Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mixology: Sounds Like a Mix, Feels Like a Sneaker

Mixology is a recurring feature in which I take a look at one of the many mix tapes I made over the years. Some are better than others, but all of them are fun to revisit.

Sounds Like a Mix, Feels Like a Sneaker (5/31/92)

Ah, '92. It was a pretty good year. Certainly turned out much better than the crapfest of '93. I was working as a reporter for the Peabody Times (RIP) and living with my girlfriend in this very house, albeit in the downstairs apartment.

I don't remember the exact circumstances around the making of this particular tape, other than the fact that there was a lot of cool music out at the time and I was making a fair number of mixes. The name came from the cheesy Easy Spirit shoe ads with the tag line "Looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker." That whole Seattle explosion was happening: Nirvana had totally blown up on MTV and "Nevermind" was selling like crazy. I was a little late to the party on Nirvana; I was certainly aware of them and liked them, but I actually got into Mother Love Bone first, back in 1990 when their one and only album came out. Then I picked up the Temple of the Dog CD in the spring of '91 and then Soundgarden's "Badmotorfinger" later that year. It was only after getting that sludgier stuff that I bought "Nevermind" and Pearl Jam's "Ten." The first Lollapalooza tour brought the Rollins Band to my attention.

At the same time, I was still listening to a lot of blues rock, which is reflected on this mix by acts like Stevie Ray Vaughan (who had died two years earlier but had a posthumous CD out, one of about 3, 862), Gary Moore, the Arc Angels and the Eric Gales Band. On the other end of the spectrum was the alt-rock I was listening to from U2, Matthew Sweet ("Girlfriend" was and is a monster album from '91), Red Hot Chili Peppers, and newer acts like Teenage Fanclub and the La's. Hell, I still liked Live at this point, before the band's pomposity drove me away. The one outlier on this tape is from a band called White Trash, which was a metal band with a horn section and an MTV hit called "Apple Pie." Pretty entertaining song, but they dropped off the radar fairly quickly after that.

All things considered, this is a decent mix. In the months after I made it, I bought a new Hyundai Elantra, Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in the presidential election and a young Jon Stewart started showing up on Comedy Central and MTV.


Side A
Remedy - The Black Crowes
The Sky is Crying - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Cold Day in Hell - Gary Moore
Living in a Dream - ArcAngels
Sign of the Storm - Eric Gales Band
Does She Talk? - Matthew Sweet
The Concept - Teenage Fanclub
There She Goes - The La's
Operation Spirit - Live
Give It Away - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Side B
Apple Pie - White Trash
Even Flow - Pearl Jam
Searching With My Good Eye Closed - Soundgarden
Wooden Jesus - Temple of the Dog
Low Self Opinion - Rollins Band
I Could Have Lied - Red Hot Chili Peppers
December - Teenage Fanclub
Ultraviolet (Light My Way) - U2
Little Wing - Stevie Ray Vaughan




Classic:



Heavy:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Name Game

The tech world, and the world in general, was all abuzz today with Apple's unveiling of its long-awaited tablet product, the iPad. Essentially, it looks to be a would-be Kindle killer, a rectangular device that lets users read e-books, listen to MP3s, watch videos, destroy sharks with laser beams and more. Seems pretty cool and all, but there's one thing that's bugging me and apparently a lot of other folks: what's with that stupid name?

The jokes have already been made ad infinitum: iPad sounds like a feminine hygiene product. So how does something this huge and hyped and sweated-over end up with an obviously horrendous name? Somebody in the Apple marketing department is getting reamed out right about now. On Twitter today, the topic "iTampon" was actually trending higher than "iPad." That doesn't bode well. It'll be fun to see how they spin this.

But the iPad certainly isn't the first stupid product name. The dotcom boom led to plenty of idiotic company names: OK2Play.com, EcomEcom.com, Kerbango (I actually liked that one), the list went on and on. Guess they were thinking outside the lightbox.

But those pale in comparison to some of these product names documented at this blog: Golden Gaytime ice cream, Vergina beer, Pee Cola, Ayds diet supplements, and Shitto spiced pepper sauce.

Maybe the jokes about the iPad will die down eventually, but I'm betting Steve Jobs wishes he called it the iShitto.

As it turns out, MadTV was on top of this three years ago:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Completely Conspicuous 111: I Predict a Riot

The podcast returns with part 3 of my conversation with Ric Dube. We wrap up our pop culture predictions for the next decade. Click here to listen to the show in streaming audio or download it directly here (right click and "save as").

The show notes...

Topics:

- Dube praises the CompCon movie recap episodes

- Joseph Gordon-Levitt will continue to do good work

- Dube wants you to see 500 Days of Summer...to understand why he hates it

- "Annie Hall for dumb kids"

- Annoying Hollywood trend: Self-conscious namedropping of "cool bands"

- Talking Avatar...which neither of us has seen

- Ric loves his Kindle

- Prediction: Touchscreen technology may turn actual desktops into computers, creating virtual clutter

- Ric's moneymaking idea: Halloween costume generator

- Female version makes every costume slutty (E.g., slutty trash collector)

- Tailor made for an iPhone app

- The adventures of intern Gabe

- Ric: The TSA is comprised of power-mad mall cops

- Product idea: Terror alert level M&Ms

- Eat your way to comfort level

- Bonehead of the Week

Music:

- Drive-By Truckers - This F*cking Job

- Shearwater - Black Eyes

- The Smashing Pumpkins - Widow Wake My Mind

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Drive-By Truckers song was recorded for the forthcoming album The Big To-Do on ATO Records. Find out more at and download the song for free at Stereogum.

The Shearwater song is on the album The Golden Archipelago on Matador Records, where you can download the track for free.

The Smashing Pumpkins song is on the forthcoming album Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Find out more and download the song for free here.

The show is sponsored by Eastbay/Footlocker.com, a leading supplier of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment. The promo code AFCOMP15 will get you 15% off any order at Eastbay, AFCOMP20 will get you 20% off any order of $75 or more at Eastbay and AFCOMPFL will get you 15% off any order at Footlocker.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blogs Clicky Clicky and Keeping Some Dark Secrets. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of the mighty Mark Campbelll. Thanks to Bob Durling for the album art; find out more about his photography here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mixology: Chex Party Mix

Mixology is a recurring feature in which I take a look at one of the many mix tapes I made over the years. Some are better than others, but all of them are fun to revisit.

Chex Party Mix (12/87)


In December 1987, I was in my junior year of college at UNH, living off-campus for the first time with three roommates. I believe we were preparing for a big blowout party to mark the end of the semester and our monthlong holiday break (man, do I sure miss those). I had the bright idea to make a tape that would totally knock the socks off all the various partygoers.

However, listening to it now, I'm reminded that I was going through a definite mainstream music phase. This was certainly influenced by my roomies; we watched a lot of MTV and listened to a lot of top 40 music. I had to indulge my hard rock/metal tendencies on my Sony Walkman.

I actually took a lot of time crafting this tape to appeal to the disparate constituencies who would hear it: Jocks (my roomies were football players), girls, other people, me. Which explains the Billy Joel song, which I don't even remember liking. And the presence of Steve Winwood, Don Henley and The Firm. Yikes. I also included plenty of comedy throughout from folks like Eddie Murphy and Bob and Doug McKenzie, because who doesn't want to hear comedy on the stereo at a party?

I was using my crappy all-in-one stereo to make the tape, using the dual cassette deck to tape songs off other tapes. The sound quality isn't ideal, but it's okay. So cue the party...I pop in the tape and naturally expect everyone to stop what they're doing and listen to every little nuance. But that's not how parties work, at least not in 1987 in Apt. 9 of Nick's Bricks in Durham, NH. People get loud, people get drunk and people want music to dance to. After a while, I could see folks weren't really digging the tape, so I threw in something else. Probably Billy Joel's Greatest Hits. Hey, the party was fun.


Side A

Louie Louie - John Belushi
The Beerhunter - Bob & Doug McKenzie
It's Tricky - Run DMC
Shock the Monkey - Peter Gabriel
Watching the Detectives - Elvis Costello
Girlfriend is Better (live) - Talking Heads
Singers - Eddie Murphy
Under My Thumb - The Rolling Stones
The Boys of Summer - Don Henley
I Missed Again - Phil Collins

Side B
Welcome to Side 2 - Bob & Doug McKenzie
Doug's Mouth - Bob & Doug McKenzie
Where Have All the Good Times Gone? - Van Halen
Soul Man (live) - Blues Brothers
Big Man on Mulberry Street - Billy Joel
Once in a Lifetime (live) - Talking Heads
The World Where You Live - Crowded House
Ice Cream Man - Van Halen
Ice Cream Man - Eddie Murphy
Lil' Devil - The Cult
Split Decision - Steve Winwood
Radioactive - The Firm
Happy Trails - Van Halen





Huh?



Yeah:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Completely Conspicuous 110: Suture Up Your Future

The podcast returns with part 2 of my conversation with Ric Dube. We discuss our predictions for the future of movies and TV. Click here to listen to the show in streaming audio or download it directly here (right click and "save as").

The show notes...

Topics:

- Dube: Movies with vampires/monsters/zombies/aliens will pass

- We need new professions to make movies about

- Some possibilities: Temps, garbagemen

- The imposing presence of Charles S. "Roc" Dutton

- Kids' books only come out if they're part of a series

- We'll run out of comic book hero movies

- Ric throws out some movie pitches

- Pitch: "Bong With the Wind," Merchant and Ivory meets Cheech and Chong

- Pitch: "Thinheritance," a new take on "Brewster's Millions"

- Chris Rock would star; has to lose 50 pounds in 30 days to inherit millions, but has already lost the weight

- Pitch: "Guard Shack," starring Sinbad and Kevin James as warring security guards in guard shacks at either end of a complex

- B-52s will do theme song

- Jay's pitch: "Drive-Thru," where drive-thru worker witnesses murder or kidnapping

- Jay's TV prediction: Talent shows will branch out

- Ric's TV pitch: "Slave Trade," The Apprentice meets QVC

- Where does reality TV go from here?

- Jay's TV pitch: An award show for award shows

- Bonehead of the Week

Music:

- Jay Reatard - Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle

- Rogue Wave - Good Morning

- The Pixies - Dancing the Manta Ray (live)

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Jay Reatard song was recorded for an upcoming album of covers of Nirvana's In Utero album. Find out more and download the song for free here.

The Rogue Wave song is on the album Permalight on Brushfire Records. Download the track for free at Stereogum.

The Pixies song is on the band's live EP commemorating the 20th anniversary of the album Doolittle. Download the EP for free at Pixiesmusic.com.

The show is sponsored by Budget, the country's premier car rental service with 900 locations. Go to Budget and save 10% off any reservation or $30 off a weekly rental.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blogs Clicky Clicky and Keeping Some Dark Secrets. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of the mighty Mark Campbell. Thanks to Bob Durling for the album art; find out more about his photography here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Talk Talk

It looks as though the late night debacle is nearing a close: Conan O'Brien has reportedly agreed to a $40 million buyout from NBC that will force him to stop trashing the network but allow him to resurface elsewhere within a year. Meanwhile, Jay Leno is about to step back into the role that he "retired" from last year: host of The Tonight Show. At 11:30.

I've got to say, as annoying as this whole thing was to watch as someone who's a big Conan fan and not so much a Leno fan, it has made for some great TV the last two weeks: Conan (and Leno) ripping into NBC; Conan, Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel ripping into Leno; and everybody trashing NBC exec Jeff Zucker, who made all this possible.

Moving Conan to 11:30 definitely was a mistake; it forced him to rein his brand of humor in. The "dead man walking" situation of the last few weeks has seemingly freed him up to get his edge back. No longer worried about pleasing anyone, Conan has been hilarious. His ratings have gone up by 50%, even beating Leno's prime-time show. Alas, too little, too late.

One sidenote that hasn't been resolved yet: Conan and NBC are reportedly negotiating over whether he gets to take the characters created on his shows with him, or whether NBC owns the intellectual property of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the Masturbating Bear and Pimpbot 5000, among other classic bits. A similar battle ensued when Letterman left NBC in the early '90s, forcing good ol' Larry "Bud" Melman to go by his real name, Calvert DeForest:



And Triumph, of course:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mixology: To Funk or Not to Funk?

I haven't done a lot of recurring features on this blog, with the exception of the CompCon shownotes, but I'm starting one now. The inspiration was an article in the Globe this week about a great site I had never heard of called Cassette From My Ex, in which folks write about a mix tape they received from an ex-significant other; there are some great stories about the tapes themselves, the relationships, the meaning of the songs, etc. And you're able to listen to the tapes as well. The site hasn't been updated since last fall, but it appears as though site organizer Jason Bittner has spent the last few months putting together a book based on the site's premise. Hopefully, he'll start posting new stories about old mixes. Mix tapes have been glorified to excellent effect in the fine books High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (and subsequent movie adaptation starring John Cusack) and Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield.

Mix tapes and I go way back, ever since 1980-81 when I got a clock radio with a built-in tape deck. I started making tapes of songs I liked off the radio. The sound quality was awful and sometimes the DJ started yapping before I could stop the recording, but those tapes got me through some rough times. I didn't make a tape again until I got to college, when aided by my roommates' superior stereo equipment, I got the bug again. In the 24 years since, I've recorded dozens of mix tapes and later, CDs and iTunes playlists, but making a mix cassette is much more rewarding--not to mention time-consuming. The vast majority of tapes I made were for my own personal listening pleasure, although I did make a few for girls I was dating, including Deb. I think I only received one tape from an ex; I'll write about it sometime.

I believe my last mix tape was made in 1999, around Thanksgiving, when Deb and I had just started living together. Not long after that, my tape deck broke and I didn't replace it. A few years later, I got a CD burner for my PC and tapes were long forgotten. But I still drove cars that had tape decks, so occasionally I would dig up an old mix and pop it in. Some of the mixes were more thematic than others; some were just made up of cool songs I liked at the time. I still do that each month, putting together an iTunes playlist and burning it to a CD. Although now that I'm driving an old Explorer that only has a tape deck and no CD player, I've been listening to tapes more often.

Last year, I bought a Sony double-cassette deck off Craigslist and have it hooked up to a receiver, CD player and turntable, so I'm actually fully equipped to make mix tapes again. And I found several blank tapes last night, so at some point when I have some time I'll make some new mixes. In the meantime, I'm going to use this feature, Mixology, to describe various past mix tapes in random order. So here goes with the first one:

To Funk or Not to Funk (11/30/96)

The '90s were my most prolific time for mix tape making. This tape was made when I was getting heavily into funk and R&B. Looking back, I could make a tape that's way more funky than this one now, but this one ain't bad. The first side was funk or funk-influenced songs and the second side had more of an alt-rock bent. Probably the best thing I can say about this tape is that there aren't any songs on it I'm embarrassed of, something I can't say about a lot of my other tapes.

Side A: Funk
1. Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys
2. Make It Funky - James Brown
3. Chicken Dog - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Rufus Thomas
4. High 5 (Rock the Catskills) - Beck
5. What is Hip? - Tower of Power
6. We Got Soul - Big Boys
7. Can't Get Enough of Your Love - Barry White
8. When Doves Cry - Prince
9. Taste the Pain - Red Hot Chili Peppers
10. One Born Every Minute - Big Chief
11. Bring the Noise - Anthrax and Public Enemy
12. Jerry was a Race Car Driver - Primus
13. Blame Etc. - Afghan Whigs

Side B: Not to Funk
1. (Feel Like) (Gerry) Cheevers (Stitch Marks on My Heart) - Chixdiggit!
2. Worst Thing - Sebadoh
3. Leave - R.E.M.
4. Gift Shop - The Tragically Hip
5. Smile - Pearl Jam
6. Men in Black - Frank Black
7. Godzilla - Blue Oyster Cult
8. Lil' Devil - The Cult
9. Tighter and Tighter - Soundgarden
10. Witness - Screaming Trees
11. Underneath - Kevin Salem
12. Ice Cream Man - Van Halen
13. Funk Off - Big Boys

Funk:



Not to Funk:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Completely Conspicuous 109: The Future is Now

The podcast's back as special guest Ric Dube and I discuss the future of music. Click here to listen to the show in streaming audio or download it directly here (right click and "save as").

The show notes...

Topics:

- Dube: More band reunions this decade

- Three kinds of reunions: Genuine, threatened and recycled

- A note from Husker Du's Grant Hart

- Musing on a Led Zep reunion

- Kumar: Do we need age limits for rock?

- Many rock icons will hit 70 this decade

- Lemmy's still louder than anybody

- Will someone die onstage of natural causes?

- Mick Jagger's a cyborg

- "The Gambler" as metaphor for life

- We need a new song as metaphor

- Ric nominates Jerry Reed's "When You're Hot, You're Hot, When You're Not, You're Not"

- Jerry Reed: Master of talk-singing

- "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" has many levels

- Debating the merits of Jon & Vangelis

- Whither the cassingle?

- "Jailhouse Rock": A gay anthem?

- Jay's prediction: Next big format will be edible music

- Behold...the Skittle Player

- Horny.org: A good cause

- Bonehead of the Week

Music:

- The Besnard Lakes - Albatross

- Scarce - Racecar Gasoline

- Pavement - Gold Soundz

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Besnard Lakes song is on the album Are the Roaring Night on Jagjaguwar Records. Download the song here.

The Scarce song is on the EP Girl Through Me. Download the track for free here.

The Pavement song is on the greatest hits compilation Quarantine the Past on Matador Records, where you can download the song for free.

The show is sponsored by Budget, the country's premier car rental service with 900 locations. Go to Budget and save 10% off any reservation or $30 off a weekly rental.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blogs Clicky Clicky and Keeping Some Dark Secrets. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of the mighty Mark Campbell. Thanks to Bob Durling for the album art; find out more about his photography here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Infected

So there I was Saturday morning, just minding my own business on our desktop PC. I wanted to read about Future of the Left, a band I've been digging lately formed by former dudes from the band McLusky. I click on a link for an NME article and suddenly I'm deluged by bogus "virus alert" popups and Viagra and porn sites. The PC was infected! Bastards. Honestly, the people who create this malware should just die already. I soon realized that the McAfree software we have was useless and it became difficult to try and do anything because nearly everything I tried was being blocked. Eventually I couldn't even access any websites.

Fortunately, we have the laptop. I put out a plea for help on Facebook and got some good advice from friends. But my old childhood buddy Dexter, who does IT work up in Toronto, got in touch and offered to remotely access the PC and check it out. I was busy yesterday, not watching that horrendous Pats game and visiting Dr. Doobs to do some recording for a series of future CompCon episodes. But I gave Dex a call tonight after work and after hitting some roadblocks, he was able to gain remote access and run anti-malware software. He's actually still doing a scan of the PC; so far, it has found 10 infected "objects." Not sure what those are, but I'm hoping it's not anything I care about like files or photos or MP3s. I have most of my iTunes library on our external hard drive, but had yet to back everything up. Rest assured I will do so when this is cleared up. Big thanks to Dex for all his help; check out his site if you run into similar problems. He's a good dude.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Talk of the Town

The world of late night TV is an ever-evolving place. Talk shows are handed out seemingly every other week while others are cancelled. Not all the decisions are good ones. Take the braintrust at NBC, which has been languishing in fourth place behind ABC, CBS and Fox for a while now.

Four years ago, the network announced that Jay Leno, who had hosted the Tonight Show since Johnny Carson retired in the early '90s, would be stepping down in 2009 and anointed Conan O'Brien as the heir apparent. Conan had stepped in as host of the 12:30 Late Night program after David Letterman jumped to CBS in 1993. After a rocky start, he made a mark as a funny, silly, and eminently watchable host. The move to 11:30 made sense. But then something strange happened. As the switchover date approached, it became clear that Leno wasn't going to go away quietly. There were rumors he would start a competing talk show at 11:30, so NBC ended up announcing just before O'Brien took over in June that Leno would have his own 10 p.m. "Daily Show"-style program...FIVE nights a week. This must not have made Conan feel too good just as he was about to launch his take on The Tonight Show.

The move totally blew up in NBC's proverbial face. Any Leno stalwarts who might have stuck with The Tonight Show ended up abandoning it for Leno's show, which in turn took a beating in the ratings and even hurt local newscasts as a lead-in. Letterman, after years of trailing Leno in the ratings, began beating O'Brien soundly. And now NBC is considering moving Leno back to the Tonight Show. What this means for O'Brien is unknown but I, for one, think it would be idiotic.

While Conan has dialed back his weirdness for the earlier time slot, much as Letterman did 16 years earlier, he is still consistently funny. Unfortunately it seems that the typical 11:30 audience is older and less accepting of O'Brien's sense of humor. That, combined with the added "must see" factor that came with Letterman's bizarre sex scandal a few months ago, has left O'Brien vulnerable to more network stupidity. And Leno could benefit from the situation, even though his show is a failure critically and in the ratings.

If NBC does return to Leno to 11:30, I hope O'Brien can get out of his contract and land his own show somewhere it'll be appreciated. Maybe Fox would opt for an 11:30 show. Whatever the case, the guy's been totally screwed over by his own network.

I used to like Leno. He was a funny standup in the '80; I even saw him perform a few times. He was a great talk show guest and used to make frequent appearances on Letterman's NBC show:



But after he took over The Tonight Show, Leno became a bland host and lost whatever edge he once had. And as for Conan, he forged his own trail in the 12:30 slot:



I really hope NBC sticks with Conan, but the fact that the brass is thinking about making this switch after less than a year shows what weaselly tools they are. If Leno has any class, he'll step down instead of stealing his old show back. And if he doesn't and Conan is given the boot and decides to go in a different direction, maybe someone will bring this guy back:



UPDATE: And sure enough, 30 minutes after I typed this post, the New York Times reported that NBC is considering the following move: Leno to 11:30, Conan to 12:05, Jimmy Fallon to 1:05. The change will take place after the Winter Olympics end in February. Well, it won't affect me much because I TiVo Conan and Fallon (who consistently has the best music acts on). It's still a diss to Conan, but at least they didn't cancel him. Hopefully this won't cause his ratings to plummet further.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Completely Conspicuous 108: What's My Name?

The podcast's back as I take a look at the lasting impact of nicknames. Click here to listen to the show in streaming audio or download it directly here (right click and "save as").

The show notes...

Topics:

- The story of "Lip"

- Nicknames I've had over the years

- Bonehead of the Week

Music:

- Metric - Gimme Sympathy

- The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Higher Than the Stars

- The XX - Basic Space

- Future of the Left - Arming Eritrea

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes podcast directory. Subscribe and write a review!

The Metric song is on the self-released album Fantasies. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart song is on the EP Higher Than the Stars on Slumberland Records. Both songs are courtesy of IODA Promonet:

FantasiesMetric
"Gimme Sympathy" (mp3)
from "Fantasies"
(Arts & Crafts Mexico)

More On This Album



Higher Than the StarsThe Pains of Being Pure At Heart
"Higher Than the Stars" (mp3)
from "Higher Than the Stars"
(Slumberland)

Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album



The XX song is on the album xx on XL Recordings. The Future of the Left song is on the album Travels With Myself and Another on 4AD Records. Download both songs for free at BeggarsGroupUSA.

The show is sponsored by Eastbay/Footlocker.com, a leading supplier of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment. The promo code AFCOMP15 gets you 15% off any order at Eastbay, the code AFCOMP20 gets you 20% off any order of $75 or more at Eastbay, and the code AFCOMPFL will get you 15% off any order at Footlocker.com.

The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling at his fine music blogs Clicky Clicky and Keeping Some Dark Secrets. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of the mighty Mark Campbell. Thanks to Bob Durling for the album art; find out more about his photography here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Friday, January 01, 2010

In the New Year

Happy New Year! We didn't exactly rip it up last night, but that's okay. We took the girls to the downtown Beverly First Night kids' activities and then were hanging out at the house of some friends. We were home by 9. I didn't even bother watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV or anything like that.

This morning, Deb and I both ran in the Wicked Frosty Four, a 4-mile race in Salem. Unlike last year, which was brutally cold, it was a nice morning for a run. I suffered from side stitches for much of it, probably due to the beer and food I had last night, but I still finished in a decent time of 29:25. Deb ran faster than she thought she would, so it was all good. I also covered the event for the Salem News, so we stuck around afterward so I could do a few interviews.

Speaking of running, I signed up for the Providence Marathon yesterday. It's on May 2, so I need to start training a week from Monday. Deb's planning to do two half marathons in the spring.

Came home and watched the Winter Classic at Fenway. After a week of forecasters calling for rain, it ended up being a perfect day for the game: cold, mostly cloudy. The game started off with a good pace and lots of hitting, but the teams settled into a lull for most of the second and third with the Flyers holding a 1-0 lead. With two minutes left, the Bruins scored on a power play and the game went to OT. The action was fast and furious, with the Flyers all over the B's but unable to beat goalie Tim Thomas. The Bruins then went down and Marco Sturm scored on a tip-in to win it for Boston. Great finish. I'm looking forward to going to Fenway next Friday for the BC-BU game. Hope I don't freeze my butt off.

I was pleased today to see that after 12 years of inactivity, Soundgarden has reunited. If nothing else, it'll save the world from another Chris Cornell solo album. But seriously folks, I loved that band and if they can recapture even half of their former glory, I'll be psyched. Enjoy the new year with a song that's almost 20 years old: