April Explosion

I use google calendar for keeping track of things, and today when I opened up my email I got a million reminder emails for things coming up this weekend:

In Champaign, IL:

UC Hiphop is throwin' their annual Hip-Hop Awareness week. Friday night is the DJ night with Bozak, Spinnerty, Limbs and more! Saturday night is IL Breaks!
Check out uchiphop.com for more details. Really wish I could make it, but I got some fam coming into town this weekend. Haven't seen UCHH kids in forever...

*EDIT* I took a last minute greyhound bus and to champaign and was able to check out the DJ night!

In Charlottesville, VA:

My good friends Kaveh and Aaron (Clarence Thomas Action-Adventure Unit) are throwing a benefit show in C-ville. Originally Drew and I were supposed to go down and actually perform at this, but things didn't work out. Again, wish I could make this one! Check out audiozine.org for more details.

"BENEFIT SHOW FOR THE CHARLOTTESVILLE FREE CLINIC
APRIL 05th
8 PM
$5
@ The Bridge (209 Monticello Rd)

3 Bands + 1 DJ
Adam Smith + The Invisible Hand (Tunefulness + Zigging where others Zag = Cville-by-way-of-Philly Indie Rock Mainstay)
Clarence Thomas Action-Adventure Unit (me + Aaron playing guitar, vox, drums, megaphone, toy laser gun, iPod, sampler, handheld tape cassette recorders)
Quiet My Dear (Cville Melodic Indie Pop)
DJ Hummingbird Feeder (the mighty James Ford kicks out the interludes and the post-show jams. Dance party?!?!)"

In Chicago, IL:

Drew will be rockin' a dance set @ Mutiny on 4/5/08 (saturday)

Here's his video preview:

Orange Drink - noise preview for 4/5/08 show! from Hemlock Records on Vimeo.

In anywhere, usa:
It's also my roomate Charlie's birthday. Shoutouts. And finally I leave you with this amazing video by Brooklyn pranksters Dave Segal and Jesse Novak! Hey! Even Sashe Frere-Jones likes it...

Man...

This dude never updates his blog!!! LAME!

Aide Shoma Mobarack!

Happy Norooz! Today marks the first day of the Iranian new year. It is also the first day of spring and the vernal equinox.

More Info

Amazing Pic:

NIN Ghosts I-IV

Dear reader,

Please visit the NIN store and download Ghosts I-IV immediately. The music is all instrumental, abstract, thick, rich, open and uncontrolled - a contrast to previous nin releases which have felt hyper planned, tight, and almost claustrophobic.

I'm blown away by this album so far. The artwork and concept (improvisation, instrumental, session style recording) is great and unexpected. The online delivery is great, and the Creative Commons license is more proof of Trent's forward thinking.

I see this as a pretty cool direction for NIN and as I listen to it on repeat I can already tell it is growing on me. It's short and succinct, moving quickly, never dwelling on one idea too long. This kind of music is all about texture, mood, sounds, and details - and will only get better with repeat listens.

Nine Inch Nails presents Ghosts I - IV, a brand new 36 track instrumental collection available right now. Almost two hours of new music composed and recorded over an intense ten week period last fall, Ghosts I - IV sprawls Nine Inch Nails across a variety of new terrain.

Trent Reznor explains, "I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective - dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I'm very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts."
- ghosts.nin.com

"Of course, everyone is constrained in one way or another, and you work within your constraints. It doesn't mean that suddenly the world is open, and we're going to do much better music, because we're not constrained in certain ways. We're going to do different music because we're not constrained in certain ways we operate under a different set of constraints."
- Brian Eno, Studio as a Compositional Tool, 1979

D-Lo and Spinnerty

They got this picsound-esque project going on over at www.dloandspinnerty.com. A day in the life of d-lo and spinnerty, with chapters for each part of the day. Each chapter has some pictures and a mix to listen to...check it out!

happy 2008! (year of the rat)

Pie tossin'

New York was good. Felt different than previous visits, though. I wanted to visit some other cities on the way back but didn't really find any good bus deals in time. How is there no chinatown bus between D.C. and Va Beach? So strange.

So I did try to make a pizza the other day. It actually came out decent but I definitely made some mistakes:

a) The dough should always lean towards being a bit too wet before letting it rise. It's strange when dough dries from air - just feels crusty like old playdoh and makes it hard to shape later.

b) Gotta work on pie tossing skill. Let the dough warm up a bit without touching, then start working it really fast into a natural circle without folding anything. I think I overworked one and it started to dry out.

c) Put down a LOT of flour on your working surface...basic stuff I know. Nothing creates a panic like trying to slide your pizza into the oven with the heat blaring at you and the damn pie sticking while you frantically try to pick up and re-adjust the fragile limp dough. AHHHH!

d) Need a pizza stone/ceramic thing. I thought heating up a metal pan would work, but it was hard to get the pizza onto it because it would slide around. Also the metal warps when heated. Ceramic all the way.

e) Just because you get fancy looking canned tomatoes doesn't mean they'll taste good (I'm looking at you overpriced-minimally-labeled-pseudo-authentic-san-marzano can). I think the sauce was the weakest link in the whole equation.

On the last one the dough was messed up so I thought I'd "improvise" and make a calzone. I tossed a bunch of stuff and folded it like a taco...what I ended up with was a saggy u-shaped bread thing with sauce and melted cheese inside. Probably not the right way to do it.

NYC happenings

Heading up to NYC this weekend for a few things:

Blip Fest (8-bit music festival)
Orange Drink show @ Pianos NYC
Harry Partch Performance (possibly)
Neapolitan style pizza (I want to learn how to make this...anybody have a 900 degree oven I could borrow? So far Coal Fire in Chicago is my favorite)

Keep Reachin' Up!

Here's a sample from Spinnerty + Hopper's latest mix CD: Keep Reachin' Up! comprised of tunes written by contemporary funk composers emulating and expanding on that "classic" sound.

'MERIKA. Libarty comes in a V8 engine!

One thing I forgot to mention in my last post was the insane air traffic these days on the beach. When I had to walk down to the bus stop, I think I witnessed at least ten fighter jets scream through the air, I'm guessing headed home from an aircraft carrier on the ocean to the nearby naval base. But jesus, these damn things sound like they are tearing a hole through the sky. If you've ever been to an air show, you know what I mean - it's like taking a giant sheet of paper the size of the sky and slowly ripping it in half. If you don't cover your ears and you are within a few hundred feet, the pain is kinda excruciating and mind numbing.

That morning I had woken with this terrifying dream I was stuck in a San Francisco earthquake - only to wake up realizing the trembling I was feeling was from a giant jet returning home from Iraq. Kinda disturbing.

Today when I went on a bike ride down the beach, I couldn't help but notice something new: a fleet of military helicopters flying probably only 100 feet up in the sky. I mean, glancing up I could see the face of the pilot, it was that close. It feels kinda eerie to witness these helicopters and fighter jets flying overhead. I don't know if people around here find it comforting, but just knowing these things representing death and destruction liberty and freedom are literally looming overhead - it kinda freaks me out and makes the whole situation that much more real.

As I biked back home, it appeared that they were closing the boardwalk for the festival of lights they do every year. Basically every year, the city decorates this long stretch of beach with christmas lights in the shape of nutcrackers, drummer boys, santa, dolphins and mermaids playing catch with a beachball, and various other imagery.

Despite my love of things that go blinky in the night, a number of things weirded me out this year (and also proved how 'merikan virginia beach is):

1) Helicopters and jets were flying overhead. 'MERIKAN!

2) There was a GIANT christmas light display in the shape of an american flag with the words: GOD BLESS AMERICA underneath. DOUBLE 'MERIKAN!

3) They closed the beach sidewalk to pedestrians and bikers. CARS ONLY! In fact, several "security" types yelled at me, "EXCUSE ME YOUNG MAN, THE BOARDWALK IS CLOSED". I threw strawberry sherbert (sherbit?) in their face and continued on. I guess I wasn't creating enough pollution to have a right to be on the beach? V8 engine = 'MERIKAN!

4) The first car to cruise the boardwalk was a nice yellow Hummer. Ironic, yes, but definitely 'MERIKAN!

I think the guy yelling at me to get off the boardwalk really pissed me off though. I didn't really mind any one of those things, but the combination of all of them really added up to a fucked up picture in my head.