Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Honeymoon Yurt

This past weekend Cathy and I packed up the hounds and headed up to Sun Valley for a Christmas getaway (that's, to get away from Christmas). Very smart. There was tons of new snow up there, maybe more than we'd ever seen.

The drive up was a little nervy but not too bad. New snow tires and a steady pace did the trick. And worth the drive: Sun Valley was a true winter wonderland.

The hike up to the yurt went pretty quick--it's only a couple kilometers from the lodge.

The woodstove heats it up in no time.

We had a fantastic meal of pork chops (sent from Iowa by Cathy's dad), new potatoes, curried carrots, and a very nice pinot noir. We played Yahtzee, we read, we laid around, and the silence and the heat from the fire lulled us to sleep. Of course, we had to wake up every couple hours to feed the fire, as it got down to about 2 that night, but still, a lovely evening.

The next day, we hiked out in another few inches of new snow. Our snowshoes made a trench deeper than our dogs are tall, and that's no small feat.

We skied the Harriman Trail south from the lodge for a couple hours, then had a snack and a bloody Mary in the lodge before heading toward Ketchum.

We stayed in our friend Bob's condo in Ketchum that night, opting for delivered pizza and a TV movie rather than braving the winter storm and Christmas crowds for a meal in town. Wise decision.

A short hike the next morning with the hounds in yet more new snow, and then we hit the road for home. Right around Gooding it was like someone flipped a switch, the snow turned to rain and the roads were clear. Not so nice, but it made for an easy drive back to slushy Boise.


I don't even know what to say about this.

M.I.A. Dances With the Kids

Sunday, December 28, 2008

USA for Affluence

Tim Harrington is insane. Check out the indie-snark version of Feed the World.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Muslim Punk

We need more of this in the world.

This article from the NY Times tells of young Muslims, disaffected by the abuse of their faith by fundamentalists, definitely American but put off as well by greed-based politics, who forge their own identities. Just like millions of American kids have done through punk, or jazz, or rock and roll, these kids and young adults are creating who they are.

Check it out. It's a good read, and a very hopeful thing.

Photo from NY Times.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sullivan Reflects on Obama's Choice of Warren

Andrew Sullivan didn't like Obama's choice of Rick Warren to do the Inaugural Invocation. I think there were loads of people--gay and straight--who were dismayed by the choice.

But I think that's knee-jerk, and deeper thought on this decision could yield some interesting insights on the discomfort of change, the deeper thought required to institute it, and the trust we must have for the man who we just voted into the highest office in the land.

As he says, "I fear that in responding too viscerally to the Warren choice, we may be throwing something very valuable away far too prematurely."

Sullivan reflects at length on this topic in a most profound entry to his blog.

Top 10 Albums of 2008, extended version

I really get into doing this. Making time to sit and wander back through all my favorite music from the last year, giving things I'd dismissed another chance, scrambling to get hold of albums and tracks that I'd been meaning to get but hadn't and didn't want to not have on my list if they were kickass, etc.

I think it's good for me. I can tend to move through music fairly quickly, always on the lookout for new stuff to play on the show, and I don't give many things the time or spins they deserve. So I get to hang out with them again for this. And since I can never get a list down to 10, there's a whole lot beyond #10 worth noting.

Also, I'm going to post lists that other people send me, so send it along if you want it here.

And without further rambling, here it is, my Top Ten Albums of 2008, and a whole lot more.

Top 10 Albums of 2008

  1. TV on the Radio ~ Dear Science
  2. Deerhunter ~ Microcastle
  3. Why? ~ Alopecia
  4. The Rural Alberta Advantage ~ Hometowns
  5. Frightened Rabbit ~ The Midnight Organ Fight
  6. Deerhoof ~ Offend Maggie
  7. The Hold Steady ~ Stay Positive
  8. Flying Lotus ~ Los Angeles
  9. The Dodos ~ Visiter
  10. Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid ~ NYC

If my top 10 were a top 20, or If those other 10 albums hadn't come out
Los Campesinos! ~ We Are Beautiful We Are Doomed
Hammock ~ Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow
Alias ~ Resurgam
High Places ~ High Places
Sera Cahoone ~ Only As the Day Is Long
Dosh ~ Wolves and Whistles
Vivian Girls ~ Vivian Girls
Fuck Buttons ~ Street Horrrsing
The Sword ~ Gods of the Earth
Little Joy ~ Little Joy

Ass-stompinest non-list-makinest records
Tapes n' Tapes ~ Walk It Off
The Black Angels ~ Directions to See a Ghost
The Raveonettes ~ Beauty Dies EP
The Cops ~ Free Electricity
Nomo ~ Ghost Rock
Okkervil River ~ The Stand Ins

Local flava
Invasion ~ How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Madness
Kris Doty ~ Smoke In the Mirror

08s dance traxxx
Crystal Castles ~ Crystal Castles
The Orb ~ The Dream
Thomas Fehlmann ~ Lowflow
Ratatat ~ LP3
Cut Copy ~ In Ghost Colours
Brazilian Girls ~ New York City

Poptabulous, craptacular
Deastro ~ Keeper's
Fujiya & Miyagi ~ Lightbulbs
Jamie Lidell ~ Jim

From the sophisticates
James Blackshaw ~ The Cloud of Unknowing
Anathallo ~ Canopy Glow
School of Seven Bells ~ Alpinisms
Calexico ~ Carried to Dust
Stereolab ~ Chemical Chords
Atlas Sound ~ Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel

Brilliant yet disposable
Vampire Weekend ~ Vampire Weekend
Santogold ~ Santogold
Ra Ra Riot ~ The Rhumb Line
Hot Chip ~ Made In the Dark
The Raveonettes ~ Lust Lust Lust
Crystal Stilts ~ Alight of Night

The old faves produce, but come up a little short
Iron & Wine ~ The Shepherd's Dog
The Helio Sequence ~ Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Spiritualized ~ Songs in A&E
The Walkmen ~ You & Me

Returns to form
Obits ~ 7"
Portishead ~ Third
REM ~ Accelerate
James McMurtry ~ Just Us Kids

File under Saturday morning songs
Robert Plant & Allison Krauss ~ Raising Sand
Ray LaMontagne ~ Gossip In the Grain
Fleet Foxes ~ Fleet Foxes
Bon Iver ~ For Emma, Forever Ago
Belle & Sebastian ~ The BBC Sessions

The best of the sleepiest
Brightblack Morning Light ~ Motion to Rejoin
Desolation Wilderness ~ White Light Strobing

More freak than folk, and all the better for it
Women ~ Women
The Ruby Suns ~ Seal Lions
Au ~ Verbs

Notes from the continued divergence of hip-hop
Reefer ~ Reefer
Koushik ~ Out My Window
Restiform Bodies ~ TV Loves You Back
Roots Manuva ~ Slime and Reason
Madvillain ~ Madvillainy 2: The Madlib Remix

Best of bleeps and bloops
Autechre ~ Quaristice
Tobacco ~ Fucked Up Friends

Repacked Leftovrz
Animal Collective ~ Water Curses
Four Tet ~ Everything Ecstatic Part 2

V/A's greatest
Until the Ice Melts (Texas electronic music comp)
Matador Intended Play, Fall 08

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Harlan's Year-End List

This from Harlan, down in the ATX. (Mine's going up tomorrow, just in time for the Top 20 of 2008 Range Life on www.radioboise.org, from 1 to 3pm mountain time. Recorded live!)

Hey, Chris-
As promised, here's my top music...
2008 Top 10 Albums

1 Deerhunter Microcastle
2 Okkervil River The Stand-Ins
3 Shearwater Rook
4 Cut Copy
In Ghost Colours
5 TV on the Radio Dear Science
Oracular Spectacular
7 Black Angels Directions to See a Ghost
8 Wolf Parade At Mount Zoomer
9 Experimental Aircraft Third Transmission
10 The Hold Steady Stay Positive

Close ones…

Times New Viking Rip it Off

Death Cab for Cutie Narrow Stairs

The Walkmen You & Me

Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes

Frightened Rabbit The Midnight Organ Fight

I want to see yours when you get it done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top 20 of 2008 Live

Tonight on Range Life, from 5 to 7 on www.radioboise.org, I'll be spinning my top 20 of the year. Loads of great stuff. Check me out!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Finally, Winter

We've had a gorgeous fall and a notable lack of cold weather and snow. When you're as dry as Boise in the summer, snowpack is very important, and we're finally getting some up here.

Cathy and I took the dogs for a hike in a fresh 6 inches today. It was cold and calm and beautiful up in the trails near our house.

The dogs were charged up from the moment they stepped out into the snow this morning. They love this time of year.
The roads will likely be just bad enough to keep me from riding in the morning. Might be time to get back into my winter bus routine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Year-End Lists, Anyone?

I'm working on mine. It's a tough one to whittle this year. I'm almost there. A few great things, and then a whole lotta good stuff that's tough to order.

Send me your lists and I'll put them up here. Mine'll be a bit longer than 10 items this year, I'm sure.

For review:
Best of 2007
Best of 2006
Best of 2005

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New on the Range

I just got my hands on a couple new tracks from the brand new band Obits. Who the hell is that, you ask? That's only the new rock outfit fronted by none other than Rick Froberg, that's who. (Who the hell is that? C'mon. Dude from Drive Like Yehu? Hot Snakes? That's right.) If you ain't excited, you must hate rock and roll.

Also got some of that new Tobacco for ya. Juana Molina, Thao, Mount Eerie, The Raveonettes, and Squarepusher, too.

We'll dig deeper into The Rural Alberta Advantage, Anathallo, Finn Riggins, Desolation Wilderness, Reefer, Stereolab, Deerhunter, Okkervil River, and a whole lot more amazing new music.

And remember: It's time to start putting together those Best of 2008 lists, too. I'm running behind. I'll start mine tonight, 5 to 7pm on RadioBoise.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Good Start

This article in the NY Times details the Indian Muslim reaction to the terrorist attack on Mumbai. Though many demonstrations are small, the Muslim community has come out hard and unified against these attacks and others like them.

The roots of Muslim-Hindu strife are old and run deep, but Muslims recognize the need to disassociate themselves from this terrorist activity. As I said in my earlier post on this subject, it's no longer enough to assume a defensive posture and say that terrorism and Islam are not the same thing. More is needed. From the story:

Muslim leaders have refused to allow the bodies of the nine militants killed in the attacks to be buried in Islamic cemeteries, saying the men were not true Muslims. They also suspended the annual Dec. 6 commemoration of a 1992 riot in which Hindus destroyed a mosque, in an effort to avert communal tension. Muslim religious scholars and public figures have issued strongly worded condemnations of the attacks.

As one man interviewed for the story says, "“It’s a pity we have to prove ourselves as Indians... But the fact is, we need to speak louder than others, to make clear that those people do not speak for our religion — and that we are not Pakistanis.”

OK, that last bit is a little disturbing, as he and other voices in this piece suggest that Pakistan is a terrorist state and that while it's important to recognize that all Indian Muslims are not terrorists, we can't necessarily say the same about Pakistanis, but still.

An effort from the West, from the outside, will not eradicate Islamic terrorism. The effort has to come from within. This seems at least a couple solid steps in that direction.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Happy Friday

New on the Range

New music on today's show from Los Campesinos!, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Anathallo, Finn Riggins, Ray LaMontagne, Fujiya & Miyagi, and a lot more. Plus some great electronic music from Texas off a compilation we just got called Wait Til the Ice Melts. Great stuff.

Plenty of not-exactly-new-but-still-exciting music as well. TVOTR, Frightened Rabbit, Vivian Girls, Four Tet, and so forth.

Check it out. 1 to 3, mountain time, on RadioBoise.

Uh Oh.

Don't we all need another time hole?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Hummer Club

Or, as I like to call it, Band of Douchebags.

Colbert's a genius.

Speak Up

In today's NY Times, Thomas Friedman writes about what an appropriate response from Pakistan, in the wake of the horrific Pakistani-perpetrated terrorist activity in Mumbai, might look like.

He makes good points. Taking to the streets to denounce this--not saying "Oh, that's not what Islam is all about, those are bad apples" or "But they've been oppressed and blah blah blah"--would be a powerful signal both to the world and to homegrown terrorist wannabes.

Denouncements from the West mean nothing. This is a problem in their religious community that needs to be dealt with, stamped out, at home.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Big Wood Weekend

After Thanksgiving Cathy and I got away. We reserved a condo up in Ketchum and headed out Saturday morning.

We did a great hike up Murdoch Creek on Saturday afternoon, after a burrito at KBs. That night we went to the Ketchum Grill and had a wonderful dinner, lamb shank for me and lemon pasta for C. Then it was back to the condo for a date with the sofa and WALL-E. Great time.

Sunday morning, after breakfast, Cathy did some hanging out and writing and relaxing in Ketchum proper, and I took the dogs and the flyrod out on the Big Wood River for some late season trout harassment.

Up by Fox Creek I had no luck at all (as the wise folks at Sturto's said I would not), so I took their advice and hauled it down toward Hailey. I parked on Zinc Spur Road (I think) and hoofed it through the brambles to the water. Found nice confluence and some down trees, caught two small rainbows in the first hole I tried, and that was it for the day. Good time, though, and therapeutic as hell to get out and stand in the river in the chilly sunshine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This Week on the Range

I've got some good new music to lay on y'all this week.

Tonight, Wednesday, 5 to 7, and Friday from 1 to 3. I'll be playing something from The Rural Alberta Advantage, and I've just got my hands on the new ones from Calexico and Fujiya & Miyagi.

Tune in and you might also hear Kieren Hebden and Steve Reid, Reefer, School of Seven Bells, Jaguar Love, Stereolab, Little Joy, Crystal Stilts, Deerhunter, and a lot more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Rural Alberta Advantage

I've not done any new music posts in a while, so rather than engage in the daunting task of backtracking and writing by priority, I'll just start in with something cool I got this morning.

The debut from Rural Alberta Advantage, called Hometowns, is most easily described as a gorgeous indie rock record that recalls and re-imagines Neutral Milk Hotel through a more lush, more cautious and steady approach. Percussion is fuller and softer, though still with teeth, and the vocals are less urgent and pained than they are considered and thoughtful.

Initial perceptions can be off, but I suspect I'll be listening to this new Toronto band a lot in the future.


The great thing about this video clip is not how spot-on Peter Schiff is about the then-looming, now-full-blown economic crisis. It's the treatment he gets at the hands of the bloviators and big TV personality types. And that this all happens on FOX News makes it sweeter.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Valverde to focus 2009 on... duh

Alejandro Valverde, the green bullet and Spanish cycling phenom, has declared that he will focus all of the 2009 season on winning the Tour de France.


Don't we hear this every year? Don't get me wrong. Valverde's a great rider and I often root for him. But every year he says this as if it's a big change in plans or goals, and every year he blows one or two stages big time to come up short. Maybe his early season will be empty this year. Maybe he's got new training plans. But it seems at some point he will have to learn to focus on what he's already great at: classics and short stage races, not the 3-weekers that consistently find him coming unglued at some point.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Did you know that Hendrik Hertzberg, the New Yorker writer responsible for some of their best editorial pieces, has a blog on the New Yorker website?

He does.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday on the Range

I recorded a new show on Wednesday night, and it'll be running Friday from 1 to 3 mountain time. It's my tribute to Cathy and to Eleanor. There's some great music, some new some old, more country-inspired than I usually allow myself to get on Range Life.

Check it out. Gimme feedback. Say hello.

Lincoln's 200th

It seems terribly appropriate to me that we as a country will celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday in February of next year, just a few weeks after we celebrate the inauguration of this country's first black president.

The Smithsonian's got a great page with a cool interactive timeline and articles about his speeches, the Douglas debates, and lots of other stuff that I haven't yet read but will.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tonight on the Range

I've been away from the studio for some weeks. I have every intention of getting down there tonight to do my show live at 5pm mt. Of course, considering what's just happened and the states of mind and body that follow, I reserve every right to not go live and run a killer repeat.

I've got loads of new music. Kieren Hebden and Steve Reid, Reefer, School of Seven Bells, Jaguar Love, Stereolab, Little Joy, Crystal Stilts, Deerhunter, and so on. But something tells me I might be more inclined to dig back through the catalog and let emotion dictate the tracks.

Tune in. And if it is a rerun, I apologize in advance.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

For Eleanor Rae

On Thursday, November 13th, our daughter Eleanor Rae left us.

She never quite made it into this world, but for 6 months she was a real and tangible part of our every-minute lives. She had it tough from the start, and though we and especially Cathy did everything we could to help her grow strong, the odds and the genetic code were stacked against her.

It's amazing how deeply you can become attached to someone you've never met. The intensity of emotion during this time has left us both reeling. On the positive side, I've never felt as close to my wife as I do now. I've seen things in her, the depths of her character, that I probably knew were there but had never had the cause or opportunity to witness. She's a hell of a strong person and I'm proud to be with her.

From this experience, I can begin to understand why people change so much when they have kids. I've caught a tiny glimpse into a world where you are responsible for something larger than yourself. I've felt the pull of that connection, and I understand the drive for it.

Eleanor was tough and spirited. She tried mightily to overcome the hand dealt to her. And her fight was our fight, something we lived for every minute. No other relationship or community or cause has ever taken such a powerful hold over me. And it just happened. I didn't try to do it or have to consider any options or anything like that. It just happened. That's a pretty amazing thing.

Eventually we'll come to understand or at least deal with this. We'll always remember it, and I think that'll make us stronger. We're going to buy a brick at the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial here in Boise. It seems a fitting tribute.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Real Life

The glow of the past week has faded into normal life, a bit. It's rainy and grey here in Boise, the days are getting shorter, and the geese honk overhead at all hours.

The euphoria Cathy and I have felt over the unfolding of the historic presidential election is severely tempered by real life. Cathy's pregnancy, nearing its 6th month, has been difficult and tenuous for some months. Since the start really. But we hung on and hung on and did everything we could do. And still, in the end, there was nothing we could do.

The darkest time of my life is undoubtedly now. I've never felt as low as I go at times right now. This whole thing is blurred as a dream, time and emotional outbursts seemingly random.

My wife is home from the hospital now, and she's groggy and tired and sad but ok. I think it'll take us a while to be good again.

We've learned through this experience that we have a lot of good friends and a very strong family support system. We're grateful to everyone for getting behind us and helping us through this. We wish it had gone differently, but it didn't, and we'll learn to live with that.

I'm at a bit of a loss right now but I needed to get something out there.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Barack Obama

This has not sunk in. The race is called, Barack has addressed all of Chicago and the world, and a new leadership has been voted into power in America.

We are overwhelmed. We are stunned at the outcome, giddy with possibility, weepy with joy. For so many reasons and in so many ways we are on the verge of what's next. Cynics have plenty to work with here, but cliche though it will become, as the man said, In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

There will be plenty more to say. Let's just enjoy this for a while.

pic from TPM

I Voted

I arrived at my regular polling place 15 minutes before voting would begin. Although I'm usually one of 2 or 3 people in the room during an election, this time the line stretched from the front door to the parking lot, and it was obvious that everyone in that line was happy to be waiting.

The cadre of older ladies who run this polling place were excited, too, even though it was obvious they were a bit overwhelmed. Idaho has changed from a punch-card system to a fill-in-the-oval scanner system this year, complete with brand new cardboard cut-out voting booths and felt-tip pens. It felt like a step backward, technologically speaking, but no matter. The cookies and brownies were laid out next to the tables and tables of fabric swatches and quilts for sale (I vote in a senior center), and while these things usually strike me as cute and folksy in my polling place, this time they struck me as essential.

At a moment when we hope to tip the country's political system on its side to best shake out all the trash, when we hope to usher in a brand new day, it is comforting to know that drastic change can happen alongside things that deserve to stay the same.

America's Women

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sullivan: Obama for President

Once again, Andrew Sullivan has made his case for an Obama presidency. He's indicted the Bush administration, defined the lay of the land, and made plain the direction this country must take in order to leave the darkness of the last 8 years behind.

This column is definitely worth a read--especially for anyone who is still undecided. Keep in mind this comes from a staunch conservative. But, as he says, he puts country before ideology.

[A new start for America] will not be easy. The world will soon remember why it resents America as well as loves it. But until this unlikely fellow with the funny ears and strange name and exotic biography emerged on the scene, I had begun to wonder if it was possible at all. I had almost given up hope, and he helped restore it. That is what is stirring out there; and although you are welcome to mock me for it, I remain unashamed. As someone once said, in the unlikely story of America, there is never anything false about hope. Obama, moreover, seems to bring out the best in people, and the calmest, and the sanest. He seems to me to have a blend of Midwestern good sense, an intuitive understanding of the developing world that is as much our future now as theirs', an analyst's mind and a poet's tongue. He is human. He is flawed. He will make mistakes. His passivity and ambiguity are sometimes weaknesses as well as strengths.

But there is something about his rise that is also supremely American, a reminder of why so many of us love this country so passionately and are filled with such grief at what has been done to it and in its name. I endorse Barack Obama because I will not give up on America, because I believe in America, and in her constitution and decency and character and strength.

And the world needs that America now as much as it ever has. Can we start that healing, that rebirth, tomorrow?

Yes. We. Can.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Obama on Stewart, Part 1

Sedaris on the Undecideds

"I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention? To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. 'Can I interest you in the chicken?' she asks. 'Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?' To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."

- Author David Sedaris, on undecided voters

Rednecks for Obama

This makes me feel pretty good.

Just when you really invest in a stereotype, someone comes along and knocks it over. And he's out there on the street handing out bumper stickers. Anything can happen.

That awful woman down the block

I wonder if she knows that kids can't vote?

"Shirley Nagel of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., handed out candy Friday only to those who shared her support for the Republican presidential candidate and his running mate Sarah Palin. Others were turned away empty-handed."

Who are these people?

The NY Times talks to that 4% of us who just can't decide.

"If the country is divided between red and blue, Mr. Finke resides in a gray state, along with a proud — or embarrassed — corps of undecideds. They are a shrinking cohort of confused, procrastinating, indifferent or just plain indecisive consumers of democracy."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Friday

Watch it again...

This doesn't hurt either


Anyone who knows me knows that despite my strong support of him I've not had the brightest outlook of Obama's chances of actually winning the presidency. Polls and trends help make me feel better, but I still think that when it comes time to pull the lever, advance poll results won't bear out what folks do in the booth.

Recent poll results are helping to change my mind, though, based not on the numbers of likely winner, but on other questions, like some of those cited in this article from today's NY Times.

Some key points:

¶Mr. Obama is maintaining his lead, with 51 percent of likely voters supporting him and 40 percent supporting Mr. McCain in a head-to-head matchup.

¶Some perceptions of race are changing, with a marked increase in the number of people who say they believe that white and black people have an equal chance of getting ahead in America today.

¶Mr. McCain’s focus on taxes, including his talk about Joe the Plumber, seems to be having some effect, as a growing number of voters now say Mr. McCain would not raise their taxes.

¶Eighty-nine percent of people view the economy negatively, and 85 percent think the country is on the wrong track.

¶Mr. Obama continues to have a significant advantage on key issues like the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Six Days

"In six days, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope."

Barack Obama at a rally in North Carolina.

Charles for Obama

This is pretty amazing. Hope and optimism should trump fear and division.

Bible Spice

This is great.

Soon there will be a reckoning between the cerebral cons (who've been long content to pal up with vermin) and the wingnut residuum that has found its avatar in Bible Spice.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Wire for Obama!

This seals it. Kema's a hell of an endorsement.

The article's worth a read. FiveThirtyEight has turned out to be a great new site for polling info, but this one goes a bit beyond that.

We Heart Old Dogs

They're the best. That's Cathy and Gus, a great example. And this article from the Washington post captures well the wonderful creatures that they are.

Careful: This one's a weeper. I read it at work and was glad no one happened by. Could have been embarrassing.

McCain and Al Qaeda

Kristof's got a good take on the endorsement of John McCain by Al Qaeda.

An American president who keeps troops in Iraq indefinitely, fulminates
about Islamic terrorism, inclines toward military solutions and antagonizes
other nations is an excellent recruiting tool. In contrast, an African-American
president with a Muslim grandfather and a penchant for building bridges rather
than blowing them up would give Al Qaeda recruiters fits.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Return of W

This is worth watching. Will Ferrel does a great W, and gets his message across as well.

Cartoon Commentary

This is fantastic.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post-Boomer President

Joe Klein on why Obama's winning.

Even more remarkable, Obama has made race — that perennial, gaping American wound — an afterthought. He has done this by introducing a quality to American politics that we haven't seen in quite some time: maturity. He is undoubtedly as ego-driven as everyone else seeking the highest office — perhaps more so, given his race, his name and his lack of experience. But he has not been childishly egomaniacal, in contrast to our recent baby-boomer Presidents — or petulant, in contrast to his opponent. He does not seem needy. He seems a grown-up, in a nation that badly needs some adult supervision.
I couldn't agree more. It's time for what's next.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New on the Range

Hoo boy. Lots of goodies to lay on you this week. New stuff from Marnie Stern, Deerhoof, Gang Gang Dance, Dungen, Of Montreal, Women, Vivian Girls, Brazillian Girls, F*cked Up, Koushik, and Jay Reatard.

We'll also dig a little deeper into Matthew Dear, Holy F*ck, Four Tet, MGMT, and Animal Collective.

Tune in to RadioBoise today, Wednesday, from 5 to 7, and again Friday from 1 to 3.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wasilla Wisdom

The Daily Show nails it.

MC Yogi

Another vid for Obama. Pretty good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Powell Endorsement

Huge. That's what I think. For lots of people, Powell's faith in Obama will bolster or enable their own, and in this race a bit of faith is a necessary thing.

I thought Powell's explanation, on Meet the Press, was as articulate and eloquent a case for an Obama presidency as can be made. It was also a gentle if undeniable refutation of McCain's campaign, if not his policies and person.

Powell's story of his encounter with the headstone of a fallen American soldier of the Muslim faith was as powerful a tale as I've heard told in this election, and hopefully it'll make people stop and take notice. Hopefully it'll give people pause the next time they encounter their own assumptions about who's on what side in all of this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New on the Range

It's been a while since I've been live on the internets. Sometimes life just gets in the way of rocking out. But tonight I'm getting back to it.

New stuff from Deerhoof, Flying Lotus, F*** Buttons, Holy F***, Matthew Dear, and some other goodies. Tune in, Wednesday 5 to 7 and Friday 1 to 3.

Invisible Hands

Sullivan names my own fear and calms it, somewhat.

Obama is dominating with early voting in Iowa, North Carolina, New Mexico, Georgia, and Ohio. I'm unsure of the current polls showing a massive lead for Obama. But equally it would not surprise me if this race actually widened, and that the final result were on a double-digit kind of scale. Just as there is a chance of the invisible hand of racism suddenly undercutting Obama in the polling booth, so there is a chance of an historic one-off turn-out from African-Americans and young people that confounds all the conventional polling expectations. We could be just as surprised on the up-side as on the down-side. There are a lot of young and black people in this country. And they usually don't vote as often as they could.

Hitchens for Obama

This merits mention.

Christopher Hitchens pulls no punches in his "endorsement" of Barack Obama for president. Love him or hate him, Hitchens does have a knack for distillation, and what he lays out here in a case against McCain-Palin is pretty devastating, coming as it does from the right.

Tonight's debate should be (crushingly boring) very telling. How nasty is McCain willing to get? How well does Obama stand up to it? My own prediction is that is gets only slightly nastier than the last debate, and that it comes out a narrow Obama victory, just like last time. Then, tomorrow, the nastiness gets worse than it's ever been.

Monday, October 13, 2008


And you thought the Tour de France was over.

Positive doping tests continue to rock the post-race TdF, this time creeping right up onto the podium.

Bernard Kohl, the young new star from Gerolsteiner who stormed his way into the polka dot jersey, becomes the latest casualty of improved testing for the new and previously-thought-undetectable EPO type, CERA.

Ricco, Piepoli, Schumacher, and now Kohl. Something tells me we haven't heard the last of this.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snow In the Foothills

It seems way too early for this, but we went to bed last night to falling snow and woke this morning to the first white-coated foothills of the year. So I took the dogs for a walk first thing in the morning. It's still a little foggy, but you get the picture.

Winter's coming. I just hope we get some good fall first.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Deerhoof Returns!

Offend Maggie.

Trax so hot I ain't even listened to em yet. But I'm excited. And so should you be.

The Ugliest of Us

The campaign of Sarah Palin and John McCain has gone so far down the lowest road that I'd bet even Karl Rove wouldn't recognize it. From shouts of "Kill him!" and racial epithets being hurled at technicians at their rallies, to the seizure of the idea of Obama as terrorist as presented by Palin, the dregs of America are on the march.

They attract the ugliest, most vile elements of our society.

And there are still 4 weeks to go. All we can hope is that the larger electorate, the sensible citizens among us, will see through this disgusting trash.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pickers for Obama!

This is fantastic. There's a new radio ad running in Virginia starring bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley. Check it out over at TPM.

First Toby Keith says he's a Democrat who supports Obama, and now this. Who says we have to write off the South for the Republicans?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heading to the ATX

Early in the morning I take a cab to a plane to another plane to Austin. This weekend is the big Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest), and I'm gonna wallow in it.

Lots of great stuff going on. Check the schedule. Here's where I'll be. Beck, Silversun Pickups, Mars Volta, Gnarls Barkley, Octopus Project, Okkervil River, Band of Horses, so much music. And if you're around, they're doing live webcasts of lots of the shows.

I'll tray and post reports here, but you know how that goes. All that beer and sun and biking and beer takes a toll.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Contador Hangs On

Levi Leipheimer lit up the TT course to Alto de Navacerrada, taking the stage win and 31 seconds out of leader Alberto Contador, but it's not enough to take the lead in the GC. So it looks like Contador will win the Vuelta, completing his sweep of all 3 grand tours, and doing it at the age of only 25 and in the shortest span of time in history. Impressive.

(And Lance wants to come back and compete with that? Surely he has to be a bit nervous...)

The results, and the standings.
  • 05:51 PM: The final top five on the stage
    1. Levi Leipheimer (Astana), 33:06
    2. Alberto Contador (Astana), at 0:31
    3. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), at 0:31
    4. Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank), at 1:02
    5. David Moncoutie (Cofidis), at 1:09

  • 05:52 PM: The overall standings.
    1. Alberto Contador (ESP) Astana, in 77:21:52
    2. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana, at 0:46
    3. Carlos Sastre (ESP) CSC, at 4:12
    4. Ezequiel Mosquera (ESP) Xacobeo - Galicia
    5. Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne

Final TT

Alberto Contador has kept hold of the lead in the Vuelta de Espana, and as we head today into the final ITT he has a gap of 1:17 over the 2nd place rider.

However, that 2nd place rider is Levi Leipheimer, who has won on this hill before, and who could take time out of Contador. The fact that this stage is an ITT makes it all the more interesting, as Levi's role as helper to Contador is on hold.

All things being equal, Contador should be able to hold Leipheimer off. But, then, when are all things equal?

(A side note: Both these riders hail from the Astana squad that was kept out of the Tour de France, unjustly in my opinion. Considering that Contador won the Giro and the team is now headed for a 1-2 at the Vuelta, it's difficult to deny that this year's Tour did not host all top riders and that Sastre's victory, while impressive and laudable, has a tiny little asterisk next to it.)

E-mail of the week

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Friday, September 12, 2008