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the speed of boredom

Sunday, April 24, 2005

be forewarned, Matt Groening says the Simpsons may go for another seventeen years (New York Times, free registration required to view article)

well, on the one hand, they could actually have a second coming and be absolutely brilliant in the coming years.
on the other hand, its been pretty dreadful with sporadic interest over the past few years (though i hear this year is better, i've only seen one episode of it) and is likely to keep that up.

also, both They Might Be Giants and The Dears are playing NYC the same weekend as the MoCCA Art Festival. The Dears are finally playing in New York, while I'm home, in a place that isn't 21+, and i've got prior obligations, but i'm not mad or anything. i've accepted my fate to never see The Dears live.

check out the art for this year's Siren Music Fest. sure are a lot of wacky characters on the groud playing music and having fun and...hey, waitaminute...isn't that Kyp from TV On The Radio playing guitar in the lower right corner? wacky, indeed.
i suspect the first round of names for the Siren lineup should be announced in the next couple of days. the last two years they announced the first wave on the last week of april.
oh god, last week of april. i'm simultaneously terrified of school ending and chomping at the bit to get the hell out of here.
happy passover, peeps.

2:50 PM
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Thursday, April 21, 2005


its just a prototype, but the projections for it say that it'll cost less than a third what the traditional Humvee costs to produce, and will get five times the milage.
its still an abomination, but at least its a considerate one.

read all about it here

2:19 PM
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

my entire life, i've been fascinated by excellent design. most people who spend time with me realize that, as i'll stop in my tracks and stare at a poster studying it, or i'll pick up a particularly well designed fork and ramble about how great it is, and once again, today, my hat, if i wore one, would be off to SVA grad Deborah Adler.

meet the new pill bottle, available at Target store pharmacies next month:

the "ClearRx system," which includes containers for liquid medicines and measuring syringes in addition to the above pill bottle, was her senior thesis (then called "Safe Rx") and will soon be on exhition at MoMA and has already been patented by Target for use in their pharmacies.
amongst the improvements to the classic pill bottles we've all grown accustomed to are six personalized colored rings so everyone in the family can keep their medications on the same shelf and be less likely to take each others medication accidentally, the drug's name printed on top for easy identification in drawers, removable information cards for easy later reference, and a general improvement in the visual hierarchy of the label.
booyah, Deborah. booyah.

read more about it here

7:10 PM
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Monday, April 18, 2005

i tend not to talk too much about technology, as it bores some people, and the other people who understand it don't need to hear about it from me. that aside, here a bit of breaking news from this morning that has me fairly excited for what's to come in the next year or two:

Adobe has announced that it will aquire Macromedia.
The deal has been made between both parties, now its just up to the stock holders.

this has me hopeful, because there is now hope that this unified company will join their applications, so i will no longer be forced to decide between GoLive and Dreamweaver, Illustrator and FreeHand, Photoshop and Fireworks, et cetera. this means that maybe, in the 2006 versions of the programs, i will be able to take my vector illustration from Illustrator (or whatever they choose to call it) and drop it into a flash movie with no risk of broken curves, as has been my problem whenever i try to make a submission to Threadless.

11:30 AM
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Sunday, April 17, 2005

anybody read the article in today's New York Times Magazine about tapioca pearls? pretty fascinating.
sometimes i feel bad reading the food section of the magazine because they always seem to talk about whatever the hip new food fad is that's completely overpriced, but the concept of this intrigues me. i'm curious what effect this would have on a pot of some sort of stuffed pasta. would it make is sweet and thick?

3:28 PM
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

well, the original plan was to burn the Pen Sixteen Club's first finished EP, X-Mas Carols, to a whole bunch of cds and then distribute those during the winter break, but an absurd finals season put that on hold.
now, four months later, i'm just putting it up for download because i can and i think its fun. these aren't the best Pen Sixteen Club songs, but it was an idea we had and saw to fruition. someday i'll compile my favorites of the b-sides for another EP or something.

1 - Go, Charlie Brown!
2 - Jingle Bells (live)
3 - 123456CHRISTMAS (live)
4 - You Don't Have To Be Jewish To Enjoy Christmas (live)
5 - thomas edison

5 songs, 10:18, 9mb zip file

5:49 PM
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Sunday, April 10, 2005

well, still no word about the Siren lineup. judging from past years, i'd expect the first wave of three lineup announcements to come the last week of april, most likely with the big name acts (there is, however, a rumor that the Arcade Fire will play. if that's true, i expect the crowd to be utterly absurd)
in OTHER free summer concerts in NYC news, They Might Be Giants will be at South Street Seaport June 11th (first day of the MoCCA Art Fest. set your priorities people. mine is MoCCA.), the New Pornographers will be at Prospect Park June 25th (saw the aforementioned TMBG there last year and it was totally rockin'), and, the coup de grace, Stars, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Decemberists will all be playing Cental Park Summerstage August 18th, the Thursday before i leave for school again.
wow, just wow. that last one is killer.
i've been wanting to see Stars live ever since they opened for the Dears and i missed it about a year and a half ago, and i wanted to see the Decemberists when they played three NYC shows last summer, but sadly none of my friends picked up on them until afterwards, and Death Cab was pretty damn fun at Siren last year (i love the John Byrd ep, which is all live stuff and excellent)

dan and i are seeing the decemberists on may 4th, the first week i'm home. odds are damn likely i'll be attending Siren on july 16th. barring more important things or sheer stupidity, i will definitely be at the Stars/Death Cab/Decemberists show august 18th. right now i'm iffy on the new pornographers show. i like some of their songs, but i really don't love the album the way it seems like i should. i actually much prefer a.c. newman's "the slow wonder" solo album.

also, i'm not sure if its free (probably), but Dar Williams (<3) will be playing in Madison Square Park on my birthday (wednesday, june 22nd). assuming i don't have a job that conflicts with that (hoping, of course, that i get a job), people should totally come with me and hear her, because she's awesome.

4:37 PM
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Friday, April 08, 2005

It turns out that both the Village Voice's Siren Music Fest in Coney Island, New York, and Pitchfork's Intonation Music Fest in Chicago, Illinois, will be taking place Saturday, July 16th (with the Intonation Fest continuing on sunday the 17th)
while Siren still hasn't announced any of this year's lined up bands (which has been a phenomenal lineup every year), Intonation announced a small handful today, so here are some musicians that you WON'T see at the Siren Music Fest this year:

The Decemberists
The Fiery Furnaces
Will Oldham
Broken Social Scene
The Go! Team
Four Tet
Magnolia Electric Co.
The Wrens
A.C. Newman
The M's

in case you're having trouble deciding between the two, lemme break down a few of the finer details:
Siren is free of admission, save transportation to Coney Island which is a surprisingly long subway ride. Intonation is $10 per day at the door, no presale.
both shows are to be held outdoors, with multiple stages set up on the street.
both shows are to be held rain or shine.
coney island is a hell of a lot closer and more accessable to me, so that's the one i'm going to.
this is the first annual Intonation Music Festival, so there's no past record to compare it to (though i doubt it'll be anything less than great)
Siren has in the past four years featured bands including Sleater-Kinney, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Les Savy Fav, TV On The Radio, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices, The Fiery Furnaces, The Shins, Blonde Redhead, and Death Cab for Cutie, among many others.
both shows also have DJ booths set up the whole time.
Intonation is being held in a park (which i'm sure is very cool in Chicago, but i'm not familiar with it)
Siren is held in Coney Island, with the Main Stage immediately next to the Cyclone. there's nothing like hearing Ben Gibbard croon while a tower of wood screams next to you as the roller coaster cars careen down it.
both will be outdoors in open areas, so please wear sunscreen and drink lots of water.

7:14 PM
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you know, i'm not usually one to post about something as mundane and trivial as AA batteries (actually, i probably am, but i would make a long-winded metaphor out of it, i'm sure), but i have to remember these:

Panasonic's new Oxyride disposable alkaline batteries. PC World tested them in a digital camera alongside Duracell Ultra and NiMH rechargables. the Oxyrides had more than twice the lifespan as the Duracell Ultra for exactly the same price (approximately a dollar per battery) and only took a few photographs fewer than the NiMH recharagbles, which cost three times as much, without the charger.

booyah, longer battery life!

6:35 PM
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the musical excitement never seems to end.
Sufjan Stevens announced the tracklist for Illinois, the second in his series of albums about the 50 states which i doubt will continue past five.

Sufjan at CMJ last fall. Photo stolen from Stereogum

while i thought Seven Swans was very pretty, Michigan: The Great Lakes State is one of the most beautiful good-cry-inspiring albums i've heard in recent years, so more in the series excites me, even if i am even less familiar with Illinios than i am with Michigan (Sufjan lives in New York, doesn't he? i'm hoping that album will come before he retires the project.)

compare tracklists:

01 Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, IL
02 The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience But You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, "I have fought the Big Knives and will continue to fight them until they are off our lands!"
03 Come on! Feel the Illinoise!
-Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition
-Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream
04 John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
05 Jacksonville
06 A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But for Very Good Reasons
07 Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step Mother!
08 One Last "Woo-hoo!" for the Pullman
09 Chicago
10 Casimir Pulaski Day
11 To the Workers of the Rockford River Valley Region, I have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament, and it involves shoe string, a lavender garland, and twelve strong women
12 The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
13 Prairie Fire That Wanders About
14 A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze
15 The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!
16 They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhhh!
17 Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell
18 In This Temple, as in the Hearts of Man, for Whom He Saved the Earth
19 The Seer's Tower
20 The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders
-Part I: The Great Frontier
-Part II: Come to Me Only With Playthings Now
21 Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few
22 Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I shake the dirt from my sandals as I run

1 Flint (For The Unemployed And Underpaid)
2 All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!
3 For The Widows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti
4 Say Yes! To M!Ch!Gan!
5 The Upper Peninsula
6 Tahquamenon Falls
7 Holland
8 Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head! (Rebuild! Restore! Reconsider!)
9 Romulus
10 Alanson, Crooked River
11 Sleeping Bear, Sault Saint Marie
12 They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For The Homeless In Muskegon)
13 Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?)
14 Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)
15 Vito's Ordination Song

its safe to say from that fairly longwinded tracklist and from an estimated running length of 74 minutes that Pitchfork is right to call Illinois "epic."


12:20 PM
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Thursday, April 07, 2005

have you tried yet?
its kinda cool in a creepy launch-nuclear-weapons sort of way. one little problem though:

when i try to find exact addresses, its not always exact. it found the ringling campus no problem, and it was only like ten feet away from MoCCA when i tried that, but it was half a block away from Dan's house and three house east of my home.

9:57 AM
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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

ok, i know alot of blogs have already hyped up canadian crooner Leslie Feist, but i need to do it today. i'll tell you why at the end.
so here's the story of my love affair with Madame Feist thus far:

last semester, one of my favorite mp3 bloggers posted a handful of songs from his favorite underappreciated albums of 2004. its was in that batch of songs that i first learned of both brooklyn-electropoppers Burnside Project and the lovely lady Feist. i took to Burnside Project more quickly because it was upbeat, catchy, and fun, but "Mushaboom" stayed on my playlist and made me smile a bop whenever it came on. it was just infectious after the first couple listens. so jubilant, and her voice was sheer pleasure.
sadly, i almost skipped her over, but the paragraph in the blog entry about her mentioned that she had sung on a few tracks for both Broken Social Scene and Kings of Convenience, both bands i had recently become enamored with much later than i should have.
i gave my dad the 2004 Kings of Convenience album because when i tried to think of what to get him my head hurt, so i turned on some music and after a half hour "Misread" came on my random playlist and i was like "Dad would LOVE this!" naturally, after he listened to it and confirmed that he loved it, i burned a copy for myself, and the two tracks that Leslie sang on we divine.
about a month and a half after coming back to school for this semester, i finally caved and got Feist's 2004 album Let It Die and it made me very happy. this is what singing sounds like, and the backing music is classy and pleasant with both the simplicity to suggest real people made it and those little complexities to suggest that really brilliant people made it. i listened to it basically nonstop for a week, as is my practice lately, for the following week i got my digital hands on the Fiona Apple "leak" of Extraordinary Machine
still, Let It Die is fantastic beauty, and the other assorted Feist songs i have on my hard drive are almost all just as impressive, plus i like each song i've heard her sing for both BSS and KoC, so either she has a flair for only making good songs or its her voice that convinces me everytime.

anyway, the reason i must mention this today is that the song "One Evening" from Let It Die (which i'm fairly certain still hasn't been released in the U.S.) is a FREE download on the iTunes Music Store this week, so if you need a sample of this intoxicating aural pleasure, its free this week on iTunes.

also, alot of mp3 blogs of late have been passing around an mp3 of Bright Eyes covering Feist's "Mushaboom" at their Black Session performance in France. fun, but the original is still more amazing.

1:05 PM
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