June 26, 2008


Posted in injury, portland at 6:38 pm by berzerkeleyan

crying kid

I’m not the most prolific blogger out there. If I’m lucky, I find time to list what music I listen to from week to week. But even that meager output will be reduced further. You see, I dislocated and fractured my elbow last week after taking a nasty fall while running. I also took a few stitches above my eye for good measure. Though I have never been known for my grace, this is my first major injury.

It wasn’t a simple dislocation. If that were the case, I’d be looking at four to six weeks of minor misery. Unfortunately, I also broke a bone around the elbow joint (the radial head), and completely tore the ligaments surrounding it. Things were so bad in there that I had surgery yesterday to get everything cleaned out and reset. Recovery will, according to the Orthopedist, be “difficult” — three to four months. But considering how much worse my fall could have been (other broken bones, paralysis, death), and all the modern creature comforts at my disposal, I have no real complaints.

For example, I live in the middle of the city, a prime location for the invalid. I’m mere minutes walking distance from coffee, restaurants, the pharmacy, the hospital, even the Orthopedist. The inability to drive is therefore not a big deal. About the only thing I need a car for is grocery shopping. But Safeway now delivers! All I do is order online, and the next day there are bags of pre-packaged meals at my doorstep. There are a few minor difficulties, mostly from living alone and not having a fleshed out social network. But a broken arm today is very different than having one, say, fifteen years ago.

One final thing to note…from the start, I have been blown away by how great folks have been towards me. The skater dudes who saw my fall and immediately called 911; the EMT crew who doped me up right away and got me to the hospital within five minutes; the ER folks who stitched me up, reset the joint, put me in my first cast, and got me home; the pharmacists who have dutifully filled my Percocet prescriptions with sweet looks of pity; the baristas at the coffee shop who’ve treated me to a cookie here and there; and the random folks who haven’t been afraid to ask what happened to me, eager to know what extreme sport caused my injury, but probably more happy to hear how randomly normal the accident was. I think they’re ultimately relieved that my life’s as ordinary as theirs.

An ordinary life. But I’m grateful.

June 16, 2008

Music Rotation — 9 Jun

Posted in music at 10:48 pm by berzerkeleyan

For the week:

Steely Dan “Aja” (1977)genre: Rock Jazz.
Black Box “Dreamland” (1990)genre: House.
The Black Angels “Directions To See A Ghost” (2008 )genre: Neo-60’s Psychedelic Rock. I was there. I was inside the Doug Fir as the opening act, The Warlocks, began to play (awesome, BTW). And then my friend called to say he couldn’t get in because the show sold out. So rather than have him trudge back home dejected, I decided to bag the show and join him for dinner. A real bummer, since I was looking forward to seeing them again. At least he bought me a drink for missing the show.
Joan As Police Woman “To Survive” (2008 )genre: Modern Torch Song. If it’s possible, this album is even more introspective than her debut. I’m not sure I’ll like this one as much, but I like what I’ve heard so far.
The Stills “Logic Will Break Your Heart” (2003)genre: Post-Punk Revival.
Kent “Tillbaka Till Samtiden” (2007)genre: Swedish BritPop. Their lead guitarist left the group before this album was recorded. His absence is clear. Without him, this band sounds totally different. Their signature guitar sound has instead been replaced by a lot of electronica. The change in instrumentation affects the style, almost to the point of it sounding like European Dance music. But not quite. This is still an excellent album. Recommended.
Damien Rice “O” (2003)genre: Folk.
Stone Temple Pilots “Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop” (1996)genre: Grunge.
Arctic Monkeys “Favourite Worst Nightmare” (2007)genre: British Power Pop.
Ratt “Out Of The Cellar” (1984)genre: Hair Metal.
Athlete “Tourist” (2005)genre: Emoschlock.
Asia “Asia” (1982)genre: 80’s Prog Rock.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss “Raising Sand” (2007)genre: Americana.

June 8, 2008

Music Rotation — 2 Jun

Posted in music at 7:17 pm by berzerkeleyan

This week:

Joan As Police Woman “Real Life” (2006)genre: Modern Torch Song. Her new album comes out this Tue. I’m there.
Band Of Horses “Cease To Begin” (2007)genre: American Indie Rock.
Kasabian “Empire” (2006)genre: Britpop/Club.
What Made Milwaukee Famous “Trying To Never Catch Up” (2006)genre: American Indie Rock.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre “My Bloody Underground” (2008 )genre: neo-60’s Psychedelic Rock.
Lush “Gala” (1990)genre: Shoegazer.
The Black Angels “Directions to See a Ghost” (2008 )genre: Neo-60’s Psychedelic Rock. The Black Angels return to the Doug Fir tomorrow night. I’m there. Again.

June 1, 2008

Music Rotation — 26 May

Posted in music at 6:11 pm by berzerkeleyan

For the week:

Panda Bear “Person Pitch” (2007)genre: American Indie Rock.
Hard-Fi “Once Upon A Time In The West” (2007)genre: Britpop.
Serena-Maneesh “Serena-Maneesh” (2006)genre: Shoegazer.
Snow Patrol “Eyes Open” (2006)genre: Emoschlock.
Ryan Adams “Easy Tiger” (2007)genre: alt.country. I cannot stop listening to this album. Yet, I can’t commit and say it’s his best (I think the “Love is Hell” EPs are my favorites). If you want to be blown away, see him perform most of the album here.
Keane “Under The Iron Sea” (2006)genre: Emoschlock.
Patrick Watson “Close To Paradise” (2006)genre: Canadian Indie Rock.
Manic Street Preachers “Everything Must Go” (1996)genre: British Arena Rock.
Death Cab For Cutie “Transatlanticism” (2003)genre: American Indie Rock.
Turin Brakes “Dark On Fire” (2007)genre: Folk.
The Style Council “Confessions of a Pop Group” (1988 )genre: British Jazz Pop.
Starsailor “On The Outside” (2006)genre: Britpop.
Level 42 “Running In The Family” (1987)genre: Pop.
Band Of Horses “Cease To Begin” (2007)genre: American Indie Rock. I got this right after it came out, but only popped it in this week. This is a beautiful second effort. Like their debut, this one will be heavily played in a very short amount of time.
Public Enemy “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” (1988 )genre: Rap.