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February 23, 2007

Shows coming up

I'm happy to announce that we'll be playing a show with mega-bands one win choice and the casting out on March 25th in the great state of New Jersey. Mark the date and we'll get you more details sometime soon.

By the way -- the casting out is playing tonight at Homegrown on Main Street. Should go on around 10.30. Ian and I will be there, and so should you.

Also, we'll be playing a great show at Rising Sun Highschool in Maryland with Failure to Excell and a number of other excellent bands. That'll be on March 31st. So save that date too.

Posted by jason on 01:31 PM | Comments (18)

February 22, 2007

Recording the Tunes

So, Shane, me our Dad are building a recording studio in our basement. I just have to say, it's pretty radical. We've got a little more work to do, a couple more equipment things to procure and a whole lot to learn, but already things are starting to sound good down there.

It's incredibly cool to be able to walk downstairs and record anything I want to, any time I want to. Can't wait to record some look machine songs down there.

Posted by ian on 01:53 AM | Comments (3)

February 20, 2007

the casting out

castingout.jpg I'm proud to announce that former members of boy sets fire, nathan gray and josh latshaw have joined forces with some other awesome musicians, notably my wife Darby, and formed the Casting Out.

They recorded a 4 song demo last week, and it's outstanding. Listen to them on their myspace. I think we're going to be lucky enough to play a show with them in March. Check back for details.

By the way, the photo is from a shoot that Brett Weber, Paul Odders and I did last night. Not bad, right? I think it's darn awesome, actually.

Posted by jason on 11:56 PM | Comments (16)

February 19, 2007

Our Music on Upbeat Radio

If you'd like to hear our music on a radio podcast, we're scheduled to be played on http://www.upbeatradio.com/ 64th (UR64) podcast, which will be produced sometime in the near future. Check them out and download our show when it's available.

Upbeat Radio Podcast is dedicated to providing a weekly format for new and independent artists to showcase their music.

Produced by Al Mann and Downtown Coffee Company, LLC in the heart of Georgetown, KY, Upbeat Radio is a spin-off from Upbeat Cafe’ & Music Venue. Upbeat Cafe’ also provides a stage for these same artists, as well as a host of others, to engage a new audience.

Upbeat Radio, as with Upbeat Cafe’, features all genres of music from Blues, Bluegrass, Americana, Celtic, Christian, Hip Hop, Urban, Jazz, Punk and everything in between.

Posted by jason on 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

A look in the mirror

In the comments section on a couple of older topics on this blog, we have been discussing environmental issues and how we can personally make a difference. This is really exciting to me because i think that it is really easy to make simple changes in your everyday life that reflect your true convictions and make this world a better place. We have all heard optimists call America "the land of opportunity" and in this area, they are right. We all make a range of choices every day that impact the world around us, and in making those choices, we have a range of options with different impacts.

In order to make a positive change, I think that it is important to recognize our current negative impacts. It can be easy to point the finger at other "less developed" countries and say that they are doing terrible things to the environment or to their workers, but in many cases, we are directly connected to those events.

Polluting factories in China and India are producing cheap clothes and toys that are sold primarily... in America.

People are clear-cutting the rainforest in brazil to raise beef that is sold in American Fast Food Restaurants. McDonalds buys this beef because they save $0.05 per burger if they buy it from South America where there are looser environmental regulations.

So when we shift the blame to other countries who are doing damage to the environment, we HAVE to recognize our part in fueling this. Every time you buy something, you are adding to the market statistics that demand certain products and services. The American market demands cheap stuff. When you buy clothes at Walmart you are supporting the practices of Chinese factories (very often terrible environmental and humanitarian standards). When you buy a Burger from McDonalds, you are supporting deforestation in Brazil.

If you want to make a difference, back up your beliefs with your actions.

Personally, I have decided not to eat fast food because I will not support their environmental practices (fast food is really bad for you anyhow). I haven't eaten fast food in a couple of years. I used to LOVE the way it tastes, and it sure is convenient and cheap, but it just isn't worth it to me.

Also, I don't buy clothes at Walmart or other big chains like that. This was an environmental and humanitarian decision. Again, they are really cheap and sometimes really cool, but just not worth it to me.

You have to change your habits a little bit, but it really isn't hard to back your beliefs with action. It isn't expensive either. When people say it is, that is a myth spawned out of laziness and unwillingness to change. I don't spend any more money on food or clothes now that I buy mostly organic and fair trade. Some things are a little bit more expensive, but still worth it. I buy wind energy for my home. True, it is a little bit more money, but it really isn't very much, and it gives me such a great feeling to be supporting my convictions in this way.

If you want to make some changes, I really encourage you to try. I would be more than happy to point you in the direction of some more earth friendly choices if you want.

P.S. I don't want to come across as self righteous or pompous. I am really excited about some of the changes and decisions I have made over the past few years and I have been really surprised about how easy and rewarding some of these changes have been. am really excited to tell people about them. Also I know that I have a long way to go to live entirely the way I want to. One step at a time.

Posted by collin on 11:53 AM | Comments (4)

February 17, 2007

Kids' Drawings Redrawn by Artists

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So what if artists took a bunch of kids' drawings and redrew them? Well, take it look, it's pretty awesome.

Posted by jason on 02:37 PM | Comments (5)

February 15, 2007

Super Slow Motion.

This post is dedicated to all my people out there who like to see interesting things.

Take special note of the popcorn and the waterballoons.

Posted by ian on 11:38 PM | Comments (2)

February 13, 2007

How many earths would be needed

If everyone lived like you?

I would need 3.5 earths.

How many would you need?

Update: This site seems like a scam. I went in and filled out "best case scenario." I was vegan, lived in a 500 square foot green inspired designed house with no electricity with 7 other people. I ate only locally grown produce and relied on footpower for all my transportation. I didn't fly or drive or anything. And it said my lifestyle would take up one full earth!!!! WHAT???? It said my lifestyle took up 4 acres.

Environmental concerns are vaild, why do organizations have to exaggerate and play loose with the numbers like this? It's maddening.

Posted by jason on 11:21 AM | Comments (18)

February 12, 2007

An Incredible Opportunity

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On Thursday, a new bill was introduced in the House that could be the best chance to finally pass strong, national renewable energy policy—but early support is needed.

This bill would require utilities to generate or buy 20 percent clean, renewable energy by 2020. This bill would create a large and growing market for clean and truly renewable sources of energy. It would save all of us a LOT of money, it would create a LOT of new jobs for Americans, and it would do an INCREDIBLE amount of good for the environment.

Energy from the sun and wind lasts forever and conserves resources for future generations. By requiring utilities to generate an increasing percentage of their electricity from renewable resources—rather than fossil fuels which emit carbon dioxide, soot, mercury, and other pollutants (they are very bad for the environment)—a national renewable energy policy would dramatically expand America’s use of solar, wind, geothermal, and energy from crops.

Analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists of a 20 percent RPS shows that the standard will:

--create 355,000 new jobs, nearly twice as many jobs as generating the same amount of electricity from fossil fuels;

--save consumers a total of $49 billion dollars on their utility bills for both natural gas and electricity

--reduce carbon dioxide emissions—the main cause of global warming—by over 400 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 71 million cars off the road or planting 104 million acres of trees.

CLICK HERE to write to your representative. It is really easy. When you click that link, you will go to a page where there is a letter already filed out. You can either send that letter, or change it and send a letter with your own thoughts and words. The really cool part is this: when you put in your address, zip, etc... this site automatically sends your letter to your representative. You don't have to look them up or anything. If you don't want to be on any email lists or anything, just uncheck the boxes at the bottom of the page (right before the "send this message" button.

Thanks for caring and doing your part to make this world a better place.

Posted by collin on 12:28 PM | Comments (9)

February 09, 2007

We really Mean Business

You can help this get off the ground. It's going to be truly incredible.
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Posted by ian on 12:15 AM | Comments (30)

February 08, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

I just recently watched the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and I thought that it was very interesting. I love the environment dearly and I was very interested to hear what the movie had to say. I was slow to see it because I have heard so many negative things about Al Gore and his presentation of the issue, but when I heard that Al Gore was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and this movie was nominated for an Oscar I couldn't wait any longer.

The movie is a documentary that focuses on global warming, environmental degradation, and, more specifically, on the relationship that humans play in these issues.

By now everyone knows that global warming is a fact. What is always debated and questioned is the role that humans play. I thought that the movie did a very good job of presenting scientific findings in these areas. Gore explains how scientists study and measure climate change, carbon emissions, and the relationship between human actions and climate change. Best of all, the movie ends by giving many examples of things people can do every day to live in a more environmentally responsible way. I would highly recommend watching the movie.

One thing that I think is very annoying is that people who don't like Al Gore or people who don't want to take any responsibility for their role in global warming are very quick to point out the flaws in the movie and then throw the baby out with the bath water. Sure, Al Gore should change some things about his personal life to be more in line with what he is preaching. Sure, he is a sore loser and he takes many opportunities to turn the movie into a commercial for himself. I was annoyed by those things too, BUT that is no excuse to ignore all of the facts that are presented in the film. Also, the movie does have an agenda and data that was used in the movie was used to selectively highlight his points. However, it was real data and it should be given public attention. One section of the movie was dedicated to comparing publications in scientific journals vs. the popular press. It was fascinating to see the discrepancy between what the average person hears vs what the average scientist finds.

I am very thankful for this movie. At the very least, it FINALLY brings this issue into the spotlight and will spark research, publication, conversation, and hopefully... change.

Has anyone else seen it? If so, what did you think?

Posted by collin on 02:32 PM | Comments (4)

Threadless: Nude No More

It has been brought to our attention that a few good friends of The Look Machine have entered a tee-shirt design competition on the website threadless.com. This online shirt company accepts designs from anyone willing to submit and then the designs are put up for voting. The higher voted designs are selected and then printed. People can then buy those shirts and the designers win really awesome prizes.

Brett, Justin, and Paul (click their names to see their designs)have submitted designs and they are currently in the running. They would be greatly appreciative of anyone who votes for them. It only takes about 2 min to sign up, then people can vote. Obviously, they are hoping everyone gives them "I'd buy it and 5" because that is the top score.

You should really take the time to do this because threadless is an awesome company. They are supporting original artwork and doing cool stuff with it. They also print almost exclusively on American Apparel shirts which is really cool because this ensures that no sweatshop labor was used in the making of the garment.

Posted by collin on 01:48 PM | Comments (11)

February 06, 2007

Bambi on Ice

Lindsay and I just got back from a 4 day weekend in Disney world and it was really fun. I had never been before and I really enjoyed it. Great rides, great food, great times. I really loved Epcot and the international themes.

This post is actually not about Disney though. My recent trip simply inspired the title. Keep reading to find out what this post is really about. It is a true story.

We got back in from Florida last night and it was 22 degrees below freezing in philadelphia. That is COLD. Apparently it has been cold here in PA for the past several days. On my way to work this morning, everything was frozen. Even the creeks near my house were covered in ice. I love this cold weather and lindsay and I were enjoying all of the wintry views on our way to work.

As we drove across a bridge over the White Clay Creek, I looked to the right to take in the icy scenery and I saw something I have never seen in my life before. There, in the middle of the frozen creek, a deer was laying on the ice. I simply couldn't believe it, so i turned the car around and pulled off the road. I got out of my car and walked through the field for a closer look. Sure enough, a deer was laying sprawled out on the ice.

I was perplexed. As I got nearer, I realized that the deer was not simply enjoying a cool nap, it was stuck out there. One leg was through the ice and it had been unable to stand up on the slippery ice. It was clear that the deer had been there for quite some time.

I climbed down the bank and inched out on the ice to see if I could help the poor animal. It saw me and its eyes were filled with terror. Helplessly, it thrashed around on the ice bleeding and clearly unable to stand. It pulled its foot out of the hole, but was still not able to stand. With every attempt its hooves slipped on the ice and flew in every direction. Panicked, but exhausted, it gave up and laid back down, its sides heaving. It was heartbreaking to see an animal so completely helpless in such fear and pain.

I just didn't know what to do. Every time I tried to approach, it just freaked out. I was afraid that it would hurt itself even more if I stayed there. Even if I was able to get to it without the ice breaking, I didn't know if there was anything I could do.

Lindsay and I talked about what we could do and we came up with a plan. We could call a couple of friends of ours who know a lot about deer and see if we could enlist their help.

Jacob Altimus and Chuck Frishmouth are remodeling a bathroom at Jason's house near Newark (they do truly astounding remodeling work). They both know a lot about deer and they are really cool guys. I called them and told them about it. The 3 of us decided to take an early lunchbreak and go back to see what we could do for the deer.

When we arrived the deer was still lying there, barely moving, but alive. Chuck and Jacob looked at it and determined that, if we could get it off of the ice, it would probably live. It had relatively minor wounds and could heal if it was able to warm up, rest, and eat. Left alone though, it would surely die.

We got a rope from Jacob's truck and to tie it up. It was frightened and struggled at first, but we put a blanket over its head to calm it down (Chuck "the deer whisperer" knew to do this) This quieted it down enough for us to tie the rope around it.

Although the ice was thick enough to walk on, we had to be careful. It cracked loudly under us when Chuck and i got too close together. The thought of falling through the ice into a freezing creek and getting kicked in the head by a frightened deer was not a pleasant one. We slowly and carefully pulled the deer across the slick ice until we could stand on the bank and continued to pull it until we could reach it with our hands. We then picked the deer up, being careful to keep its head covered, and carried it up the steep bank into a field. We untied the rope and took the blanket off of its head.

The deer sprung back to life and tried to run away. At first its legs were not working properly. It fell to the ground shaking. It was probably hypothermic and exhausted from laying on the ice for so long. After a moment, it stood again and was more sure on its feet this time. It carefully made its way over to a hedge row where it could lay down in the sun. It was sheltered from the wind and in an area with grass and plenty of sunshine. With a little bit of time, it should be as good as new. Hopefully it will stay off of the ice from now on.

Posted by collin on 01:40 PM | Comments (19)