Monday, October 29, 2007

Opium War Era Empress at the Sluggo! Ball

That's what I went as to the Emo's Sluggo! Benefit Ball on Friday. Travis took this photo at my favorite restaurant Koriente:

I ended up making an opium pipe out of a bamboo flute and a small perfume bottle that I got from my very wholesome and spiritual sound friend Lisa...which is why i felt funny using it. However, it came out perfectly convincing. The idea was the look like the drugged out Empress Wan from The Last Emperor. My coworker, George, suggested a Mogwai doll (in reference to the opium addict from Gremlins) and that was pure genius in my opinion.

I love how the Asian men in the background really add to the ambiance.

As the night progressed, I accumulated another "prop." Sheldon handed me a wad of cash for the merch booth, which T and I were working that night.

So, I called it "drug money."

BTW, the green room at Emos is actually green. Some rock star of days gone by decided to write this lovely phrase on the wall:

Speaking of Sheldon (the lead for Lucid Dementia) this is what he and Byron (guitarist) look like prior to makeup:

This is after the transformation:

Neat eh?

I took a lot of photos that night of the various bands. Here are a few of my faves...

Holly from Lucid Dementia:

Another great one of Byron:

SA Creeper:

Sky from Hipnautica:

Nik (bassist for Lucid Dementia):

Another one of Sheldon:

Luci with Holly and Byron:

The only photo I have of the drummer, AzilX is with the whole band. She's the 3rd one from the right:

Let's not forget some of the costumes as well. By far the best had to be the aging roller derby gal:

I love this on of T with Sky, from Hipnautica

The amazing thing though was that T won for "Most Demented!" It did not cross out minds how tasteless it would be for him to show up as a bloody surgeon to a benefit ball which was set up to raise money for Nick West's (founder of Sluggo!) medical bills. Yikes! Still, I'm proud of the darlin hubby. He beat out a bunch of elaborate costumes:

The prize was a bonafide copy of Sluggo! Magazine:

The makeup gal went as a Poppel. Remember those? The guys she's with is one of the tabla drummers for Hipnautica.

Dirty old ladies:

Even though it's blurry, I really like this one of Sheldon walking around before the show started:

Anyway, a BUNCH of photos and some of the best concert pics I've done in a while:

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Paul McCartney - memory almost full

Paul McCartney, where oh where does he get his hair dye these days?

Paul McCartney's latest album Memory Almost Full (MAF) has really impressed me. Aside from his Beatles work, I've always been a big fan of the Wings album Band on the Run. Now, I didn't really expect MAF to come anywhere near Band on the Run. In fact, I didn't really know what to expect, but Sir Paul has proven that he's still "got it."

It's hard to pick a favorite track from this album. Some of the songs, like "Gratitude" and "Nod Your Head" feel like late-Beatles songs. A few others, "See Your Sunshine," "House of Wax," and "Only Mama Knows," for example, would have fit nicely on the Band on the Run album.

Although tracks like "Dance Tonight" seem frivolous with their delightfully inane lyrics, MAF is actually pretty introspective and melancholy. On the second to the last song "The End of the End," Paul talks about how he's going to die soon and seems to be quite literally planning his own funeral. Thankfully, Paul doesn't leave us hanging there looking for a box of Kleenex. He wisely put the fun little ditty "Nod Your Head" as the final song to lift our spirits back up.

Here's the video for "Dance Tonight," where Natalie Portman stars as a dancing ghost.

Oh, Happy Halloween, again.

Buy Memory Almost Full at
Paul McCartney's YouTube channel
Website for Memory Almost Full
Paul McCartney's myspace

Listen to:
House Of Wax
Nod Your Head

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sluggo! Ball @ Emos Austin on Friday October 26th

If you're in Austin, please be there if you can. Not only will there be a fantastic myriad of musicians in the line up (including the infamous goth puppet metal band Lucid Dementia) but the show is for a great cause. With my father's recent death from cancer and the lingering battles I'm still fighting with MD Anderson and the insurance companies, this benefit hits home with me.

Nick West, founder of the innovative Austin fanzine Sluggo! is undergoing treatment for prostrate cancer. He's currently in Germany subjecting himself to the best treatments possible...and as you can imagine accruing a ridiculous amount of debt (damn you, US Health Care!). The show tomorrow night at Emo's will be to help raise money for this amazing visionary who has been devoted to the Austin music scene since the late 70's.

I'll be working the Lucid Dementia merch booth, so come by and say hi. Costumes are highly encouraged (including prizes) and the music will be fantastic. Doors open at 9:00pm and cover is $10.

The Sluggo! Ball Site
Nick West's Blog
Emo's Austin
Lucid Dementia
Sally Norvell and Paul Wallfisch

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Benny Benassi: Hypnotica

Bring on the smut, I say.

He's sexy, trashy, trance-y ...and just plain addictive. I have no idea why, but I can't put this album down. One whole calendar year and the album Hypnotica by DJ Benny Benassi has been on high rotation non stop. According to my itunes ranker and Pandora, my favorite song is "Satisfaction." The throbbing beats are repetitive, the lyrics odd at best and robotic vocals are kind of creepy, and yet, I can't get enough of it.

Who's to say that house music is supposed to be profound anyway? When you think about it, this stuff is supposed to be played at high volumes in a crowded dance club: loud pounding beats even a rhythmless white boy can follow, sweaty bodies bumping into each other, friends screaming into each other's ears trying to carry on vapid conversation, and tons of alcohol pouring to and fro. This is the perfect album for that. You have to give kudos to his videos too which are just as over the top. *I* get turned on by power tools now...and I'm a girl!

Listen to:
"I love My Sex"
"No Matter What You Do"

"Satisfaction" (smutty 2nd version)

"Satisfaction" (original version)

"No Matter What You Do" (one of my most favorite music videos of all time)

DJ Benny Benassi's Official Website
Benny Benassi's Myspace
Buy Hypnotica at Amazon

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rasputina: On Perilous World

The first time I experienced Rasputina was in college back when they were touring with Marilyn Manson in the late 90's. Back then I would have classified the inscrutable cello playing Victorian garb clad ladies as industrial rock even though that title didn't quite fit. They were definitely dark, mysterious and oh-so-talented. Fast forward to only a few months ago at Austin's Parish night club where I saw them perform live again after several years and I say they were more folk rock, comprised of 2 cello players and a drummer, clad in...Cowboy vs. Indians garb???? But, still just as talented and wildly dynamic.

(As a total side note, a bunch of us could not figure out what the object in Melora's updo was exactly...taper candle, large crochet hook or worn feather? Anyone know?)

Point is, Rasputina is incredibly difficult to classify but always a joy to listen to.

On Perilous World marks the 6th full length album from this group and thematically it loosely follows world events. In the words of Melora Creager, the lead:

"I wrote the songs featured on Oh Perilous World over the last two years when I realized that current world events were more bizarre than anything I could scrounge up from the distant past," she says. "I obsessively read daily news on the Internet and copied words, phrases and whole stories that especially intrigued me and compiled a vast notebook of this material."

Intriguing lyrics aside, you'll find this album full of interesting harmonies, "rant" singing, ample use of recorder, cowbell and other odd instruments along with the expected cello and drums. Over the years Melora's voice has become more solid and sweet sounding and it really contrasts well with some of the not-so-uplifting subjects she sings about.

If you're one of those people out there who dig Apocolytica or sit around worshiping the likes of Nigel Kennedy, Mark Woods or Vanessa's time to branch out a bit and experience some Rasputina.

Listen to:
"Cage "In a Cave"
"The Question of Time"

Rasputina's Official Website
Rasputina's Myspace
Rasputina's Wiki Entry
Buy Oh Perilous World from Amazon

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Munchie Mondays: Pumpkin Sage Alfredo Sauce

A cold front actually blew in Texas last night. It's a frigid 58 degrees now! (*note the sarcasm*) Still, 58 degrees feels mighty nice after weeks of temperatures in the 90's. It's freaking October. It's supposed to be Fall, so frankly I'm glad fall is finally here.

And course that means it is pumpkin time!

Instead of posting something sweet, I decided to go the savory route this week with my version of a pumpkin sage Alfredo sauce that goes well with pasta, atop poultry or even over Eggs Benedict.

Sage goes really well with pumpkin and chicken. Not surprisingly chicken goes well with pumpkin too.... I will admit I don't cook with sage much because, it's uh...well, weird looking. Spongy and pungent. Silvery. It's kinda like the arrogant cousin of rosemary or something, but I digress. If you can't find fresh sage, dried sage works just fine as well.

Pasta with Pumpkin Sage Alfredo Sauce
feeds 2 to 3

3 cups of prepared pasta

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds toasted

1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs of butter
1 tbs of fresh chopped sage (or 1 tsp of dried sage)
2 cloves garlic crushed
pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

shaved Parmesan or feta for garnish

While pasta is cooking, toast shelled pumpkin seeds in a pan until brown and aromatic. You'll actually hear them pop and crackle as they toast.

In a heavy pan add cream, garlic, pumpkin puree, and butter. Whisk over medium heat until butter is melted and there are no pumpkin lumps. Turn off heat and add sage, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange pasta on plate. Pour sauce on top. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Also goes really well with grilled chicken or bacon crumbles. I'm sure slivered almonds would work for the nuts as well. Yummy!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Marilyn Manson - Eat Me, Drink Me

So I've been listening to the new Marilyn Manson album, "Eat Me, Drink me" (EMDM) for some time now. While it's not a nutrition-themed album like I thought, it does represent a different direction, and very good one at that. As Manson said in an interview I read somewhere (which I can't seem to find for some reason), EMDM is a personal, introspective album about the heartbreaks and issues Manson's recently faced and dealt with. All of the songs were written by Brian Warner (a.k.a 'Marilyn Manson') and Tim Skold (a.k.a. 'that guy from KMFDM'). I read an interview (I don't remember where) in which Manson said that the songs, musically, were pretty much developed from unfinished music Tim Skold was working on.

Yet, EMDM sounds like a Marilyn Manson album rather than a KMFDM album (thank God!) and oh yes, it does kick ass! It has my stamp of approval. It's hard to pick a favorite track on an album this good, but the songs that seem stick with me the most are "The Red Carpet Grave" and "You and Me and the Devil Makes Three."

Sorry for the lateness, and short nature of this review, by the way. I've been very busy.

Oh, Happy Halloween!

Listen to:
"You and Me and the Devil Makes Three"
"The Red Carpet Grave"

Marilyn Manson's website (scary!)
Marilyn Manson's myspace (listen to some tracks here!)
Buy Eat Me Drink Me at amazon dot com

Labels: ,

the carnage...THE CARNAGE!

A couple of days ago, T and I came home from work and just felt that something was amiss. Maybe it was how dead silent the house was. Perhaps it was dust filled air particles breezing by...or maybe it was because we were not met with out usual entourage of furry feline friends by the entrance way.

With out hearts already aflutter, we paced the premises and then suddenly came across this:

I started screaming bloody murder at the top of my lungs:

"Oh my God. OH MY GOD! Dear God nooooooooo!"

T came running in and gasped. At that very moment we both swore that Hippo, our other beloved ragdoll cat...

...had just exploded.

I started sobbing hysterically (keep in mind, logic had not quite kicked in yet as I did not notice there wasn't any blood or guts in the vicinity). "Who could do this to her?"

It didn't help that the demonic mother and daughter duo of Etouffee and Brown Dog decided to enter the crime scene and and start chomping on Hippo fluff:

Just then, I caught site of this sitting on the floor of the adjacent study:

This was when T and I started to laugh uncontrollably because we realized the "Hippo Carnage" was nothing more than a shredded up fox tail the we had purchased at a Renaissance Fair years ago for T's Pan costume (photo left). All that was left intact was the very tip.

The tail certainly was Hippo colored and flufy like her, but fortunately it was not her. We went into the study and found out beloved cat, safe and sound, all body parts intact...and grouchy as usual (she's not too fond of the kitten).

Meanwhile, Etouffee and Brown dog took turns gnawing at the fur and having a grand ole time.

Another C and T family mystery solved.

Till then, we'll be vacuuming and cleaning out air filters in earnest.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On potty privacy

There's someone who either works in or near the Student Services Building who is pee shy. Now, I understand going to the bathroom is a private thing, but ya know it is possible to take things a bit far. I have yet to meet said person, but from the various clues, I can deduce that this individual comes into work roughly around 9:30am and leaves sometime before 7:00pm when the cleaning people come in. This person also treats each bathroom stall equally (regardless of whether or not the lock works) because her evidence is equally distributed amongst all of them. Furthermore, this individual must have joined this section of campus somewhere between August and September of this year because the phenomenon I will soon describe did not manifest itself until then. I suspect it is a staff member and not a student. Regardless, this person is incredibly persistent in ensuring her bathroom privacy.

How does she do it?

Well, every single stall has a long strip of toilet paper meticulously tucked into the seam where the door hinges against the stall frame. Sure, I understand that the gap in the door is large enough to peer into. I mean, it would be disconcerting if you were off doing your business and you looked up and accidentally locked eyes with another lady who was looking for an empty stall, but seriously, no one ever peers in for *that* long. A quick glance from the outside is enough to tell if a stall is occupied.

I'm not saying that there aren't any peeping Tomasitas, but has anyone met one lately in the bathroom (we're going to refrain from discussing about Larry Craig. He's a guy anyway...)? And if there was one lurking, I don't think the flimsy waving piece of toilet paper ribbon is going to do much good. Besides, if they can see you, you can see them too.

Then there's of course the single women's bathroom by the Registrar's office with the frosted glass door. Who the hell came up with *that* idea? If you're out in the all waiting for your transcript or whatever, you easily make out the shape of whoever is sitting there. Heck in some circumstances, you can practically read what the headline says on the Daily Texan.

Ask Sarah. She's had people freaking press their faces up against the window asking "is anyone in there??"

Well yeah, dumb fuck...why else would the door be locked?

Most often the people needing to use that bathroom in particular are visiting moms to the University who are waiting around for the next campus tour to start (the Registrar's office bathroom is next to the Central Information booth in the Main Building) Perhaps it's the Texas heat or the anticipation of their kids going off to college, but more often than not, the proud momma will often miss the massive sign hanging out the door that says "Single Occupancy. Women's Restroom Next Door." It also has a huge arrow that points right in case you get the door mixed up with the elevator.

Anyhow there have been times where Sarah has almost had a heart attack midstream when a mother who really has to go starts banging on the door, rattling the door handle and yelling "why is this door locked???"

I say if you're gonna feel self conscious going to the bathroom anywhere on campus, that's the place. The university ought to tap into Ms. Toilet Ribbon's talents to help make that facility more private. She could plaster the frosted glass in duct tape and have a field day!

I suppose it is admirable that this individual felt the need to fashion her toilet paper ribbon on every stall so consistently and diligently at the Student Services Building for the past few weeks, because we are all at least a little pee or poo-shy. Maybe she ought to sit back and contemplate how hard it is on men. I mean they have urinals and freaking community troths to pee in. One tries to be polite by staring straight ahead, but peripheral vision is gonna let your pee buddy in on a some sights, I'm sure. This is way worse than the itty bitty crack in the door.

Maybe once she gets over this self consciousness, she could stop with the toilet paper ribbons and train herself to smile and wave at anyone who accidentally peeks through. That'll really keep people from looking in!

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 08, 2007

windows and clinginess

First off, a cute picture of Avani courtesy of Amy:

Like with Jay, I tend to get Avani withdrawal if I don't see the dear friend regularly. Jay's across campus. Avani is just downstairs but due to her massive workload and insane amount of meetings, I actually see her less. Maybe it's because these two are some of the most altruistic and introspective individuals I've ever known or perhaps it's simply because conversation threads are always interesting and fulfilling with either (not to mention frequently identical in content when you compare them...kinda scary) or maybe it's just because they both let me steal their food regularly and give great hugs...whatever the case, it occurred to me that I'm in a foul mood in part because I am sorely missing both of them a the moment which is so ridiculous because right now I'm located only a few blocks from either.

At the moment, in between writing a few lines of code, I am of course blogging. I'm situated at the Alumni center's coffee shop sitting in one of the window seats facing South. The surroundings are lush and green and from here with the canopy of trees it's difficult to tell that football stadium is only 50 feet away. There's Snow Patrol blaring on the radio. This to anyone familiar with the topics of this blog is also known as "Jay Repellent" as he hates this band yet ironically, all the lyrics read like his life.

I have no idea what Avani thinks of Snow Patrol, but a small part of me is unabashedly imagining her walking down the tree lined path that I see out this window. I can imagine her trotting along at a fast pace with her long legs sporting sensible shoes and tousling her thick and dark well-conditioned hair to get the bangs out of her face. She'll probably be mildly flustered after her long assessment meeting and needing some sort of refreshment, so she'll bound through the doors and order a small coffee with her strong and completely perfect diction shocking the baristas momentarily with the rich timbre of her voice. As she waits for the order to ring up, she'll quickly return the barrage of text messages her various friends have sent her. Perhaps a head scratch and then an adjustment of the glasses at this point. People will notice how smartly dressed she is in her pressed shirt and slacks and more than a few will admire her athletic 5'8'' frame. Then after getting her coffee cup, she will most likely notice me here as she adds her cream and sugar. She'll squeal "Cindy Bear" and would immediately come over. We'd catch up, have a great and wonderful conversation about spirituality or the complexities of human nature and I'd feel energized again able to concentrate because I know somewhere in this world there is someone who is truly interesting yet accessible to me...course I won't complain if Jay walks down this path too.

In contrast to Avani, he'd amble along in his ratty green shoes, quintessential green polo shirt and well worn blue jeans, most likely puffing a hand rolled cigarette and completely oblivious of the people who walk by. No one will notice his cerulean eyes because he's always looking down or far away. He won't care that he's incredibly late to his meeting that's going on at the moment. What difference would another 15 minutes make? If it's not tied back, he'll probably be messing with his hair as well, flipping the elbow length golden colored locks badly in need of a trim over his shoulder as he hastily checks his text messages that he never returns with his scuffed up phone. He'll probably open the door and let whoever was behind him in first. He'll say hi to all the baristas behind the counter in his friendly voice that bares the slight north Texas accent he's never quite lost despite living in Austin for the past 7 years. After ordering his espresso, he'll check his text messages again all while rolling his eyes at the music playing over the loud speaker (remember, he hates Snow Patrol...). In order to ignore Snow Patrol's crooning, he'll chat with the gal behind the counter who so obviously has a crush on him and then he'll scrutinize the foam in his cup assessing the size of the steamed milk bubbles (he used to be a barista too). In all likelihood his back will be facing me as he adds a slight amount of cream (no sugar) to his drink and then he'll carry the cup outside and bask in the Texas sun. As he rolls up yet another cigarette this would be the point where he'd look through the window and see the familiar buddy typing up the vacuous details. If our eyes meet he'll give a sheepish grin and a chuckle. He'll hold up his finger signaling "1 more minute" as he hastily inhales his tobacco smoke, then after putting out the embers and carefully disposing the end, gather his things and walk through the door face stone cold and voice without expression announcing "Hey dude" or "Cinders!" depending on his mood. After a quick squeeze of the shoulders the conversation would go on pretty much identically as what Avani and I would have done...

Course this is all speculation. And in reality, Avani's booked all day and Jay, seeing that it's only 12:30pm is probably still asleep. If I think about it hard enough, I bet I'd have to call out their names to notice me because they both tend to have their head in the clouds and walk around oblivious to their surroundings.

So, here I am alone at the coffee shop needing to do my contract work but wanting instead to sit down with a friend to have a long meaningful conversation. I miss that. A LOT. A good portion of college was spent in coffee shops just talking and sharing a discussion. My biggest pet peeve is when someone derails a conversation and points it to whatever they and they alone want to talk about. One to one or group situations, it doesn't seem to matter. Air time gets sucked up into their bubble and no one's opinion really counts because they like the sound of their voice so much. You'd be surprised how many people are this way. I tend to shut down in these situations. Fine. Let them have the soapbox. If I speak or don't speak, it makes no difference...

People around me are engrossed in their laptops or cell phones. All I hear are complaints about homework and exams, office gossip and other vapid stuff... and it's draining. I think I need to change locations and go to the library or something.

I can't help but wonder what would happen if the two of them crossed paths and struck up a conversation on their own at that coffee shop. Where would it take them? Where would they leave off at? Would they find each other fascinating or incredibly boring since their convictions are so similar? Would they irritate each other because their mannerisms are so different? Who knows?

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tributes to Albert Einstein...80's synth pop?


I love Albert Einstein. I also like 80's synth pop. However, the two should not be mixed together!

I think the following videos speak for themselves.

The first one is "Einstein a go-go" by Landscape.

The next one is "Albert Einstein (Everything Is Relative)" by Silicon Dream. Why is this clown holding a giant pencil?

By the way, Einstein won the Nobel Prize for explaining the photoelectric effect, not for E = mc2.

These are the only two I could find. If you know of any other 80s synthpop songs with big references to Albert Einstein, feel free to point them out.

*edit* CindyAdzuki here. I failed Shawn's request unfortunately as I wasn't able to find more Einstein influenced 80's synth pop, but I did find some other cool Einstein related tunes! Goes to show that Einstein and synthpop really ought not to be mixed...

Listen to:
"Einstein"by Riskey
"Obi Rocked" by Electric Einstein Studio

Landscape's Wiki Entry
Silicon Dream's Wiki Entry

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

stinky cat

I've discovered that my kitten's hygiene leaves much to be desired. She's kind of a stinky cat overall and always has been since birth. Not offensively stinky, but in general cats don't smell like anything. Brown Dog, on the other hand, often smells like sour milk. Yuck. It has to do with her super coarse hair to an extent, but I think she's just not used to grooming herself yet. She's cute as hell, but I'm not too excited about her aroma. Sure, Momma kitty Etouffee cleans her up often and that remedies the issue. However, Brown Dog really needs to teach her herself how to take a bath.

Imagine if you will me blissfully working on web layout stuff for my contract job with my itty bitty lap top happily sipping mimosas when a cute fluffy animal decides to crawl into my lap and fall asleep. Wonderful isn't it? Should be, except that I started smelling the sickly sweet scent of residual kitty litter mixed with fair whiffs of...poo. What to do? The kitten was sleeping oh so soundly but I had to fix the olfactory discomfort. Otherwise, coding would be quite uncomfortable.

Anyway, just keep in mind I had about 1/2 bottle of champagne when I thought of this:

After thoroughly wiping her feet and butt off with a wet paper towel, I scoured the internet for information on non-toxic household items and natural air fresheners and came to the conclusion that cinnamon is non-toxic to cats. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have used my uber-expensive "saigon" cinnamon, but oh well, Brown Dog is kind of the princess around here. I ended up rubbing her damp paws with this stuff and then sprinkling the rest of the bottle all over her.

She smells great now. In fact, the whole house smells great and I'm sure T will kill me when he finds out what I did. She is sneezing a bit at the moment, but seems fine otherwise. All in all I do think this was a good solution because she is now sulking in a corner grooming herself in earnest while momma cat looks utterly confused.

So, if you have a stinky cat, douse them in cinnamon. It works.

Labels: , ,