Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye Ha Ha's, Life Simplification #5

For the last 4 months I have been helping direct a tean improv group names the HA HA's. I enjoyed the opportunity it was to teach... and to interact with the kids. But it quickly became apparent that my busy schedule was just to busy to hold JesterZ, the HA HA's, 40 hour work week, a girl friend, blog habits and music reviews... so I decided to stop helping out with the HA HA's. It was hard becuase two of my favorite improv people are involved in the HA HA's; Yichoa and Jessica.

Anyway, I spoke to Jessica yesterday and told her when the HA HA's resume in January I would not be able to help out... she ofcourse took it fine.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hot off the Press : Stinkweeds "Best of 2008", Music #10

Stinkweeds released there "Best of 2008" last week just before Christmas and despite getting it in a little late it looks like I made the cut. This is my first time to be included in the list and I am pretty exited about it. There is a pretty good collection of top 10 lists in the little booklet... so check it out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thanks everyone, my credit card is paid off! Family #2

I would just like to thank everyone for helping me pay my credit card off... I figure everyone paid .00000022 cents. So 10 months early, I have my credit card paid off, well all but $200, but that is there is build credit! WOO HOO, I'm free!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


  1. Start one... even if it is with a cat, dog and Homer
  2. Pay off my credit card by 9/09
  3. Catch up my SS payments by 4/10
  4. Get all the rooms of my condo filled by 3/09
  5. Continue to put 10% of my gross income into retirement
  6. Go on a date once a week for 3 months
  7. Have flowers at one of those dates per month
  8. Start a lord of the rings fund
  9. Finish painting my Bathroom
  10. Put new lighting up in the kitchen

Let the riding begin..., Green # 4

I started riding Amy to Improv last Saturday (12/7). Here is a little about Amy and how I feel about vespa culture. It was a very cold ride... and even colder last night when I rode to rehersal. My goal of riding Amy whenever I go to Improv will end 6/7/09, but I am hoping to periotically update you on how my road adventures go.

Amy is a beautiful machine and gets roughly 72 mpg. While my car (Nissan Altima) does pretty good at 26 mpg... it doesn't even touch Amy. Let the Green revolution begin.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Life Simplification

  1. Go through all my clothing and donate anything I haven't worn in a year to DI
  2. Go through my checking account and credit card account and cancel all unnecessary payments
  3. Cancel my savings account with Chase
  4. Go electronic on as much of my mail as I can
  5. Stop directing the HA HA's : (
  6. Clean my room every Satuday for 3 months
  7. Clear out my hotmail account
  8. Start and use gmail

Monday, December 8, 2008

Top 10 Albums 2008, Music #10

Many of you know that I run a number of different blogs... one of those is ...and music will set you free. Its a fun little blog and I enjoy doing it... I'm not on the cutting edge of indie music by any means, but I like to think I'm close. At any rate, my main motivation for starting this blog was to give me the motivation to write more album reviews for my favorite indie music store, Stinkweeds. At the end of the year, Stinkweeds releases a year in review booklet and those who review music with then submit their top ten list, with a mini review with each album. I got home from Ireland and had 5 days to submit this list to Lindsay at Stinkweeds, so I buckled down last week and widdled my top ten list down and sent it off to Lindsay. While the review booklet has not been finished I wanted to get my list up here first because, well no other reason then I'm exited about it. I am really surprised about my top ten list this year but I'm very happy with it as well. Sometimes with the blog I get a little caught up in the scene and forget to enjoy the music... so seen for the first time here (besides by Jeffrey via Facebook email): 2008 Top 10 Albums:

As soon as the booklet is published I will present it here!

Dr. Dog – Fate
Rarely is a band able to put together an album that combines the innovation needed to intrigue the ever changing indie ear and the deep soul of pop music that might have been listened to by our parent. Fate is a master piece in Dr. Dog’s already magnificent discography. Fate is truly the quintessential indie-fusion album.

Sigur Ros - Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust
From the explosive opening song (Gobbledigook) to the crescendo in Ára bátur, your heart will feel like it is going to over flow and gush out Icelandic beauty everywhere. This is a simple beautiful album all around; nothing ground breaking, nothing over the top, just beautiful touching music.

French Quarter – S/T
You know the soft rain that patters on roof or window of your apartment. I’m talking about the rain that creep in and just lingers; you use words like drizzle to describe it… well the closest we get to it in Arizona is French Quarter (Stephen Steinbrink). This album is beautiful in so many ways. From the distant rhythm of “bold with fire” to the beautiful silence wove in the sinew of “for andy”. Stephen is so young and his music is beautiful.

The Duke AND THE Duchess – He’s The Duke, She’s the Duchess
Every now and then I get to hear an album like "The Dutchess AND THE Duke - She's The Dutchess, He's The Duke" that takes me back to that time when music was simple and exciting. She's The Dutchess, He's The Duke are somewhere between, Leadbelly , The Rolling Stones and Velvet Underground. The album is a sultry mix of male and female vocals, gritty guitar along with the occasional hand clap, flute, harmonica and tambourine. You'll quickly fall in love with the album and wonder why.

Delta Spirit – Ode to Sunshine
Ode To Sunshine is crafted out of the same stuff the Beach Boys made Pet Sounds and the Beatles made Magic Mystery Tour with a twist of soul! To categorize these guys under indie would be much to narrow, you'd need to include Americana, Soul and Blues as all these elements are present on this album.

The Tallest Man on Earth - Shallow Graves
The longer I listen to music the more and more a lean toward those sounds that are more organic and natural. The Tallest Man on Earth has rightfully so been compared to Dylan on more then one occasion. Between his quick witted lyrics, simple chord progression and rusty voice there is a lot to love about this debut album.

Mount Eerie – Lost Wisdom
Along the great expanse of music, there are dozens and dozens of record labels that are just that, "record labels"... the antithesis being, obviously, CD companies or rather mp3 companies. The bands who float along this sphere stay close to the earth, content with lo-fi music and the simplest means of production. They make strange music and their performances are often stranger. Those that are crawling on the underground of this scenemeet in a Dean & Sal'ist style, on porches and couches across the catacombs of America. Lost Wisdom breathes from these roads.

Frightened Rabbits – Midnight Organ Fight
Aw, the honesty of saying what you mean to say and using the words that should be used. Front man Scott Hutchison is a master at this. Really, this is one of the most honest albums that I have heard in a long time.

Mountain Goats – Heretic Pride
I looked at my collection of some 30 LP/EP’s in the discography of The Mountain Goats, and thought... how can a man continuously put out magnificent music. Heretic Pride is truly a fantastic album, depicting a wide range of unique characters and abstract emotions. It is a far cry from The Hound Chronicles, but that is to be expected with 15 years of music that has miraculously managed to stay relatively under the radar.

Horse Feathers - House with No Home
Unique in its simplicity and beautiful in its complexity; if that makes sense and is at all possible. Simple because he doesn’t complicate the music with strange sounds but complex because some of the string orchestrations are fantastic. This is really a beautiful record, folk at its greatest.