Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm sure you've heard of Dungeons and Dragons, also known as D&D, and I think it is definitely worth talking about a little. A few months ago, my brother linked me to a podcast about D&D sponsored by Wizards of the Coast, the company behind the game. The podcast consists entirely of audio recorded during sessions of D&D. Notably, the podcast features Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade, and maybe less notably, Scott Kurtz of PvPonline. It is a pretty entertaining podcast if you are interested in playing, or even just curious about what it's like.

I have not actually played, but Alec and I are working on getting a game going, but it takes a pretty sizable amount of planning, and we are lacking some objects that are critical to making the game happen.

I am really excited to start playing. It is a pretty unique opportunity to bond with a group of friends, as well as a rare chance to indulge in some very involved make-believe. I think many people are pensive about exploring D&D and D&D-type games because of the social stigma surrounding them since they were demonized in the media in the 90s. Also, they are stereotypically pretty much the nerdiest things in the world. Another obstacle facing people interested in playing is the prohibitive amount of materials necessary to play, though recently Wizards released something called the Red Box which is essentially a starter-kit for one to five people. I think there is a pretty good chance I will end up purchasing it, though I would still need to pick up a lot of die.

I will let you know how it all goes when college applications are no longer taking up every weekend. In the meantime, if you have the time, do check out the podcast, and start from Series 1, Episode 1, near the bottom of the page. Link


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Adrian Orange! (Thanksgiving!)

happy thanksgiving to everyone

- Alec + Daniel

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Real Estate/Ducktails/Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

I once heard Real Estate described as "a band about nothing" (the Seinfeld of bands) and it was maybe the best description of them I've heard. There's not really a unified theme among their songs (maybe a kind of overlying beach thing (maaaybe)) but really they are about nothing. You are supposed to "write what you know" and that's exactly what Real Estate does.

The above pic also perfectly captures what they are all about. It's the middle of summer. It's hot. Really hot. You're in some pretty unremarkable venue (apparently in Texas) (although they are from New Jersey). You're bored. And then this band comes on. They're pretty lazy, lofty, groove-able. Very soothing. You forget it's hot. You stop being bored.

That's what Real Estate is for me. They're one of my favorite bands, and, they are kind of like those toys where you move some of the pieces around and it becomes something new.

Which brings us to the next band on the agenda (and another favorite of mine) Ducktails. I already posted about him but he should be mentioned in the post about all things Real Estate.

See this post for more in depth info (along with Jeans Wilder)

Last of the Real Estate bands is Alex Bleeker and the Freaks. Alex Bleeker is the bassist and he writes the music in this one. It's way more folky based, although pretty freak-folky. Think of like Woods mixed with Bon Iver with a pinch of some more traditional folk. He's got an album out, and it's pretty good. There's less of a connection between The Freaks and Real Estate than between Ducktails and Real Estate, but one common link is the killer guitar work. There's more distortion (Woods style) here, but it's great. He's way less known than Ducktails, and it's kinda a shame. Definitely worth checking out.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alec is out

Hello everyone, Alec is in Pittsburgh for Amnesty International's national conference. I wish I was too but, alas, I am not. Just letting you know we're still alive and it may be another day or two before the next post

Thanks for your patience,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holy Grail

You might recognize this. This is the McRib by McDonalds; the famed and fabled Mcsandwich of legend. Today, Alec and I each consumed one of these godsnacks. Alec seemed less than thrilled but I will let him talk about that if he'd like to. Personally, I found it to be a pleasant surprise. Given, my expectations were very low; just look at that picture, or even just imagine what it is. Still, I think without any anticipation of how it would taste, I would have enjoyed it.

It has something that very few other things at McDonalds have- a flavor that is discernibly of the meat of the creature from which it comes. Take the Chicken McNuggets, or,"McNuggs," if you were to simply taste them without knowing that they were McNuggs, I do not believe you would naturally assume that they are of a chicken. Even the hamburger straddle the line that divides manufactured flavors from those that occur in nature. Other than the McRib's pork patty, only the Angus series and items that include cuts of chicken breast meat taste much like real meat. Though this doesn't say much about how tasty it is, I think it is a commendable quality of the McRib. As far as tastiness goes, there is much in the McRib; it's as tangy as they say, and the sauce is of a pleasant spicyness that leaves a light tingling over the whole of the tongue, as the sandwich o'erfloweth with tangy-sweet-spicy bbq sauce.

I am something of an onion fan, so of course the onions provide a welcome variance to the unfortunately textured patty, and a nice, organic crunch that makes the manufacturedness somewhat less apparent- likewise with the pickles.

The McRib cannot hope to live up to its hype because people's expectations are damningly misinformed. The fame of the McRib comes not from its taste but from its nostalgia value-the sandwich sold poorly enough in its time to be removed from the menu. Its return is a callback to the 80s, to birthday parties, and to the wonderland that McDonalds once was, replete with ballpits and intricate plastic structures. Now, these are the memories of another generation, but maybe I'll one day feel the same thing for Sprite Remix, or some other treasure that has been lost in a sea of cost-cutting corporate greed. In the meantime, I look forward to eating a few more of these before they go away again. Thanks for reading.


Oh, and if you haven't, listen to Alec's songs. Both rock but I am really big on Sweater Bed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Self-Promotion (Sorry)


I recently finished recording a virtual 7" under the (tentative) name Shitface Cat Skeleton. Daniel made some cover art for both sides, so I'd really like to thank him for that. Some influences when writing/recording this stuff were Ducktails, The Microphones/Mount Eerie, Pavement, Fluffy Lumbers, Julian Lynch, Wavves, and Smith Westerns.

The A Side, Skate or Die, can be found here (streaming and downloading):

The B Side, Sweater Bed, can be found here (streaming and downloading):

Alternatively, you can download them both here if you'd like:

I'd really appreciate it if you could check these songs out.

Thanks - Alec