June 13th, 2013 (4:39 pm)

Portugal. The Man in Buffalo. The City

Yesterday, Justin & I went to see Portugal. The Man play at Town Ballroom here in Buffalo. A band called Skaters opened for them, sounding good, despite dressing and performing like EMF (“You’re Unbelievable“, etc).

An outdated photo, but cool nonetheless.

An outdated photo, but cool nonetheless.

The show was great. I loved the set list! The light show employed by Portugal. The Man was much better than the last time I’d seen this done (Genghis Tron and The Number 12 Looks Like You). Even the fog machines were done well and I typically hate them (when Dead To Fall used them, you couldn’t see a fucking thing, let alone take pictures).

Anyway, regarding last night’s show, it was unique for me because I had never been to a show outside of the usual punk/hardcore fare. Portugal. The Man, though originally sprouting from a post-hardcore band (Anatomy of a Ghost), are actually full-blown “indie”, whatever that means. “Indie bands” have more mass appeal and attract a certain “hipster nouveau crowd”, so what I witnessed at this show was different for me.

Normally, I am right up front at shows, remaining cautious throughout to avoid being accidentally kicked, pushed, etc from the windmilling youngsters. Being up front at hardcore shows also means you’re probably going to be spit on a little bit when the band is singing/screaming, and you’re definitely going to be sweated on when the guitarists are flipping their hair around. Basically, there was no circle pit, no dancing, no band spit/sweat, and the crowd was made up of a much younger demographic. At other shows, there are many die-hard 30-something fans, but “indie bands” like this seem to be more “fashionable” and certainly offer “easier listening”, which explains the younger crowd, and the large percentage of females in attendance compared to punk/hardcore shows (though girls have definitely increased in that scene as well). So, that is enough of my pseudo anthropology/psychology for today. I just wanted to share my thoughts on these types of shows!

Town Ballroom is fascist regarding cameras and filming, so I didn’t get any great photos or videos with just my crappy iPhone, but you can view my video clips here. They sent me home when I showed up with my DSLR at a Thursday & Converge show! I explained I had no car to store my camera in and had taken the train. They finally agreed to hold my camera in their office while I watched the show. I have never been questioned about a camera at a hardcore show before that!

I’m heading to two more shows this summer which are surprisingly even “bigger”: The Flaming Lips and MGMT. Hopefully I’ll remember to update my pretty little dead blog with how those go, but meanwhile, everyone have an awesome summer!

July 21st, 2012 (10:36 pm)

Operation Boombox 2012

Have you ever tried to buy a boombox/ghettoblaster in the year 2012? I don’t mean a screenprinted t-shirt, either – I mean a legitimate piece of technology that annoys the fuck out of the neighborhood. Well I have tried, and after a full day of researching reviews I must tell you: there ain’t much out there for people who expect a boombox to, well, BOOM. Abraham Lincoln HardcoreSure, there are a million of those “portable iPod docking stations” which are “pretty” but sound only marginally less shitty than your iPhone speaker. no However, very few portable stereos have 3 separate speakers for the highs/mids/lows like the boomboxes of yore. Besides awesome sound, the other requirement for me was that it be able to run on batteries for use at the park, the yard, the beach,etc, and this requirement eliminated all of the shelf systems which would have otherwise been perfect.

Luckily, I found the Altec Lansing inMotion Mix (iMT810) ($195 shipped) and it actually sounds like something straight outta 1988… I just ordered it and am so excited! This thing has RAVE reviews – everybody who hears it in action loves it.
Altec Lansing inMotion Mix iMT810 Altec Lansing inMotion Mix iMT810

Thanks, China!

Some of you might think anything that requires a physical connection to the speaker like this is dated, but with a Bluetooth dongle (is that dong for short? lol ) plugged into the dock instead of your iPhone, this baby becomes completely wireless and next-generation for $10.58 free shipping on eBay! Sweet woohoo

Toys R Us has a BOGO sale on all their batteries so I bought a shitload of Ds for about 50 cents a piece from their site + free pickup. You can also use rechargeable Ds with boomboxes like the iMT810, but these are a bit of an investment upfront.

November 4th, 2011 (8:21 pm)

Rivers Cuomo

Whenever I listen to Weezer there is always this thought in the back of my mind – like a pebble in my shoe. I knew there was truth to it but felt nobody would know what the fuck I was talking about, or perhaps write me off as a crazy feminist, but this is my blog so I’m going to say it:

Rivers Cuomo is a fucking sexist.

Hoping to validate my own self-conscious thoughts by finding like minds, I googled rivers cuomo sexist and found this incredible post: A Scale to Help You Determine What Type of Sexist the Hip-Culture Canon Work You’re Looking at is

I am in complete agreement with everything they’ve said because I’ve had a similar experience with (sub-mainstream) popular culture. All of my favorite movies and books seem to be written by these sexist assholes but it’s never been enough to make me read chick lit or something. Anyway, you should read their post because I couldn’t say any of this better than they already have.

I think this explains it.

October 19th, 2011 (7:48 am)

Top 10 Favorite Cover Songs

Cover songs aren’t just for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes! Most bands have done at least one cover. Since covers are quick and easy to record, bands will often contribute them to projects such as compilations, tribute albums, and soundtracks. Covers get a bad rap, but every once in a while you come across one that is well-done, possibly even better than the original. Here are my top 10 cover songs, in no particular order:

  • Nirvana‘s cover of “The Man Who Sold The World” by David Bowie (listen)
  • The Blood Brothers‘ cover of “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie (listen)
  • At the Drive-In‘s cover of “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” by The Smiths (listen)
  • Between The Buried And Me‘s cover of “Colorblind” by Counting Crows (listen)
  • Thursday‘s cover of “Ever Fallen In Love” by the Buzzcocks (listen)
  • The Number Twelve Looks Like You‘s cover of “My Sharona” by The Knack (listen)
  • Taking Back Sunday‘s cover of “Suburban Home/I Like Food” by Descendents (listen)
  • Youth Group‘s cover of “Forever Young” by Alphaville (listen)
  • Muse‘s cover of “House Of The Rising Sun” (listen)
  • Gary Jules‘ cover of “Mad World” by Tears for Fears (listen)

Runner Up: The Postal Service‘s cover of “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins (listen)

Cover songs are also really common at live shows since they’re so much fun and everyone can sing along regardless of whether or not they are familiar with the band playing the cover. These typically aren’t recorded, but we always have YouTube. Here’s one of my favorites; Davey Havok of AFI singing with the band Ceremony to a cover of “Straight Edge Revenge” by Project X:

Many thanks go to Kristi for her post Covers: Do or Don’t? which inspired me to make this list. Her blog is 100% awesomeness and we’re actually affies now! woot

// EDIT
I just found out 2 seconds ago that “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’conner is a cover of a Prince/The Family song and now I wish I could ammend my post because I fucking love that song! Ugh!

October 12th, 2011 (10:49 am)

People who don’t like music: What the f%ck?

I was blog-hopping the other day (the straight edge equivalent to bar-hopping?) and I read this blog post where this girl was listing things she’s thankful for, and although my thoughts are not at all related to Canadian Thanksgiving, the thing on her list that inspired this post was:

4. Music

Who has ears and dislikes music? I love music! Don’t we all? =p Lalala.

You know, I used to think the same thing about music. I mean, who the hell doesn’t like music? I used to laugh when people would act like listening to the radio was a defining characteristic of their personality. I found it really annoying and obvious, like those people who list their interests as “hanging out with friends” and “having fun”.

But then… well, you get a little older and meet a greater variety of people and find that there REALLY ARE freaks out there who hate music or are simply uninterested. I don’t know if being a teenager or college student keeps you in this youthful bubble where everyone you know is blasting their iPod every second of the day or what, but you really start to run into the weirdos once you’re in your mid-twenties. Maybe we stop being so self absorbed at this age and take notice of the previously unnoticeable people (I’m taking another psych class this semester, so forgive my analysis).

Have you come across any of these musically illiterate people? I know they are not all culturally retarded home-schooled kids who grew up without MTV or social interaction, because my boyfriend’s uncle is one of these anti-music people and he had a typical American upbringing. His own sister absolutely loves music yet he is seemingly immune to its charms. What the fuck, right?

October 8th, 2011 (7:18 pm)

A O Hell

Remember all those disks AOL sent out in the 90s? I used to put them in the microwave, make mirror collages, and do other stupid shit with them. Anyway, if you’ve ever been bored enough to put one in a CD player back then, you know how it makes an annoying/creepy high pitched sound. Well that’s what the background sounds like in this song I’m listening to by An Albatross. It’s awesome.

Blessphemy by An Albatross

The real inspiration behind Blessphemy's cover art?

September 24th, 2011 (9:13 pm)

I’m a Strokes Fan and I’m Not Ashamed!

I love this video, but the real winner is the song and that Billie Jean beat that grabs you in the beginning.

Michael Jackson isn’t the only influence on Angles; every track on this album has a different sound. Two Kinds of Happiness is so David Bowie (obvious example @ 1:40) while Gratisfaction is Billy Joel straight up (obvious example @ 1:12). Despite my general disdain for when bands completely change their sound, I love this record! I haven’t stopped spinning it since my preorder arrived from Amazon! It really grows on you, so even if you’re loyal to that garage sound The Strokes used to have, you can’t help but fall in love with these songs.

The Strokes aesthetic has really changed though. If you notice their, umm, interesting fashion choices… all that remains is Julian’s leather jacket, a throwback to that dirty Rock n’ Roll sound they used to have. Oh 2001, how I miss you so…

December 18th, 2010 (2:07 am)

OMIGOD! Beatles in your Apples!

Shut the FUCK up about The Beatles and iTunes. What asshole didn’t have The Beatles on their iPod already? Everybody has Beatles records and/or CDs – just rip them to your fucking computer. I don’t understand the hysteria here. What is wrong with people? OMG THERE’S THIS EXCITING NEW ALBUM CALLED ABBEY ROAD LOLOLOL!!!!!!1ONE

beatles itunes

...for shame.

July 3rd, 2008 (3:06 pm)

Enjoying the summer!

Summer has been kinda fun lately, so I haven’t felt the need to sit online everyday – which is one of the reasons I haven’t updated. Also, our air conditioner broke in our bedroom where the computer is… so we stay in the living room all the time where it’s cool.

For the past two weeks, Justin, Chris, Brandy and I have been planning a trip to Darien Lake, which is a local theme park. It was a Six Flags park until 2006, when they sold it along with a few other SF parks. We’ve all been really excited but it wasn’t a concrete plan until maybe 5 days ago. Yesterday, Justin mentioned to his boss’ wife that we were going to Darien Lake and she said that her sister had 4 passes she didn’t want, so she hooked us up with them. So now we don’t have to buy expensive tickets! woot

I loooove roller coasters of all kinds, so I’m always excited to go to amusement parks. I’ve been to about 7 theme parks so far, which is sort of a lot for someone who doesn’t actively pursue that sort of thing. Here they are, with the ones I’ve been to the most times at the top, and least times on the bottom:

  • Dorney Park; Allentown, PA
  • Six Flags: Great Adventure; Jackson Township, NJ
  • Knoebels; Elysburg, PA
  • Hershey Park; Hershey, PA
  • Six Flags: Darien Lake; Darien, NY
  • Busch Gardens; Williamsburg, VA
  • Universal’s Port Aventura; Salou, Catalonia, Spain
  • Anyway, we’re going tomorrow, which is the 4th of July. It will either be packed with people, or dead. I am hoping for the latter! I have been to Darien Lake twice before, because I once lived in a group home waaaay up in northern PA, on the border of NY, so we went there a couple times. It’ll be weird to go and see all the rides renamed, since they rebranded everything now that it is no longer a Six Flags.

    Tonight Justin and I are going to a show to see Suicide Note, which is a band I’ve been into for about 5 years. Neither of us have seen them, so we’re excited.

    June 18th, 2008 (6:19 pm)

    I was once alive…

    It’s been a while since I blogged. blush

    On Monday we registered for our classes at the college and then sort of walked around before stopping and eating $10 worth of bagels, donuts and coffee. After all of that, it was getting late and we decided to go see The Happening. It is being trashed terribly on the internet on sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, but we both really liked it. I won’t go into detail as some people haven’t seen it yet. I guess M. Night has a lot of haters, so it is just one of those love it/hate it movies.

    After The Happening, we knew we had no other plans for our Monday night, so we sat in the lobby of the theater eating nachos for 30 minutes, and then on a whim we bought tickets to see The Strangers, which was a very lame movie and a total waste of money. I’ve never actually watched two movies back-to-back in a theater, so that was an odd (but fun) experience. The ticket-taker guy laughed at us.

    Tonight a few bands are playing at some bar/club place only a couple blocks away, so that will be our Wednesday night. Some of Justin’s friends might be there, so I hope I’m not ditched, drinking my diet soda all alone at a bar. lol One of the bands (Speakerfire) actually played with Every Time I Die that time we saw them in Harrisburg, PA. The other bands are kind of metal/grind from what I’ve heard. Maybe it’ll be fun.

    I’ve been learning Italian. Both of us have been using Rosetta Stone for two weeks now and it actually works well. I will take actual college classes eventually, but this is a good start for learning vocabulary and grammar and speaking with a “standard” non-dialect Italian accent. Well, wish us luck.

    May 23rd, 2008 (11:35 am)

    A birthday and a funeral. How poetic!

    Encyclopedia of American Traitors - Accept and Settle

    Justin attended his great-grandmother’s funeral today. He left last night however, so he could drive there together with his family. It’s just me and Mr. Bojangles in this freezing apartment now. It was so quiet last night, I had to turn on the TV. I kept one of those XM stations on all night. Today I have to go to the animal hospital to pick up more of Bo’s prescription food. Some might recall that very scary bladder problem he had, and almost died from. We still have to feed him special ($$) food. I guess it’s a small price to pay for a loving, adorable kitty!

    Over the past week, I ordered a lot of records from Ebay, Amazon and Robotic Empire. It’s so exciting getting music in the mail – or anything for that matter (minus anthrax). I wonder what we’ll listen to first. I have a feeling Justin will decide on his own, because he’s completely obsessive and weird with new music.

    Justin turns 23 in under 5 days. There are some plans made, but I’m not sure if I want to partake in all of them yet. I’m so antisocial anymore. Justin is always excited around his birthdays, and his mom always makes a big fuss – reminding him that his “birthday is coming”, sometime in February, then for the next 2-3 months, he won’t shut up about it. Growing up, I got $20 for my birthday, and a cake if I was lucky. That’s how a lot of group homes and foster homes are. The last birthday party I had was when I was 4. I know I sound sardonic and bitchy right now, but a birthday is just one more year gone forever. After I turned 16 (5 years ago…) I started feeling old on my birthdays, and I don’t see that changing any time in the future.

    May 17th, 2008 (9:29 pm)

    Finicky fudge… (not a Judy Blume book)

    I got bored and was browsing allrecipes.com, so on a whim, I made peanut butter fudge. As delicious as those words sound, I still cringe writing them. lol Immaturity. Anyway, it’s been cooling for about 2 hours, but the consistency still isn’t right. Fudge is so finicky – something to do with temperature and how the sugar melts, crystallizes, etc? This was my first try, so I will attempt it again if it turns out that I failed. Right now it’s like a caramel… I’m hoping it will thicken overnight. Otherwise, it will just be delicious sludge. blank

    I’ve been using my time to redesign my fanlistings. I’m adding more buttons and visitor content like screencaps. Another thing on my internet to-do list is cleaning out dead links from my affiliates and joined fls. I know that will be the most time consuming part of my collective-revamp, since 75% of fanlisting owners send no emails when they move, close, etc. hmph

    Chris is coming over tonight after work and he’ll be here in a few minutes, so I better go. I can already hear Justin going through his vinyl, coming up with a playlist. One hundred bucks says the first record played will be Red Medicine. He’s on this Fugazi kick…

    April 4th, 2008 (1:39 am)

    Best night I’ve had in a while!

    Joshua Fit For Battle - Dreams

    Photo by Corner Shop Studios

    Photo by Corner Shop Studios

    Last night’s show was awesome. Converge played a lot of songs they haven’t played in years. I got some cool videos, but very few photos, due to the fact that I was not in a prime location and the lighting sucked worse than usual. This was the first show I attended at this particular venue, so I got to feel it out and see how Buffalo does hardcore (pretty well, I must add!), and I scouted a few spots along the front where I can get some better photos next time around.

    Anyway, this venue is basically a tiny old theater that was gutted, and they still have a tiny strip of elevated seats in the back, and I managed to snag one of them. It was really odd, because I’ve never sat down at a show before… and while it was cool to have a seat, I will definitely be standing along with everyone else next time. I felt too disconnected.

    Justin and I have been talking about buying a house within the next year (Buffalo has the cheapest houses I’ve ever seen!). A house below market value that needs cosmetic work or maintenance would be perfect to fix up and live in until we finish college. For instance, buying a $20,000 house and putting $15,000 worth of renovations into it is about the same as renting this apartment for 4 years straight. The money we spend renting will never come back to us, but by buying a house, we have a great chance of getting every dollar back, or possibly even make a profit when we need to sell it. It’s an exciting idea, but we have a lot more to think about.

    March 29th, 2008 (1:40 pm)

    Feeling even more estranged from the human race.

    I’m really looking forward to the Converge show on Wednesday. They’re playing with The Red Chord (who are grindcore-ish) and Genghis Tron, which is an awesome experimental band from Philly. woot There’s another band, too, but I’ve never heard them. For the past month and a half, Justin and I have had a red-sharpied note on our fridge so that we wouldn’t forget to go, like we did with this one show a few months back. Actually, I think we’ve forgotten twice. We don’t have a damn calendar. blush

    Yesterday, we went downtown to the library and checked out some Jack Kerouac novels and a few movies. If you’re introverted or just really hate people, the library is the place to go. We got some pizza at this little mall that is below an office building, and the food court was packed full of “young professionals”. I overheard this guy talking about how his worst grade in high school was in History, and I was thinking “…what a dumbass”. How can you not love history? I know I’m biased, because I want to teach Social Studies, but damn. It’s almost a cliche… students just “hate” history, they find it boring. I wonder why that is. It was always my favorite subject in school, and my father said it was also his favorite. It’s story-time, but the tales are more truthful, more violent, and you get to argue about them. I don’t understand anyone anymore.

    I got the ink cartridges I ordered online, and they didn’t work. Fucking ebay. evil

    December 17th, 2007 (8:32 pm)

    Without music life would be a mistake.

    At The Drive-In - Honest To A fault

    Yeah, that’s a Nietzsche quote. Fuck you wink

    Seven more days until Christmas. For the record, I’m not excited. It’s been snowing, as is expected with the winter months. I wish I could say there’s a heat wave or something, because that might be more interesting as far as blog entries go, but there’s just been a small nor’easter this past weekend.

    I was enjoying my break away from Buffalo, but now I’m finally starting to miss Justin (it only took two months) rofl I really miss our movie nights.

    I’ve completely fallen in love with At The Drive-In. Those lyrics, oh my god, I love interpreting them. I can recall the breakup of the band (2001), and how it was rather “uncool” to listen to them back then because of their slight mainstream success, but I’m not 15 anymore and can admit publicly that they’re just amazing. (I’ve never been crazy over The Mars Volta though, but Justin likes them.) Anyway, I can’t stop playing their fucking records! I’ve been in this emo mood the past two weeks, so it’s lots of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Promise Ring, ha! Certain music switches me into nostalgia mode and I can’t stop reminiscing. I fear that I’ll never let go blah I never get into “new” bands, and every year more of my favorites break-up. Eventually, there will be no shows left to go to. For example, I cried when The Blood Brothers broke up last month. A lot of people over on punknews.org have been saying what a bad year for music it’s been cry

    Have any of your favorite bands broken up this year?

    December 1st, 2007 (12:32 pm)

    Mischief and Music

    Thursday – At This Velocity

    My birthday is this Thursday (the 6th), but I’m not excited. I’m 21, with nothing in the near future to look forward to. I’ve been pretty much wasting away. I miss Buffalo only because my cat is there. I don’t even know what’s going on with me and Justin these days, things have sucked for way too long in that department.

    Yesterday my brother Joey and I set off Works bombs around town. We did it right by this one gas station, which is next to a nursing home – they must have shit themselves, it sounded like one of the pumps blew up. woot I’m in my twenties, but somehow this seems okay. When we were walking back up our street we heard this teenage group of skaters being pussies (nothing exciting happens here), they thought someone got shot, so I said “It’s just Works bombs” – “Who did it?” – “Me and my brother.” – “Do it again!” – “Tomorrow.”. The best part of these bombs is the reaction, so we always stick around to hear the loud “Holy shit!”s and “What the fuck was that?!”s. I hadn’t made any of these little chemical bombs since I was 16 or 17, back when I was still dating John and we’d terrorize the neighborhood. It’s fun, you should do it! We’re going to try glass spaghetti sauce bottles next, I am thinking it will send shards of glass in every direction since it can stand more pressure than the plastic soda bottles, so we’ll do it in a field to test it first.

    About 2 weeks ago I got the new DVD/CD from Thursday in the mail, it’s amazing to see and hear the history behind the band. It’s funny that even though I like mainly “heavier” bands these days, my favorite remains the very post-hardcore sound of Thursday. I love Geoff Rickly! heart

    There’s a lot of useless shit to blog about. Shopping, drama with “friends”, changes… but I’m not up to writing about it, and you’re probably not up to reading/commenting about it. So this is the end of the post, sucka. wink

    August 11th, 2004 (5:55 am)

    straight outta compton!

    Aww, Amanda is my homegirl. Thanks whore, you know what for! Hey that rhizz-imed! Fo rizzle! I’m lame. Pardon my gayness. Hey, that reminds me of this really nice guy I met on a chat room… Adam <3 Lemme plug his band, pardon the silence while I’m at it… heh heh. I’m a plug whore too. OMG THAT SOUNDED EXTREMELY WRONG. Nevermind.

    I need to firgure out this wordpress crap. Mind as well convert the damn site to PHP while I’m at it… I am a lazy motherfucker. Ugh. I’ve been up Codegrrl‘s ass all day… well at least on the forum. Whoa, was that another plug? Yes it was. After pistol version two… which is coming soon… the brown-colored NC-17 one… yes, you may know it as the one with the nipples, I will be doing div layouts. See, iframes would be the easy way out, but they fuck up your site in search engines. BLAH. FUCK ME WITH A WOODEN SPOOOOON. We always said that in Ross House… umm, ross house was a uhh… placement for badly behaved teen girls btw… in case you were like “WTF!?!? Is that a christian day-camp?”. Haha, it wasn’t… long story…

    Moving on, I am very scattered today/tonight… what effing time is it? 5:51 AM! Shit. Wow. I cuss a lot. But that’s just because I’m cool and so effing HARDxCORE lYke OMFG niGGa WHaT! fksjfjs$#%*.

    This entry was a cop out. I suck. Tonight… we deal with the real issues. Promise.

    August 9th, 2004 (4:07 pm)

    Well, it looks like Alexisonfire went and grew vaginas…

    I am listening to Watch Out!, their new album that was released on July 29th, I believe. The Ebay seller took a long jolly ass time to ship it to me…

    I’ve only listened to the first 5 songs, but already I am dissapointed. Where in the HELL did the screaming go? I mean, they sound so different. And they need more George in there… George is hot, because he’s skinny and geeky with a big ass mouth. And he wears glasses. Hot. I just like watching him freak out and do what he calls dancing. Actually, maybe there is enough George, just TOO MUCH Wade. Eww. Shut up already emoguy.

    Oh boys boys boys, why do you do this to me? You knew I loved you so. I was willing to look past the fact that you are Canadian… very kind of me. And look what you go and do… THIS. This is an atrocity.

    Alright, I am overreacting a bit. I apologize. But listen, your next full-length better be 5 times better than this or I am burning your teeshirts and putting this disc in a shoebox under my bed, along with all my Mariah Carey Cds…

    August 5th, 2004 (10:20 pm)

    Makeover…

    I’ve decided to redo my bedroom. I am going through the last two years of Alt Press mags laying in my closet and ripping out any cool bands and whatnot. Then, I’m going to make collages on poster board and laminate them… this way, I can bring the decorations with me if and when I move…

    Clever.

    August 4th, 2004 (4:36 pm)

    Haha

    Found this on the It Dies Today message board. Beautiful.