Thursday, July 31, 2008


Paul Westerberg dropped a new album on us recently, it is only available via a 49-cent download. After three listens, three thoughts about Paul Westerberg's new 49:00 album:

1) I had it in my car today and said: "Fuck it, I'm declaring this: The best breakdown/mess/WTF album ever! It tops both Smile by The Beach Boys and Sister Lovers by Big Star! And he delivered the goods when he intended to! Plus he doesn't appear to be actually going through a breakdown!" (I may have to beat this take into the ground.)

2) If that's not convincing enough, it's the best fifty-cents-or-less album I've bought this year, it even beats The Bangles All Over The Place LP which I scored at Roadrunner this spring for a half-dollar. Man, the CD truly IS dead.

3) How about this? "Westerberg has a new album out, but you haven't heard it yet. You're at the bar, drinking alone, and somebody plays 45 minutes worth of Westerberg songs that you've never heard on the jukebox. You know it's the new one. But between barflies distracting you with drunk talk, you scoping out twenty-something hotties who are dotted around the place, and the Twins vs. Pale Hose game on the TV, you don't pay complete attention to the music, which keeps grabbing at you. That's what listening to Westerberg's new one is like."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Norm Coleman Disses The Working Man But Expects His Vote

The latest Norm Coleman ad puts down the working class ... apparently proles aren't qualified to be Senators. And you'd think Coleman's campaign staff could find an actor who sounds like a working class Minnesotan. The bowler speaking in the ad sounds like Don Knotts in The Andy Griffith Show.

Hey Madison Avenue: There's a bunch of us - working class or not - who drop our g's when speaking, we're not interchangeable.

(Thanks to Chuck on this.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You and Whose Army?

John McCain says: "I know how to win wars."

And just exactly how many wars has he won?

Monday, July 21, 2008


Great op-ed by Frank Rich on how Bob Dole John McCain is clueless on the economy. (You might need to login, try BugMeNot if so.) But he's strong on foreign policy ... except for thinking that Czechoslovakia is still a country and that Iraq and Pakistan share a border. Oh, and that invading Iraq in 2003 was a good idea.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"That's A Shame"

I'm sure nobody wants to hear about how this year I'm only spending a dollar more a day on gas than I was a year ago, all without changing my driving habits.

Let's instead take some glee in the "plight" of the SUV owners. Said jerks are paying through the nose for gas and can't sell their vehicles because nobody wants 'em! Ha! Remember back when the ad campaigns for SUVs were for "tough" vehicles who could get you to mountaintops? All the Edmund Hillarys in the Strib article who have been burned by buying SUVs love 'em because they can haul their kids and a bunch of other non-mountain stuff in one load. Good thing ya got four-wheel drive! That soccer playground's parking lot is brutal!

Lord, is this hilarious. I mean truly. Burn (that gas) baby, burn.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gotta Love Those Baltimore Murder Police

Finished up season four of Homicide tonight. Wow.

If in earlier seasons I liked to compare myself to Frank Pembleton, this season early on I identified with Tim Bayliss - he of the bad back. I think I tweaked my bad back tonight messing around with my bicycle. (It shouldn't be that difficult to carry it a half-dozen steps down to my building's basement and storage space.)

Season four also saw the fleshing out of Meldrick Lewis's character, who said some great words regarding marriage: "This is like a life sentence here. You're talkin' about PTA meetins and changin' diapers or mowin' lawns." Lewis is played by the funny and likeable Clark Johnson. (Never met him, but from the first scene he appeared in The Wire, I liked him.)

Speaking of The Wire, there was a Homicide episode today that was like a prequel to The Wire: Drug dealing in the towers? Check. Black Muslim? Check. Higher-up brass making life miserable for the lieutenant because of politics? Check. Leaks to the Baltimore Sun? Check. It even had the actor who portrayed McNulty's judge buddy!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Cool Internet Thingy

Via Magers and Quinn's blog, I found out about, which allows you to create word clouds. I plugged in my very own Best Band in the Land, and came up with this (cilck the image to see it full-sized):

"Do You Want To Buy A Three-Year Extended Warranty For That LP?"

The news broke last week that Best Buy is going to experiment with selling vinyl albums. Thanks, but I can get my vinyl here in the glorious city, thank you.

I likely mocked the theory of viny's "warmth" for years, but two events changed my mind: 1) A few years back, I was working on a spreadsheet and had the original Jeff Beck Group spinning on the turntable. At the beginning of a song, Rod Stewart said: "Listen!" I damn near jumped out of my chair, I thought somebody was in the room. 2) This weekend, I was blasting side one of Raspberries' Best and no way does the guitar in "Go All The Way" sound that blistering in any digital format. We're talking BLISTERING.

On a related note, like I mentioned before, this year is the one where I effectively stop buying compact discs. I don't want to invest in any more storage shelving and can buy most songs online via iTunes. And if an album is worthy, it gets burned into iTunes anyway. Plus even if I find a cheap used CD via, you add on the shipping charges and it's comparable to the iTunes rate. And with iTunes I can get the music right now. So I may be purchasing the odd CD now and then - I'm thinking of last fall when I bought a nineties-era Pretty Things CD for just one song that I couldn't find via download - but this is the end of an era.

Mp3 downloads plus used (and new??) vinyl = The Future (for now.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #11 Lost Highway

Title: Lost Highway
Author: Peter Guralnick
Year Originally Published: 1979
Edition I Own: Perennial Library, 1989

What They Say: 1) Boss Tracks 2) Lester Bangs: "You put the book down feeling that its sweep is vast, that you have read of giants who walked among us, inspired by the truly mighty dreams and possibilities of the kind of place where any kid could grow up to become Elvis Presley."

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: When writing about this book's predecessor, Feel Like Going Home, I said I thought I bought this at the now-defunct Baxter's Books in downtown Minneapolis. On second thought, I may have gotten both of them for Christmas sometime in the first half of the nineties. Also with this one, I have fond memories of reading this while on the bus home from a crappy job. Books and music have always been good forms of salvation in times of crapiness.
Best Fourth Ever?

My plans for a Homicide viewing marathon today went astray when it dawned on me that Netflix envelopes won't arrive in the mail on a holiday. However I did have a couple of episodes to watch on the one disc I had at home and watching a two-parter featuring Bruce Campbell as a shady cop was awesome. (A shady cop pounding Schlitz and Old Mil!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ten Questions (Well, Actually Eight Questions, But Ten Sounds Like More Than Nine)

I missed The Common Man Progrum on Wednesday as I was in on a client's sales tax audit. I podcasted his Wednesday's bits tonight and it turns out he read my Ten Questions on the air! Guess Who references and Finlander jokes abound.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

As The Common Man Said: "He Goes To Sleep At Nine..."

Sid in last Friday's early edition of the Strib. (Got this one from my folks up north who get the early edition.)

Sid in later editions of the Strib.