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My Blunt Instrument

Sunday, January 20, 2008

9:27PM - I am Bowled over

I never expected the Giants to get out of the first round, much less make it to the Super Bowl. I have totally turned the corner on Coughlin and Manning for their work this season. I even think they could have a chance to stop the perfect season. Wow.

3 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

Monday, November 19, 2007

11:26AM - Cramming for albums of the year

It happens every year - I plan to stay up on new music, but get caught up in a few favorites and get to November or December without a proper list of candidates for a top 10 list. I'm trying to "cram" a little earlier this year. Below is my working list, with some albums that I think could break in with more listens. What am I missing? Let me know.

1. Once soundtrack
2. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
3. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
4. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
5. The Good, the Bad and the Queen
6. Radiohead - In Rainbows
7. Over the Rhine - The Trumpet Child
8. Patty Griffin - Children Running Through
9. Steve Earle - Washington Square Serenade
10. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

To listen to:
Robert Plant/Allison Krauss - Raising Sand
New Pornographers - Challengers
The Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

Everybody's got an opinion

Monday, October 29, 2007

3:44PM - File under hopeful

"The new record is about finished, with Garret and the band slated for more work to do in the next few weeks. And yes, it rocks!"

Bertis Downs, manager, REM.

More here

Time to start saving for a tour?

Current mood: hopeful
Everybody's got an opinion

12:49PM - Go Joe go

So it looks like Joe Girardi will be the new Yankees manager and I'm pretty happy about it. Don Mattingly is my favorite player ever and some day I want him to be the manager, but I think Joe's experience with young players will be better for this team right now. Plus it's not lost on me that five of the playoff managers this year were ex-catchers.

Besides, Girardi was at the center of the greatest sports moment of my life.

5 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

9:13PM - I have to go to Indiana for great beer?

It's kinda surreal to take a trip back to ol' Goshen and find one of the fringe benefits being great beer at the liquor store.

I was able to get three of my favorite beers I can't get in Rockford:

1. Brooklyn Brown Ale - Fell in love with this beer at the Grassroots Tavern in the East Village. Just a nice, rich ale with a bit of sweetness. Goes well with popcorn and Patti Smith on the jukebox.

2. Bell's Oberon Ale - Dangit, Bell's is no longer available in Chicagoland, so I can't even get it there. My favorite of theirs is probably their porter, but this beer is like summer in a glass. It's a nice light wheat beer without being too, er, wheaty. It's smoother than a lot of the other ones, and I prefer it. Consider this a shoutout to celticsuncat.

3. Mishawaka Brewing Company Four Horseman Irish Ale - The first good beer I got to taste, at a party back in college. I really love the aftertaste. Too bad the batch I bought must have been old or something, because I got an uncharacteristic sour taste. But it's normally a wonderful, wonderful beer. Can anyone recommend some other Irish reds for me?

1 opinion - Everybody's got an opinion

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

12:32PM - Ah, the past

Sometime during the courtship of blistermoth, I made her a mix titled "Where I'm From", which was basically a summary of my musical history. I'm listening to it for the first time in, what, a year or more? Yikes, now I wonder why she didn't run screaming from me.

Track by track belowCollapse )

2 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

10:34AM - Concert meme

Thanks, chaptal

First a word from lj-cutCollapse )

Everybody's got an opinion

Saturday, October 6, 2007

11:02PM - Dane Cook was wrong - October sucks

After weeks of joking, "What are we gonna do if the Yankees and Cubs meet in the World Series", blistermoth is hurtin' for the Cubbies and I'm hoping my team doesn't meet the same fate. Kinda in a tough spot - if the Yanks lose, I'm in a bad mood, and if they win I gotta keep my mood in check for a few days. Ah the joys of mixed marriages ;-)

Meanwhile, Saturday Night Live is pretty much unwatchable right now. I'm biding my time for Spoon, but might go play Madden instead.

1 opinion - Everybody's got an opinion

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

1:29PM - I do memes

(From buckeye_hoosier)

Library memeCollapse )

Everybody's got an opinion

Monday, September 10, 2007

11:25AM - It takes a meme...

No promises of more posting, but maybe ... and maybe some original content. Maybe. God, I suck

Meme from blistermoth

Here is how it works: copy this list; leave in the bands you've seen perform live; delete the ones you haven't, and add new ones that you have seen until you reach 25. An asterisk means the previous person had it on their list. Two asterisks means the last two people who did this before you had that band on their list.

1. U2*
2. Vigilantes of Love*
3. Over The Rhine*
4. PJ Harvey
5. Buddy Miller*
6. Peter Mulvey*
7. Kings of Leon*
8. Nickel Creek*
9. R.E.M.*
10. Beck
11. Havalina Rail Company
12. Denison Witmer*
13. Radiohead
14. Patti Smith
15. Black 47
16. Bruce Cockburn*
17. Ben Lee*
18. Soul Asylum
19. Skankin Pickle
20. Primus
21. Anthrax
22. Garbage*
23. Kasey Chambers
24. Lotus
25. Steppenwolf

Everybody's got an opinion

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

10:55PM - Kurt Vonnegut, RIP

God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
Good night.
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait...
To find out for certain what my wampeter was...
And who was in my karass...
And all the good things our karass did for you.

- KV, "Cat's Cradle"

5 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

11:31AM - Get something good on MTV

You may have heard me promote Lovers Electric before, they're a great rock outfit out of the UK (though from Australia originally) and their song "Honey" is one of my favorites from recent memory. Their video is a candidate this week on MTV's "Freshmen" show, and if they win there will actually be a great video on that station for once. You can vote as often as you'd like.

Check out the video and vote here.

Everybody's got an opinion

Thursday, March 8, 2007

12:30AM - I have a new icon

Spring is in the air. If not here, at least in Florida.

Everybody's got an opinion

Friday, March 2, 2007

1:17PM - Three musical acts you should know...

I don't like Myspace much, but I do love music, and one thing Myspace does well is its music player for musician pages.

Here are three acts I've been digging on lately that you should be too:

Lovers Electric - I'm not sure if you'd call them power pop or alt-rock or what, but they damn good. And Australian! "Honey" is probably my third favorite track of 2006.

Matt Death and the New Intellectuals - Ever hear of Havalina Rail Company? It's their frontman's new project. Never heard of HVC? Still, check this group out for a diverse mix of sounds - there's a bit of Modern Lovers in there, but there's also a lot of accordion and Old World folk in there.

Michael Knott - Long been one of my favorite artists, he fronted the bands Lifesavers Underground and the Aunt Bettys and sang on the first Cush album. Check this out, if nothing else, for his interesting cover of "The Girl From Ipanema."

Everybody's got an opinion

9:36AM - book meme

I gotta beat blistermoth to the punch on this meme, courtesy of chaptal:

Ten books I can't live without:

The Bible - various authors (understanding it's a collection of books - it would be funny if I just said "Nahum")
"Cat's Cradle" - Kurt Vonnegut
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" - Douglas Adams
"Search Party: Collected Poems" - William Matthews
"News is a Verb" - Pete Hamill
"The Elements of Style" - William Strunk and EB White
"The Genesis Trilogy" - Madeleine L'Engle (I'm cheating here - it's three books, but they're available in one volume, bargain-priced at Amazon.com. So sue me)
"Ishmael" - Daniel Quinn
"Work and Other Sins" - Charles LeDuff
"In the Time of Butterflies" - Julia Alvarez

4 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

5:44PM - Wow, "This American Life" on TV might actually work

Check out the two trailers here.

Of course, I don't get Showtime, so I gotta hope it'll be available on iTunes store sometime. Sigh.

Everybody's got an opinion

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1:54PM - Ten favorite songs starting with the letter S

(A fun meme from daisydumont, who gave me a letter that every song in my iPod seems to start with)

Comment and I'll give you a letter. In your journal, list your ten favourite songs that begin with that letter.

I reserve the right to change this list as other songs come to me, but the top few are pretty set.

1. "Summertime" - every version of the Gershwin classic, though when Over the Rhine performed it, I about died.
2. "Skin" - Vigilantes of Love (that's where the name of my blog comes from)
3. "Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away from Home)" - Peter Mulvey ("Perhaps it's worth mentioning, as I write this song down, I am the happiest fucker alive.")
4. "Shoot Out the Lights" - Richard and Linda Thompson (this song's wonderful guitar riff was in a movie I saw once, but for the life of me, I can't remember it.)
5. "Suds n' Soda" - dEUS (The best Friday party song ever)
6. "Sweetness Follows" - R.E.M. (From this song came my high-school yearbook quotes. I was a sad, pretentious kid.)
7. "Subterranean Homesick Blues" - Bob Dylan (The father of rapid-fire lyrics, ripped off many times.)
8. "Subterranean Homesick Alien" - Radiohead (Sounds nothing like the song above, but it's one of my two favorite songs from my second-favorite album.)
9. "Satellite Sky" - Mark Heard (Unheralded literate mandolin rock, par excellence.)
10. "Spinning Wheel" - Blood, Sweat & Tears (A favorite of mine since grade school, when my hyped-on-caffeine music-appreciate teacher taught it to us.)

8 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

11:49AM - Today I shall conquer clutter ;-)

I'm about to go to a work development lunch called "conquering clutter".

I will learn the following, they say:

- Two main reasons for clutter.
- How to start.
- What is your goal, need and desire.
- Start small ... don't take on too much.
- "To Do lists"

This will be fun. I may break the presenter's brain.

*Searches for post button under clutter*

3 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

Monday, February 26, 2007

2:22PM - Top 5 movies all-time

I need to be more proactive in watching Great Movies from the past, so help me out and post your top five movies of all time. I've already asked some of you, but go ahead and post for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Mine are:

Citizen Kane
Requiem for a Dream
The Shawshank Redemption

11 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

10:22AM - How does "The Departed" fit with other Best Picture winners?

Reasonably well, at least judging by critical reaction. Rotten Tomatoes puts it at Number 30 of 80 by that barometer - http://www.rottentomatoes.com/features/special/2007/botbp/

Cultural illiterate me, I've only seen 18 then. Here's how they stack upCollapse )

2 opinions - Everybody's got an opinion

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