Friday, March 29, 2013

Music Friday: "Southern Livin'" promo & Unknown Song

Here's an album that came out this month that you might want to check out. It's Easy Livin' from a new band called Southern Hospitality. 

It you like the blues with a Southern twang, this outfit should provide what you need. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here are some titles of songs on the album: "Kind Lies & Whiskey," "Fried Neck Bones and Home Fries," "Shoestring Budget," "Powered For the Mountain," and "Don't Boogie Woogie." 

Below is a video that features the song "Southern Livin'" while introducing the band, and the second video has 'em playing a slow jam at a music festival. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Band Names Gratis Again

As I wrote about a little over a year ago, possible band names float through my head from time to time, so I thought I'd share some new ones since that post:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Evaluating the Design of the Wrigley Field Turns 100 Logos

I remember reading an article years ago, probably back in the 90s, when some big document design expert evaluated all of the MLB teams' logos at the time. The team that got the highest honor was the Milwaukee Brewers because of its logo below.

If I remember correctly, the expert lauded the Brewers' simple design that worked in a glove for its logo while succinctly representing M for Milwaukee and B for Brewers. It's always been one of my favorite sports team logos, but then again, I like the Brewers. If I weren't a Cubs fan, the Brew Crew would be my number one National League team. 

But speaking of the Cubs, and design, the Northside ball club recently revealed the top four designs for the "Wrigley Field Turns 100 Contest." You can vote for your favorite on the site, but I thought I'd provide my so-called thoughts about these designs. 

Design 1

For me, I see this logo as a strong contender. It used the signature dark green of the Friendly Confines, integrates the famous red sign, and provides a simple message, "Celebrating 100 Years." 

Design 2

This design is similar to Design 1, but there's the obvious switch to Cubs blue. It's the same concept of having the ball park on top, the name in the middle, and the Cubs logo at the bottom. It is a nice touch to provide the dates here, "1914-2014," but the V-like structure of the design is the structural difference between Design 1. I don't like the funnel-shaped structure though because, for me, it doesn't provide a strong foundation -- the logo is top-heavy to me, like it's going to fall over.

Design 3

This design is a solid curveball in the competition. Unlike the other offerings, the structure has a 20/30s feel with the type face used and jagged edges at the top coupled with a jagged scroll featuring a  simple message, "100 Years." The dates are there, but they aren't a major part of the message, and this is the only logo that incorporates the famous "The Friendly Confines" name. The only one. Opposed to the other designs, we get Wrigley from the side and not presented in full. For me, a presentation of Wrigley in full is simplistic. Also, the red scroll also pops off of the Cubbie blue background whereas the red of the Wrigley sign seems faded when contrasting to the forest green in Design 1.  

Design 4

I get the home plate concept. But that's about all I can say positive this logo. The blue is bland. I do like the little Cub log right below "100 Years," but this design is uninspiring. 

Which One Should Win?

From my perspective, the choice comes down to Design 1 vs. Design 3. I like the use of the famous red sign in 1 and the green color scheme harkens to reality, but Design 3 is the one that should garner the most acclaim for the reasons I detailed above. 

If I had to bet on which one wins in the voting, I'd wager on Design 1. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Music Friday: "Solitude" & "Strange Fruit"

The CD that is currently in my car's player is a compilation of the most popular songs from Billie Holiday. It's been a while since I listened to Lady Day.

So today I offer "Solitude" and "Strange Fruit."  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

On Tuesday morning I received an email that the meeting I had that morning was cancelled. I felt like I just received a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Recently I was talking with someone, and the name of Henry Rollins came up. Later that morning a FB friend shared this blog post by Rollins about the Steubenville rape case. Synchronicity and a helpful perspective on it all. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Music Friday: "I'll Be You"

This week was our spring break, and today was the only day where I actually took a break. 

I know. Big deal, huh? Quit your whining, Mr. Nasty, right? 

But bitching is relative, folks. 

I lack no clear transition to the video below from one of my favorite bands ever, The Replacements, but here I go again posting a tune from that classic "alternative" band. 

A dream too tired to come true
left a rebel without a clue,
and I'm searching for something to do. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stay Positive: Every Seed of the Pomegranate by David Allen Sullivan

I was introduced to the collection of poetry above via Sandy Longhorn's blog Myself the Only Kangaroo Among the Beauty. 

Every Seed of the Pomegranate by David Allen Sullivan is a book of poems I've revisited over the past couple of months because the verse is powerful stuff. 

Sullivan chose to write all of the poems with the haiku form functioning as the poems' stanzas. The book is about the Iraq War.

As noted in the final paragraph of the preface, Sullivan gives the impetus for the collection: "I wrote these poems to help myself see beyond the simplistic labels of PTSD and jihadism, xenophobia and patriotism, and to imagine looking through others' eyes. I hope they become part of the ongoing dialogue that is the only way to begin healing the wounds--physical, psychological, social, and cultural--we suffer from in both countries. Poetry can create opportunities for empathy and understanding; it is one way to re-see ourselves, and the ones we too often see as the other." 

Below are some snippets from selected poems to pique your interest. The ones with an omniscient narrator or from an American are left-justified. The ones from an Iraqi are right-justified.


The day the prisons

opened all over Iraq
the eyes of the dead

rolled back. The living

massed at the gates...

Kurdish House on Fire

No tears mark these days.

After Saddam's soldiers left
she burned the bedsheets.

Ahmed Abu All, Shopkeeper

The imam and I
clasped hands and advanced. He said
We must speak with these

misled Americans.
As we stepped close, the turrets
and guns turned on us.

Born on the Fourth of July, in Honduras

He remembered that boy

he'd been, as he dove into
the swimming pool where

Saddam's portrait grinned,

chipped mosaic rippling.
He was American

now, proud to join up...

Lieutenant Colby Buzzel, Sniper, Stryker Brigade

... I felt nothin' but glad

when I stood over

his body, crumpled

like he was hugging his rifle.
Take a picture, dick.

Omar Yousef Hussein, Historian

We unspooled the wire,

filled in the thin ditch, 
waited for the Americans.
It took half the day.

Afternoon was done
when someone spied the Humvee--
back then they didn't

travel in packs but
alone. When the wires touched...

Time Stands Still

For a Casio

that set the Marines jabbering;
it was the first thing

confiscated, first

reason suspicions were raised.
It remains, plastic wrapped,

labeled evidence,

in a Guantanamo desk,
while Kabir hunkers

in detention's night,

Baggage Claim

Today we can't stomach

what we made others do
to others we know less. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

What you see above is Darby and her arch-nemesis, the chunky squirrel who lives in our maple tree in the backyard. Somehow the rodent thought it was a good idea to take refuge on the swing set, which drove the dog crazy. Chunky has some cojones because I watched her climb down the near side of the a-frame and outrun Darby back to the tree -- just toying with poor Darby. It was a morning and early afternoon packed with plenty of barking. Great times. 

If you've been to the Nasty homestead, you might have noticed the fence. It's new. A couple of months ago when we had some high winds here in east central Illinois, a section of the old rickety fence blew down. So we purchased a new one. Well, we bought part of the fence because our neighbor who shares the property line went halfsies with us. That set us back some money, but it looks a lot nicer and more stable than the previous one that was erected when the house was built in the mid-70s. I have a number of mounds of dirt along the fenceline where the guys dug post holes, but I've got places to put all that dirt. If the weather is decent this week, I plan to fix a drainage problem in the front yard. I'll be digging fourteen feet worth of a drainage ditch for tiling purposes. Maybe I'll put in a French drain. 

What a name though  ...  French drain. It sounds like something that happens in a vampire novel/film or some technique in porn. You decide. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Music Friday: "Social Wedding Rings," "Bright Light," & "Telling the Hour"

The band Mount Moriah dropped its second album this year, and it's just as fine if not finer than the first album.

Today I offer a tune from the self-titled album, and a couple of songs from the second album, Miracle Temple


Have a good weekend, folks. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stay Positive: Family Art Night

Last Thursday my daughter's school had its Family Art Night. A bunch of the classrooms had their own arts and crafts projects in them, which was fun, but one of the big draws to this deal is the competition to correctly identify famous paintings posted around the halls. If I remember right, there were eight of them.

There was Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon...

Van Gogh's Starry Night

Grant Wood's American Gothic

Edvard Munch's The Scream

Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

Monet's Bridge Over a Pool of Water Lillies

And a Georgia O'Keefe painting that I correctly guessed as a magnolia and a Picasso painting of a woman sitting in a chair that I couldn't identify. No Guernica for the kids...

So it wasn't a real difficult task if you've taken any art history courses, but the wrinkle to the competition is that the kid of each family is asked to describe the painting in his or her own words. 

Apparently, my daughter provided strong (and sometimes humorous) descriptions because she won the whole dang competition. She received a fancy James Rizzi water bottle as a prize. 

Roll Nasty Family Roll. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

What you see above is my first purchase on Ebay. That's right. I'm online shopping like it's 1999. The adult beverage inside that fine Schlitz glassware is Shiner's Farmhouse Ale, which is a pretty darn good beer. It has an effective hop profile without being IPAish (though I'm a lover of IPAs). It's their spring ale.  I recommend it if you want a lighter ale that isn't barley-forward. 

As I've written about before, I'm not much of a collector besides music and books, but I was in a colleague's office the other day, and I noticed her old rhetoric-composition books from the late 19th century and early century. I'm told I can get such textbooks rather cheap, which isn't surprising. If I were to collect anything, it would be old rhetoric-composition textbooks because I'm intrigued by how education happened in the bad/good old days. I'm on the lookout for books Barrett Wendell (Harvard), Fred Newtown Scott (U of Michigan), and Joseph Denney (Ohio State). Scott and Denney had very popular textbooks in the early 20th century. 

I haven't homebrewed in years. I'd have to check my homebrew log that I keep, but it had been at least three years I think. Now that we've cleaned up the basement in a major way, I may have to get back in the homebrewing game. Fair warning, Mrs. Nasty. 

Our little homestead got a new back fence on Saturday. A whole section of it blew down weeks ago. It looks nice, and Mrs. Nasty already has plans for planting flowers by it, which will entail me digging up more sod this spring.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Music Friday: "Lillian, Egypt," "To the Dogs or Whoever," "Change of Time," & "New Lover"

As already noted, I'm all geeked up for the new Son Volt album, but an album I'm also looking forward to that's coming out the same day (this coming Tuesday) is Josh Ritter's The Beast in Its Tracks

For today's post, I'm going with one song from each of the Josh Ritter albums I own, with the last one a song from the new album.

To start, below is a fun rendering of "Lillian, Egypt" from The Animal Years

And here's Ritter and his band doing their thing on Letterman with "To the Dogs or Whoever" from The Historical Conquests...

The third is a hypnotic tune from So Runs the World Away

Finally, here's a song from the new album. It gets me all nostalgic about typewriters because I learned how to type on an IBM Selectric. I'm also a connoisseur of typefaces. Nothing says old school like the font that is Courier. Huzzah for old technology.