Sunday, September 30, 2007

re: Irrelevence

Point: Cleveland sports are irrelevant.

Counter-point: Cleveland sports are relevant.

Exhibit A: The Indians are in the playoffs. And kicking ass along the way.

Exhibit B and C: Google Trends 9/30/07.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Not as-Stolen Arcade Fire Pics

Got an email from one of the people we bonded with while camping out for Arcade Fire. It was loaded with pics. Here are some.

(Consider this the epilogue of ACL 2007. Totally unnecessary, but at this point you'll be willing to take whatever's left. Kind of like the Harry Potter epilogue.)

First, The Arctic Monkeys





And now, Arcade Fire...






My only regret was not getting up close and personal with Regine. There's some great video of her during "Haiti" that was sent to me. I think it'll be on youtube soon so I'll wait for her to post it. Until then, here's the best I found of Arcade Fire ACL 2007.

The rapturous "Wake Up."


Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Mind's Not Right


Much apologies for the delay, but as promised, here's your Official Dear Mr. Supercomputer 2007 Austin City Limit Music Festival Recap.

Let's remember above all, that DMS got the hookup from a coworker. We didn't expect to be going to this at the beginning of the week. We did, however, have tickets to The National/Blonde Redhead aftershow at Emo's Saturday night. That was fine with us. We had accepted it. But then, here we were with a ticket for a three-day pass. Below is a retroactive diary of the weekend's events. But not only that, you know how we usually give grades and such for the bands? Well, we're grading everything this weekend to grade how the whole weekend experience is. Everything.

(4:30 AM) Toddler Supercomputer wakes up really early for some reason. That is totally unacceptable. D- We'll bring her into bed and pray that she goes back to sleep. Please... please...

(7:30 AM) Thank God, she went back to sleep. B+

(10:30 AM) Magnolia Cafe. With Mother-in-Law Supercomputer in town (don't ask me why she has the same surname), the wife and I head to Austin fixture, Magnolia Cafe. Nothing like loading up on pancakes and queso before a long day of sun. The food is, as always, fantastic. At this point I'm getting giddy. A-

(1:00 PM) Getting parkside dropoff from the wife is always appreciated. Now it's time to bask in the glow and the possibilities that lay before me.

The first thirty minutes of the ACL Fest might be my favorite time of the whole weekend. It's Friday so there's a lot of chumps still at work so the park is rather empty. You can just walk around and catch a few of the morning acts which are usually nothing too intense. Just sort of a wake up call. I hang around Asleep at the Wheel for a few minutes before heading over to Jesse Malin, but more importantly, a good spot for Joseph Arthur. At this time, it's not too hard to get a good spot anywhere.

(1:30 PM) Joseph Arthur and the Lonely Astronauts. Joseph is a couple minutes late and for a while I was wondering if he had killed himself before going onstage. Thankfully, he shows up and sounds great. Great in that raspy, the-world-is-black kind of way. The Lonely Astronauts are great too. Particularly the girls. One's got a sort of superhero spandex thing going on and the other, well, imagine if instead of a visor over his eyes, Geordi Laforge had eyeliner painted in a stripe there instead. That's what she's got. A great set, but two minor complaints: A) He didn't play a whole lot of older stuff and, B) he seems utterly tired of "In the Sun" at this point. B

(2:30 PM) Pete Yorn vs. the ACL Fire of 2007. So apparently an RV exploded or something. For the first few songs of Pete Yorn's set we're all preoccupied with the billowing black smoke not 100 yards away. I'm not too worried until I can see flames almost touching the surrounding trees. At that point, I begin to back away and eyeball my escape route. Once the APFD get there, the thing's out in a few minutes and we get back to rocking out. Pete Yorn was actually excellent in that it reminded me of how much I love Musicforthemorningafter. Just great song after great song. He's got great energy and the crowd is thin enough that I can get real close. Still though, I have one complaint:

Remember last year when I berated Paolo Nutini for covering Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" on the very stage that Gnarls Barkley would be playing in a couple hours? Well, Pete Yorn committed an even greater travesty: he played Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" just a few minutes before PB and J would be going on across the yard! Totally uncool! Do you think Pete cleared it with Peter Bjorn and John? You'd hope so. This is all made creepier by my labelling "Young Folks" as my MP3 of the Week this week. Well, since it's fresh on my mind, I can go see how the original authors do with it. B-

(3:30 PM) Peter Bjorn and John. A pretty odd and lackadaisical show. The heat is really starting to take it's toll and I don't think any of us were prepared for how awkward these guys would be. "I heard that Pete Yorn covered our song," Peter starts in a perfect Stockholm accent, "there's an artist where we're from named Pieter Bjorn... Maybe Pete Yorn and Peter Bjorn should tour." Thankfully I beered up before this one. "Young Folks" is a great song though. But anti-props to the girl singer they brought out with the lyrics taped on the back of one of those Heinneken fans. C

(4:00 PM) Blonde Redhead. I cut out early from the Peter Bjorn and John show to size up Blonde Redhead, hoping I can catch "23."

Not only did I not catch "23," but I apparently missed the part of the show where they did anything but play ethereal sounds and not really sing. It makes me very wary of the aftershow scheduled for Saturday night. C

(4:30 PM) Crowded House. You know it's Friday when it's getting later and you can still walk right up to the front of the main stages. All I want to hear is "Don't Dream It's Over." I think that's all anyone wants to hear. It certainly is great, but it clears out quickly afterwards. Myself included. I need to get a good spot for M.I.A. B-

(5:30 PM) M.I.A. She is awesome. She could totally kick your ass. She gives it 100% for the entire set. Her backup singer/dancer pusses out halfway through and has to sit because of the heat. She can't keep up with M.I.A. who, is a total badass. The crowd is the most energetic I've seen yet. It's hard not to get up when M.I.A. is getting you up. Rather than give an extensive description of the show, I'll just link her myspace page and that should give you an idea of what it was like. And I'll tell you that she invited the whole crowd to come dance on stage. A+



(6:30 PM) Spoon, Louis XIV, and Queens of the Stone Age. I love Spoon and I love Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga but after seeing them several times in their own venue, it's hard to want to see them at a massive festival. I stick around for a few minutes, hear "Cherry Bomb" and "Don't Make Me A Target" and head out. B-

Loius XIV is awful. At first I thought it was a joke. And it still might have been but I just didn't get it. The lead singer is a dead ringer for young Ozzie and all their songs are Spinal Tap-esque. I seriously thought they were going to bust out "Big Bottoms." Maybe if they had I'd have stuck around. D-

Queens of the Stone Age is pretty good. I'm not a huge fan of theirs but I like what I've heard. "Little Sister" is a good song as is "No One Knows." In fact, I really enjoy those songs. Maybe I'll stick around. B

Nah, I'm tired, I don't feel like seeing the Killers. I'll try to catch the early bus home. Ooh, and maybe get some Sandy's Hamburgers before I head home.

(7:30) Sandy's Hamburgers. I love Sandy's but they sure do take a while. And my bus home will be showing up any minute. C'mon Sandy's....

(7:45) Capital Metro Bus #10. Ah the 10. I get my burger just in time as the 10 is pulling up. A perfect bus pickup is really a thing of beauty. And the thing I love about the Cap Metro buses is that they run their A/C at like 10 below. Perfect for a sunburnt and hungry transient such as myself. B+ for Sandy's and Cap Metro's incredible air conditioning.

(8:15) I finally get home, a little early today. I need to store up my energy for tomorrow, which should just be one big blowout. On the way home I make a decision: I will be at the front row for Arcade Fire. I will sit through every act and miss every other act to maintain the spot at the front of the stage. I will not go to the bathroom. I will not get food. I will arrive early to stake a claim at the absolute front. And no one will take it away from me. So it is written, so it shall be done.

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

SATURDAY

(7:00 AM) Getting home early last night allowed me to get a full nights' sleep for today. I'm thankful of that when the Girl wakes me up. Still, it's early. Time for Thomas and Friends. B-

(10:30 AM) So in addition to my incredible plan to camp out for Arcade Fire, I begin planning my after ACL activities. I decide I'll park my car downtown at a meter (free on the weekends) this morning when there is parking available and then bus it to ACL. I park as close to Emo's as possible, where the aftershow will take place. That way I'll be able to just leave and go home, because I'm sure I'll be so exhausted I'll want to get home quickly. So I do just that. I park downtown and then take the bus over to Zilker Park. It's fucking brilliant.

(11:30 AM) Good Lord, what am I in for? It's already hot. My two water bottles that I had stuck in the freezer overnight to freeze into a solid block of ice were almost entirely melted by the time I sat down in front of the AMD stage. There's a few other early birds there as well that had the same idea. We're all in this together I suppose. So, I take a deep breath, take one final trip to the port-a-potty and then stake my place along the front railing where I'll be for the next 10 hours.

(12:30 PM) Soundteam. They're really great and I'm getting all into it. Then I start talking to the girl behind me who's boyfriend is the synth player. She said they're breaking up after this performance. What's up with that? I'm just getting to know them! Anyway, they play a great energetic set, heavy on the electronica. A-

(2:30 PM) Paolo Nutini. Ah, Paolo, we meet again. The Scottish man with the Brazilian name has all the women swooning. The Scottish accent is like kryptonite to women. You can be the most wretched looking creature, but if you have a Scottish accent, you are attractive. I like Paolo though. He's singer-songwriter-y. Kind of like a Scottish Pete Yorn. B

(3:30 PM) We're all bonding now. We all are hot as hell, hungry, and we've sweated off our sunscreen, but if we leave now, we'll never get back up at the front. We might get close, but not to the very front. That seems like little to a non-believer but I'm telling you: the front rail is beautiful. Not only does it provide ample back support in between sets, it also ensures there's no one in front of you, allowing your face to hit oxygen instead of someone else's sweaty neck. A- for the front rail.

So, let's see who's next on the sched... oh God..... no. It can't be. No. Fuck, no.

(4:30 PM) Blue October. Kill me. Kill me God. I can't take it anymore. Take me away from here.

No that's not the lyrics to a BO song, but they might as well have been.

Remember in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (6) when Dumbledore tells Harry to force him to drink the potion no matter how much he protests? And that he can't stop drinking it no matter what he says? And Harry forces it down his throat, all the while Dumbledore is begging him to stop? Yeah, I needed Harry for this one.

Blue October regales us with self-absorbed tales of self-loathing and narcissistic self-abuse for a full hour. It is excrutiating. They are total posers. The lead singer (who is probably at least 35 and 230) has a painted cross-tear and is singing songs such as "I Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek." They are not edgy but they are trying their damnest to be edgy. Actually, I was enjoying one of the songs until the lead singer sang, "she left me with the crying disease." That was it. No more chances. This is simply awful. All the Arcade Fire fans have a look of half-dread, half-nausea on them.

Look, I can't blame Blue October for being at this particular stage. It's not their fault that I have to be here so I can't blame them too much. I knew it would be tough. You don't normally go see your least favorite band on earth. Why would you? I'll tell you why: to be up and close for your favorite band on earth.

For that reason, I have to recuse myself from grading them. If you want a better grade, ask someone who likes them or is even ambivalent towards them. I can't wait for the Arctic Monkeys to get this taste out of my mouth.

(5:30 PM) More and more people are showing up. There's almost no room to sit now, but I'm going to try anyway. I slide down along the wall. Everyone around me is forced to stand. So I'm now staring at some guy's crotch. It's not, I'm dehydrating as we speak, I just sat through a torturous show and now I'm staring at some guy's crotch because he can't sit down.

At least I have this precious rail to lean against.

(6:30 PM) Arctic Monkeys. They jolt some life back into us. In fact, one of the highlights of the festival is "I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor." We're all shouting it and pumping our fists. B+

(7:30 PM) Remember when Bart goes to Kamp Krusty and everything sucks, but he keeps repeating, "Krusty is coming. Krusty is coming?" That's the state I'm in right now. Everyone is surging forward, squishing us into the front rail. But I'm glad I have it to hold on to for dear life. This is going to rule. We're getting a little frenzied right now.

(8:30 PM) Arcade Fire. This is the reason I waited for hours. I feel like Andy Dufrane who "crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side."



The first few, pounding chords of "Black Mirror" whip us all into a ravenous, berserked state. Seriously, we are all losing are sanity right now. Everyone around me not only knows every word to every song, but every note, every harmony, every inflection for every song. Sometime that's annoying, but the speakers are right in front of us so we can't even hear each other and besides, Arcade Fire is built perfectly with a lot of shouts and call-and-response stuff.

After that it's "Keep the Car Running" just like on the album. I should mention that there's like 10 of them on stage. They have strings, horns, and of course, a massive pipe organ. They are all very animated. We are very animated. "Laika" is one of my favorite live tracks they play. While I like that song ok, it's awesome live. I mean, every line is like a call to arms. "Alexander! Older brother!..."Our father.... SHOULDA... just named you 'Laika'!" It's awesome.

After that, it's "No Cars Go." Phenomenal. I can't say enough about the voilinists.

"Haiti" (another surprisingly great live track), "Intervention," "Antichrist Television Blues,"Windowsill" and "The Well and the Lighthouse" follow, going heavy on the Neon Bible.

"Ocean of Noise" kind of lulls us to sleep. Or rather, it's the calm before the storm. They close with a 1-2-3 punch of an extended version of "Power Out," "Rebellion (Lies)," and encore with "Wake Up." This might be the best 15 minutes of my life. "Power Out" is intense. My entire section is jumping and pumping their fists. During "Rebellion" one of the percussionists is throwing everything around on stage high up into the air. Then he runs down into the crowd with a big bass drum, full speed ahead. "Wake Up" is probably the ultimate crowd-anthem. Some are even raising their arms to heaven like this is a praise service. I'd say that's about right. A+

We stick around for a few minutes telling ourselves how worth it the wait was. And it was. So worth it. I'm not sure if I'll ever get to see them live ever again. Anywhere they play tickets will get scooped up so quickly you'd have to just be lucky or pay a trillion dollars on ebay.

But the night does not end here. It's off to Emo's for The National (I'm wavering on Blonde Redhead at this point.)

(11:00 PM) The National @ Emo's. Look, I know I'm pretty dehydrated at this point perhaps even to the point of hallucination. I haven't peed in 12 hours and what's more disturbing, I don't really have to. But damnit, if this isn't the best show I've ever seen.

(Ed. Note: We here at Dear Mr. Supercomputer have oft been accused of using hyperbole so much that everything we spout becomes meaningless. While these charges are certainly not unfounded, I assure that this was a fucking great show. Seriously, maybe the best I've ever seen.)

I get there just as the band is starting. I almost forgot how small actual non-ACL venues can be. I didn't get there eight hours ahead of time and I still can see well. What a concept!

"Fake Empire" is of course fantastic. They play an amped up version of "Slow Show." I think I might start crying. My favorite song of the show and maybe the weekend (Arcade Fire excluded) is "Abel." The lead singer hops up onto the speakers and almost hits his head on the beams from the low-lying ceiling of Emo's.

At the end of the show, I make the semi-conscious decision to call it a night and call it a weekend. I go get a Lone Star from the bar and sit down and sip my cool water-beer as if I had just completed a long day of work. A+++



(1:30 AM) My plan to park my car downtown in the morning was brilliant, although that seems like years ago. It takes me five minutes to get to my car and get the hell out of there. But you know what? I haven't eaten anything since this morning and I'm also thirsty as hell. So I head over to Kirby Lane Cafe to scarf down something at 1:30 AM. Of course the place is packed, but since I'm by myself I can slip in at the bar without waiting.

I guess my body was telling me that I had lost a lot of saline when I looked down and realized I ordered a lemonade, chips and salsa, and a bowl of soup. Either that or I'm pregnant. A- for the food and for not having to wait.

(2:30 AM) Precious shower. Precious bed.

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

SUNDAY

(7:00 AM) I can't get up. I just can't. Thankfully, Mother-in-Law rescues the child her father by keeping an eye on her for a few more hours. A+ to Mother-in-Law
Like I said, I eschew Sunday in order to get myself back in working order before tomorrow. I've seen the two bands I was dying to see (Arcade Fire, the National) and got a few unexpected surprises (M.I.A., Soundteam). My ticket was free and I need to let the M-in-L get back to Dallas and spend time with the Girl.

When CBS cut out to show the last seven minutes of the Browns' win over Cincinnati (A+), I couldn't think of a better possible weekend. Not even in a Fake Empire.

Overall Weekend GPA: 3.578

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Un! Duex! Trois!


Full writeup of Friday and Saturday ACL to come today. Until then: wow.

Friday, September 14, 2007

MP3 of the Week: "ACL Operation" Edition



I wonder how many times that joke will be made in Austin today as scores of otherwise loyal workers play hookie to see bands like Peter Bjorn and John.

Speaking of which, let's go with Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks."



Peter Bjorn and John - "Young Folks"

These guys unfortunately match up against Blonde Redhead, recipients of the first ever DMS MP3 of the Week and probably still the frontrunner for song of the year. However, we've got tickets to the BR / The National aftershow at Emo's so we might skip out on daytime Blonde Redhead in favor of PB and J. Stay tuned.

As for the rest of the festival, we'll be sure to bring you a recap once the whole thing is over. Until then, feel free to browse last year's ACL recap.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sure, the White Stripes Cancelled, but.....

The 2007 Austin City Limits Music Festival also has a major addition to announce:

Dear Mr. Supercomputer.

While we had pretty much given up on the music fest this year due to money and time constraints, little did we know that God had a plan for DMS all along. We're getting the hookup from Filter Magazine! OK, not really, but a friend who works as a part time Filter rep is getting DMS the Hook. Up. Hell yeah.

Within minutes of the news, DMS was working on taking Friday off and getting a Toddler Supercomputer-sitter.

We haven't really even looked over the schedule that much. It feels like a "play it by ear" kind of year. The only band that I've marked off is Arcade Fire. But unfortunately, the White Stripes were supposed to halve that crowd, but have recently canceled. Apparently Meg has a tummy-ache. I'm not sure why they couldn't find someone else to crash cymbals for an hour but what's done is done.

So while the blogging may be lean this weekend, rest assured we'll have a nice long recap of the weekend's events, much like the 2006 version, but hopefully fewer drug references that were meant to be funny, but just ended up getting me in trouble with my in-laws.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Yahoo! Sports Webmaster Thinks Little of the Browns

Interesting choice for a URL in yesterday's AP Report about the Browns possibly starting Brady Quinn from Yahoo! Sports.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Miserable Fall Sundays

I somehow forget how much I hate Fall Sundays during the Winter, Spring, and Summer. It slips my mind what a wreck I become on Sunday.

It starts at 7:00 AM when Toddler Supercomputer wakes me up. This usually isn't too much of a problem, except I naturally drink on Saturday nights. Not to excess, but I usually stay up for a while watching movies or something. Either way, 7:00 AM is too early on Sunday.

But it's not that.

It continues at 9:00 with This Week With George Stephonopolis followed by Meet the Press. Today they had John Kerry on George. That's enough to make me want to crack open one of my leftover Dos Equis from last night. (note: the picture is actual size)

But it's not that.

I have to prepare for work and it's always hanging over my head. The next week starts playing in my head. Grading papers. Planning lessons. Trying to remember what we did in each class. Stressing out already about what lies ahead.

But it's not that.... okay. It's sorta that.

But no, the reason I hate Fall Sundays is the same reasons football fans love them: the NFL consumes you.

So shouldn't I be excited? Shouldn't I be "ready for some football" after several months of free and unencumbered Sundays?

I should, but I'm not. I've described it as an "abusive relationship" and I think I'll stick with that. Actually I said that in reference to being a Browns fan, but it's apropos for the NFL in general.

The NFL ambushes you for eleven straight hours starting at 11 AM pre-game stuff so we can watch a black moderator fake laugh with three white ex-players fake laugh.


And then we've got the noon games, the 3:00 PM games, and then Football Night in America which is Adam's favorite titled for a television program at 6:00 followed by the game that runs until at least 10:00. All the while we're bombarded with John Mellencamp teaming up with Chevy to remind us exactly whose country this is while hawking a truck.

What the fuck just happened to my Sunday??!

I've been sitting here for 11 hours wasting my life away, following stupid scores and a stupid fantasy team and my stupid pick'em league with my stupid family?!

Well, yes.

And before you start the whole, "just turn the TV off and go for a walk or something!" card, you simply don't get the predicament I'm in. It's like being a recovering alcoholic and working in a liquor store, except you can't quit because you really need the money: you're just flat screwed.

So yes, I hate Fall Sundays for the same reason I love them. And this week we have the dynamic match-up of this:



versus this:



(P.S. For those keeping count, this is the mother of all rivalry weeks. Not only does Adam's and my favorite teams go against each other - he likes the gay-steel mill team - but also our storied fantasy teams go against each other. In related news I put Addy's most recent diaper in his mailbox.)

(Update: The Browns season is about 5 minutes old and they're losing 0-10. I think they've been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs already.)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

"I Idolize You Dear Mr. Supercomputer"

Happy Blogthday DMS! I sent you a copy of my new album, My December, as a gift! LOL!!!


kthx,
Kelly

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

Thanks Kelly. I appreciate it. And I also appreciate your appearance on NBC, promoting the new NFL season, which I am almost as excited about as y0ur new album. Let me give it a listen.

-gk

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

Kelly, you know I think you're the coolest and all, but please, please, please, when you label recommends to set you up with a song-coach (or better yet, write your songs for you!), please take it into consideration.

I still think you're fantastic and it'll take a lot more mediocre attempts at self-credibility for me to turn up my nose at you.

-gk

P.S. Can you kick John Mellencamp in the nads for me?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blogging Truths: #3

Dear Mr. Supercomputer turned one this past week. We were really surprised to see Marilyn Monroe show up. Truly an honor. Hopefully we'll get some more celeb Happy Blogthday messages this week. Seriously, it's totally crazy over here during our Blogthday bash. People with lampshades on their heads, wild jello-shots, and Spike Jonze. In honor of our amazing achievement of not-quitting, we've been sharing things we've learned about the blogosphere over the past year. This is the third Blogging Truth.

Blogging Truth #3: While blog post creativity peaks after a couple drinks, it plummets steeply with every drink thereafter.


Some of my favorite DMS "drinkin' posts:"

And my least favorite:

"Happy Birthday, Mr. Supercomputer..."


"...Happy Birthday... to.... you."

xoxo
Love,
Marilyn

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Blogging Truths: #2

We here at Dear Mr. Supercomputer have learned a lot in our first calendar year of blogging. Here and in the future, we will be sharing some of those innate truths that are associated with blogging. Here is the second.

Blogging Truth #2: The more time that passes since your first post, the more that first post makes you look like a total douchebag.*


* This is kind of true of life in general.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blogging Truths: #1

In the past calendar year, we've learned a lot about the blogging world. This weekend and in the future, we'd like to expound upon these truths. Here is the first.

Blogging Truth #1: The length of a post is inversely proportional to the number of comments that will in turn be made on that post.