Thursday, August 30, 2007

1998 Hogue Syrah - 98

Standard cheapish nose, but the mouth! Rich and powerful (like I like 'em...) -- spicy, thick, heavy, and a dignified fruit at the end -- is it fig? berry? grape? Every time it's a bit different. I want more. But it was a gift, likely bought at a nice wine shop near the Pike Place market in Seattle (likely in the $20 range), and I can't find it online at all.
It's easy to find other Hogue wines in the grocery store, but they vary, down to about a 70 rating for me, I think, so I probably won't spend $14 a bottle just to see if I like the closest thing I found, a 2001 Hogue Syrah.

This is the second post in a planned series to see if I can track down my favorite wines online, for stockpiling purposes. Previously:
2000 Salice Salentino - 100

Monday, August 27, 2007

Best online calendar

Ever since CitySearch was new, I've yearned for an event calendar that didn't suck. So I decided to compare various calendars on offer nowadays. I started with Google Calendar. It was pretty good, but a little clunky. Most of your search results are "events" like "OMG Dave Matthews gota tell Sara." Then I tried Eventful. It made the rest of the competition moot. If it doesn't have an event, you can add it, and you can sync it with everything, and since people know the event they're adding is for everyone, we don't learn about Sara's affinity for Dave Matthews.

Any type of event
Finds Viva Voce in Portland? No, but I added it
Sync with Google Calendar? Yes
Sync with Yes
Facebook integration? Yes
Can easily add events it can't find? Yes
Finds Viva Voce in Seattle? Yes
Finds Wolf Parade in Portland? Yes
Finds Holy Fuck? Yes, but not the time
Sync with Yahoo! Calendar? Yes
Sync with Outlook? Yes
Sync with Upcoming? Yes

Google Calendar
Any type of event
Finds Viva Voce in Portland? No
Sync with Google Calendar? Yes
Can easily add events it can't find? Yes
Finds Viva Voce in Seattle? No
Finds Wolf Parade in Portland? No
Notes: Has a Viva Voce show I didn't know about yet.

Any type of event
Finds Viva Voce in Portland? No
Facebook integration? Yes
Finds Holy Fuck? No
Notes: Froze the fuck out of Firefox twice in a row. Fool me twice, won't get fooled again.

Music only
Finds Viva Voce in Portland? Yes
Facebook integration? Yes
Finds Wolf Parade in Portland? Yes
Finds Holy Fuck? No

When iLike turned up, I loved the possibility that not only could I track the shows I want to see, but my friends both there and on Facebook could see which ones I'd like to go to. Except that I can't, and they can't. I finally did this calendar comparison because neither nor iLike has any idea that Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW are taking place. They don't even list most of the individual shows in either festival. And although I know damn well you can add events to iLike, I couldn't find the link to do it for the life of me.
Music only
Facebook integration? Yes
Can easily add events it can't find? No
Neither nor iLike has any idea that Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW are taking place. They don't even list most of the individual shows in either festival. And although I know damn well you can add events to iLike, I couldn't find the link to do it for the life of me.
Music only
Can easily add events it can't find? Yes

Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW preview summary

Here's a summary of the things I'm most excited to see on each day of the outstanding Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW festivals this year.

Bumbershoot, Seattle, 9/1-9/3
Saturday, September 1
Sunday, September 2
Monday, September 3

MusicfestNW, Portland, 9/6-9/9
Thursday, September 6
Friday, September 7
Saturday, September 8
Sunday, September 9

MusicfestNW - Sunday 9/9

My plans for the last day of the outstanding music festivals coming up in Portland and Seattle. I couldn't find Swim Swam Swum mp3s, and I didn't like the Holy Fuck song I heard, so this one's short and sweet.

11 p.m. Wolf Parade
Crystal Ballroom
Wolf Parade - Shine A Light
Wolf Parade - I'll Believe In Anything
Wolf Parade - Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts

MusicfestNW - Friday 9/7

Part kajillion and one in the Great Show Plague of 2007 series. Here are my picks and some links to good mp3 blogs for Friday at MusicfestNW.

5:30 p.m. Grizzly Bear
Audio Cinema
Grizzly Bear - Knife (Girl Talk mix)
Grizzly Bear - On A Neck, On A Spit
Grizzly Bear - Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Grizzly Bear - Knife [Live][YouTube][YouTube][Live]
Grizzly Bear - He Hit Me

9 p.m. Grand Ole Party
Crystal Ballroom
Grand Ole Party - Look Out Young Son

10 p.m. Tiny Vipers
Doug Fir
Tiny Vipers - On This Side
Tiny Vipers - Shipwreck

11 p.m. Rilo Kiley
Crystal Ballroom
In finding these mp3s, I've also found some shockingly bad Rilo Kiley songs I hadn't heard before, and the implication on a couple blogs that the new album isn't good. Uh oh.
Rilo Kiley - Does He Love You?
Rilo Kiley - Plane Crash In C
Rilo Kiley - The Good That Won't Come Out
Rilo Kiley - Ripchord [Live]
Rilo Kiley - Science vs. Romance

Midnight. Copy
Copy - Zipper Problems
Copy - Closet Face
Copy - This Is Promotional
Copy - Plagiarhythm
Copy - Afro Oven

1 a.m. Dan Deacon
I've never taken an illegal drug, but judging by the "Crystal Cat" video, if you're gonna start, before a Dan Deacon show's the time to do it.
Dan Deacon - Snake Mistakes
Dan Deacon - Crystal Cat [YouTube]
Dan Deacon - When I Was Taller
Dan Deacon - Pink Batman
Dan Deacon - Lion With A Sharks Head

Here's Bumbershoot Saturday 9/1, Sunday 9/2, and Monday 9/3. Then there's MusicfestNW Thursday 9/6 and Saturday 9/8. One more short day of MusicfestNW to post, and then I hope there's never another music festival ever again.

My favorite podcast

When Jordan, Jesse GO! successfully transnavigates the Internet to land on my computer, I clear my busy unemployment schedule and have a listen. But because the (generous volunteer) forum moderator hates me and wouldn't let me register to vote for perhaps my favorite animal the sloth (apparently white women from the Northwest aged 32 were on the caging list) in their zoo animal contest (did I mention I'm unemployed?), I have to talk about them here behind their backs.

From this week's show:
1. I'm right there with Jesse on the "eh eh eh" by The Cranberries (in "Zombie") and "Um-ba-rella" (by Rihanna). I'm interested in knowing who the third person who knows what the hell he was talking about is.
2. Spurrilous, used by Jesse to describe the suspicion I share with caller Amy that women's opinions are not valued in the animal competition, is an awesome new word.
3. Jesse, wedding advice:
a. I went to a wedding recently with tamales, and they were fantastic! They also had flan instead of wedding cake, and it was amaaazing. The bride and groom had biked around to get free samples from caterers, and they sure found a winner. This was in New Mexico, though, not California. Another big success for wedding food was pulled pork sandwiches at my cousin's wedding, but my aunt said something about how she'd spent all night pulling pork. So for pulled pork sandwiches, you have to find someone who both loves you irrationally (such as your mother) and has mad cooking skills.

b. Register at Amazon! I bet some of your dozens of geek listeners would enjoy giving you amusing Christmas tree ornaments and the like.

c. Definitely have an opinion! Good advice by the caller. My fiance couldn't care less about the wedding. This comes across as: doesn't want to get married. I fucking hate my upcoming wedding, too, but I do want to get married enough to engage in some minimal half-assed planning.

MusicfestNW - Saturday 9/8

The fantastic Northwest rock festivals plaguing me, part kajillion. This is my ideal line-up for Saturday night of MusicfestNW.

9 p.m. The Brunettes
Crystal Ballroom
The Brunettes - Mars Loves Venus [Live]
The Brunettes - If You Were Alien
The Brunettes - Loopy Loopy Love
The Brunettes - These Things Take Time
The Brunettes - Small Town Crew

10 p.m. Y.A.C.H.T.
The Blow - Hock It (Y.A.C.H.T. mix)
Y.A.C.H.T. - See A Penny Pick It Up
Y.A.C.H.T. - I Love A Computer
Y.A.C.H.T. - I Saw You
Y.A.C.H.T. - It's Coming To Eat You

11 p.m. Girl Talk
Roseland Theater
Grizzly Bear - Knife (Girl Talk remix)
Girl Talk - Bounce That
Girl Talk - Smash Your Head
Girl Talk - Hold Up
Girl Talk - Touch 2 Feel

Midnight. The Thermals
Crystal Ballroom
The Themals' songs "Here's Your Future" and "A Pillar of Salt" pretty well describe God as The Bible describes Him: making people flee burning cities with as many babies as they can carry. God=fun times! Let's rock!
The Thermals
The Thermals - Here's Your Future [YouTube][Buy]
The Thermals - A Pillar of Salt [YouTube][Buy]
The Thermals - How We Know [YouTube][Buy]
The Thermals - Returning To The Fold [Buy]
The Thermals - No Culture Icons [Buy]

12:30 a.m. Okkervil River
Okkervil River - For Real
Okkervil River - The President Is Dead
Okkervil River - Our Life Is Not A Movie
Okkervil River - Savannah Smiles
Okkervil River - He Passes Number 33

Here's Bumbershoot Saturday 9/1, Sunday 9/2, and Monday 9/3. Then there's MusicfestNW Thursday 9/6. Two more days of MusicfestNW to post, and then I hope there's never another music festival ever again.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

MusicfestNW - Thursday 9/6

What a lot of great music I'll be seeing in the first nine days of September! Turns out that three days after the wondrousness that is this year's Bumbershoot, Portland will have MusicfestNW. Here are links to some cool blogs with mp3s for my favorite bands playing on Thursday, the first day of MusicfestNW.

9 p.m. Viva Voce
Crystal Ballroom
Viva Voce - We Do Not Fuck Around
Viva Voce - From the Devil Himself 8 [YouTube]
Viva Voce - When Planets Collide
Viva Voce - Alive With Pleasure [YouTube][YouTube]
Viva Voce - Special Thing

10 p.m. Spoon
Crystal Ballroom
Spoon - I Turn My Camera On
Spoon - Bring It On Home To Me
Spoon - The Underdog
Spoon - The Way We Get By
Spoon - Don't Make Me A Target

11 p.m. Aesop Rock
Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
Aesop Rock - Winners Take All
Aesop Rock - Basic Cable
MF Doom (with Aesop Rock) - Black List
Aesop Rock - Coffee

Midnight. Aqueduct
Doug Fir
Aqueduct - Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights
Aqueduct - Lying the Bed I've Made
Aqueduct - Growing Up With GNR
Aqueduct - As You Wish
Aqueduct - Split the Difference

1 a.m. The Shaky Hands
Doug Fir
The Shaky Hands 13
The Shaky Hands - Soul
The Shaky Hands - Summer's Life
Death Songs - Let This Body Go

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I heart solar power

Who knew I could look longingly at a water heater? But apparently, if you put the word "solar" in the name of something, I want to own it. Solar shit on a stick? I'll take two.

But seriously, I love solar-powered things. Here are some cool solar whatsits I've come across in my web surfings:
$14 Solar roast coffee
$20 Solar phone/iPod/mp3 player chargers
$25 Solar robot!!! (I doubt I could say the phrase "solar-powered robot" aloud without clenching my jaw to contain my delight.)
$25 Solar flashlight
$30 Solar battery charger
$63.53 Shares in SunPower (SPWR), the company putting solar panels on Wal*Mart
$126 Solar panels
$170 Solar backpack
$50,000 Solar car
Priceless: Shares in EI Solutions, the company putting solar panels on the Google headquarters
Priceless: Solar air conditioning
Priceless: Solar dress

In browsing to find the silly solar bikini (for all your near-naked outdoor phone charging needs) I'd seen once, I instead found this lovely little animated movie called Solar, which makes solar power look exhausting. I suppose someone does have to dig the silica out of the ground.

Is Exxon ahead of NASA on climate change?

I can understand how one would tire of Republican bickering over climate change ("magic space rays" -- ha!). But the greenhouse effect is pretty basic chemistry (that is just how some molecules behave), and humans have been adding tons (literally millions of tons per year) of the greenhouse gas CO2 to the atmosphere since fossil fuel burning really got going during the Industrial Revolution.

In summary:
Humans Increase CO2 + Increased CO2 Warms Planet = Humans Warm Planet

I do not understand how this was ever "controversial" in the minds of anyone not receiving his paycheck from Exxon Mobil. I suppose a lot of folks trusted the oil-dole guys when they showed up all over the teevee and in newspapers, which is not surprising, considering how very many oil-dole guys there are, all the way up to George Bush and Dick Cheney themselves.

Trying to confuse people and outright censoring science have stopped working so much (thanks, in large part, to Al Gore's insistence that we listen to scientists and not oil money). Hell, even Exxon has caught on (to the detriment of the poor Republican think tanks), though I suspect they've actually just realized that the end of oil is not a good long-term business plan.

So the new Republican strategy? The Republican-appointed head of NASA (they've put the oil-dole goons in charging of mutherfuckin' NASA) has said, yeah, so maybe the planet's warming after all in spite of what we told you for the last ten years, but okay, who cares? Poor people? Polar bears? So what! Now we can swim any day in November.

That's the new position. Go team Republican!

And yeah, this post, this post by someone very angry that people were being lied to about something so important, it probably just turns more people off. Ahh, human nature. I think it really does come down to psychology. People see An Inconvenient Truth and feel like they're being scolded over the very principles of science and how average consumers are able to use them. That's not fair, and I can see how it comes across that way -- I get defensive, too. But angry hippies like me who are worried about this problem are really more interested in finding solutions than in scolding people for driving their kids to school.

There are lots of potential solutions for our fuel problems in development (in addition to re-thinking where one lives and how one gets around, which everyone should do, periodically). My favorite of these solutions is the solar car, and solar energy in general. The notion of harnessing free energy raining down from the heavens appeals mightily to my inner cheapskate. Unfortunately, purchasing the technology to get that free energy is not cheap yet, nor is it convenient. And it seems like the powers that be are not particularly interested in developing something you can only sell once. Hmmm. For some reason, the less sustainable a new solution is, the more politicians and the media hype it. The media alternative energy darlings are pretty much the opposite of mine. Politicians and the media love:

"Clean" (cough, gag) Coal
  • Requires energy to produce
  • Emits CO2

  • Requires energy to produce
  • Emits CO2

  • Requires energy to produce
  • Emits CO2

  • Requires energy to produce
  • I strongly suspect byproducts

  • Dangerous byproducts

  • Kills birds

  • Kills fish, I bet

  • Magical wonderful utopia with rainbows and unicorns

Though in my ideal world, cars, buildings, laptops, cell phones, and backpacks would be covered in solar panels, failing that, the drawbacks of wind and wave energy seem worth it to me (sorry to a few hundred birds and fish a year). I don't really understand why our national energy policy is going in different directions, but that's probably because I haven't looked into that very deeply yet. In particular, I don't know how much energy can realistically be generated by each technique. When I do some more reading, I might find drawbacks and benefits I haven't considered yet. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bumbershoot 2007 - Saturday 9/1

Saturday's the day of Bumbershoot I might cut to save $25. Probably not, though -- I'd love to see several of these bands.

12-1:15: Salon of Shame
Leo K stage
I can't find mp3s for Carrie Akre, David Jacobs-Strain, Merrill, Step Cousins, or Forgotten Sol, so I'm gonna listen to some professionals read their adolescent diary entries in the Salon of Shame.

1:15-1:45: The Cops
Sound Transit stage
The Cops - Living With A Ghost
The Cops - Invisible City
The Cops - New Economy
The Cops - Controller

1:45-2:30: The Cave Singers
Wells Fargo stage
The Cave Singers - Seeds of Night

2:30-3:45: The Shins
Samsung stage
The Shins - Kissing the Lipless [Cover][YouTube][Live]
The Shins - Caring Is Creepy
The Shins - Pink Bullets [YouTube]
The Shins - Phantom Limb [YouTube]
The Shins - We Will Become Silhouettes

4-4:45: Jonathan Coulton
Some people saw Nirvana when they were little baby fledgling rock stars. Me? I saw geek rocker Jonathan Coulton back when he was the troubadour on John Hodgman's book tour. The hardcover edition. Feel my cred.
Jonathan Coulton - Skullcrusher Mountain
Jonathan Coulton - Chiron Beta Prime [YouTube]
Jonathan Coulton - Kenesaw Mountain Landis
Jonathan Coulton - Baby Got Back [YouTube]
Jonathan Coulton - I Feel Fantastic [YouTube]

4:45-6: Avett Brothers
Starbucks stage

Avett Brothers - Matrimony
Avett Brothers - Die Die Die
Avett Brothers - Will You Return?
Avett Brothers - Pretty Girl From Chile
Avett Brothers - Paranoia in Bb Major [YouTube]

6-7: Menomena
Sound Transit stage
Menomena - Wet and Rusting [YouTube]
Menomena - Air Aid
Menomena - Shirt
Menomena - Cough Coughing [YouTube]
Menomena - The Pelican

Also: Menomena (Patipitipi).

7-8: The Gourds
Starbucks stage
The Gourds - Gin and Juice

8-9 Tiny Vipers
Sky Church
Tiny Vipers - On This Side
Tiny Vipers - Shipwreck

9-10:15: Rodrigo y Gabriela
Starbucks stage
Rodrigo y Gabriela - Diablo Rojo [YouTube]
Rodrigo y Gabriela - Ixtapa
Rodrigo y Gabriela - Tamacun [YouTube]

10:15-11 DeVotchKa
Sound Transit stage
DeVotchKa - Dangling Feet
DeVotchKa - La Llorona
DeVotchKa - The Enemy Guns
DeVotchKa - Lunnaya Pogonka
DeVotchKa - Queen of the Surface Streets
DeVotchKa - You Love Me

My plans for Bumbershoot Sunday are here, and for Monday, here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bumbershoot 2007 - Sunday 9/2

Day 2 of Bumbershoot is kinda gappy, but the bands I do want to see, I reallyreally wanna see. Mssrs. Bird and Banhart, I'm looking at you.

12:30-1:30 The Trucks
Sound Transit stage
At first listen, The Trucks' songs about women as humans with thoughts outside the male porn mandate reminded me of Peaches and Le Tigre (with echoes of their sexy feminist forebears PJ Harvey and Liz Phair). I'm fer it.
The Trucks - Titties
The Trucks - Old Bikes
The Trucks - Zombie
The Trucks - 3am

1:30-2:15: Henry Gallery Satellite
I really don't like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and haven't found mp3s yet for Ian McFeron or Victor Noriega, so I'll check out the Henry Gallery Satellite (and Rude Mechanicals if I have time).

2:15-3:15: The Watson Twins
Sound Transit stage
Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Happy [YouTube]
Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - You Are What You Love [YouTube]
The Watson Twins - I Summon You
Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Born Secular
Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat

3:30-4: The Fucking Eagles
Sky Church
The Fucking Eagles - When Will I Be Loved
The Fucking Eagles - Baby, I'm Coming Home

4-5: Stars of Track and Field
Sound Transit stage
Stars of Track and Field - Fantastic
Stars of Track and Field - With You [YouTube]

5-5:45: Iceage Cobra
Sky Church
Iceage Cobra is like Led Zeppelin on meth with a 13-year-old Eddie Vedder on vocals. That is, it's effed up in a not completely bad way.
Iceage Cobra - Tornado of Knives
Iceage Cobra - Weapon of Mass Seduction
Iceage Cobra - We Gotta Move

5:45-6:45: Apples in Stereo
Sound Transit stage

Apples in Stereo - Stephen, Stephen [YouTube]
Apples in Stereo - Energy [YouTube]

7-7:30 Vau de Vire Society
Fountain Lawn
I can't find mp3s for Ian Ball or Book of Black Earth yet, so perhaps I'll check out the Vau de Vire Society.

7:30-8: Art Brut
Sound Transit stage
"My Little Brother" is great. It inspired me to get my little sister on iLike and, which inspired me to post an exhaustive series of recommendation posts (which "series" consists, thus far, of one). Art Brut's songs frequently involve an irrational love of music. I can relate. This is one of the painful choices of the festival, but I'll have to cut my time watching Art Brut short to see Andrew Bird.
Art Brut - My Little Brother
Art Brut - People in Love
Art Brut - Fight!
Art Brut - Pump Up The Volume [Live]
Art Brut - Emily Kane [YouTube]

8-10: Andrew Bird
Starbucks stage
Andrew Bird - Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left [Live] [Live] [YouTube]
Andrew Bird - Sovay [YouTube][Live][Live]
Andrew Bird - Heretics
Andrew Bird - Imitosis [Live]
Andrew Bird - Masterfade [Live]

Also: He's the one they're calling Dr. Stringz.

9:30-10:45: Devendra Banhart
Sound Transit stage
Devendra Banhart
Tim Broddin
Devendra Banhart - Quedate Luna
Devendra Banhart - Little Yellow Spider [YouTube]
Devendra Banhart - The Body Breaks [YouTube]
Devendra Banhart - Will Is My Friend
Devendra Banhart - This Beard Is For Siobhan [YouTube]

My plans for Bumbershoot Saturday are here, and for Monday, here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bumbershoot 2007 - Monday 9/3

If I have to crawl to Seattle on my hands and knees, I'm going to Bumbershoot this year. The line-up is massive and amazing. But music festivals are always bittersweet. Though the choice between Art Brut and Andrew Bird is perfectly clear to me, how about between the Wu-Tang Clan and Ted Leo? Here's what I plan to choose and why on Monday.

2:15-3:15: The Blakes
Sound Transit stage
The Blakes know how to start a song, which is key for me, as I generally give the random songs that cruise over to my computer from various mp3 blogs less than 30 seconds to win me over. These guys do it in five, following through with some nice intensified-Jack-White vocals. And I love a good "shake it" song, so "Two Times" is a sure hit, even if they are talking about (gasp!) illegal drug use or somesuch other irredeemable sin.
kexp bbq
chona kasinger
The Blakes - Pistol Grip
The Blakes - Magoo
The Blakes - Don't Bother Me
The Blakes - Two Times
The Blakes - Lintwalk

3:15-4: Bike Rodeo
Fountain Lawn
I can't find mp3s to test out Allison Moorer, John Legend, Shake Some Action!, Schoolyard Heroes, Night Canopy, or Taylor Mac, so the Bike Rodeo it is.

4-5: Viva Voce
Sound Transit stage
A frequent comment about Viva Voce is that their sound is bigger than two people. That's for sure. Intrigued by "We Do Not Fuck Around," I blasphemed by skipping Neko Case (who I'd seen manymanymany times) to wander over to the Wookie stage at the Sasquatch Music Festival this year to check out Viva Voce. I was shocked to see a dude on a surprisingly large drum situation at the front of the stage, and a dainty gal with a guitar next to him, using the amazing Columbia River gorge venue to its best effect: filling it with rock. It was the most fun I've had at a show in years, and I thought I'd keel over with joy when they played their excellent cover of "Eye In The Sky" for the finale.
Viva Voce - We Do Not Fuck Around
Viva Voce - From the Devil Himself [YouTube]
Viva Voce - When Planets Collide
Viva Voce - Alive With Pleasure [YouTube] [YouTube]

5-5:45: The Damnwells
Starbucks stage
I've had tons of The Damnwells' mellow tunes on my computer for two weeks and haven't listened to a one of 'em all the way through. I think they'd be great for Linkin Park/Staind/Good Charlotte types, in that they're about love, but men in fraternities could listen to them. The trouble for me may be that I'm through the horrible pining-for-someone-I-can't-have phase of my life, so these yearny songs are just not very resonant. "God Bless America" is really great, as it appeals to my hate-America-first liberal latte sensibilities, but it's so fucking long, with a 1:20 opening that consists of hitting the "high hat" (that's the metal drum thingie, yes?).
The Damnwells - Sweet Marie
The Damnwells - For My Own Good
The Damnwells - While You Can
The Damnwells - Smile Guy

5:45-6:45: Tokyo Police Club
Sound Transit stage
The "Nature of the Experiment" video was a bit shocking the first time I saw it. I'm old enough to be these lads' mother. Such wittow cute wittow teeny wockows* [pinches cheeks].
Conway L.
Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment [YouTube]
Tokyo Police Club - Citizens of Tomorrow
Tokyo Police Club - Your English Is Good [YouTube]
Tokyo Police Club - Be Good

*Little cute little teeny rockers.

6:45-7:30: Roky Erickson
Starbucks stage
"You're Gonna Miss Me" by the 13th Floor Elevators featured as a breakup song in the movie "High Fidelity." Thank goodness. The temptation for me in unwanted breakups is to put the serotonin-sucking "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt on repeat. So it was nice to have the high-energy "You're Gonna Miss Me" kicking around the 'Net during a particularly painful and prolonged end several years back. Who can be sad when there's an "electric jug"? (Someone trying to listen to a whole 13th Floor Elevators album, rather than just one song, perhaps.)

Roky Erickson was the dream-a-licious lead singer of the 13th Floor Elevators, back in the day. His newer songs are, mm, lyrically simple. Jonathan Lethem used "You Don't Love Me Yet" as the title for a novel about a songwriters with, ah, lyric problems, starting the book off by juxtaposing the lyrics to Erickson's song with the lyrics of "You Don't Love Me Yet" by the Vulgar Boatmen. I can't find the lyrics, though, and haven't bought the book, so I can't elaborate. (Lethem's reading on the Authors on Tour podcast has me intrigued (is the hilarious deejay character a caricature of Nic Harcourt? anyone?).) Erickson's promisingly-titled song "I Walked With A Zombie" is really just that statement, repeated again and again. If you're gonna repeat something again and again, you could do worse. "Creature With The Atom Brain" works in some mad rhymes (why is he acting so strange?), though.

I intend to be amused.
Roky Erickson NYC 6/2/07 01
13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me [YouTube]
Roky Erickson - Don't Shake Me Lucifer
Roky Erickson - Creature With The Atom Brain
Roky Erickson - I Walked With A Zombie

7:30-8:45: The Frames
Sound Transit stage
"Fake" is a great tribute to the double-edged sword of passion and violent dysfunction in relationships. I suspect the smashing of things in the name of "love" is much more widespread than people let on. The Frames' seething, barely-restrained passion underlies all their songs, regardless of tempo. It's great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing these guys.
Glen Hansard of The Frames
Drake LeLane
The Frames - Fake [YouTube]
The Frames - Dream Awake
The Frames - Falling Slowly [YouTube]
The Frames - One Irish Rover
The Frames - God Bless Mom [YouTube]

8:45-9:30: Steve Earle
Starbucks stage
Steve Earle is honky tonky bluesy. I don't usually like honky tonky bluesy (stop waving your guitar in my face, you showoff!). But Earle mixes it up, playing enough Irish jigs and folksy protest songs that it doesn't get dull.
Steve Earle - Galway Girl
Steve Earle - Rich Man's War
Steve Earle - The Gringo's Tale
Steve Earle - Copperhead Road
Steve Earle - South Nashville Blues

9:30 -10:45: Ted Leo
Sound Transit stage
I have a vague sense that I'd been not-liking Ted Leo's loud-rock style since the early nineties. Back then, loud-rock equalled Fugazi equalled one song I liked and JesusGod a lot of boring guitar grinding.

Then WHAMMO! "Loyal to My Sorrowful Country" and "Bomb.Repeat.Bomb. (1954)" both spoke perfectly to the wounded proud-of-what-America-said-it-was-when-I-was-in-grade-school-
but-what-the-FUCK-Republicans part of me, and I gave Ted Leo the attention he's deserved all along. Punk rock in general, which I've never liked, has really aided the politically furious part of me lately. As a 32-year-old yuppie woman, this is demographically awkward.

Ted Leo - Loyal To My Sorrowful Country [YouTube]
Ted Leo - Bomb Repeat Bomb [YouTube]
Ted Leo - Who Do You Love
Ted Leo - Bleeding Powers [YouTube]
Ted Leo - The Gold Finch and the Red Oak Tree

My plans for Bumbershoot Saturday are here, and for Sunday, here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

2000 Salice Salentino Candido - 100

Salice SalentinoI like to buy the cheapest wine I haven't yet had and hated, and I take every opportunity to drink free wine. Then I take notes. I'm not good at all at picking up specific flavors (yet? I think it's just a matter of thinking about lots of individual flavors while drinking then discarding all but the ones that fit), but I have two books full of my amateurish scribblings.
As my ridiculous notion of wedding planning proceeds (I have a great "wedding" music playlist and a vague notion that I like the trend of cupcakes instead of a cake), I've realized that my wine ratings will help me choose wine for my wedding that I, at least, like a lot.
My favorite wine so far has been the 2000 Salice Salentino Candido, from the Puglia region of Italy (I am so going there). I drank it in mid-2006. Here are my amateurish scribblings on it:Vineyard
Love at first sniff. Berries shot out the second the (real!*) cork was pulled. In the glass, it smells like brandy and looks a sophisticated brickaroon**. I burned the fuck out of my tongue earlier, but this thing has no harshness -- in fact, I think it has "notes." Day-umn. It's like they built this beauty for me (reminds me of a fellow I know). It smells like the home of your first love.*** You know?

*I don't recall what merited an exclamation point here. I must have had a run of either corks that ruined the wine or fake corks (which I've come to appreciate).
**Brick+maroon. Evokes "octoroon" (which just sounds racist, whether it is yet or not) rather unfortunately and utterly unintentionally.
***It occurs to me now, for whatever reason, that one's first love's house might smell, for example, like their housemate's cats shat in the closet, the housemate moved out, and no one has taken responsibility for cleaning it up yet. Yes, I realize that discussing this in conjunction with my wedding, two important romances, and my favorite wine is not appropriate.

I try to keep track of where I procure wines, but I don't have it written down here. I suspect this came from Wild Oats, and cost less than $11. When in doubt, I prefer paying shipping charges to driving all over town looking, so I'm tempted to buy a few bottles of this here before they go away.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a wine I liked so much had been rated 87 by Wine Spectator, though for all I know, that's what made me pull it off the shelf to begin with. Also, re-examination of the web page shows it's not fancy Wine Spectator, but (more down-market?) Wine Enthusiast. And no, 87 ain't 100, but I ain't ever spending $50 on anything just to get a few extra enthusiast points.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Songs for li'l siblings, vol. I (New Wave)

I have a much-young sister. When I was a nerdy teenager being introduced to The Pixies by my awesome first boyfriend, she was an adorable toddler wearing Pull-Ups (don't click link around people who will judge you for playing a little diaper jingle). Now, like most teenagers, my sister doesn't know everything yet about the awesome music of yesteryear. So I'm posting links to mp3s* I'd like her to download, listen to once, delete, then buy chock-full of crippling DRM on iTunes (wink wink).

Robert Smith of The Cure
In eastern Washington in 1992, men did not wear makeup. I remember being floored that a guy who looked like Robert Smith was married.
The Cure - Just Like Heaven [YouTube][Cover][ Buy]
The Cure - Catch[YouTube][Cover][ Buy]
The Cure - The Lovecats [YouTube][ Buy]
The Cure - Close To Me [YouTube][ Buy]
The Cure - Lullaby [YouTube][ Buy]

I still think of The Smiths as an extended joke about self-pity. Perhaps that is obvious to everyone, but I've never wanted to know if my friends who love Morrisey really feel those goofy lyrics in a deep, personal way. "Girlfriend In A Coma" is a funny one-off joke, but I could never listen to it over and over again. Still, I have to confess that one of these masterpieces of self-pity has stood the test of time for me.
The Smiths - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want [YouTube][Cover][ Buy]

Martin and Guru Dave
Depeche Mode suited me and my hard flirting with existentialism, though I wonder how "Fly On The Windscreen" sounds to kids in the post-irony (and hopefully post-existentialism) age, as it was a little funny to me even pre-irony. But they wrote a really fantastic love song, and several good songs about God that don't involve squashed bugs.
Depeche Mode - Somebody [ Buy]
Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus [YouTube][YouTube Cover][Buy album on Amazon]
Depeche Mode - Blasphemous Rumours [YouTube][Cover][ Buy]

Echo & The Bunnymen flew well under the radar, which made my delight at hearing "The Killing Moon" in the movie Donnie Darko complete.
Echo & The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon [YouTube][Cover][Cover][ Buy]
Echo & The Bunnymen - Bring On The Dancing Horses [YouTube][ Buy]

steve kilbey, the church
Another under-appreciated band that's always reminded me (and possibly the makers of Donnie Darko) of Echo & The Bunnymen was The Church. If you don't like this song, don't tell me, 'cause I'll call paramedics to see if your heart is beating.
The Church - Under Milky Way Tonight [YouTube][ Buy]

Ian Curtis Tribute
Until just now, I always believed the story about Joy Division's lead singer Ian Curtis and the ice block. I didn't know about the epilepsy. Perhaps it's easier for people to think about a weird suicide than about a guy with a fucking bitch medical problem wracked by guilt.
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart [YouTube][Covers][ Buy]

San Francisco Music -Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert - New Order -  Leica M2 series
I didn't like New Order (which rose from the ashes of Joy Division) until college, when Frente! did its lovely cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle."
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle [YouTube][YouTube Cover][ Buy]

*I don't know how to host my own mp3s yet. I tried do an mp3 post before using EZArchive, but I promptly got lost and stayed lost for half an hour (couldn't find what I'd uploaded). Perhaps I'm getting too old for new technology, but I'll try again at some point. For now, you have to click individual links to get to the sweet mp3 gold at awesome blogs that have already figured out the new technology.