Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Official 2005 Christmas List

I know all of you out there in the blogsphere are asking yourselves all the same question: "What do you buy for the Byron who has everything?" This post will make a vague attempt at trying to answer this age old question. Now for the list!

Number 1 Fantasy Wish List Present: An Apple iBook
Being a hip blogging, music loving, twenty something... These have become standard issue...

Extremely Cool Present Most Likely to Actually Get: Hi -Res Pocket Camera
I have a huge bad ass but very bulky digital SLR, I need a super small, but powerful camera to carry on me all the time. Here are some examples I really like...
Nikon Cool Pix 5.1, Canon PowerShot 5.0-Megapixel Digital ELPH, Sony Cyber-shot 5.1-Megapixel

Very Cool Collecter's Editions That I Would Love Under the Tree:
Johnny Cash - Legend Limited Edition Box Set
Office Space Special Edition with Flair
The Big Lebowski - Achiever's Edition

Subscriptions to Things I Read.. The Gift That Gives All Year Long:
Paste Magazine
No Depression
Under the Radar
Magnet Magazine
Resonance Magazine

Music Meets Art - Posters and LPs :
In preparation for getting my own place (relatively) soon I have thought about how to decorate it. Limited edition framed concert posters would be a great edition. Ones signed by the Band or Artist would be especially cool. A good place to find them is here. Bands to look for include: Pavement, Built to Spill, The Pixies, Death Cab for Cutie, The Replacements, and others... Check with your local Byron for more ideas.

Games I Would Enjoy If I Owned...
Civilization IV
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
The Hustle: Detroit Streets

Gift Certificates: The Last Minute Gift:
Borders, Best Buy, Movie Tickets and Restaurants always work.

Clothing the other Gift:
Right now, except for vintage band T-shirts I own too many clothes. I do not need work clothes, socks, boxers, or the like... However you'll be able to find the aforementioned Band T-Shirts here.

That should do it for now. Any more ideas may be posted later... Your local Byron thanks you in advance!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The People I Meet Vol. 1

I have to travel quite a lot for my current job. I fly to god knows where on Sunday/ Monday and come home on Thursday/Friday. This means I spend a lot of time in 1. Airports and 2. Hotel Bars. I don't so much mind it right now, because these are the two best people watching places in the world. And I love to watch. It's like the Smithsonian meets the San Diego Zoo meets Shedd Aquarium. And it's free. People are definitely the most interesting part of my day. So far this week has been a good one, whether it was the passed out Japanese man on my left at the bar 2 days ago, the three designing women on Sunday, or the unfaithful layers last Tuesday it has been a trip. My goal is to bring you the latest of my people watching and eavesdropping with this column. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Back and Better Than Ezra!

Hi y'all... Sorry it looks like all this time in the south is starting to affect my brain. It's been I while since I'll hit the old blog but here is what I have been up to.

Last week after a trauma-filled day at various airports I finally made it back to Indy for the weekend. Being a certified genius I went to the wrong airport where my plane was obviously not at. After booking a last minute one way ticket (which I found out is just a good as screaming "I'm a terrorist!" really loud) and running to barely catch my connection, I make it home to find out that my bags did not. This was a real problem since my keys were also in my bag. So I had to catch a cab and bust straight to the Vogue to catch the Built to Spill show. I arrived about 4 songs late and missed "Time Trap" but the rest of the show was fantastic. Doug Martsch sounds even more like Neil Young live than on his discs, which I thought would be almost impossible. The only disappointment of the evening was the encore, a cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Everyone who knows me knows that this is probably my least favorite song in the entire world, being as it was the sawn of the unholy union of The Beatles and Eric Clapton. Other than that though it was good times.

Along with all the traveling I have had a great amount of time to read. Last weak I finished Joe Pernice's "Meat is Murder" entry in the 33 1/3 series, Chuck Palanhuik's "Lullaby" and "Choke", and Bret Easton Ellis's "Less Than Zero". This week I have just started the first book in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, "Quicksilver". 900 pages, and their are 2 more after it that are even longer. No worries, I have nothing but time.

Last night a co-worker and I went and saw Joss Wheadon's "Serenity". It was fantastic even for people who are not fans of the short lived "Firefly" series, the movie stands on it's own quite well. I would not be surprised if this was the sleeper hit of the fall.

That's all I've got for now. I'll blog again soon. b

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm such a fan boy...

Last night was much better than the night before. For starters dinner was one of the best meals I have ever had. We ate at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian churrascaria. I finally got to try the "Gaucho-style" I spoke of yesterday. Fantastic doesn't quite cover it. Everything was amazing and I just kept coming, more and more. Before I could finish one thing there would be someone offering me something else. It was excellent. Fogo is expensive but worth every penny.

After dinner I retired to hotel for about an hour and began the difficult task of digesting the massive meal I had just consumed. After an hour Barry picked me up and then we headed off to the real event of the evening, Mike Doughty at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA.

In all fairness I must say that I am a huge fan of Mike Doughty. I think he is one of the best artists touring right now and I have seen him multiple times. For three year after Soul Coughing broke up Doughty would just tour the country with a guitar and his van and play where ever he could for small audiences. Over that time he has built up quite a reputation and released 3 self produced albums. Recently this year he signed with ATO records, release a new album, Haughty Melodic, and began touring with a full backing band. This brings us up to now.

Last nights show, in typical Mike Doughty fashion, was incredible. Not only are all of his songs full of energy, but you can never tell what he's going to do next. Last night, along with a plethora of his own great songs he also covered Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf", Guns 'N Roses' "Paradise City", and Kenny Rodger's "The Gambler". He also did a special new remix of "Fire Truck" and "It's Raining Men".

After the show Barry and I hung around for a bit and finished our beers and then I went to the Merch table and bought a shirt. Mike was signing things at the table so I had him sign my ticket and told him that I thought he was one of the best acts on the road and to keep it up. He said thanks a lot, I'll see you soon. I'm such a fucking fan boy. Oh well, I'll see him again in Indy. B

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Kidnapped By Pirates

Last night was very much like being in a movie. After finishing up at work, my co-worker and I went back to the hotel for Happy Hour. We had planned on having a couple of free drinks at the hotel bar and then heading to a Brazilian Steak House for a "Gaucho-style" dinner. This was a good plan, it, however, is not what happened.

During happy hour me met Ivan, a private pilot for a group staying at the hotel. My co-worker and him swapped war stories from being in the service and we become friends, or a least drinking companions. After happy hour we decide to try this steak house. I had looked it up on Google Maps and had a pretty good idea of where we were going. I was wrong. The streets in Atlanta do not like to cooperate and we got terribly lost. We stopped at a gas station and got directions from a cabby who told us where to go, but also recommended a restaurant that had just opened down the street.

I still wanted some "Gaucho-style" action, but I was outvoted. We ended up at a place called "Nostalgia" that had just opened. And I do mean just. We were the only customers. We had some drinks and a couple of appetizers and then the guys decided that they wanted to go to this bar down the way that the cute bartender had told them about.

So, sure enough, we're off to the bar. The word seedy doesn't quite cover this place, but we stay none the less. Ivan and my co-worker continue to trade war stories and we watch the game and have a pretty decent time. Before we leave and pretty much causing us to leave, a woman, who was apparently "working" propositioned Ivan. We decide this is not a good place to be anymore and promptly head back to the hotel. Having to work the next day it seemed like a good idea anyway.

On the way back to the hotel, we once again get lost. We finally find the hotel and as we are turning onto the street that the hotel is on, we are stopped at a red left turn light, we wait there for a minute, in our rented red Mustang convertible, and then he just decides to go through it. Right in front of a Georgia State Trooper. As I see this happening, my only thought is "We're all going to Jail". Luckily the cop decides not to pull us over, but follows us into the parking lot and then drives off. All in all quite an evening.

Tonight I am hoping to actually hit the Brazilian place and the I'm going with Barry to see Mike Doughty in concert. Expect a full review of both tomorrow. For now I'm just happy to still me in one piece and sane. Expect more tomorrow. B

Monday, September 19, 2005

Klosterman, North Carolina, and Cracker Barrel

With my new job I find myself traveling almost every week to a different city. Last week I was in Winston- Salem, North Carolina, home of The Salem witch trials and Big Tobacco. There is not much to do in Winston aside from a couple of good restaurants and a decent local Brewery, so I find myself with a lot of free time. Last week I was able to finish "Cash", Johnny Cash's autobiography and I went to the bookstore and picked up Chuck Klosterman's latest, "Killing Yourself to Live, 85% of a True Story". I finished it in two days.

Klosterman was up to par with what I have come to expect. His self deprecating wit,and unbridled rock snobbery were just what I was looking for. Half analysis of his life long loves and half on location rock history research, it made for a wonderful read. I was very interested in his trip though North Carolina being as that was my current location. There is a great anecdote where he stops at a Cracker Barrel in NC and runs into bespeckeled Kafka reading waitress that frankly, shocks him. Being on the road myself in this great state, on my way home (aka the Airport) I stopped in the first Cracker Barrel I came across. Not only was I craving some Chicken Fired Chicken with Sawmill Gravy and Dumplins, but I was also secretly hoping to run across this erudite waitress. Although my meal was good, I left with my quest unfulfilled, no waitress met his description.

On a lighter note, my favorite band that you've never heard of, Forget Cassettes, has reunited. If you have not heard of them I suggest checking them out immediately. You'll thank me later. This week I find myself in historic HOTlanta, GA. Stay tuned for more updates from the Peach State. b

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Out of Retirement

Many great people have some out of retirement, Hulk Hogan, Michael Jordan, KISS, and now me. After the burning wreckage that was the end of "In The Congo", I needed some time off. I said what I needed to say for the time and was kinda out of ideas. I am now back a better than ever. Stay tuned for the latest info on my travels across the country as well as the usual pop culture reviews. Glad to be back... b