Wednesday, November 16, 2005

13 x 19

i'm looking for a frame for a Jay Ryan poster print that i picked up at the Andrew Bird / Martin Dosh show that i went to last night. The print is an odd size, about 12.5 x 19. I have since discovered that 13 x 19 is somewhat available around.

what a pain, i should just back it with poster board and cover it in plastic.

while i was investigating, i saw that someone else on ebay was also looking for a 13 x 19 frame. he was a little adamant about it.

"I'm looking for a 13" x 19" black picture frame for a vintage art print. DO NOT RESPOND WITH SIZES OTHER THAN 13" X 19" OR YOU WILL BE REPORTED!!!!!! Thanks!"

for a second i thought that it was Pat incarnate. but then there was the "Thanks!" business.

and then, someone posted that they had a 16 x 20 frame available. is there any justice in this world?

i wonder if that person got reported.

i can't imagine. i looked at his feedback profile and he is the ideal ebayer. if ebay was an academic institution he would apparently get an A++++++++++++ .

a patriot is he.

an ebaytriot.

hmm? oh yah, the Andrew Bird show. the man is awesome. i suppose i'll post on that. maybe a little later.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Hung Up Live

This is not meant to be a Madonna obsessive blog, but she's captured my attention with the nifty song.

She performed live at the MTV European Music Awards to a rapturous audience.

You can DL the clip (about 20 MB) here

or if they don't allow direct links, look here

Even while singing live, she can still bust out my favorite move:




Thursday, November 10, 2005

Space Invaders meet Mega Man


On a cold night in Boston, I walked down Mass Ave over the I-90 overpass near the Virgin Megastore and saw Mega Man charging past. and i said "hoo-wut?"

i looked like yet another crazy man as i pulled my camera out and took flash (because it was night) pics of this feat of awesomeness. Perhaps one person shared my joy enough to point out that i was the 3rd person she'd seen taking pictures of it. Everyone else, however, had only the idiotic city-presence of mind to walk by and ignore everything happening.

Yes, I have a kinship with the little Blue Bomber after guiding him through many tricky levels deftly trying to avoid his destruction. However, this work of art means more than just revisiting boyhood (and teenagerhood, and adulthood) fascinations. This is frikkin cool. Its the kind of street art that is seemingly done to great effect in bigger cities like NYC and in many European cities.

Here is an example taken by someone else in Harvard Square -CLICK-

After getting some comments, I've found that this may be a part of a big international Space Invaders street art meme. ( Check out an example ). Its been taking place all around the world. I think this is much cooler than the pre-packaged bull of the Obey Giant stuff which i found cool for 2 seconds. Though, rest assured, its already packaged itself and at the afore-linked-to website, there are sneakers and posters and t-shirts for sale at ridiculous prices.

Seeing the Space Invader creatures gave me traumatic flashbacks of playing Defender for the Atari 2600. A similar looking game, but light years more technologically advanced. You have to save the humans from getting snatched by aliens and then turned into mutants that mess your s*it up. Playing this game as a child, i couldn't deal with the task of saving the humans from being snatched by the aliens. At the same time, i knew that you didn't necessarily have to do this in order to play. I don't know if you could actually win by doing this, but i basically killed all the humans, thus destroying the planet, mutating all the aliens into really hard to beat buggers and making the game incredibly hard and pointless. It speaks volumes for laziness.


So that was cool.

To see more of my Flickr pics, please check out the link on the right side.

To see the collection of pics of the Space Invader Flickr Pool: Click HERE

Saturday, November 05, 2005

the Madge ick

This one sort of hit me out of nowhere.

Ria is correct, it is "delish". but i won't say it because i would feel like i am taking a job away from an old Jewish man at a deli. or perhaps i am confusing this with "knish"es. i dunno.

anyway. Madonna, new single "Hung Up". Sometimes i am very happy about my faith in pop music.

Apparently the new album (including) this single is produced by modern new-wave man Stuart Price AKA Jacques Lu Cont AKA Les Rhythmes Digitales and it shows. from the beginning there is a churning electro synth to get the dancefloor bubbling, it kinda sounds like electro mixed with hard vocal trance. this is combined with a processed flute that sounds like it comes from the Doctor Who theme. Which actually makes sense. Its a rather heroic-sounding dancefloor burner.

The lyrics show an odd pop naivete combined with Madge's pseudo new age knowledge-bringin. They ride on the swirling rhythms. "time goes by so slowly" "i'm hung up on you" "ring ring ring goes the telephone". "tick tock"s to go with the ticking clock (a direct reference not heard of since... when Gwen Stefani did it, also to great effect on her "what you waiting for?"). But it works. There are cliche expressions of frustration, obsession, half-wisdoms in them along with stuff about not calling (thus the "hung up"). Like a great Kylie track the genius is in the simplicity. As long as it inspires you to the dancefloor and is not too purile, then please go right ahead.

The video is also awesome. That is if you can get past Madonna yet again showing that yoga is a wonderful thing and is the fountain of youth. Or at the very least limberness. I can't do any of that sh/t nor can most of my friends. She goes into an aerobics studio solo with a super boombox. This is combined with scenes of people in various urban settings with the same boombox going crazy with the dance moves. From Madonna herself, the best dance moves since Noodle's in DARE. and that was some crazy turn-shuffle-hop-skip shiz. Plus, she ends it with a huge scene in an arcade, with a Dance Dance Revolution footpad as her stage.

my cynicism would make me say: "She's clued in to the kids, man!" with dripping sarcasm. However, when she is leading the crowd with that disco move of the spinning arms in front of you up in the air (... gah, look at the vid to see what i mean)

At any rate, this is great to lose yourself in the moment dancing.

you can view the vidness if you click HERE

so i'ma dance. i'll work on my writing skills later.

Listening to:
Madonna 'hung up' (obviously)
Annie - DJ Kicks (f-ing awesome mix)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

NU pride

I just got wind of the Weekly Dig's DigThisAwards 2005 and I just had to share a few of their "Best of Everything Else" awards:

college rowdies
If anyone had thought to give out an award for barbarism before, there’s no doubt that the Northeastern kids would be working on a dynasty by now. Their behavior is legendary, as evidenced by their dominating performance in this year’s poll. The Huntington Huns roll kegs, flip cars, set fires, crowd porches and basements, manhandle pedestrians, and urinate publicly with the reckless abandon of a population unencumbered by trivial notions of decorum. They’ve vexed elected officials, been denounced as “knuckleheads” by the mayor, been the target of draconian legislation and utterly destroyed their Mission Hill neighbors’ will to live. Here’s to whatever they have planned for next year.
--Paul McMorrow
Runners-up: BU; BC
Ah, Northeastern. I honestly don't know where I would have been without you. It was a spectacle of what's wrong with American higher education. Apparently being a date rapist dude guy with money to blow counts for more than actual intelligence and creativity. On one of my last days attending there, I overheard an RA telling a story about how she went down on some guy the previous evening in the middle of a fraternity social gathering while heavily intoxicated. Apparently so hard that she threw up. And its these same people who blab away during your sociology class with sorority girls who qualify their statements with "I'm not a feminist, but..." (because their definition of a feminist is a bull dyke who hates men) because they're trying to get an easy A in their core classes.

I actually did like Northeastern in some respects, I met some top-notch professors and instructors and people. I met Carolyn because of it. Plus, I would be in some dire straits had I not been a part of the Progressive Student Alliance. Considering where I am now, those would've been some dire-ass straits. Plus I may be going to grad skool there. so who knows.

BU won a prize for "best place to ogle talent". Because apparently: "Northeastern girls are as likely to set you on fire as they are to look at you"

This was equally disgusting, but in a different way:

loathsome new developer name for a boston ‘hood
It’s official: “EaBo” is the worst thing to happen to a Boston neighborhood since the Great Molasses Flood. “SoWa” and “SoCo” are unbelievably irritating, sure, but their respective domains aren’t so much neighborhoods as figments of real estate agents’ febrile imaginations. “SoBo” is evil incarnate, but it lacks staying power; it sticks to clannish South Boston about as well as a dead squid Scotchtaped to the side of the L Street Bathhouse. As obnoxious SoHo-inspired nicknames go, nothing beats “EaBo” for ghastly yuppie schlockiness combined with tenacity. Bust it out on a third-generation Eastie native, and watch how quickly the homicidal-fury reaction occurs.
--Lissa Harris
Runners-up: SoWa; NoBo; SoBo
I could not contain the bile in my throat when I first heard about this, and I have no connection to East Boston whatsoever. Boston is transforming in a weird way. I just don't know what will happen when the yuppies move away and Downtown Crossing is a large Wal Mart. Oh wait, the city will crumble. And Mumbles Menino will still be mayor.

and in other neighborhood news:
’hood for comparatively cheap rent
Since neither the Red nor Green Lines bother to cut through Jamaica Plain, it’s considered pretty much out-of-bounds to most of Boston’s thousands of college brats co-signing leases with their parents—which is a good thing. JP residents enjoy quiet tree-lined streets, the enormous Arnold Arboretum (which makes the Common look like a landfill) and several top-notch restaurants. Bars host plenty of quirky homegrown entertainment, equally informed by MassArt students living above Latino coffee shops and the town’s longstanding gay/lesbian-friendly vibe. Frat-house-style keggers observed in the last three years =
--Matt Parish
Runners-up: Dorchester; Allston; East Cambridge
-sniff- oh JP. You were so inconvenient and slightly (Washington Street Corridor represent!) dangerous to live in. Someone was mugged behind me while I walked Murray the Dog. But so beautiful. I miss your trees, parks, views and greens. I don't miss the hills, beautiful as they are. That was frikkin awful. I have a comparable distance between the T stop and my current place in Central Square, but over here, I'm not dying by the time I get home. About 10 minutes faster. But still, it was the place to take it easy and take it all in.

My current area, Central Square, won an award:

place to get doored on a bike CENTRAL SQUARE
Anyone who’s ever ridden a bike through Cambridge knows fully how perilous the Central Square stretch of Mass. Ave. is. Heavy traffic, narrow lanes, frequent live parkers, buses galore and the most bastardly cab drivers in the state combine to make that quarter-mile stretch of street roughly as hospitable to American cyclists as the road to Baghdad Airport. Go too far left, and a bus driver will start playing fun little chicken games with you; go too far right, and you run the risk of a pedestrian jaywalking out in front of you looking the other way, or, of course, a cabbie throwing his door wide open just because, shit, why not? That’s what doors are for.
--Joe Keohane
Runners-up: Mass. Ave., in the Back Bay; Chinatown; Centre Street in Jamaica Plain

and i'm spent.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rock and Roll Weekend

The weekend was pretty eventless aside from excellent quality time with Ms. Carolyn.

However, there was rock to be had.


the weekend kicked off with seeing my old colleague and future family man, Joshh, play bass for The Daily Pravda at the Pill night at Great Scott's in Allston. Joshh doesn't write the songs, he found the band needing a bassist through craigslist, but i really want to see how this determined bassist performs after hanging out and working with him for almost a year at the Joslin Diabetes Center. When it comes to the office, he's always good for a chat (thus helping me stay sane in the office environment), but dogged when it comes to doing his job. a hard worker. no matter what it is. We got along instantly once we discovered we each love music and british music in particular. i made him a Morrissey card for his birthday.

back to the band: While the name and imagery seem to have been chosen without much thought (Dave, the lead man, has a Russian girlfriend, which i think was good enough for them). There was a USSR flag in the background, which wasn't in too bad taste, considering no one seemed to know more than your standard kid-from-the-80s knowledge of the USSR. No Stalin gulags in their heads. "Let's hear it for Russia" was thrown out there by Dave. head scratches for response. and some Russian words sprinkled through the set like the Russian candies at their merch table. The between song "banter" was awful. the guitarist whined about being the "guitar bitch" like 14 times and traded them with Dave. But not Joshh (and the drummer). Solid as an effing rock! groovin. they gave the rhythm section what they needed and nifty bass work.

musically, they provided some preeety good moments. Lots of Suede references. the vocals keened in the right spot enough to make you think of Suede's first album. Then off my brain went for the rest of the set getting some more brit-references, climaxing in a song that i heard Bowie, Lennon, early Blur and Oasis (yah i know) all at a time. what i'm saying is glammy britpop. which is not bad. i couldn't do it. but it was entertaining. for most of the set, the band seems to be working over some of Dave's old songs, which sound slightly more basic and lacking that brit-touch.

The Bowie came back for the last song, a cover of "Ziggy Stardust". its a great song, but at this stage in western civilization, unnecessary. Bauhaus wasn't cool enough to pull it off, and well, for the Pravda: "you just haven't earned it yet, baby".

but it was one of their first proper gigs, i think the first with a full band. so lets see.


The weekend ended with the BellRays at TT's Sunday night.

I was very interested because i (and many others) was a huge fan of singer Lisa Kekaula's job tackling Basement Jaxx's classic "Good Luck". Then i began to hear of her band, the Los Angeles BellRays. and i began to get excited. According to the BBC, here are the "facts": "The BellRays include MC5, Parliament, James Brown, Miles Davis, the Stooges, 60's R&B, and the Who among their influences". This is true.

They've been around for a while, built up a good name and have had the unfortunate record label problems which tend to stall great bands.

The important thing is Lisa Kekaula. She is soulful and fierce and works her butt off to fill the room with her voice, which as full and vital as the band behind her, who used any moment they could to jump up in the air and bring down some fast loud rock. Kekaula also used any way she could to get the sleepy Sunday night crowd going. She sang her heart out, got down in the crowd, looked people in the eye, and basically made the case in various asides and song lead-ins that if you can't dance at a rock show, then you have problems. live for today. which is true. but i'm still a shy, tired, neurotic Norteasterner.

My only complaint is that the band seems a little TOO practiced and slick while being intense and fast. It dulled the edge a bit, but perhaps i'm biased by younger musicians these days dirtying up the blues like the originators. i like the dirty. but still, you can't fight the power.


listened to:
The Fall - Fall Heads Roll

Friday, October 14, 2005

to hell with poverty '05

hey you 3 people.

so its been a while. i didn't want this blog to be one of those long forgotten projects.

i was in India for August, moved to Cambridge (a bonafide Cantabrigian now) near Central Square. a center of activity.

there've been many pictures taken (link to the right).


I still think its a crime that Gorillaz' "DARE" has not become the instant #1 critical and commercial smash it became in the UK. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong country.


As documented in the recent Across the Narrows fest. In Brooklyn and Staten Island there was a melange of UK bands along with American critical darlings performing for 2 days. When I first heard the lineup, including Belle and Sebastian, Beck, Gang of Four, Pixies, DFA 1979, Oasis, and other crazies. If I was in the UK, I'm sure that I would be travelling in caravan to this show. Here, its just too expensive, too far away. Story of my Boston life. I mean, yes, you can see great bands every week at places like the Middle East and TT's, and catch larger bands in Boston. But the big fest, a love-in that says that all these great not-so-mainstream acts can be appreciated en massive. but no. that only happens in California at the yearly Coachella fest which is ridiculously far from New England. New York is the only close alternative, but as was documented from review of the Across the Narrows fest, not exactly bring huge draws. I know the people who love these bands are here. Who knows.

I'm not advocating huge stadium shows, but sometimes its great to see big shows like Coachella, here or Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds fest in the UK and the multiple fests in Europe. The lineups may contain some pretty mainstream artists, but the acts are just of general high quality.

I don't know what can change this. Lower ticket prices? More effective advertising? But in general, i guess people who actually care are too spread thin. which figures in the musical tastes, political opinions and general awareness in this country. digressing....


I dunno. Its ridiculous to me. Even people who are supposedly in the know about what shapes pop culture and its inane Top 40 in this country are still consuming the same substandard crap. Pop can be lame, but it doesn't need to be boring. "Baby One More Time" may be lame, but its always memorable. When Travis did a cover of this, it showed this pretty well. "Since U Been Gone" is the current winner of this year. The lyrics can make you flinch and turn your stomach, but it still is energetic and anthemic, leading to much unfortunately tuneless but enthusiastic caterwauling among college girls when the chorus comes up on radio, tv, etc. But yah. Those two songs are written by the same Swedish guy.

In the UK, while there is still inane pop in the charts, there is also some actually playful pop. Not to mention actual good bands/artists and good songs. People seem to genuinely care about music. There are problems there as well, such as an atmosphere of giving bands an expiration date that seems about as efficient at eschewing good bands there as to hip-hop and pop acts in this country. When yr done, yr done. But, in the meantime, if you take a look at their charts, there are plenty of great tracks and albums there.

But I guess you have to count your blessings. like Kanye's "Gold Digger". When I was in Chicago right after I got back from India. My cousin showed me the MTV VMA's with Kanye performing. it was the first i'd heard the single. the whole weekend, with an honest expression, he kept looking at me and saying "eighteen years, eighteen years". and i couldnt stop laughing.

Listening to these albums, que bueno!:
Ladytron - The Witching Hour
Broken Social Scene - s/t
Deerhoof - The Runners Four
DangerDoom - s/t
Portishead - s/t
The Kitchen - Foreign Objects


Friday, July 22, 2005

Sing-Sing and Viva Voce

The great thing about the current climate of fear regarding mp3s and the internet is that bands who aren't stupid or tied down to a major label can and will post mp3s of their tunes, perhaps their latest single, for FREE. on the INTERNET. tomorrow has shaken hands with today, to paraphrase a Japanese product in Achewood.


First up is Sing-Sing. A lovely UK indie rock pop duo made from the ashes of the great band, Lush. If you go to the website (click on Sing-Sing above), you can download their first single, "Lover" from their new album Sing-Sing & I. I would upload it here so I can be one of those cool mp3 blogs. But I'm new. The song is wonderful. It brings up to me personally what was so great about so-called "Britpop" more than just Union Jack fetishizing and accents. It was the sort of majesty given forth by the great singles of the era. I find this sound more refreshing than the current wave of rehashed American indie rock coming from the UK. (can't stand Magic Numbers). Lovely, awesome, poppy. go DL.

Next is Viva Voce. The cutest husband-wife band I've seen in some time. Their new single is called "Alive With Pleasure". Great title. The song starts out with some great fuzzed out guitar at the beginning, some piano tinkling, insistent drumming, and some "wooo"s in the background. Getting ready for some balls-out rocking. But then the middle comes some sweet notes and sweet lyrics, sounding like the insistent voice in the back of a couple's arguement urging calm. Then the glammy-funk fuzz returns. The mp3 is available right off the site. As an added bonus, the video is available for download as well. It rocks, they're cute, and a great song.

Also, if you haven't checked out the video for Gorillaz' "DARE" you go on to and head to the cinema.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

How embarassing

I have begun.

Prepare for Sunday. will be debuting the video for "DARE"

a hop-along, dance-in-your-bedroom tune. i'm pretty sure they will be characterizing the character Noodle as the singer with creepy old Shaun Ryder mumbling some catchy samples.

unfortunately you will have to subscribe to their email list. fortunately Gorillaz are awesome! you should want to be involved in all of their doings!