Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I found this over at The Chive and I've been laughing about it all morning.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Coeur De Pirate

A couple of cool videos for cover songs by Coeur De Pirate and then an original. The covers are pretty awesome because she usually sings in french. I've only listened to her new album once and it sounds pretty good but her last album was great, even if you don't know a word of french.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Cool Site: Minor Thread

I came across this awesome site called Minor Thread last week. The idea behind it is that the blog's author wears a different shirt everyday, he estimates that he can do 500 with no repeats. Most of his shirts are music related and you can glean from some of his statements that he has a long history of promoting shows. Today he is on number 146. He also writes up a little something about the shirt most days. His spelling and grammar are so bad that it must be done on purpose. I'm in love with the site, i managed to read through every post in the last week.

I can relate to the guy to a certain extent. I used to feel compelled to buy a shirt at every show I attended. Over the years the price of shirts has grown. I clearly remember buying a few $10 shirts and once picket up a Robert Randolph shirt for my wife for only $8. For the longest time it seemed like shirts stayed at $20 but now $25 or $30 seems to be the norm. I've been able to break the habit or at least limit it to buying only really kick ass shirts although I still reflexively reach for my wallet when I see a shirt with tour dates on it. The short run tour date shirt is another thing that seems to have fallen by the way side. The tour shirt is one of the big draws of buying a shirt, it screams "I was there and are therefore cooler than you." Now it seems like bands don't want to do the small run anymore. I'm sure it's a lot cheaper to order thousands of a design that you can sell wherever you are instead of ordering a few hundred that are specific to that tour but damn those tour shirts were cool.

Before we moved to Vermont and again when we moved to Paris my wife made me get rid of a lot of my shirts. I ended up cutting the designs off the shirts that were ripped, stained or I just didn't wear anymore for a project. I hope to eventually turn them into a quilt/blanket. We'll see if it ever gets done but each shirt represents a pretty awesome night and hopefully will make a warm blanket.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wayback: Iron & Wine

I got on an Iron & Wine youtube kick and came across a set of videos from the show I attended in February. Looks like these were shot from the balcony. I was right in front on the floor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cool Video: Iron & Wine

Here is a really cool version of God Made the Automobile by one of my favorite bands, Iron & Wine.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paris street art

LinkThere is a pretty cool run down of Parisian graffiti writers over at Complex magazine.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Show: Ryan Adams

The show exceeded all of my expectations and my expectations were high.

Ryan Adams looked and sounded great. He really seems to have turned a corner and he was funnier and more relaxed that I've ever seen him. I've never been to one of his shows where he joked with the audience so much.

Chris Stills opened the show with a good set. I really enjoyed it especially considering that i'd never heard of him before. In the middle of his set a cat jumped up on stage and slowly walked around for a minute, Stills changed the words to the serious song he was in the middle of to include the cat.

Adams played a great set covering most of his career. I told someone that it was almost like he was touring behind a greatest hits album. It was a solo tour so all of the choices were on the more mellow side, his really rocking numbers didn't surface although he did play Dear Chicago in the style of Kiss's lick It Up.

Here is a rundown of the set list.
1. Sweet Carolina
2. Ashes & Fire
3. Damn Sam
4. Dirty Rain
5. Winding Wheel
6. Sylvia Plath
7. Mr. Bananas(Improv)
8. Invisible Riverside
9. When Will You Come Back Home
10. Everybody Knows
11. Firecracker
12. The End
13. Rescue Blues
14. Please Do Not Let Me Go
15. Why Do They Leave
16. New York, New York
17. Lucky Now
18. Crossed Out Name
19. Two
20. 16 Days
21. Avenues
22. Dear Chicago
23. La Cienega
24. I See Monsters
25. Goodbye Song
26. Come Pick Me Up

See what I mean? he reached all the way back to the Whiskeytown days. He actually made an off hand comment about being too drunk back then to remember the words to all of the Whiskeytown songs. His self deprecating humor continued through the entire show. It was a great night. I hope to catch him on the next tour, maybe he will be playing all rocking numbers.

A quick note on the venue. Le Trianon is a great old theater. It's elaborately ornamented, has two balconies and sounds great. It also has permanent seating. For this type of show it was great but some shows need standing room. Yuksek is playing there soon and it would be interesting to see how the crowd deals with the seating situation.

Bonus fact, Ryan was wearing vision street wear hightops.

Here are a few videos of the show from youtube. Keep in mind that Ryan has a crazy no photo, no recording policy that is strictly enforced(I ran into this when I saw him in Vermont) so these are mostly audio recordings.

Ryan Talking to the crowd and the first few notes of "The End".

The awesome kiss version of "Dear Chicago".

Most of "Come Pick Me Up."

One last story. The first thing I did at the show was visit the merch table. The woman working it looked at me and asked if I was from Oklahoma. I had almost work my OK shirt but knew I hadn't so I was a little taken aback but answered in the affirmative. her next statement was that the owners of the Cain's Ballroom were really shitty to outside merch vendors. It was then that I realized that I had on a sweat jacket with a small Cain's patch on the breast. We chatted for a few minutes, she was Scottish or Irish but her husband was from Edmond. I then bought a t-shirt.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ron Swanson Awesomness

Not much to say about this because sometimes reality is too awesome. Nick Offerman, the actor behind Ron Swanson is a woodworker. For real. He has a workshop with a website here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lucky Now

The new Ryan Adams album, Ashes And Fire, is as great as I had hoped it would be as evidenced by the first official single from the album, Lucky Now. I am also even more excited for the live show after hearing the recent Denver show posted on I Am Fuel. Take a look at that setlist, cuts from his Whiskeytown days, a piano version of New York, closing with Come Pick Me Up, pretty astounding show. I can't wait.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tips: Garlic

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from on Vimeo.

It's the little secrets that make life so much easier.
via lifehacker

Friday, September 23, 2011

Anticipate: Ryan Adams

I can't wait for the new Ryan Adams record. If the various live versions of tracks from the album floating around on the web are any indication this is going to be another great album. Most of the press reports are comparing it to his Heartbreaker album and the unreleased music that he created during that period and that is a good thing. Most people cite Heartbreaker as their favorite and he garnered a lot of critical praise for that album before really striking a chord with his Gold album. Adams seemed to lose some fans as he got jammy with the Cardinals and rocked out with his Spacewolf side project but I've been into everything he put out. This album was recorded on analog equipment in his new Pax-Am studio and will be released on his Pax-Am label.

I bought my ticket to his Paris show, in November, ten minutes after they went on sale. I don't know how popular he is here but he booked into a mid sized venue, La Trianon. I've seen Adams several times, from the tour for Gold to his stint with the Cardinals and he has never disappointed. I saw him freak out in Dallas, Texas, rock a festival audience in Austin, Texas and play a beautiful set in a quiet, intimate space in Burlington, Vermont and each time I walked away saying "Wow."

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Wolf

Tom Neely's new painted book The Wolf has been out for a couple of months now and I still haven't gotten my grubby hands on a copy. Tom's stuff never fails to impress be it his work with the Igloo Tornado collective or his recent cover for Decibel magazine. His previous book The Blot was pretty amazing. He is taking the book on a little tour, unfortunately nowhere near Paris .If you live near any of these places check it out, he's a cool guy and the book will undoubtedly rock.

Tom has some great stuff for sale over at his web site.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Robopocalypse a review

As if I didn't have enough to worry about with the eminent zombie apocalypse, I now have to add a possible robot uprising to the list.

It's hard to read Robopacalypse without thinking about the most pervasive techno nightmare in popular culture, the Terminator franchise. Daniel H. Wilson's robot/computer uprising story, in reality, draws few comparisons. He begins in such a benign place, turning everyday computer controlled appliances against us, a stark contrast to the nuclear holocaust unleashed in the Terminator universe. Instead of a horrible unknown future for humanity, in Robopocalypse we know the final outcome of the struggle within the first dozen pages but it's getting the characters there(in an unforeseen way) that makes this a great read.

I love the Terminator movies but while the premise is creepy there is something unbelievable about the whole thing. Robopocalypse seems like a more likely scenario. Instead of a murderous Skynet we have Archos who we aren't completely sure isn't somehow bent on helping it's human creators in the long run. While killing humans at an astonishing rate, Archos is also revitalizing the natural world. Instead of specifically creating killing robots, with Archos we see the evolution of common everyday robots modified for a new purpose.

There are several threads that due to the structure of the novel are never wrapped up. Why were humans being experimented on? What will happen to the freeborn as a species? What happened to Takeo Nomura and Mikiko? These threads could easily result in more novels something I'm hoping for.

I'd be remiss in not mentioning that while he currently lives in Portland, Oregon, Daniel Wilson is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and his background is heavily reflected in the book.

I really enjoyed this book. It's the type of work that fires the imagination, go read it, or you can wait for the movie. Wilson sold the movie rights to the novel before he even finished writing the book. I'm excited to see what ends up on the screen.

Daniel H. Wilson gave a great interview to The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ron Swanson Awesomness

There are some amazing artist out there tackling the unfathomable depths of the subject that is Ron Swanson. Check them out here.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Packing For Mars: Mary Roach

I've been bothering everyone around me with facts about the space program for a couple of weeks now. I spent a good half hour describing the development of the space toilet to a friend at the pub the other day and it's all due to this book.
Mary Roach has tackled the subjects of sex, death and now space all in a hilarious but extremely informative style that always keeps me glued to the page and staying up to read way too late into the night. I can't recommend this book enough for those of us who want to be educated and entertained at the same time.
How cool is it that they made a commercial for the book? Get it here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Milos in Paris

Again I find my self way behind the times. We got to see classical guitarist Milos a couple of months back at an exclusive album release party put on by Universal.
We have been to a couple of events like this in the past and they are usually jumping until two in the morning or thereabouts but those always involved rock bands. I probably don't have to tell you that the classical crowd is a little different. Right when we walked in it was clear that we were the youngest people there by several years. Like all these things there were great snacks and even greater booze. The concert was short and sweet and then instead of everyone gathering around the makeshift bar they all started to split. A few stuck around to talk with Milos but by 11 the place was virtually empty. That left a small group of us to do our best to liquidate the bar.

Milos was a really good guitarist, the only problem was that at the end of every song he had a look on his face that would lead you to think he had just creamed his jeans. It was hilarious and awesome at the same time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

At the Drive-In and final album greatness

At the Drive in's final album hasn't left regular rotation in my house since it came out way back in 2000.

This album makes me think of other exceptional final efforts from some of the bands I love.
Whiskeytown - Pneumonia
The Pixies - Trompe le Monde
Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Random Links

Supra is dropping a "Paris" edition of their skytop, only 100 are available.
Fecal face has posted a recent visit to Jeremy Fish's studio.

Here is an extremely cool step by step guide to making a silicon mold.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Cool Stuff: Declaration Clothing

Declaration is an amazing clothing company producing designs used and inspired by the American revolutionary war. They have classics like the Join, or Die woodcut and other lesser known designs like the first American coin and pictured above, a take on the Rhode Island Regiment flag. Great stuff.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Neckface and Public Domaine

Neckface did this limited edition deck recently but sadly, it's already sold out. I would have liked to have gotten my hands on this piece but with a run of only 45 in this color and 30 in a brown background these were gone before I was even aware of them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The first ten songs on my ipod after hitting shuffle.
1. Ready to Start - The Arcade Fire
2. Drunk Girls - LCD Soundsystem
3. Tree By The River - Iron & Wine
4. Bottled in Cork - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
5. So Lonely - The Police
6. Things Are What You Make Of Them - Bishop Allen
7. We Could Be Friends - Freelance Whales
8. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
9. Rip Off - Ryan Adams
10. louder Than Ever - Cold War Kids

Thursday, May 19, 2011

At the Drive-In and final album greatness

At the Drive in's final album hasn't left regular rotation in my house since it came out way back in 2000. I really regret that I didn't get to see them live but they imploded not long after I first became aware of them. I have had the good fortune to see The Mars Volta and they did melt my face but if ATDI was anything like reports and you tube clips indicate they were a force of nature live. They really had something with their sound back in the day. Losing Jim Ward really stripped away that hard core, punk edge that I really loved.
It doesn't sound like they will ever be reuniting and even if they did twelve plus years on down the road it just wouldn't be the same. Not that I wouldn't travel a ridiculous distance to see them. Hey, I never thought I'd get to see The Pixies live but I won't hold my breath.

This album makes me think of other exceptional final efforts from some of the bands I love.

Whiskeytown - Pneumonia is another album that I constantly listen to. This was released in 2001 a couple of years after it was recorded. I actually found this album because Ryan's debut solo album Heartbreaker managed to get released before Pneumonia.

The Pixies - Trompe le Monde was released in 1991 and I still listen to it. Damn I'm getting old. Everything awesome about the band is on this disc. It may not be quite as good as Debaser but it has three of my all time favorite Pixies songs on it.

Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne was released in 1993. The argument could be made that the breakup of the band was a good thing since it gave us both Son Volt and Wilco but Uncle Tupelo was a pretty amazing band even though on this disc it's easy to hear which song is a Tweedy composition and which one was a Farrar. How great would they have been if they could have written together? This is an album of gem after gem. I might go out on a limb and call it the pinnacle of the alt country genre.

I'm sure I've forgotten some other great final albums but sadly the rule for most bands is to fade away after a couple of crappy albums. It must be nice to go out on top. That having been said would I prefer that R.E.M. had gone out on top and be deprived of the handful of great songs sprinkled across their last few albums, I'm not sure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Battle - Ice Cream

What a great video for an even better song. I can't wait for the new Battles album to drop. Gloss Drop should be here soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Alien Workshop x Warhol

Alien Workshop has come out with the second set of their collaboration with Warhol and I'd say this batch is better than the last (see below)! I love skateboards as art so it's nice to see recognized art set in the skate world.

I've got to say that Andy Warhol has been on my radar in a big way since his big retrospective last year at the Grand Palaise. That show really opened my eyes to what he had done outside of the soup cans and the boring movies he's probably best known for. The guy had vision and chops and got stuff done.

If anyone wants to send me one I'm partial to the pink and black self portrait.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

JACE/ Shepard Fairey Print Show

My wife and I made it to the opening of the JACE / Shepard Fairey print show at Gallery Magda Danysz this weekend. Somehow I didn't take any shots of JACE's work which was on the ground floor. It could be due to the fact that the free bar was down there, but I did take a couple of short videos of the OBEY pieces on the first floor. The show was hipster thick, cider fueled and a lot of fun.

The JACE work was really cool and very funny. Let me take a shot at explaining the series. It looked like he had found a kids book from the sixties or seventies and then painted weird things or situations into them. Picture a page from a Dick and Jane book but one of them is stabbing an alien or taking a hit from a big joint. I think I'll go back and take a few pictures because my description just ain't cutting it.

The Shepard Fairey print show was cool. It was comprised of prints of some of his most famous pieces, from the classic OBEY Andre the Giant stuff to his series with Glenn Friedmann to the Obama print. Last year the gallery had a show of his original pieces and this paled a bit in the comparison but was still very impressive.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Undone by Robb Gentry

This amazing piece was done by my brother. I thought it was cool enough that he had a hand in the construction of Cowboy's Stadium(he didn't make the giant T.V.) but out of left field he created this amazing piece.

I suppose it shouldn't come as a complete surprise, anyone who is friends with him on facebook can see his creative side come out in his excellent writing that just drips with a bold, recognizable voice that's chock full of humor. The fate of this piece is up in the air but if anyone is interested in it email me and I'll put you in touch with him.

I don't know much about sculpture even though I'm surrounded by it here in Paris. But even as an art idiot it is easy to see the skill and vision it takes to create something in three dimensions whether the media is granite, steel or paper mache. To infuse that piece with life is even more difficult and rare.
Many apologies for the image quality, my photoshop skills are weak.
Full Disclosure: My favorite sculpture is Cupid and Psyche by Antonio Canova in the Louvre. My second favorite is in the Orsay and it depicts a dog with a giant penis. Humor and nudity are big pluses in my book.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finally Caught up: Game of Thrones

I was sorely tempted to post this picture as reason enough to watch HBO's Game of Thrones, the new show based on George R.R. Martin's still unfinished fantasy series. Look at those sideburns tied into a beard, I think any viewer would agree that this is costuming genius and reason enough to watch.

But I can't leave it at that.
My wife was halfway watching with me, even though this is nothing like what she usually spends her precious few viewing minutes on. Her sole comment was "Is that a midget getting a blowjob?" Indeed it was, the first of many if the show stays true to the books. Clearly another mark in the show's favor.

I just finished the series of books the show is based on literarily known as A Song of Fire and Ice and I read them specifically to prepare for this show. Never mind that for years I had friends telling me I had to read the series. Since Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books I've been wary of far reaching series of books that aren't finished written by older authors.

The funny thing is that when I worked in a bookstore a few years ago this George R.R. Martin series was the go-to recommendation for anyone just finishing the Harry Potter series or Tolkien's books. I personally probably sold hundreds of copies of these books and it's nice to know my recommendations were for good reasons. In my defense, two employees nerdier than myself raved about these books on a weekly basis.
The books are really, really good. The world Martin has created feels real, avoiding that trap that fantasy writers fall into of just taking our world and adding dragons. It has a medivel feel but with a deep history to it. The world has its own mythology and gods that have a real sense of being developed over time within the world Martin has created. The strangest thing is that the seasons aren't fixed. When the novel starts there hasn't been a true winter in years although we get the feeling that one is coming.

The characters are very well crafted. The first book is almost overwhelming with the sheer number of characters that seem important. But Martin has created this vast cast for a reason and quickly (SPOILER ALERT) begins killing off characters that seem intrigal to the plot, it's bewildering and awesome. I found myself going back and rereading paragraphs as soon as I finished them because I couldn't believe my eyes.
Based on the first well-done episode of the show and what I can find online it looks like the books will be followed pretty faithfully. The first season is based on book one A Game of Thrones. The casting looks pretty spot on to what I was envisioning. The show didn't shy away from blood, midget blow jobs, creepy siblings or nudity in the first episode although they may have overdone Drogo's eye makeup.

The television series has already been picked up for a second season so no worries about getting emotionally invested and having the show canceled right away (Caprica). Another possible plus is that if the show continues Martin may be forced to get the books written in a more timely manner than he has managed over the last several years. The next installment of the series comes out in July and here's hoping he is busily scribbling down the next one.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Photo Overload


Sometimes nudity is weird.

Literature is bad-ass


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Cool Spot: Magda Danysz

Le Visionnaire - Magda Danysz from Le Visionnaire on Vimeo.

The Magda Danysz gallery is just around the corner on the edge of the arrondismont. We've been to several great openings there and met some great artists.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Mindblowing Special Flip

If you watch Nitro Circus you already know that the crew over there do some insane things. Check out this Special flip by Special Greg, of all the crazy stuff they do this has to be the most impressive. I've watched this a good dozen times today, it is sick.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Plague of the Zombies

My daughter and I caught a fun movie at theMusee D'Orsay. This is the last weekend of Dans la nuit de la Hammer Festival de cinema and it is dedicated to monsters. Last week was "Under the Devil Moon" and the first week was "The Return of Dracula." Being a lover of all things zombie I opted for a showing of The Plague of the Zombies from 1966.
The Plague of the Zombies is from the less hollywood side of the zombie myth, the VooDoo zombie. A zombie created by a voodoo priest is basically a slave to its creator, so you don't get the classic flesh-eating, brain-loving zombie. But this mindless workforce is fun nonetheless.

The film kicks off with a bang, Haitian drummers who have apparently been imported to England and kept underground just to rock a mean drum circle in native dress every few days. A well respected doctor and his cheeky daughter get a letter from a former student asking advice about a plague in Cornwall. Sir James immediatly heads off to help and mayhem ensues. We get treated to fox hunts, near rape, blood theft, doll making, tin mining, grave desecration, decapitation, and everything else a horror fan might want. Several part had the entire audience laughing. Over all the film holds up really well, there isn't hardly any blood and not much overt violence but it's still creepy.
I'll leave you with one thing. What's scarier than a zombie? A zombie on fire!
I rate it five out of five nails.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Alicia Kelly :Good Web

A good friend and great artist from my hometown has a cool new website that features her art, check it out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freelance Whales Fleche D'or

The problem with my blogging is if I don't write up something immediately there is a good chance that I'll forget it for a week or so. My wife and I caught the Freelance Whales and The Broken Records at Fleche D'or on February 12th.
Fleche d'or is a great venue, super small, great sound and the beer is cold. Pretty much all you could want in a venue plus it's within walking distance of my apartment.

A pretty cool band that I've completely forgotten the name of opened the show. They were a French band but they sang in English. Their English was so good that I was surprised that they were speaking French between songs. I'll try to track down the name.
The Broken Records were in the middle slot. They are a great band, so great that I thought they may have blown the Freelance Whales off the stage. They had an intense sound with a violin that added an amazing amount of texture to the music. It was one of those sounds that just roll over you in waves.
I shouldn't have worried about the Freelance Whales, they put on a kick ass show. The fact that the Freelance Whale music is so different then the Broken Records rock sound really helped. Their album sound translated really well to a live setting. They ran through every song on their album and they actually said at the end of the show that they had played every song they knew. I've said it before, shows are so much more fun when the band is having a good time on stage and the Freelance Whales were having a ball.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Iron & Wine does George Michael

Iron And Wine covers George Michael

What more do you need to know, Iron & Wine doing a serious cover of One More Time by cool leather jacket wearing 80's dude George Michael.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Mark of Satan: Hammer Horror

I watched another great Hammer House of Horror episode, The Mark of Satan. I usually prefer scary movies with a good classic monster but this one hit it out of the ball park without one.

Check out that sweet hairdo.
The ending was quite a surprise which is pretty rare for older horror pieces, having seen so many it's hard to sneak one past me. The descent into madness trick isn't new but they did it quite well.

Don't even think about it.
All in all a great episode, I give it five of five nails.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Children of the Full Moon: Hammer Horror

I happened across eight of the thirteen episodes of Hammer House of Horror, the television series made by the British horror institution in the eighties. The best part is that my daughter loves them, and if you can believe it, I just found out that there is a Hammer Horror Film Festival her in Paris over the next two weeks.
I watched Children of the Full Moon last night and it was awesome. The picture above is from my favorite scene, the couple has just seen a werewolf at the window and the man says, "I'm a lawyer, a logical man," and then jumps out the window in pursuit. What kind of logic is that? He besmirched the good name of lawyers everywhere with that move.
Those creepy children are a pain in the ass from the very beginning.
This scene was obviously going to end up like from the very outset. There is something about faintly cheesy special effects that just make me feel good.
I'd rate this episode four out of five nails.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Mike Giant Vinyl Toy

Check out this coolness, Mike Giant and Reckless Toys got together to produce this sweet toy. Get it here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Good Music News: The Dead Milkmen

I am sooo excited about this news. The tentative title is The King In Yellow.

Pictures are Cool