Monday, April 27, 2009

Hits all too close to home

Parks and Recreation hasn't been a runaway hit with television critics, but it is with me. The show stars Amy Poehler has a parks department employee for a small Indiana city. As a city government reporter who is originally from a small Indiana city, it hits incredibly close to home. The third episode, about a reporter who does a story on a proposed new park, was especially personal.

Today in journalism

Some journalistic articles that caught my attention today.

Nashville Council members skip out on their work as legislators.

Before there was Nickelback, there was Creed. And now Creed is back together.

Weird Monday Morning Quarterback column by Peter King where he vaguely makes a serious steroids accusation against Packers draftee Clay Matthews. Of course we all know how reliable Sports Illustrated is with its reports of illegal drug use.

Swine flu has to be the worst name for an international plague. I would have gone with the New Plague or Pig Death.

OK, I'm more bored now than when I started this.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I won $50,000

but I can't cash it in until the next time I visit California Pizza Kitchen, for reasons that are unclear to me. And even once I do, I have to split half with my friend, and then the guvment is going to take its cut. At the end of the day, it isn't even worth it to win $50,000 anymore, but I'll still take it.

And in other news, I am heading to Indiana for a wedding, which should be a blast. I guess for the next four days this blog should be entitled Nate Not In Nashville.

OK, until I see you again, remember: peace, love, recycle.

Cheers...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The pitfalls and oh so many joys of Record Store Day

Record Store day is such a great concept. When iTunes became the No. 1 album retailer last year, so many people believed it was finally the beginning of the end for the local record store. Romanticized in films and loved to an almost ridiculous degree by indie music fans, the local record store is the backbone of the passionate music fan.

So to create a sort of holiday to honor each town's local hub of music, it was an ingenious idea. That's why in just two years, Record Store Day is truly already a national phenomenon with free shows and exclusive releases galore.

In Nashville, the mecca for local music fans is world-renowned Grimey's with its ridiculous selection, outstanding local releases and plethora of good old-fashioned vinyl, Grimey's is everything High Fidelity ever called a record store to be. What's more, it has one of the coolest and most intimate music venues, the Basement, downstairs.

With a lineup of bands ranging from the Avett Brothers to Mute Math, my friends and I made two separate trips to Grimey's on Record Store Day, which is kinda the point of this post. In the honor of the amateur critics who sometimes come across as music snobs (aka the base of Grimey's customers), I would offer the following pieces of constructive criticism...

The point of the event is to bring record buyers to the store. The bands, and the food, and the beer, and the festival atmosphere, they all serve as the magnets to pull people to the cash register. But when the line is wrapped up and down the aisles, it makes shopping for your favorite record difficult and waiting to purchase it painfully long. Grimey's can't change the layout of its store for Record Store Day, I know, but I might suggest multiple cashout areas at different locations?

The performances themselves I considered as gravy, since it was free, and the atmosphere truly was memorable. But the biggest issue my group had was we couldn't see the stage for either the Avetts or Mute Math. Except for the moments when Darren or Paul from MM stood on their amps to act a fool (per usual, and awesome) I was left staring at backs of heads and not the acts. I wouldn't know the lead singer from the Ettes from the countless other cool indie girls who got overly drunk off their two PBRs on Saturday either. I heard the Ettes (not bad), I just didn't see them, so maybe a stage next year would benefit the concert goers? There were other minor irritations, like the sound system was awful for Mute Math and beer ran out, a true faux pas. But, I guess when that happens it means the crowd was bigger than expected and that's a testament to Nashville's love of Grimey's.

I'm older than I used to be and by the time MM had finished its brief set, I didn't have the leg power to stand in line for the Bat for Lashes album I intend to buy.
Like I said, I had a good time and if I had to do it again I would -- sunburnt neck and all -- but if Grimey's wants to turn the day from a marketing tool into a true event everyone looks forward to, a few minor upgrades would do the trick.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Record Store Day

at Grimey's looks pretty damn sweet with plenty of exclusive releases and a great lineup of music featuring the Avett Brothers and headlined by Mute Math. I have several new albums I haven't picked up, yet, which I have intended to. Chief among them is the soundtrack to the film Makeout with Violence. I've heard a electronic version of the album, and love it, but still intend to give my dollars to show appreciation.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A tradition unlike any other

There are two days a year I watch golf -- the final round of the Masters and the final round of the U.S. Open. Today being one of those days, it was pretty exciting to see Lefty and Tiger, paired together, put in their ridiculous rounds and charge up the leaderboard. Heading into No. 17, both guys seemed like they had a shot at winning.

Fast-forward a few hours to the green jacket ceremony, and I wonder if there has ever been a more anti-climactic finish to a sporting event than today? From the roar of the gallery as the best two players in the game strolled to 17, to watching Trevor Immelman throw the green jacket on Angel Cabrera. This was followed by an awkward interview with Jim Nantz aided by a translator who was clearly just making stuff up to get it over with. Even a win by tubby Kenny Perry would have been satisfactory, since he was shooting to become the oldest champion ever.

I think it would be akin to a Denver Nuggets-Orlando Magic NBA Finals this year, when most people are rooting for Lakers-Celtics or Kobe-LeBron.

Oh well, onto the Cubs tonight and then the work week.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Directions to my place

Take the first five lefts out of your apartment. The road comes to a T. Choose correctly and you will be on your way. Choose incorrectly and you will journey down an endless abyss of madness, paranoia and fury. Left will be up, down will be right. The sky will turn a blood-shot red and orcs will march to Castle Grayskull. The end of times. Flying fish will be everywhere. Bob Dylan will debate St. Peter on national television. Both will win; only the Portuguese will watch. You'll bite your tongue and say more in a milisecond than Sartre ever said in his entire life. You'll grow a third, fourth, fifth and sixth eye like the spider you'll become. There will be no such thing as islands, no such thing as peninsulas. Maritime law will be obliterated, apes never existed. Duck-billed platypuses will wield their poisonous spurs and bring pain, nay, death to many a child. Every other Tuesday, you will become a thieving pirate off the coast of Kenya. Every other Thursday, you will become a bureaucrat in a shadow government run by real-life monarchists. On Fridays, you'll return to that great ABC TGIFriday lineup of yesteryear. The boy of your dreams will rise out of the gunk, and crud and muck and you'll love him, love him, love him in the morning, love him in the noontime, love him, love him, love him when the sun goes down. Noontime. You will be overwhelmed with the compulsion to smash every model train set like you're a two-story monster in a 1940s Japanese horror film. Toy stores will have a bounty on your head. Punctuation will fight Grammar in a 10-round knockdown, drag-out affair!!! Hospitals will revert to car garages as oil-and-lube mechanics take out your spleen. In the end, you will learn to equally love, hate and lust for the dragon to emerge from her cave to bring every living soul judgment with fire-breathing fairness.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

"They call holidays an option for a reason" - Manchester Orchestra

Happy Easter, and special prayers to those in Middle TN affected by the tornadoes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Indiana

Here is a great road trip song about my home state by interesting band Cymbals Eat Guitars. Indiana.

Jackson turns seven



My dog's seventh birthday was Monday. It's strange to think Jackson is 7-years old. I remember when he was eating the place mats off the dining room table or destroying my roommate's engraved Bible, which was a gift from his grandma.

Jackson hasn't always been the best dog. Because he's antisocial, he's not really allowed around small children or other dogs. He's very particular about when he goes outside and won't even consider it if it's raining or snowing.

I have to say, however, Jackson has been a great friend. He's always excited to see me, rarely judges and he's sorta been by my side through an eventful seven years.

And he has some great qualities. He barks ferociously if someone approaches the front door, which is great because burglars are my No. 1 fear. He likes to cuddle some, but isn't clingy and he does this hilarious thing where he can howl on command. When I take him outside, he doesn't need to be on a leash because he's great with voice commands.

Anyhow, this is a few days late. I bought him a bone and some canine carry-outs for his birthday presents, but I just wanted to take a moment and give a shoutout to a great, loyal friend.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Baseball predictions

American League
East
1. Boston Red Sox
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. New York Yankees
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. Baltimore Orioles
*It's a three team race with Toronto and Baltimore having no chance. I think the Orioles are getting better, however. Too many people are slobbering over the Yankees because of their active off-season, but I still feel like Tampa Bay has more talent and depth in its pitching staff. The Red Sox are still great.

Central
1. Cleveland Indians
2. Minnesota Twins
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Detroit Tigers
5. Kansas City Royals
* Any of the top four teams could win this division and I wouldn't be surprised. The Indians have quietly built a great offense and Lee probably won't go 22-4, but he's good enough to lead the staff.

West
1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Texas Rangers
3. Oakland A's
4. Seattle Mariners
*The Angels are the clear favorite, but they always seem injury prone and Lackey is already hurt. The Rangers have a great offense and have gradually been getting more talent. The A's can never be counted out because Bean consistently adds good players below the radar.

Wild Card: Rays
Champion: Red Sox

National League
East
1. New York Mets
2. Florida Marlins
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Washington Nationals
*The Marlins are my "surprise" team and I wouldn't be surprised to see them sneak into the playoffs. The Phillies are your typical boom then bust team and I see this season as the swan song to Bobby Cox's great carer.

Central
1. Chicago Cubs
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Milwaukee Brewers
4. Houston Astros
5. Cincinnati Reds
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
*The Cubs are the class of the division with more pitching than anybody, but I can't figure out the next four teams to save my life, so shuffle the Cardinals, Astros, Brewers and Reds in any order you'd like. The Pirates are not horrible.

West
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Colorado Rockies
5. San Diego Padres
*The DBacks have great pitching and I think some of their offensive players (Upton, Drew) will become stars this year. The Dodgers over-achieved last year but do have OK pitching and Manny. Lincecum is a star, but the Giants roll him out too much. The Padres are a team to watch with their new ownership, but all they have pitching-wise is Peavy and he'll be traded in no time

Wild Card: Marlins
Champion: Cubs

World Series Champs: Chicago Cubs. The curse is over.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Stella!

So, I am drinking a Stella right now and prepping for what I hope is a relaxing weekend. In honor of that end-goal, here is the video Stella by crazy-ass Ida Maria. This is a pretty cool video, although still disconcerting at various moments, per usual for IM.

Peace, love, recycle: