adrian is rad


no TV day

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:40 pm

I decided that I wasn’t going to watch TV today.

It’s weird. There are many times that I turn it on and I don’t think I notice. I was like “what am I going to do while eating lunch?”

I decided to read, but something else came up, which I’ll blog about later.

Eric, Jon, Mark and Ben

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:36 pm

So I went to the tsunami benefit concert at Great American last night. Four men and their guitars. Usually I’ll go to a concert so I’ll miss one or more of the opening acts. Here is perhaps the first concert where I wanted to see everyone that was playing.

First up was Eric Bachmann (Bacchman? Bachman? I’ve seen all these spellings on the internet) of Archers of Loaf and the Crooked Fingers. He fingerpicked a classical guitar and sang in a somewhat strained voice that bears some resemblence to his voice on the Archers records. From the first song, I was impressed. It was nothing like the Archers of Loaf. It was gorgeous, sad music with more than a nod to traditional American music with songs like “Death Train.” If I’d heard any of the Crooked Fingers or Barry Black (which I just found out is his solo project), I would have been more prepared for his “new” style (the Archers of Loaf haven’t done anything since like 1997). I’ll have to check them out now and play them on my show.

Next: Jonathan Richman. I was very familiar with the name and familiar with a couple of his songs, but I don’t know very much about him. I know he was in Something about Mary. And apparently he was the front man for the Modern Lovers. Live, he’s quirky and goofy. He moves his body and plays his classical guitar without a strap (just sort of holding it against his body). He does this goofy bow at the end of a song that reminds me of a someone on the Ed Sullivan show. Sometimes he basically fingerpicks and sometimes he almost plays in a flamenco style. He sang in Spanish, Italian, French and English. He would interject strange things in his songs (“the English part!” before a bunch of “oohs-ahhs” or “guitar!” before a guitar solo). I had a huge grin on my face the whole time because he’s just so entertaining to watch.

Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters (who were active 1992-2000ish) and Sun Kil Moon (the last year or so). I was really excited to see him solo. I’d heard a lot of the RHP and SKM but his solo stuff is what I like best. He came out and asked the fairly young crowd “So when does the school bus come to get you guys?” He also repeated referred to Ben Gibbard as “the guy from the post office.” Then he started playing. Oh my gosh. I don’t know if there could be a better combination of voice, guitar style and songwriting ability. He could really do no wrong solo; he could sing about killing little babies and I would probably think it was the prettiest song ever. He did a “funny” song, as he put it: a cover of “Neverending Math Equation” by Modest Mouse. Done in Kozelek’s style it’s not quite the same.

The man all the girls were screaming for: Ben Gibbard. Sporting an unkempt beard, glasses and scruffy hair, he was definitely the crowd favorite. And he was definitely really good, but I don’t think the best of the night. He opened with a cover the of Archers of Loaf song “Web in Front”. He also covered the Monkey’s song “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)” later in the set. He did a number of solid versions of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service songs, including, of course, “Such Great Heights” (which he called a cover of a song he wrote) but also “the Dream of Evan and Chan” (technically a DNTEL song). He said he was intimidated playing guitar after the previous three “of the best guitar players I’ve seen.”

Overall, it was probably the best acoustic concert I’ve seen.


early early radio radio

Filed under: — adrian @ 2:21 pm

This week’s playlist.

A pretty good flow, I think. It’s sort of hard to make a good cohesive show that people are waking up to after years of doing shows that people were falling asleep to.

You might notice a particular number of bands that begin with A and B. I didn’t get far in the music library before gathering enough music to fill the time.

4 songs that Jesse and I played repeatedly in room 42 and are therefore candidates for the room 42 mix tape

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:10 am
  1. “Brick” by Ben Folds 5
  2. “the Sweetest Thing” by U2
  3. “mmm bop” by Hanson
  4. “Gigantic” by the Pixies

Don’t ask. We had our weird moments.


this is why I like Pittsburgh

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:05 am

You can get a large stone church for under $300K. It still has the pews and organ and everything!


my fortune cookie teaches me english

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:13 pm

Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure


1. Audacious and gallant; spirited.
2. Marked by showy elegance; splendid: a dashing coat.

We all know that I’m dashing, but who knew my life is dashing.


“The Dream Ends”

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:40 pm

Jon Werberg put it nicely on Sunday. Some teams just stick with you. The BoSox, the Steelers. It’s the history, it’s what the team represents and it’s to a large extent, the fans. What the team means to the fans. It became national news this fall what the Red Sox means to Boston and the Red Sox Nation.

Pittsburgh is more insular though. The flux of people in Boston, adding to the Red Sox Nation, is not common place in Pittsburgh. But that doesn’t stop every home game to be sold out. That doesn’t stop the largest crowd to ever watch a Steelers home game from showing up in sub-10 degree weather to see their dream team fall.

I haven’t been to Green Bay or Chicago (and I was in Boston when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl), but it’s hard to imagine a city more devoted to its team. Or a city more crushed by their team’s loss. Pittsburgh doesn’t get a lot of good news. The city is bankrupt; the county will be too soon. People and jobs move away. My team—my boys as I call them sometimes—lost and I’m sad. But almost moreso I’m sad for my home town. I don’t think anyone that isn’t a Pittsburgher can understand how much joy this team gave them; the bouyancy that Pittsburghers had during the seasons; and the hopes that were rested on the team.

In the words of fans of the losers that always get so close “next year will be our year.” And I think it may be. Plaxico is leaving but it seems most of the rest of the team will stick around. Roethlisberger may come back from his only loss in the NFL and be better for it; he may have a sophomore slump. Time will tell.

Was I glad I went? definitely. I’d probably even do it again knowing everything I know now.

Mean time, I think it’s about time to put my name on the season ticket waiting list. In 10 or 15 years I may actually be back in Pittsburgh by the time I get them.


the Headphones == Pedro the Lion – guitars + keyboards

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:55 am

So according to a news item at Pitchfork, the guy from Pedro the Lion, David Bazan, and one of the other current members of the band TW Walsh are going to release an album as the Headphones in May on Suicide Squeeze. They’re throwing away the guitars and playing it all on keyboards. It’s electronic, but not electronica so much. Apparently real, non-sequenced drums and such will also appear.


Morning show

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:28 pm

I’m tired now, but I was roaring through most of the day. I had my first 6-9am show today. I woke up at 4:45 and was at the station at 5:15 (showered last night). I pulled some music and then did a three hour show, including such greatest hits as the “motown song of the week” and my “100% unofficial traffic report” which went something like this:

If you’re going from the City to the Peninsula…yeah, good luck. If you’re going from the Peninsula to the City, good luck. If you’re going from the Peninsula to the East Bay or the East Bay to the Peninsula, good luck. If you’re going from the East Bay to the City or the City to the East Bay…well don’t try that. If you’re going from the East Bay to the South Bay, the South Bay to the East Bay, the East Bay to the North Bay or the North Bay to the East Bay, you might be alright, but I can’t promise anything. South Bay to the Peninsula, Peninsula-South Bay, Peninsula-Peninsula or South Bay-South Bay, good luck. And don’t even try East Bay near the Peninsula to the East Bay near the North Bay.

I also got like four phone calls today, which is totally sweet!@#!

Today’s playlist is here.

Andy tells me the band the Kissing Book would go well with my show. I’m going to check them out.


Big news (go steelers)

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:11 am

Alright, so I’m crazy.

I bought tickets for $$$ on ebay to the AFC championship game. I bought a ticket to Pittsburgh for $$ as well. Looks like I’m going. Let’s home this guy on ebay is for real and I don’t get utterly screwed.

Pretty much as soon as I bought the ticket I had a bad feeling. I’m not too superstitious, but up until that point I was 100% sure that the Steelers would go to the Superbowl (and win). Now, I’m not as sure. Like me going is going to make the Steelers lose.

Don’t tell the Steelers I’m coming! Then they will still win.

I’m getting in Saturday night and leaving Monday morning. I’ll be in Pittsburgh for less than 36 hours. Pittsburghers, if you want to hang out Saturday night after I get in, after the game Sunday night or have lunch on Sunday, let me know.

Part of me really enjoys being young and dumb and reckless with my money. Another part of me wants to check my bank acounts and formulate a good plan for saving after this.

Here we go, Steelers!

[Update: my dad has the tickets in his hand, so the somewhat sketchy guy came through. I forgot to mention Jon Werberg is driving down from New York to go to the game with me. He lived in Pittsburgh for a bit over a year so he’s got the Steeler’s bug and a few friends in town.]



Filed under: — adrian @ 10:06 pm

We had our schedule unveiling tonight at KZSU. I got a bit of a surprise in my new slot. I wanted something that wasn’t as late as my previous show. I got 6-9am Thursdays. It’s got some good points: drive-time listenership, people on the east coast will be awake, and I’ll lose less sleep than with a midnight-to-three show. We’ll see how it goes. I start this week.

You can listen to our streams (and therefore my radio show) on the interweb here

mystery hunt ’05

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:27 am

I spent basically the whole weekend doing the MIT Mystery Hunt. It’s a puzzle competition that’s pretty famous at this point. People fly in from around the country and the world to MIT to take part. My team, Project Electric Mayhem (or just Mayhem), has a west coast branch that operates out of the Bay Area. I hunted my four years at the Institute and now this was my second year out here.

The sort of puzzles that are in the Mystery Hunt are pretty intense. Usually it’s just a set of clues with little or no instructions or hints on what to do with them. One puzzle I got was something like this:

Ohio College
US President
Witch Location
expressed differently
… [35 total clues]

… [36 total]

the list of numbers was obviously zip codes. You look them up and you have 37 cities and states. Then you had to anagram (mix up the letters to get a new word) the city and state pairs and the anagram forms the answer to a clue. For example, look up 19025 and you’ll get Dresher, PA. That anagrams to rephrased which is the answer to the clue expressed differently. Now do this 35 times. Order the produced words in order of the original clues (which was arbitrary, the zip codes were in numerical order) and read down the first letters and you get HERBTARLEKDARRINSTEPHENSORKIPWILSON. And you have one zip code left, 56510, which is Ada, MN. You anagram that and look at the clue and, what do you know, Herb Tarlek, Darrin Stephens and Kip Wilson were each an AD MAN. And that’s your answer for one puzzle.

And there were probably about 120 puzzles this year.

And you take the answer to the puzzles for each round and then use those as the clue to solve meta-puzzle. There was an additional layer of meta-meta puzzles (not strictly true; we ended up calling these “super puzzles”) for each round this year as well.

Here’s a great write up of the sort of stuff that goes on during Mystery Hunt. I remember one year people made Rhett call up Noam Chomsky at home to ask him about a linguistics puzzle.

Mayhem did well. We had all the super puzzles except one solved. We suspect if we’d solved that we would have done a meta-super puzzle with all the answer from the super puzzles (and maybe the meta puzzles), the gone on the runaround in which you try to find the coin, which is hidden on campus somewhere.

Yes, hundreds, if not over a thousand people, do this every year and all for a simple prize; if you win, you get to write the Hunt for the following year. There is no second prize. When the coin is found, you pack up and go home.

Alright. Time to sleep.

[Update: Wally’s got a nice write up of the Mystery Hunt, including a nice piece of writing he did for the Technique.

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