One week’s worth

earbudsAt some point a few weeks ago, when I put up my list of favorite tracks of 2010, a friend commented on how wide-ranging it was. I made some crack about how she should see what I listen to over the course of a week. She wanted to see that list. So…I made one. It’s weird to keep track of what you listen to over seven days.

This list isn’t 100% complete. It’s pretty much a given that I’m going to listen to Morning / Weekend Edition every morning, as well as the BBC’s World Update on the mornings I work, in addition to KJHK, so I left them off. Included are special programs I make it a point to listen to, but not stuff that happens to be on the radio when driving around (Talk of the Nation, et al).

Links are provided to radio shows and podcasts where appropriate. I recommend you check out each and every one of them. As is fairly obvious, I listen to quite a few of the various SModcast Podcast Network shows, and there may be a post in the upcoming weeks wherein I listen to each and every one of the episodes in a given week.
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Do you have too much money? Would you like to fix that?

vn_header_logoVinyl Noize is the single most dangerous website in my feed reader. There’s not a day that goes by that they don’t post a link to some amazingly obscure or rare punk record that leaves me salivating and wondering if I can’t take out a second mortgage on our house without my wife noticing.

They link everything on Twitter, too (@vinylnoize), meaning you can get up-to-the-minute details on the latest version of Judge’s Chung King Can Suck it to hit eBay.

rockaroundIf you’re looking for a way to blow your money, but you’re looking for a wider variety of stuff at slightly lower prices, might I also suggest Rock-A-Round Records? Based out of Austin, and ran by one of the founders of Breakaway, this mailorder service will hit your inbox with e-mail blasts once every week or two. The records are priced to move, and according to quality and rarity.

In other words, you can usually pick stuff up for totally reasonable prices, if you’re willing to deal with the occasional bit of use. Sure, my $5 copy of Motorhead’s Iron Fist has seam wear, but it plays wonderfully, and I’m buying these things to listen to. Sign up for the mailing list at their website, and follow them on Facebook to get glimpses of what you’re going to be blowing your paycheck on this next week.

Where has Nick been?

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’m doing three interviews this week, and my time isn’t my own.

My interview with Joey Santiago of the Pixies went up on Wayward Blog today, and you can listen to it over there. I’m also speaking with the Randy Rogers Band before their free performance at Kansas City’s Power & Light District on Thursday night. Friday night is Sam North, for next week’s Sunglasses After Dark, which will have the entire podcast devoted to his label, Traffic Street Records.

Whew. I’m also doing this new feature for Wayward Blog called “Imaginary Movie Soundtracks.” Check out the first installment, entitled “How to kill a drifter.” A new one will go up tomorrow.

Some Warped Tour pics

I went to the Kansas City Warped Tour stop out at Sandstone yesterday, and it was fucking brutal. Most of the KC / Lawrence / Topeka area is under a heat advisory until 8:00 p.m. tonight, and by the time I hit the venue yesterday, it was a full 101 degrees, with 108 degree heat index. You can read my full story of the Bataan Death March that was the Sandstone parking lot over at Wayward Blog.

Check some photos that I shot below.
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Acoustic Territories seems like it’s worth a look

book-cover-acoustic-territoriesThomas Conner‘s recent “Music: Via Chicago” column on Brandon LaBelle‘s new book, Acoustic Territories, makes it seem like the book is worth a look-see. While I’m more into books that examine the nature of the music being produced, or said music’s sociological aspects, rather than the physiological – a la Daniel Levitin’s This Is Your Brain On Music or Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia, for instance – I’m still interested in any writings that explore the nature of sound, just not to the extent of the more “story oriented” material.

However, Conner says of the book: “LaBelle’s study is pretty interesting, dissecting the purely sonic value and meanings of street noise and music and charting the ‘acoustic politics of space.'” For those more interested in the acoustic properties of sound, this seems like it’s worth a look. It’s out now from Continuum Books.

Kills / Horrors at the Bottleneck

No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to separate Alison Mosshart from the Kills from the Alison Mosshart that fronted Discount. Personally, I blame Mitch Clem. The running gag in Nothing Nice to Say where Fletcher is in love with Alison and gets her name tattoo’d on his arm pretty much locked that image into my mind.

Anyhow, I saw the Kills and the Horrors at the Bottleneck last night. The review’s over at Wayward Blog (my first review for the Pitch, meaning I have now fulfilled a dream I’ve had since I was 15).

the Horrors – “Sea With A Sea” (from Primary Colours)

Food One mixtape download

foodmixComic book artist Jim Mahfood (aka Food One, aka the coolest comic artist I’ve ever met, aka my favorite artist working today) has an old mixtape up over at knifeXlife. Here’s Jim’s description thereof:

“This is the first volume of my mixtape series. I made a huge series of these, with 7 or 8 volumes in it, and gave them out to friends and family. I made this first one about 4 years ago, so it’s a bit old, but screw it, I still stand behind the selections. Kick back, dig, and get your funk on, fool. Love- Food One.

The mix is entitled Food One Mix Vol. One, and you can either stream it at knifeXlife or download it below. I have no idea what the tracks are, but it’s superfresh boogie goodness. If you’ve ever read Jim’s comics, you know he usually provides a list of suggested listenings, most of which will enhance your reading of his work, as well as get your party started. Seriously – thanks to Mahfood’s comics, I’ve been down with quality music since high school (also big ups to Flavorpak).

Download Food One Mix Vol. One (Mediafire link)

“No place like home” and other jokes about Kansas

Back from Texas. SXSW was a total blast. There are posts from me over at KJHK@SXSW, as well as the collected tweets on my Twitter page.

I came home with sunburn, great stories, and a ton of records and pictures. Enjoy the KJHK coverage from myself, Ian, Alison, and Sean – there’s still more to come over the next few days as we all recover.

Expect reviews of some of this new shit, too. It’s pretty bomb. Some of it might be a bit past its newness and have lost a little luster, but there are some damn good records you all should be buying.

We’ll be back next week

Due to an insanely busy school schedule and crazy shit with the radio station, I’ve been unable to really do much more than my radio show and sleep.

However, KJHK is sending me and three other individuals to to Austin for SXSW again. We’ll be updating the KJHK web site regularly with interviews, photos, and news about what’s going on. You can follow me on Twitter right here (“rockstarjournalist” was too long). I’ll be updating with my location and shows pretty regularly, so you can track me down to buy me drinks and give me records.


Anyhow, it OUGHT to herald a new era of Rock Star Journalist, which I hope to see hit pre-college levels of regular updates in the coming months. Let’s hope.

It’s worth the money

Now, I pay a decent amount of money to host my site here at GoDaddy. It’s not exactly expensive, but being as this is just a hobby, and not any sort of money-maker, it’s all out-of-pocket. I’ve never seen a dime from Amazon or Google AdSense, because I just don’t get enough clicks to warrant a check. Seriously, this is more for my own personal amusement, and a desire to keep somewhat flexible in terms of my writing ability. I spend so much time doing radio anymore that I just don’t have time to seek out replacement freelance gigs for the ones I’ve lost.

But, after reading this LA Weekly article, I’m pretty damn happy I’ve never chosen to go with Blogger or WordPress or any of the regular blogging sites. Losing stuff I’ve written – ugh, even the thought of it – makes me physically ill. I kept a hard drive from a dead PC in a drawer for five years because of all the stuff on there that I didn’t want to lose, and that stuff was mostly papers I’d written in high school.

The article makes a good point, though. I’ve gotten loads of e-mails from record labels with attached mp3s that I’m told to post and share with my “readers” (all five of you). I don’t, mainly because I very rarely ever get anything that interests me. I’m not here to shill what’s hip, cool, or new. Frankly, this is just an outlet for my musical interests, and a way to justify blowing large amounts of money on records every month. It’ll probably morph once I’m done with school, and probably end up reflecting my interests in providing some sort of radio show, but that’s months from now.

But back to what I was saying – I usually end up with three or four e-mails a week from labels and promoters providing me with mp3s that I am “free to post.” It’s insanely frustrating to realize that there are people posting those very sound files who are getting slammed with fines and cease-and-desist orders. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see e-mail presented verbatim as a text file link in the future, just to forestall any of this shit. It’s just another case of corporations being so large that one portion has no idea what the other is doing, or one end producing something that pretty much contravenes the desires of another, like Sony making mp3 players and releasing records, essentially contributing to their own demise, and robbing Peter to pay Paul.

MC Lars – “Download This Song” (from The Graduate)