Archive for November, 2007

I feel better now about not signing up to Facebook

November 30th, 2007 No comments

Facebook Dilemma

Why does someone else need to know where I am going on Amazon, Overstock, etc. This is a great reason why I am not going to sign up for sites such as this, Myspace or anywhere else.

What if I was on Amazon purchasing something for my mother? Do I need the world or even my closest friends to have complete access to where I am going?

Categories: Technology Tags:

Writer’s Guild Strike does not threaten this Website

November 30th, 2007 No comments

As much as it can be said for the writer’s guild strike, I will be curious to see just how much America will end up missing the writers. While a couple shows have some merit on television, for the most part it is something that can be readily avoided at all costs.

However, I think it can be stated that the Writers Guild strike is more than entertainment but information. The future of America is wrapped up in data, information systems and a way to distribute said data.

It is not the idea that these shows only exist on Television or the Movie Theatre, but on DVDs and the Internet as well. The Writer’s Guild’s argument is that they want a bigger piece of that pie.

However, I think that this idea is just a microcosm for the Information Age in general. As distribution methods change, those that are creating that data have to be mindful of all these aspects (see Radiohead). Radiohead realized that there are different distribution networks and instead of allowing Corporations dictate what their profits would be, they decided to do that on their own.

It doesn’t cost corporations as much to put into distribution the cost of a show, performance or album on the internet as much as it costs them to distribute those same elements in a CD, DVD or other medium. What corporations are complaining about is that they do not have numbers as far as profits are concerned with new media and claim they have been losing money. However, they fail to realize they still need to put money into that aspect of distribution, i.e. Technology and in the long term they will lower costs.

Categories: Music, Technology, Video Tags:

Illinois Government like Bad Reality Television Show

November 16th, 2007 No comments

I am not sure who to believe anymore, whether, the CTA should just go away completely, whether IL Speaker Michael Madigan is right, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley or Rob Blagojevitch.

 First things first, Blago is short on balls and has shown already that he is weak when playing with these powerful people. I can only imagine that a Governor like Jim Thompson or Edgar would have the same problem. Secondly, what is the problem with the infighting that is going on amongst Democrats. With all the power they are unable to come up with a solution to this crisis and the sad part is that now there is talk about the CTA striking over the states “Pussyfooting” around this issue.

The last we hear, both Daley and Madigan walked out of the meetings held by Blagojevitch in regards to the CTA feeling that the meetings had more to do with other things rather than the transit problem in Chicago.

And as I stood in the bus in my morning commute as the regular pedestrian members of the Chicago population became sardines I looked at the bus driver trying to hold it all together in a crowded bus and thought, this is not the problem of anyone in this bus and we have been left in a situation where there is consistently not enough transportation and too much complaining.

This should be something that we could take care of pretty quickly but instead we are going to find out come January many of us will be stuck in the cold waiting endlessly for a bus that will take us twice as long to get to work and Chicagoans are going to get angry and fight back.


Categories: Politics Tags:

The Japancakes – Loveless

November 12th, 2007 No comments

Japancakes – Loveless

Japancakes - Loveless

This will probably end up on my list albeit with some of the problems that are associated with this disc. While obviously there are issues when you take a seminal album like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and turn it into your own there is that inevitable comparison/contrast and even moreso with a masterpiece such as this. First the issues. With some of the more exotic tracks on the album such as ‘Touched’, they miss a beat in regards to offering the level of depth and darkness that these tracks display on My Bloody Valentines version. Other tracks have a tendency to remind me too much of muzak or midi files such as ‘When You Sleep’, and ‘To Here Knows When’.

The band succeeds in creating that southern depth and feel however on tracks like “Only Shallow” and “Sometimes” among others. The key to the Japancakes over the years has been to promote their own vision of droning guitars, pedal steel and all and at the same time provide a unique listening experience that exhibits a side of the south that bands like R.E.M. have so wonderfully created throughout these years. No they are not your Skynrd-Red Neck version of the south. Rather than layering the music in fuzz the Japancakes make the notes deliberate and bring the music out of Kevin Shields symphony.

At the end of the day, if you are not a fan of the Japancakes, I am not sure I can wholly recommend this unless you are willing to break yourself from the forces of Loveless. The problem with putting your own take on an album is that it has been seen through fans in one distinct manner, the reverb, the droning guitars and muddled vocals. The Japancakes have produced this version in a manner with the sleepy strange south where everyone moves at half speed, words and notes are drawn out.

Admittedly, I have been a fan of the ‘cakes for years and their music takes me back to Athens everytime I listen to them. At the end of the day this album will probably get more disparity among fans than most of the music that comes out this year.

Categories: Music Tags:

Okkervil River – The Stage Names

November 12th, 2007 No comments


Okkervil River reminds me of what Wilco was back in the old days. They are original and yet sound like those great old alt-country bands that we all came to love and adore.  Some might see the similarities with Neutral Milk Hotel, but it is often Will Sheff’s lyrics about the Rock and Roll Lifestyle. 


Whether it is the 6 and a half minute country ballad, ‘A Girl in Port’ or the climax suicide note ‘John Allyn Smith Sails’, with the Beach Boys ‘Sloop John B’ written as his ode there is plenty to absorb.  

Categories: Music Tags:

New Music Podcast

November 11th, 2007 No comments

Well before I start writing music reviews, I figured I would create a little podcast of some of my favorite tracks. The length is slightly over 60 minutes and jam-packed with music.You can download it here.This is a good way to start putting together your Christmas Lists. Here is a list of the stuff played.

1. Flight of the Conchords – If You’re Into It

2. Panda Bear – Comfy in Nautica

3. Sea Wolf – Leaves in the River

4. Of Montreal – We Were Born the Mutants Again With Leafling

5. Caribou – Melody Day

6. PJ Harvey – Silence

7. Sunset Rubdown – The Mending Of The Gown

8. The National – Green Gloves

9. Deerhunter – Strange Lights

10. Glen Mercer – Whatever Happened

11. Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3 – (A Man’s Gotta Know His Limitations) Briggs (Live)

12. Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3 – Queen of Eyes (Live)

I am going to be writing small reviews of some of the albums that I have enjoyed over the past year which will lead up to a full length best of list for the year.

Categories: Music Tags:

The Lincoln Dilemma

November 9th, 2007 No comments

The Abraham Lincoln DilemmaAbraham Lincoln is probably our most fascinating president if for only the way that Lincoln ran the country during the Civil War. No other president before or after could in part keep this country together without going through the means at which he did it. However, by doing so, he left the country open to leaders who have used him as an example to further their own power, aka, President Dubya. The issue of secession is a large one in part because no other president before that believed they had the power to do anything about it. In fact, the entire idea of secession from the Union was purposefully kept out of the Constitution for this very purpose. Realize that when the framers of the constitution met, they wanted a strong union, especially Hamilton who envisioned America to be an Empire rather than a collection of states. By framing the constitution without an “Out Clause” the states were in many regards forced to comply with the federal government. While there were still rights within each state, this championed however the idea of a strong unified government. Some people,  Libertarians especially, point blame at Lincoln for enacting war against the South for seceding but if they have no constitutional merits for seceding how can they? In effect they were breaking the constitution for doing exactly this. It is “Constitutionally Plausible” for instance in Canada to secede.  Presidents before this avoided the issue entirely by claiming that the Constitution did not give the President any powers in preventing this from happening. Lincoln believed that his ultimate goal was to keep the nation whole and not split. There have been instances where some have felt that Lincoln went too far, in his suspension of Habeas Corpus in 1861 the loss of Freedom of Speech due to militant action was, in his opinion, dangerous enough that he felt it necessary to do so. We avoid this topic in many history books when discussing Lincoln and some might look at this issue as being the impetus that Presidents have used since then to protect the nation. The question of course when dealing with the constitution is keeping in context the time and place for it. The Constitution was created to safeguard against individuals freedoms being trampled upon at the same time there is the fear factor of Terrorism. However, even the term “Terrorism” is more a byproduct of the times and sends a different message to the public than just being a “Militant”. Our American forefathers were terrorists. Washington was a terrorist as was Hamilton. The Boston Tea Party was the most famous terrorist act this side of 9/11. The aspect of this small nation at the time defeating the British Empire is ‘Terrorism’. There always will be terrorism as I see it. Greenpeace is a terrorist organization as I see it. Every President since Lincoln has impeded on these actions with the exception of a minor few that did not. Some others like FDR might have gone beyond the scope and detail of their duties but at the same time they did so with the idea of strengthening the United States. The Lincoln dilemma however looks at the increased powers of what the President and Chief Executive can do. While we are in a “War” that war does not threaten the sanctitude of the United States which was what Lincoln had fought against.  As this nation has pushed farther into the idea of becoming a Police State, we have used “Fear” as a means to push policies rather than logic.  And rather than sitting down with our enemies we have cut off negotiations which has only made things worse. It was Bush that labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea the “Axis of Evil”, a term that is consistent with other aspects of this Republican controlled White House. They forced us into a war that should have never begun and we are paying the price for it.

Lincoln is fascinating if only for this reason. His legacy even with his low popularity was due to his measures that he created.  Are we going to feel the same way about Bush in 50 years? I doubt it.

Categories: Politics Tags:


November 9th, 2007 No comments

I have to say that Chicago is my kind of town if not for the impending crisis with the CTA. Let us hope that our governments can put their heads together and fix the crisis. That being said, I have found a new found love for so much that I have never seen, tasted, felt or heard. There seem to be so many little nooks and crannys in this city which are worth exploring and while it is impossible to do everything, it almost seems that I am having more fun than I have for quite awhile.

Typically I have a problem even mentioning things such as this as my fingers become almost like a foreign tongue when speaking of happiness, so I will keep it short and sweet and to the point.

For me, as much as I always loved the city and however saw myself moving to the burbs in the not too distant future just see myself walking the streets like Woody Allen walks the streets of New York.

I did find out today that Chicago was the number 1 city in regards to caffeine intake in the United States. This counts all sources of caffeine and not just Coffee and Cola, however we are the number 1 Pop (And not Soda) consumers. I like freebasing the shit myself.

We love our coffee and chocolate too. I should have a caffeine party where we all just get wasted on caffeine products.

Categories: Life Tags:

End of Year Album Listing

November 9th, 2007 No comments

Its been at the back of my head to create an end of the year album listing of my favorite albums of 2007. However, since the year has not ended yet I am thinking that the better way to go by this is just start reviewing albums now and then by the end of the year pull together my definitive listing.

Its been a solid year for music even if these songs are not being played on the radio. I have opened my ears and found several worthy albums of note.

Not sure where I am going to start or when the first album review will hit the store shelves but expect to read it soon.

Categories: Music Tags: