In which I fall in love with Colin Meloy . . .

Gahh! What a week, people, what a week. This time last Friday I was making my way to Louisville despite having spent the previous two days with an ice pack over my eyes due to some nasty swelling and a mysterious rash (mangoes may be the culprit).

I wasn't going to let a little swelling stop me, though, because I had a date with The Decemberists. Due to a fluke (or possible computer malfunction) I had second row seats to their show at the Brown Theater. At some point, I had wrangled Jeff into going with me and we made it into town just in time to grab a beer and then our seats.

I've been uncertain about the Decemberists in the past. You may remember that I once called their album, "music for theater geeks" and "pirate rock" so I wasn't surprised when they took the stage in three piece suits and lacy sundresses. What did surprise me was their humor.

Colin Meloy was really warm and made it seem perfectly normal to sing Southern Gothic songs about dead Civil War husbands. The rest of the band seemed to truly be enjoying themselves, too. I guess it was the dramatic nature of their songs that made me think the might be annoyingly self-serious, but I was pleased to be wrong.

Jeff had a good time, too, as we both "screamed like we were being swallowed by a whale" (as instructed) during "The Mariner's Revenge Song." It was a night for everyone to unleash their inner drama geek.

The rest of the week? It was all work, sleep, work, sleep, etc. Let's just say I managed to survive - barely.


Damn you, Klosterman!

Vacations and staffing has me working a day shift at my job these days (well, 10-7 is about as day shifty as I get). This means I should be getting to bed by midnight and up by 8. For normal people that wouldn't be a problem, but years of working 3pm to midnight have left me a seeming inability to fall asleep before at least 2 am. I'm singlehandedly keeping Greenup Cafe in the black with all my coffee purchases.

There are many reasons for this inability to fall asleep but I'm choosing to blame Chuck Klosterman. I'm reading his latest book, and no matter how sleepy I am, I want to read the next few pages of his book more. It's just a collection of old essays and such but I'm totally hooked. I'm probably just using it as an excuse, though.

When I'm not reading Chuck, I'm reading Perfect From Now On by John Sellers. The guy is a little too in love with Guided By Voices and his extensive footnotes were funny at first but now they're getting annoying. Still, I'm liking it, and both books combined have got me thinking.

I think this will all lead to a long blog post in the coming days, but I've been pondering how people in general (and me particular) come to love the music they do. Nobody is born loving obscure sad & British bands, there's always a journey. The music you live usually mirrors the age in which you live, but at some point almost everyone settles into something they like. Think about how you got there, musically, and we'll chat later.

For now, I must try to go to sleep.


Declan rocks again!

Okay, I'll give to the geniuses at Apple. Some guy in strange glasses took Declan to a dark room in the back and got him working again. I'm not sure what he did to him (and I'm not sure if I want to) but it's really exciting to have my old buddy back to normal.


I've had enough of this parade

I have an appointment at the Apple Store tomorrow night, but I think it's just a technicality. I've tried everything and Declan seems to be truly shot. Maybe those smarmy Apple guys can save him, but I'm losing hope.

What goes better with my sad state of affairs than the saddest band out there? Here's the video for the new single from the sad & Scottish boys of Travis. They really know what it's like to lose an iPod.


Declan is sick! (And not in a good way.)

It's a sad day, people. Last night I went to plug in Declan and I was greeted with this symbol:

Now anyone who is familair with Apple products knows that a frowny face is never a good sign. I did some looking, though, and it just seemed that perhaps the battery had just run very low. I left him plugged in and sure enough things seemed back to normal this morning.

But it did not last. Today I was listening to full-charged Declan when he froze up in the middle of a song (that's been happening occasionally these days). When I reset him, I was once again greeted with the frowny face. I don't think that bodes well at all.

I'm going to try a few things tonight and there may be a visit to the Apple store in my future but I'm really starting to lose hope. On the plus side, I could really use a bigger iPod, but Declan and I have been through so much together. Also, I really don't want to spend $350. It's strange but I really am feeling very sad about the downfall of Declan. What will I do without him?


You love my lady lumps

Meggan, Jeff and I watched Florida win yet another national championship last night. Yea, I guess. Meggan's a UF alumn so I'm sure she's happy, but even she thinks it's probably someone else's turn to win.

While we were watching the game, Meggan mentioned Alanis Morissette's new cover of the Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps." She tried to explain it but I couldn't quite get my mind around this whole thing until I saw the video. Now I'm sharing it so you can see the coolest thing Alanis has done since 1995.

While we're at it, you should check out this video, too. The Reds had their opening day game yesterday and it's usually the biggest thing that happens in Cincinnati all year. The mayor got the chance to throw out the first pitch (usually something a president or VP does) and, well, see the results for yourself. I guess this is what happens when you still live with your parents.