today on saddle creek records.

listen to these and then go and buy it at your local record shop.

cursive - happy hollow
- dorothy at forty
- bad sects

you can also stream the album at the top of this page.

also dropping today:

Paris Hilton - Paris Hilton

i would not suggest listening to and or buying this in any way, shape, or form.

Outkast - Idlewild

however, i would definitely suggest this album as it sounds like it could be interesting. listen to bits and pieces of it on their myspace page.



new post at WCP...

like i said, if i'm gonna write about poker then it would probably be for Wicked Chops Poker.

so i did and have and you should go read it.

super robots of profit generation



i just ain't buyin' it...

this clip looks horribly staged and is 10 mins long so i wouldn't blame you for not watching it.... apparently, Kelly Clarkson showed up at a Metal Skool (80's metal cover band) and was recognized by the band who asked her on stage and then got her to drink straight out the bottle, as it were, and asked to see her chubby bunnies, who wouldn't.
they correctly point out that the only reason she would be there is to create a more "edgy" image for herself. however, i have a better question: What in the hell kind of image is the lead singer for Yellowcard trying to create by hanging out with Kelly Clarkson?!?!? i won't make fun of him for going to see this show, because i would be there in a heartbeat, just his choice of weirdly drunk and make-up less company....actually, now that i think about it, i'm more disappointed in her for being there with him.



the best music video ever...?

so this isn't high-budget Jamiroquai-style music video makin', but this is by far one of the best and most entertaining videos i have ever seen.... they definitely can't dance like Jay Kay but dammit it's brilliant! (at times it almost reminds me of the dancing in The Full Monty)

ok go - here it goes again



ghosts riding on my ship...

so i sent out an e-mail to my group of fun-loving friends with a link to this article and also a link to some videos on youtube (including this one which makes me laugh a lot)....all to do with the "new" phenomenon sweeping the web that cites it's origin in a song by E40 in which he repeats the phrase, "ghost ridin the whip"...

this was the response i received from one of them. i never thought kids in/on/around cars could inspire such vitriol...

I love how silly reporters think they understand the history of names and trends and phrases when something "new" happens and all they did was look on wikipedia for their research.

Ghost riding is an updated version of car surfing, which has been going on for decades and has killed young people across the country.

Nope. Actually, "ghost riding" is when you take your bike and push it down a hill to see how far it would go and how it crashed. The name comes very obviously, form the fact that a ghost is "riding" your bike. Hence, ghost riding. And crashing is a given in ghost riding, not a maybe. That because ghosts are terrible at riding bikes and are very malevolent by nature. Seeking to completely destroy your bike because they hate you for not being a codemned soul and forced to walk the earth for eternity. Its a scientific fact and everyone knows that.

So, now we have ghost ridin the whip. Well firstthing, you don't ride a car. You drive a car. So ghost ridin a whip would mean there is a ghost ridin your car, i.e. there is an invisible ghost on top of your car. That is stupid. In that case, I am ghost ridin my truck out in the parking lot and really every other time something or someone is not on top of my car. But even then, maybe the ghost is on top of them. I would be still be ghost ridin. This is something completely different. Sure, some of these kids might ride on top of the car. Or get out and walk like 3 feet by their car or dance out of the window. There is no ghost "controlling" your car if you haven't left the front seat. And I know for a fact that ghosts don't show up for a couple of seconds of riding or driving or whatever, only for the longer trips that end in destruction. Now if you got on top of your roof while you the car is moving and there is nobody in the driver's seat, well that's another story isn't it. But something tells me there won't be many people doing that. Regardless, it wouldn't be ghost ridin or it would be ghost drivin because that is what the ghost would be doing, driving. So name it that or something else. Call it surfin the whip or ghost surfing or gay riding the broof. The real truth is, that this has nothing do with do with ghost riding, does it? Really, it is just an updated version of a chinese fire drill. Except the car is moving. Which I am sure has happened more than a few times by accident during a real chinese fire drill. And believe me that is a lot more scary than planning some sweet street moves with your boyfriends. But ghost and whip sound a lot cooler, don't they? So we'll let you have your fun for now and enjoy your Web 2.0 fame while it lasts. But guess what E40 and other rich high school kids with a video camera, if you want to do it right and be really "hard", you would just get out of your car and watch that mug go down a big hill and see what happened. Then, and only then, will you be truly ghost ridin the whip. Suckas.

one of my other friends then responded with the below video:


the final nail in the coffin....?

so according to this site, i can brag about how much my blog is "worth" by posting the following graphic:

My blog is worth $1,693.62.
How much is your blog worth?

i feel very conflicted about this and whether or not this is something to brag about. seems like an awful lot of hours to pour into something for such little return....but then again if i could actually get that amount then i might consider selling. turns out my blog would be worth about $500 if that were the criteria....

i've looked at my friends blogs' and they appear to be worth about the same, some less and some a little more....so, i guess i can't really expect any more than that. however, i found a blog that some guy started about his car that's worth more than mine, that was kind of demoralizing. then again, i'm not really sure how the worth is calculated.

oh well, here are some songs and i'll see about getting back in the swing of this thing:

portugal, the man
- stables & chairs
- aka m80 the wolf
- tommy

video of lovedrug live at CBGB's: wma

brandston - today (smashing pumpkins cover, live at the fireside bowl)



please point me in the right direction...

so i'm having some directional issues. i used to write exclusively about music, with some poker and college football thrown in; however, i found it entirely too draining of my time and energy to try and keep up with every single band that puts something out. i even found myself posting about stuff that i didn't even really like all that much, just to have something to write about. keeping up a regular posting schedule about music requires an enormous amount of time, not in the posting, but in the researching and listening and i only want to post about music that i've actually listened to and i don't spend a lot of time in the car and there's a lot of good tv to watch...
so now what do i do? as you can see i have sort of devolved into this random thought blog in which i post whatever comes to mind at any given time, with no direction or consistency of content.
this can be amusing for a while but i know that when i look for a good blog read i search by subject, not so much by author.....do i need a subject? i'm not so keen on reading about the random happenings in the life of someone i don't know, so why assume that my random life events are blog-worthy? i guess that begs another questions.... do i cater to those that already read this or try to attract new readers? is that effort futile in itself with the sheer volume of available reading and blogging nowadays?

i could try to go back to music and just post less-often but with higher quality (theoretically) but the most read blogs are the ones that update frequently.
I could be a local ATL blog but there are a bunch of good ones already.
if i'm gonna take the time to write about poker it would probably be for Wicked Chops...
plus my favorite college football writer just started a blog so that's pretty stiff competition....

what's my niche?

any ideas?

the answer will probably be music, my first love, with occasional randomness but i would still like to know what you think.

i may also go for a layout/format change pretty soon, maybe a new title bar design....i am up for submissions.




some random things...

give it a second to load, but worth it:

Zidane: A World View

i'm gonna be in vegas, aug 2-7 for some WSOP viewing and coverage with the boys (and my partial employers) from Wicked Chops Poker. if anyone reads this and wants to say hi in vegas, drop me a line, otherwise just look for the swarms of adoring blog fans following us around the whole time, or possibly just look in the bodog room.

then again my mom and wife won't be there and no one else reads this.... so, "hi, self. we should hang out in vegas while you're there. that would be rad".

also, anyone feel up to staking me? remember, i have a non-profit life... i feel like poker could be my way up out the....cubicle?




quote of the day....

the title infers that this will be a daily thing, but my readers (hi mom and wife) know better than that. i just happened to find a quote that i thought deserved mention:

"The guy who drinks the blood of his competitors did."

- Pat Forde of espn.com referring to which version of Tiger Woods showed up to play at the British Open.

over the top? yes
tiger bandwagon? absolutely (full discolsure: so am i)
drinking blood? awesome!

here's an mp3 to celebrate with:

3 inches of blood - deadly sinners



ways i kill time...

so on top of e-mail, IM, myspace, and reading about the world cup, college football, music, poker, and assorted pr blogs, i've added another way to kill time at work...


brief question: can anyone tell me how to embed a hyperlink into a pic? i have limited html code knowledge and would like to be able to add this trick to my repertoire...



what the crap...

this is my version of a great cuban sandwich for the day... set aside 4:58 of your day for this.

they look so god-same like the same person....



this charming man...

with over 5000 songs on my ipod and within the span of 1 hour, i have heard 2 separate covers of this charming man by the smiths.
if the original comes on any time soon, i think the world might end...
seriously, what are the odds on that?

update: apparently the answer is really simple (according to several q&a sheets for some WSOP press releases) the odds are 50/50, either it will play or it won't.

Q: what do you think your odds are of winning the WSOP?
A: 50/50, either i will or i won't

this answer came up more times than i care to describe...


so much to say...

i do have a lot to catch up on. but have you ever noticed that the the longer you go without talking to someone or something (like this blog) it get's harder to update... it's just easier to talk to the person that you update on a daily basis than trying to catch up with the person you haven't spoken to in weeks.
usual conversation with that person...
"how's life, what've you been up to?"
"nothin, just the usual...sleep, work, eat, sleep, and then work more" (forced laughter)
"right on"
"yeah, nothing really big going on around here, just the same old"
"well, that's good"
awkward silence...

now, i'm not saying that it is better talking to the person you speak to on a daily basis, just easier. usual conversation with that person...
"what's up?'
"nothin', just hanging out"
"still recovering from last night?"
"yeah, but i had the best freakin' sandwich for lunch today"
"oh yeah, what was on it"
"it was a cuban and it had just the right mixture of pressed ham and cheese. it was perfect"
"nice, there's nothing like a good cuban"
"i know. hey, you playin' poker tonight?"
and so on...

it really boils down to feeling the need to talk about big, important things with the person you haven't spoken to in a while, whereas the minutiae in life is where the fun stuff normally happens....the obscure happenings that one experiences on a daily basis and that only get shared with the people you hang out with regularly. i become convinced that if i haven't spoken to you in a couple of weeks you don't want to hear about my awesome sandwich experience, that our conversation should be reserved for something deep and meaningful, when really it just needs to be....
it's sad and i don't like it, but i fall into that trap everytime. and then the communications get fewer and farther between because i'm not good at having a non-"important" conversation with my long-distance friends....and i feel like i sound stupid on the phone with nothing to say.

anyway, this blog is much the same. if i leave it for a few days, i feel like i need to come back with some spectacularly funny observation of a recent event, or a monstrously huge musical find, or an important breaking piece of news (does anyone read this for news? if so, i'm sorry). however, as with conversations with friends, i will try to not feel so burdened with my updates and just talk instead. most of the time people don't care what you have to say, just that you are talking to them or writing something for them to read during the horribly boring moments of their work day.

so, to all my friends...i will call you and i will tell you about my sandwich (which i did have yesterday and was f'in delicious) because i miss you all terribly and look back fondly on those days when you knew about my sandwiches.....or "we can make sandwiches".
and, to all of my readers (all 4 of you), you shall also know my sandwiches along with my musical finds and my humorous observations.

"and i knew you. the good and the bad. the days i recall being
wonderful. and i lost you. because i held it back. please tell me that
everything will work out fine. pictures taken fast. the proof that i've
known you. in albums stuck to bleach. but memories they'll keep."
- last days of april, the days i recall being wonderful

good god, i'm so freakin' emo sometimes...

songs that played:
christie front drive - about two days
maharahj - secret
phil collins - one more night
pedro the lion - to protect the family name
minus the bear - monkey!!!knife!!!fight!!!
jimmy eat world - for me this is heaven
braid - please drive faster (live)
my hotel year - key exchange



and also...

one more additional weekend note.... nacho libre is hilarious, not in a laugh-'til-it-hurts-in-the-movie-theatre way, but in a napoleon dynamite/anchorman/zoolander see-it-several-more-times-and-quote-it-for-the-next-10-years-kind-of-way.
we went to the buckhead backlot theatre to see this movie because they serve you food and boozahol while you watch the film and we thought, "what a great idea! dinner and a movie all at the same time". not much you can do wrong with beer and wine (except urinate in it) but the food was terrible, so i would not suggest falling into the same "genius idea" trap that we did....if you live in atlanta and go to movies.
however, that night did begin our string of transvestite and aston martin spottings. 3 of each within 24 hours. 
i would like some interesting thoughts on what the correlation could be between these two things....

this is your chance for redemption, let's get creative.


songs that played:
old crow medicine show - i thought you could use a little southern comfort
spoon - small stakes
converge - dead
braid - bridge to canada


the weekend in review....

as most of you may have noticed, i do not post on the weekends... i fully believe in lazy saturdays and sundays but usually end up busy beyond my wildest dreams (or nightmares). unfortunately, this leaves me with the daunting task of trying to catch up with the happenings on a monday morning while also trying to catch up with my work... i know, i didn't believe it as i was writing it either.

anyway, football notes since my last post:

- england looked like they were finally putting all the pieces together at the end. rooney pulled attention away from the others which led to a score. however, pull attention away from him and he'll score, either way works for me.
- the us played badly and over-aggressively, the italians played worse, the refs were even worse than that.
- france is not good this year, too many individuals, no team.
- brazil is showing some cracks but may not run into a team that can exploit them before they patch them.
- australia looks pretty good, i'd like to see them in the next round.
- ghana over czech republic, czech republic over usa.... doesn't take an SAT prep course to figure out the logical winner of usa : ghana.

oh, and due to the complete and utter lack of suggestions for downloads i had to go and do my own research and came up with some winners. look for reviews coming up shortly.

songs that played on my ipod while writing this post:
my little dog china - the velvis carnival
alkaline trio - hell yes
sorry about dresden - the convenience of indecision
pedro the lion - a mind of her own
sunny day real estate - waffle



wow, viva spain (i wrote spain because i couldn't figure out how to insert a tilde)...

spain 4: ukraine 0

now that is how you win a game. a very impressive display of football prowess by the spaniards, especially david villa and xabi alonso.  anyone who knows me, knows of my soft spot for all things spanish, so i was very happy to see this victory.  maybe this year will be the year that they finally put all that talent together.

since brazil only beat croatia 1-0 does that mean that spain is better than brazil.... because croatia and the ukraine are basically the same place, right?


there is no "brazil" in team...

i was incredibly underwhelmed by brazil's performance yesterday, 1 - nil over croatia is not an auspicious way to start a repeat victory campaign. yes, i understand that they got their 3 points and at least they didn't come from an own goal (like england's), but the expectations are much higher for this team.  the question for brazil has always been whether they would would show up as a team or just a group of highly-talented individuals. yesterday, they looked more like the latter.  some great individual flashes of brilliance but no real cohesive team playing. if they want to repeat and continue their string of world cup victories, then players like ronaldo, ronaldinho, and roberto carlos will have to start sublimating their own talents to the team ethos for the greater good.  if not, they might just get rudely knocked off of the laurels on which they have been resting.

'"i know you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed."...pause..."i think you can in Paris"'

5 points and gratuitous name placement on this widely read, much-linked, and infamous blog if you can guess the quote.




in summary...

well, i suppose that i asked for any number of smart ass answers if i ask such a broad question like "what music should i download"....

let's review the suggestions that I have received so far:

Dixie Chicks
Soul Asylum
Air Supply

now that's quite a range and the only band mentioned that I have ever listened to or owned anything of is soul asylum....and that was in 1994, but i really would like to listen to that again (black soldier, white fight/fill up the tank, let's go for a ride/sure like to feel some pride/but this place just makes me feel sad inside).
the dixie chicks suggestion just isn't very creative, and i think the fact that you remained "anonymous" shows that you know that, too....try harder next time.
however air supply is a brilliant pick as far as sarcastic answers go. old enough to be ironically funny and close enough to the mark to feel slightly uncomfortable, mainly because if an air supply song were to come on the radio, you would know every word or at least the chorus (even the nights are better/now that we're here together).... and by you, i mean me.

better answers:
rick astley - whenever you need somebody
tag team - whomp! (there it is)
now that's what i call music 10 (UK series)
track listing (note: my parents bought me this to go with my first walkman, and includes the brilliant pogues' song fairytale of new york)

work harder people, this isn't a game.
i expect more.
smart-assedness is life.
if you're going to do it, do it right.


"those are not spirit fingers....theeeeeeeeese are spirit fingers"




Czech Republic 3 : United States 0

there went all interest in soccer in this country...


any suggestions...?

my e-music account is about to reload with my next 40 downloads..... any suggestions on what i should look for?

this is a what is on my "saved for later" list, anything strike you guys as "must haves" or "don't waste your time"? also, possibly expect some reviews in the next few weeks, possibly not:

Her Space Holiday - The Young Machines
The Mercury Program - All the Suits Began to Fall off
The Mercury Program - From the Vapor of Gasoline
Dirty on Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens (this is a definite review, this should be super-good)
The Appleseed Cast - Peregrine
Alkaline Trio / Hot Water Music - Split EP
King For A Day - Before I Go
Elf Power - Walking With the Beggar Boys
Enon - High Society
The Get Up Kids - Live! At The Granada Theater
The Blood Brothers - Crimes
The 101 - Green Street
The 101 - The 101
Statistics - Leave Your Name
Pinback - Summer In Abaddon
My Hotel Year - The Curse



we'll take it...

so, i know that england won by an own goal... but as the title of this post suggests, we'll take it. 3 points are 3 points no matter how you come across them. paraguay is not an easy team to play coming out of the gate. just need some fine tuning to the line-up and the game plan, and a little more fluidity between mid-field and the strikers and we're all the way to the final....plus it also gives rooney some more stress-free recovery time. if the game against trinidad and tobago goes as planned (although they were downright impressive one man down against sweden for the entire second half) and england can go into the game against sweden with 6 points, then rooney can just sit and recover until the round of 16 starts.
on top of all of that, turns out that the brewhouse (as i thought) is a brilliant place to watch the matches and i was joined by 6 of my good friends and 150 of my other closest friends at 8.45am. they put flat screens out on the patio and much fun was had by all.

seguing nicely from my mini soap-boax moment in the last post about indifference to "football" in the us, the boys over at wicked chops poker have written a much longer piece about said indifference and even included a hilarious and poignant e-mail rant that i received from FOB (friend of beans), crawford. go and check it out, if not for that reason then just the eye candy alone.




so close...

well, the opener of the world cup just concludeed and costa rica lost to germany 2:4. i was really hoping that costa rica could pull that win together, but germany played well. i was very impressed with the costa rica attack, wanchope showed himself to be a world-class striker.

anyway, the tourney really starts for me tomorrow.  i will say that it is difficult being so excited about the world cup in a country that is so indifferent to this sport. all the begging and pleading won't get me out of work early on a friday (unless i take vacation time), but it will get the government and the rebels in the ivory coast to sign a one-month truce from one of the bloodiest conflicts in africa and pause presidential campaigning in latin american countries....sigh.

and apparently, getting up at 9am on a friday doesn't appeal to many of my friends, so it may just be me going solo.

go England!



in the most unlikely of places...

apparently, i am so behind the curve on music nowadays that i had to go all the way to Costa Rica to learn about an album that i am really enjoying... thank you zach and carrie and the bumpy ride to playa avellana.

ac newman is also known as carl newman, the brilliant pop songsmith who fronts the new pornographers, but to me he is the guy whose album i found 2 years after it's release date and this causes me no end of shame.  much has been said about his ability to craft pop gems as the singer of the afore-mentioned group, and this solo album, slow wonder, is no different.

you can stream or download clips of the whole album at his site and here are some full mp3's for your listening enjoyment:

::ac newman - miracle drug::
::ac newman - drink to me babe, then::
::ac newman - on the table:: (this is a clip of my favorite song on the album)

just for posterity's sake, here are some mp3's from the new pornographers

::the new pornographers - use it::
::the new pornographers - twin cinema::



response to comments on prior post...

1. no, it is not cheating to cut and paste from an e-mail, if you wrote the original e-mail... it is still something that i wrote....your opinion is wrong.
2. thank you, we'll see if it's good to be back... being as how the critics were just waiting to pounce.
3. both ellipses and sarcasm are indeed back.
4. i am back to no caps, for some reason the auto-correct function worked for half of my last post....then stopped.
5. unfortunately, anonymous, in this case, does mean wife.... if you can't do it, criticize it. (buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurn).

the real question is: who is "not my wife"? and while the answer would be "everybody else", i am curious... i thought her and my mom were the only one's that read this.



baby steps, just baby steps...

i'm going to try and work my way slowly back into updating. i'm making no promises but i'll give it a shot.
i've been on vacation/work trips for a couple of weeks but i do have a new pc at work so now i have for-profit speed at a non-profit job which equals free time to post.
i'm also using performancing for Firefox, so it makes it a little easier to just click a button and update instead of logging in and other stuff.
i'm also considering making this more of a life blog than a 100% music/poker focused blog. those things are both part of my life but i think i will start discussing other things as well, since i really don't have all that much time every day to research new poker/music stories and posts.
i might even start posting some pics of my random days.

btw, 3 days and counting to the start of the World Cup. I was in San Jose, CR 2 weekends ago for work and they are going nuts about the first game. They play Germany in the opening match of the World Cup and are convinced that they can win as the underdogs. I'd like to see it happen. One of the people i met gave me a costa rica world cup t-shirt, so if i can skip out early on friday, i might just wear it and watch the game.

concerning the world cup:

I was not satisfied with any of the printable schedules that were floating around, so I made my own...i'm a dork. I will be endeavouring to make it to the England games for definite and as I work for an international organization, I expect them to be super lenient about such an international world-changing event....in other words, I will be getting to some of these games through any number of fake doctor's appointments and general, "bye, i'm leaving, England's playing" attitude. There are other games that appeal to me and I might try to get to, time and schedule permitting.
For those of you who might be in ATL and want to hang out. The fun and games (actual games) will start at 9am this Saturday morning at the Brewhouse in L5P when England plays
Paraguay. Yes, they will be open, the games is listed on their match schedule and according to their site "all games are LIVE". The crowd, I imagine, will be excited, but probably not hooliganistic, so no trampling of fans or collapsing pubs.

maybe i will see you there...



ok, now i'm really excited

i just caught a myspace bulletin about a new thursday song, and although i wasn't overwhelmed by the previous single from the album... this is awesome. i mean it. awesome. with a capital "awe". the song is called "at this velocity" from the upcoming release a city by the light divided. very raw, ol' fashioned screaming, great breakdown, just really good.
click on the link below and then click on the album cover to stream the song.


i am now really, really excited about the thursday/minus the bear show mentioned in my last post...




oh the places i'll go...

here is a list of my possible concert schedule for this spring.... you should come by and say hi.

march 19 - thunderbirds are now - drunken unicorn
march 22 - straylight run - the loft
april 5 - death cab - tabernacle (actually sold out and i don't have tickets, any donations??)
april 8 - the sounds - masquerade
april 18 - criteria - masquerade
april 21 - still remains - masquerade
may 16 - thursday/minus the bear - the loft

see you around...




new album...

one of my favorite 80's tinged albums from a few years ago (huh?) was living in america by the sounds... a great, infinitely listenable mixture of synth pop and indie garage rock. if you haven't heard it, i would suggest it... it was a great summer album to ride around with the windows down.

the sounds have a new album coming out on March 21st, dying to say this to you, and it promises to deliver the same quality music and the same feeling for summer driving, especially with how nice the weather is in the atl right now.

go listen to the songs stream on their myspace page

for all you atl dwellers, they are playing at the masquerade on april 8. come dance your ass off...




new thursday single...

thursday has posted a new single on their site. a little bit of a departure from the screamo we all know and love from them, but starts to get catchy on the second or third listen. although, thinking about it, it is probably more in line with the musical direction they started in with war all the time. nonetheless, you should give it a fair shake and go catch them on their tour with minus the bear on the shirts for a cure tour.

come out on may 16th in atlanta at the loft and we can hang out.

****HINT: i couldn't get the media player to work correctly on the thursday page, so check the bulletin board under the "5-4-3-2-1" thread and you will find some links to a downloadable version of the song....if they are still working.



atlanta driving...

if you have 5 minutes, this is quite an interesting commentary on what it's like to drive on I-285... (just click play down below)


phil collins, a mullet, and a warbling seagull...

due to non-profit information technology, i have been blocked from communicating with the outside world during the day because all things went wrong with all computers here. needless to say, i am a couple of days late on this review...

show review:

Icons of the Underground
Dekalb Event Center
went to see: Second Shift
unfortunate enough to see: Midnight Ritual

in an attempt to fill an otherwise unexciting friday night with good music, we (me, wife, 2 good friends) decided to take a trip out to the dekalb event center to see second shift play a last second show. we looked up the directions and started on our way. 30 minutes, phil collins' greatest hits, and several loops around a strip mall that included a hispanic butcher later, we found the entrance to the dekalb event center, or atlanta live! as it is apparently also known. we parked with all the other cars and made our way to the box office window. having looked up the show online, we were expecting to pay the advertised price of $10 to get in the door, so we were all a little shocked to be asked for $16 a piece. "that's not what it says on the website, the site says $10", i said. "that's the advance ticket price", replied the guy behind the window. to which we replied, "ok, have a nice night", and turned to walk away. i had not even finshed my complete 180 before the "manager" (i assume this because he seemed to have some sort of authority to make deals) yells, "whoa, whoa, whoa. where ya goin?". "away", we reply. "why? what will it take?", he asks. at this point i am completely taken aback, having never negotiated, bargained, or bartered my way into a show before. thinking that the bands need to get paid, i always pay what i'm asked, so i am left stammering in my steps while my friend regains his composure quickly enough to state what should have been obvious, "we just thought it was $10". replies the manager, "alright, we'll let you in for that. i can't believe you were just gonna walk away..." (as if it were the most absurd thing ever). so we pay and in we go, or so i thought. in a night of concert firsts for me, i was patted down. now, i don't know what kind of shows i normally go to, but that has never happened to me before. it wasn't intrusive, just odd.
i hope you'll forgive the extensive background and description that is going into this review, but i'm finding it very difficult to portray exactly how strange this night was.
the space itself was enormous, not like in an auditorium/hall/theatre type of way but in a hotel conference center/ballroom kind of way. the walls were covered with white drapes with music notes projected onto them, with a bar lining each side wall and a bar all the way along the back wall (and based on the service, 1 bartender for the entire place). up front was the stage, set back into the wall, about 10 feet off the ground, a very grandiose positioning. but based on my pat down, it must have been that high out of necessity (very much different than the vibe at 10 high). in one corner of the room, there was a bed up on a stage with palm trees and a sign that read "Photos: $5.00", not even really sure where to begin with that. then dotted sporadically about the room were tall tables, with tall couches around them, with white tablecloths and candles. again, very odd vibe for a second shift show. we find a table to perch at, and begin looking around for any familiar faces, or even a familiar style of dress. we order some drinks and listen to dj sky, who put together a very interesting mix of old-school hip-hop that kept us fairly entertained for quite a while. oh, that and the drunk migdet looking fellow with the mullet who almost got beat up by every guy in the place for staring and then standing too close (6 inches at most) to the ladies that they were with.... fun. "wassa mattah, you godda prahblem wif me?", "no, just go back to your table", "wassa problem..." (stumble, fall).
what felt like 2 hours later, the first band came on... midnight ritual. as they took the stage, my spidey-sense was tingling that we might be in danger. the lead singer (female) was wearing a black leather mini-skirt with a white faux-fur vest and then matching white faux-fir leg warmers, the guitarist was wearing a purple velvet jacket, and the bassist had on a sleevless "spam" t-shirt. now, i'm not a fashion critic, but none of this adds up to anything good. normally any manner of dress can be forgiven if the music is right, unfortunately, there was very little redemption once they started playing. the music was a very weak stab at an indie-garage feel and the singer sounded like she was trying to imitate karen-o, but failing with the whole singing thing, plus karen-o just has an attitude and stage presence that you cannot duplicate. i wish i could say something positive, i usually try to, but there was just nothing. the faked attitude mixed with the bad music made them very unlikeable. they couldn't even give their music away, they tried, most people left it sitting on their tables.
after a break to switch out equipment, second shift took the stage.
the negatives: the sound system was obviously geared toward a more urban sound and at times the bass and kick drum were drowning out all other instruments, including the vocals. the height of the stage and the set up of the space did not lend itself toward a large amount of crowd participation which has a certain effect on a band in that they cannot feed off crowd energy as easily as they normally could, that and the crowd was standing 20 ft away from the stage and there were only 20 of them, everyone else remained seated.
the positives: every time i see baker and the guys perform, i am more and more impressed with how tight and solid they sound. they are performers and the music plays out well to a diverse audience. despite a lackluster audience, they put energy and effort into putting on a good show. the upcoming gig at the roxy on march 31st should be a barnstormer.

second shift left the stage and we left the dekalb event center....and listened to more phil collins. then we called it a night, a very strange, eventful, but ultimately satisfying night....and, thanks to a colorful cast of characters and second shift, worth every penny of my negotiated entry fee.




taking the designs of our backs...

if you like t-shirts and also cool designs then you should check out Threadless t-shirts. they accept t-shirt designs from regular folk and then they put them up on the web and have visitors to the site vote on them, and then print up a limited run of the winning t-shirt design. if your design wins you get $750 and $250 of store credit (about 16 shirts). you can also join a sort of "t-shirt of the month club" for $200 for a 12 month period, plus a $30 gift certificate when you sign up. so 14 shirts for $200.

anyway, if i could afford it, i would join. the designs are like the ones on the left here and pretty nifty as a whole.




what's the word i'm looking for...

be it vindication or redemption it doesn't really matter, because i won. weekly poker game went very well for me, all the way to the end (and 12:30am). i played a much better game and the luck went my way this time... and there was plenty of luck that came my way, i won't deny that.
that's all i have to say about that because i don't want to get yelled at for writing about this weekly event more than i apparently should be.

"...and i'm back in the game"

10 points for the movie quote.



i'm ready for my close-up...

so, earlier this year i made the joke that the mythical album chinese democracy would come out in 2006 just like i would get famous for writing this blog. turns out i may need to start looking for a manager and an agent, any takers?

leaked G'n'R tracks give fans hope - yahoo! news

of course, the tracks have been pulled down so i can't find them anywhere, i was a little behind the curve on this.

i still have mixed feelings about "buckethead" on guitar. wait, no i don't....it's a stupid gimmick, give me slash any day.




everyone deserves a second chance...

so i heard this song forever ago and dismissed it because i was pissed that the guy left taking back sunday for this gig. but i just reheard it the other day, and in all fairness it is a good song and really catchy. i think you guys will like it, its so totally emo.

straylight run - existentialism on prom night

(i don't care what you say, tell all your friends is and amazing album and i still listen to it a lot)



read all about it...

a new article is up at WCP by yours truly...

my wife told me that i should stop writing only about poker stuff (especially the weekly game) on this blog and add more diverse postings... so i put up the music post below, not because she said so, but because i felt like it. really, it was.

so i bring it to the people: do you, like my wife, hate me?
is there any other subject on which you would like to me to spit knowledge at you? like a white, severely less-talented krs-one... "because he's droppin', droppin', droppin' science, droppin history. with a whole leap of style and intelligency"...

10 points for the song reference.



making things with your hands...

arts & crafts records seems to be much more than just a record label. they subscribe wholeheartedly to the D.I.Y ethic, but not in a "we can record in my basement and print our own flyers" type of way, but in a "we can host your website, design your album artwork, manage your band, and produce your album" kind of way. sort of a one-stop shop for all indie artist needs. and it appears to be working very well for them.
the canadian indie scene, especially in montreal, has exploded recently and has become the place to seek out "the next big thing", and arts & crafts is at the forefront of this movement. of course, not every band on the label is canadian (i.e. american analog set), but it is home to some of the best (in my opinion) canadian indie acts around at the moment. the label hosts each band's website and fan forums, as well as the usual tour date listings and merch shop. here is a description of themselves from their site:

Arts & Crafts is a record label, artist management, design house, distribution and production company... dedicated to the development and proliferation of beauty and greatness in all disciplines of the arts.

Our musical roster currently consists of Broken Social Scene, Jason Collett, Apostle Of Hustle, Stars, Feist, Valley Of The Giants, The Most Serene Republic, New Buffalo and The American Analog Set .

the label also has a very familial atmosphere as members from several of the bands play in several of the other bands, with broken social scene being the sort of an all-star band. my new favorite, and recent e-music download, is the album set yourself on fire by stars. i highly recommend listening to this and then downloading the album for yourself (along with anything else that is on my list). the album is sort of a folky space-pop, ranging from swirling guitars to horns and acoustic guitar and then manufactured beats. alternating male and female vocals give for a diverse feeling on every track.


the best way to listen to the music is to click on any of the band links above and let it stream. flash players are making downloadable mp3's more and more difficult to find, so i apologize. it might just be that technology has finally defeated me.



the curse is over...

no money for me at the weekly poker game, i finished on the bubble. however, there were some very positive things to take out of the game: i played better, finished better, and i went up against pocket jacks and WON!!! it was a horribly loose call with my K-10 offsuit but i just had a feeling. when i saw the pocket jacks i started packing up my stuff and cursing the stars under which i was born....but then a king hit and the rest is just folklore. on the negative side, i'm still spending more on poker than i'm making at the moment.... although i'm pretty sure i'm still ahead on all time winnings.

i need to update my most recent e-music download list, which i will do soon. within the next few days will be a label review for some really good music that exists in canada...

some ::songs:: for your perusal:

enon - shave
the new year - chinese handcuffs
!!! - hello? is this thing on?
tv on the radio - dreams
two gallants - las cruces jail
hot hot heat - bandages
saint etienne - lose that girl
boysetsfire - requiem (NEW!!!)
jonah matranga - lukewarm (formerly of onelinedrawing)



i don't even know what to say...

taken down by a suckout jack on the river again in the weekly poker game. it really is getting ridiculous and a little scary how much one card in the deck is completely working me over. i've been trying to remain philosophical about it but i'm gonna have to start looking up spells or something that will ward off hexes and the like...

another post on WCP is coming up so go check it out...

you should take a listen to sharks keep moving it's good music, i like it a lot. very mellow with the occasional vocals. there are members of a lot of really good bands in the line up, kind of like an indie all-star jam band without any of the "neo-hippie" connotations that might come along with that. i don't even know what i'm saying... just listen to it. it will make you feel better.

here is the description from their website:

Sharks Keep Moving are a hard band to describe. They are one of the few bands that the whole "ex-members of.." title doesn't do them any good. With past and current members of State Route 522, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Minus The Bear, On Alaska, The Blood Brothers & Kill Sadie they put a lot of diverse sounds into the music, but lack the hardcore genre they left behind. The Sharks sound is different. With the best aspects of a modern indie rock band. They capture the artistic lyrics Jake Snider sings while playing the off beat and complex signatures they write as a whole unit. I often say they are what would happen if Don Cabalerro and Karate were mixed into one batch of goodness. What it all comes down to is you need to experience them for yourself. After a short break up, the band is back playing together, so expect nothing but great things for the future.

sharks keep moving
- jet's jets
- logger
- try to sleep

anybody have any post suggestions or musical finds that they would like to share?



spreading the love....

go check out Wicked Chops Poker where i will be contributing the odd poker story now and then, including this gem about....gems.

stay tuned here for more music stuff...


wholly inappropriate, but i couldn't stop laughing...

unless you have a german sense of humor, do not watch this....

commercial for german eyesight stuff, or optics, or something:



a quick set of reviews...

i have downloaded a bunch, but haven't listened a bunch, which seems backwards...

inkwell chaos reveals rhyme - picking up where he left off with my hotel year, travis (lead singer) is vocally much stronger and his pop sensibilities reside comfortably on his sleeve with his heart. this is poppy deliciousness with some guts. the glass is half awesome is my favorite song, so check it out. also visit them at their myspace page.

goblin cock bagged and boarded - what a brilliant name, and the album cover is great as well. this project features rob crowe of pinback fame and has a very unique sound. sort of a dirgy musical feel with his piercing tenor cutting through, makes for an interesting dichotomy.

portugal. the man waiter: "you vultures!" - formed from the remnants of anatomy of a ghost, portugal. the man borrows heavily from that sound and produces a very technical musical underlay with melodic, harmonious, and at times dueling, vocals. very good listen and highly recommended by this writer. myspace page.



in kind of an awkward position...

my office was struck by a version of the kamasutra virus because we use non-profit virus software .... and i'm the de-facto IT guy in the office based on the premise that i know what a virus is at all, and that's not good.

quote of the week:
"i got an e-mail attachment that looks like it could be pictures from a contact of mine in russia and it is zipped. i've tried to open it a bunch of times but nothing happens. can you help me?"

2 hours later our whole system was f'ed...

all that to say that i haven't already bailed on my "frequent posting" commitment, i've just been wholly preoccupied with trying not to lose all of my files, which failed.... i lost all of the files on my c: drive.

the network drives did survive so i'm back at work, yay (sarcastically).

more of our regular content to follow.




just when you though there was nothing good on television...

the travel channel, home of the current WPT season, has agreed to air the new Professional Poker Tour (PPT). looks like both sides finally got over themselves and their pending litigation and agreed that they would both make an obscene amount of money if they set their minds to it.
i'm actually not opposed to another poker show. i can only watch reruns of the same WSOP and WPT tourneys so many times before i start quoting the players along with the telecast... which kind of takes most, if not all, of the fun out of watching poker on tv. maybe i should play more live games instead of living vicariously through the players on tv... hmmm.

here are some excerpts from the press release:

After finalizing the deal, both organizations issued the following statement: “WPT Enterprises
and The Travel Channel are pleased to announce that they have resolved their differences
amicably and terminated the litigation between them. Both parties look forward to continuing their mutually prosperous relationship.”

“This deal allows Travel Channel to feature 44 weeks of premiere episodes of WPT and PPT
programming each year, which is great for poker fans who have asked for additional premieres, and really bolsters our ‘Wednesday Night is Poker Night on the Travel Channel’ platform,” said Pat Younge, an executive vice president and general manager of Travel Channel.

“The WORLD POKER TOUR created the televised poker boom, and the PPT is the perfect extension of that franchise to bolster our position in the marketplace,” said Steve Lipscomb, President, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises, Inc. “The WPT is the first legitimate televised sports league in history that lets the viewer at home come play with sports greats. And now, when you play in WORLD POKER TOUR events you don’t just have a shot at life changing money and instant television stardom. Win a WORLD POKER TOUR event and you immediately get a three year ‘tour card,’ allowing you to compete in PROFESSIONAL POKER TOUR events. With the PPT, you get a shot at living the professional poker player lifestyle.”

The PPT pits the top 200 poker players in the world against each other week after week. Like the PGA, you have to qualify for a tour card on the PPT – through success on the WORLD POKER TOUR, the World Series of Poker main event or other distinctions including membership in the Poker Hall of Fame. With $2.5 million dollars on the line each season and the pride of every poker great on the line, this show will help define the future of the sport. The new series features high production values, detailed story-telling and expert analysis from two-time World Series bracelet winner Mark Seif, and actor/poker enthusiast Matt Corboy. And, the all-new PPT format transports the viewer into the seat for every step of each PPT tournament. The format provides an unprecedented look into the art of tournament poker – played by the best in the business with nothing between them but chips and felt.

The five tournaments for Season One of the PPT were filmed at some of America’s true palaces of poker, including: Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, CT); Commerce Casino (Los Angeles); Bay 101 ( San Jose, CA); Bellagio (Las Vegas); and The Mirage (Las Vegas).

text of the official press release from the WPT: PDF version




when at last the animals need feeding...

so if you have been reading this for the last year or so (that might apply only to my wife and mother...), then you might remember the "emo geek revelation" that i kept building up to and never revealed.... kind of like musical blue balls (sorry mom).
well, now is that time...especially with my newly found dedication to frequent and often updates.

chris simpson is not a name that will immediately jump out at you as someone you have heard of in connection with the best lyrics ever written or some of the best music ever recorded. i could probably even mention his newest effort, zookeepers world, and there would still be no more of a flame of recognition than before. but if you like the kind of music that i do, then you have heard and probably adored some of his earlier work. when i start to mention names like mineral and the gloria record, that glimmer of understanding begins to get stronger and stronger as you remember songs like parking lot and grain towers and telephone poles...
zookeepers world is a continuation of this legacy of thoughtful, provoking, and beautiful songwriting. following his ever deconstructing sound (from mineral's churning guitars to tgr's layered atmospheric orchestrations), the songs that can be found so far are of the stripped down singer/songwriter style with the occasional accompaniment by piano and drums. the one constant throughout all of his work has been his distinctive, emotive vocals and they are ever present in these songs and still carry every ounce of emotion that they always have...
i never got to see mineral live, but i did see tgr in athens, ga (caledonia) and in atlanta (the earl)....and i will wait patiently for him to come to atlanta again, or just catch a ride with someone to austin, tx where he plays almost weekly....(anyone going?)

the "about me" section on the myspace page reads:

Zookeeper is the name Chris Simpson has chosen for whatever new musical endeavors he is undertaking. Chris Simpson used to be that guy in Mineral and The Gloria Record. Chris Simpson might have considered using his own name for his new music, but there is already a pretty amazing Christian R&B guy using the moniker. Chris Simpson, the Christian R&B guy's records can be found at pretty much any internet music site. Zookeeper currently doesn't have any records, but please enjoy these works in progress. Thank you for your time.


like i said there are only a few songs to be found, and they exist in stream only versions on the zookeepers world myspace page.
if you live in austin, tx then go and see him play at any of these upcoming show dates.




between jacks and a hard place...

"that's poker" was the mantra that accompanied my catastrophic demise at the weekly poker game and the phrase that every player, be it amateur or professional, has uttered or heard countless times when faced with the improbable "suck out". however, i feel that my battle with this particular card in the deck is more than just some fatalistic occurrence, but something more along the lines of a cosmically ordained punishment, my own personal level of hell occupied by the scourge of playing card royalty, the jacks. what to do with jacks? this is my quandary. yes, they are considered "paint", but the weakest version. if i find two of them in my hand pre-flop, i try to bet high and push out anyone who might be able to catch a better hand on the flop. if they turn up in my opponents hand, i lose all of my money... all of it, and this is the truth, no exaggerations here.
last week, after a run of bad cards, i ended up with all of my chips in with Ah-9h against, wait for it...pocket jacks, and i lost all of my money, all of it, see?
fast forward to this week and my cards, my playing, and my chip stack were much better. i had a dominant stack 5 handed and was patiently biding my time and getting into and out of hands with no great expenditures on my part. the blinds were at 150-300 and i'm sitting in the big blind. i look down at 8h-9d and watch as UTG folds, second to act calls, then a fold, small blind calls, and with a relatively weak hand, i check. the flop comes rainbow Q-10-J.... yahtzee, i've flopped a made straight. at this point, i'm pretty sure there are no A-K hands out there as i would normally expect a pre-flop raise with that kind of hand, so i decide to slow play and check my straight after the small blind checks. fourth to act then raises, small blind folds, and i take a look at my opponents stack and raise enough to put him all in, $1550 in total. he thinks about this for a while, during which i put him on maybe top or middle pair, he hit the Q or J. eventually, he calls...i turn over my straight and he holds onto his cards which is fine with me because i can see the despair in his eyes. the turn comes J which does not cause me any great concern because a set does not touch me. then the river, another J hits.... at this point i need to see my opponents cards, especially with a full house possibility out there. he turn over Ks-Js (a little bit of a slow roll but i'm too stunned to notice at the time)....you have got to be kidding me, quad jacks? that is when the room started spinning.... from that point on, i was beyond tilt, i was upside down and even though i still had a decent stack , it felt like i was the small stack at the table after that beat. i ended up about 5 hands later with all of my chips in the middle with A-J offsuit. i ran into an A-Q held by a bigger stack. could i catch a jack to stop my tilt? of course not... and so i ran screaming from the room tearing at my eyes trying to rid them of the image of runner-runner jacks (ok, i made that part up).
i feel like i might have been more philosophical had he caught an ace to make a higher straight, but quad jacks? it still burns me after a couple of nights of sleeping it off, can you tell? i was a 2 to 1 favorite...
but as everyone to whom i have related this story says, "that's poker".



hey lady, there's a big fat whale in your boat...

let's go sailing hails from LA and produces a wonderfully dreamy, piano driven, space pop sound that soon finds you gazing wistfully out of the window of your downtown highrise wishing for a field to lie in and warm sunshine... sorry, carried away...

anyway, i guess the best way to describe them is to let them do it themselves:

"Let's go sailing is full of rainbows and fairies. But it also has a darker side...It is full of lost and neglected stuffed animals found at the side of the road."
In November of 2002, Shana Levy left Irving to pursue Let's Go Sailing. She asked friends Tanya Haden, Nikki Monninger, Brent Turner and Byron Reynolds to work on an album's worth of material and soon enough they began recording on a demo with Chris Chandler (Flaming Lips/Modest Mouse/Elliott Smith) and Rod Cervera (The Rentals/Weezer). The recording process quickly gained momentum and, with the help of Chris, Jim Putnam (Radar Bros.), and Ben Mumphrey (The Pixies/Frank Black), they decided to make a hi-fi record independently. The result is the 11 song LP "The Chaos in Order." A limited self release of 3 songs from the cd is available on the website and at independent record stores in Los Angeles including Amoeba and Sea Level Records.
according to their site, there is an lp due out in spring '06. let's hope that this will propel them outside of california and possibly to the east coast.... might i suggest atlanta?

::songs:: (all stream only)

- all i want from you is love
- heart condition
- better off

(ed: i would post the files, but i think that you should go here and pay $5 for their ep and support local music....so, nah)

you can also visit their myspace page.

many thanks to my good friend michael "the nubs" for discovering the song and to "the wife" for finding out who sings it...




i heard "chinese democracy" is coming out this year...

and who knows, this time it might be true:

Axl breaks his silence (Rolling Stone)

right, and i'll get famous from writing this blog...



my apologies...

as was pointed out, the white octave song links in my previous post are only samples... sorry about that i didn't realize that they were. deep elm has started doing that lately, which is disappointing (not that they don't have every right to do that, just a personal disappointment).
but you can now stream the entire album on their website:

white octave on mywire.org

turn off your pop-up blocker... if you want to do that.



with the best intentions...

since i plan to be updating more often, i now have an RSS feed that any of you crazy aggregator types can subsribe to....


it will also now be on my sidebar for future reference.

any thoughts on whether or not i should drag myself kicking and screaming into the 21st century and join myspace?



oh the cards, damn the cards...

i couldn't catch a decent hand to save my life last night, and if i did i couldn't get any action on it...just terrible. i made it to the final table but that was just barely by the skin of my teeth. the hand that did me in was the best i had seen all night. blinds were at 150/300 and my stack was right at 1750. i was sitting in the big blind and look down to find Ah-9h. we were 7 handed and first to act folds, second to act (big stack) raises to 650, then everyone folds through the small blind to me. i raise to 1200 and 4th position (now my arch-nemesis) quickly goes all in so i had "no choice" but to call. he flips over pocket jacks, i catch nothing and then start sobbing into my supplicating hands. needless to say, a frustrating end to a frustrating night....yarrrrrr.

after last night, i'm thinking about changing games and playing a lot more california hold 'em.... what, you haven't heard of this? then just wait 'til my twelves bust out your elevens!! ....seriously, wait, it will happen, soon.




i have been gone for oh so long...

but i have listened to a lot of music and played some poker. i didn't get rich while i was gone because you have to spend money to make money, blah, blah, etc... however, i did fairly well...placing second behind a good friend in the weekly poker game hosted by WCP . i will also now be playing in this game a little more regularly and hopefully getting into the points system that determines winners for each "season" of play throughout 2006. i will keep you updated on how that goes... winning is everything though, i need a bankroll to keep playing.

as far as music goes, the best thing that i can tell you to do right now is to go and sign up for e-music (seriously, not just for my benefit...for your own wallet's) and download all of the music that is listed on my sidebar under "most recent downloads".... seriously, i can't help you if you don't help yourself....like god, only with music and not anything else.... oh, and i also own your soul.

most importantly, get the latest album by criteria, when we break.

rising from the ashes of one of my personal faves, the white octave (which itself finds its roots in another stalwart of my collection, cursive), criteria takes the white octave sound and smooths it out a little and then plows forward. their first release, en garde, as their website puts it, was "criminally overlooked", but what they did get was attention from indie powerhouse saddle creek records. their follow-up LP, when we break, was realeased in august to critical acclaim and saddle creek has re-released en garde as a result. listen to it, its good, i promise.

"i'm stuck in a basement world..."


from en garde
- it happens
- me on your front porch

from when we break
- prevent the world
- run together

::other related tracks::

the white octave - style no. 6312
- appeals for insertion
- call the kiss
- style no. 6312

cursive - such blinding stars for starving eyes
- retirement

(ed: cursive has gone on to bigger and more brilliant things, but this album was the only LP put out with Steve Pedersen on guitar, who later went on to form the white octave and criteria)