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July 31, 2006

Tribute

Some terrible news came out today. BoySetsFire is calling it quits. I honestly feel like someone I know and love has died. It's just so sad. I think their latest album was their best, and it makes me so upset that there won't be another.

Driving today, I didn't even want to listen to the bands so have so obviously been influenced by them, like Thrice and AFI. Anyway, since the band has given us both After and Before the Eulogy, I guess know is the time for the actual Eulogy.

What a band. I know all the guys personally of course, so you might think that makes me biased. But if anything, that would make me biased against them, not for them. In fact, for that reason I didn't really listen to them at all until they had been around for like 5 years.

But wow I can't believe what I was missing. The mixture of passion, incredible guitars, awesome percussion, inspirational vocals, meaningful lyrics is just about without peer. And their live show. If you haven't even seen them live, you better fly to Europe or figure out a way to attend one of their as of yet unannounced last shows on the east coast. I'm honored that we ever got to share a stage with them.

The songs, the songs! How does a band with only 3 full length releases have so many great tunes? Is there a better ballad rock fusion then My Life in the Knife Trade? Is there any song that gets a crowd as riled up as After the Eulogy (known to many as the "Rise!" song). In Hope, Timothy, Hometown Report Card, Last Year's Nest, Empire, Requiem. . . the list goes on. And has anyone ever written a song like So Long and thanks for the Crutches? I know 100s of bands that would kill to have one song of that calibre in their library, and they have enough to fill a couple sets.

What probably makes me most upset (other then not getting to hear another boysetsfire album, man misery index was so good. .. ) is that now it's pretty obvious that this phenomenal band won't get the commercial success they so richly deserve. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against Fall Out Boy or Panic at the Disco or any of those bands that somehow managed to crib BSF's sound and sell 100s of thousands of records. . . but wow doesn't this music deserve to heard and adored by scores more then, say, Dance Dance. Oh well. Stupid world, you miss out on so many great things. At least Germany got it right here, BSF would always play to thousands there.

So if I ever make a great movie and have the clout to decide on the soundtrack, rest assured I will pepper it with some outstanding BSF songs, introducing the world to the wonder of these songs that they should let themselves obsess over.

Good luck guys, and thanks for the music.

PS. Some reunion shows and the ocassional straight to iTunes release would be awesome. I know you have to move on, but a little revisit here and there would also be a good thing, right?

Posted by jason on 09:05 PM | Comments (9)

July 28, 2006

Man Playing Star Wars on the Banjo

I found Ian's kindred spirit.

Posted by jason on 01:14 PM | Comments (4)

July 26, 2006

Two Sides of Ghana

DishesBlog.jpg
There was a lot of work.

GhanaMTNBlog.jpg
And a lot of beautiful places.

Posted by ian on 04:55 PM | Comments (5)

July 25, 2006

Collin has some explaining to do

Collin and I both work for Elany Arts, a creative production company. Elany will probably be developing a new website for the Blood Band of Delmarva, and a couple of weeks ago we met with them in their office to discuss it.

While talking about what would be good on the site, we brought up maybe featuring people who have donated an extraordinary amount of time. They liked the idea, and told us that one person had donated platelets over 300 times. We were impressed.

On the way out of the building, Collin remarked to me, "It's great that man has donated so many times, but he's also made a load of money off of it. $15,000."

I was amazed, "Really? That's a lot of money!"

"Yeah, I couldn't believe it either, but you get paid $50 each time you donate. I read it."

We continued to discuss this. You can donate 4 times a month, and earn $50 each time. A married couple could make $400 a month doing this. . .. that's a lot of money a month!

We thought of all the people we knew who could use an extra $200 a month, and decided to tell them about this underutilized gateway to riches. Morally good AND financially beneficial. . . does it get any better?

I told my brother. And my mom. And Drew. I even thought that all Look Machine members could do it weekly to add to our meager band fund.

My brother and mom and Drew told MANY other people. I mean, LOTS. And just as predicted, $200 a month is a nice addition to any budget. There was lots of interest. Drew had figured out a way to get the Nintendo DS and XBOX 360 he's been coveting. His brother was going to get a second job to pay the bills, but realized he could cover things by giving platelets. One woman, when told of this brilliant plan, sighed with relief, "I can really use that cash, this is a godsend."

I thought before people signed up, I should try it out, see exactly what it was like. So I signed up for an appointment. Funny thing. .. they didn't mention the $50, and I didn't want to seem, uh, mercenary. So I didn't ask. I figured that they kind of just handed the $50 check to you on the way out once you were done, alone with a pat on the back, a cookie, and a sticker.

Some of not as fearful of seeming mercenary as I. . . the woman who "needed the cash" called my brother. Apparently, the Blood Bank rep had no idea where the notion of payment had come from. No, she was told, people don't get paid for this, they do this out of the goodness of their own hearts.

No $50 per donation. No $200 a month. No XBOX 360, Nintendo DS. Time to get that second job. Time to find another source for the much needed Cash. "Where did you hear that we pay $50?," the blood bank rep asked, curious.

And now I ask the same question.

Collin?

Posted by jason on 01:41 PM | Comments (14)

July 20, 2006

Why Privacy Laws are Important

You may not think you value your privacy, and you may go along with the reasoning, "If I don't do anything wrong, I don't have anything to hide."

But even if you don't do anything wrong, a lack of privacy can be a complete nightmare. Here's why.

Posted by jason on 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2006

The Worst Company Web Addresses

Somebody wasn't thinking quite right. . ..


The top 10 unintentionally worst company URLs

Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today’s world you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as other see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn’t give their domain names enough consideration:

1. A site called ‘Who Represents‘ where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name… wait for it… is
www.whorepresents.com

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at
www.expertsexchange.com

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at
www.penisland.net

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at
www.therapistfinder.com

5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company…
www.powergenitalia.com

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:
www.molestationnursery.com

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always
www.ipanywhere.com

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is
www.cummingfirst.com

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their whacky website:
www.speedofart.com

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at
www.gotahoe.com

taken from here.

Posted by jason on 11:10 AM | Comments (3)

July 16, 2006

A Letter From Samuel

I sponsor an Ethiopian kid named Samuel through an organization called Compassion International.

I think Compassion is a really great way to make a difference in the world. It's not like a hit-and-run charity that saves somone's life then leaves them alone to die next time. They work to provide education, physical necessities, health care, emotional support, and spiritual guidance long term for people who would otherwise have nothing. It more than filling up a stomach that will be empty in a few hours or vaccinating against one of a host of diseases that plague developing nations. It gives a person a chance to grow up into a healthy, inteligent, stable individual with the connections and resources to achieve their dreams.

Anyway, I just got a really great letter from Samuel. He's 10, and I thought you might like to read it.

Dear Mr. Ian Palkovitz,

I have recieved your letter and photo. Your photo is very attractive. Thank you very much for your gift. I love you. You told me that you pray for my faimly. God bless you. You are very fat but you are young.

I pray for you so that God will help you in your study at the University. I would like to be a doctor in the future. In my spare time I like running and playing football.

Posted by ian on 12:16 AM | Comments (6)

I'm back

Hey everybody. I am back from Ghana. It was a fine trip. Maybe I'll tell you about it some time. Maybe I'll put some pictures up. Maybe...

I can't wait to rock again.

Posted by ian on 12:15 AM | Comments (2)

July 12, 2006

We're on iTunes

This is an exciting time, we're on iTunes.

So you know, give us a good review, buy some stuff so we have more of the "people who bought this also listened to. . ." and make some imixes with us in it.

Thank you, thank you. It's cool that we're up there.

Posted by jason on 03:09 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2006

VH1's Mac Ads

I love Apple, and I think that everyone should get a Mac (if they can). I know they are (slightly) more expensive, but they last longer so really they aren't.

I find the new commercials hilarious, and mostly true.

But that doesn't stop this from being hilarious.

Update Thanks Jason, I updated it to VH1. .. it's not Comedy Central.

Posted by jason on 03:37 PM | Comments (4)

July 06, 2006

How I find this stuff

The other day in response to my post about George W Bush's stunning rendition of U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday we were asked "where we find this stuff."

I thought now might be as good a time as any to share my daily or semidaily sites that I visit.

I have to admit, I take a inordinate amount of pride in my bookmarks. This is actually a fairly recent trend, as before about 5 months ago I didn't even use book marks. But then I took some time to learn how to put them in folders, and from then on I was hooked.

For my "looking for something unique and interesting" moments, I'll go to Metafilter, Lifehacker, Coudal Partners, and BoingBoing. I've found by checking them out often I come across some very unique, thought-provoking and funny stuff.

When I want rumors about really nerdy stuff, like Apple products, I'll check out The Unofficial Apple Weblog, MacRumors, Macminute. Great analysis and in depth Mac writing can be found at DaringFireball.net too.When I want to get even geekier I'll check out video game sites like joystiq, kotaku, gonintendo, and WiiFanboy. (I don't know why, but I find reading the comments, especially the battles between Sony and Nintendo Fans, to be incredibly interesting. For general techy nerdiness, I like to read Gizmodo.

One of the more interesting sites on the internet, in my opinion, is Ask Metafilter. I'll check this site out a couple of times a day, because it's just so fascinating. In general, people just ask questions about anything and the nearly 40,000 members of the Metafilter community answer them. But those 40,000 people are very smart and very experienced and often come up with some great answers that are worth reading. (Note: I've also found the Metafilter community skews towards being a little more athiest, nerdy, and liberal then your average community, all of which make them even more fascinating to read for me.) For other interesting reads I'll check out the online magazine Slate, the new articles at Christianity Today, consumer based issues at the Consumerist, and environmental concerns at Treehugger.

I don't know why, it's probably because I loved Disney World and movies growing up (and still do love Disney World and Disneyland, while I hope for an animation revival with the Pixar merger), but Disney related discussion and articles also interest me. For these things, I'll check out Jim Hill Media, MiceAge, and LaughingPlace.

When it comes to music, I'll read the "industry insider" discussion boards at The Velvet Rope (the film and TV topics are good there too), and I'll follow the weekly record sales and rumors at HITS Daily Double. Also, punknews.org keeps you up to date on a whole lot of good music.

For movies, I like following the box office returns and predictions at BoxOfficeMojo, and reading about upcoming release rumors and reviews at Ain't It Cool. For other filmmaking news, I'll check out Cinematical. For screenwriting tips and discussion, I like to read screenwriter John August's blog.

Oh yeah, blogs. Well the following are the ones I check often (other then this one you are reading right now). DarbyDinatale.com, yeah I know I'm married to her but it's a great weblog to read as she mixes heart-wrenching memories with humorous insights, BoySetFire.org, another site that could update a little more these days (cough cough, Josh), but when they do it's great. MyNym, who was a visitor to our site, riled up the waters, accused us of being Nazi lovin' anti-Christs, declared a self-imposed ban on posting here, then started his own weblog, where he has a small band of devoted followers who hang on his every written word (and there are many of them). A recently started weblog is Mindy Kempista's mom/art blog MinMusings, which features a great overall design and excellent art in progress. He doesn't update it enough, but I check Jason Jazman's blog every day too. I used to love to check out the ugly bassmon's blog too. .. but Josh discontinued it. It makes me sad even now.

Two design related weblogs that I used to read everyday but I think the writers have gotten too busy because they update maybe once a quarter now are WhatDoIKnow.org and JasonSantaMaria.com. But I'll still check them out, hoping for something new.

Well, so I've shared mine. And before you accuse me of being on the internet all day, it doesn't take that long to check through these sites because of the joys of RSS feeds (which basically tell you when something new has posted to a site). . . I can get through all of those in about 10 minutes, unless there is something that is really interesting, but then I'm learning and being enlightened.

Do you have any good sites that I've missed here?

Posted by jason on 11:10 AM | Comments (10)

July 03, 2006

Sunday Bloody Sunday, W-Style

Wow.

Posted by jason on 11:01 PM | Comments (7)

July 01, 2006

We're going to be playing on Hometown Heroes

We're fortunate enough to be in studio and playing some songs and answering questions for the August 20th installment of WSTW's great show Hometown Heroes. Thanks fans because part of the reason is that you are so overwhelmingly supportive. Keep it up, and make sure to listen. If not to the broadcast, at least to the podcast they post the next day.

And they didn't play us last week, so you know you have to let the good people there know that you'd rather they did.

Posted by jason on 11:40 PM | Comments (1)