so GW basketball had a big weekend. After the Colonials got drubbed by hated Xavier on wednesday, GW point guard Carl Elliott beat Dayton on saturday with a last-second, almost half-court three pointer. GW was all over ESPN, in the intro to Sportscenter and with three highlights on Sportscenter's "Ultimate Highlight," including a Pops Mensah-Bonsu (I think it was him) alley-oop slam, JR Pinnock's monstruous dunk through a Dayton player, and Carl's buzzer-beater. The buzzer-beater and JR's dunk were also on the Sportscenter top plays and the College Gameday top plays, with Carl's shot number 1 on both. And finally, Carl was in a "Big Man on Campus" poll on the front page of ESPN.com, with other college hoops players who had big games. Then GW was all over other news sources, with bracketologist Joe Lunardi saying we were "inside the bubble," i.e. in the NCAA tournament, Jay Bilas saying on ESPN.com that GW coach Karl Hobbs is the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, Gregg Doyel of CBS Sportsline wrote a recap and says we're in, as does Jay Bilas, and DCist's Kyle writes about the buzzer-beater in the college hoops roundup.
so I saw this little Flash movie somewhere, it's pretty hilarious. Not work safe, I guess, but it almost is because it's so dumb.


In other news, I am doubting the snow forecasting abilities of DC meteorologists. It seems like when they forecast snow, you should divide that forecast by 4. For example, last week they said 5-8 inches, and it was more like 2. Today they said 4-7, and it's a trace, a dusting. I guess there still could be 4 inches of snow in a day or something, but I dunno, I am not impressed. And schools were cancelled! I'd be the happiest kid ever if I were in school, considering that there is literally no snow and I don't have to go to class. DCist posted a link to this Washington Post article by Steven Pearlstein called "Washington, the Nation's Weather Wimp." I think that sums it up.


so it looks like John Davis, the singer from one of my favorite bands of all time, Superdrag, is coming out with a solo album March 8th. Superdrag is like Beatles-ish power pop, and they did that song "Who Sucked Out the Feeling," which was a big hit maybe 10 years ago, but they had a lot of other great stuff too. Anyway, I've been listening to the songs on Myspace and on his own website, pretty good stuff. I'm definitely going to pick it up. It's more bluesy than Superdrag, and there is some gospely in there too, but it's quite good.


so I heard a rumor recently that there was a person wearing a BORF shirt on American Idol on Monday, did anybody see it? I figured people who like the two might read this site.
so I thought this was a pretty interesting article on the homogenization of the South, from the Christian Science Monitor. It makes me think, since I suppose I consider myself a Southerner, but I don't really agree with most things that southern people do, like being religious, conservative, etc, but I do get mad when people make fun of Southerners. I'm beginning to think that the Confederate battle flag and monuments to Confederate generals aren't so bad. They're just part of southern history and I don't really think they symbolize racism. I don't see them like that, at least, and I bet there are just as many racist people in the North as in the South. And anyway, history is one of the few things southerners have that makes up their identity. That and they call all soft drinks "Coke."
so Ben posted a very funny joke the other day:

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

And in other news, I am having some problems with the sink at work. As I've already mentioned, the soap smells like coconut rum, but that's not it. The problem is that the counter with the sinks on it is right below waist level, and sometimes people splash water on it when they wash their hands or whatever. Then sometimes I lean over it and get wet spots on my pants, just below my waist level. So it looks like I had an accident. I guess I should be shorter, so it will only look like I drooled on myself, which I can deal with.
so I got the weirdest spam today. The sender was "Migraine H. Deposition," which is a pretty awesome fake name, and the subject is "Lit'tlle Lizzy rappped on thhe Cemeetery lollipop." I don't know if that's supposed to be some kind of double entendre or what, but it makes very little sense to me. It kind of sounds like Beck lyrics. Or maybe it's meant for goths who like candy or something, but whatever it is, I can't imagine a person wanting to open this for any reason, besides "what a bizarre spam this is." Maybe that's spammers' new trick, making their emails as completely nonsensical as possible, and thus making people like me want to open them. But too bad for them, because I didn't open this one.


so here's some news: apparently a huge pile of poop in Nebraska that was on fire for 4 months just went out. I'm glad I don't live near there. "What's the smell?" "Oh, it's that huge, burning pile of manure."
so last night my roommate and I called some of the famous people listed on Paris Hilton's phonebook (posted below). Most of them were either full or the number had been changed, but I did get a busy signal on one of them and one girl picked up. I don't think it was anybody famous, and she didn't seem pissed off, so maybe she didn't know she was on the list. I asked for Steve, which was my plan even if I got a famous person, and she said, nicely, "you must have the wrong number," and I said "oh ok, sorry." Then after hanging up I realized she probably didn't know she was on the list. I'm still wondering if my phone will get zapped or something, maybe she was just waiting for someone to call and then is going to give them a virus. But we shall see. It looks like Paris has spoken about the incident to the New York Daily News, aqui. That's here in spanish.


so more music news: Petra Haden, who was in that dog. and The Rentals, two bands I like (the Rentals had the hit "Friends of P"), has come out with an a capella version of the Who's "The Who Sell Out," sung entirely by her, including the instruments. It's a pretty cool idea, and I found audio clips on the record label's page, Bar/None which are interesting and sometimes pretty funny, like the "guitar" on "I Can't reach you." I'm not that familiar with this Who album, but it's worth checking out anyway. I think "I Can See for Miles" is probably the most well-known song on there (at least it's the one I've heard the most). I also found a reviewfrom the All Music Guide. The album sort of reminds me of when my friends and I decided to start an a capella techno cover band in high school. We didn't do much with it though.
so Panurge, a cool Canadian band I like, has posted both of their albums on their website (click the word "Panurge" on the top). You can download their entire first album, Erectangle, and you can stream the second one, Throw Down the Reins, but not download it. I've never heard the first album but I will definitely download it when I can. I have Throw Down the Reins however, and it's very good. They're kind of Flaming Lips-ish, but less kooky and more rocking. I'd love to see them in concert, but as far as I can tell they haven't left Canada yet. My favorite songs on Throw Down the Reins are "Sweet Fanny Annie" and "Mixed Cavalry," which really sounds like it should be in a VW commercial. Or maybe it has been already.
so apparently someone hacked into Paris Hilton's cell phone gizmo (apparently a Sidekick, which has an organizer, camera, cell phone, etc) and has posted her phone book, notes, and pictures from her camera phone. From what I understand, this Sidekick posts everything on it to a website so you can see everything online (as my cell phone does with the phone book, I think), and somebody figured out how to lon into Paris's account. This could all be fake, but it's pretty interesting either way. I read it all on Stereogum, which has a bunch of posts about it. The main sites, though, are www.hiltonhacked.com, which I unfortunately learned is Not Safe for Work. Her phone book and notes are pretty much safe for work though. The phone book apparently has Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, Avril Lavigne, Nicole Richie, Jermaine Dupri, Andy Roddick, Vin Diesel, and pretty much any other young famous person you might think Paris Hilton would hang out with. I assume that most of the numbers are changed or the mailboxes are full by now, though. I haven't looked through the notes, they're pretty jumbled up. Anyway, get it while the stuff is still available online. A gossip blog called Gawker also has some news about this whole thing.

And an update: CBS News has an article about the hack and cell phone security, including a cell phone virus. That sucks. And a search on Yahoo News finds a lot of articles about the Paris Hilton hack thing too.
so I found a much better obituary for Hunter S. Thompson, from the Washington Post. Check it out. DCist also linked to a site calling him the first blogger (on the bottom of the post).


so here are a few pictures from the last two GW basketball games I went to, against Duquesne and Richmond. GW won both, 80-63 and 80-57. They also beat Fordham, 80-70, which I missed. I guess GW likes to score 80 points.

These two pictures are from the Duquesne game, the first is a general action shot from my seats. GW is in the white.

This one is the back of GW forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who is a big favorite of ESPN folks, like Scott Van Pelt. Check out this video of Van Pelt on Sportscenter in a yellow foam tricorner GW hat. Awesome.

And these are from the Richmond game, the game where we cooked out. This first one is some dancers on the court during halftime, they were pretty cool. They're wearing traditional Indian garb.

This next one is the same dancers in the stands. Kind of hard to see, but I took it because a few of them have the aforementioned yellow foam tricorner hats over their traditional hats, which is pretty cool.

so Hunter S. Thompson killed himself. Yahoo has a nice obituary about him, he was a really interesting guy. I had no idea that Duke from Doonesbury was based on him, but when you read Duke's biography, it makes sense. And I had actually been meaning to post a funny article he wrote for ESPN recently, so here it is. Ironically, I guess, it's about guns. I really liked the movie of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," it's good and very crazy. I remember when I first watched it, I went outside and it felt like I was on drugs, I was expecting crazy things to happen. And I saw the movie in the afternoon, totally sober. Anyway, RIP.


so I think this is the most bizarre news story ever. Not work safe, I guess. It's just off the wall.

In other news, I love this song, "I Resign" by the Bigger Lovers. I don't know much about them, but it's an awesome power pop song. There's some more mp3s by them on their record label's website.


so here's my updated list of concerts I might want to go to, mostly so I don't forget. I hear the brain can only remember seven things at once, and six of those are beers.

Sat Feb 19 - Mary Timony, Panoply Academy, Horses, Edie Sedgwick 9:00 Warehouse Next Door
I hear Mary Timony is good from various friends.

TUE. FEB. 22 - Le Tigre w/ Lesbians on Ecstasy & Measles Mumps Rubella 930 Club $15.00
Le Tigre is cool, dunno lesbians, and I know a guy in MMR, who are a pretty kooky art-rock ish band.

THUR FEB 24- TEENBEAT 20th anniversary featuring UNREST(reunion), EGGS (reunion), +/- (PLUS MINUS), TRUE LOVE ALWAYS, THE FONTAINE TOUPS, JONNY COHEN $12 Black Cat mainstage 8:00
Lots of bands, what I have heard was good.

FRI FEB 25- TEENBEAT 20th anniversary featuring TUSCADERO (reunion), VERSUS (reunion), FLIN FLON, ADEN, HOT PURSUIT, HOLLAND $12 Black Cat mainstage 9:00

TUES MAR 1- RACHEL’S, IDA $13 Black Cat mainstage 9:00
Used to listen to Rachel's at work, they're slow and almost like a chamber quartet or whatever, and I've heard of Ida somewhere.

FRI MAR 4- Moving Units, Secret Machines, Autolux. 9:30 Club $15.
Moving Units are really cool, catchy, 80's-ish indie rock that moves my feet immediately. I've heard Secret Machines are good as well.

This is going to be a great show. Ambulance Ltd put on a very good show, I really like what I've heard of Robbers on High Street, and I have heard good things about VHS or Beta. I prefer DVD though.

WED MAR 9- Electric Eel Shock, Band of Theives- Velvet Lounge
Electric Eel Shock is a crazy Japanese band, should be fun

THUR MAR 10- ASH, THE BRAVERY $13 Black Cat mainstage 8:30
Also awesome show, Ash is catchy loud rock stuff, sort of like more muscular Weezer. I have heard good stuff about the Bravery, their show was cancelled and added to this one. cool.

FRI MAR 11 - Hot Hot Heat, 9:30 Club
Again, catchy loud rock, but more dance-y.

SAT MAR 12 Rockbot, Magnapop, Five Four- Velvet Lounge
Magnapop is a good rock band, dunno the rest

MON. MAR. 21 The Soundtrack of Our Lives w/ The Dears $15.00 930 Club
Don't know Soundtrack of Our Lives very much, but the songs on the website are good. The Dears are really good, saw them in Philly awhile ago.

Fri Mar 25 - Enon 9:00, Warehouse Next Door
Heard a few songs, pretty interesting experimental indie rock.

SAT. MAR. 26 Fatboy Slim Late Show! 11:30pm Doors $35.00 930 Club
I like Fatboy Slim, but that's expensive.

THUR MAR 31- RADIO 4, SUPERSYSTEM (formerly El Guapo) $10 mainstage 8:30
Heard a few Radio 4 songs, kind of Rapture-y, and El Guapo is good. Wonder why they changed their name?

THU MAR 31- Dogs Die in Hot Cars & Phoenix w/ Long-View $15.00 930 Club.
Same day as Radio 4 and Supersystem, hmm. I've seen Dogs Die.. before and they were decent, and I've heard a few Phoenix songs. I guess I'm leaning towards the other show.

Heard a couple Outrageous Cherry songs, kind of interesting. Cheap!

THUR APR 7- …AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD $14 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat
What I have heard of them I've liked. Kind of shoe-gazery rock

FRI APR 8- The Fiery Furnaces $15.00 9:30 Club.
Pretty kooky indie stuff, I bet they'd be fun.

SAT APR 9- BLOC PARTY, THE PONYS $12 mainstage 9:30 Black Cat
Bloc Party is getting a lot of buzz. Have to listen to them some more I guess.

SUN APR 10- OK GO $12 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat
OK GO is poppy, catchy rock. Last time I went to see them it was sold out. Doh.

FRI APR 15- M83, ULRICH SCHNAUSS $12 mainstage 9:30 Black Cat
I hear M83 is cool. French techno I believe.

WED APR 27- Q AND NOT U $10 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat
Saw them in Baltimore, dance-rock or whatever, synth-pop, something like that.

SUN MAY 1- THE WEDDING PRESENT $15 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat
Have heard good things

THUR MAY 5- THE WONDER STUFF $15 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat

SAT MAY 28- THE RAVEONETTES, AUTOLUX, THE PEELS $12 mainstage 9:30 Black Cat
Raveonettes are a duo of Swedes with a guitar and drums, noisy garage rock. I like, especially "That Great Love Sound," if you can find it online somewhere. Autolux was in Spin last month.


so I've been getting annoyed with people's cell phones at work recently. It seems like the new fun thing to do is to download annoying ringtones that sound like the circus, put the volume on high, then leave your cell phone at your desk and go somewhere else. Then people call and the thing rings and rings, the person runs across the room, laughs, and answers the phone. Maybe I'm a crazy person, but I always thought cell phones were invented so that people can carry them around as they go places. And I may be mistaken, but I think most cell phones have a vibrate feature.


Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper of GWU, has an article about BORF. It's pretty lacking on details, but mentions some funny Borf tags around the GW campus, like "BORF hates school," "Taking showers are for dirty people," and "Globalize BORF" outside the IMF building. Apparently he also wrote some things in campus buildings, like the elevator of New Hall, where I used to live. Some student thinks that BORF is an off-campus frat, which I highly doubt. It's kind of funny how people will do that though, filter stuff through what they already know. "Oh, funny letters, must be a frat." Anyway, I also posted a new BORF tag I found, on a newspaper dispenser on Columbia Rd.


so DCist reported that the Going Out Gurus have started a blog. The GoGs (as they are called on the Washington Post's website) are a bunch of Post staffers who do a weekly chat called "Got Plans?" about entertainment stuff in the DC area, it's pretty useful. They talk about bars, restaurants, concerts, day-trips, etc. I usually read it, and sometimes they take my tips, which is cool. I'll be reading the blog.

And also, thanks to Kyle of Information Leafblower for linking to this here site. Check out his blog: music, basketball, etc. Sounds familiar, eh?


so here are some interesting geography-related news bits I've found recently.

I wrote about Google Maps a little while ago. Right on cue, Microsoft came out with their own competing product, called Mappoint. However, Mappoint has some problems. You'd think that if the directions "take the Channel Tunnel to England" pop up in directions for Norway, Microsoft people might be concerned.

And in other news, it looks like some Alaskans are thinking of moving their capital from Juneau to somewhere more centrally located. I guess this makes some sense, since Juneau is really remote and is inaccessible by car, as a lot people learned in school. Interestingly, the capital of Alaska was already moved once, from Sitka to Juneau in 1906 because the whale trade in Sitka was drying up (according to Wikipedia). Today, Juneau is very far from the main population concentrations in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Some people like this isolation, though, because it at least symbolically separates the government from big business interests in the large cities. Lots of other states have their capitals located outside the main cities, like Missouri, New York, and Illinois, where their capitals aren't in St. Louis, New York City, or Chicago. However, those state capitals (Jefferson City, Albany, and Springfield) are a lot more centrally located than Juneau is. So I guess it's hit or miss. I think the idea of moving the legislature to somewhere more accesible but keeping the rest in Juneau is interesting. Like in Bolivia!

And a few days ago, DCist wrote a piece on the "American Meridian." Back in the 1800s, instead of using the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, England (where 0 degrees longitude is), the U.S. made their own meridian 24th St NW in DC. Thus, DC was at 0 degrees longitude. The DCist piece talks about a plaque that the George Washington University put at 24th and H to memorialize the meridian. I used to walk past that plaque a lot because my dorm was on the same corner. And in a weird little related factoid, Xi'an, an ancient capital of China, is exactly halfway around the world (180 degrees longitude) from DC, and at the exact same latitude (north-south location) as DC. Kooky.



Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so it looks like one of the Jumbo Slices in Adams Morgan was closed down for a day for health code violations. It says debris and unclean surfaces. Here's my guess, and I've seen this happen: There was a fight on the sidewalk that pushed its way into the store. An employee jumped up on the counter and started yelling at the brawlers. Thus, there is debris (stuff knocked over by fighting people) and dirty surfaces (shoe prints on counter.) I think that the jumbo slice is an automatically dirty food, so I'm not worrying and will still eat it. Plus, I only know them as the "Real," "Original," and "Real Original" Jumbo Slices, not as Pizza Mart, Pizza Bolis, and the other one.

In the meantime, why not be friends with Jumbo Slice on Friendster? This guy likes it.

Tailgating at the GW game

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I went to the GW-Richmond men's game this Saturday, it was great, GW won 80-68. I also tailgated with some friends before the game, something I'd never done before, and that was a lot of fun too. We met up about two hours before tipoff accross the street from the Smith Center, GW's home court. (We were on the steps of Funger Hall, if anybody knows GW). Unfortunately, I forgot the nozzle that attaches the gas canister to the grill, so we had to get charcoal and do it that way instead. And it was tough getting the charcoal going, so every 20 minutes or so I'd squirt on lighter fluid and light it, so there'd be a big burst of flames on the steps of this classroom building. No one noticed though, and we proceeded to cook up some tasty brats and burgers. We were tailgating across the street from where the students line up to get in, and being a sell-out, the lines stretched around the corner, which was pretty cool and was something I'd never seen before. And since the game was on ESPN, the cameras would come by occassionally to show the crowd and they'd all yell. While cooking and eating, we made a bunch of ridiculous signs, like "Good Sportsmanship," "Wolf Blitzer, be my Valentine," (Wolf Blitzer comes to a lot of GW games), "nWo" (the wrestling thing), "GWAR," which is just stupid, "GW 3:16," also stupid, and one that spells out "Richmond" and makes no sense:


It means nothing, but still makes me laugh. We sat opposite the Richmond section and I'd hold the sign up every now and then, they must have been confused. One of the guys cooking out with us said he went to a hockey game once with a bunch of signs like "Both teams are evenly matched" and "We appreciate your athletic ability," which I thought was pretty funny. Needless to say, we also brought Coke bottles with lots of Jim Bean added. Anyway, the game was a good one. GW played pretty good defense and there were lots of awesome dunks and nice plays, mostly by GW. Towards the end of the game, I grabbed the "Wolf Blitzer, be my Valentine" sign and got Big George, one of the mascots, and went over to where Wolf was sitting and held up the sign. I thought it was pretty funny, and Wolf and the folks sitting around him all laughed, but unfortunately I didn't get on ESPN or even the Jumbotron. Oh well. But I was on ESPN once a couple years ago, my roommate and I were wearing basketballs on our heads and had a sign that said spelled out ESPN:

chris monroE
Play in the

Monroe, the leading scorer in GW history, was a senior then. So that was cool. But anyway, it was a very good time, and hopefully we'll cook out next week as well. I may post some more photos from the game later.
so I think Valentine's Day is a dumb holiday. I'm not one of those people who are bitter because they're single, because I don't really care that I'm single, I just think it's stupid. It's a made-up holiday to make people buy crap for the people they're dating and take them out to fancy restaurants for no good reason. And anyway, it's only fun for maybe 50% of people (assuming 50% are dating/married), but even then I bet not all of them have fun, since everything seems very forced. "Oh honey, I have to say I love you and stuff today, as opposed to other days when I don't tell you that, and I have to take you to a restaurant, as opposed to all the other days we do things together, and I have to buy roses and presents because that's what commercials are telling me to do." Maybe it's because I have been getting pissed off at jewelry commercials recently because they're stupid. They're trying to tell you that you have to buy something to show somebody you love them, and the more expensive, the more you love them. How wack is that? Plus jewelry commercials are terrible anyway. "Straaaight from the heart, Shaw's Jewelers." "Every kiss begins with Kay." Killer and Kamikaze also start with K, but you don't hear that on the commercial. The implication is ridiculous too, you won't get no booty unless you buy some jewelry. And then there are those horrible ones with the annoying kid, "hey mommy, daddy said he likes you." "Well I like daddy too. See? Check out this big ass necklace he bought me, that means he loves me," or whatever.

Holidays are supposed to be fun for everyone, like Halloween, not fun for only a portion of the populace. And they're definitely not supposed to make some people feel bad, like lonely folks or people who just got dumped. Why is the implication that people have to be in relationships? Who cares? If you want to be single, go ahead. I wish people would just boycott Valentine's Day, because they're single, if they want, but a better reason is because it's just dumb.



Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so i saw this the other day in my neighborhood, pretty funny. My guess is the person who owns this car hates himself, or maybe it's a couple who could be archenemies during the baseball season. Either way, those are two stickers you don't often see in the same place. I also hear that Matthew Lesko (the guy from the infomercial with the question mark jacket who yells "DO YOU WANT MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT!") lives in my neighborhood, so I'm going to try to get photos of him next.
so sometimes I think that my office would collapse if it weren't for me. Not that I am a great worker or Mr. Invaluable or whatever, I'm talking about non-work related stuff. For example, the candy vending machine in the break room broke, and for like a week it's as if people would say "oh, the machine's broken, but rather than call somebody to fix it, I think we should all just go downstairs and use that machine, which is more expensive." So I called the people and they came out and fixed it. That's hardly difficult to figure out or to do. I don't get it. And the same thing with the water cooler, people never put the jug on it when it's empty, so people go downstairs and fill up at the water fountain. It's not that hard to lift a jug of water. This stuff is not that difficult, ya know?

But that stuff aside, I found a cool site called 09h09. It's a guy in France who takes a picture of himself every day at 9:09 am (French time, of course) with his digital camera. He has been doing it for 2 years apparently. I tried to do this once with my webcam, but that lasted about 3 days until I forgot. But the site is neat, worth wasting some time on.


so there's a new Beck video out, for a decent song called Black Tambourine. Check it out. From stereogum.

And here are some more miscellaneous cool sites i've found recently.

Google Maps- Google has continued their world domination with a new site. It's a bit faster and more powerful than Yahoo Yellow Pages or Mapquest, but the directions are a bit suspect. It gave me a real convoluted way to get to work. But the maps are good looking.

The Implicit Associations Test- a set of tests from Harvard seeing if you can differentiate between old and young people, for example, and thus your preferences for older or younger folks. Pretty interesting.

Band to Band- a six-degrees type thing where you can see how one band links to another. I'm trying to get bands that are totally different, like Slayer and They Might Be Giants. And if you're really bored, you can add bands.

Matthew Lesko's blog- Just what it says, the blog of the guy who wears the question mark jacket and screams about "GETTING MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT!!!" I think he lives in my neighborhood too.

Gizoogle- speaking of Google, here's a page that turns your site into Snoop Dogg-ese, or gangsta slang, or whatever you want to call it. Here's a little sample from my blog:

"He's Australian n has some F-U-Double-Nizzy shiznit on tha page, like a poll of whizzich animal would you gangsta see him fizzight: a crocodizzles a kangaroo, a dingo, or a koala . Slap your mutha fuckin self. I voted fo' tha koala . One, two three and to tha four."



Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I got the cd "Fingers Crossed" by Architecture in Helsinki. They're an octet (that means 8) from Australia, and I'd heard some good things about them and heard a couple new mp3s off of an upcoming cd, and I really liked the 30 second samples at Amazon.com. They're kind of like an electronic Belle and Sebastian, but with even more of the randomness and inconsistency that people complain about with Belle and Sebastian.

So I was pretty disappointed. The songs don't live up to the promise of those Amazon samples, as most of the songs are really only good for thirty seconds, then I'd realize that they don't go anywhere. It seems like the band has good ideas, but they never seem to get fleshed out or realize their potential, kind of like me in college. I'm just speculating, but the band kind of sounds like it's a bunch of friends who got together to make a record and goof around. Or maybe they got a lot of money to make a record based on potential and slacked off for awhile, then had to rush to get it finished. Maybe they were trying to make the record sound minimalistic, but it really just sounds barren and incomplete. Or maybe they just get bored with their songs, most of which are around 2 minutes, because a lot of them stop and start again, sometimes with an entirely different melody, making the album sound even more disjointed.

Some songs sound like incidental music in a movie or background music. The rest are just unrealized. I'm easily distracted or tune out when I listen to this CD. Another problem is that the male singer's voice is pretty annoying, it's supposed to sound quiet and whispery, but really just sounds strained. Not to sound mean, but it reminds me of getting a random friend to sing a song quietly, and that friend is just an average singer. Sometimes the annoyingness dominates the song, as on "Where You've Been Hiding", where he repeats "pictures" and it makes me want to skip the track. I'm not sure exactly who the guy is, as the liner notes and website don't list them separately.

The last two songs, "City Calm Down" and "Vanishing" have the most promise (and are also among the longer songs on the album,) but even they aren't that great. The rest are unremarkable, in that they all sound like they could be good, but then collapse or disappear.

It's possible that I just need to listen to this CD more to appreciate it. We'll see.

But I think this band does have promise, as the mp3 of "Do the Whirlwind" (from Rae, via Stereogum), off their upcoming CD is much better.


so my friend erin told me about the radio station WOXY awhile ago (and I posted a bit about it below), but I just started listening to it, it's really good. It's what radio ought to be, good old songs, good new songs, b-sides, etc. It's obvious the DJ picks things that are good, whether or not they're what the big record companies are pushing or not. Plus I emailed a request and he played it a minute later, which was cool. So I recommend.
so it's time for my review of the Kings of Convenience show.

First off, Iota is a weird place, they don't sell tickets in advance, which is annoying, especially because I was pretty sure this show would sell out. So my friends and I got there at 7 or so for a 9:45 show. We figured we'd get dinner there, as they have a cafe, but there was an hour wait, so we hung around and got beers. At 7:30 a guy game around collecting the money for the show and stamped our hands, then we were free to leave, so we went down the street to eat. We came back at 9 or something and bypassed the line, which by that time was huge, so it was good we got there early, even if we did have to waste some time. The place itself is pretty small, a bit bigger than the Black Cat backstage, if people know that. However, it's nice inside, except for a random big pillar in the middle and a booth that people can sit in the middle of the floor, meaning it's smaller than you'd think. And for some reason, there were a bunch of tall dudes in front of me. I felt like a nerd holding my camera phone up in the air to get photos. Oh well.

But the show itself was very good, everyone was quiet and the music sounded great. The guys in the band are pretty funny too, they were joking the whole time about things, making fun of each other, etc. They played a good mix of new stuff and old stuff, and I recognized most of it, though they didn't do "Free Falling" (by Tom Petty). Rae found a bunch of live mp3s on their website, which is pretty cool of them to do, and it gives you a good idea of what they sound like.


so I saw Kings of Convenience on Saturday at Iota, they were excellent. Here are some pics from ye olde camera phone. Blurry, but as good as I can do.

Erlend Øye (left) and Erik Glambek Bøe (right). I wish my name had a Ø in it.

Erlend rocking out. He's very tall, maybe 6'5. Unfortunately, so were a lot of the people at the show.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll post a brief review soon.


so here are some more interesting links and news.

my friend jess sent me this clip from an old Muppets skit. Funny stuff. I also like the vaguely Scandinavian subtitles.

Andrew Bogut's blog. Andrew's a forward/center on the University of Utah college basketball team and he's really good. He's Australian and has some funny stuff on the page, like a poll of which animal would you rather see him fight: a crocodile, a kangaroo, a dingo, or a koala. I voted for the koala.

And the Super Bowl is coming up, which made me think of the Bud Bowl, and how awesome it was. I wish they'd bring it back. What's funny is I was probably in elementary school when they were on, but I loved watching those beer bottles play football. And also, I wonder what happened to Bud Dry and Bud Ice, I don't think I see them around anymore. Anyway, here are a few pages about the Bud Bowl.

Bud Bowl's Greatest Games
Some other page that has good pictures.

And again speaking of college hoops, GW is playing Temple (at Temple) on ESPN tomorrow at 2 pm eastern. Everyone should tune in, it should be a big game for both teams, as both are NCAA tournament bubble teams. But now it's time for the weekend, over and out.
so here's a little update on Chris Wylde on American Idol:

First, here's a video, from College Humor.com via Stereogum.

And the American Idol website had this to say:

"Now we have Christopher Noll rapping his little heart out. MC Fivehead bringin' the thunder, y'all! I'd say that this is actually Chris Wylde rehearsing for an upcoming role,. And it's definitely not a gag for The Chris Wylde Show, since that was cancelled in about four days. Nope, this guy just regular sucks. There's no angle to it. All of his lines did rhyme, though. That's a step in the right direction."

I still think they got duped though, because if they knew he was a comedian, why did they let him on the show?
so Rae found some more stuff about the Arcade Fire and some more Final Fantasy mp3s.

Zoilus, which I assume is a Canadian music blog, has a bit about the Arcade Fire (including an image of them on Conan O'Brien, wearing motorcycle helmets like they did at the 930 Club show), and some good Final Fantasy mp3s, especially the CN Tower one, which he played at the show I went to. I really like that one. As I said before, Final Fantasy is just one guy with a violin, and he records a bit, then loops the recording and records some more, and so on. It's really cool to see in concert.


so apparently a guy duped the American Idol people yesterday. I was watching it with my roommates, laughing at the delusional people and what not, and a guy came on who looked familiar, he said his name was Christopher Noll. He did a pretty funny rap about the judges (and Brandy, who was a guest judge), parts of which went something like "Simon Cowell, S. Cowell spells scowl" and "praise God and Anisha, look, it's TV's Moesha" (I'm paraphrasing here, I don't remember exactly.) Anyway, he was pretty funny throughout and obviously got rejected (after pretending to wipe his brow) then cussed a lot, I assume for dramatic effect. So I went to look him up, and it turns out that Christopher Noll is also known as Chris Wylde, who had a show in 2001 on Comedy Central, the Chris Wylde Show. I assume the Comedy Central page is old, since everything I read on Google said his show was pretty bad (according to some miscellaneous blogs at least, but who believes what they say) and was cancelled after 10 episodes. According to IMDB, he was also in Joe Dirt and Coyote Ugly and some other stuff, as well as getting his home fixed up on Trading Spaces.

And it looks like he was in some show called Film Fakers and a Truth.com commercial, according to this page (beware pictures of girls in bikinis if you're at work), which is probably what I remember him from. Funny line from that page: "I'm so white I eat clouds and piss bleach." And this page has some funny Fox Sports commercials. I remember seeing the first one.

And it looks like he went to American University in DC as well and had a show there, according to this article here from the AU paper. And his own pretty weird website is here.

So hooray for Google. I thought it was pretty interesting that he got onto American Idol, being a comedian and all.


so I found a few more examples of Borf, my new favorite graffiti writer. The first one is on Irving St., just west of 14th, and is the one I was talking about where the line of the F goes all the way down to the street. The other one is on the south side of U St. somewhere near 15th St NW. I think it's close to Cada Vez.

so it's time for some miscellaneous interesting sites. or as ben calls it, more reasons to love the internet.

nflcheerleader.blogspot.com. Just what it sounds like. I actually haven't been able to peruse it too much because I'm at work.

Fuggin It Up, a blog devoted to photos of celebrities in stupid looking clothes, sent to me by Rae. Maybe people will stop wearing those stupid eskimo boobs and shiny sunglasses.

A video of a kid lipsynching to a Romanian techno song. Pretty funny. One of my friends actually played me this song on the ride home to Tennessee for Christmas. He's not the guy in the video though.

And the translated lyrics of that song. My favorite lyrics: "[These are just sounds.]"

We Regret the Error, a blog about newspapers' corrections and retractions. Pretty interesting. Check out the University of Virginia's corrections page. Those guys could use a fact-checker.

An oldie but goodie: the video of the "More Cowbell" Will Ferrell SNL sketch, from Ben's blog.

And finally, a guide to prank calls to Moe on the Simpsons. My favorite is "Uh, hey, everybody! I'm a stupid moron with an ugly face and big butt and my butt smells and I like to kiss my own butt."


so the Express reported yesterday that Metro is thinking of getting corporate sponsorships for its stations. (Pretty shocking that I read something in the Express that I hadn't already heard). Anyway, I think this is a good thing, especially since Metro always seems to be needing money and people don't want to pay the .0001 cents more of taxes for it. However, I hope if they rename stations, they put the ad part at the end, it would suck having to go to Prada Station at Foggy Bottom-GWU for GW basketball games. It's kind of lame to have a station sponsored by anybody, but I could put up with it if it's at the end: "Foggy Bottom-GWU station, brought to you by Prada." Or you know, Kate Spade or Gucci or whatever GW girls wear nowadays.

I could give a shit about who sponsors the station, really, unless there's a Krispy Kreme or Haribo Gummi Bears station, then all of my trips would end there. "Sorry I'm late boss, real long delay on the Red line. We were stuck at Krispy Kreme station for an hour."

Or another could sponsor the station at College Park. That would be funny and confusing for tourists, which is also funny. College Park-UMD, sponsored by George Mason University.
so there's a lot of news regarding those free newspapers they give out at the Metro. There's a new one called the Examiner (DCist talks about it.) Apparently it's owned by Philip Anschutz, a big-time contributor to the Republican party and conservative Christian groups like Focus on the Family, so I won't be reading it, but it looks like it's written strangely too, just from a glance at the website. Some headlines that seem strange and amateurish to me: "BABY BELL SBC ACQUIRES THE MOTHER SHIP - AT&T - FOR ABOUT $15 BLN", "Wow! Maryland 79, No. 22 Georgia Tech 71," "Come on Nats! Only 62 days until the Nationals play first game." Those look like they should have been in my high school newspaper, except there aren't any typos. But the paper looks corny to me. I'll stick with my pseudo-hipster Express.

However, I found a funny and misleading headline on the front page of yesterday's Express. On the lower left, there's a picture of the Scissor Sisters (who I hear are good,) and it says "Also, gay characters in cartoons, ODB's final album." To me, this reads like there are gay characters in cartoons and in ODB's final album, which sounds pretty interesting: "Wow, ODB is rapping about gay people! I wonder if he treats them like normal people, or if he's making fun of them?" So I went to the article about ODB's album and there's no mention of any gay people. Obviously the comma between "characters in cartoons" and "ODB's final album" is supposed to separate two different articles. How about use "and" next time, or put "ODB's final album" before "gay characters in cartoons." Pretty amusing.