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Monday, March 09, 2009

Weekend update. Well, and update on my weekend, anyway. I got home from work and relaxed while Mariah drove her way up to my house. We were going to see Cut Copy at Stubb's. I brought along a folding chair for Mariah, since she has been having some knee trouble recently. When we got to the entrance, the C3 presents guy told us we couldn't bring a chair in. Mariah informed him of her condition and he said, "talk to James over there, he'll put you in the VIP area". So we did, and he did. We got into VIP area in a sold-out show!

The first band Matt and Kim were really fun. I haven't seen a drummer smile that much since watching Taylor Hawkins drum for the Foo Fighters at ACL last year. It was crazy being so close and not having an army of people crushing you into the barriers. Truthfully, I enjoy the heat and energy you feel from being in a crowd but, it was pretty nice to sit down while while both bands rocked us out. Maybe I'm getting old...

The headliner Cut Copy had a real synth-pop appeal. It's a real treat to listen to a band that just now has enough material to play live. As an avid listener, you won't be disappointed when they don't play the track you liked the most off the new album. This is especially the case at Stubb's, since noise ordinances force bands off the stage at 11:00 (thanks to the nearby condos which Stubb's pre-dates).

Mariah! I was wrong. You sent out an e-mail to me on February 28th about Cut Copy, so I had plenty of time to listen to their music before the concert. Sorry.

Saturday morning brought me to Walnut Creek where I mountain biked from 10:20 to almost noon. Again, I was elected leader, since I had been to the park more than most of the people there. The guys following me were strong riders so, I pushed myself hard. Too hard at some points but, I only gassed out badly one time. I texted Tobin and Jared but, I found out the message didn't leave my outbox when I got back to the car. Turns out Jared was out of town and, Tobin was focusing on a video editing project, so it was all right that the message never got to them.

That afternoon I went to Staple! the Independent Media Expo where I met a whole host of artists (only half as many as I was hoping to, because of time constraints) from which I bought a moderately sized stack of comics. It was fun learning about their different projects. I saw a few artists that I wish I'd had time to talk with for a bit like Chris Onstad, and Stan Sakai. I even saw Scott Kurtz and Chris Straub walking around the Exhibitor's hall but, since they were there as attendees I didn't want to bother them.

Man, I really wanted to buy some original art from Stan while I was there, as it was the one thing that I regretted not buying last year at Comic-Con. Walked out of Staple! with regrets too, I guess. I'll see Stan again at Comic-Con this year, so I'll make it a point to get something cool from him in July.

I did get to sit front row at Stan's Q and A session which was amazing. I brought in my Usagi Yojimbo Cardboard Standee which would have been impossible to lug to San Diego this year. I tried to lean it up against the stage and the MC (who was going to pass the mike for questions) said that he would be walking in this space and it might get kicked. So he suggested that I put it up on the stage. When Stan saw it, he asked me if I wanted him to sign it. I said "YES!", and as the MC brought it up to him, I said he could stand it up next to him during the Q and A session. As he signed it, he said "Wow, this one's been used", which was obvious from the few bends in the cardboard and some sun bleaching.

I tried to find a picture from a blog or something of the event, since I didn't snap one from where I was sitting. From my angle, there was a microphone covering Stan's face.

Directly after Staple! I went down the street to see Watchmen with Bo, Cory and Betty at the Highland Galaxy theater (because they have DLP projectors). The movie was great, even for a fan of the comic book. Sure, there were compromises in the translation and edits due to time constraints but, this has to be the best comic to movie translation since Sin City. To be fair, I haven't read the comic since 1991 so I could be missing the most irritating changes. I thought the treatment of Rorschach and the selection of actor (and Jackie Haley's performance) was absolutely spot-on. It was particularly cool to see the slightest details replicated from the graphic novel, such as the broken passant on the shoulder of Rorschach's trench coat.

Sunday morning was a little later than I had hoped since an extra hour had slipped away from me during the night. I started the day in the planning on spending the morning back yard, putting in the edging around the planting beds. When I got out there, I found the back yard covered in leaves, so Amy and I worked until noon raking, mowing (and catching) and sucking up leaves. Ended up with 6 or 7 bags to put out on the curb on Wednesday. Hope it doesn't rain.

Once that work was done, I dug a trench for 40 feet of the edging to go into. I should be able to dedicate a few more hours to that work this week before Amy and I go to the Nursery on Thursday morning and pick up the plants that are missing from the layout that I paid for towards the end of last year. While I'm in Chicago this weekend, Amy should have time to put the plants in place and see if the arrangement looks good.

Cory dropped by and gave me a HUGE assist on the upstairs bathroom. We exchanged ideas on the tile and got started on moving the switches and outlet that were installed too low and would interfere with the wainscoting that was planned afterwards. This re-enforced the point "plan, then execute otherwise... re-work". Thanks for the help Cory! Now the upstairs bathroom is a little closer to done AND a little less dangerous.

Now it's Monday.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm sure everyone in Austin knows that Foxboro Hot Tubs is playing at Emo's tonight. Also, I'm sure everyone knows that Foxboro Hot Tubs is Green Day. Since I have an inside source at Emo's, I put in a request to get on the guest list for tonight. It was a long shot, since tickets were only sold at the door, and 101X has been getting everyone in the know AND giving out spots on the guest list.

Turns out, Green Day is playing the inside venue which only handles about 300 people. Apparently, they refused to play outside where there's room for 1,200. People started lining up last night, and the tickets go on sale at noon today which means the line is probably full already. Scalpers have been calling the owner of Emo's and offering $300 a ticket but, were unsuccessful. Emo's will probably make no money off this and neither will Green Day. I wonder what their motivation is for doing such a small show when they could easily sell out an huge music venue. Perhaps they're trying to re-capture their garage band days.

Good luck Green Day fans.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Last night, I met Jen at Flying Saucer for a few beers. We walked over to Flipnotics and met up with Connie to see Matt the Electrician and Southpaw Jones. Instead of doing two sets, they backed each other up on alternating songs and took a break in the middle of the set. It was a really great show. I highly recommend seeing these Austin locals. Matt the Electrician is going to be playing at the Parish tonight at 10 with Super Sonic Uke. Turns out, Holly's friend Jana is in Super Sonic Uke. So, go support local music and see this show.

Oh yeah, Amy and Breck are coming to live with me today!

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Friday, February 01, 2008


Cory and I met Jen (a different Jen) out at Woodrows around 8. Jen had finished a half-marathon over the weekend and had recovered enough to join us for a drink. We cycled through a few beers then went down 6th to get to the Parish Room to see The Mercers play. The first band was already playing when we got there. They sounded a bit like Unrest which was good.

While they were tearing down their equipment, Jen asked when the The Mercers were going to play. I wasn't sure, so I looked around the room for Ray, Erik or Peter (sorry Ethan, I still don't know what you look like behind all that drum equipment) and didn't see any of them. I said as much as Peter walked up and greeted Cory and I. We figured out they were going on after the next act, who were setting up as we talked. Peter excused himself to grab a beer before the show and we moved a little closer to the stage. Jen

The next band was decent but, I was really waiting for The Mercers to hit the stage. We inched a few feet closer to the stage as the second band tore downs and were replaced. The experience was short (only 5 or 6 songs) and only one song was off the current album (Unamericana) but, all of it was awesome. Peter still has blindingly fast strumming and clear loud lyrics, and Ray still holds down some killer baselines. Erik now has two keyboards, and switches to second guitar seamlessly and Ethan keeps every song together with expert drumming.
The last new song was really good. I can't wait until the new album comes out.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A friend from work (Jeff) turned me on to Pandora, a website that streams music through "stations" based on an artist or song that you define. The definition is the seed that Pandora uses to match other songs through the Music Genome Project and plays them for you. By providing feedback, (in the form of thumbs up or thumbs down), Pandora changes the suggestions for your station. It will even tell you the parameters it put into suggesting the music. For instance, I started a Sting station, and it suggested Death Cab for Cutie because "it features mellow rock instrumentation and a subtle use of vocal harmony." It turns out, I really do like Adult Contemporary.

Since the music that it plays is new to you yet, strangely familiar it's quite good a being a front end for purchasing music (which you can do right from the image of the album cover).

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