Saturday, March 31, 2007


God, I am so ready for this week to be over with!!

The only possible bright spot in this week came on Thursday when I got the new Bright Eyes album in the mail. I was so excited to be able to just relax for a night and not think about work or anything and just listen to a new album.

I tore open the package as soon as I walked in the door from work. Opened the case to take the CD out. You know how sometimes some CD's won't come out all that easily? Well this CD seemed to be melted into the case. I struggled with it until..... CRACK!!

The disc split right down the middle. I wasn't really forcing the disc, it just seemed like it was meant to crumble in my hands. I sent it back yesterday for an exchange. The thing is I preordered it so I could get the album two weeks before its release date. Now it'll probably be two weeks before I get another copy in the mail.
God, I am so ready for this week to be over with!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Okay so my last post was about how awesome my spring and summer will be. However, I at least have to survive March first. This month has been exhausting.

At least it's almost over. I finished up jury duty yesterday. Every chance I had to get called in, I did. I kept getting out of actually sitting on a jury, but they finally got me yesterday. The case was another civil case involving a car accident. Just like two weeks ago, I figured my injury and property claims I put in years ago would get me out. When the question was asked, I proudly raised my hand. Too bad pretty much every other person on the jury did too. I was stuck. Thankfully the case only had one witness and I the verdict was in before noon. Not guilty!!

As the case went on, I actually really got into it. I was hanging on every word and was fascinated. Well at least it kept my mind off of the three hours of sleep I had and my 20 oz. latte I chugged on my drive in was killing my bladder. My mind really flip-flopped back and forth in this case. When I made up my mind for the defense, I was really thinking I would be the only one. Thankfully when we went to deliberate someone asked, "So we're all for the defense right?" Everybody was and we were out of there. Jury duty over. Now I want my $90.

As soon as that was over I went right to work for an hour meeting. Then did a load of laundry. Then met some friends to see The Host (we all very highly suggest it). Then had a quick dinner (and a beer). Then watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (yeah, never got around to seeing it until now). Then was in bed by 11:30pm.....

.....only to get up for work at 3:00am.

Now I had another damn meeting today after work. Then tomorrow I have to change my shift for the day. At least Friday will be normal....

.....then Saturday is the big giant Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K. And that is going to suck!! This is the second year we've broadcast a show from there. I directed last year's and will again this year. First of all, the 10K is huge. It's the country's fourth largest. Secondly, the broadcast I direct is four hours long, starting at 6am. Last year was chaos. It was a good show, but it was four straight hours of control room madness (screaming, throwing things, etc.). Not fun. This year seems to be a little more organized, but I've been working in live television for ten years. I know this is not ever the case.

I'll be so thankful when it's over, but I'll just be met with three shifts on Sunday spanning from 4:30am to midnight or later. Thank God that once Sunday is over, I will finally be met with two days off with absolutely no responsibilities whatsoever. That will be nice.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


So my last summer was pretty much wasted. Didn't really do anything at all. After finally going to Virginia Beach about two weeks ago, I decided that I'll make it my goal to do some more exciting things this year when the weather is nice.

Well first of all is here in a few weeks when Ahrens and I will be road tripping to the big giant O'Donnell-Olesen wedding. We're going to be driving the whole thing. I'm going to spend a day or so checking out Charlotte and maybe a day in Savannah along the way.

After that on April 28th, I'm going with a bunch of friends to Monticello. Okay so I only live an hour away from Charlottesville and I go there all the time, but for some reason I've never checked out Monticello. I've lived in Virginia longer than anybody else in my family and am the only one that's never been there. Hell, even one of my best friends' mother works there. Well that trip is set in stone.

The only other trip that might be set in stone is a camping trip to Cape Lookout, NC. It's an island on the Outer Banks. It costs about $15 for a ferry to get there, but then everything else is free. They let you set up camp pretty much anywhere you want. I wanna camp on the beach! That sounds so freaking cool. Plus they have some wild horses. Pretty cool. I think I'll be doing that on my birthday in July. The weather will be nice and it's during the week so it won't be as packed with people.

Here's the other things I've got on the plate:

1. Spend a day in Baltimore. Go to an Orioles game and maybe see the aquarium. I love aquariums.

2. Camp on Loft Mountain. Can't find a good link for it, but it's in western Virginia along Skyline Drive. My Production Manager gave me this tip. He said it's not a long hike to the peak where you have a 360 view. They do have bears though. That's a little spooky.

3. Check out Luray Caverns. I love me some caves. People have been telling me about this place since I moved here almost two years ago.

4. Finally, I want to go to Natural Bridge. How cool does that place look?

I go through the mountains in western Virginia all the time, but have never really stopped on the way. I drive by most of these places west of here every time I go to my sister's house in Fishersville. This will be a nice summer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Got the call for jury duty again this morning. I was not a happy camper to hear that. Matt at work is on jury duty this month too, but he's yet to be called. I've been called in twice. No fair.

I had already planned on getting quite drunk last night with some friends, and no jury duty was going to stop me.... and I got very drunk. Really only had a couple of hours of sleep when I got up.

Sleepy, hungover, angry..... not a good juror. Thankfully the case I was assigned to got settled before we entered the courtroom. I was out of there at 10:30.

Now on to the rest of today's excitement. Today is the release day for Modest Mouse's new album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

Before today I had heard the first single "Dashboard" about a hundred times. I kept analyzing it over and over again. I love the song, but man it really doesn't sound like Modest Mouse. Sure Good News for People Who Love Bad News didn't sound very Modest Mousey, but it was still a nice album. I was a little more skeptical of this new one though.

I was definitely expecting a bunch of lousy backlash from my snobby indie review sites I frequent. However, I think everything I had read about the album was overwhelmingly positive. That's good because the album is quite good.

I'm not sure I like it as much as Good News..., but I still like it. It's a little weird to hear Isaac singing over such a slick sound. The music is very nice, but it sounds so professional for this band. Still Isaac maintains his rapid fire screaming raps throughout. That's something that I hope never changes. Plus how can you not love a man that recruited Johnny Marr to join your band.

It's very nice to hear a great indie band like this popularize their sound and still sound fantastic. Death Cab, I'm looking in your direction.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


My folks were in town this week. Monday we spent most of the day in Virginia Beach.

Funny, or kinda sad, that I've spent the last year and a half less than two hours away from the ocean and I haven't seen the ocean in almost nine years. Too bad it was freaking freezing in Virginia Beach. It was nice and warm in Richmond, but man it was cold on the coast. The wind was blowing really nasty and my ears were frozen. We warmed back up with a big giant seafood buffet though. Delicious!
Tuesday really sucked, at least for the morning hours. I got the call to jury duty. It was so boring. We had a bunch of orientation stuff to do, and a cheesy video to watch. Then we got our court assignments. I was excited to see my courtroom was a criminal court, instead of some boring civil case. Too bad they were just using the room for a boring civil case involving a car accident. I did get selected to sit on the jury, but got the boot when I mentioned I was injured in a car accident in 2001 and got an injury settlement. Then I got to go home. It felt like I was at the courthouse all damn day, but it was only two and a half hours.
Last Sunday's Jandek show, by the way, was freaking awesome. Two hours of music and only six songs. Jandek didn't say one thing to the crowd. In fact he played most of the show not even facing the crowd. He just stared at a Ralph Steadman poster on the wall. The only acknowledgement he gave us was a small smile and slight nod after the last song. Definitely one of those shows I'll never forget. Sitting a few feet from Jandek. Something not a lot of people can say. The show is going to be released on Corwood and I can't wait.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Saw 300 yesterday. It was great. Two hours of well-choreographed hacking and slashing. The most gory ballet you'll ever see. No moral to be learned here, just glorifying all things badass. Okay, so the movie was fun, but the context in which I saw it was even better.

I went to the theater after work with four other guys. I was really tired, but was getting all fired up about this dudefest to be had. We had discussed the possibility of watching the movie with no shirts on and our faces painted.

We walked into the theater just as the previews were getting started. I looked up at the audience and saw no women. Not a single one. Just a bunch of blood-thirsty looking dudes, many without sleeves. The whole place smelled of sweat and popcorn. Oh there was going to be much fist pumping over the next two hours. Maybe even punch the arm of the guy next to me.

The movie started with much frustration. The audio would drop out during the intro. Probably for only a second at a time every thirty seconds, but enough to seem like forever. The crowd was very patient the first couple of times this happened, but there was a very low-pitched growl starting throughout. By the time they fixed the problem, it sounded like I was in a theater full of grizzlies. I guess I kinda was.

The next two hours was just too much fun. Many cheers and whoops as the blood flowed. Every time a head was severed in slow motion, somebody in the room had to yell out, "Oh fuck yeah!" Neeley sat next to a big guy (250 minimum) with no sleeves and tattoos to eternity and a giant tub of popcorn. Every time it started to look like a battle scene was to break out, he would hunch over the popcorn and start chowing down like a caveman. The whole theater seemed to be on the same page.

After the movie ended we were kinda in the mood for a barfight, but the hormones eventually wore off on the ride home and sleep took over. I passed out on the couch as soon as I got home and didn't wake up for another five hours. Yes, I suggest you see 300. However, you need to see it in similar context. Get your dudes together and find a packed and rowdy theater with a kick-ass screen and loud-as-hell audio. It's like going to one of those shirtless bonfire man retreats, but for only about $10.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Really killer release day today. Had to pick up three sweet releases. Thankfully all three were on sale too. Okay let's start:

Apostle of Hustle - National Anthem of Nowhere

I love Andrew Whiteman. You don't have to know me terribly well to know my undying love for Broken Social Scene. I loved his first Apostle of Hustle release, Folkloric Feel. It was so smooth and cool.

Now on his second Apostle of Hustle release, National Anthem of Nowhere, his sound is less relaxed. Much more beat here, more bass. It just sounds dirtier. And it is fantastic. His voice is just as comforting as on Folkloric Feel, but surrounded by more chaos. The organs and drums are more distorted, while his guitar sounds just as cool. Just super cool music here.

Son Volt - The Search

God I've given Jay Farrar so much crap over the last several years. I'm of the ilk that feels like he peaked with Trace. I still enjoyed the Son Volt 1.0 albums and Sebastopol, but haven't really enjoyed anything since.

The Search, however, ain't too shabby. There are some excellent songs here. The rockers are really solid and the ballads aren't too cheesy. Jay still has a tendency to rely on weird noises that really don't fit in with the rest of the song, but it's definitely toned down a bit here. My biggest problem is that the best songs are the shortest ones. Okay, I'm nitpicking. Congrats, Jay, you have released a hell of an album. I salute you.

Son Volt really reminds me of being back in Missouri. They even have a song on this album called "Methamphetamine." Ah, I miss you Missouri.

Oh and if you're a completest, like me, iTunes has a bunch of bonus tracks. They're included with the album purchase on iTunes, but you can still buy the CD and pick up the bonus tracks later.... it'll just cost you more.

What else came out today? Oh yeah, maybe you've heard that the new Arcade Fire came out today. (Does sarcasm reflect well here?)

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

I usually try not to fall into that trap of hating the overhyped. Therefore, I still like the Arcade Fire. I loved Funeral, and never really got sick of it. Even after the Arcade Fire became the next Radiohead, or something. Saviors of indie rock! Eh, whatever. I still like them.
Gotta be honest though....I'm not too crazy about Neon Bible.... and not because of the hype. I loved Funeral for the enormity of it. It just sounded huge, and never really stopped throughout its duration. Neon Bible doesn't really have that. It has its moments (come on, a freaking church organ on "Intervention?"). Really the most bombastic moments are its best. "Black Wave/Bad Vibrations" and "Antichrist Television Blues" are fantastic.
Still it's a little disappointing that the best moment is "No Cars Go," a song that first appeared on their debut EP. I definitely agree with the Pitchfork review that the album should've ended there. A little disappointing, but still an enjoyable listen. I'm sure I'll gain some more appreciation with more listens.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Not much new here. Been staying busy with work and whatnot. Hadn't been buying too much new music lately. Ordered up the new Bright Eyes single ("Four Winds").....pretty good. Also ordered a couple of older releases, but two weeks later am still waiting.

Got one sweet show coming up in a week. Jandek, freaking Jandek is coming to Richmond. Dude's only played nine shows EVER in the U.S. and he's coming to freaking Richmond. I got my ticket. Had to do some messing around with the work schedule, but I'm going. (Oh and thanks for the heads-up Prax....whoever you are. If you'll be at the show, look me up.)

Finally got a little fed up with the lack my lack of new music to freak out about today and picked up a couple of things I'd been holding off on (for whatever reason). Picked up the new Of Montreal, haven't listened to it yet.

Oh and the new Apples in Stereo!!

Should've picked this up sooner. I was amped up for this after seeing Apples in Stereo here in Richmond last summer. I'm telling you, this is one hell of an album. Might be their best yet. Just an hour of gut-punching power pop. I was trying to come up with a description.... here's what I got: Jad Fair doing ELO covers as lead singer of Superchunk. Yeah, that sounds right. Definitely get this.
One warning I give to my many metalhead friends. I've already given this description to Neeley tonight. This is the type of album that a metalhead listens to and gets one song stuck in his/her metalhead head. Sings "and the world is made of energy" over and over again and goes on a killing rampage. Metalheads aren't necessarily violent by nature, but listening to this music can definitely bring out that rage.
For my non-metalhead friends, make sure you pick this up.