Thursday, September 30, 2010


Everyone - I have a very important public service announcement...*pause for suspense, no just kidding, I'm not sure even pseudo-melodramatic, attempt at humor annotations can save this post, but hey, we'll see...resume*
Los Angeles Metro Rapid Express Bus 920, traveling along Wilshire from Downtown into West LA, is propagating ridiculous falsities via the "FunFact" program on board.
Yeah, it's true though.  Believe me, I was on the bus this morning, and every weekday morning for that matter.  Today, I actually read the "fact": There is more caffeine in an apple than a cup of coffee.  Ummm, that's not true. Apples don't have any caffeine, only carbs.  Seriously Metro, pick up your game.

The 720 non-express rapid bus, I sometimes get stuck on after missing it's faster, prettier sister, the 920.  You can actually see me walking toward the bus in blue.  No just kidding, I found this picture on the internet here, that's not even my stop.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Music Opinions...on a blog? How original.

In a rare moment of musical decisiveness last weekend, my brother and I decided to respectively list our top ten favorite albums.  I pretty much universally shirk away from these type of things, I love to talk about music, but really it hurts my brain to even think about "favorites"...there's too many.  But both Rob and I did.

PS I hold The Love Thieves directly responsible this.  At that moment, listening to that song, I was sure it was in my top ten list of songs...even if the album didn't make the list.

10. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
The Beatles in their experimental stage, don't need to say anything else.
9. Horses, Patti Smith
I've been a sucker for Patti since hearing the song Kimberly...I mean yeah, of course I love it, it's my name.  On top of that she's an f-ing great rock poet, amazing lyrics, love her voice, love her activism.  Saw her last year at Exit in Serbia, still kickass and championing for a cause.
8. Deep Cuts, the Knife
Awesome electro pop from my favorite Swede siblings.  I really really like lead singer Karin Dreijer Andersson, pretty much everything about her, and this album is why it started.  Synth pop meets creepy.  Jose Gonzales covered the most popular track from this album, Heartbeats, gave it a bit more fame in the "indie" scene, but try the original.  Love the twisted lyrics of this album.  Favorite song/music video of the album: Pass This On.
7. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
Like a Rolling Stone, Ballad of a Thin Man, Desolation Row, the title track...'nuff said. 
6. Doolittle, Pixies
Great great great Alt rock, my favorite kind of rock, yeah I grew up in the 90's.  And this album (from 1989) laid the groundwork for my favorite alt rock to guess, okay I'll tell you - Radiohead, big surprise, and on top of that it's ridiculous on it's own.  Some incredible writing on this album, plus I love it when girls rock just as hard as boys, and Kim Deal can definitely hold more than her own.  As Thom Yorke said at Coachella years back, "the Pixies changed my life."
5. Washing Machine, Sonic Youth
After the Pixies you suspected, but now you know...yes, I like noise rock.  And Sonic Youth is the cream of the crop in my mind.  Dissonance can be tough for people, mostly I think you either like it or don't.  For me good noise rock is intense, emotive, and yeah it goes there.  Sonic Youth goes there.  Washing Machine is definitely not SY's most accessible album, and according to most, far from the best, but I loove it.  The album's full of long jam songs, with highs and lows, three guitars going nuts, in this super intense, climactic way.  Plus I really like how much time Kim Gordon spent behind the mike this album.  Track suggestion: Little Trouble Girl to get a taste of K. Gordon, or if you're brave dive right in with twenty minute jam session The Diamond Sea and tell if you feel it.
4.  The Bends, Radiohead
The first Radiohead album I bought, first album I laid on my floor and listened to, first band I actually loved.  The album's just ridiculously good, probably the most accessible with so many hits, and weirdly simple in a refreshing way, nice to come back to after going crazy for the Radiohead that will develop over the 15 years after this album.  (Nice Dream), what a song.
3. The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Velvet Undergroud w/Nico
This is a really, really great album.  What better way can an album prove it than by being consistently relevant and universally considered great for nearly half a century?  Before the Beatles went experimental, the Velvet Underground were.  Before Frank Zappa was controversial, the Velvet Underground were.  Yeah, they're talking about drug abuse, prostitution, bondage, etc.  Love Nico's voice, too bad it didn't work out.  What makes this album all the more awesome is the fact that it was all recorded in one day with like no money.
2. White Album, The Beatles
What more needs to be said about this album that hasn't already been said?   The Beatles are the best, and this is a double album of the best.
1. Ok Computer, Radiohead
Did you think I could go anywhere else?  Honestly this blog is named after a song on this album.  Radiohead's magnum opus, the album every subsequent Alt Rock album will be compared to.  Great music that gets me every time I listen to it. Exit Music (For a Film), I have chills. 

Well, that wasn't too bad, picking favorites that is, wonder how long this list will stay the way it is?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Gaia payed it forward the other day, tallied up all my karma points, must of given me an advance too, and got me Adobe CS2 premium edition for free!  I am beyond excited to have photoshop, not to mention those other ones I can't wait to learn how to use...ahem...Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver.  With school starting this week and the new job, I haven't had time to really mess around with it too much.  But I did attempt to translate two old tricks I learned for gimp (open-source photoshop for the computer programmer or poor student).  So here's some early photo manipulation attempts:

Fake Dusty Light:

End Product

Gritty Movie Cross-Processing:

End Product

So I'm pretty excited about my good luck, think I'll take a photoshop class...really learn how to use this bad boy.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer and the City

Helllooo New York in the summertime.  Since I used NYC as a hub to hop over to Spain this summer, I spent a bit of time in the City both pre and post-trip.  Most of my visit was spent in Yorkville, a neighborhood in Upper East Manhattan.  Back in the 30's, my Great-grandparents/grandparents immigrated to the US from Germany, did the whole Ellis Island thing and settled in a small second-floor apartment on 2nd and 91st in Yorkville, an old German neighborhood.  It was pretty cool to see the remnants of the old neighborhood, though most of it is gone now and it seems to be another upper middle class section of Manhattan.  But there's still an old grocery store straight out of Berlin, Schaller & Weber, and an old German bar/restaurant, the Heidelberg, which I heard my g-grandma spent a bit of time in.  Overall, it was super cool, this links to some old photos of my German side while living in Yorkville.

We checked out some of the more famous/visited places too.  Wouldn't mind being back right now, with tickets to the US Open, go Federer.

Brooklyn Bridge
Helllllooo Tourists!  Time Square, NYC

Friday, September 3, 2010

Top 8

I was realizing the other day that, though I have my suspicions to the contrary, I might in fact be a real adult.  When I hang something on the wall, it has a frame.  I floss each night.  And unlike my adolescent self, I'm usually up by 8:30 on a Saturday, gasp. But, as it turns out, weekends in my neighborhood are full of all sorts of weird things that wake you up.  So here I am, in front of my computer and thinking about THE TOP EIGHT NOT TEN WORST THINGS THAT WAKE YOU UP ON A SATURDAY MORNING:
  1. Housemates Cleaning...right next to your room - A double zinger, you're awake AND cleaning, not to mention sounds like you've got yourself a passive-aggressive roomie
  2. A Neighbors Coffee Grinder - Believe me, when you have a large, open, face-level window looking out on a sort of alleyway between houses in which your neighbor has a door opening to their kitchen, which is inexplicably ajar every wake up to the coffee grinder.
  3. Loud Inbred Dog - in my case Greg's age-addled mongrel who can't even bark right anymore, instead it coughs out a sort of weird and disturbing moan.
  4. Leaf Blowers, closely followed by lawn mowers - no explanation needed.
  5. Garbage Trucks - It sounds like gojira.  I hate it.
  6. The Neighborhood wild animals - You may think, hey don't you live in Greater Los Angeles? Yes, yes I do, but that doesn't mean there aren't wild peacocks, coyotes, and a number of nocturnal rodents, at the least.  And peacocks are LOUD, not afraid of people, and will probably damage your shingles.
  7. A Rooster - possibly addicted to crack, it's a total nuisance. My property has a rooster on it.
  8. Your Neighbors Crazy Horse - seriously we've got one, at night it makes these scary neighing noises and hooves the walls of its horse-cage.  I conclude he has PTSD and or night terrors.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Here's Where I'm Not But Sort of Wish I Was

This photo's from Malaga, Costa Del Sol's gritty cultural center.  Wouldn't mind being there right now.