Thursday, January 31, 2008

How cute!

Scenes like this really make me happy that so many people 'feel the power' of change.
These kids are adorable.

(No I haven't made up my mind on who to endorse yet. But the fact that there is so much energy and passion in the air is exciting. That last round with Kerry was so umph :(

And then I saw this. Cougars looking for boytoys. Being billed as a sport. How New York. I actually expect to see an uptake in dating events like this now that the stigma is basically removed. But to say this is political...puleeze...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

He asks. He gets. Part 2

The Rock and Roll karma of publishing my music diaries continues...

Last week I wrote how after 20 yeas of looking, I finally found an affordable copy of Appetite. The day I publish that piece, Chris and I met for a pint at Tom and Jerry's. Robert Plant comes in with a lady friend for a few pints. We didn't want to bother him, as I was lucky enough to meet him at an AOL Sessions 2 years ago and got him to sign 4 pieces of Zep vinyl. He said that was the first time he had signed Zep 2 on vinyl in over 20 years. Meeting him a second time wouldn't have been as great as meeting Jeff Tweedy in Amsterdam last fall, but it was great to see a icon in the flesh.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Google has gone to the dogs.

This ad just showed up on a CNN page.

I've always known that the web attracted advertisers on par with the classifieds, the penny saver and infomercials but this is a new low.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

He asks. He gets.

I've started blogging about my all time favorite records put out in my life time.

It has been hard. A few days of self doubt. Magnetic Fields and Cat Power have new records that are phenomenal. Wow, their early records changed my life and why didn't I put them on the list? And ELO? I love them as much as (or more?) than the Talking Heads and the Cars. Wings and The Cure too.

Because I discovered these records after I accepted that I am music snob. or I don't really know. All I know is the first list was hard to put together and I listened to those CDs, tapes and mp3s like there was no tomorrow. I wish I could have included L7 and Skid Row too.

Its freezing today (actually below freezing.) I know if Susie and I hung out at the place we would have gone at each other like cats and dogs, so I devised this plan to grab a bite at the local pub. After we had a few Bloody Mary's and played a round of Scrabble I suggested we go to the little 'we're on the verge of being the hip record store in a recently gentrified neighborhood' record store looking for the BetaBand's 3 eps. I think I heard a song of their's in an ad and it won't leave my head.

I start flipping though the vinyl and right away I find ELO's 'Out of the Blue' FOR 5 DOLLARS. Daniel recently played me his recently repressed copy. He paid $25 for it. Heh.

And there she was waiting for me.

Basically this record (this copy, on vinyl) has been like $50+ for the last 20 years. Appetite has sold more than 20 million copies wold wide. There were 25,000 of these things made, 20 YEARS AGO. I now own one. Today is a great day.

I blogged about my favorite 30 records this week, included Appetite in that list, and got the hardest copy of it known to man today for 20 bucks. This never happens.

I passed my first semester of Business school!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The next batch of 6

Purple Rain – Prince
Prince made a whole movie on trying to write one song. All his life’s passion went into writing this song. I saw Prince on New Year’s eve at the Summit from 1998 into 1999. He did like a 4 hour set. Every song on this record is amazing.

Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith
As mentioned in the previous post I had a radio show. I used to tape my show, and Aaron sometimes would listen to the last 30 minutes when he would get up super early. The girl who had her show after me started her show off with Needle in the Hay. I got home and Aaron was so blown away he bought this record. We were in Paris a little after that and went to see him. By the time we got back to America he was pretty big and we went to see him at Liberty Lunch. Aaron buying this record started it all. When I lived in LA, I would see him hanging out at Spaceland. I really wish he didn’t die.

Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens
I saw him on the Michigan tour and made fun of the Boy Scout outfits. I then get to New York and throw a party where a Craig showed up. He said he was helping to make this record and that I should listen to it when came out, that it was going to be great. I got sent an early promo with Superman on the cover and put it on. And listened to it again and again.

Team Boo – Mate of State

I am biased. I was selling tshirts for the Mates right before they went to make this record. I heard HA HA every night for 2 weeks. I liked Mississippi and St Louis the best, mostly because the opening band hated these shows so much.
This record has such strong songs and was so well made, I am blown away every time I listen to it. ‘Middle is gold and gold does not forgive’

The Soft Bulletin – Flaming Lips

And it seemed to cause a chain reaction.
I saw one of the first shows of this tour. I’ve seen more iterations of this show (20+) then any other tour experience I’ve ever seen. For me, it was like going to the circus as an adult. Over the past 9 years, I’ve seen some iteration of what started at the beginning of this tour at least 3 times in each city I’ve lived in (and I’ve lived lots of places) Shit, does that make me a Lip head? A Flaming head? A fearless freak?

Nissa took me to the Yahoo Xmas party they played, and I grabbed Wayne’s boot begging him to play Xmas at the Zoo. He looked down and me and said ‘Josef, we don’t know that song any more, Ronald’s left the band!’

The Cars – The Cars
They could’ve made this album and called it thier greatest hits. I love this band so much I could cry.

First 6 records reviewed

I’ve been listening to a lot of online radio at work and sick of everything in my iPod and been thinking wtf did I like music anyway. I’ve been obsessed with Dub Musics. I haven’t been to a show in forever, and 4 of 5 times someone’s trying connect with me about music I take this route of like ‘you like that – ugh’ or something like that.

This is not to say I only listen to the Einstein of music. I listen to shit. I love shit. MMMBop is one of the greatest songs of all times and Umbrella was the best song put out last year. But Solja Boy’s Crank That was utter crap. It’s the Achy Breaky Heart of hip hop. Maybe his daughter will grow up to be Miley Cyrus.

So I put together a list of my favorite albums that have been put out in my lifetime to share with my friends. I’ve always connected with people thought music, and I think I try to keep up with music still so I can connect with people.

As I put this list together, I realized all of these records had a story. I’ve always wanted to tell the stories behind what the records mean to me. So here I go.

Also, a few friends pointed out that I missed some massive records.

Fugazi’s 13 Songs. Waiting Room is one of the best songs of all time. I was late to the party. I could never claim this band as mine. I hate to be a follower, so I had to cut it.

Anything by Pavement. I own Slanted and Enchanted. I am not sure I could identify a single song from this album if it came on at a bar. I like the hits of Brighten the Corners and Terror Twilight.

Arcade Fire Funeral I love this album but it took a lot of listening and everyone I know to tell me to like this. Can’t say I discovered it. I was moving to New York the day this came out, so I was preoccupied.

Sonic Youth Daydream Nation. I love it. I listen to it. Its more anti/generational than it is good.

Other caveats:
I can’t say one record by Modest Mouse sticks out, since this is an album based list. I’ve always said that since Kurt blew his head off, Modest Mouse was the heir apparent to best band of my generation. He really doesn’t need to be as good as he is anymore, but I don’t think he knows how to suck. I’ve had three run ins with him over the years and he didn’t have to be nice or even pay attention, but he did.

I also wish I knew an album by The Smiths or Guided By Voices, but I discovered the music of these bands in the iPod/Greatest Hits era. My best Bob Pollard story is I was friends with an opening band and was drinking Bob’s tequila back stage while GbV were playing. I was told ‘don’t drink Bob’s tequila.’ When he got off stage, he yelled out ‘Hey who rank my tequila? ‘ When I told him it was me, he said, sit here and drink we me. We talked about music and life for a bit and I gave him my hoodie (I had it customized). I asked him to wear it in a picture. He did in the New York Times a week later, and then in a Gothamist photo last year. 5 years after I gave it to him.

Last but not least, I still really enjoy Death Cab when it comes on, but I am embarrassed when I am reminded that after seeing them in front of 150 people on their 2nd show in San Francisco I said “This band is going to be huge.” I have pictures of me with them. Years later, standing in the back of a 10,000 person show, I was like, “Oh shit.”

I wish I could figure out where Portishead and Massive Attack stood, but history has not been kind to trip hop.

I have also decided I hate/can’t stand Bjork. I own 5 of her CDs, I tried. I tired. She shoved me at the Passerby in the Meat Packing district when I first moved to NYC. I think her music is horrible. Its not musical. But she tries hard and knows all the right people, so I get why she is who she is.

As it takes a lot of memory to pull these stories out, I’m breaking down the list to 6 records per post. This is kind of a double post.

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One – Yo La Tengo

I was an intern in NYC the summer this record came out and was working at the Tower Records on 4th and Broadway. Other Music was starting to happen and I hated Tower, so I went over there and saw that this record was being promoted so I bought it. I didn’t really understand their sound at first but the more I listened to it, the more I freaked out. We had them at an in store at Tower but I decided to go see Garth Brooks in Central Park that day. One of my greatest rock and roll regrets.

I ended up meeting Georgia and Ira 3 times last summer. Either I was everywhere they were or vice versa. They make good music, but are weird people. Also they were on the last episode of Gilmore Girls season 6 which I plan on watching this weekend.

Keep it Like a Secret – Built to Spil
I wanted to name my fake band ‘In Your Bones’ because of a song off of this record. All non jock males have fake bands. I was an intern for Mercury and this was the cred buzz record out pre SXSW whatever year it came out. I went to see them at La Zona Rosa and was transcended. I also ended up meeting Doug at the Ain’t No Picnic concert in Orange County (best concert of my life – more about that later) years later and bought a t-shirt off of him. We chatted for a bit and it was great.

Being There - Wilco

The fuddy duddies of Austin were into Wilco because of their twang. I was late to the party at first, but I’ve since learned that Jeff didn’t want 45 year old burn outs as fans when they were 28 and wanting to be cool. I was 19 when I saw them at a club I used to promote bands at (LIBERTY LUNCH), and could therefore get in for free and drink (underage and for free). I am not sure I owned anything by them when I went to this show, but I made sure to get this after I left. A friend took an up close picture (and framed if for me) of Jeff years later screaming “I want to thank you for nothing, nothing, nothing at all…”

The White Stripes – The White Stripes

Everyone knew about this band before anyone knew about this band. Seeing DooKoo do the drum part in Broken Bricks kills me. Every time.

Moon Safari – Air

I had a radio show in college and was given a promo of this record. Every Kelly I ever meet I say “Watch the Stars.” Aaron and I saw them on this tour in London and it was amazing. I saw them years later in San Francisco, and they sucked. Ah the beauty and inconsistency of the French. Maybe, I am French?

Fear of a Black Planet – Public Enemy

I wish I could figure out how to use ‘Base, how low can you go’ in a sentence every day. I’ve met Chuck D twice and thanked him both times for changing music. He was giving a keynote at a digital media conference early in my career and I yelled out “Hey Chuck – Bring the noise” He looked over at me and smiled. I was the youngest person in the room and I almost lost my job.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Here are my 30 favorite records put out in my lifetime.

I want to write some stories on each record as to why.

Graceland – Paul Simon
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses
OK Computer – Radiohead
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
Girls Can Tell – Spoon
The Blue Album - Weezer
Wildflowers - Tom Petty
Stop Making Sense - Talking Heads
Is This It? - The Strokes
If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle and Sebastian
Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins
Nevermind - Nirvana
The Sophtware Slump - Grandaddy
Surfer Rosa - Pixies
Joshua Tree - U2
Harvest Moon - Neil Young
London Calling – The Clash
Purple Rain - Prince
Elliott Smith - Elliott Smith
Illinoise - Sufjan Stevens
Team Boo – Mate of State
The Soft Bulletin – Flaming Lips
The Cars – The Cars
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One – Yo La Tengo
Keep it Like a Secret – Built to Spill
Being There - Wilco
The White Stripes – The White Stripes
Moon Safari – Air
Fear of a Black Planet – Public Enemy

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Yep that's what I had

Sorry I blamed the pork noodles, but since that's what I barfed up, I don't think I'll be eating that again anytime soon.

Last weekend was painful...wonder what Brit I was around?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

So this is the new year...

Well we're 5 days into it. And alot's already happened.

We got home from Seattle late Wednesday night. I had a final due on Friday. This was my last assignment as an official MBA student and I wasn't doing so well in the class. We got some noodles from the local Chinese shop that night. I woke up not feeling so hot, but had to push it into the city to drop of the final before heading into the office.

Shouldn't have had those noodles. Some burny/foamy yucky pushed its way out and onto Houston on my way to the office. Before I could get a cup of coffee too! What's up with that!

What they say about the rain and coffee in Seattle is right. We had a great time. Got in on the 27th and stayed at the Moore Hotel. We then went to stay with a friend for a day before heading to Portland.

Portland was great, just as I had imagined. We stayed at the Deluxe. I highy recommend it. We banged up Powell's books. Also highly recommended. We had some yummy weird donuts at a famous place that crushes up candy bars onto donuts. Yum.

Seattle was also filled with books and donuts. We banged up Elliott Bay and Top Pot.

The library done up by Rem Koolhaus is a must see.

Cool carpets:

The Amsterdam library took a few queues from this library.


Susie and I rode on the zum zum zum

I rocked out with Jimi

We had a good time. We're back home and praying for an early Spring.