Stimulus Funded Puget Sound Clean Up

So, last night I saw this on NBC Nightly News:

Actually, I cannot for the life of me get this shit to embed, so go watch it here. Dammit.

Rather than piecing together small grants which could have taken 15 years or longer, this cleanup effort, organized by the Northwest Straights Initiative and funded by Obama’s stimulus package, can do so much more at one time, saving thousands of dying creatures trapped in these nets, like the Puget Sound King Crab in the video above.

Help support the clean up of Lolita’s former home and keep our oceans clean:

Department of Ecology
People for Puget Sound
Puget Sound Partnership

For more information on Lolita:

Save Lolita
Orca Network
Miami Seaprison

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Basement Jaxx – Scars

Basement Jaxx - ScarsTen years and half as many albums later, Basement Jaxx has released their fifth studio album, Scars. The UK house music duo of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe have once again assembled a mass of unique and eager cohorts to make this album pop, including Kelis, Santigold, Sam Sparro, Amp Fiddler, Yoko Ono and more. There’s no Lily Allen or Robyn (there she is again!) on this one, but it’s still pretty damn good.

The duo has released another album full of classic club hits and some no frills tracks for heavy mixing. It’s missing their classic interludes though! Where are the interludes, guys!? It seems like the lack of downtime makes the tracks run together far more than they should. The tracks are good, don’t get me wrong, but now they lack the right staging to truly make them remarkable. It’s like matting the Mona Lisa in neon pink and green polka dots.

The tracks themselves are fucking rad though. “What’s A Girl Got To Do”, featuring Paloma Faith, has got to be one of my favorite songs on this album. Very Rooty. Very “Romeo” and “Get Me Off”. It’s Basement Jaxx’ sexy party time. “Stay Close” featuring Lisa Kekaula and “D.I.S.tractionz” featuring Jose Hendrix have a really laid back vibe for Jaxx. Almost a Zero 7 ambient quality to them.

But then they go all out, balls to the wall, reckless abandon with funky ass tracks like, “Twerk” featuring Yo! Majesty and “Raindrops”. Also, they have this classic 50’s doo-wop vibe with a hip-hop twist goin’ on in tracks like, “She’s No Good” featuring Eli “Paperboy” Reed and “A Possibility” featuring Amp Fiddler. Deep, sexy male vocals with just that right amount of female backing that makes it harmonize so goddamn well.

This has become one of those albums that the more I listen to it, the more I like it. Like I said, there’s no interludes, and it is lacking some of the complexity of Rooty and Kish Kash, but it’s an all around good album with a few solid club hits. B

Basement Jaxx’ Site

As I promised…the 2009 Pittsburgh Vintage Gran Prix!

So, I know this has taken far too long to get up here, but here it is, folks. Usually, I’m not into this sort of thing, but we went with a friend who certainly is and well, we had a blast.

It was a beautiful day back in June, we ate fancy cheese and drank beer…in a park that you are apparently not allowed to drink beer in. Ah, Schenley Park…hangout place of college stoners and Extreme Frisbee fans for so many years.

It was certainly odd to see it transformed into a full-out racetrack, complete with a 2.33 mile circuit, 23 turns, bridges, and all the hazards of everyday Pittsburgh roads. It was a fucking car race…in Schenley Park. Who’da thunk it?

And now! The results!

Pre-War

1. 1935 Reuter Special “Old Gray Mare,” Ben Bragg, Woburn, MA
2. 1939 MG TB Special, Frank Mount, Caledon, Ontario
3. 1931 Bugatti T37-Ford Special, Sandy Leith, Dedham, MA

Old Gray Mare

Post-War: Under One Liter

1. 1964 Auto Dynamics Mark I, Keith Lawrence, McMurray, PA
2. 1959 Turner Mk I, Jim Southwood, Wexford, PA
3. 1963 Formcar Formula Vee, Bill Kovick, Canton, OH

Auto Dynamic

Sports Racers and Formula

1. 1958 Lotus XI, Dick Fryberger, Watertown, MA
2. 1962 Lola Mk I, Bob Gett, Boston, MA
3. 1959 Lotus Seven, George Vapaa, Wilmington, DE

1958 Lotus

Pre 1960: Under Two Liter

1. 1958 Elva Courier, Michael Oritt, Solomons, MD
2. 1952 MG TD, Manley Ford, Milford, MI
3. 1951 MG TD, George Shafer, Somerset, PA

Elva Courier

Pre 1960: Over Two Liter

1. 1955 Austin-Healey 100M, RJ Mirable, Lower Gwynedd, PA
2. 1959 Devin D, Cliff McCandless, Grove City, PA
3. 1962 Aston Martin DB4, Lawrence Macks, Owings Mills, MD

Austin Healey

Small Bore through 1965

1. 1961 Elva Mk VII, Tom Grudovich, Palm Beach, FL
2. 1963 Elva Courier Coupe, Stefan Wiesen, Caledon, Ontario
3. 1965 Ginetta G4, Hervey Parke, Waccabuc, NY

Elva

It’s funny, when we were there, I wasn’t so much concerned about the winning cars, as all the shiny pretty cars. As you can see by the following pictures, I like bright, shiny things. Either Adam or myself took all of the following:

Those are just some of the pics, you can see the full set here. All in all, we really had a super fun time, and would be willing to see at least vintage cars again. I don’t think it would be nearly as exciting with new cars. At the end actually, there was a BMW race…not nearly as fun. Being stationed near the chicane was awesome, too. It’s definitely a laugh to see these vintage, outrageously expensive cars with a bale of hay stuck in the grill, especially after you’ve knocked back a few.

Alone Together

Alone TogetherSo, a few weeks ago, I get this request on Myspace from this artist, Alone Together, asking me to come check out his music. Unfortunately, it was logged into the queue and forgotten about for a few weeks.

Today, while I had some spare time, I find this link again and go check it out. So what was it? Japanese gabber, mash up madness.

So, from what I can gather from Yuki Ota’s Myspace, this is a mash up, collaborative effort and he has his own Japanese radio show called Radio Alone Together or Radio Eigekai. That might mean the same thing in Japanese? Working with two MC’s, Osui and Take, they do this radio program as well as live shows.

Apparently there are a couple of albums out, The Beginning of Human, and Broken Piano. They’re also on a couple of compilations, it looks like.

They’re really interesting, actually! Feed Girl Talk a bunch of meth and make him Japanese and I bet this is what you’d get. Craziness!

They’re also all about the free download, so go check out their Myspace for some free, crazy, Japanese tunes.

Or, you can check out these videos:

Alone Together – Live at Gelman’s

The Beginning of Human

You can also find more videos on YouTube. I had one hell of a time finding them by name alone, so try Alone Together Broken Piano, or Alone Together Beginning of Human for better results. Enjoy!

Phish – Joy

Phish - JoyThe more I listen to this album, the more I love it. The more I want to smoke tons of pot and dance around reeeeeeeally slowly. Phish’s FOURTEENTH album, Joy, will bring the same to hippies everywhere.

Somehow, for a long time, I missed the Phish boat. After Jerry died, all the deadheads I knew either went to Phish or Dave Matthews, and I was one of the latter. Phish has really become the all-American jam band and this album really shouts it loud and proud.

All the time you hear, …”blah, blah, blah, it doesn’t matter what their albums sound like because of their live show…blah, blah, blah…” But of course it fucking matters. These are the same songs they’re doing live, and what else are you going to listen to for the other 364 days a year or more that Phish isn’t in your town? Oh, that’s right…albums. Duh.

This album is lightweight and full of breezy jams. This album oozes classic 70’s album rock, with downright peppy vocals. It starts of strong with the infectiously catchy “Backwards Down the Number Line” then delves into “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan”, a bluesy, introspective look on Trey Anastasio, the recently recovering drug addict. Then we have “Sugar Shack”. Sadly to say, it’s a little forgettable, however, Mike Gordon’sOcelot vocals remind me of They Might Be Giants and that kind of excites me. TMBG with less geek, I suppose. Then, there’s fucking “Ocelot”. I. Fucking. Love. “Ocelot”. Maybe just because it’s about ocelots, but it makes me want to lay in a grassy field in the sun. It makes me want skirts and corduroy. Goddamn, it makes my soft, hippie center want to come out and play.

The gem of this album is really all thirteen minutes of “Time Turns Elastic”, an epic, multi-faceted composition that’s going to kick some major ass live with some patented Phish guitar jams. I can easily see this becoming a very, very long song live, but it’ll be lots of fun.

Joy is really well produced for Phish, and it’s nice to see the complexity of their music in an actual album. It’s certainly something to pacify you while you wait for Phish to come to your town. Or, you know, you can just eat a cut of mushrooms and look at the cover. Your choice. B

Phish’s Site

On that hippie vibe…SAVE THE WHALE! Please remember to call for Lolita THIS SATURDAY! I thank you and Lolita thanks you!

Black Crowes – Before the Frost/After the Freeze

Black Crowes - Before the FrostWell, the Brothers Robinson have released yet another album, Before the Frost… with it’s down-loadable companion, …After the Freeze. What are we even on anymore, eight, nine? Something around there…

This album isn’t bad, it’s bluesy and full of soul, and sounds like the same thing that they’ve been doing for almost three decades. Guys, you’re a 30-year-old jam band. Really?

Like I said, as far as the album goes, not bad, they’re just not offering anything new. They have their acoustic ballad, “Appaloosa” (see: “She Talks to Angels”), their heavy, bass-laden hit single, “Good Morning Captain” (see: “Hard to Handle”), and their soul filled, borderline gospel sound with “Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love)” (see: “Remedy”). It’s not necessarily that it’s a bad sound, it’s just a sound that has been brutally beaten to death by Chris and Rich Robinson. Then they kicked it’s corpse and left it behind a dumpster to rot.

The only stand out song on this album is “I Ain’t Hiding”, a trippy, prog-rock 70’s tune that makes me want to wear tie-dye and eat a lot, A LOT, of mushrooms. Kind of an early Clapton attitude with it. Robinson’s vocals aren’t that great, but it’s got a good beat and thank god, it’s not that same old Crowes sound. C

Black Crowes Site