That Girl With A Blog











{September 30, 2009}   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



{September 25, 2009}   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



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.



{September 22, 2009}   I’m sorry!

I’m sorry people, out there in the blogosphere. Things have been crazy hectic around these parts, but I promise you something big is coming up.

Here, have a little taste:

Mmm…vintage-y. Stop back for lots more to come!



{September 11, 2009}   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!



{September 10, 2009}   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 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



David Guetta SpinningFelix Spinning

VS.
The time has come for the HOUSE MUSIC FACEOFF! Two completely different sides of the world. David Guetta vs. Felix Da Housecat! Paris vs. Chicago! London vs. LA!

Guetta’s One Love and Felix’s He Was King were both released on August 21, this was just meant to happen people.

David Guetta - One LoveLet’s start off with Guetta. First of all, Guetta has always been that guy who made music for other people. He remixed and produced and made the magic happen…for everyone else. Even now, working with prominent artists like Kelly Rowland (just sayin’, in a vocal battle, Kelly Rowland could kick Beyonce’s ass) and Akon, and remixing a song that he produced for the Black Eyed Peas, I think Guetta’s finally gonna make it big in the states. Damn near every song on this album makes me wanna dance. It has this early 90’s radio edit Euro vibe goin’ on. Guetta’s bringing club music back to mainstream America. He knows what’s up. He’s been a chart topper in the UK for years, it’s about damn time he does something over here. As for the album, it’s super funky, heavy ass beats with a slightly hip-hop touch on the vast majority of the tracks. In other words, it’s a whole lotta fun. This is the kinda album that gets every slutty chick on the dance floor.

Seriously, check this shit out:

“When Love Takes Over” official music video:

Mmmmmmmm…dancey.

Then there’s this, “Gettin’ Over” official music video:

Holy electro, Batman! Where the ravers at!? This song makes my heart hurt and I’m not even on drugs. I think I would explode if I was. This whole album is amazing…it’s one of those where every song is good. Except for “Choose” because it really sounds like “…you wanna make me shoes”. Ne-Yo needs to learn how to enunciate, bad.

Felix Da Housecat - He Was KingOnto Felix Da Housecat! I’ve loved Felix since the Kittenz and Thee Glitz days (c’mon, who doesn’t remember “Phantasy Girl”!?) and it kills me to say that this album is a huge disappointment.  I guess I can understand where he’s going with it. Futuristic, mechanical vocals, epic, spacey beats. The vocals really ruin this album for me, though. The only song that really redeems this album is “LA Ravers”, and that’s because there are no vocals to fuck up, sans the brief robot noise at the beginning. It’s got that funky electro beat…

“LA Ravers” (Not an actual video, just the song.)

And I mean, if you wanna see how bad this album goes, check this out:

“Kickdrum”

Now this song just annoys me. WTF, Felix? So, this is like, you’re 12th album, that’s no reason to start churning out crap.

David Guetta FTW!So, I think it’s safe to say that David Guetta is the clear winner of this battle. I’m sorry, Felix. I really am. Maybe that will entice him to make better music. If you would have asked me before I listened to these albums who the winner would be, I would have said Felix, hands down. Well, I have certainly been proved wrong.



{September 3, 2009}   Beck

BeckSo I always enjoyed Beck, but never really knew exactly how awesome  he was. I got Mellow Gold when it came out, I thought it was a fun album, but apparently I missed when Beck got the funk.

I’ve been hopelessly hooked on The Information, Midnight Vultures, and Modern Guilt recently. I really don’t even know how it happened. One day I was just like, “Hey, I like Beck, I should get his entire discography”. And so it goes…

Discovering Beck has led me to believe that he is one weird fucking dude, in a good way. Multi-instrumentalist, visual artist, patron saint of funky pants, and…Scientologist? I’ll just have to let that one slide I suppose.

His musical style changes as often as his hats, which is awesome. Each album has it’s own distinct vibe, sometimes pulling inspiration from other albums, but all in all, it’s own.

Here, have some videos. Everyone likes videos! Plus, Beck makes me happy when he dances.

“Nausea” – Live on Letterman:

Beck on KCRW doing “Gamma Ray”. This song reminds me of Marcy Playground. A lot. But John Wozniak is way cuter. (See?) In the “Sex and Candy” video, he looks like Kyle McLaughlin in Blue Velvet and it makes me a little swoony. But I digress…

“Hell Yes” – Live at The Sound Academy. I find this utterly entertaining. It’s like they were just like, “Hey, let’s put a bunch of completely awkward, geeky guys on stage and see what happens!” Viva la geek.

Beck’s Myspace
Beck’s Site

Check back tomorrow for the HOUSE MUSIC FACEOFF!!!! David Guetta’s One Love vs. Felix Da Houscat’s He Was King!



{September 2, 2009}   In the Tenth House – Laura Dietz

In The Tenth House - Laura DietzI loved and hated this book 100 times over while reading it.

Set in late 19th century London, Dietz weaves a story in and out of that fine line between spiritualism and medicine in that era. In a world of gutter, penny-cure doctors and half hack mediums, we meet Dr. Ambrose Gennett and Miss Lily Embly in the strangest of situations.

Dr. Gennett, a pioneer of new wave psychology and psychoanalysis, meets Miss Embly briefly during an encounter at a train station, before she abruptly flees. Having a doctor’s mind, Dr. Gennett finds her to be much troubled woman and well, there’s simply something about her. He pretty much stalks her until he find out where she lives. He shows up on her doorstep one evening during working hours to find that she is actually a medium. No proper lady at all. While Gennett is enraged and disappointed in his first impression, Lily sees this as a sign. Well, she is a medium, folks…

Lily works her way into Dr. Gennett’s private matters using her employment as a medium to fascinate the women of Gennett’s  life. Soon enough, she’s holding seances for his mother, sister, and aunt. Then the scandal begins. Seriously. I don’t even know what happens at this point. Everyone’s pointing fingers and placing the blame until it’s all one jumbled mass of lies and miscommunications. It’s a case of mistaken identity I suppose, but in the eye of the beholder. How can you be pissed off at someone for not being what you expected them to be?

The story quickly dives into childish bickering and behind-the-scenes secrets. By the end, you hate these people. They’re simply ridiculous. I have to admit that during these parts, it was pretty…uninteresting. At the point where Deitz should have been bringing everything together and explaining some of this mayhem, it’s just immature spats and no one bothers to actually listen to anything that someone else has to say.You will find no revelations here.

The last two pages make it all worth it though. It leaves with a serious feeling of, “What the fuck? Did that just happen? What the fuck is wrong with these people?”

If you can make it through the last half of the book, you’ll be amazed at the ending. There’s just a lot of drivel to get there. This is her first book though, and for that, I have to say that it’s damn good. I can’t wait to see her hone that skill into something wonderful.

Laura Dietz’s Site



et cetera
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