Friday, June 29, 2007

Something actually Transformers-related

Since my blog name is TransformersGeek, I thought I needed to add something about the upcoming movie. Without a doubt, the best review I've read so far comes from the Montreal Film Journal:

Imagine you're on a date with a breathtakingly hot babe whom you can't wait to get out of her clothes and have fun with... But first, you have to listen to her as she talks about really boring crap and makes a lot of lame jokes, as the girl is as dumb as she's hot. Still, after a couple of hours of this, you do get her in bed, she finally shows you all of her "special effects" and they're as spectacular as you imagined. Then you have, well, not meaningful lovemaking, obviously, but some pretty intense meaningless sex. "Transformers" is basically that attractive but mindless chick and in reviewing it, I find myself in the same position as Jerry in the "Seinfeld" episode where his brain and his penis are playing chess.

Here's the rest of the review...

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cool Jarvis interview

If you have some time to kill, NPR's Fresh Air has a great interview with the indispensable Jarvis Cocker.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Musical food groups

After my iPod wheel was stuck and I could not cycle through any songs, I had to take advantage of my warranty and get it serviced. Now, 30GB of free space, I used to fuss about what to eliminate to make room for the new The National CD. Now...clean slate.

For music geeks who actually wonder if 30GB isn't enough, what to put on the iPod or MP3 becomes a somewhat amusing task. I've broken mine down into a process similar to food groups.

1. The immediate music group
- This is the stuff that's automatically on your iTunes. It's right there. It's the reason that Bright Eyes' Cassadaga and the Cameo song "Word Up" are one of the first things on the newly-cleared iPod and not The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Radiohead's The Bends.

2. The "stuff that you're listening to RIGHT NOW" group
- Yeah, you should probably have 'the classics' like It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska on the iPod, but for those who grew up the task of having to carry every cassette or CD you were listening to during your day, the iPod is still a big ol' Walkman. So, the stuff that I've been listening to relatively heavily gets the next placement (see LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver).

3. The 'big ones' group
- These are the artists that I have several CDs from - since most of my stuff is on external hard drive, it's easiest just to start with one of them and pull their entire collection onto iTunes and then onto the iPod (see Tom Waits, James Brown (boxed set), Bob Dylan and Pulp).

4. The 'stuff to fill in the gaps' group
- With LCD Soundsystem, Bright Eyes, Cameo, Tom Waits, there's a lot lacking in terms of jazz, metal and just straightforward rock. Randomly search around for some Tool, Charlie Parker and T. Rex to even out the mix when you put it on shuffle.

Speaking of shuffle... first shuffle in the very early stages of refilling my iPod:

"Fiery Crash" - Andrew Bird ****
"Stormy Clouds" - The Verve *****
"Target" - Fugazi **** (expect a lot of **** and ***** since I'm uploading a lot of A-list stuff first)
"P.T.A." - Pulp ***
"The Pontiac" - Tom Waits ***
"Watch the Tapes" - LCD Soundsystem ****
"Help the Aged (live)" - Pulp ***
"Nirvana" - Tom Waits ***
"Sea of Love" - Tom Waits ***** (great cover)
"The Ocean Doesn't Want Me" - Tom Waits **** (three in a row!)
"Intro" - Dungen ***
"Bob Lind (The Only Way is Down)" - Pulp **
"Chocolate Jesus" - Tom Waits *****
"Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine" - The White Stripes *****
"There's No Home For You" - The White Stripes ***
"(Nice Dream)" - Radiohead *****
"F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E." - Pulp ****
"Maybe Sparrow" - Neko Case *****
"Soul Singer in a Session Band" - Bright Eyes ****
"Diamonds & Gold" - Tom Waits ****
"A Boy's Best Friend" - The White Stripes ****
"I Can't Wait" - The White Stripes ****
"If I Have to Go" - Tom Waits ****
"Superfly (Single Mix)" - Curtis Mayfield ***** (still thought this was going to be 'egg man' from The Beastie Boys)
"Catcliffe Shakedown (demo)" - Pulp ***
"C Visar Vagen" - Dungen ***
"Shambala" - The Beastie Boys ***
"Gates of Eden" - Bob Dylan *****
"99 and 1/2" - Mavis Staples *****
"Books of Moses" - Tom Waits ****
"Beautiful Mind" - The Verve ****


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Who knew Hillary had this keen of a sense of humor

...or her advisers -

Regardless - good job to the usually bland, over-calculating Hillary in...
- choosing an ad that may ... MAY go over some people's heads (e.g. those who don't own cable, don't care about The Sopranos or have never heard of the show - yes, there are folks like that out there)
- Yeah, virtually every comic show has done a parody of the ending - and there are scores of YouTube parodies, but good job for at least getting in on the joke in a relatively quick manner. For Hillary's camp, I was honestly expecting a parody of Titanic.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Maybe it's just Dane Cook...

First off, I'm looking at the pre-sale for The White Stripes at Pershing Auditorium in Lincoln - $40 range...
I'll shell - but I feel dirty about it. For the band - I think I paid almost the same price when I was seeing Bob Dylan. I was expecting something more like $28. I did pick up their new album today and it seems to be getting some great reviews, but I have yet to encounter a White Stripes album that received shitty reviews upon its release.

Dream show coming up in September: Arcade Fire with LCD Soundsystem opening.

And now for the main point of the post - if this cover was made by folks from Family Guy or South Park, I would shrug this off as just being their attempt to shock. But the fact that it's Dane Cook and Jessica Alba - just makes me pissed. It would sort of be like ex. Creed singer Scott Stapp posing standing in front of imposing tanks ala Tianamen Square.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

How much longer do I have to be a Republican?

I've ranted and railed against the Republican establishment since I was in the eighth grade and saw Jesse Jackson speak at my high school. But two years ago, under general threat of Tom Osborne unseating Dave Heineman - a Republican, a pro-lifer, but in general, a guy who was amicable, focused more on legislation for business than legislation for morality and honestly - probably more qualified as governor. So - I switched ranks.

I've been kind of lazy - so I haven't switched my rank back to Independent, but it looks like the Republican establishment will have to have me in its ranks for another few months as it seems like a lot of the right (especially 1110 K-Facist-AB) have been drumming up support to oust senator Chuck Hagel from a Senate run. So, come primary time, it looks like I'll have to keep my Republican rank to throw my support for senator Hagel.

Look - a lot of his policies I can do without. I think the gay marriage issue is total pandering. But to be honest, Iraq is probably THE most important issue facing Americans at this point. And - like it or not...any time Hagel has said anything about Iraq, be it today, or two years ago, he's had a helluva track record for being dead-on accurate. To top it off, unlike the majority of the planners of Iraq (oh yeah, and Afghanistan - keep forgetting that one) - he's actually had military experience.

For the pro-business folk out there - I'll break it down into this way - sometimes, that pain in the ass co-worker, that cynic, that constant critic - is one of your best employees because some are not trying to undermine the company, they're trying to give you the consequences of your actions so you can plan accordingly. President Lincoln surrounded himself with these people. You surround yourself with a bunch of yes-men (and women) - and you typically get clocked by reality.

Hagel criticizing Bush does not make him a bad senator. And if Nebraska is too dumb to toss one of the most knowledgeable people about the Iraq war in favor of someone who will be sure to weave the term "my faith tells me..." into every one of their speeches, maybe we don't deserve him, but the U.S. sure as hell does.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Waiting For My Man...

Cool to see our local boy holding his own against a legend -

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I'm frustrated that for some reason, I can't import Bright Eyes' and Lou Reed's performance of "Waiting for My Man" on this site.

I'm frustrated that this is my second full week without caffeine. The anxiety has leveled off - but now I get to go through the "finding the source" of the stress and an abrupt change in diet. Limited sugars - fine - no biggie. Limited alcohol - uh... ok. I suppose. I never had a rock star "consume a bottle of Jack every night", but I do enjoy a gin and tonic or a few fingers of Johnny Walker while I'm reading.

But caffeine. Switch to decaf at 33. Just don't sound right. I never was a pot a day consumer, but dang if I didn't relish that first two awesome cups a day - especially if it's coming from somewhere like Blue Line. Hoping this is temporary...

Anyway - my afternoon mix:

"All For Swinging You Around" - The New Pornographers *****
"Patience" - Mark Sandman *****
"Strongman" - Luscious Jackson ***
"The Black Hawk War, Or, How To Demolish An Entire Civilization And Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, Or, We Apologize For The Inconvenience But You're Going To Have to Leave Now, Or ..." *** (*$%# you, Sufjan for making me type this)
"I Can't Stand It" - The Velvet Underground ****
"Heaven is a Truck (live in Australia)" - Pavement ****
"Talula" - Tori Amos *****
"The Foundation" - Thievery Corporation ***
"Mood to Burn Bridges" - Neko Case ****
"Then She Did" - Janes Addiction *****
"Unhappy" - Big Boi ***
"Candy" - Morphine (e.g. the token 'chick' song in Morphine's catalog)
"Born of a Broken Man" - Rage Against The Machine ****
"Hot Pink" - Meat Puppets ***
"My Downfall" - The Notorious B.I.G. ****
"The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" - Guided by Voices ***
"Real Live Bleeding Fingers and Broken Guitar Strings (live)" - Lucinda Williams ***
"Brown Sugar" - The Rolling Stones ****
"Tell Him" - Lauryn Hill ****
"Come On Up to the House" - Tom Waits *****
"Friction" - Television ****
"Sweat" - Tool *****
"The Update" - The Beastie Boys ****
"Diedre vs. Dice" - The Roots **
"What's Going On in My Home? (live)" - Luther Allison *****
"Police On My Back" - The Clash *****
"Bongo Beep" - Charlie Parker ****
"Barfruit Blues" - The Hold Steady ***** (so much better than anything on 'Boys and Girls')
"Egg Man" - The Beastie Boys *****
"FM" - Junior Boys ***

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Friday, June 01, 2007


Props to LastFM for making hopefully a huge profit, I'm just kind of bummed a company like CBS gobbled it up...,1,3380181.story?ctrack=1&cset=true


Heavy on the Tom Waits today

iPod shuffle list o' the day:

"The Martyr" - Cursive ****
"Snowstorm" - Galaxie 500 ****
"Straight to Hell" - The Clash ****
"A Northern Soul" - The Verve ****
"Good Good Lovin'" - James Brown ****
"Since I've Been Loving You" - Led Zep *****
"Look Away" - Deerhoof ** (Pitchfork says I suck for not liking this)
"Wrong Bobby" - Eels ***
"M.O.R. (live)" - Blur ***
"Pretty Mary K (other version)" - Elliott Smith ****
"Take 5, D." - Minutemen ****
"Riffs and Variations on a Single Note For Jelly Roll, Early Hines Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, And The King of Swing, To Name A Few" - Sufjan Stevens ** (barely got the name done before the song expired
"Common People (Vocoda Mix)" - Pulp **
"Peace in Mind" - Neneh Cherry ****
"Lullaby in Rhythm, pt. 2" - Charlie Parker ***
"Strugglin'" - Tricky ****
"Superfly" - Curtis Mayfield ***** (thought this was going to be 'Egg Man' by the Beastie Boys)
"Hearthearted (Ode to Thoreau)" - Amy Millan ****
"(-) Ions" - Tool **
"Child's Play" - Ghostface Killah *****
"Wu-Banga 101" - Ghostface Killah ***** (two classics - same album)
"Dashboard" - Modest Mouse *****
"Hot Soft Light" - The Hold Steady ***
"Napoleon Says" - Phoenix ****
"Stop the World" - The Clash **
"Flip Flop Rock" - Big Boi Feat Killer Mike & Jay-Z ***
"Light Rail Coyote" - Sleater-Kinney *****
"Mr. Harris" - Aimee Mann" ****
"Lilah" - Morphine ***
"Blood Roses" - Tori Amos ****
"The Center of the World" - Bright Eyes ***
"Ten Crack Commandments" - The Notorious B.I.G. ****
"Rebel Rebel" - David Bowie ****
"It's a Crime" - The Magnetic Fields ****
"God Only Knows" - The Beach Boys *****
"John Saw That Number" - Neko Case *****
"In the Colosseum" - Tom Waits *****
"Blind Love" - Tom Waits ****
"Hoochie Koochie Man" - Jimi Hendrix *****
"Home I'll Never Be" - Tom Waits *** (iPod's lovin' some Tom Waits today)

Medicate vs. non-medicate

Ok, this is my last blog about my recent experiences in the hospital before I move on to more important topics, such as Micahel Moore's movie Sicko, the beauty that is Beertopia on 38th and Farnam and whether Rolling Stone was right in saying the Guliani WAS worse than our current president.

Both hospitalizations did not end up like a scene in a My Chemical Romance video, with me strapped down to a bed, drugged and locked in isolation. Both times, I was hooked up to a monitor, had sticky tape that was a bitch to peel off and occasionally, a bit of oxygen. After finally getting to my doctor - the diagnosis was clear: panic attacks. Something I've never experienced before.

Ala Tony Soprano, I was referred to a psychiatrist, who prescribed me two meds. I called my doc before embarking on either one (names of med withheld for no other reason in that I don't feel like divulging). My doc, who pretty much prescribes a home remedy before any med, gave the green light to both.

I was still hoping to somehow find some sort of all-powerful combination of chamomile tea, intense journaling, solid friend support, yoga and whatever. But two nights ago, I woke up in the same state. Heart racing "the fear" gripping. I was to a point where I actually started to think of a late-era U2 song: "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own" - true, the person who is offering to help is a person and not a med, but the chorus stuck. Like any other medication, I don't plan on being on it any longer than I have to be - but if I had an ear infection, a sprained ankle, bronchitis, I, along with a vast majority of the population would be on board to get their necessary meds to fix these ailments. But whenever a problem deals with any sort of anxiety/depression or other mental issue, a stigma still remains in seeking out treatment. It probably doesn't help matters when that field is one of the most frequent targets of abuse by patients and a vast number the under-$30,000 a year crowd who may need such care do not have proper access.