my other web poo:      my Pinterest       my flickr       my Delicious       my Twitter       my Spotify       my YouTube faves      my GoodReads      

Friday, September 13, 2013

The last thing I need is another new notebook...but I really need a new notebook

Like many paper nerds, I'm on a constant quest to find the fabled PERFECT NOTEBOOK. One probably doesn't actually exist, but that doesn't keep me from looking. My Moleskine Pocket notebook (squared) is always with me, and the Folio A4 Sketchbook is a favorite sketchbook. Plus I habitually pick up assorted Field Notes pocket memo books and find uses for them later.

Despite having a shelf full of barely used notebooks, sketchpads, and blank books I was intrigued enough by the Baron Fig notebook to back it on Kickstarter. Coming in at about 5.4" x 7.7" it seems like the perfect size for an everyday notebook. The books come in at 196 pages, which is great, but they use 65# paper, which means that the regular pens I usse will most likely bleed through. Even though I never use the notebooks for finsihed work I've always been a bit anal about showing through. Based on how few notebooks use thicker paper I think I'm in the minority on that point.

But what sold me on dipping my toe into the Baron Fig waters is the promise that the notebook opens flat! That's a great selling point for any notebook that breaks the 48 page stapled in the middle size. I'm looking forward to seeing what the final result finally looks like.

Now if only somebody could make a solid notebook that opens flat and can take the ink of a 0.5 mm Uni-ball Signo Gel Ink Pen without bleeding through I might be able to finally end my quest for the perfect notebook.

With a name like Shuffle-a-gogo, it has to be good

MP3 player set on random, first ten songs...

1. the DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR - Collideascope (Psonic Psunspot 1987) - XTC perfectly captured the spirit and sounds of the psychedelic era without sacrificing any of their songwriting quality, which is what keeps the Dukes records from being novelty records that only stand up to a few plays.

2. AL GREEN - I'm Still In Love With You (Greatest Hits 1995) - Growing up we had neighbors that had a big living room with shag carpeting and loads of beanbag chairs and giant furry pillows. They loved the slow, sexy soul, so I'm sure I heard this song coming out of their place at one point. And even if I didn't, it's how I'd prefer to remember them.

3. NED'S ATOMIC DUSTBIN - Throwing Things (God Fodder 1991) I recently ripped the debut Ned's album to my MP3 player. I forgot how many Ned's songs I loved. I wrongly remembered them as a one song band ("Kill Your Television").

4. MEAT PUPPETS - Backwater (Too High to Die 1994) I guess this was their big "radio hit", but it probably is my favorite song by the Meat Puppets.

5. ATHLETICO SPIZZ 80 - European Heroes (Do a Runner 1980) Herky jerky post punk new wave goodness from Spizzz and company.

6. the MIGHTY LEMON DROPS - My Biggest Thrill (Happy Head 1986) the Mighty Lemon Drops often get dismissed as a second rate Echo & the Bunnymen, but Happy Head is one of my favorite and most played albums of the 80's. And as big of an Echo fan as I am, I think Happy Head is stronger than any individual Echo album.

7. FRANCINE - Pop Warner (Forty on a Fall Day 2000) My favorite song about being at a football game with Kim Deal, drinking beer and telling her your favorite Amps songs. This Boston band made some decent but mostly forgettable quirky pop, but this debut album has two songs that were mix disc staples for me for years (this one and "Jet to Norway").

8. PETER IVERS - Even Stephen Foster (Terminal Love 1974) If most people know who Peter Ivers it's usually as the host of the weird early 80's video show New Wave Theater (a staple on Night Flight) or the guy that wrote "the Lady in the Radiator Song" for David Lynch's Eraserhead. But he also made a few really interesting albums that, while not for everyone, are full great little eccentric pop songs.

9. OFF BROADWAY - Automatic (Quick Turns 1980) Classic Midwest power pop from the Oak Park band's second album.

10. DIDJITS - Barely legal (Que Sirhan Sirhan 1993) Shuffle takes us about 200 miles South of Oak Park for another Illinois band, Didjits. This turbo charged rocker is from the band's final album.

Friday, September 6, 2013

MP3 Shuffle-a-gogo

1. HUSKER DU - Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely (Candy Apple Gray 1986) I love that drum into that kicks off almost every song on this album.

2. CAST - Promised Land (All Change 1995) - I had high hopes for John Power's post La's band Cast. They came out of the box with a few stellar singles and solid debut album, but fizzled pretty quickly. Still, anything from All Change is always welcome on a shuffle.

3. GARBAGE - Milk (Absolute Garbage 2007) The slow sexy closer from their 1995 debut.

4. KING CRIMSON - 21st Century Schizoid Man (In the Court of the Crimson King 1969) I'm hit and miss with prog (more miss than hit, actually), but I've always been a fan of this monster of jam. I’m especially fond of Greg Lake's distorted-as-shit vocals. Plus this song is on my short of list of rock songs actually made better by wailing saxophone.

5. TOM ZE - Vai (the Best of Tom Ze) A cassette of the first Brazil Classics comp on Luaka Bop got a lot play at the Rose Records I worked at, which led me to pick up this comp as soon as it came out.

6. the SWINGING BLUE JEANS - Gotta Draw the Dance (Sydney) (Hippy Hippy Shake: the Definitive Collection) A nice twangy number from one of the more harmless bands of the Merseybeat invasion.

7. BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD - Pay the Price (Buffalo Springfield 1967) One of the Stephen Stills numbers from the band's debut.

8. AC/DC - Problem Child (If You Want Blood You've Got It 1978) Was this live album sweetened in the studio? That guitar solo sounds awfully clean. And the crowd sounds potted up out of nowhere at one point.

9. MICHAEL NESMITH - Harmony Constant (the Older Stuff: Best of Michael Nesmith) - One of my favorite post wool cap Nesmith songs. It’s just Mike on guitar and vocals and Red Rhodes on pedal steel.

10. CHRIS MARS - I, Me, We, Us, Them (Horseshoes & Hand Grenades 1992) For my money Chris has the best two post Replacements albums of the bunch. At least the two I play the a long shot. I tried not getting caught up in the Replacements reunion hoopla, but after seeing that setlist and hearing songs from the first show, I'm reconsidering my "don't get your hopes up" stance.

My MP3 player has been on a major new wave kick the past few days, which you'd never guess from this shuffle. I recently added almost 2,000 more songs to the library and yet not a single one came up here. Maybe next time.