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Back in May I formed a Weezer cover band to play at a benefit show for the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp. Mikey Owen, Jesse Baker, Laura Taylor and I had so much fun doing it that we decided to keep doing it. Thus, we decided to call it Cio Cio San & The Half-Japanese Girls, and we have our first show since the SGRRC benefit tonight at Melrose Billiards. We’ve expanded our setlist to include 11 Weezer classics from the Blue Album, Pinkerton, and a few B-sides & rarities from that era. Let’s just face it- very little that Weezer has done since 1997 is worth a shit, so we don’t even bother with it. Our friend Clint Wilson (of Frank the Fuck Out) has a new band called Dead Legs, and they’ll be opening for us. Jesse mentioned a third band that will be playing after us, but their name escapes me. (Sorry other band, if you’re reading this.)

So come out tonight and enjoy some nostalgia. Starts at 9:30pm, it’s FREE to get in, and you gotta be 21.

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Wow, there’s a lot of good stuff to report today.

First of all, let me say that this morning sucked. Quite frankly this started out as a bad day. But I found out that local guitar wizard William Tyler (who’s played with Silver Jews, Lambchop, and most recently KORT) has a new solo album out, and it’s streaming on NPR. I had no idea what to expect, but I started playing some tracks and my day immediately improved. The album is mostly instrumental acoustic guitar compositions with roomy, spacey samples and horn parts washed in here and there. A few tracks feature ambient sound effects with distant druid-like chants. It was one of those times where just the right thing happens to come along to set you back in sync. Good job Willy T!

Now for a brief moment of self-promotion. My band Powerbrrrd is playing a free show at the Exit/In tonight, along with Nite Nite, The Grayces, Little Viking, and Frank the Fuck Out. A good time is guranteed. We had a 4th Brrrd in line to make his debut tonight, but unfortunately he inured his wing and won’t be able to rock with for a few more weeks.

One more brief moment of self-promotion. Saturday I turn 29. To kick off my last year of being a coveted twenty-something, I’m hosting an 8 off 8th at Mercy Lounge next Monday, and it’s a grunge cover night. Yes, break out your flannel, ripped jeans, and chucks- it’s time to get filthy. The lineup is Eliza the Arrow (former members of Forget Cassettes), Foxcore (members of Take the Power Back), Anchor Thieves, Powerbrrrd, Sweet Tempers, Kelly Kerr, and Bad Press (Nashville Cream staff). There will also be FREE CAKE.

If you’re a music maker of the electronic type, or just a DJ who dabbles in production, you should head over to Makeup & Vanity Set’s website where can download stems for an official remix contest he’s hosting. The track being remixed is “Charles Park” off of Charles Park II. I really look forward to hearing some of these remixes, and tackling the remix myself. Whether I can come up with anything noteworthy remains to be seen, as my time is stretched thin…

Finally, I must warn that my posting may be limited to non-existent past today. Something blog-worthy may pop up tomorrow, but Thursday I’ll be having PRK eye surgery, and unfortunately there is a bit of recovery time involved, during which I may have be doped up on pain meds while my corneas heal. Most of you haven’t a clue how severely near-sighted I am, but suffice it to say that even though this surgery will only reduce my corrective prescription, that alone will be well worth it.

Suckers.

Suckers.

So they found West Nile virus in some mosquitoes in East Nashville. I hate those damned insects as much as anyone, but I get the feeling that media tends to overhype WNV a bit, so I’m here to give you the facts about it. The fact is, it’s not really that big of a deal. Most average, healthy people who contract WNV will never even know they have it; they will be asymptomatic. First of all, there are millions of mosquitoes in the Nashville area, and only a small fraction of them carry WNV (this number varies from state to state and from season to season, but it’s always relatively small). So your chances of getting bitten by one that has WNV are pretty small. Secondly, ~80% of people infected are asymptomatic and will probably never know they had it. Of the ~20% who do show symptoms, only a very few will develop the severe form of the disease (West Nile encephalitis). The CDC estimates that only 1 in 150 people (in other words, less than 1%) infected will come down with the severe form of the disease (which does require hospitalization). Only 44 people died from WNV in 2008 in the U.S. Approximately 36,000 died from the flu. In other words, your chances of dying from the flu are MUCH higher than your chances of dying from WNV. One major thing to remember though, is that people over 50 are more likely to get the severe form of the disease. That being said, you should still take precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. No one likes having mosquito bites all over their legs and arms. Use bug repellent and if possible, wear long pants/sleeves, especially if you’re going to be outside during the dusk hours. That’s when mosquitoes are active. Also, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so if you have any around your house (inside old tires, buckets, cans, etc…) simply empty them out. But for heaven’s sake if you have symptoms get your ass to the doctor. I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t be mindful of this virus, I’m just providing the facts and statistics, and trying to counter the unwarranted media frenzy that happens every year. Information taken from here, here, and here.

Though I’ve posted before (though ATTM I don’t care to dig up exactly when that was…) about the world’s fastest clapper, this entertaining video has the world fastest…. everything! (Via Kottke)

Do you have a cat? Have you ever gotten the strange feeling that your cat is somehow secretly controlling you, or that it was plotting to kill you in your sleep? The last part of that statement is a bit far-fetched, but some scientific research has discovered that in a way, cats really do control humans’ behavior. They’ve learned to make a unique combination of meowing and purring to create a sound that is universally unpleasant to humans. They use this sound when they want to be fed. More at Live Science.

Today I leave you with this video. It’s a cover of the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” Thank me later…. (Via A.V. Club)

This is really one of the most random/bizarre things I’ve seen in a while. Apparently Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin joined with Snoop Dogg and some other rappers on a song called “Rocket Experience.” No, that’s not a typo. Buzz Aldrin collaborated with Snoop. On a song in which he actually raps. Well… I guess you could call it rapping… The video is up on Funny or Die. Be sure to watch the “making of” video too. I don’t even know what to make of it, but it’s entertaining to say the least. Grab the song off iTunes, because they’re donating part of the sales to the ShareSpace Foundation. Today’s kids need a lot more science in their lives. Via Universe Today.

Of Montreal does a lot of cover songs live, but this time they’ve taken it to the studio covering Prince’s “Computer Blue.” Grab it over at You Ain’t No Picasso.

The future of architecture is here. It’s extremely hard to believe, but bendable concrete has indeed been invented. Not only is the stuff bendable, but it heals its own cracks too! Basically it’s all in the chemistry- when a crack occurs, the newly exposed dry concrete then reacts with the CO2 and moisture in the air to create calcium carbonate which acts just like scar tissue on skin, and the crack fills. I can see this being used in earthquake-prone areas and literally making the buildings almost completely quake-proof. Absolutely ridiculous. Via EcoGeek.

Mountaintop removal mining is literally a crime. I applaud the 100’s of dedicated citizens who have made their way to the West Virginia and Kentucky mountains to stage civil disobedience sit-ins. Yesterday NASA climate scientist James Hansen was arrested in one of the sit-ins, along with actress Daryl Hannah. I hope more celebrity and other high-profile people are willing to be arrested to help save these beautiful mountains and the planet. This is only one small part of the over-arching coal problem. The sooner we can stop using coal to generate power, the better. It’s absolutely filthy and despite what the commercials tell you, there’s no such thing as “clean coal.” It’s an oxymoron and here’s why. That’s probably the only thing on which I disagree with Obama. No coal-burning plant in America is “clean,” even though lots of research has been done on the technology. That’s because it’s expensive and impractical. Coal is not renewable. We’ll eventually run out of it just like we’ll eventually run out of oil (it’s all dead dinosaurs afterall!), so why the hell waste money and time trying to make it “clean?” We need to be putting ALL of our efforts toward 100% renewable sources of energy NOW, and say goodbye to fossil fuels FOREVER.

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