Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I've got 100 resolutions

well, not really. I've got about 0. Not my thing. But I do like reminiscing, and this song brings back some memories of my DJing days at Iowa State.



So, in the next few days, there will probably be more reminiscing, and, since everyone else is doing one, and it makes for an easy post, I'll probably have my top 10 albums of the year. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow or Friday. Yeah. This was a pretty good year as far as albums released goes.

Of course, in the next few weeks, I'll be preparing everyone's favorite, The Flenkys! So if anyone would like to make any nominations, or if you have a good category in mind, send them my way!

This year was a very transitional year for me personally, you know, with moving and getting a real job and my first apartment on my own and a dog and what have you. Things are looking up, though, I've made some great friends, and still have some excellent friends from my past, spread all around the country. (and isn't it funny that my friend that lives the furthest away is making her second trip already, and the rest of you have yet to come. . .) So things are going alright. I'll look back more on the year in the future. A lot happened.

Until next time, enjoy your day, make the most of the leap second (it already passed, but I think you can observe it in any second over the next few hours) and be safe out there. I will try to be safe while spending New Year's in my apartment. Which will be infinitely better than my New Year's Eve last year.

And everyone, cheer on the Hawkeyes tomorrow morning as they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl! It should be a good game, and here's to hoping that Iowa rings in the new year with a WIN!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm really not a crotchety old man yet. I promise.

Yeah, it's been 2+ weeks since I last wrote posted. And I'm ok with that. You know why? Because no one wants to read about me sitting on my behind. There hasn't been much action in the past few weeks (not like there was really much action in the weeks/months preceding that, but I digress), though there has been some plans made for action in the future. Like a January visitor to help celebrate 28, and possibly a springtime trip to New York City. oh, and I'll be getting a dog in a few days.

But I'm still trying to figure out what, if anything, I'll be doing on New Years. Part of me wants to just sit at my place alone, struggle to make it until midnight, and fall asleep. (in actuality, I give this the highest odds of happening.) I'd like to make a trip somewhere, since I now have the 2nd off of work, but don't know where to go. Maybe Tampa for the Outback Bowl, or Chicago to see some friends, or elsewhere. who knows?!

Otherwise, things are quiet here. I have yet to do any Christmas shopping, but have an outline of what I want to get for most people on my list. It will just be a matter of getting the items in an orderly fashion, without inflicting bodily harm upon myself or others during the act of acquiring said items. I would consider doing my shopping online, but I'm getting to the point where I'd have to pay more to get the packages in time.

In sports news, Iowa's Shonn Greene received the Doak Walker award, given to the best running back in the NCAA. I was hoping he'd be invited to the Heisman presentation, but knew he'd have about a 0.3% of winning, since he's not a QB that plays in a league that barely plays defense (I'm looking at you, Bradford and McCoy). The Royals signed Kyle Farnsworth. great. awesome. He can throw 97 mph. And tackle dudes (see video below). That's about it.



Umm, what else. . . Oh, the weather is kind of ridiculous. Monday, it was 60 degrees. Tuesday, we got an inch or two of snow in a decent-sized snowstorm. Last night it was raining, this morning I had a layer of ice on my car (and some on the parking lot, which I found and promptly slipped on), and then the temperature got into the mid-40's. Now there's this forecast for the weekend/early next week


Taken from wunderground.com. Yes, the high is supposed to be 61 on Sunday. And the high on Monday is forecasted to be 16. That's gonna be hell on my joints.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Iowa bound

Well, I'm heading northeast for the holiday weekend, to have a nice Iowa Thanksgiving. If I can do it with out killing my time or myself, I'll try to give some updates on the road. Since I can do that with this fancy phone of mine! Safe travels to everyone, and happy turkey day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Test

This is only a test. In case of an actual emergency, these frosted animal crackers would be eaten.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday night challenge (live blogging the death of innocence)

Since I have nothing better to do tonight, I think I will celebrate the opening night victory of the Iowa men's basketball team with the addition of brandy to egg nog.

The players:




While I've been waiting for the pictures to upload, glass #1 disappeared into my belly. Glass #2 - commence.

Keep checking back for an exciting night, as I attempt to pretend like this is not a pathetic night.

***Update #1 - 10:33 pm CST***

After 2 glasses with the nog, I realize I will not be able to handle much more of it. Back up must be called. Back up in the form of apple cider.

(yeah, that's the best picture I could take. my camera's LCD screen is busted. Sorry)

now this is dangerously delicious


***Update #2 - 10:58 pm CST***

Drink number 4 brings me to one of my favorite parts of any night - sweatpants time!! hurray!


though as Haley brought up, it's kind of surprising I'm still wearing pants. Gives me a lot to think about right now.

**Update #3 - 12:00 am CST**



defeat. The nog did me in. Even though I switched to the cider, the amount of egg nog I had earlier filled me up too much. And I'm not sure if the two are getting along very well. Oh well. And I've barely gotten a quarter of the brandy gone. Such is life. I guess I have more to have some other time.

Such is the end of my night of solo drinking.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The return of an old favorite

no posts lately. No big surprise. Nothing of note has been happening here. Really. There was that election thing last week, which was cool. There was a little football game this weekend that was rather exciting. . .


My dad was down on the field, a place I really wanted to be. Alas, I was a little ways away, watching on TV.

I've been going back and reading through some of my older posts. I used to write some alright stuff, you know! Maybe I'll try to get back to that. Starting today!

It'd be neat if I had a photo story to post. I don't.

Something I do have, though, is a backlog of movies that I've seen and haven't discussed. You know what that means. It's time for everyone's favorite movie reviews!

I'm pretty sure the last one I saw was Vicky Cristina Barcelona, when I was in DC. It's the latest Woody Allen movie, with Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem. Of course I was going to like it. I just didn't know how much I would like it. It was great.

The movie, if you haven't heard about or seen it, is about a couple of girls (Vicky and Cristina) in a city (Barcelona). Vicky (a very pretty Rebecca Hall) is a grad student, with a fiancee back in the states, using her time in Barcelona to study, umm, Spanish stuff? The Catalan Identity, according to imdb. Good to know. Cristina (Johansson) is just kind of along for the ride. Bardem plays an artist, meets up with the girls, romantic comedy hyjinx ensue.

The settings were great, and the music was perfect. Classic-style Spanish guitar played a pretty big part of the movie, and made me want to go buy a classical guitar. (Note: I have yet to buy said classical guitar.) There were some kind of cheesy parts, as were to be expected, but the acting was great, the story was solid, and the cinematography was great. I would highly recommend checking it out if it's still playing anywhere, otherwise you'll have to wait for the DVD (set to release in January, which coincidentally lines up with a couple of birthdays, I can think of one person who will be getting it). It's an excellent movie, definitely one of Woody Allen's best in maybe 15-20 years. At least my favorite in that time period. That's why I'm giving this movie a whopping 5 Flenker Thumbs Up!!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dear History,


Click here for more videos from Vote For Change

Here in Kansas, us voters are able to go to the polls early, and lucky me, one of the early voting locations is about 4 blocks from my apartment. I voted last Monday, during one of the "down times" they had - I only had to wait in line for an hour. And while some people around me were kind of talking out their ass about things, some facts just straight wrong, and things that just plain didn't make sense (example, word for word - "You can get cancer from having too many genetics." WHAT?!?!? I don't even know where to start with that, let alone what it's supposed to mean), everyone was pretty positive about things, and seemed to be on the same page, everyone was hopeful. It was pretty great to see that in a state like Kansas. Of course, I don't imagine it's the same west of here, the exception being Lawrence. I mean, Sam Brownback is a senator here.

Anyways, this is just a reminder for everyone to go out and vote on Tuesday, if you haven't already via absentee ballot or early voting.

Also, sorry for the infrequent posting. I've been kind of "busy," insofar as I've been "doing stuff" and not "writing blog posts." Like playing guitar. Or going to see TV on the Radio, for free, on Halloween night (pretty sweet, I'll probably have to do a post on it). Or other things that I don't quite want to go into detail on here yet. I feel bad, though, I'm not just neglecting one blog, but three. And today's laundry and football day, so I don't know if I'll get any more done than what I already have. Life is hard sometimes, you know?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

it's late, something something, title, something.

It appears the link to "Alone Again Or" that I had in the last post no longer goes to a valid location. Sorry about that. Just go to youtube and search for it, it's there. Listen, and love. Love. ha

Umm, yeah. Not much to report around these parts. The weather is getting to be prime Flenker weather, though today it did get into the 70's, I think, but I can deal. Cooler temps are in the future, and I am ready. I even got a new coat. Yes, I just got one last year, but this is a fine looking coat, and really, it's nice to have some sort of rotation. I can't seem to find a picture of it anywhere, but I'm sure one will get taken soon, and I will post it for all to see.

Ooh, I did invent an emoticon. You see, Wednesday night was a night full of BBQ, gambling, goddamn shames, a broken car, and cigars smoked on someone's porch. It all started at my friend's birthday celebration, at Arthur Bryant's BBQ, at a location that happened to be in a casino. What luck! My friend was feeling the Jack Itch, the only cure being a healthy dose of 21. I had been dealing with a case of it myself, so I was more than happy to go along. And damn, did I get my ass handed to me pretty hard. I've never lost with a 19 so many times in one night. I was glad I was able to pass my luck onto my buddies after I left the table. Just to make sure no one went home happy with themselves.

Anyways, after the casino, another friend was attempting to parallel park the birthday boy's car. She was not succeeding, mostly because she was having trouble moving the car around. I got out to check what was going on, thinking maybe there was a flat tire. But no. The tires were kind of pointing at each other. And that's where the new emoticon comes in, as a representation of the wheels :/ \. They looked exactly like that. Not really condusive to making a vehicle move. (Since initial conception, the icon has changed to this: /-:(-\. I think it tells the whole story.)

So yeah. We then went and smoked birthday cigar. Not victory cigars by any stretch of the imagination. More like cigars of defeat. But either way, they were delicious.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I will be alone again tonight my dear

I don't know how I've made it this long on here without giving this song, possibly the greatest song ever, the proper respect it deserves. Of course I'm referring to Love's "Alone Again Or," first track from the album Forever Changes (one of the best albums, ever).

Take a listen



Downright amazing, isn't it?? You may recognize the song from Wes Anderson's Bottle Rocket, or from the Calexico cover a few year back, or just from it being a goddamn great song.

The flamenco-esque style works so well, with in the trumpet highlights and then the most excellent solo in the middle, accompanied by strings. The vocals are borderline desperate, which creates some tension with the upbeat instrumental arrangement, resulting in awesome. Words fail me. Just listen to the song again, and appreciate all that Love has done for us.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

what will the future hold???

I think I'll be embarking on a new adventure in the blog world soon, as well as reacquainting myself with an old one. Probably something I should have done this past weekend like I had said I would (sorry H), but I'll try to get something done tomorrow.

I'm excited about this new project, something that started out as a joke, but it inspired me so much that my co-conspirator and I think that we should probably do something about it. More details to come.

Until then, watch this most excellent clip from La Blogotheque (my current favorite time-waster at work) of the Shins, including a little noodling around with quite possibly one of the best songs ever at the beginning. And a couple of excellent songs of their own.



And, for good measure, one of my favorite videos up there right now, from Efterklang.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Stars concert and stuff

Things have been going well around the life of Flenker lately. I guess I should say as well as they can go when the Hawkeyes aren't playing very well, my ceiling occasionally leaks water, and the nation headed towards an election that somehow is still so close that it makes me really nervous.

(Obligatory note: If you are the legal age to do so, please please please make sure you are registered to vote. If you're a college student away from home, make sure you change your registration site or vote absentee. If you've moved recently, update your information and find your polling place. The election is less than a month away now, so time is running thin. And please, make an educated decision, read up on the candidate's stances, and VOTE!! There will be more to come. . .)

So in spite of all of that crap, I've been doing pretty well. I've only spent one night at home in the past 2 weeks, just hanging out a friend or two, getting dinner, watching TV, going to see Michelle Obama speak, and went to see Stars!

My friend Dominique and I went to the show, hitching a ride to Lawrence with a couple of friend who were heading there to see the Dandy Warhols. The venue's website just listed a time of 7 for the concert, so I assumed that was when doors opened (especially since it was a Friday night in a college town), and thusly decided to join up with friends for dinner. We ended up getting to the Granada around 8:15, just in time to see the beginning of the second song by Stars, having totally missed BellX1. Kind of a bummer. I think this was probably the most prompt show I've ever been to. The show was excellent, though, almost all of my favorite songs were played (the only one I was hoping to hear but didn't was "The Night Starts Here," and that could have before we got there).

The place wasn't packed, but there were a lot of people there, mostly couples. Definitely glad that I went with someone, otherwise I would have been the one lonely dude there. I take that back, there was another guy there by himself. We could have been lonely together. Thankfully, I had company.

The band put on a good show, throwing roses out into the crowd between most songs (of course they would, have you heard them? They definitely fit the "melodramatic popular songs" genre listed on their myspace.) Lead singer Torquil Campbell introduced a song (one I didn't know, so I can't recall the name) as being about "fucking yourself and your lover to death." Pretty intense. Later Amy Millan cutely prefaced "My Favourite Book" as being "just a love song." There was a little talk about the presidential debate that was taking place at the same time, with Campbell saying "Obama is giving his plans for change, and McCain is scaring everyone." Good stuff.

A good time, though, with great music, in a pretty good venue. I hadn't been to the Granada for over 8 years, when I drove down from Ames to see Weezer.

Ok, I just a quick search and found the setlist for this show. And wouldn't you know it, "The Night Starts Here" was in fact the first song they played. Dammit. Here's the list:


Taken from the flickr page from the concert, found here.

So yeah, it was fun. We were out a little after 10, but our friends' concert didn't finish until nearly midnight. So Dom and I had a lot of time wandering around Mass in Lawrence. For it being Friday night before a football game, the town was freaking dead. I guess these Kansas kids don't know how to do it up like Iowans. But we still had a good time people watching.



ugh, I've spent too long on this post, and am still not completely happy with it, but oh well. I don't know what I don't like, but whatever. It'll have to do. I'll put a better effort into the next one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The dirtiest music post, ever!!!

(alternate title for today: "This post is rated 'R,' for Rockin'! And swears")

I had the chance to see this first band a few months ago here in KC. And, as I tend to do, I missed it. I don't remember why I didn't go, I actually knew about their show ahead of time, but for some reason, I stayed home. I kind of wish I would have gone, I think they were playing with Caribou.

The Fuck Buttons (website | myspace) are an experimental/noise/prog group from the UK, kind of along the same lines as 65daysofstatic, but with a more ambient noise influence, less of a guitar-driven influence. Maybe if Animal Collective and 65dos got it on and had a baby in the form of another band. A sweet, sweet sounding baby.



Fuck Buttons - "Sweet Love for Planet Earth" at SXSW

Staying foreign (and a possible future place of residence for yours truly, if America keeps on being a basically bad place for things, and depending on what happens in November), and in the same vein of music, here is Holy Fuck, of Toronto (website | myspace). These guys would probably be the young, brash brother of the Fuck Buttons. Maybe a little edgier in sound, but with a family resemblance. This family likes to experiment with sounds, with some catchy loops and hints of electronica, without the glow sticks and ecstasy.



Holy Fuck - "Milkshake"

Ok, maybe a little bit of ecstasy.

Slightly less foreign, but still hailing from a place I would like to live (Portland, OR), is starfucker (myspace - couldn't find a website, and not to be confused with the NIN song "Starfuckers, Inc."). In this little musical family that I have been creating, these guys would probably be the cool cousin that the other two like hanging out with for a little while, mostly at parties. They still have the "experimental" sound, but it's a little more dance-y, and a little poppier. In a totally sweet way.

I also couldn't find that great of a video, but I didn't really search too long. There are some live ones out there, so you should check them out.

So there you have it. Three awesome bands with something in common. I'll leave that to you to find out what it is. . .

And soon to come: a recap of my most recent concert - Stars!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's hell to get old -AND- a public apology to RPC

So, tonight, I seriously threw my back out picking up a sock. A fucking sock. Granted, it was wet, and a little heavier than usual, but still. It weighed maybe 5 ounces. After I picked myself up off the floor (writhing in agony, of course), I finished loading up the drier, put my coins in, and nearly crawled across the parking lot to my apartment, where I commenced to call my mom the paramedic. Her professional advice? Take some ibuprofen, drink some beer, ice my back, finish my laundry. Done, done (Delirium Nocturnum is delicious), done, and nearly done.

Then, to add (literal) insult to (literal) injury, I decide to go on myspace a little and check stuff out. I figure I need to leave a comment for my old friends Rock Plaza Central, saying that they need to play in KC sometime. A couple hours later, I get a comment back, saying that they were just in Kansas City. They tried to play it off as being one of their worst publicized shows, but still, as a fan, it's my duty to know these things, I really dropped the ball there. It was A WEEK AGO. 7 DAYS. I feel like a grade-A doofus. I failed. It would have been infinitely less frustrating to see you guys play on Monday, compared to what I actually did. So if you're reading this Chris Eaton and Co, I'm sorry. I will make it up to you. Next time you head this way, I've got a place for everyone to stay. I can even hook you up with a place to play! If you like barbecue, I know a couple good places. If you don't, I know a good Indian place, a couple awesome Mediterranean places, good pizza, some decent bars, and have a number of friends I can bring to a show. Need a sax player? I'm your man. Need a scratch guitar player? I can do that too. Just watch out for the laundry rooms in this town. They're killer.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Frontier Ruckus - my latest musical obsession

These guys are pretty awesome. I love their bluegrass sound, and the lead singer's voice works really well with the style, without going to the "twangy" side of the genre. Not that it would be a problem if he did, I dig. Plus, I'm a fan of any musical use of a saw. These guys are good at what they do.



Frontier Ruckus - Nerves of the Nightmind

They're from East Lansing, MI, but I can forgive them that. Check out their home page, myspace, and youtube for some more sounds, and keep an eye out for their debut LP, being released on November 6. They're good. I hope they make their way to the KC area sometime in the future. That would rock.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Introducing Chris Brooks and a rebellion of the French horn nature

The last line is "With buckets of popcorn." I made it up on the spot.



And yes, I realize this is probably the best possible choice to have for the first video of myself on the internet. At least the first video of which I am aware.

This was at our company outing to the Royals game, so I am surrounded by coworkers, including my manager, and my boss (both sitting to my immediate right). I am a hit, and probably the most popular guy around. That American Idol guy David (can't remember his last name) isn't the only one from KC with talent.

At the risk of making this post too awesome, I couldn't help but post this other video, too. The song is just too damn good, and the video is too damn amazing. So enjoy a little bit of Milwaukee's own French Horn Rebellion



I dig these guys. It's like Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses went electro, joined Minus the Bear, brought some 80's pop synth sounds, and damn catchy lyrical lines. Damn. I can't stop watching the video. This song is just too good.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

East Coast Recap

Today is the first Sunday in a while where I've had nothing to do, no where to go, and some time on my own. It's nice. The new (to me) laptop that I got last weekend allows me to write this post from bed, which makes it doubly nice.

Yes, I got a new, three-year-old laptop from my stepdad, because it sometimes likes to shut down on its own, probably due to overheating. It doesn't really do it that often even, I think it's happened maybe 3 times since I've brought it here. So that's pretty sweet.

The past few weeks have been busy ones, with a trip out east (that rocked in every way), a trip to Iowa for the first Hawkeye home game (also a high level of rockage), a few Royals games (of course), a performance by my "band," five fantasy football drafts, all mixed in with some occasional laziness. It happens.

My east coast trip went down almost exactly as I had outlined it in my last post, only I didn't get to see my friend in Baltimore because she was in the midst of moving to New Jersey. It was a packed weekend, with a lot of driving, but definitely worth it. The Phillies game was fun, even if we showed up 4 innings late. We still got to see Greg Maddux pitch (and get rocked), and Chase Utley hit a home run (Ryan Howard had homered earlier, but we missed it). We didn't spend a lot of time in Philadelphia, but it seemed like a pretty cool city.

Vermont was beautiful. I really really loved it there, the air was so fresh, the rolling hills provided some nice scenery, and the wedding and reception were a blast. It's an area where I wouldn't mind living, if only there were an easy way to get there. There's not. But I did pick up some amazing maple syrup!

The wedding and reception were both held at the same place, at the home of a member of the bride's family. It was outdoors, in perfect weather, with some really great people, and good food (amazing corn bread, and some homemade chocolate truffles were my favorites). I even danced! That very very rarely happens.

On Sunday, we used the North Jersey Shore as a resting point in the long drive, spending a couple hours sitting by the ocean. Such a good choice. We relaxed, soaked in the sun and sounds, and played in the ocean. Not too far in, since the waves were getting pretty huge, but enough to enjoy it.

We made it back to DC in time to watch some of the Olympics' Closing Ceremonies, then hit the hay. The next morning I caught the train back to Baltimore, making it with a whole 2 minutes to spare (I made the train to DC by 4 minutes, so the timing on this whole trip was almost spot-on), and flew back to the Midwest. I didn't want to come back, but I guess that's the norm on vacations.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

East Coast Swing

Well, I've got about 10 hours to catch my flight to DC. Barring any alarm malfunction (set for 6:30 am, just checked), I think I'll make it.

Here's a quick rundown of what I'll be doing out east:

Thursday
  • Get into Baltimore tomorrow around 4:30. (Hopefully) catch the 5:08 MARC train to DC.
  • Meet up with Marin, eat, hang around, go see Vicky Cristina Barcelona sometime in the evening. (I haven't been this excited about seeing a movie in like a month!)
Friday
  • Get up, go to delicious bagel place down the street
  • Take a tour of the XMU studio
  • Head to Philadelphia
  • Eat cheesesteak
  • Go to Phillies/Dodgers game
Saturday
  • Get up, go to Vermont
  • Go to wedding
  • Go to reception, hope for open bar
  • ...
  • Profit
Sunday
  • Get up, start heading south
  • Maybe stop at a beach
  • Maybe meet up with a friend in Balitmore
  • Arrive in DC
Monday
  • Wake up really early
  • Catch MARC to BWI, again really early
  • Fly back to KC
  • Go to happy hour for a girl leaving company
  • sleep
Tuesday
  • Back to normal life

See you all in a few days!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stuff I know - Olympic Edition

  1. I had a babysitter that could be Mike Phelps's brother. It's kind of uncanny how much they look alike. He was also a swimmer.
  2. Shawn Johnson is from Iowa. She does gymnastics pretty well, I hear.
  3. I have watched about 4 minutes of Olympic coverage, and most of that was a Chinese boxer, while I was working out. That's what happens when I don't get any tv stations. But I'm also staging an Olympic protest, since they're getting rid of baseball and softball. Those assholes. I mean, you've got 2 BMX events in there. Seriously. And the ridiculous rules that they've instituted for extra innings???? I am very bitter about this.
  4. I heard the Opening Ceremonies were neat, but parts were faked?
  5. Roger Federer lost. To James Blake! This seriously put me in a bad mood for a bit. Donald Young is the only American tennis player I can root for.
  6. I was told Amanda Beard didn't make it out of the preliminary round. That's also disappointing to me. She and Cat Osterman are my Olympic crushes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This band is unstoppable! | I should be on the KC tourism board


65daysofstatic - "Retreat! Retreat!"
(website | myspace)

When 65daysofstatic first came up on XM, I knew I had recognized the name, but couldn't place it. A quick Google search showed me where I had heard of them - they were on tour with the Cure, a tour that came through KC, a tour that made me struggle with the decision of buying a $60 ticket for a concert in a venue bigger than I would have liked, for a band that I would have rather seen 10-15 years ago. Not that I don't love the Cure, I think their shows back then would have possibly been sweet (not to mention a little cheaper, and hopefully smaller). Had I known how much I would come to love the opening act, the decision would have been that much more difficult (I still think that Poor Flenker, especially in those early KC days, would have passed on it, but I would've been much more upset about it at the time).

"Retreat! Retreat!" was the first song of theirs that I heard, it grabbed me by the face showed me an epic, lush soundscape (holy shit I should write for Rolling Stone). As soon as the song ended, I was on their site, listening to everything posted, going to their myspace, and taking it all in. If you want some epic instrumentals that occasionally straddle the border of noise, electronic, and progressive rock (emphasis on ROCK!!), this is your band. I recently picked up their album The Fall of Math, their first full-length, released in 2004. How have these guys gotten unnoticed by me for so long? Damn, ain't that a thing. They kind of remind me of a less math, more electro version of Dillinger Escape Plan, pre-Mike Patton. Whatever the hell that means.

***

In other news, things in the life of Flenker have been good. Very good, in fact. It'd be a little better if the Royals would play well more consistently, but I'll be content with what I've got. The weather's taken a nice little dip into the 80's, I've been to a good number of Royals games, I've had friends and family visit, and have some plans for the future. Next weekend (21st-25th to be precise), I'll be heading eastward, to a mini-tour of the East Coast. I'll be flying into Baltimore, taking a train to DC, then heading to Philadelphia on Friday with Marin, catching a Dodgers/Phillies game, then we'll be continuing onward up to Vermont on Saturday for a wedding. Then back to DC on Sunday, and KC on Monday. It'll be quite the whirlwind trip!

The weekend after that, Labor Day weekend as we call it here in the States, I'll be heading back to the lovely state of Iowa, to see more friends and family, and, almost as important, as I feel like they're part of my family, the Iowa Hawkeyes!! It's the first football game of the season, against the powerhouse of Maine University. Tickets are all set up, I'm ready to go!

So yeah, things are going well. I'm making new friends around town, running into old ones from years ago, getting some travelling in, and fitting in some sports. Plus, I've been playing my sax and guitar more, the little sausage shop that I'm falling in love with is going to be out grilling some cheddar bier brats tomorrow, I've got some hell of good beer in my fridge ($18 for a 4-pack, but freaking worth it, possibly my most favorite beer ever), and found an awesome place to check out downtown.

Yesterday, after some $1 tacos and a $2 margarita in downtown KC, I was driving home, stopped by a record shop and picked up 65dos's album (as well as MGMT's album, pretty solid all the way through, I must say. It was cheap and I love their song "Electric Feel," so I feel like it was worth it), stopped by what has become my favorite coffee shop (unfortunately it's about 10-15 miles away, not super convenient for me to go to all the time), and thought "goddamn, I love this city." Everyone should come here and check it out. I mean, we've got the second most fountains in the world, behind Rome (I had thought it was Paris until tonight, so for everyone I've told Paris was #1, I apologize), some parks, some awesome sections of town, amazing barbecue joints, and best of all, FLENKER!!!

So let this serve as an open invitation for anyone and everyone to come down! I've got a futon and an air mattress, and lots of room!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The awesomest video I've seen for a while



And, just for good measure, a good song to listen to afterward, maybe to help avoid getting that last one stuck in your head



Acid House Kings - "Say Yes if You Love Me"

Yes, I do love you

Monday, August 11, 2008

Things that have happened to me in the past week-plus

  • Went to 6 Royals games in 8 days
  • Ate at a few different BBQ places
  • Got my ass handed to me at an office poker tournament
  • Went to Lawrence for Taco John's
  • Ate probably the best bratwurst I've had in my life at a tailgate
  • Drank lots of beers at a tailgate (including a smoked beer)
  • Got a visit from pops Flenker
  • Managed to work out twice
  • Ate near my body weight in popcorn
  • Have listened to a lot of pretty excellent music
  • Didn't do laundry

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Apres moi, le deluge

What have I been up to in the last ten days? Pretty much alternating between being kind of busy and very lazy.

Let me take you back to last Thursday (the 24th). I was minding my own business, surfing the web or whatever it is I do at home, when I heard what sounded like water, lots and lots of water, flowing from somewhere. I went over to the area from where the sound was coming, only to nearly be drenched in a stream flowing from one of my ceiling light fixtures. I immediately called the apartment management, put down a tub, and waited for maintenance. Then, I noticed water spewing out my bathroom vent. A pot was placed here. A little stream started shooting out from the wall, where water had bubbled the paint out to the size of a large bubble of water behind paint. Another pan. I checked out my room, and noticed 3 holes in the ceiling, from whence (is that how whence is used? I feel like I should know this. . . but it sounds fancy, so I'll leave it) water poured. I was almost out of receptacles. I moved my bed into the corner, started piling stuff on, grabbed all of my stuff out of my closets (did I mention the water coming from somewhere in there? yeah), and tried to move as much stuff as I could into the now relatively arid living room. That's when I noticed the water flowing down the doorways. Had it meant to look like that, it would have been kind of neat. But, seeing as how I had not opted for the indoor fountains, I was pissed. Another call to management was made, seeing as how no one had shown up yet, about 10-15 minutes after my first call. This was not a thing that I really wanted to wait around to get someone over to check out.

The dude came, was kind of shocked by the vast amounts of water that was now falling (about 1/2" standing in the bathroom, stepping on carpet in the area caused a splash), then went upstairs to find the source. Apparently, the tenants above had moved out, but forgot to cap their washing machine line, or something like that. Whatever the cause, I had the Oceans of Fun, western location, forming in my domicile. The water line to the above apartment was turned off, and, about an hour later, the carpet guy came, and started sucking out water, then set up some loud fans, and a dehumidifier that pumped out about 80 degrees of heat. Right outside my bedroom door. Oh yeah, and my A/C was not working, either. When it rains it pou. . . you get the idea.

So that was Thursday evening.

Friday, I had the day off, and, not wanting to deal with anything at my apartment, I went to the IMAX theater to re-watch Dark Knight. Definitely worth the $8 matinee to see it. Then, pretty much right after getting out, I headed to the airport to pick up Marin. Because my apartment was in great condition to host a guest. Actually, I'm extremely glad she came, because had she not, I probably would have had some sort of freak out.

Marin and I didn't do anything too exciting over the weekend, we went to see Wall-E (very good movie, cute and all that), ate at some good places, went to a ball game (Royals lost, there was about an hour rain delay, but still, baseball is goddamn awesome, so it was a good game), used the pool at the apartment complex (the outdoor one, not the one that formed in my bathroom), played some Wii, and somehow managed to get some sleep in the hot, noisy bedroom (insert joke here).

Since she left on Monday, my apartment has pretty much gotten back to normal as far as not having a 98% humidity inside, and the air conditioning has been fixed. Right in time for this "Excessive Heat Warning" we've had here since Thursday I think, and it's supposed to last until Tuesday night. What does an excessive heat warning mean? It's really freaking hot. Like, 97+ degrees with 70%+ humidity. For nearly a week straight. And what do I decide to do today? Hey, I should go sit outside for 5 hours! I went to the Royals game today (bringing me up to I believe 9 games here for the season, 10 including the one in Denver), and watched the Boys in Blue win a good one against the White Sox, my least favorite team in Major League Baseball. It was awesome. And "officially" 95 degrees at game time, climbing from there. But hey, it was a good game, I got to see one of my favorite non-Royals player in Ken Griffey, Jr. play, got a sweet camouflaged Royals hat, and probably sweat off 3 pounds.

Anyways, I'll try to get some pictures from Marin's visit (once she sends them to me), and maybe catch up on some Flenker Thumbs Up, and maybe a few bands to listen to. Maybe I'll try to actually keep up on here. Who knows!

Alright, it may be nap time. Oh wait no, it's ice cream time. Definitely ice cream time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Way to go, SF!

I love this:

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/07/18/bush-sewage/

That's all for now. I'm recovering from spending a good portion of last night in a buffet, facing over 100-degree temps, then working out, and the Royals losing 19-4. Yikes (I feel sorry for Jimmy Gobble, I really do. But son, it's time to take a long, hard look at your career options right about now. 10 runs in 1 innings?). Plus my morning's been kind of crappy. Great. Details later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thom Yorke's ugliness transcends media

If you haven't had the chance to see it yet, check out Radiohead's latest video, for the song "House of Cards."



The video was done entirely without any lighting or cameras, instead fancy computers and lasers were used.

I really love the song, the video just adds to the feeling. It's kind of beautiful, while being still a little creepy. Maybe more than just a little. But still awesome. Just another manner in which Radiohead seems to be ahead of the game, showing that they're not afraid to take full advantage of digital methods in any instance. And yes, as my manager said, Thom Yorke is still kind of odd looking. His ugliness does indeed transcend all forms of media.

Now, for a total shift in mood, here's another recent favorite of mine. stellastar* with "My Coco."



(you have to deal with the live version here, but to see the "official video" for the song, since embedding has been disabled for it, you actually have to go to youtube. Jerks. Anyways, here's a link to it, so you can save a step!) It's an awesome song, one that gets me going. They kind of have an 80's New Wave sound. An awesome sound. Listen, and love.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I believe in DeJesus

I just got back from probably the best baseball game I've ever attended. Not only was there a milestone hit, photo finish between running hot dog condiments, and a monumental finish to the game, but the ticket was cheap!

First, a big congratulations to Mark Grudzielanek (and yes, I did spell that without looking it up), who, on his second hit of the night, picked up his 2,000th career hit. Awesome thing to see in person, he got a nice standing ovation, and gave the crowd a wave and a tip of the cap from first. Way to go, he's always been one of my favorites (even if he played for the Cardinals, at least it was only one season), and to have him here in KC for the past few seasons has been great. A class-act guy all around. (I can also name all the teams he's played on, in order, without looking it up: Montreal Expos, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, and the Kansas City Royals. Here's to hoping he ends his career here.)

It was looking like that would be the highlite of the night for the Royals, after they blew a 3-run lead. The hot dog condiment race was little consolation, even if it was a close one. Here's a clip from a past game's race:



Awesome, I wish I would have been at that one

It got to be a 4-3 Mariners lead in the bottom of the ninth, so there would be no appearance by the best nickname in baseball, the All-Star, the Mexicutioner. When the first two batters got out, it was looking very bleak indeed. Billy Butler was put in as a pinch hitter, and drew 4 straight balls. When Bill "The Thrill" reached first, he we promptly replaced by the much (much much much) speedier Joey Gathright. Hope was not lost. David DeJesus stepped up to the plate, a home run would win it. Every kid's dream scenario.


Watch the video fast, before MLB pulls it down!

The atmosphere was like that of a college football game, everyone high-fiving, screaming their guts out, and chanting "Let's go Royals," all the way out to the parking lot. It was a hell of game, one that I won't forget. The second walk-off win I've seen in person for the Royals, but the first come-from-behind, game-winning, two-outs-in-the-bottom-of-the-ninth home run I've ever seen. It was incredible.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I've been saying this for months!!!

Joe Posnanski, one of my favorite reporters, has written an article about something I've been thinking and saying for a while. The Royals should sign Barry Bonds. It's a win/win situation. He's stated that he'd play for free!!! What's the problem here? I'd go into it more, but Posnanski writes so much better than I do, so you should read the article.

And you should listen to The Submarines (website | myspace). I had a post about them from June 3rd that I thought I published, but must have forgotten. Anyways, they're like a combination of Mates of State and minipop, and every now and again, I hear hints of Nina Persson's voice coming out in Blake Hazard (which is an excellent name). Which is appropriate, because Nina was one of my first band-girl crushes, and Ms. Hazard has become one of my latest. Unfortunately (for me, but good for her), she's dating bandmate John Dragonetti. It's kind of a funny (cute?) story with them. They started dating, playing in each other's bands, broke up, each wrote songs about the breakup, she still was recording at his place, they talked, found out they had both written songs about how much they loved and missed each other, got back together (romantically and musically), and created The Submarines. Perfect! Their music is already all over the place, on Nip/Tuck, Gray's Anatomy, and Weeds, so don't be the last to hear them! Unless I am, which could be the case. . .



And their video is so damn cute. I hope it works out for those kids. I don't know if I could be in a band with someone I'm dating, but between these guys and Mates of State, they make it seem easy. Anyways, listen and enjoy!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

King of the burritos (and tacos and pizza)

I'm playing around with the layout and elements and all sort of fun stuff on here, so don't be alarmed if things are a little different. I'm just bored and figured what the hell, may as well see what I can do.

Speaking of bored, that's pretty much been my life of late. I haven't written much on here because, well, not much has been happening to me. Like I mentioned, I went to 3 Royals' games in the past week, which was awesome. They won all 3, and I got a bobblehead, a hat, and a shirt. So really, I won, too. I'd post pictures, but my camera has been extremely temperamental, and I haven't taken any great shots anyways. On account of my viewfinder thing being broken. But rest assured, it was fun.

Also, something I've been doing Friday nights is heading to Lawrence, KS (about a 30-40 minute drive) with some friends to get a burrito. Not just any burrito, mind you, but a burrito from the wondrous Burrito King. It's a drive-thru place, open until 3 in the morning every day, serving the cheapest burritos I've ever seen. For the three of us, each getting a burrito and a side of nacho cheese, the total price is usually around $10. For three people. Together. It's amazing. I say usually because I don't know if it's ever cost the same amount twice, but that's just part of the fun. Last night it was $11.90, a couple of weeks ago it was $9.50, either way it was a deal. I usually go with the carnitas with rice and cheese, and it's usually delicious. But getting through a whole one can be a feat unto itself. A feat in amazing food.

An even more amazing event occured when we went a couple of weeks ago. We were going to hit up a place called Pizza Shuttle, also in Lawrence (the two other guys both went to school at KU, so they've gotten quite attached), for their $4.50 personal pizza and a soda pop special. On the way, we joked around that we should also stop at Burrito King, and hit up Taco John's while we were there. (Note: I freakin' love TJ's, but the closest one is a ways away from me.) Soon the joking turned into a frank discussion, and shortly thereafter, we had a plan: split one small pizza amongst the three of us, each get a taco from Taco John's, and each get a burrito from BK. We don't know how exactly it came about, but we had our minds set.

The eventual feast turned out to be magical. We headed to a park to sit at a picnic table, spread everything out, and just marvel for a moment. Then, we dug in. I only wish we had brought a camera to document the night. We were taking a bite of each in rapid succession, washing them down with our foutain sodapops (also part of our tradition, we stop at a Quik Trip for a 32 oz fountain drink), and even had a bite of all three at once. This bite, my dear friends, was incredible, while testing the tensile limits of the mouth.

Jared was the only one to finish all three portions, I just couldn't quite get all of the burrito. I had only about 2 or 3 bites left, but had I tried to get those in, the results would not have been pretty.

The drive home was a glorious one, recount our tale to each other, making plans for the next "ironman" night. Our rapture only slightly dampered when we thought about how many calories we had just consumed. But at the price, around $17 TOTAL, we were truly champions.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Showbiz Clubbers (or, a good morning spent on the internet)

This has been an exciting morning for me and my internet browsing ways. First, I find out that scholars have found the exact date when Odysseus returned home from the Trojan War! Because that really happened, and scholars need to be focusing their time on the subject that in-depth.

Next, I've found a couple of videos that need to be watched by everyone. First, Shakira with her best friend Glenn Danzig




And if you think that's awesome, wait until you see this



That's it for now, but I'll have more to say soon. I've been busy with work and going to Royals games (3 in the last 4 days!) and having a temporary roommate and playing video games, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to sit and type a lot of stuff out. But it's coming. Promise.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Francois Virot and Ramona Cardova

I'm up very late on a Monday night, but it was worth it. I went down to visit my friends at Skinless Gallery (ok, so I kinda know one of the guys there, through Charczuk, but I think I can still call him my friend), since there was a show being played there, and I need to go out and be social on occasion.

Opening was Alex Niedt (myspace), a local kid playing (I think) his first show. He was good, has a great voice, and good show (in spite of his"jitters," which he claimed he had, but I never saw).

Next on deck was Francois Vidot (website | myspace). I had only heard his stuff in the background, last time I was at the gallery, so I wasn't too familiar with his stuff. But when he set up on the side of the stage, to perform without any amplification on his guitar or mics for his vocals, I was intrigued. Then I was amazed by his performance. Here's a sample, in a little bit of a different setting, but you'll get the idea.


Francois Virot - Say Fiesta

His vocals are definitely unique, but they fit his style so well, are so emotional (without being emo), and, even though he was in the midst of losing his voice during the performance tonight, sounded so great to me. To top it off, he's a super nice guy. I talked with him a while, about his tour and the Midwest, and about speaking French.

The third and final act of the night was Ramona Cordova (website | myspace). Another great guitarist and vocalist. His songs were touching, his voice touching, and guitar parts complemented the setting perfectly.


Ramona Cordova - Heavy on my Head

He was also struggling with his voice, I guess they camped out in Arizona a week ago, and the dry air got to their throats. It didn't hurt the performances too much, though, even when the singers couldn't quite complete the verse before a fit of coughs came on, it didn't detract from the song, and they still gave it their all.

I was sooo glad I came to this show. It turned out to be one of the more impressive shows I've seen in a long time, and a genuinely good time. If they're coming to your town (I'm looking at you, Minneapolis friends - Wednesday at a place called New Pines, check either of their myspace pages for more info), I'd really recommend going to see them, support them, chat with them, because they're great guys, great musicians, and definitely worth your while.

The Films

I'm just sitting at work, watching the U.S. Open playoff (Tiger wins it in sudden death!), listening to some tunes. Busy day.

Here's another group I've just heard about through XM. I'm probably way behind on them, like most bands, but I thought I'd mention them anyways. Here's The Films (website | myspace)!



My favorite song of their so far has been "Belt Loops," but "Black Shoes" is pretty solid, too. They have some of Elvis Costello's old punk sound, mixed in with more modern indie pop, like an American version of the Arctic Monkey (a band I've been getting way way into, by the way). A pretty catchy combination, if you ask me. And obviously you care what I think.

Well, it's about time I get hittin' that old dusty trail. But, I'm very excited for an album coming out tomorrow, a new one from the Notwist. So check back for my thought on that!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I wanted to take this chance to wish all of you dads out there a fun Fathers Day! Hopefully you're not getting rained on, for any planned barbecues or outdoor activities that you had planned.

I also wanted to thank my dad, for being such a great dude and putting up with me all these years. For taking me to my first baseball game in '85, my first Hawkeye game earlier than that, for showing me how to really fall in love with a team, following them through every turn, savoring the victories and graciously accepting the losses. Those days so long ago playing football in our yard, my brother versus me, with my dad being the all-time quarterback for both teams, were some of the happiest days I've had. As were the days when he would pitch to us, I would giggle as I "stole" second base, but he'd never pick me off. And for as much as I laughed the time I rocketed the whiffle ball back at his face, knocking off his glasses, I still feel kind of bad for that.

But mostly, I wanted to thank him for being such a great person, the best dad anyone could hope to have, and for showing me how much fun and therapeutic a good catch can be. Thanks dad!

(note: If you watch the follow clip and don't get a little misty-eyed, I don't think we can be friends anymore. And if you haven't seen "Field of Dreams," you may not want to watch this clip yet. You need to go buy the movie ASAP, because it's probably the best movie ever made.)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I love math (too!)

I Love Math features members of the Deathray Davies and Philip Peeples of the Old 97's, as well as the drummer from Apples in Stereo. And with their name, I basically liked them before I heard a note. Good thing they didn't disappoint.

They've got a folky-country-indie sound, that I really dig. Their myspace is their only website, so go check it out. It's nice to have on in the background, and just generally nice to listen to. I wouldn't lead you astray.

In other news, posts should grown longer and more frequent after Friday, when I'll finally be getting internet set up at my place. So until then, enjoy the music, and check back this weekend. . .

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Who you callin' a Dodo?

I've been getting way into these guys, started listening to them at work, and bought their album Visiter yesterday. It's amazing. So check out the Dodos



Here's their myspace.

To me, they sound like a more easily accessible version of Animal Collective. A little more straight-forward and simpler melodic lines. And I'm not trying to make it sound like a bad thing, I mean that in an awesome way. They have some great lyrics, inventive lines, and just a fun overall sound. I dig them, a lot. Of course, they're not playing anywhere near me, or on any dates I can make in a city where any of my friends live. I guess I'll just have to wait, and listen to their album over and over again, until they come to the greater Kansas City area.

Denver, in pictures and in words. And with facial hair

Well, here's the update I've been promising for weeks now, it seems.

Last weekend, a few of us from work went to Denver. The main reason? Illegal Pete's. A couple of the guys had eaten at this place once, and, since we had a three-day weekend, they thought what the hell, may as well make a weekend of it and head back there. Especially since it was right near the end of the mutton chop competition, we thought it'd be a fun time.

Here we each are, starting off on the about 9-hour drive

me

Jared

Nick

Josh

(Did I mention we all had matching hats, too? Just to complete the ridiculousness of our look) You'll notice I don't have much of a chop going on there. Sadly, I had been "growing" my facial hair for the same amount of time that Josh had. All I had was a creepy-looking mustache, and a few patches of light red hair on my cheeks. Not really visible to the naked eye.

Anyways, the drive out was fun. There was a convoy of 4 cars, made up by what looked like high school students, who were very entertained by the chops. They gave us the thumbs up, took some pictures, and made a sign that read "Nice Chops." All while we were driving. We felt it was a good start to the trip. We stopped for gas near Hays, KS, where we spotted our first (and only) thong appearance of the trip. But it was a memorable one. Not only was the whale tail there, but this girl (who was obviously of good repute), lowered the front of her pants, so the front of the thong was showing. And she did the lowering right in front of us, as we were walking out of the gas station. We were able to make it into the car before we busted out laughing. Our only regret was that we didn't say anything to her. The consensus was that one of us should have just said "nice," and gotten into the car. Oh well.

The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful, just some periods of heavy rain and menacing clouds. It wasn't until we had made it to Illegal Pete's for our burritos that we heard there had been 3 confirmed tornadoes along I-70. The road we had just been on for 9 hours. Jared was taken aback by the news, but it didn't have an impact on my appetite.

2? No, it was 3 tornadoes

Yum


The rest of that first night was spent wandering around, taking stupid pictures. Like these:

These two are twins. My cousin couldn't tell they were even related


Outside of Coors Field, where the Rockies made a furious comeback late in the game, to win in 13 innings. We didn't go, we just stood around outside. The guy who took this picture took off like he was stealing the camera, but stopped after about 10 steps. He feared the mustache.

I think Josh was the most photogenic.

Although Nick was pretty good, too.

Especially when paired in a picture with me, getting fake advice for our imaginary chess game.

The next morning, we tore the shit out of our hotel room. It was the facial hair acting up.

After we put it back together, we wandered around, taking more stupid pictures. I'll save a couple of these for later, as they may be the best pictures ever taken.

We went to the see the Rockies take on the Mets, spending $4 on each ticket, sitting in the "Rock Pile." It was awesome. Sure, we were about 600 feet from homeplate, but we had an awesome view, and surrounded by people our age, having a good time. After a while, since the Mets were up 8-2, we started people watching more than game watching. Nick made a kid cry. The whole section almost made a drunk girl cry. But she had it coming, she was trying to start the wave. Here are some of the views from our seats


And, another friendly mutton that we spotted at the game!This was the first of two other friendlies that we ran into, here's the second:



The rest of Saturday, we took more pictures, went to some bars, I got a little drunk, and talked with a bear.

Sunday, we climbed a mountain. Like a real mountain! Actually, two! We hiked up the Twin Sisters, making it all the way to the peaks, about 4-miles, one way, with around a 2300 foot climb, and some amazing views

The Twin Sisters (borrowed from some other site)

Impressive, no?

Studly

Us at the top, with Long's Peak in the background

That was an awesome hike, I'm glad we did it.

The whole trip was pretty amazing. I met up with a cousin I hadn't seen in years, and our days were busy without rushing around, something quite impressive for our only plan being to eat a burrito, which we accomplished our first night (it was a delicious burrito, by the way).

Now, for my two favorite pics from the trip. First, Josh

and secondly, me, in every else's favorite picture, a picture that basically sums up the whole trip

If you're really interested in seeing more pictures, you can check out my albums here:

Part 1

Part 2

Now in the past week, I've shaved and gotten a haircut, so I'm no longer the kind of gross, creepy looking dude I was in those photos. I'll get a picture or two of my new look up soon. And I'm working on creating a flickr account or something, so I can share photos other than through Facebook. But until then, this will have to do

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A video to tide you over

I'll hopefully have some time tomorrow to work on a bitchin' post, but until then, watch this bitchin' video over and over again.



I'm really really digging the new Weezer. I'm as excited as a little Weezer fanboy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nik Freitas (what I'm listening to at work)

I'm going to attempt to do a new little feature, and, hopefully, I'll actually stick this one in the future. I'm going to make posts about what I'm listening to at work, since that's actually when I spend most, if not all, of my time online. So I have XM on, and if I hear a musician or group that intrigues me, I'll check out their myspace page. So far, such bands have included Airborne Toxic Event and Fog, as well as a few others that I'll talk about in the next few days. But for today, here's Nik Freitas!

Here's his website, here's his myspace. I heard the song "Sun Down," and instantly liked it. He's got a Paul Simon/Bob Dylan sound, without being overly obnoxious about it, or sounding too pretentious. It's a good thing. And it's great stuff to listen to at work, relaxing, and not requiring too much attention. That's not to say it's not worth focusing on, because it is. But, it's nice to have on in the background.


Basically I'm saying it's good, I like it, you should listen to his stuff. I'm sure he'd appreciate it. And I'd appreciate if he'd come to Kansas City, instead of playing 2 dates in Omaha. Omaha's a nice city and all, but come on, help me out here Nik!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This post brought to you by the band Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players, the planes of Midwest Airlines, and the letters NIN

First off, if you're a fan of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor has made his latest album available as a free download, just go to this link:

http://theslip.nin.com/

I'm giving it my first listen-through right now, and am liking it a lot. And you can't beat the price.

This past weekend was a quick, but very fun, time spent in Minneapolis. And while my camera sucks, (not to mention I forgot to put in fresh batteries), H and Whiskey snapped off a few. Check out their blogs to see some of the action, and check out H's post at Three Pints for more about Kate Nash.

The Kate Nash show was great, I really enjoyed the opening band, the Trachtenberg Family Slideshow Players. The family (dad Jason on guitar/keyboard/vocals, mom Tina on the slide projector, and 14-year-old daughter Rachel on drums) basically goes to estate sales, buy old slide photography, and write songs based around them. A lot of bands use a video aspect to their live shows to supplement their sound, (like the Faint, the previously mentioned NIN, Project Jenny, Project Jan, to name a few I've seen in concert), but this is the first instance I'm aware of where the band uses the audio and video in such an intertwined level. To get the full enjoyment out of their performance, here's a couple of their videos

Look at Me (from Conan, with a few slides removed for network TV purposes. I'm not sure if it's better or not. . . )


Don't You Know What I Mean?


Now these videos are a few years old, so Rachel is a few years older now. And Jim still didn't want me to go get her number for him.

These videos don't really do them justice, I was blown away by them, it was awesome. At first I didn't think I'd buy their schtick, but damn if they didn't win me over.

I flew (yes, flew) to Minneapolis, after finding tickets that were cheaper than it would have been for me to drive, and saved me about 13 hours driving (round trip), and a lot of wear and tear on my car. Rudy can't put up with too much more, so I gotta take it easy on him while I can, until I find a new ride. But don't tell him about that.

Anyways, I flew on Midwest Airlines. Holy crap. It was amazing. When I got on the plane for my first flight of the day (Midwest is based out of Milwaukee, so I had a stop there each way), there was classical music playing on the speakers, and (relatively) large leather seats as far as the eye could see. They were incredibly comfortable for plane seats, and even left me with a couple of inches on either side. Plus a middle armrest that was about 5 inches wide. No elbow fights with the neighbor for space! And plenty of legroom.

My favorite part, though, was getting freshly baked cookies. Not just one, but two on each flight! And on my first flight, an older lady was sitting next to me, didn't want her cookies, so she gave them to me! AND everyone got a little bag of pretzels. And drink service. C'est incroyable! I would definitely recommend this airline to anyone if it's available (and comparably priced to other airlines). Lucky for me, KC is one of their hubs. Rock.

So it was an awesome weekend, all around. Played some Wii (Mario Kart is lots and lots of fun) and some XBox 360 (NCAA Football still rules, and the new Grand Theft Auto game is kind of fun), saw a good concert (even if Kate Nash got everyone to say they hated me and I'm pretty sure called me a dickhead), at somewhere near my body weight in pizza (Old World Pizza's buffet is delicious), had some cocktails (most gin and tonics, with a free Jameson and something thrown in for good measure), had a wonderful time meeting and chatting with WhiskeyMarie (however nonsensical and incoherent it may have been), and just really enjoyed myself. If only every weekend could be so fun-filled! Now I'm waiting for visitors to come to KC. There's plenty of room, everyone's welcome! And of course, I can make the airport pick-up, so check out Midwest. It's worth it!