I've been getting along for long before you came into play

Bonus album! O.K., It's not really a bonus, I just forgot that I actually had one last, final last "E" album, Extraordinary Machine by Fiona Apple.

You may remember that I downloaded an early version of this album back in May 2005 when there was a whole free Fiona movement because Sony wouldn't release her album. I checked out the final version from the library when it was officially released in October of that year. I love the syncopated piano parts and many of the clever rhymes, but I still don't think it's the masterpiece it was made out to be before its release. The title track is a beautiful song but the rest is like standard Fiona with maybe a twist here and there.

I'm not coming at this from out of nowhere. I'm not afraid to admit that I own all her albums and I even saw her play a show when I was in college (she's so tiny, she looked like she could hide behind the mic stand, but that's another story). She's sad and I can appreciate that. Sometimes she's angry and I can appreciate that, too. I'm just not feeling that here as much as I can on here earlier albums. I also kind of miss the more traditional sound of songs like "Shadowboxer" and "Paper Bag."

I haven't given up on Fiona, though. I'm sure I'll pick up her next album if only to check on her mental health in a couple years 'cause that chick is crazy!


In just a few days I'll be heading out to New York for a reunion of the San Francisco 3 and to, you know, party and stuff. Also, there will be congratulations to Josh and his Lady Bear. Did you know they got engaged on Valentine's Day? They did!

I'm sure photos and stuff will follow. Consider yourself warned.


Found it!

Wanna see the little kids I'm inviting to my party? Keep an eye out for them about halfway through this clip. Sorry the quality is so bad, but I think you'll get the idea.



A bunch of confetti is what constitutes the "performance that everyone will be talking about tomorrow"? The Red Hot Chili Peppers seemed pretty flat to me.

Are we trying to make nice?

I get the feeling that the music industry is trying to show it's political support by giving the Dixie Chicks record of the year. It's a pretty good song, but I wonder if it's more about their Bush comments than the actual music.

Plus, what was up with Quentin Tarantino? I think he really scared Tony Bennett.

No, you're beautiful

I'm such a sucker for James Blunt. I loved his performance of "You're Beautiful" even though there were mic problems.

You know that line "she could tell from my face that I was flying high"? If you get the unedited version he uses a different "f" word. It's strange to hear it in such a soft song, but it makes me like him even more. That's rock and roll, James.


My favorite part of any awards ceremony is the tributes they do for all the dead people. The James Brown tribute was pretty cool if a little over the top - just like the man himself.


I'm totally inviting those crazy little breakdancing kids to my next party. Maybe I'll throw in some trampolines, too. They look like fun.

Make it stop!

A Don Henley solo song, too?

I mean I'm as much of a Henley fan as anyone. He's from Kilgore, Texas and was good friends with my eighth grade science teacher so I have heard all the stories about what a great guy he is, but I WANT MORE POLICE and less Rascal Flats!

The Police better be back

Seriously, The Police get one song at the very beginning of the show, but we have to sit through two songs in tribute to The Eagles? It's not even the actual Eagles, just Carrie Underwood, Gah!

I'd like to thank all my fans

I was just presented a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award - me and about half the planet. They're giving those things out like candy this year.


Airline pilots uniforms + orchestra + full chorus = Awesome!

Gnarls Barkley, you guys are the best!

I was right

Peter Frampton did win. I guess I had the category wrong, though. It was for Best Pop Instrumental Album. I knew those old voters wouldn't be able to resist!

One hour in

Okay so the Grammys have been going on for an hour now, and what have learned?

1. When you give an award to Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder, it would make it a lot easier if there weren't a bunch of stairs up to the stage. I thought they'd never make it.

2. Mary J. Blige is going to win a TON of awards. She's got a comeback story, and a decent album. That equals Grammy Darling.

3. I like Justin Timberlake more than I thought I did.

4. Roxanne? I really wanted The Police to play anything but "Roxanne." It's my least favorite of their hits and I never thought it did justice to their sound. People like it I guess, but I would have preferred something like "Message in a Bottle." The biggest question is, how much will tickets cost on their reunion tour? You know people will be willing to pay a ton.

Other times I'm probably found between a pair of huge speakers pushed by vacuum tubes

Grammy night! Oh, who am I kidding, I haven't even heard half the albums nominated this year. Despite what Rolling Stone says, John Mayer is no Guitar God. All the safe choices will win awards and all the awesome people will go home only with the knowledge that they don't appeal to the 75-year-old Grammy voters. I think this all means that fellow Cincinnatian Peter Frampton has an excellent chance of winning for best pop instrumental performance. I'm tempted to post updates as the night goes on so watch this space.

On to the very last of the "E" albums, the excellent Exhibit A by The Features. I first heard about The Features when their song "Blow It Out" was on a free iTunes sampler that I got when I bought my iPod. I couldn't stop listening to it, and man, is it an awesome tune for the gym.

The rest of the album is probably more punk than "Blow It Out" but still really good. It has an urgent pop punk sound that reminds of early Elvis Costello and the Attractions albums. Very This Year's Model. It might be the rockin' organ. You don't hear it that much in music these days. The song "Me and The Skirts" is probably more indicative of their sound.

I got really excited a couple weeks ago when I saw that The Features would be playing at the Southgate House. I thought this would be the first time I'd get to do an album review/live show. When I checked later, though, I noticed that they had played the previous weekend and I was pretty bummed out. D'oh! Sorry I missed you, Features.


Do your bagels come in funny shapes?

I have to take a poll on this one. It's a pet peeve of mine but I'm really wondering if it bothers anyone else. Here's the scenario:

You're at a place that serves bagels and spreads. You order a blueberry or cinnamon or some other sweet type bagel and you ask to get it toasted. The bagel person runs said bagel through one of those conveyor toasters then throws on the spread of your choice.

So now you're enjoying your blueberry bagel and suddenly you get the overwhelming taste of onion, then maybe a little garlic or sesame seed. When the bagel person pulled your bagel out of the toaster, it was also pulled through a dredge of bagel detritus from the bottom of the toaster and now your awesome blueberryness has been fouled.

If I had a bagel place, I would have separate toasters for sweet and savory bagels. Problem solved. I don't mind a little cinnamon on my blueberry bagel but I do mind garlic. Seriously, does this bother anyone else? I've almost given up on buying toasted bagels entirely just because of this. Am I crazy?