Friday, August 26, 2011

North Park Awesome Fest

It's getting towards the end of August, and among the many activities I have planned - pleasant and less-than-pleasant - I am taking a vacation to southern California to play North Park Awesome Fest with my band ( fest: ... band: We're all truly and massively excited about this! And the lineup, oh the lineup...

Scared of Chaka
Mean Jeans
New Creases
White Wires
Shark Pants

You see what I mean? I didn't even list a couple of the bands that are playing, because you deserve to be surprised when you click on over to the Awesome Fest 5 website.

Of course, nothing this awesome could be expected to be problem free.

Number one, our bassist (Kyle "Yukon Blond" Sando, who runs this little bloggy: couldn't make it - so we're rush-training Matt Army from That's Incredible, inducting him into the ranks of Blue Diamond Bandmates. Naturally, That's Incredible are playing IMMEDIATELY after us, at a different venue. I assume Matt will be whisked away into a plush limo with motorcycle cop escort, lights flashing and pistols drawn, and zoomed across the neighborhood to make it onstage in time to play "Aquanet".

Number two, the Mean Jeans and the Bananas are basically playing at the same time! Having seen the Bananas a handful of times, and never having seen Jeans in action, I think I'll pick the Portland trio. I imagine this will create a massive headache for a whole bunch of other gap-toothed punk rockers, though.

Finally, I have been absolutely unable to practice my foosball lately. Those who keep track of these things know that I won the NPAF 3 Foosball Championship back in 2009, but you may not know that since that day, J Wang (of Dan Padilla, Tiltwheel, more greatness) has beaten me fair and square/hungover on a Tornado table. So, I need to get my ass in gear and start doing 100 wrist snaps twice a day. J Wang, I'm gunnin' for ya!

And of course, an entry in this blog about San Diego would not be complete without recalling that it was indeed in San Diego where Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter while tripping on LSD, way back in 1970 on the 12th of June. Watch this great animated video of an interview conducted by NPR, and be happier and wiser for having done so.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hello Again

Hey, sorry I've neglected this blog, but it's been a crazy busy summer. This is a good thing. I've been on tour with the Blue Diamond Band, on vacation with the family to Oregon (and I got to hang out with Jon Hands-on, too!), and on a road trip with the significant other to northern lower Michigan. Yup, lots of vacation time. Over the course of these past few months, it seems that a few things have become apparent:

1. If you live in Minneapolis and you don't own either of these two items yet, you should get the Frozen Teens/Street Legal* split 7", and the In Defence "$7.98 LP" LP immediately! Both have been on somewhat constant rotation on my turntable. If you don't live in Minneapolis and you don't have either of these two items, you're on a slightly less pressing schedule to get them, because it's ultimately more important that locals support all the good local bands. However, as of this entry, you have officially been warned! You'll need both these records within the year, to be sure.

*Street Legal are technically from Kansas City, so I guess you could sort of read this blog entry backwards if you happen to be from that badass bastion of barbeque and blacks who once played baseball?

2. The pumpkin fell from the sky at midnight, splattering across the western edge of downtown Minneapolis. Although July looked good, as of this date it sure seems as if the Minnesota Twins will be spending October with their families, working on model airplanes and catching up on their reading. Filming more commercials, maybe. At least Twins fans have Jim Thome's march to 600 home runs to cheer for.

3. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers are starting to pull away from the pack in the National League Central. From the start of the season, I have maintained that the Brewers and the Reds are the two best teams in this division. However, apparently the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation didn't get the message, and the team seems unlikely to make a run. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates were everyone's favorite little engine that could. Hey, they even started selling out at PNC Park! But the underlying fundamental numbers of the defense and pitching told a different story - numbers like strikeouts-to-walks ratio, the batting average of opponents' balls in play. And just like that, the ship has sunk below .500. Last but not least, the St Louis Cardinals seem determined to overachieve with a patchy offense (propped up of course by the dynamic trio of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, and the rejuvenated Lance Berkman), which makes me (and no doubt many citizens of Redbird Nation) wonder what could have been achieved had Adam Wainwright been able to even pitch for half a season... well, anyway, as I type this, the Brewers are in St Louis, beating the Cardinals for a second straight night, and it looks like the Brewers are on their way to their first-ever NL Central Division title. Knock on wood.

4. If you're wondering where to be on Labor Day weekend, there is one answer and only one answer: NORTH PARK AWESOME FEST. Check out the lineup! Or let me just toss a few band names at you: Scared Of Chaka. The Mean Jeans. The White Wires. The Bananas. And of course, all the usual suspects, the people in bands who are often heard to make comments such as the following: North Park Awesome Fest is like Gainesville Fest, except you don't have to wait in line forever and there aren't any shitty screamo bands. See ya there!

5. Oh, the Future Virgins LP? "Western Problems"? Perhaps the album of the year thus far... We'll see what happens for the rest of 2011!