Monday, July 30, 2007

Addy's Album

(Dear Mr. Supercomputer and Mrs. Supercomputer are going on a trip to Colorado this week. Without Baby Supercomputer. However, in our absence, I've asked Baby Supercomputer to man the blog until we get back.

The first thing I did was ask her to put together a playlist of her favorite songs. Her word
s are below.)

This Summer, Daddy and I have gotten a lot of time together. And he seems particularly obsessed with filling every free moment with sound. So every morning he turns the iPod to shuffle and since there's like 2000 songs on there, I've heard pretty much every song ever made. I really appreciate it. Although some of his selections are a little off-base and, at times, inappropriate, I feel like it's broadening my musical horizons at an early age. And it sure beats that Baby Einstein crap. Yeah, we get it. London Bridges fell the hell down. Whoopdee doo. And there's only so many times you can spell B-I-N-G-O before you want to send him to the pound.

So here's my Summer of 2007 playlist. I'll link mp3s or videos when I can. Enjoy!

Belle and Sebastian - "Another Sunny Day"

This is the first band that I ever really responded to. Belle and Sebastian are kind of sing-songy. They are soft, although they use the work "fuck" a lot. You wouldn't think so on first listen. Regardless, I'm a B&S fan.

(mp3 - "Another Sunny Day")

Regina Spektor - "On the Radio"

I like singing the very last part where Regina croons "On the radio, uh-ohhh." Also, I love the Guns n' Roses reference. It kills me every time. Even though they were sooooo before my time.

(mp3 - "On the Radio")

Battles - "Atlas"

Dad has already delved into great detail about my enjoyment of this song. It's totally wack, but has some awesome beats. Truly outstanding video. Still kinda weird though.



Jack Johnson - "People Watching"

I flip out every time I hear this song. It's from Curious George! In fact, whenever I hear a Jack Johnson song, I recognize his voice from the movie. Any of ya'll out there with kids, this movie comes highly recommended from my dad.

Modest Mouse - "The World at Large" and "Float On"

This is another mesmerizing video. And the two songs go together so well. And dad totally rocks out on "Float On." Although, I hope he drops the air guitar thing before I hit High School.

Broken Social Scene - "7/4 Shoreline"

The first time I heard this song, dad and I were dancing like crazy by the end. Still though, if you think the air guitar thing is bad, that's nothing compared to air trombone.

(mp3 - "7/4 Shoreline")

Feist - "1 2 3 4"


Simply a great video. All the dancing and colorful outfits. Not to mention I get to show off my mad counting skillz. And it's certainly better than watching that Count from Sesame Street every damn morning.



"Dear Mr. Supercomputer" - Sufjan Stevens

It seems either cheesy or meta to include this song, but still, it begins resoundingly and is in some crazy 7/8 time or something like that. It's another good counting one too, because, after all, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, all computers go to heaven."

(mp3 - "Dear Mr. Supercomputer")

Hidden Track: Rilo Kiley - "Moneymaker"


I don't really care for this song, but everyone says I look like Jenny Lewis. You be the judge.

(mp3 - "Moneymaker")

Hope you all enjoyed my playlist!

-ak

Thursday, July 26, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "Kinda Weird" Edition

So, Baby Supercomputer has a new favorite saying: "kinda weird." She attributes it to birds of paradise when we're watching Planet Earth. She'll call something a "kinda weird fish." And she says it in an endearing 2-year-old kind of way: "wee-uhd."

The other day she said it referring to our plumber. "What's kinda weird people doing?" Thankfully I don't think he heard it. But to be honest God bless her, he was kinda weird looking. Sort of like a cross between Hagrid and the cavemen from the Geico ads.


------------------------------

Amazingly, this is very prevalent to this week's mp3. Her new favorite song is called "Atlas" by the Battles. Initially she just liked the video, which is awesome. You can get it on youtube here, but I'm not posting the video because you're better off getting a high-quality, full screen-able version at their MTV video page. Just bypass all Snoop Dogg and My Chemical Romance until you get to the Battles. Seriously, it's so cool.

However, it is.... well.... kinda weird. So much so that Baby Supercomputer called it and calls it "kinda weird music." But she loves it and does totally ape when it comes on the iPod.

Certainly, it is kinda weird, but give it a few spins before totally writing it off. If nothing else, watch the supercool video. Second best music video I've seen all year next to Menomena.

The Battles - "Atlas"

Seriously, check out their video first.

So Goes the Nation...


The presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 haunt me to this day. 2000 because George W. Bush should not have won. 2004 because the Democrats should not have lost. Not so much that the Democrats and John Kerry had the answer or anything. But in order to win, the victorious party had to carry Ohio. And the resounding question is, "how the hell did Bush carry a state like Ohio?"

We were in an unpopular war.

George Bush had an approval rating of below 50%.

The Ohio economy had tanked in the past four years.

It's remarkable really. The political documentary So Goes the Nation... specifically focuses on the presidential election of 2004. Even more specifically it focuses on the brutal groundwar in Ohio between the two parties.

The big difference between the campaigns was this: Republicans focused on getting Republicans to vote. Democrats tried to persuade swing voters. Oh, and Republicans got a ban against gay marriage on the ballot.

Fucking assholes.

Sorry for that. I'll try to refrain from NSFW language.

But cite flaws in John Kerry all you want. Cherish Bush all you want. But the Republicans planted the idea that if Republicans didn't get out and vote for an amendment banning gay marriage, there would be hot guy-on-guy action going on all around them.

Did that swing the vote? Possibly. Possibly not.

The gay marriage amendment. Osama Bin Laden's strange appearance 72 hours before the election. "I voted for the war before I voted against it." It's hard to say how the Democrats lost Ohio but Ralph Nader is right: if the Democrats had any sense about them, they should have crush George W. Bush in a landslide in 2004.

(P.S. Some of the ads the Republicans threw up there were outrageous. Bush hugging a little girl, 'Ashley.' Wolves circling prey. We'll all die if you vote for Kerry.)

(P.P.S. One of the Bush campaign guys said that Howard Dean would have been a better candidate. Sure he's kind of a nut, but he's sure of himself. I 100% agree. No wonder the Dems lost. All the smart guys are working for the Republicans.)

New Wes Anderson Joint

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The End of Life As We Know It

(Update: We've added a youtube video showing some of the "iffy" calls made by Donaghy and crew in the 2007 Spurs-Suns playoff series. A couple calls are pretty damning. Since the Spurs won that "ref-aided" series and went on the beat the Cavs in the championship, we're going to go ahead and assume the Spurs also benefited from some iffy calls against Cleveland. Therefore, the Cavs actually won the 2007 championship.)

"Sooner than later, all hell is going to break loose. The NBA will never be the same again." - Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo! Sports)

"The league's doomsday scenario." - Mark Kriegel (Foxsports.com)

"A crisis that you'd gladly trade straight up for baseball's steroid scandal." - Marc Stein (ESPN.com)

"I
t strikes at the heart of who we are." - Ray Ratto (CBS Sportsline)

"Everybody run for your lives! We're all doomed!" - Dear Mr. Supercomputer (Dear Mr. Supercomputer)

OK, that last one was in jest.

An NBA referee is alleged to have gambled on games he was officiating. Certainly, that's a problem. But to surf the mainstream media this morning, you'd think that the NBA is on the verge of collapsing due to one person's misgivings.

Columnists have, as is par for the course, taken the Chicken Little approach to sports journalism. I have yet to find an article noting the fact that there has only been one referee suspected of wrongdoing. The best I can find is a member of the "mainstream blogosphere" that isn't taking the "sky is falling" approach. Meanwhile, others have placed this on par or worse than the ongoing baseball steroids scandal (also a tad overblown) and Michael Vick's gruesome reenactment of Best in Show.

Baseball is currently being investigated by the U.S. Congress. The NFL is making enemies of PETA. Formidable enemies to be sure. The NBA has to deal with the FBI. That's bad for the NBA to be sure, but I haven't read anything suggesting that this is a chronic, institutional problem. And only that would make this a scandal of ESPN.com proportions.


Friday, July 20, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "Which One's 'Iron?'" Edition

This week's mp3 is the hypnotic and addictive "Boy With a Coin" by Iron and Wine. To be honest, I don't know very much about I&W. I've heard he lives in a trailer in Marble Falls. No matter.

Iron and Wine - "Boy With a Coin"

Monday, July 16, 2007

St. Vincent, "These Days"

From Pitchfork by way of Gorilla Vs. Bear. St. Vincent performs "These Days" by Nico, a song most notably known for its place in The Royal Tenenbaums and originally penned by Jackson Browne.




And no, I won't be stopping this St. Vincent stuff any time soon.

Friday, July 13, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "Shaking Things Up" Edition

So we got a bit of news this week and the Dear Mr. Supercomputer household that will shake things up. So similarly, I figured I'd shake things up with the MP3 of the Week this week.



Ghostface Killah got a lot of hype last year with Fishscale. Ghostface was part of the Wu-Tang Clan and used that as a springboard, much like other members of the Clan. With help from some amazing production from GZA, Pete Rock, and a slew of others Fishscale rode up the critical and commercial charts.

Now, let me step aside that most of the DMS readership (and certainly the authorship) isn't too familiar with the hip-hop scene. That's ok. But it would behoove all of us to see what the best of hip-hop has to offer every once in a whole. And oftentimes it won't be playing on the radio if you ever make it down to that area of the dial. So take a listen and just try to tell me you aren't amped up after spinning Ghostface Killah's "The Champ."

Ghostface Killah - "The Champ"

"Well, so far we just been using Junior."

"We call him Junior."

(Click to enlarge.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Couple Music Updates

First, St. Vincent's album Marry Me dropped this past week. The former Polyphonic Spree and Illinoisemaker will be opening for Sufjan Stevens in Europe. (I'd get on the bandwagon now while there's still room.)

Second, Nellie McKay is releasing her third studio album, Obligatory Villagers this November, according to her website. Last year's incredible album put McKay on a very positive trajectory. We'll be sure to keep you updated if any tracks leak. And they will.

Just remember, you heard it here first.

Friday, July 06, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "Happy 100th Post!" Edition

(Update: This is not actually the 100th post. It's the 97th. Turns out I had some "drafts" that were never published, but they still counted in my dashboard. Oh well. Maybe we'll make a Dear Mr. Supercomputer B-sides/extras album someday and include those.)

While not as exciting as your blogiversary, we made it to 100 posts which should ensure my immortality in syndication. Arrested Development on the other hand, couldn't even make it to 50.

Come on!

---------------------


This week's mp3 comes from a band called Headlights out of Champaign, Illinois and their 2006 album, Kill Them With Kindness. The track is called, "TV" and I don't have a lot more to say except the song fucking rocks. Especially for a Friday afternoon. If you have the chance to burn it to a CD or plug in your iPod into your car stereo, I recommend blasting this one as you squeal your tires on your way out from work. Power pop at it's best.

Headlights - "TV"

Thursday, July 05, 2007

What I Would Be Up Against


Dear Mr. Supercomputer has considered going to graduate school for a few months now. We've always held Statistics in high regard and surely a Masters in Statistics would transverse (is that the word I want?) several areas of DMS interest: education, environmental issues, politics, public health, sports, etc.. So we started looking at graduate schools in Colorado, because A) Mrs. Supercomputer has longed to live there, B) I coaxed her in to moving to Austin to begin with, and C) we have friends there. Oh, and it's not like a thousand degrees all Summer long. Instead, you have to put on sixteen layers of clothes just to shovel your driveway in the Winter and urine can actually freeze in midstream.

But I digress.

The first step is to get into graduate school. Some universities like you to take the GRE subject specific tests. In my case, it would be Mathematics. So I looked at a released GRE Math test.

Yikes.

Let's just say that teaching Mathematics for five years has in no way enhanced my ability to do it at a high level.

But I was able to do a few of the problems while listening to music and drinking Modelo Especials cold (I was cold, not the Modelos). So that alleviated some of the concern that I would be totally out of my league.

Except, I am out of my league. I would need to study like mad to make up for the atrophy that my brain has suffered from the rigors of work and parenthood (the other day, Baby Supercomputer wanted me to have her animals talk to each other. Try to feel smart doing that.).

Of course there is a GRE Math test prep book written by the Princeton Review. So I checked out some of the reader comments on amazon.com. Below are a few select comments with commenter IDs included.
  • By Sun Fei "Math-man": " I think the book is good, hoever, I do not finish reading it, that's why I did not rate it "5"."
  • By Gong Jian: "It gives me a big help."
  • By CHEN Min "Andreas Chen": "It tells me to which extend I need to prepare for each section. GRE Sub test doesn't like a test we might have in college. It covers a wide variety of knoweldges but with little depth. So we must be very careful with how much effort we put into each section. If you go without this kind of guidance, this would be a big problem....Finally an advise for non-english test takers: this is a vital book for us to get familiar with english vocabularies related to math, so don't miss it."
Yeah, that's my competition. There's a lot to unpack from this information so I'll just leave this post as is for now, but rest assured we'll be discussing everything from multivariable calculus to the apparent fact that China is taking over the higher level Maths in the U.S. University system.



That poor Caucasian kid looks pretty happy all things considered. I'm sold.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Hope GW Bush Bails Me Out of My Prostitution Conviction

It's good to have friends in high places.


Normally when someone is convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail by a judge, that person is supposed to serve that sentence, or at least part of it. Even Paris Hilton had to spend like 4 hours in jail.

But not Scooter Libby.

It's just like, "you know what? We're already at a record low approval rating. Screw it. We're just going to blatantly overturn the law. F--- you, Judiciary."

------------------------------

DMS apologizes for the recent lack of posting. We went a whole week without giving kickass commentary like that above. It's unforgivable. But then, we just concluded the most active month in DMS posting history (13 posts!). So back the hell off.