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March 28, 2006

These Girls are Tough

Female Soldiers in the Israeli Army.

Some great images here.

Posted by jason on 02:10 PM | Comments (5)

Karaoke Revolution

So, I purchased the awesome video game Karaoke Revolution on Saturday, because we were having a birthday party for my sister in law, and she's good at singing and I thought it would be fun.

I had no idea just how fun it would be. This is one enjoyable game. It comes with a microphone that plugs into the Gamecube, and then runs this vocal analyzer that judges your pitch and timing and scores you accordingly. This description doesn't quite do the game justice, it's just a blast. We had like 8 people all playing and it was so much fun.

I've played it for hours since. You can sing duets if you have two microphones. You can play volleyball against each other, moving your players around by singing higher and lower notes. You can screetch along with Aerosmith or croon along with Whitney. Drew got a perfect score while singing Pain by Jimmy Eat World.
My 6 year old daughter really kind of rocks the score when she sings Uptown Girl by Billy Joel.

There are 4 levels of judging difficulty, easy, medium, hard, and expert. I can get perfect scores on easy. Still score platinum level on medium and hard, but wow I have to work on expert still. . . if you use and vibratto at all it thinks you've lost the pitch, which is kind of a flaw of the game I think but well I just have to adjust and show them who's the karaoke star here.

You have to try this game out. it's fun.

Posted by jason on 10:59 AM | Comments (6)

A Funeral

Yesterday I attended a funeral for my dad's older sister. It was held at an old catholic chapel on the top of a rolling hills in Cochranville, PA.

Some of the songs they sang were quite beautiful and very comforting. One in particular was "Shepherd Me, O God", check it out. It really is haunting. They had the all the congregation sing the refrain and then a woman would sing the middle parts.

Anyway, in general funerals are pretty darn sad and I was just thinking that someday myself or someone I love would be in a casket and the people who loved me would be gathered and crying and well, that is a sad thought. I'm not going to really analyze it anymore than to say that I hope that is a far way away, and that my loved ones gather with me in heaven not long afterwards.

Posted by jason on 10:44 AM | Comments (1)

March 24, 2006

Concerts on Both Horizons

The benefit concert tonight for the Invisible Children went well.

We played "Live our Lives," "Eve of destruction (Written by Barry McGuire, but covered with a lot of our own stuff in it)" and "Stop the Bleeding."

We have started preparing for the battle of the bands on April 6th.

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Jason lifts weights here hoping to have a strength advantage over the other bands in the hand-to-hand combat portion of the battle.

Posted by shane on 11:04 PM | Comments (7)

Battle of the Bands

Hey everybody! What's poppin? For real, what's been going on if all of your lives? I'm interested to know.

Anyway... we're very happy to announce that we've been selected to play at the University of Delaware's battle of the bands in the scrounge on April 8th. Coming out and voting for us would be really awesome!

25 bands applied and only 8 were accepted. I gotta say, we're in the company of some amazing bands! Here is a list if you are interested.

Stone City
Centerview
SOULoh
Dead Loretta
3 Legged Fox
Amanda Kaletsky
The Look Machine
Stranded on Third

Later.

Posted by ian on 12:11 AM | Comments (13)

March 21, 2006

The Review Article, in print

Hey all, today Collin and I went to the local Acme to see our feature article in print. And guess what, it's even cooler there than online. See it after the click.

On the front page of the whole paper, we get a mention at the top right.
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And on the front of the Mosaic section, we get an incredible spread with the title "Mechanical Perfect: The Look Machine explodes past the local music scene." Wow, thanks Review.
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And here is the article that is also online, but with a different picture.
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Posted by jason on 01:58 PM | Comments (11)

The Modern Music Weblog

It's a good day for mentions of the Look Machine. A turkish music blogger called bulut bulut wrote up a post about us here.

Look at the other bands he's profiled lately and we're in good company.

Posted by jason on 11:14 AM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2006

A Feature Article

Hey. UD's newspaper, The Review, was kind enough to do a feature article on us (you know, the Look Machine).

Anyway, here it is!

A big thanks to Wesley Case for taking the time to write this article. We appreciate it.

Ps. If you're new here feel free to hang out, read what we write, and offer your own opinion.

Posted by ian on 11:48 PM | Comments (19)

The Perfect Script for Getting out of Iraq

OK, I think it's becoming more and more apparent that we ought not be there anymore. We can argue about whether we should have gone there in the first place. Regardless, it's fairly obvious that the US has screwed up the post-war effort beyond saving. There were too few troops to ensure stability, allowing scores of terrorists to seep into the country. They lost any moral authority they might have had by creating a climate that encouraged torture. They simply failed to anticapte a number of likely scenarios that are now bitter realities.

Iraq is on the verge of a civil war, while also being a terrorist hotspot for all those who hate the US. Their own government has asked us to leave. Maybe we thought it would be great to plant a real prosperous democracy in the Middle East that would serve as a beacon of light to show them how great it would be not to live under religious dictatorships. But they tried, and they failed, and it's now costing us billions of dollars, loss of life (our troops and Iraqi civilians), and any kind of worldwide goodwill we might want or need.

So I think we need to get out of Iraq.

How can Bush do this without looking like a miserable failure?

First, he needs to address the reasons we went in there. I think he should directly admit that the WMD intelligence was faulty, and that he now regrets that his administration was wrong in what they believed at the time.

He should mention however, that the US wasn't alone in their belief that Iraq had WMD, that other major world powers believed the same. But he could just say, "We were fairly certain that they had them, and honestly any doubt that we had at the time didn't justify the risk associated with being right about our best educated hunches. We had to act."

Oh, and then he should add really we didn't go in just for the WMDs. We went in because we should have gotten Saddam out of their earlier, but we stopped just short. Saddam was a killer, and needed to be brought to justice. And you know who he should have up on the stage when he's giving this speech? The Kurds. All that talk of being welcomed with open arms and applauded like heros actually did bear out in Kurdistan, the province of Iraq that suffered the most under Saddam's rule. They do view the US as liberaters. Why Bush hasn't pushed this so far is crazy.

And he should push for independant statehood for Kurdistan. yes, that's right.

Look, the country is going to collapse into civil war anyway. Bush went into this war to liberate a country and create a state favorable to the US. If Kurdistan walks away as a free nation (they are a distinct people from the rest of Iraq), he will have done that and maybe this will salvage something positive out of this nightmare of an experiment.

And then our troops leave, in the course of 6-9 months, replaced by a non-US led UN contigent that won't be the same terror-magnet the US has become. People may counter "oh and leave the Iraqis completely alone, to be slaughtered." I would counter then that I might have agreed with you 6 months ago, but it's becoming increasingly clear to me that our presence there is adding to the slaughter, and with recent mass executions and bombings we aren't doing much to prevent it anyway.

If the US leaves, Iraq isn't nearly the al queda mecca it's become. If you take away the beer from a bar, soon the drinkers will stop showing up.

I actually think if Bush realizes his mistake now, just into its 4th year, and doesn't extend the confusion and the death, history will treat him more kindly. Vietnam was a disaster, and we should heed the lessons. In the end, Bush will not have enacted a draft (thank goodness), will have kept American casualties relatively low, and will have a strong ally where an enemy once stood. At least they could spin it this way (not mentioning the billions of dollars wasted, the distraction to bringing bin Laden to justice, the thousands of innocent civilians dead, and the hell of our making in Iraq).

But hey, it's better than staying there without any strategy, continuing to burn through people and money while accomplishing nothing.

That's my opinion now.

Posted by jason on 09:30 PM | Comments (8)

March 17, 2006

This has to be great for the Fishies

So, did you know that Chicago literally dyes the water green around Saint Patrick's Day? I guess that it's a peace of Lake Michigan, maybe, it's been a while since geography, I don't know.

Somebody just was showing me that, and I thought that it was pretty cool/weird.

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(All these pictures are simply "borrowed" from Google Images.)

Posted by shane on 11:48 AM | Comments (6)

A Tyrant Deposed

Let's face it. Iraq is in chaos. On Tuesday, 85 unidentified bodies showed up in and around Baghdad. 27 more showed up since then. The strange thing is that these people were not killed in air strikes, they weren't killed in battle, they weren't even killed in any known military actions. They were executed.

15 bodies were found piled in the back of a pickup truck, 29 more were found in a shallow, roadside grave tied hand and foot and shot. The bodies show the marks of torture and execution. Bullets through the head, throats cut and strangled with razor wire. Nobody is taking responsibility.

The media is offering very little insight into the situation, maybe because there’s not much light to be shed on it. Shiites seem to be blaming Sunnis. Sunnis say it looks the work of “police commandos.” I can't even find out what party the executed belong to.

The New York Times reported this week that Iraq is on the verge of civil war. Shiites and Sunnis are slaughtering each other in ever increasing numbers. On February 22 a Shiite masque was bombed, presumably by angry Sunnis. The Shiites have been fighting back killing Sunnis in their masques, in the neighborhoods… anywhere really. Over 500 people have been killed in the aftermath of the bombings.

Meanwhile, Saddam is in on trial. Personally, I hoped that he would get into that court room and be charged with all sorts of atrocities. We all heard that he was a heinous villain, committing genocide against his own people with chemical weapons. He threw people in pools of acid until they were just skeletons. Or did he?

He’s being charged with crimes against humanity for being connected with the execution of 148 Shiite Iraqis in retaliation to an assassination attempt in 1982. 148 people…

In the last 3 years a bare minimum of 33,000 civilians have been violently killed. Let’s keep in mind that this is a very low estimate and that the BBC estimated well over 100,000 innocent people had been killed as of October 2004.

So now after spending $250 billion. (again a low estimate). Losing thousands of Americans, and killing countless Iraqis we’ve got a country slipping into a religious civil war.

What has been gained? We’ve ousted a tyrant authorized the killing of 148 people. I hoped for more.
Never mind that North Korea is sitting on its Nukes (the same ones we knew they had when we invaded Iraq. Plus some new ones…). Never mind that Osama Bin Ladan is hiding in Pakistan. Never mind that some 400,000 people have been killed and over 2 million displaced in an ongoing genocide in Sudan. We really took care of Iraq. There is one lest terrorist state in the world we have to worry about, and there’s one less tyrant still in power.

Posted by ian on 12:28 AM | Comments (16)

March 16, 2006

Josh Darnit's Photography

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Our good friend J.D. spent his spring break in Peru doing some awesome stuff. You should take a look at his Brand new website to see hundreds of amazing pictures.

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Keep checking back too, he's still building this site.

macchu piccu is on the way

Posted by ian on 08:50 PM | Comments (3)

March 14, 2006

Because it Looks Nice

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You gotta admit, this site looks way better with pictures.

I went outside the other day, and the wind was just throwing the trees around! It was really cool to see. This picture doesn't capture the motion, but i like it anyway.

Posted by ian on 11:39 PM | Comments (5)

Invisible Children

Yo. How's everybody doing? Anybody else totally bored with this blog? I sure am. It's killing me. Let me be honest, I might be a little obsessed with it. I check like 10 times a day to see if anything new has been posted... and lately nothing has.

Look, calm down! I'm not trying to blame you. And please, for the love of all things good, stop blaming me. I'm a busy guy. I have other things to do besides post... like check ten times a day to see if anybody else has posted.

I swear, if we regularly posted something as funny as the picture post Collin put up here the other day we'd be the most famous band in the world. For real, that was good stuff.


So we're playing another show at the Barn on March 24th. It should be awesome.

There's some really cool girl named Laura playing that night. Not that I'm biased or anything, but I think she's very good! She's playing two amazing songs too. Just wait till you hear them. They're covers, and I'd tell you what they were, but that would just ruin the surprise now wouldn't it?

Anyway, I think we're going to play maybe three songs. It will be an acoustic thing, so it should be really chill and cool. And it's for an awesome cause too. Go here and take a look!

It's about time somebody is doing something about this. We are very honored and proud to do whatever we can do to make a change in the world and raise awareness about this issue.

Come and check it out.

Posted by ian on 11:27 PM | Comments (10)

March 12, 2006

The Song of the Sea

Pretty awesome show tonight actually. Brian Simpson did an amazing job of getting people there. And the music was excellent all around. This night honestly quite exceeded my expectations by about 200%.

By the way, if you ever hang out at myspace, this song is darned funny. (warning, it's not completely . . . clean.)

Posted by jason on 01:03 AM | Comments (3)

March 10, 2006

BP, what's your carbon footprint now?

You know that we as a band are against ANWAR artic drilling. Here's why. I got this email from Drew McConville of the Wilderness Society today.

It involves BP, who has done a good job of convincing the consumer that they care about mucking up the world.

BREAKING: Largest Oil Spill Ever on Alaska’s North Slope
After days of lowball estimates (ten times lower!), BP and cleanup officials finally announced today that 201,000 to 267,000 gallons of crude oil were likely spilled this week in Prudhoe Bay, an area just west of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The spill -- the largest in the history of Alaska’s North Slope -- underscores the fact that oil drilling is a dirty business and has no business in a world-class wildlife refuge. Such a large spill should make it even harder for the drilling lobby to sell their unwanted plan to drill the Arctic Refuge.

AP story
BP’s press release

Abuse of Power: Senate Rules Twisted to Push Arctic Refuge Drilling… Again
The full Senate will vote next week on whether or not to pass a budget resolution whose only instructions would be to the Energy Committee to authorize drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Because they cannot pass their shortsighted drilling plan by any other means, pro-drilling GOP leaders are manipulating the federal budget for the sole purpose of forcing Arctic Refuge drilling through the Senate by a bare majority. Although they tried the same scheme last year, Senator Stevens and his allies are not even pretending that this year’s budget instructions have anything to do with balancing the budget anymore.

Statement from The Wilderness Society

Posted by jason on 04:56 PM | Comments (3)

March 09, 2006

Happy Birthday to me.

Aom_rock_magical made me this birthday card and posted it on our MySpace site. Thank you so much! I feel very special.

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Posted by collin on 08:47 AM | Comments (9)

Another New Album

So I just thought you all should know, Thursday is releasing a new album really soon! I'm really excited for it. Collin, Shane, Nathan and I saw them at the Starland this winter and they played some new songs from this record and they were absolutely amazing! I can't wait to hear it.

For a prieview check out their Myspace site.

They are going on tour with Mewithoutyou, one of my favorite bands. I'm going to see them in Sonar in Baltimore on May 8th.

I just sent them an email begging them to let the Look Machine open for them. That would be so amazing! It would really be a dream come true for us. I think they are Shane's favorite band of all time.

Posted by ian on 12:28 AM | Comments (8)

March 07, 2006

the new album...

finis est

Posted by shane on 04:30 AM | Comments (14)

March 06, 2006

Sexiest Band in Philadelphia

So after the show at the North Star Bar last night, we received the biggest honor a band can ever dream of. We have been officially named the sexiest band in philadelphia. Click below to see a poster of us in all our glory as well as some individual glam shots (click the images to see a bigger version of each one).

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We also got our pimp names from an online pimp name generator. Here we are at our very best

Jase (aka: Macktastic latshaw Large)

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Drew (aka: Pimp Daddy D. Dogg)

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Shane (aka: Ghetto Fabulous palkovitz Sweetness)

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Ian (aka: Bishop Don I. Flava)

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Collin (aka: Dopetastic palkovitz Rock)

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Chad, our guitar tech (aka: pimptastic chad dazzle)

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Josh, our waterboy (aka: Mr. White Chocolate J. Dawg)

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and finally... josh the holy mountain

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Posted by collin on 09:13 PM | Comments (18)

Rundown of the last two nights

March 4th at the Garage.
On my birthday, I attended a nice wedding, which we had to leave early to head to Kennett for what was hopefully going to be a great show. Uh oh.

When we get there things are cool enough. Pretty nice crowd, seems to be interested in the music being played, good piano led music by corin joel.

We duck into the bathroom to change out of our wedding attire, and all of the machine are in there for a while. We talk about stuff, laught, nothing much. Come back out, eat a little pizza, get ready for our show, which should be starting in 30 minutes, since it is 8.30 and we start at 9.

At 6.45 a man in a red hoody approaches me with an unfriendly look on his face. "Can I talk to you for a minute?" I follow him as he makes his way to the bathroom. Drew tags along.

He waves his arm around the bathroom, ending with a vague point towards a bucket of cleaning supplies, "Was this bottle here when your band was in here?"

I look towards the bucket and see about 5-6 bottles of cleaning supplies. I have no idea if they were here before, what is this, Highlights magazine with its "what's different" picture puzzle? I say, unconvincingly. . . . "No. . . oooo.. . .oooo... . . I don't think so, maybe. I don't know."

Then I notice what has him so agitated. A broken bottle of Corona lays on the floor with beer scattered all around the room. I quickly try to amend what I now realize probably sounded like a pretty suspicious answer. "Oh, if you mean this broken bottle of beer, I can tell you that if it was in here when we were in here, it wasn't broken at that time." Now I realize that I probably sound like Bill Clinton parsing words so that I can lie without lying. And I can tell the dude thinks that we were responsible. The Garage is owned by a church and is meant to be used for Youth Groups, by the way.

Which is very strange, considering that I've had exactly one sip of beer in my entire life, from my dad one time, and I hated it and avoid alchohol like the plague.

"Can you get the rest of your band in here please?" We all herd into this small room with broken glass and puddles of beer so he can interrogate us. The others actually see the broken bottle and answer more negatively from the onset. He leaves us alone. Once he's safely out of earshot, Collin remarks that if we really were a rock band partying in the bathroom, we'd probably have more than one small bottle of Corona among the 5 of us, passing it around for sips to get ready for our show.

Speaking of the show, we're ready. We get up on the stage. The red hoody man approaches us again. "Hold on, please don't play now, I have to sort this out first." He's moving from small group to small group, asking them all similar questions of everyone. I wonder if he expects that someone will just say, "Yeah that was me, oh is that a problem?"

10 minutes goes by. 15. People are leaving now. Maybe freaked out by the Spanish Inquisition they are facing. Argh.

"Can we play now?" I ask.

"Just a minute." He replies.

He gathers all the adults and takes them into a back room. To talk about the crushed beer bottle.

Another 10 minutes passes. Finally he says we can start.

And we do, and we're playing well, and it's good. But it's late, and honestly, there aren't as many people there as there were before. And people are leaving. Of course, there are those staying and listening. But still, those people who leave. . . .

Then the technical difficulties set in. Ian's amp finks out and we play an intro to a song for about 4 minutes while trying to fix it. Then a keyboard we had been planning on using had been packed up by the band before us and they left. (thanks for the support fellas). Then Ian's delay affect mysteriously breaks and seriously wounds a song that relies on it. Then Collin's guitar just stops working. And the show is over.

Hurray. Nice birthday present. . . . on the bright side, we sounded good. But for me, we've been working on this album which sounds honestly quite good and I think that subconsciously my expectations for the shows had risen because of it. And this was just a very disappointing night, to see people walking away while we played.

March 5th, North Star Bar
This bitter night weighs on me as we prepare for opening the CD Release Show for Boy Sets Fire. Having a sucky show in a backwoods youth group center is one thing - opening a sold out show in Philadelphia is quite another. We try to make our set "affect-proof" by only picking songs that play straight guitars and distortion.

At 7.15, we start playing (which by the way did kind of stink because some of our fans from New Jersey had called the club and been told that we would start at 7.30, so they only saw one song.) And wonder of wonders, people are listening. And people are kind of in to it. And we sound good, and we work our way through a 30 minute 6 song set without many problems. (Our best song at this time was too slow for some reason, I missed a couple of high notes late in the set. On Simpler then it Seems a strange thing timing happened towards the end), but overall we gave a high energy set that sounded good and people enjoyed.

It was just what we needed to wash away that bitter bad show taste. After the show a number of people told me that we rocked, and we even got a small write-up online that said,


i thought it was fucking RIDICULOUS, every opening band was good (blackthroat wore on the nerves a bit after the first two songs), the look machine was great and piss and vinegar had a great soung

That's pretty cool because he wasn't just showering around the opening band praise. In fact, we got a great shout out if you ask me. Blackthroat wore on him after a while. PissnVinegar had a great sound, but he thought we were great all around. Very cool.

Again, we thank Boy Sets Fire for this opportunity, and they put on such an excellent show it was amazing. Buy their CD, it's awesome.

Posted by jason on 11:02 AM | Comments (14)

March 03, 2006

North Star Bar Show -- Sold Out

Hey everyone, the North Star show on Sunday with Boysetsfire is now sold out. However, if you would like to go, please email us at info@thelookmachine.com because there are still a very small amount of tickets that you could still buy. But you have to contact us very soon.

Looking forward to it, hopefully we'll see you there. And hopefully we'll see you tomorrow night too at the Garage.

Posted by jason on 09:40 PM | Comments (2)

Tomorrow. Be there.

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Posted by jason on 02:12 PM | Comments (2)

3/3 Basement Show

I know this is going to put a severe crimp in the plans of our many international and national fans who have already purchased airline tickets to fly to NJ, but the basement show has been postponed, probably until some time in April. We'll give you more definite details once everything is made concrete.

Sorry. We're still playing 3/4 and 3/5 though.

Posted by jason on 02:02 AM | Comments (3)

March 02, 2006

Waterfall in Washington

Twin Falls State Park in the Foothills of the Cascades.

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Posted by jason on 12:32 PM | Comments (5)

March 01, 2006

A thought (or maybe it's two)

I've decided that the internet is a preditor, and it eats only time.

I swear, I waste so much time doing nothing online. I just surfe around, reading this xanga and that blog, check the news and play snake. For real, it probably kills a bar minimum of 30-45 minutes a day, and sometimes a lot more.

Last night I decided not to go online at all. Instead I played guitar and watched my fish swim around their tank. It was so nice! I'm trying to cut way back on needless internet time.

I want my life back.

In other news, the Penguine Club took it's February swim today (techincally yesterday). It was by far the coldest of the year. I thought my face was going to freeze off, and my toes turned white and were totally numb for probaby about six years afterwards... anyway, I'm off to crawl into a sleeping bag and sleep outside.

Posted by ian on 12:24 AM | Comments (11)