Thursday, November 30, 2006

We Were For Muslim Extermists Before We Were Against Them

Happy 20th birthday to the Iran-Contra Scandal (The sale of arms was confirmed by Ed Meese on November 25, 1986). I wonder why this anniversary isn't being noted as much as, say Watergate? Maybe there are just too many other Republican scandals in the wind right now. Really, what's the scandal scorecard looking like these days? Even my most rock-ribbed Republican friends would have to admit that the scandals seem to accumulate more under their administrations. I mean really, what have the Democrats got? A blowjob and a couple of pardons? Don't even start that Whitewater or Vince Foster nonsense either!

Back to Iran-Contra. I remember the hearings on this like they were yesterday, and even then, I was appalled that the executive branch would so flagrantly do an end-run around the constitution. How on earth did so many people avoid incarceration? Oh that's right, "I don't recall."

Funny side note to the whole affair. I went to college with Oliver North's eldest daughter and son. I even had classes a lot of classes with his daughter since we were both class of '91 and English majors to boot (both were incredibly nice by the way). On the day of my graduation, as I was walking to the ceremony with my parents, we ran into Oliver North who shook hands with me and my parents. To this day, I have the mental image of the distaste etched on my father's face as he towered over Mr. North while shaking his hand (North is only like 5'6" tall and my Dad is 6'2"). Well done Dad!

Yikes! It must be Ronald Reagan week here at Flannel Enigma. [Ed. Note: I never expected to see that sentence here ever.]

NP: "I Wanna Sleep with You" - The Psychedelic Furs
(C'mon, you just knew this one would have to be from the 80s)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The World According to Ronald Reagan

In a handy map!

The scary part of this is that much of those who purport to speak for the right seem to believe this is the way the world should be (I'm looking at you Rush Limbaugh, but then again, you are hard to miss).

I suppose this means that I'm back from my moving hiatus. Amazingly, we are about 90% done setting up the new loft.

NP: "Leaves Me Cold" - Lush

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Moving Update

One move is complete (mostly anyway). I'm still in the process of unpacking though. Between that, cooking a big turkey for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and preparing for my new job that begins on December 4, posting will probably continue to be light.

NP: " (I Want to Be an) Anglepoise Lamp" - The Soft Boys

Friday, November 17, 2006

Revisiting My Top Five Albums for 2005

Inspired by a post at gorilla vs. bear, I thought I too would look at how I feel about my top five albums from last year fared in my opinion after having a chance to listen to them all year. Here's how my original top five looked last year:
  1. Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
  2. The National - Alligator
  3. The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
  4. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
  5. British Sea Power - Open Season
I still listen to these albums somewhat regularly, so I didn't fare too poorly in what I picked. However, there were some albums that I didn't rate so highly that have only improved with age, which says something about their staying power. If I were ranking 2005 right now, the top five would look like this (orginal rankings in parenthesis):
  1. Sufjan Stevens - Illinoise (9)
  2. Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary (4)
  3. The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday (3)
  4. The National - Alligator (2)
  5. Broken Social Scene - Broken Social Scene (17)
Bloc Party would still make my top ten list, but I'm sure British Sea Power would fall a bit farther down (though I still really like the album). As for Broken Social Scene, here's what I said last December:
[This album] has really grown on me though. I suspect that if I were compiling this list sometime next month, it would crack the top 10.
Or top five! Overall, I didn't do too poorly in my estimating skills. Three of the original top five are still there, while the other two new additions were at least in my top 20. I'm not sure why Sufjan Stevens didn't make the top five the first time around. Maybe I was just a little burned out on him from the incessant chatter about the album on the music blogs. Illinoise, however, has more than held up for me. I probably listen to it more often now than I did last December.

I'm not sure I have a top 20 list in me this year for a couple of reasons. First, and most importantly, 2006 hasn't been the year 2005 was for music—at least not for music I've been listening too (and I'm sure I've missed my fair share). Second, that took a lot of work and since I'm going to be settling into a new loft and a new job this December, my focus will be elsewhere.

I probably won't be able to help myself and will do a top 10 though. And what do you think the chances are that The Hold Steady will be in the top five for consecutive years [Ed. Note: That's pretty apparent you big fanboy].

NP: "Making Friends and Acquaintances" - Cursive

Friday Music Report

According to my profile, I listened to the following music the most last week:

  1. Pulp
  2. Blur
  3. Hüsker Dü
  4. Uncle Tupelo
  5. Sufjan Stevens
  6. Radiohead
  7. Johnny Cash
  8. Crowded House
  9. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
  10. Spoon
I believe that's the first time that Radiohead has made this list, which may surprise some of you.

NP: "Sour Shores" - Portastatic

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The First World Cup Hat Trick Was Scored by an American

FIFA amends the records to credit Bert Patenaude with the first World Cup hat trick. After lengthy research and confirmation from the US Soccer Federation, he has been retrospectively entered in FIFA's records as the first player to score a hat trick in World Cup history. He scored three goals in the USA's 3-0 victory over Paraguay on 17 July 1930 during the first World Cup.

Good things happen on July 17. Trust me on this.

NP: "You've Sealed My Fate" - Swervedriver

The Story of Bicycle Pants Man

OK, so this one is for my readers who are familiar with Atlanta. A local documentary film maker has put together the story of Willy Terry, a local character fond of hanging out on Ponce de Leon Avenue in a pair of bicycle shorts that, shall we say, enhance his masculinity—no matter what the weather. You know you know who I'm talking about.

So if you've ever seen Mr. Terry and wondered what the heck was up with him (or more likely what the hell is in his pants), here you go (via Cable and Tweed):
Warning. Not safe for work (sans headphones). It's nice to see so many familiar faces turn up from my 'hood. These are the things that make me love living on Ponce. Now that I'm moving next week, I'll have to learn a whole new set of characters.

Now I want to know about the "Why Lie I Need a Beer" guy at North Avenue and the connector exit.

NP: "Keep Me" - The Black Keys

Monday, November 13, 2006

Changes Afoot

Lots of changes are occurring for me right now, seemingly all at once. First, I am preparing to move, and I hate moving. Second, a new job is in the offing as well. Accordingly, posting may be light until I get into my new place next Monday and the employment situation is completely sorted out. Normal posting will resume then.

NP: "Stalemate" - Nada Surf

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Music Report

According to my profile, I listened to the following music the most last week:
  1. The Hold Steady
  2. Wilco
  3. Echo & the Bunnymen
  4. The Charlatans U.K.
  5. Luna
  6. Swervedriver
  7. Franz Ferdinand
  8. The Wedding Present
  9. Pavement
  10. Pulp
Now, here are 10 songs drawn totally at random from my music library using iTunes' smart playlist feature:
  • Serious Bird Woman (You Turn Me On) - Robert Pollard
  • The Tall Grass - Favourite Sons
  • Like A Pearl (live) - Portastatic
  • There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - The Lucksmiths
  • Stop, I'm Already Dead - Deadboy & the Elephantmen
  • Water Wings - Superchunk
  • Shake Your Hips - The 101ers
  • If You Knew - Neko Case
  • Jennifer - The Brian Jonestown Massacre
  • Hounds Of Love (live) - The Futureheads
NP: "Another Morning Stoner" - ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Good Guys Win

The house at least. Say hello to Speaker Pelosi.

Sorry Gollum. (Though it's unimaginable that you were super excited tonight.)

UPDATE: Now the Senate is looking interesting. Go Jim. Go Claire. Go Jon.

UPDATE II: Please Virginia, be sane. Don't elect Gov. Disney to the Senate again. Here we go. Recounts likely.

UPDATE III: Webb says he wins. Hallelujah! Let the recounts begin. Thank you Richmond.

UPDATE IV: Not so much in Georgia. We did hold a contested seat or two (not sure exactly of the exact numbers since John Lewis [bless him] is my representative.)

FINAL UPDATE: Allen should take the advice of GOP representatives from 2000 and retreat quietly in the political night. Webb won. Get over it. Blue congress!

"The votes are in, and we won"
- Jim Webb

I Voted

Did You?

(And here's some voting music for you)

NP: "The Revolution Starts Now" - Steve Earle

Monday, November 06, 2006

Weekly Music Report

I was traveling to D.C. on Friday for a wedding (pictures here), and I was unable to get the stats for the previous week. So I guess that part of the music report will skip its first week.

I can, however, provide you with 10 songs drawn totally at random from my iPod:
  • When You Come - Crowded House
  • Whatever's Cool With Me - Dinosaur Jr
  • Positive Jam - The Hold Steady
  • You Are What You Love - Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
  • Murdermile - The Kills
  • Silver - The Pixies
  • Faron - Prefab Sprout
  • Wake Up - Rage Against the Machine
  • Rude Mood - Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Building Skyscrapers In The Basement - Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
NP: "The Infanta" - The Decemberists

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sing, O Goddess, the Anger of Achilles

In the original! Learn to speak ancient Greek.

NP: "As If I Hadn't Slept" - Idlewild

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Inside Beethoven's Symphony No. 3

The San Francisco Orchestra provides a very cool, interactive guide to Beethoven's Symphony No. 3. I don't know a lot about classical music (listening to Karl Haas notwithstanding), merely that I like quite a bit of it, so I found this guide very instructive. This is an excellent use of Flash to allow users to directly interact with something that isn't inherently visual.

NP: "Like a Pearl" - Portastatic