Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Link Dump, Pt. 2: Wherein I Share Links That Have Nothing To With The Audio Input Of My Life


  • If you were giddy about reports that the car the Boston Marathon bombers were driving had one of those "Coexist" stickers on it, a.) you're looking at the wrong car, and b.) you're just a dick.  On a tangent - is there anything more sad and unfunny than a comedian (like Adam Corolla) who has swung hard to the right?  Case in point #1, case in point #2.
  • Here's a clip with Whitney Houston and goats.  It's not what you think it is.  It's better.
  • The Kentucky Derby is upon us - what better time to read Hunter S. Thompson's essay "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent And Depraved".  And here's some dope art to go along with that.
  • We've had our first significantly warm day today, and I'm in heaven.  Naturally, my thoughts have turned to summer and summer beverages.  I'm back to an old standby in the drink rotation and I'm loving it on the rocks - that's it.  I am intrigued by this drink recipe and may give it a go at some point. I've also been craving Vernor's ginger ale and Hires root beer, which are both beverages that are inextricably linked to summer for me.
  • I'm working on my summer to do list.  Here's what's on it so far:  eat the perfect steak (or any steak really), do at least 3 bike rides of 30 miles or more, be able to play at least 2-3 songs on piano by the end of the summer, go fishing with the kids, launch a model rocket with the kids, continue going to the driving range with my son (we've done two trips so far this spring), and on and on.  What's your summer "to do" list look like?

Cool Stuff From Around the WWW

  • Did you know that IBM had a corporate song book?  It's the anti-folk song book.  Just looking at it gives me the heebie jeebies and fills my brain with Orwellian visions.
  • I'm not exaggerating when I say this might be the coolest guitar I've ever seen.  The guy demoing it uses the looping pedal to great effect as well.
  • I'm crazy about the sound of a Rickenbacker bass.  I'm just as crazy about the bright, jangly sound of a Rickenbacker 12-string.  Unless you've never heard anything by the Who, the Beatles, the Byrds, Robyn Hitchcock, REM, Tom Petty, etc, you've heard a Rickenbacker 12-string.  But check out this demo to hear the Rickenbacker (played through a Vox amp, naturally) by itself - so amazing.
  • I've been digging on this song by a local band called the Broderick.
  • My friend Caleb hipped me to some really dope stuff - like this tune by Wu Lyf, this tune (with great video!) by Mulatu Astatke, and this song by the Drums.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Some Stand Up Comedy From Dylan Roahrig

Dylan Roahrig is one of my good buddies from college.  We met the very first day we were both on campus.  We were both attending an outdoor, on-campus production of some Shakespeare play (don't remember which one).  He saw me in my Husker Du t-shirt, saw an "in" for some conversation, and we've been good friends ever since.

Though Dylan was a theater major in school, his opportunities to perform began to give way to the meathook realities of marriage, work, and parenthood.  That's why I was delighted this past weekend when he forwarded me some video of his first ever attempt at stand up comedy.  It's a pretty damn solid start. I've always envied Dylan's comfort on stage and his ability to command the attention of the audience.  After a rocky start (his mic was not on), he recovers and by the end, I found I was on the hook, eagerly anticipating the next joke.  The energy and delivery are spot on by the end.  Hopefully Dylan's homecoming to the stage was positive enough for him to keep at this (or really, any kind of performance - the dude has chops), because I think it's only going to get better from here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Brew Master's Playlist

My younger brother Karl is a kick ass beer master.  I can tell you first hand that his home brews are the best. He's obsessed with process as much as end product, and he is focused on the details that will allow him to realize his dream of opening a brew pub.   (Did I let the cat out of the bag there, Karl?)  I've tried - to no avail - to get him to start an online brewer's journal or Facebook page, but he hasn't got time for that.  He's doing what he should be doing:  brewing beer.

And his efforts are starting to pay off:  after completing some beer judging courses (to further refine his palate), he has begun entering beer competitions all over the country.  He medaled in his first competition.  Not that I always understand all of it, but I love getting updates about his weekends in the garage, getting everything squared away just right for the perfect beer.  He's working on a Two Hearted clone at the moment - here are his notes:
All and all the brew day went well.  I missed the OG (amount of original sugars) by about 3 points, which isn't a huge deal but would like to be dead on.  This means it will be about a 6.7% ABV beer vs a 7.0% ABV beer.  I had a little too much water in the final batch into the fermenter.  Shit happens.  I hope the Bell's yeast does it's job.  I guess we will find out.
Shit does happen, and it's often good.  Check it:
Karl's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout clone.
Karl reports that "this shit pours like oil - hell yeah!"


Since it's usually an all day process, you need something to keep you going.  Here's a tiny excerpt of the playlist that Karl used this last weekend to keep things moving in a productive, even festive way.
Primus - "Tommy The Cat"
The Police - "Message In A Bottle"
The B-52s - "Roam"
Rage Against The Machine - "Maggie's Farm"
The Beastie Boys - "Double Check Your Head"
The Avett Brothers - "Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane"
Billy Bragg & Wilco - "Airline To Heaven"
Bjork - "Army Of Me"
Bline Melon - "Change"
Blue Mountain - "Soul Sister"
Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"
Cake - "Stick Shifts And Safety Belts"
Busta Rhymes (Featuring Missy Elliot) - "How We Do It Over Here"
Calexico - "Slag"
The Clash - "Train In Vain"
Damien Rice - "Coconut Skins"
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - "Radio Radio"
Flogging Molly - "Salty Dog"
G. Love and Jack Johnson - "Honor and Harmony"
Iron & Wine - "Naked As We Came"
The J.B.'s - "The Grunt (Parts 1 & 2)"
John Butler Trio - "Johnny's Gone"
Johnny Cash - "Let The Train Whistle Blow"
Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel - "The Awakening"
Marlena Shaw - "California Soul"
The Middle East - "Blood"
Modest Mouse - "The Ocean Breathes Salty"
The Pogues - "If I Should Fall From Grace With God"
Porno for Pyros - "Tahitian Moon"
Radiohead - "Everything In It's Right Place"
Smashing Pumpkins - "Today"
Soundgarten - "Rusty Cage"
Stone Temple Pilots - "Wicked Garden"
The Stray Cats - "Stray Cat Strut"
Uncle Tupelo - "Still Be Around"
Urban Dance Squad - "Prayer For My Demo [Live]"
Wilco - "Passenger Side"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Maps"

What about you?  You have any playlists that get you through a given task?  Share 'em in the comments section!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oh, And There's This

In March, I was doing this tournament wherein I pitted some of my favorite bass players featured in Fat Friday Features against each other.  It's kind of dragging on, mainly because I lost interest in it.  But if you're the sort of person who needs closure, the winner would've been John Entwistle.

There you have it:  the lamest entry on this blog to date.  And that's saying something LOL!!!11!1!!!

From The Golden Age Of Actual Alternative Music

(Source.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rest Stop In Charlotte 2: Return Of The Music Of Zink Family Vacations

I wrote about the trauma/beauty of being subjected to my parents' 8-track tapes on family vacations.  And now, decades later, as the weather warms and as we begin to plan/look forward to summer vacation 2013, my thoughts inevitably turn back to those old 8-tracks.  Here's a few more that stick out for me.  See if you can guess which tunes were submitted by the kids in the waning moments of the trip.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Didn't I Think Of This: CVS Bangers Playlist

I will probably rip off this idea at some point down the line.  But here is mix creator DJ Hennesy Youngman's (bad ass DJ handle, by the way) description of the playlist:
CVS BANGERS IS THE AUDIOSCAPE FOR WHEN YOU'RE BUYING TAMPONS OR A 12 PACK OF CONDOMS, A SAMPLING OF THOSE MAGIC TUNES THAT PLAY WHEN YOU'RE CONTEMPLATING HOW RIDICULOUS YOU WOULD LOOK CARRYING 24 ROLLS OF TIOLET PAPER ON THE TRAIN, THOSE BITTERSWEET TUNES OF YESTERYEAR THAT SKIP THROUGH YOUR MIND AS YOU READ THE NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE BACK OF A BOX OF FROZEN PIZZA AND OPT FOR A PINT OF ICE CREAM INSTEAD, THOSE SPECIAL DITTIES THAT ACCOMPANY YOUR SMASHING THE BAR CODE OF A CAN OF RED BULL AGAINST THE SCANNER OF BROKEN SELF-CHECKOUT MACHINE. CVS BANGERS IS COMMERCE ITSELF, AND COMMERCE, MY FACELESS INTERNET FRIENDS, IS BEAUTIFUL.
Check it - this is pretty brilliant.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Sean Penn Movie Looks Pretty Bad Ass

Rock movies are pretty hit and miss. "This Must Be The Place" looks really, really great.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Breeders Covering The Who

"So Sad About Us" is a Who song that I first heard on a Who bootleg.  When I hear it, I hear glimpses of a great tune, but it never seemed fully developed.  I know, I know:  it's a bootleg, and whenever there is unreleased studio recordings on a bootleg, it's not a recording that was intended for public consumption. But the energy, the lack of refinement - something was missing.

There are, however, plenty of great covers of the tune.  For me, the jury is still out on Kim Deal's singing on this version; but all and all, this is one of the better covers of the tune.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fat Friday Feature BATTLE ROYALE!!1!!1 Final Four

Here's your last four (I'm sure "Final Four" is trademarked by the stupid NCAA) for the Fat Friday Battle Royale.  Here's where we started and here are the first round winners.

Representing the Women's Division will be Esperanza Spalding, who narrowly defeated the amazing Meshell Ndeleocello.

Representing the Unknowns Division will be the Unknown Bass Player from the Pointer Sisters, who beat out the Unknown Bass Player from Steppenwolf.

Fred Marshall (Vince Guaraldi Trio) defeated Beau Sample (Joel Paterson Trio) to win the Unknowns Division.

In a fierce battle of the Bass Establishment, John Entwistle gets the victory over Geddy Lee of Rush.

The Final round will be:
Esperanza Spalding going up against John Entwistle
Unknown Bass Player from the Pointer Sisters will battle the Vince Guaraldi Trio's Fred Marshall.

This is going to be a tough battle, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Waiting For The Tigers

Every spring I make a vow to follow the Detroit Tigers, and ever year I fail to do so.  This year, I've subscribed to a couple of blogs and the Tigers official Twitter feed.  Right now, I'm trying to decide if I should keep following the blogs.  I like the baseball, but I know nothing about the game let alone the Detroit Tigers.  I have misgivings about the blogs I'm following (like this one and this one) because they don't make sense to a casual fan like me.  The terminology, the analysis, the inside jokes - I'd say I only understand roughly about 60% of what I read from those blogs.

More importantly, they don't have the accessibility, the immediacy or the warmth of listening to a broadcast or seeing the game in person.  That's just an inherent problem with blogging about sports.  I will probably keep the Tigers Twitter feed open this afternoon when the Tigers host the Blue Jays and see how that goes.  I think they do live tweet the game, but I'm sure I'll have to sort through all the crap that the poor marketing intern has to upload to the feed between plays.  We'll see - I don't really have any use for Twitter, so I'm trying to keep an open mind.

What I'm  excited about is finding that WCCW in Traverse City, Michigan is streaming the game online today.  This awakens very fond memories for me of listening to Tigers games on quiet summer evenings up at the cottage.  Dad would click on this massive, pristine cherrywood AM console stereo that, after the initial unpleasantries of the racket it made when you turned it on (I think it had dust in the pots of the knobs), would bring the game to us as clear as you can get on AM.  The screen doors would let in the cool night air, kids would be sipping on a Vernor's and working on a puzzle or playing checkers; the adults would be sipping on their Manhattans and reading the newspapers or playing cards.  At some point someone would probably pop some corn, and the Tigers would play on while we quietly listened.  Admittedly, this is an obnoxiously quaint scene I'm painting here - Norman Rockwell could paint this shit - but I don't care.  Thinking about it provides a heck of an escape for me.

Similarly, I remember moving home from Arizona, driving through the Texas panhandle and catching a Texas Rangers broadcast as I scanned the radio.  The drive was long (approximately 12-16 hours) and hot; but as the sun began setting and I settled into that game, I found peace, relaxation, and a great game.  It was probably THE key factor to getting me safely to my destination that night.

So the Tigers broadcast (which has started since I began this entry this morning) will be my escape for this afternoon.  At some point, I'll redo this turd of an entry and tease it into a new entry advocating listening to sports broadcasts instead of watching them.  (I'm not the only one who feels this way.)  But I can't worry about that now - Tigers hosting the Blue Jays right now!

P.S.  For the record, the Tiger's Twitter feed isn't really that helpful for following the game.  Here's the live blog of the game.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Public House Sound Recordings Has Some Dope Stuff For You To Check Out

Got this email today from upright citizen and all around cool dude Mike Bushman:
Dearest friends, 

I made some songs. Lauren Hall made some paintings. Dave made a recording space and series:

Your friend and mine, David Michael Vettraino, has started a recording space called Public House Sound Recordings in Logan Square, Chicago, IL. He is also starting a digital single series. I am honored to have made the first release with Dave and with help from Lauren and Neal Warner and Alex Kroh and Andy Shaw. Lauren made the paintings that are shown with the post and David J. Woodruff made the series' design.

Please consider giving it a look and listen: http://publichousesoundrecordings.com/
I checked it out.  Look - I know I'm biased because Mike's a friend and David is professional grade (but still super easy to work with), but I love this site!  It pretty much has everything that interests me:  photography, art, music, coffee, cool music gear, etc.  At any rate, I'm looking forward to keeping track of the comings and goings of Public House Sound Recordings, so I'm already on their email list and following their updates via the RSS.  Please do take a moment to go check out the site. Follow them as well - I feel like you're going to see some cool stuff coming from here.

Related entries:
In The Studio With Mike And Dave 
Original Music:  Redbird's "Tongues" Rough Mix