Thursday, April 24, 2008

New "Theme" Restaurant In My Hood

what's playing: "Heads or Tales" by the Honeydogs

I'm very excited about the new restaurant coming to my neighborhood...


Sunday, April 20, 2008

420: the Actual Moment

I don't know if you can see it in the pic, but there's actually a GIANT cloud over the crowd.


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420 On Boulder Campus

This is what Boulder campus looks like on 4/20... dude.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008


what's playing: "Control" by Mute Math

Stunts like this make me so happy.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chicks Dig Me

I like playin' the acoustic stuff and all, but I kinda miss these days...

"Chicks Dig Me" by DB3
from the ...Straight On Till Morning
cd release party
at Skully's in Columbus, OH


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bags From Bags

For those of you with mad (or even mild) crocheting skills, take a look at this link to learn how to save the Earth by making hip bags from the scourge of the planet (plastic grocery bags).

Come on. DO IT. (I want one for grocery shopping).

Somebody with a herd of Vietnamese orphans is going to make millions on this.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why Thursday Might Be Even Better Than Tuesday

I'm a bit of a Thrift Store Whore, but it's rare to stumble across something like this. Cool vintage clothes, lamps, furniture, books, etc... yeah, all the time. I'm always making people jealous with my finds.

But the Millennium Falcon?! Ohhhhhhhhhh. Not to mention the added score of the original Darth Vader action figure carrying case.

It's missing the radar, the smuggler's cargo cover, the blue gunner's seat (the mechanism is there), the chess table, the lightsaber training orb and arm, and the ramp struts (I know that sounds like a lot), but it's got the top cannon, the top cover, the entrance hatch ramp and the cockpit hatch cover, the battery compartment still closes, and she can still make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs... so I'm happy.

It's funny how buying a toy that you wanted sooooooo bad when you were 8 can make you soooo happy now.

I also snagged an Underwood typewriter on the same visit. I'm tempted to build myself a steampunk keyboard, but it's in such great shape that it'd be a shame to tear it apart. We'll see.

ps as far as the keyboard mods go, this is my favorite (industrial, not steampunk; check out those hex nuts and transmission gears; nom-nom-nom-nom)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Cell Phone Watch is Finally Pretty!

what's playing: "Pancho Villa" by Sun Kil Moon


After years of yearning for a functional, not-an-inch-and-a-half-thick, Dick Tracy phone/watch, one that seems to be hitting the mark has reached the market.


So now we have at least have the option of cancer of the wrist instead of cancer of the brain. Woo-hoo!

(via Gizmodo via Slippery Brick via VanDerLED)

It's Such a Perfect Day...

what's playing: "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed

When people dream of moving to Colorado, they often dream of the perfect ski day. You wake up to a 55 degree morning, and find that it snowed 6" in the mountains the night before. You leisurely put your snowboard and gear in the Jeep, drive up the sunny mountainside (no traffic), observe a giant herd of Big Horn Sheep along side the road, park right at the lift (empty lot, 'cause it's a Tuesday in Spring), go to the top of the mountain, and spend 6 hours carving powder in the warm Spring sun.

That's what I did yesterday.

Granted, it was a "mandatory hooky" due to repetitive stress issues in my right arm and shoulder: I was told "no computer" in no uncertain terms, so that pain in the arm and shoulder kind of sucks... but hey, skiing as medical treatment? Right on. I love this place!

I've never had a ski day like yesterday. It was warm enough that people were skiing in shirt sleeves, but not so warm that the 6" of power (!!!) was melting. That snow was fantastic. Also, there was NO ONE on the mountain. I'd go for twenty minutes at a time without seeing another person! Are you freaking kidding me?

I didn't know that it could be like that, and now that I do... I'm ruined.

Here are some pics I took with my camera phone:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Alan Wilkis: Babies Dream Big

I get a lot of MySpace "friend requests" from bands. Usually, I make sure they're not a scam/troll/spam, and then click "ok" without doing a whole lot of listening; I usually give 'em 30 seconds or so. Every once in a while, something grabs my attention and I listen a little longer.

This one really grabbed my attention. I listened to all the MySpace tracks in full (I never do that) and then cruised on over to CD Baby and bought the album. I've NEVER done that (I know, pretty sad thing to say as one who claims to support indie music, but hey, I'm just being brutally honest here).

So anyway... fantastic! The 70's/80's sensibilities are about the closest thing I've heard to what I have been not only listening to, but also making as of late. I tend to lean a little further to the "sixties lounge" side of things, but I simply can't resist funk and 80's electronica when climbing onto the shoulders of musical giants. Apparently neither can Alan. I guess the easiest way to describe to you the sound of what Alan is doing is a kind of Beck/Prince thing, but it's not just "Beck" or "Prince" because it draws on more, and rings with the passion of a true indie-pop artist.

As recording becomes more and more accessible to any kid with a computer and the inclination, we are seeing more and more self-produced albums flood the market. At first, people were praising the dawn of a new age where labels and money were no longer going to restrict musicians from making music. Unfortunately the flip side is that it's really hard to find decent indie music; there's a lot of wading through a sea of absolute garbage.

However, Babies Dream Big is exactly what this "new era" should be. Somebody with great ideas, talent and nuance has been given the opportunity to express and share what's going on in his child-of-the-eighties-pop-addled head, and we are the beneficiaries.

So far my favorite is "I Love the Way." It walks the very fine line between cool and dorkusmagorkus kind of in the same way Beck started experimenting with on Midnight Vultures. Other direct-to tracks at the moment are "Milk and Cookies" (ooh that quasi "Sexual Healing" drum intro is great), "I'm Famous," and "I Wanna Know." ps The 8bit "Stage Select" between tracks 8 and 10 is pure genius.

Other bands/artists that come to mind upon the first couple listens (other than the aforementioned Beck and Prince) are Tallie Hall and Ben Folds, and the whole shebang is definitely very Beatle-reference-peppered.

NOTE: If you are considering buying the album, I would go with the digital download from CD Baby (cheaper than iTunes and no DRM) for $8.99 (which is a bargain), as the extra cash for the rather exorbitantly (for an indie album) priced "physical copy" [$11.99 + $2.25 shipping = $14.24] gets you bupkis. Where normally ponying up the extra cash for a physical album might get you some cool artwork, liner notes, etc... the physical copy of Babies Dream Big is simply a CD-Rom in a cardboard sleeve with a sticker on it.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pandora Radio has added Dan Beahm and The Invisible Three

what's palying: "Underneath the Radio," by Goldenboy


Start seeding your Pandora stations with Renaissance Boy Recordings artists!

We were recently informed that Amplifier from Dan Beahm and The Invisible Three has been added to the music genome database (the pool from which Pandora derives her lifeblood), and DB3's ...Straight On Till Morning should be available soon as well.

It's hilarious to hear bands and artists that "sound like you." Some of them you wonder what qualities exactly garnered them similarity points, but some are spot on. It's actually kind of scary.

If you don't know what Pandora is, it's an internet radio feed that allows you to create your own custom stations. Say you're really into New Kids On the Block and Twisted Sister... you create a radio station, and "seed" it with those two bands. Pandora then scours the Music Genome database for songs with qualities similar to those artists, and plays songs that it "thinks" you will like. As you listen, you can thumb up or thumb down songs, and your radio station will continue to hone in on exactly what it is that you like about those bands and their music.

It's pretty freakin' cool. Robots know what kind of music I like, and they play it for me every day!

Not only that, but it's a great way to get turned on to new music.

Here's a link to my personal station, where you can see the music I like and listen to, and also share the stations I've created (if you don't want people seeing your stations, you can turn this option off).

So check out Pandora, and don't forget to create your Dan Beahm and The Invisible Three station!


Internet Pussy Addiction

what's playing: OK Go, "What To Do?" (man it sounds like Jellyfish)

Alright, readers. I have a confession to make. I can no longer deny it: I am addicted to internet pussy. It started a long while back, but it has gotten much more serious. It's pretty embarrassing. I know it's not the most "high-brow" pastime, but it has become my greatest of guilty pleasures...

My wife knows, and she's cool with it, so that's a bonus (sometimes she even sits with me while I scroll through my joy).

I just hope it doesn't get in the way of getting work done. Already it's delayed a current project that I'm working on. It's just that it's always there, a mouse click away. It's so hard not to look! I've even set up a Google homepage gadget (jeez, has it come to this?).


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Make Your Irreplaceable Thumb Drive Easier To Return

The peeps over at Lifehacker are holding an "improve your life" contest where readers can submit their ideas to win a book (really? a book? that's a lot of free press and ideas for a lame book). Having recently started really using a thumb drive in my everyday, I liked this one. It's a good way to make your thumb drive show your name and cell number if someone plugs it into a computer, thus increasing the likelihood of ever seeing all that important info. ever again.


New Music: Tapes N' Tapes, M83

what's playing: Tapes N' Tapes, Walk it Off

When I'm mixing down and finishing up an album, I tend to listen to nothing else, listening for "mistakes," levels, ways to improve, etc... trying to glean and shape every nuance. It goes with me wherever I go. I listen to it while falling asleep. I listen to it when I wake up. I listen to it in the shower.

That said, I hadn't heard a whole lot of new music since releasing Amplifier. While I was finishing the album, it was all I was listening to, and after it was finished, I returned to a lot of the music I had been missing while completing the album (Wilco, especially Summer Teeth and YHF, U2, Sergio Mendes, Les Baxter, The Police, Arcade Fire, Weezer, Steely Dan, Death Cab, etc...).

I've also gotten a little lazy with playing DJ, so I've been using Pandora a lot. Though in my defense, I did spend quite a bit of time "seeding" the various stations. (click here for my stations)

One of my stations focuses on newer music like Arcade Fire, Hot, Hot Heat, Grand National, Built to Spill, OK Go, etc... From there I was turned on to some new music.

LCD Soundsystem (I know: where the hell have I been, right?). I actually bought the CD (the first one, the self-titled double). I freaking LOVE it. Not to mention, now Daft Punk is also playing at my house again (it's weird how you can forget about bands until you're reminded what you're missing). I was also turned on to Mute Math by Pandora. I had heard people talking, but I thought these guys were gonna be a sort of Interpol-esque bunch of emo-catering math rockers. They are much more mature than I expected. I love these guys too.

Anyway, the reason I started this post was that I came across a couple reviews in the latest Wired and decided I'd check out some super-new music. Both Tapes n' Tapes and M83 got some pretty decent blurbs, so I hopped online to check them out.

M83 will be releasing Saturdays=Youth on April 14th. They've got "Couleurs" (along with four older tunes) available on their (annoyingly WIDE) MySpace page as a preview. Let's just say, with Wired's 9 out of 10 "dots" and references to Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins, I was expecting a lot more. Perhaps the rest of the album is more awe-inspiring than the single song on the MySpace page.

On to Tapes n' Tapes. On Tuesday, MTVU's Turn It Up! made the new album Walk it Off (April 8 release) available for streaming. I've been listening to the whole album. I think it's just not really my style. There's a lot of elements I like. There's some Modest Mouse and some Built to Spill in there, even some Talking Heads and Led Zepplin influences that I'm really enjoying. I love the bass and drum interaction (definitely check out the final cut, "The Dirty Dirty"). But in the end, it reminds me a lot of the things I really don't like about Interpol (I know that's my second Interpol reference... I can't get them off my mind, I dislike their music so).

So for now, I'm sticking with Mute Math, LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk, unless you've got something you think I'd like?


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mozilla Thunderbird Wishlist

I am loving my Thunderbird/Gmail setup, but there are some things that I really wish Mozilla would improve with Thunderbird. Here are a few of them...

Mozilla TBird Portable Wishlist:

1. Message Opens in Window, NOT POP-UP!
I have no idea why this bugs me so, but it's like Andie MacDowell lives in Thunderbird.

2. Accepting shared SSL certificates
I check my e-mail securely from my various hosts. However, the SSL certificate is a shared certificate; it belongs to my hosting service, so it doesn't match my domain name. I appreciate that TBird asks me if I want to continue with the non-matching cert, but it SUCKS having to sit there and click "ok" for every pop account that is like this. Why can't TBird remember the certs that I have ok'd so I don't have to click ok EVERY FREAKING TIME? Not only that, but if you get distracted and forget to click ok, your mail server times out. Very annoying.

3. OK-ing Pop Up Messages
Similar to #2. I wish pop-up messages didn't prevent TBird from continuing to function. If I'm doing something else, and TBird pops-up a message in the background, all my mail servers time out. Lame.

4. Cross Account Search and Filter
Why in the world can't you search across accounts and folders?! I can appreciate the fact that there are situations where you might want to search only within one account or folder, but at least an option to search all mail and folders (including Spam and Trash) would not only be nice, but it's necessary. WTF?

I realize there are some add-ons for this, but shouldn't something like this definitely be integrated?

(4/3/8) This is really starting to piss me off. If I know somebody sent me something, I have to manually search multiple folders (Spam, Trash, Inbox, different accounts, etc...) to see if I can find the message. Just make a "search all folders" function, dammit. This is almost a deal breaker. I'm so frustrated right now that I'm considering switching back to Gmail, especially since someone just turned me on to "business Gmail."

5. Remember Recipient's HTML Preference
When you send an e-mail, if you haven't designated your recipient's "HTML or Text" preference in the address book, TBird pops a window to ask how you'd like to send the message (plain text, HTML or both). Why not make a simple "remember this?" check box so I don't have to go into the freaking address book to get TBird to remember how the recipient should receive e-mail?

...more to come as I think of them!