Aug 20

New Tattoo

After months of cajoling, I finally got UncleMonkeyBoy to do a tattoo for me.

He got the outline and shading done tonight. The color will be added next week hopefully.

 
Jan 26

No More Kings Again

I’m sure you all remember a post a few months ago in which I completely gushed over a band called, “No More Kings.”

I shared a few of their songs with you, and the video for “Sweep the Leg.”

You remember now? Good.

Well, the lead singer for the band, Pete Mitchell, found that post and dropped me an email thanking me for saying nice things about the album. We’ve exchanged several emails since then, and he’s shared a few of the tracks off their brand new album that is due out in May.

No More KingsI don’t mind telling you they are great, and I’m definitely looking forward to picking up a copy!

I’d share them with you, but I swore I wouldn’t. Sucks to be you, huh?

The band tops my list of favorite new artists that I discovered last year, and new music from a great band is always welcome.

Be watching for it, I’m sure I’ll remind everyone when it releases. And hopefully, I can talk Pete into being a guest on an episode of The Jester Show in the near future!

Aug 08

Glen Phillips

Glen PhillipsI’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my love for all things Glen Phillips and Toad the Wet Sprocket. Their music has provided the soundtrack for a major portion of my life. Glen’s solo music is no less inspiring.

Saturday night, Othurme, Celeste, UMB, and I headed out to this little, tiny, small, blink-and-you’ll-miss it town about 25 minutes from here to see Glen play at a venue that was once a barn. He’s out on tour with the guys from Nickel Creek (they did an album together under the band name, Mutual Admiration Society) and picked up some of these tiny venue gigs between those tour dates.

The venue held 200 people and despite the odd building and location, there wasn’t a bad spot in the room. We chose seats near the back by the sound engineer (where the sound is going to be the best).

I’ve been trying rather unsuccessfully to meet Glen for many years. I saw Toad for the first time my senior year in high school. The meet and greet afterwards was swarmed with fans and by the time I got into the line, the band was ready to leave.

The next time, Glen wasn’t feeling well and skipped the meet and greet.

I was determined that this time I was going to meet him.

I shouldn’t have really worried about it. As we were arriving to the venue he was standing at the front door. I nodded at him, smiled and moved inside. Then before the show he wandered around and mingled with the crowd.

After his first set, he took a break, and I met up with him on the way to the bar. I managed to keep my inner fan-geek in check and simply shook his hand and told him that I had been a fan for close to 20 years and was glad to finally get to meet him.

He was extremely gracious, carried on a short conversation with me and never seemed to be a stuck up rock star at all.

What made the night even better was seeing him make mistakes on stage. He choked on a couple of lyrics and his reaction was quite funny. It’s reassuring to know that even the pros get screwed up on their own songs.

I feel much better about blowing the lyrics to a song I’m trying to sing.

If you have resisted listening to him, or I haven’t converted you to being a fan yet I’m just not doing my job. If you get the chance to see him live, jump on it. He’s great, and humble, and my favorite artist. Here’s some of my favorite tracks:

Gather – Glen Phillips
[audio:Gather.mp3]

Darkest Hour – Glen Phillips
[audio:DarkestHour.mp3]

Fred Meyers – Glen Phillips
[audio:FredMeyers.mp3]

I Want a New Drug – Glen Phillips (Huey Lewis and the News Cover)
[audio:IWantANewDrug.mp3]

Everything But You – Glen Phillips
[audio:EverythingButYou.mp3]

Finally Fading – Glen Phillips
[audio:FinallyFading.mp3]

Buy Glen’s music on
Glen Phillips

Jun 12

Heaven in a Can

Since the first of the year, I have been trying to seriously limit my intake of high fructose corn syrup.

This is extremely difficult for me, because I have a coke addiction. Plus, I like sauces. Sauces are good… barbecue sauce, ketchup, sweet and sour… it’s all good. It’s also chock full of HFCS.

I have to go on the record and say that I genuinely despise Diet Coke, and basically every single other diet soda on the planet. I can’t stand that dry aftertaste (I don’t like dry wines, either).

I have managed to find some diet sodas that I find to be palatable:

  • Diet Dr. Pepper with Berries and Cream
  • Diet A&W Root Beer tastes just like the real stuff, only draw back is the lack of caffeine
  • Diet Pepsi with Strawberries and Cream
  • Diet 7-Up isn’t so bad

Peach Citrus FrescaI’ve been making do with those four choices for the past six months. It’s impossible to order any of those varieties while out at a restaurant where the only choice is Diet Coke. I usually end up drinking water and iced tea.

This past weekend, I was wandering around Target looking for some snacks to take to the lake when I happened upon the best no-calorie soda EVER!

The new Peach Citrus Fresca. It’s awesome. I know, it doesn’t have any caffeine, and I’m not going to be able to find it in any restaurants, but it’s good enough I might just start carrying some with me everywhere I go.

I can’t wait to taste it with vodka.

* No, I haven’t been paid for this post. I’m not affiliated with The Coca-Cola company in any way, but if they’re interested in sponsoring a post, or buying an ad, I’m of course open to offers. 🙂

Apr 04

Ten Songs I’m Totally Digging (Male Edition)

So I’m completely lifting this idea from Othurme’s post yesterday. He didn’t tag me with this meme, but he did name check me in reference to the Billy Mann song.

I decided to up the stakes a bit by posting ten songs by male artists that I’m totally digging at the moment. This is a mix of some older stuff as well as a few artists I’ve just been turned on to. Since I’ve been told recently that my website lacks a “theme” but there might be some sort of a hint that I’m into music, I hope this appeases the masses for a while. Oh, and if you’re interested, the iTunes links will take you to the albums where you can find these songs.

  1. “Have It All” – Jeremy Kay. This song was featured on an episode of Scrubs last year. I may have already mentioned in an earlier post somewhere that I have a disturbing crush on Zach Braff. I don’t know what it is, besides his great taste in music and slightly goofy but endearing charm, and those super bright white teeth… anyway, I immediately bought this album on iTunes and Can. Not. Stop listening to this song. I love how each verse does something different instrumentally. The bass line is bouncy and makes this song completely groove. The whole album is good, if you’re wondering. [audio:HaveItAll.mp3]


    Jeremy Kay - Jeremy Kay

  2. “Last Request” – Paolo Nutini. This is another recent discovery, though I can’t recall at the moment exactly where I heard about him. He’s got such an interesting tone to his voice. I’ve heard him described as the next James Blunt, however, I prefer Paolo’s voice to James’s pinched nasally delivery. Paolo’s style is a bit more rough-edged and not nearly as produced as James. It’s a great peek into a relationship that is over, but needs one last moment of intimacy for closure. I’ve probably listened to this song thirty times this week. [audio:LastRequest.mp3]


    Paolo Nutini - These Streets

  3. “Nothing Left to Lose” – Mat Kearney. This song is being used on some commercial for a tv show. Don’t ask me which one, I don’t remember. (An atrocious memory is a symptom of my CFS.) If you happen to know, drop me a note or leave me a comment would you? Mat’s voice sounds very much like the guy from The Push Stars, who in turn sounds a lot like Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows. But I can’t really say that Mat sounds like the Counting Crows… This song has a soaring chorus that will have you testing your falsetto on, “Good morning we’ll seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…” [audio:NothingLeftToLose.mp3]


    Mat Kearney - Nothing Left to Lose

  4. “Overkill” – Men At Work. Yeah, it’s an old song. It’s also one that most people never think about when Men At Work gets discussed. People were all about “Down Under” and it’s Vegemite reference, but this was my favorite MAW song. The sax line is the complete hook to this song, as its chorus is sort of hard to recognize. I was reminded of this song a couple of weeks ago on a rerun of Scrubs. Yes, I am aware that I have a problem. [audio:Overkill.mp3]


    Men At Work - The Best of Men at Work: Contraband

  5. “Such A Way” – Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. I bought this cd last year on one of our trips to Tower Records where UMB and I would hit all the listening stations and just pick up anything that we sort of liked. I was trying to keep them in business for a while, but I guess my $250 shopping trips every month weren’t sufficient to support an entire chain. Go figure. Anyway, this disc lived on my iPod without much attention for a while, as I had purchased it at the same time as The Low Millions and couldn’t bring myself to listen to anything else for a while. About six months later, I got tickets to see one of my favorite groups, The Pat McGee Band, and Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers were the opening act. They put on an INCREDIBLE show, and apparently my brain soaked up more of the disc subconsciously than I realized because I could sing along with almost everything on the disc. This song does a great job of evoking a pretty strong emotion without coming across as completely cheesy. [audio:SuchAWay.mp3]


    Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers - Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers (Bonus Tracks)

  6. “Space Heater” – Geggy Tah. Another fairly old song that I discovered by accident while on a Limewire downloading spree a few years ago. Who knows what I was actually searching for to come up with a band called Geggy Tah. This song is quirky with some unusual sound effects throughout with a catchy melody… and the nonsensical lyrics make you pay attention and try to come up with some interpretation for lines like, “it looked like a motorcycle coming at you through a glazed-glass shower door.” The album, Into the Oh, is an eccentric mix of electronic pop. If you like this song, you’ll love the album. I’m looking directly at you, Bianca. [audio:SpaceHeater.mp3]


    Geggy Tah - Into the Oh

  7. “Nikki Don’t Stop” – The Low Millions. One of the sexiest songs to come out in the past 5 years. Adam Cohen (son of Leonard Cohen) put together an album called Ex-Girlfriends about, well, his ex-girlfriends. Nikki was apparently the seductive sex kitten that turned into a tiger behind closed doors. I think we’ve all had one of those relationships that was so intense and physical that it was doomed to burn out spectacularly leaving you sweaty, exhausted, and somewhat relieved that it’s over. This song is exactly like that. Exactly. Four minutes and thirty-three seconds of HOT. [audio:NikkiDontStop.mp3]


    Low Millions - Ex Girlfriends

  8. “The Not So Pretty Princess” – Jude. I briefly dated* a guy named Robbie several years ago who turned me on to Jude. I was somewhat familiar with him from the song “I Know” that he had on the “City of Angels” soundtrack. I wasn’t a big fan of that song, but was pleasantly surprised that the rest of his material was very cool. I love the sentiment of this song, that even though this girl isn’t that pretty, he loves her and it makes her beautiful, and it manages to get that across with a minimum of cheddar. [audio:TheNotSoPrettyPrincess.mp3]


    Jude - No One Is Really Beautiful

  9. “Hey Kwanongoma!” – The Ark. I will be the first to admit I have no real clue what this song is about. What I know is that this song will infect your brain and you will spend hours singing it and humming it and wondering just what the hell you are saying. Every single part of this song is a hook, from the muted guitar arpeggio to the tympani hits to the crazy group sing-along chorus. It is totally impossible to listen to this song and be in a bad mood. I love songs that have the ability to alter your mood. For me, it’s better than sex or drugs. This song is like a hit of ecstasy with a xanax chaser. I’m guessing. [audio:HeyKwanongoma.mp3]


    The Ark - State of the Ark

  10. “Gather” – Glen Phillips. For those of you following along at home, you should already know that Toad the Wet Sprocket is my favorite band, and by that same token, the lead singer and primary songwriter, Glen Phillips is way at the top of my list of favorites. This song is almost too cool for me. I feel like I need to be a better dresser and more socially conscious person to listen to it. I haven’t heard his interpretation of this song directly, but I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say that it was inspired by the events of 9/11. The lines “Let us be humble tonight, in these deaths show us the light, give us strength to lay down the mighty…” and “Oh God won’t you hear my cry, don’t want to see another innocent die on either side” are quite poignant. The song features this cool tribal rhythm in the background and a round over the second verse that makes me think of “Babylon” from Don McLean’s “American Pie” album.
  11. [audio:Gather.mp3]


    Glen Phillips - Winter Pays for Summer

Give them a listen and let me know what you think. If you are feeling particularly adventurous I’d love to hear the songs you’re totally digging right now.

* We saw a lot of each other for a few months, but never had sex. Apparently I was the only one who knew we were dating.

Feb 08

Blog Goddesses

[edited to include the following disclaimer: I did not mean to leave out another Goddess that I read daily, Liz, who is a co-author at Killer’s site, but I was afraid that Killer would snag the title of Goddess and not pass it on to his hysterical boozy blogmate! Judging from his comment, I was right!]

So, I’ve gotten some emails recently about my recent post about my latest Blog Crush, and how it was all about the boys, totally neglecting the ladies of the blogosphere that I enjoy reading.

In fact, Mist 1 said:

I would like to protest. What does a girl have to do to make you have a crush on her?

I replied:

No need to protest. In order for me to have a crush on a girl, she has to have a penis. However, you fall into a separate category I like to call Blog Goddesses and you’ll be called upon in a post very shortly. I’m truly not worthy to develop a crush on you!

In true Mist form, her response had me cracking up:

I would like to enter the argument that I have had several penises. Many of them have gotten attached. But, I can live with Blog Goddess.

So I would like to point out my daily reads that fall into the Blog Goddess category.

Blog Goddess

Of course there’s Mist, who makes my attempts at humor look like Gene Wilder to her Richard Pryor. Her comments on my posts are usually funnier than my post. I hate want to be her.

Next up is Kristy, who I have had the pleasure of meeting in person (do I have to remind you of the stunning karaoke video?). She will make you laugh, she will make you cry. Reading her blog about a Total Eclipse gig that she attended last year actually sparked my interest in reviving my blog and actually writing again.

Bianca’s writing style draws you into her world and makes you feel like you know her almost immediately. She has a fantastic way of relaying a story about her life, and relating it to something we’ve all experienced. I haven’t met her yet, but hopefully on my next trip through Tulsa, she’ll let me buy her a drink.

Miss Britt
and I could have been married in another life, or maybe siblings… of course if we were in Arkansas we could be both… but I digress… She is obsessed with Marilyn Monroe, Prince, the word ‘fuck’ and as I’ve said before, she’s far from your average mommy blog.

Last, but not least is the only “international” blog on my must read list. You may remember DutchBitch from the Guest Post she wrote over here some time ago. She’s got a funny outlook on life, especially some of the stranger customs of her homeland… plus she talks about places like “Schiermonnikoog” which just makes me giggle.

You will notice that I don’t talk about some of the better known bloggers like Dooce etc… that’s because frankly, I’ve never read anything on those blogs that have entertained me nearly as much as the Goddesses I’ve listed here.

I’m always looking for new blogs to love, who do you guys think I should add to my Goddesses or Blog Crush list?

Nov 26

Fun with Photo Booth

My friend Dan brought his new lovely computer over this weekend.

I want a new Mac laptop… not because of the intel processors… not because of the better battery life, cooler operating temperature, and lighter weight.

It’s because of Photo Booth. The program that let me take these pictures.

photo-1.jpg

photo-2.jpg

photo-3.jpg

Nov 16

A Little Cross Promotion

Coffee BeansAs many of you already know, I’m a principal in a couple of businesses. One of them is the Uncommon Cafe, based in Berkeley, CA.

I’d like to take this opportunity to invite all my readers and blog browsers a special incentive to try out our products.

We specialize in organic, fair trade coffees, custom roasted in small batches on site. We also offer a wide variety of specialty teas by Numi, Stirling Flavored Syrups, and even have some great tee shirts.

So beginning today, until December 31st, 2006, I’m offering 15% off any order of any size. Be sure to use the coupon code jestertunes at check out to get the discount.

We offer a variety of shipping options, and I personally guarantee fast service. The coffee that you receive is often shipped on the same day it is roasted, and never more than 2 days after.

Visit the Uncommon Cafe Store right now, and give us a try. You’ll never drink a bitter cup of over-roasted coffee again.

Nov 13

Weekend Wrap-up

Saturday was UMB’s 34th birthday. We spent most of the day lounging around the house. We finally got dressed and left the house around 7. Grabbed some sushi with my aunt Celeste and went to the movies.

Stranger Than Fiction was great. I’m not a Will Ferrell fan. I don’t know why, but something about him irritates me greatly. However, he was actually *acting* in this movie.. not just making stupid faces. The premise of the movie is that Will’s character discovers that he is actually the hero of a novel being written by Emma Thompson’s character. He hears her voice narrating his life, and becomes quite concerned when she announces that “Little does he know the simple act of changing the time on his watch would lead to his imminent death.”

Rounding out the cast are Dustin Hoffman as a professor of literature that Will consults about the story, Maggie Gyllenhaal, the love interest, and Queen Latifah as Emma’s assistant (a role that could have been fleshed out a bit more).

The acting was great, especially Emma. Maggie Gyllenhaal is almost as cute as her brother, Jake. Dustin Hoffman was excellent as usual. The story follows a surprising arc and was quite satisfying for a Saturday night.

Sunday was spent at rehearsal with Retro Rock It and catching up on the Star Wars marathon that Cinemax was playing. All six movies one after the other. The original three were SO much better than the newer ones. I know that I’m not making some crazy statement here, since it’s a pretty widely held opinion, but it was driven home this weekend. The originals had such a great playfulness and lots of jokes and comedic moments that were definitely lacking from Episodes 1-3. Just think about Yoda’s character in those movies versus the smart-ass wisecracks he makes in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

I’ve been continuing down the path of the random NaBloPoMo sites that pop up. I’ve ran across a few good ones, and one that pissed me off and caused me to leave some really snarky comments.

The blog “Tammy Talks Alot” has a post, “Go Andy Rooney” that cuts and pastes one of those creepy hate-filled “Go America Rah Rah” missives of intolerance, bigotry, ethno-centrism, anti-gun control, and the rest of the Republican Agenda. Tammy claims to only be bothered by “a couple of the statements” but fails to tell us which statements are offensive.

The email claims to be a recent transcript of an Andy Rooney broadcast on CBS. I have a lot of trouble believing that CBS (or any other network, save Fox News) would allow any journalist or editorialist to make statements like:

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.

I have the right “NOT” to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.

When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.

Can you imagine the can of Jack Your Shit Up that would get opened by the ACLU or the complaints to the FCC if that happened?*

So I managed to make it to the end of the post, where I found THIS little nugget of wisdom:

It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a problem in having “In God We Trust” on our money and having “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why don’t we just tell the 14% to Shut Up and BE QUIET!!!

I have so many problems with this I can’t even begin to list them all, but I’ll make a stab at it. I think the statistic is actually closer to 58% of Americans believe in God. 41% regularly attend church services (I think for the sake of this discussion we’re speaking of the Christian God and Christian Religious services).

Let’s skip my issues of the money and Pledge of Allegiance and go straight to telling the “minority” to shut up and be quiet…

Excuse me!? I realize that the past 6 years have been really fucked up, but as I remember correctly, the whole point of our government set up is that not only that the majority rules, but that the minority has the right to protest and make persuasive arguments. That we shouldn’t ignore those who think differently or believe different things, or HOLD DIFFERENT VALUES than us.

I certainly hope that with last week’s overthrow of the Republican Regime we can begin centering this country back in the middle, where we’re supposed to be.

I left the following comment on Tammy’s site. I’m guessing she will probably delete it, which is mostly why I decided to write this post.

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

The great thing about Darwin’s Theory, you don’t have to believe in it for the rest of the world to evolve past you.

I only hope your kids will grow up to see what a narrow minded point of view these statements are.

* If you have some proof that these statements were indeed made by Andy Rooney on any broadcast station, please send it to me. I have a letter to write.

Nov 10

You like me, you really like me!

academy.jpg
A few of the NaBloPoMo participants offered to write reviews of their fellow bloggers, each taking a section of the alphabet and breaking them down statistically and offering the “cream of the crop” for other readers to peruse.

I made the cut with my reviewer, Suzanne, from CUSS – Campaign for Unshaved Snatch and Other Rants. Here’s what she had to say:

For a good read, log onto Jester Tunes, unless you are easily offended. I was hooked the second the page opened and I saw a cartoon jester making rude comments about someone’s dick size. Then I read the toilet phobia post. To quote Borat, another master of offensive hilarity (and whom for no apparent reason I lately seem to keep calling Barak – as in Barak Obama, who is nothing like Borat from what I can tell), “Eees verrry nice.”

If I’m reading that correctly, she calls me a “master of offensive hilarity.”

I can live with that.