so it looks like there is a new OK Go album coming out, which I am looking forward to. Their last one was very happy, poppy, fun stuff, and what I've heard of this one is the same. Their website has an awesome, hilarious video of them dancing to one of the new songs, it's great. (On the left side of the page). It looks like it's all in one take, and I can't watch more than a few seconds of it at work because I break out laughing. And VH1.com has a stream of the new CD too. For some reason VH1 says they're from Liverpool, but they're actually from Chicago. The singer used to live in DC, which apparently is well known around here, because I went to see them once a couple years ago at the Black Cat and was shocked when it was sold out, with the line around the block. It was the biggest line I've ever seen at the Black Cat.
so I have been watching CNN pretty much whenever I get a free moment, it's fascinating. They are having a hard time figuring out what's happening in New Orleans, it seems surreal. But I don't remember watching it this much besides the 2000 election and the first Gulf War. I missed this exchange though, between a dude walking his dog and a Fox News reporter, which apparently was reported on Wonkette.com

SHEPARD SMITH: You’re live on FOX News Channel, what are you doing?

MAN: Walking my dogs.

SMITH: Why are you still here? I’m just curious.

MAN: None of your fucking business.

SMITH: Oh that was a good answer, wasn’t it? That was live on international television. Thanks so much for that. You know we apologize.


SMITH: "I'm watching two dogs drink out of a glass of ice water, and it's none of my business why they are still here."

But funny stuff aside, NOLA.com, the New Orleans Times-Picayune's website, has good coverage of everthing. I can't even think how much will be salvaged or what. CNN last night and today had interviews with state government people saying there were tons of people on rooftops and so on that they couldn't get to, and they were bringing in lots of helicopters and flat-bottomed boats to pick folks up. And this morning, a reporter in New Orleans was overcome by emotion talking about what she and her crew had seen, people hurt, etc. The Post has a big article on the front page of its website.


so one of my pals, Edmund, is moving to Wales pretty soon. I was bored at work and decided to put together a little compendium of my favorite Welsh bands and albums. There's a suprisingly big indie rock scene there. Well, maybe not surprisingly, since it's a big place, but whatever. Here it is.

Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World
Kooky, melodic, over the top electronicish rock. They're great in concert, have a cool video show, and sometimes they wear Yeti costumes

Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power
Came out after Rings Around the World. more muscular and with some good anti-US songs

Super Furry Animals - Mwng
It's all in Welsh, so I dunno what it's about. Good music though, and the words sound neat.

Catatonia - International Velvet
Catchy Brit-pop (or Welsh-pop?) with a sultry-type girl singer. I love "Road Rage." "Mulder and Scully" was a big hit apparently, but I don't remember it.

McLusky - My Pain & Sadness Is More Sad & Painful Than Yours
Probably the best album name ever, these guys are sort of loud rock goofballs. Funny and sometimes angry. Their other cds are supposed to be good too.

I read somewhere that they formed after two of the guys went independently to a concert at a Welsh theater dressed as miners, they both got kicked out and then became friends. The third guy pissed on their tent at the Reading Festival, and he became their friend too.

Also, they have a video at rathergood.com which is really funny

Manic Street Preachers - Forever Delayed: The Greatest Hits
I guess these guys are the UK version of Rage Against the Machine, leftist rock stuff, but not as loud or annoying as Rage. I like the song "If You Tolerate This, Then Your Children Will Be Next". I don't always know who the people are they're talking about, but whatever.

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
(mynci pronounced monkey)
Don't know these guys too well, but what i've heard is fun, kooky Brit-poppish stuff. From the early to mid 90s.

I don't really know them too well, but I hear they're good

And in other news, the most people to ever visit my site in one day came on friday. Pretty cool! I guess they like stories about iPods, Sufjan Stevens, and dildos in metal detectors.
so there's a big hurricane in New Orleans right now, I hope it doesn't cause too much damage. I read somewhere they were thinking 60% of the houses in the city might be destroyed, since they're so old and the winds were so strong, but that seems excessive to me. I found a blog by a writer for the Times-Picayune newspaper giving updates about the storm, interesting stuff. Capitol Weather, a DC weather blog, is following it too, and has up to date info. Yahoo has good coverage too. They also have a tracker from the AP. Flickr has a bunch of photos from people too. My favorite is this one. And there's also an online chat at the Post with a guy from NOAA. I read that it might be an environmental disaster if the city floods, since there'd be tons of sewage and trash floating around, blocked in by levees around the city. I really like New Orleans, and I hope the residents and the city itself are ok.


so I was going to the ATM at work the other day, which is next to the metal detector, and I was looking at the metal detector's screen out of curiosity. it was kind of neat, seeing keys and phones and change and whatnot in people's bags go by. Then I saw one bag come through with a couple of bottle looking things and what was clearly a dildo. It even had nuts attached. The lady running it looked at me and said "do you see what I see?? She must think I can't see what's in there," and both of us were snickering. She called over the other security guards and got similar reactions. It was pretty hilarious. I mean, I guess that lady had a big night planned or something, but why not leave the sex toys at home? It's not like metal detectors only see metal. Or maybe she is like the Avon Lady or something. "Hey Francine, your order came in."
so I got an iPod awhile ago, and I think I am finally seeing why everybody likes it. I was mostly listening to it at work and the Metro and thought, "eh, this is ok," but honestly, I think a lot of music sounds worse when you hear it at work, because you're doing stuff that is not exactly fun. And I get annoyed on the Metro, dumb tourists clogging the doors, people not moving to the center so everyone's packed in, doofuses not moving fast enough so I miss trains, etc. So my patience for songs is lower then. However, walking around with it is nice, like Logan Circle to Adams Morgan, and the other day I was packing some stuff and listening at the same time, and I really enjoyed that. I felt like I could enjoy the slower songs more then for
some reason. I guess I need fast stuff at work so I don't go into a trance or start snoozing.

And I also got the new Sufjan Stevens CD, Illinois, and I really started to like it. The first few times I thought, "eh, this is ok," but those times were at work and on the Metro. Maybe it takes a few listens to like, or maybe it was where I was listening to it, but I'm really liking it. I could hear "Concerning the UFO sighting in Highland, Illinois" over and over. And the ones I thought were annoying at first have grown on me, like the two part song about the Columbian Exposition and Carl Sandburg. So I recommend it. It's well produced too, the sound is really warm and big, and it's mostly from acoustic instruments. I'm looking forward to seeing them in September. Supposedly they dress up in University of Illinois cheerleader costumes, and the last show in New York they had a homecoming dance theme and elected a king and queen. Funny stuff. There's a bunch of good photos on Flickr.


Two-story McDonald's

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I saw this the other day in Crystal City, VA, and it got me thinking: what's with two-story McDonald's? You usually only see them in urban areas, but the ones I've been to, the second story is always deserted. For that matter, I've never really seen a one story McD's get that busy either - what's the point of two stories? People don't usually go to McDonald's and sit I don't think, and this one didn't have a second floor playroom or anything. It just sort of weirds me out. They always look strange too - this one had fountains in front. Bizzare. Also, I wish they brought back the puppet people, Mayor McCheese, Grimace, the Fry Guys, Hamburglar, and that girl bird, whatever her name was. They were cool. I was Hamburglar a couple years ago for Halloween. That was a good time.

And speaking of deserted, I just moved to Logan Circle, and I walk to the Shaw-Howard U Metro now. I think it has to be one of the emptiest morning metro stations. I've never walked in with anybody else, and there's usually maybe 5 people waiting for either train when I get there at 8 or 8:30ish. It's still pretty dead in the nighttime too. Which is odd, as it's in a fairly populous area, I guess. Although the neighborhood seems pretty deserted most of them time anyway. Maybe Logan Circle is really the second story of a gigantic McDonald's.


so my friend "Janevksy" sent this to me (he wants to remain anonymous, thus the alias). It's a crazy article about a messed up high school in Ohio where 65 of the 490 girls are pregnant. I mean, that's a lot of girls, but the rest of the article is even more ridiculous.

"The article reported that some would say that movies, TV, videogames, lazy parents and lax discipline may all be to blame."

Video games? Come on.
"Hey Samantha, I got a new video game. Now I want to have a baby with you."
"That sounds good."

But then there's another bizarre quote:
"According to the Canton Health Department, statistics through July show that 104 of the 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center had mothers between 11 and 19."

11?!? What is wrong with this town? I thought girls were gross when I was 11. And looking at the town's newspaper, I also saw these headlines:

Mom reportedly having sex with adopted son and

Shoplifting suspect accused of having meth lab in car.

I don't understand why this town isn't at the top of the Best Places to Live list. If I lived there, I would move. Pro Football Hall of Fame or not.


so I've been listening to some new stuff recently, I got this cool CD called "Moving in Stereo" from two DJs named Caps and Jones, it's sort of a mash-up of lots of neat samples, with various beats and so on added. It's really cool, fun stuff mixed together. I sort of wish it were less schizophrenic and they stuck to themes (like the Conga part and the Magnetic Fields part) but it's neat nonetheless. The CD is only 6 bucks and is well worth it. Check it out. There's a sample mp3 under "Mixes." They're apparently NYU students, according to Spin, which is where I read about them.

Also, I've been listening to podcasts for my new Ipod (or is it iPod) from this blog called mcturgeon, which was also mentioned in Spin. It's a girl from Montreal named Marie-Chantalle Turgeon (or something like that), and she plays lots of cool stuff, neat electronic music, cool indie pop, neat things I'd never heard. And lots of Of Montreal (who are from the state of Georgia, not Montreal). She both speaks French and English sometimes and is pretty fun to listen to speak. And in her most recent podcast (number 39), she read my email! Pretty cool. Anyway, here's her blog, or if you are lazy, here are just the podcasts. They're great for work, I can put one on and listen for awhile.


so I read that Robert Moog, the guy who made the Moog synthesizer, died today. Accordig to amazon.com, "Widely dismissed as a passing novelty in its formative years, New York inventor Robert Moog's electronic synthesizer eventually evolved into the most revolutionary instrument of the past century." Yahoo has a good article about him too. I've always liked how the Moog sounds, and I like a lot of bands with them, like Stereolab, the Rentals, as well as Gary Numan's "Cars," New Order's "Blue Monday", some Stevie Wonder songs, and probably about a million more. Amazon has a good selection of Moog-related stuff, like the Moog Cookbook, which I remember from back in the day, a CD of mid-90's alternative rock songs covered using only Moogs. This one is very cool too, it's called Moog, a soundtrack to a documentary about the Moog.


Watch out for the Ass Cobra

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I saw this the other day on 12th or 13th St somewhere south of U Street, thought it was pretty hilarious. I'm not sure what the point is, other than being very funny. It makes a good band name too, even though there are already bands called the Assrockers and Ass Ponys.


so I thought this was pretty cool, Dublin unveiled a statue of the lead singer of Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott. I can't find a picture of it, but I'll put one on here when I can. I think "the Boys are Back in Town" is an awesome song, and apparently they're really famous in Dublin. He died in 1986 though, according to this Yahoo story, which I was not aware of. But still, it's pretty neat.
so there's a cool American Analog Set / Kelly Clarkson mash-up mp3 on Stereogum, it actually sounds good. I don't like how she sings "you" as "yew", sounds like Avril Lavigne. I'll have to get that American Analog Set album, it's the newest one. They're a good band, very mellow. Here's their website.

Also, these Russia-China military exercises are kind of scary. But the way things are going with Putin getting more dictatorial, jailing prominent dudes who disagree with him, being secretive about those submarines and Chechnya, taking away freedom of the press and so on, it makes me think he wants to be our enemy or something. He seems like a real dick. So maybe a conventional military isn't obsolete.


so DCist.com reports that the Mayor has a blog now, on dc.gov. It's not half bad either, kind of funny stuff. I wonder what he'll do with it? I also wondered what if he had a Livejournal? Then I found this. thank you, whoever.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Mike and Ikes

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I got these today, they were pretty tasty: Tangy Twister Mike and Ikes. I don't know if they're that new, but they were new to me, at least. I love normal Mike and Ikes and can eat them like candy (ha, get it!). These ones were surprisingly sour and pretty good. They came in a small bag, which is good, since I don't think I'd want to eat a big box of them all, since towards the end I was hoping for more cherry ones, since they were the least sour. If you like sour stuff though, then I recommend them. I would probably get them again if I were in the mood for a chewy, fruity candy with some bite.


so I saw this linked from Yahoo: Walken 2008 - as in Christopher Walken for President. I assumed it was a joke and expected to see somebody doing a Christopher Walken impression, like one from SNL, with him talking about taxes and getting more cowbell and so on. However, it seems fairly legit, which is odd. Either that, or the way it's written is supposed to remind people of how he talks, but it doesn't really. If it's a joke, it's not that well done, I guess. The platform is pretty normal, but some of the quotes from him are little weird, like "I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising." And the FAQ doesn't have "Is this a joke?" which was my first question. Well either way, kind of kooky.

And it looks like the site just went down. Weird.
so I saw that movie The Island the other day. It was stupid. I guess most popcorn-type action movies are not overly smart, but this one was particularly dumb and cringe-causing. I don't think I've ever seen a movie with more obvious and annoying product placements. It made me wonder if this was just one giant commercial, that the movie studio got these companies to give lots of money, then had to write a movie around them. The first ad was at the very beginning of the movie, with some obviously displayed Pumas as the only shoes we wear in the future, apparently. It went downhill from there, with pointless close-ups on Aquafina bottles, the MSN Search logo (what we use instead of phone books in the future), those new metal Michelob bottles, Honda Elements, etc etc. And in some cases the ads didn't even make any sense: this movie is supposed to take place in 2019 or something, but everyone's still driving 2005 Dodge Chargers and Cadillacs. And just in case you didn't notice what kind of cars these are, they zoom in on the Cadillac logo and Ewan McGregor's character made sure to extol all the virtues of his new Caddy. It was ridiculous. The rest of the movie was pretty corny too, with way too many pointless slowmos and zooms and really lame dreams and brainwashing segments with montages of different images, stuff that might have been scary or interesting 30 years ago. And there were lots of stupid, annoying characters who suddenly became smart, and just general logical inconsistencies. That being said, Scarlett Johannson was looking good. Though I could have done without her character watching her real life Calvin Klein commercial on TV. The one that she was in from this year. Come on.

Update- the Onion has a funny fake editorial by director Michael Bay.


New Skittles

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I got these new Skittles the other day at the hot dog stand, they are "Fruit Smoothie". They smelled a lot like smoothies, but they tasted like scented candles, which was pretty gross. I love candy but couldn't even finish the bag. So I guess smoothies in solid form are not a good idea.


so I found this hilarious video the other day, it's a live action version of Paperboy, that video game. Awesome stuff. It was on Ultragrrl's blog, who used to write for Spin and I guess is sort of a famous blogger. She's on "Best Week Ever" and stuff sometimes.

In other news, I was listening to LL Cool J's first album, "Radio" awhile ago. It's so awesome. The beats are really sparse and simple and catchy, and they're all from the old 808 drum machine. They're so cool sounding. There's a bunch of samples here. My favorites are "I Can't Live Without My Radio," "You Can't Dance," and "Rock the Bells." And he was only 17 when he made it, which is pretty impressive. Most reviews give it five stars, and Spin named it to their top 100 of the last 20 years. The weird thing is that most of the songs are about how def he is, and the rest are these very shy, teenagey songs about him trying unsuccesfully to get girls. And this is before his mom told him to knock you out.


so my pal Jess's sister Alexis sent me this. Funny ad for an Australian beer.


Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So my roommate and I went to the Manassas National Battlefield the other day, it was pretty neat. There were two battles on the same battlefield, the first battle of the Civil War and another one later on as the Confederates tried to get towards DC. Casualties were about the same for both sides, but the South won them both. The battles are also called the First and Second Battles of Bull Run, after a nearby creek. The south named their battles after towns, for the most part, while the North named them after creeks and rivers. Thus Antietam (a creek) is the same as a Sharpsburg (a town). But anyway, the park was pretty nice, but their explanation of the second battle left a lot to be desired.

The park has a small museum at the Vistor's Center which was pretty neat, and there was a cool electronic map of the first battle with a narrated program telling what happened. It was definitely useful, as it said and showed what happened during the first battle. Then we took the walking tour around the first battlefield. These cannons were part of the Southern line, and behind them was where Stonewall Jackson earned his nickname. Walking around the field made me wonder what it would have been like to fight in it, and it would not have been fun. It seemed like the first battlefield was pretty small, and a lot of back and forth fighting took place across a few hundred feet, with cannonballs bouncing everywhere. Something else interesting was that once the North had been beaten in the battle, their retreat was slowed by all the people who came down from Washington to watch the battle, expecting a quick victory. Families, congressmen, and so on, had brought their carriages down and had picnics. Seems pretty stupid to me. "Oh, let's go watch the battle! I'll make sandwiches!"

This poster was in the museum. It's hard to read, but it was encouraging people to fight for the Confederacy, saying the Northerners are trying to tell them what to do and how to run their economy. Thought that was interesting.

The second battle seemed to take place over a much larger area. It didn't have an electronic map, but did have a driving tour. However, the driving tour didn't really have a lot of information on it, besides the blurbs in the brochure about each site, so it was pretty hard to follow what was going on. Each stop on the tour only had a sign with the park rules and no map or even a time period, so I guess I have a much cloudier view of the second battle. The website has a little virtual tour of both battles, but it's still a little hard to follow. And Wikipedia has a bit on the first and second battles.

The fence was part of the driving tour of the second battle. The Southerners lined up in a railroad grade behind and surprised the Northerners as they walked by.


so I just became one of those white cord people, I got an iPod. i wonder if i'm going to run into stuff and miss my metro station. But in other news, I saw that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are going on tour, but there is no DC show. However, I emailed them, and they got back to me really soon, saying they'll probably play one in mid October in DC. so that's pretty cool. At the risk of contributing to the buzz machine, I like their stuff, it's pretty good.

Also, Google Maps has a new feature, "Hybrid" maps, which are the satellite images with streets and buildings drawn over them. For example, here's my freshman year dorm. Pretty cool.


so I was watching the new Missy Elliott video, "Lose Control," and I really like it. The song is really cool, it's very catchy and has samples from Cybotron and Les Rhythmes Digitales (the "music makes me lose control" part). And as usual, the video is kooky, with weird images and things. It's a little bit Daft Punky at times, which is a good sign. Check it out here. And apparently she produced the song herself, which is pretty cool.

And that, along with a conversation with my pal Sarah, got me to thinking how the Newport News area has a lot of famous hip-hoppers, like Missy Elliott, Pharrell from the Neptunes, and Timbaland. I guess it's a big area, but it seems like a random place, especially when places like Baltimore and DC don't really have that many hip hoppers. I guess part of the reason in DC is because of the go-go scene, but still.