I have markers!

So I went down to the OfficeMax in Florence and asked the guy if they had any Sharpie oil-based paint markers. He said they had paint markers but none of them were Sharpies. Then I went to the next aisle over and found the Sharpie markers he said they didn't have.

Liar, liar pants on fire!


A few thoughts

I don't have anything important to say today (as opposed to all those other days) so here are a few things going through my head right now:

(1) I got my Elvis tix today! Tomorrow I shop for markers and the iPod plan begins in earnest.

(2) Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? Everyone I've mentioned this to has shuddered in horror at the sheer grotesqueness of it all. Tom's still pretty hot but Katie just looks so young that I'm pretty sure God won't let this romance continue much longer.

(3) I'm excited to get up early on Sunday and go cheer on my friend Jeff as he runs in the Flying Pig Marathon. I've chosen a viewing area near a Starbucks so hopefully I'll be able to stay awake. I've never actually seen a real live marathon before, though, so I'm sure I'll have a great time.

(4) I miss the old school fried apple pies that McDonald's used to have. Sure, they still have them in Europe but that seems like a long way to go just for something from McDonald's.

(5) May is looking awesome. I've got tons of things to do and a few vacation days. It's June I'm worried about.

(6) My cat's breath always smells like tuna but he never eats tuna. How can this be?


I liked them when they were called Coldplay

Have you heard this band, Blue Merle? I heard them on WNKU this afternoon and I thought, "Hey is this some other new Coldplay song that I haven't heard?" I mean they sound EXACTLY like Coldplay. Well, Coldplay with acoustic guitars.

The lead singer has all the Chris Martin warbles and angst down cold. Go to their website and listen to a song then wonder to yourself if Coldplay should sue them. That's what I've been doing all day.

The sad part is, I liked the new Blue Merle song better than the new Coldplay song. If only they were the same band!


Wisdom from on high

I got an email from Sharpie today! They had excellent customer service and did not seem to snicker at my odd request. In fact, this was what they had to say:

Hello Eileen,
I would recommend using the Sharpie Professional or the Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker.
Thank you for e-mailing us and for your support of Sanford products.
Sanford Consumer Affairs

Very businesslike isn't it?

So now I just have to track down these magical markers and phase one of my plan will be complete. Then it's just down to the small matter of finding the man himself and procuring his autograph. I really don't think that will be too hard, though. I have my ways...


My TIVO recorded a rerun of Elvis Costello's 1991 appearance on Saturday Night Live this afternoon and I sat down to watch it tonight. I remember seeing it back on it's original airdate of May 18, 1991 and being very excited to see a live performance by my new hero. I'd bought Mighty Like a Rose earlier in the year and I'd never heard anything like it. Back then I was 13 years old and the most radical piece of music I owned was a cassette single of "Stand" by R.E.M.

Then I heard "The Other Side of Summer."

I think I bought the whole album just for the line, "Was it a millionaire who said, 'imagine no possessions?'" I was a HUGE Beatles fan and I loved the reference. I'd also heard that Elvis had recorded with Paul McCartney so my interest was piqued. I wasn't really prepared for the rest of the tape, though.

If you've ever heard "Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs are Taking Over)" you know what I mean. That song could scar a 13-year-old girl for life.

So it didn't surprise me at 13 when Elvis Costello came onstage on SNL looking like a cross between a Hasidic Jew and Hank Williams Jr. His music was freaky enough for me think that this is what he must have always looked like.

But now the years have passed and I've grown more familiar with the classic EC look. He's stopped drinking, married a jazz singer and sung with Tony Bennett I'd forgotten about that brief early 90's craziness. But thanks to TIVO, I was reminded of the horror once again.

Honestly, just take a look for yourself.

Elvis on SNL, or is it Hank Williams Jr.? Posted by Hello


It's in the hands of experts now

I sent an email to the people at Sharpie today explaining my autograph plight. I described my concerns with the industrial Sharpie (the writing seems to rub off of metal) and asked them what marker they would recommend for my particular task. Now all I can do is wait. I like to imagine there is a serious Sharpie expert out there who has been waiting their entire life to tackle this exact problem. Godspeed, Sharpie expert, godspeed.


Shawn posted a list of songs on his blog last week and commented on what memories they elicit. I've been spending a lot of time trying to decide if I have similar song memories. Only a couple songs immediately come to mind and it always surprises me that those feelings are so specific. In general, songs tend to provide me with a collage of memories that get added to as I revisit the music year after year.

I will share one specific memory, though. "Run-Around" by Blues Traveler will always remind me of my last night in Michigan before I left for college (I was the first of my friends to leave town that summer). It played on the radio as we drove around and everybody sang along. It wasn't anything earth shattering but it was a fun and I remember thinking that the group of us would probably never do this again. We never have.

So if you're inclined, leave your favorite song memory in the comments below.


I'm #12, I'm #12!

I was looking through BlogPatrol (the web site that tracks my hits) tonight and I noticed they had a Top 100 list of sites. When I added my site, I shot up to #8 on that list. That's crazy! Out of 17,479 pages, only 7 other people have more than 437 hits? It wasn't long before I dropped to #12 but that still kind of rules. With the added support of my loyal readers, I hope to make it solidly to #11 one day.

I bought some markers over the weekend to start my iPod autograph worthiness testing. Despite Carrie's suggestion, there is a sad lack of information on Google about the best method for getting your iPod signed. I think I might be breaking new ground here.

I have an incense burner that seems to be made out of the same shiny metal as the back of the iPod so it made the perfect test site. Both the white paint marker and the industrial Sharpie, however, were not impervious to some minor scratching. I guess if you scratch anything deep enough it's going to come off. Both held up well to rubbing but I have my doubts about the paint marker. It just doesn't seem to have the permanence the Sharpie does, but the white paint looks cooler with the white iPod. Testing will continue through the week but right now it looks like I'll probably go with the industrial Sharpie.

Favorite Song of the Week:
"Where Does the Good Go?" by Tegan and Sara. I really should buy a whole album by these girls because I love every song I hear by them. This little ditty was featured on Grey's Anatomy and I immediately got it from iTunes. I've been digging it ever since.


Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

I burned a test copy of my planned summer mix CD the other day, but I'm not really happy with it. Usually I drive around with a CD for a couple days and it only needs to have a couple songs moved around. This time, I think there might need to be wholesale changes.

First of all, I think it might be too sad. It's strange because my winter CD's tend to be perkier than my summer ones. I always figure summer is a good time to sit outside and chill out so it leads to a mellower mix. But this time I might have gone too far.

Second, I'm not liking the flow. I really like all the individual songs but I don't think, as a whole, they're going anywhere. Maybe I'm just being hard on myself, but this is definitely going to need some reworking.

And don't worry Dayna, I'll send you one!


Speed of Sound

I bought the new Coldplay single called "Speed of Sound" from iTunes the other day. It's nice but I'm not sure I'm loving it. It sounds like classic Coldplay but maybe that's the problem. I really think it's time for them to branch out a little. If they learn anything from Everclear, they should know that putting out the same album only works about three times.

I read an article about how EMI is basing all its profit projections for the next quarter solely on the predicted popularity of the new Coldplay album. Now that's some pressure. Chris Martin and his mates are anal enough without putting the future of your label on their shoulders, too. Maybe that's why they sound reluctant to change direction.

Or maybe Gwyneth is just ruining them.


Jeff's been studying

I gave my friend Jeff a crash course in Elvis Costello the other day. He's coming to the concert with me so I gave him copies of his two most recent albums along with a personal "best of" mix called Camp Elvis. Anyway, I have to give him props for doing his homework.

He liked When I Was Cruel better than The Delivery Man (which I do, too).

But it gets better.

He gave me this handy fact: On the song "Alibi" the word alibi is repeated 67 times.

Jeff walks to work so he has time for such nonsense.

Gravy boat. Stay in the now!

A couple months ago I read a book called Home Land by Sam Lipsyte. It's written as a series of updates to the main character's high school alumni newsletter. It's funny and you should read it. I'm also hoping to further the use of the phrase, "Gravy boat. Stay in the now!" It comes from the book and I think it's a better mantra than any Dr. Phil self helper could ever invent.

So repeat after me, "Gravy boat. Stay in the now!"


Let's all get a little cozy

I've been knitting for almost a year now. It's slowly getting to the point where everyone I know has something I've knitted (with various levels of skill). The biggest hit, though, has to be my iPod cozies. I found the pattern in Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook (I also learned to knit from that book, so you should go out and buy it) and I've done 3 so far.

The one I just finished is for my friend Pat. He requested Syracuse colors.

Pat's iPod cozy Posted by Hello

The cozies have a certain handmade look to them but I think they go great with the modern look of the iPod. I'm working on a pink and green one right now. If I didn't hate sewing so much I'd do more of them.


I heard a POP!

That's the sound you hear when you fall out of MTV's demographic. It happens almost instantaneously. One day you're 24, you think Punk'd is the funniest thing on earth and you can't get enough of The Real World.

Then when you wake up on the morning of your 25th birthday, you hear a POP! Suddenly you realize everyone on The Real World just needs to get a real job. And you start to wish MTV would just play videos like they used to.

This is why I'm reduced to watching music videos on the internet.

I watch more videos on iTunes than anywhere else. I keep hearing that the new Weezer video is great, but iTunes doesn't have it, so I haven't seen it yet. Hell if I'm gonna wade through episode after episode of Boiling Point on the off chance they might throw in some music.

God, I sound old.

I will admit to watching True Life and Pimp My Ride on MTV. It's those little moments that let me pretend that I'm still in their desired demographic. Then, the commercials come on and I've never seen ANY of them before. They are not meant for me. They are meant for younger, hipper people with different concerns and wants.

Then I feel old again.



Last night at Crush was great! I wish more people had shown up but it was a good time. We all really liked the bartender who was great at coming up with drinks we didn't even know we wanted. He made me something called a Pear and it was super tasty.

Everyone had great songs to play. My faves included Jeff's selection of "Sit Down" by James, Meggan's inspired choice of "Fuck the Pain Away" by Peaches and Kelly's hilarious array of t.v. theme songs. I've already got ideas for next month!

Favorite Song of the Week:
"Blow It Out" by The Features - We've been talking about it all week so it's totally stuck in my head. It's just a great song and I think it will only sound better as the weather gets warmer.


We reached a compromise

It turned out that Carrie had been hoping to play The Features at Crush on Saturday so I caved. I had also wanted to play to play the new Weezer single, "Beverly Hills," so I swapped that in instead. It's not like I won't get to hear the Features, too. This is what passes for drama in my life, people.


Jukebox Oasis

I am of two opinions about jukeboxes. A lot of places are adding those new digital jukeboxes where you can pick from a seemingly infinite number of songs (some for a little extra money) and get your song played immediately (also for a little extra money). While it is sometimes fun to subject folks to an obscure song that they would nomally never hear, I think these new jukeboxes really aren't in the spirit of jukeboxness. A good jukebox sets the mood for the bar. It also helps to give you an idea about what you're getting into. A good jukebox is something to be loved and appreciated, not thrown out as part of the "digital music revolution."

In Cincinnati you often hear that The Comet has the city's best jukebox. And while it has an interesting offering of albums that usually never see a jukebox, I find it a bit twee and pretentious. It's too full of obscure rock meant merely to assure the listener that, indeed, they are cool.

My vote for the city's best jukebox goes to the Crazy Fox in Newport. It is a democratic machine. While it's heavy on the indie rock (Libertines, Scissor Sisters, The Shins, etc.) it's not too proud to sport a little Metallica or Neil Diamond. This is a jukebox everyone can enjoy.

Second place would have to go to the Northside Tavern. Theirs is a fairly hip jukebox, but not nearly as eclectic.


I was online today and took the opportunity to watch the new video from Oasis. I just hate to give up on them. I think it was Josh's friend John who said the last Oasis album sounded like something from a really good Oasis tribute band and, sadly, I had to agree. Those guys keep me hoping, though. With every album they put out one killer single and renew my belief that they will rock again. I am always left brokenhearted when the rest of the album turns out to be crap. Well, it's not gonna happen again.

This time, Oasis has been nice enough to announce that their album is crap and not bother to fool me with a catchy single. Their new song, "Lyla" plods along for four boring minutes. The whole thing feels like they're trying to tap into that new, new wave sound but they just can't figure it out. It's like Franz Ferdinand on roofies. So I'd really just like to take this opportunity to thank Oasis for putting out a crappy single. You've just saved me $15.

If you decide to check out the Oasis video for yourself, take the time to also watch the video for "First Day of my Life" by Bright Eyes. It's a cute little clip of couples listening to the song and smiling at each other. While it gives me renewed faith in humanity, I would avoid it if I had recently broken up with someone. It might push you over the edge.


I know you've all been waiting

It actually didn't take me very long to pick out which songs I want to play at Crush on Saturday. I had a couple of things that I figured many people hadn't heard but needed to. At the top of that list is "Fast Cars" by U2. This was actually a bonus track on their new album, but you didn't get it unless you bought the super deluxe hardback book version. I spent the extra money to get the bonus DVD version of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb but apparently that wasn't enough to warrant also getting this little gem of a song. Thanks U2.

So here's my list in playing order:

We Will Become Silhouettes - The Shins
Blow It Out - The Features
Take It Easy (Love Nothing) - Bright Eyes
Fast Cars - U2
The Brute Choir - Palace Music

Fifteen minutes goes by pretty fast, doesn't it?

You might notice the Postal Service song "We Will Become Silhouettes" is actually being covered by The Shins. It's a b-side from a Postal Service single and you should buy it on iTunes poste haste. The last song is a little something my good buddy Josh once put on a mix CD. I've been listening to it a lot lately and I figure it will be a nice quiet end to the set.

This is also probably a little preview to my upcoming summer mix CD (although Carrie and I might have to arm wrestle over the use of "Blow It Out"). I've got a few songs picked out and I hope to get it together in the next month or so.


Hit Me Baby One More Time

So Britney Spears is pregnant. That's not a big surprise, but it did get me thinking about greatest hits albums. This chick is all of 23 and apparently her career has been so inspiring and prolific that it already warrants a greatest hits album. I'd be loathe to label any of her songs "greatest" let alone "hits" but Britney's too easy to pick on so I'll move along.

Doesn't it seem like greatest hits albums are coming out sooner for bands these days? Maybe it's just that I'm getting old enough to have followed a group's entire career but I don't feel that Green Day or Pearl Jam should be putting out retrospectives yet. And what's so good about Collective Soul that they needed to release a greatest hits in 2001? I know all this filler is mostly to fulfill record contracts but it's also another sign of the death of the album as a viable musical format.


I'm super excited about Saturday's Bring the Music night at Crush. I'll talk about it more later in the week (including a preview of what I'll be bringing) but for now you should check out this article:




It took some work but I figured out how to get photos on my blog. Now the fun is really going to start!

Are you watching Grey's Anatomy on ABC yet? If you're not, you should overlook the astonishingly cheesy intro and watch it anyway. They go a little overboard with the music, too. It's like an hour long episode of "Name That Indie Rocker" but I guess that's what makes it fun.

Me and Tippy Posted by Hello


Hey, I'm on the Interweb!

Someday, someone will read this and that will be a thrill. If that person happens to be you, well congratulations. This is my very first posting on my very first blog. You should feel honored.

So I've got a plan for my iPod. You see it's got a quote from an Elvis Costello song on the back:

"Well I'm the lucky goon
who composed this tune"

It's from "Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4" on 1991's Mighty Like a Rose. Anyway, Elvis himself will be in Cincinnati in May and I'm thinking I want to get his autograph on the back of my iPod. There are two issues, though. First, what kind of marker can I use that won't get rubbed off the shiny metal on the back of an iPod? Second, how do I actually find Mr. Costello so he can sign it? Hopefully both of these questions will be answered before May 5 when he comes to town. If anyone has any suggestions about what kind of marker to use please help me out!

Favorite Song of the Week:
Molly's Chambers by The Kings of Leon - That new VW Jetta commercial is really getting to me.