Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday card

So we like to do our own neat-o card every year. This year is no different! We titled this one: All Wound up for Santa's Visit.

Listening to swank holiday music.
Just finished reading "Ice Blink" & "Frozen in Time", two books on the lost Franklin expedition in the Arctic.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Polysics video

I know I know, shaky camera, it's dark, and I'm screaming and dancing and blocking the slam dancers, but damn they were good and this might be a good example of how much butt this band kicks!
Song is "I ate the Machine"

I just can't stand Quicktime format and it's lack of conversion to stuff I can actually edit into a viewable movie. Ah well, perhaps I will work something out. Anyway....

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Death Clown

Watch my new demo clip film "Death Clown" below:

Already hailed as "Well a really disturbing Mentos commercial."

Reading: "From Hell" by Alan Moore (again)
Listening: "Un Dia" by Juana Molina and POLYSICS, natch.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Couple of SPLORK! Videos

from the WRIR 97.3 Maskquerade party at New York Deli 10/24 as part of the Fund Drive kick off!

Lipstick on a Pig
Lipstick on a Pig

Covering L7's "Shove"
Splork! plays L7's "Shove"

Fun and awesome!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hey, how about you come by?

Hey, if you're not doing anything Friday night, why not this:

My band SPLORK!!! as well as (Pretend) Pretenders will be playing, and there will also be DJs spinning and general wackiness. It'll be a blast and masks are required! Proceeds go to WRIR 97.3 as the fundraiser gets underway.

And speaking of...

How about supporting the local independent radio station WRIR 97.3 starting this Wednesday? WRIR is a non-profit organization and needs funds in order to bring quality independent news and music to Richmond's airwaves. Plus I do volunteer work there! My show, which is Friday 6AM – 8AM (Breakfast Blend), feel free to call then or that morning! Here are some phone numbers: 804-622-9747 OR 649-9737 (studio #).


Listening: BIPPP French Synth Wave 1979 - 1985.

Reading : H.P. Lovecraft

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Busy busy busy!

So Ceci & I are doing the Songs from the Big Hair (80s show) on WRIR 97.3 today, we're making it the sweet n sour edition, with Ceci doing the sugarpop and me doing the angry punk hardcore. Should be interesting. Here's a great album cover from that era:

So, the to do list:

Prep songs for big hair
Go to Plan 9
Go to Guitar Works, get guitar strings
Go to the Festival of India for lunch and browse
Songs from the Big Hair
Band practice


Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Poet who beat the Twin Towers

So yesterday, when we bailed on going to the National Book Festival in D.C., we thought of many things to do instead; weather was the factor. How about a movie? Well, nothing really was out, so how about checking the one of two theaters in town that plays the more obscure stuff. At the Westhampton, we see this:

Man on Wire

This is a film every person effected by 9-11 should see.

Yeah, we have all heard about Phillipe Petit wire walking the Twin Towers in 1974 or seen the story in the back of our minds, but this film symbolically "fixes" things. Any anxiousness at the thought of being one of those people in the World Trade Center that terrible day in September is washed over with this film.

Using a combination of interviews, re-enactments and vintage footage, the film is all about how this young French poet and his crew of pranksters plot to wire walk the WTC. The buildings were barely even finished. As you see footage of it being built from a hole in lower Manhattan, you can't help feel the hole that was LEFT after the attacks. That moment, like so many others with this film, creates this weird paradox in your head. Watching Petit in the film is like watching an ocean wave. His movements, his artistic interpretations of the events that he has probably told time and again lose no impact on the viewer. Here were a bunch of artists planning to get fake IDs, ship equipment clandestinely into the building, visit the towers and case the place time and time again, not to crash planes into the buildings, but something far more creative. To string a two inch thick metal wire atop the two buildings for Petit to walk across!


So here is the thing, despite the bombers killing thousands of people in 2001 and leveling the buildings as an act of symbolism against the west, they weren't the first to "beat" the Towers.

Petit had done it decades earlier.

Symbolically speaking, here were these huge intrusive buildings, representing the tallest, biggest things on the earth, the apex of modern man being reduced by a balancing performer, this "poet" of the wire who merely danced above it for 45 minutes, laughing with the seagulls and grinning at the police officers waiting to arrest him when he was finished.

Go see this movie. It has a very therapeutic effect. It's funny, intense and has a kind of emotional charge that means more than any religious or patriotic fervor could hope to induce. In a lot of ways it's what we need in this world of hate, murder and despair; artists. Whether it be painters, poets, musicians --it doesn't matter-- because the artist wins every time in the end.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Celebrating" September 11th

It still makes me sick to my stomach to relive that day. But in a weird way it is good to remember that day. I was horrified, angry, sad, disgusted, so many emotions at once, connected to something, someplace I had no connection to. New York City, the World Trade Center, the Middle East, Terrorism, was just a distant place/thing/idea to me. When the shit hit the fan, it became an epiphany, a realization that the U.S. policies and attitude is not exactly loved by everyone in the world. Our modern days of "splendid isolationism", perhaps still in the back of our collective American minds riding on the coattails of saving Europe from Hitler so long ago, were over. You can only ride so long as a superpower.

That whole day I had the urge to go get my kid out of school and just go home and wait for the other shoe to drop. I felt sorrow for the victims and their families. The horror of the "jumpers" - ones that made the desperate decision to fall to their death rather than burn to death- imagining having to make that decision for myself if it were me. *stomach churns* I imagined what people in other countries that have to worry about car bombs daily have to go through every time they see their kid try to get to school. Subways, commuter trains, buses. We are living like the rest of the world now, but with a bigger target on our backs.

Then anger. Find those fuckers that did this. GET THEM.

And then the President W happened.

More anger as we blindly followed the Piper to Iraq, I saw it happening, everyone did. The deception, the lies, the feeding of our residual anger and blood-thirsty craving for justice to be done. We just let it happen.

Then he was reelected.

Shame, embarrassed to have a President like this. Even more embarrassed for our nation of fools that kept him in office. More anger, despair; this is our country?

So, 7 years later...
Here are the murderers:

Here are the victims:

This is what is effected by our actions since:

Global economy, global consequences. Where are we today? The memories of those people that perished that day haunt our American psyche, even though we still shop, buy, continue to be distracted with our daily lives. Think about it, think about that day, then think if our policies have changed in the world for the better? I know, all those things are still things we have no connection to. It's just a distant place/thing/idea to us. Kind of like New York City, the World Trade Center, the Middle East, Terrorism, everywhere. Business as usual. Everything but for the here and now.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Last day of The Braves

Sad, but true. 42 years. Last year they won the Governor's Cup. We had good seats and a good time, they won 9 to 3 against Norfolk Tides! Cool double steal, two over the fence homers, and a packed Diamond with over 12 thousand!
Let's hope we get another team soon.

Listening: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dig Lazarus Dig!!!

Reading: Lone Wolf & Cub graphic novel

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mad Libs for blogs

Holy Snapping Duck Do! I just got slapped with a wet salmon - really - I have not updated this since they let me out!... You would not believe that I'd been abducted by aliens. Stupid Global Warming!.

I am flat out like a lizard drinking with discovering time doesn't stand still, learning to speak Japanese, just generally being a slave to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day sprawls from the second star on the right, straight on to home. I am hoping one day they will call me 'mummy' again. perchance.

I hope that one day I will update you with my nefarious activities as soon as I get a chance. You wanna test me? Cats if you don't..

(from The Lazy Blogger's Generator) and well, my awesome wife, Lisa, posting one first!

Reading: All She was Worth by Miyabe Miyuki

Listening: A punk girl mix I made!

Watching: Madmen Season 1 Disk 1 from Netflix (we finally joined!) and
Ping Pong. Ping pong, you say? Yes! Here's the trailer!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Radio Days & The Bizarre Market

So yesterday, we had the WRIR 97.3 radio tent at the Bizarre Market on Shields at the Joe's Inn block. This was a dedication to Jonny Z with Art 180, Chop Suey, Books on Wheels and a ton of other people in the mix selling their crafts and things. It turned out to be a great time. Charles Williams (Motherland Influence), Michael Miracle (Lotus Land Show), Melissa (Mercury Falls), Mary Claire (Thursday Breakfast Blend) and myself all took turns DJing in between bands (Gull, Josh Small, Liza Kate, The Antlers, among others) and raffling by Ward. The turnout was swell! What is really great about the Bizarre is that it is kind of like a lot of the other alternative things in Richmond. For the rest of us! There were tattooed pierced freaks, oddballs, THAT guy, and a lot of other people you would call the alternative art scene. Love it. Here are some pics:

BB Thursdays, Lotus Land, Mercury Falls, BB Fridays

Ward the Raffler.

Galaxy Girl & Monkey Dog Studios

So after spending most of the day there, it was time to break down some of the gear and take it back to the station, then get ready for River City Limits with Ceci. Ceci & I make a good pair on the air, cracking jokes, general silliness and we freaking ROCK it too! Good day to be representing the radio station and just plain fun anyway.

Me & Ceci chumming it up.

Listening: Polysics "We Ate the Machine", Beck "Modern Guilt", The Kills "Midnight Boom"
Reading : In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami
Avoiding : Carytown Watermelon Festival

Saturday, July 12, 2008


This is a picture of the band, Gull, playing at River City Limits today. Nate, the only band member, finger slams the guitar while playing the drums AND singing with microphone skull-mask strapped to his face. Very awesome!

More pix:

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Welcome to Richmond on the 4th of July

This was my view most of the time while waiting forever for the Braves to lose at the Diamond last night so we could watch some fireworks.
Old ladies butts in capris.

Reading: American Sideshow by Marc Hartzman

Listening: Fullmetal Jackoff by Jello Biafra with D.O.A.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Camping & Death

We went to Kiptopeke State Park on the Eastern Shore for 5 days, it was beautiful. We had a bout of rain Sunday night, but the rest of the week was clear, warm without too much humidity, and awesome. Some friends joined us the first few days, where we took the waters, hiked on some crazy ass boardwalk that deadended, visited Chatham Vineyards on the sly from the owner after he saw our frustration at it being closed, and ate heartily from Dave's cooking and the Machipongo's Clam Shack! Good times. Here are a few pictures:

So we come back, after a week of no tv or radio, a good thing, and I just learn tonight that one of my favorite EVER comedians, George Carlin, had died. That makes me sad. I saw him when I was 19 and under the influence in the third row at the Mosque. A GREAT show. He had a cynicism that seemed to get more curmudgeonly as he grew older but was hilarious and I loved ever bit of it. At his passing, news bites called him the edgy comedian, only quoting the 7 Words you can't say on television, but he was more than that. He was the very representation of Anti-Establishment. He questioned EVERYTHING and it didn't matter what side of the fence it was on. He wrote a few great books, had countless hilarious records and was a messenger for us all. Fuck THEM. God damn we'll miss that man. Bye, you great wise-ass kid from New York City.

"And now a word from The National Apple Institute: FUCK PEARS."
"The following statement is true: the preceding statement was false."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gypsy-Riffic! Review of Gogol Bordello!

Quick pic of the Gogol Bordello show at Toad's Place from last night above, now here's the review:

Ichiban is my friend, especially the double deuce ounce size. Polished it off at the sushi restaurant (the summer of sushi kick has begun) and walked down to Toad’s Place for the show. The line was formed and Pedals on Our Pirate Ship was punkin’ it up outside to entertain the line. A great local perky band, hitting the PBR tallboys between songs. I guess the audience could care less, unfortunately, as the line started moving. Toad’s has some charm even if it feels like it is run by out of towner “professionals”. If you have all your stuff in order, you get to go right through, the bartenders are fast and furious so you don’t even notice the price on a beer. It has good lighting, sound and layout, like a polished Flood Zone of sorts.

Bumped into some friends, P.J. had his camera geared up, and Lauren Vincelli who was to do the RVA Magazine review (and I was "competing" against to get the article, I guess) was still trying to land an interview with the headliner. To say she is an adorning fan is an understatement. She tells us how she has been trying and trying to get some Q&A with GGB but their PR person says that they only want “cover” interviews, meaning they want all the attention for whatever rag you got going or no deal. She tells them that RVA will give them all they can online, on the you tube, etc…I don’t think they were biting though. She next came up with the notion to interview the groupie of GGB who had been following them around. A great idea! Lauren is a dedicated fan and rocks!

Anyway, the opener was Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, a band label unity line-up going on with this show. They immediately got the Dexys Midnight Runners reference from me, dashed in with some Rick Wakeman circa “Journey to the Center of the Earth” keyboard wackiness. Despite their best efforts to keep to the odd rock-folk-soul groove thang going, big ape dudes with crooked hats and Eminem posturing started some sort of ghetto slamming. They were funny and noted by one of the guitarists who gave them a shout out: “This one goes to that guy right there that likes the funny mustaches.” I have no idea what that meant but weird mens room stall imagery came to mind. Shudder. So yeah, okay, the band still rocked it in their own way.

After they finished out their set, it was time to walk around some more, look at the smoking section on the second floor balcony and check out the upstairs. See some people, chat chat chat, back downstairs as the headliner approaches and DAMN this place got crowded!

My friend and I made our way as close as we could without probably getting sucked into a sweaty, B.O. ridden pit. We found a solid place between some other friends and two saucer-eyed blondes and then it happened. Pure Gypsy. Gogol Bordello unleashed it’s mighty gypsy punk sound like it was a rabid pit bull just told to “sic em”. The crowd popped up and down like it was on a boat capsizing and if you’ve ever felt the sound of pure pagan soul, this was it. They flopped around, spun around, rallied the crowd and just plain put on show.

It was a good solid show for nearly 2 hours. Frontman Eugene Hütz had a bottle of wine to glug on and sling around like it was the nectar of the gods when he wasn’t strumming the hell out of his acoustic guitar. The old dude on fiddle, Sergey Ryabtsev, held his own, popping the bow strings by the end of the night. The small dude dressed like Pele, Thomas "Tommy T" Gobena , cranked second percussion and rapped to the crowd with dictator style fervor. Then the two gypsy women came out, one on bass drum, the other flailing cymbals, and it was a call to sonic arms. Man, but did the place hop like a gypsy juke on amphetamines.

Then a bit of weirdness happened, Eugene: “Thank you very much Charlottesville!” What?!? Do you even know what town this is! Ha! Well, what should you expect from a guy who had been sucking on a bottle of red table wine for over an hour, I guess. All was forgiven PDQ as they tore out a 45 minute encore that left audience members euphoric and spent from pogo dancing. There was one moment when a group of sweat soakers plowed through us. A girl was passing out and her friends were trying to get her out of the melee. Unfortunately, her pals were worn out too and they could barely carry her off. They fell into a huddled mess, as slamming situations often dictate (the nature of the beast) and at first I thought the girl was getting ready to blow chunks. My friend James told it looked like she was rather punched in the mouth. Bet she had a good time!

Still, it wasn’t all slaps and exhaustion that night, tons of clapping, hollering and dancing in a circle till the finale, a 15 minute romper of a tune you’d think would never end nor want to brought the whole hopping thing to a close. Damn that was the stuff! Looking at my friend Fontaine's cell phone for the time, I had to get home and to bed, for in a few (very few) short hours I had to do the Breakfast Blend show on WRIR 97.3!! So what’s a good nights sleep lost for the show of the year?

Monday, June 16, 2008


Richmond Alley, note the "garoge" indication. Wanna start a band?

Getting ready to read: Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

Listening: Gogol Bordello They are coming to town this Thursday!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Human Bowling

Peelander-Z and human bowling in a quickie video from a cheap camera!


Again at the Camel. Great show, they are fantastic live, very audience participatory!


Monday, May 26, 2008

1100 Miles in 3 Days

We burned up and back to Massachusetts for L.'s 20th College Reunion at Mount Holyoke. Made good time and put some miles on the new car. Had a great time despite our colds from last week's kayak adventure. Stayed in one of the dorms, witnessed the interesting ritual that this women's college has, met some great people and climbed a mountain with a beautiful view.

Our dorm room! Notice the beds pushed together... ;-)

H. & L. on the way to the Library.

Horse Skeleton in the Science Hall!

View from Mt. Holyoke.

Read: In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman, necessary reading for anyone.
Listening: The B-52s Funplex is actually not a bad cd to listen to through New Jersey!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New robot!

Picked this one up this weekend. A HaHa Toy, you got to love that name for a Toy Company. Not a great bot, but cheap! (Yeah, I know, I am a freakin' dork!)

Listening: Marianne Nowottny, I have no idea why. And Qui.

Reading: Finishing up The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, can't believe that was written in 1948!

On deck: After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Also, reacquired a copy of the fantastic cyberpunk sampler, Storming the Reality Studio having lost my previous one.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Blog Project

L. & I have a new blog called

"Damned Dirty Apes"

and we're going to share various pictures we take in parks and such of litter to show how filthy we humans are. Maybe it will inspire people to pick up after themselves or tick people off enough to give someone a hard time when they catch someone littering.

Give a hoot, mothersuckers, don't pollute!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So a bear walks into a box store

On television, there is a commercial out now that has a bear shopping at one of those home improvement box stores. An employee is helping the bear find just what it needs for home improvement: the paint and the siding and the barbecue grill and the crap and the ceiling fan and and and... What does a bear need at a place like that? Uh, how about the WOODS that you tore down to make your stupid box store? Whenever I think about that commercial I just wanna see the bear maul the hell out of the guy selling him all this junk.

To quote Bill the Cat : ACK!

DJed out representing WRIR for the first time ever at Chop Suey's annual Bizarre Market. A cool event where people bring stuff they made to sell, etc etc. Ward rocks. Nice to see local "crafters" come together. Oh and the Books on Wheels were there, second event I had been with them on. Great people and if I were not involved with other things, I would totally be hanging! Anyway, DJing for a crowd was great fun and I look forward to doing it again. Had a gal hula hoop dancing to some of the world music, had a couple of different people come up to me asking about some punk music I played and I got to talk with fellow WRIR DJs Bob and Christian for a little bit. Then L. walked down from home and met me and we went to Perly's for lunch afterwards. Good times.

Listening: P-Model, Haale, stuff for review for Carbon 14!

L. & I are finishing up Murder Mystery Movie month. We've been doing themed Sunday night movies off and on since we started back in September with Hitchcock.
This month was:
Murder on the Orient Express
Ten Little Indians
Dial M for Murder
Radioland Murders.
Maybe another blog entry will be some reviews.

Reading: Just finished a couple of quickies:
Snakes & Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara
Piercing by Ryu Murakami
Now on to the classic The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi. Yeah, a lot of Japanese goodness!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mutants Unite

GREAT blog on hard to find, rare, bizarre, and great music from around the world.


I totally found that album of P-Model In a Model Room I had been looking for, they linked a download and now I own it on CD!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Photos of the drive

So here are some pictures of my long ass shift at the WRIR 97.3 Spring Fund Drive. Had a blast! We raised over a thousand dollars in the morning! Kick ass! And the show is on tomorrow muthatruckas!


It's fundraising time, call me now and make your pledge!

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Public Service Announcement

Having way to much fun (or free time) at work with a paddle ball game and powerful message, G. and I made this little nugget of humor.

I'm no Mr. T, but still....

Watching David Suchet's masterful rendition of Agatha Christie's Poirot in the classic collection set.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


So I picked up a copy of this for five bucks:

I knew that 40 episodes of a 50 year old program for five bucks was going to have some shabby quality, but I didn't care. Whimsically, I purchased this because I like Jack Benny. When I was a teenager, my folks bought me two tape sets, stored in hard plastic like old timey radios. One set was mystery, the other comedy, each cassette had two episodes of a show. The mystery was OK, had Hitchcock, The Shadow --those were fine enough, but what I really enjoyed the most was Arch Obler's Lights Out. ( One of the two episodes I had was the Revolt of the Worms, you can stream some eps, including that one, HERE.

Anyway, in the comedy set were also some jewels: Burns & Allen, Abbott & Costello, Roy Rogers (eh, not so much for me), and of course, Jack Benny! This was my fav from the comedy set. The timing and delivery of the cast just cracked me up, still does to hear Benny talk about the "picture" he would do that is "pathos mixed with comedy, where at a certain POINT...(point being high pitched and silly). Great stuff.

So this DVD set, and I am about 17 eps in, is a great one. The cast was spot on: Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Don, Mary, and the various singers in the stables. And also truly a cavalcade of stars, some that have lasted the test of time, others L. & I go, who is that: Marilyn Monroe, Burns & Allen, Mel Blanc (a regular), Eddie Kovacs, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope (zinging one-liners like a fiend!), so many more. It's interesting to compare to what we see on tv today: 24, Lost, Two and a half men, Law & Order, E.R..... our only variety comedy is after 11pm, and these shows seem so canned. Also, the stars on Jack Benny were so...dignified? I dunno, it's a curious observation.

Oh, and another really interesting thing is the advertisements. Lucky Strike was the sponsor and the ways in which they incorporated plugging it is often embarrassing to watch. Sometimes it is fairly charming, in fact, after a few episodes, I had the Lucky Strike tune rattling in my head!
Here is a good one too, manly man Lucky Strike!

Anyway, it is some fine television!

Listening: Ketchup Mania,
Guitar Wolf
Reading: The Eternal Frontier by Tim Flannery

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Today is my birthday

It really is. I can't believe that I am only 38. I feel like I should be much older for some reason.
Anyway, things that I am thankful for in my life:

My wife and best friend and everything, Lisa.
She is BEST. I am a very very lucky man to have such a great gal. I love her dearly.

My daughter, Hope.
She is smart and funny and just a good kid.

My friends.
I don't have many close friends, but the ones I do are like family to me.

Various jobs.
I love my DJing on the radio and being involved with the station. Didn't think I would, but damn, good music lovin' active people. Also, my paying job at the library, despite what I may say sometimes, is actually okay.

Music: Billy-O from the Japanese band The Climax sent me some burned stuff from Japan after we chatted on email. What a surprise! Got all kinds of goodies like their first CD, stuff by The Telepathys, The Blue Hearts and Sandiest. He also threw in a punk mag from there! Awesome! I recently returned the favor by burning some stuff from town here and throwing in a Carbon 14 magazine to boot. Hope he digs it and we keep up the exchange!

Watching: So many things: The Great Horror Family funny stuff by the Juon director, making fun of himself and other horror genre movies! Anime, Tokko, a blood splatterfest and finishing up the first DVD of Tokyo Majin.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Come on down!

Hey, why not Friday night come on down to Broad Street for First Fridays and celebrate WRIR's third birthday with me! I will MC-ing it and there should be a lot of greatness going on!

Listening: Fatal Flying Guilloteens and a mix I made for the next radio music meeting called "President Asshole", all songs dealing with our leaders in Washington, tainting the American Dream. Want the song list?

Still reading the William Gibson! Damn I'm slow!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Old Seaboard platform

Taken around Shockoe Bottom during our Creek investigations. Kind of cool:


Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Years Baltimore

Went to Baltimore, MD for NYE and a great time!
L. explains and had more details on her blog.
Check it out!

2007 Music

Here was some good stuff last year:
Tops of 2007

Vivian Boys “Une Fille dans le vent, elle s’appelle Vivian” E.P. (
Picked this up only a few weeks ago off the internets. Means, “A Girl In The Wind, Her Name Is Vivian". Delicious 60s garage rock amped to the punk level. Two dudes on the bass & guitar and a little drummer girl. 5 songs, no apologies. Raw energetic and necessary. A dedicated line to all things grooving, 60s style and wild. More from this group already please!

Erik Friedlander “Block Ice & Propane”
Road Trip music at it’s finest. Take avant-garde cellist EF and let him compose and improv basically his thoughts on childhood summers traveling across the country and you get this fantastic Solo Cello CD. This thing percolates with mood and emotion and just the vibe of being on the road. Combining elements and style, from classical string jerked epiphanies to almost blues or bluegrass backwoods ditties, it keeps a listener busy with imagery and wheels turning. Block Ice & Propane is a roots music odyssey well worth the trip.

Tinariwen “Aman Iman”
I first heard this band playing them here on my Breakfast Blend Friday show, the song, Tamatant Tilay, being a recommended track. It was early, I was kind of awake. It had a great groove, full sound, kept the head bobbing. I played it a few more times over the course of a week or so. But it wasn’t till I was meandering around the local record store one weekend when the song from the album, Imidiwan Winakalin, bubbled throughout the place that I fully appreciated it. The hand clapping, the smooth hammering on the strings of a dusty electric guitar, there is the feeling you are there around some campfire in the Mali desert, the spirituality and rebellion in these words you can’t understand. It’s then I could feel what the music was about : warmth. This is the album of the year.

Polysics “Polysics or Die vista”
Basically it is a MySpace Records reissue of the Polysics or Die (originally on the Tofu Records label) except with extra songs from their 2007 Japan release “Karate House”. A great introduction not only to Japanese punk pop new wave but also just a fantastic band! Imagine Devo has gone to 11 on the controls…. They’ve reworked some of their older songs too, so older fans won’t be disappointed. And here is another reason it's so damn tasty: a bonus DVD with 8 videos (including live). This CD should put them at the front of the US Invasion force!

Best purchase from the past:
Megababe “Speak Japanese or Die”
Wow! If this doesn’t rattle your bones you must be dead. Kind of silly name, but they are damn cute gals! And don’t let the first three pop-punk numbers, which kick butt by the way, fool you. The title track is practically an anthem! They can get almost thrash-nasty. This trio is stripped down old school metal punk 80s sound mixed with some pretty delicious new inspiration. It cannot be beat. Popping bass lines, tight traps, a swell crunchy guitar all fronted with some fine vocals. My favorite CD of the year, but it came out in 2004. This CD will make you do a bit of elbow flailing, happy to be alive and punking out. You'll feel the Ramones-jones inside you for sure. Sometimes you just need to flail and this year; this is the CD to do it to.

Best show in town:
Peelander-Z (
Seen the Mad Tiger Video (from the SXSW Show) online yet? Well, if you have, you have only scratched the surface of what their live punk show is like. They played only 5 songs, lasting a little over an hour, but EVERYONE in the place was involved. The first song, the moniker “Mad Tiger” ended with them opening a chest full of instruments for the audience to play along with. Moritaka (Peelander Yellow, you see they are color coded) lead the crowd to crouch down real low then jump up in the air. Then...AGAIN! And.....AGAIN! We were putty in their big cartoon gloved hands. Ever seen a whole club of about 40 leather jacket, sideburn punks do a conga line around the inside of the venue? You would have…. The finale was them giving up their jobs on the last song, holding up the signs “Guitarist wanted” “Bassist Wanted”, “Drummer wanted”, letting chosen audience members take over the instrument playing while they set up human bowling in the middle of the pit. There was Yellow again, dressed as a giant bowling pin. Peelander Pink worked the giant portable spotlight on him standing on the table in the back while Peelanders Blue and Red set up the pins near the front of the venue. The first run and slide down and…Gutterball! Ahhh! Perhaps if the crowd did more of the crouch low and jump up for encouragement? Okay! One last shot and…. STRIKE!!!! Let’s all celebrate! What a blast. It was my daughter’s first punk show. She loved it, banging away on instruments on top of the piano on the stage. I loved it. What a pure live band should be and they were so friendly and approachable and just freaking great! Show of the year!

Happy New Stuff

Went to the Visual Arts Center grand reopening a little while back, H. has a piece there, cool:

Listening: Got the import of Polysics "Karate House" which is way better than the stateside myspace re-release of a greatest hits Polysics or Die Vista (though good for anyone who never heard of em before, has a couple of the new KH songs on there). Karate House is flipping AWESOME!!! Plus this great punk-like swing band from Japan called Pistol Valve.
Reading: Tons of reading stuff to do. Shockoe research, William Gibson, Lovecraft....
Watching: Tons of watching to do. X-Files (1st 2 seasons), Paprika, Witch Hunter Robin...