31 October 2006

And on that note ...

Big Lou came up with a slogan I soooo want on a t-shirt:

Women: Huh?

If someone can make that happen, I'd be indebted to you for life.

Melancholy (in bunny form) ... and a new review!

So, if anyone read my recent review of the Math & Physics Club, you would know that I'm found of the emotion "melancholy". Thats how I feel lately, rather melancholy, which might not be an entirely bad thing, but its not the most fun. I mean, I have plenty of opportunities and such right now, but it just doesn't make any sense. I wish it did...

Anyway, nothing more fun than trying to compile the perfect melancholy CD when you're feeling melancholy. Talk about a feedback loop. So top songs so far:

"Little Light" by Jets to Brazil
"My Slumbering Heart" by Rilo Kiley
"Romeo & Juliet" by Dire Straits
"The Slow Descent into Alcoholism" by the New Pornographers
"Easy/Lucky/Free" by Bright Eyes
"Say Yes" by Elliot Smith
"A New England" by Billy Bragg
"Girlfriend" by the Modern Lovers
"Out of Gas" by Modest Mouse
"Stratford-on-Guy" by Liz Phair
"P.S. You Rock My World" by the Eels
"Johnny Mathis' Feet' by American Music Club
"April Showers" by Math & Physics Club
"Close to Me" by the Cure
"Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland" by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
"Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order
"Crown of Love" by the Arcade Fire
"Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez
"Blue Light (Engineers Anti-Gravity Remix)" by Bloc Party
"I Saw Her at the Anti-War Demonstration" by Jens Lekman

Any other picks from the readers ... ?

In less melancholy news, here is a new TIG review of an album I love quite a bit ...
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names - #3

(note: I did a Google image search for "melancholy" and darned if everything was way too sad ... this was the best image I could find, at least in my opinion ... )

30 October 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled program

OK all, sorry about the freakout over the weekend. It happens sometimes, but things seem to be back on track now. No need to avoid me anymore! Really. Honestly. Nothing that watching a few episodes of Coupling couldn't solve.

Beyond that, I really don't have anything else to update. I need to get back on track with my TIG reviews ... hopefully this evening. And gosh, its almost November? Go figure.

I might actually have some baseball stuff to post later on. Now won't that be a refreshing change. Really.

29 October 2006

My weekend in heck

This weekend was more or less a disaster. Unmitigated. No mitigation what so ever. If any government agency had a plan for how to mitigate for this weekend, it was a terrible plan that was bollocks and got no where, lost in committee somewhere until BAM! the disaster strikes. So, here we are. I spent most of the weekend being sick, longing for things I couldn't have, watching some good DVDs (Six Feet Under and Eddie Izzard stand-up ... thanks Alisha), working in the MC lab and generally have a mid (third?) life crisis over the course of 48 hours. For those of you who got to enjoy my posting from last night surely must think I've gone off the deep-end or something, but maybe I was getting a little carried away thanks to 6FU and red wine. Maybe its a little ridiculous, but at least I'm conscious of where my life may or may not be heading. I think the key to this problem is that (a) I'm bloody impatient and (b) I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, and considering my misadventures with love are just that, misadventures, its hard to feel good and roll with the punches in that venue. So, where have I gotten? I'm not sure. I'm feeling pretty good about myself otherwise ... I'm probably in the best shape of my life (of course this cold has curtailed by gym going), I'm a doctorate and an indie rock music critic. Some lady is bound to think thats a good catch, right? Am I right here? I think so ...

Oh wait, where did this start.
For those of you looking for a soundtrack to this weekend, try Art Brut's "Bad Weekend" and Suburban Kids with Biblical Names' "Shitty Weekend". Get the pattern?

And don't you love that when you plug "bad weekend" into Google Images, you get Freddie Mercury. Poor guy...

Ah well ... I guess it is the end of October. I never could get the hang of October ...

28 October 2006

What I should have learned...

Is never to post after drinking wine ...

Sorry, its gone now ...

27 October 2006

Cloudy headed Friday

I thought Friday's were supposed to be filled with sunshine, lollipops and roses. Oh well. I think the Midwestern cold that has struck the department has finally caught up with me. Dammit! We'll see how I survive ...

With that being said, not much to say lucidly today ...

New TIG review Viva Voce - Get Yr Blood Sucked Out

And my current iPod Top 10
10 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS
9 Do You Remember? - Cars Can Be Blue
8 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
7 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
6 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow with David Banner
5 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
4 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
3 Seems to be on My Mind - Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
2 Compliments (Shibuyaka Remix by Nick Zinner) - Bloc Party
1 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons

I thought about posting a cute animal today, but instead I'll just post this picture of David Eckstein apparently vomiting into his own mouth. Yeah, he's the Ecksteiniest!

**EDIT: Hey, and guess what? He won the World Series MVP. Go figure. Everyone else can have their hitting and plate discipline, he clearly leads the league in gentlemenly conduct!**

26 October 2006

Allergies can bite my ass

The wind here whipped up every allergen known to man and now I have a helluva a headache. Yeah. Fun stuff...

I've been meaning to write a little bit about a song that I find truly amazing. I mean, I toss around the idea that I think songs are really good, be that they be catchy or danceable or something like that. However, "Hope There's Someone" by Antony & the Johnsons transcends most everything. The song is remarkable in its emotional capacity, its melacholy and the remarkable well of hope that seems just below the surface. As lame as it might seem, every time I hear this song (and I've heard it a lot) it gives me chills and if it catches me in the right mood, I can almost get downright weepy. It is the sort of song that I feel like I can't do justice to in the written word because it causes such visceral reaction in me. If you want the full effect, throw on some headphones and turn down the lights.


Here is a new TIG Review too ... all sorts of goodies today - Silversun Pickups - Carnavas

25 October 2006

So tired this week

I think the switch from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time is draining energy from my soul. Either that or its some horrible space parasite. That sounds like less fun.

For some reason, this video fascinates me. It should fascinate you too.
The Streets - Prangin' Out

I think this lack of energy is killing my buzz about other things that make me giddy. I hate that sort of thing. At least I seem to be calmer than I usually am, which is a big plus. I can actually take a deep breath, relax and let things come as they may.

And by that, I mean this.

24 October 2006

New Review

Here is a new review from TIG. Hewh, that was tiring ...

Skygreen Leopards - Disciples of California

And considering I have nothing else to say, enjoy this lovely illustration.

23 October 2006


I like tea.

Red Zinger. Its really hybiscus.

(note, this is not what it seems. Well, not yet)

21 October 2006


Yes folks, it has been one year of this ever changing blog. Its my blogiversary.

Have a drink in honor (horror?) of it all!

20 October 2006

Top 10 and some updates

The week is done ... I don't know if I can survive soccer/ultimate frisbee four times each week. We'll see.

Looking forward to the weekend (I hope).

I have an odd trio of mini-reviews up right now, for the Rapture, DJ Shadow and TV on the Radio. Enjoy!.

I was looking for a figure of "blobs of magma" on google images yesterday for a talk and found this instead. I mean, really, doesn't it get across the same message? Yeah, I thought so ...

Here are my weekly Top 10, for those of you keen on keeping tabs on my music
10 Be Gentle with Me - The Boy Least Likely To
9 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow with David Banner
8 Seems To Be on My Mind - Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
7 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
6 Pull Shapes - the Pipettes
5 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
4 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
3 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS
2 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
1 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons

19 October 2006


Maybe I've been co-opted by Big Lou ...

However, I do doubt the results in the sense that no one EVER dismissed me as a hippie (thankfully) ...
And I was hoping to get Stockton anyway ... or maybe Sebastopol.

You Belong in San Francisco

You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.
You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.
People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!

Erik starring in: Music Critic Mea Culpa!

For those of you who enjoy reading someone writing circles around themselves, you might enjoy the saga that is my review of The Thermals' The Body, The Blood, The Machine. Be sure to click the link in the last sentence to see the first, original review of the album from August. I was very torn about this. My opinion on the album has changed, but does this mean I should have written this semi-retraction, semi-modification of the review? How does that effect my legitimacy? Why do I think I have any legitimacy anyway? I'm not too sure.

I don't have any cute animals today ... but I did want to post an image of the Killers from Bill Simmons' Mailbag mostly because I'm entirely amused that they look like they should be on Sabado Gigante. This is my attempt to give props to both one of my bigger influences in my writing style (Simmons) and the uber-Chilean, Don Francisco.

18 October 2006

Yo La Tengo is gooood.

Yo La Tengo with Why?
Harlowe's, Sacramento CA 10/17/2006

Opening band (Why?) - Ever wonder what a band fronted by a sweaty, shirtless, emaciated Billy from Six Feet Under might look like? Well, look no further! Why? was ok, but felt a little "flavor-of-the-month", mixing up equal parts Dismemberment Plan, Modest Mouse & TV of the Radio. They had some promise if they could get over trying to be overly eccentric, and maybe, you know, bathe.

Yo La Tengo - They were great! They mixed up their set from their entire ouevre, hitting the messed up distorted epics like "The Story of Yo La Tengo" to some of the best quiet songs they've done like "Center of Gravity" and "The Summer". They also nailed their underappreciated gem "Little Eyes". However, for me, the showstopper was "Nuclear War". I was hoping they'd play it, but was wondering what they might do without the chorus of small children, but instead they started with a new rhythm and broke it out into maybe 4 different songs (stylistically). It was stunning (as was my company for the show.)

So, in honor of the Yo La Tengo show, here is today's cute animal cursing. Enjoy!

17 October 2006

Review, Picture and ...

I have Yo La Tengo (with a special guest) tonight in Sacramento. Exciting stuff, considering at this time last week I didn't think I was going...

Also, why not enjoy another new TIG review ... Cursive - Happy Hollow

Anyway, to continue to amuse my friend Ashley, here are more cute animals cursing:

(Note how cleverly I made "with special guest" ambiguous. Is it a band? Is it a person? Who is this guest with, the band or the writer? Ah, the intrigue.)

16 October 2006

And its already the middle of October?!

As Marty's brother might said "When did this happen?!"

I've been hindered lately in my research by a lack of parts for a magnetic separator that has got to be 40 years old (at least) and the company is apparently whittling the new metal chute by hand with illegal hobbit labor or something. In the meantime, I get to spend quality time with the electron microprobe (woo!) and order large flats of 2.5L bottles of HCl and HNO3 (double woo!)

However ... it has afforded me time to try to work on my teaching/research statements and my talk for next week. And, I have now officially gotten my name on a paper - albeit as the third author - on a paper from my undergraduate thesis in Maine. Yes, now the offers will come rolling in!

Otherwise, this was a great weekend (for reasons that may become clear later). I was hoping to see the Skygreen Leopards, but they cancelled. No matter! The weekend was still excellent. I did destroy my shoulder again playing ultimate. No matter! Weekend of excellence! I only got through 2.5 of the 5 TIG reviews I need to write. No matter! (I think you get the picture).

Also, was I the only one who found that from my post of Friday picture amusing? C'mon people?!

Just for that, enjoy this prancing unicorn. F&%k you, that's what the unicorn is saying.
(In an amusing sidelight, when I pulled down my google menu to re-search for "unicorns" (don't ask), I saw a search that took me a moment to remember why the hell I searched for "sexless shoulder to cry on". Ah Joss, you bastard).

That's it. F&%king prancing unicorns for your day. Don't say I didn't ever do anything for ya.

13 October 2006

The week's end

OK, good week. I'd give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, minus 0.5 stars for the bruise on my hand.

I've added this image I saw on ESPN soccernet because, well, its not the soccer that got my attention:

Ah yes ...

Anyway, most of this week seem to be filled with my evergrowing love and admiration for Dinosaur Comics. I think my friend Marie for buying me a $1 "My Tyrannosaurus Rex Notebook" to keep track of my T. Rex-related ramblings.

So, here is my current iPod Top 10. Not much has changed ...
10 Terror! by the Rakes
9 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
8 I Was a Love by TV on the Radio
7 Seein' Thangs by DJ Shadow featuring David Banner
6 Hope There's Someone by Antony & the Johnsons
5 We Share Our Mothers' Health by the Knife
4 Love Travels Faster by Halo Benders
3 No Rest for the Weary by the Blue Scholars
2 A Pillar of Salt by the Thermals
1 Meeting Paris Hilton by CSS

And just for kicks, considering I have a different library on my iBook, here is its top 10!
10 How We Know by the Thermals
9 Heartbeats by the Knife
8 Our Days in Kansas by Tullycraft
7 It's Not Too Beautiful by the Beta Band
6 Johnny Mathis' Feet by American Music Club
5 I Know the Pattern by the Thermals
4 Proletariat Blues by the Blue Scholars
3 We Share Our Mothers' Health by the Knife
2 Where There's a Wish There's a Whalebone by the Islands
1 No Rest for the Weary by the Blue Scholars


12 October 2006

New Review

It's been a pretty good week so far ... got to show up some young rapscallions in soccer yesterday, so I feel pretty with it. Pretty cool. Ah yes, nothing like sporting activities to give one self-worth.

Anyway, here is another TIG review ... its a little, well, odd.

Electric Six - Switzerland


09 October 2006

erik is sleepy today

OK, not much to say. Busy weekend, but at least my shoulder doesn't hurt anymore!

Here is a new TIG review, and its a gem (well, I liked it) ... it has possibly my favorite line I've ever written.
Can you guess what it is?
Math & Physics Club - Math & Physics Club


06 October 2006

The week, in review

So, its Friday.

This week started with a bang that turned into a pop that degraded to a fizzle that rebounded to a crackle. So, here we are, crackling. Not sure what exactly it was about this week that was so odd, but it feels like a transitional week ... not too sure what I'm transitioning from to get to someplace I don't know, but it felt that way. A rebuilding week, with lots of new players trying out and old players fading to the background (possibly being moved for PTBN). I've had somewhat low energy, which I blame on (a) the return of the students on campus here - I swear, the campus must have a finite amount of energy that is divided by the total amount of people on it, and the damn students are using much larger than their fair share and (b) my shoulder injury acquired by playing ultimate. Not sure how the latter might effect energy, but it is. However, as I've been reminded, self-pity is not cute, I shall stop wallowing in it and instead muster my forces to move ahead. A few key conclusions from this week (1) stop being such a muddled mess and be decisive; (b) the interweb is not a place to be social ... it's a tool, like a butcher's knife or a harpoon or...uh, a...an alligator (Thank you Homer); (c) fall just isn't the same without the Red Sox in the playoffs ... its, well, calmer. Maybe thats what's throwing me off ... ? Since 2003, I've had almost a full month of stress related to the Red Sox in the postseason, occupying most of October, but now, I can sit back and relax, jump on any bandwagon I choose (Go A's!) and its kind of disconcerting but at the same time, comforting.

There you have it. And I say we must move forward, not backward! Upward, not forward! And always twirling, twirling, TWIRLING toward freedom!


05 October 2006

04 October 2006

Your Shortcomings and Regrets, Personified.

I normally don't just link to someone else's stuff, but this comic had me laughing for many minutes all by my lonesome in my office last night, especially the last two panels. Sheer brilliance!

Thank you Dinosaur Comics

I'll add a new Top 10 to this too
10 Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
9 Seein Thangs - DJ Shadow with David Banner
8 Jeane, If You're Ever in Portland - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
7 Hope There's Someone - Antony & the Johnsons
6 I Was a Love - TV on the Radio
5 A Pillar of Salt - the Thermals
4 We Share Our Mothers' Health - the Knife
3 No Rest for the Weary - Blue Scholars
2 Love Travels Faster - Halo Benders
1 Meeting Paris Hilton - CSS

03 October 2006

New TIG Review

Here's a new review to amuse yourself if my last entry was too much of a downer...

CSS - Cansei de Ser Sexy

Oh yeah, and I've banned myself from Myspace and deleted myself from Friendster. The revolution has begun!

02 October 2006

Monday once again

So, I really really really need to learn to be a focused researcher. I just keep on getting distracted by, well, pretty much everything. Frisbee. Soccer. Baseball. Coffee. Ladies. Lunch. Coffee. More ladies. TV. DVDs. CDs to review. Somehow, some way, I really need to get it through my thick head that I am (a) an adult; (b) an academic and (c) need to get serious. Maybe I'm trapped in what is was called Impostor Syndrome and I'm somehow convinced that everything I've earned is just a chance and really has nothing to do with any innate talent I might have. Or, possibly, the fact that I've avoided anything resembling real life by going to grad school and working in universities for, oh, ever. Which does make me wonder/worry a bit that if I'm going to be an academic as a career choice that I might never grow up. Am I doomed to forever be trapped in this world for the rest of my life? Is this what I have to look forward to ... ? Am I just being overly pessimistic at a time where I lack certainty in my career, my romance, my general place in life? Maybe so ... what is there to do? I have no idea, so I'll just pop on some Rilo Kiley or Cursive and hope it all works out in the end.