We Concur

Audrey, over at melodynelson.com beat us to the punch on The Stills, certainly one of the most underrated bands you have yet to hear much about. I suppose part of that is due to the fact that they don’t have a record out yet, but we’ll be there when they open for Interpol on Feb 18 @ The Henry Fonda Theater. Their manager contacted us about doing a little something with the band on the site, so we’ll be having some words with them when they get to town. In the mean time, their site has a few unreleased tracks for your downloading pleasure. We like The Stills and so should you.

A Michael Miller Release

Local favorite and troubadour extraordinaire, Michael Miller has gone and released his second record, When We Come To. You can order the CD (and other stuff) on the site. Look for an interview and review of the album to follow in the next week. He’s busy with all the magazines and stuff, but he promised us the time of day.

Hornby On Adams

As previously mentioned, Nick Hornby has released a new book of essays called Songbook (available through McSweeney’s). In celebration of the release, a series of essays are being posted on the McSweeney’s web site. Nick Hornby wrote a little something about Ryan Adams’s “Oh My Sweet Carolina.”

Some people are at their best when they’re miserable. Ryan Adams’s beautiful Heartbreaker album is, I suspect, the product of a great deal of pain, and “Oh My Sweet Carolina” is its perfect, still centre, its faint heartbeat, a song so quiet that you don’t want to breathe throughout its duration.

Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 can all be read as well.

The Start Of Something

There’s something to be said for starting things over again. A clean slate. Change is good, or at least it has been in most cases that I can think of. Something has changed and, come to think of it, they always will. It’s something I can count on.

Over the last year and some change, I have been employed very little. I made a pact with myself when I quit my last job that the next job I took would make me happy. I may not be happy doing it all the time, but it was going to be something that I loved to do, or at the very least it would be a step in the direction in which I wanted to head.

So my life has changed. Gone are the days of going to bed at 4am and waking up at 11am, though the weekends are good for that sort of activity. Gone are the days of not caring what day of the week it was, and quite often not even knowing for sure. Gone are the days of sitting in front of the computer, endlessly reading what other people had to say…well, there will be less of that anyway. Gone are the days of…I really could make quite a list of things that have changed in the last 24 hours.

For the second time in my life, I don’t feel like I’m fucking around so much. Truth be told, ever since I moved to Los Angeles, there’s been a lot of fucking around and I got paid a lot of money to do said fucking around. That’s not to say I didn’t learn or that what I was doing wasn’t important at the time, but it all seems so far away now.

Today was a new beginning, and the timing just feels right. It all feels right. Sure, I’m nervous and a little freaked out about all of it, but I’m also exciting to be doing something steady again. There’s something to be said for a little structure. Some people can do just fine without it, and I don’t require that much, but there it is.

Tomorrow I’ll be waking up to an alarm again. I’ll get in my car, drive a few minutes to a building to which I have a passcard to get in and out, and I will work. This is the start of something.

P.S. Remember to take the passcard out of the pocket of the pants you wore today.

Sorry About The Monthly Mix

Despite us updating our hosting plan to allow for more bandwidth, we are well on our way to exceding our monthly limit. In an effort to keep the site online and operational, the Monthly Mix MP3s have been taken down. We’ll have a new mix next month. Sorry for the hassle, but we don’t want the entire site to suffer. Thanks for your understanding.

Ramones Tribute To Finally See The Light Of Day

The Ramones tribute album, We’re A Happy Family will finally see the light of day on February 11. The tracklisting reads like this:

01) Havana Affair – Red Hot Chili Peppers

02) Blitzkrieg Bop – Rob Zombie

03) I Believe In Miracles – Eddie Vedder/Zeke

04) 53rd & 3rd – Metallica

05) Beat On The Brat – U2

06) Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio – Kiss

07) The KKK Took My Baby Away – Marilyn Manson

08) I Just Wanna Have Something To Do – Garbage

09) Outsider – Green Day

10) Something To Believe In – The Pretenders

11) Sheena Is A Punk Rocker – Rancid

12) I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend – Pete Yorn

13) I Wanna Be Sedated – The Offspring

14) Here Today, Gone Tomorrow – Rooney

15) Return of Jackie & Judy – Tom Waits

*16) Daytime Dilemma (Dangers Of Love) – Eddie Vedder/Zeke

*Will only appear on Limited Edition version of release

Strangely absent from the tracklisting is a version of “Danny Says” by the Foo Fighters, which the band was rumored to have recorded during the first set of sessions for One By One, which were later scrapped and re-recorded. Perhaps the song will be released as a b-side on an upcoming single.

Geek With A Sidekick

In addition to having a weak spot for music, I also have a weak spot for gadgets. Even as infrequently employed as I am, I find some way to acquire new toys, though it does help out when Amazon is selling them for close to nothing. So as much as I didn’t need a new PDA (or mobile phone for that matter), I picked up one of the T-Mobile Sidekicks. I’ve been drooling over them since they came out. I recently got one of the new Palm Tungsten T handhelds, which I’ll be putting on eBay if I end up liking this Sidekick thing. I’m just not quite sure if the Sidekick can replace my Palm and regular mobile phone, which is the main reason I picked it up in the first place.

The good and bad news is that they sync to a web site and not to your computer’s hard drive. That’s a good thing because as soon as you update your info on the website, it updates the device immediately. It’s also handy because you don’t need to carry a computer around with you hoping that you can find a place that has wired or wireless Internet access. Since the Sidekick is GPRS (always on/connected to the net), if you change info in your device’s address book or calendar, it updates the web site. This is all assuming that coverage is good in your area. Los Angeles happens to have great coverage. If you are an AIM user, you’ll certainly enjoy the fact that it has AIM built into the device as well as a web browser and email, all of which work really well. You can even add other email accounts to the device. For instance, I can receive my EarthLink and bradbarrish.com email while I’m away from my computer. The camera attachment is kinda nifty, but I could give a shit about my cell phone being able to take digital photos the size of iZone photos.

What doesn’t work so well is the phone. Without the earpiece that comes with it, it’s terribly awkward to use and the service isn’t as good as a regular mobile phone. And to be totally honest, I’ve never found the earpieces to be all that comfortable either. I never use one with my regular mobile phone. The other thing I miss is being able to jot notes down on the actual screen. The Sidekick has a thumb keyboard for entering data, dialing phone numbers, etc. After a few days of using it, I’ve found it to be pretty easy and fast, but it’s not as fast as scribbling. Also, the device needs to be charged at the end of the day. The battery is pretty weak, at best. Unlike a Palm device, there are no third-party applications to expand the device, which isn’t possible anyway.

I’ve still got a week and some change to decide if I want to keep the Sidekick. T-Mobile allows the return of a device within 14 days for a full refund. I could see it replacing my Palm device. I don’t use half the features of it anyway. As for replacing my phone, Verizon’s service and coverage is tops and I don’t know that I want a T-Mobile device that depends on Cingular’s towers for coverage. The minute I go outside of the greater L.A. area, I’m sure the service won’t be as great. And I guess the two main obvious questions are, do I need two mobile phone/devices and why would I want to be so connected? I mean, it is just another toy for which I have to pay another monthly fee, but it’s one of the coolest toys I have played with in a while. Decisions decisions… Feel free to drop me an email to my Sidekick with some personal experiences, etc. brad[at]tmail.com.

Help Out, Won’t You?

I’ve been putting this off for a long time because, well I don’t like to ask for money and we all know no one likes to pay for “content” on the web. Here’s the deal: In the last few months the site has come very close to exceeding its bandwidth limits and I have had to upgrade the site to accommodate the increased traffic. It’s no surprise that the Monthly Mix section gets a lot of traffic, which I do not want to remove from the site. Additionally, the tickets and other items that are given away each month to Guest List members are purchased by me (for teh most part), not donated by the labels or anything like that. And don’t blame me if you’re missing out on those giveaways!

I am not asking you to subscribe to the site. What I am asking for is a little help. If a couple hundred people made a donation, I would not only be able to pay hosting fees for the year, but I’d have some money left over to purchase tickets and other stuff for giveaways. To put it simply — what comes around, goes around. I’m not looking to make a living from the site, though that would be nice. I just want to be able to continue with the site and make it worth visiting. I’m not threatening to shut the site down if you don’t cough up some cash, but it would be most appreciated if you could make a donation.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. Every dollar will help out. Just click on the PayPal donation button or follow this link.