Thursday, December 10, 2009

periodically, i'm in my element

hey friends.

i actually made a second mix.  i know, i'm surprised too.

i hope no one was expecting any sort of indie christmas mix.  because i didn't make one, for two reasons:

1) not everyone celebrates christmas.
1b) indie hannukah music is hard to find.  believe me.

2) indie christmas music really sucks.  i mean, i love christmas.  and i like indie music.  but they're like brownies and burritos - two things i love, but don't want together.

...actually, a brownie burrito sounds like it has potential.  more potential than indie christmas music, at least.

anyway, i decided to make something i actually like.  just burritos.  or just brownies.  or burritos with brownies for dessert.  whatever.

so here we go, with the bitches and tigers december 2009 mix - songs that were new to me in 2009; songs that float, bounce, jiggle, and make me wish i could rap:

cover art stolen from here

1. modest mouse and ratatat - beat #6 vs. the world at large
2. washed out - get up
3. passion pit - sleepy head
4. chiddy bang - truth (feat. passion pit)
5. the hood internet - two weeks of hip-hop (dead prez vs. grizzly bear)
6. bearbot - stuntin like my only swervin (lil wayne vs. el ten eleven)
7. nasa - gifted (feat. kanye west, santogold, lykke li)
8. major lazer - pon de floor
9. discovery - so insane
10. neon indian - deadbeat summer
11. phoenix - rome
12. kid cudi - the prayer (feat. band of horses)
13. dan deacon - woof woof
14. mos def - quiet dog bite hard
15. mf doom - potholderz (feat. count bass d)
16. jay-z - thank you
17. kid cudi - make her say (feat. kanye west and common)
18. toro y moi - take this
19. animal collective - daily routine (phaseone remix)

(if you have trouble getting it to group right, just make sure you're sorting by "album" in itunes)

i hope you guys like it, i really do.

and look, i know that standard mixing protocol dictates no more than one track by a given artist...but "make her say" is more of a group effort than a cudi song.  so it's okay.  believe me.

if you're tired of your old jamz and this mix ain't your fix, i seriously suggest you download karim's best of 2009 mix.
and steve's summer and fall mixes.  and his blog (don't download the blog...just go there).
and if you're still tired, my november mix is here.

...happy december, urrrbody.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

all of my friends are still cool...

i miss playing music.  if you've been reading this for a while, you know that i made a plan to write a 6-song ep this far i have four chords and a few unfinished fragments of lyrics about pirates.

i've been thinking lately about the bands i've been lucky enough to play in, especially two:

the gilded age was some of the most fun i've ever had, when taylor and adam weren't arguing about silly things like chords:

"Don't Look Past Me" (or something like that)

"crystal" (#1 hit single)

but i quit for college.

adam moved to florida to play in woodale, and stuck around for pemberley.

taylor is doing legit recording, and gets to play with marvelous people like steven fiore.

and neal wrote this amazing song, whether he remembers it or not:

oh, and i saw danny at a mewithoutyou show a year or so ago.  he had a beard.

erich skelton used to let me play bass for him, and now he's more awesome than ever:

"Murder" (is a great song)

and mike mewborne (the drummer from my days with erich) is not only a great guy, but a great musician (and - oh look - there's taylor again):


almost everyone i've ever been musically affiliated with has kept doing great things.  and danny has a beard.

all i've got is a half-song written over a year ago, four chords, and pirates.

what i mean is, i'm happy for everyone.  and does anyone want to start a band?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

straight killa

before we begin...

visual aid #1:

(straight killa)

visual aid #2:

(straight killed)

Henry is the best dog in the world.  Right now I am sitting on my couch in peace for the first time in months.  For the first time in months, I'm not afraid that dangling my toes off the end will leave me with bloody nibbled nubs.  I'm not afraid that letting the kitchen go unattended will leave me with chocolate sprinkle poop chocolate sprinkled all over my food I'm not afraid of...anything.  I'M NOT AFRAID ANYMORE!!!

Wanna hear the story?  O(ld) K(inderhook), great:

Last night, Brendan and I heard the mouse scurrying around in the kitchen.  Not "a" mouse - "THE" mouse.  We had a mouse problem earlier in the year, and successfully captured four of this little fucker's brethren and sistren and released them outside.  But this guy was totally the smartest mouse who ever lived - and he's been evading us for MONTHS.

But the time had come.  Brendan and I looked at each other and said, in unison (as if preordained by jesus or krishna), "Fuck this."  "We're not gonna take it anymore."

We rushed into the kitchen.  "I'm gonna kill it I'm gonna kill it I'm just gonna KILL it," said Brendan, grabbing a swiffer.  I reached for a broom.  " too."  Henry sharpened his teeth.

We have a recycling pile in the corner of our kitchen.  It's NOT a trash pile.  We're good people, not dirty ones.  And that's where the mouse was - in our good-people-recycling-pile.  This was the final straw.  Had he no respect for the earth???  Somerville has a strict policy against chocolate sprinkle poop'd recycling.  They won't take it, under any circumstances.  The little jerk might as well drive a Hummer - and I mean a full-sized one, not a cute little mousey replica.
I started picking up boxes, hesitantly searching through each one.  I didn't want to end up with bloody nibbled nubs, remember?

Finally, we found the right one.  And our story could end here, but this was no ordinary mouse.  He leapt from the box, scurrying for his safe haven of assholery and destruction under the oven.  Brendan attacked, bringing down the swiffer with force enough to break it.  And that's what happened.  But that didn't stop him - he kept attacking, stabbing at our nemesis with the deheaded tool of cleaning and death.  The frenzied look in his eyes convinced me that he should never have children.  And that from now on, I would be locking my doors at night.
Finally, I corralled the mouse away from the oven - but the sneaky little bastard scurried under the refrigerator before we could catch him.

I crept around the side, trying to pinpoint the mouse's location so we could strategically plan our next move.  But the mouse had no intentions of waiting.  He bolted from under the a fool.
A damn fool.

Henry pounced.  With speed making lightning look like that fat kid in gym class that you always felt bad for making fun of.  With the strength of a thousand men, if men were gods.  Pat pat pat SNAP and it was over.  Our nemesis hung lifeless in Henry's jaws, blood dripping to the floor.

And there was much celebration.  There was screaming and dancing and high-fiving.  And for Henry, there was string cheese.  Glorious glorious string cheese.

Monday, November 16, 2009

i made you this

today, while i was biking to work, a leaf hit me in the face.  so i finished making this november mix for you.

this is something i'm thinking about doing every month - because i enjoy making mixes, especially ones with themes and/or moods.  this one's theme is "november, sortof, but really just things i've been listening to lately or have seen live in the past month or so."

i hope you enjoy it - and let me know if you do...because i'll definitely keep making these if people will listen to them.

Bitches and Tigers November Mix (click that to download)

track listing:
1. denison marrs - heavy laden
2. you can be a wesley - stuck in a battle
3. david bazan - please, baby, please
4. laura veirs - to the country
5. mum - sing along
6. thao and the get down stay down - easy
7. noah and the whale - shape of my heart
8. toro y moi - new loved ones
9. bahamas - already yours
10. marry a thief - olivia taylor
11. magic magic - french song
12. dead man's bones - paper ships

i might come back later and write more about the songs.  but for can be a wesley and magic magic are boston, toro y moi and marry a thief are columbia, laura veirs is the fall, and bahamas is beautiful.

enjoy?  enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

swallow the world

last night, biking home at 3:00 am, i opened my mouth.  at first it was just a yawn - one of those giant, mouth-stretching, jaw-creaking yawns - but still just a yawn.  and then i left it there.  open, i mean.  and i imagined swallowing the world - taking in everything around me, and somehow making it a part of myself.

that means something, i suppose.  but i won't talk more about it.

i'm feeling anything but content at the moment.  i feel like everything is too fast and too slow, all at once.  life is speeding by in tree time.

did anyone else love the mary martin version of peter pan when they were little?  i grew up on it:

right now, coolidge corner is my christmas.

and this is how i feel:

sharon van etten - "for you" (she opened for rain machine last week)

and this gets my vote for album of the year:

(thao with the get down stay down - "know better, learn faster")

and i'm trying to let myself be convinced to go vegetarian:

that'll do, i believe.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

if you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours...

but you have to scratch mine first.


just give me your opinions on what i should get permanently tattooed on my body.  permanently as in forever.  no big deal.  don't worry, i'll give you options...

since middle school, i've wanted a solid heart on my forearm.  because i'm silly and i believe in love.  i even drew it on my chest and took an emo-as-hell picture of myself a few years ago:

but i knew i would totally judge myself for having something so...i don't know, whatever that would be.  my-diary-is-my-best-friend-ish, i guess.  so then i decided that i wanted the words "love is all" written on my body permanently forever.  because i still believed in love, and it seemed like a pretty cool idea.  and i wanted to get it written in my dad's handwriting, because he lives like love is all more than anyone else i've ever met.  buttttt my parents aren't together, and my mom is pretty amazing at love, too.  and i didn't want anyone to feel left out, but it's not like i'm going to get "love is all" on my body twice (permanently forever) just because i don't want to offend anyone.

so i was stuck in this place where:
1) i wanted a tattoo like mad
2) i wanted it to be about love
3) i wanted to be sensitive to the feelings of people i care about (you know, my parents)

and then, about a year ago, the clouds parted and jesus smiled at me and i knew.  i knew.  i was going to get a brontosaurus tattooed on my body.  permanently forever.  a motherfucking brontosaurus.  permanently forever.

i know what you're thinking...."are you seven? and what do brontosauruses (brontosauri?) have to do with love?"

to answer your first question - yes, mostly.

and to answer the second - everything.  when i was little, my mom used to make most of my clothes.  and i had shorts covered in dinosaurs and my favorite shirt had a brontosaurus on it.  and my dad had the same shirt (see, now both of my parents are involved).  and my best birthday memory ever is of this awesome dinosaur-themed party my parents threw me and all my friends came and there were blow-up dinosaurs and strawberry cake and my dad bought like a dozen supreme pizzas even though no kid has ever like olives and i ate them for weeeeeeeks and pretended to like them because we had so many leftovers and i didn't want my dad to feel bad.

shorts proof:

isn't li'l sister anna precious?

shirt proof (i had the same one, but i can't find a picture of me with it):

check out that rad dinosaur...and those rad parents

 so...i want a brontosaurus on my body permanently forever.  because it means love and caring for people and being a kid and all kinds of great things.  but now i'm not sure what it should look like or where to get it.

i could do something basic like was what on the shorts:

or something basic but more cartoony (i think i want it to have eyes) and with the tail out instead of curled under.  or he could be eating salad (because i feel like a dinosaur every time i eat salad...leaves in the trees, you know?).  okay, probably not eating salad...but i drew it so here it is:

or riding a bike (if i got this, i'd want it on my calf...and i'd want him to be less limp-tailed and obese):

and where should i get it?  i've always wanted my tattoo to be on my forearm, but i don't know how a brontosaurus would look there:

the bicep could be cool...but what if i get that gross goose-skin stuff going on when i get old?  this stuff is permanently forever, remember?

or i could get it across my ribs...but i'm worried about getting old and fat.  (there are very few shirtless pictures of me in existence, so just imagine it):

so, it's finally time to scratch my back.  what should it look like?  where should it be?  i know that this is permanently forever, and it's ultimately up to me...but i'd really like your opinions and arguments and "that's stupids" and whatever else you have.  please?

also feel free to tell me that i should get a bigass bear on my entire forearm...maybe wearing a tie.  because it would look awesome. and sister-anna used to call me "brother bear" all the time and it made me feel warm inside.  and people have started to call me "li'l bear" now.  so obviously my spirit-animal is a bear.

okay, close your ideas and get your opinions.  and get ready to tell them to me.  because i'm going to go ahead and scratch your back, but it's pretty messed up of you to get a one-way back-scratching when you promised (you promised) to scratch mine, too.  AND i'm giving you not one, but two, back-scratches.  or back-scratching sessions, because just one scratch-o-the-back would be silly.

intellectual back-scratch:

joe paxton, a friend of mine, published a study on the neural correlates of lying and honesty a few months ago.  and the results are pretty interesting: for some people, honesty seems automatic; but for others...not so much.  this article in seed is pretty short, and definitely worth the read.

musical back-scratch:

listening to the felice brothers yesterday, i remembered that they covered a townes van zandt song ("two hands") the last time i saw them.  i decided to look up townes, and found this...there's a longer version in which the old guy (he's 79!) talks about being a blacksmith and talking to horses and drinking whiskey - it's definitely worth the time if you have it.

love (is all),

Thursday, October 1, 2009

i want to speak at an intimate decibel, with the precision of an infinite decimal (...but i won't)

it's been a while, dear friends.  and life has been busy.

the last week and a half has mostly been occupied by concussions, broken bicycles, criminal charges, and things of that nature.  i won't go into it until after court (nov. 3 at 10:00 am, justice is served), if at all - but let's just say that sometimes people can be amazingly and surprisingly inconsiderate and immature.  and apparently i'm the kind of guy who will go out of my way based on the "principle of things."  hopefully it will be worth it.

in better news, i gave a dollar to a homeless guy the other day and didn't regret it at all.  i always worry about things like that - about being an enabler vs helping someone truly in need, about buying a guy a sandwich vs a hangover.  but i've passed this guy almost every day for a year now, and he was always kind and sunny.  and i saw him in seven-eleven once looking like a kid in a candy shop.  so i stopped and looked into his foggy eyes and told him i appreciated how good his attitude always was.  "that's how it's gotta be," he said.  and he's right, i think.

and it made me think about how i used to buy homeless people food.  and i always wanted to eat with them and talk to them and know them, but i never had the guts.  maybe i'll get the guts.  my friend brian has them, and i admire him for that.

in other news, i'm looking forward to lots of things.

Honk! is happening soon soon soon (oct 9-11).

harvard square's oktoberfest (oct 11) is themed "reclaim the streets for horns, bikes, and feet."  i'm in.

the fam is visiting.

i decided who i want to do my tattoo - alex at fat ram's. i really want it to look coloring-booky - like, childish and vibrant at the same time.  and i think he's definitely the dude to do it.  i know he already has experience with dinosaurs (that's not anything like what i want, but still...).  and check out the sweet detail on this where the wild things are tattoo he did.

duke at east river also seems amazing, but he's not really the style i'm going for.  seriously, though - corn and squid.

coolidge corner is having a midnight showing of the worst movie ever.  they're trying to get tommy wiseau to present it, in which case i'm definitely definitely definitely going to be there.  oct 17.

last (and most amazingly), the felice brothers are coming back to the paradise (nov 19).  i've thought long and hard about it, and they're my favorite live band ever.  EVER.

here's why:

and why again:

awesome, am i right?  everyone go to that show with me.  and honk and oktoberfest and the room and everything else.  and pray or meditate or cross your fingers that the law is real on nov 3, if you don't mind.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swallowing fireflies (a greatmazing day, and resolutions for more)

At this point, I have no idea what kind of blog this will be.  Or if it will even survive.  But since I'm pushing the double-digits in followers, I feel like I need to make it at least mildly interesting.

It's in that spirit that I bring you this, perhaps the most magical thing I've learned in the past few months:


You really should read the article.  Really.  It's magical.  And it's one of those things that makes me love learning and discovery and being a nerd all over again.  I think it's important for me to remember that explaining things doesn't take away their magic.  Sometimes I feel like I just sit in a room and analyze stuff to death allllll day, and that sucks - but I need to look at it differently.  Magically, even.

Okay, now that I've gotten the interesting stuff out of the was greatmazing.  I played kickball (and lost, horribly), discovered that I can totally take Henry into both 7-11 AND The Wine and Cheese Cask, met some people from SomDog and City Dog (and got Henry a new/free/ridiculously hip collar, pictured below), went to a Greek Festival and semi-creepily watched little kids roll down a huuuuuuge hill, stumbled across a Haitian festival (straight bangin, yo), and listened in on the Precinct Music Festival going on in my backyard (Jenny Dee is amazing, honestly).  Greatmazing, right?

(new/free/hip Pabst collar, modeled by the best dog in the world)

I love where I live.  Because of days like today, and because Reliable Market is Asia is in my back yard (discovering I live next-door to Korea was definitely the highlight of my yesterday).

Pretend that there's a transition here from talking about the now to talking about the future.  Because I'm about to start talking about the future.  Realizing I've been here for a year has made me think about a lot.  And it feels like a new year is starting (in lots of ways)...and for some reason I feel like I should make some resolutions.  So, here are the resolutions I can think of right now at this very minute, written while making no promises that I'll keep them - because what if I change my mind?

(I know that makes them pointless, whatevs)

1. write a six-song ep
2. attempt to take henry into every place i love, see how it works out
3. bike more for fun, and not just transportation
4. run more, maybe
5. cook more, definitely
6. sleep outside more
7. remember magic

The bookends (one and seven) are the most important to me, I think.  Seven because I've definitely lost the magic in what I've been doing - and that sucks, because I'm lucky to get to explore and discover amazing things.  But sometimes I feel like I'm always thinking, never doing - like I'm not creating anything.  And that's why number one is important - because I love music, but I never fucking finish anything I start.  Because I get self-conscious and bored and a million other excuses.  But I think if I set myself this goal of just six songs over the course of the year, I'll make myself do it.  And it's important that I do, because the alternative is dropping out of grad school and working construction (like dear old dad, who helped build this at South of the Border after high-school, and neglected to tell me about it until a few years'd think you'd want to tell your son that you're the coolest person in the world, but I guess not).

I think I'll try to document my progress (on the music front) here.  So, to start, here's the first (and only) song I've ever finished.  I wrote it almost a year ago - for a girl, of course.  And feel free to notice how I'm not talented enough to sing and play guitar at the same time.  Or to sing, really.  Or play guitar.  I wanted to do something that wasn't traditional song structure, so I at least thing I got that part right.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Urban Outfitters makes me want to shoot myself in the face

Maybe this is old news, but I just found out that Urban Outfitters, in collaboration with Republic Bikes, has started selling fixed gears:

This makes me want to shoot myself in the face.  And I'm not completely sure why.

Maybe because Republic Bikes has been one of those ads that shows up next to my gmail for the past six months or so - "You can be cool for $349!!!"

Or maybe it's because Urban Outfitters is suuuuuch big business - more than 140 locations, and more than 1.5 billion dollars in revenue in 2007.  And I'm snooty and convince myself that I love the small and local...even though I totally bought some pens and a kick-ass dinosaur at Target last week.

Or maybe it's because the owner, Richard Hayne, is an active Republican who contributes to conservative causes (including gay-bashing politician Rick Santorum).  Ironic, huh?

Or maybe it's just because I ride fixed, and I hate that I love hip stuff.  And I tell myself that I like it because of the feel and the history and all of these things unrelated to hipster-douchebaggery...but what if, deep down, I just want to be cool?  Or even worse...mall-cool?

Or maybe it's the opposite - maybe it's not that I don't want to be cool, but that I do.  Maybe it's that I hate that some kid can click three buttons, wait a week, and have a (pretty rad-looking, though I hate to admit it) bike.  I spent almost a year gathering parts and dollars, and I feel like that's how it should be.  And part of me wants to attach neon lights to my bike, reading "I MADE THIS MYSELF."  I worry that my experience will be cheapened by the entrance of fixies into the world of mass-production.  But my experience was still mine, right?  And what was right for me isn't right for everyone...right?  Let's not judge, y'all...

(my baby, by the way)

I feel like Urban Outfitters takes good ideas, Wal-Martifies them, and uses the profits to support political agendas which would make many (most?) of its customers sick.  It's big business, you know?  Fat dudes and cigars.  But bad intentions can lead to good ends...and maybe this will lead to more people biking, enjoying the lifestyle, and making the world a healthier, greener, funner place.

And I can't ignore the fact that I wouldn't have found out about all this if I wasn't on the Urban Outfitters website in the first place.  Fuck me, but they sell cool-looking headphones.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

more more more

Boston just keeps on giving.  She really is the best, y'all.  I mean, we had that one fight when she kept getting dark at like 4:30 in the afternoon...but we worked through it and I really feel it's made us stronger.  We got a bottle of wine, talked about each other's feelings, and - I swear - will never take each other for granted again.

I thought she was done with all the anniversary gifts.  And I told her "no no no, don't get me anything" (even though I didn't mean it, and kinda had my eye on this amazing brontosaurus lamp).  But she showed up at my door with fun and love.  And I said "thanks, baby, it's just what I wanted," leaving out the rest of the sentence ("except for that lamp, don't you know me at all?!?!").  And I was grateful, I swear.  And that was enough.

But then she brought more.  Anniversary gift pt. II, I guess:

Oct. 21, Somerville Theatre

They're playing at the Somerville Theatre, which I'm pretty sure makes the show twice as awesome.  Hold on, let me check my math...yep, twice.  Twice as awesome.  The theatre was built in 1914 (13 years before the first talkie, damn) and hosted plays, musicals, and - on crazy nights - motion pictures.  Fucking cool.  Oh, and Mum are (is?) great.

Polyphonic Spree
Sept. 17, The Paradise

I legitimately like that song, judge me.  Maybe because it sounds so much like Plankeye plus horns (go to that link, forreal...that song used to make me cry. every. time.).  Anyway, this show is awesome because it's free.  Yeah, I had to sign up for text alerts from Southern Comfort.  But I'm cool with that because, really, what kind of an alert can you get from SoCo?  "ALERT: You could totally be getting drunk right...NOW!!!"  Good point, SoCo.  Good point.

Sondre Lerche
Sept. 13, The Paradise

I don't have a ticket for this one yet, and it's next Sunday...but damn.  I need it.

Maybe I'll update this with things other than shows at some point...but not now.  Because right now my eyes are on fire, and that can't be good for me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

happy anniversary, y'alllll

Boston and I are celebrating our one-year anniversary this week. Maybe today. Or possibly yesterday. But probably tomorrow.

(neither of us are very good with dates)

But we show our love in other ways. My love languages are quality time and physical touch, I think. But it's usually pretty hard for Boston and I to work out the whole physical touch thing, what with her being a big city and me being a small boy - so we decided we'd celebrate the big one-year with quality time together. Her gift to me is putting on some ridiculously amazing shows, and my gift to her is buying myself some daaaaamn tickets. Which I did today.

Henry's gonna miss me for a few nights. But we'll snuggle to make up for it.

The tickets Henry's holding, in order of how-mother-fucking-incredibly-excited-about-them i am, from first-to-last-but-last-isn't-really-last-because-i'd-still-sell-a-close-friend's-kidney-to-go-but-only-if-they-still-had-two-and-didn't-have-a-family-history-of-kidney-problems are:

Dead Man's Bones

Man, doesn't that guy look like Ryan Gosling? Well, that's because it is. It motherfucking is. Their first show ever is going to be at the Middle East Downstairs, complete with a choir and a talent show and general awesomeness. I'm going to meet Ryan Gosling, and our conversation is probably going to go something like this:

"Hey man, I'm not gay or anything, but...I think I love you." "I...I know exactly what you mean. I feel like I want to live in your arms forever." "You know what...I just had this crazy thought. Why don't we get married???" "Oh shit, that's totally legal here - let's do it."

It doesn't matter who's who in that conversation. All that matters is that we get married and shout our love from the rooftops.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down with the Portland Cello Project

We're going to fall in love and get married. That's all. Forget what I said about Ryan Gosling.

Amy Millan

She's playing at the Middle East Upstairs, capacity 194. Amazing.


awwwwww, shit y'allll

Rain Machine

Rain Machine is Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio. And he's going to be at the Middle East Upstairs, and it's going to be great.

David Bazan

Honestly, David Bazan (you know, Pedro the Lion) is actually number two on my list. It's just that (honestly) I don't have a ticket yet. And I feel like I'm not allowed to put him where he belongs until I have some paper in my hand. I saw him back in high school sortof by accident when he was opening for Starflyer 59 under the name "Paperback," with just himself and a borrowed guitar. And it was amazing how the whole bar was silent while he just closed his eyes and sang the saddest songs in the world. Anyway, that was my #2 favorite show of all time (or maybe #1, but I'm hesitant to put anything at #1 ever - because what if there was some other amazingly amazing something that I'm forgetting for some reason?)

If you live here, go with me. If you don't live here, move here. Because I love you, probably definitely.