Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hey Dude Ranch

I only wish this post focused on Hey Dude. Instead, it's a return to my iTunes library, where I listened to Blink-182's Dude Ranch. It was the only album from the band I've owned, or even listened to fully. I have to say it has it's moments. Songs like Josie and Dammit are still pretty listenable. I like the fact that at this point, the band still pretty much sucked. The vocals are terrible, the instrumentation is rudimentary at best, and for that reason it really becomes punk rock.

Even though I don't think I would or could stomach listening to the album as a whole again, I'll always be OK with hearing a single track here and there while the iTunes is set on shuffle.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Anaconda Don't Want None...

Last weekend, I went to Anaconda for a library conference called Offline. It focuses on computers in libraries, which is pretty much what I do for a living. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you may have noticed a bizarre post Friday. Those were my notes for the presentation I gave at the conference. I was demonstrating how easy it is to convert a Google Doc into a blog post, then I forgot to delete the post. It is gone now, though.

While I was in town, I visited the Washoe Theatre. It's this crazy, authentic building that hasn't really changed since the thirties.

We got a tour from the historian/usher who has been researching the place for ten years or so. It contains one of the last true silver screens in the country. Maybe the last, I was more concerned with getting a decent picture in the dark than I was with listening most of the time.

The lobby was amazing. This couch also looks like my couch, so I thought I would take a picture. The background of the painting was real gold flakes that were "painted" on. Pretty cool.

I wish I could say I stayed and watched a movie, but they were playing Yes Man with Jim Carrey. There was no way I could bring myself to watch that. Even at the ridiculously low price of 4 bucks. So I went with some like-minded librarians to get a drink. I was heckled for choosing to drink Rainer in a can. A decision I stand by.

On the way back to the hotel, I spotted this gem of a store. It was a dollar store called "Justa Dollar," which offered a Lay-Away plan. There must be circumstances I don't fully understand, but it's funny nonetheless.

Well done Anaconda, well done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pat's Pills

In my quest to work my camera better, I took my first manual mode picture of a person. This is Pat, taking some America pills to make him more patriotic. Actually, they were some sort of antihistamine, but still, I like the Red, White and Blue.

And what better than to wash it down with a can of Sparks?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day in Butte, America

First things first, Butte gets a bad rap. It is a little deserved, but uptown Butte is one of the coolest places in America, if not the world. The buildings are awesome and old. Everything is dripping with history. Which is why I decided to take Darcy there for Valentine's Day. She didn't know where we were going until we turned on to I-90 going east. She correctly guessed our destination before we'd driven a mile.

Merle Haggard was playing in town, but on the wrong side of town for us. He played at the Butte Civic Center, which is in the gentrified "McDonalds" side of town, so we opted to sit the show out. Trying to get a hotel room was almost impossible because of the concert, so we ended up staying at Eddy's Motel. This was the view from our front stoop.

Since this was Darcy's first time venturing into Butte, I figured we should get the Berkley Pit out of the way right at the get go. We weren't so lucky, since apparently the observation deck was closed for the season. I'm not sure why they would close, but I think they charge a two dollar fee to look at the pit. We tried climbing up and around, but they actually piled dirt in the line of sight, so you have to pay to see one of the most toxic bodies of water in the country. This is as close as we got.

We had late dinner reservations, so we wandered around uptown to grab a few drinks while we waited. I'd heard rumors that the seminal bar M&Ms had closed down, but we saw lights on inside, it was open! We had a few beers and talked to the new owner who actually had relatives in Blue Earth, the tiny town in Minnesota where Darcy is from. The bar was awesome, and we heard stories about Obama, Schweitzer and countless other politicians who have all stopped to grab a drink or a bite to eat.

We stopped back at M&Ms in the morning for breakfast and had to wait almost 40 minutes just to order. Still it was worth it. I ordered my standard greasy spoon breakfast: bacon, eggs over easy, hashbrowns, sourdough toast and coffee. Usually you get about 3 pieces of bacon, but here I got a whopping 5 and a half! Sweet. Plus, Darcy got a free beer because we had to wait so long. We hit the road back to Missoula right after breakfast. We were itching for a quick drink on the way home, and planned on going to the great sounding "Chalet Bearmouth." It was closed and for sale. We ended up going to Harold's in Bonner, and wound up in the middle of a jamboree.

Apparently, once a month a bunch of old guys get together in Bonner, Alberton, Frenchtown, basically anywhere that isn't Missoula. There was sporadic dancing, and at one point a false arm that had been modified with a guitar slide on the end sitting on our table. One of the best random stops we could have made.

Butte was great, of course we aren't the first Missoulian's to visit Butte recently, Mitch and Melissa(and Ludwig of course) and Christopher recounted their adventures in Butte, America on their respective blogs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back in Black (Part 2)

Alright, just like Amy Winehouse I'm back to black.

The next artist I listened to was Black Milk. Kanye West thinks he's the voice of the our generation, but he should watch his back for the next producer of our generation. Black Milk's beats knock. No one would call Black Milk the greatest lyricist out there, but I don't think anyone would bestow that title on Kanye either. The two albums I listened to were his masterpiece "Tronic" and the mixtape he released leading up to "Tronic," which features Marv One - one of the great freestyle rappers out there. Observe.

Switching gears completely, Black Sabbath was next. Can anyone explain to me how this band came up with "Paranoid," one of my favorite albums I've heard thus far in my iTunes listening, and also can produce such crap. By crap I'm talking about albums like "Tyr" and "Technical Ecstasy." In their heyday, they were underrated and amazing. Later, they became overrated and tired. Too bad.

I have one Black Velvet Elvis track on my computer. Something that pains me a little bit. I would count all three members of the band among my friends, but I don't have a copy of their album. All I have is a copy of My Daddy live on KBGA, which is awesome. I didn't see a copy for sale at Ear Candy last time I was there. So if anybody has one, let me know. I'd be happy to pay for the album and the shipping if need be.

Then, up popped Blackalicious. I love their old stuff. "Nia," "Blazing Arrow," and "A2G" all rank in the top of my high school hip hop albums. I have a personal problem with the group, though. I've gone out to see them twice, and they've canceled both shows. I think they don't like the winter in Montana, but too bad. Because of that, I've lost respect for them. One thing I do respect is that they sampled Nilsson, of "Put the Lime in the Coconut" fame in one of their songs. That same album gave the Oblio Joes, my favorite Missoula band ever, their name. So props to them for picking a good song to sample.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


We played dominoes with our friends Mitch and Melissa tonight. Over the course of the game, I caught this shot of their cat Isabelle.

I know, I know, now Isabelle is the "other" cat on this blog. But I swear, it meant nothing.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Alert But Defiant

Our new camera showed up today! It's not really anything too special, but we've been without a decent camera for quite a while now. I realize I've leaned too heavily on camera presets in the past, so I'm going to try and post at least a few photos a week shooting on manual mode. Here's my first, Jeffreys rocking it "Orange" style. That's alert but defiant, if you didn't know.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back in Black (Part 1)

Despite what you might have seen on the blog, or not seen, I haven't given up my quest to listen to all the songs in my iTunes library alphabetically. Let's start getting caught up. I have lots of artists whose name starts with Black.

Up first? Black Elk. These guys are way heavier than 90% of the music I listen to. I remember seeing these guys at the 2005 Total Fest. The one that was out on Ronan Street and saw the cops show up multiple times because bands were playing outside. That was also the weekend I discovered Sparks. Ahhhh, memories. For metal, these guys are pretty melodic, so they earn a pass in my book. The only album of theirs I have is "Always a Six, Never a Nine."

Then? Black Francis, who was the frontman for one of my favorite bands of all time, The Pixies. Most of his stuff is released under the name Frank Black, and I only have last year's Svn Fingers mini album from his Black Francis moniker. Most of the album isn't very good. But the track, "When they come to Murder Me," might have been my favorite rock song of 2008, so the album is worth picking up. I'm also a Charles Thompson (his real name) completist. Or more like aspiring completist, so not buying this wasn't an option for me.

Black Kids came next. I really like these guys. They might be my favorite of the pop/disco/punk wave bands that exist everywhere. When they first came out they were hyped by bloggers near and far, then sort of forgotten. I hear their catchy single "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You," everywhere. It was prominent in Nick and Nora's Infinate Playlist and tons of other movies. Their next album will be big for them. Either they'll make it, or fade into attention deficit obscurity, like so many bands that got big becuase of blog hype.

Now I'm going to get down to some serious studying. I'm taking an online class on Public Library Administration. It was hard at first to get back into the swing of doing homework on my days off, but now it seems normal again. Stay tuned for more from the "black hole" of my collection.