To Do List

1. Wake up

2. Get dressed

3. Get into your car

4. Drive to your local record store (Here are 17 great ones)

5. Purchase the new Hold Steady album Stay Positive

6. Take the rest of the day off to enjoy its sweet sweet melodies


Jim James can do whatever the fuck he wants

What I’m listening to right now: Lake Shore Drive by Alliota, Haynes & Jeremiah

A lot of great My Morning Jacket tidbits coming out lately, mostly about lead singer Jim James, and all of which make me love this band even more than I already do.

Lets start with this little excerpt from The Smoking Section from this month’s Rolling Stone. Since I can’t seem to find the link, I’ll just type out this gem:

“Ament (bassist for Pearl Jam) also informed us about an upcoming battle of the bands, on a basketball court. ‘Jeff, you better bring your A-game, Gramps, ‘cuz the Jacket’s gonna be ballin’ on all y’all’ Ament read from an e-mail he received from My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. ‘We’re gonna put the hurt on you dawg!’ The showdown was supposed to take place at last years Lollapalooza, but the Jacket backed out. ‘We couldn’t make it,’ says James. Why not? ‘Um, we had to rehearse with an orchestra.'”

I laughed hysterically when i read that line from the e-mail, “The Jacket’s gonna be ballin’ on all y’all!” Haha, ‘The Jacket’. I love it.

Yes, there is real news associated with Jim James. According to multiple sources (here’s the Stereogum article) James will be teaming up with Conor Oberst and M. Ward to do an album. Not many other details there, though we can only hope it will be indie rock’s version of The Traveling Wilburys.

Also hilarious is James’ apparently serious idea of recording under an alter-ego named Sec Walkin, who is an Asian country star. While Asian country music isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I can’t wait to see what comes out of this.

Right now you could be asking, “Hey Jim, how bout instead of doing all this weird crap, why don’t you work on another album?”

Which brings me to the title of this post. Musicians can do all this wierd side project stuff when they’re this good at their main job, which is rocking your socks off (Note: That video is from their 4-HOUR set at Bonnaroo this year, a set which Austin Skaggs of Rolling Stone called “career defining”).

Jesus, does anyone else get chills listening to the beginning of One Big Holiday live?


Why has no one thought of this?

What I’m listening to right now: I’m Mikey by The Cool Kids

My brother was reading my book yesterday for the first time, and he says to me, “Dude, I love all the music in here. Its like your book has a soundtrack.” Suddenly the light bulb flickered on, and since then I’ve been wondering why no one in the publishing industry has thought of simultaneously releasing a book with a soundtrack for the book. I have always felt music and books can intertwine so well together thats its a travesty that they haven’t already. Lyrics are basically poetry put to music anyway, so where’s the disconnect?

And then I read this post from Nathan Bransford’s blog, and realized I’m not alone. In fact, the very first comment is about releasing a soundtrack simultaneously with the book. I’m very excited (course now I hope no one beats me to it) that others think this is a good idea.

But now I’m suspicious. Clearly I’m not the first to think of this idea, so why hasn’t it been done yet? I know its easier said than done, as I’m sure you would have to get permission from the artists to use their songs, and maybe that is the central reason why it hasn’t happened yet, but the internet and digital music makes the idea so much easier to implement. All you would have to do is create a passcode or something to put in the book, and then when people buy it, they can go to a website that has been set up, enter the code, and download the soundtrack for free. Radiohead did it, Nine Inch Nails did it (both minus the passcode of course), so why cant the publishing industry do this to market books?

I think it would garner a lot of attention from the media (as it would be a first), but most importantly you would be able to get the attention of millions and millions of music fans who seem to increasingly enjoy their music more when its free. This could amplify depending on how diverse the playlist is. Think of being able to attract fans of Led Zeppelin AND Britney Spears to your book! Ok, thats a little extreme, but you get the idea.

I know this can be done. Someone just needs to work out the details. Hopefully that someone can be me someday, for my book.


An Open Letter to the United States Congress

What I’m listening to right now: One Big Holiday by My Morning Jacket

Dear US Congressmen/women,

Get the fuck away from my sports. Yea, you read that right. Leave my sports alone. First it was baseball, then it was football. What’s next? You gonna go investigate the dimple count of every basketball used in the NBA? Actually, forget I said that. You don’t need any more ideas.

Sports are sacred and I don’t want your greasy politician hands ruining them. People love sports because they’re simple. Someone wins and someone loses. Its an out or a hit. A point or not. Its some much needed black and white in a world colored in shades of gray.

Law and politics are a fucking mess. Nothing makes sense. You can have bills calling for clean water and they can be turned down on a technicality. People vote against things because of the people voting for them. Its absolute idiocy. I don’t want any of that kind of crazy tainting my sports.

But its not just that, its also that you have much more important things to be doing with your minimum two years in office. Can’t think of anything? Here, I’ll give you a list:

1. Fix my economy

2. Find something else to run my car so I stop getting fucked at the pumps.

3. End this war in some way, shape, or form. I’m tired of my tax money being spent on this, not to mention I’m tired of seeing good people die.

4. End the war on marijuana. I’m even MORE tired of seeing billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on this irrational and ridiculous vendetta against a plant that’s less deadly than Advil.

There, you have four things you could be working on at this very moment, things that normally could be handled in a couple years, but since you’re in politics will take decades, thus assuring that you will have enough on your plate to keep you busy until you retire.

Yours truly,

Kid Zeppelin


Review of the movie “Wanted”

What I’m listening to right now: All You Need is Love by The Beatles

Saw “Wanted” the other night, and I must say, the special effects and just general “cool shit meter” were off the charts. People are curving bullets, running on trains, flipping cars over other cars, shooting other people from miles away, etc. It definitely had all the sweet assassin shit you could ever want in a movie.

The acting was even good too. You of course had Angelina Jolie (whose bare ass is the greatest half second in the entire movie), James McAvoy (Last King of Scotland), and Common (whose usually known for his rapping but has been rather good in all the movies I’ve seen him in). You even get Fitsy from The Departed! And what could possibly be better than hearing Morgan Freeman say “Well shoot this motherfucker!”? It was almost complete until the storyline came in. That’s when shit started hitting the fan.

Apparently the “Fraternity” (real unique name there) was created by a group of weavers (yes, weavers, as in thread weaving) who discovered a secret code in the woven cloth they produced. It spelled names, and for some reason they decided that the blanket must be telling them to kill these people, rather than maybe, I dunno, go give these people a hug? Maybe DON’T kill them, as they might be good and not bad? Of course all the people listed on the blanket are bad, as Angelina Jolie quickly illustrates with a story about how her parents got killed in front of her (which may explain all her crazy tattoos) by a guy who was listed on the blanket, but the assassin assigned to kill him didn’t succeed. Clearly the massive, unmanned loom which appears to constantly make course, white cloth is never wrong.

I’m sorry, the weaver thing really threw me off. I mean c’mon, weavers? Really? You have all this totally badass fighting and shooting and assassination stuff and you throw weavers in there? No one in Hollywood could think of anything cooler than weavers? I can. Here’s three:

1. Ninjas

2. Chuck Norris

3. Bears

You could have tied those in together more smoothly than this weaving crap you gave me. Have the code show up in bear fur. Or Chuck Norris’ beard.

But lets pretend the weavers do make this secret group of assassins back in the middle ages or whatever. And lets pretend that you’ve been recruited for the Fraternity, and Morgan Freeman shows you how they choose their kills, by using some code to decipher names on a piece of cloth. Also pretend you aren’t a mindless sheep. How do you not look Morgan Freeman in the face, say, “Seriously?” and then walk right out the front door? You’re basically murdering people you don’t know for reasons you also don’t know. The guy telling you to kill this guy doesn’t even know why you’re suppose to kill the guy! The only thing that knows is the fucking loom, which you can’t ask questions and realistically expect a response from.

The only other part that really bugged me was the main character’s working stiff, unhappy with his life “before” persona. I know, i know, Hollywood loves to keep going back to this because theres millions and millions of working stiffs all across the country who secretly want to beat the living shit out of their bosses and find some fulfilling job, but I’m getting a bit tired of it. It actually might not even be that I’m tired of it, its thats I’ve already seen the best version of that story. Its called Fight Club. Chuck Palahniuk wrote it perfectly (yes, it was a book first. I highly recommend it), David Fincher directed it perfectly, and Edward Norton nailed the fuck out of it (as he always does). James McAvoy didn’t really do a bad job, its just Norton did it first and better than he did, so it really just came off as a bad knockoff.

Despite all that, I must say I enjoyed it fully. It was definitely worth the ticket price, but I’m not gonna run right out and buy the DVD.


OBVIOUSLY its about the music

What I’m listening to right now: Paper Planes by M.I.A.

One of the funniest interviews I’ve ever seen with one of my favorite bands. They just completely ignore this poor girl and go on about Insane Clown Posse and what Oprah people would match up to what McDonald’s characters and whatever they seem to feel like talking about while sitting in bed. Whether you even know who these guys are or not, its still hilarious (and if you don’t, then where the fuck have you been?).

They do point out something important though: Great record sales DO NOT necessarily equal great music. Sometimes it just means there are millions of retards out there with $12.99 in their pocket.

And if you’re curious, here’s that Insane Clown Posse website.

And the reason I’m listening to Paper Planes is that the trailers for the movies Pineapple Express have been using the song to perfection. I really wanna see that movie. And Batman of course.


I wanna be a paperback writer

What I’m listening to right now: Highly Suspicious by My Morning Jacket

So like I said Monday, I’ve been writing a lot of fiction stuff in my free time. Its the first time I’ve ever really delved into it, so I want to put some of it out there to see what kind of reaction I can get. So heres a short short story I wrote. Enjoy.

“I think I’m dreaming,” I tell my parents as I sit in the backseat of the car while we drive to nowhere in particular. The slithering, echoing melodies of “The End” by The Doors plays softly on the radio.

“Oh? What’s this dream about?” My mother asks.

“No, no, I don’t think you’re hearing me. I’m dreaming right now, as in you, me, this car, aren’t real.”

“I know honey, I understood you the first time. What is this dream about?” She asks again, apparently unfazed by the insanity of my statement.

“Well, a group of random guys, including me, awoke some zombies when we tried to steal their treasure, so now they’re slowly taking over the world.”

“Hmm, interesting,” my father replies, keeping his eyes on the white, empty road ahead.

“So how did you end up here?” My mother asks as she reads her Martha Stewart catalog. Neither have so much as flinched during the entire crazy conversation. They just keep doing what they’re doing, apparently content with being imaginary figures in my head, driving on a never-ending road to nowhere.

“I don’t know. The zombies moved into someone’s house on a tropical lake after killing everyone in the town. Then I suddenly ended up here.”

“Maybe you woke up,” my father suggests casually.

“But this still feels like a dream.”

“But don’t you find it odd that you’re talking to your parents about a dream that you’re having right now as we speak, that you’re aware of the fact that you’re dreaming?”

“Well yea, that is pretty weird.”

“Are you sure you’re still asleep?”

The same rolling green pasture passes by, repeating itself like a nature documentary on loop outside the car window. The line separating reality and fantasy is becoming dangerously skewed, a surreal situation in a surreal plane of existence. Will I ever be able to get out of this unconscious purgatory, or will I be stuck in existential limbo forever?

“Time’s up son,” my father says.

“What? What do you mean?”

“You didn’t think you could stay here forever did you?” my mother asks.

“I don’t even know where I am!”

“That’s not important. What’s important is where you’re going.”

“Where am I going?”

“That’s for you to decide.”

The final remaining beats of “The End” float through the car as the last words of my mother resonate in my head. Suddenly the answer hits me. This isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning. The long, winding journey on the white highway is nowhere near its end. I might not always know where it’s going, it may not always be smooth, but as long as I’m in the driver’s seat, it will lead to the place I want to go, instead of nowhere in particular.

“End of this road, son. Time for you to take the wheel.”

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