dive bar.

I’m lucky enough to have had a local dive bar to drink at since, oh, before I was 21. Some people, it turns out, are not that lucky. My friend Megan, who hasn’t blogged at the blog I just linked in over three years, despite the fact that she’s an amazing writer, was recently married and moved to Australia. Now, you’d think, living in one of the larger cities down under, there would be a plethora of dive bars available to her in which she could make her drinking home. This, as it turns out, is not the case as she so eloquently posted on her Facebook page that she’d found a dive bar.

I asked, “It took you this long?” This was her reply…

Yes Hogs. Yes. Drinking here is a totally different game. A lovely game, but I was so excited to find this place, as it is lit by the flourescent glow of a single flickering neon sign on one end, and the faded light from bottle-filled coolers behind the bar. The non-descript rock n’ roll playing is just loud enough to cocoon each reveler in her own invisible booth, making the inevitable annoying hipster convos happening all around just disappear into the batter of the incredible (and shockingly accurate) deep-fried pickles. The bar peeps are unobtrusive and available for a chat, but know that they aren’t center stage here. No, the star of the show is one’s own failed dreams and hopes, sinking under the heady waves of a well-chosen local brew. Domestic longnecks (which mean something else completely on this side of the world) are available should you want them. The only thing missing is the sickly sweet stench of cigarettes and spilled pints, forever etched into the soul of bars lucky enough to have existed before the scourge of smoking bans of the ‘aughts. This place is six weeks old, the walls are bare, just waiting for a motley collection of foreign currency and license plates to clutter the vertical lines. Hogs. I’m in love.

I figure, if she’s not going to post stuff to her blog anymore, then I’ll post stuff she writes to my blog. Besides, I figured what she wrote was so gorgeous that it had to be shared with more than just the people she’s friends with on Facebook.

This is your brain on dive bars and beautiful prose.

halliphone and auntie mae’s fine poetry night

Blake, the girl I sometimes call Halliphone or Blakeness, read a poem at Auntie Mae’s Mighty Fine Poetry Night last night, which is not unusual. What is unusual is that I was there to get all journalistically uppity all over the place with my camera (okay, well, actually her camera) and my audio recorder. (And this time I didn’t stop recording when the poetry started, like I did last time with the video footage…ah, technology…ugh.)

This was a project for my convergence reporting class. Here’s the result: a photo slideshow with audio. If I had it to do over again I’d change a great many things, but there were some happy accidents and I think it turned out okay for my first run at it.

This is your brain on Hogs.

glitches.

I haven’t posted anything in a while. I had planned to post something about my trip to St. Louis to see Camera Obscura but finals kind of got in the way. (I know, that’s a wicked lame excuse but what did you expect?) I may still post one, more than a month after the fact, or I may just wait and include it in the post after their show at theBottleneckin Lawrence, Kansas April 7th. Tickets are on sale now and, given that the St. Louis show sold out, I purchased mine in advance.

Jealous? You should be.

Someone with the screennamesnivelttamuploaded video of every Camera Obscura song played at theOff Broadwaywhen I saw them. The Off Broadway, by the way, is an awesome venue. I would see a show there again if given the chance. (However, it’s 375 miles door-to-door from my apartment to the Off Broadway so it would have to be someone fantastic, like Camera Obscura, for me to travel that far again.)

Also coming to the Bottleneck areSt. Vincenton February 15th andThe Big Pinkon April 10th, the Saturday after the Camera Obscura show.

She & Himhave another album coming out, Volume Two, which will be released on March 23rd, 2010. The track list is as follows:

01 Thieves
02 In The Sun
03 Don’t Look Back
04 Ridin’ In My Car
05 Lingering Still
06 Me And You
07 Gonna Get Along With You Now
08 Home
09 I’m Gonna Make It Better
10 Sing
11 Over It Over Again
12 Brand New Shoes
13 If You Can’t Sleep

I’ve been reading a lot lately…that’s actually the one thing on my list to do over break that I kept to. While in the Charlotte, NC airport I finished Almost Green, which was written by James Glave while he was trying to build his eco-friendly, sustainableEco-Shed, which, it would appear, you can stay in.

Almost Green was an interesting read about trying to stay sustainable when it is expensive to do so and the battle we all face between wanting creature comforts and wanting to do right by the environment. The book was full of humor and relevant facts and it was a pretty quick read.

I also read Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip–Confessions of a Cynical Waiter, which is based on a series of blog posts atWaiterrant.netby Steve Dublanica. It’s pretty hilarious, an easy read but also a very, very true account of what goes on in a restaurant and it reminded me a lot of the things I’ve seen/heard/done, since I’ve worked in the service industry for many a year. Essentially, everyone should read this book. It not only holds your attention but might also serve as a guide for those of you who have no social graces for those who serve you. In Fight Club, Tyler Durden says “We do your laundry, cook your food and serve you dinner. We guard you while you sleep. We drive your ambulances. Do not fuck with us.” I kept thinking of that quote while I was reading Waiter Rant and most people would do well to keep it in mind. Do you really want to piss off the people preparing and delivering your food?

What I’m reading right now isCunt, by the fabulousInga Muscio, which was loaned to me by a good friend. (Thanks, Blake!) More than just a feminist womanifesto, this book discusses things about our life and culture that are rarely written about, especially with such honesty and conviction. It is a truly life-changing read and I’m only on page 193. Everyone I know should read this book…hell, everyone you know should read this book.

And now, a brief Lou Reed interlude.

In addition to reading, I’ve also been watching a lot of movies. If you trust my opinion you should rent The Baxter, starring Michael Showalter, ofThe Statefame. The State, of course, is out on DVD. I urge all of you to at least rent and watch every episode. I happen to own the series, myself, and it is truly great one of the great sketch comedy shows of all time.

To take a brief break from talking about movies I’ve seen, another former MTV show Dariawill finally be released on DVD this year. Now, if we could only get Viacom to release The Adventures of Pete and Pete season three on DVD…but I digress.

Back to movies…a friend of mine introduced me to(500) Days of Summer, which I thought was a great film, if a bit trendy. Zooey Deshcanel (of She & Him, of course) was very good in her role of Summer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (he was Cameron James in 10 Things I Hate About You and, more recently, Cobra Commander) was fucking brilliant as Tom Hansen.

Gordon-Levitt also directed a short, entitledSparks, which was written byElmore Leonardand featured on wonderful publishing houseMcSweeney’sDVD magazine,Wholphin. Do yourself a favor and check out pretty much anything they’ve ever produced. BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG props to my friendMeglet for introducing me to the wonderful world of McSweeneys…and for watching every episode of the first three seasons of Mr. Showwith me. Prior to my excursion to Ft. Lauderdale, I had only seen one or two episodes of Mr. Show, which is a travesty.

I’ve also been watching movies about Manchester/Factory Records/Joy Division. The first of which was theJoy Divisiondocumentary, directed by Grant Gee. I also watched the fictionalized account of Joy Division’s rise to fame and Ian Curtis’ subsequent suicide,Control, which was directed by Anton Corbijn, who directed, among other videos, Nirvana’sHeart Shaped Boxand U2’s One.

Last, but certainly not least, is24 Hour Party People, starring Steve Coogan (Hamlet 2) asTony Wilson, the brilliant Manchester TV host, record label owner, club owner, etc. He foundedFactory Records, which released records by Joy Division and New Order, among others.

And speaking of Joy Division (how about that transition, folks?)PitchforkisreportingthatXiu XiuandDeerhoof(why do I always want to call them “Deerhoff“?) are joining forces at theDonaufestivalin Austria to cover Joy Division’sUnknown Pleasuresin it’s entirety. Interesting. I hope there will be a recording of that floating around at some point.

While I was visiting the aforementioned Meglet, we happened upon a pretty badass record store calledRadio-Active Records, which is located in Ft. Lauderdale. I bought a few records but the most amazing thing I found was a small, yellow and blue enamel pin that said simply “FAC 51.” I was flabbergasted. FAC 51 was the designation for Tony Wilson’s Manchester club,The Ha├žienda. The design is a reissue of a design from a badge issued in 1984. It’s a great badge…isn’t it wonderful what nostalgia will do?

Like I said, Radio-Active is a great store. I managed to find records byThe Micronotz(The Beast That Devoured Itself, 1985),House of Large Sizes(One Big Cake, 1989), and U.S. Bombs(Garibaldi Guard, 1996) as well as a Madness album for $2 and Belle and Sebastian’sTigermilkon 180 gram vinyl. I also picked up a 45 from none other thanThe People’s Poet‘s favorite, Sir Cliff Richard. Oh, yeah, Rule Britannia!

That was a completely random reference but Rule Britiannia is pretty cool, even if it’s basically about colonialism, which is not cool.

This, on the other hand, is one of the greatest renditions of the greatest anthem in the world. (And I’m not Canadian.) If you don’t get goosebumps watching that, you don’t know the meaning of life.

Randomly flipping through channels the other day I came across a commercial on HSN for the Chic Geek, at which point I stopped flipping channels (Hogs, you see, has a thing for nerdy girls) and watched for a minute. As it turns out,Katie Linendollhas a degree in Information Technology New Media, which she earned at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and she in Wired and Fortune, among other publications.

New music I discovered, direct fromemilymphocyteisThe xx. Check ’em out.

The lovely ladies over atAM 180, another ofThe Wildcat 91.9’swonderful shows (11PM-1AM Thursdays) told me aboutVampire Weekend, who I hadn’t heard of and now I really like. I do think it’s odd, however, that the lead singer sometimes sounds British, yet he is from New York. Well, whatev, Vampire Weekend is good, good stuff.

I will, incidentally, be guest-co-hosting AM 180 this coming Thursday (February 4, 2010) with Nikki, as Gloria will be out of town. Super excited about that. (I brings the K-Pop!)

Here’s some other stuff I’ve been listening to lately:
The Lovers
Insound.com’sFebruary Mix Tape
Really oldR.E.M.

I have aTwitter account, which I use to promote my radio show (Bacon in the Morning, live from 9:30-11:00AM onThe Wildcat 91.9) and this blog. I also like using it to follow people (likeIra Glass) and organizations (likeNPR). I know people use Twitter for myriad other things but I still think it’s weird that someone invented theTwoddler, which, as you might expect, allows toddlers to tweet. Dios mio!

Long before Dora, Barney and Blue, we had Sesame Street. Luckily, after forty seasons, we still have Sesame Street. Sesame Street is awesome because it doesn’t treat kids like morons and it has badass musical guests, Smokey Robinson, por ejemplo. I love this song and video.

Then there’s the Teeny Little Super Guy, who sounds like he smokes two-and-a-half packs a day and lives in a cup which can disappear through counters and sinks. I’m fairly certain drugs and/or alcohol may have been involved in his creation. He’s still amusing, however.

Finally, we haveUnhappy Hipsters, a website which juxtaposes photos of modern homes with snarky comments resulting in a humorous effect. Since I love modern architecture and making fun of rich people, it’s one of my new faves.

This post created entirely onAuntie Mae’sfree WiFi. (Thanks, Jeff.)

This is your brain on Hogs.

of mountains & relationship ninjas, they both just sneak up on you.

My friend Jamie has been telling me I need to check out all these bands with “mountain” in the name. Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops, the bands are related as many of the same members participate in each band…I’m sort of unsure why they wouldn’t just have one band or what the difference is between pink and black, but I digress. Good music, to be sure.

I’ve been listening to Slacker Radioat work, lately, because I can get to the site through the content filter and because I can get it on my Droid for when I’m on the go. The great thing about Slacker is that I can start a station based on a band or a song and it plays similar stuff. This is sort of the same as Pandora, I’m told, but I haven’t really played around with Pandora too much. I’ve discovered stuff from bands like Devotchka, Iron and Wine, Chairlift, Stars, The Knife and Jens Lekman, whose song “Black Cab” I am currently obsessed with.

Slacker has also helped me rediscover bands I used to listen to like The Innocence Mission and Bright Eyes.

Today I got a bunch of books at the local used bookstore, The Dusty Bookshelf, known colloquially as The Dusty B. I picked up Tom Robbins’ Still Life With Woodpecker and some Sherman Alexie who is always worth a read. He’ll be on The Colbert Report the same day I’ll be watching Camera Obscura, December 1st.

Finally, through the magic of Blip.fm I have discovered many new (and old) artists to listen to as well as www.emilymphocyte.com/, the website of Blip DJ emilymphocyte. Lots of good stuff there, to be sure.

And that’s that for the evening. I’m going to go to my favorite local watering hole with friends who are leaving town next week. (Boo sauce.)

I leave you with this wonderful video from Chairlift and another wonderful video from The Shins, which reminds me of Kodachrome film. Not exactly sure why.


This is your brain on Hogs.

speak with conviction.

I stole this video from my best friend Emily’s website, which she’s doing as a project for her class but is still kind of a cute site. You should check it out here if you want.

It’s a great clip of one of Taylor Mali‘s Def Poetry Jam appearance.

And here’s another one, for good measure.

In another “website of a person I know” plug, The Hour Badly Spent is a very good read and Jelani, the man holding it down at THBS gave us a shout out in his post This Is Why You Smell Fat. Good stuff over there.

Jelani, along with many other fine poets, will be reading at Auntie MaesFine Poetry Night. I’d be there for sure…except that I’ll be watching Camera Obscura in St. Louis.

This is your brain on Hogs.