Oh, you're so silent Jens

Going to see Jens Lekman tonight in Newport, Kentucky at the Southgate House. Jens is a precocious (well, he's 23ish) singer/songwriter who samples Belle and Sebastian and Beat Happening riffs and turns them into unique and catchy songs.

Also, many of his lyrics are hilarious. (In a Jonathan Richman or Morrissey type way. In fact, both these names invariably pop up when describing Jens' sound). Anyway, check out this video for "You Are The Light" and you'll get what I'm talking about. It's not the best Jens song (that would either be Pocketful of Money, Black Cab or Maple Leaves), but there are a few payoffs.

Check out his Web site, where he's been giving away MP3s of three of his old tour-only EPs...

One more thing about Jens: He's an artist that both my dad and I like. It's a key crossover to win over both Ronson and Ron...


I'm obsessed...

with those New York Times human interest stories. You know, those stories about intangible things that you (well, I) don't usually think about? The latest example involves people who have problems distinguishing different faces. This stuff is always fascinating to me. There's even a way to test yourself... Good luck -- I recommend taking the Old/New Faces Test. It's more challenging and a better test of your face recognition abilities. Just be warned though, I got a 96% on that one... That's right -- just try to top my ability to recognize creepy, disembodied faces!!


Syd Barrett dies

Also, Syd Barrett, founding (and arguably best) member of Pink Floyd died yesterday at age 60. Syd's influence is huge and his reclusive withdrawl from popular music is one of the more unusual stories in rock history. If you haven't, you should really check out "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" as well as his solo albums ("The Madcap Laughs" and "Barrett.").

I have to admit, I was late into getting into Syd and I only got his solo albums last year (I picked them up after hearing his greatest hits CD on a friend's itunes). I had this idea (for some reason) that Syd solo albums were these crazy freak-outs. Buuuut of course they weren't, and I ended up feeling like an idiot. They're a good mix of laidback stuff and a few upbeat songs too (well, depending on your definintion of "upbeat." Remember, two of my favorite bands are Joy Division and Radiohead). Anyway, highly recommended. Shine on, you crazy diamond, you.

Thank God

I can stop worrying about cancelling my subscription from yet another music magazine, as Andy Pemberton's incompetent reign over Spin has ended its speedy, two-issue span.

Among the terrible ideas Andy and his team brought to the table: A porn star sex columnist; an Entertainment Weekly-style "Top 25 People Under 25 Issue" (wtf? I thought this was a music magazine); a completely vapid Editor's Note, a Q&A back page (also ripping off EW), and the hiring back of Ultragrrl and her pointless, page-hogging "101 top parties in the U.S." Seriously -- this thing wasted 20 pages of their last two issues. Don't worry, Spin -- we here in America can find the parties on our own. No one cares.

They also removed any attempt at legit music criticism and the "Spin 20" (one of the only things worth reading even in an otherwise bad issue). While my problems with Spin have been frequent in the past (My Chemical Romance appearing twice is 4 months comes to mind), nothing has been more worthless than these past few issues.

The future of the magazine is still a little shaky. How it's going to get out of this mess and turn into something I enjoy reading again seems like a pretty daunting task. Music mags in general are in a pretty sad state (which is unfortunate for a music fan like myself), so if anyone's interested in starting one up, let me know!


Maybe this is why TV is so confusing to me

So they just announced the Emmy noms this morning. It seems like a lot of the nominees are for shows that are going off the air (West Wing, Arrested Development, Six Feet Under, Huff) and a couple of shows that have barely been on the air (The Comeback, The New Adventures of Old Christine). And then there's this curious amount of love for Two and a Half Men. Seriously? The show should be banned from participation by its name alone.

As always, a few shows I actually like are nominated as well (The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm -- the only two shows I watch with any regularity). So clearly the Emmy Nominating Committee Deal People and I see eye to eye on a few things. Maybe I'll start watching Two and a Half Men and loving it. Holy crap, what am I saying...? Ugh, see what I mean?


Currently high in rotation

Newsradio on DVD

I haven't talked much about TV much on this blog yet and for good reason. I hate it.

Heh heh heh. Juuuuust kidding, TV!

Like a lot of people, I have gotten sick of TV lately -- it's become a dumping ground for freakshows who'll do anything for a few seconds of fame (aka the entire reality genre), and the shows I have liked have gotten pretty lame.

I'm also completely out of the loop on the current, top action-dramas (24, Lost, Sopranos, any HBO series outside of Curb Your Enthusiasm). This has made small talk very difficult.

Oh, so yeah, what point was I making? I've been watching some of TV's past glories on DVD. Most recently, I've been getting back into NewsRadio, a consistently funny comedy from the mid-to-late 90s. The 4th Season just came out on DVD aaaand if you can get past the corny DVD packaging and the terrible promo copy, you'll find that the show itself was really clever and innovative.

I could go on for hours (I mean it. Literally. Hours.), but you probably get the point. Check it out if you get a chance!

Bleah, I hate sounding like a commercial. Now back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Hilarious....well, kinda

Every week, the staff at our little mag must answer a question. It can be anything from "favorite movie quote" to some really random stuff. And sometimes it can be pretty funny. Anyway, they started posting our answers online. You can check 'em out here...

I'm sure people have been clamoring for some time to know my favorite type of processed cheese snack. Now you might be able to find out!!