Basilica Block Party 2011

Or – Drunk and Disorderly brought to you by St. Mary’s Basilica.

Amos Lee with his band

SO last night a coworker and I ventured out the the second night of the Annual Basilica Block Party to enjoy the musical stylings of Amos Lee and Ray Lamontagne.  For folks not from the Twin Cities (or just clueless in general, but living in the Twin Cities) the Basilica Block party is a fairly large event put on by the Catholic church (is it called a diocese, or something??) who’s aim is to raise money for the church and in a roundabout way, gain exposure among a varied grup of folks who may not otherwise have anything to do with the church.  End backstory.  ANyways….there were more people last night than in any night previously ive gone to the event…there must have been upwards of 10000 people.  it was just jame packed.  all in the space of about 4 blocks.  After wending our way back to the main stage (thank you Sun Country!)  we positioned ourselves strategically about 20 feet from the stage more or less dead center.  Now, it was about 500 degress hot yesterday and the humidity was oppressive, so the only sensible thing for the crowd of thousands to do, was to keep pressing in closer and closer to one another.

angry lady and 1000s more at Basilica Block Party

After 4 hours, literally, of being packed like sardines (thank you radiohead)  i was sopping wet, and i have what appears to be friction burns on my arm from the crazy woman who spent that 4 hours grinding and gyrating *against* my arm. I dont care how cute (you think) you are, no one wants you essentailly molesting them at a concert.  Seriously.  If i knew your name lady, i would call you out.  i wish i had your picture…

but i digress.

Enough ranting.  The music was fantastif.  Amos Lee is an incredibly talented and charming musician.  His band is excellent, particularly his Drummer who is extremely fun to watch.  Among other things, he played Flower, Keep It Loose Keep it Tight, SUpply and Demand, A song i imagine was called Elephant Boy, and covered Fat Bottom Girls.  He was a lot of fun to see again.

Ray Lamontagne was excellent.  His voice is so unique.  He sounds like an open wound, if that makes sense…it is like his voice aches with 100 years of suffering and longing and regret, which is amazing given that he is a young man…He and his band turned in a great show, at times slow and mournful while at turns very much like a jam session.  He played among other things, Trouble, Burn, and Shelter You.  Unfortunately i had to get out of the steam cooker up front so i didnt get to see most of his concert from up close.

Gomez also played on the same stage.  They are  UK band sorta like…i dunno…weezer, maybe?  They were good, although i didnt really know much about them beforehand.  Their song  “Here Comes the Breeze” was pretty cool.

Here is one of the videos i shot last night 

If you want to see any of the handful of other videos i shot at the concert, head over to my youtube page:


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America loses in Palin vs. History

Sarah Palin is a dangerous historian (read: bad) and Americans deserve better.

I don’t care for Sarah Palin so I’ll admit some bias but her insistence that Paul Revere undertook his famous ride (solely) to warn the British that they couldn’t take our guns or beat our militia is probably the baldest piece of misrepresentation/balderdash I have ever seen a politician display.  Now, it is true that Revere was eventually captured and told the British who captured him that there was an exaggerated number of militiamen preparing to oppose them.  But the purpose of his ride was not to scare the British, it was to prepare the colonists. To paint it otherwise is ridiculous.

I guess what is appalling to me is how this is indicative of a move away from enlightened politics and politicians towards beer-buddy elected officials.  Candidates of (at least *SOME*) substance are being replaced by candidates with flashing smiles, charm, and a mouthful of talking points.

It seems a rudimentary grasp of American history should be a self-imposed requirement for seeking public office.  Why else run for the office, unless you have traced our historical trajectory, analyzed it, and determined that your understanding and talents can correct the course.  Without perspective on how we arrived where we are presently, how can we address our current ails and prepare for the future.  I am not ashamed to say i want experts, i want smart people, i want people of vision and understanding leading our country.  I don’t want my best friends, i don’t want the folks i drink with.  I don’t want cool or funny people.  I want capable people.  If they happen to be some of the other thing, that is icing.  I will gladly support a dull, homely candidate if I believe they have the right stuff to make change happen. If you have seen Idiocracy you see this sort of political system taken to its ridiculous extreme
Why are we turning our governance over to people who apparently don’t know much about it outside of talking points? I cant know if Palin was handed that tiny “fact” by  a handler somewhere along the line to deploy for PR sake, or if she has genuinely believed that it to be true, and i guess it doesn’t matter, really.  But Americans should demand leadership that goes beyond talking points, colloquialisms and hot air.  We should demand substance.

if Palin at least had the grace to admit she fumbled the facts, I could just chuckle and /facepalm and move on, but she is adamant that she’s got history right here.   Ugh. she even says “we need to have a strong grasp of our foundational history”

sometimes i am embarassed to be american 😦

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


an album worth checking out

hey all,

been following Merival for a while on the youtubes and twitter.  was thrilled to see her update her bandcamp site, among other things, you can find a complete album of hers *FOR FREE* there.  Here is probly my favorite track off the album.

She is awesome, and the songs are quiet, and thoughtful, and meaningful.  I hope you enjoy them. You can see her here: or as part of the duo Kildear here:



Book of Eli – Your Mom would want you to see it.


So i finally got around to watching the Book of Eli, which friends and coworkers have been telling me I should see for something like two years.

Short Review:  Definitely worth a viewing, although problematic

Longer Review: There is a lot to like about this film.  Denzel Washington is fantastically cast as the title character, and manages to carry off a fairly challenging job of being both badass and gentle-soul, without heavy-handedness or too much awkward hand ringing.  Mila Kunis manages to not get in the way, which is actually saying a lot, given that her character, as written, is one dimensional and uninteresting.  Gary Oldman is bizarre in this film, although I cannot really blame him, as it is pretty probable that he was working with what he was given.  (Side note:  f you disliked Rango’s evilguy, you will probably find some resonance with Oldman’s character).

The post-apocalyptic world is breathtaking.  Let me repeat that:  the post-apocalyptic world is breathtaking.  I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed this world. Although there are no shortage of films, spanning several genres–horror, sci-fi, drama– that tackle the world after a calamity, few have made me more curious as to what happened, and how on earth people eek a living out of the rubble.  The authors/directors give us little in the way of back story, in fact, just enough to put your mind on the right rails.  Outside of that, you are allowed to construct your own histories and explanations.  Some people might dislike this…I found it refreshing.  Does it really matter *who* Eli is?  No.  No it doesn’t.  What matters is what he’s doing and why.  I give a lot of credit to the directors for having the chutzpah to not explain things.

anyways, the story is unwieldy at times, and several developments don’t seem to make logical sense, but generally things move along at a good pace and resolutions come about where you feel they ought to.

In terms of technique, the films looks great.  The washed out colors and general shabbiness of everything really helps the piece feel like a period piece.  Fights are well-choreographed and stark, almost like the Bourne Series fights.  Well done.

Um.  I could say more but it’s late.  I heartily recommend the film to anyone with 2 hours to kill and a yen for some unique storytelling.

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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


Gil Scott Heron passes 5-26-2011 :(

Gil Scott Heron

My mother introduced me to Gil Scott Heron one night when i was home visiting about 3 years ago.  I was taking her on a tour of the youtubes, and she wondered aloud if there would be a video of Gil Scott Heron, and i assured her that there would be (is there anything not on youtube?)  and sure enough there were many many videos of him.  I had no idea who who was, although I’ve known some of his work for much of my life…

He may be most well known for his era defining piece “the revolution will not be televised”
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by mallox

My favorite songs of his are Pieces of a Man and We Almost Lost Detroit.

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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Senator Ron Wyden takes a common sense approach to IP Legislation. Whoa.

In a statement released by his office, the Dem from Oregon had this to say:

“In December of last year I placed a hold on similar legislation, commonly called COICA, because I felt the costs of the legislation far outweighed the benefits. After careful analysis of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, I am compelled to draw the same conclusion. I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective. At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet. “The Internet represents the shipping lane of the 21st century. It is increasingly in America’s economic interest to ensure that the Internet is a viable means for American innovation, commerce, and the advancement of our ideals that empower people all around the world. By ceding control of the Internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the Internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives. Until the many issues that I and others have raised with this legislation are addressed, I will object to a unanimous consent request to proceed to the legislation.”


Dr. Cornelius Makes It Rain (New Youtube Vid)

Posted another youtube mashup tonight.  It’s Cornelius’s “Drop” vs a time lapse of a rainy day.  check it out 🙂

Unrelated sidenotes:  Game of Thrones is just awesome… Happy Towel Day.  We miss you Douglas Adams.