Category Archives: Music

I Want It That Way

Speaking of Adaptive Path, these were the awesome folks who took me under their wing for the summer:

My eyes mist up just watching this video. I miss you guys!

Ghost-Riding The Whip

The other day I learned from one of my coworkers that Bay Area culture is deeper and more nuanced than I could possibly imagine. Heart-touching music videos such as this one from E-40, that detail the finer points of the Hyphy movement, apparently make many locals’ hearts quicken with pride.

Confused? Yeah, I am, too. This video helps me make a bit more sense of it all:

But not that much more sense.

Mother of All Funk Chords

I found this months ago, and watching it still gives me chills:

This was the reason the internet was invented, man.

Things About Which I Am Exciteding.

A few notes before Kate and I dash out the door for spring break.

I am really enjoying the new shows that Phish played last weekend. According to The New York Times, Phish loved Phish circa 1995. I, too, loved Phish circa 1995, and I’m glad that’s the Phish they’re bringing back. And geez, that’s a fast turnaround in getting those shows online! Props to Brian Cash for the find.

I love my SIGG water bottle. It’s obvious they put a lot of work into getting the shape to feel just right on your mouth. The fine smoothness of the threads, the volume of the lip around the edge… kudos.


During the little free time I have each day, I can’t stop playing Zen Bound:


Beast Pieces is the amazing blog of Studio On Fire, a letterpress company in Minneapolis who does work so beautiful it makes me want to drop out of school and sort California job cases all day.


Our group got into CHI, which means our six-page extended abstract will be published at an academic conference. In April we will be traveling to Boston to present our design for WattBot, a home electricity feedback system, in front of some of the most awesomest people in human-computer interaction. Here’s a preview of our poster:


Have a good spring break, ya’ll!

UPDATE: Yup, it is just a coincidence. Our proposed WattBot system is by no means affiliated with Wattbot, a home energy advisor that is available for realz!


More hot. You stand slack-jawed and dumb, staring forward, a gossamer thread of drool swaying delicately from the corner of your mouth. The brain is fevered and broken, it cannot be helped.

A cool breeze allows a fleeting moment of mental clarity, and you realize that the new Coldplay album is awesome. So awesome. You remember those long, hollow nights right after you bought Stadium Arcadium, where you felt as though someone had carved a hole in your chest. The painful longing, the uncontrollable sobbing, wondering how in the hell could it feel this bad? How could it ever feel good again?

You remember the difficulty breathing, the long exhales where you promised yourself you would never breathe in, that you would never again summon the energy to inhale. But somehow, involuntarily, you would always take that next breath, and you would sob and curse yourself for it, for being weak, weak for breathing, but most of all weak for needing, needing in the first place.

Viva La Vida is nothing like that, nothing like Stadium Arcadium. This is actually good, like A Ghost Is Born good or Good News For People Who Like Bad News good. People are hurting no one but themselves if they don’t have it yet. Yes. They should go out and buy the new Coldplay. They should regret nothing. They should fix their shit.

This, this is what you want to tell people, but the breeze stops too soon. Fatigued with thought your head rolls to one side, and the spittle cuts loose.

Pork and Beans

This is the greatest music video ever. Hooray for the intertubes.


I feel like I rushed the production of this martini, and its quality has suffered noticeably as a result. It seems to be doing its job regardless.

This afternoon, while the guy from Charter was busy fixing my internet connection, I started bottling my beer. The final numbers are in, and damn am I ever pleased. This brew is a full-on unapologetic wheat beer, five percent alcohol by volume, and it came out to yield 46 twelve-ounce bottles.

Right before bottling I pulled a sample for my hydrometer, as well as for my own personal tasting, and I’m quite confident that this first batch turned out just fine. It tastes great, albeit flat at this point, and since I haven’t yet gone blind or witnessed the walls melting I’m going to risk calling it a success. In seven days I will have for myself some Proper Beer.

Some other uncollected thoughts:

I finally found myself a decent (actually, an amazing) haircut here in Hood River. I’ve been going to Hairmasters over near Safeway, and I can speak with absolute confidence that while they might be “masters” of something, it is certainly not hair. My hair is not complicated, and yet every time I go in there I walk out looking like I had a tussle with a weed whacker.

No, I finally gave up on the trans-global-conglomerate haircut chain and went straight to Cathy’s Barber Shop, where I found myself a Proper Haircut. I told Cathy I had this shaggy thing going on that I kinda liked, but that I was looking for a bit of a clean-up. While at Hairmasters my ambiguity has consistently resulted in disaster, Cathy did an absolutely wonderful job with it, and tossed in some nice texturing to boot.

We both waxed poetic for a spell regarding the life of the self-employed/independent, and just like that I was sold. No other barber shop will do. And mind you, what Cathy runs is a pure-bred barber shop, complete with an awesome old-school barber chair. She doesn’t run no hair salon or perm parlor or epidermal treatment facility, she runs a barber shop. Walk-ins only. No reservations. And I’ll go so far as to say that Cathy’s is a bargain at twice the price.

matt pond PA has a new EP coming out, the cover to which I was initially opposed but have since warmed up to. During my most recent exodus to Walla Walla I spun an MP3 CD with my complete collection of matt pond PA, and only after listening to Emblems again did I understand what he was doing with the art direction for his upcoming EP.

Honestly, I now consider the art for If You Want Blood to be a stroke of cross-referential brilliance, and it furthers my conviction that Matt Pond may perhaps be one of the most talented singer/songwriters alive today. The songs he writes, they weave a coherent tapestry of message, place and emotion. One could liken his works to the mythology of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, with their recurring, self-referential themes and characters.

Needless to say, I’ve pre-ordered my copy.

That there’s mah drinkin’ music!

I’ve said it before, but I need to say it again.

I love shitkicker.

I had missed it for a spell, but my recent investments in massive amounts of technology have reunited me with my favorite internet radio station of years past.

You see, I’m normally not much of a radio person. In all actuality I don’t even own anything that pulls in legitimate radio. Well, I guess that’s not entirely accurate, as I have a Subaru that is rumored to pull in a mighty fine FM signal. This is a claim that might warrant some investigation at a future date, but for now my MP3 mix CDs are spinnin’ mighty-fine on my Panasonic CQ-C7403U. That, and its dot matrix display shows people surfing at a fidelity matched only by pinball machines!

Anywho, I recently acquired a Samsung HL-S4266W. You would never guess from the name, but that’s actually a 42″ DLP TV, which I adore now that I’ve gotten over the fact that I slammed down more than a kilobuck for such an obscene piece of passive entertainment.

…as an aside, am I the only person who is disappointed that Apple is the only company in existence right now that assigns names to their products that can actually be deciphered by humans? Apple releases a new product and they call it the Apple TV (even though I’m in complete agreement with Jobs that it should really be called the iTV). Samsung releases a new product and it’s called the SCX-4725FN. Your guess is as good as mine as to what that does.

Yes. I now have a large TV with a ridiculous number of inputs, and it does a great job at anchoring my living room to the ground and preventing it from drifting down the street to hang out at the neighbor’s house. It even has VGA inputs, which I consider to be pretty cool even though I’m a DVI guy through-and-through ever since switching whole-hog to Macs a year ago.

Over the weekend I took a trip to RadioShack, a store whose motto is “Becoming Increasingly Irrelevant by Offering You More and More RC Cars! Everyday!” I picked up an audio cable that lets me plug my PowerBook directly into my TV, and dammit if that simple thing changed my life. Even though I had to delete all my MP3s from NeverSummer (the laptop, her name is NeverSummer) a few weeks ago to free up hard drive space, I can still stream my entire music collection wirelessly from BitterRoot (my G5, she’s known as BitterRoot) straight to NeverSummer, and subsequently to my entire living room.

Do please take a moment to marvel at my ingenuity, as you realize that I’m using my PowerBook as a $2,000 version of the Apple TV.

Yup, it took a completely dumb amount of technology, but I finally got my abode to a point that the rest of the world reached fifty years ago. While I don’t care much for listening to the radio while working at my computer, I find it to be a wondrous thing when I’m milling about my place, whether I’m cooking, cleaning, or trying to figure out whether I should be cooking or cleaning. All the while drinking, of course.

Enter the shitkicker. It’s no secret that my favorite internet radio station of all time is Boot Liquor Radio. In the past they’ve described themselves as “dysfunctional cowboy music,” and “music for saddle-weary drunkards,” and that pretty much says it all. It’s nothin’ but folk and country songs about drinking, gettin’ drunk, and bein’ drunk.

Wholesome? Hardly. Some of the songs have names like Shitfaced, Loaded Gun In The Closet, and I’m In Love With The Girl Who Done Run Off With My Wife. They plays a healthy mix of such stars as Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett, as well as lesser-known acts like Meat Raffle Road, the Groovy Rednecks, and the Drive-By Truckers. The music is pure Americana, plain and simple, and I’m certain that we’ve covered a few charts from their playlist in the Como Avenue Jug Band. If the slide guitars and mandolins don’t warm your blood, boy, ya better start hittin’ the whiskey harder.

Ironically, Boot Liquor Radio also plays a bunch of songs that are old-time favorites at camp, including Desperado and Ghost Riders in the Sky. Yup, here we are trying to create a positive atmosphere for kids, all the while singing songs about whores and hell.

Anywho, I haven’t kept up with the whole lineage, but it appears that Boot Liquor Radio is currently operating under SomaFM, a brand to do Huxley fans proud. You can take a look at their recent playlist, or just go ahead and listen to Boot Liquor right now.

Seriously, just dive in. You very well might be missin’ such kick-ass songs as Beer n’ Bacon, Warm Beer and Cold Women, or Viagra In The Waters.

I’d have ya tell ’em Dane sent ya, but that’d probably just get you kicked out of the joint.