Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cody ChestnuTT back at it

How did Cody ChestnuTT release a new album without me knowing? I guess the 10 year? break between albums made me complacent. This new one is pretty awesome.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Death Grips: Going Back

How did this EP, Ex-Military, get past me? These guys full length album The Money Store is a gut punchingly good album. There is some next level rap/metal/dance shit going on here. Give it at least two listens.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zombie Novel

A few months ago I finished the zombie novel I have been working on for almost three year(it still needs lots of edits so maybe finished isn't the right word, I got it to a point where I'm not embarrassed to show it to people I respect) . Five months ago I sent it out to twelve friends who had all expressed an interest in reading it at some point. I've only heard back from two. I'm guessing this is not a good sign. Granted it is a zombie novel so it isn't everyone's cup of tea(I'm pretty sure this is why my wife hasn't read it) but I was expecting to hear back from a few more people. I've been working on new projects since then and I feel like my writing is better now but how bad was that first novel? This week I'm going to sit down and read it. Not edit it which is a different, much-less-pleasant, type of reading but try to read it for pleasure. I haven't really messed with it all summer so maybe I can come at it with fresh eyes. Wish me luck.

Friday, September 21, 2012

On the ipod

My ipod played a dirty trick on me yesterday and played a string of songs I wasn't in the mood for while I was in the middle of working on a quilt and unable to get up and change the song. Usually my ipod plays a pretty good mix so I thought I would see what it has in store for me today. I am currently using an old click wheel 30 gig ipod hooked to a speaker in the living room in addition to my touch who does most of my musical heavy lifting. Here is a rundown of the next ten songs for each device.

Classic Ipod.
1. Girl Talk - Still Here
2. Wilco - Jesus, Etc.
3. The Dead Milkmen - Caitlin Childs
4. Death Grips - Punk Weight
5. R.E.M. - Pilgrimage
6. Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Young Adult Friction
7. The Smiths - Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
8. The Rentals - Friends of P
9. Iron & Wine/Calexico - Prison on Route 41
10. The Specials - A Message To You Rudy

1.Ryan Adams - Chains Of Love
2. The Dead Milkmen - MEaningless Upbeat hAPPY Song
3. Titus Andronicus - Arms Against Atrophy
4. Bon Iver - Blindsided
5. Girl Talk - On and On
6. Fucked Up - Queen of Hearts
7. Jane's Addiction - Ain't No Right
8. Iron & Wine - The Trapeze Swinger
9. The New Pornographers - All Of The Things That Go To Make Heaven and Earth
10. Father John Misty - Nancy From Now On

Not bad

Monday, September 10, 2012

World's Greatest

I've been listening to this amazing R Kelly cover by Bonnie Prince Billy a lot lately. He owns it and his mustache is glorious.

If you don't know the R Kelly version you can hear it here.

Here is another cool cover from the Ameoba series.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Missing You

I miss the iphone. When I was in Oklahoma for a couple of weeks I got to use an iphone. It was pretty awesome. I have had a "burner" for the four years I've lived in Paris and never thought twice about it. Granted I only have about four people who ever call but I text regularly and like to be in contact in case one of the kid's schools call.

I used the hell out of google maps while I had the iphone. I can't imagine how handy it would be here in Paris. I do have friends here that use the iphone in the car which is a must with all of the tiny, one way, name changing streets. But I have a pocket map of Paris that I've used to find ever destination in Paris plus I've put lots of cool stickers on the covers so maybe the physical map wins in this category.

Having a place to jot down notes with me at all time was cool. In Paris I carry a small moleskin pocket notebook. I guess the advantage there is that I can draw pictures in it and if I need to leave a note on someone's door I can just tear out a page. On the other hand, when I fill one up I put it on a shelf and don't have all the door codes, story ideas, quotes and tattoo sketches with me anymore.

The camera on the iphone is great. I carry a point and shoot digital camera right now that takes pretty good pictures but I don't always remember to bring it with me. A big plus for the iphone is that concert and party venues will often not allow cameras but they always seem to let in phones. It's not a problem I run into too often but it really chafes when I want to take a picture and don't have a camera with me.

Texting is all anyone does here and having a phone with a keyboard like the iphone makes it tonnes easier. With the crappy phone I have now I type so slowly that the person I am texting is often several texts on before I can answer the first one. This makes for some pretty bizarre conversations but I just have to assume everyone I text is used to it at this point.

The biggest advantage of the iphone is that you have everything wrapped up into one device. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before you can use it to open your door and then it can truly be the only thing in your pocket. Luckily in Paris guys can carry purses so for now I'm all right hauling all my stuff around.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


I had a lot of scraps left over from the quilt I'm currently working on so I decided to make a couple of gifts for people I would be seeing on my trip back to the states. I saw a featherless version of these somewhere online and decided to use up some of the cool fabric scraps I had sitting around. The one on the left is roughly textbook sized while the one on the right is notebook sized.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Lessons learned from T-shirt Quilt #1

Clearly this was poorly measured.

I learned a few things when making my first t-shirt quilt.
1. I cannot cut in a straight line. In my defense I don't own a pair of sewing scissors but even with a pair of toenail clippers I should have been able to cut in a straighter line. Part of the problem was the material(which I'll address below).
2. On a related topic, I can't sew in a straight line either. There is a lot of talk among quilters online about "sewing in the ditch". This involves sewing in a straight line between the squares already pieced together. This is a plus because you can hide your stitches. I am unable to do this with any regularity.
Look at this crappy border job
3. I didn't do a great job choosing material. T-shirt fabric is pretty stretchy stuff so even if you can cut like a laser if you pull to tightly when piecing the top of the quilt together you can get things off line. I ventured into a quilting store in the 11eme and all of the material that they had for sell was a stiffer cotton that had no stretch to it at all. I should have gone with something like that for my first quilt attempt. The biggest material snafu came when I started the border with a cool striped and sparkly jersey cotton material that stretched like a rubber band. It was a nightmare and after a couple feet I abandoned it for a much stiffer material.
This apple material is a much better boarder choice.                                                      
4. This should probably be problem number 1 but I didn't spend a lot of time carefully measuring the squares as I cut them out. Later I learned that things go together much easier when they actually line up.They are also much easier to sew together. It isn't easy for me to do ninety degree turns with my machine but I did get a lot of practice putting this quilt together.
I did get smart and went down to emmaus and bought a used sheet to use as a back for my quilt. It was a little narrow but a line of squares down each side made it the perfect size.
All in all the experience of making a quilt was really fulfilling. I love the responses I get to it when friends see it. The work itself was a bit tedious but it was really enjoyable figuring out how to make it work as I went along. I have what I feel like are a couple of really cool quilt ideas that I'm going to try to get made in the next few months. Here's hoping the next one is even better.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Gonz in Paris

I'm not sure how people who are native Parisians feel when they see videos shot here but I always get at least a little excited, especially when it is a childhood hero like "The Gonz".

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Invader getting up

This is a great video featuring the french graffiti artist Space Invader. Several of these spots are near my apartment and I walk by them everyday. I'm always a little amazed at how brazen some of these street artist are about putting up their work, respect. If anyone knows where I can find some of those shoes let me know.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


"Fuck litenin and shit". Ahh youthful pointless anger. I really like this song from Joey Bada$$. I can't even hate on the use of $, he's only 17 and that's how kids get down these days.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Pix from the Web

Andre The Giant has big hands.
Light 'em up.
The Flaming Lips are cartoons.
High Rollin

Friday, April 06, 2012

Old school awesomness

Base lines don't get any better than this one. Fugazi got it done.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thoughts on Mash ups

Warning - I think every video below is NSFW.
Mash-ups seem to go horribly, horribly wrong a good 90% of the time. It's a statistic (that I made up) I try to keep in mind while trolling the internet for mash-ups because despite the frequent horror shows out there I do enjoy a good mash-up. I've posted about Girl Talk several times and I'm pretty sure I've said before that I don't consider what he does a "mash-up", he is creating music with found sounds. So for this discussion, Girl Talk in all his danceable brilliance is out.
How many times have I thought, "I love Jane's Addiction and M.I.A., this will be an awesome song!" only to be subjected to a poorly synced, roughly mixed piece of crap. There is no set rule to follow when you are looking for mash-ups. Two bands that don't sound anything alike from completely different genres can mash up into something amazing as can two bands from the same genre and time period. A large part of a good mash-up is the masher knowing what he or she is doing. Apparently technologie has made it much to easy for just about anyone to mash-up anything they like and making it sound like they actually hate the mashees.

My biggest problem with most mash-ups, even the good ones, is that they are fun to listen to once or twice but they lose their shine pretty quickly. The whole novelty of hearing Madonna sing on top of a prodigy song is mind blowing the first time but not so much the next. But there are some mash-ups that have held my attention for quite awhile.
Everyone remembers when Danger Mouse mashed the Beatles White Album with Jay-Z's black album. The entire Grey album was pretty amazing. One of the standout tracks Was 99 problems mashed with helter skelter. It seems like just after that a ton of people took a crack at 99 problems and the best by far was DJ Tim G who did a flawless mash of 99 Problems and Jimi Hendrix. I've been listening to it for years, you can check it here.
Another mash-up that I listen to regularly is a Monkees/Iron Maiden mix. Check out the awesome performance video below.

All that having been said, I have been obsessed with Wugazi for the last couple of weeks. Wu-tang Clan and Fugazi mashed-up? Yes please. Check out my favorite track from the album 13 Chambers(yes that is 13 Songs by Fugazi mashed with 36 Chambers), Forensic Shimmy. Added Bonus, the video is made up of old kung fu clips, I think the Wu would approve.

Anyone know of a great Mash-up I should listen to?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mixtape madness

Sometimes I just get in the mood to make a mix tape. I'll usually put something together and put it on my ipod. I used to make mix tapes all the time for a couple of friends from Oklahoma. Lisa(who contributes to the very cool Prairie Hive) was the perfect person to make mixes for, she had really good taste but didn't know a ton of different bands. Andrea was also fun to make mixes for, she had good taste and kept up with new music but she was ten years younger than me and didn't know the bands I grew up with. A couple of weeks ago I took out my notebook and wrote out a playlist for Lisa.
Lisa Mix
1. Beirut - East Harlem
2. Ryan Adams - Chains of Love
3. Destroyer - Downtown
4. Kathryn Calder - Turn a Light On
5. Bright Eyes - Lejune Stars
6. The Decemberists - This is why we fight
7.Gotye - Somebody that I used to know
8. The War on Drugs - Brothers
9. Is Tropical - Lies
10. Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition
11. The Dead Milkmen - Can't Relax
12. M83 - Midnight City
13. Los Adolescentes - Denver
14. Yuck - Get Away
15. Jay Z and Kanye - Niggas in Paris
16. Fucked Up - The Other Shoe

Last week my wife decided to make a playlist for a friend with questionable music taste. Not only questionable but inconsistent in that she likes one song from an artist but doesn't like anything else by that artist. It makes it more than a little challenging to put together a mix.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cool Video: Iron & Wine Godless Brother

Iron & Wine released another great video from one of my favorite albums of last year.

While watching this video I kept thinking, "This could easily be the kids from the Smashing Pumpkins 1979 video a few years on if they had a wistful Asian and not quite so many assholes in their group."

And for no reason except the song is amazing, Kathyrn Calder.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Top 25

I just checked my itunes and here are the 25 songs I listened to the most in 2011.

1. Generator^Second Floor - Freelance Whales
2. God Made the Automobile - Iron & Wine
3. Belated Promise Ring - Iron & Wine
4. On Melancholy Hill - Gorillaz
5. Tree By the River - Iron & Wine
6. Generator^First Floor - Freelance Whales
7. Kilojoules - Freelance Whales
8. Big Burned Hand - Iron & Wine
9. In Step - GirlTalk
10. Newport News - Pernice Brothers
11. Calgary - Bon Iver
12. Tony the Beat - The Sounds
13. Goshen - Beirut
14. Finish Line - Fanfarlo
15. Bottled in Cork - Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
16. Half Moon - Iron & Wine
17. Carolina - Ben Gibbard and Andrew Kenny
18. Port of Call - Beirut
19. Can't Relax - The Dead Milkmen
20. Let it Out - GirlTalk
21. L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. - Noah and the Whale
22. Godbird - Sufjan Stevens
23. The High Road - Broken Bells
24. Superfast Jellyfish - Gorillaz
25. East Harlem - Beirut