Around the (music)web

When you can’t come up with a creative title, just reuse a recent one with a slight twist to pretend you are being clever. Anywho, I just wanted to throw out some interesting musical news of late:

– A bunch of Canadian musicians have decided to abandon their version of the RIAA and form a new music coalition based on the idea of not suing their fans. And we’re not talking about a bunch of coffee shop singer/songwriters. Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, and (my arch nemesis) Avril Lavigne are on board as well as indie giants Sloan and Broken Social Scene. If only we could convince Neil Young to quit his curmudgeon ways and join in the fun. (thanks to Boing Boing)

– The Allman Brothers and Cheap Trick have decided to sue Sony over iTunes royalties. The real tragedy is that millions of music fans continue to use that store in spite of it being a ripoff for, not only themselves, but the artists, too. Not that many Mac users really want to admit that Steve Jobs doesn’t really give a damn about the artists. (overheard on the eMu boards)

– After two or three years of no updates, Epitonic has suddenly returned. And it looks like ass! Fortunately I downloaded most of the freebies back when there was some real navigation available and somebody was, inexplicably, continuing to pay their Internet bills. In all fairness, it seems like they want this to work – so I’m not writing them off just yet. At least it’s not a repeat of the Allmusic fiasco… yet.

Also, I’m seriously considering launching a music site of my own. I don’t really want it to be your typical new-music-news-and-reviews site that is rather prevalent these days (nothing wrong with that, I’ve got 3 or 4 of them in my aggregator). Instead I want it to be a more personal affair – a real music-based journal that would just where I would just as likely talk about Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as review the latest offering from Obscuro The Unknown Indie Band (I better form that group pronto). The idea has been brewing in my head for months, but the idea for the domain sturck me this morning and I think I might be ready to give it a try. Any thoughts?

Livejournal sidebar

I know most of my friends get this site through indieb0i_rss, and that’s totally cool. But I would like to remind them that I don’t get any notification of comments you leave on my posts through that – in case you were wondering why I don’t respond. There’s no easy way for me to check accept to go back through those entries every so often and see if there are any – not just inconvenient, but impractical. If you want to leave a comment on something I write, please click on the link at the top of those entries and leave them over here.

I really wish the kinds folks at Livejournal would fix the rather inconvenient problem of not being able to turn off comments on existing syndicated feeds. Perhaps I’ll try to attach a warning to entries as I’ve seen elsewhere – in the meantime I just wanted to make sure everybody knows what’s going on… um, that’s all.

Around the web(comics)

How am I just finding Questionable Content now? Granted, by the time it started in 2003 my indie scene/bar life was already on the decline, but it’s still freakin’ brilliant. I’m still working my way through all of the archives – this particular gem should amuse Sara Jane – but it’s already in my feed reader for when I get caught up. Similarly, I’m really digging Nothing Nice To Say – another rather indie-centric webcomic.

For those Dr. McNinja fans out there, you might also enjoy the even more twisted White Ninja Comics. I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

Regardless, I still don’t get Diesel Sweeties

Dream sequence

Last night… wait, no, I was going to write this yesterday, so we’re actually talking about two nights ago. But that always sounds silly – what about Tuesday night? Wait, was that the night? I forget. How about a couple nights ago? No, that sounds stupid, too. I got it! The other night! That’s the start I was looking for – so just forget this first part…

The other night I had a dream. I tend not to remember most of my dreams, but this one stuck with me. I was in Times Square – you know, in New York City. And I had a small table setup with a bunch of my CDs. And I was sorting through them. And then Ludacris stopped by – which wasn’t really surprising. But then he tried to steal some of my CDs! He was all pretending to be friendly and whatnot, and the instant I turned my back he was trying to sneak some of my goods under his jacket. I was able to stop him, and he didn’t get all up in my grill or anything – but seriously, the nerve!

Now I’m left wondering what this dream means. Could it be that, much to my chagrin, I agree with much of the popular opinion that hip-hop artists “steal” their music? Maybe I took the movie Crash a tad too literal? Do I have a seep-seeded distrust of blacks? Or perhaps my subconscious is telling me that all of the time I waste sorting my CDs is “ludicrous”?

Sorry, that was way too long for such a lame joke. (But I really did have that dream)

Grass roots vs. Grass roots

Can you tell which of these two movements is an actual grass roots organization of concerned citizens, and which one is a big business group pretending to be grass roots?

I really get tired of all those cable and phone company ads disguised as campaigns by regular people who are really concerned that a little healthy competition would hurt the millionaire CEOs – and this one is really no different. I haven’t read the laws enough to be able to stand 100% behind net neutraility legislation (it’s frightening that the law might even be necessary), but that “Hands Off the Internet” site just made me feel dirty. It smacks of parody ads typically reserved for the movies.

50 best book-to-film adaptations

Michael Hanscom did it, and even Jason Kottke linked to him – so I might as well be a follower. Besides, I’m sure most of my friends will love going through this list: the 50 best film adaptations of all time

Movies I’ve seen are marked with and M, and books I’ve read are marked with a B – just in case you couldn’t figure that out. After going through it you can also go leave a comment on kottke and complain about the lack of love for Tolkien along with all the other geeks 😛

    [B] 1984
    [BM] Alice in Wonderland
    [M] American Psycho
    [M] Breakfast at Tiffany’s
    Brighton Rock
    [BM] Catch 22
    [M] Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
    [M] A Clockwork Orange I read half the book and never finished it
    Close Range (inc Brokeback Mountain)
    The Day of the Triffids
    Devil in a Blue Dress
    [M] Different Seasons (inc The Shawshank Redemption)
    [BM] Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (aka Bladerunner) all you PKD lovers can scream and yell all you like, but I think the movie is far superior
    Doctor Zhivago
    [M] Empire of the Sun
    The English Patient
    [BM] Fight Club
    The French Lieutenant’s Woman
    [M] Get Shorty
    [M] The Godfather
    [M] Goodfellas
    [M] Heart of Darkness (aka Apocalypse Now)
    The Hound of the Baskervilles
    [M] Jaws
    [M] The Jungle Book
    A Kestrel for a Knave (aka Kes)
    [M] LA Confidential
    Les Liaisons Dangereuses well, I’ve seen two versions of it, but not the “truest” adaptation
    [BM] Lord of the Flies
    [M] The Maltese Falcon
    Oliver Twist
    [M] One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    [M] Orlando
    [M] The Outsiders
    Pride and Prejudice
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
    The Railway Children
    The Remains of the Day
    Schindler’s Ark (aka Schindler’s List)
    [M] Sin City I recently started reading the first book – must get back into it
    The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
    [M] The Talented Mr Ripley
    Tess of the D’Urbervilles
    [B] To Kill a Mockingbird
    [BM] Trainspotting
    The Vanishing
    [BM] Watership Down

I’ve both read and seen 7 of them, with another couple in the works – better than I would have expected.

No smoke for you

I said I would write about the Jersey smoking ban, so here it is. Yeah, I know I say I’ll write about a lot of things, but I actually meant it this time.


Really, that’s all that’s necessary. There’s nothing more to be said. It’s a GOOD thing. And there’s absolutely nothing you can say that can change my mind. Go ahead, try all of the arguments:

  • Businesses will lose money – Oh really? So New York restaurants and bars are shutting down? New Yorkers suddenly thought it was hip to go into New Jersey when their ban was imposed? I really want some stats that show me that people suddenly stopped going out because they couldn’t smoke anymore. Hell, just find me one person. On the other hand, I count myself and Lisa among many who have gone out less and less due to the prevalence of smoke. Are there some losses? Of course, but there are also some gains.
  • Smoking is a personal right – Sure, so go exercise your right at home, where it doesn’t infringe on my personal right to breath. Seriously, since when are your personal rights more important than mine? Smoking affects EVERYONE AROUND YOU. This isn’t some corny PSA, this is an unavoidable fact. When you smoke, that smoke goes into the air that all the people around you are breathing. And that’s the stuff so bad even you want a filter on it.
  • Bars and restaurants are private businesses and should be allowed to make the decision themselves – This one almost makes sense. ALMOST. But once again, the right of the private business does not extend beyond that of the individual. Or should we do away with fire codes? Afterall, if a business owner and his clients are willing to pack 200 people in a 10′ x 10′ room, why shouldn’t they? What about health codes in general? Why should employees have to wear hairnets? You don’t want to eat bad meat or deal with a potentially dangerous occupancy, then go somewhere else. It’s as simple as that.
  • Smoking doesn’t really cause cancer, you’ve just been brainwashed – I seriously saw this one on a forum. I cannot believe someone that ignorant could figure out how to use a computer.

I know everybody loves to whip out analogies for these types of arguments and point out how banning smoking is like banning alcohol or something like that, but it’s not. All of you analogies suck. How do I know? Because they do. Seriously, I’ve read them all, and they all suck. Smoking is not like alcohol or fatty foods or any other substances you would like to claim can slowly kill you but are considered “okay” in public. Last week when I downed 4 or 5 Guinness and a couple Maker’s Mark, not a single drop harmed anybody around me. Maybe my liver suffered a bit, but I did not risk injury or disease towards anyone but myself. The smokers in that same bar, however, did damage to my own lungs along with their own. There was no way to avoid it. Even my friend who made sure to blow her smoke away from us hurt me. Maybe my clothes didn’t smell as much because she was considerate, but eventually that smoke did make it’s way up my nose and into my lungs. I can assure you, however, that every drop of the Maker’s Mark went through my own liver.

Listen, I’m all for personal freedoms. You want to go kill yourself? Fine, be my guest. We all have our poisons and we all make our personal choices as to how to handle them. But that’s only hunky-dory as long as those choices don’t affect others around you. As long as you keep blowing smoke out at other people, it is no longer strictly a “personal freedom.”

I love the nightlife

The one thing I’ve mentioned over and over again that I truly miss about Hoboken is the ability to just walk out the door, walk into a bar, and have people I know to hang out with. Growing up in the ‘burbs, I actually got accustomed to biking (and later driving) over to friends’ houses just to say hi and see if they were up for doing something. But, then again, we were all living in neighboring… neighborhoods. No big deal. And there’s also parking in Pennsylvania – something they haven’t discovered over here in New Jersey, yet.

So Friday was a fun little throwback, as I drove into Hoboken to drop Lisa off for a visit into The City. It turned out to be a rather wet and miserable day outside, so I seriously debated just heading home until she called as I had limited photo ops available. But on my way to Tunes before leaving town, I poked my head into good ol’ L&J’s to see if anyone was around. Turns out a couple members the OpenMic crowd were there (Yvonne and John Beret), and we proceeded to imbibe, talk, and just generally laugh it up. What started as just a random hello ended with me two sheets to the wind and ready to unfurl the third. In fact, Lisa had to drive me home at the end of the night (after I insisted that we stop for fries at Mickey D’s).

I doubt I could ever go back to my nightly barhopping days, but I sure do miss the times when nights out weren’t exactly a scarce occurance. To be fair, I’ve actually had a decent share lately – the previous week I got to hang with co-workers at the local Irish Pub to say goodbye (or goodnight, I forget which is the good one) to a (now former) co-worker, who decided to abandom us for life up north with her boyfriend. On top of that, the festivities continued on Saturday when we headed over her friend’s house for yet another stop on the farewell tour. Somewhat ironically, on that first night of the NJ smoking ban (yeehaw! more on that later), I ended up with burning eyes and smokey hair thanks to the fire they had outside.

The party was a blast – I mean, it had everything. . There was a no-so-blazing fire, awesome food (the hostess was one of those amazing cooking types that think nothing of whipping together cocktail weenies from scratch for a get together), just enough alcohol to listen lips, derogatory stories about the South, bizarre photos, a spanking, and someone saying “Boobie was totally an asshole.” And no, I’m not going to explain any of that.

Now I just need to get back to working on re-hydrating my body, as nights like these certainly don’t help

Tax season

During lunch I ran over to CompUSA. Figured I should pick up some tax software – I’m going to try out TaxCut, because it’s cheaper than TurboTax. I’ll have to sit down tonight and bang out the returns for both Lisa and I, because we really want to get them done early this year. Yup, definitely want to file early this year…


Wouldn’t it be terribly clever if you all thought this was a post about self-love, but in reality I was talking about re-modeling our bathroom? Yeah, well, it’s not. Over the weekend I was contemplating cutting my hair in preparation for the coming warm months. Since the sky decided to drop snow and sleet on our area on Saturday, that idea quickly lost it’s appeal. But I still wanted to take pictures of my full beard and long hair to document this scruffiest time in my life.

I ended up having a lot of fun playing around with self-portraits, and enough of them came out with real “amateur cool appeal” that I began to wonder if long hair was really the way to go. It might just become a seasonal thing as the heat really gets to me. But for all of you who haven’t seen me in months, I figure I’ll share some of the best from my little photoshoot (alright, that’s a total lie – I totally dig the photos and wanted to share them because I thought I looked awesome!)


Since I still haven’t bothered to “go pro” on Flickr (hey, if they won’t get out of beta, why should I go pro? 😛 ), I can’t create another set. So just check them out under the self-portrait tag. Lisa also took a bunch while I was out, but I better run them by her before I post any. We finished up with some together shots, but they may be too disgustingly cute to post.