28 February 2006

there's a horse in the hospital

According to this article, Kool Keith is bringing back Dr. Octagon. This is great news for anyone who enjoys retarded sex music. I know I certainly do. You can either click here or visit that link to download "A Gorilla Driving A Pick-up Truck". It's a different sort of Doctor. There's two more songs at the link, as well. Everything sounds good if you ask me.

In other news, I've designed a T-shirt.

A bunch of stuff has leaked, so here's some of that. TV On The Radio's "I Was A Lover" is probably the most ambitious track on their new album. It's also a bit of a mess.

The Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Turn Into" features what seems to be a theremin, which automatically makes it good. Right?

* * * * *

Songs like these won't last long because leaked music makes me nervous.

27 February 2006

have you heard the one about fulham's defense?

This weekend was uneventful, with the highlight being a trip to Greenwood mall. Here's a tip for anyone reading: if the highlight of your weekend is a trip to a mall, consider shooting yourself.

I suppose Sunday's Fulham/Bolton game (a 2-1 Fulham loss) could have been a highlight, except the Cottagers once again showed that complete confusion on defense is not a very solid strategy. This isn't as much as a problem at home, where they seem to have things sorted out, but once they hit the road, they seem to leave common sense behind. Questions such as "I wonder if we should mark the opposing striker?" become deep philosophical conversations that require (what seems like) minutes of pondering.

Having seen as many Fulham games (via Fox Soccer Channel) as possible this season, here's what I do know. Wayne Bridge (the left back on loan from Chelsea) is fantastic. Carlos Bocanegra is not. You might think that as a fan of American soccer that it would be hard for me to root against one of my own playing in the Premier League, but Carlos is doing a fine job of making it easy. Between himself and Zat Knight, I don't think I've ever seen two more confused players. I don't know if it's coaching or laziness (and if you both of them give up on Kevin Nolan's goal you'll know what I mean), but the thought of Carlos in a national team jersey scares the hell out of me.

Please, Bruce Arena, don't do it. Or at least leave him on the bench.

And Carlos, tuck in your fucking shirt.

24 February 2006

rock over japan

happy end - 1
happy end - 2
happy end - 3
happy end - 4

One of the beautiful things about downloading (ok, stealing) music online is that sometimes you have no idea what you're getting. Such is the case with the four Happy End songs I've posted today.

Happy End is a Japanese group, and they appeared on the Lost In Translation soundtrack. And that is the extent of my Happy End knowledge. But I did manage to find some of their stuff online, and I've discovered they like to switch it up alot.

So enjoy this Japanese version of country music (track 1 - I have no idea what the original title is). Track 2 answers the question "What if John Denver were Japanese?". Track 3? It's beautiful. And track 4 rounds the set out nicely.

I've already written more about this than I wanted to.

* * * * *

Was there a Sigur Ros review in the Star? I can't seem to find it online. Maybe someone saw it and can point me in the right direction.

* * * * *

This weather is driving me nuts. Either it's warm enough to ride a bike, or it's not, but it's never the same thing two days in a row. And that makes it very tough to decide if I should get out my spandex pants.

* * * * *

Is anyone playing soccer in town? Where?

And does your team need a horrible player to make everyone else look better?

I promise to leave the spandex pants at home.

21 February 2006

sigur ros is the loudest band ever

Before last night, I had never seen a band that was loud enough to make me grind my teeth together. Today I'm typing with a lopsided head because we were sitting slightly right of center at last night's Sigur Ros show.

Sigur Ros could be accused of being a bit heavy-handed, and there were moments of that last night. But the band did a good job of switching things up just when you might suspect things were about to get boring. Although it seems the band is working from a very limited lyrical pallet (He's singing in a made up language, and I think it has 12 words. One of which is "titsue"), there was enough variety in the show to keep the crowd interested. And the encore was the loudest and most fantastic thing ever. It would have been impossible to finish any stronger.

The opening band, Amina, could best be described using a story:

In the tiny village in the mountains lived a group of four sisters. They lived in a tiny house where they made music using anything that was lying about. One Christmas they each awoke to discover that Santa had left a single precious instrument beside their bed. Still in their pajamas, they began to play one by one, until each sister was awake and they were making a beautiful sort of racket.

Anyway, that's not the story of the band, but that's what it was like to watch them perform. They would share mischievous smiles between songs, almost like they had snuck away to America while Papa was asleep in a chair beside the fire. It was sort of precious and fantastic, and very fun to watch. I hope someday they'll tour on their own.

I'd give the show an overall rating of 9ish on a 10 scale.

* * * * *

Additional Comments:

1) Sigur Ros' singer, Jonsi, is the skinniest man I have ever seen. After the show I told Gina that while I assumed he was a vegetarian, he almost looked like he only ate single-celled organisms.

2) Amina looked quite homely (but cute) in their home-made-looking dresses, but it was nice to see that they had changed to normal people clothes when performing with Sigur Ros. The thought of them walking around America in those dresses almost made me scared for them.

3) If you're that kid sitting in row two, PUT DOWN THE CAMERA. You don't need 10 shots from every song.

20 February 2006

even the doctor - played by Gary Busey - is evil

Yesterday, thanks to BBC radio, I learned of a new Turkish movie that recreates some of the biggest missteps of American soldiers in Iraq. Valley of the Wolves Iraq tells the story of a Turkish soldier who commits suicide after being humiliated at the hands of American soldiers (based on a true event). Before the soldier kills himself he writes a letter to "a specially trained Turkish intelligence agent" who avenges his death. The BBC report compared the film to Rambo, which immediately made me laugh. I wonder if any of our helicopters are shot down with explosive-tipped arrows.

As if that wasn't enough, BBC failed to mention that Gary Busey plays a doctor at Abu Ghraib. I guess we can forget about taking this seriously.

But the best part of the report were the comments of people who had seen the film. A man walking out of the theater said that he was ready to kick some American ass (ok, he didn't actually say "I'm ready to kick some American ass", but that was the sentiment). BBC did some fantastic work by sending the reporter to a nearby Starbucks to get peoples' thoughts. Of course they all hated us. But at least they still liked the coffee.

what's he saying?

Gina and I will be using up all our adventure for the week (well, short of my attempts to get FC Tulsa promoted to the English Premier League on Winning Eleven 9*) when we attend the Sigur Ros concert (third row seats, by the way) at the Murat this evening.

Sigur Ros might be best known for singing in a made-up language, or maybe for putting dancing Downs' kids in their videos, or for having two little boys kiss, or for having old people run around and jump in puddles... they do pretty fantastic and memorable videos. But they are also one of the few examples of what can happen when file sharing goes right. They got their launch when opening for Radiohead in Europe, which generated a bit of buzz. But their album wasn't released in America at the time, so the only way to get ahold of it was to use Napster (remember when people used Napster?). The band was pleasantly surprised when they toured American the first time; the album still wasn't released here but they were able to sell out shows.

It's a rare occurrence when a band that I like actually plays Indy (this would probably be because I'm supercritical and maybe even a bit snobby about music (I'm trying to get better, though)), and although I'm not really that familiar with Sigur Ros' new album, I feel like the show should be very enjoyable. After all, you can go to see the symphony without knowing the music beforehand, and Sigur Ros is as close as you're going to get to that experience when watching a live band.

* * * * *

*John Terry's hair looks fantastically stupid on the box cover for Winning Eleven. It makes me happy because I hate about half of Chelsea's players.

16 February 2006

american communism

a band whose name rhymes with nuns n' moses - better (a short clip)

Hey the tornado siren just went off.

Anyway, this is a little over a minute of a new track from a band that most people have heard of. When it starts you're going to think "what?", but let it kick in. I think the verse is pretty fantastic, though the little bit of the chorus seems like it might be a let down.

I'm going to go hide in a closet now.

15 February 2006

if ignorance is bliss...

It's possible that I'm about to ruin something you enjoy. Especially if you're the sort of person that enjoys food from Steak N' Shake, one of the midwest's most well known examples of 24 hour dining.

I realize that no one goes to Steak N' Shake to eat healthy. It may even be safe to say that people eat at Steak N' Shake as a sort of act of protest to the idea of health in general. If you consider health a cause worth fighting against, eating at Steak N' Shake is sort of like dousing yourself with gasoline and lighting a match. In the end you've really only hurt yourself.

Just for fun, let's say that you're trying to keep a relatively sane diet, but one evening you're working late and suddenly you find yourself eating at Steak N' Shake. Now, it is Steak N' Shake, but you can find a grilled chicken breast sandwich on the menu.

Anyone who's ever tried to watch what they eat would immediately think a grilled chicken breast sandwich is surely more healthy than any red meat option. But that's not the case at Steak N' Shake, and it's mainly due to a magical ingredient known as "Grilling Oil for Chicken" (I think the capitalization is well deserved here). This grilling oil has 135 calories and 15 grams of fat (2.5 saturated). I'm sure you'd want to add on some honey mustard (usually a fat free ingredient) for another 7 grams of fat (1 saturated). Add on the chicken breast, and the bun, and you'll end up with a grand total of 471 calories, 26 grams of fat, 4 of which are saturated fat. Now, admittedly that's not a horrible saturated number, but I generally try to stay away from anything with 26 grams of fat, even if I'm not attempting to eat healthy.

In comparison, a single steakburger packs 346 calories, 17 grams of fat, 6 of which are saturated fat. I know which one I'd rather eat.

Let's say you're feeling a little crazy, and you decide what you'd really like is the Steak N' Shake Frisco Melt. I can tell you from personal experience that it really is the best thing on the menu, and although it's a sloppy mess, it's quite rewarding. That is unless you look up the nutritional information.

The Frisco Melt: 1173 calories, 93 grams of fat, 28.5 of which are saturated.

Let's compare that to McDonald's Big Mac, which is generally known as the sandwich standard of unhealth®.

The Big Mac: 560 calories, 30 grams of fat, 10 of which are saturated.

So the Frisco Melt is more than twice as bad as a Big Mac. That seems a little hard to believe, but let's keep going.

Miracle Whip (15 grams, about 1 tablespoon): 40 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 0.5 of which are saturated.

That means in order to get the same amount of calories that the Frisco Melt provides, you'd have to eat a little over 29 tablespoons of pure Miracle Whip. To get the fat number, it's 26.57 tablespoons of Miracle Whip. But the most impressive number is the saturated fat number. It would take 57 tablespoons of Miracle Whip to equal the saturated fat in the Frisco Melt.

You might say to yourself "Fifty seven tablespoons sounds like a lot, but that's just a number... what does that actually look like?" Well, it looks surprisingly like a 32 ounce jar of Miracle Whip. And that would be because there are only 64 tablespoon sized servings in a 32 ounce jar of Miracle Whip. So the Frisco Melt is only 7 tablespoons short.

Having said all that (and knowing the dangers involved), the last time I was at Steak N' Shake I had a Frisco Melt. And a cup of chili (more scary numbers I wont get into). And Fries.

And a shake.

Then I went home and took a bike ride.

14 February 2006

shh... it's resting

Lately I've noticed that this website likes to take naps in the morning. I get to work, pull it up to see if anyone's left a comment, and I get "Firefox can't find the server at www.ridehorsey.com."

So in case this is happening to anyone else, please know that I'm aware of it, and that I'm doing absolutely nothing to remedy the problem. I think it's important to excercise patience from time to time, and so does the guy I almost hit trying to pass a soccer mom* on the drive to work this morning. Anyway, having to wait for ridehorsey.com is a virtue.

Thanks - Mike

*She even had a sticker! You know what a sticker that reads "Soccer Mom" says to me? It says "I've given up trying to ever look attractive - I might be wearing sweatpants."

13 February 2006

thuston moore will be playing the part of satan...

Originally posted 2/13/06 - I just want to point out that I beat Nuvo's story by two days.

In my ongoing effort to find something to listen to at work that I'm not bored with, I discovered Pandora. Pandora works by taking one song title or artist (that you type into a nice flash interface) and formulating a complete musical picture (Pandora refers to them as stations) of what you want to listen to based off it.

Today I scrolled through my previously created stations (Ride Away (The Fall) Radio, Good Song (Blur) Radio, Randy Described Eternity (Built To Spill) Radio, Toxic (Britney Spears... I'm a master of this track in karaoke booths) Radio, Let Down (Radiohead) Radio) and decided to create something new. And thus Sonic Youth radio was born.

Pandora starts you out with a song from the artist that you've provided, and then immediately starts taking you places you may or may not have ever heard of. The idea is explained on the site:
Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs.

We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.

And it all works surprisingly well. Sometimes it takes a little while for Pandora to stray off course, depending on how vanilla an artist you start with. I haven't tried starting with something like Norah Jones, but I can't imagine it gets too adventurous. In my case, from Sonic Youth it went to The Blackouts and The Faint, through Fugazi, John Frusciante, US Maple, past April Wine to.... Iron Maiden?

Now to be fair, even a friend recommending music will try to pull this sort of thing from time to time ("You like the Beatles? Have you heard Danzig?") so it's completely forgivable. And you can tell Pandora which songs or artists to never play again, which would be a useful feature on long car rides with other people when you don't have control of the radio.

Of course the one thing Pandora is missing is any sort of human interaction. If you want to know what song just played you have to click back over and look through the tracklist (instead of having a DJ tell you). There aren't any ads in between the music. All in all, it's about as good a system as you could want. Which probably means they'll be asking for donations in no time.

Ok, I've gotta go. It's playing Mudvayne.

11 February 2006

the new

neko case - star witness
the flaming lips - free radicals

Both of these tracks are early leaks from their prospective albums. Neko Case's new album is titled "Fox Confessor Brings The Flood" and is due out March 7th. The song I've posted, "Star Witness", has some really great chorus-y/harmony vocals.

The New Flaming Lips album "At War With The Mystics" is due April 4th. It's probably a bit more wacky that their previous album (I am also surprised that's possible). "Free Radicals" is a pretty good example. It sort of sounds like Prince.


10 February 2006

well this is certainly newsworthy

CNN has a hard-hitting report on the status of Ken and Barbie's relationship. As it turns out, they've been apart for a couple years. I really had no idea. The good news for Ken fans is that has hit the gym and is looking to win Barbie back.
"Ken has revamped his life -- mind, body and soul," Hollywood stylist and Mattel consultant Phillip Bloch said in a statement. "Everyone knows how difficult it is to change, especially when you've lived your life a certain way for more than four decades."

I'm going to go drink some poison now.

08 February 2006

i'm creeping death

boris - pink
boredoms - (star)
Not unlike the other 91 people in my high school graduating class, I was a teenage metalhead. I'd like to think I was a bit more dedicated than some; my friends and I started with Metallica but went through Megadeth, Testament, Sepultura and Slayer and a bunch of really horrible (in hindsight) bands along the way. That road ended for me right after Korn, I think.

One of the things that strikes me is that we really thought we were listening to something menacing, or in the case of Slayer, perhaps even truly evil. Twelve years later, I can still listen to the music, but the lyrics are pretty much laughable. I mean:
razor's edge outlines the dead
incisions in my head

EVIL!!! Ok, not really.

Sometimes I wonder if there's any current bands that live up to that old stuff. I realize this is that old "nothing is as good as it was back when I was a kid" thing, but I think when you get older you really do put some stock in that. That's an ok argument to make, I think. Even if it is wrong.

The two songs I've posted today remind me of that old stuff. Boris is a Japanese Band with a tiny Japanese gal guitarist (which somehow makes them even better). "Pink" has a very sort of thrashy Metallica "Kill Em All" vibe.

Boredoms' "(star)", reminds me of Ministry's "Psalm 69". But weirder.

07 February 2006

the mexican scorpions and pay to hear

Back when I lived in St. Louis-well, 30 miles east of St. Louis-I was lucky enough to be able to pick up KDHX, St. Louis' listener supported community radio station. KDHX was great for its variety; they played everything from a late night show hosted by a guy who thought he was a cat to Mexican hair metal. KDHX was great for annoying my cousin Curt, who was unfortunate enough to have to commute with me back from our job in a downtown St. Louis warehouse. Tuesday nights were Mexican rockout nights, which meant that Curt would have to endure a 40 minute car ride chock full of Spanish lyrics and spastic dancing by his driver (me).

When I moved away from St. Louis, I assumed that I'd discover the same bonanza of variety from public radio in Indianapolis. But to my surprise, there wasn't anything to discover. Or at least anything as well known as KDHX is in the St. Louis area. I've been in Indiana five years now and I can't think of any local radio that appeals to me (short of X103's Sunday night Planet X (and after seeing a picture of the host, I'm not sure I should admit it)).

Of course there's a dedicated Hispanic radio station in Indianapolis, but that's almost too much. At work I can rely on KDHX's live feed, or the often suggested but recently discovered WOXY.com (though they don't play anything Mexican).

But after looking (and listening) yesterday, it appears that both KDHX and WOXY are in financial trouble (they're either begging for paying subscribers or for $100,000 in donations). KDHX regularly has pledge drives and seems to be pretty well supported, but my guess is that the pay for radio proposition will be remembered as WOXY's death rattle. I suppose that's the way things go when even corporate radio is struggling to find a market.

WOXY's sort of variety may have been replaced by Ipod's shuffle feature. But hopefully KDHX is going to survive this, because the chances of my Ipod randomly shuffling to Mexico's answer to Bon Jovi are pretty slim.

05 February 2006

this is what happens when 60 year olds wear tight pants

Here's your Superbowl halftime update! (I don't know that it actually merits an exclamation point, but whatever).

START ME UP Well here's a surprise...

You know, at least Paul McCartney manages to get the words out when he's singing. If you're that short of breath, Mick, maybe you should cut out the prancing.


Did he just say "baby chicken"? I think he did.

Can't they just book U2 from now until forever? I don't even like U2 that much, but at least they get it right.

The pregame interview with Mick Jagger was fantastic.

"Mick, better dynasty... the Steelers or Manchester United?"

"Well, Manchester isn't doing so well this year, and Pittsburgh wasn't expected to do so well." Fantastic answer, Mick.

Suprisingly enough, "Rough Justice" seems to have a better presentation than "Start Me Up". I guess when you've played a song several billion times you lose your enthusiasm.


Honestly, you'd be hard pressed to find a better song than "Satisfaction". But when did the words change to "but I twy? (or is it twie?)

In any case, I hope I look as good as Charlie Watts when I'm that age. My brother had a drum set, and I know for a fact that being a drummer (even when you don't know what you're doing) is completely exhausting. He's like a granite drumming robot.

Keith on the other hand... well, you know what you're getting there. Though every time I see him I wonder how it's possible that he looks worse.

Anyway, that's over with.

PS. He wasn't in the end zone.

03 February 2006

i'm going seahawks

mf doom - tick, tick....

You have no idea how exciting reprinting invoices can be. Really. It's a rollercoaster of emotion at my desk today.

There's plenty to do in Indy this weekend, and thanks to Jim over at 11am Air Raid, I actually know about it for once. Not that I really go out of my way to pay attention. Gina and I are going to check out the IDADA thing tonight. Maybe.

Tomorrow is the annual Souper Bowl Saturday at the City Market, and despite not seeing an entry from Binkley's, who impressed us with their cumin carrot soup last time we attended, we'll make the trip up from the south side (REPREZENT!) Saturday. Five bucks gets you five samples of soup, or maybe 4, depending on how wonderful the restaurant really thinks their soup is (they may charge $2 for a sample).

On an entirely different sampling note, I've posted MF Doom's Tick, Tick... today, because it came up in my playlist last night and I'm still wondering how he got away with that Beatles sample... unless the Beatles sampled it first.

Give it a sample.

02 February 2006

don't get out those shorts just yet...

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of this horrible winter we're going through.

Everyone wants a piece of Phil, including the National Environmental Trust, who jumped on his coattails and brought their own human-animal hybrid (ok, it was a guy in a groundhog suit) to warn about global warming. Someone had better call the president.

UPDATE: 12:52 PM

As it turns out, Phil isn't good enough for the Canadians, who went and got themselves a woodchuck. I suppose this is just the sort of disrespectful behavior we should come to expect from their new conservative government.

Interestingly enough, they still call it Groundhog Day.