Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some Good music for Feb

In a effort to keep up with A Forrest, I present my list of some recent purchases this past month. I should note there haven't been a lot of good new releases this year, so I've gone back and picked up some oldies from some great bands.
The Brothers Martin The Brothers Martin
So far this has been my favorite new album this year. It sounds like what you would expect when Joy Electric and Starflyer 59 come together- a great electronic rock album. Not a bad song on the album. The Martins never disappoint.

Teenage Fanclub Howdy!
Back in 1991, these guys beat out Nirvana's Nevermind for Spin's album of the year. Sadly, America never picked up on them. These guys write perfect jangle guitar pop songs. All three sing beautiful harmonies and you can hear the Beach Boys Pet Sounds influence in all their material. Can't say enough good things about this band. Howdy! was not much of a commercial success but songs like "Near You","I Need Direction", and "Cul De Sac" are so catchy that you will sing them all day in your head all day.

The Church Sometime Anywhere
The Church's sound have been described as beautiful, dreamy, mystic, ethereal , and elegant. All of which are apparent on this album. I have nearly all 19 of their albums and I can't understand why they remain a relatively unknown band. Most people would recognize their hit in the 80's "Under the Milky Way", but that was just a taste of what this band is capable of. Steve Kilby's voice is light and airy but very grounded. Marty Wilson Piper is a phenomial guitarist and has perfected the jangle guitar sound. On this album, the duo open with the mystical "Day of the Dead" and then dive into a Middle Eastern sound. "Authority" has a beautiful guitar riff.

Catherine Wheel Ferment
("Catherine Wheel" is the name of a torture device in the middle ages, not a person.)
Another band that never caught on here in the states. This band has been described as "shoegazers" which they rejected. There guitars are out front with Rob Dickenson's vocals just a tempo behind them. Rob's vocals are breathless and they are surrounded by lush and swirling guitars. This is Catherine Wheel's debut and their second album Chrome is equally good. Unfortunately, they would then shift to more of a standard hard rock sound.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Another weekend, another camera

This weekend was an extended weekend for me (since I didn't work on Friday and I have Monday off) so I really wanted to do something different besides stay around the house. So Wah-Wah and I decided to go on a little weekend trip to Seaside Oregon.
Seaside is about an hour and half west of Portland. It's a cozy little tourist town that is suppose to be kid friendly. Unfortunately both kids were getting over colds, so they were pretty fussy.
Seaside has a nice promenade right by the ocean with lots of little cafes, art galleries, and stores. After we walked around a bit, we walked out on the beach were Monty knocked my new camera out of my hand and on to the beach. As luck would have it, sand got on camera and now it is not working. Brand new camera too. I'll try to take it in to the shop, but who knows? (By the way, the pictures are from the internet, not from my camera.) Anyway, that put me in a rotten mood that afternoon and the weather wasn't great either.
Saturday evening, we drove on Sunset beach. This was a pretty cool beach because you could actually drive your car on the beach for miles. The sand was packed enough that, our Impala could drive across it. It was pretty cool watching the sun set on the ocean while your driving across the sand.
Sunday we got up and hit Fort Stevens State Park which was beautiful. The picture above of the ship wreak is from there. After that we went to the Seaside aquarium which wasn't much more than an exotic fish store. They did have an area where you could feed a bunch of seal lions. Woogy really got a kick out of dropping the fish in the seal lions mouth. Unfortunately he smelled like fish for the rest of the day.
On the way back, we stopped at Haystack Beach (several scenes from the "Goonies" was filmed there). Wah-Wah and the kids were tired so Monty and I took a walk on the beach were I briefly thought of throwing the dog in the ocean for breaking my camera. But I guess he didn't mean to do it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Starting school

Lately I've been struggling with the idea of signing Woogy up for kindergarten this fall. I recently enrolled him in a Preschool and I had to decide if I wanted him in the 4-5 yr class or the 3-4 class. It was a tough decision because Wah-Wah and I have spent a lot of time thinking about what would be best for Woogy. I decided to put him in the 3-4 class. Deep down I just don't feel that Woogy is ready for kindergarten. So far his teachers disagree and say that he is doing fine, but I don't want what happened to me to happen to Woogy.
I had a pretty rough start in school. When I went to preschool, my mom told me I came home crying once because I didn't want to be nailed to a cross like Jesus was. According to my mom, my preschool teachers gave a rather graphic account of Jesus's death. I don't remember a whole lot more. Then there was my kindergarten teacher who use to slap my left hand for writing with it and have me sit in the corner if I still did it. I also remember being locked in the bathroom when I was misbehaved. A few years later, I witnessed this really heavy kid push her down in the hall and break her arm. I was so happy. A few years later, my kindergarten teacher was fired on child abuse charges. Too late for me.
I remember my first grade teacher was a witch too. She used to tear up my pictures when I was trying to draw in class. I hated her for that. By the time I hit second grade, my teacher referred me to therapy. I struggled in school for a while and began to hate it. It wasn't until we moved to California where I was held back in the 6th grade that I began to make passing grades. My experiences make me pretty uneasy about starting Woogy in school. He has made a lot of progress since moving to Portland, but I feel I want him to have every edge possible. In my experience working with kids, it's the older ones in the class which do the best. I guess I feel that I don't want to hold him back later.