Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Guess It's Been Two Weeks?

Somehow two weeks have passed since our last update, I have no idea how that happened. We're keeping busy as always, I have finished my household wiring class, so that is yet another thing I can add to my resume that I'll most likely never use.

Bella and her mommy have been on a mini-vacation to New Jersey this past weekend, they'll be flying back home tonight. Sounds as though Bella was a very good kid for the flight and the rest of the trip there, I'm sure Michele took many photos, and we'll be posting plenty of them.

In the meantime, here are photos of Bella with her lamb she got from Grandma P on Easter (or "grandma Murphy," as she's now known because of her dog), and of Bella being enthralled with the Little Einsteins with her good friend Pinky.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Birthday Photos

I know, I'm pretty behind on posting photos from the day of Bella's birthday, at least I'm finally getting around to it...

These first few are of Bella opening gifts from our friends Grace and Jeff on her actual birthday. Then the next few are of her opening the Little Einsteins Rocket that she loved. She was a little happy that night as you can see.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quick Cheap CD Update

Time for another update of a couple of cd's that are only $8 a piece this week at Best Buy that are worth picking up:

MGMT - Oracular Spectacular - This is the debut cd by one of the early breakout bands of 2008, and very likely candidates to be performing a can't-miss set at Lollapalooza. MGMT's debut is produced by Dave Fridmann, who has been the producer of the Flaming Lips' many great albums. There are some slight similarities in the bands' sounds, where hints of the Lips' crazy space rock peeks through in MGMT's ambitious debut. You can watch their video for the amazing opening track "Time To Pretend" on Amazon, or just head over to their Myspace page.

Hot Chip - Made in the Dark - Speaking of Lollapalooza, Hot Chip put on a fantastic set on a tiny stage in the burning midday sun at the 2005 Lolla. Their goofy electro-dance rock fit perfectly on a gorgeous sunny weekend afternoon, just as well as it would fit late night in a dance club somewhere else. It's all the more amusing that their great dance tracks are made by 5 pale white English guys who look like they were rejected from Shaun of the Dead for looking too British. Their newest, Made In the Dark, isn't their best, but it still has some great songs. The first half of the album is solid, featuring the first single "Ready for the Floor," but the second half of the album slopes off at a much slower pace. Still worth $8 though.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More From Bella's Birthday Bash

Here's the last set of photos we'll post from the party...

Monday, March 17, 2008

More from Bella's Birthday Bash

Here are more photos from Bella's birthday party yesterday.

(Below is Bella, Mommy and Bella's friend from day care Allyson)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Isabella Birthday Week Celebration

The big day is almost here, by the time most of you read this, we'll be one day away from Bella's 2nd birthday. We had a great birthday party for her today, we took many pictures and will be posting them here over the next few days...

We wanted to start off with a couple of amusing pictures, there was one night last week where Bella really did not sleep well. Usually Bella wakes up at some point while we are getting her ready to go to daycare with Michele. On this morning though, she slept through getting changed, and even slept through getting her coat and shoes put on by mommy.

Like I said, we'll be posting alot of the pictures over the next few days from the party. Here's my favorite one of our little ham saying "cheese" for the camera to get things started...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

As if the previous strong rumor of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails headlining Lollapalooza this year wasn’t enough, this rumor is making the rounds from a pretty reliable source. Not too shabby, two of my three favorite bands in the world (Radiohead and Wilco) as two of the top four headliners. It’s pretty much a guarantee at this point that I’ll be down there from noon that Friday to 10 pm that Sunday night now.

We’re even debating taking Bella down there with us one of those days, especially on the day NIN is headlining, since as I have written before, their oh so soothing music has a magical power to make Bella take a nap in the car. Guess we’ll see if it works downtown too!

And we just bought our tickets for the Pitchfork Music Festival, Bella will be making her second appearance in two years there that Saturday. Here are some of my favorite pictures of her from that last year as a reminder of things to come:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bella's Next Career, Version 3.0

Here's the latest in our series of our previews of Bella's future career choices. Today, we present to you, Bella getting ready for her career in, uh, that Olympic sport where the gymnasts twirl around a ribbon for a while for a gold medal:

And don't forget folks, we're only one week away from a certain little girl's 2nd birthday!

Friday, March 7, 2008

I'm a Little Excited About This

As you may remember from my past postings on the previous blog, I usually have a pretty good time and really look forward to Lollapalooza every year, especially since it is exclusive to Chicago. Every year around this time of year, I spend way too much time jumping between their website and and any other website that might possibly offer a hint of who will be playing this year.

Well, the news just came out today that none other than my favorite band will be headlining one night, and another band I love will be headlining another night. Am I little excited for Lollapalooza now, even though it's not happening for almost 5 months? HELL YEAH! Have I already blocked off that weekend for all scheduling for anything else? Most definitely (okay, I actually did that probably around the time they cemented the 2008 dates last year). Am I already saving room in my stomach to have 1 rib sandwich per day? Without question!

So if anyone asks if I am available for anything at all from August 1 through August 3, please do not be terribly offended if I laugh in your face for about 5 minutes.

Monday, March 3, 2008

How's About Some Free Music?

Feel like taking part in kicking the corpse that is the Modern Music Industry? Why not join in and LEGALLY download some free music? Here are a couple of pretty good options:

Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts Vol. 1-4 - Some little band called Nine Inch Nails decided to surprise the world and release 4 albums worth of instrumental material without any buildup or advance notice. You can go to the website by clicking here, but just to warn you, their servers are of course being bombarded, so you might have to wait a few days to get through. They're going with the variable pricing method that Radiohead pulled off with In Rainbows, so if you are so inclined, you can download it all without paying a dime.

Butch Walker - Leavin' the Game on Lucky Street (Live in Atlanta) - I've been a fan of Butch Walker since his criminally underrated band the Marvelous 3 was bringing arena rock to the world while everyone was still stuck in the "Limp Korn Bizkit will actually be around for 5 years" phase. I'll be the first to admit that some of his solo stuff is nowhere near the caliber of the M3 stuff, but live the songs can still work pretty well.

Butch decided to let people download an entire live show (23 songs) for free through this website, it's a very high quality recording, and gives very good evidence of why Michele and I make every effort to see him any time he is in town. It's that and he's Michele's boyfriend too.
Again, you can donate $5 to Butch (who lost many of his possessions where he was staying in Malibu during those fires last year), but that is once again up to you. - I'm rapidly becoming addicted to this website, and the space on our drive is getting swallowed up because of it. To give you the brief story, a couple of guys set up a studio near the Quad Cities on the border of Illinois and Iowa. Since there is not much else to do there, they invite young bands into the studio to record their songs, and they post them entirely for free for the world to enjoy.

Most of the bands that are posted on this page are so unknown, even I say "who is that?" But if you know what you are looking for, you can find some great stuff. I highly recommend downloading the songs by ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, the Thermals, Okkervil River, Illinois and Mobius Band. - Another newer website that is a little more for the indie rock inclined, this is a new concept website that hopefully will thrive. The site is a record label, and they have figured out a way to let people download their music completely for free, simply by having advertisers foot the bill. The site doesn't have quite the selection that Daytrotter has so far, but you can find interesting things like a preview sample mix of songs from Moby's upcoming cd, as well as the debut ep by 2007 breakthrough band Cold War Kids entirely for free.

Get downloading and enjoy folks!