Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 is so yesterday... 

Good Junk:

Best girl around, second year running.

Recording Porchsleeper's triumphant sophomore record with Jim Roll, Kristin VonBernthal and Dave Feeny.
A hell of a good time.

Teaching a class in The History of Rock and Roll from 1700-1954 at Scripps College in Claremont California.
Yes, you read that right, and let me tell you this, if you own a copy of Bill Haley & his Comets performing "Rock Around the Clock" take it out right now, turn your stereo up as loud as you can without going to jail, and crank that fucker out. Thinking about what popular musical culture must have been like in 1954, it sounds as thought the Devil himself is coming through your speakers. Happy Days my ass!

Teaching Daisy how to say "I Love You"

Porchsleeper destroying ourselves at the Motor City Music Conference.
"My memory declines sharply after Jack White bought me that shot of whiskey" - Steve Bekkala

Being on the Music and the Internet panel at MC2 with Ryan Sult, Uncle Grambo, Rob Theakston, and Sam Valenti.
Felt like I was bowling in the P.B.A. with the pros.

Slows Bar-B-Q in Detroit.
If Jesus ejaculated into your mouth, this is what it would taste like.

The Muggs and The Hard Lessons at the Blind Pig in July.
So much guitar...and Christ, was I drunk.

Flying to L.A. to see the press sereening of Serenity.
"I am a leaf on the guest list"

Backing Jim Roll on two songs at a 'Sleeper show.
"1955" and "15 Dollars and a Bottle of Wine" for those of you keeping score at home.

The Fluoride Program's immaculate four song set at the Blind Pig.
Sounded sooo good until that puft cacc of a sound guy pulled the plug at 12:45.

Zoe Rosalie Lopez.
Cute kid #2

Driving through the Desert between LA and Las Vegas listening to Mojave 3 and Mazzy Star records.
She Hangs Brightly.

Effing chillin' on the beach in Key Largo.
If I knew any Jimmy Buffett lyrics, I would insert them here.

Specifically what it does for bands trying to really get started. Trading shows, hosting MP3s, offering a forum for comments, kudos and connections, and all of it free. Nice work Tom. I'll be your friend anytime.

Putting cole slaw on sandwiches.
It's like lettuce and mayo all rolled into one. Saves an entire step.

Getting a laptop
I honestly don't think I'll buy another desktop PC for the rest of my life. Blogging from the front porch on a summer evening is way too much fun.

Although it still astounds me that This photo from Cliff Watts' Esquire photo shoot has not surfaced.

Comedian Lynne Koplitz.
I got real sick at one point last winter, and I stumbled across this woman's Premium Blend episode on Comedy Central (semi-funny video clip available on this page). I dunno if it was the massive doses of NyQuill, or the late hour, but I thought she was really funny. Honest, insightful, clever, and really cute. I guess she just signed a deal with one half of Casey-Werner to develop a sitcom, so we'll see what happens in the '06.

I dunno if you've heard, but this show's really good.

Battlestar Galactica on Sci-Fi.
Well-written episodic science fiction with a decent budget? Sounds good.

Vogels Window Puzzles
There's a little locksmith's shop somehow clutching onto their real-estate in Downtown Ann Arbor, and they do these really cute Key and Lock inspired rebus puzzles in their front display a photo of a Mill, plus a photo of a brick Wall, plus a Key (Mill-Wall-Key, gettit?). They're really cute, often head-scratchers, and a perfect example of an old-fashioned business using a quaint method to increase dwell time and awareness.

Grassroots shows being held at Madison House and Sara Golightly's unquenchable desire to get people involved in local music.
Nice work, dudes.

Works good. We'll see if the new Yahoo mail one-ups 'em as is rumored.

Easy to use, great for hosting photos. Particularly their Interestingness function, and the Flickr Uploader tool.

Flying Spaghetti Monster taking the piss out of Intelligent Design.
Hey, if you're going to be teaching about an invisible man in the sky who watches everything we do, you might as well throw in a lesson or two about the flying spaghetti monster who created the universe and the obvious corrolation between the Earth's decreasing Pirate population affecting global temperature.

Playing Tetris on my cell phone.
That little Snake game is for pansies.

The new ways to discover music online (Pandora and Last.FM specifically).
Minor flaws aside, they both do a remarkably good job recommending and streaming new music free of charge. So long radio.

What a long strange trip it's been.


Send More Paramedics
If you have enjoyed .:DataWhat?:. at all this year, a large part of it was because of this Exquisite Dead Guy whom I've never met, but who sends me the truly hilarious shit you've been laughing at. His site gets a little Zombie-centric for my tastes, but he's been able to fuel my site with the goods on an almost daily basis. Matthew, I thank you.

Double Viking
Quite possibly the perfect mix of tech, inexplicably crazy links,cute girls, and nerd culture, it's like People Magazine mixed with Wired and Maxim. There's a bit of coprporate sheen to it, and I'm not a fan of the interstitial ads, but overall it's got the goods.

Golden Fiddle
There are 1.5 billion snarky pop culture blogs, but only Spencer does so much with simplicity and hilarious commentary. Pink is the new Blah.

and one more that I'd mention but she doesn't like all of the publicity.
She'll know what I'm talking about, though. Keep it up. - ZR


Josh Rouse -- Nashville
Sweet, sophisticated and tuneful.

The Decemberists -- Picaresque
Literate, Brilliant, and elaborate.

Nickel Creek -- Why Should the Fire Die?
Heartwrenching, mature, and fiery.

Bloc Party -- Silent Alarm
Raw, visceral and volatile

Rogue Wave -- Descended Like Vultures
Elaborate, rich, and harmony-laden

Sam Prekop -- Who's Your New Professor
Bright, intimate and sophisticated

Iron & Wine & Calexico -- In the Reins
Earthy, breathy and Southwestern

Great Lakes Myth Society -- Great Lakes Myth Society
Epic, complex, and beautiful

Max Richter -- The Blue Notebooks
Stoic, clinical, and brittle

Emiliana Torrini -- Fisherman's Woman
Sweet, child-like, and fragile.


Extremely loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
After losing his father in the 9/11 attacks, 9yr old Oskar methodically (and therapeutically) combs New York City for a lock that matches a mysterious key left by his dad. Sweet, clever, and totally engrossing.

Eyeing the Flash: The Education of a Carnival Con Artist by Peter Fenton
The title neatly sums up the story. Carnies fleecin' the yokels in 1960's Detroit.

Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly
Nice essay by Jennifer Goltz about the music of Firefly in there.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
Cute, astute, and nerdy insights on how Joss Whedon should have been hired as Al Gore's speechwriter.

Summerland : A Novel by Michael Chabon
Like Harry Potter with baseball instead of Wizarding.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Like Michael Chabon's Summerland except with wizarding instead of baseball.

Prey and Airframe by Michael Crichton
Gimmicky and pulpy, but I couldn't wait to turn every page.

Hopes for 2006

Hopefully Tapestry really takes off and everybody can get the music they want delivered to them on a silver platter, just like Alfred the butler from Batman.

Hopefully Porchsleeper finds a new bass player who drinks too much, sings too quiet and dresses like an extra from Brokeback Mountain.

Hopefully all East Coast tours earn fame and fortune for driven art-rock bands.

Hopefully all expectant mothers will have healthy happy babies.

Hopefully this season of Battlestar Galactica is as good as last year.

Hopefully Joss Whedon finishes writing Wonder Woman.

Hopefully we finally get the last two rooms in our house painted.

Hopefully I can drink a little less but live just as much

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