Lindsay Powell amazes as Cake Bake Betty. Follow the link to better understand greatness.
Just got back from vacation in Brooklyn, NY, and now I have to furiously pack up my entire apartment, so I may move my residence from one part of Berkeley, CA to a slightly different part (the difference being a much nicer place).
Thus, I'm all action, all the time, with not quite enough minutes in the evenings this week for junk.log posts. I won't have any new entries for you until the first bit of November. To make up for it, I'll throw a few long-discussed contests your way, just because. Please, contain that tiny kernel of excitement, and keep on browsin'.
It has been established many times that I import heaping handfuls of music from Japan. Usually, I preorder a month or two ahead, and then wait a few weeks after the release date before my shipments come.
So, I'm ahead of the curve in some ways, yet far behind in others. No matter, here is the list of the items I'm currently waiting on; please note a few that are already released, at the very top of the roll call. Perhaps you'll be interested in ordering some of these items, too.
01) [Shampoo], Jude, 8.31.05, VKCJ-34, 1,238yen
02) [Golden Tears], Bonnie Pink, 9.21.05, WPCL-10220, 2,800yen
03) [OMOIDE IN MY HEAD 3 Kieroku Eizo], Number Girl, 9.28.05, TOBF-5406, 6,476yen, (4 DVD set)
04) [Tripper], Tamio Okuda, 10.5.05, SECL-222, 1,165yen
05) [Now Is The Time!], Polysics, 10.19.05, KSCL-890, 2,913yen
06) [Konjiki no Gash Bell!! Intro Theme - Aso Fever 2005 ], Tomoe Shinohara, 10.19.05, PCCG-690, 1,200yen
07) [Kaze Ni Noru Fune], Salyu, 10.26.05, TFCC-89150, 1,000yen
08) [Shuraba], Tokyo Jihen, 11.2.05, TOCT-4936, 1,143yen
09) [HiHi], Puffy, 11.16.05, KSCL-896, 971yen
10) [Namidaboshi], Puppypet, 11.23.05, TOCT-4932, 1,000yen
11) [Siberian Madness], Sherbets, 11.23.05, VKCS-35, 3,333yen
12) [The Third Eye], Pillows, 11.23.2005, KICM-1147, 1,143yen
13) [Lonely In Gorgeous], Tommy february6, 11.30.05, DFCL-1225, 1,165yen
14) [IN CONCERT AT BUDOKAN ], Love Psychedelico, 12.7.2005, VIBL-278, 3,800yen (DVD)
15) [Passion], Hikaru Utada, 12.14.05, TOCT-5004, 1,500yen, (Special Edition, with DVD)
Many items in this list are of note; I'm perhaps most excited about the Jude single and Sherbets best-of album, not to mention the upcoming Salyu and Tokyo Jihen singles. Of course, Hikaru Utada singles are nothing to scoff at, with [Be My Last] on the way to me now, and [Passion] to come in December.
Oh yeah... please note the new Tomoe Shinohara single. After a few years of various projects, her solo work seems to be slowly returning. Success!
The various Japanese Pop pages have been updated with information about these releases, including cover art, so follow the links toward a better informed happiness.
I love Metric, really. I've been into Emily Haines and crew since their first album, [Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?], and you can follow that link for my general thoughts on the band. The executive summary is that they're amazing.
On 10.4.2005 they put out their latest disc of perfection, [Live It Out], and I haven't been able to keep it on pause since I received it. It's still as political and poetic as their first outing, but the underlying sound is more synthy, textured and expansive, like a train trip through Montana with [Ending Starts], or more guitar-slappy like the title track.
They are new-new-wave, with smart lyrics and shout outs to Bobby Fuller and extended stretches in French about mental masturbation over a [Poster of a Girl]. Plus, they have bestowed [Too Little Too Late] upon the world, which is as about as great as it all gets, an expert blend of artful lyrics and steady sonic perfection. Need more evidence? The rocking [Patriarch On A Vespa] will take care of you and then some - it always shakes me to pieces as I sing along.
The one-sentence-essence is that any quartet that can start an album with the perfection of [Empty] (Yo La Tengo meets Bettie Serveert) is worthy of your attention. Emily (Vocals, Keyboards), Jimmy Shaw (Guitars), Joshua Winstead (Bass), and Joules Scott Key (Drums) represent Canada right, and [Live It Out] has quickly shot to near the top of my 2005 top list. Junk Magnet Best Bet.
The Hot IQs rock. I've known this all during 2005, but didn't have the concrete evidence until 10.15.2005, where they opened on the UC Berkeley campus for Tegan and Sara and Northern State.
I came to the concert with camera fully in pocket - heck, I even bought along spare batteries, just in case. However, once I got in the queue, I noted with horror that cameras were forbidden. Still - we were talking about the Hot IQs here, and I managed to use proprietary methods to smuggle in my Canon, past guards with metal sniffing wands. I didn't even have a backpack, such are my skills.
However, during their set, I tried to sneak some shots from the middle of the crowd, but I was too far back to get decent coverage. Plus, during Northern State, I was pulled aside by a student "guard", and told that the artists were anti-camera. So, I resigned myself to take away mental memories of the grand occasion, rather than electronic. Of course, everyone else kept taking pictures during the rest of the show - how did all of those cameras materialize? Berkeley is magical that way, I guess.
Simply put - I really dig the Hot IQs, for lyrical, sonic and inexpressible reasons, and thus I was in high heaven, singing along to amazing songs off of [An Argument Between The Brain And Feet] while most everyone else didn't know what to expect. If they happen to appear within a manageable distance of your person, you are hereby obligated to attend.
I managed to talk to Eli (Vocals, Guitar), Elaine (Drums), and Bryan (Bass) for a good long while between sets, and they're enjoying their small West Coast tour. They seemed like a bunch of kind and talented folk that I'm sure have good things ahead. Inquiring as to the awesome new songs they played, it seems in that sometime in the future there will be a 2nd album collecting novel music, but no release date is certain.
Just so that you understand the level of greatness they've achieved, they even supplied me with exceptional goods to give away to you, my reader and their potential new fan. Expect a swell contest in a few weeks.
As for the other acts that night, Northern State are amazing, which didn't surprise me one bit. I love their album, [All City], and all three women have great stage presence and mad verbal skillz (or whatever alternative spellings are in vogue). I don't know how much of the crowd appreciated hip hop done well, but I did.
Tegan and Sara are certified awesome. They come with their own framed certificates, guaranteeing all-around quality and entertainment. That was my third time this year that I had the pleasure of their musical company, and I enjoyed every moment, both for the music (mostly from [So Jealous]), and the between-song banter. Most of the female-skewed crowd was there to see 'em, so I stayed in back as to not block the line of sight, and sang along in silent bliss.
Below are some meager photographic contraband, poor in execution yet filled with stealth. Apologies go out to everyone not on the left side of the stage, who missed the glare of my camera. Believe me, all assembled were super-photogenic, and deserving of our stare.
Thanks to South By Southwest 2005 I discovered the splendor of the Hot IQs. Their first album, [An Argument Between The Brain And Feet], is all enjoyable all the time, and I went on and on about it earlier. I listen to it many times each week, such is my state of captured rapture.
Eli Mishkin (Vocals, Guitar), Elaine Acosta (Drums), and Bryan Feuchtinger (Bass) are based out of Denver, so tours to the West Coast are a pretty special occasion. Behold the dates of their arrival, so that you may congregate, witness and pontificate while dancing.
10.15.05 - Berkeley, CA, Pauley Ballroom, 7:00PM
10.16.05 - Sacramento, CA, University Ballroom, 6:30PM
10.17.05 - Chico, CA, Cal Chico State, 7:00PM
10.18.05 - Eugene, OR, McDonald Theater, 7:00PM
10.19.05 - Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom, 7:00PM
Hot IQs, Divorce, Slender Means
10.22.05 - Seattle, WA, Crocodile Cafe (All Ages), 4:00PM
I shall attend the Berkeley concert with invisible and inaudible bells on - you'll just have to have faith about their existence, but my presence will be tangible and definite. Come on, all three bands have been covered by junk.log before, and their sounds force ones ears to twirl about head-sides, so fold your laundry list and come on out. It's so the right thing to do.
She makes the piano and guitar wail and shiver, via her Cake Bake Betty persona. Her latest CD, [Songs About Teeth], has been played literally dozens of times since I received it a few days ago, and strikes a pose somewhere between Evanescence, Rasputina and Joanna Newsom, with lots of blood and bones for good measure. It sounds like an small orchestra in a snow storm, solemn and shivering, yet shooting sparks from the musical outbursts.
Some songs like [Song of the Sea] evoke the 10,000 Maniacs (which is a good thing, since I adore Nathalie Merchant) with yearning strings and her pleasantly sad voice. Others are quirky and dangerous, like [64 White Little Things], which concerns cannibalism, bones and babies, among other things, with harpsichord-like sounds that truly can be listened to hundreds of times in a row. [One By One] comes somewhere in between, with dozens of great vocal and piano moments compressed into three minutes.
[The Charge (Knocturnul)] deserves its own paragraph, with comparatively complex piano work enveloping her lament for almost 8 transcendent minutes - so sad, yet still shining like the sun after the deluge. You have to have a taste for folky-classical to truly appreciate where she's coming from, but if so, then this is the appropriate point to bow down.
I would argue that every song has something grand to offer, with perhaps only [Bears] being slightly out of place, due to various OOIOO-like cacophonies during its excessive length. Not that it's not nice in its own right, but it doesn't quite fit with the rest of the album.
So, if you like exquisite corpses, in the literal and historical sense, along with singular visions enhanced by complex simplicity, then Cake Bake Betty is exactly for you. Offering solo explorations of the heart and knife-wielding hand, Lindsay knocks me out cold, yet my brain still dreams of sand trails and entrails. Listen to the snippets that won me over here (MP3), and hit the Infinity Cat store ASAP - the record doesn't really go on sale until January, but if you order now, it will come soon after.
I adore Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re (aka TsuShiMaMiRe), the amazing trio from Japan. I witnessed their musical beauty earlier this year, during BENTEN Label's Japan Girls Nite tour.
Due to our amazing luck, they are not only touring the US with the Suicide Girls Live Burlesque all during October, but right after that they will grace the West Coast with another mini-tour, the sequel to Japan Girls Nite. This time, they are performing along with AMPPEZ and Red Bacteria Vacuum, which I know nothing about, save for their gender, BENTEN affiliation, and likely talent.
You can learn more about all three bands right here, and then please study the tour schedule below, to find out if you can attend.
11.06.05 - Los Angeles, CA, King King
11.08.05 - San Francisco, CA, Studio Z
11.09.05 - McKinleyville, CA, Six Rivers Brewery
11.10.05 - Portland, OR, Towne Lounge
11.11.05 - Seattle, WA, Rockrgrl Conference, Rockrgrl Conference
11.12.05 - Seattle, WA, Rockrgrl Conference, Rockrgrl Conference
Also note that on 11.1.2005, Nail will be distributing BENTEN releases in the US, starting with Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re and their brilliant [Pregnant Fantasy] (BTY 01). Make sure to track it down in stores, if you don't pick it up at a show. Red Bacteria Vacuum's [Roller Coaster] CD will follow in 1.2006.
I used the internet a lot. Not as much as some, but at least for 9 hours each weekday. Most of the time, I have very specific destinations related either to my work or hobbies, and tonight I thought I'd share those sites which draw my attention.
As much as possible, I'll present them in the order I first visit, from 10 AM to 9 PM each day. Perhaps you'll find something of interest yourself amongst the links, or perhaps you'll be bored to tears. It's up to you.
At Work (In between writing support emails for Elgato Systems)
Yahoo! Mail - My web mail vendor of choice.
Google - My default search engine, since it was in beta.
MacNN - First stop for Mac news.
Accelerate Your Mac - Looking for EyeTV issues.
Slashdot - Good for info grazing; usually a day or two behind the curve (feeds off other sources I already read).
Boing Boing - A primary destination, checked every few hours.
Feedster - Blog search; checked for EyeTV and sometimes JM.
Blogdigger - Another blog search; checked for EyeTV and sometimes JM.
Technorati - Yet another blog search; checked for EyeTV and sometimes JM.
MacInTouch - Primary read for Mac troubleshooting.
MacFixit - Primary read for Mac troubleshooting.
VersionTracker - Check for EyeTV comments, new software.
MacUpdate - Check for EyeTV comments, new software.
Google News - Check for EyeTV stories once a day; news in general a few times a day.
Wired - Have been reading since the HotWired days.
Four Guys Blog - Scan for EyeTV and EyeHome problems.
Apple Discussions - Scan for EyeTV and EyeHome problems.
Roxio Support Board - Scan for EyeTV and Toast issues, answer if needed.
Mac OS X Hints - Check for latest Mac tricks.
MacSlash - More Mac opinion.
MacMinute - More Mac news.
Make Zine Blog - A little tech fun.
Engadget - Tech blog to wind down to.
Gizmodo - Last thing I check before leaving work.
At Home (After junk.log is tended to)
NCSX - Import videogame sales and info.
Rebelscum - Star Wars toys; I don't collect, but find it of interest.
Insert Credit - Import videogame info.
Comic Book Resources - Just like the title says.
Millarworld Forums - Comic book discussion.
Newsarama - Comic book discussion.
Byrne Robotics Forum - More comic book discussion.
Gamespot - Video game news.
The Magic Box - Japanese video game news.
Penny Arcade - Video game commentary, comics.
Cannonfire - Esoteric political blog.
Daily Kos - Pulse of the popular US left.
Sploid - Tabloid-ish news roundup.
Snopes - Weird news and myth debunking.
Wai Wai - Weird Japanese news.
Yahoo Personals - In search of a match.
eBay - Check occasional auctions (mostly comics).
Periodic Visits (A few times a week)
Macworld - Redundant due to the other places I visit, but I stop by sometimes.
Box Office Mojo - How movies are doing financially.
Nerd TV - Downloadable interviews. Ties into the Cringely weekly column.
News Of The Weird - Weird story roundup, updated each Sunday.
Diamond Comics Shipping List - Check on comics shipping each week.
CD Japan - Constant music preorders (one of my vices).
Netflix - Adjusting my Queue (3 DVDs home at a time).
Amazon.com - Occasional shopping, grazing for junk.log product graphics.
Moviefone - Plan for Friday and Saturday viewing.
Plus, I visit many of the links already posted on my website, to check up on news and the latest music releases.
I left out the more "Non Worksafe" sites that I also visit sometimes; I'll let you speculate as to my kinks (hint - involves cute women). If this site wasn't PG-13 I'd share further.
So, there you have it - the 50 sites I loiter at. If that doesn't provide a strong peek into my interest-engine, then I don't know what will.
I will spare you excess writing about [Serenity], Joss Whedon's labor of love, based on the dearly departed [Firefly] TV series. Sure, sure, "Western in space" - just go to one of thousands of pages and reviews for lots of pontification.
My feelings are clear. I watched and loved [Firefly] the few weeks it was on the air, then I adored the DVD set with unaired shows. I enjoyed the recent comic books, which served as a lead-in to [Serenity], and I might even buy some trading cards and such. I find all of the actors quite accomplished, and great as an ensemble, and I appreciate the detailed universe that they inhabit.
The new movie rocks, and is tailor made for fans, but I'm not certain if it will be a mainstream hit - can general audiences really follow what's going on? Probably, but without the prior feeling for the characters fans carry in to the theater, it may not have the same resonance.
No matter - I really enjoyed it, fully and without question, and I highly recommend that you check it out. Go early and often, buy the DVD when it hits, and we may be blessed with a few more films in the series in years to come.
contests: [enter here]
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