July 21st, 2003

flavored with age

Weekend update

- I hung out with Steve Dellahoyde and some pals of his Friday night, after buying, installing, and tinkering with some new doohickeys for my Mac. We initially went to Joy-Blue because his friends wanted to go to a "hipster bar". I agreed, even though the words "hipster bar" make my skin crawl. I got there first, and had to pay to get in (five dollar cover + no band = crap bar). I stood there listening to a shitty DJ play music that was predictable and boring even for techno, and got charged $8 for a Scotch and water made with house Scotch. Then a seven-foot-tall man wearing the daring fashion combo of a cowboy hat and sandals came and stood 4 inches away from me. When Steve arrived, I suggested we either go somewhere else or kill ourselves. We chose the former.

- Saturday afternoon, I hung out with my pal Allison. She took some of my old vinyl off my hands, and then we went to Hot Doug's. Hot Doug's is awesome. I could eat there every day, and, in fact, I plan to. They cook their fries in duck fat, although I didn't get to eat any of the duck fat fries because the machine was broken. Allison and I spent a lot of time talking; she's an incredible storytellyer. I really could listen to her talk for hours at a time. She's got the knack, and I don't mean the band who sand "Muh muh muh My Sharona".

- Saturday night I hung out with rum_holiday and her husband Doug; Michelle, Sean, Boston Rob and Aryst were also in attendance. We were served some fantastic tapas and paella (including a rather amazing mushroom tapenade), had a rather spirited political discussion, played Chronology (an awesome game at which I normally kick ass, but this time was abjectly defeated due to a number of hard-luck questions served up to me by Boston Rob), and played Piss Boy, a card game for which I have no aptitude. Luckily, however, the other players were impeded enough by alcohol consumption that I escaped abject humiliation.

- When I came home Sunday morning at about 2AM, someone had placed about 20 feet of filthy sewer pipe in my garage space. Whoever did this, I hate you forever and hope that you are impaled on a boat hook.

- After catching up on some writing projects during the day, Sunday night I hung out with theletterr and his wife Lara. They made fish and a delicious salad, and we listened to the new Hella EP (it's good), watched "Hell House" (it's also good, though pretty depressing), and talked about religion (we don't like it). theletterr is in a play that I'm curious to see, and Lara seemed pretty relaxed after having spent the whole week with her mom and brother.

flavored with age

Music, music, music!

Speaking of Saturday at the OK Corral, readers of rum_holiday's non-LJ blog know about her Summer CD Exchange program, where they trade discs with all their friends. It's a neat idea that seems so far to have yielded good results.

Anyway, after overloading them with a typically excessive 8 CDs, I got my payback Saturday night in the form of Like the Idea by Think Tree. Recorded in 1992 and released on Caroline, this CD was the brainchild of some guys that rum_holiday knew back in her Boston days.

And the "Smash or Trash" verdict is...


It's definitely a product of its era -- the chunky synths and fat drum-machine beats mark it as something that you'd know was recorded in the late '80s or early '90s even if there was no such thing as the AMG Guide. However, it's a terrific record -- the singer's got a compelling voice with a lot of range and a keen estimation of the "London-by-way-of-old-Jam-records" delivery of GBV's Bob Pollard. The band is tight and has an exceptional way with hooks, often delivered with popping, rolling analog synths a la Oingo Boingo, and the lyrics verge between too clever and just clever enough to good effect.

If they'd had a good contract and promoters, there's no reason the stunning leadoff track, "Monday A.M. First Thing", shouldn't have been a huge, huge hit. It's funny, energetic, clever, raucous and catchy as hell. The rest of the CD is quite good as well, though I haven't given it its due yet because I'm so enamored of the first song.

Anyway, thanks, rum_holiday! You a winnah!