Wednesday, March 16, 2011

OK folks...

...I'm making the move. I've given into the the hip-side. I am moving to Tumblr. This move has a simple explanation: I don't have the time to blog, and while, I still want to, my time/attention span has shortened. So, Tumblr, because of its short-form vibe, allows me to keep blogging. HOWEVER, if I want to do some longer blogs, I will use this blog and link it from Tumblr.

Oh, and this is my author page as'll see when you see it.

So, check out my Tumblr, follow me, and I'll see you over there.

Later dudes and dudettes,

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Friday Night

I started reading Drop City. I'm still on Chapter 2. I'd rather watch TV sometimes.
Also, I'm grading papers. Why do students refuse to listen to advice. I basically told them how to get an A. I walked them through proper citation sandwiches (thanks Hellsea), wrote them a pseudo introduction of my own about a fake paper focusing on Mexican Cinema (that made me want to actually write the paper), and gave notes on two drafts before their final, yet, many of them didn't even follow my notes. Some of them turned in the same draft three times!! UGH. AND HALF MY CLASS (80% of my Wednesday class) didn't even meet the page requirement. Fucking Kids/Adults. There was one kid who turned in a 14 page paper. He rocked. Though, it was hard to reign him in. He cared so much about the issue, I constantly had to remind him to step back and look at his arguments objectively. Many papers, though, we enjoyable to read, so that's something.

My Dad turns 50 on St. Paddy's Day. I remember when he turned 30. His church folk threw him a surprise party, and kept calling him "Mike Old." I could tell he didn't like many of those people, but he shined it on for as long as he could. This is to you, Dad: "Happy 50th, Mike Old."

I'm watching Criminal Minds, and Em and Sir-Smells-A-Lot are in bed. We just had our friends Barry and Valari over. They are old friends of mine from back in my early twenties. Barry is a musician (he's scored all of our films) and we've been helping with, watching him, and listening to him and his music for years. The guy is brilliant. His latest venture (besides video game, commercial, and film scoring) is his rock-psych-rag time band, Brother Bear. They played their first show a couple weeks back. I've been listening to different versions of these Brother Bear songs for a long time, and tonight he gave me a CD with new "finished" tracks. This project is a story about a town called Wretched Knob. Basically, it's a book (in the style of Edward Gorey) with rhyming prose focusing on certain characters in this town. Each character has a song and a story, and they all meet somewhere in the grand scheme of things. I wish that I could print and release the project (I've been editing and helping Barry with it for many years now). Right now he's working on the art-work, and recording the music. I'm excited to listen to the tunes in the morning, and excited to see what kind of artist he gets to do the work.

Tonight, we just ate Indian Food, watched Pirate Radio and The Wedding Singer and talked about life, the past, new shit, music, and films. I gave Barry a copy of The Dream Songs by John Berryman, a copy of 24 Hour Party People, Quiet City, and Buffalo '66. He had already scene Mutual Appreciation and Puffy Chair (which he hated...HA, the least fav Mumblecore film!), and when I said, "Ah, you've seen Mumblecore films." He was like, "Mumble-what?" And had to explain it--the short version. Em said, "Movies about Emo Kids, who like to whine about girls and boredom." Someone I don't know once posted a line about Mumblecore that went something like, "Mumblecore: Rich Kids complaining about being bored." Or something like that. I think I'm gonna watch a couple of those films coming up, when I get some time.

Chas and I have been emailing about our project. I've been writing a lot more. And I made some rules for the project. I'll post them when I actually type them up. Oh, we're also doing footnotes in our collection. I'm STOKED.

OK. Back to Criminal Minds. But I'll leave you with a picture:

He's saying, "Come Visit Me Fools!" He's mainly speaking to Chelsea and Matt, though the rest of you are also included.


Friday, March 4, 2011


Everyone know that in high school I discovered Jeremy Enigk and Sunny Day Real Estate. I don't know how many days in a row I listen to Diary, but I can tell you that the only time I don't remember listening to it was when I was listening to Built to Spill's There's Nothing Wrong with Love, or the (now sadly disappointingly) first Pedro the Lion record Whole EP. I also remember driving to early morning runs for Cross Country listening to Mineral as a Senior. I'm pretty sure I got a month's worth out of Diary. OK. Though that record was my go-to for years, the first thing I heard Enigk ever sing was Return of the Frog Queen. If you haven't heard this record, YOU NEED TO. It's probably one of the best solo records to come out of the 90s. I"M NOT KIDDING. So, years passed, SDRE broke up, (then Enigk released Frog Queen), then they got back together and recorded How It Feels to Be Something On (which was totally different, but amazing), then they put out a shit record, then Dan Horner recorded an Dashboard EP, then The Fire Theft came (which was pretty awesome, but just not the same), then Enigk started actaully making solo records again.

Segue-way. Enigk had a solo song he used to play while SDRE was still together, whenever he played solo shows, called "Asleep Under Last Week's News" and he didn't record it till like 2006 or 07. It was a limited EP release that I never got my hands on. Another Segue-way. I saw Enigk play a show in Mountlake Terrace (that's right, Terrace represent!) with Damien Jurado and Paul Mumaw. He played that song, three Sunny Day songs, songs from Frog Queen, and a bunch of others I've never heard (that ended up on the limited EP). Probably one of the coolest shows I've been to. Intimate, quite. We all sat on the floor while he played.

OK. back to what I was talking about. After my disappointed with SDRE's latest work, and a disappointing first listen to The World Waits, I stopped listening. His sound had mutated into something kind of boring and "meh." But I just got my hands on his latest release: OK Bear. It's fantastic. It's simple, and while it sounds like newer Enigk, there are brushstrokes of the old, and pepperings of newness I haven't heard from him. I read somewhere (But can't remember where) that he wrote the songs, handed them over to the musicians and let them arrange, revise, and jam with. Then they recorded it. It feels very organic in many ways, yet very subdued, while still full of energy. Its simplicity is was struck me. He isn't trying too hard. He's just playing songs (or his band is and he's singing). I think he went back to his roots a little and made something stripped down and old fashioned. It's a great little record and I recommend picking it up, or streaming a couple songs and giving it a gander.
Other "YESes"
Gaslight Anthem - American Slang
Bright Eyes - The People's Keys (really good, really different, yet still BE)
Lemura - The new one?
Bishop Allen - S/t (the singer is in mumblecore flicks!)
The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinemas

Some "OK, not bad, moments of awesome."
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Fences - Fences