Friday, April 29, 2005

Shins Videos at Norva

I'm a Cuckoo found some videos someone posted of yesterday's Shins show at the Norva. I was gonna go, but it was sold out. They were pretty good last time I saw them although I had higher expectations than any band probably deserves and I left the show feeling disappointed. I was gonna give 'em a second chance to wow me this time. Now I can see some of the show! Thanks Cuckoo.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Rhapsody Update

My precious Rhapsody player released an update today. It looks promising! You can buy tracks now for 89 cents, and there is even a "Rhapsody to Go" in a test phase. You have to buy a year subscription, but after that you're golden. I think it even would work with my Rio Nitrus. I'll have to research it a bit more. If "Rhapsody to Go" works with the Nitrus, I'd sign up for a year in advance.

Supposedly, you can even download tracks for "free" and listen offline (as long as you are paying the 9.99 subscription). That's how Napster's subscription worked when I did the free trial way back when. You can "download" tracks and listen to them in Winamp with your other non-Rhapsody tracks. I haven't played with that yet, but I will. I'll let you know if the new Rhapsody sucks or not.

Here's what's new in the new Rhapsody.


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fully Cured

Whew! Finally! I feel normal for the first day in more than two weeks! I declare myself fully cured (like a real "Virginia Ham").

I talked about being sick and being healed, but I wasn't better at all! I was having really freaky panic attacks all week. I think those antibiotics messed with my head. I was nervous all the time and would start crying for no reason! It was the weirdest week ever! I'm SOOOOOO glad it's all over. I feel normal again, thank gosh!

I think what finally cured me was the Married With Children marathon viewing session I engaged in yesterday. That's one great show. Especially the early episodes where Peggy and Al actually are sweet to each other. I also watched Mr. Show a lot. "Sad Songs are Natures Onions!"

I went and saw "Fever Pitch" and I really liked it. Jimmy Fallon didn't suck at all, and it made living in Boston look bearable. Ohh, This Week with George Stephanoapalous??? just started. I better go.

Oh, I bought Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan at the Crossroads by Greil Marcus. It's alright. But I'm only half-way through it and they had to do all the putting-the-song-in-context it was the 60's and how different a world it was and all that crap. So it's just starting to talk about the actual recording.

You can hear a NPR story on this book and an interview with the books author at this NPR site.

Here, because I'm a huge nerd, is some outtakes from the Rolling Stone recording session.
>Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone (Outtake #2).mp3 (1.8 Megs)

This take is interesting because the song is in 3/4 waltz time. Listen to this take and count it, 1-2-3;1-2-3;1-2-3 like a waltz.

then listen to this one:

Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone (Outtake #3).mp3 (2.2 Megs)

This is the take that the excerpt at the NPR site talks about where Al Kooper has snuck out and sat down at the organ (and lets face it, the organ really makes this song). You can hear the producer, Tom Wilson say "Hey what are you doing there?" and Al starts laughing. I assume this is the first take with Al at the organ and, as I said before, the organ makes this song. Also, the song has switched to 4/4 time, 1-2-3-4;1-2-3-4. Also, you can hear that the amazing opening rim-shot of the snare drum is kinda played on this take. It almost sounds rushed like the drummer just thought of it right in the moment.

Now go listen to the final album version of the song and just listen to the beginning over and over..."Pop-boom, blaaaahhhhhh, blannah, blannah, blaaaaaahhhhh...."


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Regina Spektor on Leno Tomorrow

Regina Spektor is on Leno Tomorrow night. Hives are on Conan tonight.

Fionna Apple Article in Slate

I could care less if Fionna's album gets released but this guy is an idiot.


Monday, April 18, 2005

New White Stripes Single

Whew, I think I'm finally over this wretched flu I've been stricken with lo these last days. Horrible. I just found out that that new White Stripes single "Blue Orchid" is available on iTunes.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Duet at Pauls Deli Posted by Hello


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Origins of My Newspaper Article

O.K. for the record, here are the original questions and my answers that I provided to the Daily Press. They had to edit stuff for space and what-not, so I figure, this is what blogs are for....bragging about what a good job you did. They cut my Flintstones reference and my Wal-mart rant and so, well, here is the original.

> 1. What were your overall impressions of the first three episodes The Office? Did you like it or not? Why?

Having not seen the original British version I was coming at the show as an Office virgin, a virgin to the "O". I had NEVER experienced the "O" before. I must admit I was scared but curious. What would it feel like? Would it hurt (Laughing so much) or would I be disappointed (and forced to watch three whole episodes)?

Luckily NBC had thoughtfully made one dag-nab funny show. The third show that is. The first show was good, but they focused too much on Steve Carrell's character (Michael Scott) who was funny, but too cartoon-y in his idiocy. He was WAY wacky like that episode of the Flintstones when the Way Outs sing their signature tune, "Way Out". You know, like too wacky (or was he? Maybe he is a moderately wacky guy normally, but perhaps he gets nervous in front of the documentarian "camera" so when the documentarians are there he acts Way-Out wacky because of nerves...intriguiging questions!)

The first show was good, the second show was funnier, and the third even funnier so I'm feeling good about this series. I really liked that the third episode was more of an ensemble type piece rather than letting Carrell's Boss character try to carry the whole episode. By that third episode they found their stride and I can't wait to see more.

> 2. What character did you most relate to? And why?

I would be the spawn of kiss-up Dwight and the Indian woman, but that wasn't a true character on this show (although that would make a killer spin-off series). I would say I relate to Dwight because I have Dwight's innate ability to be annoying to others and I generally delight in being the office nemesis to all my other coworkers.

> 3. Seriously, don't flatter yourself: which character are you really most like?

O.K. you got me. I relate most to the cute guy that everyone adores. Oh wait, there are no cute people on this show. So I guess I relate most to the temp because he is mysterious and sinister.

> 4. Did anything in any of the three episodes strike you as being very true-to-life? Did any of the situations compare to anything you might have experienced at, say, one of your past jobs?

When the secretary was playing solitaire I was reminded of the time that I missed the red 6 on a black 7 and my boss came up behind me and called me out on it. I was embarrassed, but thankful, because I didn't see any other moves.

> 5. In that last question, did you maybe say anything to get yourself fired from your current job? Just curious.

My solitaire story may, or may not have happened at my current job. I admit nothing. Also, I just remembered that she was playing free-cell and not solitaire, so I should just admit that I made up that solitaire story.

Nothing exciting happens in my job except for the time we hunted a squirrel for three days. It had gotten in somehow, and was crappin' on everything. We'd try to shoo it out but then it would hide. So we'd go back to work and someone would scream, "There it is!" and then we'd be off trying to shoo it out again. Eventually we got rid of it. He was delicious.

> 6. Lunch hours: shouldn't they really be called lunch half-hours? Discuss.

Lunch breaks! There are 12 year olds in China working 14 hour days to fill the shelves of your precious Wal-Mart. Think they complain about their lunch breaks? They sure as heck don't complain, and they had better not! Wal-mart's gotta have those TVs and baby clothes! Move to Cuba you lazy commie!

I only wrote that as an example of something inappropriate that the boss Michael Scott might say in the work place. I don't believe it...or do I? (I'm "mysterious and sinister" remember?)

> 7. If you had a boss like The Office's Michael Scott, how would you handle him?

Kill 'em with kindness.

I contribute to the news cycle

Well, finally, my "The Office" contribution is in the paper!

I woke up late today after Jaime and I did our duet at Pauls Deli last night, so I haven't seen it in the actual paper, but it is online, Today Only:

Click me: dailypress.com.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Ramblin' Jack Elliot Sang to Me!

Ramblin' Jack Elliot Posted by Hello

Yes, yes, there he his. I spoke to him. I was F-reaking out nervous. He was awesome as all get out.

He told stories about Bob Dylan, and he'd do Dylan's voice...it was hi-larious!

He said he was trapped in a cabin in Pennsylvania during a snow storm. He had a Bob Dylan record and a bottle of Cutty Sark. Him and his friend sat around naming off the sails on the Cutty Sark label. He learned a Bob Dylan song in those two days. He only had that one record to listen too. He said it normally takes 6 months to learn a song, but he listened to it so much that weekend, he learned it by the time the snow melted off a bit. He said he made his way up to New York City to the Monday night open mike he used to go to. Mississippi John Hurt was playing that week, but it was his night off and they were doing the open mike as usual. He decided he would get up and sing the Bob Dylan song. He sang it for us last night.

Ramblin' Jack Elliot - Don't Think Twice, It's Alright.mp3 (3.3 Megs)

Then, he's telling us, how the author of the song stands up in the crowd. He's there, "light shining through his halo". And Dylan says to the man playing the guitar, singing his own song, "eye releeeenkquash it to yah Jik." And Ramblin' Jack Elliot says it just like that, "eye releeenkquash it to yah Jik." And, Jack is kind enough to translate what Mr. Dylan is saying ("I relinquish it too you Jack"), and Jack is honored. He says, "I never had nothing relinquished to me before."


Great show. He told me to have a safe drive back to Virgina and he gave me a wink. Awesome!

Basement of Bardovan Opera House. Posted by Hello


Friday, April 08, 2005

Screw this Cubicle, I'm Going to Nashville, part 2

I've had a special request to fill you in on my open mike fun that I talked about last week. I never had more fun in my life! First was the heavy-duty one at Sacred Grounds coffee. I opened with my hit country tune "I'm Supposed to Change, But You Stay the Same", then slowed it down with "Conversations at 99 Main St", and finished with all of our favorite, "Been Swearin". I haven't really sang "You Stay the Same" for strangers and...well, they really, really got into it. I felt proud that they laughed and clapped along.

Lucky for me, good-ole Paul stepped up big time and bootlegged it:

Matthew Cox - I'm Supposed to Change, You Stay the Same.mp3 (2.5 Megs)

Then, on Monday at Pauls Deli, I really had a blast. Pauls Deli is really relaxed, and the open mikers are the last thing on the drunkards minds. This is why I like it. It's like the perfect rehearsal space for the more serious gigs like Sacred Grounds and when I go to visit my grandma in May.

So at Pauls, I take a Andy Kaufman-esque theory up on stage with me. I have goals for each Monday. So this past week, the whole goal was to be really loosey-goosey. I had to sing and play as good as I can but sing songs I don't know all the words too. So I started with "I'm Supposed to Change, You Stay the Same" just to get comfortable. I get all the whoops and hollers like at Sacred Grounds. But then I followed with A Quick One (While He's Away). Yes, the 7 minute who song. I only could remember three of the "songs" that make up the mini-opera, but I played it off good, and rocked it hard with just me and my acoustic. I sang a couple others, and then I sang the Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol! I killed it too! All the drunkards, drinking just feet from one of the oldest Universities in the U.S. had to sit there while I milked, "Bury the Rag deep in your face. Now is the time for your tears." Man I've never, ever sang that song to anybody. Not family, not anybody. But oh do I love it. I only sing it when I'm alone in the house, so it was awesome to do it. I didn't plan too. I was being Loosey-Goosey remember? But I sang what I remembered of "It ain't me babe" and then I, well I just did it. I would give my third nut to have a video of me up there.

Then I finished with my own "When My Ship Comes In" and made everyone sing the chorus with me. Only a couple did, but they actually did! Boy I just charm the pants of people when I turn it on like that!

Whew. Since last week was so good, that must be why this week is giving me an ulcer.


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"Sitting on your Loathsome, Spotty Behinds.

Squeezing Blackheads. Not giving a tinkers cuss about the struggling artist. You Excrement!"

AHA!! I'm on to you people! Not a person has listened to this Ramblin' Jack tune today.

Wanna know how I know? I signed up for this really cool service called mybloglog.com. It's pretty cool. It shows you what links your readers clicked on.

So I know that 48 people have clicked on my Art Brut cover, which is pretty exciting to think about (actually, it only tells me that the link was clicked 48 times, so maybe one person listened 48 times). But as far as Ramblin' Jack? Ya'll don't care too much. Hey, to each their own. You don't have to like things that are cool.

I know you'll love this though. I discovered this fun-time-wasting site, from reading this site, which is who this guy pulled a april fools prank with (and who dumped me good yesterday. Re-read the last paragraph of this, and see where I'm at now. Like the Governor of Connecticut on tonight's Law and Order, I'm Out! Blogga-ego-bruise!)

All this and my Stupid Car is STILL screwed up!! My brand new spark plug wires are arcing. I JUST bought them! My Stoopid car won't accelerate right! All cars are money pits! I'm having a BAD WEEK!


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ramblin' Jack Elliot

I've never been more excited in my whole life! I'm driving up Friday night to New York. I'm gonna see the city one more time. Then on to West Point to see my nephew. Then Saturday night, I'm going to Poughkeepsie to see Ramblin' Jack Elliot.

I love Ramblin' Jack Elliot. Plain and simple.

Ramblin' Jack is a folk singer that hung out with Woody Guthrie. He's hung out with all kinds of folks. Check this page out. He's even hung out with Nico and the Velvet Underground.

Here is one of my favorite numbers by him:

Ramblin' Jack Elliot - Roving Gambler.mp3 (4 Megs)

PS I laugh every time I see Britney's Fetus with it's laptop.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sweet Mary Lynn

Did you see Sketch Show Sunday?

Mary Lynn Rajskub as a porn star. Moaning. It was like my dreams had come true! Sweet, sweet Mary Lynn.

Plus, I heart Paul F. Tompkins.


Friday, April 01, 2005

New Blogs to Check out

"I love the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, you put me in the biiiiiiiiiiiig houuuuusssse!"

Plus a review of the Soundtrack of Our Lives new album.

A new blog I'm gonna start checking out: spitfirepress

Also, I've been enjoying the celeb gossip at Pink is the New Blog.

I'm adding them up on the sidebar--> (along with the Patty Griffin show May 11. I saw her before in a rain storm. Remember?)

Cnet April Fools

They had me for a second.


Boy, I'm fightin' a killer head cold here. I feel like those people in the commercials, two fingers pressed against my temples while glowing redness pulsates my sinus cavities.

I've got to get better quick 'cause tomorrow is the big Open Mike performance at Sacred Grounds up in Williamsburg. It starts at 7pm if you wanna come. Come on by just to watch, or if you wanna play too.

This open mike is a big deal because they actually listen at this one. Everyone sits silently and actually listens to what you are singing. It's pretty intimidating, but a great resource because most open mike's are pretty casual affairs. A microphone in the corner of a bar, only the other open miker's listing. This is the big time. It's called an open mike, but all the best players play it so almost every performance is worth watching.

I hope my throat feels better tomorrow, I've got a killer set prepared: I'm Supposed to Change, You Stay the Same; Conversations at 99 Main St.; and Been Swearin' Too Often.

In other performance news, I've been going to Pauls Deli on Monday nights to sing a few songs with a talented songwriter named Paul (not the same Paul as the deli). I'm there around 9:30 so if you see me around, say hi.

PS. You'll also see me in next Tuesdays (April 12) "Life" section of our local newspaper, The Daily Press. I'll be published! I'll talk more about that next week.

Feel Free to scroll up and check out my Archives! Thanks for stopping by!

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