Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our New Years Eve Plans

Wii not pictured.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Icelandic Ice Baby

Will I lose all music cred if I go out on a limb and say that I don't understand the collective obsession with Bjork and any and everything she does? I like her enough to have a few albums and some random remixes, stray track, etc. I liked her first album, but even that takes a little dedication for me to listen to in one sitting. Maybe it's her voice. Maybe it's the "artier than thou" attitude that seems to come along with everything she does.

Oh well, I made it through and feel better for it. It's like when you go for a run after not exercising for a few months and you want to quit the entire time, but when you finish you feel that much better about yourself. That's what I feel like when I listen to Bjork's music.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Otto Van Bismarck

This summer, our friends Chris and Adam (from one of the best bands that exists) came over from the Bellingham/Seattle for Dead Hipster's Friend Friend Friend Fest and introduced us to two bands who were playing in the festival. The second night of the Festival we invited both bands over to eat Burgers and Mussels, The Bismarck being one and The Russians being the other (who we'll get to in a few years at the pace I'm going). Both bands were charming and fun to hang out with.

After their set, The Bismarck opted to drive home to Seattle, so I picked up their two LPs to help them get gas money for the trip. This was way back when gas prices were insanely high. Their first LP, "What Price Victory," hits hard and has pacing that most bands wish they could match. Their second album, "Blood of Patriots," easily would have made it high up my favorite albums of 2007 if I'd heard it the year it came out. It's one of those albums that can only be described as epic. Definately worth paying any price to pick this album up.

The Bismarck definately doesn't bring the weak shit.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jeffreys: The Next Viral Internet Star?

Probably not. But this marks the introduction of video to this blog. Sure I've linked to videos, but these are the first videos produced here our apartment. Darcy took these amazing shots with her cell phone, hence the quality.

Feel free to share with your friends and mock me for my falsetto voice. I take it as a compliment.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

They Say It's Your Birthday...

Well, it's not my birthday, or anyone I knows birthday, but I just listened to Nick Cave's early work in the band Birthday Party. They aren't the easiest band to listen to, but they do really rock. It's weird to listen to Nick Cave being so loud, since he really mellowed out quite a bit after moving on to a solo career, but his new project Grinderman, is definitely a direct descendant of the Birthday Party.

Speaking of Birthdays, next up were Birthday Suits, an amazing duo from Minneapolis. I first saw these guys at the Raven, and have since missed them only by mistake or accident. The drummer half (Matthew) might well be the most talented drummer I've ever seen live. He plays these weird poly-rhythms that sound perfectly in time. And he has fun while he does it. The guitar/vocal half (Hideo) can't be contained by any mere stage. From the first note to the very last he jumps, runs, slides, climbs, kicks and crashes all over the place. But not in the hardcore punk way that you worry about him hitting your girlfriend or impaling himself on a mic stand. And also not in the fake scremo way that makes you think he reherses his flailing in time to the songs and has every move choreographed. If you ever get a chance, see Birthday Suits. At the very least, buy any of their cds or records you can find. Here's a picture I took of them at Total Fest a couple years ago.

Did I mention that it snowed a skiff last night? Then it melted. But I can hardly be counted as the first Missoula blogger to notice snow this year. I'm still waiting until I can take my shovel out for a spin.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Weather Outside is...Actually Pretty Nice

It's now delightful inside, though. We just finished trimming our tree for this year. As an added bonus we got to be one of those people driving across town with a tree strapped to the roof.

If we get any snow this year it will be a "Christmas Miracle!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Can I Kick It?

Yes I can. I love the smell and look of brand new Converse in the morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Still No Snow

Here we are two days into December and there still isn't any snow in the valley. Crazy. It's one of those gray, rainy days today, but that rain just might turn to snow at any time. I'm thinking today might be the day.

At least gloomy days are good for hunkering down and listening to some music. Right now Billy Corgan's solo album "TheFutureEmbrace" is playing. It sounds like a collection of B-Sides from his ex-band/current band Smashing Pumpkins' "Adore." I didn't really mind that album, and it had the bonus of showing Pumpkins' bassist D'arcy wearing a see-through, mesh shirt in the liner notes. "TheFutureEmbrace" would have been more aptly titled, "ThePastEmbrace," since it seems to showcase Corgan regressing to the late nineties. I can't say that I hate it, but the fact that I can't say I hate it embarrasses me quite a bit.

Last time I posted I was listening to Belle and Sebastian, who seem to write all of their songs in the key of that yellowish-white color you see in ancient Polaroid pictures. That isn't a bad thing at all, although I could do without most of "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant." But "The Boy With The Arab Strap" and "If You're Feeling Sinister" are both great ways to spend a lazy afternoon reading to. Darcy has been obsessed with "The Life Pursuit" lately, and so I've listened to it quite a bit, and have to say I enjoy it. It's definitely their best post-2000 release.

Next up was Ben Folds Five. I like 'em. Sue me.

I endured listening to my own songs, which as a casual aside, are the only five-star rated songs in my iTunes library. Actually the only rated songs period. The finished songs are on my myspace page and the rest are not ready for public consumption yet. Or maybe ever, we'll see how it goes.

I listened to Beth Orton's "The Other Side of Daybreak" and Big Boi's "Speakerboxxx", neither of which were very interesting, besides two remixes on Beth's disc by Four Tet and Roots Manuva.

Then came Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys whose album I picked up because of the phenomenal cover.

Then came the funk. Bill Cosby and Quincy Jones put out an amazing jazz/funk album of songs from The Bill Cosby show. There's a great review and a link to "try" the album at the HIPtotheHop blog. When you get to the download page, click on "Request Ticket" then a download link appears.

I need to update more often to avoid these long, long posts.

Monday, December 1, 2008

These Paper Towels are Awesome!


These beauties were 10 for $10 at Albertsons last week. The most awesome feature? I guess it is supposed to be the cookie recipe on each towel, but I would say it's the fact that they are a generous 2-ply. Awesome!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update It Like a Microsoft Security Update

First off, I think this is fantastic.

Since we last spoke I judged the election, which Obama won. It wasn't as hectic as I thought it would be. I was at my old precinct, so I saw tons of people I knew. It was awesome to see so many young people vote. Do people my age still count as young? Not really, but young-ish I guess.

I also listened to my complete Beck collection. I used to look up to Beck immensely. Mutations was the first album I woke up early for and showed up at the local record shop to buy the day it came out before the store opened. Also their shipments didn't come in until later in the day, so I just waited around the store until he opened the box. One Foot In The Grave and Stereopathic Soul Manure are both essential listening. I lament the fact that he seems to be so stale lately. Modern Guilt seemed to be a spark of something to look forward to, but I think his stupid religion is the main problem.

More on that really, really stupid religion:

Scientology - South Park Style
Vezi mai multe video din Animatie »

Then I listened to the entire Beirut discography. I like his style, but I'm not sure I'd listen to it everyday. I still give him a thumbs up.

Now I'm into one of Darcy's favorite bands Belle and Sebastian. But just barely, so more on that soon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Massacre

Halloween. I was a gut-shot, field-dressed moose and Darcy was a hunting Sarah Palin. Unfortunately we have no other pictures from later in the night. Fortunately, the camera made it home.

I'm going to bed early, since I have to get up at 5 am tomorrow to judge the election. In the words of Puff Daddy, "Vote or Die."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Slashing Pumpkins

It's that time of year again! This weekend we carved up a new batch of pumpkins. I think we put last year to shame. A gratuitous action shot.

Our friend Scott picked out and carved pumpkins with us. I like how straight I made all of my cuts, but his turned out scariest. "And Darcy took home the "Too cool for school" prize with the sunglasses and cigarette.

Then we put the pumpkins out on the steps to guard our front door during the Halloween week. You can see Darcy's pumpkin better in this one too.

We also coerced Candice to carve a pumpkin later that night. She put us all to shame by completely finishing in 15 minutes, while we each spent about 40 minutes on ours.

And finally it got dark enough to light the candles and let the pumpkins shine. They look awesome. We also used Martha Stewart's tip about carving out the bottom of the pumpkin rather than the top. It works way better, plus, the top is the coolest part of the jack-o-lantern, so why hack it up just to pull the guts out?

I didn't even try to cook the seeds this year. I should have, but neglected my culinary duties. Last year I didn't come close to finishing my batch. I think it will only make me that much more dedicated to cooking them next year.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Beach Boys!

The past few days have seen me listening to my collection of Beach Boys albums. The Beach Boys may be my favorite "rock and roll" band. By which I mean my favorite band from the 50's and 60's. Why?

-They were a surf rock band that didn't actually surf.
-Their vocal harmonies are spot on.
-Every song is either super fun or hauntingly beautiful.

Their story is also one of the most fantastic in music history. Dennis, the drummer, had ties to the Manson Family, Brian used to put his piano in a sandbox to get an authentic "beach sound" and stopped touring with the band early on to write the music for Pet Sounds, the song Good Vibrations is (allegedly) about animals being able to psychically detect vibrations from humans and distinguish between good and bad vibrations, and on and on.

As a final note, anyone that's into music should own Pet Sounds and Sunflower/Surf's Up - my two favorite albums. (I don't count Smile because it is truly a Brian Wilson solo effort.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Circle of Steel Reserve

Last Wednesday, when I came home for my dinner break, I saw a curious brown paper bag on our doorstep. Written on the outside were the words, "For you." I was a teenager once, so I was immediately a little concerned about what the contents of the package might be. I gingerly opened it up, and found a Steel Reserve tall boy with a note attached.

The note reads, "To the folks who leave cans on the dumpster - Thank you. Today, while walking on the trail and picking up trash this Brown Bag was spotted, and ho - A large unopened can of Beer. Thought of you. Enjoy."

Pretty cool. We always leave our used cans on the side of the dumpster, so people who pick through the trash for cans don't have to get dirty and crawl through our other trash. I mean, they are recycling it, so everybody wins. And even though Steel Reserve is far from my drink of choice, when the weekend came enjoy we did. What's the saying, "Don't look a gift beer in the mouth?" Something like that.

Both Darcy and I seem very hesitant in the pictures; the beer was not very good. But I finished the whole thing, and then completed the circle of life by leaving it out on the dumpster with a thank you note.

Also, don't worry, I've been diligently listening to the B's in my iTunes. One regret? The Bacon Brothers album is already in the past. Oh well, maybe in a few years. Here's a list of the albums I've listened to since my last post:

Bad Religion - New Maps of Hell (meh)
The Bambi Molesters - Dumb Loud Hollow Twang (awesome Croatian surf rock band recommended and loaned to me by my co-worker Sasa)
Band Of Bees - Free the Bees (good)
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time (not as good as Band of Bees)
Basil Poledouris - The Conan the Barbarian Soundtrack (epic)
Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold (how is this not Tori Amos?)
Battles - Mirrored (even epic-er)
Bauhaus - Burning From the Inside, Gotham, and Mask (Bauhausian)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Oh my God, it's a fire! sale

Recently found and purchased from the Hastings bargain rack. Total cost $3.49.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome to B & Bs!

Remember B&Bs? I do, and it was one of my very favorite stores while I was growing up. I bought a majority of my CDs there before I thought to go to an independent record store. In retrospect I would recommended an independent music store, as they would have most likely steered me away from the first Hootie and the Blowfish album and the No Doubt "I'm Just a Girl" Single. And yes, I'm a guy and bought the "I'm Just a Girl" single. Lay into me if you want to, but I was young and thought Gwen Steffani was a little bit cute. Now, however, I wouldn't really even consider touching her with a ten foot pool. Either way, support your local record shop. I assume most of you are Missoula folk, so check out Ear Candy, my favorite and unbiased best place to buy music in town. If anyone reads this and buys music anywhere else, you're off base, make some changes. Seriously.

Listening to the Bs started with the B-52s, but ended up with a few favorite albums. First up Babyshambles. Say what you want about Pete Doherty, I know I have, but he comes up with some pretty solid tracks. I only have "Down in Albion" but it still rocks. When the Libertines first came out I was one of the first to naysay, but the Babyshamble project gives me hope. I'm a real sucker for drug-addicted, so-called geniuses. Even if they aren't geniuses, and I would never, ever, call Pete Doherty a genius, I'm always captivated by the press and story that follows them, Brittney Spears, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G. (to be fair), and all others. There may be a few others, but I couldn't list everyone for obvious reasons.

Next was the Bad Livers. I love Bad Livers. They have a great name, and they also love a great pun. I've always heard that the band started out as a punk band and then turned to bluegrass so they could play faster. Bad Livers rule. I recommend the album "Industry and Thrift."

Up next was a personal favorite Bad Neighbors (link is a joke, have a sense of humor). Bad Neighbors are possibly my very favorite hip hop group. Don't make me choose. If you really want to experience real hip hop, Buy their album here. Like Hip-hop? You don't if you haven't heard Bad Neighbors. Bad Neighbors are part of the Sandpeople. Sleep at your own risk. Seriously, they are so much better than any other hip hop group that exists. Check the bottom of the post for a track they posted on their myspace page. BUY THEIR ALBUM. I won't say more.

Check the link down below, and also check it for a Bad Livers track.

Bad Neighbors - The Trimvirus

Bad Livers - Lumpy, Beanpole and Dirt


I've finally made it to the Bs in my iTunes collection. Only three months after starting.

The As were survived by Avril Lavinge, who I have to say is somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. Each album (I have all three) has one or two good songs. But listening to them straight was a bit of a challenge, which is why it took so long to finish.

The Bs started off with a couple of B-52s tracks from their new album, which sound just like the old B-52 albums. I'm glad, because I'm not sure if I could take them coming out with some new concept album that critics adored. Some people need to stick to catchy pop songs.

Now I'm off to celebrate at Brooks and Brown, the Holiday Inn bar, right next to my house. It may be my newest favorite happy hour in town. 4-6. $4 domestic pitchers, $6 microbrew pitchers, $4 Martinis and $3 Wells.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hi Mom, So Far I'm Getting All A's

I still haven't gotten out of the A's. Anyone with me till the end? It'll be a long haul. But fun.

So this picture is me playing music at one of my good friend's weddings. All you need to know about that is that I was coerced into playing "The Chicken Dance," "Greased Lightning," and countless other songs that made me want to die. Plus, I spent the last hour just getting onto the Children Theater's WiFi and playing the audio from YouTube. But, I did have a lot of fun. People danced more than they ever did at the Palace, so I should feel like a real DJ.

I've been slacking on my music listening, I blame politics. I spent the last two weeks watching the Republican and Democratic conventions. Some of you may know that I'm an election judge; others may not. So I feel like I should pretend that I'm politically unbiased. That wouldn't be true though, so if you want to know what I think about this election so far take a look at this...

That said, I would rather vote for any third party. Since Montana has little to no sway in the electoral college, I would rather vote for a viable 3rd party to get them equal federal campaign funding. Obviously a two party system doesn't work, so let's make a real change. No offense to Obama, but he doesn't represent the change I'm gunning for. Whoops! Let's not talk politics on this blog. Anymore. know I'll be talking politics sooner than later. The book that got me into politics, read it.

In music news, I'm just starting Atmosphere's "Strictly Leakage" (download here, scroll down a bit and download from one of their two options) after listening to a lot of their old stuff. Strictly Leakage is hella dope. Yes, I said hella. The new album ("When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold") doesn't compare to this fun, funky, old-schoolish, party album. Cop it for free and see why Slug is one of the dopest rhymers in the game today, not to mention Ant's banging beats.

Speaking of people hating on Slug...wait, that was mainly me a couple of years ago, and totally out of line. I was convinced that Slug had fallen off in the years right after "Seven's Travels," but still wouldn't miss his show at the Other Side. I showed up after imbibing a few too many and proceeded to drink way too many black russians, especially considering the state I showed up in. To make a long story short, Slug killed it and I ended up finding him at the bar since Missoula is a tiny town with tiny towns that don't have green rooms or backstage areas. I told him that I showed up ready to heckle and that I thought he'd fallen off, but he totally proved me wrong. I'm sure that was slurred and didn't come out eloquent at all, but he looked at me from under his hooded sweatshirt and simply said, "Yeah, whatever." Even then I knew it was a great response. If I was in his place I would have wanted to punch me in the face. Great restraint Slug.

After listening to "Strictly Leakage" while writing this, I would again stress that you should download this album. It's a straight up classic. Plus it's free, so what's your prob, son? Or should I say, "dun?" They'll be at the Wilma on September 16th, so cop a ticket.

B's are coming soon I swear.

Friday, September 5, 2008

[Citation Needed]

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Michael Jackson in "Scream"

Why do At the Drive-In scream so much? I think they might be one of my favorite bands if it wasn't for the lead singer's almost emo delivery. The music is great, the lyrics are more than decent, but the kills me. I can't knock them though, they put out a lot of great music and spawned a pretty decent group after breaking up (some people have less respect for them than I do).

Before At the Drive-In, I listened to both of Ashlee Simpson's discs. Here producers are amazing, and the albums are poppy. I wouldn't claim they're necessary listening, or even recommended listening, except for the song "L.O.V.E." which can't be missed or forgotten. If you have no way to hear it, let me know and I'll make sure you have an opportunity.

Also from my playlist was Ass-End Offend. Awesome. When BMMS was playing on a regular basis we played with them on a regular basis. I think we might have even played together at Jay's Upstairs once. And at Area 5 more than once. I tried to look up Area 5 on google and came back with here's a quick primer:

Area 5 was a venue in Missoula run by a crazy artist named Victor. Basically, it was his apartment/art venue and facilitated shows on an almost daily basis. Each show was BYOB and all-ages. It was virtually a creepier, beta version of the Raven, which I'll talk about later, when the time is right. At Area 5 you had to walk through Victor's living space to reach the only bathroom in the area. The venue itself was very similar to a garage with a few salvaged theatre seats on the walls. Oh, and there was an old barbar chair on one side of the room. Volumen, Oblio Joes, International Playboys, Montana Karl, Racetrack, Visqueen, Sex With Girls, Sasshole, and countless others all played there. We had a sort of residence there, since Victor thought we were "artsy" and edgy (notice the lack of quotes on the second adjective; saying we were edgy is a definate understatement). The fire cheif of Missoula ended up shutting down the venue due to a personal vendetta. There were a couple of reincarations downtown, but they didn't last more than a few months. Victor is said to have moved back to Los Angelos, where he moved to Missoula from.

This is what I'm drinking right now, and it is delicious. Olympia and Rainer are my new Pabst...I'm just saying...

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cat Days of Summer

It's hot. Just ask my cat. He's almost melting off the table because it temperatures regularly reach 90 - 100 degrees in our apartment when the weather is like this. Plus he's covered in fur.

I listened to the single worst album as of yet in my alphabetical trek through my iTunes catalog. I've always claimed to like him more than his song stealing, egotistical bandmate but never again. I'm talking, of course, about Art Garfunkel. His album "Some Enchanted Evening" isn't even suited to be played as elevator music on a ride down to hell. To say that it was boring would be a compliment. It was offensive to every musical sensibility I have.

Luckily, the next album up was Asahi's "Head Above Water." There's more to like about Asahi than the fact they're named after my favorite Japanese beer. They played Jay's Upstairs in support of "Head Above Water," and my roomates and I were the only people there (aside from the regular Jay's patrons sitting at the bar not paying attention to the music). I'd just come back from Bellingham, WA and had met the guy who put out their album, so we chatted briefly after the show and all of us got free shirts and I picked up a copy of the album, which is great. It was one of my go-to sleep albums for two or three years. If you ever see it, do yourself a favor and pick it up. The lead singer/songwriter, Tomo Nakayama, has now moved on and started a new(ish) project called Grand Hallway, which is equally great.

In other news, Darcy and I have been hooked on a Wii game called Super Swing Golf. It's totally anime and lame, but fun. So that's been consuming a lot of our time. I'm not sure if I mentioned how awesome the Wii is. We've played the Wii at least twice as much in a month as we ever played our X-Box 360 during the 10 months we owned it. So much more fun. I just wish it supported DVD playback out of the box, that's a little frustrating.

Finally, it's starting to cool off a little bit. Time to get back to the fake golfin'.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fair Weather Friends

Mmmmm. That's me eating a tater pig at this year's fair. The weather was actually perfect, it poured rain while we lost money playing bingo and that cooled everything down enough to enjoy the rest of the day. We had a great time riding the Ferris wheel, checking out all the exhibits (Including my friend Bess' best of show picture of Obama), and watching a hypnotist. Good times.

I've still been listening to my music alphabetically, don't fret. I'm just going slower than before. It's been a British invasion of Arctic Monkeys and Art Brut with some Arrested Development in between.

I remember proclaiming the Arctic Monkeys the next big thing when they released the I Bet You Look Good (On the Dancefloor) single a few years back. I think they've come into their own and now headline festivals all over Europe. I like their sound and the way they sort of rock out more than most.

Speaking of rocking out, Art Brut is a great band in small doses. The talk/singing gets a little annoying, but the band really gets me with their old-style, almost classic rock sound.

And Arrested Development gets all the credit in the world, they put out both "Tennessee" and "Mr. Wendal." Enough said.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I was in Minnesota for the past week, hence the lack of posting. Here's proof.

...and now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Miracle of America

Darcy and I met up with my parents in Polson to check out the Cherry Festival (which was pretty non-eventful, except that we found a couple of great used books) and tour the Miracle of America museum. Outside was a what appeared to be a tribute to Joey Lawrence.

The main building was a hodgepodge of lots of junk, going in a very loose chronological order starting with the Revolutionary war. After that it sort of broke down to being a WWII museum with little pieces of freak show-like exhibits.

I was glad to see they had a fool-proof security system in place. Although I'm not sure that asking a question about an exhibit is an "integral" part of security. Maybe you use it to alert the old lady at the front who takes your money that the two-headed calf has come to life and is wreaking havoc on tourists.

The overall theme of the tour was patriotism. I don't remember exactly how one sign put it, but it declared that after a war with the United States, those nations that accepted our way of life and followed the principles of democracy "usually prosper." Hmmmm. Maybe...

Outside was hodgepodge of vehicles and buildings that would be an amazing set for a horror movie. Think the creepy town in "The Hills Have Eyes" meets a haunted carnival from Scooby-Doo. They even had old, creepy sounding music blaring and armored personnel transports from the army driving around.

Now I'm back home listening to the last strains of Arcade Fire's "Neon Bible." Which is good, but doesn't compare to "Funeral," which I listened to yesterday. Sandwiched between the two albums were a couple of Arcade Fire covers I'd completely forgotten about - "Naive Melody" by the Talking Heads and "Born on a Train" by the Magnetic Fields. Both great songs, and I think Arcade Fire do them both justice. You can find them both here.

Before that I tackled my Aphex Twin collection and the self-titled Apollo Sunshine disc. Apollo Sunshine are a decent band, but not very noteworthy. Aphex Twin (Richard D. James) however is one of my favorite electronic producers. I won't go too far into what he does, but I've always found him to be cutting edge, original and a little bit creepy. When the "Come to Daddy" video came out, it flat out terrified me.

...and now, on to some Architecture in Helsinki.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Paradise

This pretty much sums up Missoula in the summer.

Even spending what seems like all of my time at work, this summer has been pretty great. It's been hot, but not too hot. Shorts and T-Shirt weather, my favorite.

I spent yesterday afternoon and this morning listening to hours of Animal Collective songs. "Strawberry Jam," "Sung Tongs," and the "Water Curses" EP. They're one of those bands I feel like I have to like, which makes me sort of hate them. So hip and obscure. I feel like they were a bunch of band geeks who discovered drugs at an early age and never had any non-hipster friends to make fun of their pretentious, "atmospheric," warbley voiced music. I do think that Panda Bear (one of the members) is talented and like his solo efforts, maybe because his album Person Pitch sounds like B-sides of Pet Sounds, one of my all time favorite albums.

Luckily, the Animals "A's, B's and EP's" came on just in time to save me from a spiraling descent into hipsterdom. I really dig the Animals, to use the vernacular of the time. The organ lines are so deep and full sounding. I usually hate all the Essential Collections or Best ofs, but this album encompasses all of their great songs, not necessarily just the hits. It really is all the tracks I need from them in digital form.

And before I forget, here's the aftermath of the fire last week. The fire clocked in at over 300 acres, didn't harm any people or structures, and was the best excuse the town had for drinking beer outside on a non-holiday Thursday night. Overall, it was a success.
I'm going back to some reading and eagerly waiting for Darcy to get off work so we can slurp down some oysters at Finn and Porter's happy hour. Maybe now that Arriba's is closed and I'm getting into oysters this will be my new favorite happy hour. There aren't that many other contenders out there, so we'll see.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We Don't Need No Water...

Mt. Sentinel is on fire right now. This is the view from outside our front door.

Anyone that makes a Grateful Dead "Fire on the Mountain" reference will get a beat down...seriously.

Split Shift

Today was another beautiful day in Missoula. This summer's been great since the rain and snow stopped. We don't even have any forest fires like the ones in California so we can still actually see the mountains. And unlike a certain cat, the bat did not come back the very next day, or any other day so far. Our bat wasn't the only one in the news.

I had to be at work early today for a "team building" session. Not really my cup of tea, but we were treated to cookies, doughnuts and pizza, so it was worth it. At one, I was set free to enjoy the afternoon before returning to work in about an hour to finish out the day. What did I do? Listen to music of course.

Yesterday, I listened to Amon Tobin's "Foley Room," which could only be described as "lush." Here's a trailer for the documentary detailing the creation of this album.

This afternoon I started with AmpLive's remix album of Radiohead's "In Rainbows." There was a little bit of controversy over this album, but once Radiohead heard it, they were all for its release, assuming he didn't charge anything for it. It's one of those cases where creative commons licensing could have come in handy and saved everyone a lot of trouble. Download AmpLive's album here.

Up next? Amy Winehouse's "Frank." I've heard she despises this album, this being my first solid listen I think its pretty good. Lots of classic hip hop beats with her great voice. As long as it lasts, I guess. She's got a good chance of turning out to be this generation's Janis Joplin.

There were a few random tracks between Winehouse and Andrew Bird's "Solider On EP." Andrew Bird used to play with the Squirrel Nut Zippers, a band whose album "Hot" will always remind me of 7th Grade. Bird has a legion of fans who love his virtuoso violin playing and whistling, I'm not that well versed in his work. This EP was sold on his European tour, and somehow I ended up downloading it. It was enjoyable, but it didn't convert me into a die-hard fan.

I had to sit through this guys album.

Enough said.

And now I'm enjoying The Angry String Orchestra's tribute to Guns and Roses in all of its glory. I'm somewhat of a sucker for instrumental tribute albums, especially to bands like Guns and Roses. Welcome to the Jungle from this album makes it on to a lot of mix cds I make for people.

Whew! It's almost time for work...again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gone Batty!

We woke up this morning to a bat hanging on our back window! It was pretty cool, and hung out (literally...haha) for about 10 hours today. All of our neighbors stopped by to take pictures and otherwise ogle the poor beast, but it seemed unaffected. About 45 minutes ago, Darcy and I sat and watched as it slowly woke up, scratched himself, pooped and flew away. I've never been close enough to watch something like that and it felt really cool. I really never knew there were many bats around here, but it makes sense. I hope it eats all the bugs in the backyard, since they've been horrible this year. More pictures here.

This weekend I listened to two Alice In Chains albums, "Dirt" and "Jar of Flies" which were a total blast from the past. Their MTV Unplugged album would be the greatest of the unplugged albums if those pesky Nirvana fellows hadn't gone along and recorded one of their own. Jay-Z's wasn't too bad either. But I digress. Most of their unplugged material was culled from the above two albums and listening to it made me feel like I was in 8th grade again. In a really good way. They actually made beautiful instrumental tracks that were never really appreciated or remembered, at least by me anyway.

After that was the All Girl Summer Fun Band's self-titled album which, for obvious reasons, is best listened to in the summer. It's really fun and reminds me of some of my favorite Missoulian ex-patriots Razz 'm Tazz. I miss being able to see them play, but I think they'll be at this years Total Fest, which I'm totally looking forward to.

In other news, Darcy and I got mimosas and spyed on a particularily creepy wedding at the Holiday Inn near our house this afternoon. The couple seemed to be in for a lot of "enduring" and "leadership," if the words of the preacher were to be believed. I really don't want to end this three-day weekend, but time is running short, so I'll sign off here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

...One Week Later

So, It's been a week since I've updated. It's been a hot week. Our apartment is consistently reaching temperatures in the mid 80s during the day. We have a couple of fans, but they don't really do much to help, but they keep the air moving. That being said, I'd rather have this heat than the extreme cold of a Montana winter. Soon, Darcy and I will be going to movies just to escape the heat. Last year that resulted in us watching "License to Wed," a film I would not recommend to anyone.

On the music front, I spent the tail end of last week listening to a forgettable hip hop album from Akrobatik called "Balance." Not awful, just sort of there, with a couple of nice beats and an above average flow, but nothing to write home about.

Then I moved on to the Alan Parsons Project. I started with the classic 1981 album "Eye in the Sky." Despite it being made in the 80s, I still felt like I needed a Quaalude to fully understand the 70s style soft rock. Speaking of Quaaludes, have you watched the new show "Swingtown" on CBS yet?

It's a great show, and perfect for summer. I've really been digging it. Watch full episodes online here.

Then other Alan Parsons album on my computer was "Tales of Mystery and Imagination," where Parsons creates a soundtrack for the works of Edgar Allen Poe. IT's good, and really good music to read to which I did.

I relived some of the 90s next with Alanis Morissette's classic "Jagged Little Pill." I've always maintained that whether or not she meant it, her song "Ironic" is the best definition of Irony, since none of her examples of Irony in the song are actually ironic, which is by definition Ironic! Awesome!

In the midst of the Alanis listening I got a call from one of my oldest friends Jake, who lives in Sweeden, saying he was in town. I went out and had a few beers and cheese fries with him and caught up on old times. It was nice.

Now I'm listening to Alice Donut "Donut Comes Alive," which sounds exactly as it should, being on Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles (link slightly NSFW) label. More soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What (Really, Please Tell Me) Am I Listening to Today?

This band. From Morocco. They're called Aisha Kandisha's Jarring Effects and I had no idea at first why they were on my computer. I had to rack my brain as well as the infinitely knowledgeable brain of google to remember that I have their album "Shabeesation" because Bill Laswell plays bass on it.

Laswell came into my musical sphere with his involvement in Praxis with one of my favorite guitarists Buckethead. But on reading his wikipedia entry, I've been listening to him in one form or another from Motorhead to Herbie Hancock. So big ups to him.

The album isn't your standard world music affair, of course. There are off the wall samples and the beats range from house to hip-hop. They delve into a dub version of a song about racism and have hand drums galore. It's actually really interesting to see how they fuse traditional Morocaan music with Bill Laswell's craziness, imagine Herbie Hancock's "Future Shock" if it were produced in Africa, then take away the electro 80s vibe, then you'd be getting close.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Air Up There

Remember that movie? I would have been 12 when it came out, and I think there's a real possibility I went to see it in the theater during the "cheap kids movies in the summer" thing they used to have.

Anyway, I'm listening to the French-electro band Air, and I'm a little embarrassed that I only have their newest record on my computer. I remember their album Moon Safari being a really big deal when it came out, and I have it somewhere in my piles of compact discs in the basement. I'll have to get them all uploaded, but it will be to late for this listening unfortunately.

Last night after my 80s hip hop moment, I listened to AFX, the first moniker donned by Richard D. James. But more on him in about a week or so, when I get to the meat of his work.

I'm in the process of installing Firefox 3 Portable onto PRBLMSLVR, my trusty thumb drive. I'm stoked, since I hope it will solve a scripting error I've been encountering on my portable firefox lately. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lookin' For The Perfect Beat

After a little break, I'm back to my iTunes collection. I started with the one Afgan Whigs album I've uploaded to the computer, 1965. I've always liked the Afgan Whigs, but they haven't ever stood out as a big influence on me. That's one thing that I like about going through my collection this way, it forces me to revisit stuff I wouldn't normally. Like Afrika Bambaataa.

I'm listening to the only full album of his I have, which is the Looking for the Perfect Beat retrospective of his big hits between 1980 and 1985. I recently thumbed through a great book by Jeff Chang called Can't Stop Won't Stop detailing the orgins of Hip Hop, and attempts to define the "hip hop generation," of which Afrika Bambaataa plays a large part. He would unite all of the different burroughs of New York, and literally march between them when others stuck to their own neighborhoods, to gather kids together for block parties. To say he is a legendary and influential artist in the world of hip hop wouldn't come close to describing Bam, so I'll stick to this: I love the hip hop sound of the 80s that Bam helped shape. The old school 808 beats, the non-sensical words shouted out at during choruses in place of hooks, the fun that is epitimized in tracks like Unity Pt. 1 ("Peace, Unity, Love, and Havin' Fun" is the opening chant)...simply awesome.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Alpha Bits N' Pieces

Right now I'm listening to one of my favorite albums, Aesop Rock's "Labor Days." I've talked about Aesop Rock here before. All of his stuff is great, but "Labor Days" is by far his masterwork and an example of a perfect hip hop album.

Getting to Aesop Rock led me to another realization about this A-Z experiment; iTunes classifies some albums as compilations, which will appear after the Zs of normal albums. So I have more Aesop Rock and others that seem like they should be in the As at the end of this project.

In unrelated news, I went to the Missoula Osprey's home opener against the Billings Mustangs.

The Osprey lost, but I found solace in the fact that the Mustangs are the Cincinnati Reds farm team. The Reds are my team, so maybe this bodes well for their future. Baseball is one of the only sports I can sit and watch, so it was fun. Plus, my co-worker Gail got us great tickets behind the plate, although I don't think there is a bad seat in the tiny stadium.

The only bone I'd have to pick is that they advertise stuffed pretzels that are not filled with any discernible stuffing. It wasn't bad, but maybe they should call it something else. I was expecting cheese or some filling, not just jalapenos in the dough.

Oh well.