It was inevitable.
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Butthole Surfers - Florida: The surfers carry a certain disgusting stigma for me anymore...possibly the image of Gibby Haynes attached to every song.
The Fiery Furnaces - Widow City: One of my growing favorites, this one isn't quite as bizarre as a lot of their tunes...although it does go a bit piano-wacky by the end.
Chemical Brothers - The Jazz...: One of the lengthy "tracks" as cropped on the Brothers Gonna Work It Out CD, probably my favorite DJ/remix album.
Snog - Is There No-One That Can Save Us From Today?: Two weeks in a row for the electro protester
Marillion - Sugar Mice: The cornball pop song for the morning.
Miss Violetta Beauregard - I Can't Believe Hedgehogs Have A Bone Inside Their Cock: Sorry.
Cursive - Rise Up! Rise Up!: Fast song on the Happy Hollow release that, unfortunately, fell into the "this isn't The Ugly Organ" category for me.
Tom Waits - Flower's Grave: Quietly bringing the Random Eight to a close.
Merzbow - Niwatori Obsession 2: Japanese noise artist awakens the morning Random Eight.
R.E.M. - Driver 8: Fun old tune.
Snog - Slide into Extinction (Shaolin Wooden Men Live in Room 23 at the Alt): Very speedy remix of the political-electro Aussie.
Enablers - Sudden Inspection: That distinctive indie raw-guitar sound with droning, spoken-word vocals (that, I might add, I have no memory adding to the iPod).
Tool - Eon Blue Apocalypse: A morning reminder that I'll just never be able to spell "apocalypse" correctly on the first try.
Lou Reed & John Cale - Hello It's Me: The fine conclusion to the duo's tribute to Andy Warhol.
The Boomtown Rats - Dave: Oh, the controversy.
Neil Young - Guitar Solo 2: Noisy distortion from the Dead Man soundtrack.
My Bloody Valentine - When You Sleep: I'll always fall into the "this is one of the greatest albums ever" camp, and this is a good tune from it.
Pixies - Isla De Encanta: At their speedy best.
Joe Walsh - Got Any Gum: Spacey transitional song from a forgettable 80's Walsh album that, perhaps related, is the only one of his I ever liked.
Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup: That's exciting.
Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice - Didn't it Rain: That's creepy.
Tom Waits - On The Road: Fun Tom track from the Orphans release.
Sugar - Slick: From Bob Mould's post-Husker Du, solo-interrupting project.
The Replacements - Valentine: Best band ever (and perhaps interesting timing for the iPod to throw this into the Random Eight).
The Afghan Whigs - Now You Know: High energy (and high misery) track that leads into the dark, slow ending of Gentlemen.
Chainsaw Kittens - Savior Boyfriend Collides: Loud and fast, if not a little rough, from the first Kittens album.
Robyn Hitchcock - Wind Cries Mary: Robyn likes his moldy covers.
The Paper Chase - Don't You Wish You Had Some More: Challenging the Whigs for the most dismal song of the Random Eight. They may win simply for the off-tune music.
Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey - My Friend the Sun: Obviously they never half-blindly drive I66 at sunset.
Asian Dub Foundation - La Haine: Loud and fast dub from this fun band.
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - Dwarfbeat: Robyn likes his goofy songs too.
Perfect - Flap: The short-lived Tommy Stinson band platforming his post-Replacements material.
I've come to a conclusion: the older you get, the cuter snow ain't.
A 2.5 hour drive home on Wednesday, complete with numerous near-injury (and possible near-death) experiences has biased this viewpoint, and perhaps rightfully so. But even taking that away, there has been little fun about the snow this year.
Until today. I took a walk on one of the well-traveled trails that I tend to hit from March through November with regularity. The trip wasn't terribly hard considering the snow I had to trudge through. The biggest threat was the falling ice that has clung to the trees for four days and was finally pried loose from an afternoon of sun.
That said, the trip was still tiring. Tiring as hell, really. I was panting fairly hard come the last stretch which I accurately predicted was going to be full of deep drops into slushy, cold, snow-covered water. I stopped for a while, hydrated myself for the last stretch, and looked behind me to see this formation of clouds.
Had I not been tired and in need of a break, I certainly would have missed this. We'll see if my pending sore legs tomorrow will be worth it.
The snow-delayed Random Eight:
Paul Westerberg - If I Had a Hammer: Cover available (or it used to be) as a free download from his website and, oddly, one of the favorites of the iPod shuffle (and now I finally know the real name of the moldy folk tune).
Gang of Four - It's Not Made By Great Men: Going back even further to the ever fun Gang of Four.
Alias - Beginagain: Bouncy, though not groundbreaking.
American Music Club - Cape Canaveral: The ever great dark and dismal Eitzel lyrics.
Consonant - 3 a.m.: Essentially a Mission of Burma song, and a powerful one at that.
Snog - The Last Diamond (Xingu Hill Slices The Soft Earth): Relax Into the Abyss is full of remixes of the already synth-driven tunes. Many are fun, though this one doesn't seem to go anywhere beyond repeating the same riff.
Ministry - Corrosion: Now that is the loud the morning needed.
Knut - Solar Flare: Slow, plodding metal.
Alias - Shoes, Cars, and Soft Drinks: Bouncy start to the morning.
The Crystal Method - Tough Guy: Continuing the bouncy, only with a bit more swearing than the last tune.
Robyn Hitchcock - Alright, Yeah: Another great solo track from the Storefront Hitchcock release.
The Replacements - Swingin' Party: Strange little tune from God's favorite band.
Yo La Tengo - Walkin' My Cat Named Dog: One of the band's covers from the traditional Hanukkah shows this past December.
Deerhoof - Panda Panda Panda: Fun mathy track that has become a bit of a signature song for the band.
Tom Waits - Missing My Son: One of the silly stories on the Orphans set.
Boredoms - Jungle Taitei (Laughter Robot's Hemp Mix): From Super Roots 8, this is a calmer version of a Boredoms' song than one is generally likely to hear these days.
Pigalle - Il Boit Du Cafe: Early morning loud and fast French yelling.
Boomtown Rats - Up All Night: One of the more monotonous songs from the band.
Michael Petak - Paver: A song of screaming desperation.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Paryer to Allah: Crossover from Ali Khan's eastern sound with bouncy western beats.
Merzbow - Hummingbird: Noise art with a lot of tension.
Tom Waits - Oily Night: Harsh percussion and growling voices highlight this tune from The Black Rider.
The Flaming Lips - Brainville: Fun song from the goofy band.
The Beatles - Why Don't We Do It In The Road?: Yawn.
Meg Lee Chin - Sweet Thing: Dark and bouncy for the morning.
The Flaming Lips - Let It Be Me: One of the quieter songs from In a Priest Driven Ambulance, and it isn't really that quiet.
Snog - Late Twentieth Century Boy: Telling me the ills of the world with keyboards and computers.
Archers of Loaf - Bumpo: Instrumental buffer song from the overall great package All the Nation's Airports.
Meshuggah - Sum: Good to have loud, morning bear screams...but then everybody got quiet...those tricky metal bands...
Minutemen - Viet Nam: Short, to the point.
Deerhoof - xmas Tree: Quiet, moody track from the band who is only weeks away from a new release.
The dB's - Everytime Anytime: Fast song from Ride the Wild TomTom, probably my favorite "outtakes" album ever.
We had three unexpected visitors this holiday season.
Coco, our resident goofball cat (even more than most) had spent a number of evenings in the kitchen staring at our range. To know Coco is to know that she will often do odd things, such as stare at an inanimate object for hours. So, we weren't terribly alarmed by this.
But eventually, we started to figure something tangible might be capturing her attention. I spied under the range to find evidence of critters. A few days later, I set a no-kill trap, and within hours we had our first mouse.
Upstairs into a spare terrarium tank he went.
The trap was reset, and within hours, we had a second captive.
For a brief moment, it became less cute when we caught a third.
The third capture appears to be the full collection of the population. For three nights, I set a camera to capture the rodents every ten or fifteen minutes. At some point they must have learned the noise of the powering flash and stared at the camera for straight-on profiles.
Today, a rather warm New Years day, I set the critters free in a wooded area. I've already had to stop myself from visiting them in the now-empty tank three times. While I'm sure they miss the morning presentation of peanut butter, hopefully they are doing well outdoors.
Not a Christmas song in sight...
Sonic Youth - Olive's Horn: A quieter song from one of the experimental self-released albums.
Enduser - Berlin Dub: Yep, that's dub.
DJ Shadow - Mashin' on the Motorway: Fun tune from the live album.
Robyn Hitchcock - Chinese Water Python: Solo acoustic instrumental from the generally low-key Eye album.
Cut Copy - Get Dancy: Don't like it when song titles tell me to do something.
Lotus Crown - No Title: I band I bought an album or two from when I was in a Rollerskate Skinny / Kid Silver phase, but never listened to much. Seems like good stuff though.
Mean Reds - Fembonix: A recent purchase; a bit of a wacky, speedy tune from what seems to be a wacky, speedy band.
Mission of Burma - Birthday: The great band that just keeps putting out great songs.
As members of the Friends of the National Zoo, we were able to register for a sneak peak of the recently born lion cubs.
The young ones skittered at the new sight of a gawking crowd, but then started running and frolicking around their environment.
With one mom standing guard, glaring with intimidation at the people near her cubs, the other followed the goofballs, bonking them with her paws and biting their necks as if she had any control over them.
One cub did take a tumble off the side of a concrete ledge down the stairs to their indoor enclosure. The mom looked down with the same concern we gave Coco when, within her first day in our home, fell right over the stair ledge into the basement. Like Coco, the cub was just fine.
Sonic Youth - Becuz Coda: Huh, I forgot about this track on Washing Machine, a quiet instrumental that leads into the grand noisy album ending.
The Fiery Furnaces - Borneo: Always fun, always weird.
Voivod - Negatron: Always loud, always loud.
Dalek - Forever Close My Eyes: Early trippy tune.
Gus Gus - Anthem: Fairly low-key electronic tune from the very nifty Pi soundtrack
The Replacements - Here Comes a Regular: Always thought this ballad of el-drunko was a kinda strange closing to the Tim album.
Skinny Puppy - T.F.W.O.: A fairly lively track from the often morbid Too Dark Park.
Boris - Untitled: From Smile, a lengthy track that, in Boris fashion, bounces around from quiet and haunting to loud and nuts...and then somehow both categories at the same time.
For many years, we have placed an artificial Christmas tree in our living room and adorned it with lights and toys in a manner consistent with people who hope for more lights and toys to be presented under its green-plastic presence come December 25.
For three years, not coincidentally the same number of Decembers that we have had Coco in the house, the majority of toys find their way to the floor long before the 25th, making the act of decorating the tree a near-daily event.
For being a chubby, rather uncoordinated, and remarkably clumsy Rag Doll kitty, Coco can zip up the tree, climbing nearly to its top, in a matter of seconds. The tree shakes with her ascension and toys tumble to the floor where her brothers await the falling bounty. The toys then visit the entire house at the direction of their paws, although most often delivered before the food dishes as if they were some sort of offering in exchange for full bowls of kibble.
Through all of this, Coco peeks out over the living room, her eyes wide and glowing against the lights, and her tail wagging out from the branches. Over these few years, the inner metal frame of the tree has become coated with her white and black fur, probably extracted from both her agile climbing and less impressive dives through the confines to the floor.
In fairness, most toys, while often displaced throughout the season, do not meet their demise at the teeth and claws of the cats. The only ornament that suffered this year was, oddly, a tiny cloth cardinal that looked much more real than the collection of Beanie Babies that mostly covers the branches. As if it were a real bird falling victim to the fat felines, the bird was dismantled feather by feather and spread across the living room.
I'm sure pretty, innocent Coco had nothing to do with this...
Deerhoof - +81: For my self-professed complete inability to remember the names of Deerhoof songs, this one pops up a lot in live shows and is very familiar - probably for good reason, this is bouncy fun Deerhoof at its best.
The Fiery Furnaces - Oh Sweet Woods: Dark, interesting track from Bitter Tea
Hawkwind - Damnation Alley: It really cracks me up that I put a few Hawkwind albums on the iPod and never once picked one to listen to; and yet, the Random Eight seems to keep going back to them every three weeks or so.
Cabaret Voltaire - Extract From: Chance Versus Causality: See comment for the last song.
DJ Shadow - Stem / Long Stem / Transmission 2: Lengthy track that goes a lot of places musically. Good tune from a good release.
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - Insect Mother: One of the demo bonus tracks on Fegmenia! and Robyn at his less-complex.
Tom Waits - Road to Peace: Random repeat from a few weeks ago, and out of the hundreds on the iPod, still my least-favorite Tom Waits song.
Sunn 0))) & Boris - Blood Swamp: But it is a nice blood swamp.
It was feeding time in the small mammal house when I was visiting a few weeks ago. This porcupine was eager awaiting the visit from his handler. He stood with anticipation on his branch, looking downwards towards the door where his friend would appear to feed him and give him attention.
As the handler entered his small habitat, he leaned down towards her, reaching out his legs as if to tap her on the back. She exited for a moment and he glared at the door, awaiting her return. When she came back, he leaned down even further to capture her attention.
Pigalle - Le Chaland: Quieter tune from the crazy French punkers.
Serena Maneesh - Simplicity: Noisy interlude track.
Talking Heads - Genius of Love: Not really Talking Heads, but Tom Tom Club from the Head's Stop Making Sense concert album. Sad to say, this is the only real blemish on a great release and DVD.
Nico - Ari's Song: Great haunting track.
Rush - YYZ: The musically self-indulgent instrumental (and it is the live version too complete with the never ending drum solo...).
Dreadnots - Flight of Idea (Delayed): Another fun, bouncy tune from the Pittsburgh sampling band.
Tom Waits - Midtown: Another noisy interlude track.
The Afghan Whigs - Going to Town: From the band at their peak.
Amazing how such an intimidating looking animal can be so goofy.
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