Monday, July 31, 2006


There are 100s of ants all over my desk!

Two months ago I moved up to the 12th floor of the University Tower. I've got window lighting, a great view, awesome coworkers. Everything would be great if it weren't for these fucking ants.

For 2 years I had a desk on the ground floor and not one, NOT ONE, ant had ever dared to invade my space. I didn't even keep it all that clean. I mean, with all the croissant and pastry crumbs that came out of my keyboard when I cleaned it right before moving, I could have easily fed a small family. I don't see why those morsels are suddenly more delicious now that I'm on the 12th floor.

It's insane. I mean, there has got to be a colony somewhere on this floor because I can't fathom that many of these bugs honestly thinking that scaling a 12 floor embankment is worth measly crumbs. They're also thirsty little suckers too. I guess it is because it is summer time and if you spend all that time climbing, you'll probably get a tad dehydrated. I leave one drop of water on my desk and suddently there are 50 of them slurping away. When they're done drinking them up, I swear they all turn to look at me. It's like I'm their parent and they're expectantly waiting me me to feed them.

Anyhow I recently got these ant killer trays that are supposed to be environmentally friendly. It's basically sugar water with borax in it to kill the ants, but I'm starting to wonder if I've been swindled. I swear there's no poison in there. I started out with, oh...I dunno, 30-40 ants crawling across my desk. Since I put the traps out, there are hundreds of them swarmping around from trap to trap. It almost looks like a scale model of 6th street as these ant go from watering hole to the next.

The actual one made out of strong poison that the office provided---nada. They've learned!

To make things worse, I've got a large collection of dead lady bugs on the window sill as well. Apparently the ant spray kills the lady bugs too, but doesn't effect the ants. If only the lady bugs were alive---then they'd eat the ants and all of us are happy, but oh well.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sister Soliel: Dirty Little Secret

Normally I only post music that I like on here, but this time around I am posting an album that was somewhat of a let down in my opinion. I went back to listen to it in its entirety again last night and I'll admit it isn't as bad as I remember, but comapred to her first album it's easy to remember why the blow was so big.... A couple of days ago I mentioned how much I loved the group Sister Soleil led by the lovely Stella Katsoudas. Well, after they broke up, Stella went off on a solo career, but instead of keeping to her industrial techno roots she decided to dabble in pop.

Some people actually prefer this sound more. Tis true, she has a VERY sweet voice not too dissimilar to Katie B of the Jakalope project or Kristi Thirsk from Delerium. Heck, she even looks a little like both. The main diffenence is that the music on Dirty Little Secret is much more poppish than industrial or ethereal.

By the way, the only song I did like off of the album was "Kiss Kiss" and that happens to be a Tarkan cover.

With that said, I still regard Stella as a talented artist and with the few songs off of her latest EP, To Swell So High it looks like she's nudging back towards her roots. I dunno. Maybe I'm just hopeful, but as her website says, Stella is slowly waking up

Listen to (courtesy of official website):
"Kiss Kiss"
"Pretty Young Thing"
"Angelica Grey Eyes" (from To Swell So High)

Compare that to:
"Red" (demo version)

Stella Soliel Official Website
Yahoo Music Profile
Buy Dirty Little Secret at Amazon

old trent pics

I'm starting to get loopy at work again, so a web surfing I go. I love google image and well, I guess I decided to go back to gawking at my favorite person in the whole wide world (aside from the darling husband of course). Anyhow somehow missed these when they first came out. Amen to Maggie Bear and her insanely huge database of pics.

This one reeks of photoshop for some reason and apparently it is fairly recent...I'm not sure if it is an actual photo because I don't remember seeing it on ETS, but then again, I don't lurk there as often as I used to. The perspective seems off somehow. His head looks too big.

I'm hoping someone will improve the technology on these mic pacs soon. They're too big and bulky. If anyone remember Paula Abdul performing at the MTV music awards years ago in a spandex teddy and mic pack strapped to the back, that's a great example. Anyhow, it makes Trent look like he's sticking his butt up in the air or something. Even worse, there's the little antenna on the end that wiggles around so it looks like he's got a tail as well. Yeah anyway, I hadn't seen this shot before.

Fragility era pic. I guess compositionally it's interesting, but what the hell was the photographer thinking here????

Trent's playing peek-a-boo?
He's afraid of his halitosis?
Danny just let out a fart and this is a failed attempt at shielding his sensitive nose?

I've often wondered with pics such as these what photo concepts he's actually turned down. What was the concept behind this one? Tomato sauce?

Here's a nice one concert photo from the Downward Spiral era I haven't seen before from Whatever Magazine. It's nice.

This next one is practically a baby picture...variation on one that I've seen before. It's nice to see some alternate shots crop up over time and I think this is the case. Cute.

And finally, an entry from Worth a 1000 Words

The source pic is taken from the same shoot as this one of very young Trent during the Pretty Hate Machine Era.

And, that's enough Trent fodder for the day. Ugh, gotta go back to SSN remediation...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

People. Just call it Poop. Please.

I can't believe I forgot to share the Informercial Poop experience this weekend.
It was saturday afternoon, I was snacking on a bowl of cereal in front of the tele (one of the few times I do watch television) and flipping channels. Sewing with Nancy... Nascar Driving...Beverly Hills Cops #3...nah and then I hear:

Your body is a vessel. When you use our herbal supplement, you're worshiping your body. You'll feel a sense of invigorating freshness....

Or something like that. Was this douche commercial? What the hell were they talking about? So, I watched more.

A squirrelly looking guy was gushing about how important it is to keep our colon clean as two other people, one a doctor who looked more like a televangelist and another who looked like a high school gym teacher, kept nodding (and looking uncomfortable). I couldn't help but wonder if the squirrelly looking guy had 3 voluminous poops a day and if so, why did he still look constipated. It was for this product:

Dual Action Clense

As the show went on, it dawned onto me that they would all go through great lengths to avoid using the words excrement, fecal matter, bowels, stool and of course poop, crap and shit just to name a few. There were gobs of flowery euphemisms he used. At one point the doctor asked Mr. Squirrel if people would feel any discomfort using the product. He replies with something along the lines of:

Think of your body as a fish tank that hasn't been clensed in a while. After scraping all the algae off the sides the water becomes murky. People feel an odd sensation akin to that feeling

What the fuck?

I'm assuming he means watery stool, but who knows. He never once said poop. Granted, the website is a little more explicit, but it sort of glosses over the gory details. Colon buildup is a real problem that can lead to cancer and other digestive causes.

The Dr. Natura site (I'm guessing a competitor) on the other hand is way more graphic. To be honest though, i know what they're selling. The results, although gross, are much more convincing than stories of clean fishtanks and feeling of etherial fluffy lightness. Check out poop gallery from that site:

Dr. Natura Excrement Gallery

I'm not sure why people decided to lay out their feces on the toilet bowl, but it does get the point across. Next time I need my insides scraped out, I'm going with Dr. Natura, baby. :P

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Austin Area Barbies

My friend Claudia sent me the funniest thing ever written by a friend of hers. It's totally un-PC, but the fac that it makes fun of EVERYONE in Austin, I think it's okay. I'm oh so tempted to make actual doll versions of these descriptions:

Mattel recently announced the release of the following
Limited-Edition Barbie dolls for the Austin market:

West Lake Hills Barbie

This princess Barbie is only sold at The Arboretum. She comes with an
assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired foreign
dog named Honey, and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without
tummy tuck and face-lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with
"augmented" version.

Round Rock Barbie

This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar minivan
and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full time
occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold

Jonestown Barbie

This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis
knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a meth lab kit. This model
is only available after dark and can only be paid for in cash,
preferably small, untraceable bills....unless you are a cop, then we don't
know what you're talking about.

Lake Travis Barbie

This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer
H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card, and country club
membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private
School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.

Bastrop Barbie

This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too
small, a NASCAR shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a
six-pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit
over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's! butt when she is drunk.
Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper
sticker absolutely free.

Lakeway Barbie

This collagen injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears a leopard print Ski
outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends at the lodge.
Percocet prescription available.

Buda/Kyle Barbie aka Muffin-Top Barbie

This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own
high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased
"Bubba" Ken out of Jonestown Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise
acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter top. Also
available with a mobile home.

Dripping Springs Barbie

This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair,
archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup, and Birkenstocks with white
socks. She prefers that you call her "Willow". She does not want or need
a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Dripping Springs Barbies and the
optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag sticker for free.

East Austin Barbie

This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional
accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangster Ken and his '79 Caddy
were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of
the infant.

Cedar Park Barbie

She's perfect in every way. We don't know who Ken is because he's always
away hunting.

Montopolis Barbie

This Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expired temporary plates and
three baby Barbies in the back seat, but no car seats. The optional Ken
doll comes with a ABIA baggage handler's uniform and is missing three
fingers on his left hand. Green cards are not availabl e for Montopolis
Barbie or Ken.

South Congress Barbie/Ken

This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply
adding or subtracting the multiple "snap-on" parts.

Sun City Barbie/Ken

These dolls are going fast! Well, what we mean is they're old and don't
have much time left. Neither of these can drive, but they both write
checks for everything or pay in change, and can provide hours of endless
repetitive conversation about "The good ole! days". Can be seen in Barbie
Grocery Store (sold separately) arguing over prices.

Kukkiva Kunnas: Grand Poodles

I'm so loopy at work (really over worked this week) and suffering from lack of sleep. Since I'm sick of programming at the moment, I've been fishing around for something that relects my state of mind and I think I've found it. The song Speech of Freedom below is what my boss sounds like in my head when he is speaking to me. The repetitive keyboard loop is what my clients are like when they can't seem to make up their freaking mind. On the Fly is me collapsing and falling asleep at my desk from sheer exhaustion...dreaming about a hundred keyboard clickety clacking away .

The whole album sounds like all the damn noises inside of my head (*snark*).

Listen to:
"Speech of Freedom"
"On the Fly"

Kukkiva Kunnas's profile on WM Recordings
Rumpaan Look and Kukkiva Kunnas's Home Page

Sister Soliel: Soularium

Stella. Stella? Stell-lah!!!!!
What happened to Sister Soleil (aka Stella Katsouda)? There are so few websites devoted to this artist, it depresses me.

With throbbing electro industrial beats and biting lyrics, her music was the quintessential soundtrack to my college years. It definitely helped tide me over between NIN halos. :P In fact, Soularium is one of my favorite albums of all time and is still on frequent rotation in my household. It's one of the few CDs I've had to purchase twice due to overuse.

What killed her career in my opinion was the follow up album Dirty Little Secrets which did a complete about face and oozed of super sticky pop goodiness. That incarnation of Stella was a bit of a disappointment especially since it came out during a time when bubble gum pop was at its height. So, check out the good Stella below. I'll profile the other album for comparison later.

Listen to:
"Hit Me"

Buy Soularium at
Center Stage article on Sister Soleil

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Adzuki Bean Pod #4 is up and other Podcasts

Oy. I don't what the deal is but this was a pain to compile. My software, Audacity kept crashing on me and I never have problems with it. I hope it isn't a sign, but to be honest, I love the finished product. Some of the transitions are so pretty. Hee hee. Anyhow check it out:

Adzuki Bean Pod #3: "D is for Digital, DJs and Dance"

Other great podcasts to check out if you haven't done so already:
So the Wind Won't Blow it Away (on Episode #3)
Short Attention Span Radio (on episode #11)
Take Your Medicine (on episode #8)
Coverville (on episode #223!)

and of course:
Contrast Podcast (on Episode #16)

I should come up with spiffy cool banners like Tim does. I mean really, check out this charmer:

Adzuki pod #4 is up!

Adzuki Bean Stash Podcast #4 is up and running...hopefully. I seem to be having gobs of computer and programming issues today. Anyhow, ennjoy!

Adzuki Bean Pod #4: 'D is for Digital Djs and Dance

Kim Kline

Recently I (among other bloggers) was contacted by a BMG rep concerning Kim Kline (not to be confused with world champion body builder, Kimberly Kline) a Texas vixen now living in California who is making a splash in the pop rock world:

Recently, I have been working with a phenomenal, new unsigned female talent, Kim Kline. With a voice that's unmatched, a distinguished song writing ability and shear star power Kim Kline has drawn attention from all of the major labels and publishing companies as of late. Kim has already proven herself to be a musical force to be reckoned with and that she will be grow to be a dominant female voice in the year's to come. I feel that it is important for such talents to have exposure not only to music fans but also to the public in general. It is for these reasons that I approach you today. I believe that it would be very beneficial in Kim's ability to take her music career "to the next level" by having her story/material featured on such sites as yours. Thus, below I have provided Kim's biography, picture, a live performance review and an MP3 of her crowd-pleaser "Inside."

As of late, Kim has been hard at work in the studio with such co-writers/producers as Eddie Galan & Sean Alexander (LeAnn Rimes, Steven Tyler, Disney's High School Musical, etc.), Evan Rodaniche (BMG Music Publishing - Cage 9, The Willowz, Big City Rock, etc.) and Mike Sarkisyan (BMG Music Publishing - Grammy Nominated Guitarist/Producer), Tommy Decker (BMG Music Publishing - Grammy Nominated Drummer/Producer), Robb Torres (J.D. Natasha, The Rising, Volumen Cero, etc.) and PJ Smith (BMG Music Publishing - Live, Something Corporate, etc.). Kim is also slated to go into the studio with Ian Cross (Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefani, etc.), and Mike Green (BMG Music Publishing - The Matches, Yellowcard, etc.)...just to name a couple.

Kim Kline has also been fortunate enough to have continued support from the press with features in such publications and e-zines as the following: The Music Connection, Unsigned Music Magazine, All Access Magazine, Kludge Magazine, Entertainment World, The Los Angeles Journal, RockPulse MusicZine, The Music Edge,,, Tad Loud Rocks, Womanfolk, This Woman's Work, Texas Rhetoric,, CelebSource, VIP Glamour, Fetch Me Some Music, The Bosh, Profusion123, Your Standard Life, Raised On Indie,,, etc.
Anyway, I just hope that you find yourself enjoying what the press has already named "the next diva of rock" as much as I do...and I can not wait to hear your thoughts.
All the best,

Now, that's a pretty impressive cache of qualifications there hence I'm suprised she isn't signed. I gave her songs a fair listen on Myspace and they're pretty good. Definitely easy on the ears and accessible. I'm not a huge fan of processed country pop-rock and the sexy clubber look she's sporting on Myspace just doesn't match the vocal styling in my opinion. That being said, she has all the attributes to be a commercial success: Solid talent, radio friendly tunes, a trained voice and physical beauty. I'm sure that will take her far and as a fellow Texan I feel the need to spread the word even if her music isn't the type I normally listen to. I think her manager's approach in getting as much web exposure as possible should be applauded.

Check her out and see what you think.

Listen to:

Kim Kline's Myspace

huge headache

I have got the biggest tension headache in the world right now. One of my systems at work isn't working and it is due to this software conversion that happened a couple of days ago. I won't go into details but essentially the piece I maintain uses a different method of sending data compared to our regular systems. Therefore, there aren't that many people who can help me out here. In fact, when I spoke to my supervisor asking who was the lead expert he sorta chucked and went..."um, I think it's you."


I get so tired of people pointing fingers as well. When I mess up. I fess up. Nuff said. I dont' cover my ass trying to blame someone else. The shit would not have hit the fan if people just listened to me in the first place, but no, they didn't and now I'm stuck fixing this crap.

I need a hair cut and a chair massage. That's what I need!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Ron Titter Band

I've decided that everyone in Austin is in a band. If they're not in a band, then they're a musician either professionally or as a member of a civic group. I spent the last two years working along side my colleage Andy Loomis knowing that he used to be an active musician, sung and played multiple instruments, etc. However, I had no idea he was currently in a group called the Ron Titter Band until fairly recently. It was like pulling teeth to get a band name and a website out of him, it seemed. What are you hiding, kiddo? Y'all are great!

Here he is "getting head" as the band website claims:

Me: I didn't know you were in a band?!
Andy: Um...You never asked? [meekly]

Indeed Andy is soft spoken, sweet and overwhelmingly modest (at least at work...who knows what his rocker persona is like?). Hence, office spam inviting people to gigs never occurs. Anyhow, they play around Texas a bit and if they happed to be in your neck of the woods, check them out. They've got an upbeat carefree style with zany lyrics and catchy choruses. Getting High with Dad and his Friend Steve is a favorite of mine and I think I irritate Andy whenever I'm whistling the chorus at work. It's happy rock. Nuff said.

Listen to (righ tclick and save):
"Getting High with Dad and his Friend Steve"
"God's Fault"

The Ron Titter Band Official Website
The Ron Titter Band's Myspace

(all photos from official website)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


A friend of mine introduced me to these guys recently. The album Day 2 is in the mail at the moment, but from the bit I've heard already, I can tell you this album is wrought with emotion and gorgeous soundscapes. The song "Enough About You" off of their myspace is a good example. A lot of critics compare them to other experimental rockers such as Radiohead and I think that's a valid comparison, however I think lead singer, Cassey McPherson's got a cleaner voice than Thom Yorke and it is just as expressive. Anyhow, check out Endochine yet another great group from my home town of Austin, TX.

"Always Tomorrow" (2003 ACL promo)

Listen to:
"Run Away"
"Collapse" (from limited release CD I link courtesy of Stinson Studios).

Endochine's Myspace
Official Website
Purchase latest album Day 2 from Amazon

bordering on cruel

What did I say... Once the tour is over the NINpeeps will start talking about Trent's hair again? It's happening already:

This has been spread around the internet so much that I don't even know where it came from. From my end, it was just *poof* out of the ether. "Snap" seems like a British or Canadian thing to say. I dunno.

Speaking of cruel, what's the cruelest thing you've ever done?

I was thinking about this the other day and I think the best I came up with was the time I dragged a pastor's bratty 5 year old son into a closet and give him a hard slap across the face and then another huge wallop on his ass when he said he's tell. He was going off on his high horse about how his daddy is a huge ass pastor of such and such church so he could get away with bullying the others. When he kicked my baby cousin in the head and then shoved a kid with Down syndrome out of his seat I pretty much lost it. Sure, I could have handled it professionally and should have had a talk with his parents. But at the time, I was only 14 and damn did it feel good. I have noticed that children sired by people of power are just heathens. So ironic.

The sad (or funny, depending on your stance) thing is that if I compare the baldy image above with what I did to the kid, I actually think making fun of Trent's thinning hair is slightly crueler. As for pretending that he and Murphy are getting it on---hell, I'd be flattered... Where was I? Oh yes, I think I felt I was being morally justified to whap someone else's child who was being a tyrant.

So yeah, if I were to send something to Post Secret, it would be "I spanked the shit out of a pastor's 5 year old son:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Patricia Vonne: Guitars and Castanets

Oy, mama she's sultry.

If you're in the mood for hot Tex-mex influenced folk rock, check out this siren: Patricia Vonne.

She's got a very soulful voluptous voice that I find quite appealing and I think the tunes she sings in Spanish shows this off best. With a barage of collaborators (Jon Dee Graham and Rick Del Castillo just to name a couple of faves), the music on this CD is toe-tappingly catchy, energetic and very accessible to all audiences. Definitely perfect for get togethers and such. I met her and her husband Robert LaRoche of the Sighs (from Virgin Records...there are a couple other indie bands with the same name) very briefly at party in Austin. They were sweet but what struck me was how incredibly attractive they both were. Goodness.

Speaking of which, you may also have recognized Ms. Vonne as the character "Dallas" from the movie Sin City. Her song "Treame Paz" was also featured in the Robert Rodriguez movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

Listen to:
"La Guitana de Triana"
"Rebel Bride"

Patricia Vonne's Myspace
Official Website
Buy Guitar and Castanets at Copernica Stores

(image from Propaganda Media)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

being a sheep by taking the easy cheap shot...Peter and Trent 4 Evah!

For the record, I like people who give real hugs and not tepid shoulder nuzzles. These two actually know how to properly embrace each other.

I'm sure all over the internet ether other ninners are making the same inane stupid comments like mine over these pics from Peter Murphy's site, but I don't care. This is what lack of sleep does to me. Anyway, I bet *they* don't have Snuggle-potamus playing in the background! Ah yes...

Snuggle potamus, I love youuuu
You make the sun come out
When I'm bluuuuue

(side note: Hot damn. Look at those eyes. Too bad these rock gods can't mate.)

Snuggle potamus, what do I do?
I like to hug and squeeze
you you youuuuu

(Please don't burn Trent's tukus with the ashes from your cigarette, Pete. Could you also please give the dude from TV on the Radio a hug too while you're at it? He feels left out.)

Snuggle Potamus, I need you!
do do doo do do
dooo doo dooo

(apparently he really needed him. right there. at that moment.)

Snuggle potamus, I love youuuu
You're the best-est thing
I love you!

(Man, they really are snuggly. Is this an affectionate hug or a hug of sheer exhaustion? They almost look like they're collapsing into each other's arms. Either that or they're trying to remind Aaron that he hasn't gotten any since Jerome left...anyhow I'm glad they're not too macho to be friendly.)

Back on a serious note. If you haven't checked it out already, there are some amazing pics and media from the Murphy/Reznor radio sessions loaded onto NIN's site:
Be sure to check out the other photos (in context) off of Peter Murphy's site:

To be honest, I love this marriage of rock gods even more than Bowie and Reznor.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Angelic Strings: Stairway to Heaven

I was channel surfuring after work today and caught site of a show called America's Got Talent or something like that. Anyhow, upon recovering from whiplash and tempoary but painful blindness after noticing that both David Hasselhoff and Regis Phibin were on TV at the same time, my ears saved my senses and caught something rather pleasant. No, it wasn't Angelic Strings (I'll get to that later) but it was a gal name Corina giving a soulful performance on voice and celtic harp. I loved it. The judges hated it. :(

Why? They were expecting something more soothing and angelic. One of the judges mentioned that she didn't seem to showcase her technique.

Now, I happen to play harp and I happen to play the fluffy pouffy sucrose filled grandiose heavenly sounding stuff because that's the only stuff I can play. It is much easier to play big fat angelic chords than to do the complex R&B arpeggios, finger picking and note bending stuff she was doing (celtic harps use individual levers instead of foot pedals to get half notes). It simply takes more precision to play in her style. Yeah, in my opinion she has oodles of technique and talent...but no, the judges wanted something more soothing.

Needless to say, I have great respect for harpists who not only have technical aptitude but can think outside the box and break out of the be-wingged mode. One such musician is Michael Morris of Angelic Strings. Yes, the name is sweet and it is true that weddings are the usual venue, but they're much more profound than what the title and instrumentation would indicate. Coupled with his beautiful wife, Belinda who plays viola and percussion (Michael also plays flute), these two are not only capable of producing heavenly tunes, but they're able to groove and jam as well. The album Stairway to Heaven is a excellent example of their celtic, blues and latin infused style. This CD is full of energy and features interesting arrangements while still maintaining the elegence of a string ensemble.

Listen to:
"Sunset and Moonshadowe"
"Moon Cat"
"Nylon Bongo Passion"

Angelic String's Official Website
Purchase Stairway to Heaven from CD Baby

(photo by Cindy Chang)

Contrast Podcast #15: Beatles Covers

Just in case you aren't subscribed to Tim Young's Contrast Podcast, he's got #15 up and this time it is all Beatles Covers. Get it while it's hot! Head on over there for the mp3 file, tracklistings and artist information. While you at it, Tell Tim how cool he is.

I was priveledged enough to contribute this time around and to be honest, it was hard to choose which song to send to Tim. I decided to go with Abra Moore's version of "Blackbird", but I almost went with one of these fantastic covers instead:

"Blackbird (live)" Bobby McFerrin
"Yer Blues" Shiina Ringo

a healthy dose of Meathead

(photo from the meathead perspective)

Since the Nine Inch Nails With Teeth 2005-2006 tour has ended, I figured now's a good time to plug one of my favorite web personalities of all time, Meathead, otherwise known as "that jerk who makes fun of Trent." It's all affectionate of course. Whether it's his sardonic commentary on NIN, Trent Reznor and his fans, his rediculous but uncanny animations, or his bizarre remixes and musical parodies, Meathead has always been there for NIN fans to help dull the pain of waiting for new music during those idle lonesome years between albums. God knows when the next one will come out, but as long as there's Meathead poking fun at Trent and all things NIN related, all is well. (If not, I'll have to resort to hanging out all day at Echoing the Sound again to pass the time by reading inane threads about Mr. Reznor's hair...please shoot me.)

Be sure to also check out Meathead's fantastic illustrations in his Webhole.

Listen to (right click and save):
"Computer Rap 2000"
"Nine Inch Goombas- Closer to Mario"
"The Bee That Gees"

"With Teeth Tour Retrospective" (it's funny as hell)

Meathead's Webhole
Meathead Perspective
The NIN Hotline

(photo ganked from kleptonin just cause)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What Wouldn't Jesus Do

I found this link over at Tim Young's site. I think I may need to get this T-shirt.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Champagne Diamond Cluster Ring

Here's my latest endeavor, a diamond cluster ring featuring a .66ct champagne center stone. I haven't decided what to use for the shoulders--either pink sapphires or gemesis pink diamonds. Getting this to sit low on the finger might be an issue too:

The stone is quite lively as you can see:

I think 18k yellow gold will complement the color.


Lucid Dementia....exclusive remixes

(photo from myspace)

There's cool and then there's fucking awesome. Lucid Dementia is fucking awesome. As you know, I adore this group.

As you all should know, this is an MP3 blog and things can get a little hairy with posting full songs on here. Even though links don't stay "live" for long and it's usually not a problem especially with the indie groups, some labels are much more strict than others, hence the disclaimer on the side bar asking people to please contact me if a link needs to be taken down. Remember, I'm not here to piss people off.

I received a cordial note from Sheldon Reynolds of Lucid Dementia a few weeks ago. he could have easily been a prick about the post and I would have understood, but instead he was incredibly diplomatic:

Thank you so much for your kind words about my band. It is fans like
you that keep bands like Luci D going.

Having said that I have to ask you a favor: Please do not include full versions of the songs for download. We are currently signed with a digital distribution deal that does not allow us (or anyone else) to do that.
Free downloadable songs = no distribution deal = we can't afford to replace
broken equiptment, etc...

Please allow me to make you a special remix just for your site. You
tell me what songs you want and I will do it. I can also include parts of
brand new songs no one else has ever heard if you like (as they come...).

Again, thank you so much for your support,

Sheldon Reynolds
Buried Productions

His willingness to offer exclusive remixes was very generous and I think this drives home just how "with it" he is about internet exposure and such. Musicians have every right to be protective of their artwork, therefore I am very grateful when a musician, especially one with such a devout fan base, is willing to give a little extra in appreciation of his fans. The following remixes are of songs off of their latest album The List and contain snippets of new and unreleased material. Be sure to tell Sheldon thanks!

Listen to:
"FUTWTF" (remix featuring unreleased song "WTF")
"When"(remix featuring sample from new song "Fall Apart")

Lucid Dementia's Official Website
Lucid Dementia's Myspace
Buy Merchandise

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Yummy! Birthday Bash

I'm so happy my friends are into food as much as I am. Featured were lots of garden veggies, berries and homemade baked goods. Yum! We had fresh strawberries and blueberries, homemade guacamole, homemade curry dip, garden vegetables, mediterranean salad made of herbs and veggies from Monica's garden, homemade dark chocolate icecream, homemade dark chocolate silk cake, assorted cheeses, figs and nuts, brownies and tons of wine, cocktails, lamic and beers. Yee haw!

Sammi and Monica also gave me homemade jam (peach, spiced peach and apple). For the record it tasted devine on top of brie spread over a cracker.

My favorite gift though was probably the homemade soap Monica gave me. Here's me smelling the bath salts:

And of course, the theremin was a hit:

Ross looks like such a natural when he plays it:

Here's a cute picture of Sandy and I:

I'm especially thankful that Sandy, Claudia and Beth didn't mind mingling with the under 35 crowd/goths. I wonder if they know how hip they are. :) It meant a lot to me that they came.

Here's an arrangement of flowers I made out of the small bouquets and individual flowers people gave me that day. I'm suprised how well everything coordinated. My husband got me the two pink roses because he figured 29 was only 2 away from being a Mersenne Prime:

29 feels nice. It actually feels different already...and in a good way. :) Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got tons of leftover wine I need to finish off.

Sminky: Before Life EP

There are a lot of Sminky's on the 'net. This Smiky I found off the awesome WM Recordings site featuring an ecclectic bag music and lots of free downloads. As it says off of the index page:
WM Recordings brings you music that is a little "different". We do not specialize in one style, but instead bring you exciting sounds that you're not likely to find anywhere else. Everything you see here is free, so take as much as you like.

You can't beat that and certainly, anyone with a song title such as Puppies in Space should garner at least a brief listen.

Although the enunciation isn't crisp, her cute voice and peppy synth background is entertaining enough to keep one engaged. Her bio off of the WM site is just goofy. Either that or confusing! Either way, it's fun entertaining music reminiscent of ABBA.

"Puppies in Space"
"Angel N7"

Artist Profile Page on WM Recordings
Download entire album for free

Friday, July 07, 2006

useful math for day

While we're on the topic of the crumbling education system, I ought to share a funny story:

This was back in 1999 and my first semeser as a TA. I was teaching Multivariable Calculus at the time and on the very first day of class, the students were doing an algebra and geometry review on their own while I walked around and evaluated any weaknessed I needed to address that week to get everyone up to speed. Mind was a freaking review. I know people get rusty of the summer, but one gal was having a heck of a time. She couldn't even cross multiply.

I tried helping her some and all she could say was "Uh. I made, like a 5 on calc AB AP exam." This was obviously someone who is an excellent test taker but didn't really know the actual content nor the concepts. The pride of her perfect score on the AP Exam swelled so much that basically algebra was an impossibility at this point. Even after a couple of her co-horts decided to jump in and try to help her she said with exasperation a phrase I hear all the time:

"I'm never going to use this."

I was intrigued of course because if she was, say, an English major or perhaps a History major, why the hell would she submit herself to such torture? I asked what her major was. She rolled her eyes and answered:

"Uh. Astronomy. Like, looking through a telescope doesn't require calculus."

I ended up doing the most unprofessional thing in the world. It was my first day teaching after all...I busted out laughing. I laughed so hard I was practically rolling on the floor. Even worse everyone else started laughing. To top it all off, between gasps of air as I was doubled over in a torrent of guffawing, I said something the effect of "Astronmy or Astrology?" To be honest astrology requires oodles of math as well.

I'm sure I scarred her for life (For the record, she managed to make a D in the class and had to take it again. I'm suprised she didn't drop after discovering how insensitive her TA was. She did change her major Civil Engineering. Gah.), but in a way I felt like she deserved it. First of all, ask any astronomer and they'll tell you they spend a minimal amount of time actually looking through a telescope. I consider that major much more complex and difficult that math or physics because you essentially have to be proficient at both. And here this gal was telling me she didn't need math, let alone calculus, let alone simple algebra for her major? Give me a break.

Anyhow, I used concrete math today. First of all, I got a raise at work. Yippie! I used math to calculate my percentage. I mean, that's practical and when I recal the type of problem I had to set up was identical to the one that my student (ms. 5 on her calc ap exam) couldn't do. Oy vey!

On a more interesting note, I got to use pi just a couple of hours ago when I was estimating the appropriate size of an accent diamond for the semi mount I am creating for my birthday purchase. I even used high school geometry to properly bisect a section of my diagram:

I calculated the estimated size for a 16 surround and a 12 surround.

And then calculated the total diamond cost:

It'll be a shared prong cluster style with 1.9mm (.03 ct.) diamonds:

So yeah. That's my rant. It's not like I'm thinking about hyperbolic geometry every day, but you do use a little math every once in a while...especially if you're an Astronomer!

wuz dat? LOL teh kewl...ugh

Reading the first line of this article already made my head hurt. I suck at spelling and I am still totally opposed to teaching simplified spelling in school. Imagine the hell it would create for foreigners. No NO! I say. Here's the article:

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 5, 5:23 PM ET

WASHINGTON - When "say," "they" and "weigh" rhyme, but "bomb," "comb" and "tomb" don't, wuudn't it maek mor sens to spel wurdz the wae thae sound?

Those in favor of simplified spelling say children would learn faster and illiteracy rates would drop. Opponents say a new system would make spelling even more confusing.

Eether wae, the consept has yet to capcher th publix imajinaeshun.

It's been 100 years since Andrew Carnegie helped create the Simplified Spelling Board to promote a retooling of written English and President Theodore Roosevelt tried to force the government to use simplified spelling in its publications. But advocates aren't giving up.

They even picket the national spelling bee finals, held every year in Washington, costumed as bumble bees and hoisting signs that say "Enuf is enuf but enough is too much" or "I'm thru with through."

Thae sae th bee selebraets th ability of a fue stoodents to master a dificult sistem that stumps meny utherz hoo cuud do just as wel if speling were simpler.

"It's a very difficult thing to get something accepted like this," says Alan Mole, president of the American Literacy Council, which favors an end to "illogical spelling." The group says English has 42 sounds spelled in a bewildering 400 ways.

Americans doen't aulwaez go for whut's eezy — witnes th faeluer of th metric sistem to cach on. But propoenents of simpler speling noet that a smatering of aulterd spelingz hav maed th leep into evrydae ues.

Doughnut also is donut; colour, honour and labour long ago lost the British "u" and the similarly derived theatre and centre have been replaced by the easier-to-sound-out theater and center.

"The kinds of progress that we're seeing are that someone will spell night 'nite' and someone will spell through 'thru,'" Mole said. "We try to show where these spellings are used and to show dictionary makers that they are used so they will include them as alternate spellings."

"Great changes have been made in the past. Systems can change," a hopeful Mole said.

Lurning English reqierz roet memory rather than lojic, he sed.

In languages with phonetically spelled words, like German or Spanish, children learn to spell in weeks instead of months or years as is sometimes the case with English, Mole said.

But education professor Donald Bear said to simplify spelling would probably make it more difficult because words get meaning from their prefixes, suffixes and roots.

"Students come to understand how meaning is preserved in the way words are spelled," said Bear, director of the E.L. Cord Foundation Center for Learning and Literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Th cuntry's larjest teecherz uennyon, wuns a suporter, aulso objects.

Michael Marks, a member of the National Education Association's executive committee, said learning would be disrupted if children had to switch to a different spelling system. "It may be more trouble than it's worth," said Marks, a debate and theater teacher at Hattiesburg High School in Mississippi.

E-mail and text messages are exerting a similar tug on the language, sharing some elements with the simplified spelling movement while differing in other ways. Electronic communications stress shortcuts like "u" more than phonetics. Simplified spelling is not always shorter than regular spelling — sistem instead of system, hoep instead of hope.

Carnegie tried to moov thingz along in 1906 when he helpt establish and fund th speling bord. He aulso uezd simplified speling in his correspondens, and askt enywun hoo reported to him to do the saem.

A filanthropist, he becaem pashunet about th ishoo after speeking with Melvil Dewey, a speling reform activist and Dewey Desimal sistem inventor hoo simplified his furst naem bi droping "le" frum Melville.

Roosevelt tried to get the government to adopt simpler spellings for 300 words but Congress blocked him. He used simple spellings in all White House memos, pressing forward his effort to "make our spelling a little less foolish and fantastic."

The Chicago Tribune aulso got into th act, uezing simpler spelingz in th nuezpaeper for about 40 years, ending in 1975. Plae-riet George Bernard Shaw, hoo roet moest of his mateerial in shorthand, left muny in his wil for th development of a nue English alfabet.

Carnegie, Dewey, Roosevelt and Shaw's work followed attempts by Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster and Mark Twain to advance simpler spelling. Twain lobbied The Associated Press at its 1906 annual meeting to "adopt and use our simplified forms and spread them to the ends of the earth." AP declined.

But for aul th hi-proefiel and skolarly eforts, the iedeea of funy-luuking but simpler spelingz didn't captivaet the masez then — or now.

"I think that the average person simply did not see this as a needed change or a necessary change or something that was ... going to change their lives for the better," said Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, manager of the Pennsylvania department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie, hoo embraest teknolojy, died in 1919, wel befor sel foenz. Had he livd, he probably wuud hav bin pleezd to no that milyonz of peepl send text and instant mesejez evry dae uezing thair oen formz of simplified speling: "Hav a gr8 day!"

I was about ready to shoot myself by the time I was done reading that. Keep it in the chat rooms and cell phones, damnit! I'm sure if ever did happen, the scripters and programmers over at Microsoft Word would commit suicide.

More Trent Reznor and Peter Murphy

As mentioned before, Trent Reznor and Peter Murphy are on tour and have been gracing various radio stations across the US with live sets every few weeks or so.

Somewhat related aside:
Ya know there was a time in my life when I was glued to the internet practically refreshing the NINhotline every 10 mintues hoping to be the first on the block to knab the tiniest morsel of newsworthy information that came through. I use newsworthy in a broad sense since something as simple as a picture of a new hair cut or a blurry shot of his left elbow would cause an explosion of activity on the message boards. This was during the great drought of 2000-2005 otherwise known as the time between when Fragile and With Teeth were released.

Anyhow, now that I'm frequently busy and a paid working member of society (instead of a grad school slacker trying to find a reason not to work on one's thesis) an assload excitement has exploded all over the place. Well, maybe not an assload, but it is annoying that I feel like I'm the last to notice when something cool has happened in the NIN camp. Among these are the Peter Murphy and Trent Reznor live sessions. Let's not even talk about bounty of amazing concert photography I have to catch up on. Due to my schedule, I managed to miss the last 3 airings.

So, in case you're like me, here are some highlights. Listen to:

"Bela Lugosi's Dead" [6_13_06]
"Reptile" [6_23_06]
"A Strange Kind of Love" [6_23_06]
"Atmosphere" [7_1_06] (by Joy Division)

Again, an enormous amount of gratitude towards the NIN Hotline, Echoing the Sound and especially NIN News France for the sound files.

Visit: Media Section with videos and pictures from the performances
NIN News France with more mp3s
Official Peter Murphy Site

(photos from I'm assuming by Rob Sheridan)