Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's about time I got out of PA

The Gunshy: Daytrotter Session

When my first exposure to a band is in concert, assuming that I find it enjoyable, usually accords them a special place in my heart. That is the case with The Gunshy. He made the trek to Houghton, MI twice, which at the time was extraordinary. Both shows were solo, acoustic affairs, with awkward stage banter, and I think that is how I will always prefer him, but the full band arrangements here are pretty alright with me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm working on my backwards walk.

5 Steps to a good day.

1. Drop off graded lab notebooks.
2. Work on Statistical Mechanics assignment (due Friday) for five hours so that it is nearly finished.
3. Pick up "Midnight Organ Fight" by Frightened Rabbit at the local record store.
4. Play it very loudly on the stereo.
5. Wonder if it is possible to stop listening to it...

Frightened Rabbit: MYSPACE

Monday, April 21, 2008

Black sheep boy

Pitchfork TV is presenting the Ultimate Reality DVD by Dan Deacon & Jimmy Joe Roche all week. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm sure it is awesome. Go check it out.

Ultimate Reality DVD - Chapter One

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Safety is a word that I've learned

I've been restless lately. In Houghton that was okay. I'd just head out for a walk. I don't feel quite as safe walking around here at night. So I drive to Walmart with a craving for Jones Soda and chips.



Saturday, April 19, 2008

Do what you love

Happy Record Store Day! Organized by a collection of independent record stores, today is the first ever Record Store Day. This meant in-store performances across the country, crazy deals, and freebies. The quality of the in-store performances depend on where in the country you are. Being in Maine, I wasn't expecting much, so I didn't even try to be around for the show. I did stop by this morning to collect a free 7" from Merge Records featuring Destroyer, with Wye Oak on the B Side.


I picked up tickets for the Dan Deacon concert, as well as the "Matchbook Seeks Maniac" 7-inch by Deerhoof. This started a series of singles listening this afternoon, including Panda Bear and Of Montreal. I'm very very very glad I own a record player.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

From around here


I made it to my first band concert tonight since being at UMaine. It's not often that I've sat in the audience during a band concert, and I hope to keep it that way. I plan on trying out for the Symphonic Band next fall. Assuming I make it in, this will be the first really good ensemble that I've been in. The Wind Symphony at Michigan Tech was okay, but definitely has their faults. I'm not saying that the UMaine Symphonic Band doesn't, just that they are better. The only problem is that I've talked a big game, like I was positive that I would get in upon auditioning. I am not sure if I will be good enough to make it, so I definitely plan on practicing this summer. Actually, I plan on practicing tomorrow even. My clarinet hasn't been out of its case since last semester, and I know I will have time late tomorrow afternoon. I have to start again sometime, so I should definitely do it when I'm inspired.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And they call it puppy love

There are some things that I feel should not exist. This falls into that category: Celtic Thunder, essentially a touring Celtic boy band with members ranging in age from 14 to 29. I saw a commercial for their cd this afternoon and had to cringe. The following video featuring the youngest member of the group is really the most horrible thing I can imagine. So please watch it.

The bees' knees

I'm more and more excited about the Dan Deacon show with each passing day. I found the above video on the Facebook event page for the concert. And I unfortunately found it right before I wanted to go to bed. I have a feeling that no matter how hard I try I couldn't fall asleep while listening to "Spiderman of the Rings"...

I only played chess once in my life and I lost

News from my backyard:

Social experiments are neat.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I sewed them into a sail and left

I decided to treat myself with my income tax refund and ended up getting myself a new digital camera, the Nikon Coolpix P60. It is truly a step above any digital camera I've ever had. There are two programmable modes, one which allows me to change the exposure and the camera changes the aperture and shutter speed accordingly, and one which allows me to choose the aperture setting and the shutter speed. It has vibration reduction and an electronic viewfinder in addition to the large LCD screen. It also gives me the option of taking up to 8MP pictures in standard size, 35mm ratio, and widescreen. And of course the only things that I really have to take pictures of lately are my knitting projects, plus one of the most useless things that I've ever purchased.

These are the first Noro socks that I finished.

And these are the Noro socks that I am currently working on:

I really really like how this pattern (Gentlemen's sock with lozenge pattern from "Knitting Vintage Socks") works with this yarn. Unfortunately, my fears were true and my first attempt was definitely too big. I plan on doing one less repeat of the lozenge pattern and going up one needle size. I'm sure that will do it.

I managed to catch the end of the last Woot-Off and bought myself a Woot screaming monkey!

I did my best to take a picture so that it looked like it was flying.

I made one of my best music purchases of the year last week, the latest album from The Mae Shi, "HLLLYH". I listened to the first song and just was blown away. I can't say that the rest of the album disappoints either. I'm not the biggest fan of their earlier material, though I do enjoy that too, but this is just a step up for them. Originally I thought that the religious undertones of the album would put me off --I avoid Christian rock like the plague-- but this, along with "Rise Above" by Dirty Projectors have been getting serious amounts of playtime lately.

I got the best ever music related news this weekend. DAN DEACON IS PLAYING IN ORONO ON MAY 3! I don't know how to explain just how awesome this is. I told the good news to my office this morning and got empty stares. I do have one officemate who knows who Dan Deacon is though. After this concert/dance party, Sigur Ros and Kimya Dawson will be the only acts on my "must see before I die" list.

Dan Deacon - "Crystal Cat"

Sunday, April 6, 2008

There is no sorry to be sorry for

Little has been accomplished today, well not much that signifies accomplishment to the average person anyway. I restarted the Gentlemen’s sock with lozenge pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks using the Noro Kureyon sock yarn that I had leftover from my fingerless mittens. I got past the cuff this morning and I definitely think the thick stripes in this yarn will stand up better to the pattern than the hand-painted I was trying earlier.

The only other accomplishment I had today was reading the entirety of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s new book, Things I Learned From Knitting... Whether I Wanted To Or Not. As an avid reader of her blog, I have a feeling it was her retelling of an unfortunate (but humorous because it wasn’t me) morning that reminded me to get to the bookstore. It was a quick read, but full of the wit, humor and honesty that makes her such an endearing character (at least from a knitter’s point of view).

Of musical note, I can totally see myself becoming a Dirty Projectors fan. Great great vocals. And I rediscovered Apparat Organ Quartet and why they are my second favorite band from Iceland.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I froze my hand, broke my fingers off, gave them to my friends

I think that I'm going to have to downgrade my eMusic subscription. This was the toughest time I've had filling all the downloads. That is said even with the swanky new in-browser song previews they have. This looks to be one of my best hauls yet though. (I hope I don't say that every month.)

"No It Cat Oh!" by My Robot Friend: I got this mostly because it has a new version of his song "Walt Whitman" on it.

"Rise Above" by Dirty Projectors: So much hype, and Nat Baldwin plays/played? bass for them.

"Lost Notes From Forgotten Songs" by The Six Parts Seven: Their usual instrumentals get some vocal treatment from many sources, including Will Johnson of Centro-Matic, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, and Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse.

"Street Horrrsing" by Fuck Buttons: I liked the previews, I like the idea.

"Vuvuvu" by MSTRKRFT: This is just one song. I read an interview about this at one point, how a member of Justice said that MSTRKRFT's music sounded like "vuvuvuvu", and this song was named.

"[Everywhere][And Right Here]" by The Six Parts Seven: I've been hella digging slow shit lately.

"Things We Lost In the Fire" by Low: Until I can no longer read about it in blogs or find out on Facebook, I will be tied to the musical happenings of Houghton, MI. Low recently played at Keweenawesomefest 2. I bought "Drums and Guns" preemptively and dug the hell out of that. Now I have more.

"Ghost Tropic" by Songs: Ohia: Because there is always room for Jason Molina.

"On Avery Island" by Neutral Milk Hotel: I had twelve downloads left, this was twelve songs long. It had been in my save-for-later list basically since I opened my eMusic account. Plus it is NMH. End of story.

And earlier in the week I downloaded the new EP from Mason Proper, "Shorthand", and was over-excited to hear the song "Friendship" which I particularly remembered from Keweenawesomefest last year. It's echos of "I froze my hand, broke my fingers off, gave them to my friends..." are something you don't forget easily.