Leah is 28 today.

I’m not too hot on the headliners, Hold for Swank, personally, but I can understand their appeal. Dr. Groove isn’t half bad but I’m not completely decided on my opinion of them. It’s the earlier half of the bill I’m interested in: The Bandana are definitely worth seeing: the kind of angular indie-rock that’s working quite well these days, intermixed with droney psychedelic keyboard soundscapes. And of course there’s The Wheelers, a raw, fuzz-happy CR trio that seems to have a significant liking for the Pixies and occasionally sounds like a band the members of Weezer might have been in when they were still too young to know better.

I turn 31 today.

3 Lbs. Of Love, the headliners this night, are worth seeing if only for their one-and-a-half-armed drummer. They seem to go over well with the college hippie jam crowd, but their sound reminds me at times of early Blue Cheer. Leven are pretty standard modern-metal fare with strong Christian-themed overtones, Lost Nation (apparently named after the town in Iowa where A Is Jump/Passage Of Deformed Man Supermarket/Donny Brazile Band drummer and steel guitarist Phil Sterk is originally from!) and Miker’s Mad I’ve never heard of.

The awesome Miracles Of God (from Iowa City) are billed second. They’re on tour with Witch’s Hat, who are opening. I gather Polyplush Cats are fairly popular but haven’t heard them; DUI, an appealingly sloppy young-but-old-school punk outfit, are headlining. $5

Busted Old Walkman.mp3 (8.9 Mb)

This one’s very danceable, with a detuned (C-G-D-G-B-D) and delay-drenched guitar, and just a little bit longwinded on purpose, trying to sweep you away in a wave of shoegazingness. Lyrics are told from the point of view of a guy whose love interest is alternately sweet and harshly critical, possibly bipolar, and overall doesn’t seem to trust him a lot of the time. So it’s sort of a character-sketch/story song, which is something I’m trying to get better at writing, as opposed to the overambitious “my philosophy of everything” stuff I’ve usually written before.

Special thanks to Tyler for the fine and difficult bass guitar work. The second, higher bass during the mid-song instrumental section was all his idea. Apologies for the out-of-tuneness of the melodica – you can’t really tune a melodica, short of irreversible physical modifications, and this particular melodica is over 40 years old. Hopefully it ends up endearing.

James Lileks posts a hilarious rant on the Canadian terrorism arrests:

Wait a minute: The "terrorists" were Canadian? You can understand someone blowing up trains in Spain and London. They sent troops to an illegal war cooked up by neocons who want to kill brown people for Exxon and Jesus, or something. You can understand, reluctantly, blowing up teens in an Israeli pizza parlor, because the Jews took the West Bank from the sovereign, ancient nation of Palestine. (How can a liberal socialist country behave so poorly? The world is full of mysteries.) But Canada? Isn't Michael Moore from Canada? You can get medical marijuana from married gay doctors in Canada, and no one has guns. You console yourself: Maybe they were really planning to attack the U.S.


Of course, the big news today is that al-Zarqawi is done for. Maybe I’ll write something about that later today,

Once again my birthday falls on a weekend this year. On top of that, I live in a fly new pad with a pop-up pool in the back yard and a music room in the basement. So I’m thinking, it’s party time. On the other hand, my extensively planned-out parties in past years have usually turned out with a smaller turnout than expected. Not that I mind having a fridge full of leftover beer, mind you, but I’m thinking this year I’ll take a more informal approach: invite over anyone who wants to come hang out, then break out the grill and some tunes. If people show up expecting food and drink, we’ll just go on a quick run for it – there are good stores within reasonable distance.

So, to anyone reading, come on over on Saturday the 17th, anytime from the early afternoon on. We can grill, drink, sit in the pool, bust out some rock and roll jams in the basement, play old Atari games, whatever. If you need help finding the place, just drop me an email.

Looking for some help from folks who stop by here… See, I have a pile of RSS feeds in my Lylina aggregator. There’s stuff in there about the news, politics, economics, mathematics, computer science, software and website development… but I notice that one of my interests is conspicuously under-represented – namely, indie/underground music, especially in and around Iowa.

I think the problem may be one of tech-savviness lacking among musicrelated writers. I think it’s worth pointing out that, out of Pitchfork, In Music We Trust, Crock, and a couple other sites I remember visiting but can’t recall at the moment, not one of them has an RSS feed. Crock, despite being ostensibly in a blog format, doesn’t even use an actual blog engine – I think the guy just updates the html by hand.

Anyway, I’m fishing for recommendations of any cool music blogs or RSS feeds I could add to my daily browsing. Post your recommendations in the comments on this post.

Did some recording with Blake this past weekend for his project, “Fools.” He wrote the songs, did the singing and guitarring; I contributed the recording, drums, and bass. Four pretty cool songs at the Myspace page he set up.