Thursday, August 30, 2007

Great Expectations

So. It's a long weekend, perfect for kicking back and... doing home projects. ACK! My better half and I are tackling a new task this labor day: re-taping our ceilings. Since we moved in seven years ago, we've said, "Wouldn't the ceilings look better if they were re-taped and painted?" Now, the moment of truth. As with anyone who lives in an old house, you become well versed in stuff you never thought you'd know how to do (i.e, I can patch a hole in plaster like nobody's business). So, we'll learn by doing, and I'm certain that by the time we get to the last room, we'll be pros. Right? Right. (I'm trying some positive thinking here, people!) Meanwhile, lord help us as we try to finagle fiberglass tape across wallboard joists.

In other news:

DO NOT BUY THE NEW RENTALS EP, "The Last Little Life." I REPEAT: DO NOT BUY IT. Sure, you might be like me, nostalgic about the two gems that Matt Sharp gave to the world, "The Return of the Rentals" and "Seven More Minutes." Yes, my son heard that stuff in utero, the pounding beats of "Hello, Hello" ushering in the millennium and a completely new path in my life. Suffice it to say: those days are gone. Over. As irretrievable as the garnet ring I once left on a dorm room sink. "The Last Little Life?" Well, the title is telling; they've managed to squeeze the last little life left in their musical ability into a small, embarrassingly awful turd of an album. Matt Sharp needs to hang it up and go home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Getting Sentimental...err... STAYING sentimental.

Woke up this morning with an old Doors' song stuck in my head: "Summer's almost gone..."

Where did our summer go? Last weekend, we were in VA and inadvertently ended up in the rush of VA Tech students outfitting their dorms/apts. Egad. Target was crawling with impossibly young people, carts piled high with rubbermaid totes and cheap kitchen gear. M. and I were shopping for Pokemon t shirts (no, they don't carry them) but instead were caught up in the flood of freshman. Did we ever look so green, so lanky? Can it really be so many years since that was me, stupid and scared and impossibly excited about my first foray into the world outside my parents' domain?

Next Monday, our once tiny baby boy will enter second grade. It seems shocking, really. Shocking in that I AM THE MOTHER OF A SEVEN YEAR OLD and shocking in that the time has passed so quickly. I don't really know how we got here; from Ben Folds Five to TMBG's Here Come the ABCs!

Still, I'm beginning to settle into this thirties thing. I can no longer pretend I'm "just out of college," particularly with a resume that includes seven (count 'em) years of stay at home motherdom. Suddenly, I reference things like an old person--oh, that was only a few years ago! I say, only to reconsider and realize that it was over a decade ago.

Summer's almost gone. Man, time passes.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Chomp on This

Just wanted to share a picture of I's birthday pinata: a Mario Party Seven Chain Chomp. We spent the better part of the week before his party putting it together, but he loved it. Wish I had pictures of its demise... it ripped in half and was worn as a headdress, but of course.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Vomit, Revisited.

Meg and Jack White, circa crazy
(This pic's from Paste. Is that really the White Stripes, or are they some extras from a Harry Potter film?)

I know I said I hated it, but like a dog returneth to its own vomit...
I keep listening to The White Stripes newest, Icky Thump, and trying to figure out how it can be a White Stripes album. Some of it has grown on me, much like mold grows on a wet tile. Some of it remains problematic.

The Pretty Good:

There are some songs that were easy to enjoy: the title track thumps along (lovely pun, eh) in that White Stripes way, full of energy and catchy lyrics. On first listen I liked the campy "Conquest" and its silly story. Repeated listens make me feel like I'm listening to some sort of ridiculous mariachi/emo tune, and yet that's not necessarily a bad thing. Hmmm. "Bone Broke" is classic White Stripes. Screamy Jack White, pounding Meg, and enough crafting to carry the song (ie, there's a melody and a chorus!). "Little Cream Soda" is just great. I would have put it much earlier in the album, to keep people listening for gawd's sake. Oh well, oh well, oh well!
I love the guitar throughout the album... especially on "Catch Hell Blues."

The Hard Worn Maybes:

However, some of the tracks that I really loathed at first have grown on me(or maybe I'm just getting worn down at this point). "You Don't Know What Love Is--You Just Do as You're Told" is so syrupy that it's pleasant enough, but essentially like a B side, fun thing... not the second song on an album.
Initially, I was underwhelmed with "300 MPH Torrential Outpour Blues." It felt insufferably long and tedious, an indulgent Jack White bluesy bit. However, the more I've listened to it, the more I've enjoyed the languid mood it illicits. Kind of a moody little groove that suits driving.
"Prickly Thorn but Sweetly Worn" is out of left field. The whole bagpipe thing is bizarre. I can't decide if I'm having a Sting moment or if someone slipped some Jethro Tull in the stereo when I wasn't looking.
Rag and Bone" is so silly that I truly enjoy it. It seems like a hidden track, though. Again, the placement of songs on this album is baffling. I love the spoken word aspect of the lyrics.
"Effect and Cause" is kind of fun. Not great, but fun. It rolls along with its clever words, making me think of "I'm Lonely (but I ain't that Lonely yet)" off of Get Behind me Satan.

The Mold (not Bob):

I hate "Baby Brother". It makes me think of Jerry Lee Lewis meets Rev. Horton Heat with a heavy dose of Brian Setzer hairgel thrown in for good measure. It's frantically rockabilly and ridiculous. Bleh.
"St. Andrew(This Battle is in the Air)"? Ugg. I don't understand. I read an interview with The White Stripes in this month's Paste and Meg White explained how, in constructing this song, Jack wrote a string of things down and then had her read them aloud at random. Fair enough. But why the silly distorted voice? It's embarrassing to listen to.

Obviously,I need something new to listen to. Yes. But I's new Pokemon cd is just not cutting it. (One song raps the Pokemon names, and I'm paranoid that I'm going to bust out with some Jigglypuff.)