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Showing posts from April, 2011

The Whigs at Radio Radio: Super-badass and beyond

The Whigs played at Radio Radio on Thursday and really kicked ass. To hell with what the critics say, these guys rocked the house. For more info, check out my review in NUVO at: http://bit.ly/lILGsI
I'm a guy weaned on Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and others of that ilk, and so The Whigs, while not exactly Led Zeppelin, appeal to my deep desire to have my face burned off by heavy guitar and bass, and crashing drums. If you like rock and roll, you can't not have a place in your heart for these guys from Georgia. Give 'em a try...

Arcade Fire show at the Pepsi Coliseum

Went to the Arcade Fire show last night at the Fairgrounds. Damn, what a show those guys put on. I'm a relatively late-comer to the AF bandwagon, and really I'm only familiar with their latest album, The Suburbs. Yes, I know the hipsters out there are scoffing at me right now (assuming any of 'em are reading this), but hey...there's only so much a man can keep track of.
Anyway, they played some of my favorite cuts from The Suburbs---Sprawl, We used to wait, and The Suburbs---as well as a few classics from Funeral and some cuts from Neon Bible. As for a more detailed set list, well...you can go get it from somewhere else. I said this blog would be entertaining, not informative or accurate.
The really awesome thing about the show was the general production of the thing. Of course the music was hot, but there were also the lights, the weird black & white found-footage playing on the jumbo-screen above the stage, the occasional throwing of random objects out into the au…

Mentioned in Indy Star...

The Mitch Daniels article from my fashion blog was mentioned in the IndyStar recently. Check out the IndyStar article at:
http://bit.ly/fy0nii
As you'll see, the writer takes me to task for focusing on Daniels' style and not substance, however...a.) It is a "Style" Blog, after all, and b.) she takes me a little out of context. If you read the article closely, I actually commend Daniels for already being one of the better dressed politicians out there.
But hey, in the article she refers to me as a "pundit," which is a step up from "blogger," and as my sister says...you're nobody until someone attacks you in print.

The Rural Alberta Advantage

Today I put the spotlight on The Rural Alberta Advantage, a group I just became hip to recently and just saw over the weekend here in Indy at Radio Radio. The trio hails from Alberta, Canada, and is led by Nils Edenloff at the acoustic, with a keyboard/keybass player and a drummer. Simple, stripped-down, effective.
The best way I can describe their sound is to say that it's bass drum-driven, acoustic/electro folk. Edenloff sounds kind of like the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan, but minus the grunge sound. The emphasis here is definitely on Edenloff's singing/songwriting, and Paul Banwatt's right foot on the kick-drum. Though keyboardist Amy Cole adds a neat electro-pop sound with her synth work.
Lyrically, their sound comes off a bit Smashing Pumpkins-ish at times: angsty, gritty, looking back to the past with anger and longing. At least two (maybe more) of their songs are about natural disasters that befell Alberta, including "Tornado '87" and "Fra…

Manu Dibango's Africadelic

If you like Fela Kuti, then stop what you're doing and get the album Africadelic, by Manu Dibango. And then...strap yourself in for some mind-blowing 70s Afrobeat/Afrofunk.
Just when I thought no artist could ever rival Fela, I stumble up on this classic album from 1973. If you're used to Fela, you'll find Dibango's stuff has a bit more of a studio quality about it and definitely sounds more Funk than Jazz.
Fela's songs routinely extend into the 10, 20, 30 minute range, taking those typical, Jazz-like diversions and sometimes feeling much more like recorded jam sessions than songs. Dibango's Africadelic, however, is composed of 3 and 4 minute tracks. The songs rely heavily on the horn section, the Disco-like "waka-waka" guitar riffs, and heavy drum-rythms to create a sound that comes straight out of a campy, 1970s action movie or Blacksploitation film. You can almost see two guys in bell-bottoms, elevator shoes, leather jackets, and afros, chasing some…

U.S.' debt rating at risk...

If you're going to pay attention to one story today, this week, this year...you need to be paying attention to this issue. Unlike most of what happens in the news, this could actually affect your life.

We've known this might be coming for a long time. What it essentially means is that if the U.S. doesn't reduce it's deficit spending and start eating away at the $1.5 trillion it owes, then the rating on its bonds will go down, meaning that the government will have to pay more interest to borrow money.

For years...forever, actually...the U.S. has had the best credit rating there is: AAA. Which means that if they borrow money (like when the gov't sells bonds to China), the borrower is virtually gauranteed to get their money back because they can just borrow more money to pay it back. Imagine if you could just keep opening up new Credit Card accounts forever to pay off the debt you've built up...same thing. Unlike for you, however, the cycle can just keep continuing …

I would like to apologize...to Twitter

On February 26, 2009, I wrote a blog post condemning Twitter as the latest unnecessary gimmick for our nation of committed navel-gazers. Well, I would like to apologize.
Frankly, I've always been reluctant to accept technology and I'm not sure why. But over the past few months I've started Tweeting, and I'm becoming a junkie. I'm tired of pretending I'm too smart or sophisticated too participate in something so quick, instantly gratifying, and seemingly masturbatory; I am, actually, not too good for Twitter at all.
This happens to me in life: I'm totally against some concept, idea, place, whatever...and then I actually try it and become hooked. I was also, at one time, totally against the idea of writing programs, but getting an MFA in Creative Writing has been one of the best experiences of my life. The list goes on and on. I think this characteristic shows, simultaneously, my stubbornness and my willingness to change.
So anyway...thanks Twitter, for giving…

Does Mitch Daniels have the fashion-sense to be president?

This ain't about politics...this is about style. Wherever they stand on the political spectrum, politicians aren't known for being especially sharp dressers. However, setting oneself up for success in 2012 might just mean more than slinging the right words around, it might also mean cutting a finer figure in some more contemporary threads.
In this article http://exm.nr/f4P0Q8 I give Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels the what-for where his personal style is concerned. Check it out...

Qaddafi's personal nurse speaks out...

Another great Qaddafi article. Some interesting details about the man and his habits, and an insider's view on the Libyan revolution. Here's an excerpt:

"I got the impression that at least half the population of Libya disliked Papik [Qaddafi]. The local medical staff was jealous of us because we made three times more than they did—over $3,000 a month. It was obvious that Papik made all the decisions in his country. He is like Stalin; he has all the power and all the luxury, all for himself. When I first saw television pictures of the Egyptian revolution I thought, nobody would ever dare to rise against our Papik. But there was a chain reaction after Tunisia and Egypt. If Papik had passed his throne to his son Saif when he still had a chance, I believe that everything would have been all right. People would not be dying right now."

Read the full article at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-04-11/oksana-balinskaya-on-being-libyas-muammar-gaddafis-nurs…

Qaddafi Watch: Sham demonstrations reinforce sad state of Libyan government

Anything Qaddafi-related always grabs my attention cause the guy was basically like the Boogie Man when I was a kid (see post, 8/31/09), and of course everybody remembers how "the Libyans" were the stock 80s movie terrorists (see Back to the Future). So for that reason--and not because I'm a foreign affairs junkie--I've been paying attention to the Libya stories, especially the one in the New York Times today http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/world/africa/11tripoli.html?_r=1&ref=world

The story essentially exposes Qaddafi's sad attempts at staging public relations photo-ops, and shows how he ends up appearing lamer and more desperate than a used car salesman on Fourth of July Weekend. Not only does The Good Colonel decorate hospital beds with fake blood, but he stages "rallies" that, from the photos in the Times, look more like a bunch of students hanging around for a smoke break, likely wondering when they'll get paid for their time.

The front pa…

The Twin Cats: Face-melting funk at the Mousetrap

Local jam-band The Twin Cats were back at the Mousetrap last night (appropriate, no? cats, mousetrap...) and a buddy and I turned up for the show. I've heard of these cats before but never actually managed to catch one of their shows. They play a sort of Jazz-Funk (Funk-Jazz, really) that's heavy on the guitar, features the work of two saxophonists, and verges on Space Funk at times. Somehow the moniker Space Funk seems especially appropriate because the lead horn player sometimes plays an electric wood-wind type instrument reminiscent of what that big blue alien in Star Wars plays at Mos Isley space station. To describe their sound, I use the words of one fellow concert-goer: face-melting funk.

We walked in just as opening band Midwest Hype was wrapping up their set. Midwest Hype is more along the reggae lines...at times they reminded me of a grittier Sublime and I wish I'd caught more of that set. But we got our money's worth with The Twin Cats, barely escaping their…

Music Review: Frank Ocean's solo debut "Nostalgia, Ultra"

In my quest to find new, awesome music, I bring you Frank Ocean's solo mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. If this is the state of modern day Hip-Hop/R&B, then I'm on board. Ocean is a member of the L.A.-based collective Odd Future Wolfpack, and while I haven't heard any of their stuff, I am pretty familiar with another Odd Future member, Tyler the Creator. Seems like what these guys are all going for is a new strain of R&B less beat-focused and more driven by lyrics that explore the dark corners of the subconscious. I actually just heard a reviewer refer to Ocean and others of his ilk as "PBR&B" or R&B for hipsters...a moniker that somehow seems quite apt.

Overall, Ocean's album is a smooth, well-produced (by him) collection of introspective tracks, mostly dealing with the vagaries of life as a young adult in this world: failed relationships, alienation, and abandonment. He's definitely ordering off the menu from the typical Hip-Hop diet of violenc…

Bulldogs Neutered...A Sad End to an Otherwise Amazing Run

Because I'm a gentleman, let me first say thanks to the Butler men's basketball team for giving their school and this city something to cheer about and making another historic run to the NCAA Championship...but damn...that game was hard to watch. To come all that way, to knock out such powerhouse teams as Pitt, Wisconsin, Florida, and to have it end like it did on Monday night has got to be one of the biggest sports disappointments of this millennium (there's only been 11 years tho).
What went wrong? Well, here are Grant Catton's "Keys of the Game":
1.) 19% shooting percentage. At some point the Bulldogs couldn't buy a basket. The rim just seemed to be repelling their shots. They weren't even hitting layups, for dog's sake. There's no explanation for this other than the fact the ball just wouldn't go in the hole. But when you're making 1 out of 5 shots, you give your opponents a big opening to make something happen. It wasn't even …