Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Weekly News Briefs - June 28, 2006

Got a bunch of interesting (or disconcerting, depending on how you look at it) news stories for y'all this week. They range from chain-smoking monkeys kicking the habit to cat-devouring raccoons; cops flashing coffeehouse employees in the name of love to an over-zealous ex-lover with a Van Gogh complex. These stories are so odd that I couldn't even make them up.

Let's go!
*** - Police: Spring man mails finger to ex-girlfriend

File under: Deserving of that restraining order

It is not the first time a jilted ex-lover did something stupid to reach out and touch their former beloved, and it surely won't be the last. But cutting your finger off and entrusting it to the United States Postal Service is an interesting way to do so.

The best part of the story:
Corpus Christi Police Capt. John Houston said police weren't sure which finger was removed or how, but that it appeared to have been washed before it was mailed Friday.

"It was a clean cut," Houston said. "It wasn't mangled."

Good to hear that the unidentified wack-a-doo had the sense of mind to not only wash his finger before hacking it off, but to keep the cut clean when he did so.


WAWS FOX30 - Man Robbed by Teen Girls, Thought He was Meeting MySpace Friend

File under: Payback's a bitch!

Last week's Weekly News Briefs featured a story about a girl and her mother who were suing social networking website MySpace for allowing the fourteen year old to be sexually assaulted.

Well, this week the tables have turned. Apparently, two teenage girls lured an older man out to a secluded spot with the promise of ""something fun" before robbing him at gunpoint.

The best part of the story:

The girls didn't get much because the victim had forgotten his wallet. They let him go, unharmed, and he called police.
Number one: Who forgets their wallet when they are going to meet a sexy new internet friend in person for the first time. What if she wants a soda, how are you going to impress the lady?

Number two: You figure that if the two young vixens were smart enough to set up this scam, they'd be smart enough to realize that the dude was going to call police ASAP. I guess he remembered his cell phone.

Yahoo! News - Kicking the habit no monkey business for chain-smoking Chinese chimp

File under: Monkey business

Apparently, Chinese people go to the zoo so they can see monkey's smoking cigarettes. If the monkeys are between butts, patrons throw one into the cage. Is there something wrong here, people?

The best part of the story:
Xiku the chain-smoking chimpanzee has almost kicked his deadly habit thanks to the efforts of zoo keepers in China, but it has taken a beer or two to help get him through detox.
I see. It is better for a chimp to be an alcoholic than a smoker.

*** Detective charged with exposure fired

File under: What was he thinking?

52 year old cop falls in love with 23 year old coffee shop employee. Cop whips out his member and shows it to employee when it is time for him to order his cup of joe. Cop loses his job.

The best part of the story:
He told Airway Heights police that he was hoping to build a relationship with the 23-year-old woman, and he thought she had mutual feelings for him. Mastel told police he realized he as wrong when he saw the look on the woman's face after exposing himself.
So let me get this straight: this brilliant man who is authorized to carry a gun thought that showing his shriveled old man member to a young lady would help to build a relationship with her? It never worked when I tried it...
*** - Raccoon suspected after 3 cats eaten

File under: Scary, scary vermin!

This story really freaks me out. Not only do you have to worry about raccoons carrying rabies, now you have to fret about raccoons eating your house pets.

Did you hear me? Raccoons are eating cats!

The best part of the story:
"The raccoons leave the head and shoulders,'' she said. With one of last week's victims, ``we found some raccoon fur around the cat's fur.''
Sure, what do they need the head and shoulders for?


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

(VIDEO!!) New York Post Online Edition - BACK TO THE 'FUTURAMA'

New York Post Online Edition - BACK TO THE 'FUTURAMA'

Happy days are here again!! It was recently announced that Futurama, Matt Groening's other cartoon show, has been resurrected from the graveyard of cancelled television programs. I find it really amusing that the only two programs to be revived after cancellation were Fox cartoons.

The same day as this great news was made a public, a trailer for the new Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" featuring Bender the Robot from Futurama, as well as Al Gore (complete with body, unlike in the series) started making the online rounds. And here it is:

Secret(s) of the Week

One happy, and one sad. Courtesy of the fine folks at PostSecret.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tuesday (I mean Weekly) News Briefs - June 22, 2006

The Tuesday News Briefs are now gone. I can't be tied down to one day where it is permissible to share absurd news stories with my readers. So except to see this vein of post about once a week.

I got a bunch of good ones this week! Let's get started...


metroNY - Crackhead cinema: The latest wave in 'hood entertainment gets controversial

File under: Tasteless exploitation!

Take "Girls Gone Wild" and cross it with "Bum Fights", and you have "Crackheads Gone Wild". Basically, the producer/director (if you can even call him that)--a former crack dealer--had the brilliant idea to tape crackheads living their lives. Sure, he may throw them a buck or two (or a big fat rock) every once in a while to keep the ridiculousness at a peak. The American entrepreneurial spirit at its best!

The best part of the story:

"It's basically a drug-awareness video," Singletary explains. "There was the commercial with the eggs in the frying pan, 'This is your brain on drugs.'...That's not telling me what drugs do. You've gotta show me the reactions."

Whatever helps you sleep at night, dude!

The Boston Globe - The war on Fluffernutter escalates in Legislature

File under: Tasteless legislation!

I guess in Massachusetts they have nothing better to do than debit the merits of Marshmallow Fluff, and the Fluffernutter, a sandwich made using the gooey mess as a main ingredient.
The best part of the story:

Barrios was blasted on talk radio Monday, with defenders of Fluffernutters suggesting that the sandwiches are an easy and economical meal that parents can fix and that children will actually eat.

Of course, they will regret the astronomical dental bills over their lifetime, but hey, as long as parents can fix it and kids will eat it...Under this logic, would a s'mores be considered a "sandwich"? One that is cheap, easy and edible taboot.

Oh Massachusetts, thanks for helping make Florida look a little more intelligent.


Austin, Texas - Top Stories - Mother arrested after child reportedly ingests LSD

File under: Premature hallucination!

I got a good idea. I'm gonna become a mother at age 19. Then, once the baby is old enough to walk away from me, I'm going to take him to a party, where I will take my eyes of of him just long enough for him to wander away and find something that a little kid will love...something like candy. Normally I don't mind if he shoves some SweeTarts down his throat, after all he's just a kid. What harm can some candy do to him?

But what if those SweeTarts happen to be laced with LSD?

The best part of the story:

"As the mother was carrying the child down the stairs, he was grasping in the air. He was reaching out for things that weren't there, calling out crying, screaming then calming down and then going right back into that and she said this was not normal behavior for him," said Jeff Hayes, Cedar Park police.

Really? Tripping face wasn't a normal behavior for a toddler? Boy, am I surprised.

I really think that this woman should be locked up for her stupidity and carelessness. And I really hope that kid is okay. I know some big beefy dudes who could never handle that much LSD...


Austin American Statesman - Teen, mom sue for $30 million

File under: What parental responsibility?

First thing to notice: both this story and the one preceding it come from Austin, TX. What do they have in the water there that causes people to be crappy parents? (And don't say LSD...)

To summarize: mom is suing MySpace because she met someone on the site who mislead her and then sexually assaulted her. They claim that the company should have done more to protect the girl from sexual predators.

This story really makes me mad, for a number of reasons. The first is that is another piece of proof that we live in an overly litigation-happy society. The second is that this women is unable to take responsibility for her under inadequateness as a parent (at least when it comes to keeping tabs on her teenage daughter), and feels that it should be someone else's responsibility to make sure she is staying out of trouble. I feel the same way about parent's complaining about the programs their children watch on television. For the sake of all that is holy, it is a parent's responsibility to parent their children!!

The best part of the story:

Loewy said he was confident about the lawsuit, which he said seeks damages worth 1 percent of the company's estimated worth.

"We feel that 1 percent of that is the bare minimum that they should compensate the girl for their failure to protect her online when they knew sexual predators were on that site," he said.

Greedy bastard. I guess the going rate for a sexual assault of a minor is one percent of one's net worth.

This world is sick...


Yahoo! News - Fla. restaurant sells $100 hamburger

File under: "That is one tasty burger!"

Boca Raton (from the Spanish "rat's mouth") is one of the more despicable places I've been. It is like a Jewish version of W.A.S.P.y Greenwich, CT, one of the more pretentious towns I have ever visited.

Basically, the restaurant at the ultra-exclusive Boca Raton Resort and Club (where a membership costs $40,000 plus an additional $3,600 a year) decided to put a burger on the menu for the first time. Why not make it the most over-priced hamburger in history?

The best part of the story:

The bill for one burger, with garnishing that includes organic greens, exotic mushrooms and tomatoes, comes out to $124.50 with tax and an 18 percent tip included. The restaurant will donate $10 from each sale to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

How generous, they'll donate less than ten percent of the ridiculous cost of the burger to charity...Why is it that rich people make me sick? I hope someone chokes on that burger...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

BibliOdyssey: Butterflies and Beetles

BibliOdyssey: Butterflies and Beetles

For Stephanie, who possess an intense love of butterflies and an irrational fear of all other insects...

BibliOdyssey is a nifty little blog that posts "eclectic bookart". These scanned pictures, maps, woodcuts, examples of font and other assorted illustrations flash back to a time when publishing and printing were an art form, and not just an assembly-line of poorly written paperbacks, produced without illustrations or any other visual aids.

Today, the site featured some illustrations from a book on insects from the late 1700s. Upon seeing the post I immediately thought of my lady friend, who loves butterflies but is deathly afraid of other insects.

I was going to post pictures of both the pretty and the grotesque, but decided to stick with the butterflies.

Now just consider the fact that these illustrations are more than two hundred years old!

Pretty cool!

I only hope that one day a looooong time from now people will look back at the artistic work done today with the same sense of awe and respect.

Monday, June 19, 2006

(VIDEO!!) the Brain Damaged Eggmen

This past January, on the fourth voyage of Jam Cruise, a couple members of Umphrey's McGee and a couple members of the Disco Biscuits came together to form a supergroup of sorts. They dubbed themselves the Brain Damaged Eggmen, and played a show that many on the boat considered to be one of the highlights of the trip.

The jamband scene is ripe with gimmicks, and this show was no exception. Except this gimmick, or theme, or whatever you want to call it, worked! And the gimmick was a doozy: put together a group comprised of members of two of the more popular (read: possessing rabid fan bases) bands on the scene to play a two set show. One set of covers by the Beatles, and another of Pink Floyd covers: hence the group's name. ("Brain Damage" being a track on the Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and Eggmen being a reference to a line in "I Am the Walrus".)

As I already mentioned, this show was very highly acclaimed, and by people whose opinions I value highly. So I regretted that this show was supposed to be a one-off performance, a treat for the few who were on the Jam Cruise. Thus, I was pretty happy when the rumors began to circulate in the Disco Biscuits' scene that the group would be playing again at Bonnaroo.

That performance occurred this weekend, and served as a mechanism for Umphrey's to seamlessly segue their set into the Disco Biscuits' set that was to follow. What either band played is inconsequential to this post, what concerns me is what the Eggmen played:
Baby You're a Rich Man> Another Brick In the Wall, Brain Damage> Eclipse

Looks pretty good, right? Well, add some special guests to the mix (Joe Russo of the Benevento/Russo Duo, Brothers Past's Tom Hamilton) and you have a pretty killer mini-set.

I didn't take these pics, but they made me laugh and I wanted to share... Thanks to the photog, whomever you may be...


The Brain Damaged Eggmen (with guest vocalists Tom Hamilton and Joe Russo)


The Brain Damaged Eggmen (with guest vocalists Tom Hamilton and Joe Russo)


Russo and Hamilton having way too much fun...

I haven't received too many reports from the 'Roo yet, but I can be pretty sure that this short set was well-received and a ton of fun.


A week or so before the Bonnaroo set, it was announced that the Brain Damaged Eggmen would perform a post-Lollapalooza show in Chicago that is to be a benefit for the Ustorm Foundation, a non-profit organization created to help provide access to music and art educational programs to needy children and young adults.

Here is the news post on Phantasy Tour:

Brain Damaged Eggmen Post-Lollapalooza Show

If I was going to be in Chicago that weekend, I would definitely be hitting this one up.

In honor of the second, and the scheduled third performance by the Brain Damaged Eggmen, I'm gonna make good on my promise from a loooooooooong time ago and upload some video clips from their first performance.

I've done so by constructing a YouTube playlist. I've never done this before, so bare with me. If everything works right you should be able to skip from video to video. The Beatles clips come first, followed by the Pink Floyd ones. Unfortunately, none of the songs are complete (and I'm missing the "Hey Jude" where apparently everyone in the audience was invited onstage to sing to coda), but it gives a good impression of what these guys can do.

Secret(s) of the Week

PostSecret (predictably) took on Father's Day this week. Here are the ones that hit me hardest.

Please note, these are other people's secrets, and not my own.

For more on the PostSecret project, please click here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

(VIDEO!!) Henry Rollins' Love Letter to Ann Coulter

That evil shrew Ann Coulter has been in the news a lot lately, due to the recent publication of another one of her propaganda-esque books. I'm not going to even talk about the outlandish things she wrote, because that would be validating her ridiculous views.

However, I will post this hilarious video, which is a clip from punk rock/spoken word legend Henry Rollins' television show on the Independent Film Channel, the Henry Rollins Show. I didn't even know that this program existed, but after seeing this clip, I'm gonna DVR it this weekend to check out what Rollins has to say.

Watch as the former Black Flag frontman writes a tender love note to the right wing's blond mouthpiece.

WARNING: Not Safe For Work due to Rollins' potty mouth!

(VIDEO!!) Get In Your Car and Cruise the Land of the Brave and Free...

Back when I was in high school and college and had few to zero (real) responsibilities and an insatiable desire to see shows, summertime was the time for going on tour. The crew (whichever one it was at the time) would pack the car and start driving.

Most of my meandering travel through the U.S. has been while chasing concerts. Unfortunately, that means I didn't really take the time to explore the places I went, which is one of my great regrets and may well be the only detrimental part of going on tour. You have a defined mission (to get to the show) that is so important that everything else (including exploring the natural beauty of America) falls by the wayside.

I want to revisit many of those places so I can fully experience them. Hopefully one day I'll have the chance; I blew the one that accompanied my youth...

The guy in this video seems to be on a mission, and barely takes the time to get out of the car. But it is a pretty cool little clip. Check it out...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Home De-POT? - Drug caches found in Home Depot vanities - June 14, 2006

This story is just plain crazy.

This is my favorite part. I mean it is my favorite part except for the people finding all the drugs.
Southwick Police Lt. David A. Ricardi said the item was purchased at "a local hardware store" but would not confirm it came from The Home Depot.
Home Depot a local hardware store? And Wal-Mart is just your neighborhood green grocer!

(AUDIO!!) Cover Song Madness # 3 - Perpetual Groove - Under the Covers disc 2

So my original compilation needed some work. Some additions needed to be made, and then I had to make the discs a little shorter so I could still use Rapidshare.

It made me realize that this is a work in progress, and as long as Perpetual Groove is playing it will probably never be finished. Hell, when I post all of them I figure I'll get a bunch of folks telling me which tunes I missed.

Which is exactly what I want. Feedback, people!

(For those of you who missed the first disc, it is available here.)

Perpetual Groove - Under the Covers disc 2
(all of the tracks on this discs come from THANKS!)

1. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet - 6-13-03 - Bachman-Turner Overdrive - 6:13

2. Escape (the Piña Colada Song) - Rupert Holmes - 4:53

3. I Know What I Know - Paul Simon - 6:12

4. Girl on LSD > - Tom Petty - 3:35

5. Macumba - 15:47 (Yeah, I know that Macumba is a pGroove song. But that sweet hip hop party in the tune's gooey center needs to be included in this comp.)

6. Dear Prudence - the Beatles - 5:15

7. 99 Red Balloons - Nena - 4:41

8. Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival - 3:41

9. I'll Take You There - the Staple Singers - 12:27


Amberland 2006. Thanks to my buddy Mitch for the photo!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday News Briefs - June 13, 2006

Here we go with a couple good ones!


ABC News - Police Run Over, Kill Sunbather in Calif.

File under: Ooops!

This story is pretty sad; for some reason I believe that a similar incident took place here in Florida a few years ago. Do you want to know how to prevent this ever happening again?
Ban motorized vehicles on the beach. Sure, the police would actually have to walk, but Cindy Conolly, 49, of Sioux City, Iowa would have lived to see her son get married.

The best/worst part of the story:

An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday. The officers have been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.
Witnesses saw the cops run over the woman's head! Why do they need an autopsy? "Well, maybe it was food poisoning that killed this headless woman?"

And I just don't understand the paid leave thing...isn't that called a vacation?


Sploid - 'Happy graduation day, scumbags!'

File under: Nothing like having the last word.

This next clip is near and dear to my heart, because the story (almost) could have been written about me. I was a somewhat troubled teenager. Not troubled in the contemplating suicide and cutting myself kind of way. More like troubled in the willing to experiment and hanging out with the bad crowd kinda way.

Okay, so maybe I was the leader of the bad crowd. But that is irrelevant.

To make a long story short, I was kicked out of my boarding school towards the end of my sophomore year. A new headmaster came to lead the school that summer, and he offered me a chance to return.

It was a way better option that having to be in to open a bagel shop at 5:00 a.m. daily, so I went back. That new headmaster tightened has reins on me, placing me on a program of random drug testing, making me live in a freshman dorm (for the remainder of my stay there) and generally making my life as miserable as he could.

Back in those days I was an unspoken nuevo/pseudo hippie, with long hair and a bit of a chip on my shoulder. The headmaster tried and tried to catch me at something, but I had learnt my lesson and was going to get my diploma no matter what.

The headmaster's view was slightly different. He told my parents, and I quote: "there is no way that your son will graduate from this institution while I am here".

When my mother told me that, I was determined to beat this jerk at his own game. Not only did I graduate, with honors. I received three awards at Prize Night. One of them was the Public Speaking Award, an honor that was accompanied by the privilege of speaking at graduation.

Well, Mr. Headmaster didn't like that all that much, but he couldn't just bounce me. I had submitted a speech and won the contest. So he appointed another speaker, and we both stood on the stage on that hot May day.

I thought about changing my speech, which was on the topic of redemption from one's self; unfortunately I was at a private school and would have faced retribution had a publicly aired my grievances with the school.

But I give kudos to Kyle Stublen, who had the stones to say what needed to be said.

The best part of the story:

Sansone later told the local Herald Tribune that he couldn't even remember all the crazed threats he hurled at the boy.

"To be honest, I can't remember all the things I told him," Sansone told the paper. "I was really upset."
So a teacher can threaten a student with no repercussions, but a student exercises his Constitutionally-given right to free speech and all hell breaks loose.

Only in America!

(VIDEO!!) Borat Movie Trailer

Sacha Baron Cohen has been on my mind lately. His Ali G Show is pure brilliance, but it has been a while since the last season ended, leaving me wondering if he could even do another season without getting lynched or arrested. His schtick, for those of you who have never seen the show, is to portray characters that are so outlandish that they can't be real. The twist: he interacts with real people while in character. He is playing a role while they react to his ridiculousness.

At this point, I don't think there are too many people who haven't heard of Cohen's characters, including the over-the-top Eastern European Borat. That is why I can't imagine another season of the program.

When the going gets tough, the tough head to the big screen, I guess. Last night I was reading a magazine that talked about how funny the Borat movie was when it screened at Cannes. Hell, I didn't even know that there was a Borat movie!

But sure enough, this morning I found the trailer. I can't wait to see this one...

EDIT: YouTube has apparently pulled all of the different clips of the trailer, so I hope you saw it while you had the chance.

EDIT #2: Apparently, you can still view the trailer here.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Secret(s) of the Week

For those of you who have never visited PostSecret, you really are missing out on a truly participatory art project, as well as an extremely therapeutic web site.

For those of you who have been to the site, you are well aware of the gist of it. People send in home-made post cards with secrets written on them. Once a week the blog publishes them. Sometimes they'll make you laugh, sometimes they will break your heart. But they will always make you think about what frame of mind the author was in when they decided to send something in to a website that originated from the darkest depths of their soul, and what caused them to be in that place, and perhaps what happened to them after the dropped the card into the mail.

The editors of the website compiled a fabulous coffee table/bathroom book (which never fails to be the first book picked up when I have people over to me apartment) that is for sale at, amongst other places, PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions From Ordinary Lives can be purchased here.

The new secrets get posted over the weekend, so I think I might link one or two up here whenever I feel so moved.

Here are the Secret(s) of the Week:

(Please note that the secrets posted here do not belong to me, and are only being posted due to their poignancy. There are dozens of other secrets I could have posted, so don't try to read too much into this. I only think that this is a powerful website that everyone should see.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

(VIDEO!!) I/O Brush

(Thanks, Ross for the heads up!)

I spent the majority of this weekend sitting on my couch and catching up on the few primetime TV programs I still watch (thank you DVR!!). Honestly, this video had me more enthralled than the past two weeks of Last Comic Standing, the pilot episode of the Luke Perry (?!?) lotto-winning drama Windfall or post-season repeats of My Name is Earl or Everybody Hates Chris (both quality pieces of family programming, by the way).

Just tell me that this description doesn't make you want to buy one of these things, or at least watch the video...

I'm gonna tell you that the video is even cooler than the description. I/O Brush is a new drawing tool to explore colors, textures, and movements found in everyday materials by "picking up" and drawing with them. I/O Brush looks like a regular physical paintbrush but has a small video camera with lights and touch sensors embedded inside. Outside of the drawing canvas, the brush can pick up color, texture, and movement of a brushed surface. On the canvas, artists can draw with the special "ink" they just picked up from their immediate environment.

I''m gonna tell you that the video is even cooler than words can describe...

For more information on the I/O Brush (except for the most important info that I can think of : how much it is and where can i find it), check out their Massachusetts Institute of Technology (what do you think, they people who came up with this brilliant idea attended the DeVry Institute?) -hosted website here.

And for the love of all that is sacred, will someone please create a marketable version of this toy. There are so many crappy toys out there, and this technological wonder will appear to young and old, tripping out and completely sober.
I'd buy one!

Friday, June 09, 2006

(VIDEO!!) Once in Kermit's Lifetime

(Thanks, Goolia on Phantasy Tour for the heads up! LINK)

The following video may take the cake for the coolest thing I've seen on YouTube. I don't know if it originally came from the Muppet Show or from some program on the Disney Channel (check the logo in the corner).

Where ever it was first broadcast, it don't matter to me. Kermit mimicks the singer he portrays so well, right down to the spactic movement and over-shoulder-padded white suit coat.

And his vocal delivery (semi-talking, semi-warbling, all frog!) makes the clip.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

(REVIEW!!) Perpetual Groove - Amberland Day 1 - Deerfields, NC - 5/27/06

So where do I begin my tale?

I guess it started on Friday, as I sat and waited for the Schwartz's of the Month, Ethan and Kelli, to come and pick me up at my place in Fort Lauderdale. Destination: the West Palm Beach apartment of yet another wandering Jew.

We got to Mitch's place and packed the cars right quick, all seven in the crew eager to get on the road towards the weekend's Unbound Destiny. Mitch, in his infinite wisdom, made a bet on a twelve hour trip. I hadn't made the trip from Florida to North Carolina since my sleep-away camp days, so my bets were worthless.

On the road by 11:00 p.m. I probably stayed awake until 1:00 a.m. or so. (I'm gonna take this completely opportune moment to thank my good friends Ethan and Kelli for driving the entire way to North Carolina and back. Without them, Steph and I would be stranded or passed out or dead somewhere along the way.)

We hit the closet Wal-Mart (I try to avoid the place like the clap, but sometime you just have take the dose and hit the penicillin in the morning) to to Deerfields at daybreak and stocked upon the essentials. (I already picked up beer in Florida, since I had heard we would be driving through dry counties on the way there. We didn't, but the beer I bought in Florida was better than the selection at Wal-Mart, that's for sure!)

After searching for a real bathroom so our ladies could enjoy the comfort of a toilet seat one more time, we headed along the twisting, turning road to Deerfields. At one point I actually felt like we were on a Subaru Outback-themed roller coaster because we went over a hill without seeing where the track--err, I mean road--was heading. I had that stomach in the throat sensation that I love so much...

Once we got in line at 11:00 a.m., we were third car there. I immediately hopped out, cracked a beer (what, is 11 in the morning too early for a Dogfish Head 60 minute I.P.A.?) and set about meeting the folks in line with us. Right behind was a dude from Coral Springs, about 25 minutes from where I live. I can't remember his name, so he shall be dubbed Homeboy forever more. But Homeboy had some tasty peanut butter baked goods that started my day off right.

By the time they decided to let us into the venue, it was slightly past the advertised noon time opening. But Mitch's 12-hour bet had actually been under, and we were all happy to give him props on his being a Estimate-ing Prophet.

Welcome to Amberland! (Thanks, Chris High for this truly excellent photo!)

We pulled our cars into Deerfields, a beautiful piece of property with rolling hills, a babbling brook, multiple lakes, acres of hiking trails, hills, mountains and all the glorious flourishes of nature that one usually doesn't see when living in a concrete jungle of suburban sprawl as I do. Honestly, I felt like I was back at summer camp. The fact that the summer camp I attended for years as a kid was literally the next town over from Deerfields.

I wonder what the property is used for when not being used for festivals. There were two cabins on site, and the owners (I believe) live there year round.

Back to the weekend. We drove in a parked our cars, picking a nice shady spot (shady is in under the cover of shade-producing trees, not shady as in tour trash sketchballs, thank you very much....) to pitch our tents. We needed a lot of space, because the tent that we used was, quite literally, the biggest tent I have ever slept in. It was actually bigger than my bedroom in my apartment. We slept five in it (with air mattresses for all) quite comfortably.

Mitch whipped up some Bloody Marys (with horseradish, of course!) and pre-gaming continued. We headed over to the stage around 3 to relax in the sunshine and get ready for some music.

Ahh, the music. It was wonderful!

Perpetual Groove – 5/27/06 - Amberland day 1 – Deerfields, NC
(Thanks to Matt Dolian, who posted this bittorrent, from which I borrowed the setlist)

Set I: For Now Forget, Perihelion, Tupelo Honey, Luthien & Beren, Long Past Settled In, 53 More Things to do in Zero Gravity > Naive Melody, TSMM

Albert bangin' out the beat! (Thanks, Brad K for this truly excellent photo!)

This set was a nice little way to get the weekend started (musically, at least. I had started partying with the first beer waiting in line a few hours earlier. Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey” was a cover I had never heard before, so that was a bonus, while “Long Past Settled In" featured guitarist Brock Butler shredding the lapsteel, creating the instrument’s trademark warbling tone. And then the gorgeous instrumental (as well as the first of many references this weekend to author Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”) “53 More Things to Do in Zero Gravity” led perfectly into my personal favorite Perpetual Groove Cover, the Talking Heads’ “Naïve Melody”. “TSMM” closed things out, and our crew headed back to the campsite, ready to post-party the first while prepping for the rest of what turned out to be an extremely long evening.

During the break we managed to find some ice, the most important (debatable, I know) substance one can have at a music festival. We also hit the bottle pretty hard, and stumbled down to the small concert field around seven o’clock; it was time to rock.

Set II: Sundog > Breeze > Pepper > Breeze, Old Friend, March of Gibbles Army, TTFPJ* > Bittersweet Symphony*

* with Will Bradford from SeepeopleS

And they came out rockin’! “Sundog” climaxed in its’ usual high speed honky tonk glory, which led the way into one of my favorite pGroove sequences (my actual favorite was played later this weekend).

To me, the song “Breeze” sounds almost exactly like Phish’s “Camel Walk”. Maybe not the whole thing, but parts of it are like an echo. I got no problem with that, mind you, especially when the nasty electronic jam drops into the Butthole Surfers’ “Pepper”. It made me all warm and fuzzy to hear the entire crowd singing along at the top of their lungs:

“I don't mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows…I can taste you on my lips, and smell you in my clothes…Cinnamon and sugary and softly spoken lies…you never know just how you look through other people's eyes…”

New tune “Old Friend” and old school classic “March of Gibbles Army” followed before we got to the nasty stuff. “TTFPJ” featured the return of the evening’s first special guest, Will Bradford from SeepeopleS, and was nice and funky before dropping into one of the two (make that three, on second thought) covers I wanted to hear over the course of the weekend: the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. Now I never really liked Richard Ashcroft’s band when they were actually popular, but I gained an appreciation for the song watching him front Coldplay and play it at Live8 last summer. Let me tell you that Perpetual Groove crushes this song, creshendo-ing its’ classical climax as hard as a four-piece rock outfit can. This version was no exception, and proved to be a sweet closer for set number 2.

Now is the point were setbreak activities get a bit fuzzy. All I can tell you is that we were still sitting in our camp chairs when we heard the opening notes of the next set a while later.

Set III: Helter Skelter# > Speed Queen#, Gone Round the Twist > Stealy Man, Legends of Preston > All This Everything, Part II > Three Weeks > Legends of Preston, Lunatix the Guide > Diggin' in the Dirt

# with Damien Perry

That Sexy Matt McDonald! (Thanks, Chris High for this truly excellent photo!)

Hot damn, that’s a lot of arrows! (Indicating a segue, the seamless transition between two songs for the uninitiated.) The band was tight, I heard some favorites )”Three Weeks”, “Stealy Man”), some tunes I’ve never heard live before (“Helter Skelter”, “legends of Preston”, “Gone Round the Twist", a rarely played tune, a seizure-inducing (helped in no small part by Huffer the Light Guy’s rental rig and aluminum-foil looking Mylar backdrop) version of “Speed Queen” and what can possibly be the best version of Peter Gabriel’s “Diggin’ in the Dirt” that I have ever heard.

What is scary is that this set paled in comparison to what came next.

I honestly enjoyed the fourth set more than any other music I heard the entire weekend. I’ve been telling people that the set reminded me of some of the better (and more outrageous and experimental) Phish shows I’ve seen. I was told that it was a bold statement I was making, but I stand by it. The set was awesome.

Set IV: MOTA # > Stranglehold # > Jam > I'm Afraid of Americans * > Stranglehold * > Mota > Rhymin' and Stealin' #

* with Will Bradford from SeepeopleS

# with Damien Perry

Travis Cline from Captain Soularcat rotated in during the set

Bassist Adam Perry earing his keep bangin; the keys!

(Thanks, Brad K for this truly excellent photo!)

The psychedelic spaciness of “MOTA” served as a launching pad for a monster set. Once the opening guitar rift of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” kicked in (you may not know the song, but if you like rock and/or roll, you definitely know the rift), it was on. Heavy metal mode set on overdrive, a jam that sounded (and still does as the track plays on my computer) like it could become Bob Marley’s “Exodus” without too much effort and then suddenly some calm arrives. The fourteen-plus minute jam that followed zoomed out there (out where?) before being reined in with some DJ-esque samples, and becoming David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans”. Another one of my favorite covers, and it became the pivot-point in a musical trick I love.

I’ve only ever seen the Disco Biscuits pull a musical palindrome, and I’ve only seen them do it once. But if, like me, you do not count “Jam” as a song, and you have the creativity to consider “Rhymin’ and Stealin’”—the last song played at four set show—the encore, then pGroove played a palindrome.

The electro/jam goodness of Bowie’s ode to American culture slid into the tail end of “Stranglehold”, with Brock screaming the lyrics out in a broken tone, before finishing up the almost hour-and-twenty-five minute, uninterrupted chunk of music with a reprise of MOTA.

The Beastie Boys’ “Rhymin’ and Stealin’” was a bonus for me; hell, I could have got in the car and left right then and there and been, musically at least, completely satisfied.

In a little more than twelve hours, Perpetual Groove played four ridiculous sets of music. I was a happy camper, our crew was glowing and there was beer to drink.

Tomorrow was to be another day…

Go, Huffer, Go! Thanks, Brad K for this truly excellent photo!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

(VIDEO!!) Watch your hands, kids...

Watch it shred: PRI-MAX vs. BMW

(Thanks, Boing Boing for the heads up. LINK)

Last year after Hurricane Wilma blew down nearly every tree here in Broward County, there was an obvious problem that needed an immediate solution: what to do with all of the vegetative debris that were literally the streets, clogging the canals and generally causing chaos?

(And I'm not even going to take into account the construction and miscellaneous debris, even though I personally hauled a hundred pounds of roof tiles out of my tiny patio.)

The solution they used last year was to burn the debris. Not the most environmentally-friendly means of disposal, but it had a pretty high reduction rate.

Check out the link and see how I think it should be done in the case (almighty being forbid!) that we get hit with another hurricane.

And if the machine eating the Beamer doesn't impress you, there are a number of other videos showing the beast at work here.

Monday, June 05, 2006

(VIDEO!!) Obscure Trey Anastasio Band Footage

God, I really love YouTube. What a wonderful idea, to freely host videos that people can post from any type of visual recording device., from shaky handheld camera to cell phone to bootlegged straight from TV with a VCR.

Here is some footage from when the Trey Anastasio Band played at someone's private birthday party. Not too shaky, and it looks like the red-headed freak is having a good time. - 05/28/2006 - A tip for the hurricane season: Try to have some kind of a clue

Miami Herald - 5-28-06 - A tip for the hurricane season: Try to have some kind of a clue

(Thanks, Mom, for the heads up!)

Thank you Dave Barry, for being the smartest man in South Florida and for saying things the way I would say them if I was a considerably more funny person than I actually am.

Friday, June 02, 2006

(AUDIO!!) Amberland bittorrent (and links)

So my review is coming a little slower than expected. Probably because it is a little longer than expected. And now that the weekend is almost upon us, I probably won't have time to finish and post until Sunday. Sorry.

But here are links to download the music from this past weekend. Thanks to the tapers, the uploaders and the sites that host these tunes. Without you people like me would have probably never heard of a band like Perpetual Groove.

Perpetual Groove - Amberland - Saturday, May 27, 2006 (Thanks,!)

Perpetual Groove - Amberland - Sunday, May 28, 2006 (Thanks,!)

Full Amberland bittorrent (Thanks,!)