Thursday, July 28, 2005

How was Alkaline Trio? I wouldn't know.

Alkaline Trio played at In the Venue last night with Death by Stereo and Rise Against. I bet it was a pretty good show. I wasn't there because Traci put the hammer down and said that now that I am a soon-to-be father I am not allowed to go to concerts by myself anymore. (You know how the news is just FULL of kids getting killed at Alkaline Trio shows) Since my concert buddy Ty - living in Logan, and soon to be living in Las Vegas - is unreliable at best, I've got no one to go to shows with. I wanted to go so bad that I begged one of my 15-year-old scouts to go with me. He didn't think that his dad would let him go.

Let this be something to consider for all of you out there thinking about having children.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oingo Boingo is the New Metallica

If you have ever walked into a guitar store you know that one thing is inevitable: someone will be playing a Metallica guitar solo at full volume. I would imagine that any second of the day someone is playing the beginning of "Unforgiven" or massacring "One." That's how you impress people in a guitar store.

The other day I was at Guitar Center looking at tons of equipment that I'll never be able to afford when I saw a bespectacled fellow in his early 20's trying out a keyboard. What do you play when you try to impress people of your skills when you're playing the keyboard, the geekiest instrument in the band? "Da da-da da-da-da da." Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo. Oingo Boingo, it's the new Metallica.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

From Reuters:

"A military report presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee' Senate Armed Services Committee stated the Saudi man, described as the "20th hijacker" slated to have participated in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, was forced by interrogators to wear a bra and had women's thong underwear placed on his head.

U.S. interrogators also told him he was a homosexual, forced him to dance with a male interrogator, told him his mother and sister were whores, forced him to wear a leash and perform dog tricks, menaced him with a dog and subjected him to interrogations up to 20 hours a day for about two months, the report said."

Let me just say this - is this the best we can do? Somehow I don't really think that someone who is willing to blow up hundreds of people is going to break down and confess to crimes by these interrogation methods.

SUSPECT: Okay, okay, I admit it! Just don't make me wear a bra anymore! I'll tell you anything, I just can't take one more day of wearing underwear on my head!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Kurt Cobain is Spinning in His Grave

I watched Rock Star:INXS last night. INXS is trying to find a replacement for the dead Michael Hutchins by auditioning really young, (mostly creepy) singers. The show was actually pretty interesting - basically a less annoying version of American Idol.

While some of the performances were good, Mig, pictured above, completely massacred "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Kurt Cobain's commentary on Mig's performance: Yep, Beelzebub, this is hell. I can't handle this guy's scarf.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

"I'm a Self-Contained Unit."

Of all the sights we visited in Seattle, the ones we found by accident were some of my favorite. How could a grunge fan go to Seattle without visiting scenes from the movie "Singles?" The pic on the left is of the Coryell Apartments in the gay district, where a bunch of the movie was filmed. Believe it or not, Traci and I found this place without a map! When we got out of the car I squinted and said, "Is that really it?" It looked different than I remembered. Traci reminded that "Singles" did come out 14 years ago. (The first thing I did when we got home was watch the movie. It was the same place, just a bit overgrown.) The picture on the right is the view from Gasworks park, also shown in the movie.

We also spent hours and hours trying to find the Fremont Troll, an enormous concrete sculpture under a bridge. Apparently everyone knows where the troll is, but is unable to really explain how to get there. Despite all of the bridges we drove under during our search, we were unsuccessful. Here's what we missed:

I was also disappointed to find out after we got home that there is a full-size statue of Lenin in front of a taco joint. I guess we'll have to make another trip to Seattle.

Breakfast at the Emphysema Cafe

John recommded that we eat breakfast at Beth's Cafe. Founded in 1954, Beth's is (supposed to be) a hip, dive-style diner. When we walked in and inhaled the stale smoke and sat down in a really beat up booth, we realized that it was more real dive than faux dive.

The only redeeming quality was that the walls are decorated with crayon drawings, interesting only because they're done by adults instead of kids. Click on the picture to see that we are sitting at the booth with the "G Unit: Cash Money Ho" drawing as well as the illustration about "sucking face."

(Outside of Beth's, you'll notice that we're getting into our pimpin' Mustang rental car. )

Snoqualmie Falls

We decided to venture outside of the city one morning to visit Snoqualmie Falls, about 35 minutes outside of Seattle. The waterfall drops 270 feet. From up top it's a beautiful view, but what makes it even better is that you can hike down the bottom.

Heading down is easy, it's a nice stroll through beautifully green trees. The way back up, however, is not so easy. Sweaty, sweaty, sweaty. I'll spare you the "after" photo.

Dancing Queen

Seattle, home of music and fashion. Right around the corner from the Seattle Center, two aspiring artistes dance their way into our hearts. I went directly to the closest store to by the shorts this boy was wearing. [click on the photos for a closer look]

Rappin' with Missy Misdemeanor

One of the highlights of the trip was the Experience Music Project. It has elements of a rock musuem, combined with interactive exhibits. The tour begins, of course, with a room dedicated to music from the Northwest. To illustrate how overblown grunge had become by '94, they had Pearl Jam and Nirvana comic books on display. (Kurt Cobain's character even had big muscles)

Traci's favorite was the TRL room - highlighting more recent pop acts like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. There was a station in that room where you could put on headphones and get rapping lessons. The voice of what sounded like a 3rd grade teacher would say, "Now you'll notice here that Missy Misdemeanor Elliott is using several different rhyming techniques..." After you had the rap lesson you were able to rap, karaoke-style in a mic on the console.

There was also a room upstairs where you could learn to play different instruments - guitars, drums, keyboards, guitar pedals, etc. For a mere $10 you can have 10 minutes of practice time, followed by 8 minutes of recording time in a sound booth to record whatever you'd like. The only drawback is that it's a completely live recording, meaning just one track. If I'd a had my band with me, I figure we could've knocked out an entire EP for about $30 bucks! Next time we're all in Seattle, I guess.

The museum also had a very cool Jimi Hendrix exhibit (Jimi was a Seattle native), a interesting-as-it-could-be exhibit about the not-that-intersting Bob Dylan and a room dedicated to early rap pioneers like Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa. Well worth the $20 entrance fee.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Smell of Seattle

Seattle has a very interesting smell. I think it's caused by the natural dankness of a wet climate, mixed with lots of fish. To cover up these two smells, every shop at Pike's Place Market burns a different flavor of incense. What a combination.

Despite the abundance of local restaurants all along the market and waterfront, Traci chose to eat lunch at Red Robin. We walked in the door and I thought, "Ugh, this place stinks like incense, too!" Upon further inspection, I realized it was me.

Grunge's Not Dead

Nearly 15 years after the beginning of the Seattle rock explosion, I am finally making my grunge pilgrimage. In my little dream world, my experience would be just like the movie Singles - I would sit at a coffee shop with Pearl Jam and we'd go to a club where Soundgarden would just happen to be playing.

Well, thanks to Seattle radio, grunge lives on. Seattle obviously its hometown boys. We heard lots of the following:

Pearl Jam
Temple of the Dog
Mad Season
Alice in Chains
Chris Cornell

and even some non-grunge locals:

Vendetta Red
Harvey Danger (a band that Seattle should disown)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Death Defying

Jealous of Traci's meteorology skills, I also decided to look into new career options. I am now planning on joining the circus as the guy that rides a bike around a ring 30 feet above the ground.

Traci the Weather Lady?

Traci enjoyed the Seattle weather so much that she has decided to quit the library go into the fascinating field of meteorology. [Click on the pic for a full size image.]

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Virtual Superstar

My brother-in-law John grew up in Washington and went to college in Seattle. Thus he (probably against his will) became our trip advisor for our journey to the Pacific Northwest. When we told him we were going to the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle and the 1962 World’s Fair) he recommended that we visit the Pacific Science Center. We made it the first stop.

After paying our admission, we quickly realized that we were the only adults there not accompanying a child. Did that stop us from having a good time? Oh, hell no!

This is a shot of me playing “Virtual Goalkeeper.” The 12-year-old workers may have thought that it was lame that I kept coming back to play again, but I had to beat the high score of the 11-year-old that was there with his grandpa. Don’t worry, I stomped him!

Look at the great form and the mad skillz.

June Consumption

It hasn't really been a very inspiring month for new music. I spent a little type catching up on some old crap.

Decemberists - Picaresque
The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex - Life Begins Again
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Motion City Soundtrack - Commit This to Memory
Moby - Hotel
Mike Doughty - Haughty Melodic
MxPx - Panic
No Use For a Name - Keep Them Confused


Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbol