so i went to see the Oranges Band and the Bonapartes yesterday at the Black Cat. I went to see the Oranges Band, who are a pretty cool garagey rock band from Baltimore. The Bonapartes are from DC. The Oranges Band weren't as good as I hoped, mainly due to sort of muddy sound, but were still pretty entertaining. I bought their new CD, though I haven't had a chance to listen to it. And my buddy really liked the drumming.

The Bonarpartes, however, were kind of weird. They sounded good and were good performers, but I didn't really buy into them for some reason. It was strange, their music was pretty good, solid sort of Interpol/Elefant angular rock, and the lead singer was a good frontman - energetic, swinging his hips and dancing all over the stage, swinging the mic stand and so on, but they didn't really seem to connect, at least not ot me. It was strange, I'm not sure how to describe it - it sort of felt like they were trying to play to a big stadium rather than the Black Cat backstage, which is pretty small. They weren't convincing or they were too professional or something, I dunno. It was odd. As I said, they were still good performers and I would not be surprised if they "made it." And one of the guitarists looked a lot like Alan Cumming.


so speaking of Philly, I forgot to mention that downtown Wilmington, Delaware looks pretty cool. I was looking for a picture of Wayne and Garth saying "hi, we're in... Delaware. Isn't it great to be in... Delaware" but I couldn't find one.

Anyway, the Greyhound stopped there on the way back, and it looks like they've done a lot of cool redevelopment downtown. There's a lot of new buildings with cool architecture and nice waterfront parks and stuff - it almost looks like a European city. Even the Greyhound station is a nice, new building. No idea if it's actually a happening town, but at least it looks cool.


so i went to Philadelphia this weekend. I like that city. For one thing, it seems like a city more than DC - big buildings, mixed uses, people on the streets all the time. It's also much less pretentious than DC, and it's more diverse economically - there's a real blue color presence there. One thing I think sums the city up is that DC has tons of Starbucks on every corner, Philly has tons of Dunkin Donuts. The city is also a lot cheaper and has a lot more local flavor - you can't meet somebody and tell right away they're a DC native, but you definitely can with Philadelphia natives. Plus I like cheesesteaks, and they have a much more authentic Chinatown. I also feel like there are cuter girls up there, or at least girls I'd be more interested in - they're less Type A-looking. If only it weren't cold up there.

The weird thing I noticed on the ride up was that the lady next to me on the Greyhound had two cell phones. They were identical phones, and she'd be talking on one then the other would ring and she'd hang up and pick the other one up. Pretty odd. I couldn't tell what she was saying, as she was speaking some other language that I couldn't recognize. It sounded like some kind of creole or something, it was sort of Frenchish and Spanish-ish, but didn't sound Portugese either.


so my roommate sent me this page called "Steve, Don't Eat It!" where a guy, Steve, eats terrible food. It's fantastic. I like his descriptions - "coating my mouth and lips with a glistening sheen of sadness." Funny stuff. He eats some weird stuff too - pickled pork rinds, breast milk, Beggin Strips.


so Google Maps is weird. If you go to the home page which shows the US, it shows all the state names and the names of major cities - New York, LA, Houston etc. But it also shows the names of a few other places - Dennis, NJ, Breitung, WI, Hibbing, MN, and Sierra Vista, AZ. What's the deal with these towns? Thanks to the wonder that is Wikipedia, I found that they have a combined population of 67,000. Ok. And yet cities like Nashville, Cleveland and Philly aren't on there. I understand not having labels for all the towns, especially when the state names are on there, buy why include these little dinky places? Breitung has 5,000 people, for example. It's weird.


Bracey Junction, Virginia is weird

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I went to Greensboro, NC this past weekend for the NCAA tournament, GW was playing. More on that later. On the way back, we stopped for gas randomly at this place along I-85 just over the North Carolina line in Virginia. It was a very stange place. At first it looked like your normal truck stop place with all the weird crap they sell - figurines, leather vests, tapes, etc, but there was also a bunch of games in the entry where you put a quarter in and it drops and might push other quarters out, if that makes sense. There were also a bunch of video poker machines, about half of which were on but had "out of order" signs taped on them. And the weird thing was that the place was hopping. It was like 8 pm on a saturday, and every video poker machine had a random-looking person on them, and a couple guys were playing the quarter machines. We tried them and once got a bunch of quarters to drop into the place where you get your winnings, but when we reached in, there weren't any in there. So that was weird.

I bought some food at the shop and the girl behind the counter stared at my jacket, which says "SC Schwerzenbach" and seemed surprised I spoke English. Apparently the other cashier was smoking while she rang up my buddy, which was funny. Then I asked where the bathroom was, and she gave me pretty long directions to get there. The place was huge and kept going back and back into other rooms. I heard people talking off in corners and other rooms I couldn't see, and next to the bathroom there were 6 booths or so, every one with somebody in it filling out a scratch game ticket. And even beyond the bathrooms there were other rooms.

The whole establishment was sort of brown and grimy too. So I made my way out of the bathroom and through the maze of hallways and rooms, and got back to the front where my pal was trying the quarter game again with no success. While he was putting in quarters, a guy with a big tattoo on his hand complained to me that he heard the quarters drop too, and didn't get any. I said that happened to us too. He set off the alarm trying to get his money from the receptacle, but nobody seemed to be bothered by it.

Then after my pal used his last quarter, we left and we both said how weird the place was. I said I wouldn't be surprised if the place was a brothel or sold drugs or something weird like that too, and I was sort of worried that I used my credit card, as it was a sketchy place. I noticed driving out that all the signs were sort of brown and looked like they were from 1980s Europe, and the gas prices didn't match on a couple signs.

Anyway, I recommend going there, it was very surreal and odd. Sort of reminded me of a movie, like the weird bar in "From Dusk Til Dawn" or whatever that vampire movie with Antonio Banderas was. And there's also a whole other wing with a restaurant and apparently a bar, as the place is listed on Pubcrawler.com. Strange stuff. Here's the map of where it is.


so how about that NCAA tourney! I guess the Missouri Valley conference is for real, they have two teams in the Sweet 16, with Bradley beating Kansas and Pittsburgh and Wichita State beating Seton Hall and Tennessee. And George Mason beat Michigan State and North Carolina too! That's ridiculous. I was in Greensboro for the GW games and was at a bar watching the games. After UNC squeaked out their win against Murray State, a UNC fan saw they would face Mason next and said "oh, we got this bracket." I said "hey man, Mason is pretty good, they beat Michigan State without their leading scorer, and he's coming back against you." He said "we got this bracket." Eat it!


so i read in the Express today, of all places, about a new CD by Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. Campbell used to be in Belle and Sebastian and Lanegan was the lead singer of Screaming Trees, one of the few grunge bands that I can still listen to (especially "Nearly Lost You"). Anyway, their stuff is pretty neat, Isobel has a really light 60s-ish voice while Lanegan's is really deep. You can hear some of the songs here and here. I especially like "Deus Ibi Est", which I think means God is here in Latin. Plus Isobel Campbell is pretty easy on the eyes - especially if you just travelled in time from the 1960s.
so my pal Donkey Kong sent me this: it's a hilarious essay for an English class. I like that the professor actually tried to grade it. "Where are your sources?" Funny stuff.


so i saw this in an email at work, it's ridiculous - like, come on man! Don't make me get out one of those things they used to sift gold out of a stream. I need a business-talk to normal language translator. Or maybe a couple of periods.

I would suggest that she needs to know when something needs action by her or by someone she could ask for action, or when something that's likely to happen could be useful to her in support of another objective or could bring credit or criticism to OCTO or the PMO.

Uh, what?!?!


so here's my updated concert list. they've added a few good things, like the Oranges Band

so here's my newest concert list. not that much, really

Sat Mar 11- Measles Mumps and Rubella(CD RELEASE PARTY!) $10 w/French Toast & Free Blood DC9

THUR MAR 16- KARMELLA'S GAME, JINXED AT TWELVE $5 backstage 9:00 Black Cat. Karmella's Game are local and I've heard good stuff. That's also the NCAA tourney though, so we'll see.

TUE MAR 21- Stereolab w/ Sam Prekop with Archer Prewitt $18.00 930 Club

MON MAR 27- THE HARD TOMORROWS, GREENLAND $6 backstage 9:00 Black Cat two local bands, i like Greenland especially

TUES MAR 28- THE BONAPARTES, THE ORANGES BAND $5 backstage 9:00 Black Cat. The Oranges Band are from Baltimore and do pretty cool stuff - I really like "Ok Apartment", which you can download here.


Sat April 1: Hangar 18 (def jux), APSCI (quannum recs) Galaxy Hut. I heard one really awesome Hangar 18 song, and beyond that I dunno. might be neat.

SAT APR 8- Assrockers Club U-Turn 1942 11th Street NW. The Assrockers are a hilarious hard rock band from here. One of the guys took some improv classes when I was taking them, they're very funny.

SUN APR 9- ART BRUT, THE ROGERS SISTERS, THE ROBOCOP KRAUS $12 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat. I don't really know the first two, but Robocop Kraus sound pretty good, zey ist Ghair-mon electronik roke muzeek.

Mon Apr 10- The Sounds, Morningwood, Action Action, $15 930 Club. The attractive girl showcase, the Sounds are Swedish and pretty cool and Morningwood also has a cute girl, though I've never heard them. I especially like "Rock n Roll" on the Sounds myspage page. I actually got introduced to them by a Swedish girl wearing a The Sounds tshirt who I played strip beer pong with at a party. Racy huh! Unfortunately we crushed the opposition.

FRI. APR. 14- Ladytron 10pm Doors $15.00 930 Club. Ladytron are really cool electroclash stuff

Sun April 16: half handed cloud, Vollmar. Galaxy Hut Half-Handed Cloud is a guy in Sufjan Steven's band, and he opened for Sufjan awhile ago. I think I liked it, I forget.

FRI MAY 12- PINBACK $15 mainstage 9:30 Black Cat. Pinback are what is sometimes called laptop indie, which means sort of introspective stuff with some electronic bits, I guess. It's pretty cool and delicate stuff but a lot of the songs build in intensity. Check out "Fortress" on their myspace page and Lyon from their website.

MON MAY 15- PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, GIANT DRAG $13 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat. The confident girl supershow. Giant Drag is a cool two-piece, and I have a thing for Annie, the singer and guitarist. They're pretty funny - they have songs like "Kevin is Gay", "My Dick Sux," and "You're Full Of Shit (Check Out My Sweet Riffs)" and on their myspace page, it says Sounds Like: crap. Plus she starts "Kevin is Gay" by making a sound from Street Fighter 2.

WED MAY 17- MATT COSTA, THE 88 $12 mainstage 8:30 Black Cat. I don't know much about either of these guys, but I downloaded a Matt Costa song I liked (here's the link), and the 88 are catchy power pop. Check them out on Myspace. They kinda remind me of OK Go.
so it's my favorite sports time of the year - March Madness. I love to see all these basketball games on, with wild upsets from schools you don't hear much about, and so on. I'm doing brackets galore, at work, with pals, etc. I'm even doing an NIT bracket - how crazy is that. But that's what happens when you work with Maryland alums - losers. In any case, I'm looking forward to it. I'll be going down to Greensboro to see GW play UNC-Wilmington in the first round, and hopefully Duke in the second. Tough draw for the Colonials however - two North Carolina teams in North Carolina. I wrote a lot more about it at my other blog, ColonialHoops.com.

And if anybody wants to join my pool on Yahoo (it's free) go here:


Click on the "Sign Up" button to create a team. After completing registration, or if you already have a team, click the "Create or Join Group" button and follow the path to join an existing private group. Then, when prompted, enter the following information...

Group ID#: 14008
Password: geedubs


so I was looking around on Google for pictures of DC's Mayor, Anthony Williams, and this is one of the first ones that came up. Awesome.

I wish this guy really were our mayor. Apparently the photo is from "Soul Plane."

I also found this one of the real mayor playing ping pong. Strange.

It's from this page which I've mentioned before: Pictures of celebrities playing table tennis.
so last year, John Davis, the former lead singer of probably my favorite band Superdrag, put out a solo CD, which I like. He has a bunch of the tracks up on his website here, but he also just put up alternate versions of all the songs, and some other ones too, which I am liking a lot. (You can download the alternate versions fo' free at the Media link.) Check them and him out - pretty much everybody I have played them for has liked them. Superdrag's big hit was the MTV buzz song "Who Sucked Out the Feeling," but all their albums are good.

Here's the All Music Guide page about Superdrag.


Belle and Sebastian at the 9:30 Club

Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I went to see Belle and Sebastian and the New Pornographers on Monday at the 9:30 Club. I was really looking forward to Belle and Sebastian, as I like them a lot and they've always sold out before. Luckily my pal Sarah had an extra ticket. I'm not a huge fan of the New Pornographers but I do like some of their songs, so that was a bonus.

Belle and Sebastian were very good in concert, but the New Pornographers were very blah (as DCist.com says too). We got there a little late, so I missed the few songs I wanted to hear, and in general the sound was pretty poor - very muddled and hard to understand. They didn't seem very enthusiastic either. And apparently Neko Case and the other girl singer whose name I forget also didn't sing. I couldn't even tell when Dan Bejar was singing and when A.C. Newman was singing, which is odd, as AC is the main guy, and Bejar has a very distinctive, nasal voice.

When Belle and Sebastian came on however, the show turned around. For one, the sound was really great and crisp, and there was a lot of bass, which surprised me. Their songs generally don't have that much bass, and rely on acoustic guitars, keyboards, and singing. However, it sounded really great, giving some oomph to all the songs. I was a little worried they'd play a lot from the new CD, "The Life Pursuit," which is pretty good but that I haven't heard much of. However, they played a good variety from all their albums and lots of songs I wanted to hear, including "Piazza New York Catcher," "I'm a Cuckoo" "Me and the Major" and "Judy and the Dream of Horses." I guess they don't play "Piazza New York Catcher" too much, as singer Stuart Murdoch seemed to be reading the lyrics off a piece of paper. That's fine with me though, I was really happy to hear it. They were really tight and together as well, and the crowd was into it - noisy, appreciative, etc. Of course, the 9:30 is a god damned rip off now for beers - Yuengling is 6 dollars, which is ridiculous. I think the best deal now is a Boddingtons (one of the big cans) for $8, which is pretty messed up. But in any case, I really enjoyed the show.

You can hear the entire concert here, via NPR. Pretty cool.


so i got the Blockbuster version of Netflix awhile ago and have seen a lot of movies. Here are some quick reviews:

Interstella 5555 - a Daft Punk DVD, this is an animated movie made from all the videos from their Discovery album (the one with "One More Time.") It was really cool, it's about a band of outer space people and the music sounds great. It really seems like they put the music together at the same time as the animation. I recommend it highly.

Oldboy - a wild Korean movie about a guy who was imprisoned seeking revenge, I recommend this one. It's pretty violent and funny at times, with some pretty weird and bizarre parts as well, so be warned. If you have ever said "that movie is too violent for me" then you may want to avoid it. It's pretty cool though, pretty interesting and different. I realize this isn't a good description, but check it out.

The Cramps: Live at Napa State Mental Hospital - I thought this sounded pretty neat based on a review from Giant magazine, the Cramps, as psychobilly band (as in psycho rockabilly) play for the inmates of Napa State Mental Hospital. Unfortunately, the picture and sound quality is awful - it appears to be recorded from a VHS tape from 1984, it said "1984" and the name of a company on the bottom of the screen. I got bored after about 3 songs and turned it off - even with crazy people running around the stage and generally acting crazy. Maybe if you are a huge Cramps fan you'd like it, but otherwise, blah.

Shaun of the Dead - a "rom zom com" i.e. romantic zombie comedy about two lazy English friends who have to fight off zombies. I am a big fan of zombie movies, but this one is interesting because it seems a little more possible - just sitting around playing video games, what if zombies attack? Not that zombies attack very often, but still. I recommend this one.

Suriyothai - a big epic movie from Thailand, supposedly the most expensive movie. It sort of reminded me of the epic from the 60s about bible stuff, where despite living without running water and soap, everything is really clean and tidy. The scenery was neat, and there were some big battles, but the acting was really wooden and the dialogue was corny. Maybe Thai people are wooden and corny, but I think it is probably just a lame movie. The plot was sort of dumb too, it seemed like they were trying to tell us that it's an amazing story, rather than actually being an amazing story. And the ending was weak - I didn't care. I don't recommend it.

Kingdom of Heaven - this one didn't get the best reviews, but I really enjoyed it. It's an epic about the Crusades with Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson. It's almost more about religious tolerance, and has some pretty awesome battle scenes. The plot is also really interesting, though it's not quite historically accurate apparently - a synthesis of two historical people. But in any case, I really enjoyed it. A little less artsy Braveheart about an interesting time we don't really hear much about, when Christians invaded the Holy Land. Good stuff.

Himalaya - one of my coworkers had been hassling me about this movie forever, trying to get me to watch it. Probably because he hassled me, I wasn't that impressed. It's a story about a Himalayan tribe and a journey through the mountains. It didn't blow me away, but it was beautiful to look at though, the mountains and colors and things. It's definitely something unusual - not too many about Himalayan tribes. So I'd say check it out if you are looking for something different.


so I found this today at DCist.com, it's a DC Metro anagram map - everything on it is an anagrams (the letters rearranged). Pretty cool. I used to live at Woof-Gym Butt Gog and now work at Icy Squid Jar. I should really visit Asian Taco sometime, I hear that's a nice place.