Saturday, February 28, 2009

Scratched one off my list...

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I got to see Ben Folds play last night at the Tabernacle (my favorite Atlanta concert venue). I have been waiting for years to see him play live so I was really psyched. I was absolutely not disappointed. If you are a fan of Mr. Folds you already know how fantastic he is and don't need me to tell you. He played a solid 2 hour set with several new songs and ton of old favorites including this little gem.

(Note - this is not video from last night's show but it sounds just as awesome.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Science is awesome - Part 2

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You need to click on this to really be able to view it in all its glory...I'll warn you ahead of time to go ahead and swallow whatever you are drinking before you read this unless you are looking for an excuse to buy a new keyboard. 

Jacketed Hamsters Demonstrate Movement Powered Nanogenerators

A couple of things to note here. 1) This is hands down the coolest headline I have ever read. 2) I am oddly intrigued by the concept of a hamster jacket. 3) I am now officially counting the days until I can stop paying my electric bill to Cobb Energy and start paying it to Petsmart. Click here to learn more.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is why nobody likes you...

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...and by you I mean Kevin Federline. Apparently he's looking to start his own children's clothing line because he's tired of paying $200 a pair for toddler jeans. He's frustrated that he buys his kids a pair of True Religion and then they roll around in the dirt and ruin them. I love the fact that he seems to think he is some kind of defender of the common man who will finally provide us with a reasonably priced trouser that people can actually afford in todays economy. Miss Moneypenny...take a letter:

Dear Mr. Federline,
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our struggling economy. Your plan to market affordable childrens clothing is indeed a a good one. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, your great idea has been beaten to market by every other manufacturer of children's clothing in the history of the known world. However, as you seem to be an enterprising young man I have compiled a short list of things that perhaps you could focus your efforts on developing solutions for. They are as follows:

1. A source of nourishment other than caviar. That stuff is so rich and kind of gross. Plus it's like $100 an ounce!
2. A method of air travel that is cheaper than first class. There is a ton of room in the back 3/4 of the airplane. Couldn't they add a bunch more seats, maybe put them closer together and maybe charge for the drinks or something and then charge less for those tickets?
3. A clean, reliable automobile that doesn't cost $100k. I mean seriously...can nobody challenge Bentley for dominance in the auto industry?
4. A refreshing beverage that costs less than $400 a bottle. I mean I love Cristal as much as the next guy but it just seems wasteful to crack open a bottle every time i want to sit down with a caviar sandwich and watch Entourage.

I hope you will consider bringing some of your considerable resources to bear on one or more of these issues as a potential next project. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you. I salute you and wish you all the best as you further the cause of modern douchebaggery.

With warm regards,
T. Montgomery Wilkensen, Esq.
Senior Vice President of Douchebaggery
The World

Monday, February 23, 2009

Free Sammich...

Monday, February 23, 2009 0
If you love yourself some Quiznos like I love myself some Quiznos you will be really psyched to learn what I am about to tell you. You can get a delicious, hot delicious Quiznos sando for free by clicking here

FYI - if you are using a Gmail account the email containing your free coupon link will go to your spam folder so you'll need to check there after you fill out the registration. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Band You've Heard of and One You Probably Haven't...

Friday, February 20, 2009 0
So I'm trying to re-establish my voice for this blog. When you neglect your blog like I did for so long I think it can be difficult to find a consistent tone for your posts. Now granted, most of what I write is gold of one form or another, but I do think it makes sense to try to keep some kind of theme. This philosophy is subject change with my moods but for now I kind of feel like writing about music so unless another mood hits me, I'll probably focus on telling you about music I think you should be listening too. And for the record, I will be right so you should just trust me.

I've talked about the Relevant podcast in some of my previous posts. It's a weekly (most of the time) podcast from the editoral staff at Relevant Magazine and it's always good for a lot of laughs and usually a pretty interesting interview or musical performance. Most of their archived musical performances are available for download here but I wanted to highlight a couple of my favorite tracks from the past couple of years.

This is a great song from one of the few CCM bands from my youth that I still maintain some respect for. That's probably a bit too harsh a criticism of early 90's Christian rock, but I guess my point is I still dig Jars of Clay. Halo and Ruscha...not so much.

Gasoline Heart is a band I first heard on the Relevant Podcast and I really like their sound, especially in this performance. The vocal on this track has a really gritty, stripped down feel that fall hard for every single time I hear it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blood Bank

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This would probably be better served as a Twitter tweet but since there's only like 4 people who follow my Twitter feed I'm going to drop this as a mini-blog post. The new Bon Iver EP "Blood Bank" (pronounced "Bonn Eee`vare" in case you were curious) is outstanding. You should literally drop whatever you are doing and go get this right away.

In the first draft of this post I mistakenly referred to Bon Iver's new EP as "Blood Money". It is in fact titled "Blood Bank". My humble apologies.

John Wayne Gacy Jr.

This is one of the best songs by one of the very best songwriters around today. In the words of my brother "if you don't think this song is amazing, do the world a favor and go ahead and punch yourself in the face".

I've been thinking some more about this song since I posted it last night. I think it deserves a little deeper look. First of all, Sufjan (pronounced Soof-Yawn in case you're curious) Stevens sings like an angel on this track. He has a wonderful falsetto voice and he uses it masterful effect on this song. This is a dark song about a person who was responsible for some of the most horrifying murders in our country's history. He manages to humanize the character of John Wayne Gacy somewhat when he speaks of his home life and a childhood accident. By focusing on Gacy's childhood, he is able to evoke this sense that the killer is somone was once a child and was innocent at some point. What really moves me about this song is the final verse:

In my best behavior
I am really just like him
Look beneath the floorboards
At the secrets I have hid

The way he turns this song around and uses the image of this notorious serial killer as a mirror through which we can view the depravity of our own souls is really striking. I'd love to hear any other thoughts or interpretations of this amazing song.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What changed your life musically?

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If you know me even a little bit you know that I'm a huge music fan (and by huge I don't mean my physical size although I am a member of the Big Man club. I love cake and will not apologize for that fact. And by cake I mean the baked dessert and not the band Cake even though they are also one of my favorite bands and if I said that I loved them it would be a true statement.) My current musical man-crush is Will Sheff of Okkervil River. I've been listening to their latest release, The Stand Ins almost non stop for the past couple of months. It's a great record full of really interesting characters struggling with life and love and failure. It is definitely my favorite album of 2008.

So I was listening to this record again the other day and I started thinking about the first time I heard certain records and how much they have meant to me over the years. I think every music lover has at least one record or cd that changed the way you thought about music. For me, it was Weezer's Blue album. It was a Saturday afternoon in 1994. I was at Musicland in the Towne East mall in Wichita. I walked past one of the listening stations and I saw this blue cover with 4 of the geekiest looking kids I had ever seen. I remember thinking that I just had to hear what these guys sounded like. When the electric guitars kicked in after the first few acoustic bars of My Name is Jonas, I was hooked. By the time Rivers Quomo's voice half cracked/half rasped "my name is Wakefield" at the start of the 2nd verse there was no turning back. I had never heard anything like them before and at that moment I didn't want to ever hear anything else ever again. Only Weezer forever. Some days I still feel that way.

What record did that for you?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Worst Air Freshener Ever...

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I got this new air freshener for my car. It was a freebie from the credit union in the lobby of my office. They were giving them out the other day at an expo of services available in my building. I thought that was a nice gesture...until I opened the package today and discovered that this so called air freshener is in reality butt ass stinky! It smells like my dog peed on a rotten pine tree and then that tree fell and crushed a skunk and then 3 weeks later someone rubbed this little cardboard cutout on the carcass. So thanks anyway IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union...I choose not to hang your urine/pine/skunk card in my car. And kudos to your marketing/promotions dept for not giving these things a basic sniff test before passing them out all nimbly bimbly to your prospective clients. Well done gang.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Pet Peeve...

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So there's something that's been bothering me lately. It's not a huge deal but it's started to annoy me a little more every time I see it so let me go ahead and put this out there in the universe. I've noticed over the years that it's becoming more and more common for businesses to advertise by having someone stand by the side of the road in a costume and either walk up and down the street holding a sign or dance around and generally act crazy while holding said sign. I think the first time I noticed this was a few years ago when Godfather's pizza in Derby hired this clown to jump around and try to get people's attention as they drove by. (On a side note - every time I saw that clown, and I mean every single time, I had to fight the urge to give him the bird. Is that terrible?) Anyway, the pizza clown, as annoying as it was not really that bad. I mean pizza is fun, clowns are horrifying fun so the clown is not that much of a leap really. Plus, at least with pizza or other fast food, there is a possibility (and I assume this is what the business owner is counting on) that somebody may be driving by and see the dancing pizza clown and think "ya know...I don't have dinner planned, let me just pull in here and grab a pie". What I've noticed (at least here in Atlanta) is that this advertising phenomenon is spreading to areas that don't really seem to fit. There's a kid standing on the corner a few miles from here holding a sign for a chiropractor. To me that's a stretch. But what's even worse is kid in the Statue of Liberty costume who is advertising for the tax preparer! Now stay with me on you really think there is anybody, anywhere who just happens to be driving down the street with all of their receipts, interest statements, W4s, etc who will see the Statue of Liberty costume and say "Oh snap!! I need to get my taxes down like right this instant. Good thing I saw you dancing Statue of Liberty...I'll go ahead and do a quick u-turn so I can pull in to your storefront office and have them done right now". I don't see it happening. And that's why our economy is such a mess. Small business owners are paying big bucks for advertising that has no chance in h-e-double hockey sticks of ever bringing in even one new customer. It's just not going to happen.
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