Archive for September, 2009

Pearl Jam – Backspacer

Posted in music with tags , on Monday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

This week, Pearl Jam’s new album Backspacer finally shows up in stores. Listening to it now and it’s a fine little rock record for sure. There’s a certain clarity to the mix as well as energy and diversity in the songs. The guitar work is crisp and tasteful throughout. I haven’t listened to it enough for it to really sink in yet, but I’m diggin it.

Also, much has been made about Pearl Jam releasing Backspacer independently, with out a record label. And of course a lot more has been made about the fact that they cut an "exclusive" deal with Target to promote/sell this album. But, to clarify: yes, Target will be the only "big box" retailer to carry it, so you wont find it at BestBuy, Walmart, or the big chain mall record stores. But in true Pearl Jam fashion, they insisted on an interesting clause in the deal that allows the album to also be sold at independent record stores. I love that move, and hopefully those of you planning to buy this will hit up your local record shop while it still exists.I think some indie stores might even have a special edition with different packaging. Two sites to help you find your closest indie store are: http://www.the-ird.com/store.html and http://www.cimsmusic.com/. So check the record store before Target.

Finally, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look at Pearl Jam making Backspacer. This short film was done by Danny Clinch. He’s a great photographer, and his artistic eye certainly lends a nice beauty to this little film. His shots just look great, and his edits can sometimes be choppy to coincide with the music, but never too fast or annoying. Interesting stuff, especially the part where Eddie Vedder says he approached his role on this album as "Participating as instrument, rather than as a storyteller. Writing’s great, but there’s too many words."

Technology Is Amazing

Posted in misc.blurbs with tags , on Monday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Apparently, I can send an email to my blog and it will appear as a new post. It’s like magic. It seems like not that long ago I was taping vinyl albums onto cassette tapes. Now I can buy an album (or copy it from a friend) with a few clicks of the mouse. A few more clicks and it’s put onto my MP3 player that holds 300 albums and is the size of, well, a cassette tape case. Truly amazing. Then again, I don’t even know how they make decaffeinated coffee beans, so maybe I’m just easily impressed.

Read Me Elsewhere On The Innerwebs

Posted in misc.blurbs, music, sports, Uncategorized on Sunday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Sorry I haven’t been updating this blog much lately. Not sure who I’m apologizing to, or why. Anyway, I’m doing album reviews now for Music Emissions, which is a pretty cool site you should check out. That link takes you to my profile where you can see all my reviews.

I’m also writing occasional football columns for RealFootball365.

So check me out and pass my links along to all your e-friends and post links on Facebook and where ever else you share/recommend relatively pointless digital entertainment.

Can The Drummer Get Some

Posted in music on Sunday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Well,  YOU can get some.

Here’s some free music for you. A recording i did with Steve Rubin (who many of you know i worked with in The Circle Six and Eight Track Mind). i play drums/percussion on tracks 1,2,4, and 6, but this is essentially “his” album. hope you dig:

Jackie and the Treehorns: The Future of Adult Entertainment

note: the drumbeat for track 2 is something i constructed playing 2 different takes on a keyboard. so it sounds programmed/electronic, but i actually played it thru on a Triton keyboard twice and we mixed them together to build this beat.

track 4 was written/recorded live on the spot as we jammed in the studio. a riff, a beat… soon it was done. i over dubbed a hand-drum part on this little drum i bought in greece.

track 6 is the oldest recording…. something we wrote/recorded a couple years ago for Josh Bolton’s surfing DVD soundtrack Drawing Lines. it didn’t make that soundtrack but we always loved it cuz it was different than anything we’d ever done together and then it happen to fit in with this set of songs.

SC Rep. Joe Wilson Should STFU and Love His Country

Posted in politics on Wednesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Really Congressman? You fucking yelled out during a speech by the President of the United States while he was addressing Congress on national TV?

“You lie!” is what you screamed? You inconsiderate, disrespectful piece of shit. Why do you hate America? Here was President Barack Obama, trying to debunk all the bullshit lies and myths being spread by your side (all the garbage about death panels and insuring illegal aliens, etc.) and you disturb the proceedings by screaming? How old are you? How unprofessional are you? You should be ashamed of yourself. And you should shut the fuck up and love your country and respect the President (as the rest of us were repeatedly told to do during the previous 8 years).

Don’t have a nice day.

Video clip HERE.

09/09/09: Beatles Remasters Arrive

Posted in music with tags , , , on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Well, I cant add much that hasn’t already been said about The Beatles. But here’s a few links to some articles about the release of all their albums remastered.

Beatles Remasters, Game Drag Band Into Digital Age
By Mike Collett-White and Douglas MacLaurin

A Splendid Time is Guaranteed For All by Stephen Thomas Erlewine on allmusic.com

Here, There, and Everywhere but iTunes, by Ed Christman

Paul Sexton on Repaving Abbey Road

Refusing to Let It Be: The Beatles in Stereo by Matt Hurwitz in the Washington Post

And here is a cool animation video that is at the beginning of the new Beatles Rockband video game.

Perhaps the most damning thing I’ve read in all the coverage of the Beatles stuff this week is the fact that in the SoundScan era (since May 1991) the Beatles have sold nearly 58 million albums/units. But they are SECOND. Who’s first? Garth Freakin Brooks with 69.3 million. Really? That’s reason enough for all of us to head out on 09/09/09 and buy two copies of all these new remasters. For the record, my wishlist priority is: Revolver, White Album, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, and Sgt.Pepper. Thanks.

Hide Your Kids! It’s the American President!

Posted in politics on Friday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

I’m having a hard time understanding why President Barack Obama (he’s the President of the United States, the American President) shouldn’t be allowed to give a speech to school children all about the importance of education and staying in school.

Amazingly, I am not making up these quotes: “Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me,” a suburban Colorado mother, Shanneen Barron, told KMGH-TV in Denver. Sounds like they were going to be forced to listen some evil satanic rock music or some lewd, profanity-laced comedy routine.

Then she added: “I’m an American. They are Americans, and I don’t feel that’s OK. I feel very scared to be in this country with our leadership right now.”

Memo to Mrs. Barron: Barack Obama is also an American. He’s the President, as I mentioned there at the top. We had 8 years of George W. Bush: asleep at the wheel while 9/11 was planned and carried out; still napping in the aftermath of Katrina; knowingly lying us into a war of choice that didn’t keep us safer and wasted trillions of dollars; approving and carrying out TORTURE and suspending Habeus Corpus (Google it Mrs. Barron); and illegally spying on innocent Americans through warrant-less wiretapping. But NOW you’re “very scared to be in this country with our leadership”??

And it’s not just some ignorant uninformed citizen making these ridiculous statements. The Chairman of the Florida Republican Party actually accused Obama of using taxpayer money to indoctrinate children. “As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,” Greer said. Really Mr. Greer? As a human being, I am absolutely appalled that you are the chairman of anything semi-official. And the S-word again?

“The idea that schoolchildren across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans … is not only infuriating but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”

First of all, no one is being forced. Second, last I checked the majority of Americans voted for Barack Obama to be our President. Third… abuse of power? Again, does everyone have amnesia from the previous 8 years, or just the Obama haters? And finally, it is not a speech for the president to “justify his plans,” it is a freakin’ pep talk to our nations youth about education. From an official White House statement:

“The goal of the speech and the lesson plans is to challenge students to work hard, stay in school and dramatically reduce the dropout rate,” an administration spokesman said. “This isn’t a policy speech. It’s a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school.”

Oh the horror! He’s gonna, he’s gonna…. Tell… kids… smart… stuff.

Got Flip-Flops?

Posted in misc.blurbs on Thursday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Okay, I have a new pet peeve. (My ultimate pet peeve was one of my earliest blog posts.) Obviously I spend too much time in my car, cuz much of what bothers with me with people is what they have on the back of their cars. I’ve mentioned some of the annoying tendencies of rednecks and rightwingers in previous posts, and I’ll get to some more political bumper stickers in the future. But this is about flip-flops and families.

First, you have these people, usually women, who will have one pair of flip-flops… like a generic outlined flip-flop logo window sticker in their back windshield. What is that? Like, “I’m a chick, and I’m such a beach bum! I just LOVE flip-flops! Some people like Obama or the Local Sports Team or the Outer Banks (OBX)… well I like flip flops!!”

Then, you have the minivans or other vehicles with little depictions of their family demographic. Like big guy (dad), slightly smaller female (mom), and then two or three little kid logos. Like I really care how many kids you have and/or that their names are Madison, Brandon, and Logan. Or that you have pets.

Okay, finally, it gets exponentially worse when these two strange phenomena are combined. That’s right, the flip-flop family. Seriously… WHY?

Ricky’s Got Some Splainin to Do

Posted in misc.blurbs, sports with tags , on Wednesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

So now after all the hype, talented Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio is not coming to the NBA for 2 more years.

“Going to Minnesota would have just complicated my life a lot. It was a risk and I didn’t see it so clearly,” Rubio said. “My priority was the NBA and it was impossible for the Minnesota Timberwolves to pay my buyout clause, so I wanted to stay home.”

Really? The idea that getting drafted by a not-so-great NBA team, perhaps in a small market, would be a “risk” that would “complicate life” (along with the fact that teams can only contribute $500,000 to the multi-million dollar buyout clause to free Rubio from his current contract) was ALL well known months before the draft. So why enter the draft?

I don’t really have a problem with him staying in Europe; it will probably end up helping his game and his maturity. It just seems odd that he just kinda woke up at the end of the Summer and suddenly realized all this stuff that was pretty obvious at the beginning of the Spring.

Biting off more than he can chew: trying to eat a basketball is a risk that would complicate Ricky Rubios life.

Biting off more than he can chew: trying to eat a basketball is a risk that would complicate Ricky Rubio's life.

They Must Have Run Out Of People To Roast

Posted in misc.blurbs on Tuesday, 2009 by Todd.Levinson.Frank

Last night we stumble on Comedy Central’s Roast of Larry the Cable Guy. Yea, i guess they’ve roasted all the real celebrities already.

so as usual everyone rips on the other guests/roasters too. and Toby Keith was there (sitting there with freakin military dog tags around his neck, what a cheese).

A few of the gems dropped on Toby:

“Toby, you put the BIG in biggot.”

“ah, there’s toby keith… sitting there…. waiting for another terrorist attack…. so he can write another song about it…”

“toby keith! i share your love of the 2nd Ammendment. cuz your music makes me want to shoot myself in the face.”

there were lots of other good ones i cant remember. solid stuff.

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