Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 20



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week flew by thanks to a hectic work schedule and a family wedding (which took up most of the weekend with a series of fun sub-events). As I decompress for a few hours, some of the conversations that took place over the week are bubbling back up to the surface, which are being presented in my brain dump section (which may be semi-recurring). Let's open up the fridge and see what's left over....

[The Back Window]



CREDIT: UK Telegraph









CREDIT: Ryan Adams - Beautiful Sorta (Loft Sessions)

[Brain Dump]

There have been several things swirling in my head the past few weeks, and I haven't taken the time to write them down because I was holding out - thinking they would become bigger articles. While I reserve the right to expand on these ideas in the future, I don't think there is a need (at the moment). So here is a few things I have been chewing on, let's chew together...

The Healthcare Package: I am disturbed that major details are coming out after the bill is signed and not before. The public was not well informed about this bill going into law (by our own laziness and what I think is intent by the law makers). I am perhaps biased in this next point, but I feel that while it is noble to regulate the insurance industry, where is the focus on regulating the cost of procedures and medicine? Now there is going to be sub-bills and tweaks being done over the next few months... will America still pay attention? The world may not end in 2012, but average middle class Americans might be seeing a huge pinch in their income tax statements every paycheck if we don't pay attention to what is happening now.

The War on Drug: The war on drugs hasn't worked and I don't think it ever will. If people want to poison themselves - let them. We allow people to consume fast food, booze, cigarettes, and of course Oxycontin - but not the other stuff? As California inches every closer to complete legalization of Marijuana, I think we should let this bullshit concept of "save our kids" die. Let's save the 77 billion dollars (what we are spending on the "War on Drugs" annually) and see what happens by just opening it up and regulating/taxing it the way we do with alcohol.



Prostitution: I just don't understand how one state can allow prostitution but the others cannot. The sad fact is any taxi driver in any major city can take you to a "brothel" legal or not. It is a part of the tourism trade (like it or not puritans). It is the oldest profession in history because there is a demand for it. By legalizing the sex trade there is only positives: More regulation thus more STD tests for street workers (and the elimination of street walkers), more taxes for the counties that have brothels, and most importantly: reduction in illegal human trafficking. From a feminist perspective, there is an argument for the degradation of women, but I make that same argument for strip clubs. Strip clubs are worse in my opinion because the women are put on a stage vs. being in a room naked with some other naked person. I also think it should be legalized for both female and male prostitutes (which even Nevada seems to have issues with). Cops don't bust down on prostitution unless they want information or a new politician wants to make a name for themselves - let's just end the charade.

That's all for now...

[Recipe of the Week: Spring Pasta]

I came up with this one out of boredom this week...

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb whole wheat penne
1/4 lb of asparagus (chopped into quarter pieces)
2 onions diced
1 red pepper diced
3 cloves garlic diced
1 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
10 oz. pancetta (or bacon - crumbled)

DIRECTIONS
1. In a deep saute pan, add a splash of olive oil and heat up. Add the onions. Cook down until golden (5 minutes on Med heat)
2. Add the garlic and the pancetta - cook for an additional 3 minutes
3. Add the Asparagus and peppers - cover and cook for 4 more minutes.
4. Add the wine - raise to high heat (bring the liquids to a boil)
5. Add the chicken stock (allow it to come to a boil again, wait 2 minutes, and then bring down to a simmer).
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Cook pasta per the directions. Drain and put it back into the pot. Add the contents of the saute pan and mix well. Add some grated cheese while still hot for a creamy texture (and extra saltiness)

[DIY of the Week: Window Garden]

Since it is getting warm out, I have been reading more about gardening. Here is a simple easy window garden for all of your herb needs:

CREDIT: Imperfectly Natural

TIPS: (From the website)

1. Pick the windowsills which get the most sun during the day for your window boxes
2. Watching your vegetables grow every day is really fun, but be careful not to water them too much
3. Plant pretty rainbow chard and lovely smelly herbs for the most beautiful, fragrant windows
4. Start with the vegetables you eat the most like tomatoes (the tumbling kind for window boxes) and lettuce and you’ll notice the difference in taste straight away
5. Root vegetables like beetroot and chard are really easy to grow and don’t need much attention. It is so easy to tell when they are ready as the pink or purple bulbs pop out of the soil

Top five vegetables to grow in window boxes

1. Lettuce – Cut and Come Again varieties can be harvested over and over again straight from your kitchen window to your plate throughout the summer
2. Radishes - some of the easiest vegetables to look after, these take just five weeks to grow into crisp and peppery mouthfuls
3. Beetroot – hardy and reliable, deep pink beetroot not only looks pretty on a summer plate but its leaves and young shoots in salads are deliciously sweet
4. Rainbow chard – this plant is beautiful, delicious and versatile – the multi-colored stalks can be used to brighten up salads along with the young, tender leaves. Mature chard makes a tasty steamed green similar to spinach
5. Creeping rosemary – a fragrant herb that goes really well with Mediterranean flavors. It's especially pretty when the flowers are blooming and its long curling branches spill over the edges of your window box. Add a handful of sprigs to burning coal for an aromatic barbecue

Check out the website for more hints, tips, and recipes.

[Video of the Week]

This is a video about Aquaculture (Fish Farming). I thought it was interesting...



Here is another one about the fish farmer, but this is about plants:


[Conclusion]

The weekend activities have caught up to me, I am going to go get mindless for a few hours. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 19



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers. This week involved work travel and the start of a kitchen remodel, I have been a little disconnected from the internet and interesting stuff to write about. As a result - this week's article is borrowing from around the internet a bit. I still think you will like it. So let's open up the magic internet refrigerator known as my RSS aggregator and see what is left over!

[The Back Window]











CREDIT: Big Star - September Gurls

[Travel]

I spent a good portion of my week traveling for work. Typical meetings, team building etc (made a new contact from Robin Scherbatsky's Country). On Thursday night we out for a team dinner and somebody broke into my rental car. Smashed the window, stole my GPS. Does this make me special in any way? Nope. Does it make me feel like a victim? Nope.

It just makes me feel sad that people had to break and steal shit to get by. I hope my GPS got the bastard that stole it some bread for his kids instead of drugs, but who am I kidding....

[Recipe of the Week: Cheddar Crackers]

I am totally copying this post from: Savory Seasonings. Check out this blog for more articles on DIY versions of the snacks you love.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white ground pepper (optional)
4 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
3-4 TBSP water

DIRECTIONS:
1. Pulse the flour, salt and pepper, then add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add grated cheese a little at a time until the mixture again resembles coarse meal.
2. Pulse in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, and only enough so that the dough forms a ball and rides the blade.
3. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.
4. Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness directly onto a baking sheet.
5. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut 1 inch squares, then bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. If the outer edges your pan are done but the crackers in the center still need a few more minutes- remove crackers on the edges and bake the center crackers for a few more minutes.
6. Remove from oven and recut any squares that may be stuck together. Store in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze.

I haven't made this yet because I am in the process of a kitchen remodel but I know how I am breaking in the new gas stove!

[DIY of the Week: Building a Beach Stereo]

This DIY is a little more advanced than the typical stuff I post, but I think it is do-able with the level of instructions posted. I am just going to send you over to this fellow's blog:

Addictronics: Stereo Cooler

I'd like to tackle this with my cousin Tony - it would be a neat project for his sister's shore house.

[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

I am working on a new Computer Joey post that will be a fun DIY, so check the blog this week for that. I am going to go out and enjoy the sun while I can - I suggest you do the same. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine

Six weeks ago, I saw a commercial for a promotional website for the movie "Hot Tub Time Machine" (Kicksomepast.com); the commercial mentioned getting a free screening of the movie for you and some friends. I quickly went to the site and I actually got the free passes. Since then, I have been doubting if these promo tickets were legit, and I was worried about asking my friends to show up on a Monday night to a theater in the city and we would get turned away. That didn't happen. Not only did the Ritz honor the Eventful promotion - we actually got a bunch of free stuff too.

While the premise of the movie was equally ridiculous yet hilarious sounding - I had my concerns that all of the good stuff would be showing in the trailer. Didn't happen. Without giving too much away, the movie's self-referential mocking was outstanding (how are you going to do a movie about the 80's and skiing and not reference Cusack?). There is also a glorified cameo that will make lovers of time travel movies wet their pants. Was the script the next "Citizen Kane"? No. But it was one of the funnier comedies in the last 18 months. While I think the movie would have benefited from an original "Army of Darkness"-style ending, the neat little bow wrapped up at the end was satisfying.

This movie comes out March 26th. Go see it. Watch out for the squirrel.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 18



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers. This has been a long week with lots of exciting things happening - so let's open the fridge to see what the hell happened!

[The Back Window]











CREDIT: Ted Leo - Mighty Sparrow

[Uncle Joey]

I became an uncle for the first time this week.

I didn't know if I should say anything on the blog because this isn't my story to tell... People have congratulated me, but I haven't done anything. NOTHING (I have been absolutely no help to them). All the credit goes to my sister and my brother-in-law.

My sister has handled this entire pregnancy with grace. She had difficulties before, during, DURING, and after this pregnancy. She didn't complain and she still hasn't after three days of labor. I am genuinely proud of my sister for her demeanor and focus for the last few years of heartache, work, and eventually reward.

To my nephew Luke (who may one day read this): I want you to understand and know (from an almost independent party) how much you were wanted. You are the fulfillment life-long goal. I have no doubt you will be loved every second of your life and I am looking forward to the impact you will make on your parent's life and also my own.

Welcome to the real world kid.

[Recipe of the Week: How To Make Potato Chips In The Microwave]

INGREDIENTS:
1 russet potato
Non stick spray
Salt and Pepper

TOOLS:
Mandolin Slicer
Parchment paper or glass plate

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the inside of your microwave.
2. Carefully slice 1/3 of a potato into paper thin slices using a mandolin. Don't cut any more because the slices will turn an odd color
3. Completely coat the parchment paper with non-stick spray and place the potato slices in a single layer.
4. Spray the potato slices with non stick spray and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Turn off the rotating option on your microwave and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Additional Comments:
Cooking times will vary based on the strength and power of your microwave. Some chips may turn very dark brown. Ideally you want them light and golden. Repeat the process until you’ve used your entire potato. Enjoy!

This idea was brought to you by the Savory Sweet Life blog. Check out the link for more pictures, comments, and information.

[DIY of the Week: Set up your own custom domain]

Here is an article about how to set up your own custom domain and website. Oh yeah... I wrote it :-)

Computer Joey 102: Setting up custom domains and email

[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

In light of my nephew being born, I am keeping the bitter out of this post. So I better end it before it sneaks in. I wrote a pretty good (if I do say so myself) review of Mike Gordon's performance at the TLA - it's a fun personal story (not a standard review). If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Concert Review: Mike Gordon @ The TLA, Philadelphia

Main Act: Mike Gordon
Opening Act: NA
Location: TLA
Date: Friday, March 12th 2010

FULL DISCLOSURE: In the interest of honesty true be-loggers, I must tell you that my friend Tom plays in this band, so my objectivity may be compromised when it comes to this review. With that said, I think I can be fair.


[Before the Show]

On a rainy Friday that saw my sister give birth to my first nephew, I rushed into the city of Philadelphia (after a small visit with my sis) to meet my friends for dinner. As I raced up the stairs of my favorite watering hole (Jose Pistolas), my eyes darted around and eventually found a table with some of my most favorite people on the entire planet. They are the type of people you think all human beings should act like: smart, informed, caring, and interesting. Included in this wonderful group, was Tom Cleary who plays piano/keyboards for Mike Gordon's band.

I have known Tom for several years now, and I haven't ever seen him play professionally. The last two times he came to the city to play with Mike, I missed it for whatever reason. I thought I was going to miss him again because my sister was having some troubles (a story for another place). Everything work out, so I was very glad to be at that table with my friends and my wife. The reason I mention any of this is because during dinner, I asked Tom the following questions:

Joey: How long is your set tonight?
Tom: One set is like an hour and forty-five minutes, and the other is like an hour and a half.
I start thinking to myself - does Mike Gordon have 3+ hours of solo material (forgetting a very obvious point)
Joey: Do you do covers?
Tom: Yes - we do a few (Tom mentions the songs, and I have completely forgotten them).

As I was getting into the cab to head over to South Street, I kept thinking about that three hour set....

[The Main Event]


I have never really listened to jam bands (my apologies to any Phish-heads who will find this through Google). Because of that, I wasn't familiar with any of Gordon's solo material, I purposely didn't seek out samples because I wanted to go to the show with a completely open mind. Mike Gordon's band was set to start at 9 PM. No opening act. They were prompt: the rocking started at almost 9 PM on the dot. The first song out of the gate was excellent and to my surprise, Tom quickly took control and started the drive the song with his keyboards. This became a theme the entire night.

I was really impressed with Gordon's generosity to the other band members, he let Tom and guitarist Scott Murawski jump out front with their own material and take center stage for a good portion of the songs. Another amusing\entertaining aspect of the show was special surprise guests: The Chieftains (or at least a few members) and a troupe of dixie (!?!) tap dancers (I don't know if they were with the Chieftains or Mike found them somewhere else). The first 100+ minute set went by pretty quickly.

As the second set started, I realized that the band didn't play many songs (remember the obvious point I missed? JAM BAND!). I finally had the "Duh!" moment during the second set because the band really settled into complete "Jam" mode. For the next 90+ minutes, I would be lying if I said they played more than 5 or 6 different songs. The Jam got loser than the first set and they let the music go where it wanted to. Tom played one of his original tunes which he modified for jam-ocity and it was excellent\very "sing-a-long" as Gordon rightfully put it. As that set closed, I thought it was time to go. My friend said they were coming out to do an encore. I noticed my wife's head on the railing, barely keeping her eyes open... and I realized the day had taken it's toll on me as well. We decided to leave, we didn't have the stamina for the complete jam. We said goodbye to our friends and headed home with a new-found respect for jam bands and pure awe of Tom's talent (the man is a beast!).

[Phish-heads]

This was my first direct experience with a large group of Phish-heads (Brad - you don't count); I assumed they were dirty neo-hippie type kids. I was totally wrong. Copious pot smoke in a smoke free venue aside, the crowd was very polite. VERY POLITE. They know how to act at a concert.

Thanks to Tom (and my group of favorite people) and to the entire Mike Gordon band and fan-base for putting on excellent show and giving us an end to a pretty special day.

[PS: A Funny Story]

As we were leaving Jose Pistolas, the owner and Philadelphia bartender of the year was giving me shit for leaving early. When I told him I was going to see Mike Gordon, he informed me that half of his day staff was going to the show. I then pointed out the window to Tom and said "that's Gordon's keyboard player". All of the guys at the bar lost their minds and were like "why the hell didn't you tell us!". Tom was a total rockstar at the bar that night and didn't even know it.

Computer Joey 102: Websites and Customized Email



About the author: Joey Lombardi owned and operated a computer repair store named "Computer Joey" for several years. He has an "Information Technology" degree from Drexel University and several Microsoft MCSE certifications. Basically... he knows his shit.

The most common "nerd" activity I do on the internet is set up custom domains for small business and friends. Over the years the cost of running your own website has dropped to almost nothing, so there really isn't an excuse not to have a website - plus would you rather point someone to facebook or your own sweet customized domain that helps get your name out there - doing whatever it is that you do.

[Getting a Domain]


The first step in a personalized website is getting a domain name. There are a million sites to register at, but my personal favorite is Weblaunching.net. They aren't the cheapest ($8.00 for registration and an additional $5.00 for advanced DNS which you will need) but the site doesn't do anything shady like lock down the domain for 7 days if you don't buy it from them - unlike NetworkSolutions.com (who are assholes).

Try to snag your own name, because it looks good for resumes and also personal business. If you are running a business and it's name is taken, try hyphens and different domains like ".net" and ".org" and some of the new ones like ".ms". Once you have found a name you like, register it and then sign up for advanced DNS settings.

[Website Hosting]

I have built countless websites, and I have reached the point where I am just tired of doing the coding. There is ALWAYS going to be a newer better way to code a site but for normal end-users who just want a basic site there are plenty of free templates that will do just fine. My favorite? Google Apps Standard Edition. Google Apps (standard) is free and gives you: web hosting, emails, calendar, and document management.

You will need to add a CNAME record to your DNS management site, which is very easy (just follow the directions from google). On the weblaunching site, go into DNS Management and "create CNAME record". When you add all your custom CNAME records, it should look like this:


If you are planning on using the custom mail that Google Apps offers, you will need to set up your MX records. In advanced DNS, go to the MX records section and make it look like this:


After a few hours, the DNS changes will propagate through the internet and the site should start working.

When it comes to websites, you have two options with Google: you can use their "Sites" service or you can use "Blogger".

If all you want is a blog, you can easily set one up at Blogger (which is a Google owned site). Once you sign up for an account, go into your SETTINGS tab. Click on the PUBLISHING tab below and you will see an option to set a custom domain. If you don't want to do anything special, just set it to www.(yourdomain).com. You will need to go back to your domain management company (hopefully weblaunching) and add a CNAME for www. You will need to set it to "ghs.google.com". After a few hours the site should start working under your domain. If you plan on doing a customize home page, I recommend setting the blog to "blog.(yourdomain).com" - the other directions apply, but the CNAME will be "blog" instead of "www".

If you want a more "robust" webpage but still easy to use, I suggest using Google Sites. I have my issues with the way some of the template system works, but overall, you can't make it any easier to make a basic website. Select a template you like and start writing. In order to get the "www" to work with the sites engine, go to your Google apps dashboard and go into the sites section. There will be a mapping tab. When you create the site, you will give it a name, add that name to the mapping form, and put "www" (or whatever you want your site to be named) in the other section of the form. Go to your DNS management page and add the CNAME (for this example "www") and within a few hours, your website will be up and running (just make sure you make the site public if you want everyone in the world to be able to see it).

This is how to get into the mapping section of Google Apps


Here is how to Map:


[Conclusion]

I think this is a good place to stop for now. Having your own custom is a fun and easy way to get your name out there, promote yourself for a new job, and share your knowledge with the world. Don't be afraid of the website controls, mess around with all the settings, you can't hurt anything - HAVE FUN.

Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sunday Leftovers: Volume 02: Issue 17



Howdy true be-loggers, welcome to Sunday Leftovers! This week was heads down and heavy into work, but I did manage to catch a concert. With that said, let's open the fridge and see what's left over.

[The Back Window]


CREDIT: S. Caruso









CREDIT: The Lemonheads

[Children in all the wrong places]

Earlier this week, my wife's pal emailed me a funny article on babies in bars. My take on the situation is parents should not bring babies in bars UNLESS someone you are really close with owns it and they are cool with the kid being in there (for fun or for a small visit). I really do sympathize with a parent wanting adult interaction, but people go to bars to get away from kids. Seriously. I don't think patrons should have to filter themselves because a parent exhibited bad judgment.

On the flip side, if a parent WANTS to expose their children to human vices and dark smelly places - for whatever reason - go for it. But don't crinkle your nose at the drunk slob passed out at the bar, you knew there was a chance that slob was going to be there, so accept the risk. I am sure everyone has a cute story about "little Katie dancing in the corner bar" when she was two - but little Katie's parents didn't make it a freakin' weekly routine (or Katie's dad was the town drunk and Katie is now "dancing" for a living).

I will muddy the water a little more. Some parents can get away with taking their kids out because they know how to control their children and others cannot. I went out to dinner with my cousin, his wife, and their three year old on Friday and it was perfectly fine because they were all over him when he was even hinting at acting up. The kid got to eat some delicious Mexican food and the other patrons got to watch a cute well-behaved toddler order a sandwich at a Mexican place. This morning I went out to brunch with my wife's family and another group brought a baby and she was screeching the entire meal. If you have to go out with a young kid, don't go to a small quiet place - go to Friendly's. To the parents: Yes - your life is stressful right now and you don't know how to control your baby... don't ruin it for the rest of us... stay home until you have a handle on things or hire a baby sitter. Everyone (including your baby) will thank you.

[Recipe of the Week: RIBS]


INGREDIENTS

1. RIBS

For the Dry Rub:
3 tablespoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of paprika
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper

OPTIONAL: BBQ Sauce (you can buy it or make it)

1 regular can of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons onion, minced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne
fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook the garlic and onion until it's soft, and then add all the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. Keep stirring it often so it doesn't burn, then refrigerate for a few days before you use it. This allows the flavors to blend and mellow.


DIRECTIONS
1. Pre-heat oven for 250 degrees. Insert RIBS. Cook for 4 hours
2. Take out the RIBS (OPTIONAL: Brush with BBQ Sauce). Now place the ribs on your grill. Have it set to high to sear in the flavor. Cook for an additional 25 minutes (Keep and eye out for burning).
3. Take RIBS off the grill and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

[DIY of the Week: Gourd Lanterns]

Since it was so nice this weekend, it had me thinking about the backyard...



[Video of the Week]



[Conclusion]

Sorry I am keeping it short this week, but better to be brief than to add terrible filler. If you need to reach me, you can do so via email at: "blog at joeylombardi.com". As always, don't take shit from anybody.

Smell You Later,
~ Joey

Joey Lombardi | Create Your Badge

Friday, March 05, 2010

Concert Review: The 88 @ The North Star Bar, Philadelphia

Location: North Star Bar
City: Philadelphia, Pa
Date: March 4th, 2010
Opening Act: (Don't know the name)

[Opening Acts]

The last time I stepped foot in the North Star Bar was about a decade ago and I happened to meet John Mayer before he got huge. I was excited to return to the venue to see the excellent, yet under-rated band The 88. We walked into the stage area (which holds no more than 100 people) and saw the merchandise table. My friend Mark struck up a conversation with the girl running the table and she ended up hanging with us for most of the night (she was a good sales person because I ended up buying 2 CDs and a t-shirt for my wife). She let us know The 88 was going to be the third act of five hitting the stage and she didn't know the first two.

I don't know the names of the acts, and for their sake I am glad. The first band was an odd collection of college students. A mostly female band with a big burly lumberjack looking guy playing bass. No guitar or piano player, but they had a girl playing a xylophone (or something close to it). The lead singer had a voice similar to Corinne Bailey Rae - it was beautiful, but the songs were terrible avant-garde, self indulgent, and messy. I think the singer could really make something of herself if she ditched the noise and found a more mellow, melodic act to work with.

The second band was called "Bla" or "Bla Bla" or something like that. The act was comprised of a large greasy looking fellow in a cloth trench coat looking thing and a girl that played tambourine. She did some spoken word poetry while he played the keyboard. He then took the lead and sang a series of increasingly terrible songs. I had the distinct feeling that I wasn't in on a larger joke because nobody could be that bad by accident. Kudos to them for having the balls to get on stage and do it, especially before an act that was actually talented. All I can say is good luck with whatever it is you think you are doing (besides wasting people's time).

[The 88]

After enduring the two openers, The 88 quickly came on and melted my face off. The kid running the sound board had the band SUPER LOUD (my ears are still ringing). For the first few tunes, it was very hard to pick up any of the nuances of the music since it all mushed together. The sound engineer improved things a bit when the band played a slower tune.

The 88 focused on songs from what I am guessing to be their most popular album "Over and Over". That suited me just fine since I knew those songs the best. My friend Mark kinda knows the band (this was the third time he had seen them in the last 8 days). He let me know the new material they were trying out. Tunes like "Nobody Cares" and "Hide Another Mistake" were the high-points for me, but the new material sounded great. Even though there was maybe 20-30 people in the bar, lead singer Keith Slettedahl worked his ass off, dancing around the stage and hitting his trademark high notes.

The set was short and sweet, as the band had to make time for the two other acts. Keyboardist Adam Merrin quickly struck up a conversation with Mark and I got a chance to talk to him and Keith. Adam politely listened while I told him my boring story about how I discovered the band through the TV show "How I Met Your Mother", interestingly enough Adam mentioned that show star Josh Radnor was really a big fan and might have had something to do with their songs being used. Adam and Keith were very nice and gracious people and as we walked outside to get our cab, we saw Keith quietly getting back on the bus to (presumably) prepare for another show (they played 27 out of 30 days in the last month).

I enjoyed the concert and really respect The 88's stage presence and work ethic. Check them out if you get the chance.

Here is a small clip from my crappy cell phone camera:


Here is video for a better idea of their sound:


[A Side Story]

The girl running the merchandise table had a very "Philadelphia" attitude and I immediately thought "she would be perfect for my friend Sean". I have never tried to pull this move for him before, but a girl that I knew who I have been thinking about hooking him up with recently started dating someone, so I decided to not miss another chance. I casually mention him and then pulled up a picture on my phone, she then proceeds to tell me she preferred the company of women and I felt like a total scumbag. The girl could not have handled herself with more class but I felt like I knob. Serves me right for not minding my own business.

:-)