Monday, December 13, 2004

My Top Ten of 2004:

1. Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat.

2. Wilco – A Ghost Is Born

3. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs

4. Mike Watt – The Secondman’s Middle Stand

5. Liars – They Were Wrong, So We Drowned

6. Mission of Burma – ONoffON

7. Deerhoof – Milk Man

8. Will Johnson – Vultures Await

9. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free

10. TV on the Radio - Desperate Youths, Bloodthirsty Babes

Excluded: Brian Wilson - SMiLE, which is really a long-delayed 1967 release. If it were on the list, it would be #2.

Close but not quite: Mekons - Punk Rock, Iron & Wine - Endless Numbered Days, Madvillain - Madvillainy, Shearwater – Winged Life (traded places with TV on the Radio)

Haven't heard but mean to, 'cause I think I'd like 'em: Panda Bear, R. Buckner, the New Year, Ted Leo, Mountain Goats, Stereolab, Tom Waits, American Music Club, Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Arcade Fire, Oneida, Hella, MF Doom (Mmm... Food), McLusky, controller.controller, and Comets on Fire.

Great re-releases: Talking Heads - The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads, Can's first four albums, and the Go-Betweens' 4th-6th albums.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Just in time for Christmas! Get your copy of Lost in the Grooves today!

Check out the bad-ass Cafepress site!
Slim Gaillard Tip-tappin' Wall Clock by Tom Neely

From the people who brought you the Bubblegum book (Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth)! With essays from Jim O'Rourke, George Pelecanos, Rick Moody, Richard Meltzer, Deniz Tek, Metal Mike Saunders, Gary Pig Gold, Mark Prindle, Ed Ward, Steve Wynn, Derrick Bostrom, Peter Bagge, and High Hat contributors Erin McKean, Joe Boucher, and William Ham. Oh yeah, and me. Writing about Richard Buckner's Devotion + Doubt and The Hill, the Go-Betweens' 16 Lovers Lane, the Feelies' The Good Earth, Jandek's Blue Corpse, and the Mekons' The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen and OOOH!. Just fuckin' get it already. Be the coolest kid at your school, office, or construction site. And then go out & spend that Xmas loot on the gems written about inside.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Get your inner 8-yr-olds ready:

You Are From Uranus

You shine with brilliant creativity, and you're more than a little eccentric.
You love everything unusual and shocking. You're one far-out chick or dude.
Anything unconventional excites you - and you have genius potential.
Just don't let your rebel side get the best of you, or else you'll alienate everyone.
Your original thinking and funky attitude is all you need to be you.

My car died. Combine that with my dead dog and rural Alabama roots, and I have to start wondering whether my pregnant wife is going to run off with my best friend and all my hootch.

Anyway, it's a blown head gasket on a 97 Subaru Outback. We don't have the $2500 to fix it, and even if we did, we'd have to wonder about the wisdom of spending so much on a $4K car. So we're looking at replacement vehicles with the room to tote a baby (and all the accompanying detritus) and a big dog (and all the accompanying crud). It looks like our hate-on for SUVs, like our circa 1997-2002 hate-on for cell phones, might finally be subverted by preference (as in "we prefer to bring our helpless baby with us when we take the dog to the park."). Because we haven't completely lost our minds, our major considerations are fuel economy, roominess, and affordability, all with certain give-and-take. Also, since my wife's car is 10 years old and has 120,000 miles, we might try to buy two vehicles at once. It's a Honda, so it'll run for a while still, but it's also been broken into 4 times and stolen once in the last two years. The driver's side window has been worked on several times, but still doesn't roll up right, and it drives kinda funny now. So, yeah, maybe it's time to lose it for one with one of those bitchin' newfangled alarm systems.

Replacement vehicles we like so far:

  • Toyota Matrix, which is surprisingly roomy inside. New ones list at $18-$20K. The one we drove was at 28/34 on the fuel economy scale, and would work as long as the dog sat mostly still. We could add a roof rack to go on vacation. Eventually, the baby will get to be large enough to kick the hell out of the backs of the seats, though. Despite all this, the Matrix might be our go-to car.
  • The Honda CR-V. Yes, an SUV. New ones list for $19-$23K. The one we drove was at 23/29 on fuel economy and was absolutely great. Lots of room, roof rack for vacations, seats that fold up or come out, hidden compartments galore. We like.
  • The Honda Element. Another SUV, although one that drives like a minivan. New ones list for $17-$23K, but they don't sell as well as the CR-V. Fuel economy similar to the CR-V. The roominess and plastic inside are good. The lack of a center seat in the rear for baby is bad. Might be able to get a good deal on one, though.

Don't like:

  • Scion xB. It's tiny in there, y'all.
  • Toyota RAV4. Loud & handles like shit. Maybe the sales guy shouldn't have put us into an unsold '04 model. They get great gas mileage - 25/31 - so I want to drive another one before we write it off.

Anyway, we'll see. There's two Honda dealers in the area with used Matrixes (Matrices?) on the lot, so maybe we can work a deal for a CR-V and a Matrix for something approaching affordable. Preferably they'll just give them to us.

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Cary, NC, United States
reachable at firstname lastname (all run together) at gmail dot com

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From Here To Obscurity, founded ca. 2003, population 1. The management wishes to emphasize that no promises vis-a-vis your entertainment have been guaranteed and for all intents and purposes, intimations of enlightenment fall under the legal definition of entertainment. No refunds shall be given nor will requests be honored. Although some may ask, we have no intention of beginning again.

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