Sunday, January 31, 2010

Best PB

I bought the honey roasted peanut butter from the City Peanut Shop, and I have to say this stuff is awesome. Best ever. First all-natural PB I've tasted that'll get me off the Jif for good. And it's only $1.99 for that container.

Check this place out. 8th and Bannock. Lots of great homemade and house-roasted nuts and candy and peanut butter.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Union

If you didn't get to see the SOTU last night, make an effort to watch it. Everyone will nitpick it to death, amplify what they want to and lambaste what they don't like. But the fact remains that he got up there and told us hard truths, reminded everyone in that chamber of how they are failing to do their jobs--with special comment directed at the stalled and impotent senate.

The speech affirmed my trust in and patience with President Obama. As Sullivan said, he was the only adult in the room.

Regardless of what the 60 second news cycle says, a lot has been accomplished in this last year. All is not well or done, but we've crawled out of the hole of the 2000s and are on our way up. I still believe that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Califone's Funeral Singers

The more I listen to this record, the more I love it, and the more I understand that this band gets nowhere near the recognition or accolades that it deserves.

Since the demise of Red Red Meat, Califone's made consistently great music, record after record, from their first experimental EP, to the excellent follow-up and now classic Roomsound, to the intricate and amazing Heron King Blues and Roots and Crowns, to their work with film scores in the Deceleration releases, to all points in between and eventually, masterfully, to All My Friends Are Funeral Singers.

Tim Rutili distills all of American music like no other artist in indie rock today. And that's no hyperbole. Blues and folk are the bedrock for his fuzzed out rock and explorations, sounding at turns convincingly traditional and solidly outside.

And this new record, it's something else. Every song, every transition, seems a culmination of all the things this band (and the Meat before them) has done. Were I to rewrite my best of 2010 list today, this one would be at the top. Nothing against The Antlers, of course, but I hadn't spent enough time with this at that point to really have it hit.

Do yourself a favor and check this out. And if you've not found Califone yet, I urge you to do so. Start with Roomsound. Move to Roots and Crowns. Then give this a spin. Or even start here and work backward. Wherever you start, it's bound to be only the first one of many that you get.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - The Re-Changening
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Are We There Yet?

A reader submission to Daily Dish gets to it, in my humble opinion.

We now have a message from a certain segment of Massachusetts ... Basically, it’s the effect of voters not so much saying, “We don’t want change” but more like a child’s backseat complaint of “Are we there yet?!”.

We hated W, but we want Obama to act like him. We want our taxes cut, but we don't want to lose anything in the bargain. We want our health care system left alone, but we want it to work better and more fairly, and don't touch my Medicare. We want it all, and more, and we want it now.

The stupidity of the American political system at this point in time is staggering, and I think it can be largely blamed on the minute-t0-minute news cycle we're caught up in. And like it or not, this is identity politics at its worst (let's not pretend that "ordinary Americans" doesn't mean "middle class white folk," okay?). Also, if I'm being honest, Democrats have affirmed my reasons for never calling myself a Democrat, as those in Congress run in circles with their hands waving in the air, screaming about the sky falling, incapable of doing anything about it.

Patience, people. There are grown-ups in charge now, and if you keep screaming "Are we there yet?!" and kicking the back of this seat, you'll help the GOP to turn this car around. And that, we will not like.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Swell Season Does Radio City Music Hall

A nice piece about The Swell Season in New York over at Spinner. Two of the loveliest people on earth, they are.

The story includes a nice video of Glen doing the classic The Parting Glass, which those who saw them here will remember.

New on the Range

Today's Range Life broadcast will be a little early, from 4:30 to 6:30 mountain time, on

But don't miss it--I've got lots of great music to throw at you today. Brand new stuff from JJ, the Flaming Lips, The Ruby Suns, Massive Attack(!!), plus some great stuff I dug up from Caural, Grouper, Jose Gonzalez, and a whole lot more.

I might even get a little worldy on you, as a friend turned me onto this Ethiopian composer named Mulatu Astatke, who's brilliant, and who doesn't really slip easily into the Range Life mold, but then what's a mold for if not to be broken?

So, tune in, won't you?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New MIA Video

Word is this is on the new record. Nice song, very interesting video--a simple effect that doesn't get old. Perhaps because it's her.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sullivan Spanks Goldberg on Backing Torture

Abu Ghraib is one of the darkest passages in American history. Conservatives were, as Inhofe said, more outraged by the outrage than about what happened there. But, when it's not convenient--when it's called what it is--they back away from it.

Sullivan calls out one of the most egregious hypocrites in the ranks, Jonah Goldberg at the National Review. This is worth reading not to see Goldberg called the liar that he is--but for its nice clear recap of what happened and who was and is behind it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

An Interview With Hitchens

Andrew Sullivan this morning linked to this interview with Christopher Hitchens, on Michael Totten's blog--a site I was not aware of but will now follow.

Totten and Hitchens discuss Islam, its mutations and problems, Western problems of perception (and ignorance) of Islam, and the dangers posed by political correctness. It's a fascinating interview, one that makes you wish you would have been offered a chair at the table, even if your mouth had to be taped shut to sit there.

A small taste:
"If you can give the name Mohammad to a shitting, screaming, nuisance of a kid—which somebody does 5,000 times a day—then I think you should be able to give it to the class's favorite teddy bear."

Do yourself a favor and read it. Even if some of it is a bit esoteric or difficult to grasp, it's worth the read for the way it can make you stop, step back, and look at the way you look at these things. We all need these checks now and then.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Iowa Wins the Orange Bowl!

Cathy's an alum of the U of Iowa, so we watched and yelled and cheered our way through a very exciting Orange Bowl tonight. They won 24-14, though they dominated the game more than that score would indicate, shutting down Georgia Tech's option offense almost completely.

Hell of a game, and a great showing from the Big 10. And congrats to Adrian Clayborn, defensive player of the game, who will return to Iowa for his senior year.

Monday, January 04, 2010


It does amaze me the seeming impunity with which Somali pirates act. Again and again, they get away with it. It's sort of impressive.

There's an interesting proposal for dealing with it in today's NY Times.