New Mars Volta record is 77 minutes of seamless prog goodness.

Most songs have multiple ‘movements.’ I can barely contain my glee.

MP3 of the Week: Holy Cripes.

     I lied. Here are a few (emphatic) christmas music recommendations. My friend Jason sent me a link to Pledge Drive’s “X-Mas Rhapsody” (Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reimagined as a christmas carol). Totally good. Here’s a link to Pledge Drive’s site. [via jason, via]

Pledge Drive – ‘XMas Rhapsody’
From: Here (2003)


     Also recommended by me is that ‘Where Will You Be Christmas Day?‘ comp that Pitchfork wrote about last week. Good stuff for fans of all things archival and old-timey.


     Eagle-eyed Abigail recently posted a comment on my previous entry about Adrian Tomine’s New Yorker cover. In her comment, she offers a very strong candidate for the identity of the book both characters in the illustration are reading. Below is an enlarged scan of the book in the image, followed by the cover for “The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness” by Karen Armostrong, which was released in hardcover in March of this year. It’s not an EXACT match, but it’s pretty close.


eBay: Classic cartoon music composer Carl Stalling’s business card (Starting Bid: $900)

'Tis the Season

     For the past three years I’ve been involved in an annual effort to get local members of a growing Michigan(ish) music community to record Christmas songs. Getting 20 plus part-time music-makers to agree to contribute a Christmas song is one thing, collecting the song in order to meet a deadline is another entirely.

     It is in the interest of encouraging everyone to contribute that we stress a Lo-Fi friendly policy. We typically set a deadline around the beginning of December and keep pushing it back as we try to gather everyone’s submissions to burn a master. Once this is done, we put together a few hundred hand-packaged CD’s and distribute them.

     Over the course of three CD’s we’ve collected 63 original and traditional holiday songs with production ranging from Parsons to Barlow, all of which are available for download in a variety of formats (mp3 / zip / torrent) here. This year, I play on these songs and recorded the basic tracks for this one.

     Over time, this compilation has become an excuse for people to write and record in groups independent of their ‘normal’ band situations. This inevitably leads to a slew of pseudonyms and joke songs, which punctuate the more somber/sincere offerings nicely and keep the mood ‘balanced.’

      It’s worth noting that we used a wiki to organize this year’s efforts. Everything (With a few exceptions) went smoothly, and we finished up about 2 weeks earlier than last year. Imagine that! Wiki + Musicians = Productivity!

     Also still available is my Christmas Mix from last year. I haven’t stumbled across enough new christmas music to justify a new installment, so I defer to last year’s page, which I am very glad I left up.

Xlink has tunneled Metroid: Hunters DS online.

Again with the Coverspotting.

     With this entry, I’ll be continuing my recent habit of only updating this website when I spot the work of an artist I like in a place I’m not expecting to see it. I was in Borders today and noticed that the cover of the newest Michael Chabon book, “The Final Solution: A Story of Detection,” has cover art by long-time indie rock poster designer Jay Ryan. You can view his website here, or sort through this gallery of his work at This cover is pretty underwhelming compared to his other work – two of my favorite posters by Mr. Ryan are this one and this one.


Pledge Bait

     Having fallen embarrassingly behind in the maintenance of, I thought I would make an attempt at bringing the following item to people’s attention before its too late:

     Cartoonist Chris Ware and ‘This American Life‘ Host Ira Glass have collaborated on a DVD which is only available to those who donate to public radio. The DVD contains the narrated slideshow that Glass and Ware were presenting at various speaking engagements during the past year. I’ve pasted some background on the story below, taken from the official website for the DVD.

     “Ira Glass and cartoonist Chris Ware decided to co-report a story together. Ira does the sound. Chris does hundreds of drawings. The result is a 22-minute story, with sound and images, now on DVD for the first time.”

     “This story has never been on the radio. It was presented in pieces – as it was completed – on This American Life’s May 2003 “Lost in America” tour, and at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. It’s the true story of a boy named Tim Samuelson, who became obsessed with old buildings, especially the buildings of Louis Sullivan in Chicago, during the 1960’s and 70’s when they were being torn down.”

     “At one point, hearing that a favorite building at Clark and Adams is being demolished, a thirteen-year-old Tim demands to meet with the architect who’s designing the glass-and-steel building that’ll take its place: Mies van der Rohe, one of the most famous architects in the world. Tim finds van der Rohe’s office. The legendary architect meets with the teenager.”

     “Much more happens. It’s a very sad story, drawn with beautiful pictures.”


     The DVD is only available in exchange for making a hefty pledge to your local public radio station. If you’re interested, but your local ‘This American Life’ station doesn’t appear to be offering the DVD, they can probably still get it for you.

     A bit more on the DVD and packaging:

     “Audiences who saw the work presented onstage saw huge projections of Chris Ware’s drawings. The cartoon buildings were tall as buildings.”

     “To accompany the DVD, Chris has designed a 96-page book, full of never-before-published photographs of Louis Sullivan buildings, in their glory and in various states of demolition. Also, there are DVD extras: audio outtakes, a look at Chris’s pencil sketches, a high-resolution version of the movie that plays on PCs and Macs. “

     “As he worked on this, Chris said he wanted it to be the most beautiful thank you gift public radio has ever offered listeners. The whole package is this gorgeous little book, filled with photos, with the DVD tucked inside. It’s being released first and exclusively through public radio pledge drives, and not available anywhere else.”

     There’s a quicktime preview of the DVD available for viewing here.

Metafilter’s Hypothetical Zombie Scenario Survival Plans

Free SuperBowl Commercial Idea

     I can’t be the first person to come up with this idea, but I’m amazed it hasn’t actually been executed yet. Maybe it has and I just don’t know it.




Verizon Logo: “Can you hear us now?”

     Do you have to have a specialized degree to be an advertising “Idea Man?”

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