skulls across america

music, this and that, etc.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the least relaxing 3-day weekend


most likely, yes. it started off busy enough, and then on Monday I worked a good 10+ hours on the lawn reseeding effort. my enthusiasm for driving to Cleveland on Saturday to see Cold War Kids and Tapes n Tapes has slipped to 15%.

Its a real shame that Pittsburgh is such a lesser stop on the indie rock circuit than Cleveland and Baltimore/DC. In the next few months, about the only interesting shows in Pittsburgh are Calexico at the Rex Theatre, Norfolk and Western at the Club Cafe, and Built To Spill in late September. Maybe I'll try to make that Calexico show, and Built to Spill.

Friday, May 26, 2006

sam champion

Call me late to the party, but I just heard Sam Champion for the first time today, and I'm impressed. I see that emusic has two offerings, the newest of which contains the great TV Fever- the band themselves have a fantastic video/homemade film up for this song and its great; the song and the video seem to blend contemporary sounds with some of my favorite elements of the "classic/dark rock n roll sound", like a similar vibe as Neil's ditch trilogy, or Wilco's A.M., or Ronald Jenkees' harmonica work.

Sam Champion - TV Fever

Thursday, May 25, 2006

hello youtubes

This morning brings great joy, as Ronald Jenkees has posted a new videoblog. The guy is setting a strong standard of at least one video blog per day.

And as this, skulls across america, is ostensibly a blog that posts music (despite my track record over the last six or so posts), this post on gorilla vs bear must be seen, and heard. The last mp3 posted, Am I A Good Man, is just incredible. I'll definitely be purchasing that Deep City Eccentric Soul comp.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

on the beach? not quite.

a tough week of work, and it ain't even half over. a tough week at home, and i still didn't get the lawn mowed- the half of the lawn that isn't roto-tilled in preparation for planting new grass (full disclosure: i'm only slightly assisting with said operation as our friend Frank is doing the lion's share of the work). and our new cat, Rocket, was neutered on Tuesday, and frankly, the thought of that should bring any man pause.

i might take a lawn chair out on the lawn, at 9:30pm in the dark, crack open one of these

and pretend i'm back on the beach at Edisto.

i might be able to slip back into that "on the beach" zone... although my pbr's don't have any chinese on them.

apologies to this guy for hijacking the img, but i'm sure he'll survive the traffic from my blog (by traffic, i mean, me, checking it to make sure its up).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

you, me, and the rest of the world

Since this is ostensibly a music blog, today I'll highlight this composition by Ronald Jenkees.

weirdly engaging, this Ronald Jenkees. He's a unique fellow, for sure, and there's something disarming about him. In most of his videos, he begins with an endearing "Hello YouTubes!" that is simply classic.

There are parts where I wonder, am I just laughing at this guy, or with him, or at the things he does with the intent of making me laugh? That's a lot to wonder, I know.

Friday, May 19, 2006

the old post office

Here's a book to order as soon as we return home. We celebrated our anniversary with dinner at the Old Post Office last night, and like the three other times we've dined there, it did not dissappoint. The shrimp and scallop grits were excellent, and I made up my mind to try P.B.'s Ultimate Filet the next time we go, provided I can remember in a year that I made up my mind to do so. Surprisingly enough, we've done so well at eating almost all our meals at the condo that we could almost afford one more trip to the Old Post Office... almost.

In other news, I'm highly enjoying the Brothers Karamazov, although I haven't kept up the 220 pp per day pace that I set earlier in the week with Everything is Illuminated. Yesterday and the day before, at the bay, I think I was able to read almost three hours straight and read about 70 pages each day. Interestingly enough, that also means that for each day, 70pp/day breaks down to 20.33 pp/pbr.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

on the beach

On the beach at the bay, here on sleepy Edisto Island, SC. Kicking back in fine fashion, a set of brand new bocce balls at the ready, some cold PBRs in the cooler, and some light reading to pass the time. Delusions of grandeur, pretentious posturing, or just a yearning to be work for something? Some strange combination of the three drove me to pack the Brothers Karamazov for this trip, and again today to throw it in the bookbag.

Received a couple emails from Badabing records re: delays in shipping Beirut's album, due to delays in getting it repressed multiple times over. Pretty sweet for Beirut and Badabing! And just fine with me, as I was able to grab the album right before vacation, thanks to emusic.

Lastly, the picture above is from a set I put up back in the fall, after we returned from our September 05 trip to the Island, during which time Hurricane Rita was skirting up the coast and we flirted with a possible mandatory evacuation. In the end, though, we saw little more than wind- and also, day in and day out, incredible sunsets.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

dayton disc golf

first, in mp3 news, two new demos up at skulls across america - "the band", if you can call it a band. perhaps in the near future, some of the songs will find their way to a band setting. and perhaps I will learn how to record to a click track. the future really is wide open.

anyway, just back from business travel in dayton, ohio. in addition to being the home of the best bar in the universe, cold beer and cheeseburgers, where I can down the best burgers on the continent and enjoy fine beers like Chimay, Bass Ale, Someone or the other's oatmeal Stout, Straub, and Pabst, on this trip, Paul and I discovered that the Dayton area is home to four disc golf courses. We hit Belmont twice, the second time with our newly purchased disc golf discs (courtesy of the nearby head shop slash disc golf store).

Thursday, May 04, 2006


photo: from beirut's very own site

I unfortunately have absolutely nothing to add to the blogosphere re:Beirut. But I've had their songs stuck in my head for days, even after the mp3 player has been disconnected and the boombox in the van has been shut off. Jayna tells me that nobody says "boombox" anymore.

I'll say this- every other, maybe even two out of every three things that I read about Beirut seem to compare them to Neutral Milk Hotel. I suppose it makes me a lecherous outcast, but that comparison didn't give me any incentive to check out Beirut. Luckily, the album coming out next week is titled The Gulag Orkestar, and I think folks that know me will appreciate my instant admiration for an album title such as that.

anyway, here are the tracks haunting my waking hours:
  • Beirut - The Gulag Orkestar

  • Beirut - beluga
  • Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    cold war kids


    Interesting what things you find doing a google image search on "cold war kids." Another interesting fact: every new song of their's that I hear is as good as the last one.

    Also of interest: they're on tour with tapes n tapes in June, hitting both Cleveland and Baltimore (both under 4-hour drives). Whereas I was a chump and didn't get tickets in time to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in Cleveland, and whereas seeing Magnolia Electric Co and Destroyer reminded me how much I like to see a good band bring the rock, therefore, I'd better hop to it.

    Here are two tracks from their very own website.
  • Cold War Kids - left me in the morning

  • Cold War Kids - The Soloist In The Living Room

  • And definitely check out hang me up to dry and Hospital Beds, at least one of those is available on their own site and their myspace.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    get down, in the dirt

    get down in the dirt was the first line of the chorus of the last song the old famous last words got down. a personal favorite of mine, wildly derivitave of the hot snakes i'm sure, but better them than Barry Manilow.

    At some point, for no reason other than an exercise in learning how to record to hard-disk, I hope to get that song and about a dozen others recorded as clean as I can. Maybe I'll throw some of the old flw demos up in the meantime, if I can find the tapes in my library of tapes i've run through the old MT4X.

    Anyway, I got down in the dirt on Saturday, as Jayna and I filled our three raised bed gardens with dirt. Lots of dirt. Two beds filled near the top, using approximately 3 tons of dirt. One bed left to finish this afternoon. And then on Sunday, I got down in the dirt as I attempted to golf for the first time in about two years. I hit a couple of stellar t-shots with the 3-wood (twice), and a 5-iron; hit one or two decent approach shots with the wedge and nine; and hit a couple good mid-range putts. Other than that, I pretty much botched every single shot that was between 30 and 100 yards out. Need to hit the range & the pitch and putt with nothing but a wedge and a nine iron... for the rest of the summer...

    aquarium drunkard posted two Cold War Kids songs today, bringing my total CWKs collection up to four tracks. we'll see if my never-successful fiscal restraint can keep me from pulling the trigger on their shopping cart.