I should be able to make jam by Monday, right?

Behold the best garden project ever! Why clutter up your back yard with flowers and other useless plants when you can create a strawberry pyramid? Yep, that's a three part dirt layer cake of 50 strawberry plants. My parents and I spent most of Friday and part of Saturday constructing and planting this beauty, complete with watering nozzle sticking right out of the top. I consider it a beautiful (and practical) piece of minimalist yard art.
The plants are teeny tiny so if we're lucky we'll have strawberries by August. That gives us about 2 weeks of harvesting before the Wisconsin winter sets in. But oh, what a two weeks!


You seem like a soldier who's lost his composure

Two thoughts occurred to me pretty quickly upon seeing Gomez at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee last night:
1. Why have I not seen these guys in concert before?
2. This might be the only band that I've loved for 10 years, but don't know a single member's name*.

The show was really good (leading to question number one) and they played a set list that sounded like a greatest hits compilation. Three of their first six songs were tunes I've used in mix CDs over the years. It was just about the perfect set for a fan who's loved them for years but never seen them in concert.

So why have I avoided Gomez? I'm not sure. It's not like they've never played a show near me. I can think of two concerts they played in Cincinnati in just the last couple years. I think I just took them for granted. I thought they might be too much of a stoner jam band live and wasn't interested in watching a mob of dreadlocked white people noodle dance all night. Turns out I was wrong.
The show was tight (partly necessitated by a little too much reliance on prerecorded backing beats) and the fans were more like middle class thirty somethings than Phish phreaks. Did I mention the $3 pint cans of PBR? All in all it was a good time, and I vow to catch them again when I get the chance. Hopefully, it won't take another 10 years.

*Wikipedia tells me that the members of Gomez are: Ian Ball, Ben Ottewell, Tom Gray, Paul Blackburn and Olly Peacock. Sorry about that guys!


And what did you do today?

Tippy caught a mouse (or a vole, the jury's still out on that). He may be old, but he's still got it!


Wilco (the stream)

Wilco's new album isn't being released until June 30th, but it's being streamed on their website right now, if you're inclined to go check it out. I've listened to about half of it so far. While it seems to have some interesting moments, nothing's blown me away yet.
And as if to prove that my moving to Milwaukee automatically makes it 10% cooler, Wilco also shot their new album cover in The MKE (as I've now dubbed it). You don't see a lot of camels in town, so I'm glad they managed to capture such a rare occurrence.

In other news, I'm heading to Madison this weekend to hang out with Josh and his Lady Bear. I can only hope they have secured sufficient quantities of orange beer fixin's


I saw him scratch a rash and I had to grab an ax

It was really only a matter of time until all the great artists of our generation made music that captured the wave of swine flu hysteria sweeping the planet. I'm sure Bruce Springsteen's swine flu tribute album will be hitting the record stores any day now, but until then I give you The Streets.
I follow Mike Skinner's Twitter (I know, how very 2009 of me) and he posted a link to his new swine flu song today. It's accompanied by a video featuring all your favorite zombie movie moments. I can't begin to tell you how happy this video makes me. Just remember when Springsteen's album wins all the accolades that The Streets did it first and did it best.