Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2010: The disintegration of the U.S.?

Curious as to what this is all about? Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cheick Kongo leg-kicking Paul Kelly in a Las Vegas department store

LYMBYC SYSTYM : Daytrotter Session : Download 4 Exclusive Live Tracks!

The ever-awesome Daytrotter site recently posted a very special live session from our favorite brotherly duo LYMBYC SYSTYM. The session features Jared and Mike performing 4 tracks (including two from the upcoming split with THIS WILL DESTROY YOU) and giving insight/explanations behind their creations. Additionally, the crew over at Daytrotter took the time to write their own description of the band's music AND drew a funny picture of the guys.

We can't thank the folks over at that site enough for all of the wonderful work they did in making all of this happen. In fact, the best way to thank them would be for as many people as possible to download the session and enjoy!

Download the songs here.

• LYMBYC SYSTYM "Carved By Glaciers" CD in stores everywhere January 13
• THIS WILL DESTROY YOU & LYMBYC SYSTYM "Field Studies" CD in stores everywhere January 13

(iTunes available now)
(LP versions available March 24)

Decibel Magazine's review of the Big China & Little Trouble CD

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some great Skate Rock finds in the bins at Long in the Tooth (Philadelphia)

Long in the Tooth is a great record store located on Sansom St. in Central Philadelphia. I hadn't been prior to this past weekend, but thankfully we were able to stop by before leaving town after Forensics' show the previous night. Some gems were to be had. I walked out with about 25 LP's and 7"s both new and old (Graham did similar damage). Below are a few skate rock gems from my haul.

Here it is: Odd Man Out's debut (and only) LP. I had this on tape as a kid and have had it on my vinyl want list for many years since. To find this in the bins gave me an unbelievable natural high: a mixture of nostalgia and adrenaline over "the hunt" finally being over. And all for $7.99... unreal. I put this on a few minutes ago and didn't forget a single word. This was Steve Caballero's band after the Faction. Ray Stevens played drums on it... Definitely a huge/major want now scratched off the list.

Killer comp territory right here: "Rat Music for Rat People Vol. 2" LP from 1984. MDC, DRI, JFA, Dicks, Fang, Minutemen, Big Boys, The White Lie, Tales of Terror, Butthole Surfers, and Personality Crisis. This one was in pristine shape with both inserts - couldn't believe it.

JFA's "Camp Out" b/w "Travels With Charlie" 7" on Spontaneous Combustion. Green vinyl and hand-stamped #41 out of 100 (though only 85 were issued with red ink). Really awesome screenprinted sleeve. This was mid-90's-era JFA, issued well after all of the classic JFA material that was caked into my memory/nostalgia (a la the Odd Man Out LP, Drunk Injuns, etc.). Thus, I don't remember these songs offhand and look forward to getting re-acquainted.

And finally, here's another 90's-era JFA 7" ("Lightning Storm" b/w "People's Revolutionary Party"). This supposedly came out in 1991, but the credits clearly state that it was recorded 5.1.92. Hand numbered out of 1000 on the label.

Really looking forward to making more and more regular visits to Long in the Tooth. Definitely everything you hope a record store to be - the perfect mix of all the new stuff you could ever want plus really tough to find old stuff at a great price. I highly recommend stopping by if you're a serious record nerd.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stuart from Mogwai walks through the live set-up

I play music while you shoot people.

Yesterday I got a package from Activision containing copies of "Paintball 2009," our first foray into video game soundtracks. This one features "Boat Day At The Marina." It's available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, XBox 360, and Wii. The Wii version is pretty awesome because it's compatible with the Wii Zapper. Can't wait to dive in... You can pick up a copy of this game in just about every video game retail outlet - have fun.

Next week I should be able to announce the next video game we're going to be a part of. Super excited about all of this stuff - no better feeling than to do the things in your adult life that the 12-year old version of you can be stoked on...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The quest to complete 2008 SPX Football : Update #1

As none of you know, I've been working on completing Upper Deck's 2008 SPX Football set - all 225 cards (including the short print rookies and even shorter-print triple jersey rookie autographs). This isn't a very easy task and bears no resemblance to the relative ease in putting a set together back in the 80's/90's and early 00's.

These days, there's a market for extreme/serious collectors with disposable incomes. There are now single packs that cost literally $300 or more new. That's right - one pack. SPX is a more moderately priced premium brand, retailing for around $20 per pack (4 cards).

Anyway, because of the print runs of the tier 1 rookie autograph jerseys (only 325 of each card were issued), there can only ever be a maximum of 325 complete sets in the world. This figure shrinks exponentially when you account for the collectors that have individual cards from the 325-edition tier 1 (but nowhere near a complete set).

In spite of all this, I'm damn close to finishing. I have all of the serial-numbered, non-autographed rookies in hand or on the way, I only need 10 more of the 90-card base set (these are easy to get), I've got about 70% of the autographed rookies, 24 of the 27 tier 2 rookie auto jerseys, and now all of the tier 1's (the ones that are limited to 325 apiece).

Above is (arguably) the most important card to the set: the Matt Ryan tier 1 autograph/triple jersey. This one is serial numbered 229/325. While the Darren McFadden books for a bit more ($250 vs. $175), it's not indicative of the actual market. Whereas McFadden was the pre-season hype beast, Ryan is the one to become the real-life phenom and the one surely to lock up ROY honors.

More importantly than book values and rarity, Matt Ryan (and all of his 2008 cards) represent to many a very "happy" ending to a very ugly story - namely the Michael Vick legacy. After all of that awful information came before the public, it certainly appeared that the Atlanta Falcons organization had hit the skids and would be there for years to come. Surely with a first year head coach and a rookie quarterback, there would need to be a serious rebuilding and healing period.

Thankfully for that city (and dog-lovers everywhere), just the opposite evolved. The rookie quarterback and first year coach ended up leading their team to a winning record, exciting games, and are currently eying up a spot in the playoffs. And while I'm not a fan of the team (the Chicago Bears are whom I root for in the NFC), I'm certainly touched by what they've been able to do and feel it's the most significant and meaningful story from this year's NFL season.

In that regard it's strange to say, but sincere: I'm certainly proud to have a very small piece of this guy's first season. Everyone has a vice (mine clearly being pricey football cards), but it's great anytime something about that vice can connect you even closer to a truly inspiring time for a team/city that needed something special to rise out of what could have been a completely disastrous and dark era.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A brief account of some of the exchanges I overheard at the Ravens/Redskins game

Ravens fan: So where are your seats?
Redskins fan: They're kind of behind the Skins' bench. I'm psyched.

Ravens fan: Oh good, then you can tell your boy Jason Campbell how much fucking cock he sucks this season.


Ravens fan (to Redskins fan in Sean Taylor jersey): Who's 'Taylor?'

Redskins fan (falling for it): Sean Taylor. You never heard of him?

Ravens fan: Fuck no, tell me more.
Redskins fan: Well, he was our best defender until he got shot last season.

Ravens fan: He got shot?

Redskins fan: Yeah, and he died.
Ravens fan: How many bullets?

Redskins fan: One, I think.

Ravens fan: Just one?!?

Redskins fan: Man, I don't know.

Ravens fan: One bullet - what fucking pussy. Shit, Ray Lewis got shot by one bullet, but he's playing tonight. He probably took the bullet out and ate it. 50 Cent got shot by like 9 bullets and he still made a bunch of records. Sean Taylor was just a pussy.

Ravens fan (to Chris Cooley, who was coming out of the tunnel for the second half and glanced up at our seats - literally 4 feet away): What are you looking at, faggot?
Drunk Ravens fan (to sideline reporter Andrea Kremer, in reference to NBC's overhead pulley camera sliding over the field): Hey Suzy Kolber! Suzzzzzy Kolber! Get your fucking UFO camera out of my fucking face.
Amazing female Ravens fan (to male cheerleader who looked up at her in the stands): Haha, you're a male cheerleader.
Needless to say, it was a pretty ridiculous night. And a rather cold one, as temperatures were in the low 20's with a wind-chill that drove it down even further. Even still, a completely enjoyable time. Flacco looked great and it's apparent he's got a bright future ahead of him. Ed Reed had 3 takeaways, one for a TD... it's kind of absurd how often he's been able to do this.

Super excited for this Sunday's game v. the Steelers.

p.s. The seats were great... endzone by the
visiting tunnel and right on the field:

Welcome to the island...

It's interesting... when you become a workaholic and actually enjoy what and all you do, it's increasingly easy to become submersed in that world and isolated from the bigger picture. This becomes even more the case if you're lucky enough to not have to answer to bosses or set responsibilities... where you're able to dictate your own actions and inactions completely. I was able to make that leap almost 6 years ago and, in that time, I've noticed that the more "professional" aspects of what I involve myself with seem to dominate overall perceptions. It makes sense... a lot of times, that's all I care to make available.

Sometimes all it does is make others assume we can't relate. It pushes them away. Sometimes I'm just as guilty in thinking that the life I lead makes it impossible to relate to too many people. And thus, I'm doing the pushing. Either way, sometimes even those close to me don't feel like they know what's going on in my head... or that perhaps all I care about is the work.

So to anyone stumbling in, consider this blog a self-imposed tracking device where you'll be able to get quite a bit more of what goes on here than what I give out via the traditional channels. More "me," less formality and entity-speak. Perhaps you'll stumble across some great revelation on the human condition... More than likely, you'll just be subjected to the banality of me constantly posting about rare football cards and records that I pick up.

Either way, I hope you find something interesting (or at least find amusement) in what is to come. Thanks for reading.