January 2010

Back in October I posted the first edition of Diggin in the Crates, the idea behind it being that sometimes I find myself going back to or rediscovering an album from ‘back in the day’ and listening to it a lot. Which, in turn, i’d end up talking about that album here and “…remind you of the awesomeness of an album that was released at least 5 years ago or more.”

For this second go ’round I find myself rediscovering Pearl Jams EPIC follow up to their debut smash ‘Ten.’ Now, it’s true that ‘Vitalogy’ is still my favorite PJ album, ‘Vs.’ takes a strong position in second place. I hadn’t listened to this album for years until recently when I dug it out for whatever reason and started rediscovering it. I know a lot of people like to bitch about everything Pearl Jam’s done since they exploded with “Ten”, but those are the same people that keep expecting (even to this day) every Pearl Jam song to be ‘Jeremy Pt 2.’ And, while they’re bitching Pearl Jam continues to put out some fantastic music.
A couple of facts worth noting about “Vs.”

Upon its release, Vs. set the record for most copies of an album sold in its first week, a record it held for five years. Vs. occupied the number one spot on the Billboard200 for five weeks, the longest duration for a Pearl Jam album. The album has been certified seven times platinum< by the RIAA in the United States.

Kind of amazing that this album remains fairly underrated  isn’t it? You don’t really hear a lot of people talking about this record and the impact it had. Sure, it’s been 17 years since it was released but that doesn’t change the fact that the music is stronger overall than “Ten” and, top to bottom, arguably the strongest PJ album period.

But, that’s why I do these Diggin In the Crates writes ups. To help you rediscover albums you might otherwise have forgotten.

Pearl Jam didn’t do any videos for songs on the album so lets turn to You Tube for a live version of one of the albums better songs; ‘Leash’


Got these in the mail yesterday:
You see Glendale’s self titled record and two Lincoln records (one their split with Hoover, the other a self titled record commonly referred to as ‘Watermark’), both of which are about 16-17 years old and in fantastic shape.

The Glendale was a throw in to the deal I made to buy the Lincoln records, a throw in I was more than happy to take. The real gems here for me are obviously the Lincoln records. Who is Lincoln? They were a “emo/hardcore” band out of Morgantown, WV who existed in the early 90’s.

Oh, and they were a big influence on Converge. Yes, THAT Converge.

Don’t believe me?  Try this on for size (compliments of “The Long Road Home” DVD)

A very young, still very raw Converge paying homage to one of the bands that influenced them.

So, ask me again why the vinyl nerd in me is excited as hell to have these records in my collection.

I don’t think of myself as one of those Apple fan boys. But this? This has some serious potential I think.

This video doesn’t exist

Sure, the video’s a little cheesy (ok a LOT cheesy) but it still gives you a pretty damn good idea of what the Apple Gang has cooked up. I, for one, am intrigued.

My friend Chris just sent this to me. As awesome as the iPad appears there are some potential dealbreakers in terms of things it DOES NOT have. Some of those include;

1. Flash. The Safari browser included on the iPad doesn’t have Flash — just like the iPhone. That’s a huge hindrance. How does Apple think it can get away with no Flash? Did it bake HTML5 in and forget to tell us about it?

2. No camera. A user-facing camera to enable video conferencing and/or video chats was high on the list of features expected. It doesn’t have one. … See More

3. No multitasking. It appears that even though Apple has re-jiggered iPhone OS to work on this device, it still can’t run background processes. That’s a huge detractor. … See More

4. No Verizon. The 3G wireless service that comes as an option with the iPad is not being provided by Verizon Wireless. It is being provided by AT&T. Man, can AT&T handle it? We know the scorecard there.

5. No widescreen display. The 9.7-inch IPS display may be capable of showing HD movies, but it doesn’t match the 16:9 standard screen dimension that many of today’s devices conform to.

6. No Mac OS. The iPad runs a new, in-house built processor that Apple calls the A4. It clocks in at 1GHz. That appears to be just fine for iPhone OS, but the iPad doesn’t run the more capable, full OS X, which is what would have really set the device on fire.

7. No GPS. The iPad has an accelerometer for a great gaming experience, but no GPS. That means Google Maps is going to have to rely on 3G and/or Wi-Fi to locate the iPad. So much for replacing your smartphone.

8. Enough storage. I realize that the iPad can sync content with iTunes and users can add/remove content at will, but 64GB (max size) is just not enough. Not enough for the games, movies and music I’d want to carry around.

9. Removable Battery. The iPad follows the footsteps of Apple’s iPhone and newer laptops in that it doesn’t have a user-removable battery. So much for bringing a spare for flights that last more than the 10-hour rated battery time.

10. No HDMI. How is it possible that Apple would skip an HDMI port for easy compatibility with today’s HDTVs? Stunning, in my book.

Oh boy. That’s not good.

Today is the day Tim’s new album, “28th and Stonewall”, gets it’s official release. In honor of that the folks at Vinyl Collective are sending out (to people who pre-ordered the album) a link to 4 songs off the new album to give to friends so they can sample the album. So, if you’re intersted but want to check it out first you can do that by clicking HERE

I have yet to, nor will I ever, buy into this whole E-Reader thing. My wife is completely in love with her iPod Touch and the E-reader functionality it has. She has plowed through more books in recent months since she got the thing than at any other time I can recall in the entire history of our relationship. And, that’s good for her but me? I prefer to actually have a real honest to god book in my hands when I read.  It’s one thing to read my news or whatnot on line, on my blackberry, or whatever. But books? Naw man. Gotta have the real deal.

I currently have a three shelf book shelf in my house completely full of just my books, overflowingly full actually. I also have another 3 shelf book shelf that is a mix of more books and some of my music collection (which itself is ridiculously big and growing daily) just kind of hanging out. I’ve at least started most of those books, some I’ve finished…some I’ve put off to the side because I picked up something else and started reading it. I’d put my love of books on par with my record collecting; Randomly buying stuff, sometimes just because it LOOKS cool, and eventually getting to it and enjoying it.

I recently picked up Mike Wallace and Ian Halpersein’s “Love and Death” a look at the ‘murder’ of Kurt Cobain. A perfect book for me because I’ve always been a believer in the “conspiracy theory” that Kurt Cobain didn’t kill himself. We’ll see if holds together or if it turns into a random mess of half truth and rumor. I’ve heard good things and seen some good comments online so who knows. We’ll see I suppose.

Still makes for an interesting and different follow up from the most recent book I finished; Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol.’ Which was an OK read, even if it was formulaic and predictable.  I still prefer “Angels and Demons” as far as the Robert Langdon series goes.

While I’m currently working on reading “Love & Death” I’m already looking forward to the NEXT book I’ll be reading;  John Heilmann and Mark Halperin’s “Game Change.” A look at the 2008 Presidential Election. I’ve heard a lot of intriguing things about the book and, as somebody who loosely follows/observes politics (something you have to do in this day and age of everything being viewed through a political spectrum it seems) I found myself REALLY wanting to read the book. So, thanks to a ridiculously low price on Amazon ($15 for a brand new, hardcover book? Craaaaaazy) I picked it up and will shortly be reading it. Here’s to hoping the book, with it’s flammable political material (go read the Amazon comments about it) it should make for a fun and interesting read for somebody who likes to observe and absorb politics and political discussion.

These are just two of the books on my mind and read list right now. If I sat here and blogged about all the books on my “to read” pile this would be the longest blog entry in the history of human civilization. It’s a deep list. Anyway, check both of these out because depending on your particular beliefs (be it politics or music) I think you’ll at least be interested as you read which is at a minimum all you can hope for out of a good book.



I like beer, but I don’t like beer pong (never saw the point.) This however? This is hilarious.

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