Thursday, June 30, 2005

and... i'm spent!

Alrighty folks - I am off to see the grand lands of the great north. The fam is loading up the truckster and heading to Frye Camp for a week of fun in the sun... and bat swatting included.

I will return triumphantly on July 11th with tons of pics and tales of wooed woman and conquered cropie! I will miss you all.

Continue to damfinoblog your way to happiness... and don't be weary... your fearless leader shall return!



I didn't get a Hrumpf outta that guy!

Ok lads and lass'... I have republish Kern's super read in the hope that the site will come back up for most of you. Alex, I pulled the links to the cd's and you lost your font changes. This blog site is mighty simplistic - reign it in a tad muh man!

To all - I am shamed that I did not receive one comment for my Kong post... very un Yo.


Listen take 2

Ah, Summer. No, not the cocktail waitress I flimsily made a pass at in Vegas, the actual season. While I eat, sleep and breathe music 365 days a year(and 366 on leap years), for some reason there is something different about music in the summertime. It's a time to pick exuberant tunes while riding in the car after work and on the weekends with all of the windows down and nodding and singing along quite badly. A time for rocking songs with extra huge hooks, and a contagious energy that make you happy it's warm and able to savor what few minutes you have to be relatively free.

This time out of the box, in increasing order of rowdiness, I thought I would choose some of the albums that just scream "It's Summer! Let's F**k!"

Wait...sorry, that was Dennis Hopper.

The albums I picked just make me grin like a lunatic and/or run around and shake my ass in the sunshine. Readers: Please note that your results may vary.

Astrud Gilberto: Astrud Gilberto's Finest Hour

As the season grows warmer, this young man's fancy turns to the summery sounds of Bossa Nova. For the uninitiated, Bossa Nova was a style of Latin music brought to fruition by Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim in the 1950's. This novel blending of improvisation borrowed from West Coast jazz with the breezy, relaxed rhythms of Brazilian music really caught fire in the States when the trio of respected Tenor Sax player Stan Getz teamed with Jobim and the relatively unknown up to that point, Joao Gilberto. While recording the smash hit, "The Girl From Ipanema", there was a desire to get a verse in English to make the song somewhat more accessible to American audiences. Neither Jobim nor Joao Gilberto felt they had a good enough grasp of English to do it, so they asked Gilberto's wife Astrud to give it a shot. The honey voiced ex-housewife's unassured, but sweetly crooned vocals were the missing link in that song which shot the Getz/Gilberto album to the number five in the Jazz and Easy Listening charts in the middle of 1964.

The rest was history.

This particular collection puts together a batch of some of the best material of her career. One of Astrud's greatest talents is the relative ease with which she can fit her voice to the material. She can be introspective and almost borderline melancholy on songs such as "Corcovado" and "Who Needs Forever" whose flourishes of languid strings swell and crash underneath her shy, unassuming voice, as smooth horns weave deftly in and out of the waves. On other cuts, however, she can be sassy and playful, such as the almost go-go influenced swing of "Canto de Ossanha(Let Go)" and the bouncy, snappy "Crickets for Anamaria". My only complaint about the album is the lack of the song that brought her to the forefront, "The Girl From Ipanema". Part of me, however, likes to believe that this is because this collection wanted to bring some of her other equally brilliant work to light, rather than focusing on the one hit that everyone knows.

Her voice carries the warmth of Rio and the easy flow of a tropical breeze, and her golden tones have just enough come hither to be sexy without resorting to tired diva posturing or being overtly slutty.

If summer were a woman, I'm damn sure it would be Astrud Gilberto.

Key Tracks: Corcovado, Wish Me a Rainbow, Canto de Ossanha, Trains and Boats and Planes

The Kinks: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

In the midst of the English Invasion, not all of those who descended upon American soil made as large an impression on our youth as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. The Kinks led by Ray Davies, was one of the bands who were seemingly swallowed up in the shadow of those aforementioned bands. Initially, The Kinks had a very hard-charging guitar fuzzed treatment of the American R & B groups they had idolized and studied growing up. The result was a collection of lean, powerful and easily likeable pop tunes which served them well as American teens clamored for more of that New British sound. Somewhere after their American tour in 1965, they were not allowed entry into the US for causes unknown. It was during this time that Ray Davies decided to focus more on writing new songs which were both more personal and Anglocentric than any of his previous work. This led to some of The Kinks best output, releasing a string of highly creative and brilliant albums beginning with Face to Face in 1966 and ending with 1970's Lola Vs. Powerman And The Money-Go-Round.

In particular, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is possibly the best of them. If one had to describe the overall tone of the album, that word would potentially be pastoral. It's difficult to really explain it, but there is a feeling of English countryside that permeates the album, even through the harder edged rock numbers. Davies' songwriting is self-assured, building beautiful harmonies and melodies with strings and brushes of harpsichord, rather than relying on the crunch and distortion of some of their late Sixties contemporaries. The songs here are allowed to stretch out and breathe, imbued with an adequate dose of humor and reverence for their homeland. From lovely ballads to dark, hazy guitar freakouts, the album is a good balance of calm, sweet portraits of persons and places and fuzzier, bombastic rock moments without losing the overall cohesive feel of the album as a whole. God save the Village Green, indeed.

Key Tracks: Do You Remember Walter, Picture Book, Big Sky, Wicked Annabella

The Minders: Cul-de-Sacs & Dead Ends

If the lead singer of Portland, Oregon's The Minders sounds kind of's because he actually is. Originally hailing from over the pond, Martyn Leaper transplanted himself in Colorado where he enlisted the first lineup of The Minders before packing up and reforming in Portland. His spunky, candy coated jaunts drew the attention of Robert Schneider of the band Apples in Stereo, and braintrust of a loosely affiliated group of like minded neo-psychedelic artists known as the Elephant 6. This collective is home to such bands as Jeff Mangum's Neutral Milk Hotel, Phil Elvrum's Microphones, and Kevin Barnes' Of Montreal to name a few.

The Minders spin sweet strands of perfect pop. Like a slightly trippier, self effacing version of The Hollies or Herman's Hermits, they are energetic without being rowdy, pleasant without being cloying, and their songs are just quick enough to make you sad they aren't longer. Leaper and company's lo-fi antics play perfectly into the sunny throwback sounds that they have crafted. Replete with bizarre "Space Age" sound effects, effervescent guitars, and background "oohs" and "la la la"'s, Cul De Sacs & Dead Ends will hula hoop around your heart and make your spirit soar.

Key Tracks: Chatty Patty, Paper Plane, Now I Can Smile, Hand Me Downs

The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow

The Shins are perhaps best known from their two contributions to the Garden State soundtrack(New Slang, Caring Is Creepy) which lifted them to a slightly higher plateau of semi-obscurity. The band straddles two decades, looking back to the blissful sounds of late Sixties rock, but in contrast to the Minders, seem to pay homage to the bright, snappy material without attempting to emulate it. Mercer's voice is passionate against the backdrop of the loose freewheeling rhythm section, and is a great compliment to the bright guitars that bounce and gallop through the uptempo numbers(So Says I, Kissing The Lipless), and sound just mournful enough on the ballads(Pink Bullets). The use of clever lyrics and subtle touches of quiet, cascading keyboards and other quirky sounds coupled with lofty harmonies allow The Shins pull off a very difficult highwire act. By taking the best of their influences(The Beach Boys-circa Pet Sounds, and psychdelic folk bands like the Byrds) and infusing it with a certain moderninity that serves to remind us that they while they are indeed a band of their own making

Key Tracks: Kissing The Lipless, So Says I, Pink Bullets, Fighting In A Sack, Turn A Square

The Fiery Furnaces: Gallowsbird's Bark

In the year 2003, The White Stripes were the hottest brother and sister musical duo in memory. But as we all now know, they weren't brother and sister at all, but a pair of divorcees.

Enter the real, honest-to-God brother and sister team Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Calling themselves The Fiery Furnaces, the siblings released this collection of warped, raucous tunes in the fall 2003. To describe the sounds of The Fiery Furnaces to someone who has not already heard them is difficult at best. They probably have a fair amount of influences, but none of them are immediately perceptible, and finding any sort of contemporary musical reference is even more futile.

The songs themselves are witty, crazy slices of boozy blues admiring themselves in a hall of funhouse mirrors. Similar to Jack White's unique screaming guitar sounds, Matthew is able to charm some of the wildest talk from his instrument I think I've ever heard. It's as though his parents left him in a guitar shop, and he was raised by a wild pack of wah-wah pedals. Eleanor's voice, which sounds almost strangely Victorian in some almost imperceptible way, matter of factly sprinkles her charmingly bizarre lyrical material as she rides over the top of the whole affair on antiquarian piano chords and dirty squelching and squiggling synth lines. For the most part Gallowsbird's Bark is filled with spirited merrymaking, but when the time comes to slow down and and be earnest, they never falter. The whole package is wrapped up with a giant wink and a grin to the audience as though they don't know exactly what the hell they've done either, but they know it's damned good; music for grandparents writ hip in a Bizarro universe. I don't know that it could honestly be pigeonholed into a genre, even if pressed.

Er, Vaudeville Garage Rock, anyone?

Key Tracks: I'm Gonna Run, Inca Rag/Name Game, Don't Dance Her Down, Bow Wow, Rub-Alcohol Blues


The Go! Team: Thunder, Lightning, Strike

I've saved the wildest album this week for last, and Christ on a Cracker, it's a bloody barnburner.

First the bad news: Right now this album is only on import, and won't be released domestically(read: at a normal price) until a certain amount of remixing is done in order to get around some sample difficulties in the US. The good news is: The rest is

This is another album that is difficult to explain to people because of the sheer amount of different genres that comprise it. In this case however, rather than them being so subtle you can't quite place them, the members of The Go! Team practically put them on a t-shirt and wear it while standing outside on your lawn doing jumping jacks. Thunder, Lightning, Strike is a bombastic box of sugary cereal, though rather than little marshmallow bits and frosted nuggets, we get Vince Guaraldi-esque piano lines(the guy who did Charlie Brown), brisk drumming, double dutch chant vocals, turntable scratches and harmonica riffs seemingly lifted from your favorite ABC Afterschool Specials from the 70's. Dig further and find uplifting Rocky horn stabs and sugar sweet breakbeats.

This is an infectious Insta-Smile. Tunes enriched with enough kitsch and groove to make even the thorniest wallflowers bloom into rump shaking wildmen(or women). Simply put, it's magic.
Or better yet, it's like watching Saturday morning cartoons while eating a bowl of Fruity Pebbles where someone has secretly switched the milk with E and wonders whether you'll notice.

And for my part, I would trade this album for that shitty decoder ring at the bottom of the box any day of the week.

Key Tracks: Ladyflash, Feelgood By Numbers, The Power Is On, Junior Kickstart

I hope these albums inspire people to get loose and really take advantage of the short, sweet time we only get once a year. Just remember, there's always mopey, depressing rock come September...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

No no Kong!


So it is finally here - the first brief glimpses of Peter Jackson's KING KONG. Check out the trailer.

  • king kong

  • My first reaction is... ugh.

    My second is... UGH!

    I am completely dismayed by Jack Black and his narration - it just does not hold up the ominous mood that is supposedly being set. Some of the island stuff looks cool - the voodoo scenes are semi-creepy.

    I am just not sure anything is really working for me here. Especially that shot tracking out of the cave when you hear Kong growl... lame!

    And they toss in a shot of Kong in the city before the trailer even sees Kong for the first time. Just don't make no sense.

    "My cousin was in Jurassic Park - he said Spielberg is a d*ck!"

    Watts is a fine choice.

    I can dig the imagery...

    ...but not so sure of Kong's constipated look.

    Check it out for yourself... this sure aint no Lord of the Rings.


    Art Appreciation...or Not!

    Hey all. I got my new digital camera this evening and after using a carload of words that would make Al Swearengen gasp and blush like a debutante while setting it up, I finally won the war. I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to take a picture or two of my paintings. I got one of one of my favorites, and to totally humble myself in front of the world I submit this particular one for your viewing pleasure this morning. Well, I hope it's pleasure. Or at least indifference.

    As long as it's not outright disgust, I'd say I'm quite ok with that.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2005

    HOLY CRAP!!!!

    Freaked is coming out on DVD... er... wait... I THINK IT IS OUT ON DVD!!! If you have never seen this gem from '94, it stars Alex Winter from Bill and Ted's fame... he also directed. 71 minutes of pure freak filled filth! The comedy is raw, fast, and addictive. Look for Mr. T as the Bearded woman.

    ... why is there hork in my dvd remote?

    As promised here are a few snap shots from my trip to see the Sheriff - his wife miss Buttercup - and the too good for the blog miss Jennifer.

    Peruse at your pleasure;

    This is the family Kreitner's humble abode - yes I usually wet myself upon arrival too!

    Miss Buttercup sold books as a traveling salesman back in college - she now is paying it forward by helping these two Estonians do the same. Karri and Krystel are living with the Kreitner's for the rest of the summer - they met me, mister drunky pants, Friday night. Karri ran in fear, Krystel giggled.

    Here is the happy crew just moments before entering Wacky Water Adventure Park - I will be stealing that shirt from the Sheriff.

    Da Girls! Lilly and Tulip, respectively.

    Final photo - Sunday morning, we are all beat. Jen looks drunk - Drea hates my camera - and the Sheriff continues to bring life to our group. He may have farted moments before.

    Crazy fun was had by all - props to the Kreitner klan for housing me for the weekend... and sorry about the puke in the living room.


    Everyone please wish my missus good luck on her job interview this morning!

    Good Luck!!!

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Add a story of your own

    Change of pace.

    This is brought to you buy the QueenB: "People watching at Oceans of Fun was crazy.
    I saw a midget in the wave pool. I was nervous she wouldn’t make it. "

    When does a man stop thinking about how he would taking a cop's gun whenever he sees one?

    Is it just me? Everytime I see a police officer I think about how, if needed, I would go about disarming and apprehending the officer's weapon. This may sound truly bizarre to the ladies of Damfinoblog, but guys back me up here. Does this not enter your mind? If at all costs you must remove that weapon, how do you go about doing it? What's it going to take? What approach will you use? This is what I wonder if I ever will stop considering. There are others too. Let's leave that for later for I'm sure this will cause enough uproar.

    Birthdays, skiing, and one little crash

    In the true spirit of the damfinoblog, I thought I would share a little happiness from the family of Krysta Jo. Today is my older brother's 29th birthday and I couldn't be happier. Oh the jokes and stories that will be told until he finally gets over that hill to 31. Ahhh yes... I don't have to post family news again, my little brother will be 24 at the end of the week and my sister will be 21 early next week. your minds, and as you are driving along a major thoroughfare, yell out - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Weekend - while not as exciting as puking and playing with remote controls - was good. The family had a spectacular day on the lake and ended with a magnificent crash by yours truly. Both skis went flying and I did a full roll-over before becoming submerged in murky lake water. If only I had some video footage. One other highlight from the weekend involves a very misguided trip in Des Moines to find the Gay Men's Chorus. So many things to say about some clothing choices, but I shall remain (mostly) silent about that.

    The Return of the Kern

    KernReturns copy

    Hide your children, the kern returns on July 15th for a few days of debaucherous fun in the Iowa sun. Friday, we will be having a shin dig at my home - everyone who would like to attend is welcome. Bring some drinks - chat it up with the Kern - and maybe, just for a moment... realize how great your life could be.


    FPC copy

    Hello all,

    Sheriff here and what a weekend was had here at the detention facility. Damfino arrived about 6:35pm on Friday and the party started off with Killian Red's and then onto the Merlot that sealed our vomitus fates for the evening. Damfino first then the sheriff were overcome by the urge to purge. After a semi-recovery period on Sat. am the gang headed out to Wacky Waters water and trailer park for some down home sun burnin and water sliding. Fun was had by all and injuries were kept to a minimum. Not for a lack of trying as Jed on his first tobogan run nearly caved in his eye socket with his knee whilst acheaving ludicrous speed on his downward plumet. A lower key evening evolved Sat. night as dehydration and sun burn stole our desire for Bacus like revelary. We all parted ways Sun. around 11am after dipping our collective toes into the "Scrubs" pool. I'm sure Mr. Fino will add the photos he took of the weekend along with his own cogent comments.

    Sheriff out

    Friday, June 24, 2005

    Beer Me!

    As it is Friday, the other thing that comes to mind besides music(next week's column will be back to its regular day), is beer...sweet, luscious beer.

    Living in the Pacific Northwest, it's everywhere. You can't throw a rock without hitting a relatively decent beer. And even if it's not from this area, chances are there's some pub or shop selling beers of the world!

    As a bit of fun, I am curious...what are your favorite beers?

    Thursday, June 23, 2005

    Hi folks,

    Wanted to drop a note to the Damfinobloggers - apologies for missing out on the new edition of THE KERN... and the shout out to Miss Jenni. I will return next week with some musical notes and stink-covered-filth-comments.

    Hate to pull back the reigns on this haven of blissfully innocent fun... but a blog is for honest thoughts and emotions.

    I spent the day with me grandpa - he went to the hospital last night... via ambulance. He has been fighting the good fight with cancer of the lungs for years now... but this round of chemo did not cut it.

    So the decision was made today to bring him home - with an end to the chemo. Hospice has been contacted and will help make this time comfy.

    Back in January (New Years eve actually), we were told to say goodbye to him at the hospital - with the doctor stating he was to be done that night. But Grandpa kicked God in the balls and stayed around to tell me a few more tales.

    Anyway - pulling the reigns on this as well. Maybe sometime soon I will be able to tell a few of his stories... post some of his football pics (he was starting QB for Drake in his college days!).

    We'll talk more about it.

    Weekend is almost here - heading to the Sheriff's and Buttercup's place for some much needed relaxation. And maybe a little snuggling (the Sheriff always spoons after a few bottles of Papio).

    I will report back on Monday - carry on fellow worshipers of the Damfinoblog!


    Happy birthday Jen and Congrats!

    Hello Damfinites,

    Giving a big sheriff sized HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sista ho-in-law Jennifer. She is 24 today!!!

    Also, just today she passed a certification test for a new position in Iowa City! Kudos my G&T swilling friend.


    The Sheriff and Mrs. Sheriff

    End sappy family non-damfino related transmission......let the snorting crank of a whores ass dialog continue...

    Listen! Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen!: No Straight Lines

    Hello all. Welcome back for round two of my illustrious little music column. I hope everyone found at least one artist from last week that really stood out for them. One thing I noticed in the comments was an affinity for tunes that may be a bit more, let us say, guitar oriented?

    Being the man of the people I am(well, this week anyway), this weeks theme is chock full of guitar. I thought it might be interesting to examine the genres surrounding punk as we know it, without focusing on the obvious touchstones that everyone probably knows anyway. So as much as I love them, there will be no Sex Pistols, no Ramones, and no Clash.

    More specifically, I'll be examining some albums that are Proto-Punk, Punk on the Cusp of New Wave, 80's Punk, Modern Interpretation of Punk, and Post-Punk.

    Hey Ho, Let's Go!(Alright, so there's a Ramones reference. I couldn't help myself.)

    Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power

    The year is 1973 and the place is Detroit, Michigan. Here and in a few other cities, the Jurassic stirrings of punk had already begun to swagger out of the primordial ooze in the form of bands like the MC5, Blue Cheer, and The Velvet Underground. The Stooges, fronted by resident wildman Iggy Pop, had already begun building a name for themselves since 1969, releasing both their eponymous debut as well as 1970's Fun House. While both of these albums gave the world a very clear glimpse of a new primal, overtly sex charged and downright dangerous direction that rock and roll was about to take, nothing could have prepared the world for Raw Power.

    In possibly the most aptly titled album ever, Raw Power makes a mad grab at your most base human instincts and does not let go for the over-way-too-quickly 32 minutes that it lasts. The songs themselves are short blasts of throaty growls, sweaty walls of punishing breakneck riffs, and the occasional pounding of the piano holding on for dear life. There is a certain theatrical quality more often prevalent in the glam rock of the time. Given the fact that at the time David Bowie's management group took the swarthy group on at Bowie's urging, this comes as no surprise.

    To anyone who has never known the pleasure of starting their car and peeling out to the banshee wail strains of Ron Asheton's guitar on the blistering opener, "Search and Destroy", it is impossible to describe, and I beg you, for the love of God, get a copy just to do that.

    Simply put, if music were a weapon, this record would be an atom bomb strapped into shiny leather pants.

    Key Tracks: Search and Destroy, Gimme Danger, Shake Appeal

    Television: Marquee Moon

    A bit further North in NYC circa 1977, Televison was releasing their now classic album Marquee Moon the several years after Iggy and the Stooges were tearing things up in Detroit. For two albums under the proto-punk banner, the two bands couldn't have been more different. Whereas Iggy and his band of misfits seemed to write hormonally charged tunes straight from the crotch, guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, along with bassist Richard Hell and drummer Billy Ficca took a much more cerebral approach to their material.

    Not content to bash out chords and wiggle their hips, Television took their love of jazz forms and jam sessions, and coupled it with angular guitar lines producing slightly loose, yet very confident
    song structures in which snaking guitar lines circle and intersect one another in mesmerizing trails. Verlaine's slightly nasal, but endearing voice adds a unique personality to the mixture.

    While 1977 seems to remind people of obvious punk staples, it's important to recognize Televison's contribution in the NYC scene of the era, and the fact that they were one of the bands which can be viewed as bridging the gap between punk and New Wave which followed. Despite lack of widespread knowledge of the band by the mainstream, the influence of Televison is absolutely crucial and undeniable when one looks at the guitar work in bands such as Gang of Four, who themselves have currently spurred on many imitations in the current scene in bands such as Liars, Franz Ferdinand, and Interpol to name a few.

    Key Tracks: Marquee Moon, Elevation, Prove It

    Repo Man: Original Soundtrack

    Despite how it looks, the East did not have a lock on punk. By the early 80's, punk had not only made the jump from the UK and established itself in NY with bands like The Ramones and New York Dolls, the Manifest Destiny of punk rock went West, young man. And the urban sprawl of Los Angeles is where it decided to squat.

    I don't know how many of you have actually seen Alex Cox's brilliant 1984 film Repo Man, but its far out, sci-fi, low budget, F**k off attitude really grabbed me by the throat in high school. But what got me at least a couple of years before the movie, was the soundtrack.

    The soundtrack for Repo Man does a phenomenal job of capturing a time and place through music. The heavyweights of West Coast punk rock at the time come out in full force, including Black Flag's raucous, yet pointed track "TV Party", Fear's sinister and nihilistic "Let's Have A War", and The Circle Jerks with two very different tracks. Add a few cuts by unknown bands such as The Plugz, who give a very distinct Latin flavor to the proceedings, as well as one of the most badass songs with someone talking, "Bad Man" by Juicy Bananas, and you've got one of the best damned soundtracks in history, not to mention a good primer on the state of punk, circa 1984.

    Key Tracks: "TV Party" by Black Flag, "Repo Man" by Iggy Pop, "Coup d'Etat" by The Circle Jerks, "Reel Ten" by The Plugz

    The Thermals: More Parts Per Million

    Fast forward to 2003...there have obviously been some punk bands since 1984, and some of them may have been decent, but a lot of the pop-punk and cream puff bastardization of emo in recent years has been disappointing to say the least. Along came The Thermals from Portland, Oregon. There's not much to say about this album, honestly, and that's its greatest strength. It's a simple affair. A stripped down trio, with bass, drums, and guitar. The songs are almost all short, uptempo blasts of joyful noise. Adding to the charm of this record is the lo-fi, reverb-y basement sound that gives it a crackle of DIY authenticity and urgency. It amazes me still how much can be accomplished with three chords and the will to have fun.

    Though their second album, F*ckin' A is also extremely good, I give the nod to this one for the charming lack of polish, and just downright infectiousness.

    Key Tracks: No Culture Icons, Goddamn The Light, I Know The Pattern, Time To Lose

    The Evens: The Evens

    Here we are in good old 2005. There is a strange and nebulous banner that floats out there and that banner is "Post-Punk". In certain respects, genre classifications such as this one are kind of self-defeating, because it seems that in giving it such a broad tag, we're left with more questions about what it is at all. I don't have an answer, but I'm pretty sure that this band would fit the bill.

    Ian MacKaye, the man behind some of the best known hardcore bands in history(Minor Threat, Rites of Spring, Fugazi) the driving force of the DC scene, and founder of Dischord Records teams with Amy Farina, drummer from the Dischord band The Warmers.

    This project finds MacKaye in different territory. The duo present a stripped down product, naked and stark. Much of the intensity that is present in other MacKaye fronted bands is still here, though channeled in a more subdued way, bubbling under the surface. The skeletal structure allows the well blended harmonies to buoy the songs and give them a certain heart and levity we wouldn't normally see from someone we've come to love as frontman of bands like Minor Threat. There are undercurrents of wistful optimistic thinking and battles with ennui.

    While it takes a couple of listens, once you finally get it, it sticks.

    Key Tracks: All These Governors, Mt. Pleasant Isn't, If It's Water, On The Face Of It

    As I hope I was able to illustrate, the roots eminating from Punk Rock branches may snake off in a multitude of directions, but the fruit it has brought to bear from the musical tree is among some of the most exciting and unexpected.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005


    Assignment for the Day


    Find music by Kid Dakota. They're from Minnesota and are classified as Blues. Very Very Very Good.
    Happy Hunting

  • Kid Dakota site

  • I am out.


    I'm not feeling alright today
    I'm not feeling that great
    I'm not catching on fire today
    Love has started to fade
    I'm not going to smile today
    I'm not going to laugh
    You're outliving it up today
    I got dues to pay

    And the gravedigger puts puts on the forceps
    The stonemason does all the work
    The barber can give you a haircut
    The carpenter can take you out to lunch

    I just want to play on my pam pipes
    I just want to drink me some wine
    As soon as you're born you start dying
    So you might as well have a good time

    Sheep go to heaven

    Goats go to hell

    I don’t want go to sunset strip
    I don’t wanta feel the emptiness
    Bold maces with stupid band names
    I don’t want go to sunset strip
    I don’t wanta go sunset strip
    I don’t wanta feel the emptiness
    Bold maces with stupid band names
    I don’t wanta go sunset strip

    And the gravedigger puts puts on the forceps
    The stonemason does all the work
    The barber can give you a haircut
    The carpenter can take you out to lunch

    I just want to play on my pam pipes
    I just want to drink me some wine
    As soon as you're born you start dying
    So you might as well have a good time

    Sheep go to heaven

    Goats go to hell

    it is one of those days

    I miss my batman undies...

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Picture page... picture page... everyone loves the picture page!!!

    All right suckas - we have some images from the Sheriff's trip down to old Saint Louie's place (it means... a whale's vagina!!). Please partake if you will.

    Sheriff - add some comments that may be more appropriate than my witty remarks.

    Kreitner has gone post-card! Nice photo.

    The Sheriff standing in front of St. Louis' beautiful arch - don't mind the growth on his neck - his goes in for the op next week.

    We can always count on the Kreitner's to entertain... and inform us with their images!

    The sheriff loves taking shots of random people... er... wait... I think the hottie just off center is his wife (oops - better take that off as my desktop photo!).

    I suffer from complete nausea when heights are involved - on a seperate note, my janitor is going to be happy that I filled my trash can today!

    And finally, a bear wandered into the area looking for food and companionship - not sure which the Sheriff offered.

    Again, I only posted a selection of images from the 62!!! that the Sheriff sent on. Sorry guys.

    Last thing...


    This is Mr. urnotme and his wife (my sis, Holly). I want to send out a tiding of good luck to both of them. I am not going to lay out the specifics (ok, yes, Dan is finally getting that sex change op and is worried) but I thought maybe we - the mighty Damfinobloggers could toss out some cheers and encouragement... on whatever!

    Later readers


    Monday, June 20, 2005

    I f#@*ed Kitty!


    Hello fellow Damfinoers - I am bored and need some humor to light up my world. Please take a few moments and post obscure and humorous quotes from Arrested Development - it will make our lives all the more better.

    "Look at us Michael... crying like a couple of girls..."

    "Ohhhh - you're the only one crying....."

    The "Arch" and no it is not a stripper move

    Have returned from another Mississippi River adventure this time to St. Louis for a college room mate reunion. Pics of the arch to follow. The Sherif is tired now. So, Damfino has agreed to come to the detention center and help him tourture some suspected terrorists this weekend. I've got the bamboo and car battery all ready for his arrival....trip pics to follow...

    Sheriff Officer Greg the Buny


    (the sheriff is back by popular demand)

    ... more than just nuts and a throb!

    There is nothing better than homemade ice cream and the discovery that you are the most inarticulate uncouth jackass around. Yesterday our family did an outing at my father's (he got gift certificates to Mernards... we are very original!) and my grandfather's brother was visiting. I, being the witties and most interesting of the Findlay clan, decided to talk him and up and see what his life has been like.

    After discovering he was in Vietnam, I went one huge idiot step further and brought up the whereabouts of his grandson's father (the grandson had come along for the visit)... and of course Glen answered "he's dead."

    Silence... then I topped it with "So, like, who takes care of the kid?"

    Urnotme stood silently dying of laughter.

    Another viewing of Batman Begins this weekend - pretty solid stuff. Some plot points don't add all the way up... but definitely worth your dough. And considering it made only $46 million this wekend (6 mil less than Mr. and Mrs. Smith) we had better get out to see it 3 or 4 more times if we want a sequel.


    Finally, I am one episode away from wrapping up the Freaks and Geeks series. This show is wonderful - full of really interesting characters and tons of hillarious high school moments (and not the cliched garbage you get in the theaters). Rent it... or buy it. Worth every penny (and there is some killer music on the show too!).

    Speaking of music, listened to Calexico and Neko Case today... WOW!!! I really dug the Calexico stuff... and there was only 1 tune of Case's that I was not completely into. Way to go Kern!


    Friday, June 17, 2005

    Listen! Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen!!!

    Friday. What goes better with the feeling of knowing that you are about to take a brief, yet sweet, sweet respite from your job/education/whatever the hell else one would be doing than music?

    Nothing. Which is why I asked Jed what he thought about my doing a regular post on Fridays where I can take all my musical obsessions and channel them in a helpful way. I can't fly across the country to come to the record store with you so I thought this would be the next best thing.

    I kind of like themes. It's weird, but I most of these bands that I talk about every post will most likely be connected in some way. Unless I get lazy, or I'm feeling uninspired. Then it's grab bag time.

    Anyhow, this week's installment deals with bands/albums that have at least a twist of twang; not neccesarily overtly country, but that will possibly invoke that mindset. So without further ado...

    Neko Case: Blacklisted

    Anyone who's been reading the comments this week has most likely heard me extolling the virtues of Ms. Case. This is probably my favorite of her albums thus far. Explaining her voice to one who has never heard it is difficult, but the best reference I can give is Patsy Cline, but even that doesn't quite do it. There is a certain sultry, sexy element that is subtle, but still manages to give you goosebumps when you hear it. She is far more in league with the ladies in the Golden Age of Country as opposed to some of the prefabricated, slick as hell Real Dolls who two-step across CMT in designer clothes. There is a palpable soul that underlines this work, which is only improved by the backing instrumentation of Joey Burns and John Convertino from the Tucson collective Calexico. This is as deep and noir as this genre is liable to get, and there is atmosphere to burn.

    Key Tracks: Deep Red Bells, Pretty Girls, Blacklisted, and a stunning cover of Aretha Franklin's Running Out of Fools

    Calexico: The Black Light

    I thought I would now would be a good time to talk about Calexico, as I just mentioned them while talking about Neko. Critics love to talk about the Ennio Morricone influence on Calexico for what I surmise to be two reasons. The first is that Morricone(Italian Composer/minor deity) had a deft hand in creating tense moody atmospheres in his many scores. The second, and more obvious connection is the one that Morricone has with the Western genre, having most notably scored the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. In general, the duo turn out an almost 50/50 mix of instrumentals and songs with vocals, augmented by sparse, twangy instrumentation that brings in everything from Mariachi horns to pedal steels to twinges of surf guitar. The pair's tunes, especially here on The Black Light, are extremely cinematic. I challenge anyone to not picture some anti-hero driving a boat of an classic American convertible through a dusty, desert Lynchian nightmare. I dare you.

    I should also mention that on one of their recent EPs, Convict Pool, they did a great cover of Love's "Alone Again Or".

    Key Tracks: The Ride Part II, Missing

    Mojave 3: Ask Me Tomorrow

    In keeping with the lonely desert theme, I thought we'd move along to the band Mojave 3. From the ashes of the seminal shoegazer band Slowdive, members Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell rose to form Mojave 3. Moving in an unexpected direction, the very British band decided to embrace their love of Americana, mixing it with some of the hazy, dreamy feel that was prevalent in their work with Slowdive. One aspect of this band that I enjoy, is the switching of lead singing duties between Halstead and Goswell, and how both harmonize so beautifully regardless of who is taking the reins for a particular song. Goswell's shimmering, gossamer vocals stand out in particular, as they are reminiscent of another favorite singer, Hope Sandoval from the slightly similar band Mazzy Star. This is a record that evokes thoughts of swirling sand, purple-orange sunsets, and lost and/or unrequited love. It is a great album for a sad cocktail alone, or curling up in the fetal postition. Whatever floats your proverbial dinghy...

    Key Tracks: Love Songs On The Radio, After All, Tomorrow's Taken

    Ryan Adams: Heartbreaker

    Ok, I have a confession to make...I am indifferent to Ryan Adams. It's true. My friends up here love him. A lot. I find myself frequently annoyed at some of his diva antics, and the ridiculous revolving door of musician/actress girlfriends. I think the man has talent, but he's never done anything that made me really stand up and take notice.


    His solo album Heartbreaker. Ryan recorded this back when I felt he had a little more grit, spit and country to him. These are songs with emotional heft and weight sung by a man who sounds as though he has lived every aching syllable that he is singing. It's very easy for one to find themselves caught up in the sweet thrall of his turmoil and pathos, and the whole package is interestingly counterbalanced by the fact he is working with artists Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, who usually take a more traditionalist stance. The whole affair smolders like a heart that has been used as an ashtray for the thousandth time, and listening to this record allows me to look through the cloud of hype to see a young, capable songwriter in his prime committing himself to some of the best material of his career.

    I guess that's it for this edition of the column which is not yet named. Maybe that will happen next week. I've learned a lot doing this first one, such as be damn careful with drafts, and that I'm not so sure I like the theme thing as well as I thought I would.

    In any case, if you have a particular genre you'd like to hear something new in, or you are looking for something brand new in particular, let me know and I'll try to cover it. I love a challenge.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    Gmail Anyone?

    Hi all. I know most of you probably have e-mail providers that you like, but I thought I would take this opportunity to blather about the virtues of Gmail.

    I got a Gmail account a while ago, and it's absolutely brilliant. It allows you to use labels for tagging emails rather than having to stick them in one folder, and all the text of your e-mail is searchable.

    Also, it's nice to have a whole 2 GB of space! Tons of space for attachments of all kinds! Also, it allows you to send attachments that are up to 10 MB. That's pretty damn big.

    So if anyone is interested who does not already have one, I have 49 invites left. If you want one, give me a shout.

    Music News


    Guys - just received an e-mail from my buddy Tyler in Chicago. He is out plugging away at a career in the business (ugh) in old Chi-town... but has been able to keep his band moving forward in the process.

    Check out there site and take a listen to some tunes.

    copy this link or click on the post title

    It's all Ka!


    The journey has ended - last night I finished the final installment in the Dark Tower series. As I read the final Author's Note from King, a sadness washed over me. I had been dreaming of the end since I was a young reader - seeing how Roland would battle his way into the Tower... and who would be left standing with him.

    My sadness was in one part due to the conclusion of the book - an ending that was at once tragic and frustrating... but I was also sad because I had reached an end in my life. A moment when the dreams of my youth were shown to be... old. Reality hit... and the sad fact hit me that in the end... there is no perfect summation for us.

    If any of you ever has the guts to tackle this 3000+ page tale... take your time. Let your own mind take the stories and play with them... for the end is not the goal.

    So it is time for my world to move on... to step through the next door (perhaps into the Lady of the Shadows!) and find a new world to dream of.

    I say thankyee!


    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    If only...


    Leaving for the day - we have had a fun one folks. Lots of filthy words flying around... fascinating discussions about 80's Country and Loretta Lynn... and choad.

    I will leave you with this little nugget of info - an e-mail I just received. Take a look and see what lurks in the minds of highly paid video producers...

    PCE OUT!


    From :
    Sent : Wednesday, June 15, 2005 9:47 AM
    To :
    Subject : RE: DP Promotions / Advertising [Case: 1-41988182]

    Thank you for contacting us about our Sunkist advertising campaign. We are
    always interested in hearing from our consumers.

    We are pleased to hear that you enjoy the ad campaign. The musical group is
    called Blackalicious and song is Reanimation.

    Thank you again for sharing your views with us. We appreciate your loyalty to
    Sunkist products.

    Consumer Relations

    -----Original Message-----

    Sent: 6/13/2005 2:12:39 PM
    Subject: DP Promotions / Advertising

    Type of Request: DP Promotions / Advertising
    First Name: Jed
    Last Name: Findlay
    Age Group: 25-34

    Comments: Where did you get the song that plays on your new ads - the
    "Uh Huh" song - you should release it on the radio

    Music For Travels

    I don't know about everyone else, but the trip to and from work is one of the few times I can listen to music without too many distractions, since I'm riding the bus anyhow...but that leads me to ask, what did you listen to last night coming home, and what did you listen coming to work today?

    Last night I listened to an electronic duo from France called M83. They're amazing, and it was a nice listen on a semi-sunny day.

    This morning I listened to Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins. Always happy-ish summer music.

    So what are you listening to?

    Semi offensive words

    I shall start the bidding with: taint

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    Beginnings... and the big easy


    Man... nothing pains me worse than having the promise of a good frisk not come to fruition. They were pretty serious at the Batman Begins screening last night - about 5 guards covered the entrance of the theater, making sure the audience did not attempt to record and distribute what was rightfully WarnerBros to market-milk. Like the do-gooder I am, I left my beauty spot in line to run my camera phone back out to the car. Upon return, I discovered all had entered the theater... and the guards had no desire to "wand" me!

    Anywho, the flick was marvelous. We knew it was going to be great... and it was. I would not say it blew my mind out like Spider-Man 2... but it definitely towers over most of the comic book films ever made. Lots of quality images... too short in my mind... could have used another hour of Oldman's Gordon running through Gotham. I really hope everyone can come back... and the sequel can slow down and really dig into the characters.

    Now that my batchubby has subsided... I feel a little empty. Lost - not sure where to turn my attention. I will be wrapping up the Dark Tower today or tomorrow... my favorite characters are already dead... not sure how the ending will make any of the previous trauma any better. Hopefully something comes my way to distract soon... Gilmore... where are you?

    On a lighter note, here are some pics from the Sheriff's escapade down south. Enjoy!

    The Sheriff and his wife (the lovely Miss Drea) sit and enjoy a sweet cajun meal (I fear for Andrea... Greg's intestinal issues after a spicy meal are deadly!!).

    After a nice meal, every couple loves to hit some sex club - it is standard issue in New Orleans (and Muscatine for that matter).

    Creepy sex club goings ons... glad this is the only photo from the place that the Sheriff sent on (Hiiii Dweaaaaa!).

    Final image - Greg has a major thing for Jazz legends (think Sid played clarinet... not up on my Jazz), thus the insert.

    That is just a taste of the images - I will expect the Sheriff himself to relay tales of the naughty...

    BRING IT!!!