Old Shit
A vaguely chronological sampling of seemingly stream-of-conciousness writing, or when people actually interacted with me, disjointed, unrelated triviality:

Summer 1999

'Ten Things I Hate About You' and 'She's All That' are essentially the exact same movie. I won't ruin what little plot there is, but if you've seen one, you know the plot of the other. Yes, I have seen both. No, I'm not proud of it.

The Get Up Kids: I like the Get Up Kids a lot. Each of their releases has seen a marked improvement, with the recent 7" on Sub Pop being their best work yet. One musical technique that the Get Up Kids seemed to avoid was the use of straight-up pop harmonies (Save for some limited yet effective dabbling on the Subpop 7"). Then I got "Red Letter Day," a release on which they totally abuse thee sappy vocal harmony. I guess the best way to attack this is song by song:

One Year Later - A song with way too many lyrics, but it's catchy enough. This song is obviously about the 'trials and tribulations' of the Kids' success ("Does anyone remember when around the world and back again was a dream not quite so clear?") Harmonies litter this song. The mix sounds a little off; the vocals seem too high in the mix and the guitars too bassy for a Get Up Kids song. Good, but not great. <

Red Letter Day - This is actually a really good song. It features an extremely catchy chorus ("I trusted misleading promises worth repeating. How could you do this to me?") - harmonized, of course - and best of all: it's an embittered break-up song. Best of EP honors.

Forgive and Forget - This song is the big stinker of the Ep as far as i'm concerned. It's just plain bland, and it suffers from "Police Ending Syndrome." What is "Police Ending Syndrome," you ask? Well, I'll tell you. "Police Ending Syndrome" is a term that derives from the inability of 80's band The Police to end a song without repeating the chorus 70 billion times. Plus - it sounds like the drummer messes up during this song, and that's just not allowed. P.s. - I gave this song a second chance, and it's really not as bad as I make it sound. It's better than basically everything they play on the radio.

Anne Arbour - Alright, this is my one big gripe. "Anne Arbour" was on the Subpop 7". It was a great song. When they re-recorded it for this release, they felt it necessary to add what sounds like a xylaphone (Keyboard synthesized?), and to sing the second half of the song an octave lower than on the 7". These changes - in my opinion at least - are extremely ill-advised. The 'xylaphone' just doesn't seem to fit, and seems to cheapen the song. The shift in the vocals completely eliminates the sense of urgency that permeated the 7" version (I should be a rock critic). My final gripe regarding this song is about the last time the lyric 'Anne Arbour' appears in the song. On the 7", there's a wickedly high (soaring, even) three-part harmony that really sells the song, so to speak. This prime 'Get Up Kids Moment' has also fallen victim to the octave shift. One thing I will say in favor of this version is that it sounds much fuller. While the song itself is one of the best on the EP, the simple fact that a superior version exists is enough to ruin it for me.

Mass Pike - This is not a Get Up Kids song. This is a Jimmy Eat World song. The Get Up Kids are not Jimmy Eat World. This had better not continue.

You, like many Americans, may find yourself wondering: "What did Adam Kempa do yesterday, the 18th day of August, 1999?" Well, in answer to the above query, a friend and I played 'metal-esque' music (in alternating drums-guitar configurations) to five year-olds at the preschool where he is employed. Let me stress that your life is not complete until you've dragged a drum set and half-stack into a parking lot, cranked the distortion, and had crazy kids dance in an area enclosed by orange safety cones.

Suppose someone were to hold a gun to your head and yell "Get in there and watch 'Mystery Men' or I swear to Christ I'll pull this trigger!" It would still be in your best interest to refuse. It's that bad. And it's roughly two and a half hours long. Unfortuneately, watching the movie didn't kill me. But while I was watching it, I kept wishing it would (fuckin' alliteration and shit). Perhaps a better analogy would be if someone were to approach you with a mallet, and say "Get in there and watch 'Mystery Men' or I swear to Christ I'll tap you in the forehead with this mallet repeatedly for two and a half hours!"

I drove into school in downtown Detroit yesterday with a friend who had stolen his younger brother's LFO cd. If you haven't heard their single, 'Summer Girls,' you probably will, and you won't like it. Chorus: 'I like girls who wear abercrombie and Fitch, Chinese food makes me sick.' If you have heard 'Summer Girls,' it only gets worse. The cd consists of careful attempts to 'mime' songs from several different genres while throwing in their contrived mainstream-pop references. There are obvious attempts at sounding 'like' Backstreet, R. Kelly, and Hanson. And I listened to the whole thing. The R. Kelly song is hilarious because one of the 'Light Funky Ones' (groan) sings in a soulful R+B voice: 'I will show you mine, if you will show me yours.' I shit you not. And teenage girls all over the country are eating this shit up thanks to MTV. Ha. They must be sponsored by Abercrombie and Fitch or something. I mean, who writes songs about the clothes attractive girls wear (excluding generalities such as 'Lady in Red')? You don't hear Tim Kinsella warbling 'I like girls who wear black rimmed glasses and dark second hand blue jeans and scarfs,' or the guy from the Make-up singing 'I like girls who look strikingly like neanderthals' (I'm sorry, he looks like a monkey).

Fall 1999

Anatomy of a bad day:

Wake up at 5:50 am after staying up until 1:30 am studying biology.

Drive your MOM to work because your car is still broken and you have to use hers.

Go back to bed until 7:20 Stumble out the door trying to balance enough books and food to educate and feed a small army.

Drive to Detroit.

Get a test that consisted of five 10-point questions back. Despite the fact that you left two questions completely blank, get 33/50. Wonder how someone can teach engineering courses with such a poor math background. Be glad you can drop one exam in this class.

Skip your ridiculously easy differential equations class to cram for a biology exam and print out a lab description for later.

Take the biology exam. Become angry after realizing that the material is ridiculously focused on one of the four chapters the exam was supposed to cover. Be glad that you can drop one exam in this class.

Go to a lab class. Realize that the lab is nothing more than shoving bits of copper into an oven, extracting one every twenty minutes and testing their hardness. For three hours. Have one of your lab partners loudly argue about a low grade on a two week long lab. Engage your lab instructor in a lengthy conversation about computer keyboards in China, have him teach you how to use chopsticks using pencils. Find out that one of your lab partners fled Lebanon during Syrian bombing, and is a cellular phone genius. Find out that one of your other lab partners says 'No Doubt' waaaay too much. Leave the black mead notebook that contains everything you've written about differential equations all semester in the lab room. But don't realize it.

Go to A+W and spend 5 of your last 7 dollars on a combo meal that you soon realize you don't even want. Cram for a film midterm while nibbling at the fries. Try not to look stupid while doing this because that cute techno redheaded girl from your film class is cramming at the table behind you. Consider marketing a T-shirt that says 'I have a lanky-glasses-wearing-probably-played-in-a-band-and-worked-at-a-record-store-once guy fetish,' so you can easily identify your prospects. Continue cramming and trying not to look stupid for a very long time before realizing that she's not sitting back there anymore and you can be as oafish as you want.

Get sick of cramming, pack up the food for later, go kill an hour downloading mp3's because the university has a cable modem and you don't. Find a live version of Guns N' Roses covering the theme from the Godfather.

Go to film class. Take the exam and write a pretty good essay response. Have the instructor let you out early.

Drive home from Detroit, wolfing down the A+W on the way.

Realize your gas guage is buried on 'E.' Spend your last 2 dollars on cheap gas.

Get home. Check your messages only to find out the parts for your car still aren't in.

Unpack your bag and realize you lost your Differential Equations notes.

Write about it on the internet because you don't have anything better to do, since you just had exams in every class but Differential equations, and you lost the assignment.

Question: What could possibly be more depressing than the spectacle that was the 1999 MTV music video awards? Answer: The commercials! The entire fiasco was a puzzling joint-advertisement for squeaky clean teen pop and angry misogynist 'rock/rap bands,' but the new line of spots MTV ran during the breaks were even more offensive. There were two commercials in particular that pissed me off, so I'm going to rant for a little bit here. The basic structure of the campaign is a long sequence of shots set to music, followed by the materializing of a sixth grade vocabulary word that has absolutely nothing to do with MTV whatsoever. The first one I saw featured a sweater wearin' 'indie rock/the cure' lookin' kid walking down the hallways of a highschool, getting dirty looks from all the cheerleaders and football heroes, and greeting their disgust with a knowing grin. I loved this commercial. Until an MTV logo popped up at the end. What the fuck is that?! Surely the powers that be couldn't have missed the BLATANT irony of such an ad? I was mighty pissed, but then I realized that it would probably appeal to the 'Korn' crowd, so I sat back and let it go. But I wasn't happy about it. The next spot in the campaign is the one that really 'got my goat' if you will. Let me set it up for you: Camera pans across a floor covered in what seems to be the CD component of my record collection. More than one Smiths album was seen ('The best of... I' and 'Louder than Bombs'). As the commercial ran its course I honest to god was pointing at the screen going 'Hey! I have that album! and that one! and...' etc. Then the camera pans up to a mixtape that the producer of the commercial must have stolen from my room. The camera gets close enough that you can read the song titles. Sure enough, Jeff Buckley's 'Last Goodbye' is the first song. 'Holy shit,' I'm thinking, 'This is the best commercial ever.' Then the camera pans up to reveal that the lost love that our hero is lamenting is another guy. Now, I'm not a homophobe by any means, but talk about perpetuating a stereotype of musical taste! "MTV: single-handedly making sure Adam doesn't get any." Because we all know that any guy who still listens to U2, the Smiths and Jeff Buckley couldn't possibly have even a slight interest in women. Thank you, MTV for showing me the light! What was I thinking? A straight male and I don't own a single Korn album?! I'm on my way out right now to buy the new Limp Bizkit and find a woman to abuse.

Overheard at the Detroit Atom and his Package show a week or two ago (Transcribed word for word to the best of my memory. Try to imagine hearing this in a reasonably public place and not laughing.): [Overly excitable, multiply tattooed male punker speaking at 200 times a normal person's speaking volume. I want to say he was drunk, but I really don't think he was, and that only makes it worse.] "So me and this buddy are in the mall where Britney [Spears] is appearing, right? And we have a video camera, right? So we make a documentary by walking around and asking people 'How do you like Britney's new rack?' and Then we had this big sign to hold up, but the security tried to take it from us and I was like 'Fuck No, dude! Your not even a MALL-cop!' but they took it and they tore it up. [people talk at normal levels before he busts into another story] Yeah! while I was in new orleans, dude, I was a nanny and a stripper! It was at this punk club where all these punk girls went, 'cause all the strippers down there were punks, so they had this amateur night at this club and I decide to do it right? So I go out there in my dazy dukes and cut off jersy and moonboots, and I was like - oh my god! So I figured- 'Fuck!' I was all humping the floor and stuff. The couple I baby sat for got a different babysitter for that night, they were cool. They were like, yeah, I gotta see my nanny strip! [pause while people with normal voices talk] Oh Yeah, she still lives down there dude! She plays indoor rugby! Yeah! I was all talking to her and she's like 'Just a second I have to tape my ears back,' and I'm like, 'What the Fuck?!' and she's like 'Yeah they rip 'em off if I dont.' They rip each others fucking ears off! Dude! [Another pause] Well, it was like that after that live bondage show we were in together! I mean, dude, I was picking dried candle wax out of my ass for weeks! That place was the best dude! I never saw so much Male nudity in my life! I mean, everywhere you look, naked! naked! naked! [pause] Yeah, so now I'm here in Detroit. Me and my dad, who I met in December, are living in a little bachelor pad together. We're both freshman in college, dude. A 27 and 43 year old college freshman living together dude! Imagine the porn we have on our computer dude! blah blah blah.... [I swear on my life I didn't make any of that up. Isn't that sad?]

Overheard on campus recently:

"Did you see 'Stigmata?'

"No, but I saw 'Sixth Sense.'

"I saw them both"

"Which was better?"

"Well, they're both good in their own way. 'Stigmata' is like 'Whoa!', and 'Sixth Sense' is like 'Whoooooooooaaaaaaaa.'


When mixing things on my four-track, I used to take in to account the position of the driver in a car before panning tracks into seperate speakers. I wonder if British basement dwellers do the same thing - in reverse! The world may never know.

Jejune / Lazycain split 7" (BWR)

Jejune covers the Smith's 'The Boy With the Thorn in His Side,' and do so almost perfectly. The only detectable differences are the addition of low-in-the-mix female harmonies and the absence of a few vocal nuances. Jejune obviously like the smiths a lot, but in the words of Chris O, this is 'A show-off record,' in that they didn't interpret the song in their own style or make any recognizable changes. It's essentially a Look-we're-good-enough-to-be-the-Smiths type thing. The B-side features Lazycain's version of 'Handsome Devil' (Available as a live (?) MP3 here). Even though I love Jejune, this side is much more interesting, as Lazycain (whoever they are) do a nice punkier rendition of the song, complete with abrupt puases followed by harmonized exclamations of the lower variety (a la jawbox, at times). Good stuff. Worth three bucks? Yes.

Jejune / Some Japanese Band split 7" (BWR / Some Japanese Label)

On this 7", Jejune have the right idea. A looooong shoegaze popsong with aggressively harmonized rock-out choruses. If you saw them at Krazyfest this year, this was the last song they played. If you've heard 'This Afternoons Malady' and liked it, buy this now. If you haven't heard 'This Afternoon's Malady,' buy this now. But do it quick, only 1000 exist and they're imported from Japan. Oh, and I haven't listened to the other side yet. Sue me. Worth three bucks? Yes.

Last night I saw the new Veruca Salt, which is essentially Louise Post and three new people.  They played both old ('Don't Make me Prove it,' 'Volcano Girls,' 'Spiderman,' 'Victriola,' 'Straight,' and 'Shutterbug') and new songs. The old songs were great. The new songs were Loud and lacking in the melody department, save for one. Rob Byrd said it best when he observed: 'She is pissed.'

(1/1/00) Wow. It sure is weird to type that date.  Anyways, I wish I had hired a camera crew to record last night's activities, as I'm not sure I belive some of it actually happened. Thank you Kevin, and thank you Ann Arbor.   At one point or another last night, I was in posession of the following, all of which I lost, save for the playing card and the cup:

1 Orange

1 Ace of Hearts Playing Card

1 Glow Stick

1 'Being John Malkovitch' Promo Sticker

1 Red 'Happy New Year' Hat

1 Black 'Happy New Year' Hat

1 'Happy New Year' Tiara

1 'Annual Millenial Bash' Ass-shaped Cup

First Album I heard in 2000: Chuck Berry's Greatest Hits

First food of 2000: Greasy Ruffles in the stairwell of an apartment building at 3:00 AM

This morning I dreamt that I was a basketball player, and that I was lunging to block a pass.  In reality, I was asleep and I was lunging to knock my alarm clock off my nightstand. rah.

Winter 2000

So last night I saw Davey of the Promise Ring spew / hurl / blow chunks on stage.  Actually, I didn't see him do it, I just saw him kind of collapse out of my sight for five minutes while the rest of the Promise Ringers kind of stood around awkwardly.  Then he got up and announced that he puked. Hooray! The opening band was called camden, and they were great if drama and pretention are your thing (as they are mine).  Here is what Camden Sounds like: Once upon a time, the guitar sounds of Hum, Radiohead and Sunny Day Real Estate had a crazy drunken threesome at the guitar sound of Radiohead's apartment. Noone is really sure who impregnated whom, but offspring was produced.  This offspring grew up and went on a date with the ridiculously complicated bass technique of Hot Water Music.  It turns out that the bass technique of Hot Water Music and this guitar sound offspring were way goth (Which happens to be may favorite phrase ever - 'Way goth') and they had a seance. They called up Jeff Buckley's vocal abilities.  Then they all frolicked and made music together or something. Anyways, Camden has a new CD coming out this year, and if it's anything like their live show, you need it.  Also at the show, I spotted this girl who lived across the street from me in my early childhood, but I wasn't absolutely sure it was her and I didn't want to look like a moron trying some lame pick-up line so I didn't say hello. What a dork. After the show I went home and fell asleep, only to dream that I was at a new years eve party attended by the red headed N*Sync.  Then there was a flood.  And then I woke up.  And I didn't even make any of that up. Isn't that scary?

My courses this semester are extremely 'big-heavy-book-intensive,' so on Mondays and Wednesdays I lug two shoulder bags worth of books around campus from 9:30 AM until 7:30 PM. Today I was walking along with both bags slung from the same shoulder and my arm started aching. As I walked to my next boring class, I constructed this big elaborate scenario in my head where by carrying two shoulderbags I pull my spine out of joint and my vertabrae pinch a nerve that renders my left arm completely useless, and I can no longer play music, because unlike the drummer from Def Leppard, I don't have a million dollars (Or a spousal abuse problem [thank you 'Behind the Music!']) with which to buy made-for-one-armed-guys (or gals) instruments. So I think I'm going insane or something.

Today started off as one of those days where you roll over at 7:36 AM knowing full well that there was something you had to do by 8:00.  A few minutes later, you realize that what you were supposed to do by 8:00 was be at work.  Then, on your way home from work, you blow the transmission out of your vintage 1983 car, and drive the rest of the way home in first gear, because the trans won't switch.  Then when you get home, you write about it on your dorky website, but you can't post it because you still haven't switched your ISP and the line is incessantly busy.  If anyone wants to sell me a car, feel free.

Today I listened to the radio for the first time in a long while. Actually, I listen to talk radio a lot, but most of the music I hear is of the pre-recorded variety. Here is a quick overview of what I heard:

The Red Hot Chili Peppers' newest single: which is really good. For some reason this song sounds like it resulted from this conversation:
Anthony: Hey guys, remember Urge Overkill?

Chad: They broke up.

Anthony: Oh, that's too bad. Let's write a song with a chorus that is ripped directly from their corpse.

Chad: Okay.

Goldfinger's new single totally - and I mean totally - rips off Elvis Costello's 'Everyday I Write the Book.' One of the verses in Costello's song refers to the chapters in the book of the title. Each line begins with 'chapter,' followed by a sequentially increasing number, until he reaches chapter 4, at which point he gets sick of the idea and groups "chapters four, five and six" together. Goldfinger's song is called 'Counting the days since you've been gone' or something like that, and they totally took the verse from costello, substituting 'day' for 'chapter.' They even went so far as to combine 'days four, five, and six.' Ugh. I must admit, however, that Goldfinger's song on the soundtrack to Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for the Sony Playstation is highly enjoyable.

Smashing Pumpkins' new single, which musically reminds of that minor hit by the band New Radicals. I don't know why, but I do know it's not a good thing.

Amusing slice of life: I spent this past Saturday involved in an in-depth discussion regarding the quility of Guns N' Roses' recorded work, while driving around the down-river area comparison-shopping for triangles (yes, the instrument).

Morrissey Live Review:

By the second song, Morrissey had alienated a fan who bought him $50 worth of flowers (He threw them into the crowd at the end of the first song), had a full glass of beer emptied directly into his face ("I know I'm welcome in Detroit when they throw beers at me"), and helped roughly three people climb through the security onto the stage (About 25 would make it up during the show). The set was a good mix of his solo work, with five Smiths songs thrown in for good measure ('Meat is Murder,' 'Half a Person,' 'Shoplifters of the World Unite and Take Over,' 'Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me,' and 'Is it Really So Strange?'). The lights were appropriately melodramatic, as were the onstage antics ("The next time someone tries to drag you into MURDER king, Just Say No!"). Much to my disappointment, the Morrissey Condoms sold out before the tour made it to Michigan.
My physics teacher seemingly came from the 'Wheel of Fish' school of teaching. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, allow me to explain. He refuses to do anything as it is done in our textbook, and if we don't immediately understand the correlation between his way and the text way, all hell breaks loose. He reacts in much the same manner as the host of 'Wheel of Fish' in Weird Al's opus 'UHF.' Example: 'Stupid! You so stuuuuuuuupid!' He takes any attempt to refer to the textbook as a personal assault, and actually can become quite hostile. It would be funny if I was exaggerating.

The Kids in The Hall show last night actually kind of sucked. Don't get me wrong - it was okay, but it just wasn't the much-needed mid-semester dose of comedic relief that I expected it to be. So if anyone has an extra much-needed mid-semester dose of comedic relief lying around, you now know what to do with it. The best line in the whole show was (of course) delivered by Scott Thompson's monologue-loving homosexual character, Buddy Cole: (heavy lisp) "If you had told me in the 80's that I would be washed up and doing a reunion tour, I would've said 'shut up and keep sucking!'"

As I grumpily exited the library on campus today, I was greeted by the sight of a skateboarder ollie-ing over a homeless man who was lying on his back and strumming his guitar. There's probably a really good analogy about my day hidden somewhere in that experience, but I'm too tired to fish it out. It's a good thing spring break is coming up in a few days, because I've never been more burnt-out in my life.

"Welcome to Wayne State University. Your spring break will be sometime a few weeks after the rest of Michigan. Including elementary schools. And also: we've decided to add an extra "Surprise" test to the syllabus in each of your classes. Additionally, if you recieve a blank green envelope with a university return address in the mail, it means we have randomly decided to expel you. Perhaps you should quit now while you're ahead, no?"

Spring 2000

I arrived in Detroit at about 8 am today for jury duty at 8:30. Unfortunately, all the parking garages they recommend were full and I ended up parking in a tiny lot where I reluctantly handed over one of my car keys so that my car could be shuffled about (As I didn't know how long I would be). Jury duty itself was actually kind of interesting. I didn't get picked (Thank god), but the trial I would have been picked for related to the new home of the Detroit Tigers, Comerica Park. Apparently the land on which it was built was siezed via 'emminent doman,' wherein the goverment, in this case the 'stadium authority' can seize your land and reimburse you with what it assesses its 'market value' to be. Needless to say, the people who owned the land don't quite think they got enough. The city payed them $12 a square foot, they were asking $160 in today's case. Anyway, there was all sorts of other vaguely interesting crap that came up in jury selection, but it would probably bore you to tears. Also: Mayor Dennis Archer was to be a witness, and several jurors were dismissed for having met him personally. I managed to get out at 11:30 am, at which time I proceeded to drive home and watch 'The Rocketeer.'

If you find yourself watching the movie 'Election' any time soon (and if you haven't seen it, you should), take note of just how often garbage appears in the film (ie garbage can, garbage truck, etc.). It's even worse than the 82's in Magnolia.

Today I accidentally wasted an hour watching REM's 'Behind the Music.' A few other stupid observations I've been forgetting to mention:

  • (One:) I spent Saturday afternoon watching MTV's spring break coverage, and Saturday evening at Michiganfest. It was kind of amusing to go from watching what was basically an alcohol-fueled meatmarket, to attending a festival embraced by scores of militant vegan straight-edgers.
  • (Two:) If you haven't seen the John Spencer Blues Explosion video that is on Matador Records' 10-year anniversary compilation, then be advised that you're missing out. The video stars Winona Ryder (as John Spencer), along with Giovani Ribisi and Paul Thomas Anderson favorite John C. Reilly! Watching John C. Reilly play - and eventually kick over - a drum set is about as entertaining as my life gets. And the fact that Winona Ryder goes all spastic doesn't hurt either.
  • (Three:) Did you ever notice that you only use pipecleaners when you're really young (Kindergarten art) or really old (To clean pipes, stupid)? I did. I haven't touched a pipecleaner in years! Let me just take this opportunity to express my concern over this alarming lack of "middle-ground" for pipecleaners.
  • (Four:) If I were to review Elliot Smith's latest album 'Figure 8,' it would go a bit like this: Take all of Eric's Trip's (Canadian Sub Pop band who you should probably already know about) best songs, and put them on one album. Then, transmogrify the album into a cheesy black-and-white soap opera. Then let the soap opera get cancelled (Eric's Trip broke up). Then, several years later, have the soap opera get revived, but by a state of the art production company (Smith recorded at Abbey Road), in color (It sounds ridiculously good), and with wittier writers (Smith's lyrics are awesome, unlike say... Alkaline Trio's). Yeah. So that's how my review would go. Unless I wrote for pitchfork, in which case I would have to completely tear it to shreds (as is company policy, of late).

Well, instead of having a fun weekend like everyone else did, I read a whole big bunch of chapters of physics. And, god-DAMN if that physics test this afternoon wasn't just as mind-bendingly difficult as the one I didn't study all that hard for. (Please speak the first three or so words of the previous sentance with a thick southern accent to achieve desired result.) As I close out these two straight years of being enrolled in classes, I feel like I am more formula-remembering-robot than human. But ANYway: I was driving to return 'The Limey' on DVD (Mini review: Great DVD content, crappy movie. I expected more from Steven Soderburgh) and I swerved to avoid running over an oppossum. The oppossum, being about as smart as an ice cube, took this as a cue to turn around and walk toward my front wheels at a leisurely pace. After narrowly avoiding crushing its skull, I yelled: "Damn Oppossum!" to no one in particular. Roughly two seconds later, a rabbit hopped right in front of my car and just barely escaped pancake-dom. This, of course, prompted me to yell (loudly): "What is this, the fucking forest!?" to no one in particular. Then, checking my rearview mirror to make sure that I had maimed no woodland creatures, I felt really stupid, as people who have just spoken out loud to themselves (twice) often do.

Summer 2000

Modest Mouse live review: Anyone who can yell into the pick-ups of a guitar loud enough so that you can make out lyrics coming through their amp deserves to be on Epic Records, as far as I'm concerned. You will hear no 'sell-out' bullshit from me. And also: that drummer is ridiculously talented. A good drummer makes or breaks a band, and that's why Modest Mouse is doing so well for themselves. They played everything I wanted to hear, so I can't complain.

Viewer mail:

No comment on Modest Mouse or their yelling ability, but there is another factor: the pickup in question is "broken".

In theory, a guitar pickup shouldn't be sensitive to anything that isn't a moving piece of steel or iron in it's field. In practice, any looseness in the pickup windings or between the pickup and it's cover (if it has one) or even bad mounting can cause it to become "microphonic" to various degrees. I.e. it behaves like a microphone because the vibrations in the air cause the loose parts to move which induces a current in the coil and voila, noise comes out of the amp. Pickups are often dipped in paraffin to prevent this, but over time things can work....this is bad as far as loud playing is concerned because not only does it pick up the yelling, it also picks up it's own signal coming out of the amp and that's how you end up with that high pitched feedback squeal that sounds like...well, a microphone pointed at it's own speaker. As opposed to the cool sustain forever kind of feedback where the sound from the speaker excites movement in the _string_ (not the pickup) and suddenly, you're Jimi Hendrix....or Andy Gill.

Case in point: Ian MacKaye's white SG has a horribly microphonic front pickup. He hardly ever uses it (instead switching to the back pickup) unless they're playing one of the tunes where he sings through it. His brown SG is not so broken in this regard--the front pickup sounds quite nice, but the yelling into it doesn't sound nearly as loud or cool.

Just thought you'd like to know....

Dan Kozak

Some highlights from the weekend in Kentucky:

  • Being reminded how much nicer Louisville is than Detroit.
  • Finding a full-size 'Edward Scissorhands' teaser poster for one dollar.
  • Finally finding Jejune's 'This Afternoon's Malady' on 12" picture disc.
  • Finding Negitivland's 'Fair Use' book used.
  • Sitting around on the balcony of a motel with a bunch of kids from Cleveland, discussing the bands that had recently passed through our respective cities.
  • Strolling past a Louisville police officer (who was trying to break up the throngs of loiterers at the Holiday Inn) just as he got hit by three water balloons.
  • Realizing that your band doesn't necessarily have to be good, as long as you throw microphones at people's skulls and breathe fire.
  • Realizing that your band doesn't necessarily have to be good to play a music festival.
  • Witnessing a father encourage his son to go get thrashed in a 'mosh pit.'
  • Hearing one band say 'fuck' far too many times while hollaring about a 'revolution' that had no cause. Much like Rage Against the Machine: "Today, the cover of every guitar magazine under the sun. Tommorrow, the world!"

My recent Tool immersion is getting out of hand. I had a dream last night that I went to see a Tool show at a house with an attached gymnasium. (I don't know. It was a DREAM!) I went to answer the phone, and they played my favorite song ('Undertow'). And I missed it. So even my dreams are kind of dicey these days. Also, let me just point out that the fact that I had a dream about a Tool concert is probably twice as disturbing to me as it is to you.

"I usually just make him a mustard sandwhich." - Marty Smith on one of his vegan daycare kids.

From Saturn.org: Shows filmed at the Fireside Bowl (Chicago). Please note that there is an 'Arab on Radar' show available. Many years ago, I saw Arab on Radar open for the Make-up at a now defunct club (The Green Room) in Ypsilanti. They were absolutely terrible. For their grand finale, their singer put the microphone in his ass and sort of hopped around a bit. Then the Make-up played a prerecorded intro tape that consisted exclusively of the lyrics 'We're going to see the make-up / the make-up / the make-up / We're going to see the make-up / oh yeah /We're going to fuck the make-up / the make-up / the make-up / We're going to fuck the make-up / oh yeah.' Then they played for roughly twenty hours.

I watched the commentary on the Criterion DVD of 'Chasing Amy' last night. Kevin Smith has an annoying habit of saying 'flick' and 'cat' waaay too much. Apparently when the common sense vacuum cleaned him out (right before he made 'Dogma'), it also removed the nouns 'movie,' 'film,' 'person,' and 'guy' from his vocabulary.

Remember my little rant about Arab on Radar a week back or so? No? Well, that's okay then, you can skip this part. But for those of you who do, I got an interesting e-mail as a result:

Hey Adam,
   I was at that show at the green room with arab on radar. I just saw them last week in San Jose opening up for the Locust. Ya know, they were just as bad as they were four years ago. And they got really pissed when they the people that were there ddin't rock out. Funny, I thought they were reminiscent of the Cows and the God Bullies .. both of whom play that shoit better. Because no one liked arab on radar, we were all treated to the locust playing there set sitting down. hmmm .. didn't sound any different than if they were "going off". I got to your site through the metro times page, I lived in Ypsilanti until fall of 98, when I moved to Oakland, CA. Just saw his name is alive last night, and lovesick is playing here next month .. white stripes just played too, but i am unemployed (dot.com co I worked for went belly up), and have no money ... when did hardcore kids get into arab on radar? ...


Let me also comment on the fact that British music magazines are roughly 200% better than American music magazines. Pick up any American music magazine, and you can count on reading about Slipknot's masks and whatnot. Pick up Q, Mojo, or NME, and you'll find well-written, wry articles on the making of Jeff Buckley's 'Grace,' the 100 stupidest things rock stars have ever done, and roughly two billion bands you will never hear of stateside. Of course, if you pick up Melody Maker (another English magazine) you'll read about Slipknot's masks, but I digress.

I'm finally starting to annoy people! Evidence, from 2ofus:

"this kempa guy gets on my nerves. he probably reviews for punk planet or some punk e-zines. his reviews might read:
"this band sounds like a cross between squeeze and the velvet underground if they had a baby that was really into the germs."
The funny part is that she's right. An example, from January 2000:
"Here is what Camden Sounds like: Once upon a time, the guitar sounds of Hum, Radiohead and Sunny Day Real Estate had a crazy drunken threesome at the guitar sound of Radiohead's apartment. Noone is really sure who impregnated whom, but offspring was produced. This offspring grew up and went on a date with the ridiculously complicated bass technique of Hot Water Music. It turns out that the bass technique of Hot Water Music and this guitar sound offspring were way goth (Which happens to be may favorite phrase ever - 'Way goth') and they had a seance. They called up Jeff Buckley's vocal abilities. Then they all frolicked and made music together or something."

Fat chance:

Hello Adam,
   My name is Mark Thompson. I am writing on behalf of the Kettle Moraine Press Association, a non-profit organization of high school journalism programs. We are known by the acronym KEMPA and would like to register a domain name. Is there any chance you'd be willing to sell www.kempa.com to us? It looks like www.adamkempa.com is available; maybe we could work something out. I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

Best Regards,

This weekend:

  • Friday:
    • Saw Sloan play live for free at Detroit's Tastefest. They played older songs, and even "Laying Blame," a B-side from the "I am the Cancer" single. I also ate free Ice Cream and ran into someone from every job I've ever had.
  • Saturday:
    • The Recital played at Jacoby's in Downtown Detroit with This is Adelaide, Slackjaw, and Small Craft Sighting. A good time was had by all.
  • Sunday:
    • I arrived at Clutch Cargo's and found the longest freakin' line I've ever seen in my life. For Sunny Day Real Estate. Anyway, once we got inside, No Knife treated everyone to the same set they were killing time with last summer, and then SDRE hit the stage. I had slept for all of maybe 5 hours the night before, so I was already sick of standing, but it turned out to be entertaining enough to keep me from passing out. They played waaay too much off the new album for my tastes, but I suppose that's why they are touring. Standouts included "J'nuh," "8 (which they didn't play last time)," and "In Circles;" during which the stage monitors fizzled out, prompting Jeremy Enigk to freak out and bounce one of the bands 2 billion Gibson Les Paul's off the stage. All in all, good show. Except they continued their bad, bad habit of not playing the best song they ever committed to tape, 'Bucket of Chicken.' Anyway, then we tried to get home. Unfortunately, it started raining really, really hard. Telegraph road flooded to car door level, and cars were stalling out left and right. And there was roughly zero visibility. So that was no fun.
  • Monday
    • I worked.
  • Tuesday
    • I hadn't used my four-track in almost a year, so 3/4 of the recital got together and recorded some demos which are available now on the recital page.

It's been pointed out to me that I've finally been torn a new one by everyone's favorite limeys, indieshite. Enjoy their commentary on the new design that everyone loves to hate, and also enjoy the use of the word 'prat', as I did:

A while ago, we invited readers to suggest sites we should slag. Oddly, a few of you suggested Kempa. We've only visited this site a few times - not our thing, you understand, as it's American and therefore inherently insipid - and were surprised to discover that he has recently debuted a redesign that has basically eliminated every last visually pleasing design element in favour of a stark and bland series of pull-downs and a colour scheme reminiscent of a health service exam room. And he has links to Buddyhead and Western Holmes, which is more than enough reason to rubbish him.

A brief glance over this site first begs me to ask: "What's with the Kempa.com font?" It looks like some strange cross between a modern day Nazi number with a bizarre twist of Hebew. Who bloody fuckin' hell created that pile of sod? Did they do it with their eyes closed? (Apparently this is a rotating logo. They all look like goat shit).

Equally as worrisome is the daily gibberish that's updated. If you're going to do a daily news/blog routine, please, please, don't copy the horrdenous Ditchfuck maneuver of publishing dull bits of half-conscious sentence construction. I know, it's hard making a daily site, and it's even harder dredging up a bit of news every day. Well then, I say, don't fucking do a daily site then, right?

Give Kempa some strong tea (and a much early tea time) -- then maybe sentences like "Hooray for this guy." and "This Buddyhead article ('Interview with a punk') is perfect in every way. [via flapjacks]" will have some bloomin' use! Besides, how could a Buddyhead article be perfect? Hasn't this prat read Buddyhead?

If you ever were a fan of the X-men and it's related satellite comic books, then you will absolutely love the movie. I'm not sure how it would play to someone with no background knowledge, but for the fan, the details were great. Sure some of the lines are cheesy (Prime example: Rogue: 'Does it hurt when they come out?' Wolverine: 'Every time.') but it's a movie based on a COMIC BOOK. So great. My comic book collection has been buried in a basement for 6 years or so, and this movie inspired me to dig it out. My only gripe: apparently, there was a lot of 'backstory' footage that was cut so that FOX could get more showings per day.

Anecdote: Rob, the drummer in the Recital, has this complicated code worked out with his girlfriend where they'll write a sentance, and transcribe it into numbers according to which button the letter appears on on the telephone. The recipient of these often ungodly strings of numbers then decodes the message.

If you ever happen to see 'The Boiler Room' on DVD, watch the alternate ending because it was better (it employs the "cut to black and deliver final line in voiceover" technique that worked so well for the directors of the Usual Suspects and American Beauty). Also regarding 'The Boiler Room': any movie that can quote the Notorious B.I.G. within the first five minutes is essentially the definition of 'Starting off on the wrong foot with Adam,' but I ended up kind of liking it. That Ribisi character was at his "I look like Billy Joe" best, and Ben Affleck played his role very well, almost well enough to make me forget that he was in 'Dogma.' Whoever edited the soundtrack together, however, was apparently retarded.

Mail bag:

"MTV's Undressed manages to combine bad acting, bad writing, the hormones of a 15 year-old and the production values of public access into one big, heaping pile of a guilty pleasure."

Oh, man - i'm so glad to read that someone else actually watches this! it's like a horrible, trashy black hole that sucks me in. i can't tell any of my friends about it; it's too embarassing. why do i like that godforsaken show? sigh.

sorry to bother you. i had to reach out.

[Identity withheld so her friends don't find out.]

I went to see Bright Eyes and Grandaddy the other night, and I would highly recommend this show to anyone who has the chance to see it in their area. Bright Eyes was who I was there to see. Unfortunately, their keyboard broke during the first song, and the keyboardist spent the rest of the set glaring at it and occaisionally hitting a key to see if it had fixed itself yet. This development found the band nervously looking over at the keyboard for the rest of the set, and Connor's signiture craziness only really came out during the impromptu encore. The song selection was kind of lame, too. They played about three songs from 'Fevers and Mirrors,' One from 'Every Day, Every Night,' none from the Insound EP (probably a good thing) and a few from the other two. I was kind of dissappointed, as was my friend Chris, who was expecting "more band members, and more effort." Grandaddy played next, and they proceeded to kick my fucking ass. Generally, when I see a band live, the more instruments and extraneous crap that they have wired together, the more respect I have for them. Grandaddy had roughly seven keyboards, a sampler, a drum machine, and a fourtrack all wired through the PA, and were able to coordinate their two guitars, drums bass framework with all that crap. Between every song, the singer would grap a cassette tape from the top of his keyboard, plug it into the fourtrack, cue it up, and kick off the song. The only gripe I have with Grandaddy was that they had one of those ridiculously expensive computer projector things, and they only displayed three scenes during the whole set. So yeah, A+ show at the Magic Stick.

Some things I forgot to mention about the Bright Eyes /Grandaddy show a few days ago:

  • As soon as each song was over, Connor from Bright Eyes made an absolute bee-line for his beer. Maybe It only stuck in my head so much because he looks so young, but it was like clockwork.
  • All of Grandaddy look like truck drivers.
  • Grandaddy's drummer has a wicked beard and plays with a lit cigarette dangling into it for the whole show, leaving the viewer constantly concerned for his safety and wondering about beard flammability.

If you live in Michigan and you've seen This is Adelaide play, then you know that Kris resembles Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean). Please be advised that watching anything starring Rowan Atkinson a day after seeing Kris makes it infinately more hilarious.

Another thing: Some friends and I just watched 'Heathers,' which is essentially a nonstop sample opportunity. The chances of that same movie getting made today would be somewhere in the negative numbers, especially in light of that whole 'Columbine' incident. I had forgetton a lot of what happens in the movie, and I'm surprised we didn't hear more about 'Heathers' than Marilyn Manson after the ruckus in Colorado. Bonus link, from the Cardhouse Archives: 'Condensed Films: Heathers' in realaudio or MP3.

So I saw Weezer. It's been a long time since I've been to a show where I blew out my voice. They dusted off the giant light-bulb-covered 'W' and all the oldies, and brought the rock as well. The new material didn't exactly knock my socks off, but a song called 'Too Late to Try' was really good. It's probably available on Napster. The thing about the new material is that the melodies are universally higher than the norm for a weezer song, and the difference in vocal style is painfully obvious. Regardless, it was the perfect way to end my summer. If you feel like learning about everything that's going on in the world of Weezer in reverse-chronological order, the place to do it seems to be Karl's corner, by the way.

Fall 2000
If you still haven't been convinced to go see 'Almost Famous' on friday, perhaps you should take a look at this review. It details what went right with the movie, as well as the seemingly tragic loss of over 40 minutes of storyline in order to ensure more screenings per day. Dreamworks is supposedly planning to release a two DVD set, one disc with the theatrical cut and one disc with the original cut. If, as everyone who has seen both versions seems to think, the longer cut is indeed better and warrants a seperate DVD release (rather than simply including 'deleted scenes' on the disc with the theatrical release), doesn't it seem kind of stupid and greedy to release a watered down version? Doesn't someone like Cameron Crowe have final cut on his films? Is he really such a puppet to the studios that he's willing to sacrifice 40 Minutes in the blink of an eye? But I digress. Read the article mentioned above.

I got an interesting e-mail from Robert O'Neil in response to my comments on Dreamworks cutting 40 minutes from the film:

Hey there,

Like the site, I check it out regularly.

I worked for DreamWorks domestic film distribution in NYC, the nations largest grossing market, for a while and I found your comments about Crowe's creative control over Almost Famous interesting. When it comes to films opening in a wide release pattern, like the majority of films that DW releases, the studio tends to do anything that will make the exhibition companies happy, like cutting 40 minutes it fit in more shows in a day, so they can more effectively sell it to film buyers. It's the intersection of art and commerce, and most of the time commerce comes out on top. Directors can (according to their contracts and history with the studio) exert a degree of control over their film, but many times the studio will alter the final product to suit the climate of the market. With so many films and studios competing for the top grossing houses and screens in so many markets, artistic vision frequently loses out to the bottom line.

Being a Cameron Crowe fan myself, I find it disappointing that so much of the film was left on the cutting room floor, but it doesn't really surprise me.

On the flipside, I can say that for the most part the people who work at DreamWorks and make those kind of decisions are very cool and don't necessarily enjoy taking those steps. Not that that changes much.


Today I got to march down to the office of the chair of electrical engineering with an entire class to complain about the backwards teaching methods of our first-time instructor. In case you're wondering, here are the methods in question:

  1. Make quizzes count for 40% of grade.
  2. Quiz on material.
  3. Allow students to ask questions on material for the first time.
  4. Repeat.

Most of the students in class were more accustomed to steps two and three being reversed.

'The Hell That is My Life' (Or: 'How Technology Can Ruin Your Day')
By Adam Kempa

I get out of bed at 8:00. My first class is at 10:40 on Tuesdays, but I have to print out a problem set at school before going to class, because my printer is being 'difficult.' I get to school at roughly 8:50. First stop: The computer lab in the engineering building, where I put the finishing touches on the write-up. After saving my work to my zip disk, I try to print. It is at this point that I find out that ALL the printers in the Engineering Lab are down. Next stop: the computer lab in the basement of the science library. I only have my work on a zip disk, and the science library lab is the only other lab that is equipped with zip drives. I put in my zip disk and attempt to open my work. The computer informs me that there is a file error. I become very Irate. I try to open it again. It opens. I try to print it. All the printers are down in this computer lab as well. Which means if I am to print, I have to transfer the file to a 3.5" disk. Which I don't have. So I run to the bookstore, and buy a floppy disc. Then I run back and transfer the file from my zip to the floppy. Then I run to the undergraduate library to print. I get to the computer lab and find out that since last year, they've gotten rid of all the crappy old macs and replaced them with some sort of imacs. They've also added a fascistic log-in prcedure. So after repeatedly walking between an imac and a flyer on the far wall of the room detailing the log-on procedure, I manage to log on. But guess what? The only drive I can find on the damn thing is a CD drive. Not having had the foresight to burn my work to a CD, I get up and go to the second floor, where I attempt to log on to a windows PC. The PC informs me that I am already logged on somewhere in the library. I run back downstairs and manage to locate the imac I had been attempting to use, and complete the fascistic log-off procedure. Then I run back upstairs and log on the windows machine. Here I actually manage to get a printout, and my class starts in about ten minutes. So I go to class, sit down, and take out my book, look in the pocket where I usually keep my calculator, and it's not there. It dawns on me that somewhere along my path, I must have left my calculator behind. So I take off running to each and every stop mentioned above, and fail to find it. I return to my classroom just in time, sweaty and out of breath. I sit down in my seat and remember that when I was leaving the engineering building, I had used it to finish a calculation. I had then accidentally found a pocket in my new bag that I had previously not been aware of. So I thought to myself: "I'll use the NEW pocket!" and then my brain promptly erased any recollection of this happening. So needless to say, I found the calculator in the 'new' pocket of my bag. That's the end. I'm just venting here, if you actually read all this, I'm sorry.

Everyone get ready to write an angry e-mail because I'm about to EXPRESS AN OPINION. Cameron Crowe's self-proclaimed 'love letter to music' ('Almost Famous') is officially the best movie I've seen all year, counting Magnolia. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant, and his monologue on the phone towards the end is easily the best part of the movie. Thank you, that is all.

Here's a pretty good review of Radiohead's 'Kid A.' It details exactly why I don't like the direction of the new album and why people who are predisposed to like the sort of music they've melded into their 'sound' will. I bolded that 'direction' so I have an out if the album actually does start to grow on me.

"Oh, I don't know. I double back on myself so much." - Lester Bangs.

Sorry, I just had to work that quote in somewhere. The only comment I have on the review has to do with the last sentance:

"Letís see them all try to imitate this."

Well, let's give them all ridiculous recording budgets and no deadlines, first. I'd LOVE to see how much it cost to produce 'Kid A.'

Show review: Elastica and Peaches & Gonzales

Sleater Kinney can tell everyone how they're 'no rock & roll fun,' or casually slip bits of Destiny's Child lyrics into their live performances, all the while thinking they're pretty sassy. The only problem with this, you see, is that they don't have thick british accents, which act as sass multipliers. Elastica, on the other hand, do have thick british accents, and were therefore sass-tastic. They played to a surprisingly not-too-packed house in the shelter, possibly because everyone else in Detroit was at the Trans-am show. They played every single good bit ('good' being subjective here) from their ancient self-titled CD, and mercifully kept the new material to a minimum. Sure, their new record isn't all that great, but make no mistake, this was a great show. I've tried explaining the appeal to people who weren't there with absolutely no success whatsover, but I'll just say this: even if you don't like elastica, you would have if you had been there. So good. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. The real story of the night lies in the hazy mystique surrounding opening act Peaches & Gonzalez.

I went into the show not knowing whether Peaches & Gonzalez were one or two bands. Having seen the show and done a little research, I now know that both answers are correct. It seems both Peaches (The female component of the group) and Gonzalez (The male component of the group) have released solo works on a label in Germany, and have only recently decided to merge their efforts. In any event, I had no idea what to expect, which probably made their set that much better. I'll try and explain a bit of what went on, but again, mere words cannot do justice to the absolutely bizarre experience that they provided.

  • The only source of music on the whole stage was a sampler that they took turns tweaking throughout the set. They took the stage to sampled loops of Michael Jackson's 'Beat it,' each wielding a white towel with which they proceeded to 'jazzercize' for a good three minutes. Once this was over, they began their first song, which contained the line "How many motherfuckers really fuck their mothers?" as a refrain. Towards the end of the song, this refrain was repeated in a rhythmic fashion as Peaches and Gonzalez gradually drew closer to each other, until they were eye to eye. As they drew nearer each other, the tempo with which they delivered their 'poetry' would drop. This effect was put to use on several other occaisions throughout the set.
  • Peaches was dressed in tight black pants and white boots, and Gonzalez was dressed as a pimp would appear in any movie made in the 1970's. Gonzalez had this habit of dancing in such a manner that, had I been deaf, I may have thought he was using a form of martial art to assault Peaches.
  • Before a particularly 'Bassy' song, Peaches suggested that the females in the audience might want to mount the monitors, in order to achieve orgasm.
  • Other Choice Lyrics: "(with increasing urgency) Are the motherfuckers ready for the fatherfuckers? Are the motherfuckers ready for the fatherfuckers? Are the motherfuckers ready for the fatherfuckers? (looking away, disinterested) No." (repeat)
  • Later in the set, a male audience member was asked to stand on a stool onstage. A microphone was placed between his legs (in the crotch region) and Peaches sang into it while playng guitar. Gonzalez then played what I think was harmonium (Whatever that thing Ben Folds uses to play 'Smoke' live is) into the guys crotch.
  • At some point during the set, Peaches lost her tight black pants, and played the remainder of the set in red leather hotpants.
  • They were constantly harping on the fact that they were Candian Jews ("I gots stamina, cause I'm from Canada"), and that they were big in Germany. At the time, I thought they were playing up the rock star cliche - "Yeah, we're huge in Germany" - but apparently they really are big in Germany.
  • There was one 'punkrock' song (sampled, of course) where Peaches freaked out and threw beer everywhere. The beer ended up getting on a lot of people, including a guy in the front row. This guy was not happy. He immediately started spitting at her and extending his middle finger menacingly. He would continue to do this for the remainder of the set. Reading this back, what he did might even sound warranted, but it was like two drops of beer, and he just made a point of being a total asshole.
  • I just read back this checklist and it makes the whole thing sound like a bad Jon Spencer Blues Explosion show. What else can I say? They rapped, kind of with the urgency of a member of early 90's rap group ONYX, all the while keeping up with the karate-esque movements. I don't know. Just make a mental note: Go see Peaches & Gonzalez. You may not like them, but sort of like the Make-up and older Man or Astroman, it's a truly unique experience.

Anyway, it's almost impossible to find any press on them in english. There are interviews in Spanish and reviews in French, but in english, all that's available is a casual mention or two. Supposedly, the duo have a record titled 'Red Leather' coming out soon on Caroline records.

Here is a list of things the guy sitting next to me in this lab has said out loud while I wrote this. He's apparently playing some sort of network game, and he's wearing headphones and has the music up so loud I can make out lyrics. So yeah, he's talking really loud:

  • "I HATE it when I lose crusaders."
  • "Don't I have a FUCKIN' barracks?"
  • "I'm goin' for your MAIN house."
  • "Have a nice day! You can always make more crusaders."
  • "I'm tearing your BITCH ASS up."
  • "Oh! If you have no PEASANTS, you have no HOUSES!"

Actually, it turns out he's playing against the guy next to HIM, but that guy is just really quiet about the whole thing.

So let's see, basically the ONLY thing I was looking forward to all last week was seeing Godspeed You Black Emperor on Friday night. So what happened? Naturally, we arrived during the ENCORE, and we proceeded to watch the last thirty seconds of a closing drone followed by the band saying, "Thank you, goodnight." And to top it all off, they had already sold out of the new CD by the time we got there, so I have to wait until October 23rd. So I was in a pissy mood all the rest of Friday night.

Saturday I saw Bjork's 'Dancer in the Dark,' and it was awesome. A little slow at first, but once the story gets going it sucks you in, and you don't realize how long it actually is. One thing that will probably bug the hell out of a lot if people is the 'shaky-cam-esque' method director Lars Von Trier employed. Though noogies. Another thing that can be said about this movie: it is the mother of all film-class-paper movies. If you are a film major, you could probably graduate without writing about any other movie. Sooooo much symbolism and juxtaposition and other crap that film professors eat right up.

I saw Death Cab for Cutie last night, and they were great. I almost didn't go due to a wicked assignment that was due this morning, but the fact that they were playing before Pedro the Lion and I could leave after they were done sold me. I ended up staying up until roughly 3 A.M. doing said homework afterwards - and it was worth it. Their New CDEP is worth owning, for the first song alone.

Last night someone was telling me about seeing a band called 'The Silent Treatment' at a house show in Illinois. Apparently they were pretty crazy, but I just couldn't stop thinking about how awesome it would be if they just got up on stage and refused to speak or make a sound, and just stared at the audience as though they should feel guilty or something. Because they were called 'The Silent Treatment,' you see. To me, that would be world-class humor.

Also: has anyone seen pictures of Frances Bean Cobain recently? Holy crap! There's a picture in last week's US magazine of Courtney Love and daughter, and it's downright CREEPY how much she looks like Kurt. In case you were wondering.

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