minervacat: (all these flashes and cables)
I am so bad at posting to LJ these days. I swear I'm reading. I am! I'm just ... faily. At a wide variety of things.
  1. So last night I went out and shot Counting Crows with a press pass, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary. It was pretty fantastic.

  2. If you only look at one of my concert photos this year, look at this one from that show, which is the best concert shot I've taken this year. (That's Dan Layus and Jared Palomar of Augustana. And how did I do it? A super fast lens, good lighting, and blind luck. Not shoving to the front of a show with a $50 point and shoot, Ask Metafilter commenters. >:((()

  3. What I have been doing since the last time I posted: rooting fruitlessly for UCLA in the College World Series; going to a lot of baseball games; gaining five pounds from drinking beer; going to shows; taking photos; emailing [livejournal.com profile] janet_carter about Brian Fallon and [livejournal.com profile] algernon_mouse about photography and day jobs; being full of rage at stupid people on the internet. The usual, etc.

  4. My favorite album of 2010, thus far, is Gaslight Anthem's American Slang. I fully expect the upcoming Two Cow Garage to pass that one, but for now, it's Brian and company at the front of my list. I think the best album so far this year is probably the new Black Keys, which is unbelievably good. My favorite track of 2010 is the Roadside Graves' "Liv Tyler". And the album I've actually listened to the most this year is Frank Turner's Love Ire & Song, which came out in 2008.

  5. Here, have a song from that album: [Frank Turner -- "Reasons Not To Be An Idiot"] THIS SONG IS APPROPRIATE TO ALL MY FEELINGS THESE DAYS.

  6. The Orioles are mind-bendingly awful, and the Wiets is on the DL. The Tar Heels salvaged pieces of their season, but we can't talk about blown saves, the Harv's pitch count, the draft choices of the Indians, mayonnaise salad, kegs of bacon, idiot man children, dumplings, or pretty much anything else relating to the 2010 Carolina baseball season, because then I'll probably have to punch you in the face. This week, Anthony Rendon, presumed consensus #1 draft pick next June, shattered his ankle during a rundown while playing for the collegiate Team USA. My baseball karma this year is crap.

  7. The little people in my iPod owe my $85,000 in solitaire winnings.
THE END. How are you guys?
Mood:: 'relaxed' relaxed
Music:: There is No Place for This to Go -- Futurebirds -- Hampton's Lullaby
minervacat: (boys like girls who throw curveballs)
posted by [personal profile] minervacat at 07:14pm on 24/07/2009 under
A song I can't get enough of lately:
[Ha Ha Tonka -- "12 Inch 3 Speed Oscillating Fan"] 4MB, .mp3. I love this song musically; I love the parts where everything drops out but the vocals and the kick drum, I love the bass line, I love the guitar solo. I love that of all the rhymes for "fan" they could have chosen, they went with "divan". I love the line cooling off the living rooms across these troubled lands. I love that I can hear the barest hint of their album stuff in the sound of this but at the same time it doesn't sound anything like the albums at all. (Studio album Ha Ha Tonka is ... a lot more complex and creepy and intimate than this. This is like a song that a stoned Brent Best would have written for Slobberbone. If you like this, you will not necessarily like the rest of Ha Ha Tonka's stuff. You might like Slobberbone, though.) And I love beyond belief that it is, in fact, a song about a 12 inch 3 speed oscillating fan and the narrator's love for it during a heat wave.

This song is awesome.
Have good weekends, kids. xoxo.
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
minervacat: (rock&roll don't give her nothing)
Today I think we should play a game I have just made up, which is called "Share songs with funny or kick-ass titles, regardless of the quality of the actual song, though it would be nice if they weren't terrible".

I will start: [The Fake Fictions -- "Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions"] 5MB, .mp3.

Now you go.

I spent Saturday [here], watching about 50% of my favorite local bands rock it down on the campus of a biofuels plant in the middle of nowhere, Chatham County, NC. Such is life, occasionally. Nobody got sunburnt, nobody got embarrassingly drunk, and everyone had fun. Well, at least I had fun and I think everyone else had fun. That's what counts, right?

I have had an unreleased song by a beloved beloved local band stuck in my head for the last two days, and I find the whole thing vaguely irritating; it's become the worst part, the only really bad part, of seeing the same bands over and over again while they're between releases, knowing and loving these songs that I have no access to listen to outside of a live setting. Or, I suppose, even worse than that: knowing and loving these songs, and finally getting them on an album, and realizing that the album really sort of sucks. That happened this year, too.

In other news, the NC DMV also sucks.
Music:: but only for a little while
minervacat: (rock&roll don't give her nothing)
[Hayes Carll -- "As Soon As I Learn Your Name"] 2MB, .mp3. The Hayes Carll set that I saw back in December turned up on archive.org this week, which is awesome, because it's way more enjoyable listening to this set at home than it was listening to it at the 506, by myself, one of five women in a crowd of large, scary, drunk dudes, on a night when the guy who owns the 506 wasn't there and the bartender we usually relied on for protection from scary dudes was having screaming fights with his girlfriend, who kept trying to put her hands in the opening band's bass player's pants. It was, uh. I will not be going to see Hayes Carll alone again, let's just say that. Which is a shame, because he's awesome, but I have rarely been that terrified by myself in a crowd out in the Triangle.

Anyway, this song is awesome, and you should listen to it. If you didn't want me to be a Red Sox fan and move to Arkansas, Hayes, I would totes be your girlfriend. But those things are kind of deal breakers, especially the Red Sox part. And the Arkansas part, actually.

It's that time of year where basically we live and eat and breathe and sleep college baseball here in the CH, and last night's UNC/UVA game sucked balls, let us never speak of it again. Also, I don't want Alabama in our regional, the Flacker's not allowed to hit walk-off bombs to save our butts anymore. Nobody but shep. cares about my feelings on these things, though, which is why I haven't composed an epic post about how Matt Harvey was replaced by a pod person in Boston and also seems to have shaved his hair into a mohawk for no apparent reason, but it's all making me feel genuine affection towards the Harv, and I just don't know how to cope with that. My life only makes sense when I hate Matt Harvey.

After a couple of days over the last two weeks where I was violently depressed by the state of my unemployment and my life in general, I am feeling tentatively optimistic about things the last few days, despite yesterday's third inning. Basically I'm pretty awesome and things'll work out, or they won't for a while and then they will. Plus Alabama's not really my problem. I mean, I can't pitch for shit or hit bombs, so, you know, it's not like I could really help the team out. I throw about 6 miles an hour. Canonically, I do not have a heater, and that's not going to do our pitching staff any good.
Music:: Intro/I'm Thankful For Christmas This Year -- Hayes Carll -- 2008-12-02 @ Local
minervacat: (that you're not a moron anymore)
[The Star Room Boys -- "Why Do Lonely Men And Women Want To Break Each Other's Hearts?"] 5MB, .mp3
[The Star Room Boys -- "New York City Isn't Going Anywhere"] 5MB, .mp3
[The Star Room Boys -- "Both Our Towns"] 3MB, .mp3
[The Star Room Boys -- "Whiskey And You"] 5MB, .mp3

I think I've posted the occasional Star Room Boys track before, but an Ask Metafilter thread yesterday prompted me to listen to both albums again and I'm reminded of what gems they are. True Georgia country, underscored by Johnny Neff's superb pedal steel playing and laid over by Dave Marr's sad, scorching voice. The band's now defunct but god damn the two albums they left behind are fantastic.

If you snag these and enjoy them, drop me a comment, okay? Okay.
(To my mind, the best pedal steel players working today:
  1. Matt Stoessel (Don Chambers & GOAT, South San Gabriel, The Ginger Envelope, approximately seventeen other bands in Athens, GA)
  2. Todd Beene (Glossary, Lucero)
  3. Johnny Neff (the Drive-By Truckers, ex- of the Star Room Boys)
  4. the guy who plays/played pedal steel with Rex Hobart & the Misery Boys circa 2003
  5. Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph & the Family Band)
Honorable mentions, current and historical, go to the guy who plays with Thad Cockrell, my beloved poodle-headed steel player from American Aquarium (who's going to be spectacular when he's no longer 21 and a junior in college), Pete Drake (steel on Dylan's Nashville albums), Don Helms (Hank Williams). THE END.)

Yesterday shep. and I went to see the Carolina baseball team play App State, sat in the first row of an otherwise empty section, and were ogled at length by the App third baseman after he'd failed to chase down a foul ball that went out of play. Then we were squinted at suspiciously from the third base coaches' box by the Carolina coach, in a very I-know-you're-sitting-over-there-ogling-my-players way. I can't lie, Coach Fox: we totally were. We can't help it. Your starting catcher is smokin', and he kept running back and forth from the dugout to the bullpen. WE ARE NOT MADE OF STONE, OKAY. In our defense, we were also keeping score, and I was taking photos. But mostly ogling.

I accomplished a ton of work before 9 am today, and now I have to wait for other people to return my emails before I can do anything else. I wish this meant that I could go home early, but alas, no.

I know what we should do today: you should recommend some blogs to me. I am always looking for new things to put in my Google reader, so recommend away. I like food blogs and music blogs and photography blogs -- either talking about photography or posting photos -- and sports blogs (college and pro basketball, college and pro baseball, college football) and random lolzy blogs. Help me not die of boredom while I'm stuck in waiting-for-emails-at-work limbo!

As for my contribution, here are some of my favorites:
[Tastespotting] A food blog syndicator.
[Every Day Should Be Saturday] My very favorite irreverent college football blog.
[Unphotographable] Photos not taken.
[Largehearted Boy] The best syndicator of music and book content out there -- daily posts about free and legal recordings, book reviews, a post full of interesting links to music and book related interviews and articles, weekly posts about new releases. He's awesome.
Music:: Lady Barber -- The Ginger Envelope -- Edible Orchids
Mood:: 'bored' bored
minervacat: (what i'm doing here or why)
  1. [Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ the Lincoln] 02.20.09. Raleigh, NC. This was a fucking kick ass night.

  2. [Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ the National] 02.21.09. The National has such great light, Jason never puts on a bad show, and that's really, really all I have to say about that.

  3. In other Richmond related news, your traffic is bad, Richmond, and your rivers are dangerous, and your best venue has a shit photography policy, expects me to pay four bucks for a PBR, and only uses Ticketmaster for tickets. THAT IS THREE STRIKES, I AM D-O-N-E DONE. Richmond, Virginia, I am finished with you, you rotten third rate piece of crap, and you can stuff that anywhere uncomfortable that you want to. (On record: the staff at the emergency room at the VCU hospital are fantastic professionals. They are the best part of Richmond, though I generally recommend just staying out of the emergency room in general. I know [livejournal.com profile] quicknow agrees.)

  4. Last week I ordered a card reader for the SD cards that live in all the cameras in our house, and it is seriously the best five bucks (19 cents plus 4.50 in shipping) I have spent all year.

  5. The song I've got stuck in my head this morning: [OutKast -- "Spottieottiedopaliscious"] 7MB, .mp3. Hip hop is rarely my default go-to genre -- that would be Americana-esque stuff, usually -- but I've been on a big old OutKast kick for the last 24 hours. This is such a great song.

  6. The song that's most appropriate to my mood this morning: [John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives -- "Rock N Roll Will Break Your Heart"] 6MB, .mp3.

  7. The Poodle has reached the stage in my growing out of my short haircut that, on Saturday, under the weight of itself, it suddenly stopped wanting to stand up all over my head and started hanging nicely (albeit a little like a very curly mop) on my head instead. I am well pleased by this, except that I'm not sure what I want to do with it or how long I want to grow it. I'm also not sure why I felt you guys needed to know this, but apparently I did.

  8. Today is one of those deceptive days in February in the NC where it looks sunny and gorgeous outside, and then the wind starts up and slices right through any coat you put on, and it's no Chicago but god damn it, I am really, really ready for spring.

  9. For those of you following along at home with last week's poll, I have decided to go with the reversible strap. Stripes are too awesome to pass up.
I like lists because then I don't have to think up segues between the stuff I want to talk about.
Music:: The Blue -- Jason Isbell -- 2009-02-20 @ the Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC
minervacat: (would have sounded just like me)
  1. photos from two holy ghost tent revival/the new familiars shows, one rosebuds/megafaun/love language show, and some chatter about both photography and the shows themselves )

  2. Digital Photography School: The Biggest Secret of Photography.

  3. The National -- <3 Matt Berninger -- is recording a new album this year, theoretically, and they are definitely producing new material. [The National -- "So Far Around The Bend"] 5MB, .mp3. It's from a compilation benefit disc of some kind, and it's good. Then again, I think everything they do is good. But, liek, even objectively! Objectively, it's good, I swear!

  4. [My Chemical Romance -- "Desolation Row"] 3MB, .mp3. And for comparison, because when someone covers Dylan, the original is necessary. [Bob Dylan -- "Desolation Row"] 11MB, .mp3. I like the MCR version a lot, but I prefer Dylan. I often prefer Dylan to many things. For example, today I definitely prefer Dylan to working. So it's not really a statement of opinion but mostly a fact of my existence that I prefer the original.

  5. The new Jason Isbell album leaked yesterday and I had no problems downloading it because a) I've already bought tickets for a Jason show the week of the actual release date and b) I know I'll buy it on CD if only so I can fondle the gorgeous tripped out smoked too much weed album art and c) no, seriously, the amount of cash I will hand over to Jason Isbell this year isn't even funny. And, oh, you guys, this might not be the best album released this year but it will be my favorite hands down without a doubt. ♥

    Also: hilarious adorable 20 questions interview Jason at Popmatters. My crush on Jason is epic.

  6. My right foot is asleep. >:( And also I hate days where I have to hurry up and wait for other people to get back to me. No lie, I think the IT guy in the registrar's office is avoiding me on purpose. >:(
Music:: Cigarettes And Wine -- Jason Isbell -- Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
Mood:: 'bored' bored
minervacat: (loves you and loves your mama)
In the 80s, Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger toured together for a while, and released an album as a result of that tour, an album called Precious Friend. We had it in a double-cassette set when I was a kid and listened to it over and over again in the car, and when I was in college my mom bought it for me on CD. No matter how many times I listen to it, that show still gives me goosebumps, still moves me in ways that remind me why we listen to music, you know? [livejournal.com profile] redwillet and I were out taking pictures yesterday, and I had it on in the background; after I dropped N. off I turned it up, and I was driving down 54 and Arlo Guthrie started singing "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and I made this great heaving noise that I generally reserve for when ESPN surprises me with Jim Valvano's "Don't Ever Give Up" ESPY speech early in college basketball season, and I started crying so hard out of joy, out of hope for this country, that I had to pull into a gas station until I could get myself together enough to see and drive home.

Then I came home and watched Bruce Springsteen and Pete Seeger lead 500,000 people and the man who will be our President in just a few hours in singing "This Land Is Your Land", even the angry populist union worker verses that nobody ever sings, and I cried a lot more.

And then I uploaded music, because that is what I do, when I am hopeful and joyous and looking forward in life:
[Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie -- "Precious Friend You Will Be There"] just when i thought all was lost you changed my mind/you gave me hope, not just the old soft soap/you showed that we could learn to share in time/you and me and rockefeller/i'll keep plugging on/your face will shine through all our tears/and when we sing another little victory song/precious friend, you will be there

[Arlo Guthrie -- "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"] I don't know why this song gives me goosebumps but it does.

[Pete Seeger -- "If I Had A Hammer"] Pete wrote this song with Lee Hays in 1949. Lee was an amazing songwriter, progressive political thinker, supporter of the unions -- you can read about him here, and it's worth reading. I am broken-hearted that Lee Hays didn't live to see this day. I am beyond ecstatic that Pete did.

[Pete Seeger & Company -- "This Land Is Your Land"] Live at the Newport Folk Festival.
I know there are people in the country who aren't happy about this -- there are people who read my journal who aren't happy about this inauguration -- but I am unreservedly joyous and hopeful today, and if you post anything in the comments that I could in any way remotely conceive as pissing in my Cheerios today, I will ban you. Permanently. So if you have an opinion that is something other than hope today, you should take it elsewhere.

Because today, for me, is all about joy because I am so overwhelmed that my country could be this amazing. Could amaze me like this.
Music:: Precious Friend You Will Be There -- Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger -- Precious Friend
minervacat: (rock&roll don't give her nothing)
  1. In January, I'm taking a picture of everything I eat every day. It's fun -- it makes me eat better, mostly out of potential embarrassment when I do things like eat chocolate pudding for breakfast, which I did today -- but I don't think I can make it a year long project. So I will eventually be looking for a new photo-a-day project for February. Y'all have any awesome ideas? Themes or foci good, randomness bad. (I already take a random photo a day, besides the food; mostly random photos of the sky on Franklin Street, because that's all I see in daylight hours.)

  2. I have recently acquired three truly excellent albums that I basically added to my iTunes library on complete whims, and I can highly recommend all of them. (Well, okay, I got a Physics of Meaning track from the Indy's Top 40 Tracks of 2008 and I saw Deleted Scenes play a set between two local bands Tuesday, but basically whims, all right?)

    The Physics of Meaning -- Snake Charmer & Destiny At The Stroke Of Midnight. Sample track: ["Aeroplanes & Hurricanes"] .mp3, 9MB. Intense enormous-sounding orchestral indie rock.

    Deleted Scenes -- Birdseed Shirt. Sample track: ["Ithaca"] .mp3, 8MB. Sort of like Beach House in tone, but louder.

    Forest Fire -- Survival. No sample track because the whole album is available at that link, for free, from their label. This reminds of me of what would happen if current indie rock had babies with Keep It Like A Secret-era Built To Spill.

  3. The college football season officially ends tonight with the Ridiculous Let's Talk About How The BCS Fails At Everything FedEx National Championship Bowl, That Tebow Man-Child and Percy Harvin's Hospital Records vs. Sam Bradford, Heisman Winner, and The Amazing Leaking Oklahoma Defense (at least that's how the internets keep portraying them to me, it's nothing personal against OU, [livejournal.com profile] febrile, and frankly mostly I've just been reading headlines and not articles, because lazy), and I really just do not care in any way about that game. I love college football; I find bowl season sort of mind-numbingly boring and it goes on forever and ever. Let me tell you the only three amazing things that happened this bowl season: TJ Yates melted down in the last six minutes of the UNC/WFVU game like the punkass lame-o he is; Utah stuck it to the Devil by sacking John Parker Wilson, the man who through his name and his bangs is suited to do nothing but quarterback Alabama, eight times; and the Nuttcase demolished Graham Harrell and the Pirate King of Texas, thus proving that Houston Nutt is officially the most insane head coach in college football and not necessarily proving anything about football at all.

    All that said, I'm rooting for Sam Bradford because I like it when the Tebow Man-Child cries, and I love [livejournal.com profile] febrile, and despite my love for Graham Harrell (so much love, you guys), I also have a fair amount of residual fondness for OU after watching many years of OU football in Chicago. And I'm totally not going to bother watching the game.

  4. I have had this little journal box open all day and I can't think of anything else to put into it. I listened to all my backlogged podcasts and did zero work today? :D? :D?
Music:: Calexico -- NPR -- NPR: World Cafe Words and Music from WXPN Podcast
minervacat: (we could keep each other warm)
This post is what I did instead of working this morning. My boss is out of town and I have knocked out most of my current to-do list, primarily while sitting in front of several OC reruns yesterday late afternoon.

I had a hell of a time making this list; a shitload of albums I adored, flat-out adored, got bumped out of the top ten, and then some again out of the top 25. But this is, in the end, my top ten albums of the year, in rough order; there's definitely some (a lot of) sentiment mixed in with my objectivity, here, but I can't talk about music without sentiment creeping in, so: ten best albums of the year )

And then: the live music.

First show of the year was American Aquarium at Slim's in Raleigh on January 9. Last show of the year will be Kerbloki, Red Collar & Hammer No More The Fingers at the Local 506 tomorrow night. Furthest we traveled for a show was Chicago, for the Honda Civic Tour. Furthest I went for a show via car was ... Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit at the Satellite Ballroom in Charlottesville, VA, which is just over 200 miles from the CH, one way. Shortest distance I went for a show was any one of the 19 times I went to the Cat's Cradle, which is a mile and a half from our apartment; the Cradle is also the venue where I saw the most shows in this year. The artist I failed to see the most number of times was Justin Townes Earle who canceled not one but two shows on us in the space of six months, though we eventually got to see him, using the tickets from the original canceled show.

Ten best sets of the year, in order: show of the year goes to ... )

And that's that. Basically what I did this year was watch baseball, go to rock shows, and take pictures. And now I have summed most of those up, and baseball can best be summed up by saying that I do not regret all the times shep. and I drove to Cary to see the Carolina baseball team, but damn will I be glad to get back to the Bosh this year. Four minutes versus 40 minutes in traffic? YES PLEASE.
Music:: Thank God For The TVA -- Jason Isbell -- 2008-03-21 @ the Berkeley Cafe, Raleigh