Tennis *hearts* Boys

If you think of indie-pop albums as oversexed hipster teenagers, the "Cape Dory" record from the new Denver group Tennis would spend a lot of time making out in the corner with The Love Language's "Libraries". They would also both spend an awful lot of time with the Telekinesis album, because they are free spirits and open-minded like that.

Update: The Tennis record would also be overly familiar with Beach House's "Teen Dream", which is not meant to make her seem slutty in the least... She just likes to hang out with pretty boys.

Upcoming Entertainment

Check this out: Upcoming concert schedule

So yeah... This week is going to finish well for li'l ol' pseudo-hipster me.

Fact of the matter is I'm so excited for Andrew Bird that I've barely given a thought to Modest Mouse aside from the fact that the show is on CU campus, which is bound to make my skin crawl. When I do make myself think about it, though, I'm pretty darned excited to see them, too.

I've seen Andrew Bird before... long, long ago when he played with and along side of the Squirrel Nut Zippers -- just as he was launching his Bowl of Fire. Since then he has matured and ventured in some really interesting directions musically. NPR's All Songs Considered posted a live show of his (including the opener, Loney, Dear on a separate recording) and that positively blew me a way. Based on this and and on giving his latest music heavy rotation on my ipod I'm as giddy as a little girl.

Modest Mouse hasn't released anything since their 2007 title "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank", which I enjoyed quite a bit, though maybe a tiny smidge less than their previous two records. Nevertheless, their show at the University of Colorado's football stadium fieldhouse is likely to be packed and rocking. I'm hopeful they might preview some new material while they're at it.

Next on the list is a band from Portland, OR that is really high on my list right now. Blitzen Trapper's indie-folk story song "Furr" from the album of the same name kills me. It's truly one of my favorite songs of 2008. They are playing a small club in Denver, so I'm excited to see them in close quarters.

Beyond that are people you've all heard about, so I won't go into them before I see them.

As for stuff not on the list... Laura Gibson is coming to town on a Sunday in April, so there's a slight chance we might venture out for that. Her latest is really good. Also, I'm cautiously hopeful that I might get a chance to see Leonard Cohen. I will totally brave Red Rocks for him.

Oh, and yes, I'd like to post more often, but I'm a little busy these days... ;)

Songbird: Meh.

I checked out Songbird really briefly. Here are some thoughts:

  • It doesn't feel like an OS X app. I use a Mac both at work and at home now, so this is actually something that matters. I had to stop and look around for controls that belong *right there* on Mac apps.
  • I was really interested to see what song metadata got imported from my iTunes library:
    • Album art was hit or miss. I suspect some of my mp3s have art embedded in a standard-compliant manner and others have it done by some iTunes-specific way.
    • iTunes offers a "Grouping" meta tag that I find useful for making "smart" playlists. This isn't available in Songbird.
  • Speaking of "smart" playlists, Songbird has 'em too, but they are exactly the same as those in iTunes. I was kind of hoping for more. There was once a music player that let you do crazy SQL-like queries. I want that.
  • Plain play lists got imported from iTunes, "smart" ones did not.

At any rate, I was just taking a peek. I've downed the whole pitcher of iTunes Kool-Aid and I'm not going anywhere. iTunes manages my iPod and my iPhone, my iPhone can remote control iTunes from the other side of the house, and my TiVo can play iTunes playlists that I've shared from my iMac. Also, contrary to many people I know, iTunes actually works great for me.

I have no reason to be looking elsewhere, but I do like so see what's up with the new stuff. ;)

Jimmy Is Back

He used to be Jimmy Luxury. At times he was Cobraman. Now he's half(ish?) of Brentwood Estates. He's still totally awesome.

You see, one afternoon during the first of a series of double bass tracking sessions (Jason Fraticelli was on upright, Spiker on electric...playing at the same time...check out "Whiskey"), Jimmy just happened to stop by Spiker's Undercarriage Studios on his way home. Ironically, Jimmy was the only one who didn't drink the whiskey that day (it sure as hell sounds like he did when he launched into a 9 minute freestyle about the beverage).

All of the lyrics that you hear on that song are 100% freestyled. In fact, all of the words on the entire album are freestyled, with the exception of a couple of the hooks. You just can't make that shit up......

Go get it: Brentwood Estates

Portland: More to come...

Just a note to self more than anything, but here's what you can look forward to hearing about as far as our trip to Portland, OR goes:

  1. Park Kitchen -- So good we went there twice.
  2. Kenny & Zuke's -- So good we never ate breakfast anywhere else.
  3. Gogol Bordello -- And the experience of an all ages show in Portland.
  4. The City of Portland -- We walked all over the place. It's tiny and awesome.

So stay tuned...


Side note: This is turning into the Autumn of Concerts for Team Sutton. To date, we've seen Spiritualized (which I have so far failed to write up, but was totally awesome) and Gogol Bordello; and soon we will see Fleet Foxes, DeVotchKa, and a spoken-word turn by Hank Rollins.



A bit to my surprise, one of my favorite "space rock" (aka "heroin is awesome") outfits is coming to town. I've been a big Spiritualized fan since around 1994-ish when I first heard Lazer Guided Melodies in my friend Jared's apartment, and for some reason just figured I'd never see them live. Now, though, they are playing the Ogden tomorrow night, and The Wife and I have tickets. There's a slight chance bigger things could interfere with our plans, but for right now, I think I need to queue up the latest release, Songs In A&E, to get to know it a bit more...

Awesome Things

Things that are awesome (some of which may have been previously mentioned here) in no particular order:

  • Sushi + beer + sake + friends = AWESOME
  • Live burlesque. Also, The Wife potentially taking burlesque classes. :D
  • Absinthe. I'm digging on Kübler, which is locally available now. Admittedly, I talk more people into not trying absinthe than I talk into trying it. It's not for everyone.
  • Rock Band. I'm pretty useless on anything except the singing, but it's more fun than Karaoke Revolution because the other people are playing along with you. Drumming is unpossible for me.
  • Tiki bars. Especially the Tiki Torch in Edgewater. I know one of the owners, so I'm psyched to give it a shot. I'll be toting The Wife and her mother down this Saturday, I believe. Daddy needs a Mai Tai with a quickness!
  • Anita O'Day. Holy crap! How have I never heard of her until now? Best thing to ever happen to me thanks to Plurk. (If you're not already a Twitter user, you might try Plurk instead.) Also loving Sarah Vaughn these days.
  • The Silent Years. The Globe comes out soon.
  • Going to the doctor to get my first physical in who knows how many years. It seems I'm doing well. (I still have to do blood work, though.)
  • Michael Phelps. Yeah... WOW.
  • The iPhone 3G. Lots of people gripe about various things, but in general I say it's damned amazing.
  • Dark Knight. Saw it on IMAX. It was pretty good.
  • Rumbi fish tacos. I'm stunned, but these are currently my favorite fish tacos.
  • Knowing one of the guys on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
  • Fuelly. All the cool kids are doing it.
  • Bumping into an acquaintance and having their first comment be "You look good."

And other stuff, too. That's a pretty good list for now, though.

Still Alive

Just FYI. I love me some GTA IV. If you can wrangle a couple friends to play the online multiplayer it all becomes worth it. My Xbox Live Gamertag is JakoBlah, but I won't be your friend unless I know who you are first.

I caught Explosions in the Sky on Austin City Limits this past weekend. They are right up my alley.

Scarlett Johansson singing Tom Waits songs? Not as bad as you might expect, but not exactly awesome, either. She sure is pretty, though.

Hillary is ... Guh. Never mind.


Do you ever feel like you've stopped having ideas? I can solve the problems presented to me with little effort, but I can't say I'm coming up with anything cool on my own these days. It relates to the paucity of posts on this here blog.

Later: Isn't that a coincidence?

Both Kinds

That John Croghan kid sure puts on a good show. Like, for real. As The Wife put it, "He plays country music I don't mind!" ;)

Worth noting are the "Face Melting" covers* featured last night: "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Six Days on the Road" (which I know as a Taj Mahal jam).

* Not featured last night was my own request for "More Than Words". The Excuse: "The band didn't have time to learn it." The Wife's reaction: "There's no band in that song!!"


The Aggrolites rocked it last night. I definitely recommend you catch them if they come to your neck of the woods. (Boston kids, that's April 15 for you.) The opening acts were The Haggardies, a local Goldfinger clone with songs about skateboarding and stuff (meh), and Synthetic Elements who are like a poor man's Streetlight Manifesto and plenty of fun to watch on stage.

As is typical with these very small shows, the headliners were miles above the opening acts. The highlight was the encore, during which Jesse and the boys did a reggae / ska / two-tone / dancehall / soul medley that had us all singing along at the tops of our lungs.

Good times.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig

Supposedly, that's Irish Gaelic (which I'm allowed to rock thanks to my 13th century Kilpatrick heritage, yo)... So, yeah, it's St. Patrick's Day and it's snowing like a bitch this morning. Luckily the roads stayed mostly clear, and we didn't get anything near the high end of the 4-8 inch predictions.

Nevertheless, I am pleased that I was able to get my celebrating out of the way this past Saturday with Brozovich at the "Lazy J Ranch" of one John Croghan. John pulls together a nice little crowd of good people, so it was an excellent laid-back time. Plus he had a keg of Guinness. Hard to go wrong there. (Hell, I didn't even bother to check if it was carbonated or nitrogenated. No need to be rude in the man's house.)

By the way, John is doing his country crooning thing in Olde Town Arvada on April 4 at the 12 Volt Tavern. He's guessing he'll go on around 10pm or so. I'm definitely going to be there. If I'm lucky, John might even sing my request. ;)

In other music performance news, The Aggrolites are playing in Denver this Wednesday. I love those boys. We saw them open for Madness in Los Angeles a couple years ago and have since collected all of their stuff. Well worth the $13 ticket, I'm thinking. (Here are some YouTube samples for you. Oh, and The Wife's favorite track.)

Oh, there's also roller derby on April 5. The Wife was asking about derby last night, so we'll probably try to hit that, I think. Derby's always worth the $13 ticket.

That's all I've got, but that's way more than usual, so I'm fine with it.

Baby's New Toy

This past weekend The Wife and I got ourselves an XBox 360. I say that in terms of "us" and "we", but really the purchase was precipitated by my girl's strong desire to rock out with a little game called Karaoke Revolution. Make no mistake, she was a dancer for good reason, but the ability to actually sing really doesn't help you much (if at all) in this game. We were first introduced to it at brother-in-law Chris's house the last time we went to LA to see him and his SO, Kate. Me being me, I totally douched out and refused to play. (I don't dance in public, either.) My not-so-secret plan was to get the game and practice by myself until I was comfortable enough to do it in front of other people. I was just going to get it for the Wii, but then it turns out the XBox and PS3 version have downloadable songs, which made it worth the wait in my mind.

I'm still finding my way with the game... (I can sing just well enough to really screw things up, it seems.) "Satisfaction" from the Rolling Stones is my rock solid joint at the moment. I've also done passable jobs at "In the Air Tonight", "Come Sail Away With Me", and Haddaway's "What Is Love" (on which I actually did better the first time ever seeing the lyrics). Songs that frustrated me so far, but which think I can rock hard with a little work: "Tainted Love", GnR's version of "Knocking on Heaven's Door", and "(Hit Me) Baby One More Time". The wife on the other hand is a machine, scoring perfect scores (we're playing on "Easy", of course) after perfect scores. Our duet goal is Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", although "Midnight Train to Georgia" is a real ass kicker, too. It's hard to be a Pip!

Yes, there is no shame in karaoke. Point of fact: I score better if I sing the "What Is Love" lyrics like "Whuddizluff? Doanherdmee. Doanherdmee...No more." It's very strange. I also picked up .skate as my "boy game", and it's proving to be very cool, though rather difficult for a Tony Hawk Pro Skater veteran like myself.

The only other game I have on my short list right now is Beautiful Katamari, but I'm sure that will change over time.

Needless to say, the fun times never stop at the Sutton household.

Hit 'Em Again

Here's to having MLK Day off from work! Going for my walk/run today in 15 degree (F) temps wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. Until my calf started cramping. That had nothing to do with the cold, though. It was ready to go from the activity earlier in the weekend.

Junk I've run across:

Happy 58th, Tom Waits

I suppose if I had to pick one musical artist to call my favorite, Tom Waits would be it. ( bears me out, too.) As I remember my childhood, our house was always filled with the music of people like Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Townes Van Zandt. These artists are still at the top of my list, but I always remember the similarly frequent times when the Tom Waits records were out. His voice always gave me pause. It was so different, I'd stop and think "What IS this? Why is it so different from everything else? And why do I like it so much?"

And then there was the cover for the Small Change album with its be-pastied stripper... Now THAT was something for my prepubescent mind to ponder!

And that really is the best part about Tom Waits. He makes you think a bit. He tells wonderful stories in his songs. They may be comical, maudlin, tragic or surreal, but they are all wonderful.

Happy birthday, Tom. May you have many more. Thanks for everything so far.

(And thanks to my favorite homebrewer, David, for pointing out the date this morning.)

Track o' the Post: Tango Till They're Sore from Rain Dogs by Tom Waits, because that album was always the most fascinating/baffling to me when I was young.

Gettin' the band back together!

Did you know Dickie and the boys are doing a Mighty Mighty Bosstones reunion thing with a series of shows at the Middle East? The gang is all 40-ish now, but it seems most of them couldn't find anything else they wanted to do.

This video got me a little misty for my BU days. Like the time I saw the Bosstones tear up the CollegeFest shindig at Hynes Convention Center (probably in 1993...?).

Go get 'em boys!