Monday, November 25, 2013

10 Steps to Fix the Bulls

Derrick Rose is out for the season. After missing all of last season with a catastrophic injury to his left knee, he injured his right knee in the eleventh game of 2013. While the injury isn't as profound as the previous injury, the news today was almost as devastating for fans. The Bulls, attempting to avoid last year's ongoing saga/fiasco of the ever looming return that never happened, announced that he is out for the rest of the year following "successful" surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee. There is really no telling what the future will bring for Rose. It is entirely possible that he can make a full recovery and become an MVP caliber player again, but now he has shown that he is injury prone and doubts will follow him for the rest of his career. One thing is for sure, the championship window for the Bulls has closed. This team was built to win around Rose, right now, but that just isn't happening. It's time to blow it up and rebuild. Tank 2014 is on. Here's the blueprint…

Step One:
Trade Boozer for Paul Pierce

For the last few years, Carlos Boozer has been impossible to trade due to his contract. He is a player that adds value - he can score and rebound - but he is simply overpaid. He gets 16 mill a year through next season. A funny thing happens when bad contracts near their end, they turn from cap killing albatrosses into potential assets. Teams are often looking for expiring contracts for complicated salary cap reasons. Traditional wisdom has the Bulls amnestying Boozer after this season; in essence paying him not to play while erasing his number from the cap. I don't see that happening. That would be getting rid of him just as his contract becomes valuable. I think they can get relief sooner because Boozer can actually add wins to the right team.

Right now about half the teams in the league are tanking to try to get a high pick in next year's loaded draft. Trading Boozer for Paul Pierce would officially announce that the Bulls are joining the tankfest. Due to Brooklyn's ill-conceived trade of draft picks for the once great but now over-the-hill, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce (whose salary this year matches Boozer's), the Nets now completely suck and don't own their own draft picks so they have no incentive to tank. They actually want to turn their turd of a team into a winner, if for no other reason than to not have to watch the Celtics draft Andrew Wiggins with their former pick. Boozer could actually help the Nets win some more games this year. They don't have much going on at the power forward position and it would reunite Boozer with Deron Williams who he had some success with in Utah. This move would also give them another big expiring contract to pair with Garnett to free up some cap space for 2015. The Bulls would get an expiring contract of a borderline future hall-of-famer in steep decline. Pierce has always been a chucker, but in previous years those shots dropped in clutch moments. Those days are behind us. The move would clear cap room for the Bulls next year and would have the desired effect of making them worse this year. This move would cost Brooklyn a ton of money on the luxury tax next year but their Russian Billionaire owner doesn't seem to care about that. He wants to build a winner, and this move could potentially help them win sooner.

Step Two:
Send Thibodeau on sabbatical

Tom Thibodeau is a maniac. He's going to be upset after the Boozer trade. He is going to storm into Paxson's office red-faced and clutching his chest because he knows the Pierce is through, but he will need to be redirected because it is for the best. My guess is that Thibs falls asleep every night in his office on top of a pile of well worn basketball footage that he pored over while plotting strategy for the next meaningless regular season game. He is a great and intense coach and he has shown a complete inability for tanking. He could get wins in the NBA with a well stocked college team. I can't see losing for the rest of the year sitting well with him. It might even kill him. He doesn't look like he is in great shape. I'm sure he could really use a few months of hiking in the Andes or something to refresh his health and perspective. Garpax should call him in, tell him how much they love him, and tell him to go chill out somewhere while collecting his full salary for the rest of the year while the Bulls lose with the lousy roster they are about to assemble. They could then bring in Vinnie Del Negro or some equally incompetent patsy to guide them through the losses. Then, next year, Thibs can return, refreshed and ready to dominate. I'm serious.

Step Three:
Trade Deng for a draft pick

Get something - anything for Deng. Luol Deng is an all-star and a quality citizen. He speaks something like forty languages and he has lived in every country except New Zealand. He is that glue-guy-all-around player that the Bulls can't afford to have on their roster because he knows how to win. As good as Deng is, he is not as good as his 14 million dollar contract, and after the botched spinal tap (wtf) in last year's playoffs, word is he's kind of sick of the Bulls too. They won't give him what he wants next offseason and someone else will, meaning they will lose him for nothing. Someone will certainly give up an asset for Deng, either a draft pick or a quality young player. They shouldn't let him go for nothing, and the longer he's around the more wins he will help them eke out and that's a bad thing. Besides, Paul Pierce is going to be upset that they have to share lockers and a fight could break out. Bye Luol, and thanks for the memories. Maybe we'll sign you next year for the mid-level exception. Who knows?

Step Four:
Trade Noah and Gibson to Memphis for Marc Gasol and Ed Davis

I'm convinced that the Bulls need to get rid of Gibson as well. They locked him up for about eight million per for the next four years. While Taj is really solid pro and will probably be in the league until he is forty, he just isn't worth that kind of money. In this NBA you can't have your sixth best player making that much and there are so many quality fours out there. Gibson will never be a star. He's a great defender and a passable offensive player but he's not a starter on a championship team. He is utterly replaceable. The only reason they signed him for that kind of money was because he was a valuable piece for the Bulls title hopes this season. That dream is over.

Noah is much harder to let go. He is appropriately paid at about eleven million a season, and he is one of the best centers in the league. Perhaps more importantly, he is the heart of the Bulls. He is one of those guys that you love if he is on your team and you hate when he plays for someone else. He seems like a fun guy to have in the locker room as well. His smoking a blunt while walking down the beach with an open container days are behind him. His teammates love him, the fans love him, and the coaches love him, but there is someone better out there…

Marc Gasol won the Defensive player of the year award last year, and he might just be the best center in the league. He also is hurt for the next two months at least. The Grizzlies might be able to part with him right now for a better chance to win right away. They are a competitive team and the frontcourt rotation of Noah, Randolph, and Gibson is formidable to say the least. Ed Davis's contract expires after this year and he makes the numbers work and gives the Bulls a warm body to plug into the four spot for the remainder of this season. This trade aids the Bulls tanking this year because Marc is hurt and Noah keeps the Grizzlies in the hunt. Next year the Bulls would open the season with the Gasol, the kind of player that Thibs would love, and for the appropriate amount of about 14 million a season for the next two years. Besides him and Rose, all the other contracts left over are guys on their rookie deals and veterans making reasonable amounts.

Step Five:
Play the young guys

So now Deng, Boozer, Gibson, and Noah are gone and the best players on the team, Rose and Gasol are hurt. Tanking is in progress. That leaves plenty of minutes to go around. Butler is established as the starter at the two guard spot going forward. He is already suffering from turf toe and they should be verrrry conservative with him now, especially since the don't really want to win. That leaves lots of minutes left over for Marquis Teague, Tony Snell, and Erik Murphy. Teague is yet to prove he's an NBA player. Here is his chance. Snell and Murphy have only been around for a cup of coffee, but let's see what they've got. And if there is one thing young guys can be counted on for, it is losing.

Step Six:
Trade Mike Dunleavy

We might as well get rid of Mike Dunleavy while we are at it. He will make about three million next season which is very reasonable, but he signed with the Bulls to make the playoffs, and with this design, that is not going to happen. He is also standing in the way of Snell getting more minutes. Who knows, maybe Pierce will take a liking to Chicago and find a role on next year's team. At any rate, we don't need Dunleavy around, and I'm willing to bet that a contender will give up a late first round pick and an expiring contract to pick up the sharpshooter. Or not, he could be a nice complimentary player next year. At this point the roster looks like this: Hinrich, Butler, Paul Pierce, Ed Davis, and Nazr Muhammed (until Gasol returns). Snell, Murphy, and Teague fill out the rotation. Mike James is hanging around. A rotating cast of D-league big men are hanging out at the end of the bench. This team is well equipped to lose, especially once Hinrich inevitably gets hurt and Butler decides to get surgery on his toe, because, "why not." Now the bulls have picked up a couple of late first round picks and shed tons of cap space.

Step Seven:
Package multiple picks for better picks

The Bulls might have up to four first round picks now. They have two late first round picks, a possible middle first round pick from Charlotte (top ten protected this year, but the Bobcats are winning and likely to be better than bottom ten), and their own pick which should be a weak lottery pick. Having four rookies on the roster at once is not the recipe for winning. Rookies lose. They should find a taker for all or three of those picks to move up in the draft to get a better shot at one of the top five or six picks.

Step Eight:
Cheat, bribe, and pray to get the top pick

The NBA wants the Bulls to win. That's why they rigged the lottery so the Bulls could get Derrick Rose despite only having a 2.6 percent chance at the pick. What's to stop further shenanigans to ensure that the Bulls get the top pick and bring in another Simeon star, Jabari Parker. I can see it happening.

Step Nine:
Bring over Mirotic

Please excuse the terrible song

The Bulls have a major asset in 22 year old Real Madrid Power Forward, Nicola Mirotic. He's a 6'10" stretch four and reportedly is the best player in Europe, winning the MVP last year in the top league in the continent. They drafted him in 2011 and under the CBA rules they can negotiate a deal with him next summer that doesn't tie him to the rookie scale. So he will make more than the average rookie but it sounds like he is worth it.

Step Ten:
Fill out the roster will quality veterans

The 2014-2015 starting five at this point looks like this: Rose, Butler, Parker, Mirotic, and Gasol… Wow! The only problem with that is that there are two rookies in the lineup, and traditionally rookies don't win championships. Maybe by this point Snell has shown he's a player and maybe Teague has as well. But they are going to need some veterans. Pierce has fallen in love with Chicago now and he wants to retire here. Same with Hinrich. Let's resign those two on the cheap. There are certainly some veterans to be signed for the front court. I'm guessing Muhammed has reached retirement and there is an upgrade to be found for a mid-level exception of something. The Bulls are good at this and they will find the right guys. Then there is nothing to do but...

Welcome back Thibodeau and win the Championship

Thibs is refreshed, having spend the last six months exploring the outback and chilling out in Fiji. He is ready to coach his new roster to the Finals. Let's hope nobody gets hurt!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

93 - 95 The Best of 2012

Presenting 93,94,and 95 on my list of the top 100 movies...

2012 was a good year for film. Some quality flicks include; "The Master," "Flight," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Looper," "Brave," "Wreck-it-Ralph," and "Life of Pi." A few just narrowly missed making my list. "Zero Dark Thirty" didn't make my list because it was about 40 minutes worth of torture too much. "Django Unchained" was entertaining, and Tarantino will be well represented on my list, but it didn't make the cut because the whole revenge fantasy note has been played by Quentin too many times. His next film will likely have a bunch of native Americans mutilating pilgrims, or maybe he'll remake "Revenge of the Nerds" but this time there will be a slaughter. Three films from 2012 rose above the rest.

93. Silver Linings Playbook

I jumped on the David O. Russell train early when I saw "Spanking the Monkey." Who knew he would become one of those directors whose every movie gets a best picture nomination? He followed up "The Fighter" with this quirky picture about damaged people seeking redemption. Outstanding performances from DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, and America's new sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence, carry the film. It was the year's best, narrowly edging out...

94. Argo

Okay, so Affleck tweaked some historical elements to give the final scene some additional tension. I don't care about that. When I go see a historical drama, I don't expect to see history faithfully represented, I'm going to see a story. Argo delivered a fully drawn world. It had me on the edge of my seat at times, literally, my butt was on the edge of my seat. The characters were believable, the circumstances were intriguing, and the film was well done all around. So he fudged a little bit. It's entertainment. Good job, Ben.

95. Beasts of the Southern Wild

"Beasts" makes the cut due to its uniqueness. I can't think of another movie to compare it to. I like it when films render an interesting universe all its own. I don't know anything about life at the end of the world on the bayou, but now I have an image in my head and it looks a lot like the bathtub. I'm glad that Quvenshane Wallis didn't win best actress, because I don't know how much credit a six year old should get for climbing around in the mud in her underwear, but I'm glad that the film got some much deserved attention during award season. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking world.

Friday, April 19, 2013

96-100 My Wife's Favorite Films

The first installation in my list of "The Top 100 Movies I want to write about."

Okay, I'm married. That means that my wife owns me and she occupies a part of my brain. She is very attached to her top five favorite movies. She made this list when she was fourteen and she has stuck with it. Only two of these films would have made my top 100 (Fast Times. Stand By Me) but all five make the list now due to marital obligations...

96. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times may have been the first movie that showed me cinematic boobs. Spicoli will always be the first character I think of when I think of Sean Penn. A classic.

97. Stand By Me

This one made my list without the assistance of my wife, and it might have ranked higher than the late 90's on the list, but in the interest of keeping these together, here it is. A classic coming of age picture, and the film River Phoenix will most be remembered for. It has buddies, a quest, greasers, projectile vomiting, sick balls, etc. A great and massively entertaining film.

98. Beautiful Girls

My wife loves movies that feature a character returning to his/her home town. That is the premise for this picture and it is well executed. It has a great cast featuring jailbait Natalie Portman. Ice fishing.

99. Ordinary People

Best known for winning the 1980 Academy Award for Best Picture over Raging Bull, Ordinary People also collected Oscars for Robert Redford in his directorial debut and Best Supporting Actor for Timothy Hutton. Mary Tyler Moore and Judd Hirsch also got nominations. It is a well done film for sure, featuring tremendous performances. It is a DRAMA. It shows a family falling apart in the wake of one tragedy and the debilitating effect of depression. Lots of yelling and tears. My wife loves movies and shows that feature people in therapy. This one is her all time favorite.

100. The Lost Boys

I was never, nor will I ever be, a teenage girl. Therefor "The Lost Boys" was not initially on my list. I did enjoy it back in the day and even now. Was this the beginning of sexy vampires? It was at the peak for sexy sax players.

The Top 100 films I want to write about

I have been working on a compilation list of my favorite 100 movies for a while. Like most people, I love movies, and in this age of streaming, I watch several movies a week. And, like virtually everyone, I have an inflated opinion of my taste. Have you ever heard anyone brag about their terrible taste? Even people who love the Transformers franchise think they have great taste. To set the record straight, however, I do have great taste. It's just a given.

Originally I was going to call the list "My favorite 100 movies," but that was too limiting, and I'm certainly not going to claim to represent the "100 Best films." There wont be any Ingmar Bergman films or anything made before 1940 on my list. Of course these are great cinematic achievements, but I don't think I'll be sitting through a screening of "The Birth of a Nation" anytime soon. The movies on my list are the movies I love, and some that I am just compelled to write about. I will add links to this entry as the posts are made.... Here is the AFI's top 100 films, if you want a more scholarly list that a board voted on. Gigli did not make the cut

Friday, April 22, 2011

No Free Art

Recently I was given the "opportunity" to do some art on tables and benches at a new local restaurant, but I turned it down. Why would I turn down having my art permanently in a great restaurant? Money, or rather the lack of any of it at all. Yup, it turns out I'm a capitalist. I was considering hanging my art there instead but they said they would take a commission on sales. I had to turn that down on principle. It is a wonderful restaurant run by really cool people, but why would they expect art for free? They wouldn't ask someone to wait tables for free or supply eggs for free. Why is it enough to offer "exposure" to artists? I think taking such a job in exchange for "exposure" devalues the work of artists. They should make meals for me and a bunch of friends and I'll pay them in exposure. As for the commission... In my opinion the only place that has the right to get a commission from sales is a gallery. Artists are doing bars and restaurants a favor by hanging their art, and in exchange for that they should keep 100% of the revenue from sales. That's how it works. It is mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship like that of the hippo and the birds that clean their teeth (I'm not sure if this is a real thing). Taking a cut of sales is straight up exploitation. I understand a new restaurant owned by non-millionaires probably wants to squeeze out every dime they can, but not my dime and not my art. Sorry. But I hear that their grilled cheese is the bomb.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

iPhone Scanner

I was searching for a device that I could use to make hi-res scans of drawings, then dock to my iphone and send off. I was picturing a little hand held scanner with a little cord that I could plug into my phone. I didn't find that gadget but I did stumble upon this invention.

I didn't download the specs, follow the directions, and manufacture this design, because that just isn't my style. I decided to rig up my own. I found a little shipping box in my closet, pulled out a kitchen knife, a ruler, and some scotch tape. Voila, fifteen minutes later I had this.

It could use some improvements, but it's not bad for a prototype. I think the fact that it was made from the cardboard of one box is pretty cool. Here is the first important document to be "scanned."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nate Otto

Well, a lot has changed in the past two years since the svn post first sent you here; I got married, I changed careers, I grew badder and more awesome. Please check out Thanks. I like you.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Face Tattoos

Face Tattoos are always a great idea. Nothing can enhance a person's likelihood to be remembered by strangers passing on the sidewalk more than a face tattoo.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Collect Art

I have always been secretly covetous of other people’s art, but my art collecting has been severely limited by my lack of funds and the fact that I’m not very good at owning stuff. Objects tend to be left trampled in my wake. Recently I had the opportunity to put my splendid, original art into a super bad-ass office, and it got me to thinking. If I had the same space to fill, how would I go about it? First I would put up more of my art. That goes without saying. My next step would be to go to the artists I have known. Three of my favorite peer artists are Gunner Fox, Keith Kostecki, and Travis Millard.

Gunner Fox

Keith Kostecki

Travis Millard

Next, I would pay homage (and a lot more money) to work from Chicago-based influences; Tony Fitzpatrick, Jim Lutes, Kerry James Marshall, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, and McArthur Binion.

Tony Fitzpatrick

Jim Lutes

Kerry James Marshall

Daniel Clowes

Chris Ware

McArthur Binion

When I was at Columbia College I was a fan, friend, and peer of someone I knew as Jamie Elizabeth. She and I were often in our studio spaces at the same time and she was da bomb, as a painter and as a lady. Apparently she has added Hudrlik to her name, or maybe it was always supposed to be there. I'm not sure why she lives in Iowa City either. It could be that she got married. At any rate, she was an amazing painter and by the looks of things she is even better now. Looks as though she also has a thriving etsy vintage biz going on. I might try to navigate those etsy waters more thoroughly soon (here is my feeble opening entry). Jamie can paint and she is cool. 'Nuff said.

Jamie Elizabeth

I’m running out of gas on this. I’ll come back to it later. Time to go buy a piano bench.

I'm back. Here are some more:
Chris Johanson San Francisco based self-taught cool stuff painter. I was just looking at his stuff on some blog and the comments people left were so idiotic. If you are impressed by realism alone, then you are a dumb dumb.

Howard Finster is the godfather of american folk, outsider art. His work is prevalent in the midwest. His sons make works in the similar style for a living. I was at a friend's the other day, and his Finster turned out to be a Roy Finster, a work done by one of his sons. I felt bad for noticing. A bubble was bursted. Speaking of "outsider art:" if you live in Chicago, you have to own a Wesley Willis.

Howard Finster

Wesley Willis

Martin Mull, yeah that Martin Mull, the actor from the eighties that was Colonel Mustard in Clue. He paints and I like what he makes.

Martin Mull

Okay, look.... This has gone on long enough. I'm not about to list every artist I like. What you should really do is visit all of the student studios from every local art school. Buy your favorite piece from each. Go to art fairs and bars and coffee shops and buy stuff that you like. IF you have good taste, use it. Don't wait for someone else to validate the work by making them established. You can establish the art. If you think only the best art is recognized then you have been fooled. By nature, some of the best artists are poor self-promoters, humble, and shy people. Appreciate them.

Oh.... Here's some more. If you are rich enough to get a private jet, you might also want to get a Robert Motherwell. He is the under-appreciated master from the American Abstract Expressionist uprising. You should also consider Philip Guston.



Margaret Kilgallen was amazing. She passed away at a really young age. She was married to the equally amazing Barry McGee.

Margaret Kilgallen

Barry McGee

Prints and posters... If you can't afford any of the stuff above, buy prints, meaning, etchings or serigraphs. You can get really cool prints for thirty bucks. Paintings and drawings trump screen-prints every time because they are originals, but prints will do in a pinch. Don't ever buy art posters. Monet and Van Gogh posters are for your grandma. Having an art poster in your house or office proves that you are lame. Buy art from artists, not poster shops. That is all.

Somehow I actually left out Basquiat. I give you permission to buy a Basquiat poster.

Jean Michel Basquiat

OMG! I just remembered, I'm awesome. My name is Nate Otto and I make art and you should collect my art. I plugged myself at the top of this, but this is a revision and I have a new site. This whole enterprise is ultimately a plug for myself.

Nate Otto

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Triangle Art

Someone with good taste told me they like the "Triangle Art." Not sure which one, but there are several options.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Autobiographical Albums List

This post is sure to be edited. Nuts.

My Favorite Albums. They are listed in order (roughly) of when they were my favorite albums, starting in kindergarten. By favorite album, I mean that for a period in time, that was the album that I was listening to over and over.

Keep in mind that memory is vague, so it’s possible that order wise, some of these are years off. I’m also sure that I left out some albums that I worshiped at the time but in retrospect … well they just weren’t there anymore when I went looking. I left some of the blights in there (Erasure, Jesus Jones, Live) because they were a part of growing up. The early years, especially, feature many omissions because I just flat out can’t remember. Some periods are represented more than others because there were times when finding and listening to new music was more important to me than at other times. Cloudying matters further, the advent of the iPod has changed the way I’ve experienced albums to near non-existence, but I also hear a lot more different music. It got confusing for this list, which I spent too much time on. I was a music snob at a very young age. I remember being the first kid to start hating on Michael Jackson in the second grade. I never really went though a classic rock stage. I always liked whatever was new, for better or worse. I also remember my dad letting me pick out the hymns for church (he was the pastor) when I was three.

Journey, Escape
Air Supply, The One That You Love
The Beatles, Revolver
Alan Hovhaness, Mysterious Mountain
Michael Jackson, Thriller
New Edition, New Edition
Depeche Mode, Some Great Reward
Prince, Around the World in a Day
The Beastie Boys, License to Ill
LL Cool J, Radio
U2, Joshua Tree
Midnight Oil, Diesel and Dust
The Smiths, The Queen is Dead
Peter Gabriel, So
Talking Heads, Little Creatures

The The, Mind Bomb
Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back
Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
New Order, Technique
Erasure, The innocents
De La Soul, Three Feet High and Rising
N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton
Various Artists, Just Say Yes
They Might Be Giants
Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
The Pogues, Peace and Love
The Cure, Disintegration
The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
R. E. M. Green
Peter Gabriel, Passion
Jesus Jones, Doubt
Live, Mental Jewelry
Primal Scream, Screamadelica
Sonic Youth, Goo

Jane’s Addiction, Ritual De La Habitual
Nirvana, Nevermind
Smashing Pumpkins, Gish
Fugazi, 13 Songs
Ween, Pure Guava
Pavement, Slanted and Enchanted
The Flaming Lips, In a Priest Driven Ambulance
The Jesus Lizard, Liar
Slint, Spiderland
Sebadoh, III
Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville
The Grifters, Crappin’ You Negative
Smog, Julius Ceasar
Polvo, Today’s Active Lifestyles
Rapeman, Two Nuns and a Pack Mule
Built to Spill, Perfect From Now On
Superchunk, Foolish
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
The Regrets, New Directions
Tortoise, Millions Now Living Will Never Die
Panel Donor, Lobedom and Global
Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

Sebadoh, Bakesale
June of ’44, Engine Takes to Water
Gastr Del Sol, Crookt, Crackt, or Fly
Palace Music, Lost Blues and Other Songs
Trans Am, Trans Am
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Extra Width
Steel Pole Bathtub, The Miracle of Sound in Motion
Beck , Odelay
Shellac, At Action Park
Calexico, Spoke
Red Red Meat, There’s a Star above the Manger Tonight
Brainiac, Hissing Prigs in Static Culture
Portishead, Dummy
Dr. Octagon, Dr. Octagencenologist
Bedhead, Transaction De Novo
Le Tigre, Le Tigre

Cat Power, What Would the Community Think
John Fahey, The Legend of Blind Joe Death
Modest Mouse, The Lonesome Crowded West
Yo La Tengo, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane over the Sea
The Raincoats, The Raincoats
Blond Redhead Misery is a Butterfly
Nick Drake, Pink Moon
Jurassic Five, Quality Control
DJ Shadow, Endtroducing
Gang Starr, Full Clip
Radiohead, Kid A
Godspeed You Black Emperor, Lift your Skinny Fists like Antennas to Heaven
Fridge, Eph
Handsome Boy Modeling School, So… How’s your Girl
RJD2, Deadringer

Mogwai, Rock Action
Bran Van 3000, Glee
Johnny Cash, American IV
The Melvins, The Bootlicker
Devo, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo
Postal Service, Give Up
The Moldy Peaches, The Moldy Peaches
Leonard Cohen, The Songs of Leonard Cohen
Flaming Lips, Yoshimi battles the Pink Robots
Kanye West, College Dropout
Nina Simone, The Best of
Nas, Street’s Disciple
Daedelus, Exquisite Corpse
Animal Collective, Feels

Spoon, Gimme Fiction
Subtle, A New White
Arcade Fire, Funeral
Iron and Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days
P.O.S., Audition
Okkerville River, Black Sheep Boy
CocoRosie, Noah’s Ark
Hank Williams, The Ultimate Collection
This Will Destroy You, Young Mountain
Band of Horses, Everything All The Time
TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
Smog, A River Ain't Too Much to Love
Beirut, Gulag Orkestrar

Cut Chemist, The Audience’s Listening
No Age, Nouns
M. Ward, Hold Time
Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
The Books, The Lemon of Pink
Beach House, Teen Dream

Monday, July 26, 2010


I went to the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival yesterday. I think that 's what it was called. It was a loose little show that spanned from California to Kedzie, with various stages at random points along the way. Galleries and bars were open with art and maybe were officially associated with the festival or maybe not. One highlight was this little space along the way, that this guy got us to enter by touting how it was "dog friendly." We had dog, we entered. This dude was a bit off kilter in the way that I like. The space was all a sort of installation but he was too unpretentious to call it such. There was some pretty good collage art and some paintings on paper done with puffy paint that were cool, but then he had the space filled with random objects, such as a collection of Anne Rice books, Keds, a glass box filled with boxing cards from '91, and a little boy's superhero pajama top that, for some reason, Megan decided she had to own. We wound up giving the guy, "Pascal" he claimed his name was, a cigarette for it. There was a closet upstairs that he said he was renting out for 31 cents a minute, and a really stoned dude with fucked up teeth out front that we thought was associated with the show somehow but he was just a passerby that had latched on. All in all it was better than a visit to the MCA. I wish I had gotten the dude's info, because it would be fun to set him up with the Happy Dog people and see what he would do in that space.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

ALF's dad

I watched part of an ALF episode on Hulu today and made the disturbing discovery that ALF's dad wore glasses that are remarkably similar to my new pair. Even as a child I thought that this guy was particularly sniveling and whiny. That, and the fact that ALF always wanted to eat the cat, were about the only things I remembered about the show. As I watched the show today I cringed every time this creep (Max Wright as Willie Tanner) spoke, and I have the same taste in eyewear 25 years later.

Monday, August 4, 2008

King Buzzo

I just walked by the Double Door and saw that the Melvins are playing tonight. I was reminiscing about the time I met King Buzzo backstage at Alpine Valley eight or so years ago when I was working for the caterer and The Melvins were playing the second stage at Ozfest. I talked with him then a shame that his band was playing the second stage when bands like Coal Chamber were playing the mainstage. I was very impressed by him. Thought he was really down to earth. Then two days later I walked by him on the street in Lawrence Kansas. Just as I was thinking this, I rounded the corner and there he was with his unmistakable gray sideshow bob hairdo. I said "King Buzzo" and he gave me a thumbs up. He was on the phone so I didn't want to bother him further, and it is almost impossible to want to chat up a celerity, however minor, without coming across as a total idiot, so instead I rushed up the stairs and blogged about it. Oh, our modern times!