Friday, November 14, 2014

Back in the Habit of Destroying Computers, Toilets

About a year ago, dontEATnachos traded me a computer in exchange for some professional services.*  This thing was pretty rad, and considerably better than my jury-rigged old dog from 2008.  I’ve already managed to break the new kid.  Twice.  I shall relate the story of the new kid in rhyme.**

My old dog still had XPpro, and basically worked, if you can excuse the graphics driver pulling shit fits fairly regularly.***  The hdd’s still had space, the graphics rendered at decent enough quality and framerates, and the processor rarely struggled.  My most recent purchase for this computer was Fallout: New Vegas, and that ran fine, even modded.  The problems were that I was getting some signs that the older of the two hdds was sick, and probably on it’s way to the great scrapyard in the sky,**** and that XP was soon to be left behind to history by Microsoft, while remaining in heavy use by damn near everyone.  I was thinking about saving up for a new machine, and at the rate I was being paid, I would have achieved the savings of a decent 2013-2014 machine by 2077.  Just in time to die, like the secondary hard drive.  Incidentally, the dying hard drive has been previously mentioned on this site.   The dying hard drive only holds…stuff, while the still good drive holds music and the OS.  The only important fact is that my music is safe, for now, and that dontEATnachos gave me a cool new computer.

The new kid is neat,
She has three feet.
The new kid plays games,
But not the bad kind of games that involve your feelings. The good kind of games like Dragon Age.
The new kid is light,
Not 780 pounds like this Alienware machine that I still haven’t fixed.
The new kid wears black,
You don’t give a jack.*****

That’s all the rhymes you’ll get out of me.  Back to the interminable saga about how I shouldn’t be allowed to own computers.

dontEATnachos had graciously included Dragon Age: Inquistion (with all DLC), Red Faction: Something, and a couple other games that I didn’t get to try.  The new kid had a better video card with a working driver, and a large pair of hard drives in a RAID.  The only thing the new kid didn’t have was a wireless internet adapter.  I didn’t need this for a while, I kept the new kid safe and secure by not allowing it to connect to the internet, and left my old dog to slowly gather dust as an internet machine.  Eventually, I got bored of switching from one computer to the other to look up information and tips for Dragon Age.  I thought about running a long cord to the router downstairs, but had to give up when I realized that shoving a wire through the gaps in the floorboards was probably not the best idea in case the landlord decided to visit.******  No problem, I’ll just use my wifi dingle dangle from my old dog.

This was the first mistake.  A couple days after installing the wifi dangle’s driver, the new kid crashed on startup without even blue-screening.  Just powered down like I had pulled the plug halfway through start up.   This kept happening with increasing frequency and sometimes the BSoD would flash on the screen for a brief moment. To get past this, I would just reboot the computer and it would usually work.  I might have to unplug the computer and hit the power to empty the cobwebs in the capacitors, but it would usually boot up fine after a crash or two.  After a couple months, I finally got a blue screen that stuck around and was able to write down the error code.

The error code indicated a wireless device driver was the source of the problem.  So I uninstalled the driver, and installed a brand new version of the driver that was only about three weeks old that was supposed to fix this exact problem with W7.  I rebooted the machine after installing, and that was the last time I was able to do anything on the new kid.  The boot process was completely borked and would not complete at all.  I tried a couple tricks, but nothing would work.  I ended up giving the new kid to the trusted IT contractor we use in my office with the specific instructions that he save the data on the drives before doing anything else.

You can guess what the first thing my guy did was.  After wiping the drives and attempting to get W7 to reinstall, he decided that the hard drives had been damaged in all the months of crashing and rebooting and power cycling.  He said that the RAID driver had also become corrupted and that was bad, as dontEATnachos had said it would be if it were to happen.  I only lost a few thousand words of several different stories, the most recent versions of those stories, and the games which were distracting me from those stories.

About five months after I surrendered the new kid to the tender mercies of my guy, he returned to me a working new kid with two new ssds with equivalent storage capacity, W7 Pro, and the full Office suite.  Shortly thereafter, I backed up my stories to the computer, installed ZoneAlarm, Minecraft, Steam, Fallout: New Vegas, the Orange Box, Goat Simulator*******, Fallout, and Fallout 2.  I was happy, I had my computer again, and I had a third safe place to work on and store my stories.  Or so I thought.

With only one month of successful usage and operation under her belt, the new kid crashed shortly after startup one day.  I rebooted and she worked just fine.  Then she crashed after I loaded a save game in Half-Life 2.  I rebooted and she worked just fine.  I thought it was just an oddity.  These incidents were just a hard crash to black when idling in Windows, and involved a video card stutter and total halt during game play.  Then she crashed during startup.  I started seeing blue screens, with a variety of errors.  Nothing seemed consistent, and everything was still plugged in on the inside of the new kid.  After consulting with dontEATnachos and another friendly professional, canadianLUMberjack, I’m guessing that the new kid’s power supply has died.  I’m wondering if the power strip she is plugged into is still good.  There’s a lamp on the same circuit that dims every now and then.  I’m not a forensic electrician, or any sort of electrician, but I’m moving new kid to a different outlet and power strip after I install the new power supply.

I’ll take pictures, I know you’re just dying to see those.

* Barter economy is the best economy.
** No, I won’t. Well, maybe.
*** Save early, save often, vault dwellers.
**** My dusty box of hard drives and other computer parts in the bottom of my closet.
***** Good enough.
****** I shouldn’t have been worried about this, that landlord was a slumlord.
******* Brilliant and ridiculous.  Absolutely wonderful.
******** You’re probably also wondering about the toilets thing, I’ll get pictures of that, too.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Strange Brew Sunday: New Glarus IIPA`

Since fulsome is completely ignoring all forms of communication, I’ll continue stepping up and slapping him across the face with a suspicious haddock.  The haddock in question this week is New GlarusIIPA.  The flavor and mouthfeel is very similar to a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, but a little less malty.  At 85 IBUs, it isn’t the most bitter beer I’ve ever had, but it is up there.  The IIPA uses English Maris Otter malt, so that could account for the difference in the malt body.  The hops have a hint of something Belgian, as well as the more usual flavors.  The ABV is 9.75% when bottled, but this, like many New Glarus brews, will condition if stored properly.  I don’t know where it would top out, but if I had a cellar, I would be keeping a couple bottles in a cool, dark place.

Overall Review: Any Given Morning (I would give this the highest recommendation, but the ABV makes it tough to have more than three or four and remain capable of winning an argument.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Good Time Tunes

While driving from the Middleofnowhere, Iowa, to the Uppermiddleofnowhere, Wisconsin, I wanted to make good time on the roads without risking my life.  I could have downed 75 ounces of coffee and just floored it, but I get jittery after 60 ounces, while also spacing out on extremely productive, but distracting tangents in my internal monologue.  Instead I limited myself to 56 ounces of coffee over several hours, and rotated through my CDs.   Since I know that you are just sweating in anticipation of seeing this list, here it is:

Silver Jews – American Water (Originally recommended to me by a man who will no longer speak to me, but that is what happens to two men with a woman involved.)

The Duhks – Migration (First heard on NPR All Songs Considered {I think, it was a while ago.} and then seen live at Iota.)

Action Painters – Eponymous Album (Seen live as an opener for Olivia Mancini and the Mates, ’80s-esque rock that sounds genuine.)

Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die (I should really get their new album {albums?}.)

Old Crow Medicine Show and Various – My Phone (I made an upbeat playlist on my phone, it starts with Cocaine Habit and Tell It to Me by OCMS, and Cocaine Blues by The Man in Black, and then stays at that pace for a while.)

Various Artists – Carondelet (A mix album from an unknown west coast-based blogger, containing everything from The Zutons to The Wrens, with some Canasta, Architecture in Helsinki, and Of Montreal thrown in for giggles.  The music snob who mixed the album helpfully refused to include proper encoding on the tracks, so that those who wished to purchase the respective albums could only do so by listening to every song everywhere to determine the origins.  That’s hipsters for you.)

A lot of the still active bands with sites beyond Myspace have at least one or two free downloads, and I would recommend that you check out the sites except that I am fairly certain that only I and dontEATnachos will ever see this post.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Screw All You Jerks, I Like John Carter

On Viewing: I had no need to justify spending thirty bucks on two 3D tickets to see John Carter.  The movie was fun, funny at times, not overly sappy, and had great action scenes.  The aliens looked cool, the monsters were well done, and you could really see where the money went. The action was fun, the plot worked, and I never felt bored.

Reaction to the Reaction: John Carter‘s box office success, or lack thereof, became a self-fulfilling prophecy.*  People worried about the cost of the m0vie before it debuted, and then flamed it hard when the movie failed to earn back all 250 million dollars in the first weekend.  Unless you happen to be a  studio exec, box office numbers should never determine the quality of a movie.**  Ahem, Titanic, cough.***  People started crowing about how no one was going out to see the movie, and crowds stayed away.  I forget sometimes that people are people, and have this stupid tendency to forget to act as persons.  “If no one else is seeing that movie, then I won’t see it either because if it were good, then people would be paying to see it.”

We’ve seen this before in political reporting.  If a candidate falls behind in fundraising, that becomes the story of the campaign until people are walking away from their preferred candidate because they are being told that candidate isn’t raising enough money.  I’ve seen a similar phenomenon happen in guild recruiting for online games.

I am not a rabid Burroughs fanboy, I would be surprised if that was even a group larger than ten, but I liked this movie.  I have never read the original books, and have been failing to find them for months in used book stores, but I have known of them for years.  I don’t know where I first saw some artist’s vision of Dejah Thoris, but it was probably a Boris Vallejo picture in Dragon Magazine.****

David Denby of the New Yorker spends the first paragraph of his review asking all the wrong questions:

…a battle between two warring cities populated by humanoid figures, the gentle Heliumites and the nasty Zodangans.  Immediately, we’re lost. Who are these people?  Why do the warriors fight with swords while winged battle cruisers, looking like oversized mosquitos, rain down death from above?  Is this an advanced civilization or a primitive one? All right, it’s both, but how do the two fit together?

To use a tired but effective example, I will substitute information for Star Wars and we will see if these questions are valid:

…a battle between two warring political groups populated by humanoid figures, the good Rebels and the evil Imperials.  Immediately, we’re lost. Who are these people? Why do the warriors fight with laser swords while winged battle cruisers, looking like oversized pizza slices, rain down death from above? Is this an advanced civilization or a primitive one? All right, it’s both, but how do the two fit together?

Your review is bad, and you should feel bad, David Denby.  These questions are all answered within the frame of the movie, and you shouldn’t require the plot to be laid out for you in the first two minutes.  Plots unfold, like flowers in spring or a woman’s clothing after a great date.  Yes, on the internet you can see pictures of flowers, and women, and skip ahead to read all the spoilers you want, but that is your choice and the director is not required to lay it all out for you in the first thirty seconds.

One paragraph in the six you wrote reviewing this movie was spent in truly reviewing it.  Your first paragraph asks stupid questions, your second complains about the look of the aliens and being confused about the rather simple war at the center of the plot, your third seems to be a complaint that the film is science fiction and not a lame romantic comedy (Of fucking course the two heroes approach each other warily, they have no reason to trust anyone and every reason to suspect everyone.), your fourth paragraph is a complaint about the source material and the fact that only men seem to like making movies about stuff they liked as children (So fucking what? Maybe movies would be better with Penny Marshall directing a Wonder Woman movie.), your fifth paragraph finally talks about the movie itself, and your final complaint focuses on the fact that the movie may rake in cash overseas like the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  As much as I want the Pirates movies to go to hell with a quickness, I hope that John Carter does well enough to spite you and everyone else who panned it.  I liked it, and I want to see more.

The Numbers:

$179,300,000 (Worldwide) (19 March2012)

John Carter’s numbers from IMDB.

2. Wrath Of The Titans ($34 million)

[Total: $34 million | WW: $112m | Budget: $250m]


Final Words: John Carter is a fun movie that science fiction fans will be sad that they didn’t see in the theaters, and others will live their lives breathing through their mouths while lining up to see fucking Titanic.  AGAIN.

*There are no other kinds of prophecy, but clarity is paramount.

**If you do happen to be a studio exec, go borrow George Lucas’ rusty pinecone.

***Titanic was the biggest earning, utterly pandering, boringly predictable movie ever made, until Avatar.

****Frank Cho makes no apologies for anything.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Books I’ve Read This Year, 2008: Response to fulsome’s Return to Semi-Posting

In 2008, I think I might have read ten books and I am rather ashamed of this. I started the year pretty well, with three books by Jonathan Lethem (Gun, With Occasional Music; Motherless Brooklyn; As She Climbed Across the Table) and then wandered off into the land of a whole lot of crap. I read two books by John Ringo which barely qualified as beach reading (Vorpal Blade; Watch on the Rhine). I read Voyage of the Shadowmoon by Sean McMullen which I had high hopes for after reading a couple of the books from the Greatwinter series several years ago. The year improved vastly with Anathem by Neal Stephenson and ended with Pride and Prejudice.

Sidebar: I don’t know how I feel about admitting that I read that last book, but there it is.

The books by Lethem were great and have been discussed many times by other people smarter than I, so I’ll just recommend them and anything else he’s written to anyone who chooses to read this blog. If you’re reading this, then you’re extremely likely to enjoy his work.

Additional Sidebar: I think I could do with more reading.

John Ringo is pretty much the polar opposite of Lethem. His writing is pedestrian and his editor is lazy. Not only did I notice actual spelling errors and punctuation mistakes, but the author overuses cliches to deadly effect. I noticed this with his other books about the Posleen aliens, but I was kinda hoping that the co-author might have tempered this tendency. Alas. I can’t really recommend Ringo, without a heavy grain of salt and a large sunny beach to sit on while reading. His characters are pretty much all super heroes, both hard core military-types and also holding multiple doctorates. They’re rather like a Doctor Who with a gun, and get a little annoying in that regard. You can’t relate to them at all, but at least he tends to kill off quite a few of them in most of his books. His attempts to drift into hard-science fiction territory often go awry and detract from the action, a bit like Michael Bay trying to host a re-make of Cosmos.

Further Sidebar: I doubt my novel will be any better.

Sean McMullen’s Voyage of the Shadowmoon was a little disappointing as well. The book clearly had a lot of backstory which intrigued me, but, like the show Lost, kept you in the dark about a lot of stuff. At the time of reading, there were no other books yet in the series, nor did my copy mention that it was the start of a new series. Perhaps I will withhold further judgement until I have read more.

Yet Another Sidebar: Still not letting myself get involved in Lost.

Anathem was a lot of fun. I have not read the Baroque Cycle, but I didn’t really like Leibniz or Spinoza anyway. Anathem was far more interesting and maintain’s Stephenson’s cool but human hero trend while incorporating Socratic thought. A lot of Socratic stuff actually, probably more than I noticed, given how bad a student I was. If you liked his other books, you’ll like Anathem. If you want Stephenson to get back to his pre-Baroque form, you’ll like Anathem. If you like protractors and orbital mechanics, you’ll like Anathem. If you’re a dork who wants to save the world through applied mathmatics, you’ll like Anathem.

Superfluous Sidebar: I liked Anathem.

As for Pride and Prejudice, I will admit to reading it. I will even admit to enjoying it. I will admit to nothing else.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shows I Hope to Attend

The Velvet Lounge schedule is chock full of shows I want to see.  Or maybe it’s chock a block full.  Regardless, I’ve got to find some way to go to these shows:

Thursday, Wise Light Born (mem. of Barkitecture/Meadows/Antlers/Baby Killer Estelle), Adventure (Carpark), EAR PWR (Asheville electro-pop), this show raises my eyebrows of doom and makes me scratch my chin.  And it’s only $7!

Friday, Girl Loves Distortion (CD release!), Relay (shoegaze/psych-pop from Philly, Bubblecore), Timberwolf Division (ex-Ropers/Sounds of Kaleidoscope/Fretblanket/Owls & Crows), Himalaya (ex-Three Four Tens, NYC shoegaze/ psych-rock), how can a guy miss this show?  The sheer number of explanations and genres mentioned would probably rouse even fulsome from his decades-long hibernation.  All this for $8!

Next week, Stella Schindler, Rose, and the Blueheels are playing on the 3rd.  Two women I have been hoping would play a show together have responded to my subconscious wishes.  I hadn’t heard of the Blueheels until tonight, but damn, I like their music.  If I lived in Madison, Wis, I would be going to their show on the Memorial Union Terrace on the 31st of August.  I guess you call the sound alternative country or indie american or some shitty description for music that always seems to fail at describing music I like.

Also up next week, First Monday of the Month at Iota Club and Cafe.

I’m pretty broke, so if people could put Chuckles on the list at the Velvet Lounge, I’ll blog about your show.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Everyone Loves Free Music: All Songs Considered Presents Bishop Allen and John Vanderslice

All Songs Considered has free downloads of a recent show at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC by John Vanderslice and Bishop Allen.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

The 2007 Halloween Costume Post That Probably Won’t Be Finished Until Well After Halloween

In an attempt to defibrillate this website that hopefully won’t be eaten by an internet tube snake, I present some shitty jokes about even shittier costumes. Don’t expect more than a couple jokes here as these costumes hang even lower than my prodigious gonads.

Halloween Express: I think these are the same people that sold the Dregolas costume last year with the dude that sorta looked like me. I still want to punch him in the nuts for that. I have had some really shitty jobs when I was poor but I have never sunk that fucking low. Modeling must be a tougher gig than I thought. The “Otis House of 1000 Corpses” costume reinforces my firm belief that Rob Zombie should be eaten by his namesake, sucky or sweet zombie, it doesn’t matter to me. “Cain the Vampire Tyrant” looks like it belongs in some goth’s fan fiction wank fest and the model seems to agree with me. These are supposed to be from classic horror movies but is House of 1000 Corpses really on the same level as Frankenstein or The Wolf Man? Is it even on the same level as Chucky? Oh god, I hope there isn’t a Chucky costume in the kid’s section.

The costumes in the Premium section look like they came off the set of the really shitty movies playing on the SciFi channel. The movies they don’t advertise. The lack of imagination in these costumes frightens me more than the “Out of Stock” symbols beneath some of them. What the hell is the difference between these two ghostly gents? They look like they walked off the set of the stupid episodes near the end of the original Battlestar Galactica series.

How about some misogyny? The Sexy Costumes – Fantasy ought to fulfill your yen for mind-numbingly pathetic costume ideas. The “Gold Digger” could have been called the “Bored Stripper”.

The “Cuddly Lion” will allow you to fit in at any anime convention for the next year, so it has versatility, but it will also attract people who want to have sex with you while wearing a giant bunny suit. Unless you enjoy being sodomized by the Easter Bunny, I recommend you avoid this one.

“Slave Princesses” would be better off shopping at Victoria’s Secret or Night Dreams and buying something that might survive your paramour’s grabbing hands. And by paramour, I mean every drunk guy at the party.

“Captain Booty” is probably the best costume idea ever and so clever. Did you know that pirates called their loot ‘booty’? I wonder how much digging it would take to get to her buried treasure? Depends on the size of your shovel. I had another joke about her chest but thought it was a little obvious.

“Princess” seems to have gotten herself confused with Snow White because I doubt she has ever seen the inside of a toadstool or been kidnapped by some sort of giant lizard-inventor-guy.

“Funky Cat” is actually better than Halle Berry’s Catwoman outfit which is no complement to this getup. If you want to be that one woman who wears the same costume as 47 other women in the bar, by all means, spend 45 hard earned dollars on this.

Ladies, unless you want me to hit on you until you punch me in the face, don’t buy “Indian Girl” or any of the other “indian”-themed costumes on that page. I may have said too much there.

“Bad Kitty” really says it all. The designer didn’t give a shit (and may have been forced to sit through that horrible movie) and the model wishes she had never left that job at Starbucks. I wouldn’t smile if I had to wear that either.

“Heidi Ho”, “Manhunter”, “Neverland Elf Chick”: The AG ICBM is being aimed at you as I type. Expect a firestorm of incoherent fury to land on you in approximately 90 seconds. I expect nothing but a large smoking crater after our patented Shenanigan-Class AG Warhead impacts your content factory.

As for the “300” page under Current Movies, Snyder should fucking sue.

Under TV & Movies – Men, we find a trove of trash, a heaping helping of hellish mediocrity. “Batman” looks more out of shape than Adam West. Joel Schumacher called and wants his dignity back.

“Wolverine” looks about as threatening as a goddam Lolcat.

“Miami Vice – Tubbs” explains where that career went. Compared to the rest of these costumes, this one is spot on. Compared to reality, he looks like a Little Richard impersonator with twice the sleaze and half the style.

“Hulk Muscle Chest”: Don’t forget the frontispiece. The head piece looks like an Original Series Klingon or a really lame Frankenstein painted green.

“Animal House Toga”: Are you fucking kidding me? 35 bucks? Jesus Titty Fucking Chocolate Christ. A quick trip to the Salvation Army or even your building’s laundry room would get you a white sheet and then rip out some English Ivy from some chump’s yard on your way to the party. If I see anybody wearing this costume, I will give my love a chicken with no bones. Or dance with their dates.

“Batman 1997”: This is the costume for flashers. I would expect to see someone wearing this costume when I glance down an alley. The pervert would then show me what his miserable parents gave him. I can already hear him snickering and giggling behind a dumpster while masturbating furiously. Dude, when it is chapped and bleeding, its time to stop.

“Superman Supreme”: If this is their idea of supreme, I’ll take the Burrito Normal, thanks. This costume looks as cheap and ill-fitting as the rest of the drek. It isn’t even bad enough to be supremely awful. Pathetic.

“Aragorn”: You got this one mixed up, morons. Dumbledore is the gay one and he isn’t even in the Lord of the Rings. Aragorn is the last descendant of Isildur and also many generations removed from Elros Tar-Minyatur. He is the bearer of Anduril forged from the shards of Narsil and wears the Ring of Barahir. He is the king of both Arnor and Gondor. He is a ranger and warrior without equal, not some mincing medieval muttonchop. Have some fucking respect.

“Captain America”: You forgot the bullet hole.

“Spongebob Squarepants”: I didn’t think they could top the 1997 Batman costume for sheer creepiness but this one screams pedophile. How can you market this one to adults? The model has taken the ‘Removable Pants’ option to another level and simply left the pants at home. Warning: If you wear this outside and are over the age of six, you will probably be arrested and given lessons in Good Touch/Bad Touch by the other residents of your stay at Hotel Drunk Tank.

Ooooo heynow. What the hell is this? Ummm. I’ll be right back.

Moving on to other websites:

American Apparel: I respect a person that does not take themselves too seriously, but these costumes seems to cheapen a company that I really want to like, even more than their deliciously porny newspaper ads. I mean, I love their ads and can’t wait for them to just give up and start publishing with Flynt Corp or whatever, but these costumes take the fun out of Halloween. When you’re a sexy office worker all year long, does being a sexy office worker on Halloween really count ladies?

Sorry I drifted off into the other shopping areas of the American Apparel site. I was only checking out the ladies clothing because I was gonna get something for someone. Or whatever.

There we have it folks, the Well Rounded Nerds Halloween Costume Roundup.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Costume Post Coming Up…

We have been diligently working on a flood of posts about various nerd shit sepcifically Halloween costumes, but in the meantime check out this creative use of the filth in a highway tunnel and the Man’s response:

Ok, well, I don’t know the fuck I am doing wrong here. I may also not know what the fuck I am doing at all, so the video won’t embed properly. It was a neat video about some dude drawing skulls in the dirt in the walls of a tunnel in Paris or some other European city. I could just make a link to the YouTube page, but I don’t feel like it.

[dontEATnachos adds:]

The WYSIWYG editor hoses up videos. Once you put the video in you have to not edit the post anymore. If you do need to edit it, you’ll have to delete out some junk from the old one and post the code again. I don’t know why WordPress does this.

Anyway, the video:

Friday, June 29, 2007

Radio Synergy

As I was completing the final leg of my journey in to work this morning, what should magically get chosen by those great KALX dj’s in the sky but Van Halen’s Panama. Ever in my mind since it’s appearance as SotD (ok, maybe not SotD, I can only find it referenced here but maybe somebody can correct me) not too long ago.

As it blared on the car stereo as I made my final approach to work, I felt like I was back in high school and cranked that radio up so everybody knew what kind of music I listen to and can be appropriately impressed. It is nice to have today marked off as a day that will be awesome. What can happen exactly to ruin today that won’t be counteracted by simply leaning back in my chair slightly and then jumping up and hearing those guitar licks race through my brain. Oh sweet, sweet guitar solos how you seduced us all so easily!

As a corollary to that, it has even made me feel slightly guilty for not going to the SF Air Guitar show last night. Not that Chuckles has begged, pleaded, cajoled, and commanded me to go in every way that he can manufacture. He is diligent and I respect that. Because perseverance is not something I always expect from him and so when he does that is usually a sign that there is some underlying quality that should be examined. Nevertheless, I blew it off for a dinner of delicious Chinese food (someday I will share the magical goodness of Hunan Smoked Pork but that will have to wait for teh l4m3 to show up!) and some good old fashioned pie-in-the-sky dream of how I will control the SF Music scene from my computer (bwahahaha). Oh, and then I went and saw the best junkyard blues band I have seen in SF (ok, maybe the only?), The Black Diamond Heavies (go here for an MP3 to saw your face off and they’ve got two songs at MySpace – one loud, one soft) totally blew me away. Hammond Organ and Drums and a growl to make Louie Armstrong swoon. I was wracked with indecision over whether to buy the album and came down on the side of cheap since I had just bought dinner for everyone apparently and gone to see the show.

The headliners, Or, the Whale, were decent. They have an alt-country sound but generally play upbeat songs that make me compare them to The New Pornographers for several reasons:

UPDATE: I need to more completely distance The New Pornographers from Or, The Whale. The New Pornographers are not really country at all while Or, The Whale employs banjos and accordians on occasion. However, I compare them with The New Pornographers for the reasons listed below.

1) Male lead sings/writes most songs
2) Secondary female lead that has a better voice
3) Six person band with one keyboard/multi-instrumentalist
4) Make infectious songs that have all the girls dancing

However, they don’t yet have the the overwhelming musicianship for the process to be effortless and have some musical depth. Their opening number was a nice balance of sounds and they let the female singer do one slightly more soulful song but the rest of their songs tended to sort of blur together in a lightly twangy, generally enjoyable sort of way.

Anyways, that was my night followed by a glorious morning and a day that is so beautiful I may have to play hooky for the afternoon. Rock on summertime! And somebody better fire up the grill!