Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My desk, my God

As I found it before switching on the computinator.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The shadow city

My pal and NYC tour guide Moses made the New York Times today for explorations of that city, subterranean or otherwise. Apparently it only appeared in the paper's city edition, but the story is available online. Moe's bit can be found toward the end of the story.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Nonpareils: It's all part of my indie rock fantasy

(Or: If I stand and holler, will I stand alone?)

"Exit" "perfectly timed siren courtesy of providence fire dept."

Does anyone know The Nonpareils? Know how I can get in touch with them?

I've only heard two of their songs, making them my favorite 2-song band of all time. But I'd like to hear more of their gorgeous minimalist pop melodies and girl/guy vocals of The Nonpareils.

I learned about them in the summer of 1996 (cue strings) when some of their members played in the Godrays' (former Small Factory) touring band.

Lo and behold, I put the Godrays up for a few nights that summer and they paid me back in 7" records, two of which held the wonderful Nonpareils singles "Exit" and "Inside." I believe Alex and Phoebe of Small Factory/Godrays recorded these songs. I also recall them playing me several more track that I loved and I would love to hear them now.

I've tried Craigslist and a listing on, but no luck.


Anyone out there in the ether able to get me in touch with Ted, Lisa, Frank or Sean of The Nonpareils?

If so, I would be eternally grateful.

The 7" have some ancient and undoubtedly expired mailing info. I just might try reaching them via Ben Franklin's mails.

Here’s what I know:

The Nonpareils split 7” w/ Difference Engine
“Exit” and “Flex Lavender” on OTC Load records.

The Nonpareils “Inside” appeared on the 7” Papercut Records comp with Belmonde, Incredible Force of Junior, and Wimp Factor XIV.

Oscar checks out The Nonpareils


Since we're here. lemme give you a Best of The Small Factory Universe!

From Small Factory's The Industrial Evolution

  • If You Hurt Me (If you hurt me, I'll be angry, and I'll grow up way too fast....)

From Small Factory's I do not love you (1993)

  • I'm not giving up
  • What angels say
  • Valentine (a too-good-to-be-true Sarah Dougher cover)
  • Pretending it's sunny
  • All your reasons
  • Junky on a good day (It's a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful day, I wish the sun would, sun would go away...)

From Small Factory's For If You Cannot Fly (1995)

  • The Last Time That We Talked
  • Hi Howard I'm Back (I was right there with them, little kid among men...)
  • Sensible
  • Versus Tape (I'm not full of love and I'm not full of hate I'm just blank. Yeah, I drew a blank.)
  • Sun Goes Ahh
  • For When You Cannot Land
  • Sixteen Years (No I haven't yet, haven't yet, haven't yet, reach all the things I want to reach out and touch...)

From Songs for T.V. Stars by The Godrays (1996)

  • Comforting Joe
  • Songs For T.V. Stars
  • Vampires Suck (Now that I'm awake, I want to be the dream you have sometime, later on...)
  • Darling (...they're gonna eat us alive...)
  • Crummy (a favorite of the Miniboss)
  • Crack You Up
  • Crazy (Versus cover)
From Well Composed Death Notice by The Godrays (1998)

  • Hope This Makes Sheryl Crow Happy (a cover, obviously)
  • Shark Shaped Ship (Am I gonna die?)

I hope everyone gets to love a band the way me and the Miniboss love Small Factory. And Bobby Dylan and The Beatles don't count!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Well done J.K. Rowling

(this story contains no spoilers)

After valiantly declaring my intentions to ward off unwanted media spoilers by purposely ruining Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, I found myself at a crossroads Saturday night as I held the book in my hands.

It was a now or never moment. I knew once I cracked the binding I needed to read the final chapter immediately lest I turn to page one and fall under Rowling's spell one last time.

Fortunately I turned to page one.

I started reading Harry Potter seven years ago, as suggested by my younger brother and sister. My memories of reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone during a harsh Boston winter are vague, but I was immediately hooked.

Considering the tremendous pressure Rowling faced in delivering her finale, I think I would have been happy with a good book. That she delivered a great book is all the more incredible. And as I read The Deathly Hallows I savored the little things - Rowling's descriptions of the Weasley brood and Luna Lovegood's weirdness, the author's wit and humor, and above all the banter among Harry, Hermione and Ron. All the while I recalled my experiences reading the entire series.

Not long after reading The Sorcerer’s Stone I ordered the second and third books. We still lived in Beacon Hill, and one afternoon I came home from work to find a UPS note waiting for me. A moment later the big brown truck turned down my street, roared down my street and turned the corner. I raced down the narrow brick sidewalks to catch the truck, and I did, and the delivery man fished through the back of the truck to hand over my new-found treasure. One of these books traveled with me on a daytrip to Providence, Rhode Island, the other accompanied me on a train trip to Washington D.C.

A few months later we unexpectedly moved to Seattle. I had never been further west than the Twin Cities. Seattle was a foreign city to me. The first book I bought was Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Reading the Goblet of Fire was like having a local greet me, and it remains my favorite book of the series.

Flash forward a few years and I picked up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Madison. I recall waiting for the midnight release party at Canterbury Books to begin at the Terrace with my wife and sister. We ran into an elementary school friend of mine, a good omen.

And then two summers ago in Fort Collins, I picked up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at another midnight party not long before we moved to Denver. Which is where I picked up The Deathly Hallows at the Tattered Cover, and the final secrets of the Harry Potter universe were revealed to me.

It's fitting that as my wife and I crossed the country and back on our odyssey that Harry went with us. And as a fan - not a fanatic - I can only congratulate J.K. Rowling for creating such a wonderful universe and reading experience.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In the very near future Barry Bonds will break Henry Aaron's home run record. I don't like it. But just like my receding hairline or car payment, I won’t lose any sleep over it.

I will pay attention, though, when Bonds and the Giants play the Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend. I'll be curious to see if Commissioner Bud Selig snubs Bonds in Bud's hometown. I'm sure Bud dislikes the situation more than almost anyone - save, perhaps, his friend Henry Aaron - but unlike anyone else, Selig had years to do something about it and did not

In a way I hope Bonds breaks the record in Brew City, but I doubt the Giants brass will allow that to happen. Like Barry, they want him to hit it in San Francisco.

But imagine for a moment if he did break it in Milwaukee, where Aaron became a legend. At the moment of his greatest triumph Bonds would have to answer to Aaron's hometown fans. And if not there, then Atlanta, where the Giants play next, Aaron's other hometown.

Ultimately, no matter how many homers Bonds hits, he cannot diminish Henry Aaron's achievements. And this will be no truer than in the Cream City because Aaron is the heart of Milwaukee baseball. You can rattle off all the great names - Matthews, Spahn, Fingers, Yount, Molitor - but none of them outshine Aaron, the best player on the only team to win the World Series for Milwaukee.

That's a joy that Bonds – in San Francisco or anywhere – seems destined to never enjoy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Committing Harry-kari

This weekend the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga, The Deathly Hallows, reveals itself to the world.

I've got a voucher for my copy at the Tattered Cover, and my only question besides 'how will it all end?' is 'will I survive all the unwanted spoilers' floating in the ether like so many death eaters?' (Link is not a spoiler by the way.)

To that end I am going to spoil Harry for myself.

If the world is set on ruining the surprise for me as it did in the build up for The Sopranos denouement - thanks CNN - then I am going to beat it to the punch and ruin it for myself.

I have Friday off and plan a self-imposed media blackout. That night I am going to a concert. Saturday morning I am picking up my copy of The Deathly Hallows.

And then, I will immediately read the final chapter first and then turn to the book's beginning to read it start to finish.


Monday, July 16, 2007

How do you say Milwaukee in Japanese?

A friend sent me the following picture. Apparantly the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles have nothing against the brew, the baseball, or, aliens.

Danke schön!