Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Scream

It's been a long time since I wrote about this, but The Scream has been recovered, along with another painting Madonna. The last time I talked about this, many thought that the iconic painting had been destroyed and would never be recovered. I am quite thankful that they were wrong.

The damage to the paintings was much less than police had feared.

NP: "Virginia Way/Shenandoah Breakdown" - The V-Roys

Afghan Whigs Return to Studio

Afghan Whigs are returning to the studio to work on four new tracks for their upcoming Rhino retrospective. Three of the original members will be back, along with a yet-to-be named drummer.

This is great news. Although I enjoy Greg Dulli's latest incarnation in The Twilight Singers, I've been a huge Afghan Whigs fan since I first stumbled upon their music in the early 90s. Heck, Gentlemen is as good a candidate as any to be the soundtrack to the slackerdom period of my life since it was in such heavy rotation. Hopefully, they'll grace us with some more music down the line some time.

NP: "Band of Gold" - Afghan Whigs

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Did This Work?

Tinkering under the hood continues. Why didn't anyone tell me that the site looked so bad with IE? Switch to Firefox already infidels (unless you really can't).

I made some tweaks to make this look better in Internet Explorer. Complaints? Bitches? Whinges? Problems?

Now I only have to figure how to make the now playing part play nice. (A little aliteration for those of you in the know... and assonance too!)

Whatever Happened to Half.com, Oregon?

During the height of the dot-com craziness, when millions and millions and millions of dollars were being spent on super bowl ads that were either confusing or just plain bad, Internet-retailer half.com pulled off a publicity stunt par excellance. The convinced the town of Halfway, Oregon, to rename itself Half.com, Oregon.

Ever wonder more about the full story, including what happened? Well, Design Observer has some more details on Half.com, Oregon.

NP: "All Glory" - Southern Death Cult

Monday, August 28, 2006

New York

As I mentioned in my last post, I got to spend a little time in NY last week. Sweetfrenchtoast has the details, including pictures!

NP: "Soul in Isolation" - The Chamelons U.K.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Music Report

I just flew in from New Jersey last night. I was up there for business the last three days, hence my lack of posts. The work was tiring and busy. The food was very Italian (and good), and I managed to make it into Manhatten one night with co-workers for some play time. All in all I'm glad to be back. (I did wave at the Oranges on the way back to Newark International though Krista.)

But I am here just in time for the Friday music report. So without further ado, Last.fm tells me that I listened to the following music the most last week:
  1. Pavement
  2. The Charlatans U.K.
  3. Wilco
  4. Echo & the Bunnymen
  5. The Wedding Present
  6. The Spinto Band
  7. Blur
  8. My Morning Jacket
  9. Pulp
  10. Elvis Costello
It seems that some old favorites made their way back onto the list. Just add the Clash, and you could probably find my favorite five bands over the last 15 years or so.

To give a more balanced view of what's in my music collection, here's 10 songs chosen completely at random by an iTunes smart playlist:
  • "Heart of Darkness" - Mission of Burma
  • "Burn that Broken Bed" - Iron & Wine and Calexico
  • "A Torch" - Sarge
  • "Ballad of the Band" - The Charlatans U.K.
  • "Blue Light" - Bloc Party
  • "Free Money" - Patti Smith
  • "Play It All Night Long" - Warren Zevon
  • "U Boat" - Kasabian
  • "I Never" - Rilo Kiley
  • "I Slept with the BonHomme at the CBC" - Broken Social Scene
NP: "I Want You to Stay" - Maximo Park

Monday, August 21, 2006

Flannel Enigma 2.0

I really wasn't kidding, although this probably will count as a 1.75 or something like that. I'm quite pleased that my tweaks didn't break every goll-darned thing! Of course I know that there are a few things that need working on:
  • The font size looks bigger to me... I'll knock it down a notch unless my parents and any 50+ readers complain
  • I'd also like to have everything centered. Is this an issue?
  • Google Ads? I have space for them now. Yes? No? Strong opinions either way?
  • Any other gadgets you'd like to see?
  • Search, etc., at the far right... or left?
I know I have some very web-savvy readers (all them equalling about 10% of my audience), what do you think?

Of course if I decide to migrate to Wordpress, I'll have to to this all over again.

Put Them On Notice!

And now, let's look at the big board!

Go and make your own! (via Grabbing Sand)

NP: "Eyes" - Rogue Wave

Friday, August 18, 2006

How to Go Web 2.0

It's all about the logo really:
Wanna go 2.0? (via ow)

NP: "Sometimes I Cry" - Guided by Voices

Friday Music Report

According to my Last.fm profile, I listened to the following music the most last week:
  1. My Bloody Valentine
  2. Neko Case
  3. Catherine Wheel
  4. The New Pornographers
  5. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
  6. Swervedriver
  7. The Shins
  8. The Wedding Present
  9. Bloc Party
  10. Blur
To slice and dice my music collection another way, so to speak, here are 10 songs drawn totally at random from my iPod using the smart playlist feature of iTunes.
  • "Straight A's - Dead Kennedys
  • "Truckstop Cassettes" - Portastatic
  • "Liberty Ship" - The La's
  • "Mass Romantic" - The New Pornographers
  • "Mohammed's Radio" - Warren Zevon
  • "What Goes On" - Bettie Serveert
  • "Conversations" - The Posies
  • "Lorca's Novena" - The Pogues
  • "Na Na Na Na Naa" - Kaiser Chiefs
  • "The Ruling Class" - Loose Fur
Would there be any interest in adding the actual mp3s of these Friday random 10 lists for your previewing pleasure (leaving them up for the week until the next report of course)? Or are most of these artists already well represented in your music collections? Maybe just one that I think is obscure? Just trying to gauge some interest and my your visits here more productive.

In a final music related note, I finally finished transitioning my many CDs to digital format. It only took a bit over a year and a half. Of course, the last 60 or so CDs had been sitting there unripped for probably a year, and I just wanted to add one particular disc last week, so I just kept on going until I was done. Let's hope I don't have to go through that again.

Anyone else have any juicy musical tidbits that may be of interest?

NP: "Little Girl"- Death From Above 1979

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Chicago Manual of Style Breaking Paper Shackles

The University of Chicago Press will begin offering an online version of the Chicago Manual of Style.

I'm sure most of you could care less about this, but in my line of work, it's pretty exciting news. I've used the Chicago Manual of Style for many, many projects over the years (the 14th edition), and it is one of the most comprehensive style guides available anywhere. Making this move now, even so many years into the Internet era, positions it to become a more obvious choice in dictating online style.

Maybe, just maybe, we can soon all say goodbye to AP Style, which bases its guidance on issues that haven't been current in almost half a century before the advent of these computers, much less the Interweb.

NP: "Eloise" - The Damned

Me Dot Com!

This blog has moved! To continue to see my miscellaneous musings and mumblings, please visit www.flannelenigma.com.

Your browser should redirect there automatically. If it doesn't just use the handy link above.

Please update your links/bookmarks.

Update: OK it's been a couple of months. I can't guarantee this URL will live forever. Please update your bookmarks/links.

15 Websites that Changed the World

In honor of the Web's 15th birthday, which passed a short while ago, The Guardian provides a list of 15 websites that changed the world. (via kottke)

There are not a lot of these to quarrel with really. Can you really remember when you actually had to physically visit a bookstore and make a special order of something obscure rather than just visiting Amazon.com?

My only quarrels would be with the U.K.-centric nature of some of these choices. So I thought I'd try to locate their U.S. equivalents (which probably predated most of these even though they likely haven't changed the life of anyone in the U.K.)
  • 6. friendsreunited.com - This site didn't debut until 1999, and I'm reasonably sure that classmates.com pre-dated that, even though it certainly hasn't changed my world.
  • 15. easyjet.com - Launching in 1995, this one actually has a claim to the title. I can't recall any U.S. sites that allowed air travel to be booked on the Internet this early. This first U.S. site of this kind was probably Travelocity.
Of course, if it were my list, I'd probably add the Metafilter sites and Flickr to the list.

Anyone have any other complaints or additions to the list?

NP: "Deep Seat" - Swervedriver

Saturday, August 12, 2006

404 Error: Tubes Clogged

I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone did this. Parodying Sen. Ted Steven's apparent contention that the Internet is "not a big truck... it's a series of tubes," isn't very hard to do, but this 404: Tubes Clogged Error page is among the more clever jokes in this genre that I've seen (warning there is sound involved, even though it's safe for work and relatively non-annoying). (via boingboing)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Music Report

I don't have any stats for the music I listened to the most last week since I was on vacation and far away from my computer. I do have a random sampling of my library for you to peruse though. So, in the absence of a top 10, here's yet another random 10:
  • Shine a Light - Wolf Parade
  • Caring is Creepy - The Shins
  • Lyla - Oasis
  • Magic America - Blur
  • New Amsterdam - Elvis Costello
  • Trilogy - Toenut
  • We've Been Had - Uncle Tupelo
  • Weakness- Morning Theft
  • What Became of the Likely Lads - The Libertines
  • Buckets of Rain - Neko Case
Normal music reports should resume next week since I've been listening to a far amount of music at work this week. See what I've been listening to.

Special Video Bonus Edition!


Remember when they still made music videos? This one is a favorite from the late 80s. Seeing CVB live these days just isn't the same. Note the use of some of Howard Finster's work in the video for bonus points.

NP: "Medicine Bottle" - Red House Painters

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

McKinney Concedes

And Dekalb county's long nightmare of being a national laughing stock is over.

In other news, there was another prominent RepublicanDemocrat incumbant lost his primary challenge as well. Apparently, he's going to run on as a RepublicanIndependent.

NP: "All Songs Considered - Sleater-Kinney live" - NPR

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Church + Rob Dickinson

Rob Dickinson alone was worth the price of admission. Touring to support his new solo album, Fresh Wine for the Horses, he played an acoustic set at the Variety Playhouse in support of The Church.

We arrived just as he was beginning his set. He opened with a Catherine Wheel song, "Heal 2" , and I have to say, I liked the acoustic version better than the released version of the song. He made his way through a variety of his solo material and songs originally recorded by The Catherine Wheel. I was surprised by how well the Catherine Wheel material translated to an acoustic treatment. Some of the notable songs off his solo album were "Oceans", "Handsome", and "My Name is Love."

Of course, there was plenty of older material as well, including "Futureboy", "Black Metallic", and "Crank". I never thought I'd hear "Crank" at an acoustic show, but he pulled it off and it retained the same intensity as the studio version of the song. All in all, the set sounded like an acoustic Catherine Wheel session, including the same wall of sound and alternating quick and loud portions of song. The audience ate it up. All the merch sold out quickly between sets.

Then there was The Church. Ah yes. The Church. This will likely surprise many of you, but for as long as I've loved this band, this was the first time I've actually got to see them live. To be quite honest, I'm not very familiar with their recent catalog of work, but I found a lot to like anyways. While about half of the songs during the two hour set were somewhat unknown to me, I still enjoyed them anyway because the band are such consumate musicians--not afraid to take an older song and blow it up to rebuild it from scratch.

Messrs. Kilbey, Koppes, and Wilson-Piper were certainly on their game last night, playing musical chairs with the instruments as they proceeded through the set. Over the course of the evening, they played songs that spanned the entirety of their long musical career--moving comfortably back and forth between songs from the late 80s to their new material and songs from the late 90s.

Given the era that I'm familiar with, there were still quite a few songs that stood out to me. The first would have to be their flamenco re-imagining of two songs from Gold Afternoon Fix: "Metropolis" and the Elizabethan inspired version of "Grind". Reaching a bit further back, they played a wonderful version of "A New Season" from Starfish [Ed. Note: Please tell me you already own this]. Their version of "Tristesse" from Heyday was a bit less to my likely, but that's just quibbling at this point.

The next to last song before the encore, of course, was their song--in the same way that "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is Joy Division's. Steve Kilby gave what may have been the best introduction to a particular song that I've ever heard at a concert: "A long time ago I wrote a nice little song, and people liked it... It went on to sleep with producers in Hollywood to get in the movies like the one with the bunny and it finally ended up on the OC, at which point my 15 old daughter finally said, 'Dad you're like this cool after all" [Ed. Note: paraphrase of course]. Then they launched into a incredible version of the song they must be sick to death of, "Under the Milky Way".

Then the encores. For the first, they chose the oldest song in their catalog, "The Unguarded Moment" and were joined for most of the song by the audience. Rob Dickinson then joined them for the final songs. For their single song on the second encore they played "Constant in Opal" from Remote Luxury. You could have knocked me over with a feather. And play it they did. Without visual confirmation, I'd never have believed that there wasn't an electric guitar to be found on stage (the whole evening really). Spicing it up with some Patti Smith ("Because the Night"), they totally turned the song into a barn-burning, rocking show stopper and ender.

It was worth the wait really.

Minor quibble: they didn't play "Hotel Womb." (And I feel bad even writing that the show was so good.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Weekly Music Report

I've just returned from vacation. Seven glorious days without the Internet, email, or voicemail. But since I'm back, I thought I'd check in with what Last.fm recorded as my most listened to music last week:
  1. The National
  2. British Sea Power
  3. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
  4. Editors
  5. Echo & the Bunnymen
  6. Supergrass
  7. Elvis Costello
  8. Bettie Serveert
  9. Pavement
  10. Blur