Just a place to chat about things. Mostly music based. I like stuff, lets share.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Umm thanks for that.
File under "no kidding"
I am a user of iTunes.
Once a week I go to the main page and see what they have for free downloads. It being close to the holidays they had two "Christmas" songs. Figured, free..why not.
One was from the "new age" band Mannheim Steamroller.
Users are allowed to post reviews...and this was the first one.
This may sound like I am stupid, but is this song supposed to have any words? Just to let you know, it does not. If you like songs without words, then this is a very nice song. If not, I would not recommend this song.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In the News
A four year old girl who attached a letter to a balloon near her school in England got a letter from a person that found it, 6000 Miles away in China. The man who found it, wrote a letter to the class saying he found it while in the park with friends included a picture.
A couple in Marsville Ohio have three kids..all born on Oct 2. The first in 2003, the second in 2006 and the one this year, who was due on Sept 30th, was late and came Oct 2. Chances of this happening 7.5 in one million.
Federal officials estimate that fully three quarters of all farm workers in the US are here illegally. - LA Times
In the 1970's the average dad spent only about 33% percent as much time with his kids as did the average mom. By 2000 the # had climbed to 75% of moms - Time
In 2007 California will spend $3.3 Billion on its state university system and $9.9 on its prison system - LA Times
55% of Americans say they often come into contact with people who speak mostly Spanish rather than English By a 66% to 33% margin, they are not bothered by encounters with people who speak mostly Spanish - ABC News Poll
American CEOs earn, on average, twice as much as their company's second highest paid executive - Financial Times.
Only 37% of 19 to 24 year olds in the US are daily coffee drinker compared with 60% of adults 40 to 59...its 74% of those 60+. - Business Week.
Those cool new energy saving light bulbs? Cutting in to the sales of the traditional bulbs causing sales to fall 10%. As a result GE will cut 1,400 jobs. - LA Times.
Of every 1000 senior citizens who retire over 480 eventually move, usually back to their original location - Marketwatch.com
About 40% of immigrants to the US now settle in the suburbs - NY Times.
US Consumers overdrew $15.8 Billion from their checking accounts last year. The banks in turn collected $17.5 Billion in overdraft fees. - Chicago Tribune
Ohio State's $109 million athletics budget provided and average of $110,000 for each of its 980 athletes, about triple what the school spends to educate each student. - Wall St Journal
38% of employees worldwide describe themselves as disenchanted or disengaged. Only 21% say they are willing to make an "extra effort" for their employer. -Market watch.COMM
A 75 year old former Marine, wounded in the Korean War applied for his purple heart, only to be told they were "out of stock" and that he could buy one at a local military supply store for $42.00.
In 2006, 99 US Army soldiers committed suicide. The highest in 26 years. - Associated Press
The biggest gripe cell phone users have? - the fee's to change services. - Washington Post.
1 in 4 American adults did not read ANY books last year.
41% 1 to 5 books
31% read between 6 and 15
27% said they have read more than 15. - Associated Press
New York City is keeping phone booths, even with all the cell phones around. The biggest reason? Adverting dollars on the phone booths. The revenue from this alone is 13.7 million dollars. - New York Times.
An Alabama student was disciplined for hugging a friend whose parent had just died. Seems the hug violated the schools "zero tolerance" on physical contact with students.
The European Union voted that the voice of "Tarzan" could not be trademarked. The estate of Edgar Rice Burroughs had hoped to cash in on the call for ring tones, video games and advertising.
Due to the drought in the southern parts of the USA students at a recent University of Georgia were asked to "not flush" all the time. Bathroom attendants were given jobs to decide if the toilets should be flushed.
Nearly 1 in 5 American children are kept indoors most of the time because their parents fear for their safety. For blacks and Hispanics that figure is 1 in 3. - New York Times
The recent fires in California released 6 million tons of carbon dioxide..the same as about 1 million cars being every day for a year - Associated Press
Americans are making pets out of venomous snakes at a rapid pace. In 2004, 52 people had to be treated for bites and three died. - USA Today
Costa Rica has the highest standard of living in Central America, but most of the county has no street names or addresses. As a result it takes an average of nine days for the postal service to deliver a letter and 20% of the mail never reaches its destination. - LA Times.
China now has 106 billionaires. 5 years ago there were none - Boston Globe.
Labels: in the news
Monday, November 26, 2007
For the person(s) that have everything
A short little guide to some off the odd ball items that have popped up in my holiday catalogs sent to my home. What ever happened to the "Sears Catalog?"
First, We will start off "odd" but pretty safe at the same time.
Yep its a pen, shaped like a finger, you pull it..you get the point..
Lets face it..we all do it..but this product can help.
Mask that poo..
Add a few drops to the bowl before you go and "no odor". You can order it yourself right here
This one scares me......
Umm half of a half of a man. Creepy on so many levels.
In school we all always wished we could have used the excuse don't we?
Dog Ate My Homework
Paper mixed with fake dog doo...man thats gross..but I *need it* "March where is your TPS report...Umm my dog ate it...see?
Perhaps the BEST find...
Dirty Underpants Safe
I don't get it....
Perhaps it is that the holiday season all but landed on our laps this past week. Or, that I have really done "zero" to be ready for the visit from one "Jolly Ol'e Saint Nick" in now 30 days but I have a question...
The "deals" on black Friday (and now black Monday) are store only deals for a set number of hours (ungodly hours 4am to 9am door busters anyone?). I realize the idea is that if you go to (insert store here) for (insert super deal item here) the chances of you getting more stuff is pretty high. I get it, foot traffic, impulse shopping all that. What I have a hard time understanding is that stores, and dealers, are so willing to take a hit on the item why not have a random sale to up your foot traffic in say April? Stores are always saying "oh the holidays are good but come the late winter it gets pretty quiet". I guess what I am saying, or getting at, is why not have these great deals at random times thru the year as well. Sure you can have them be at odd hours..but like most people if I get a deal on one item I'll probably walk to aisles to see what else I can't live with out.
My cube mate here at Innetch works part time at the Gap as well. He was telling us that a local "Premium Outlet" (which has a Gap) had a TWO HOUR check out time at the register. He said it was so bad that people put items w/their name on them..then got in line outside the store (for upwards of 2hours???!). Man the shit people do for a pair of khaki pants. Also, L.L. Bean opened a retail store 2 or 3 exits down the highway from the outlets and it did over 1 Million Dollars in business on Friday alone. Finally, adding to the crap people are willing to put up with, the parking lot for Outlets had a FOUR HOUR traffic jam to get in to them. Honestly folks..give up..seriously its not worth it.
Another of my cd reviews is up right here if you care. It is a review on the new solo cd from Serj Tankian.
More to come...
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Have a nice holiday
To my "massive" American reading audience I send upon to you well wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving. May you eat 3 or more plates and actually lose weight. To those of you not stateside enjoy the rest of your week.
Nice long weekend..part of me wishes I could just do this....
but my mom said I have to wear pants to the table..
Monday, November 19, 2007
Old Stereo Speaker Table
Check out what I made....
If there is one thing I am not..its overly handy. It is a sad fact but I admit it, and know my limitations.
I read in a magazine one time about a person that made a cool table out of an old stereo speaker. It seemed pretty easy (and cool looking) so if I ever was given the chance to try I was going to do it. The cool part is you can do this for about $10.00 (probably less) and in about 20 minutes.
What you need:
An old used, unwanted speaker cabinet. A trash pick is probably your best bet.
- four rolling casters (wheels) I got them at a local "Big Lots" store for $1.49 each
- screws to attach wheels (in case you don't have them)
- a box cutting knife (or "exacto" knife)
- a hammer/screwdrivers (both Phillips and flat)
- wire cutters
Step one -
Get your speaker ready for the transformation. Here is the image of the one I found.
With your knife gently cut off cover (aka the black fabric front of the speaker) Cut around the frame of the speaker. You will probably feel a raised edge, use that as a guide. The speaker I used had the fabric wrap over the top and it was tacked to the underside of the grill. You might need a hammer and screwdriver to separate the two. Chances are the speakers you are using are not very "high end" so they should actually come apart pretty easily.
Pull any wires out that might be connected. You might need wire cutters, but they can get pulled. This is the inside of the table so few will see it.
At this point you should have the base as well as the top separated. Unscrew the "frames" around the speakers. Again you might need your flat head screwdriver to give the speaker a little pop. The small speaker can be tossed out but save any screws. This speaker had a small "frame" around the tweeter that was saved.
Remove the woofer speaker the same way. Again save the screws and "frame" just in case.
Take your knife and carefully, along the edge of the speaker cut all of the paper cone out. It doesn't need to be saved and at this point your speaker is beyond repair
Flip the speaker over and attach the four rolling casters to the corners. Since I didn't have a ton of room to work with, and knowing the wood is not that thick I only placed 3 screws per corner. The fourth (the most "inside" screw) would go through the thin board to "nowhere". Since the unit is not meant to be sat on this will be sturdy enough. It will look like this....
Here we are almost done. I removed the speakers from tweeter (the top smaller one) and the woofer (the bigger speaker). At this point reattach those "frames" using the screws. You will notice a nice "basket" where the woofer was. This keeps a bowl perhaps too small from falling through.
Find your favorite beverage vessel as well as a bowl that fits "just right" and there you have it.
**the finished product**
You can probably go crazy w/paint or what have you. The cool part is every table will be a little different since some had 2 or 3 tweeters.
Friday, November 16, 2007
The beauty that you gave has turned upon itself
This weeks Forgotten Disc Friday is now up. This woman is amazing, and I hope your read about it and check out some tracks.
Thanks as always for reading (or clicking over) and have a nice weekend.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The Husband and Wife Store(s)
The Husband Store
A store that sells new husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband.
Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates.
You may visit the store ONLY ONCE!
There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights.
There is, however, a catch: you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you
cannot go back down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband.
On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1 - These men have jobs.
The second floor sign reads: Floor 2 - These men have jobs and love kids.
The third floor sign reads: Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking.
"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.
She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads: Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.
"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"
Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads: Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.
She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign reads: Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.
A new wives store opened across the street. It also has six floors.
The first floor has wives that love sex.
The second floor has wives that love sex and have money.
The third through sixth floors have never been visited.
Time for a new feature....
I try my best to keep positive on this blog but it is time to start the "Random Musings Jackass Award".
People can be total jackasses sometimes.
Case in point.
On the radio today I heard a story about the recent elections that took place in Cambridge, MA. That day at the polling stations a local boy scout troop made arrangements to put out donation boxes. The donations were for toiletries for the troops.
The polls open and in the morning all the bins were removed.
A voter felt that the bins indicated a "Pro War" stance. Thus they were removed.*
Are you Effing kidding?
Congrats the "Voter" in Cambridge. You are the first winner of the most coveted award in blog land.
Random Musings Jackass Award #1
* the same radio station that covered the story is accepting donations. WBZ1030.com
Labels: Jackass Award
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Battles - The Paradise, Boston November 12, 2007
The Paradise, Boston MA
Monday, November 12, 2007
Second time is the charm.
Battles returned to Boston in just a few short months. I had tickets for their show earlier this year but fell ill the night of the show and skipped it. When I saw they were coming back I grabbed a ticket and prayed for good health.
Rolled in to the sold out Paradise about 10 minutes before the band hit the stage (9:20pm) which is nice, but harder to find a spot to stand. The band was still setting up the gear. One thing that stands out his how the band had all their gear right up to the lip of the stage. This included John Stanier's drum kit. He puts one of his cymbals up about 4 feet above his head and his kit is probably all of four drums, but he makes some great noise. He got his chops working well and really showed he has come far from his days in Helmet
Ian Williams was on the far left of the stage and was fun to watch him alternate between guitar lines to keyboards. Dave Konopka switched between bass and guitar and was pretty much in the middle of the stage. To the right was "vocalist", keyboard and guitarist Tyondai Braxton.
Konopka walked on stage at the start and began a cool bass loop as the band came out slowly. The tour is winding down for the critically acclaimed Mirrored album and the band was really firing.
The bulk of Mirrored was played and the sold out crowd held on for dear life at time as the band really got cooking on a few tunes. Some of the song had longer, and slower build ups (made you want to yell LETS GO!) but once they got rolling it was a treat.
Towards the end of the set, the song "Atlas" that probably sold more than its fair share of records took off and it was a terrific version. Trying like hell to sing along the audience did "moderate" considering nobody has any idea what Braxton is even saying. Leading up to "Atlas" some folks behind me were having a rather lengthy and semi loud discussion about "something' when another fan finally spun to them and said "Can you discuss this later?" So good.
As the set wrapped up another "tool" moment took place. Another guy decided to chant "Encore" between the main set and that "encore". Just chanting "Encore" huh? God I miss lighters sometimes.
A short set (about 1hr 10 minutes) but considering the band only has one full length out its about right. We wanted more and if the band keeps up this pace there will be plenty more for next time. Catch em if you can, but your days are probably numbered unless you live in South America.
I'll probably have an mp3 sample up Thursday (long story)....
*Drum set image from here
Labels: live review
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Police TD Bank North Garden, November 11,2007
TD Bank North Garden
Sunday November 11, 2007
Got an extra hundred or so bucks laying around? You may or may not want to see the Police who are currently touring the world. Over the summer the band played two shows at Fenway Park. Tickets went fast and I was shut out. Before those shows even happened they announced this Boston Garden show and I was lucky to get a ticket.
I arrived in my seat just moments before Fiction Plane took the stage. The big thing with that band is that Stings son sings and plays bass. They were "okay" somewhat generic but man, if the Police ever wanted to continue without Sting they could with Joe Sumner as his voice is IDENTICAL to his fathers.
About 8:45 the band took the stage and it was a wide open stage at that. What is nice at the outset is the band doesn't add additional musicians to the mix. If you see the Stones, or Roger Waters there are suddenly 4 guitar players and 4 keyboard players etc. It was just the three, the classic line up. Sting on the left, guitarist Andy Summers to the right and drummer Stewart Copeland set back and a bit higher than the band on the riser. It was a wide open stage as noted, so the band roamed a little, but didn't get too crazy.
The set opened with "Message in a Bottle" that rolled in to "Synchronicity II". Suddenly, at least for me I felt something was missing. I am not sure if it was a botched note, or a timing issue but even Sting rolled his nose that was visible on the jumbo screens. It somehow set a tone that took a while to shake for me personally. Suddenly I had a far more critical ear and was "waiting" for them to botch something else.
Thankfully they cleaned up as the set went on. Sting was honestly in fine voice. He realizes his limitations perhaps now vocally but had more than enough range to get "up there" when needed but he also changed the key on some songs (King of Pain comes to mind) to save face. Sting gets most of the credit but I was overly impressed with the guitar work of Andy Summers. I never realized he is SIXTY FOUR years old! He took the spot light on more than one occasion with some great solos. Stewart Copeland is just insane. Plain and simple. When you watch him you feel he is listening with the most intense criticism of himself and the "product" they are showing. I was ready for a scorching moment early in the set when then band did "Voices in my Head" which on the studio version has some terrific drum fills, but by the time they got there they changed gears to "When the World is Running Down..."
The crowd was pretty much in to it from the get go. I was in the lower bowl (far end from the stage) and the bulk of my section sat for a lot of the tunes. It was fine, but the people in front of me stood, so I needed to. Sting was keen to mention the Red Sox on more than one occasion and that was met with thunderous ovations.
Later in the set Stewart had a crazy percussion set come up behind him and he just went off on "Wrapped Around your Finger". He was up top, then he'd jump down for the drum fill portion, then back up. He was really fun to watch and he was in the zone.
Here is the set list with an audio sample from my recording
Message in a Bottle
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Truth Hits Everybody
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
King Of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Next To You
For the second encore Andy didn't even leave the stage. He stood there almost like "come on guys lets just do this". At the conclusion of the tune Stewart jumped down, grabbed hands with Sting and Andy and center stage for a final bow. The ovation was great, but the lights soon came up and left many asking "Where the hell is/was "Roxanne". Honestly I didn't miss it..I figured it was going to be a 10 minute drawn out version.
Overall I was pleased. The one down side was the versions of the songs. Hear me out please. Many of the songs had extended guitar solos, sure they were good and showed the abilities of the band but some of them just sort of lumbered on. Sting repeating a series of "Call and response" chorus' that went on just a tad too long.
I was glad I had the chance to see them but at the same time I think once is enough, at least on this tour
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Paranoia enforces loneliness
This weeks Forgotten Disc Friday . Another pretty common, yet sadly somehow forgotten selection this week.
Hope you'll stop over. Thanks as always for reading (or clicking over) and have a nice weekend.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Meet the Providence Bruins was a hit. We met them all (well all that were there) and actually went thru the line twice. The second was for my nephew to get pictures with, a poster, cards and pucks signed by his favorite player(s). Capped it off with some dinner. Good times.
Yesterday before I left work (I took 1/2 vacation day) a woman that sits near me fell out of her chair. We have sort of wide open, low wall cubes. I heard a thump and stood right up..she took a few moments to get up but said she was fine. Somehow she had tripped, or rolled over her foot etc. It was very odd.
Reading that rock bands are suffering this writers strike as well. Since late night shows are in re-runs due to the strike performances by some DVR worthy bands (to me anyway) are on hold. I'll have to wait to see if Amy Winehouse can show up and perform on Saturday Night Live. Band of Horses are slated for one of the late shows as well...
And finally in great news
You have 47 shopping days until Christmas.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Good for him..but kind of a bummer for me/us.
Later today my nephew and I are going to meet the Providence Bruins. It is one of those nice perks that I get as a season ticket holder (mind you just five games but still very cool).
We've been getting geared up and my only goal honestly was to see if I could secure an autographed puck from hot goalie prospect Tuukka Rask. They are touting him to be a big deal so figured an autographed puck might be cool.
Well today I learned he has been sent up to the Boston Bruins. It is a good move for him as he is currently 6-1 in Providence and could use some experience and face time in the NHL. The downside is he probably will NOT be there tonight. He might be..but I doubt it as he is probably involved in practice(s) and the team plays the Sabres, in Buffalo tomorrow.
Oh well, we are going to have a great time regardless.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Superdrag - Paradise Boston November 3, 2007
The Paradise, Boston MA
Saturday November 3, 2007
Superdrag are a band from Knoxville, TN. They released a few records to mild success, each striking a chord less with the masses as time went on, but each record would be stronger than the last and hardcore fans were always rewarded with some of the most perfect power pop rock albums ages. The band would have some mild success on the MTV front based off "Sucked out" which was on the debut album "Regretfully Yours". The four core members, John Davis - guitar and vocals, Tom Pappas on bass, Brandon Fisher - guitars and Don Coffey Jnr on drums would release "Regretfully Yours", tour and then follow that up with "Head Trip in Every Key". The label (Electra) wanted the band to duplicate the hit/sound on "Sucked Out" but it never really happened and the band was sadly cast in to "One hit wonder land". That album was largely ignored by the fans from the first, but there are some real gems on this record. The band didn't tour much for that record and Pappas and Fisher would leave the band. Superdrag would continue to write, record and perform but in 2003 the band would go on hiatus.
The hiatus is now over...well for seven shows at least and the original members are back in the fold.
The ravenous fans at the Paradise showered the band with affection and the band, visually moved played for 2hours pretty much "Regretfully and Head Trip" in their entirety. Many of the fans probably never had the chance to see this core together. Superdrags final show was in Boston (same venue) but the band had a few members roll in and out. Fans waited for this core to come together once more.
Facing the stage Fisher was to the left, Davis in the middle, Coffey on drum in the back and the wild man Pappas to the right. His huge afro flailing back and forth as he'd do his rock star kicks, jumps and chords on the bass. During the moments the band would tune they'd thank the audience, the openers and pretty much everyone in between. Pappas is more the emcee between songs allowing perhaps Davis a few moments to rest his voice...he was belting out some of the tracks beyond what I'd ever recall on the cds.
In a live setting the last few times Davis struggled with the upper ranges, he was smoking and drinking a lot as well. He is now clean and sober, and has made room for Jesus in his life (released 2 solo records that are faith based) he was so appreciative of the ovations.
The band, barring slowing down perhaps to tune up went one after the other. Here is the set list:
Nothing Good is Real
Tell Me I'm Not Free
I'm Expanding My Mind
Sold You an Alibi
Do the Vampire
Keep it Close to Me
Destination Ursa Major
27 tunes and just about 2hrs. There were a few quieter moments when Davis would play the piano, but honestly the run from "keep it close to me" to the end of the set was unreal over the top rocking, they just did NOT slow down. It ended on a high note.
The encore was decent and before it began my buddy Jason said "What the heck else can they play?" Closing out with the always fun "Rocket" the band extended the jam at the end and took the sound about double its length (went from 3 or so minutes to 6) but it worked. With big smiles, waves and final bow the band left the stage.
On the way out of the venue the merchandise boot was overflowing as the band was there signing anything handed them. (They did this pre-show as well).
Overall it was a very good evening. The hiatus overall was a plus allowing John and Don (the 2 that have carried it on) but Tom and Brandon added that great 1-2 punch. Perhaps they will do this on their own terms and tour now and then. Perhaps these times they will get the attention they so deserve.
**Images are from here. Kudos to that person!
Labels: live review
Friday, November 2, 2007
Take me to a place to place they say the dreaming never ends
This weeks Forgotten Disc Friday is all new and *LIVE* if you want to check it out. Another pretty common, yet sadly somehow forgotten selection this week.
Hope you'll stop over. Thanks as always for reading (or clicking over)