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December 30, 2005

10 Years (and Counting)

10 years ago a lucky boy married a beautiful girl. Now, 2 kids, a couple of college degrees, and 3 careers later, we're still having the time of our lives. Here's to you Darby, and growing old together. Love you.

Posted by jason on 02:43 PM | Comments (8)

A Brothers' Tradition Continues

Every year for the past 6 years, the Palkovitz brothers have had a tradition of a winter trip to vermont. You may remember that I wrote about it last year. We usually leave right after Christmas and and go up to a cabin in the national forest to spend a couple of days hiking in the woods, sliding on frozen lakes, skiing behind the truck (kind of like water skiing but on land and terrifying), and doing whatever else we dare each other to do.

This year was perhaps the best year yet. It was great to have a few days to just hang out, goof off, talk, and spend time together. We had fantastic weather, plenty of snow, and the ramshackle cabin was still standing and unoccupied, so we stayed there again. I love this tradition.

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A pond made by a beaver dam.
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A birch tree.
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And, as can be expected when you get the 4 Palkovitz brothers together in the winter, there was a great deal of snow throwing. Here's Nathan getting his christmas present from Ian.
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Ian can thank Shane for this beauty.
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And, finally, shane doesn't need an older brother to have a good snowball fight.
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Posted by collin on 10:26 AM | Comments (8)

Mountains and Mole-hills

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Posted by collin on 10:23 AM | Comments (1)

December 26, 2005

Thailand Rocks out to the Look Machine

We get some great comments on our myspace site. Here is one from a fan in Thailand.

YO! U know what? I opened your songs in our party at my school! My friends were danced and I was jumped with your songs! I like them so much!!! YEH!!! I"M TLM"S FAN! :D

Wow, maybe we need to book a show at a school in Thailand. Pronto. That way we can make sure that many many more people get jumped with our songs. How's that for awesome?

Posted by jason on 11:52 PM | Comments (10)

December 23, 2005

Free Download on iTunes

The Chronic-WHAT-cles of Narnia is a free video download from iTunes.

Thanks, Saturday Night Live and Apple!

Posted by jason on 01:07 AM | Comments (4)

Ticketmaster is such a scam.

Today I bought 2 tickets to see the band The Fray at the TLA as a Christmas present for my sister. (It's not a suprise.)

These tickets were supposed to be $10 each. They are open admission, standing room only. Guess how much my total bill was (and I chose the free shipping option since for some reason email wasn't offered and I couldn't stomach the thought of paying an additional $15 for them to mail me two pieces of paper sooner.)

$35.50. $35.50

What in the world Ticketmaster, how in the world can you get away with this? That's a 75% markup. And there is no other way to get these tickets. That would be like fandango charging you an extra $7.50 for your $10 movie tickets. They charge you $1.

Aren't they the classic example of a monopoly - a company that has no competitors so they can charge whatever they want to charge and we just grin and bear it. Monopolies are illegal.

They have no competitors. They charge an exhorbitant amount for their services. They provide an essential service (if you are a music fan).

Whatever, I hate Ticketmaster. And if I was The Fray, who are doing a pretty cool thing by keeping their ticket prices low only to have TM come in and still make the night an expensive outing, I'd be especially angry.

Posted by jason on 12:56 AM | Comments (76)

December 21, 2005

Artic Refuge is Safe. For Now.

First Fair Hill, and now this. This has actually been quite a good year for environmental causes.

I say good thing, no doubt. People talk about lessoning our dependence on foreign oil. I say lesson our dependence on oil, period. We're smart people, and there are alternative energy processes that we can exploit.

Posted by jason on 02:59 PM | Comments (1)

December 20, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia Rap from SNL

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I don't know if anyone caught last weekend's SNL, but since I am a Jack Black fan I had to watch it.

It was actually one of the best episodes in recent memory. I haven't actually laughed out loud while watching Saturday Night Live in quite some time, but their Chronicles of Narnia rap just had me laughing all by myself like a crazy person. I thought I'd share it with all of you. Listen to the words, they are very funny. And it's not all about Narnia. It's just kind of about a Lazy Sunday and all these things these dudes do.

The Chronic - What? - Cles of Narnia!!!

Update: Click for the lyrics to the song and a link to the MP3 file. (Yes, I may seem obsessed but come on this is really clever and funny.

Lyrics:

Lazy Sunday wake up in the late afternoon
call Parnell just to see how he's doing
hello what up pas! yo sandburg, whats rocking?
you thinking what i'm thinking? narnia! then it's happening!
But first, my hunger pangs are sticking like duct tape
let's hit up magnolia and mack on some cupcakes
No doubt, that bakery's got all the bomb frosting.
i love those cupcakes like mcadams loves gosling
2 no 6 no 12, bakers dozen!
i told you that i'm crazy for these cupcakes, cousin!
yo wheres the movie playing? upper west side dude!
let's hit up yahoo maps to find the dopest route.
i prefer mapquest! that's a good one too.
googlemaps is the best! true that! double true!
68th and broadway step on it sucker!
what you want to do chris? snack attack, motherfcuker!
what the chronic(les!) of narnia!
we love that chronic(les!) of narnia!
pass that chronic(les!) of narnia!
yo stop at the deli, the theatre is overpriced!
you got that backpack? i'm going to pack it up nice.
we don't want security to get suspicious!
mr pibbs plus red vines equals crazy delicious.
reach in my pocket and pull out some dough
girl acted like she never seen a $10 before!
it's all about the hamiltons baby
throw the snacks in a bag and i'm ghost like swayze.
roll up to the theate ticket buying what we're handling,
Call us Aaron Burr from the way we're dropping hamiltons
in our seats movie trivia is the illest!
question: what friends star starred in a movie with bruce willis?
we answered so fast it was scary:
everyone stared at us is awe when we screamed matthew perry!
quiet in the theatre or else it'll get tragic
we're about to be taken to a dream world of magic
what the chronic(les!) of narnia! (repeats)
we love that chronic(les!) of narnia!
pass that chronic(les!) of narnia!

MP3 link

Posted by jason on 01:14 PM | Comments (19)

December 17, 2005

Reminder

Hey, if you've got nothing to do tonight, swing by the barn. We're playing a show there.

Posted by ian on 03:45 PM | Comments (4)

December 16, 2005

The Look Machine PWNs the internet

We have been having trouble recently with something called bandwidth leaching. Basically, that is when people do an image search, steal pictures from our site, and put them on their site. The problem with this is that people leave the pictures on our server so all of their traffic and all of the bandwidth they use counts against us! The worst part is that when you view one of these leach sites, you would never the difference. It just looks like a normal picture on a web site, so all of that traffic was doing NOTHING good for us. We have been getting thousands and thousands of these kinds of hits per day and that was beginning to adversely affect our site. It was time to put the smack down. The smack came in the form of the pretty little picture below.

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With the help of our friend Joe (the code master) from Elany Arts, and the kind people at Ask Meta Filter we wrote a little piece of HTML code called an image redirect for our site. Basically, what this does is redirect every one of those leaching links to the "official fanclub member" picture above. The result was that we instantaneously had thousands of sites hosting our banner and claiming to be a part of our fanclub. It is hilarious. It is so seamlessly incorporated into these sites, it looks intentional.

Here are a few examples of the beauty in action:

1. Remember the "Happy Birthday" post I wrote back in the summer for Poncho? Well people have been linking to that birthday cake by the thousands. it seems that every time somebody wants to wish their cyber-pal a happy b-day on their myspace site or on their blog, they just take advantage of our server space and use that picture. Well, thanks to our fancy redirect, there are now thousands of people giving out "Official Look Machine Fanclub Member" birthday cards. I especially love the one below. It looks like the author just loves us so much that they thought they would wish their mom a happy birthday with a picture of... yours truly.
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2. Remember when Shane posted that picture of the squirrel with the machine gun? Well people keep finding that in the search engines and then linking to it and leaching our bandwidth. This guy below posted it as his "pic of the week" but now it just looks like he is a HUGE Look Machine fan and he is so proud of it that he posts it as his picture of the week.
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3. I have no idea what this guy was saying, but now we are his new favorite American band!
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There are thousands of these online now and it has been bringing us tremendous joy. I think it is only a matter of time, however, until some hapless person who doesn't know what they did gets extremely mad and writes us a nasty letter accusing us of hacking their site. If that happens, I will take great joy in reminding them that they brought it on their own head. That's what you get for being a thief. You really can turn any situation into something good... like free advertising.

Posted by collin on 02:28 PM | Comments (10)

December 15, 2005

Peter Jackson's King Kong

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As part of our work at Elany Arts, we had to do a number of projects including King Kong, the upcoming feature film from Peter Jackson. We had a good time with those jobs, so we decided to take a company field trip to see it yesterday during the day.

I have to say, Kong is one sensitive buttkicking king, and I loved it. But beware, this movie will cause you to cry, unless you're a heartless beast.

This is one great film with a miracle of special effects work in Kong. He's just such an accomplishment, this digital creature with such a soul and better acting than 95% of other movies. The humans around him - especailly Naomi Watts' Ann Darrow, do a fine job too. You never for one moment doubt that the beast and the woman are sharing the same space.

There are so many excellent moments in this film. When Kong first defends Ann against a huge number of deadly predators, it's probably one of the best action sequences I've ever seen. Just amazing. The moment when Ann realizes that Kong is not a killer to run from but a protector to run towards is just perfect. The time when Ann manages to melt Kong's heart for the first time is also priceless, as are the sunset and frozen pond scenes.

Hey, and who doesn't love some giant deadly insect scenes too? I know I like them.

The emotional connection between Kong and Ann is so real, it hurts. It's not a romantic love, more like the love of a father and a daughter mixed with the love between of a dog and it's master. Strange, I know. The way the film causes you to love Kong makes the last 3rd of the film so darn hard to watch, but it is beautiful and sad. It's almost like a funeral. Some executives at Universal told Collin that this would not be your standard monster movie, that the goal was to make you empasize with Kong. Well, they certainly did that.

There are some minor quibbles (NOT the 3 hour running time though, I love long movies!).

For instance, there is probably a little too much time before you meet the King, especially on the boat with the crew. I think they are trying to make you care about the crew, but from some reason you just don't (and that's ok, you spend most of your emotion on Kong and Ann).

They spend a lot of time especially on a deckhand boy and his mentor, and that could be cut from the film if you ask me, it just never pays off at all.

And there is a cool dinasaur stampede that probably causes you to suspend too much disbelief (and I think the effects on this particular scene are the most noticeable CGI).

And there are some Jackson film tricks that kind of took me out of the movie and made me think, "Hey this is alot like Lord of the Rings!" Like blurry action sequences, slow motion with high ethereal female vocals, and orc-looking set design. Now I like these things actually, and if Jackson wants a trademark that's cool, so I think I'd leave them in. But they did take me out of the experience for a moment and made me think, "Yep, I'm watching a movie."

But all those things become so minor once Kong starts rampaging around the screen that they are like complaining about the color of the doorknob to your honeymoon suite. That is to say. . . you should be able to quickly forget such things once the good stuff starts. And if you can't, you have serious problems.

All told though, you have to see this movie on the big screen. It's really excellent. And I never understood what was so special about King Kong before. Like, he's just a big monkey. But no, he's much more. He is truly the 8th Wonder of the World.

Posted by jason on 01:47 PM | Comments (10)

December 13, 2005

A fine ride

Tonight I went horseback riding with my mom. (In case you don't know this, she's a cool person). It's almost the full moon, and it's all snowy out so it was really beautiful. We went out in Fair Hill, or the seven thousand acres, and rode for a little it over an hour.

It was really cold out, so we went bareback. It's really nice and warm that way. When you're sitting right on the horse you can borrow some of their body heat, and they are really nice and fuzzy.

Anyhow, we were out there, riding through the fields in the dark and my horse started getting nervous. She is a really big animal (half Clydesdale, which is the Budweiser Horse) and she seems a lot bigger when she's scared.

Something startled her and she shied, so I ended up on my butt on the ground. I've had this horse for like 4 years now, and this was the first time I've ever fallen off her. I'm kind of glad I did.

Whenever it's been too long since I've done something it starts to seem scary. I haven't fallen off a horse in ages, so I've been really careful not to recently. Partly to keep my good record going, partly because I forgot that it's really not a big deal.

Also, I came to the conclusion that there is absolutely no reason to play tackle football then be worried about falling off a horse. It makes no sense. It's really not any more dangerous than anything else I do.

Now I remember, falling is just part of riding and that's ok.

Posted by ian on 12:23 AM | Comments (15)

December 12, 2005

Concert Update

Hey. Jessica Copeland will be playing at the barn this Saturday. She's got some really cool music, and I'm looking foreward to hearing it!

Posted by ian on 04:17 PM | Comments (3)

December 11, 2005

Acoustic Concert: Saturday December 17th, 7pm

We have another concert going on this coming saturday. It's going to be all acoustic, and really great. Here is the Lineup.

The mind-blowing Shane Palkovitz. What can I say about this guy that you don't alread know? He's amazing.

Anna Altimus. She's Singer/songwriter who plays piano and is really cool.

Shannnon Lynch-Palkovitz. Shannon also plays piano and sings. She writes really cool songs that are down to earth, but they're fun and still make you think.

Darby Latshaw. I'd write a description of Darby's music, but if you've never heard her you wouldn't believe me. If you have heard her, then you'll probably be there and need no reminding. She's amazing, I'll just leave it at that.

The Look Machine. We're playing all acoustic and really chill. We'll probably be doing some of our more intricate and interesting songs.

The concert will be at the Barn. Here are the directions: It's 3224 Appleton Road, Landenburg, PA 19350.

If you are headed North from newark it will be on your right. Cross Strickersville road, and go about a quarter or a third of a mile then make a right. It's a long long gravel driveway, but there is a sign that says Vineyard Christian Fellowship.

From the north you will get onto Appleton Road from 896/New London Road, pass Walker road, pass three entrances to developments on your left, then turn left on the long long gravel driveway at the sign.

It's not a huge sign, but if you keep your eyes open you should see it.

This is another benefit for Laura and me. We'll be going on a trip with Mercy Ships next summer. We're trying to get together enough money for our plane tickets.

It's going to be a great concert! Hopefully I'll see you there.

Posted by ian on 09:52 PM | Comments (2)

Concert tonight.

Hey everybody! We had a really good time playing tonight. I thought the whole concert was a lot of fun.

Thanks to everybody who came out, we really appreciate it. Thanks also to everybody who played. You guys sounded really good. For real, it was amazing to be there to listen to everybody. I just saw so much talent tonight.

David brought a sound system and ran sound tonight. He did an amazing job. A lot of people told me that our mix was the best they have ever heard it. Thanks man. You rock.

All told, Laura and me were able to raise about $200 for our trip with Mercy Ships. That's awesome.

Posted by ian on 01:21 AM | Comments (4)

December 07, 2005

Oliver the Humanzee helps the Look Machine

Almost on a lark, I posted about Oliver the Humanzee quite some time ago.

Little did I know that he would be making us fans some day. For example, gillian writes us and tells us:

i googled humanzee today after watching the same documentary and your site came up. then i d/led all your mp3s and they are awesome, and you know what is more awesome is that you recorded them in boysetsfire's basement cause they are like my fourth favorite band ever.

Also, on our myspace site we got this comment:

Awesome songs! keep it up! I actually came across your music pretty strangely. I was googling humanzee and y'all popped up with some discussion that the humanzee, Oliver, is actually just a chimpanzee... Thanks. :)


And through google, we get more than 300 hits a day from people searching for - you guessed it - our friend oliver the humanzee.

You know, ever since I first saw the documentary about this creature, I was inspired to write a song called "The Ballad of the Humanzee" about not kind of being a part of two worlds, but not belonging in either one. I think I have to finish it so we can capitilize on this groundswell of Humanzee related fervor.

Posted by jason on 11:41 AM | Comments (5)

Back from the Dead

Hello everyone, you may have noticed that my posting has been a little on the light side lately. This is because I had an extended bout with the non-respiratory flu, one which I only very narrowly won.

Ugh, talk about horrible. 10 straight days of fevers above 102, all the way up to 103.7. Piercing, torture-filled headaches. The chills. The sweats. Unable to regulate body temperature at all. Unable to get comfortable. I even had a touch of vertigo one night, unable to stand up straight, the world spinning around me. I threw up.

So I'm probably at about 70% now. Still very tired, but the fever has broken and I'm in full recovery mode now. Which is a good thing, since I had a large number of projects piling up while I laid in bed 24 hours a day. I love sleeping in, but when you don't do anything else it can become its own hell.

On the bright side: I watched the entire first season of Six Feet Under in one and a half days. What a well-made show. Hmmm. . . other than nice care received from my wife and kids, that's about the only bright side to the whole experience. Oh, I did get lots of prayer from caring people, like my parents, so that was nice too.

In non-flu related news, since the release of the vine magazine's video of Simpler than it Seems, we've been getting between 100-120 downloads of that song everyday. If you think about it, that is really a lot of people to be downloading a particular song.

If we could only identify where these people are, we could play some pretty fun shows, you know?

Posted by jason on 10:10 AM | Comments (9)

December 06, 2005

Another video Update

Hello everyone.

Here is another video. It is quite funny, I think. (Ian is the wonder filmographer, filmer... camera man. whatever. he is the one responsible for capturing this timeless jewel on tape, or gigabytes or something...)

There may be another version with audio sometime soon on here.

Does anyone know any good free video uploading sites?

well, without further adieu, here be a picture link for this fantabulous video:

Posted by shane on 12:42 AM | Comments (7)

December 03, 2005

Concert: Saturday December 10th, 7pm

Hey everybody! How are you doing? Thought you might like to know, we're having a concert on Saturday December 10th. It's going to be acoustic, and it's going to be awesome, so you should come. Here is the Lineup.

Ian (yeah, I'll be playing an acoustic song)

Tyler Somers. This is one person who's deffinately on the up and up! He's a great musician, and a great guy. For real, check out his music, then come listen to him.

Jenny Appel. Jenny is awesome too! Check out some of her stuff. Besides writing really good music, she has class with me 8 times a week. Deffinately cool!

Steph. She's a music major from the UD. She's a really talented musician, an especially great violinist.

The Stunning Shane Palkovitz

David Watts, Uriah Stock, and Jamie (sorry dude I don't know your last name). These guys are awesome, so come listen to them.

The Look Machine

Directions: The concert will be in Calvary Fellowship Newark. It's a church building located at the intersection of E. Delaware avenue and Haines street. It's right near the Starbucks on Main street, and about a 3 minute walk from the UD Campus.

Drive down E. Delaware Avenue in the right lane. Turn right onto Haines street (first street after Academy). Make an immediate left into the parking lot.

This concert will be benefitting Laura ane me. We are taking a trip with Mercy Ships and we need some money to get there. Any support would be greatly appreciated! There's no set price. $5 would be awesome, but if you don't have that kind of money, that's fine. Come out anyway and have fun!

Posted by ian on 11:52 PM | Comments (9)