April 18, 2007

Grand Champeen Sunday at Hell’s Kitchen

Filed under: rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 1:19 am

Grand ChampeenIt’s no secret Austin Texas is known for it’s live music scene—self-proclaiming to be The Live Music Capital of The World—not to mention for being weird. The locals might be a little jaded, but there’s something in the water down there that keeps the apples alive. From what I’ve heard of Grand Champeen’s latest Dial T for This, apples don’t fall far from the tree. There are some brilliant power pop rock gems here. Wounded Eye slays. Well, they all do… Listen to a couple of the tracks below.

When I was down in Austin for a conference last summer, I took a break from the nerdy software worship scene for a bit and decided to head over to Emo’s Lounge. I had read in the Chronicle there would be punk rock djs spinning vinyl, so I headed over.

emo's buzzedEmo’s lounge was empty, when I arrived, but they were spinning Vee Dee and it sounded good on the vinyl, I decided to hang around for a bit. After a while, the bass player for Grand Champeen Alex ended up there after a shift at Stubb’s bbq where he proclaimed that the set by Gnarls Barkley had just sucked it up. Say no more. We had some drinks and got to talking about the band he plays bass in, Grand Champeen. Referred to as having a big Minneapolis sound and paying homage to bands from MN from late 80s era, Husker Du, Replacements, etc., he mentioned that they were either wrapping or had just wrapped recording on their new, presumably this, record. I told him to let me know if they ever got up to the Northwest. And so now you know.

Grand Champeen headlines an EARLY SHOW (Starts at 5PM) at Hell’s Kitchen this Sunday and their new record, Dial T for This, can (and definitely should) be purchased at CD baby. Other bands on the bill are Never Quiet Never Still, The Beltholes, Glossary and The Lund Bros. I know it’s a Sunday night, but it’s a good night to make an exception to the rules. Ditch school. Go on now, get it.

The band is playing a live in-studio at KEXP on Saturday at 3PM which you can hear on the web and if you can’t make it Sunday, they’re playing the Tractor Tavern in Ballard on Saturday night.

April 17, 2007

A Million Dollars Worth of Music

Filed under: rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 6:04 pm

A Million Dollars Worth of MusicA million smackers. That’s a lot of dough man. This Friday April 20th, it will only cost you $5. The F**king Eagles are having their record release party for the release of their latest offering, A Million Dollars Worth of Music at Hell’s Kitchen on 6th Ave. The sound is garage rock r&b a la the Oblivians, Deadly Snakes, The Gories, et al.

But wait, that’s not all. You get Girl Trouble. You get Ape City R&B. You get Gold Teeth. Well, I don’t know if you will actually get gold teeth, but you get to watch the bands in action.

Wow. Tacoma, you’re pretty lucky if stop to think about it. I know this sounds totally crazy, but there are actually two good rock shows… in one weekend. I’ll expound on this shortly with another post on Austin, Texas’s Grand Champeen who are making a stop in Tacoma on Sunday Night at Hell’s Kitchen…

April 16, 2007

El Jimador on 6th Ave

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 12:01 am

Corona with LimeAfter allowing the tax return preparation to come down to the wire, essentially not leaving the house for an entire day, I was not really in the mood to prepare food at the house. Looking to get out of the house, I hit the Google Map of Mexican Restaurants in Tacoma, WA in search of something to get my mind out of Schedule C mode. Ugh.

Deciding we were going to head to Titlow Beach for sunset, we happened upon El Jimador at 6409 6th Ave. Located in a strip mall just past the Tower Lanes bowling alley, the exterior of the building was unassuming and upon entry, the interior was similarly humdrum with a commonplace color scheme and glass block walls last installed in abundance when Duran Duran was huge (the first time).

Tacos Al CarbonAppending the customary chips and salsa rojo brought to the table, we ordered a side of guacamole, a Negra Modelo ($3.75) and a Corona ($3.75). The guacamole ($3.95) had good flavor and texture and the beer was — well — deserved. (I mentioned tax preparation right?) The entrees ordered: Tacos Al Carbon and Tacos Adobado, both entrees priced at $13.55. While ordering, our server asked my wife if she spoke Spanish. He mentioned that we had used the proper pronunciations. “Poquito. We’re from Tucson.” This happens from time to time.

Tacos AdobadoI found the Tacos Al Carbon were tasty, the flank steak was prepared perfectly and stuffed in corn tortillas with pico de gallo and garnished with queso blanco (Mexican white cheese). The Tacos Adobado (chile-marinated pork tenderloin) were served in corn tortillas and garnished with sliced lime and a marinade on the side. The dishes were both served with rice and beans on colorful 14″ inch plates, every inch filled with food.

In my opinion, pretty spendy for tacos, but the food was good and there was PLENTY of it. We ended up with two to-go boxes which will be great come lunch time tomorrow.

BarbwireWe’ve visited most of the Mexican restaurants in Tacoma. And a couple of months back, had a discussion with some friends about the best Mexican food in Tacoma. If you ask me, it’s up in the air and really depends on what type of Mexican food you’re looking for, but El Jimador is on the “will return” list. Not to mention on the way out, I spied a Barbwire pinball machine. Now I have to return simply to play some super classy pinball.

April 14, 2007

Using The Number Pad on an Apple Keyboard Using Parallels Desktop

Filed under: Uncategorized — sparkrobot @ 12:30 pm

Using Windows on the Macintosh via Parallels Desktop to prepare a Tax Return and not being able to use the number pad on my Apple keyboard was driving me crazy, so I turned to the series of tubes and discovered this: The Official Parallels Virtualization Blog: Ask Ben Anything – Using the number pad, moving from Parallels to Boot Camp, Backing up a VM

2) How the hell do I use my numeric keypad in Parallels?

– Eric B.

If you’re on an iMac or Mini and are using a PC keyboard, its as easy as hitting the “NumLock” key, just like you would on a real PC. If you’re on an Apple keyboard there is no NumLock key, so you’ll need to hit the key that sits in it’s place…the “clear” key. That’ll get your keypad working.

Ben, you’re a real nice feller.

April 10, 2007

Dick Dale on Record Labels

Filed under: rock — sparkrobot @ 12:59 pm

Ran across a video of Dick Dale’s advice to up and coming musicians.

“And that’s the reason why the system hates Dick Dale.”

An elaborate break down of the phenomenon can be found in Steve Albini’s “The Problem With Music“, aka “Some of your friends may already be this fucked.”

April 9, 2007

Swiss Graphic Design History

Filed under: art,design,Internet, eh? — sparkrobot @ 10:49 am

Found quite a nice collection of Swiss poster designs on the Flickr today: Swiss Graphic Design History – a photoset on Flickr

April 2, 2007

MC5 is to Dokken as… wait, what?

Filed under: Internet, eh?,rock — sparkrobot @ 10:37 am

I’m sorry Amazon, it’s over. It’s not me, it’s you. You don’t know me at all and you just don’t get me. An excerpt from a morning email:

Dear Amazon.com Customer,
We’ve noticed that customers who have expressed interest in Back in the USA by MC5 have also ordered From Conception: Live 1981 by Dokken. For this reason, you might like to know that Dokken’s From Conception: Live 1981 is now available. You can order your copy for just $14.99 ($3.99 off the list price) by following the link below.

Best of luck to you.

DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

Filed under: apple,Internet, eh?,rock — sparkrobot @ 10:18 am

Wow. Game on.

Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store

April 1, 2007

Chambers Creek Properties

Filed under: photography,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 2:56 am

Chambers Creek Properties

I picked out Sunnyside Beach Park from a regional map. It looked like a good place to walk a couple of dogs. I think I missed the turn, so we never quite got there, but did happen upon Chamber Creek Properties serendipitously. Walking along the path I stood up on a bench and took several photographs. Back at home, I stitched them together with Photoshop. Fox Island on the right, Mc Neill in the center, Anderson Island left of center and Ketron Island on the far left. Probably needless to say, but go big on this one. The large version is online here.

The names of the surrounding master planned communities were amusing. Especially when voiced as a Thurston J. Howell III impression. They all seemed to have names like The Meadow Glen at Creek Point or Ironwood Estate Manor Hill Knoll. Whatever.

Chambers Creek Properties on the web.