Wednesday, December 30, 2009

somewhat easy E-ZPass...

I was entertained after my recent interest in an "E-ZPass" vehicle transponder to pay the tolls on the West Virginia turnpike that I travel on I-77 when going to/from Charlotte and Columbus.  I've seen E-ZPass for many toll roads in various states so I assumed it was a pretty sophisticated system.  Then I read this on their website under E-Z Pass FAQ.  First of all, the name "E-ZPass" is their own registered trademark yet the web page misspells it by putting a space between Z and P.

Q.        Can I sign up for West Virginia E-ZPass® on the West Virginia Turnpike website?

A.        Unfortunately, we do not yet have this capability.  However, an upgrade to our Toll Collection System is due to be complete in 2010 and at that time, customers will be able to sign up for West Virginia E-ZPass® online and have the ability to check their accounts and receive statements online.

 Wow...they hope to have online capabilities sometime in 2010.  Exciting.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I actually got my package in the mail and the following directions were enclosed:
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Look at the car illustration!  instead of finding a new picture or editing it there is a hand drawn arrow and text explaining why the picture is irrelevant.


I Am T-Pain? lolz video

Here's some funny video's I wanted to make sure everyone knew about.

The iPhone application "I Am T-Pain" hosted a contest for a video that showcases the app and encouraged leveraging the popularity of I'm On A Boat.  It's actually a really creative and funny, I like it except for it hating on BlackBerrys...



As a nod to I'm On A Boat, this doesn't seem to get old...


The three guys: Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone make up the band/comedy group called The Lonely Island.  Their CD "Incredibad" came out earlier this year and is amazing.  Another video that is recent:  "Like A Boss"


And of course, the SNL favorite "Jizz In My Pants"

Saturday, December 26, 2009

BlackBerry App Sale

Hey y'all! (as said like Bruce/Tobi from Family Guy)

CrackBerry's software store (mobihand) is having a 50% off sale on their top 10 applications through January 1, 2010.


The absolute best program that is certainly worth $2.49 is QuickLaunch.  Another program that is probably worth $3 is BerryBuzz.  Check them out:  "New BlackBerry for Christmas?  Save 50% on Top Ten BlackBerry Apps With Out End of Year Sale!"


Video demo of QuickLaunch


 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Travels

I had a small adventure traveling from Charlotte to Columbus for Christmas this year...  Tiffani and I have decided to be more serious about our relationship and are dating and officially boyfriend/girlfriend...clearly demonstrated by our Facebook status:
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lol, nice job variable object coding facebook.  Tiffani and I went to a couple Christmas parties and looked fabulous:
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anyways, Tiffani had bought a plane ticket to come home for Christmas a few months ago before we really knew each other.  I planned to drive becuase it was cheaper so she looked into canceling her flight, she was able to get an account credit that can be used anytime within 12 months from the purchase date--so we were having our second Charlotte/Columbus road trip, yay!


seriously, we were actually excited.  We really enjoyed the trip at Thanksgiving and looked forward to spending time with each other and then seeing our families.  We got on the road around 12:45pm on Friday, 12/18/09.  The weather forecast did call for winter weather but not until later that evening in VA/WV.  As we started driving North on I-77 flurries started and traffic began to move a little slower.


We stopped to get gas and food in Virginia where I-81 and I-77 run together for about eight miles.  After we got back on the freeway things started to go even slower and we had just gotten back on I-77 exclusively when we came to a crawl.  five minutes later we came to a stop, just past the on-ramp from exit 41, Pepper's Ferry Road in Wytheville, VA--that is where we sat from around 4:00pm until 10:30pm.  at that time we knew we weren't making it home that night and had been checking nearby hotels for availability--all were booked.  Turned around and drove on the shoulder and successfully got to the on ramp and drove up it to get on I-77 South.  our plan was just to try and get back to Charlotte and attempt our journey sometime on Saturday or Sunday.  we slowly drove about 20 miles South and ran into another traffic jam.  This time we didn't want to sit and wait on the freeway so we turned around and drove to an exit we had just passed.  we luckily made it up a hill and into a "lovely" gas station -- a Citgo Kangaroo Express.

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This is where we spent the night and stayed until Saturday morning, 12/19/09.  Around 7:30am the freeway looked like it was moving southbound.  Once we got moving it was slow, around 45 mph.  we eventually got home around 10:30am -- about 22 hours after we left.  I suppose we learned a lesson about attempting travel during an incoming winter storm but you just never know.  We were just glad to be safe throughout the whole expedition.  We safely made the trip on Sunday 12/20/09 in about eight hours.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chris Henry


"CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry is "battling for his life" after falling out of the back of a pickup truck Wednesday during what police described as a domestic dispute with his fiancée.

Sources told ESPN on Thursday that Henry is on life support. The 26-year-old Henry was found in the road about eight miles north of downtown Charlotte "apparently suffering life-threatening injuries," according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police spokesman Robert Fey said officers were stationed near Henry's hospital room. He had no information on Henry's condition, but said Henry was alive."
Henry
Henry

My original intent was to post that article with the title "Please pray for Chris Henry"  even though he's had his laundry list of off-the-field problems his health should deserve our condolences.

However, soon after I read the morning article about him he could no longer fight his injuries. 

Rest In Peace.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Funny Christmas Decoration

one of those email forwards... thanks Fletus.

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“Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations.  The bad news is that I had to take him down after two days.  I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.  Great stories.  But two things made me take it down.
First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost crashed when they drove by.
Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn’t realize that it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy).  By the way, she was one of the many people who attempted to do that.  My yard couldn’t take it either.  I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmastime

Props to Patrick for showing me the Charlie Brown "Lonely Tree" Christmas Tree last year.  I really liked it and was lucky enough to find it on sale after Christmas.  So, this is my first year to enjoy the little guy:

Charlie_Brown_Tree

30 Seconds to Mudvayne

A couple new compact discs that i've been enjoying are "This Is War" by 30 Seconds To Mars and "Mudvayne" (self-titled?) by Mudvayne.

This is War Album Cover:
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Jared Leto is the lead singer and his brother Shannon Leto is the drummer.  I think Jared is definitely one of the best people to successfully pull off being a famous actor and rock star.  This came out on 12/8/09.

Mudvayne Album Cover:
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Not really sure why this album is self titled since it's their fifth release but A7X just did this so maybe it's the cool new thing to do?  regardless, I know most of y'all don't like metal or stuff this heavy but I wanted to mention it because the artwork and physical presentation of the album.  The album is completely white unless exposed under a black-light.  I know it's not the first time for something like this to be marketed but it's cool and I like it!  Way to be original and position yourself to sell a physical product in an era of digital music :).  It's not officially released but those who pre-ordered the album got a digital download link for the album on 12/7/09.

Rap Chop!?

Shoopy saw this on TV and thought there was something wrong with her cable or TV, I would have thought the same thing...

"Rap Chop" featuring DJ Steve Porter mixing Vince Offer's infomercial for slap chop.


I liked it so much I downloaded the mp3...lol  

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tactical Nuclear Penguin

Adam sent me this article about a new Brewdog beer that's pretty insane.

The BrewDog team have pulled off our most audacious and ambitious project to date, and smashed a world record in the process. We have today, Thursday 26 November 2009, set a new world record after creating the strongest beer in the world. Weighing in at an ABV of 32%, BrewDog’s ‘Tactical Nuclear Penguin’ beats the previous record of 31% held by German beer brand Schorschbraer.

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Rubik's TouchCube

So I thought this was awesome...

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The Rubik’s TouchCube seamlessly blends cutting edge technology with the world’s #1 puzzle to create the first completely electronic, solvable Rubik’s Cube. Featuring touch sensor technology on all 6 sides and lights in every square, slide the lights with a simple swipe of your finger to mimic the moves of the original Cube. To eliminate false inputs or moves, the TouchCube uses a motion-detecting accelerometer to determine which side is facing up and active. The Rubik’s TouchCube also includes a built-in solver, so now anyone can easily get a hint or learn how to solve the Cube step by step. 
 
It can be found on Amazon here:  http://amzn.com/B002BH3N0O
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

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Hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving and relaxing weekend.  I took Wednesday off work and drove up to Monroe where my family was meeting at my parents alternate residence.  

A good friend I met at a CYP event, Tiffani Shoop, is also from Ohio (Centerburg) so she rode with me and we met her Dad in Jeffersonville.  It was great to have company for the long ride so I enjoyed that and she was happy to see her family for the weekend.  Here's Tiffani and I at trivia a while ago.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jack Threads

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Jack Threads is a clothing site with a similar strategy to the woot sites, one sale a day, etc.  They mostly have men's shirts, jeans, shoes, jackets, accessories, hats, and whatnot.  anyways, it's supposed to invite only-- here's a referral link from me: http://www.jackthreads.com/invite/bobdobbins

Friday, November 13, 2009

NBA Book

Mike sent me this article about refs in the NBA, The Book The NBA Doesn't Want You To Read.

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That article is followed up with:  Excerpts from The Book the NBA Doesn't Want You to Read.  It's interesting, a former ref talking about how he and other refs from the NBA would "fix" or alter a game's outcome from the calls they would make.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Contest?!

I 'won' a bluetooth headset (moto-H780) at a recent Sprint/Nextel seminar.  

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It was mostly a Nextel plug and they wanted to see who could find out where 5 people were at that very moment--calling, text, or Nextel push-to-talk walkie talkie.  I just used google latitude (thanks glatitude friends that actually use it!) and pwned the presenter, who thought he would impress us by 'chirping' a talk group with a location request.  

If you use google latitude and i'm on your friends list just leave a comment and you're eligible to win (or add me...).  I'll just have Kyle roll a dice or pick numbers out of a hat.  I can give it to the winner next time i see them or ship it less S/H. ($5-$10?).  entry ends in a week.



more info about the Motorola H780 Bluetooth Headset
Quick Start Guide

Friday, November 6, 2009

Root Suit RIOT!

Hope to see some of these in the stands at future Bearcats and Buckeyes games!  Well, any team and their respective colors but I just wanted to make some examples.  This is the same person/group/company? that offers the amazing greenman suit that I wore the past two Halloweens.












awesome.  more info here:  http://rootsuit.com/

These actually have a tendency to get shown on TV when they pan the crowd and show fans cheering--the cameraman and comentators liked it when they saw greenman at a philadelphia Eagles game.  UC hosts West Virginia next Friday night on ESPN 2...Rallycats needs to know about this and contact them for a group discount.


 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Guest Suite!

The guest suite at my apartment complex is now open!  

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So, if you want to come visit but don't want to sleep on the couch or air mattress you can stay in the guest unit--the same model as mine.  one of my first posts shows my floor plan but here it is again:

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mini-Schnauzer!

Our apartment newsletter has recently been featuring a resident's pet each month.  For November it was a miniature schnauzer!  I haven't met the dog or the owner but I hope to soon.  His name is Dexter and they posted a few pictures:

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

economic status

The Daily Show :)



The Recession and the rap industry


Slim Thug - Like a Boss music video
 

Friday, October 23, 2009

NASCAR Banking 500

Kyle and I attended the NASCAR Banking 500 race at the Lowe's Motor Speedway last Saturday, 10/17/2009.  It was actually pretty awesome!  I'm not really a big fan of NASCAR becuase it seems kind of boring--everyone has basically the same car and they drive around an oval 500 times...

As a main sponsor Sprint has a big luxury suite at the racetrack and since I just moved to Charlotte Sprint invited myself and a guest!  From a work standpoint being in Charlotte has been great, I've gotten to meet all the people that I've been working with for the last couple years.  Since I'm local now they can invite me to neat events like this!

We got there early, around 3:00pm, and were able to take a tour of the pit/garage/staging area.  This was pretty interesting and we got to see the cars up close and take some pictures.  The race lasted from about 7:30pm - 11:30pm.  It was actually kind of "boring" or uneventful for NASCAR standards--there were no major wrecks, just about a dozen caution periods because of drivers spinning out or losing a piece of their car, etc.  There were some lead changes and "points of excitement" but I'm not a very good judge of that...Jimmie Johnson ended up winning by a lot and nobody wanted him to win becuase he wins all the time?  whatever...

Hanno got me interested in F1 racing and said that hopefully there will be a USA race next season!

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BlackBerry Bold 9700

The new flagship BlackBerry was recently made official by RIM.

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Pretty excited for it...looks to have the keyboard of the 9630 Tour, optical trackpad of the 8520 Curve, size of the 8900 Curve, weight is in between the 8900 and 9630, processor of the Bold 9000, and two version of 3G/UMTS support (AT&T & T-Mobile/CBW).  win!

Colorware

If you didn't know I'm kind of a big fan of COLORWARE. mostly because it's completely excessive, unnecessary, and unbelievably awesome. and, it's somewhat ridiculous price point leaves it out of reach to common sense. none-the-less, it's freakin' sweet!  if you've got some time to kill check out their gallery of corporate branding:  http://www.colorwarepc.com/imagegalleries.aspx?galFilter=5

Here's a few examples:

Simpsons Xbox 360:
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Caterpillar iPod Classic:
colorware

Misc Custom iPods:
colorware

Custom thinkpad laptop:
colorware

I could go all day...  my "blaze" 8900 is the best BB I've ever had.  I think the 9700 is going to be my next "daily driver" and that "Zest" color looks pretty tempting...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

news stories

These are hilarious story segments from the daily show and the colbert report.


iFeud





Eating the Distance, the Brad Sciullo Story.  Part 1


Eating the Distance, the Brad Sciullo Story.  Part 2


google is fun

Google frequently entertains me with their products and logos; their android operating system is no different with the little icon robot guy.

Here's the logo:
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So, then they put a giant fancy foam statue on the lawn of their office--awesome.
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You might be familiar with Google's confectionary codenames for its Google Android OS: version 1.5 (Cupcake), 1.6 (Donut), 2.0 (Eclair) and version x.x (Flan). What you probably didn't know is that Google honors each release by dropping a steaming hot foam facsimile onto its front lawn. Historically, the arrival of the giant Donut at the GooglePlex was followed by the 1.6 developer release of Android just a few days later. Don't get too excited though, last we heard Eclair wouldn't arrive until Q2 of 2010 for consumers.


and here are the subsequent additions they've done to keep him up to date:
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:)



Monday, October 12, 2009

BBM 5.0

So I'm pretty excited about the mass release of BlackBerry messenger 5.0!  I really enjoy BBM with people I know who have a BlackBerry.  One of the cool new things is that each person has a barcode that can be scanned to add each other as contacts.  

Here is my barcode:
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Here's the user manual from RIM:  BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 User Guide 

So, I've been upgrading other people's devices and messaging people instructions.  The easiest way to install it is through BlackBerry Appworld.  If you have appworld you may need to update it to the most recent version.  If you don't have it then go to www.blackberry.com/appworld on your handheld and you can download it.  once you have the most recent version of appworld BBM will be the 1st or 2nd top free download.

This, along with the new Rammstein CD is my excitement as of late.


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Official release:  10/20/2009.  get excited.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Receiver

Instead of a post here I made a page with information about my receiver, check it out here:  http://sites.google.com/site/markevans7/home/yamaha-rx-v663-receiver

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cool Disney Video

A day in the life of the Magic Kingdom park at Disney World--shot using "tilt/shift" photo/video technique.



no, I don't really understand this whole "tilt/shift" becuase it's a super cool illusion and more fun that way...


wikipedia
www.tiltshiftmaker.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mollie!

Sunday, October 4th 2009 was Mollie Evans' 11th birthday, congratulations! She is my favorite miniature schnauzer, I miss her!

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Her 11th anniversary with the family will be 12/24/09. she has a facebook (dogbook) page if you want to be friends with her and pet her or give her a treat, toy, etc.

Fan Can!

Anheuser-Busch is really the king of marketing with this (failed) campaign.

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it really doesn't even taste like beer or bud light, it tastes like scarlet and gray buckeye passion. When Adam told me the plan was dropped, I asked my sister to see if she could get some. So, thanks to Barb and my parents for helping hook me up. I totally dig these as collectors memorabilia, and to be ultimate fan and beer drinker--never thought i could combine those two, thanks bud light! lol?

Here's a Wall Street Journal Article on the debacle: "Team-Color Bud Cans Leave Colleges Flat"

Threw It On The Ground

New SNL digital short that was on over the weekend, well Saturday's new episode...

"Threw It On The Ground"



Pretty funny. I really enjoy it because it nods at BlackBerry...even if it is throwing it on the ground. The one in the video is a 6710, one of the IT directors in Smart Grid actually still uses a 6750--the Verizon version of the 6700 series

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wedding!

Congratulations Adam and Colleen! Mr & Mrs Adam Bankovich. I think it was June 12th when they got engaged and as time flies here we are, married!

It was a busy weekend, here's a recap. I drove up to Columbus Thursday afternoon/evening; tried timing it so I could pick Mike and Rebekah up at the airport from their 10:30pm flight. Dropped them off at the hotel and then went to my parents house in Hilliard to hang out and spend the night. Friday morning I got my haircut and then around 1:30pm I met Mike and Matt at the hotel and we went to Men's Wearhouse at Tuttle Crossing Mall to try on our tuxes--which fit just dandy!

The rehearsal was at 3:30 so we went to St. Agatha in Upper Arlington. I'd actually never been there and it was really nice. The dinner was then at Oscar's in Olde Dublin--i'd also never been there and it was fantastic. after the dinner we went back to the hotel and since it was just across the parking lot from Dave & Buster's we went there and played games. I hadn't been there in forever and it was awesome.

Saturday is when I woke up feeling terrible. No, not hungover terrible but like sick terrible. I totally felt like I had the flu. To further this thought my co-worker from Indianapolis had been in Charlotte during the week and on friday he was off sick with a fever and went to the doctor. So, me getting sick the day after him seemed all too likely that he caught something on the plane on the way down, I got it from him, add a few days for incubation and boom -- swine flu epidemic of 2009. anyways, we all know I'm not much fun when i'm sick (who is?). not only was i feeling crappy but i didn't know what was wrong and i REALLY didn't want to get other people sick! regardless I wanted to make it through everything and was hoping I would magically start feeling better...divine intervention maybe?

The wedding started at 2:30 and was very nice, pretty much perfect actually. standard classy and classic Catholic ceremony. my favorite part was the boutonnière that we got:

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orange flower with little hops in it! awesome. Colleen's Mom is pretty crafty/talented/jack-of-all-trades and made all the flower settings for the wedding--impressive and super cool!

after the wedding we went to the Swim & Racquet club in UA for the reception. we got introduced as we walked in so i wanted to be there for that and then i ate a great dinner that my body seemed to be thankful for. unfortunately i still felt terrible and really thought i should go to the doctor. I texted my Dad and he was able to come pick me up and take me to Urgent Care, so special thanks there. they even had the OSU game on in the waiting room! they did some kind of fancy flu test and said it came back negative for flu/swine flu. So that was good; however, it wasn't clear what was wrong with me, lol. well, the doc didn't know if it was viral or bacterial but treatment is pretty similar--tylenol, water/gatorade, sleep, repeat. i went back to the hotel and did just that. i woke up sunday feeling somewhat improved and likely functional. Took mine and mike's tuxes back to men's wearhouse at the mall and got a sandwich and some bread from Panera. was on the road for Charlotte around 11:30.

also, check out the cool groomsman gift, "hopside down" :)

hopside down

real web site?

gonna try and upgrade some things so i can make "prettier" posts.

https://sites.google.com/site/markevans7.

not really there yet but i did make one entry to try it out and see how easy/hard it was. https://sites.google.com/site/markevans7/Tressel-Ball. more to come on all that...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Southend

Here's is some info on the neighborhood or part of town I live in, South End--i.e. it's just south of downtown...lol. there's also a street called "South Blvd", exciting... well, so far it seems pretty cool. i've only been to a few places but they've all been really nice and it seems like the area has been on the upswing for the last few years.

There's actually a pretty nice website for the area if anyone wants to check it out, www.discover-southend.com.

Historic Southend PDF Map

Saturday, September 26, 2009

USPS...FAIL

So these would be cool if they weren't 2.5x the price of standard postage?
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20 stamps = $20...



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Interview with Trent Reznor

founder/frontman of Nine Inch Nails (NIN)
*special thanks to my sister Amanda who emailed this to me last week* :)

trent interview

For 20 years, Nine Inch Nails founder Trent Reznor has specialized in music fueled by acute despair and self-loathing, expressed in degrees of intensity that range from pummeling aggression to airy melancholy—all of it ominous and almost relentlessly bleak. When Reznor started Nine Inch Nails in his early 20s, he had an endless well of rage and anxiety—notably aided by booze and drugs—to inspire his music. Now that he's 44, sober, and by all accounts, happy, that well has run dry. So it’s no coincidence that early this year, Reznor announced that Nine Inch Nails’ summer tour with Jane’s Addiction would be his last. Although he added a few final shows in New York, Chicago, and L.A., the last of which was Sept. 10, Reznor is serious about retiring NIN—from the road, at least. “We’re not stopping making music,” he told the crowd on his second night in Chicago. “Don’t kill yourselves just yet.” What Reznor plans to do next has less to do with catharsis and more to do with new ideas, particularly a new business model for artists in the post-CD age. He released Nine Inch Nails’ 2008 album, The Slip, via nin.com with variable pricing based on sound quality, an idea he first attempted when he collaborated with Saul Williams for Williams’ 2007 album The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggy Tardust. While Reznor remains unsure of the solution to the music industry’s fundamental problem, he has a lot more time these days to think about it. Just before the band played its final run of shows, Reznor spoke to The A.V. Club about being happy, his upcoming plans, and the likelihood of his writing a silly love song.

The A.V. Club: When Nine Inch Nails began, you were hoping to match the success of Skinny Puppy or Front 242. When did you realize that Nine Inch Nails had surpassed them, and how weird did it feel?

Trent Reznor: It was very weird. When we started out, I just related to the world that I was in and the heroes I had, and the bands I liked were all encompassed in that world of Nettwerk and Wax Trax! and that scene. We put the record out at the end of ’89, and we just toured all of 1990, a lot of ’91, ending with the first Lollapalooza. I think that was when. That year and a half of touring around, I think we went around the country four or five times. You see the same people, and then 50 percent more people every time. I felt like the band was unexpectedly something different and resonating on some level with people. To answer your question, after that Lollapalooza, it sort of felt like there were these people I don’t understand that like us. Recognized in shopping malls. Strange. Then getting turned on by the bands we liked—there’s a wonderful brotherly nature in the music business. Everybody is sticking up for one another.

AVC: When bands have been around for a long time, it sometimes seems like the world is eager for them to break up, just so we can extol their legacy. Does it feel like the world is eulogizing Nine Inch Nails prematurely?

TR: It’s hard for me to be objective about that. That wasn’t really the intention of it. Some time last year—we had just finished the Lights In The Sky tour, I think—I really got a taste of the music-business climate the way it is now. People don’t really buy records anymore. One way you can put food on the table is to just tour. You always have a manager or agent around to say, “Hey, let’s do this. Go out for a few months.” I find that the age I’m at now, and where my head’s at, that I like touring—it’s great to be onstage. But I think, particularly on the Lights In The Sky tour, which is very production-heavy, the unintended consequence was that the show was pretty much the same every night. It became like being in a play. It was like, “Okay, an hour and 52 minutes from now, I’m going to be…,” and I found after doing that for months and months, it was pretty hard to stay in the present. I'd be up onstage thinking, “I should’ve ordered the chicken sandwich.” And I hate that feeling. I couldn’t concentrate enough to get myself back—I was a robot that goes through the show.

Putting that on a different level of trying to macro out my life and look at it, one of my biggest heroes and people I was fortunate enough to be around is David Bowie. I look at his career, and he always had the balls to break things that weren’t broken, to step away from something and try something new, at risk of failing. I remember when we toured with him in ’97, and we were talking about the tour ahead of time, and he said, “So when we go on, we’re gonna play all music from the record I just did with Brian Eno”—it’s a weird album, the Outside album—“and I’m not going to play any hits. You guys are just going to destroy us when you go onstage because we’re not giving people what they want. It’s just what I have to do.” On one hand, that’s kind of stupid of him. On the other hand, wow. He was right. He went out and bummed out a faction of the audience and didn’t want to indulge them, just foray into a new album nobody’s heard that was very dense and not for some people. I don’t have the balls to do that. If I go onstage, I want to give people everything they want and more. I’ll wash their car for them on their way out. And I guess the small answer to this diatribe is, Nine Inch Nails feels kind of safe to me. I know how to do it. I want to thrust myself into something that’s uncomfortable and might fail.

AVC: Anything you want to elaborate on?

TR: Some musical things that I think clearly fall outside the world of Nine Inch Nails and I would like to experiment with, and we’re still working on turning Year Zero into a television series, and that’s actually been pretty exciting. There are some things that are non-musical that I’ve been working on in software creation that I’m excited to be working on and have been wanting to for years, but just never have time because I’m always on tour. There’s some things music-business-wise that I’m trying to put in motion that I think could be helpful to others. It’s just getting to that list of shit that I look at and go, “Okay, practicing piano again. That’s been on the list for 10 years.” Building X and Y software platform, which I’ve not done because I’m on tour. I just wanna chip away at that stuff and see what happens and become human again. See what that’s like.

AVC: There’s an argument that the best art comes from being miserable. Now that you’re, by all accounts, relatively happy and getting married, is it impossible to be the angry young man?

TR: I think if I were to try to maintain that, it would come off as insincere, because it would be insincere. To be honest, I’m not particularly angry, at least to the level that I have been. But what I noticed is, because I went through this big question mark of things over eight years ago, I’m wondering how much of that fueled good things I’ve done? That argument that tortured artists have to throw out at you. But what I found and realized is that the focus of Nine Inch Nails when it started out, pretty much up until recent times, was a way for me to cathartically get this out of my system. You can punch a wall or write a song. Just as painful either way, but you have something to show for it at the end of the day with a song. Seeing that it resonated with people made me feel like I had a purpose in life. It really was taking something fueled by negativity or anger or loneliness and funneling it into something good, and I think the fuel for that fire has run out. That’s not a bad thing. So what I have learned post getting sober and being more of an adult is, that process of writing is not as torturous and laborious as it used to be. I used to fear an empty piece of paper. “Fuck, this better be the best song ever, man.” There’s no recipe for failure like that. But I found that if you just go into it and open up the color palette beyond one emotion, it’s actually kind of fun. I don’t foresee a Paul McCartney silly love song coming in the future. Another reason for Nine Inch Nails to call it a day. And I think there will be more Nine Inch Nails music. There will be more music of some sort.

AVC: Did that old anxiety make it uncomfortable for you to listen to your own music because you could only hear what could have been, or should have been?

TR: Quite honestly, the process up until Ghosts, it was so much editing and reconsideration, going back and tweaking and redoing and rethinking that, by the time it came out, it had passed every test I could think of, and really was the best I could do. I can listen back to pretty much everything—there’s an exception here and there—but for the most part, I go back and remember that guy that wrote those songs. And I’m proud of that, not that I would redo Pretty Hate Machine today, but I know who I was when I did it, and that was the best that I could do as that person. But I feel that way about all the records I’ve done, which I feel good about. I did a record with Saul Williams—hopefully he doesn’t think it’s bad of me to say this—but when we finished the record, he looked at me and gave me a hug and said, “It’s so exciting to put out a record you love. It’s the first record I’ve put out I really loved and am proud of.” “Really? Why would you put something out that you’re not proud of? If I don’t think that this is the best thing I could possibly do, why would anyone else feel that way?” And he’s like, “Well, I just didn’t have the knowledge or the resources or ability to do that. I put out stuff I think is good, but not as good as it could have been.” I really don’t feel that way about it. I’ve done some stuff I don’t like that much, or I realized, “Okay, that was kind of a mistake,” but 95 percent of it, I really feel like “That was me.”

AVC: Is it actual songs that make you feel that way, or just how things were handled?

TR: I’m speaking purely about what’s on the record. If I look at how a record was marketed or presented, I can name a million different things. [Laughs.] But what I deliver, when I walk out of the studio with something in my hands, that’s what I’m referring to.

AVC: On Year Zero, you took a much more impersonal approach, doing a concept album about the near future. How much of a relief was it to get outside your head?

TR: It was really fun. It was probably the most fun of everything I’ve done. It felt like a different thing. It started with writing the backstory and wondering if I could write [without] every song starting with “I”—at least 200 “I”s per song. I thought "It’s either going to be really great, or it’s gonna be career-endingly shitty. If it’s that way, I don’t have to put it out." So I was working on it and experimenting, and before I knew it, it was halfway done, and it felt exciting. The icing on the cake was when we got the idea to collaborate with 42 Entertainment.

AVC: That was a different approach, to create this whole multimedia world that exists outside of the album.

TR: And I’m excited about that. To me, the art of that piece was not just the music. It was equally what they did with the storytelling and the web that was just as much the art as the music, because they’re all equal. It wasn’t like Microsoft is hiring a marketing company to come up with some way to sell Halo. So it was like "Here’s the story, here’s all the entities and the setting, and there’s music. How do we make it an experience for people?"

AVC: You mentioned Saul Williams earlier, which was an interesting experiment with a new business model. How did that inform what you did with The Slip?

TR: Well everything we’ve done, and pretty much everything everyone else has done, has been a learning process of trying to figure out—it’s been driving me crazy for a while. It’s sort of like a riddle that there’s no solution to. Saul was the first thing, and the first experiment of my doing. We’d recently gotten off of Interscope, off a big record label. It’s very easy when you’re on a record label to know what not to do. Then it’s basically, anything they want to do is the wrong thing, and you can see their agenda. My experience with being on a record label over the years has been when both of your agendas are in sync, and they’re the same goal, it’s great to have another army of people and resources and money. But most of the time, they’re not the same. Their agenda is just simply to sell plastic discs at any cost, and yours is to preserve—at least in my case—your integrity, and hopefully sell some plastic discs, too. I wouldn’t do a Right Guard commercial or be on WWE or whatever, but they would want you to do that if it meant they could sell more plastic discs. Certainly as the Internet’s come up and decimated their business—entirely through their own fault, through their own ignorance—it’s very clear to see what you don’t want to do. When you’re trapped under “what they say goes” mentality, it’s easy to be very resentful. When we got free, it was like, “Okay, now what? We can do whatever we want! Okay, what is it?” You know, that’s probably what Radiohead did, and I think that it’s very exciting to watch that go down. It wasn’t a business for them. At the end of the day, when you saw what they did in terms of them signing with a record label and selling a record, it felt like a step backward, and it felt like it was just more of a stunt than any kind of real formula for people to survive in the same era.

The thing that I learned from Radiohead is, I don’t want to ask you what you think it’s worth. “Hey, I just worked a year on this thing.” “Well, that’s worth 10 cents.” “Hey, fuck you!” The Saul thing was a lesson. I naively thought at that time that if you gave the public the choice of do the right thing or not, I thought people would actually do it. Five bucks for an album? And I found that most people, no, they really don’t want to do that. I think I laughed about that and got shit-canned by everybody for whining about wanting to get paid for work that I did. The steps we’ve taken since then, I think, have gotten closer to something that approaches a business model. It doesn’t work for bands that nobody knows yet. These are things I’m thinking about. It’s frustrating, in addition, to do a record, and then it leaks out on the Internet in a way you didn’t want it to. You’re pissed at all the people that want your shit so badly, they’re willing to get it the second it comes out. Well, you should be happy that people are that excited. Try to find the right balance of keeping things exciting and treating your audience with respect, and also treating yourself as an artist with respect. So it’s an ongoing process, but I think we’re edging toward things that make more sense.

by Kyle Ryan September 16, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

BlackBerry Man

song and music video by "SWAY"

of course I like it because it's a BlackBerry song but it's actually really good!



mp4 video, mp3 audio



KCKNG&SCRMNG

This is my friend Jamie and he makes cool clothing. The brand is kicking & screaming, minus silly vowels. neat stuff, impressively original and I admire his passion.

Here's some fun pics:

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Website = http://kckscrm.com/
The process book is really cool: http://kckscrm.com/kckngscrmng_processbook.pdf