Friday, February 29, 2008

Stephin Merritt only wears Brown.

I knew his albums as of late were all pretty single minded, but I had no idea it also applied to his fashion sense. Read more about it here.

Beardo of the Week

Beardo SealWill Oldham

Congratulations Will 'Bonnie "Prince" Billy' Oldham. You are the Beardo of the week. Why? I finally got your 'new' "Live Album" (Wilding in the West) this week. You are pretty cool because your live shows are all super rock and then your albums are all quietly pretty. You can get away with both. You are lucky.

Andrew Bird and Dianogah played at Hideout tonight.

It was a benefit for Barack Obama. If I was going to make a donation to a political candidate I guess this was the incentive I needed. For as big a Jay Ryan art freak I am I had never seen his band before! Who knew there TWO bass players?! Everyone but me I suppose. They sounded super great and Andrew played some songs with them and it was like some slowcore shoegaze love ca. 1991!

Andrew's set was great. Oldies, recenties, THREE Handsome Family songs with Nora O'Connor, their beautiful version of Dylan's "O Sister" and new songs that didn't sound too bad! Dianogah joined him on a few of his songs and it really sounded beautiful. As not enthusiastic about his last collaboration this one made me very very happy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gary Louris - Vagabonds

I am a long-time Gary Louris lover. I probably liked the Jayhawks and Golden Smog before I ever got into that Wilco band. This first solo album from Louris is not going to shock any Jayhawks' fans. If you like easy 70s midtempo rock you will totally dig this, and as a fan of said genre I do not mean that as an insult. Chris Robinson (yeah, that guy) produced it and I think he did a really good job! The vinyl (released a few weeks before) sounds beautiful and has a gratuitous sepia-toned jamming in the studio gatefold that also hearkens back to the 70s. There are also more marijuana references on this one album than on any previous Jayhawks release (which I don't think there were any). There are lovely harmonies used sparingly and to great effect. I read that Robinson also produced the forthcoming Gary Louris/Mark Olson album also due this year, so yay!

Slappy and the Stinkers

I actually made it through this film. What does it say about me that I enjoyed this 1998 children's screwball comedy more than License to Wed? I watched this film solely for Bronson Pinchot, who was described on Netflix as a heartless mercenary. Thankfully he does NOT play that role, instead he is an Ottoman-type bus driver/groundskeeper at the snooty private school the Stinkers attend. So these meddling kids, unpopular amongst the snooty kids, torment the principal (played by B. D. Wong) and rescue a sea lion from an aquarium field trip. Oh yeah, there is a heartless mercenary after Slappy trying to steal him to sell him to a Bulgarian circus. Whatever. Jennifer Coolidge is also in it playing... I'm not really sure, her role is never defined. Lackey to the principal? I guess this is the best sea lion slapstick children's comedy I have ever seen. The children are pretty decent actors, and not too irritating, which was surprising. It probably would have been better if I had a lot of beer or something.

I get David Gray, but Raspberry Beret?

From Mother Jones:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

I used to enjoy Garfield back in the early 80s. Remember his "roommate" Lyman? What happened to that guy? Gay lover scorned? Jon killed him? Odie ate his toes off? Anyhoot, Garfield sucks now. Get rid of Garfield though, and it immediately improves!!

Whoa. SNL was funny!!

I watched in preparation for Wilco being on next week. I was shocked that there was a funny skit in the middle of the episode:

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jay Reatard is going to explode!!

(Note: photo not of Jay Reatard, taken on the way to the show)

I popped my Reggie's cherry last night with Jay Reatard, Submarine Races and Daily Void. I forgot my ID and called ahead and they were cool about it, since it was an all ages show. They said as long as I looked over 18 it was fine, and it was. It is an interesting room with that concrete bunker feel most new rock clubs have. It was super packed so I watched from the balcony, which was designed with giant cross beams in the line of sight. Hmmm. The sound was good up there. First show I've been to with a "mosh pit" in a very long time. Someone got pulled out by a bouncer by the shirt! Double Flying V power on stage. He's gonna be selling out Metro soon.

Friday, February 22, 2008

5 Nights of Wilco

If you went to any of Wilco's five nights at the Riviera maybe you noticed the Laurie's Planet of Sound banner on the merch table (although it was pretty deep so maybe you didn't). Thanks to that arrangement I got to enjoy all the shows! Wilco played EVERY SONG ON A REAL ALBUM. That's pretty admirable! They sounded great, and even greater joined by Andrew Bird. I took a whole lot of pictures. A LOT of Pictures.

Beardo of the Week

Congratulations to Sam Beam of Iron and Wine. You are my Beardo of the Week. Before Iron and Wine played at Metro last time Kristina and I were drinking at the Gingerman he walked in and she said he looks like a getty. I think she meant Yeti.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Grammys 2008

I can't remember the last time I cared about the freakin' Grammys. Chicago was well representing this year, and of course I was curious about Amy Winehouse's performance, so I figured I could endure.


The majority was intolerable. Kanye and Daft Punk were awesome! Kanye's speech was great too, chiding them to turn off the "hurry up" music and when he started talking about his mama he really stuck it to them.

Breaking update: the death montage was stirring. Have now tuned out of the Pavarotti tribute.

Anyhoot. Tina and Beyonce was tolerable, would have been better without Ms. Bootylicious. The Time would have been better without whoever that was...

I never really thought Wilco would win, but the brief glimpse of Jeff Tweedy and Susan Miller in the crowd was pretty cool. I really thought Bruce would win, but hey, go Foo Fighters? At least Pat Smear is hanging with them again.

Then there's Amy. I really wanted to hate that album. I have this attraction to... women with issues? I don't know how to put it really. I mean, I like to party, I can understand how you can just... get caught up in that? Whatever. She can sing, she sang well, and I am glad she won those awards. She seemed nackered however.

In the old codger department: would you believe Little Richard is younger than Jerry Lee Lewis? Maybe Jerry Lee should hire his makeup artist!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Best American Sitcom FINALLY on DVD!

Well, of course it is! Don't be reedikulous! Alright, I'll amend that to "Best American Sitcom Of My Lifetime". Yes, Season 1 and 2 of Perfect Strangers is here! Season 1 was a mid-season replacement and only 6 episodes long, but Balki and Cousin Larry had an amazing chemistry from the very first episode. The physical comedy is up there with I Love Lucy and Three's Company, and yet they manage to squeeze some heart warming message in to nearly every episode. Don't forget the always awesome "comic misunderstand" too! Toss in the fact that it takes place in Chicago and how could you have a more Perfect Sitcom?!

Here's a nice montage of some musical scenes from throughout the show:

I'd also like to present to you the simple Perfect Strangers Drinking Game! Take a shot or drink each time:

•Balki says "Of course...Don't be ridiculous."
•Dimitri, Balki's stuffed sheep appears on screen.
•Balki wears suspenders or a vest.
•A popular song is sung.
•Larry corrects Balki's grammar.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Dwight Yoakam's Chicken Lickin' Buffalo Style Bites

I am always eager to try music related food; Kenny Rogers Roasters, Rap Snacks, Linda McCartney's Frozen Veggie meals, Yo La Tengo Taquitos... I was especially thrilled to find these Chicken bites from one of the only good crossover country stars at my local Walgreens for $1!! Seriously, how could I refuse? They were sold out of the other variety of Chicken Fries, so someone was buying them! Upon opening the box I found 5 nuggets, some of which were vaguely boot shaped! I went for the recommended cooking method (over over microwave), and let 'em bake! (Note: you might want to get baked yourself while waiting for them to cook.)

I pulled them out of the oven with great anticpation and partnered the bites with a ramekin of ranch dressing. They were... spongy. The buffalo styleness was tangy. Certainly worth one hard earned dollar and not a penny more. I'm not sure if they are available anywhere but Walgreens. Hmm..