Friday, February 28, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A reflexive want gives way to the re-realization of a genuine loss.

The above image is just a fraction of a larger whole of opening sentences from great novels diagrammed that I shared with the writing team in the office yesterday and I've decided I really would love to have this framed in my house.

Also, I can't diagram a sentence to save my life so I am doubly appreciative of the beauty this releases.

RELATED: I downloaded a reading DFW did of "The View From Ms. Thompson's" and it first made me so sad to hear his voice but then I grew so glad because he so perfectly describes the city I called home for the early '90s, even if the circumstances of the story skew towards the horrific. He still manages to pull genuine human beauty into his words and the situation and then I grew sad again because I knew that particular soul's skill was lost to us.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I wanna boogie with U.

Not gonna pretend I haven't spent much of my life experiencing recorded music in solitude—getting a Walkman in the early '80s was a highlight in this young music lover's life meaning he could wander anywhere and be followed by his personal soundtrack—but there's always been great joy in sharing music I love with others in a public space and while eventually that led to a pretty busy DJ schedule during an extended period of my life, back in the day it was s simple as carrying around a boombox, well several, actually, of differing sizes at different points in my life, and letting the joy flow forth from its speakers on every ear within their reach.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I have a deadline for a submission, a rather lengthy one, to be considered for an extracurricular project that is due Monday morning at 9 a.m. I've done some preliminary work, primarily consisting of a few notes I've taken to organize my thoughts that come out at—probably—under 500 words. How much do you want to bet I don't start work in earnest until sometime late Sunday night?

Is that even a wager anyone would be foolish enough to bet against?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Throw your hats in the air because I just know you care.

Teddy Watson of Stargroves. Photo via the band's Facebook page.
I'm always gonna be a sucker for shiny, bouncy indie pop, especially if it's got a reaching, hopeful refrain. And if it starts slow, builds up, then breaks down, then erupts with a cheerful roar at the end, then forget about it, I'm hooked. I'm not going to pretend this is based on anything other than the simple tapping into the more reptilian—albeit scholarly glasses wearing—part of my brain. Anyway, Stargroves' "Hats In The Air" does all the above and this has me hoping that their forthcoming debut will be able to sustain the nifty trick. But even if the album doesn't, I've got this song. And now you do too. Download it below.

MP3: Stargroves "Hats in The Air"

Friday, February 21, 2014

As a bourbon lover, hiw did it take me so long to discover this?

Drinking out of a tasting glass specifically suited for sipping bourbons and whiskeys makes it tatse EVEN MORE DELICIOUS.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hoping that a legend doesn't disappoint.

I'm going to see Stephen Malkmus play tonight despite having mixed feeling about his latest album (and, to be honest, his solo work as a whole). But I have such a long history with his music, stretching back to the earliest Pavement releases (though I remember those having to grow on me at the time) and seeing that band play live about a jillion times. I just worry when these older indie guys start to venture into jam-band territory, and that certainly seem to be where Malkmus has been headed.

UPDATE: The show didn't disappoint.

Photo by me.
Even the longer compositions were tight instead of loose. And GalPal really enjoyed it to so I think that's a sign that Malkmus still has it. Also? i've never seen him look so relaxed or happy during a show.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cool tune from cool youth to cool you.

The Kickback
Current under the radar* favorites of mine The Kickback just released a stream of a new tune and, as expected, it's a good 'un. The band finished their new album a while ago and, baseed on what I've heard at their more recent live shows and little hints as what's to come like this song, I'm dying to hear it. Give it a spin and see if you don't agree with me.

*Hopefully the "under the radar" prefix won't be around much longer. Here's another reason why.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Morning in America.

Photo by me, at my bus stop, this morning.
It's back to the 9-to-5. Back to the real world. Back to the day-in and day-out. But when it's a pretty morning like this one, the transition ain't so bad.

Also, it's my mom's birthday, so WOO HOO to that too!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Not a moment too soon.

My mini-vacation starts today! I just took two days off work but in-between those two days are two weekend days so I'm hoping that by Tuesday morning I am recharged and reenergized. Woo hoo!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Some days I am an idiot boyfriend.

Only I could take a super classy move like sending unexpected flowers and ruin it by running out and carousing and generally overdoing it instead of going to the ballet with your girlfriend.

Lesson learned.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Some days I am a good boyfriend.

Photo by Mich.
GalPal and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day but I decided earlier this week to order her some flowers to celebrate "just us" and have them show up before Valentine's Day. Seriously, who wants flowers on a day EVERYONE else gets flowers? Thats not special. Getting flowers for no real reason other than your boyfriend loves you? That's special.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New album reviews for your perusal!

Against Me!
Today I told people what I think of new ones from Against Me!, The Pack A.D. and Soft Science. One's a masterpiece, one rises above garage rock constrictions and one sounds like it was recorded in 1989. Click through to see which is which and why!

Monday, February 10, 2014

David Bowie's teeth.

Wow. Bowie's teeth get their own documentary treatment!

Cheating the images in a look back.

Now that you can edit these things I feel less weird about posting it!

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Winter Olympics are more personal for me this year.

I think this was in Utah? Bu I'm not sure. Our shoots were a whirlwind of activity.
The Winter Olympics kick off tonight and I admit I feel a closeness to them I haven't in the past. Last year I had the incredible pleasure of visiting a number of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls to shoot mini-documentaries, their "Start Stories" for my client at the time. It was a massive project and I am extremely proud of the results. It's not often one gets the opportunity to meet amazing people and weave a story around their accomplishments that are a step away from the usual sports profiles. And on top of it, every single athlete was so generous with their time and welcoming of me and the entire film crew I was traveling with.

Many of the folks we interviewed will be in the opening parade in Sochi tonight, so I thought I'd post some pictures of all (almost) everyone we did films about. The only one not pictured below is the amazing Amy Purdy, but that's because she was my very first shoot of the series and I was still pretty shy about being a geek and asking her to take a photo with me. What can I say, I'm an idiot. Also, in my defense, I was suffering from severe altitude sickness from being 10,000 feet up. And I almost killed myself. I know: excuses, excuses!

Anyway, let's look at some photos and take a trip down memory lane.

I did work up the courage to ask Charlie White and Meryl Davis for a photo though. They are two of the nice, sweeter, funnier people I've met in recent years. For a while Meryl was even following me on Twitter! But I assume that since I tweet more than some novelists write she decided I was probably not right for her feed and stopped following me a few months ago. Oh well!

This was the first crew shot of the series. I worked with the guys at Plan A, and we grew an excellent partnership as the shoot went on. I still miss those guys almost every day and hope to get a chance to work with them again. Or at least hang to with them if I'm ever in L.A. or North Carolina (where the core crew is based).

Noelle Pikus-Pace does the skeleton. And she's a mom. And she has the most energy of just about any human being I've ever met. She was so outgoing and nice, and her family was so awesome, I was really sad to end that shoot. Also, she brought me to Del Taco for my first time ever!

Spending two days with Heath Calhoun was an absolute blast. And it happened during a particularly stressful time in my life so I drew great inspiration from his incredible drive and determination.

Here's another crew shot. The crepes place we went to had no tables so we offered to sit on the patio if they'd serve us out there in the ice and snow. They did. The crepes were delicious.

Gretchen Bleiler was a hoot. Sunny, positive, and genuinely kind. Also, she introduced us to an incredible sushi restaurant in Aspen. Good to know.

Torin Yater-Wallace had just gotten back from skiing overseas yet he still managed to blow our minds in the half-pipe and show us incredible hospitality back at his apartment during his interview. The dud'e a trooper and I bet he's going to be a household name very soon.

I almost didn't get to meet Sarah Hendrickson but I'm glad I did because once you see a ski jumper fly through the air in real life you realize just how insane a sport it is and this was made all the more intense because Sarah is such a normal, cool, teenager. I got a chance to stand at the top of the jump and watch her go down and it made me dizzy.

Me, mid-shoot.
Actually, that's the thing about all these athletes; when you get a chance to see what they do, up close, it blows your mind. the television saps so much of the power—and danger— of what their doing. Ski jumping the length of a football field, dancing with knives on your feet, skiing or snowboarding down a mountain faster than a sports car, sliding down an icy track on something the size of a lunch tray, skiing or snowboarding high above an already unbelievably massive half-pipe … words fail to accurately describe the experience and television cameras are absolutely unable to capture it either.

I was handed a gift with this project, and I will cherish the opportunity forever after. But for now I need to grab a cowbell and prepare to cheer on some outstanding athletes as they reach to conquer the dream they've been striving towards for most of their lives.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Chicago! The city that works! Sometimes!

This weather is seriously beginning to wear on me. But at least I don't have it as bad as these folks. I mean, I don't drive but I empathize with their plight since I equate un-shoveled sidewalks-something treacherous I deal with every day-with an unplowed street. The absolute best part, and if you only have seconds of free time to watch a video, comes at 0:53 so feel free to fast-forward!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Whoah! Saxitar!

This isn't the first time Andrew W.K. and Lil Bub have collaborated, and please sweet baby Jeebis may it not be the last. 

Now please enjoy "Star Party Animal."

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Monday, February 03, 2014

The Super Bowl actually had a few decent examples of good marketing last night. Impressive!

A really good advertisement doesn't just connect with the viewer to elicit a response (often one related to entertaining via laughs or thrills or whatever) it also says something genuine and true bout the brand it's talking to you about.

Few brands are courageous enough to be really honest, but Radio Shack can now count themselves among the few with the courage to do just that, and through doing so created the best ad aired last night. Hell, this is one of the best ads i've seen in a long time. Yeah it's funny—and that's great—but it's also honest even though that doesn't exactly paint the electronics chain in the best light. But this throws open the door to Radio Shack truly changing public opinion of it.

So that was the one that wins because of the curate of its conviction and its deep connection to what it's actually selling.

However if none of that matters to you then your favorite ad is probably the one that was my second favorite. Because it's adorable. (And it does manage a tenuous connection to at the least the brand equity, if not the actually product the brand sells.)

O.K., I''ll give Seinfeld a runner up award but only because he handled the "reunion" well without ruining the source material.

And finally, Oreo wins for best tweet as it left all the real time marketing bozos* to create content that was largely—O.K., completely—ignored.

*I posted this last night but it's been driving me crazy lately since I firmly believe that relationship marketing—across all media platforms—is a long term tactic. What people call real time marketing is in fact just a short sighted stunt hellbent on self glorification with no measurable ROI for a client beyond marketing bragging rights.