Usually the impetus for me posting here would be me wanting to find something out on the internet, finding it out, thinking ‘Hey, that’s kind of interesting,’ and then posting it here. That hasn’t happened a whole lot lately, and I’m not sure why.

     No, wait – I just figured it out. Tivo is the reason why. And also I’ve been working on the Suburban Sprawl site. At any rate, be forewarned that this is one of those extremely disjointed grab-bag posts.

First, a bunch of loosely-related music stuff:

     So I saw the New Pornographers awhile back. Their Drummer had stick-twirling down to such a science that even fellow artful-stick-twirler Damon Atkinson would have been in awe. He also played the perfect drumkit (Rob, you especially should read this part): a four-piece with high hats and a crash / ride, nothing else. And it sounded great. Their new CD is so pop it hurts. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

     I also bought the new Tortoise album, ‘Standards,’ and I must say, I don’t see why this record is getting such great reviews. It’s not bad but it’s not a perfect album by any means. Yes, I’ve listened to it several times (at work even!). The silkscreened jewelcase is nice, but I like ‘Millions Now Living…’ way better. But that’s just me.

     I also got the new The Stereo full length for free. To fully appreciate my opinion of this CD, you’re going to have to allow me a rather pitchfork-ian analogy. Here goes:

     Remember the Sonic the Hedgehog video games? How whenever you moved Sonic too close to a ledge he would flail his arms either side-to-side or in windmills (depending on how close to falling you were) to keep his balance? Well The Stereo are a lot like that. On past releases, they’d be moving along at a respectable clip (for a pop punk band, of course) and then somehow manage to ruin it. Thankfully, they do that a lot less on this record than they did on the last one. Make no mistake, there are still a few moments when Sonic goes over the edge – the inexplicable four bar break for unaccompanied double-time handclaps in ‘On My Sonar’ and the extremely ill-advised and awkward sounding falsetto bits on the third song being perfect examples. But beyond these ultimately forgivable oversights of judgement, ‘No Traffic’ is a perfectly acceptable sing along pop punk album. Not anything that will break new ground by any means, but it sounds nice (Listening to this as a home-recorder will make you insanely jealous of J. Robbins ability to manipulate guitar sounds), and it’s catchy, too.

     You may or may not know that the new Dave Matthews record came out tuesday. I bring this up only because Barnes & Noble Inc. decided that this event was significant enough to issue a commemorative Gift Card featuring the album art. The only other artist that B&N has deemed culturally significant enough to be singled out in gift card form thus far has been Dr. Seuss. So, yeah that’s kind of scary. The arrival of these giftcards puzzled the entire staff at the store where I work.

     If you ever find yourself in a gift-giving situation where you’re not sure what to get someone and opt for a gift certificate, and you’re pretty sure the gift recipient would enjoy glancing at Dave Matthews and Co. occaisionally while browsing, head right out to your nearest Barnes & Noble. Also: a fun game to play at any music store is ‘Guess who is here to buy the new Dave Matthews.’ This is a very easy game to win.

     If Scooby Doo was as large a part of your childhood as it was mine, this video clip will probably give you just cause to hate Hollywood: [11.9 MB high-quality version, 6.2 MB not-so-high-quality version]

     Just for the hell of it, you should probably know that Captain Underpants is all the rage with the literate youth these days. If this offends you, here is their version of an apology.


     You should definately know that there is an awesome 8-page Pixies retrospective in this month’s Mojo, and anyone who can find me online video clips of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly from ‘True West’ will automatically become my best friend ever. Additionally, I’d like to point out and apologize for the fact that I began three sentances in this post with the word ‘And.’