The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly

Microfiction by Knute Rimkus

They lived in a white microhouse. It was a shoebox, for baby shoes, in the Varane neighborhood. Their neighbors lived in shoeboxes too. This misery did not love company.

They ate dinner quickly. She thought the steak was too red and only ate half. She drank water. Murdoch drank a . . . → Read More: The Short, Happy Life of Francis McFly

LA Punks X Play An Acoustic Show To A Standing Room Only Crowd, by Holly Homan

Thursday night in Seattle the Triple Door hosted LA punkers X for an acoustic show. Interestingly, they were playing under the name X and not their acoustic alter egos, The Knitters. Whatever the name, X never disappoint whether they’re acoustic or hard punking.

Exene Cervenka can still do her charming little dances while . . . → Read More: LA Punks X Play An Acoustic Show To A Standing Room Only Crowd, by Holly Homan

Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande – Bang Bang

Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj took the below pic while filming the music video for their recently released single “Bang Bang”. The song, a true collaboration between all three artists, was released this past Tuesday and immediately shot to #1 on the iTunes charts in over 25 countries including the US, . . . → Read More: Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande – Bang Bang

Tori Amos – Promise

Tori Amos has just revealed the video for “Promise,” a stirring duet with her 13-year old daughter Tash. The track appears on the critically acclaimed Unrepentant Geraldines, Amos’s 14th studio album, and eighth release to debut in Billboard’s Top 10 at #7, reaffirming her iconic status in a 20 plus-year career.

The video . . . → Read More: Tori Amos – Promise

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets an A, by Knute Rimkus

I went to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night and found it highly enjoyable. In addition to all the amazing CGI stuff, they manage to create a very compelling drama with a lot of biblical and Shakespearean themes that are quite thoughtful. This film is closest to the original Planet of . . . → Read More: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Gets an A, by Knute Rimkus

The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

Biltmore Front View

If you like HGTV or just can’t get enough of seeing how other people live, the Biltmore Estate is an essential place to include in your lifetime travels. Completed in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II near Asheville NC, it has 250 rooms and 178,926 square feet of floor space. It . . . → Read More: The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

From Church Pew to Daley Plaza, the Tragic Descent of Chicago’s Troubled “Sign Guy” by Mark Erickson

This is a sad story about life and mental illness in the great city of Chicago.

Approximately 15 years ago, Pastor Arthur A. R. Nelson invited an Iranian immigrant, Farhad Khoiee-Abbasi, to worship at North Park Covenant Church, located in Chicago, Illinois. Farhad, an engineer by training, became a Christian and an active church . . . → Read More: From Church Pew to Daley Plaza, the Tragic Descent of Chicago’s Troubled “Sign Guy” by Mark Erickson

Anacron – Summer In Los Angeles

Originally featured on the warm weather-themed “Summer Series: California (Vol. 1)” compilation, Anacron’s eau de L.A. single (available via all major digital retailers) represents the truest of summer loves: the tawdry affair between a man and his city.

Atypical as ever, Anacron describes a summertime experience that’s not usually recognized by West Coast rap. . . . → Read More: Anacron – Summer In Los Angeles

A Sold Out Crowd Braves A Sweaty Night To See Andrew Jackson Jihad, by Holly Homan

It’s Friday July 25th. It’s stifling hot and El Corazon has no ventilation. But Arizona’s Andrew Jackson Jihad are playing to a packed crowd and are not to be missed. AJJ is the only band I know of who combine melodic folk songs combined with a harder edged punk drive. To add to this, . . . → Read More: A Sold Out Crowd Braves A Sweaty Night To See Andrew Jackson Jihad, by Holly Homan

Children of the Day – For Those Tears I Died

I heard a stirring version of “For Those Tears I Died” at Sunnyside SDA church today and decided to follow up on it. This morning’s female vocalist, accompanied by a pianist, sang so beautifully I could have been in tears. The tune was enormously popular in Christian circles in the 1970s, so much so . . . → Read More: Children of the Day – For Those Tears I Died

Animated Gif Shows How Dogs Drink

Dogs form the back of their tongues into a cuplike tool and shovel water into their mouths while drinking. This is the opposite of how I thought they might drink. I thought they lifted the water on their tongue straight upward into their mouths. The backward-shovel action is a surprise. Frontward or backward drinkers, . . . → Read More: Animated Gif Shows How Dogs Drink

A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

Charlotte, NC has the triple-A baseball farm team for the Chicago White Sox, the Charlotte Knights. This year they opened BB&T Ballpark, and it was one of the priority items on my list to visit on my tour of the East Coast. Rather than explain too much, I will let my pictures speak for . . . → Read More: A Triple A Baseball Team, A Major League Ballpark, by Chuck Strom

The Magik Markers/Elisa Ambrogio!‏ by Tom Kipp

Recently I saw one of the very few bands/artists whom I’ve come to love during the past (largely desultory) musical decade, Hartford CT’s The Magik Markers, who played a headlining show at Seattle’s Chop Suey.

I first saw their lead singer/noise guitarist/front person, Elisa Ambrogio, in November 2008, entirely by accident, as she . . . → Read More: The Magik Markers/Elisa Ambrogio!‏ by Tom Kipp

Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Prioleau House

This summer, my brother Roger and I spent six hours in Charleston, SC as part of a two-week vacation on the East Coast. Having scheduled visits to the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, it seemed right to squeeze in a tour of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the conflict . . . → Read More: Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Weezer – Back to the Shack

Weezer has released their first new song since 2010, which they describe as “an ebullient slice of alterna-rock awesomeness.” Gotta love, “…kick in the door, more hardcore, rockin’ out like it’s ’94…” This time out Weezer reunited with the man who helped them record their strongest album-length work, Cars frontman Ric Ocasek. The resulting . . . → Read More: Weezer – Back to the Shack

Jimmy Garner, RIP

Portland humanitarian and actress Gretchen Corbett played Jim Rockford’s sexy lawyer, Beth Davenport.

Sad news from the world of entertainment today.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/james-garner-tv-star-dies-aged-86-1405856731

I’ve had a variety of scattered thoughts since I heard the news an hour ago:

I just can’t believe that a man that good-looking would ever die.

He was the John . . . → Read More: Jimmy Garner, RIP

The Aquabats Make Their Long Awaited Return To Seattle With Quirky Ska and Sci-fi, by Holly Homan

It’s Saturday morning and I’m still on a high from Thursday night when I ventured to Seattle’s Showbox to witness the glorious, long-awaited return of the Aquabats. Like the Phenomenauts, they infuse elements of ska, punk rock and corny kids’ science fiction into one fun filled show. Celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band, . . . → Read More: The Aquabats Make Their Long Awaited Return To Seattle With Quirky Ska and Sci-fi, by Holly Homan

Reflections on a Hard Night and Weeping Strings, by Todd Johnson

This year marks the Golden Anniversary of many events and milestones of the Woodstock generation. LBJ’s “War on Poverty,” King’s “Dream Speech” and the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night to name a few. And anyone tracking the news in any media will be hard pressed to avoid this long look into our cultural rear view . . . → Read More: Reflections on a Hard Night and Weeping Strings, by Todd Johnson

A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

A few weeks ago I happened to be in Palm Springs, CA with a couple of spare hours, so I paid Frank Sinatra a visit. For those unfamiliar with his life, he made Palm Springs his permanent home in the 1950s, so far as it was possible for someone whose career required a nomadic . . . → Read More: A Visit With Frank, by Chuck Strom

“Weird Al” Yankovic – Word Crimes