Information Leafblower: November 2005 Archives

November 2005 Archives

Page of 3

Epcot Fountain

Monorail

Flaming Mickey

I finally had a night off last night so I got the chance to upload my photos from Thanksgiving. My parents and I took my 80-something year old grandfather to Disney World. My family has this weird obsession with Disney World. My parents go every two or three years. I've been four or five times now. I like Disney World and everything, but at this point I've done everything there numerous times. I shudder to think what I could have seen and experienced in Europe with that time and money, but when it's on their dime, I don't have much say in the matter. It was nice to see my grandfather, whom I hadn't seen since the summer when my grandmother passed away. He's still the same, crochety, fiery and utterly hilarious. We shared a room and at night we'd sit around and watch ESPNews for the Celtics highlights.

Per TMQB: The Wall Street Journal reported there are only 28 radio stations left in the country that play a classical music format -- versus 500 sports stations, 1,200 talk stations and 2,000 country music stations.

Preview the Beck remix album here. It's out on Dec 13th.

Here's an MP3 from the Death From Above 1979 remix album:
Sexy Results (MSTRKRFT Edition)
I listened to the album last night and dug it alot. Although I still haven't heard the original album. There was one remix of "Black History Month" near the beginning of the CD that made the song very Bravery-like. I'll have to see who did that and post it.

Lastly here is another MP3, this time from Two Gallants, a group I've been hearing alot about lately. Catherine's Pita is a fan. Anyhoo, here is an MP3 from their forthcoming release:
Two Gallants - Las Cruces Jail

Busybusybusy at work. Tomorrow starts the 31 days of drinking!

Dummies guide to Lost. [via Jen Daily Refill]

Preach on Bob Cook.

Did I point you to the new Richard Ashcroft single yesterday?

Some tools to sort out the MP3's on your computer. I have ripped MP3's under "Echo and the Bunnymen", "Echo & the Bunnymen" and "Echo & The Bunnymen" so I feel your pain.

Rock n Roll HOF noms announced.

The Modfather nixes any chances of a Jam reunion.

The Strokes are back.

iTunes outsells Tower and Borders in the US.

Cool photos here and here.

Major props to Kriston Grammarpolice for his new gig as the official blogger of the Smithsonian, as in American Art Museum. Cheers buddy!

Ronald MacDonald charged in robbery at Wendy's. Seriously.

The next few weeks are the busiest time of the year for me at work, so everyone is going to have to bear with me.

I have lots of pics from my holiday, I'll try and get those up soon. keep an eye on my Flickr account in the meantime.

morrissey_rock_never_dies_1.jpg Lots of news from the Moz camp about the upcoming record with the unfortunate name. Moz did a Q & A with some fans over at True to You dot net and most of the news services have run something about the new record being a different work from You Are The Quarry. So unlike some other bands I like, Moz is not resting on his laurels.

Gorillaz planning live DVD. I still like the first record better. Del and Dan the Automator make all the difference. It seems like Danger Mouse saved all his good beats for the DangerDoom record.

Supergroup looking for a singer.

Shack are back!

Idlewild leave Parlophone. Some indie label out there needs to sign this band and show them some love.

Microsoft doesn't recommend using Internet Explorer.

The Sports Guy returns to DC on Dec. 6th. I have a copy of the book now so maybe I'll go back again. At least the people that still ponied up for the books to be signed at a later date still haven't gotten them.

Hear me now, believe me later. The Jags will do just fine with former ECU QB David Garrard at the helm. Peter King agrees.

Hilarious. [via Deadspin]

R.I.P. Mr Miyagi and George Best.

,

Sunny

Pink Paws

Zonked Out

I'm off to sunny Orlando for the Thanksgiving break. Updates will be sproadic at best until Monday. Mr. Pink says hi.

, ,

Flight Home

Bunnymen

View From the John Hancock Tower #2

Sorry for the late update today. I have alot going on right now, but more on that later.

I had an incredibly fun, if not completely exhausting weekend. The highlights:

Bunnymen - Didn't quite reach the heights of the show I saw in Lancaster, PA but it came close. I think Will Sergeant is officially my favorite guitar player ever, he was on fire during the show. The new stuff sounded superb. The band was a bit subdued, but the crowd went apeshit when the break came in during "The Cutter". A great show all around. See my craptastic photos here.

Bluestate - We had what might have been our most enthusiastic crowd ever on Saturday night. I was feeling really under the weather all day on Saturday but I pulled it together in time for the gig and felt much better once the music started. I stayed away from the booze and DJ'ed in my scarf. It's the new style. I had a revelation during the day that I had yet to play "Peter Piper" at the Black Cat, so I dropped that in right after I played The Supremes and there wasn't even room to move on the dance floor. Also, I played Prince and the kiddies didn't clear the floor. Bonus. Peep the set lists and photos.

Chicago - I didn't get to see much of it during the 36 hours that I was there, but I loved what I did see. Chi-town has a very NYC feel. Catherine lives like 6 blocks from Wrigley and that whole area is filled with great restaurants and bars. We popped down to the John Hancock building and had a drink there and took in some of downtown. We met up with DCSOBLOOP* for dinner around 6:30, pounded some Red Bull and then went to the gig. Matt, fresh off the train back from St. Louis, had no problem finding us inside and then right before the Furries went on L Boogie appeared out of thin air. The Furries didn't disappoint and a good time was had by all. We didn't hang out very long after the gig since it was a school night for Catherine and BLOOP. But I did go say bye to the guys and thank them for taking care of me on yet another US tour. Apologies to all the people that emailed me wanting to meet up at the gig. Maybe next time.

* term coined by Pyg in a Blanket. Respect.

Deep Dish

Harmonica

Headlights On

Freestyle Convertible Warhammers

Wrigley

Water Tower

Wilco Buildings

In other news, I do not advise traveling by air when you have a terrible head cold. Bluestate was a blast last night, I'll try and upload the visual evidence sometime tomorrow. On to the show. Catherine says "Hi".

Amateurs!

| |

I shouldn't even waste my time responding to this shite, where an anonymous author spends over 700 words telling everyone why the Top 40 list sucks, but apparently doesn't even take the time to read the thing.

First—the actual voting panel is composed of 20 people including Mr. Information Leafblower. So he’s off by 20...Unless Mr. Information Leafblower can’t add. This would be bad news since he has assumed the role of pollster...There is the caveat: “I emailed over 40.” If that caveat is true than he got a shit response. That’s good enough reason to skip the poll. If more than half your participants failed to bother, doesn’t that tell you something?

Right, becuase all us pajama clad bloggers don't have lives or anything. God forbid people are too busy to send in their lists. I was quite happy with the number of people that did. I obviously invited more people than I thought would participate. And this douchebag obviously can't count. There were 21 panelists from 20 different websites. Next...

These bloggers have a vested interest in who they pick. At worst it’s a victory lap of we-told-you-so’s. At best, it’s just a lazy and boring—in the way lists are lazy and boring—way to promote themselves. We buzzed therefore these artists must be good and we must be good for telling you so.

How do I have a vested interest in what bands I like? Over 700 words telling everyone why my "lazy and boring" endeavor is a failure isn't self-masturbatory and self-promoting? We're bad, so you must be good, right?

In the end, though, Sufjan Stevens was still the No. 1 choice with 19 votes or points or whatever.

What part of this do you not understand?

So here is this year's list. Numbers in parenthesis indicate a band's ranking on last year's list.

To quote Christopher Walken, "You are a, how you say, Douchebag."

But wait it gets better!

The bloggers should not have conducted this poll. It only exposes their own provincial, white bread tastes. It exposes their main weakness and that is that they are navel gazing, jerk off vessels for wanna be rock critics...This just displays their limitations as open-minded, critical thinkers.

The main page of their site features content pertaining to Rocket From the Crypt, Deerhoof, The Fiery Furnaces, Harvey Danger, The Spinto Band, Gogol Bordello, Giant Drag, Broken Social Scene, The Pixies, Dischord Records, Ted Leo and John Vanderslice. They also have a NEW FEATURE, a blog roundup (how original! There are some forward thinkers manning the boards on this site!) featuring friends like Coolfer and Fluxblog.

Hello kettle? This is the pot. You're black.


**UPDATE**
Looks like some of the guys behind Pitchfork-lite work here at the Washington City Paper. Since they are gutless bastards, posting their work anonymously, let's take a look at the musical tastes of the Econoculture staff, shall we?

Jason Cherkis is a senior writer for the Washington City Paper. If this piece is any indication, he's definitely the bitchy sort. According to his 2004 Pazz and Jop ballot, he likes the Fiery Furnaces, Madvillian and Brian Wilson. Not exactly unconventional as far as his picks go, in fact pretty safe. Let's see if we notice a trend here.

Mike Kanin is an editorial assistant at the Washington City Paper. According to this, he digs Fugazi, Ted Leo, Bjork and Aphex Twin. So he likes dance music you can't dance to.

Matt Kirkpatrick has his own website, trolls Craigslist and is starting a "melodic hardcore" band. The world absolutely needs another one of those. According to this he likes Sunno))) (hey, it's metal for the Other Music set), Bjork, Snoop Dogg(he is so keepin' it real!) and Q and Not U.

Constantine Caloudas also had a Pazz and Jop ballot. He likes The Fiery Furnaces, Madvillian, Brian Wilson (Groupthink! Sheep!) and The Mountain Goats. Groundbreaking stuff here. These guy are really thinking outside the box with their picks. He likes to name drop Bob Pollard when reviewing R Kelly and is also the guy that wrote the I-pee-on-you-for-an-iPod article that made Daniel Lubrano so happy.

Brian Montopoli, another contributor, wrote something for the NY Times explaining how little known bands gain buzz when blogs write about them. So, say we include a little known band in the Top 40 list, people might go check them out and listen to them? Sorry, that just sounds self-mastubatory to me.

Another contributor, David Dunlap Jr., likes the Fiery Furnaces and Madvillian too! I tell you, the worst thing about all these lists "is their predictability. It’s like a white boy polled his dorm. OK. A smarty pants dorm."

I could go on, but I think everyone gets the point by now. I guess it's OK for these guys to contribute their own "provincial, white bread taste" top 10 lists to something like Pazz and Jop or (god forbid) the Washington City Paper, but if some bloggers get together and do the same thing amongst ourselves, then we are self serving, self-mastubatory douches, exposing our "main weakness and that is that we are navel gazing, jerk off vessels for wanna be rock critics." As opposed to being real life navel gazing, jerk off rock critics.

I have quite the weekend coming up:

bstatenov copy.jpg

Tonight: Echo & the Bunnymen @ the Black Cat
Saturday: bluestate @ the Black Cat Backstage (where we vow to play Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani and Hillary Duff, indie hipsters be damned)
Sunday: Fly to Chicago, meet up with Catherine, see the Super Furries @ the Metro.

I'm going to have to wait until next week to see Harry Potter and Walk The Line.

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that, by my rough calculations, the Chicago show will be the 28th time I've seen the Super Furries play live, give or take one or two. It's kind of eye opening when you think about it. I mentioned to the band that the Norfolk show was my 26th gig and the band seemed kinda stunned. It got eerily quiet in the room. I mean, what can you say to that? "Get a life" comes to mind.

To be fair, my number is inflated a bit because I'm counting TV appearances(Carson Daly and Conan) and, because I was unemployed at the time, I saw them eight times on the Rings Aroound The World tour. And it's very easy to go see a band when I can just show up anywhere in the world, pop backstage, say hi and get put on the list. So I am very appreciative of the band and crew making it all very easy for me. I'm also looking forward to (hopefully) catching up with Matt and Charles the apple blogger while I'm in Chi-town. And sleep? Fuck sleep.

The list, which has taken on a life of it's own, was mentioned over at The Morning News and even Entertainment Weekly. And for the record, while I am by no means a fan, if anyone doubts Kelly Clarkson's credentials to be included on the list this year, I give you this. When we play "Since U Been Gone" at bluestate, people go apeshit and start bouncing off the walls. No other song gets people so worked up. But I digress...

One of the NME's photogs was mugged in Stoke and is selling some of his prints to replace his camera since his insurance company told him to fuck off. He has some great stuff available. Prints are only 15 pounds each. I think I'm going to buy this one and put it over my toilet.

The Cure are going back into the studio in January.

Supergrass is touring the US in early '06.

Strokes video for "Juicebox".
Real Player / Windoze Media / Quicktime

eCard for the new Hives DVD.

This is the funniest thing you'll read all day. [thanks Coolfer]

This is all I want for Xmas.

A-frames, Akron/Family, American Analog Set, Andrew Bird, Animal Collective, Antony & the Johnsons, Birdmonster, Black Keys, Blood Brothers, Bob Dylan, Brazilian Girls, Brendan Benson, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Bright Eyes, Calla, Cary Brothers, Cass McCombs, Cat Power, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Cloud Cult, CoCoRosie, Coheed & Cambria, Crooked Fingers, Death Cab For Cutie, Deerhoof, Devandra Banhart, Diplo, Doveman, el ten eleven, Explosions in the Sky, Fall Out Boy, Fiery Furnaces, Fiona Apple, FischerSpooner, Giant Drag, Gnarls Barkley, Goldspot, Gossip, Green Day, Greg Dulli, Gretchen Wilson, Gwen Stefani, Harvey Danger, Iron & Wine, John Vanderslice, Juan McLean, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Polar, Kings of Leon, LCD Soundsystem, Little Brother, Man Man, Mariah Carey, Mars Volta, menomena, MF Doom, Miss Fairchild, Morning Wood, Mountain Goats, My Morning Jacket, Nada Surf, NERD, NIN, Notorious BIG, Okkervil River, Oneida, Out Hud, Pinback, Pixies, Polyphonic Spree, Rilo Kiley, Robbers on High Street, Rogue Wave, Ryan Adams, Saints & Lovers, Scissor Sisters, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Silver Jews, Sleater-Kinney, Some Girls, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Spinto Band, Spoon, Stellastarr**, Stnnng, Strokes, Sufjan Stevens, Sunno))), Surefire, System of a Down, Tapes n Tapes, Ted Leo, Tego Calderon, The Decemberists, The Hold Steady, The Joggers, The National, The Ponys, Thunderbirds Are Now, Tift Merrit, TV on the Radio, Two Gallants, VHS or Beta, Walkmen, We Are Scientists, White Stripes, Wilco, Will Oldham, Wolf Parade, Wrens, Xiu Xiu, Young Jeezy

And we're back!

It's time for this year's edition of THE TOP 40 BANDS IN AMERICA TODAY.

For those of you that are new to the process, here's the back story. Two years ago I read a piece from The Guardian that ranked what they thought were the 40 best bands/acts in America. I wasn't impressed with their results, so, on a whim, I emailed a bunch of blogger friends and we made our own list. Last year we did it again, only on a slightly larger scale. It caused quite a commotion all over the internet and provided a stark reminder that, hey, people actually read these things (and some of them take it a little too seriously). Well, ever the gluttons for punishment, we're back and bigger than ever this year.

THE PROCESS: I emailed over 40 "music/MP3 bloggers" (since we are our own genre now) and asked them to send me a list, ranked 1-10, of the 10 best American bands that they've seen or heard in the last year. The purpose of this list is to reward bands for generating buzz in the year 2005. This isn't a ranking of career longevity. I wanted to know who people are using their bandwidth to talk about. Once I got the lists, I gave each slot a corresponding numerical number (similar to the way MLB tallies their MVP voting), and the list was born. In case of a tie, the higher slot was awarded to the artist with more votes (i.e. someone with 15 points from one vote was ranked lower than someone with three votes of 5).

THE PANEL
(in no particular order):
Gorilla Vs. Bear, Largehearted Boy, Music for Robots, 5500, My Old Kentucky Blog, Catbirdseat, Central Village, Bradley's Almanac, Chromewaves, Dceiver, Byron Crawford, Catherine's Pita, Tuning Fork, Jason and Rajeev from One Louder, Brooklyn Vegan, Soviet Panda, Melody Nelson, Seeking Irony, Coolfer and myself.

A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Just a few things to get straight so I won't have to repeat them ad nauseam in the comments section.
1) This process has inherent flaws. It rewards bands that have released records or toured recently. A band that played Pianos four times in the last month might do better than a band from Portland that managed one national tour in February. We know this. For instance, I might have nominated The National, but for some reason they hate Washington DC and refuse to play here even though they've played NYC approximately 47 times this year.
2) There is quite a bit of indie rock on this list. What, music bloggers like the indie rock? Well, obvs. For the record, I tried very hard to address this problem this year by reaching out to a number of hip-hop and dance bloggers, asking them to participate. Unfortunately most of them, for whatever reason, chose not to. So be it.
3) Due to the large number of panelists, the more popular bands rose to the top. That's the whole point, right? Just keep in mind that the 21 panelists (including myself) nominated over 114 bands, so don't blow a gasket if your favorite band isn't in the Top 40. Chances are they were nominated but didn't get enough votes. I will reveal the complete list of nominees tomorrow. Also, last year a number of panelists revealed their own lists on their personal blogs, so if you read something you like, click through on the links provided and chances are you can see the other bands that panelist nominated.
4) I tried to link to (legal) MP3's when possible, but if you know of any more floating around, leave it in the comments and I'll try and update the post. If you're a band or label and you want an MP3 taken down, just email me.
5) Due to a Movable Type malfunction, the first draft of this intro was lost before I could completely finish it. It was quite witty and flowed better than this attempt, but you'll just have to trust me on that. Remember, save early and often kids.


So here is this year's list. Numbers in parenthesis indicate a band's ranking on last year's list:

1) Sufjan Stevens (19)
- What can you say about Sufjan Stevens except that this is the year he went huge. Illinoise may not be his best album, but it has to be the most talked about indie record of 2005. - 5500
- Illinoise is the album of the year, hands down. - Gorilla Vs. Bear
- With his mix of sincerity, spirituality and humor, Stevens rode the wave of media adoration for his album, Illinois, to a well-deserved crest of popularity. - Largehearted Boy
"Chicago" [mp3]
"Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" [mp3]

2) The National
- There is no better band in the US today than these five (and sometimes six) boys from Columbus, OH. Alligator is --start to finish-- the best, most complete album of the year. - Music for Robots
- Seeing this act live will convert even the uninitiated. Watching so much pathos on display is almost draining, but then the chorus of "Mr. November" kicks in and the only thing you can do is bang your head. - 5500
- Perhaps the most underrated band in America. - Central Village
[video] Daughters of the SoHo Riots

3) Kanye West
- Kanye's just too dynamic to not make a top 10, ya know? It's so obvious, but so necessary. - Music for Robots
- The proof of his heat is self-evident when you consider the fact that he went on live TV to excoriate the President and nobody even attempted to knock him off the block. Kanye came out more beloved than ever, appearances and sponsorships intact. Dan Rather wishes he were that untouchable. - Dceiver
- Kanye West is probably going to rule the world. Literally. You can't go from hit producer to a Grammy-grabbing debut rapper, and then release a hit sophomore album the VERY NEXT YEAR, scoring tons of singles, sales, and the cover of TIME. That just doesn't happen. Bill Gates better watch out. - Soviet Panda

4) LCD Soundsystem
- "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" should be playing in everyone's house. - 5500
- Ground-breaking singles, a classic debut album, live shows that turn venues around the globe into discos, a refreshing sense of humor, exciting videos… Much more than the sum of its parts, - Soviet Panda

5) Sleater-Kinney
- Mad props for not coasting. - Dceiver
- The Woods captures the raw, fuzzy, and energetic spirit of one of the best live shows touring today. - Largehearted Boy
"Entertain" [mp3]

6) The Hold Steady
- The Hold Steady rammed an adrenaline shot into the heart of rock and roll with an absolutely peerless album in 2005. That album, Separation Sunday is the anti-Weezer. It is, for emo, an extinction-level event. It returns the glories of rock to the corner-bar boozers, the Chilton-heads, the Springsteen acolytes, and people who prefer their music to take precedence over trendoids and fashion icons. - Dceiver
- Separation Sunday is so epic you can't hear it enough times. - Byron Crawford
- No other band is so original, or so powerful. Craig Finn takes his old band Lifter Puller's world of burnouts and vagabonds and creates a parallel universe, rife with drugs, sex, and classic-rock riffage. This was the year the world woke up and noticed: they made the cover of the Village Voice, received endless hosannas for their second album, Separation Sunday, and won a boatload of venue-packing new fans eager to be rocked silly. - Catherine's Pita
Go here to download some Hold Steady MP3's

7) Green Day (26)
- Green Day may have some haters, but there can be no doubters. These guys are the most important American rock band as of this moment, and if you beg to differ—well, you’re wrong. Hell, in the wide world, only U2 can plausibly claim to be a bigger band. Now, a year removed from the release of American Idiot, these guys are still embedding themselves in our cultural consciousness. But more importantly, they’ve branded themselves as a beacon of integrity. - Dceiver
- They've revitalized a played-out genre, made a conceptual, political record that is miraculously unpretentious, regained their original fan-base, scored props with critics, and won over the hearts of TRL watching America. And did you see them live? They had fire. FIRE!!! - Soviet Panda

8) The Fiery Furnaces (5)
- Yes, Rehearsing My Choir was crap. Doesn't matter. The FFs are one of the most important bands of our time. - Catbirdseat
- When a band makes an album featuring their 83 year-old grandmother, and the result is one of my favorite albums of the year, they are surely special. - Largehearted Boy
"Seven Silver Curses" [mp3]

9) The Decemberists (20)
- They came through New York so many times this year it would be easy to get completely sick of them, but from the Colin Meloy shows in January that got me hooked to their most recent set in October (which was the best I've seen them do), this year was defined for me more so by The Decemberists than any other band. - Central Village

10) Spoon (10)
- They continue to be the perfect union of Prince, Wire, and the Kinks, distilled down until only the important stuff remains. Long live Britt Rock. - Catbirdseat
- In my first ever blog post I wondered why Spoon wasn't the biggest band in the world. I'm still wondering. - ILB

11) The Mountain Goats (14)
- John Darnielle's been around for so long, it's tempting to take him for granted. Still, The Sunset Tree is such a masterwork, taking it for granted would be nothing short of a crime. - 5500
- John Darnielle finally waxed autobiographical on 2005's The Sunset Tree, and the resulting record was the strongest lyrically for America's premiere songwriter. - Largehearted Boy
Go here for some Mountain Goats MP3's

12) My Morning Jacket
- "A Wordless Chorus" does better than any song to reflect the feelings of this fucked up nation. It's nervous and delicate and dangerous. These guys are doing it right. And the live show? Holy sheeaattt. - Music for Robots
- Always growing artistically, MMJ's Z album showed a poppier side of the band without losing Jim James' signature storytelling knack. - Largehearted Boy

13) Fiona Apple
- An extraordinary machine indeed. The long-delayed album was worth the wait. - Seeking Irony

14) Rogue Wave
- Stepped out of the Shins' shadow with new record. One of my favorite of the year. - Gorilla Vs. Bear

15) Bright Eyes
- With two studio albums and a live release this year, Conor Oberst led the world in "the next Dylan" references. - Largehearted Boy

16) Kelly Clarkson
- This nomination belongs in part to the Swedes who produced "Since U Been Gone," but since they're not eligible, Kelly gets it all for choosing the right songs and singing the hell out of them. - Seeking Irony

17) Death Cab For Cutie
- These guys are determined to be an important band, and they’re going door-to-door gathering followers and playing some peerless, beautiful music. - Dceiver
- Nice guy better than average smart indietronica has never sounded so safe and inoffensive. In turn this makes Death Cab perfect for the brooding masses to gobble up and worship. - Tuning Fork

18) Animal Collective
- Feels is one of the best records of the year, and these guys refuse to do what anyone else is doing. A one of a kind band. - Gorilla Vs. Bear
- Animal Collective manages to sound absolutely retarded and brilliant at the same time, and they keep getting better. I don't understand why people like them so much – including me, which is a good thing, I think. Also, the band should be recognized for an approach to live shows that differs from almost any other rock band, today or otherwise. - Soviet Panda
- Not only is Feels one of my favorite records of 2005 but also I predict if AC remains on this path to blissful trimmed down epic pow-wows they could be the biggest commercial crossover success story since Modest Mouse. - Tuning Fork

19) Ryan Adams
- Nobody had a year this good since the year Jose Canseco did Madonna. - Byron Crawford
- Everyone thought he'd gone soft and lame and self-indulgent, and let's face it, he often is. But Ryan Adams created his best record in years with Cold Roses, full of those sweetly melancholic songs he showed us back in his starless years. He's a heartbreaker all right. - Catherine's Pita

20) Crooked Fingers
- The Big E is fully out of the shadow of his old band and flourishing. But I still yell Archers requests whenever I see him play live. - ILB

21) Kings of Leon
- Calling these guys the “Southern Strokes” was probably meant to be complimentary but feels more like a write-off, especially after the release of Aha Shake Heartbreak, which finds the band in expert control of some elemental rock power. They match revelry with regret, power with vulnerability—you get the feeling that the world is open to these guys. - Dceiver
- Aha Shake Heartbreak has to be in the conversation for album of the year. - ILB

22) We Are Scientists
- Their upcoming debut album is everything I wanted Hot Hot Heat's sophomore album to be, and more. The next big thing to make the indie kids dance. - Seeking Irony
- I can't remember the last time I heard a three piece with such a full and rich sound. I'm still talking about the show they played in DC last month. A lock for a high ranking on next year's list- ILB

23) Devendra Banhart
- Took the leap this year to full fledged icon. I never thought I'd see this sort of confidence from him. - Central Village

24) Okkervil River
- Will Sheff has hit his peak with this year's incredible "Black Sheep Boy" material. - Catbirdseat
Go here for some Okkervil River MP3's

25) MF Doom
- I'm still trying to get my head around the Danger Doom record. - ILB
- One of hip-hop's hardest workers (and most intricate lyricists) teamed up with DJ Dangermouse for DangerDoom's the Mouse and the Mask, one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of the year. - Largehearted Boy
"Mince Meat" [mp3]

26) Gwen Stefani
- I nominated her last year, but it was hard to imagine the way she'd flat-out take over. - 5500
- As a 15-year-old, I was singing along to "Just a Girl." Ten years later, I'm singing along to "Hollaback Girl." - Seeking Irony

27) Andrew Bird

28) Black Keys

29) Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
- These kids came from the middle of nowhere and almost swept me away (bad pun totally intended) with their debut, Broom. Simply amazing. - Catbirdseat

30) Two Gallants
- It's amazing what these two are able to do at such a young age. The upcoming record on Saddle Creek should boost their stock tremendously. - Central Village
- Two dudes bashing out raw folk-punk tunes about self-destruction, longing, and boozing. The true heir to the throne of Modest Mouse, They played two of the most thrilling shows I saw all year. And they got signed to Saddle Creek. Respect. - Catherine's Pita

31) American Analog Set

32) Sunno)))
Amplified subsonic vacuuming tones have not only sprouted forth into the realm of popularity thanks to this band but Sunno))) has redefined black and blue and doom all over. Metal isn’t just for metal heads anymore, it can even earn a top chart position at Other Music. - Tuning Fork

33) The Juan McLean
- It's 2005, and this is what pop music is supposed to sound like. - Soviet Panda

34) Giant Drag
- With singer Annie Hardy's little girl voice and bizarre storytelling, you love 'em or you hate 'em. I love 'em. - Seeking Irony
- Another band that just blew me away with their live show. Annie is a rock star. Sure, she comes off as a tad deranged, but she knows how to work it to her advantage. Yes, I have a crush on her. - ILB

35) Iron & Wine
- Released two awesome EP's this year and their current tour with Calexico is one of the best of '05 - Gorilla Vs. Bear

36) Wilco (2)

37) Antony & the Johnsons
- Buzzzzzzz. Although eligibility for the Mercury Music Prize might make this act apparently ineligible to be called American, I'm not buying it. Hauntingly gorgeous. - 5500
Antony and the Johnsons are so good, the American residents (and citizens) won the Mercury Prize for best album by a British band. Soulful, touching, and sincere, their album, I Am and Now, lives up to its hype. -Largehearted Boy
"You Are My Sister" [mp3]
"Hope There's Someone" [mp3]
"For Today I Am a Boy" [mp3]
"Fistful of Love" [mp3]
"Spiralling"[mp3]

38) Out Hud
- Music that appeals equally to body and mind. A live show where the band is having just as much fun as the audience, and everybody's dancing. Reinvention, innovation, and great songs (with the best titles). Whether its instrumental or the girls are singing, Out Hud is a great fucking band. -Soviet Panda

39 John Vanderslice
- The "Nicest Guy In Indie Rock" has put out 5 of the best albums of the past 5 years. - Catbirdseat
- Those who haven't yet absorbed the exquisitely beautiful Pixel Revolt really don't know what they're missing. - Catherine's Pita
- This meticulous talent writes, produces and performs with equal flair and talent, and his albums are intellectual song cycles instead of mere collections of tunes. - Largehearted Boy
"Exodus Damage" [mp3]
"Trance Manual" [mp3]

40) Explosions In The Sky

Many thanks to each of the panelists that took time out of their busy schedule to participate in this year's list. Cheers. I think the list is pretty representative of what bands the blogging community was talking about this year. If you look at last year's list you'll see that a large number of bands were left off of this year's list, which is the whole point of this little exercise. Keep an eye on the bands near the bottom of this year's list, some of them may be due for a big 2006. Just look at Sufjan Stevens and Green Day as examples. Stevens was just beginning to build some major buzz during this time in '04 and Green Day had just released American Idiot. Quite a few indie rockers cried bloody murder at their inclusion in the list last year, and look at the year they had in 2005.

Again, keep in mind that there were 74 other bands that were nominated. The complete nominee list will be revealed tomorrow.

Until then, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

**UPDATE** - For some reason, the permalink isn't working for this entry. Ok, permalink and comments have been fixed. Many thanks to Tom from unrequited narcissism for the tech support. Cheers.

Downtime

| |

Last day to enter the Supergrass contest.

That's because I have another contest for you, this time for The Magic Numbers. They'll be in DC on the 18th, supporting Bright Eyes. I'll be giving away the following:

Grand Prize: "Love Me Like You" on 7", full length self titled CD and a t-shirt.

All you have to do is email me and tell what number is the magic number, and name a band that has covered the Schoolhouse Rock tune which tells you what that number is. I can think of two different bands that did this, one English and one American. Both put out shitty sophomore albums if that helps any.

The Magic Numbers: "Forever Lost" (video)

Windows Media
RealONE
QuickTime

Visit their Myspace page for more goodies

You can listen to their album via their eCard.

Saw Okkervil River last night. Yawned throughout(although I was in the minority). I liked it better when it was called Old 97's and Crooked Fingers. They did have one song that sounded like Buffalo Tom. I liked that one best. Let me go on record saying I fucking hate the Iota when it's crowded. There's not a single place you can stand there without getting stepped on, jostled or pushed. Worst.

Download some Elbow B-sides!

Buy Boz Boorer's guitar.

Outkast record bumped to next year.

Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson is the new head of editorial at MSN Music. Nice one my friend.

Here is the proper link for the 100 most disappointing albums.

Kazakhstan doesn't think Borat is very funny.

Improve your Photography without using your Camera. Speaking of, great photo.

Build your own record cleaner.

I have so many things to say about this and the utter ridiculousness of it all, but Joanne says alot of it for me. Only a blogger can clean his overpriced New York apartment and become a Taoist in the process. Trying to convince everyone else to do the same just makes it worse. Also note Jake sarcastically saying he makes a "robust" $2000 a month from Gothamist.
Where does that money come from?
Advertising.
Why do people advertise on Gothamist?
Because of the number of readers.
Why do so many people read the sites?
The content.
Who makes the content?
The writers.
How much do the writers make?
Not a single fucking penny.
I don't begrudge Jake taking a salary from Gothamist, he and Jen put in alot of work on all the -ist sites, but mockingly explaining that he doesn't make much money from the sites while the writers make nada is just like school in the summer. No class.

Which brings up the whole Jason Calcanis sells out to AOL for 25 to 40 mills. No one asked the really pertinent question there. Did any of the writers get a cut of that money? If not, were they getting paid beforehand?

Totally swamped at work right now and most of my RSS feeds are in or approaching triple digits, so...

Whew. At first I thought I might have to go see Coldplay, but it turns out, I don't. Again, whew.

The 100 Most Disappointing Albums.

Coolfer has a guest blogger. Great Idea.

First draft of the Judith Miller retirement memo.

Oneloudernyc tries to get all informationleafblower in NYC by seeing a band from the UK three times in one week. Dude, copy me much? I'm kidding of course. Nothing is better than seeing a band you like multiple times in one week. I guess I need to check me out some Art Brut!

Buy some Graham Coxon artwork.

Queen at Live Aid. Best. gig. ever. Except for the Super Furries at Hoboken on the MWNG tour, or Radiohead at Irving Plaza after the Tibetan Freedom Concert in NYC.

I'm going to see some band called Okkervil Tributary or something like that tonight. I hear they're good. I forgot to mention that I finally caught Caribou (pronounced by Gruff as "Kerryboo") in Carrboro and they were so much awesome. Like a Canadian Mogwai. So good. I'm going to try and peep them in Chi-town this weekend. The band are all nice blokes as well.

Stealing Someone Else's Flash

Guto as The Devil

Post-gig

Cian

Oi. Finally back at home and settled after a crazy weekend. I got about 10 hours sleep last night and I still feel like I'm behind. But enough of my bitching.

The Chapel Hill show was the best show I saw during my trek, with Norfolk a close second and DC a distant third. The band switched things up by putting "Something 4 The Weekend" after Golden Retriever and added "Frequency!" and "Hello Sunshine" back in. This really fixed any problems there were with the pacing of the set. It all flows really well and keeps everyone entertained. The sound at the venue was really boom-y on the low end and this lent all the songs a more rockin' feel. Best of all, since I didn't have to drive anywhere after the gig, I actually had the chance to get drunk, and boy did I ever. L Boogie was all like "Wow, now I've seen drunk leafblower!" By the time the bus left at 2:30, I was wayhasted. Hanging with Miss Boogie, Johnny English and Mike Grass definitely added to the vibe as well. A fun time was had by all I think. I also got to stay at the new casa de English/Boogie, which was approximately 437 times bigger than their former DC townhouse. And their old townhouse in DC wasn't exactly tiny. It looks like life down south is agreeing with them both, which is great to see, even if I still miss hanging with them here in DC.

Best bit of the night:
Me: (Drunkenly) Dammit Bunf! You didn't even sing the backing vocals on "Ohio Heat" tonight!
Bunf: Oh for fuck's sake. I knew you were going to say that.

I've been bugging him since DC that he wasn't singing backing vocals loud enough for my tastes. He said he had a chest cold so he can't sing as loud as he usually does. The whole bit had become something of a running joke. Just playing my part.

Another treat in Chapel Hill was an extended version of "Calimero" that had a breakdown in the middle before ramping up again at the end. It was sweet. "Laser Beam" was really working for me live too. More fun was had backstage after the gig. The band took turns DJing and I took turns drinking all of their beer. The "backstage" area at the Cat's Cradle is pretty small, the complete opposite of the opulence the band enjoyed in Norfolk.

Here are my pictures from the Super Furry Animals show in Chapel Hill on Flickr. Here is the setlist from Chapel Hill and the setlist from Norva.

Onward to Chicago next Sunday!

,

Blue Light

Glowing Gruff

Red Bunf

All Governments Are

You Gots To Chill

Only 105 people at the Norva last night. While that's a bad thing for the band's checkbook, it's a good thing for L Boogie and myself. I got right up front and took 158 photos. The band changed the set up a bit, dropping "Hello Sunshine", "Frequency" and "Something 4 the Weekend" but added "Golden Retriever" and played it early, which worked much better. The small crowd last night was actually much more into it than the DC crowd was on Tuesday, so the place didn't feel as empty as it actually was. The Norva was probably the nicest midsize venue I've ever been to. Think the Bowery Ballroom is it was a tad bigger and had three levels. The backstage area was twice the size of my apartment. It had five huge rooms and included a hot tub and sauna. It was easily the nicest accommodations I've ever seen at a venue.
I got some amazing pictures last night. Take a look at my pictures of the Super Furry Animals at Norva in Flickr.

Chapel Hill tonight. We'll be rolling deep with Mike Grass and Johnny English in tow. Full report (and hopefully the much talked about interview) to come.

Just about to head out on round one my Super Furry Road Trip but I wanted to tell you what happened last night. About a week or so ago, a friend at the White House offered to give me and a few friends a tour of the West Wing in all it's glory. Of course I jumped at the chance and got a small group together. Last night was the actual tour and it was one of the highlights of my time here in DC. We got to see the Oval Office, the Rose Garden, the Press Room and everything in between. We also got a quick tour of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is next door to the West Wing, and sat in the conference room where the Watergate Tapes were made. It was just an incredible experience. We weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside(for obvious reasons) but let me tell you, the West Wing is much smaller than you think it is. It has very low ceilings and smallish rooms. The tour was a real eye opener. Our friend, who also acted as out tour guide, is a real history buff and had a wealth of knowledge about the building and the history that's happened there and it added something special to the experience. Quite frankly my mouth was agape the entire time. Here's a shot of me behind the podium in the Press Room:


Future City Councilman, originally uploaded by leafblower.

Could I seriously be less photogenic? More pictures of my White House tour over at Flickr. Only in DC bitches!

That's all I got today. Time to hit the road.

SFA OK!

| |

Despite purposely not drinking too much, last night was mental. But that's not a bad thing.


Bunfadelic, originally uploaded by leafblower.

I went to the venue about 7 o'clock because I had to make sure my spot on the guest list was secured. I went and knocked on the door of the tour bus and the tour manager let me on. Daf was half asleep on the couch in the front of the bus and as soon as saw me, he jumped right up and gave me a big hug. I'm always nervous to go intrude on the tour bus but the band always seems genuinely happy to see me and as soon as we start chatting and catching up, that all goes out the window. It's an awesome feeling.

Once that was sorted, I met up with L Boogie and she came with me back to my place because I left my camera battery in my charger at home. When we got back into the city, we headed to DC9 and met up with Jillian, Randi and Randi's friend Andrew. We had a few beers over there and headed to the venue at 9:30 where we met up with Gl*mrocker and Mike Grass.

The band went on promptly at 10 p.m. and played a great set. I will hopefully get my shit together and have a review up on DCist at some point today. About the show, yes, it lags in the beginning. I spoke to the guys about it after the show and they're aware of it. They're still working out some kinks and are gonna change things up a bit at future shows. But the new stuff sounded amazing (if only a bit too laid back). Once they got to "Slow Life" the set really picked up and took off. And I finally got to watch a show from the VIP balcony/dressing room at the 930, so that was cool. While I was up there I could see all the things Cian does during the set, which is very hard to see from the floor. He was either fiddling with his laptop or his keyboard the entire time, either playing a melody or setting up stuff for the next song. He's one busy dude.

After the gig the band eventually made their way downstairs to the bar in the bottom of the club and we hung out there until the bar kicked us out at last call. I love seeing SFA play live but I like hanging out with them and just chatting after the gig even more. And since I hadn't seen the guys since Feb. of '04, we had lots of catching up to do.

The best bit of the night was when Bunf mentioned the gigs they did opening for Oasis over the summer:
Me: Shit, I totally forgot about those! How were they?
Bunf: Fookin' great man. Why didn't you come over for that show? I had a ticket for you and everything. As soon as we booked that show, I said to myself "Kyle is definitely coming over for this show."
Me: (mouth totally on the floor, speechless) Are you serious? FUCK!

I had a bluestate gig that weekend and really couldn't afford to go, but damn, now I wish I would have. I also asked Gruff about those gigs and he said Oasis "treated them like kings", gave them full use of the video screens at the show and things like that. Gruff also told me the band turned down an opening slot at the shows Oasis did in Loch Lomond in 1996. That's insane. 80,000 people went to those shows. I was stunned, but the way Gruff explained it, it made sense. He said they were happy to finally be able to do a show with Oasis.

The second best bit of the night was when Daf asked Mike if he was Latvian. He is. I have no idea how Daf knew that.

I also talked to Dav and Bunf at length about the band's future plans, which could be both depressing and very exciting at the same time, and the much rumoured "techno album". I'm not sure what I can reveal about that right now (I don't want to betray any confidences) but I'm going to be interviewing some of the guys later this week so I'll see if they'll go on record about it then. Bunf said the venue in Norfolk has a hot tub in the back stage area and he insists on doing his interview in there, so we'll see if that happens or not. Hehehe.

And before anyone freaks out about the previous paragraph, Daf looked me right in the eye and said, "I've been in this band for 11 years and I'm fucking ready for the next 11." So it's all good fellow Furry fans. I'm spacing on a ton of funny stuff that happened last night. More later if I think of it.


Leaf v. Bunf!, originally uploaded by leafblower.

Here are my Super Furry Animals pictures on Flickr. Because of their glow-in-the-dark track suits, the lighting wasn't optimal, but I still got a few keepers.

Nice One

| |

anniepic.jpg

Big ups to Will Eastman and Bliss. They are hosting a gig by Annie at the Black Cat on December 2nd!

Tonight!

| |

Hello Sunshine.

DSC00021.JPG

You'll just have to take my word for it that this picture looked MUCH better at home on my Mac. Busybusybusy day today. Fellow Virginians, don't forget to vote!

SFA is on at 10 p.m. tonight, so we're all meeting up at DC9 around 8:30. Come say "Hi"!

Soundbites has a review of the Super Furry show in NYC (pretty much cementing the fact I made the right call in skipping Webster Hall) as well as the Elbow gig from earlier in the week.

And in the longtimenohearfrom category, unofficial information leafblower correspondent Emily D. checks in from last night's SFA gig in Beantown:"...they kicked so much ass. of course. they were quite a spectacle and had some hilarious banter going. Gruff went on about how Cian & Bunf ran the marathon while they were in NYC over the weekend, but that he couldn't run due to a "calf injury" so he 'passed out oranges and wrapped my friend in blankets - to do my part.' awesome." Thanks for the report Em! Always nice to hear from you. Hope Boston is treating you well.

Here's a Super Furry article from the Providence Phoenix.

How to make a blog header graphic.

Boost your blog traffic.

Yesterday I forgot to mention the crappy weekend the Celtics had. Friday restored my complete and utter hatred of that effing motherfucker Richard Hamilton and Saturday we lost to the effing Bobcats. I'm just trying to put it all out of my mind at this point. But it was nice of Grambo and Peabs to call up and offer their condolences.



Soft Rock

Nov05playlist.jpg

Goodies:
Mylo:Soft Rock (MP3) This track is reportedly a live favorite from Mylo's DJ sets. Not what I expected, but it's still the hottness. [Thanks Bushra!]

We Are Scientists:The Great Escape (MP3) - This is the most dance rock tune of all the WAS songs I've downloaded. Good stuff.

Giant Drag:Slayer (MP3) My favorite track from the Giant Drag album. I officially have a crush on Annie, the lead singer. They're playing Chicago two days before I get there. :(

You can download the SFA track here and the Lush track here. Oneloudernyc has a Tom Vek song for you to download if you are so interested. Just scroll down and look for it on the right side. I meant to put "Pearl's Girl" up for download but I guess I forgot. It's scary how many times I've listened to that song. Crazycrazycrazycrazycrazy.

How to deal with your crazy attack cat.

More details on the forthcoming Futureheads EP.

Oasis Eupropean tour dates for 2006.

Bends-era Radiohead DVD on the way.

Paging Pyg in a Blanket. Possible Smoking Popes reunion! I've got to break out "Need You Around" at the next Saint Ex bluestate. PS - Save the date.

Is Terrell Owens the Pete Doherty of the NFL or is Pete Doherty the Terrell Owens of the music industry? Either way, both get way more press than they deserve.

So hott. Don't bother going to the Panthers website, this is all you'll get.

So excited for the Super Furry show tomorrow! Reports from NYC about their gig on Saturday are pretty much nonexistent. I think Spoon were also playing the same night. I'm kinda surprised at the lack of press behind this tour. All I've seen for them is this substandard interview from DC's AOL Digital City. I emailed the band's PR rep about an interview for DCist but have heard nada in return. No matter, I'll just talk to the band myself(more on that later), but I was trying to go through the proper channels and everything. So much for that. Why would the publicist want to get back in touch with me? I'm just trying to give her client some effing press. Argh. Same thing happened to me at last night's Tom Vek show. I had two PR/promo rep's contact me about reviewing the show but did either of them follow through with it? Nope. So no DCist review for you. But I digress...

That aside, the Vek show was brilliant. Much better than his record(which is really growing on me). According to Oneloudernyc, Tom played everything on the record himself, and it sounds like it. The live version, complete with 4 piece band, was much better. The album is kinda cold and mechanical, while the live show was very in your face and organic. His bassist was amazing and really brought out a new vibe for Vek's songs. They played some b-side that sounded like a long lost Police tune, which was very cool. The sound in the Backstage left alot to be desired, so much so that Vek continually apologized for the bad sound during the show, but the band played through it and the crowd really appreciated it. There were only about 30 people there, but Vek really went for it during his performance. That's always appreciated. See my Tom Vek pictures over at Flickr.

I liked the openers, The Mobius Band too. I got their record a few months ago and didn't write anything about it because I could not figure out how to describe their sound and do it justice (dancey-Pavement?). But they were fun and lively last night so I'll have to go back and listen to that CD again. See my pictures of the Mobius Band on Flickr.

Also, it's official. I have no idea how to work the manual settings for my new camera. Totally effing clueless. So I'm going to have to take a class or something. Anyone familiar with the Washington School of Photography? Yea or nay?

Not in a good mood today. I had the November playlist ready to unveil (or so I thought), but when I logged in today to hit "publish", the entry wasn't there. Argh. So that will be revealed on Monday I guess.

Luckily I already uploaded the MP3's for the entry, so I can at least do My Forgotten Favorite today. I have three songs for you, all from the Super Furry Animals. I'm actually posting these for my friend Randi, who trusts my music tastes so much that she bought a ticket to see the Super Furries on my recommendation alone, even though she has never heard a note of their music. Well, we're about to change that.

Super Furry Animals | Ohio Heat (live) (MP3) - This is an acoustic version from a session the band did at Maida Vale back in August of this year. The tambourine in this song is just sublime, I love it. But not as much as Bunf's backing vocals that come in just after the three minute mark. Can't wait to hear this on Tuesday.

Super Furry Animals | Ice Hockey Hair (MP3) - Taken from the band's famous EP of the same name. This track features one of my favorite guitar riffs from Bunf and contains the classic lyric Table tennis rules / They're so confusing, it's not played by fools. Indeed. According to L Boogie, the band added this song back into the set after not playing it on these shores for roughly four years. w00t!

Super Furry Animals | Dacw Hi (MP3) - This is a track taken off of MWNG, which, in many ways, is the best album the Super Furry Animals have ever released. The album is sung entirely in Welsh and was recorded in roughly two weeks for about 6,000 pounds. It reached number 11 in the UK charts and warranted the band a mention in Welsh Congress(Parliment?) for their work in spreading the Welsh culture to the rest of the world. I wanted to pick a song for Randi that would encapsulate what I like love about the Super Furries and their sound (which any fan can tell you, would be very hard with their catalog) and this track immediately sprung to mind. Much like the rest of MWNG, it's bouncey and breezy. And it doesn't matter that it's sung in a foreign language, in fact, I think it enhances the song. A great guitar riff, timely drum fills and a killer melody work in any language. Here are the lyrics (in Welsh and English) if you want to sing along.
Buy MWNG at Amazon.

Keeping with the bad news theme, the Super Furries cancelled their Sunday show in NYC due to poor ticket sales, so there will be just one show in NYC, on Saturday at Webster Hall. Glad I don't live there anymore, I'd be gutted. All Sunday tickets are good for Saturday though, so it's all good.

I'm rolling to the DC show on Tuesday with a posse, so if you want to come, grab a ticket and holler at me.

Here are some pics from the Super Furries Toronto gig.

The Modern Age went to the Elbow gig in NYC last night and has pictures and a setlist.

Stream Annie's DJ Kicks.

Here's the video (in Quicktime) for "Forever Lost" by the Magic Numbers.

Here's the trailer for the new video game True Crime:New York City.

Celtics v. Pistons tonight!

DSCN0675-thumb.JPGHoboken
Boston (twice)
Athens, GA
Atlanta
Philadelphia
Portland, OR
Chapel Hill, NC
Reading, UK (twice)
Leeds, UK
Dublin

All cities I have excitedly traveled to in order to see the Super Furry Animals play. This doesn't count the 11+ times I've seen them play in NYC. After this tour I will be able to add Norfolk and now Chicago to that list. Catherine was throwing the big guilt trip around like glasses of water at Matt Yglesias so I begrudgingly checked airfare to the Windy City for the Furries Nov. 20th gig at the Metro and you won't believe how much round trip tickets are. $78! From National! With tax and all, it's a whopping $103. I can't afford NOT to go. The lesson, as always, is peer pressure is a bitch. Catherine, prepare the magic futon. It's on! Same for you Charles. And you Matt. People get ready. Yay for impulse travel! It doesn't seem like a proper SFA tour if I don't get to see them at least four times. And yes, I am a dork. Thanks for asking.

Stylus plays Yahweh with The Joshua Tree.

Noted by Frank yesterday, the new Moz album will be out on March 20 of next year. A new single drops in Feb.

The Wu Tang gives Apple a shout out.

Funny cats video. [via The Oculus]

iPod buyers guide.

Do more with Flickr.

Write effectively for the web.

Myspace has been getting a ton of press lately. Here's the big piece in Wired and something from the Guardian.

Theo is a genius.

The Sports Guy gives us his NBA preview. Part One. Part Two will drop today.

Delonte West messed around and almost got a triple double as the C's beat the Knicks in OT last night. Unfortunately, most of the press outside of Boston has been focusing on Larry Brown. It's going to be a long season for him. Not that I care. PP had 12 rebounds to go along with his 30 points. Ricky Davis added 27 and to top it all off, Mark Blount dropped 19. So far, so good. We host Detroit on Friday.

,


Rufus, originally uploaded by leafblower.

My new camera is fucking bovs. I don't even know how to properly work it yet and it still takes pictures like these. The Rufus show was great. His voice always stuns me when I hear it in the live arena. Unfortunately everyone around me insisted on singing along so it was very hard to hear Rufus above it, which was a bit frustrating, but he played "Vibrate" so I was a happy camper. Pitchfork today confirmed that Rufus will be releasing the double disc Want set here in the US (which will include a Leoard Cohen cover that was simply amazing on Monday night) on November 28th, so I might have to pick that up. See the rest of my Rufus picures on Flickr. Some of them turned out great.

OK Go, on the other hand, were a bit of a disappointment. The lead singer said he was sick, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Here are my OK Go pictures on Flickr.

The Super Furries are in North America and kicked off their tour last night, but I can't find the set list anywhere. If you find hit, holler at me.

Moz producer Tony Visconti has a blog and a new photo of himself and the mighty Mozzer!

NME reviews Gorillaz in Manchester.

The Gaurdian on that Gorillaz gig as well as We Are Scientists.

Pitchfork throws some love at the new Harvey Danger record. Actually, the review kinda trashes the record, but they give it a 6.9. *shrug*

Wow. When he;s not busy trying to sell his book, kiss Chuck Klosterman's ass or talk up Jimmy Kimmel, the Sports Guy can still bring the heat. His thoughts on Theo Epstein might be some of the best stuff he's ever done. Definitely one of his most heartfelt columns. More please.

Knicks at Celtics tonight!

Here is my fantasy basketball team:
Gilbert Arenas / Jamal Crawford / Jalen Rose / Andrei Kirilenko / Shareef Abdur-Rahim / Richard Jefferson / Nene(who got hurt last night, *sigh*) / Lorenzen Wright / Antawn Jamison / Jameer Nelson / Mike Sweetney / Derek Fisher / Brendan Haywood

Three wizards and NO CELTICS. Oh well, that's what you get with autodraft.

Speaking of the hometown Wiz, here is my season preview on DCist.

The NBA (thankfully/finally) tips off tonight with four games on the slate. Everyone else hits the hardwood tomorrow night and we're off to the races. Once again yours truly is here to bring you each team's season outlook in 51 words or less. Let's do this.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlanta Hawks
Roster has some talent, but it's a mess. With the death of Jason Collier, PT will be split between 6 SF's, 1 SG, 1 PG and 1 C. Al Harrington is in a contract year, but how much will Marvin Williams play? He's looked lost in camp and pre-season.
Blog: Hawks Basketblog

pptotherack.jpgBoston Celtics
Mark Blount looked revitalized in pre-season. Team has talent but PG will be a real weakness. Rookie Orien Greene may be teams best bet there. PP looks ready for a huge year, but trade rumours will continue to swirl. Keep an eye on rook Ryan Gomes.
Blogs: Delonte's Diary, Scal's Blog, Rookie Diary: Ryan Gomes

Charlotte Bobcats
When Gerald Wallace and Kareem Rush are your perimeter offense, you're in trouble. Draft picks Felton and May will put butts in seats but don't help team talent level very much. Felton was TO machine in college, so watch out. Okafor proved all doubters wrong last year.
Blog: Bobcats Blog Squad Brad Thomas (fan), Chris Weiler (Marketing Officer), Matt Devlin(TV Announcer), John Blair Bickerstaff(Assistant Coach/nepotism recipient), Matt Carroll(Scrub)

Chicago Bulls
Playoff team last year could finish last in the division this year. Losing Curry hurts, but not as much as losing Antonio Davis. Keep an eye on team chemistry. It was all good last year, but how long will Ben Gordon play nice about Chris Duhon starting ahead of him?
Blog: None

Cleveland Cavaliers
Despite offseason improvements, Cavs still only third best team in their division. Signing Larry Hughes lets LeBron move to SF full time. Loaded down low but still thin on perimeter. Luke Jackson has yet to show me anything. Donyell Marshall will get a lot of open 3’s in this offense.
Blog: None

darko0723.jpgDetroit Pistons
Team is intact but will there be a drop off without Larry Brown? Will Darko finally get some PT under Flip? He's almost a complete afterthought at this point. Perimeter offense from the bench in short supply. SF Maurice Evans should fit right in. Another great move by Dumars.
Blog: Jason Maxiell's Rookie Diary

Indiana Pacers
Best team in the East for my money(as much as I loathe to admit it). Jasikevicius has looked good in pre-season, might be starting before the year is out. Will Jonathan Bender finally see the court this year? Rookie Granger will open alot of eyes. I still hate J. Oneal. Eff him.
Blog: Fan Blog

Miami Heat
Should have upgraded from Eddie Jones to James Posey and stopped there. Instead, Shaq & Wade have a whole new supporting cast and question marks abound. 'Toine still shooting at his usual clip. Will GP accept being J WIll's back up? Regular season won't matter, only playoffs. Bench is old.
Blog: None

Milwaukee Bucks
Magloire trade really strengthens front line and will help Bogut immensely. TJ Ford returning will help just as much. If he goes down again, Mo Williams can play. Bench is thin so pray they stay healthy. Last chance for Jiri Welsch to prove he belongs.
Blog: Bucks Fan Blog

New Jersey Nets
Best team in Atlantic. On paper. Kidd-Jefferson-Carter is the best perimeter in the L. But frontline is full of potential(Kristic) and also rans/never weres(M.Jackson, Uncle Cliffy, J. Collins). Kidd had most rebounds on team last year. Rod Thorn FINALLY got Kidd a backup in Jeff McInnis.
Blog: None

New York Knickerbockers
Who's health will be watched more, Curry's or Larry Brown's? Brown gets paid as much as Phil Jackson but has eight less titles. Roster at the end of the season figures to be much different than it is now. Still too many PF's and not enough PG's.
Blog: None

granthill.jpgOrlando Magic
G Hill is already hurt, not a good sign. Dwight Howard poised to really break out. Steve Francis is the most over-rated player in the L. But he's the best PG on the team. Getting Garrity back will help, but Turkoglu still can't shoot straight. Battie and Cato are useless.
Blog:Dante's Speak (TV announcer)

Philadelphia 76ers
Iverson has his best year last season, but isn't getting any younger. Neither is C Webb's lone good leg. Iggy and Dalembert (now hurt) will have to step up for Philly to make the playoffs. Team will miss Willie Green(out for season). Bench(S. Hunter, Nailon, Ollie) doesn't scare anyone, except Mo Cheeks.
Blog: None, but they do have podcasts

Toronto Raptors
Fans off the ledge after Villanueva looked good in pre-season, but it's gonna be a long year up North. Bosh is rising superstar. Jalen Rose is the only other above average NBA talent on the roster. Araujo is new "El Busto". Trading Alston for Mike James was the right move.
Blog:Swirsk Blog (TV announcer)

Washington Wizards
Atkins, Butler and Daniels more than make up for the loss of Larry Hughes. Kwame Brown won't exactly be hard to replace. Can Hayes and Thomas finally stay healthy? Arenas will score, but he needs to share the ball with Butler and Jamison for Wiz to excel.
Blog: None

Playoff bound:

Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Washington


WESTERN CONFERENCE

Dallas Mavericks
Same problems as last year, PG and C are big question marks. DeSagana Diop is current back up C. Will there be lingering feelings about Dirk throwing everyone under the bus in the playoffs? Christie is done and won't be the difference maker everyone thinks. Josh Howard poised to explode.
Blog: None for the team, but there's always Mark Cuban's Blog

Denver Nuggets
Shooting guards on roster are V. Lenard, G. Buckner, and D. Johnson. C’mon Kiki. Loaded everywhere else though. 'Melo will look for redemption, he flourished under Karl last year. Three great PG's but none of them are great shooters. Nene playing for a big contract (from someone else) next year.
Blog: None

bdiddy.jpgGolden State Warriors
The B Diddy trade had them looking good last year(when it didn't matter). Trendy playoff pick but I'm skeptical. Warriors will find a way to fail. Calbert Cheaney's still alive? Still waiting for Mike Dunleavy Jr. to breakout. Monta Ellis looked great in summer league.
Blog: None

Houston Rockets
Yao finally got a summer off, will he shine this year? TMac hurt to start the season. Ruh roh. Stro Swift will help but still no bruiser to protect Yao. Ryan Bowen doesn't scare anyone. I can jump higher than Juwan Howard. WIll Alston keep up his cuckoo act in Houston?
Blog: None

LA Clippers
Lost Jaric and B. Simmons, brought in C. Mobley and Sam Cassell. Shaun Livingston already hurt again. Is he too frail? Former Dookies Brand and Maggette will put up good numbers but it'll still be for naught. Maggette is on the block, someone will bite. New home for Waltah.
Blog: None

LA Lakers
Good thing Phil is back, otherwise we'd have to mention how the roster is Kobe, Odom and not much else. Kwame Brown couldn’t hack it in DC and he thinks he'll have it easier with Commader Kobe? Not likely. Best PG on roster is Smush Parker. Read that sentence again.
Blog: None

paugasol.jpgMemphis Grizzlies
Made wholesale changes but still haven't found what they need, a decent big man. Pau Gasol is the ideal second fiddle, but he's forced to be the man in Memphis. Hakim Warrick might surprise some people this year. Softest team in the L? Making playoffs will be tough.
Blog: None

Minnesota Timberwolves
Poor KG, future isn't exactly bright in Minny. GM McHale fired Flip last year but it's McHale's penchant for overpaying his own FA's (Hassell, Hudson, Szczerbiak) that is killing this team. Spree won't be missed, rookie McCants will fill right in. Olowokandi has been a total bust.
Blog: None

New Orleans slash Oklahoma City Hornets
Still scratching my head about the Magloire trade. PJ Brown and Chris Anderson are only other C's on roster. Chris Paul and JR Smith are gonna be trouble a few years from now, but right now roster is long on potential but short on impact. Worst team in the L?
Blog: None

Phoenix Suns
Team isn't elite without Amare. If/when he comes back, they can make noise in the playoffs, but will it be too late by then? Won't score as much as last year with Thomas, Bell and Grant replacing Johnson and Richardson. Defense will be better, but will it be good enough?
Blog: None

Portland Trailblazers
Team in turmoil before season even starts. Pre-season was a disaster. Signings of Blake and Dizon are head scratchers, especially after drafting Jarrett Jack. Joel Przybilla was a surprise last year, but team will have to show him the money next year. Telfair will get to prove he is for real.
Blog: Barrett's Blog (TV announcer)

a_peja_i.jpgSacramento Kings
Team reloaded with Wells and Abdur-Rahim, but can they fit in to the offense? Will F. Garcia make an impact this year? Jason Hart is underrated, but perimeter depth is sorely lacking. Can Peja regain his stroke and become a force again? He wanted Webber gone and got his wish.
Blog: None

San Antonio Spurs
Champs just got better with additions of Finley, Van Exel and F. Oberto. Will they still have their usual slow start this year? Loaded at every position, and then some. Duncan can move past Shaq in total titles with his next championship. GM Buford is underrated but put together a great team.
Blog: None

Seattle SuperSonics
Storybook season last year but don't count on a repeat. Losing back up PG Daniels will hurt more than most think. Back up PG's are now Mateen Cleaves and Herman Brunson. Collison showed promise lastyear, look for more this year. Does moving Robert Swift for Marcus Banks make sense?
Blog: None

Utah Jazz
Jerry Sloan still the best coach in the L (for my money). Rookie PG D. Williams just what team needed, but he'll take a while to settle in. Can healthy Boozer and Kirilenko get it done this year? Still expecting big things from Kris Humphries. Harping's hurt, so bench is thin.
Blog: None

Playoff bound:

Denver, Houston, Minnesota, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, Seattle Dallas, Utah