Information Leafblower: Misc. Daily Archives

Misc. Daily Archives

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Time Stops

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I imagine most everybody came around these parts today for another MP3 or something music related. I would also venture to guess the last thing you want to do is ready yet another piece on 9/11, but longtime readers will know this is a subject near and dear to my heart. And honestly, this isn't so much for you as it is for me.

I remember 9/11 pretty clearly. Parts of the day are still crystal clear to me. At the time I lived on Gold Street, just a few block away from the World Trade Center complex. I got up the same time I always did, jumped in the shower and started my daily routine. After I got dressed I turned on the TV and tuned into New York 1 so I could get the score of the Giants v. Broncos game even though I don't have any rooting interest for either of those teams. When the TV powered on, NY1 was showing an aerial shot of the World Trade Center on fire with a caption running along the bottom of the screen that said something like "Plane flies into the World Trade Center." My immediate thought is some stupid, rookie pilot crashed his Cessna into the building. I sat down to watch the TV and after a minute or two, there was an huge explosion in the second tower and I felt my apartment building shake and heard glass break. The first thought I had when I saw that was, "Holy shit, this is history." And even though I didn't even have a blog back then, I did what any good blogger would do. I grabbed my digital camera and went outside.


I made my way up Fulton Street and tried to take in the scene. There were people everywhere and they were all reacting to what was happening in a different way. Some people were hysterical, some were solemn, but most everybody had their eyes on the two towers. By the time I got up to Broadway I started hearing people talk about the Pentagon getting hit as well. I walked up the Church Street, which was about as close as they would let anyone that wasn't a first responder. I took a few photos of the Trade Centers as well as all the broken glass that was everywhere. After that I swung up to Ann Street and planted myself with the intention to stand there was long as I could and watch what would happen.

That didn't last long however. A cop came around the corner and started screaming to everyone that there was a bomb threat in the area and everyone should make their way uptown as soon as possible. For some reason this seemed improbable to me (although I can't say why), so I stayed but after another minute or two he came back and I heard an urgency in his voice, so at that point I decided not to push my luck and to head back to my apartment and call my parents to let them know that I was OK.


I got back to my place and turned on the TV. I eventually settled on watching ESPN because they had the National ABC feed and if the world was going to end I wanted Peter Jennings to tell me, not the local news anchors. Around that time my phone, a land line, started ringing off the hook. The first call I got was from an old college buddy, Darren Sams. Darren and I went way back but had lost touch since I moved to NYC years earlier. I didn't even know he had my number. But he was the type of guy that would do something like disappear for a long time and then pop up again when you need him the most. We talked for just a minute or two but I immediately felt better after we spoke. Partly because it was nice to know that someone was thinking of me and partly because it was nice to hear a familiar voice. After I hung up with Darren my Aunt JoEllen called and I asked her to call around and let everyone know I was OK. After that, I finally got a chance to call my Dad and talk to him. He kept telling me to leave but I wasn't sure what to do.

It was around this time that the first tower fell. When it did, the sky got very, very dark. It looked like night instead of early morning. I had been pretty calm until then, but at that point I started freaking out. I went downstairs to the building lobby to check out the scene there and it was full of people covered in white soot. Most everyone was crying. I brought a pitcher of water and some towels downstairs and went back up to my apartment. The phone kept ringing off the hook and at this point, the details get hazy. I do remember being on the phone with someone when the second tower fell and I didn't even know it happened. Tony Kulzer, a friend and co-worker that was in Brooklyn watching everything from his rooftop called to tell me. That was one of the weird things about 9/11 that sticks out for me. Even though the towers fell and I was just a few blocks away, I had electricity, phone and internet (dial-up no less) the whole time up until 7 World Trade Center (a separate building) fell later in the afternoon.


At some point after the second tower fell, I got fed up with discussing my evacuation plan with my then girlfriend (luckily, she was safely up on East 81st Street, about as far away as you could be from Lower Manhattan) and I found a bandana, tied it over my mouth and went outside to get a look at the destruction. More than one person told me not to go, but I couldn't help myself. I couldn't be that close and not see what happened.


I was stunned at how quiet it was. There was no sound anywhere. The phrase "deathly quiet" took on new meaning to me. An occasional ambulance or fire truck would drive by but other than that, nothing. The dust and soot were omnipresent, in the air, on the ground, just covering everything. It was at least a foot or so deep in some places. But the most surprising thing was the paper. There were tons and tons of random sheets of paper blowing around in the wind or covering the ground. All the paper from the World Trade Center towers was now covering the streets in the surrounding neighborhood. Now, when I look back on that now, I wonder why I didn't take some of it as a keepsake but at the time, that was the furthest thing from my mind.


I made my way up to Church Street surveying the debris I could see the Police and Fire Department setting up their perimeters. I tried to stay out of sight somewhat so they wouldn't make me go uptown without letting me go back to my apartment first. I walked down to the hospital down the block with the intention of volunteering in some capacity, but as everyone knows now, there weren't really an survivors, so after a while it just became the hospital staff and a bunch of us standing around waiting for something to happen. They finally told all of the non-employees to go home. So I did. I went back to my apartment yet again, called a few more people and tried to take in what had happened. It was pretty surreal. When you step out of the shower in the morning, you never think you're going to be on the front line of history.


At some point that afternoon, 7 WTC fell and the power finally went out. If memory serves, that was around 3:30 or 4 that afternoon. I realized sometime around two o'clock that I hadn't eaten anything at all that day. All of a sudden I was starving. I went out again looking for some food. Understandably, most everything was closed. Luckily, the diner across the street was open. It was literally the only open business in that area. There were 10 or 15 people there trying to get some food. They were taking it as quick as the cook's could dish it up. I got a burger and fries and overpaid by a few dollars and told them to keep the change.


All day I had been debating on whether to leave or to stay put. If I left, my only real option would have been to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn but I was worried that the bridges would be the next target, so I stayed put. After the power went out that afternoon, I decided I had to make my way uptown. My (then) girlfriend was at her cousin's place on 34th street and I told her I would meet her up there. The subways were running above Christopher Street so I packed up a bag for me and one for her and I started walking uptown. Because I was carrying so much stuff, I had to leave our kitty behind at the apartment, something that I regret doing to this day (even though Kitty was fine and we went back and got her the next day. Still, you never leave a man behind). It took a few hours to get uptown but I was very relieved when I finally was able to sit down and not worry about very tall buildings falling on top of me. Later that night there was a bomb scare at the Empire State Building, just a few blocks from where we were staying. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it did little to calm our nerves.


We got a little sleep that night and got up first thing the next day to go back to our place and grab Kitty and some extra clothes. I actually went to work the next day because my boss was being a complete asshole about me coming to the office (our office phones didn't even have long distance capability at that point) but I only lasted a few hours. I rented a car online and headed up to my Massachussettes for the next few days.


It's hard to believe all of this happened five years ago. Alot has happened since then. I was eventually laid off from work, moved to Brooklyn, got another job, lost it, tore my ACL playing soccer, broke up with my girlfriend, and eventually landed here in D.C. Before I make this too much of a sob story, I think all of this has worked out for the best for me. I can honestly say I am happier now than I have been at any point post-9/11. I guess that's a result of getting on with my life, getting a steady job (outside the music industry) and also getting out of New York. I enjoy going back to visit, but I'm much happier with my life here in D.C. I realize I am lucky to still be here today. I think about the towers falling alot. Mostly marvelling at the fact that they fell straight down. Imagine if they toppled over to one side. 9/11 was a horrible tragedy, but I try and look at it in more positive terms, like how many people were saved and how much worse it could have been. But I still catch myself looking up at planes when they are flying low overhead and I get a slight shudder everytime I see a plane come in for a landing at National airport here in D.C. It's right off of the major interstate into downtown D.C. and it's something I'm not sure I'll ever be entirely comfortable seeing.

All of my photos from 9/11 are over at Flickr.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current Names's Barb Abney as On-Air Host

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current announced today that Barb Abney will join the station as a weekday on-air host, 9 a.m.-noon, beginning Oct. 3.

Abney comes to The Current from Cincinnati's, one of the premiere alternative stations in the country. During the past 12 years, Abney has served as a daily on-air host, where she picked all her own music and interviewed countless bands, including We Are Scientists, Radio 4 and Concrete Blonde. announced last week that it will cease operations on Sept. 15. For more information, go to

"I've been following the progress of The Current since its inception," said Abney. "I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to join the station and grow along with them."

Abney's first shift will start at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, on The Current, KCMP 89.3 FM in the Twin Cities, KMSE 88.7 FM in Rochester, and online at

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person or a better DJ. Hopefully she will continue to plug one of the best one of the most above-average sites on the interweb at her new gig as well. Everyone here at infomation leafblower dot com (that'd be me and the chief) wishes her the best.


*sigh* Back at work after my all the short time in Southern California. I wrote a big wrap up post about the trip during my flight back yesterday but I forgot to load it into MT last night. D'oh. So you'll have to make do with a short recap.

Newport Beach Pavilion

While I'm not sure I would want to live there, Southern Cali is a great place to visit. I couldn't believe how bright it was when we touched down. The weather, by the beach anyway, was really incredible, even to someone like me that doesn't really enjoy the sun that much.

I got to do all the touristy stuff I wanted to do. I saw Bukowski's grave, took in a Dodgers game, had an In-n-Out burger and saw the Capitol Records building.


Buk's grave was thankfully pretty easy to find. He is on a hill, situated kind of by himself, with a tree nearby and a nice view. Visiting cemeteries isn't something I do regularly, but I always told myself I would do this if I had the chance and I'm glad I did. I didn't do anything like bring Hank a beer or prepare some big speech or anything, just took a few photos, soaked in the scene and left.


The Dodger game was really cool even though stupid Grady Little sat both Nomar and Jeff Kent. They lost big, but I had a few Dodger Dogs, a relative bargain at $4.50, and even more $8 Budweiser's. The stadium itself was a treat. It has this 1960's drive-in burger joint vibe, they play Jane's Addiction whenever a runner has "Been Caught Stealing," and pipe in the Vin Scully feed over loud speakers in the stands. Best!

Newport Bay

Other than that we spent the weekend tooling around Newport Harbor, checking out Laguna and Huntington Beaches, eating alot and drinking even more. I can't wait to go back. California, where the weather is always bright and sunny, people park expensive cars right on the street, the cars have unironic personalized plates, the girls are all blonde and (totally, extremely) hott and all your yardwork is done by cheap immigrant labor.


And I'm off. I'll leave you with my official song of the summer (even though it was released in 2004).

[MP3} Teddybears | Yours To Keep

PS - This really sucks. Boo.

Today's songs:

[MP3] LL Cool J | Going Back To Cali

[MP3] Buffalo Tom | Summer (Acoustic)
Still waiting for that Buffalo Tom show in D.C. C'mon guys, make it happen!

[MP3] The Sundays | Summetime
My love for The Sundays, probably one of my (and John Peel's) favorite bands ever - yet I hardly ever mention them on this site, and lead singer Harriett Wheeler (hubba hubba) knows no bounds and probably deserves a post of it's own. One day... I only got to see them live once, on the Static and Silence tour at the Supper Club in New York. It's a shame they were big before the internet came into it's own. There isn't much info about them online.

[MP3] Superdrag | I'm Expanding My Mind
I always pictured this song, from Superdrag's criminally underrated sophomore album, playing over the closing credits of my as-of-yet unwritten movie about a group of friends going on a road trip out West. That last sentence is about as far as I've gotten on that screenplay, but hey, it's a start. That would be a good post, "Soundtrack to the movie/screenplay I haven't written yet." I'm coming for you Zach Braff. You and Jump Little Children can eff off.

I did a little dance earlier today when I found out the opening band for The National's October show at the Black Cat. As Damore would say...MMMMmmmmmmmmmbest!

Whew, I don't have to see Idlewild now. Not that I was going to.

Pageviews are obsolete.

CALIFORNIA-738227.gifLabor Day is approaching fast and with it, your friendly neighborhood infoleafguy will be heading out to the West Coast for the first time in many moons. I think the last time I was in Cali was back in college when Adam Swientek and I ventured out to San Fran for the first ever Tibetan Freedom Concert. Too bad there was no blogging back in the halcyon days of 1996, because we had a great time out there. If I remember correctly, the best sets were by John Lee Hooker (he was A-MAY-ZING), Pavement, The Beasties (Ad Rock wore a Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf jersey, don't ask me why I remember that) and Bjork. The worst set? The Smashing Pumpkins, obvs. They played like 45 minutes of feedback. Losers. But I digress...

So come Thursday morning, I will accompany Ms. Smith out to the O.C., not far from Laguna Beach, which would be even more exciting if I had ever watched either of those shows more than once.

Last night I started putting together a big, California-influenced playlist to listen to while we drive around (top down, natch) everywhere. And of course I have a few selections to share:

[MP3]Car Stereo (Wars) | What's Up California?
(go to GVB to download)
Not the instant classic that Ghostface Observatory was, but it saves me from listening to Rooney, which is always a plus in my book.

[MP3]Lady Sovereign | Random (Live on AOL's The Interface)
(go to Culture Bully to download)
Holy shit, this track is straight fire!

[MP3] James Brown | Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
It's the summer, go listen to some James Brown!

[MP3] Public Enemy | Brothers Gonna Work It Out
It made me sad today when I read the following on Pitchfork:

As Public Enemy's influence lessens by the minute (did anyone pay attention to this-year's Rebirth of a Nation, their co-op project with Paris?), the outpouring of mediocre projects is doing nothing to reestablish any sort of reign.

That may be so, but I still enjoy the old stuff. This track goes well with the James Brown track above since they basically appropriated JB's call and response verse into their own. Best.

More tracks tomorrow and Thursday.

Fine Then

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Boo! Mew and Kasabian skipping DC on their upcoming tour.

So are Kings of Leon, but we get the Stills. Somehow that's not adding up as fair as far as I'm concerned. C'mon KOL! You're doing Philly the night before. What's one more gig? It's on the way home!

RIAA-proof music sharing.

Christopher Porter on Nouvelle Vague.

Eric Bachmann is slowly turning into that Chris Farley SNL character of the guy that lives in a van down by the river. WTF? AT least he's playing DC on his next tour. [via Chromewaves]

For the last time, I did not lose my virginity to Evan Dando.

Vice Records has their MP3 blog back up and running.

The C's are hitting the gym this summer.

Apple pays Creative $100 Million.

Top 10 Flickr cameras.

The National on their upcoming DC show:


"We are [also] playing Washington D.C. again since we only played there once during 'Alligator' touring and that wasn't really fair, considering we hit most other places twice or even three times," [Bryce] Dessner says.

Boo-ya-kasha! I love the interweb. Can we all agree to some sort of blogger pact that if you interview The National you'll promise to ask them about this? And yes, I sent in my own interview request. [link via Chromewaves]

Looks like I'll finally get to see Broken Social Scene.

Related: I got my Massive Attack at the 9:30 Club tickets yesterday! I'm going on Thursday.

New Diplo remix.

New Car Stereo (Wars) track.

A good Factotum review! (Thx Ms. Smith) Peep the trailer.

Hubba hubba [via Goldensizzle]

Jeezy Creezy.

Hilarious! Interesting. Go Sox!

Snakes on A Plane in Gallery Place tonight. Who's in?


That's right, next Thursday at Saint-Ex. Be there.

This makes way too much sense for it to ever happen.

I'l assume that, just like everyone else on the planet, you loved The Spinto Band's "Oh Mandy." If so, go get five other Spinto tracks.

I'll also assume that, just like everyone else, Bloc Party really clicked for you when you heard the Phones Disco Edit of "Helicopter." Well, Phones (aka producer Paul Epworth) fancies himself as a recording artists now. He's named himself Epic Man and has released his first track, "More Is Enough." Shockingly, it's pretty ace. Head over to Good Weather For Airstrikes to grab it.

Initial CMJ performers announced.

Stream the new Ghostface track, "Man Up," from the Saints Row soundtrack:
Windoze Media

Stream the new Black Keys track, "Your Touch":
Windoze Media

Stream the new TV On The Radio track, "Wolf Like Me":
Windoze Media

Soulwax (aka Too Many DJ's + friends) has a new track called "Miserable Girl." Download it.

The Zutons are back! Check out their media player. I slept on them last time, but that won't happen this time around, if only for their insanely hot horn player. Yes I have a slight crush on her.

Sorry for the brevity today. My blogging/lunch time was taken up with my Silversun Pickups interview. I should have that sometime later in the week.

Banksy in Brooklyn!

Global warming leads to more summer festivals.

Interpol to Capitol.

Lollapalooza drew in over 166,000 people this year.

The Red Sox won't make it to the postseason.

The case for Wily Mo. Tough call. I'm a Trot guy, he's repping the North Cackalack! When I was in high school, my town's Legion baseball team was pretty good (I didn't play but many of my friends did) but Trot's Wilmington team would always beat us. They weren't the better team, but they had Trot and he was the best player on the field. He was crazy good back then.

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