Information Leafblower: January 2007 Archives

January 2007 Archives

Page of 4

There was a, howyousay, "miscommunication" over on DCist about the Wizards game last night, so here's my recap for you to enjoy on my bandwidth. All the better to rub it in to all my Detroit peoples.

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Richard Hamilton. Rasheed Wallace. Chris Webber. All names from the Wizards past that went on to bigger and better things with other teams. All three were at the Phone Booth last night with the visiting Detroit Pistons trying to reclaim their share of first place in the Eastern Conference and avenge last Saturday's loss. It was not to be, however, as Washington raced out to an early lead they would never lose and sent the Pistons back to Deeeeetroit with a 104-99 loss. It wasn't all roses for Washington though. Antawn Jamison went down just over six minutes into the game with a sprained knee after landing awkwardly following a fast break attempt and did not return.

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Without #4 in the line-up, head coach Eddie Jordan inserted Calvin Booth to play alongside of Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler. But he wasn't afraid to go small either, and did so late in the game, matching up Butler, Jarvis Hayes, and Etan Thomas against Wallace, Webber and Antonio McDyess for much of the fourth. The small line-up didn't hurt Washington on the boards, in fact, they out-rebounded Detroit by one. The Pistons never really took advantage of their height along the front line, as evidenced by the 36 points in the paint scored by each team. Instead of going to work down low, Webber and Wallace just kept bombing away from the outside.

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DeShawn Stevenson did his part to make up for Jamison's lost production, scoring 15 points on 7-8 shooting. Booth provided five rebounds and lots of hustle in his 20 minutes. Agent Zero led the Wizards charge with 36, while Butler added 13 points and five steals. After eight assists and five rebounds in the first half, I thought Arenas might be in the running for a triple double, but he finished with "only" seven boards to go with his final tally of 11 assists. Chauncey Billups led five Pistons in double figures with 24 points. The newly signed Webber only managed six points. He was the only Detroit starter not in double figures.

As of press time, Jamison's condition was unknown, although Coach Jordan said he would undergo an MRI today and would not make the trip to Toronto tonight to take on the Raptors. A prolonged absence would be a big blow to an already thin front line. Jamison, you may recall, hurt his knee two weeks ago at home against the Celtics.

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To their credit, the Wizards are staying positive and focused on what they need to do in Toronto tonight against the Raptors. "We have to come out and play more focused," Stevenson said. "That's a guy averaging 20 points per game, so you're going to miss him tremendously, but other guys have to step up and try to play that role." Jarvis Hayes agreed, "It's some big shoes to fill, offensively and defensively, but we have the personnel to keep the ship afloat."

The Wizards, at 27-17, once again have the best record in the Eastern Conference. A few more W's would also wrap up the Eastern Conference All-Star coaching job for Jordan, something the team is very aware of. "That's something that we as a team strive for," said Hayes. "Not only are we trying to get the best seed in the East, we're trying to get the accolades that go along with that. Not only for the team, but for the city."

I have a copy of the CD but can't listen to it on any of my music playing devices because it's so anti-DRM'ed. But maybe I can hear it live in March.

The Good, The Bad & The Queen Tourdates:

March 11th Toronto Kool Haus
March 12th New York Webster Hall
March 14th Washington DC 930
March 16th Austin Stubbs (SXSW)
March 18th New Orleans Republic

here's some video from the band:

Kingdom of Doom

80's Life

Herculean

3 Changes

Interview

Listen Up

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Even though I'm trying to give away all the promos I never got around to listening to or didn't like, I actually do listen to a lot of the ones that fill up my mailbox. Here are a few I listened to in the last few weeks:

Sloan, Never Hear The End Of It
Buzz on this record has been universally positive and I have nothing different to report. I'm a very late arriver to the Sloan party (Between the Bridges is my shit!), which I think actually works for me because I don't have their vast back catalog to compare the new material to. This record, all 30 (!!) tracks, is full of gorgeous 70's FM radio inspired pure power pop. My only complaint is that the songs kinda run together and you can't tell when one begins and when one ends, but I'll probably end up listening to this all the way through, as opposed to specific tracks, so even that's no biggie. Recommended.

Dean & Britta, Back Numbers
This is a nice enough record, Ms. Smith really digs it, but it's too Luna-like for me. I am still bitter about Luna breaking up, so it will be a while before I can listen to this with a clear conscience. A long while. I still can't bring myself to listen to any Malkmus, and Pavement broke up when?

Robbers On High Street, The Fatalist and Friends
I love EP's. Give me four great songs that can grab my attention and a good EP will stay in my rotation much longer than a merely okay album. This definitely qualifies, even if they veer a bit too far into Britt Daniel's territory. Still, lotsa fun. Recommended. Grab it on iTunes.

Paul Weller, Hit Parade
I got the single disc sampler from this collection and I almost short-circuited my car stereo because I was drooling so much. Although, it might be a while before I actually pick the box set up because I already have most of it on the individual CD's. But if you want to immerse yourself in all things Modfather, you can't go wrong with either one. Recommended.

The Shins, Wincing The Night Away
I'm already on the record about how much I like this record. I've had it for a while and it hasn't grown stale at all. The whole record has this Don Henley, "Boys Of Summer" vibe that I'm really loving. Although I don't know why they went with "Phantom Limb" for the first single. They go into the second verse instead of the chorus the first time through, so the big payoff doesn't come until the second half of the song. Not exactly radio ready, but then again, I guess radio's not going to play it, so...*shrug* Also, they were positively horrible on SNL. Shockingly so.

LCD Soundsystem, Sound Of Silver
Yeah, it's good, but it sounds like James Murphy cut up the Nike song and remade it into a bunch of similar tracks. I'll listen to it on the treadmill, but that's about it.

Bloc Party, Weekend In The City
Hated it the first few times I listened to it, but it's grown on me a bit. Definitely not as hooky and catchy as the last record. I guess they're trying to prove to everyone how grown up they are. I still think these guys are overrated, but not as overrated as Sufjan. Yikes!

The Vita Ruins, Thanks For Your Concern (But We're Okay)
Another EP! This one by a local DC band I booked to play the last Unbuckled. They play the best kind of rock, drugged out and spacey as fuck. Their influences are very apparent; Spiritualized, Doves, Ride, MBV and even a bit of Coldplay (the guitars, not Chris Martin). Good stuff. Check 'em out on Myspace.

The Panda Band, This Vital Chapter
I wanted to like this on band name alone, but I just couldn't get into it. The music is bright and peppy, but after three listens, I couldn't hum a single tune or recall a memorable hook. And then I went back to listening to the Sloan record.

I'm probably showing my age here, but does anyone else remember the Jon Stewart show on MTV? Wikipedia says it ran from 1992-1995. Anyways, they used to have great musical guests on this show. Here's one of my all time favorite groups, Buffalo Tom, performing "Summer":

4/16/92 12:39 a.m.

bukowskicat2.jpg ...Anyway, a particularly bad day. The system that usually worked didn't work. The gods shuffle the deck.Time is mutilated and you are a fool. But time is made to be wasted. What are you going to do about it? You can't always be roaring full steam. You stop and you go. You hit a high and then you fall into a black pit. Do you have a cat? Or cats? They sleep baby. They can sleep 20 hours a day and they look beautiful. They know there's nothing to get excited about. The next meal. And a little something to kill now and then. When I'm being torn by forces, I just look at one or more of my cats. There are 9 of them. I just look at one of them sleeping or half-sleeping and I relax. It chills me out. For a while anyhow. Then my wires get crossed and I have to do it all over again. I can't understand writers that stop writing. How do they chill out?

-- Written by Charles Bukowski, taken from his book The Captain Is Out To Lunch And The Sailors Have Taken Over The Ship

More Bukowski here.

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No, I didn't go see the Chili Peppers at the Verizon Center last night, but with them in town, at least I have an excuse to run a photo or two from my pictures from the Virgin Fest.

Flea @ Virgin Fest

Also - slightly related, but not really - I have a ton of promo CD's taking up valuable frolicking space for Mr. Pink in my apartment. So I'm going to give them to some of you all. All you have to do is email me here and give me your Superbowl pick. Horsies or Bears. That's it. I'll fill as many jiffy's as I can with a few CD's each and send them out sometime next week. Make sure you leave me your address.

I saw Bono walking down 16th street on my way into work today. He was scruffy looking and shorter than you'd think. Not that I'm one to talk. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me and I couldn't think of anything smart-alecky to say to him.

Other awesomeness:
Keane covering The Cult!

Buddyhead has Noel Gallagher's Melbourne Australia gig for your downloading pleasure. I have a big Oasis post that I've been working on for a week or two and I just can't seem to finish. Hopefully I'll have it for you guys next week.

Sometimes

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Re: The reunion of the James gang. If someone put a gun to my head (please don't) and said to me "All right you effing Gemini, Mr. I-have-to-have-two-of-everything, no good, talentless blogger. I want you to tell me your favorite song of all time. Not two, just one," well, we'd probably be there for a while while I weighed my options. But this song might very well be the pick:

[MP3] James | Sometimes (Lester Piggot)

I also found some live goodies on my hard drive:
[MP3] James | Runaground (live)
[MP3] James | Laid (live)

Let me be the 48th person to welcome both the Gorilla and Peabs back to the interwebs. Both were sorely missed. Flazzum!

They nuked Valencia! I finally get to watch 24, Heroes and Veronica Mars tonight. So my embargo on these shows lasts one more day. Shhhhhhh.

Does anyone else read Lefsetz Letter as obsessively as me? Good stuff. To wit:

Oh, I liked Robbers On High Street. And the Modest Mouse track wasn’t bad… But listening to the Shins you’ll wonder what all the hype is about. Hell, CD sales aren’t only off because of iPods, this stuff just doesn’t grab you, not unless you’re hooked to begin with.

and...

CDs can no longer sell even 70,000 copies a week. Let me put that in perspective… In a country of 300 million, that’s less than .03%!! Even MTV, with its historically low ratings, would have to shut down if that few people were watching. Sure, somebody is interested, but not MANY!

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Oh, and the Suns? They laid the smack down last night. Like woah. It was unreal, but a joy to behold. Steve Nash is The Maestro.

As promised. Like I said, although the show was great, not the most energetic band in the world. The lighting didn't help either, although once I converted everything into B&W, I got a few keepers.

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James are reforming! With Booth, Gott, Glennie, Davies, Hunter and Baynton-Power, the line-up that recorded Laid! They are one of my favorite bands ever. Unfortunately the only time I was able to see them was on their ill-fated Lollapalooza jaunt, where they were just before KoRn on the bill. Yep, they went over like gangbusters. Not only that, they played a craptastic set full of songs from their album Whiplash. I've never seen them play a full on set of hits. Which reminds me, I need to get a copy of Getting Away With It... Live.
PS - Come to the USA!

**UPDATE** - Here are some downloadable James songs for you.

Other reasons why I'm happy today:

- Suns v. Wizards at the Phone Booth tonight! Nash v. Agent Zero. Butler v. Marion.

- New Veronica Mars on tonight! Which, like 24 and Heroes last night, I will have to DVR and watch later. So breathe not a peep here!

- Lastly, new Travis! I have no idea why I like this band so much, but I do. So there. I really like this tune. Anyone got the MP3?
[via Stereogum]

Saw Camera Obscura last night. Not the most energetic live performers if you know what I mean. But they were great, if a bit mellow. They played "Lets Get Out Of The Country," "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken," and "Looks Could Kill" in succession about 3/4 of the way throught he set, so that was the high point (and pretty great). They closed with a wonderful "Razzle Dazzle Rose" and Ms. Smith and I both thought it was a great show to start the year out with. I took some photos but didn't have the time to upload them. Tomorrow hopefully.

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Yeah, they lost in OT. But if you would have told an 11 year-old leafblower way back in the day "Someday you'll be able to be a part of the media and go into the Celtics locker room after a game and interview the players," that 11 year-old kid would have been jump up and down happy. Heck, 32 year-old leafblower was downright giddy when the appointed time came around on Saturday night.

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It's funny, I have no qualms asking any of the Wizards players questions in the locker room, but I was nervous as hell in trying to do the same thing to the C's after the game. I think I gave Rajon Rondo the worst interview he's ever been subjected to in his short pro career. I've been watching this team (although not necessarily these players) for years and I was a little overwhelmed by the experience.

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I was so happy with what I found in the locker room though. The guys on the team seemed tight and although everyone was down because of the loss, there was a sense of optimism in the air. They took the Wizards best shot and almost took them down. They knew they could have won that game and they were confident they'd get one sooner or later.

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With all the injuries, lots of fans want the team to tank games (or at least lose as many as possible) so they'll be in a position to get Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. But after talking to the team, seeing them in the locker room and hearing each and every player say how much they want to win, it's impossible for me to root for that to happen.

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The Wizards PR staff was nice enough to let me sit in the lower press area for this one game, hence the photos, some of which I think are pretty amazing if I do say so myself. The top photo here of Rajon and Gilbert is quite possibly my favorite photo that I've ever taken. It's definitely getting printed and framed.

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Shooting NBA action is much harder than doing a concert or even a MLS game. You have to be ready at all times. But I think I did OK and wonder what I could do if I wasn't eight rows back behind the basket support. Still, Saturday night was an incredible experience that I won't forget for quite some time. I was there, after the game, a peer of people like Steve Bulpett and even Peter May. Good times.

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My official game recap will be up on DCist shortly. You can see all of my photos over in the game photo gallery.

If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.

If everyone on "24" followed Jack Bauer's instructions, it would be called "12".

Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

Jack Bauer sleeps with a pillow under his gun.

Jack Bauers calender goes from March 31st to April 2nd, no one fools Jack Bauer.

When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack Bauer f*cking hates lemonade.

1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

A day without torture is like a day without sunshine to Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer has a great tan.

Lets get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

All men are created equal. They are all vastly inferior to Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer is the leading cause of death in Middle Eastern men.

Jack Bauer doesn't speak any foreign languages, but he can make any foreigner speak English in a matter of minutes.

Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.

Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

It's no use crying over spilt milk... Unless that was Jack Bauer's milk. Oh you are so screwed.

Tony was once shot in the neck, rushed to the hospital, underwent emergency surgery and was back on the job in just a few hours. Jack Bauer still can't believe that p*ssy went to the hospital first.

Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.

Jack Bauer teaches a course at Harvard entitled: "Time Management: Making the Most Out Of Each Day."

Every mathematical inequality officially ends with "< Jack Bauer".

When Google can't find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.

Jack Bauer's house has an alarm system -- not to warn Jack of intruders, but to warn the intruders of Jack.

If Jack Bauer misspells a word, your dictionary is wrong.

Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.

Simon Says should be renamed to Jack Bauer Says because if Jack Bauer says something then you better f*cking do it.

Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

In high school Jack Bauer was voted "Most Likely to Kill the Foreign Kid"... and "Best Eyes."

If Jack Bauer shot you while quail hunting, it wouldn't be an accident.

When President Palmer quit to start doing Allstate commercials, it took him 43 takes before he could stop saying, "You're in good hands with Jack Bauer".

In 96 hours, Jack Bauer has killed 93 people and saved the world 4 times. What the f*ck have you done with your life?

There have been no terrorist attacks in United States since Jack Bauer has appeared on television.

Jesus died and rose from the dead in 3 days. It took Jack Bauer less than an hour. And he's done it twice.

There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Jack Bauer way. It's basically the right way but faster and more deaths.

There are three leading causes of death among terrorists. They are all Jack Bauer.

Nobody says 'hit me' when Jack Bauer deals Blackjack.

When the boogie man goes to sleep, he checks his closet for Jack Bauer.

The only difference between Jack Bauer and the electric chair is that Jack Bauer makes you talk first.

Sun Tzu once wrote, "If your enemy is weaker, conquer him. If he is stronger, join him. If he is Jack Bauer, you're f*cking dead."

Jack Bauer removed the "Escape" button from his keyboard. Jack Bauer never needs to escape.

On a high school math test, Jack Bauer put down "Violence" as every one of the answers. He got an A+ on the test because Jack Bauer solves all his problems with Violence.

Jack Bauer can get McDonald's breakfast after 10:30.

There are no such thing as lesbians, just women who never met Jack Bauer.

You can lead a horse to water. Jack Bauer can make him drink.

Jack Bauer doesn't play the game SORRY. Jack Bauer apologizes to no one.

Guns dont kill people, Jack Bauer kills people.

The Black Eyed Peas were just The Peas until Jack Bauer heard their music.

If Jack Bauer saw a terrorist reaching for a bomb to blow himself up, Jack would shoot the bomb first. Nobody steals a kill from Jack Bauer.

What color is Jack Bauer's blood? Trick question. Jack Bauer does not bleed.

People with amnesia still remember Jack Bauer.

When Jack Bauer goes to the airport and the metal detector doesn't go off, security gives him a gun.

If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.

Jack has broken Tony's leg, knocked Curtis out, and shot George Mason with a tranquilizer dart. Temporary incapacitation is Jack Bauer's way of saying, "let's be friends."

In the 18 months where Jack Bauer was presumed dead, Tony Almeida was put in a coma, Michelle and David Palmer were killed, a major hurricane raveged the Gulf Coast, and Rob Schneider made another movie. See what happens when Bauer isn't around?

When Batman is in trouble, he turns on the Jack Bauer signal.

Jack Bauer makes onions cry.

G.I. Joe has Jack Bauer action figures.

If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.

During the commercials, Jack Bauer calls the CSI detectives and solves their crimes.

Jack Bauer named his cat 'Chuck Norris.' Why? Because He's a p*ssy.

Jack Bauer's vanity plate reads: IKIL4CTU.

Jack Bauer has been to Mars. Thats why theres no life on Mars.

Jack Bauer may have 9 lives but he is no p*ssy.

It would only take 1 bullet for Jack Bauer to kill 50 Cent.

Metallica lets Jack Bauer download all their songs off the internet for free.

Jack Bauer won the Tour de France on a unicycle to prove to Lance Armstrong it wasn't a big deal. He thinks yellow wristbands are gay.

Jack Bauer arm once wrestled Superman. The stipulations were the loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.

Jack Bauer once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.

Jack Bauer's family threw him a surprise birthday party when he was a child. Once.

The bumper sticker on Jesus's car reads, "WWJBD?"

Jack Bauer once killed so many terrorists that at one point, the #5 CIA Most Wanted fugitive was an 18-year-old teenager in Malaysia who downloaded the movie Dodgeball.

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For the DC pre-sale, click here. The password is LILYMTV.

Pre-sales for other cities (same password):
NYC

San Fran

Chicago/Philadelphia/Los Angeles/Boston

Got a full weekend ahead of me. Tonight is a toss up between Asobi Seksu at Rock and Roll Hotel or staying home and watching Veronica Mars on DVD. I think we know which one will win.

Tomorrow, however, is chock full of excitement. Celtics at Wizards early, and Catherine's birthday party late. Killer squirrels need not apply. w00t!

NBA hair watch blog.

That's some serious traffic.

Let's compare: Bad...Good. Pay attention Pitchfork.

Belief. That’s been left out of the rock star equation. We no longer believe in Bono. It’s the phony glasses, and his urge to save the world. He doesn’t seem to be playing to us anymore, rather to a higher class of people, in control of the universe.

Sorry we lost your cat in the cargo hold for 3 weeks.

IMG_0371.JPG Ian and the boys in Middle Distance Runner ran in to some troubles in New York yesterday when their gear was stolen out of their van. Somebody broke the window on their van and helped themselves to the following:

-Fender Jazzmaster 1962 re-issue (sunburst w/ tortoise pick guard)
-Fender American Telecaster (sunburst w/ white pick guard)
-Fender 5-string Jazz Bass, HM model (white w/ paint chipping off near pickups)
-Drum hardware ... cymbals, stands, tambourine, cowbell, shaker, etc...

If you happen to see any of this stuff in a local pawnshop, holler at the band.

Ho Hum

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Another night, another buzzer beater. This time by Caron Butler. That's what you get for double teaming Agent Zero! Full report on DCist soon.

**UPDATE** Clicky

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Gilbert only scored 16, but says the next time he drops 50, it will be on Portland. The C's are in town Saturday!

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Unexpected

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Eight player trade between Golden State and Indiana.

Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod to the Indiana Pacers for Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell.

Makes sense for the Pacers, although they just added ALOT of money to their payroll for the long term. But they had to get rid of Jackson and Jasikevicius never really panned out for them. GS had interest in Harrington over the summer.

Interesting that the Warriors gave up Digou, he was an "untouchable" last year. Not sure this makes the Pacers that much better, but I hope Mike D. Jr. gets some space to finally do his thing. But is he redundant with Danny Granger there? Where is Jackson going to play when JRich comes back for GS? And what does Murphy add for Indiana? He doesn't rebound any better than Jeff Foster or shoot as well as J Oneal.

I say GS gets the better of this deal. They just sent off two bad contracts and so-so players to the Pacers.

But is Indiana going to flip Dunleavy to the Clips for Corey Maggette?

More later.

I finally got to see the conclusion of the first half of Season Three of Veronica Mars last night. It was teh awesome. I just wanted to mention that for no other reason than I am proud of myself for having avoided reading anything about it since it aired way back in November. Although I did know that Dean O'Dell was killed in the episode. Can't wait for the new episodes to start back. I am officially addicted to this show. And not because Kristen Bell is a hottie.

Ms. Smith and I have been transfixed with Season Two. We're only about 13 episodes in at this point, but it has blown my mind numerous times. Season Two is teh awesome! I will refrain from gushing about it too much so as to not ruin it for others, but the episode where they go the Mexico is probably my favorite VM episode ever. Didn't see it coming at all. Best!

How to be a curious photographer.

The squirrel cycle. Someone needs to put Mr. Pink on the case. he fix that shit real quick like.

Here's some audio and video from the UK's The Early Years:
[MP3] The Early Years | All Ones & Zeros
[video] So Far Gone

Have you heard any of those Editors remixes?
[MP3] Editors | Camera (Rubber Bullets Remix)
[MP3] Editors | All Sparks (Phones Remix)

Here's a Deerhoof track:
[MP3] Deerhoof | +81

Two Beach House videos
[video] Master of None
[video] Saltwater

Lily Allen on body image and fashion.

Stream the Fujiya & Miyagi track "Collarbone."

Have you listened to the new Kaiser Chiefs track "Ruby" yet? It's like they sat around a room and figured out "You know what, people really liked Parklife-era Blur. We should write a song that totally rips them off. People would love it. Damon's been too busy doing Gorillaz for the last few years, they won't slag us off for copying them because they miss Blur." And you know what, they're right. "Ruby" sounds totally focus-grouped, but it's catchy as fuck all. But I bet somewhere in the UK, Graham's saying "Better you guys than me."


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At this point, not double teaming Gilbert Arenas with the game on the line is akin to pitching to David Ortiz with men on base in the 9th inning. Bad Idea Jeans. Two game winners in 12 days for Agent Zero. And I got to see both of them! The full report is over at DCist.

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Also, D.C. United finally make with the player acquisition, as opposed to all the player dismissal of late. Luciano Emilio, come on down!

PS - Carlos Boozer, 12-18 from the floor for 27 points and 13 boards.

Pregame

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Sitting in section 104 of the Verizon Center waiting for today's Wiz v. Jazz matinée to start. Day games on MLK day are so best. I was just down in the media room and overheard David Aldridge, the DA of the NBA, recounting getting fired from the Philly Inquirer while he was out on the West Coast doing a story. Hard to believe a reporter of Aldridge's standing will be out of work for long.

I forgot to mention that the MLS Superdraft happened over the weekend. D.C. United drafted Bryan Arguez in the first round. As usual, The DCenters have all four rounds covered, which you might want to take a look at, because United has a history of making late picks count. Lastly, The Bog has a great read on fourth round pick Ricky Schramm of Georgetown.

Just a few minutes until tip-off. I predict a big game from Carlos Boozer. Check back later and see if I'm as smart as I think I am.

Re: 24

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Things I hate about 24:
1) The seemingly endless Sprint tie-ins.
2) The seemingly endless Fox News promos trying to relate to the show.

Things I love about 24:
1) Everything else! Jack is back! And now he's a vampire.

Ouch

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Sucks for any recently signed bands to that label. Hope they got a big front end. I doubt it.

I guess this is where I say karma's a bitch.

Eureko!

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Heady times here at ILB HQ. I recorded a rare trifecta in the last 48 hours or so.

1) Get love from The Bog, (not once, but twice), Mr. Irrelevant, Free Darko, Deadspin and the print edition of Express for my Swag Scale interview.

2) Have the "ballers" at Slam Online throw some hate my way for the same thing. If I'm pissing them off, I must be doing something right.

3) Get mentioned in a Marketwatch article about the WaPo blogger summit. Sadly, only by firstname and not url. Tom also got some love.

On a more serious note, the Celtics season is officially over, and it could not have happened in a more excruciating way. In Wednesday night's game, Tony Allen blew out his knee when he landed awkwardly after a dunk attempt. And did I mention that this was after a foul call, so the play was dead? And that yesterday was his 25th birthday? And that his 80 year-old grandmother flew to Boston just to see him and witnessed the whole thing? Jeezy Creezy. He's done for the season. Pierce's return got pushed back 11 days, so no DC for him. Wally's hurt, as is Scalabrine, Delonte too and Gomes is sick. We only have nine players available for tonight's game v. Toronto. Our SG/SF rotation, the strength of the team at the start of the season, now consists of Gerald Green and Allen Ray. Wow. Greg Oden, here we come.

Duke's not fairing too much better. They lost to a good Ga. Tech team on Wednesday and dropped to 0-2 in the conference. It's going to be a long season. Our shooters aren't athletic enough to get their own shot and our athletes can't shoot. I'll be happy to finish .500 in the ACC. We should be able to do that.

Related: I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. #5!

Much like Truehoop, I like the Steve Blake for Earl Boykins deal for Denver.

The Bog tracks down Esky and gets his thoughts on the trade and Becks.

This got me all excited until I realized they were just talking about the record, not an actual tour.

David Beckham will be playing in the MLS starting in August. He going to sign a five-year deal with the L.A. Galaxy. This is awesome, if only because I'll get to take photos of him when he comes to D.C.

Bravo MLS.

Now get United a player of similar stature!

Slightly related: This is effing hilarious!

[SCENE] Wizards locker room, postgame. Agent Zero is surrounded by reporters with all sorts of mics and video cameras aimed at him. He's discussing how he has to adjust to playing the Bulls and their hard nosed style of halfcourt defense and Caron Butler's chances for the All Star game. He's very serious and everyone's hanging on his every word.

Cut to your intrepid reporter blogger, poised, waiting for his chance. There's a slight pause, he goes for it.

Leaf: "Gil, how would rate your swag tonight?"
Gilbert Arenas: [laughs] "It was a mellow swag until the end."
Leaf: "Is there a scale? Can you get better than phenomenal or is that the top?"
Gilbert Arenas: "No, phenomenal is the top. Phenomenal swag is the top swag."
Leaf: "So mellow swag is in the middle?"
Gilbert Arenas: "Yeah, you're just chilling."

So there you have it. On a scale of, say, 1 to 5, Gil's swag was about a three tonight. Caron Butler's swag, however, reached phenomenal levels, thus the win for the Wiz. As time allows I'll try and find out more about Gilbert's swag scale. Stay tuned! My official DCist game recap should be online later today.

PS - Also had the chance to meet The Sport Bog in person last night. Agent Steinz is just as friendly as you'd expect.

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I joined some other local bloggers last night in attending El Wapo's "Blogger Summit" at WaPo HQ on 15th street. Basically it was a get together between the top brass of the newspaper and online divisions and the local blog community. The word "blogosphere" was uttered continuously (I was all like "Say blogoshpere again!") and Celeste recalled an instance of one of the Post higher-ups saying the phrase "shout-out," thus ruining it for the rest of us forever.

I have to say, I thought it incredibly cool for a giant media entity like The Post to do something like this. The night was divided into three parts, a Q&A session between the some of the editorial staff and the bloggers, a presentation from a high powered libel lawyer (for our benefit) and a first look at the Post's forthcoming blog aggregator tool.

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However, with the way things went, I wonder if The Post will do something like this again. All the ego maniacs in the room ruined the Q&A part of the night by mainly asking questions about how they can get their stories into The Post and things of that nature. One guy not-so-subtly accused The Post of repeatedly stealing stories from bloggers and when asked for an example, couldn't produce a single one. Ouch. The Beta unveiling was more of the same. All the tech geeks in the room started tearing The Post's new feature apart (even though it's still in development and not online yet!) because it didn't have things like geocoding.

Side note: Does anyone give a shit about geocoding? I certainly don't. Do I need to know what blogs about U Street are actually written in apartments on U Street? Seems like a tool for stalkers more than anything else.

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Anyways, the night digressed into a big "I'm a big tech geek and your new service will suck because it can't do blah, blah, blah" even though this new service is obviously for people that don't read blogs regularly and is the Post's way of trying to give the locals some love. Which, ya know, they don't have to do. Jeezy Creezy. In the end, Catherine and I concluded that blogging was fun to do but not so fun to talk about. That said, Catherine and Tom wrote up their thoughts.

I missed my train by two minutes on the way home, so I tried my first attempt at some long exposure shots (featured above)while I was waiting for the next one. Some turned out better than others. Obvs. More stuff over on Flickr.

Tonight: Bulls v. Wiz and (hopefully) after the game, Leaf v. Agent Zero.

Last night I read this and then I got so excited that I went here and bought this and have listened to it three times so far today. I figure I can get another three in before the day is out. It's. that. good. I only "saw" Spiritualized once, at The Supper Club in NYC when they were touring behind Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space. We got there late and I simply could not find a place where I could actually see the stage, and since I was still relatively unfamiliar with the band and their work, I spent the show at the bar with a few friends half paying attention and mostly drinking. I stupidly passed on seeing them twice opening for Radiohead when they played Radio City Music Hall on consecutive nights at the end of the OK Computer tour. But I digress... Lazer Guided Melodies is the shit. Go get a copy if you don't have it in your collection. Oh, and about that possible gig at the 9:30? Yes, please.

"I’m A Believer" is a MASTERPIECE! It might have been conceived as fodder, but it’s like building a Corvette, it might still be a GM car, but the sum of the parts is BEYOND anything else the company has ever constructed.

The Mighty Mozzer kicks Mikey and and Gary out of the band (**sniff**) and announces three shows in Pasadena in February. Tix on sale this weekend. *taps foot impatiently waiting for a U.S. tour.* I am dying to shoot Moz in concert.

Related: Take a bow Morrissey, saviour of Eurovision.

I'm skeptical, and I honestly wonder if anyone gives a shit about Madge anymore. But I think the Thin White Duke's remix of Starsailor's "Four On The Floor" is teh hottness. Track it down if you've never heard it.

OK, back to waiting for the iPhone details.

**Update**
Like Woah. Although methinks it's a little too pricey for me right now. And I wouldn't exactly be thrilled to have to switch to Cingular.

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Ms. Smith and I were at the pet store over the weekend getting some food for her cat when I happened upon "Krazy Kyle's Katnip Bag." How could I not buy that for the Mister? He usually doesn't go too crazy over catnip toys but he LOVES this thing.

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I am totally on the record as being a recent D.C. transplant so you know I don't claim any connection to the old "D.C. scene" as it was. Frankly, I was relieved to find, upon moving here, that D.C. is full of wonderful, non-hardcore bands. But I digress...

Former Jawbox frontman J. Robbins recently found out his son Callum was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy which is as bad as it sounds. Many medical procedures and medical bills are in the little tyke's future and, let's be honest, working in the music industry doesn't pay that well. So, if you are so moved, head over to the DeSoto website and make a donation to the family. Or if you're in NYC or Chicago, you can go see some rock shows while you get your charity on.

I was entertaining the 'rents all weekend so I missed out on Gilbert's birthday party. But from what I heard, it was quite the event. The Bog has a nice rundown and the Fanhouse has more, including pics and video. And you should obviously check out the Wizznutzz recap. Apparently Gil encouraged the crowd to "get drunk and make bad decisions." Sweet. I am already working on some great questions for Agent Hibachi for Wednesday's post game locker room session. I'm talking an exclusive here. Stay tuned.

I was unable to attend today's D.C. United press conference announcing the new ownership group, but luckily the Bog was there. Are they going to rename the team "The Agent Zeros?" "D.C. Hibachi?" Developing....

I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure this is the first time it's ever been referred to as the LeBron/Josh Howard draft. Mr. Cuban, I dig what you usually write, but if you have to use someone's last name as an identifier, then that person probably shouldn't be mentioned in that capacity.

Completely unrelated...Target price drop hack. Sweet.

I wanna go!

Pencil me in as cautiously optimistic. But it's not like they'll come to the US.

If you ever had doubts that Brandon Flowers and Co. weren't complete idiots, well let me show you the light.

Posterity

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Digital Gil

I'm famous bitches! At least, as famous as you can be when you ask Gilbert Arenas a question that makes not only him, but the throng of sportswriters hanging on his every word bust out in laughter. Rejoice leafblower fans! I am big time. Anytime you get to see a buzzer beater live and in person, it's pretty special. And when you get to go into the locker room after the game and talk to the players, that's even better.

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Seriously, you'll just have to trust me that it's me at the 3:09 mark of this video from the DC Sports Bog. But just listen to the timing and insightfulness (is that a word?) of my question. I am a natural at this post game reporting in the locker room stuff. So I won't mention that I was scared stiff walking in there and totally felt out of place. But hey, I took my shot and went for it.

Here's my recap of the game for DCist.

I need to perfect my locker room technique before the 20th. Guess who is in town then? And guess who may be playing again on the 19th!

One band that I somehow could not find space for in my year end round-up posts that definitely deserves some love is Pela. I caught them on a whim during last fall's DAM!fest and they were so much awesome. I bought their EP via iTunes a few days later and it's been in heavy rotation for the last two months or so. The above video is from last year's SXSW festival and should give you a good idea as to what they're all about. Simply put, if you like thinking man's rock, like The Hold Steady, then you need to give these guys a spin. This tune, "Waiting At The Stairs" is a bit more Okkervil River than the rest of their stuff, which tends to lean towards War-era U2 at times, but, like I said, it's the hotness. I can't recommend their EP Exit Columbia Street enough. But then again, I heart EP's.

[MP3] Pela | Lost to the Lonesome (AAC file)

But don't take my word for it. Jeff pegged them as "Big in '07" over at Gothamist.

Also, if you want more, and I know that you will, the good folks over at World's Fair pointed me in the direction if RySpace, which has a recent Pela gig from the Bowery Ballroom up for your downloading pleasure. I just grabbed it and am going to see how it sounds. I suggest you do the same.

veronicamars.jpg I don't know about everyone else, but I'm still recovering from my wild and crazy New years celebrations, which mainly consisted of a home cooked steak dinner, a bottle of wine, a few glasses of champagne and discs one and two of the first season of Veronica Mars. You're jealous, I know. And get this, I DVR'ed the Celtics / Sonics game (which was still going on as we ushered in the new year here on the East Coast - worst) and saved it for Monday. Two words: party animal. At least I stayed up past midnight this year.

As for VM:Season One, it's totally best. Even Ms. Smith, who was skeptical to begin with, is totally hooked now. We're divvying up custody of said DVD's so we can both stay current with each other as we slowly get back into the groove of our usual weekly schedules. And we have Season Two waiting in the wings. Getting DVD box sets for Xmas is fucking best, especially TV shows.

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Last week I forgot to mention that I got to see a show while I was in Orange County last week. Ms. Smith and I ventured out to the Orange County Museum of Art to see The Little Ones. Seeing a gig in the great room of an art museum was pretty wild and alot of fun. I was unfamiliar with the band going in but they put on an energetic show full of la-la-la filled power pop. Good stuff. And I got to take my 30d for a test run.

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Also, last Friday's Bluestate was pretty great. I think it's safe to say we went out on a high note. We'll have set lists up soon. I broke out some old school stuff like Simple Minds "Don't You Forget About Me" and Everything But The Girl's "Missing [Todd Terry Remix]" that went over like gangbusters, so that made me happy. I think I'm done with DJing for the time being. I might pick it up again later this year but in the meantime I'll be focusing my energy through the camera lens.

Happy New Year everyone!