August 19, 2008

Mono in VCF

Filed under: music,rock,seattle,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 3:23 pm

mono in vcf live at lo-fi performance gallery

From one of the darkest rooms I’ve ever taken pictures in without a flash, come some of the grainiest pictures. Tacoma band Mono in VCF playing live at the Lo-Fi Performance Gallery last Saturday night in Seattle. Mono in VCF photo gallery.

July 16, 2008

Mazzy, 1995-2008

Filed under: photography,seattle,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 3:03 am

I visited to the Humane Society n Tucson, Arizona so many years ago. I went four weekends in a row. I had designs on finding a companion for myself. I was looking for a Dalmatian. I visited on Sundays, every week, searching for a pal. After four visits in four weeks, I found the smartest little Siberian Husky. She was so sweet and so incredibly darling. Though she was not Dalmatian, and not spotted at all, after walking around with her for a few moments in the summer desert sun, I knew this girl was going to be my bud. For sixty six dollars, this small, underweight dog was coming home with me. At this time, I was obsessed with the sounds from the record, “So Tonight That I Might See” I’d discovered recently. Her name became Mazzy.

Though for the first week I had her, she mostly laid around recovering from her surgery, Mazzy turned out to be a wild one. She was born ready to run. Due to repeat performances of her Houdini act, I lost her several times (sometimes for days at at time), but she always made her way back. Eventually—and not without significant effort—she was broken of her tendency to run the streets of Tucson.

Mazzy and I spent about five years in Tucson when she decided she had had enough of the heat of the desert sun. She convinced me to move to Tacoma, Washington where some of our friends lived. In 2003, she adopted her younger sister stoutpup and showed her many a rope. She loved Tacoma where she hung with with Mr. Buddy Cox for quite some time, but ultimately decided she wanted to get in on the city action in Seattle. In February of 2008, we moved there. Sadly, she’d live out her remaining days in Seattle when she ultimately succumbed to organ dysfunction. She was probably about 13 years old.

In case you still have any doubt, Mazzy was the best dog in the world. Ever. In her honor, here is a gallery of recent photographs. I wish I was into photography years earlier, because she was quite the chick magnet in her day. (When I met her, I’m almost certain my wife was more into Mazzy than me.)

Mazzy loved rock n’ roooowl. She also loved Souwwwl. Her favorite candy was always Rooohlooowws. She never missed an opportunity to wear a bohlooow tie, nor ever turn down the opportunity to let you know when a situation bloooooooohowed.

Because of her love for rock n’ roll, it only seems fair to send her out with this Jerry Lee Lewis performance of the song, I Know What It Means. Take a listen and spin the gallery.

Thanks Mazzy, for all the kicks. You were the best dog a young man could have ever asked for. I miss you already and always kid.

March 8, 2008

Summons Response Completed

Filed under: misc,seattle,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:23 am

Thank you * for completing your Jury Summons response online.
Status: Not Qualified. You are excused from Jury Duty.
Reason: Moved from jurisdiction

Sweet. Extra perks.

February 26, 2008

Adios Tacoma

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:48 pm

Late last year, I mentioned after deliberation, we had decided to sell our house in Tacoma. Finally, in late January, we received an acceptable offer and took the opportunity. The house is now sold and all things are moved.

After six and a half years of living in Tacoma, and just about five in the house that just sold, it had become increasingly apparent that the appeal that Tacoma once held was diminishing rapidly. I felt like I had done pretty much everything there was to do. I spent more time in Tacoma than any one place I have since college, but ultimately, I was finding myself burdened with a lot of questions — too many actually — and realized it was time to go.

I met some cool people in Tacoma. With some of those people, I started a band. Lots of things happened: I got married in Tacoma, I bought and sold my first house in Tacoma, I discovered I liked cameras a lot. I played a lot… in and around Tacoma, but that’s all over. I know a lot of people love Tacoma. Unfortunately, I just don’t. I have no real ties to the place and honestly I heard a lot of talk and saw little action.

All the best to you Tacoma. Have fun talking about parking lots and public squares. I’m yawning now, so I’m checking out. Be good.

January 23, 2008

Free the Music

Filed under: music,rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 1:00 pm is setting music free. As of today, you can play full-length tracks and entire albums for free on the website.

Something we’ve wanted for years—for people who visit to be able to play any track for free—is now possible. With the support of the folks behind EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner—and the artists they work with—plus thousands of independent artists and labels, we’ve made the biggest legal collection of music available to play online for free, the way we believe it should be.

Of course, the major labels are all name-dropped, but the real big deal here is:

We will be paying artists directly… If you make music, you can sign up to participate for free.

Stated simply, they’re employing a shared advertising revenue model to pay contributors; both the label type and the artist type.

Today we’re redesigning the music economy.

For reals.

Here’s a link to my profile on, if you see some stuff you like, participate.

Read the original post: – the Blog · Free the Music

January 18, 2008

Want Fries With That?

Filed under: food,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 2:01 pm

We are done for as a species. It's time to move on and let the cockroaches become our dictyopterian overlords.I found this in a convenience store this morning and I just wanted to let you know that as a result, I’ve concluded that we are done for as a species. It’s time to move on and let the cockroaches become our dictyopterian overlords.

You might think I’m joking. I assure you, I am not.

January 17, 2008

Photos from The Library of Congress

Filed under: photography,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 10:21 am

The Library of Congress has begun to post photos from the national archive to Flickr. Some of these photographs are incredible… See Flickr: Photos from The Library of Congress

December 21, 2007

The Best Records of 2007

Filed under: music,rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 10:56 pm

Take it or leave it, here’s a list of some interesting records, all released this year and in a particular order, followed by short commentary.

Blitzen Trapper – Wild Mountain Nation
Slackers with guitars AND a Pavement reference here. Leaving that aside, there’s a lot of genre blending here just home brewed enough to keep it lively and hooks, hooks, hooks.

Thurston Moore – Trees Outside the Academy
Lauded Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore’s solo effort recorded at the home studio of J. Mascis.

Shellac – Excellent Italian Greyhound
What is there to say? Steve Albini still thinks corporate rock sucks. And he’s right.

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists – Living With the Living
With a more expansive sound on this release than previous efforts, this record has been listened to, and relistened to by myself more than any other this year. iTunes can not tell a lie.

Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
It’s worth buying this record for the fuzzy bass sounds alone. Rage in the Plague Age and Scotchguard The Credit Card. It’s like cerebral Polvo, but in 4/4. Won’t you come and meet me in the present tense?

Grand Champeen – Dial “T” For This
Earlier in the year, I saw these guys play an early Sunday show in Tacoma at Hell’s Kitchen. Yeah, me and like 3 other people. This release is more sparse an pop-oriented than their others, and better for it. Solid rock songs and the recording itself sounds great. Also, the record released in 2007 I listened to second most.

The Shins – Wincing The Night Away
I know they’re all like, popular and stuff now, but, like, um, like, they’re like, good n’ stuff.

The Sea And Cake – Transparent
Pure twee pop from Chicago statesmen. Putting the C back in Cake.

Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta!
Carnivalesque Gypsy Punk. This records easily gets the award for worst cover art, but it’s got a fuck all punk rock attitude that’s hard to ignore. I haven’t seen them play live, but I’m certain this is where it’s at when it comes to this band.

Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond
J. Mascis and Lou Barlow back together. It’s neither Bug nor Green Mind, but the next best thing since.

Bill Callahan – Woke On A Whaleheart
By no means the first release from troubadour Bill Callahan, but the first not under the Smog moniker and instead under his given name. Like most of the Smog records that preceded, this is the kind of album good to put on toward the end of the night, when there are a couple of friends around. You usually can’t count to 20 before someone asks “Wait, who is this?”. Try it.

Black Francis – Bluefinger
I’ve got pretty much every record this guy has ever made. Some are better than others. This is better than most and marks a return to The Pixies era Black Francis pseudonym.

Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass
Scholarly, abstract hip hop. Interesting collaborators on this record, for example John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
Nels Cline can beat your ass, just not on this record. But don’t push him. He is however, a welcome addition to the Wilco lineup and adds texture to the seemingly ever evolving Wilco sound. I sorta miss Bennett though. Meh.

I’m Not There – Original Soundtrack
Nels Cline does beat your ass on this one, as part of The Million Dollar Bashers — a supergroup featuring Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Television guitarist Tom Verlaine, Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, guitarist Smokey Hormel and keyboardist John Medeski. Cline and Verlaine tangle on the opener “All Along The Watchtower” in a fresh and frankly, pretty incredible way. This is the soundtrack to the Todd Haynes film I’m Not There which characterizes Bob Dylan with a different approach and poetic narrative.

“Best of” lists at the year’s end are always subjective. If you’re interested in any of these records and you don’t mind helping me out, I suggest you buy them from

Fuck DRM. There, I’ve said it. If you’ can’t be bothered with packaging, Amazon also offers a ton of DRM-free titles available for download starting at $8.99 in their MP3 store (256 kbps MP3). I’ve used it a couple of times now, and though it’s not as integrated as using the iTunes store, it’s certainly beats having restrictions on what is possible with content you legally obtain. Amazon offers a download manager which pulls down your tracks and automatically adds them to your iTunes library.

December 20, 2007

Fame and the Konica Auto S2

Filed under: Internet, eh?,photography,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:10 am

Konica Auto S2A photo I took of my Konica Auto S2 on my dining room table is featured on Now it’s famous. Or something.

Flickr added web statistics to their photo sharing web application starting on December 13. The feature is simple, clean and the presentation is easy to understand. This comes as no surprise to me from the Flickr team. I’m finding this a welcome addition, as I would likely never had any clue my photo of the Konica was being used on Camerapedia.

November 30, 2007

Little Blue Lights

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:59 am

From this morning’s News Tribune: Man arrested after allegedly using blue police-like lights to get through traffic

Washington State Patrol troopers arrested a 25-year-old Tacoma man Thursday evening after he allegedly used flashing blue lights to get through traffic on Interstate 5.

Admittedly, this was a total asshat maneuver, but you gotta give him a couple points for ingenuity. We all know the traffic conditions on I5 are perpetually brutal.

The driver was arrested. He later told troopers the lights and siren were “just for show,” the State Patrol reported.

Yeah right, dude.