OT: Hockey Heaven

It’s no secret to my twitter followers that I’m a monstrous Sabres fan. For those of us who bleed blue and gold, free agency opening day has been hell for the last 4 years. 2007, we lost Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. Absolutely brutal. 2008-2010 we’re literally pointless. No big acquisition, no big signings … nothing exciting except watching the big-name players move everywhere else but Buffalo.

Tomorrow is opening day of the free agency market. At this point, to Sabres fan, it’s almost an afterthought already.

In the last 48 hours, we’ve acquired Roybn Regher from Calgary–considered by many to be one of the top defensemen in the NHL–and as of this afternoon, we’ve signed Christian Ehrhoff from Vancouver. Yah–he of Stanley Cup finals fame and experience. The rumor is that he had an off finals because of a shoulder injury, and he still had a good run.

Whatever happens tomorrow or in the days/weeks to come is pure icing on the cake. We’ve already beefed up our blue line more than we dreamed possible. We’ve been watching these annual NHL goings-on with such disdain and jealousy that it’s been surprising to be caught up in such a whirlwind of excitement and … erm ….. luxury, I suppose. I mean, I don’t know any other way to put it. We’ve been the bridesmaid for so many years that this being the foot that fits the glass slipper is a totally unexpected but more than welcomed experience.

Terry Pegula is the flat-out man. I’ll give Darcy Regier his props for being GM, but really … TP is the hero of the day.

EDIT: It’s almost 1 in the morning in Utah. We are about 9 hours away from the free agency market doors swinging wide open. I cannot sleep. My eyes are heavy with exhaustion from the adrenaline rushes throughout the day. I’m already planning next year’s playoff parties. Hell, if I were mayor Brown, I’d be planning the parade route as of Saturday morning. Hey, why not?

I’ve been following Buffalo sports for almost 25 years. Between the Bills and Sabres, I *know* bitter disappointment and resentment (I’m staring straight into your soul-less eyes, Dallas). Part of me *wants* to go to bed because I know that’s about 7 hours I can shave off the wait. The other part of me is irrationally afraid to go to sleep because I seriously do not want to wake up and face the possibility that every Sabres fan’s greatest dream that could possibly less than 12 months away was nothing more than an over-stimulation of cerebral cortex while REMing into oblivion. Right now, my best chance at seeing the Sabres hoist the cup is to simply not go to bed. Obviously, that’s not going to happen, and yes–I know how ridiculously psychotic this all sounds. I don’t care.

You Cleveland sports fans know what I’m talking about here. The pain of realizing your teams are at best runners up to someone else excruciating at best. I’m not willing to face that just yet. So for now, I will continue to stay awake. More than likely, I’ll fall asleep in this chair. I’m okay with that … so long as when I wake up, nothing changes. We still have Ehrhoff and Regehr, and we’ll still be riding the dream until next June when Buffalo graces Lord Stanley’s cup.

Kickstarter Project: Terri Tarantula

Yesterday, I posted about Christa Joy’s Kickstarter project, and I got to thinking, “hmm … I could post the other Kickstarter projects I’m funding (or at least hope to fund!).” Hence this post about Terri Tarantula.

So she’s working on getting out some new music here in the near future. I’ve liked what I’ve heard so far. Kind of a piano and drum based sound, which works for me. Not so much like Tori Amos or Regina Spektor … kind of like A Fine Frenzy or Wild Strawberries sound. I like it. Mellow, relaxing, and a great voice to match the music.

She’s pretty responsive to comments left on her Kickstarter site, too. I asked her about an in-house performance, and being that she lives in the Seattle area and I live in Utah, she didn’t flat-out rule against it, which I thought was pretty sweet. To be fair, I don’t have $500 to spare, though if I can work enough hours, I might (though I think that would be met with *strong* resistance from a certain woman with whom I share financial responsibilities … 🙂 ) More than likely, I’ll up my contribution to the reward that includes a hand-crafted box (and, as Terri put it, will be crafted out of either wood or metal … I’m hoping for wood, but that’s just me) and a bunch of cool one-offs like hand-written lyrics, demo CDs … excellent stuff to include in a rewards-based funding project.

Go pledge a donation to Terri’s new music! Doesn’t have to be a ton; every little bit helps! No sense in keeping all these great musicians financially shackled if we can help them. Just my opinion, but her music is worth it! Get the word out.

Kickstarter Project: Christa Joy

As you may or may not know, I like to peruse Kickstarter to see what musicians are making stuff. Yesterday, I stumbled across this gem. I decided to support her because a) her music sounds pretty cool from the snippet on her KS video, and b) she’s a freakin’ Kindergarten teacher! How cool is that? My daughter’s gonna be in Kindergarten this coming school year. I don’t know why, but I just felt drawn to Christa’s project. So here’s hoping it gets funded!

Here’s what you need to do: share this with as many people as you can and get the word out on her project. Even ONE dollar makes a big difference. And she’s giving away some really awesome compensations for bigger donations. I selected the $25 option cuz it comes with a copy of the CD, <strong suggestion>hopefully signed</strong suggestion>.

Anyway, go support her project! I highly recommend it!

New Music Friday

List isn’t incredibly long, but you know the phrase: quality vs. quantity. Picked up some gems that I thought I had, but upon an actual inspection,

  • Marissa Nadler – Saga of Mayflower May
  • Kate York – Sadly Love
  • Sarah Jarosz – Follow Me Down
  • Alex Wise – Front Porch
  • Tam – Ecstatic Peace
  • Polar Goldie Cats – Feral Phantasms

I like the instrumental sounds of PGC. Alex Wise was a pleasant surprise, while I was equally surprised to find that I didn’t have Miss Marissa’s Mayflower May CD. That’s been remedied. 🙂

 

Pottermore by J.K. Rowling

Well, Potter fans, rejoice. The franchise lives on through J.K. Rowling’s next endeavor–Pottermore. Apparently, it expands the Harry Potter world in new ways, though how is still nebulous. The website rolls out July 31, presumably when the “Submit your email” button will actually work. Until then, we get to stare at an inactive screen (minus the vid Ms. Rowland has in the top left corner).

<geek moment>

Yah. I’m stoked. Not gonna lie about that. My wife and I each bought our own copy of The Deathly Hallows so one of us wouldn’t be in the dark. Also hoping to go to a midnight showing of Part 2 next month!

</geek moment>

I know a certain family with a certain daughter who is going to flip her lid when she finds out about this … if she hasn’t already. Not to mention my wife. I anticipate many a late night for her on her laptop. 🙂

Funny story about my wife … we were kind of late to the Harry Potter book reading bit. On a family trip to Yellowstone in 2001, she lugged the first book along with her. As we drove by herds of buffalo, moose, elk, and other various prettiness, she had her nose buried in the pages, only looking up when the thought crossed her mind. She finished it in a couple of days, though that’s really all the longer we were even there. Anyway, her addiction for them made me want to read them; however, I settled for listening to Jim Dale’s reading. When the movie came, I had only made it through where Harry gets to Diagon Alley for the first time.

Anyway, should be interesting to see what she has in store. According to CNN, she has about 18000 additional words to augment the site. I’m guessing that’s for book 1. That’s about 1/4 the amount of written material in “The Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone.” I wonder if she’s planning on rolling out additional text for each of the books.

Anyway, fun!

Music from the Oddest Things

I love creativity, especially when it comes to music. Using odd things as instruments is an extremely cool way to get my attention. Take, for example, this video. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the vid without being a backer, but i’m not sure. it sure is cool to watch though.

Watching this made me wonder what other “odd instruments” are used in other music. Google to the rescue!

This is a curious site, though not particularly what I meant or was looking for.

There may or may not be duplicates on this page.

More along the lines of what I was looking for

Great collection of strangeness.

CD Review: Marissa Nadler – Marissa Nadler

The first music I heard of Marissa Nadler’s was Little Hells. The thing that struck me about that CD was just how … I don’t know … mellowingly  meloncholy? haunting? Dare I say it–macabre? It was one of the most amazing CDs I had ever heard.

I wasted no time hunting down and acquiring everything she’d done to that point. Ballads of Living and Dying, The Saga of Mayflower May, and Songs III: Birds on the Water. All of it was provacatively haunting, and I listened to it non-stop for weeks.

It was a pleasant shock to discover that Miss Nadler Released her 5th CD this past Tuesday–a self-titled effort that elevates her music to a new benchmark that borders on heavenly. 11 tracks that clock in at right around 45 minutes, there isn’t a song on here that won’t leave you wondering how God let such an angelic voice slip out of earshot.

The longest track, “In Your Lair, Bear,” is 6 minutes long. It opens with Marissa gently plucking her guitar and musing, “Where did you go when the snow fell that year? You’re inside these wooden walls like a bear, eager child, for the end in your lair. For the end of the year. The old familiar fear creeps up your little arms and runs through your veins like blood through your songs.” After several listens, that’s what I’m hearing, anyway. Between her guitar, the strings arrangement, the low-key cymbals and percussion, you can’t help but swoon like a shark that’s been knocked on its back.

You see the 3rd track, “The Sun Always Reminds Me of You,” and you think, “Aww … a love song!” Yah. This is about as love-songy as “Every Breath You Take.” The only difference is that this doesn’t have the stalker feel to it so much as it has the “Shit … why must every ray of sunshine remind me of you? Curse my rotten luck.” You can hear her heart breaking with each strum and drum beat. I love the steel guitar at the end. Gives it just that hint of country flair to it without actually invoking Fords, dogs, shotguns, line dancing and cheating spouses. No, okay … seriously. You know how a lot of country has that “love lost” feel to it? That’s this song in a nutshell.

My favorite song on the CD is “Baby I Will Leave You in the Morning.” Hands down. The chords, arrangement, BPM, theme, lyrics … this thing is brooding, moody, depressingly gorgeous, and just frickin’ hot. For some reason, it has a very Pink Floyd vibe to the music. This makes it on my “desert island” top 10 list. That’s right. Love this song.

This whole CD is just breath-taking. I’m already wishing she would put out an new CD. Not because this one has grown stale (right … cuz that’s possible), but because her music is just that good. I crave, want, and desire more. Now.

File this under “shiver” cuz you will get the chills from listening to this.

 

New Music Friday

More great stuff! Had a great chat with my buddies Jon and Kyle at Graywhale. Jon was at the Samantha Crain show as well, though he got to stick around for Langhorne Slim. I did not. Babysitting constraints. Oh well. Anyway, he and I chatted about that, the fact that Alela Diane is coming with Fleet Foxes, the wonderfulness of Twitter for learning breaking-news stuff before it breaks on “the major sites” … yah. Good convo. Also talked about Marissa Nadler’s new CD, which, ha ha … I ordered this morning. Twice, actually. Got it from iTunes, then realized, “No … I want this hard-copy” and bought it from Amazon. Lovely, eh?

Anyway, got this list on the cheap! I love finding $2 CDs at Grawhale. Or anywhere, for that matter. A lot of this list are $2-3 CDs.

  • Chris Walla – Field Manual
  • Helvetia – Headless Machine of the Heart
  • Will Sartain – For Love (yes, the Will Sartain of Kilby and Urban Lounge, Future of the Ghost, etc)
  • Hayden – In Field & Town
  • Sara Lov – Seasoned Eyes Were Beaming
  • Minmae – Le Grand Essor de la Maison du Monstre
  • Moneen – Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now?
  • Holly Miranda – The Magician’s Private Library
  • Rykarda Parasol – Our Hearts First Meet
  • Rykarda Parasol – For Blood and Wine

See what I mean? Great haul!!! Can’t wait to rip these and get ’em on my iPod.

Stayin’ Alive

My wife and I had back-to-back meetings. Mine was at 7, hers at 7:30. I went out and swapped vehicles with her and took our girls home. She always has her car radio on … something I tend to avoid at all cost unless it’s the local college station. On the way home, The Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” came on. For whatever reason, I automatically started swerving the wheel to the beat. Mind you, this wasn’t some super busy road at 75 MPH … we were going down some little residential road at 25. Very easy to control the car. The girls absolutely loved it.

As we approached our street, I realized that I was *right* in front of the police station. Anyone looking out their window would have seen us be-boppin’ down the road as we turned down our road. Oops. Thankfully, no one noticed. Ha ha!!

So of course the girls demanded to listen to it again. “Sorry girls. Radio!” That was met with a chorus of “AWWWWW”s and “WAAAAAAH”s.

Guess what I just bought on iTunes. 🙂

And with the goodness of Audiogalaxy, I can play it pretty much any time I want for them. Or … me. Come on … who amongst us doesn’t have that occasional guilty pleasure?

Bee Gees FTGP!

Possible New HD Camcorder

So I stumbled across this little doohickey earlier today. I like it for a number of reasons.

For one, it’ s black–definitely more difficult to see it at a concert than, say a Kodak Playsport which *claims* to be black, but is, indeed, actually white (though the part that would face the stage/security guards is indeed black).

16x digital zoom is cool, but … it’s still just digital. Hello, pixelating and artifacting. No interpolation for me, thanks.

The 16MP stills option is, cool, but … well, refer to my comment above about interpolation. The 16MP isn’t *really* 16Mp–it’s 8MP x 2. Not at all the same thing.

I like the fact that it supports SDXC. 8GB SD cards aren’t gonna give you much time. 16GB, maybe. 32GB … not bad. 64GB? Yah. Now we’re talking length. Wait … what?

Price point: excellent! Amazon has it listed for $99. that’s pretty good for a 1080p digital video recorder.

Now … I told you all that to show you this.

Difference is, that’s a flip-out screen. As in, if a security guy at a concert sees that, he’s going to FLIP OUT. I’d like to get a tech spec comparison for the camera sensors between this, the B10, and my current Kodak PlaySport. I like the PlaySport. I do. But … it has it’s limitations. For one, it doesn’t do well in dark situations. Like concerts. Cuz, you know … they’re generally dark, right? So I’m wondering if the Toshibas would perform any better. Only one way to find out, right? 😉

Here are the perks to the P100:

Really, the only difference is the 5x optical zoom. For me, that’s *huge*. Optical will ALWAYS beat digital zoom (until such time where optical zoom does not beat digital zoom, and thus renders this statement obsolete *COUGH*billgates*HACK*512K*WHEEZE*whoneedsmore*MORECOUGH*). Anyway, 5x optical would be really, really nice for concerts. Especially if we’re sitting near the back. Maybe not for, say, A Perfect Circle, where you have 12th row. 😉 In that case, no zoom would probably be just fine.

The other difference is, of course, the flip screen. I’m not a fan of it. Period. Not for the purposes I’m considering. At least with the standard non-flip design, it looks sort of like a phone. The flip-out screen *might* arouse suspicion in even the most lax of security guards. Maybe.

So really, it’s a toss-up. I do like the 5x optical. That’s a huge selling point. Digital zoom means nearly nothing to me. Especially 16x. I might as well watch fuzzy colored squares that vaguely resemble semi-recognizable shapes dance around my screen. Thanks, no. Couldn’t be less bothered.

Decisions, decisions …

 

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