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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"I don't believe you...you're a liar!"

I greatly enjoyed Part I of Martin Scorsese’s “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan” on PBS last night. It was really powerful. I was crazy tired watching it, but couldn't turn it off. Very impressed with how intelligible Dylan was in the interviews.
I've always had Dylan archivist friends, but I was never one of them. This production has made Dylan much more accessible, even if he is an enigma.

Looking forward to Part II tonight.

Here's a great link exploring the Judas shouter during the historic Manchester, England show, May 17, 1966.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Dangerous Dolphins

No this isn't about the NFL, it's a bit harder to believe then that. According to the UK's Guardian, armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Guess we are far from seeing all of the destruction that's following Hurricane Season 2005. I'd love to hear some follow-up on this story. The very thought doesn't do much for this country's image. Read about it here.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hokies

I have college football fever. Well, just the Hokie strain. My alma mater is kicking some serious butt. This season they've outscored their opponents 161-23 and today's lonely touchdown by the Yellow Jackets is the first one allowed in 14 quarters since the opening drive of the season! The ABC televised game wasn't shown in my neck of the woods (wouldn't you think VT would be shown in VT?), so I went to the local sports bar, but to no avail (only Redsox and Tiger Woods). I ended up following it on ESPN's Gamecast. Crazy thing is this picture. It shows the score, but that's not the score! The real score is on the bar up top with all the others. Pretty crazy. But a blowout is a win. I just hope they don't follow what they've done so many times before.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ok Go KO'd

OK Go's latest, Oh No, was crafted by the hand (of Tore Johansson) that created the hits by Franz Ferdinand and everyone's favourite Cardigans. This self proclaimed "fun band" plays summery music which conjures up memories of jamming That Dog's Retreat from the Sun songs and drinking Capri Sun on my parent's suburban porch. But Pitchfork isn't too kind to that warm-fuzzy imagery, as they rated OK Go's latest release an abysmal 2.2. 2.2! That puts them in the cellar BELOW the Pitchfork hated Ryan Adams (even though everyone agrees Heartbreaker is amazing, his 2003 Rock N Roll received a 2.9).

I haven't listened to enough Oh No to give it a fair and honest shake, but I do know that their home-made video for "A Million Ways" is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. The foursome perform an amazingly choreographed dance routine that blows away both Michael Jackson's Beat It fight scene and Paula Abdul's dance sequence in her video for Straight Up. It's hard to believe that they did the video in one take. That's a whole lot of practice.

Check their dancing skills at Higher Ground on November 3rd.

Ok GO - A Million Ways.mov

My Morning Jacket - Z

The hair masked reverb maestros are back at it again with their "indie" rock balladry, this time adding on more layers of spacious guitar rock. I was completely blown away when I saw them on a cold winter's night few years back at the old Higher Ground. It was raw and it rocked. And now with an appearance in Cameron Crowe's latest, Elizabethtown, portraying a local band rocking through a cover of Lynard Skynyrd's classic Freebird, and the Oct. 4th release of Z, the MMJ train is at full steam. Why MMJ has been labled Indie vs. Rock I just don't know. Their albums have always sat in my collection between the southern rock greats Molly Hatchet and The Outlaws, not GBV and Pavement. Many thanks to My Yellow Country Teeth, here's the leaked album available for your listening pleasure:

My Morning Jacket - Z

I just don't want to hear any "Freebird" yelling at future MMJ shows, but I think it's too late for that.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sufjan Stevens

I had the distinct pleasure to see Sufjan Stevens a week and a half ago at La Tulipe in Montreal. I rode up with fellow Central Vermont blogger false45th and spent the ride talking music. Since he has already given a great rundown on the show, I won't go into much detail. Suffice it to say the sound quality was top notch, the crowd was respectful, the venue was cool, and the performance was excellent. It was fun to hear a performer espousing his adoration for all things American (specifically US not generally N.American) on foreign soil. Here's a link to a similar show from this tour (thanks again false45th):

Sufjan Stevens - Live at the Bluebird, Denver, CO - 6.29.05

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Bangor? I Hardly Knew Her"

Spent most of last week in Bar Harbor, Maine (I heard the title's phrase three times while visiting). The trip really lent its self to photographs, but not much more. Between damp weather, a sick family, and oh yeah work (the reason we were there), we didn't get to do too much. But it was nice to be out and about visiting friends and seeing new sights.

Speaking of traveling, I recently came across this site which chronicles the travels of a couple of Canadians. In 2001 they went on an adventure visiting every tourist trap in the 48 contiguous states and in 2002 they traveled the perimeter of Australian on a tandem recumbent quincycle. Their sites are amazingly detailed and includes (fun, but) unnecessary information such as a photo and information regarding a kid that kept them awake while camping in the Smoky Mountains. It's a great time waster. The wife and I have taken plenty of trips, but never thought of chronicling them in this way. Personally I don't know if it's worth it, as I'd much rather be experiencing then recording. But it's fun to live through someone else's experiences.

The winds continue to blow

Frank Rich wrote a fantastic article in yesterday's New York Times entitled Message: I Care About the Black Folks. It's a must read.

And here's the second song that I've come across which responds to Katrina. It's a remix of Kanye West's Gold Digger with fantastic new rhymes.

Kayne West - Gold Digger(Bush Doesn't Care About Black People Remix).mp3

Thanks DJ for the article and anonymous for the the track (nice kicks!).

Monday, September 12, 2005

Pigs Fly

I'm so glad that this is starting to happen. It has taken dire circumstances, but now the "alternatives" are starting to crop up. In this case Biodiesel is being sold on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, VT. I clicked this a few weeks ago while sitting in traffic. I'm not sure the circumstances (are they using pure biodiesel? a blend? what's the cost difference?), but the fact of the matter is that Shell is selling a renewable fuel. I'm going to keep tabs on this one.

"The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal-tar products of the present time." - Rudolf Diesel, 1912

UPDATE: All I had to do was a little searching. Looks like they are doing a B20 mix. It's a start.

Friday, September 09, 2005

avant-pop

Sigur Ros has always intrigued me. Beautiful no doubt, but at times the sound and concept is too much. It's the same as Cornelius' Fantasma, perfect for certain circumstances. A niche sound that fits very specific situations, it fits them like a glove. It worked for Vanilla Sky. It's worked wonders during long flights gazing through plastic windows. This all makes sense given the fact that they are Icelandic (a place that I've never visited, but nearly purchased a ticket 3 years ago given the crazy shoulder season travel deals). In my mind Iceland and Sigur Ros are the same thing; intertwined and one in the same (the real question is what sound can do that for the USofA?). I've enjoyed owning Ágætis Byrjun (Good Start), but it doesn't get played enough. Maybe the fact that I haven't been needing a melodramatic soundtrack is a good thing, but the Sigur Ros sound is something that I do long for.

Well that's been corrected. Starting today Myspace is hosting Sigur Ros' entire new record for stream. Takk is slated for release next week, perfect timing for making it the soundtrack to the ensuing stick season.

Avant-pop manifesto

Great Intentions...

Today's Times Argus is running an article about Vermont ski resorts offering jobs to Katrina victims. On the surface that's great, but how logical is that? My wife had a hard enough time transitioning from a Georgia upbringing, but the Gulf Coast! New Orleans' average high temperature in its coldest month is 62 degrees, versus 26 degrees in Warren, VT (not to mention if that person was working a lift). I'm curious how many people will take the industry up on the offer. According to the article Massachusetts was prepared to accept 2,500 displaced people but cancelled the effort because few people wanted to relocate there. I don't think a ski mountain can be any more attractive.

And on another interesting Katrina note (this should be my last), major rewrites are needed for Die Hard 4: When Nature Calls. The original script had John Mclaine dealing with tidal waves in New Orleans. Good thing it wasn't into production or it would be scary telling (just like this National Geographic article from October, 2004).

Stoking Fires

It's taken me too long to post. My last dry spell was blamed on Delaware (always a foolproof excuse for any occasion), but I've got no good reason this time. The closest I can get is that I've had the Dish turned back on. And amazing luck had us stumble upon a free week of HBO and Showtime right in line with room on my DVR's hardrive. So if my excuse is the tv, then that doesn't bode well for the future. But I'll try. I promise.

I can't go forward without mentioning the tragedy. This event took place on a magnitude that very few could of imagined (even though it was predicted, contrary to Bush's assertions). It has turned into a gigantic reality check for this country. It tests our morals, priorities, and beliefs. Every person in this country has been touched by Katrina. Members of my wife's family has lost their homes, leaving one person spending his days in a Georgia hospital. Despite the death, destruction, homelessness, disease, pollution, corruption and general havoc that has surrounded this event, rays of the positive have already started shining. The outpouring of goodwill has been amazing. Last week approximately 35 tractor trailers reached the gulf coast from Vermont filled with donated supplies. Ten families in the small town of Barnard, Vermont have opened their doors to refugees. A country void of leadership has found direction within itself. Neighbor helping neighbor. It gives me hope.

TV On The Radio -Dry Drunk Emperor.mp3

This is the first tune that I've come across that responds to Katrina (thanks Stereogum for the heads up). TVOTR states "it is our hope that this song inspires, comforts, fosters courage, and reminds us... this darkness cannot last if we work together. let us help each other... heal each other.... look after one another ... the human heart is our new capitol.... this song is for you....us.....we....them..."