Dazed and Bemused

Drunken recollections, boring anecdotes, and obscure references

Sunday, October 31, 2004

I could do with the money

I'm opposed to gas-powered leaf blowers in principle. I think they are used far too often when brooms and rakes will do the same job, sometimes in less time, and not create obnoxious noise and pollutants. However, there are some applications for which this tool is incredibly well-suited, and there really isn't a reasonable substitute, and cleaning dead leaves out of decorative gravel beds is one of them.

While I was sacrificing my principles on the altar of expediency, David Bowie's "Star" was running through my head. Not sure why, other than I've been mentally composing a list of the CDs that not only would I want to have on a desert island, but that I feel had a major impact on my musical tastes. More on this later, but "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" is near the top of that list.


You can walk, you can talk, just like me

Ahh, the last weekend of October. I take a ridiculous amount of pleasure in gaining an extra hour, and I wish we could Fall Back all the time instead of that evil Spring Forward nonsense. I just happened to look at my watch and thought," damn, where has the morning gone?" Then I realized I hadn't changed it yet, and it was like I'd won the Lottery.

I mentioned on Friday I got the Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" boxed set. I realize I'm way behind the curve, timing-wise, but damn this is a nice release. The big hook for me was the Storytelling Giant DVD, but if I'd realized how much I'd enjoy the remastered versions of the songs I would have gotten it a while ago. It's amazing to listen to songs I've literally heard hundreds of times and notice neat little instrumental stuff I've never been able to make out before.

I'm also delighted with the song selection. I thought leaving off both "Found A Job" and "Thank You For Sending Me An Angel" on the "Sand In The Vaseline" collection was criminal. "More Songs About Buildings And Food" is my favorite of their CDs by a smidge, and I thought not showing off their punkier side was a mistake in what was supposed to be a retrospective.


Saturday, October 30, 2004

Music to rake leaves by

I recently moved from a dingy basement apartment to sharing a house with the owner thereof. It's a wonderful space, and it's a great change for me. However, nice as he is, my landlord is not overly preoccupied with keeping up with the yardwork. I'm not a clean freak by any means, but I can not abide the kind of soggy leaf muck you get if you don't rake the leaves before it starts snowing regularly. I'm very allergic to molds for one thing. So today I raked, and raked and raked, probably 2-3 year's worth of accumulation. Enough to fill a 6 cubic foot wheelbarrow 13 times.

However, on the bright side, from my office area on the second floor of the house is a balcony, and I set a pair of ancient speakers out there, and hooked them to my stereo (which is in the office). They sounded great in the yard, without being too loud to disturb the neighbors.

Play list:
The Delgados-Universal Audio
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones-Devil's Night Out
The Counting Crows-August and Everything After
Shalini-Metal Corner

Tomorrow I mow, unless it starts raining before I've had my coffee.



Everybody Come Down

The show last night was mostly great, and I'm still replaying it in my head this morning.

First off, the Hot IQs, who are one of the better local bands around. I'd never seen them before, but they're the flavor of the month right now, and they headline at clubs the size of the Larimer Lounge sometimes. Hooky power trio, and the guitarist/singer has a good voice, unfortunately the sound guy had the guitar set way over everything else, and I couldn't get more than a scattering of lyrics. They have a goodlooking girl drummer who looks like she just finished a set with the 5-6-7-8s. She was wearing a little Candy Striper uniform and was getting a lot of deserved attention. There were also a couple of other Asian women there in Japanese schoolgirl outfits, which I was able to suffer through somehow. Conincidentally, their bass player has a Gibson G-3, which is the same kind I have and am starting to practice with again. Nice to hear someone who know what they're doing play one. I'm sure practice and talent has a lot to do with it, but I think a light stringed bass like the Gibson sounds a lot better if you're going to do more than just play the root of the chord. If you're playing three chord hard rock though, you'd want the thunder of of a Fender Precision.

Crooked Fingers is really just Eric Bachmann's backing band, and he was solo last night. He played one wonderful half acoustic, half electric set, which was about two sets too few for my and the crowd's taste. He did a couple of Archers of Loaf songs, but the highlight for me was Broken Man from the first Crooked Fingers CD. Sometimes the vagaries of the music business are a total mystery to me, since here's someone that's been writing and singing great songs for over a decade, and if you added up the sales for the four Crooked Fingers and five Archers CDs, they might equal what Justin Timberlake sells in a week. In the meantime, I hope he keeps coming back, and for selfish reasons, it's great to be able to hear him in a 200 person venue, and chat with him while he works the T-shirt table.

The Delgados new album is a bit of a departure for them, and all I can say is Wow!. They've stripped down the sometimes overly complicated arrangements of their last two CDs, thrown in some more hooks, and made one of the best pop records of the year. They sound great live, with Emma Pollock handling about 75% of the vocal chores. Nothing against Alun Woodward's vocals, he's good, but I think she's really special. They're touring with a couple of their regular session players, so a six piece group live, and they were all on, and putting out some glorious sounds. Most of the songs were from Universal Audio, but they did dip into Hate and The Great Eastern a bit. If you've stumbled onto this blog by accident, and you're on the West coast, you still have a chance to catch this tour, but hurry.



Friday, October 29, 2004

Sometimes it's good to be wrong

Someone just walked into my office with a box, which I assumed from the size and timing was my oh-so-exciting Ivory Tab Top Window Panel Pair (curtains, in other words). Instead it's my package from Alldirect.com that wasn't even supposed to ship till next week with my new loan-out copies of Heatmiser's "Mic City Sons" and Neko Case's "Blacklisted". Also for me, Shalini's "Metal Corner", the new DVD version of "Stop Making Sense", with songs not shown in the theatrical or VHS release, and the piece de resistance, the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" collection. I think I know what my afternoon's listening will be, and I might dip into the DVDs tonight before I head to the show.




Going to see The Delgados, Crooked Fingers, and a local band called the Hot IQs tonight at the Larimer Lounge, convenient staggering distance from my palatial estate. Was there last night for Happy Hour, my liver's not very happy, but the rest of me was. They had the Zippo Hot Tour semi-finals going on, kind of a battle of the bands competition. Heard three bands, all of whom thought they were channelling the Queens of the Stone Age, and all of whom were wrong. Thank god for Lady Alcohol.

I'm probably going to torture myself by going back next week, since the friendliest of the swarm of attractive Zippo girls promised me a lighter. I don't smoke, but it will make a nice prop when I tell the story, "Yep, sat through six QSA wannabe bands to get this bad boy". Besides it will go nicely with my spanky new Zippo lanyard, to which I plan to attach an "If found, please return to Neko Case" card.


Today's music so far:
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
The Delgados - The Great Eastern
The Thrills - So Much for the City


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

If a tree falls...

Everyone else seems to be doing this, whether I'll tell my friends I've joined the fold remains to be seen. Not much to say today.

On the CD player today:
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Hearts of Oak
Heatmiser - Mic City Sons
Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith
Elliott Smith - Either/Or
Slim Cessna's Auto Club - The Bloody Tenent Truth
Frank Black - Frank Black
The Waterboys - A Pagan Place