iTunes Hate

In preparation for the release of new GreenDay CD today, I fired up the old iTunes store last night because I heard there were bonus and exclusive track available if you pre-ordered it. Sure enough there was. There were two bonus tracks (that can still be purchased separately) and 2 additional bonus tracks that were only for people that pre-ordered. They were two covers of Who songs. Not that I’m a big fan of the Who, but getting 4 bonus tracks for free was appealing. So, I clicked on “purchase album”. Nothing happened. I clicked again, same thing. I figured maybe the page wasn’t loading, so I hit the “home” button to back to the main iTunes Store page. The featured ad was still there, touting the inclusion of said bonus material, so I clicked on it again. Nothing. What the hell was going on? I tried another tactic, I searched for GreenDay in the search box. I found the artist, then found the album. It still said exclusive/bonus/preorder, so I clicked “purchase album” again. Then I got an error. Not a normal error either. A big, giant red exclamation point saying simply that “The iTunes store has had an unexpected error: please try again later”. What the hell?

So I quit iTunes, restart, and try it again. Same thing. Then I realize something. It’s 11:04pm, central time. Midnight on the East Coast. It’s no longer the 14th, it’s now the 15th. Since it’s the 15th, I can’t actually pre-order something that’s been released. I go back to the iTunes store, search by artist, find the CD and this time select the regular, non-bonus CD. It starts to walk me through the purchase process and I nearly loose it.

The iTunes store had updated the CDs status from “preorder” to “purchase” while I was looking at it, eliminating the version of the CD I was trying to buy. I can’t buy a CD with pre-order only songs if I’m not technically pre-ordering it. The only problem is, they left all the ads, albums and descriptions up. I checked back at a little after midnight (central) and they were still up. The big “pre-order” button was still featured on the homepage.

So, fuck the iTunes store. You know what I did? I went to Target, my go-to for everything these day. They opened at 8am, had the album displayed in a big “new releases” rack, complete with a deluxe 2-CD edition featuring not only the bonus songs but an entire bonus 6-track Live CD, for $9.99! So, fuck iTunes. Fuck it and it’s pre-ordering bullshit right in it’s $14.99 face. Midnight on the east coast is NOT midnight to ME. If I was waiting at a store for a “midnight” release, I’d have to wait one hour longer than my east coast counterparts, that’s just how it is. Just because it’s the 15th in one time zone doesn’t mean it is in all the others. What if I was on the west coast, that would have been 8pm. That should have left plenty of time to preorder it if I was living in Cupertino. If we’re going to ignore timezones so completely, why couldn’t I “buy” the full release at 6pm? That would be midnight in Europe. Asshats.

Luckily, the only things I missed out on were the two Who cover tracks, which, to no ones surprise, are now floating around on a torrent raft in the middle a certain notorious body of pirate waters. Double fuck you iTunes, complete and total fail. Ha!

Flogging Molly

Tuesday night I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands on the planet. Flogging Molly stopped in Houston as part of their Green 17 Tour. I first saw Flogging Molly shortly after their first album release back in college. They were in Savannah and played this tiny little crappy club called The Velvet Elvis for a crowd of what couldn’t have been more than 50 people. They were fantastic then, getting the Guinness soaked crowd of art students to put arms around each other and sway to old Irish drinking songs. That was 7 or 8 years ago, I’m not entirely sure, it all kinda blurs together. They were fantastic that night and they were equally fantastic Tuesday night. Bigger crowd this time. Actually it was a sold out show of a couple hundred, downtown in a converted warehouse at a place called simply enough Warehouse Live.

I met up with my buddy Dane downtown at a bar called The Homeplate which is right next to the ballpark and directly between the park and the club. We were able to grab a quick bite to eat before hand and park for free instead of playing $20 to park a block closer. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get right to the club at 7:00, which was when the doors opened, but it didn’t end up making any difference since the opening act came on late anyway. I always like to be early for shows like that so I can be up closer to the front railing. I don’t care one way or another about “the pit”, if I’m in the middle of it so be it, but being “in front” of it seems to work out better than being behind it. It’s also to avoid what ended up happening last night and getting squeezed in behind so huge guy who I can’t see around. I know I’m just average height so I like to find some place with a good line of sight and being behind some 7’2″ guy without a shirt on doesn’t really do it for me. So we moved up to a small landing to the left of the stage, directly in front of the bar. We were to the side a bit, but the extra 4 or 5 feet off the ground provided a fine vantage point.

The opening bands included The Cherry Cokes, a Japanese Irish band (yes you read that correctly) who sung completely in Japanese but the crowd didn’t really seem to mind. The melodies were familiar and that was enough for most people. They were actually rather good, even despite the language barrier. The second band was, ummm, interesting. It was the Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band. A 3 piece consisting of drums, washboard and steel guitar. I liked it, but I think it wasn’t what the crowd was expecting. It was more of a punk/hillbilly thing than music you could sing along with. Some good guitar picking from the Reverend though.

Then it was time for the main event. Everyone (including myself) got refills on their Guinness and prepared for what was going to be an awesome show. They came on about 10:00 and the place lit up. There were a couple slower, more somber songs mixed in here or there, but for the most part it was a rocking show. I was glad the people around me were into it, it’s always a shame when you get stuck next to people and they stand there with their arms crossed looking pissed all night. I’ve been to shows like that before and it’s not fun. Those type of people come out to shows simply for something to do. Tuesday we were thrown in the mix with a good bunch of folks who were there for a good time. Multiple times throughout the night everyone put their arms around their neighbor and sang at the top of their drunk ass lungs. I completely enjoyed myself.

It had been such a long time since I had seen a show that it was just what I needed. I love going to concerts and this was a good one. I’m glad my buddy Dane was able to come. He’s a (new) big Flogging Molly fan and I’m glad he got to see them live.


Fist Fight in Your Crotch

My good buddy Jason just released an album for his band The Amblotics entitled “Fist Fight in Your Crotch”. Completely free download. Check it out HERE. Definatly good stuff. Awesome job bud!

Oh, and since he doesn’t have any album art for it, I thought I’d share what I’m using. It makes me smile every time I open WMP or iTunes and this pops up as the artwork.


Scratch that. I like this better. God bless Photoshop.


full sized

Pandora: Music Genome Project

It takes a whole lot of well crafted web magic to impress me these days. There’s AJAX this, Ruby that, Flash apps, all sorts of crap. Most of it is kinda interesting but not entirely useful on the whole. Today, I found something that I really think is pretty slick.

Pandora by the Music Genome Project

From their site:
“Ever since we started the Music Genome Project, our friends would ask: Can you help me discover more music that I’ll like? Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs. We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you. ”

At the most basic level it’s like all those “find similar band sites” like and nova-something (which I can’t remember), only taken to an entire other level. You put in a band you like and create a “radio station” based on that. I chose Less Than Jake for my first test. I put in the band name and it creates a station based on not only LTJ but music thats similar, impired by, has similar characterists of and/or sounds like them. I started with Liquior Store, a song it chose randomly from the LTJ catelog. Then, it filled the “radio station” with songs and artists that it thought I might like. I can adjust the tastes and blend of songs based on yes/no votes. It’s live, streaming, and always on for me to listen to. It’s full songs, good quality, in a great mix, streamed directly from the browser. No media player involved.

In the past few hours I’ve listened to: Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Swingin’ Utters, Mustard Plug, The Pogues, The Mountain Firework Company, Spitvalves, Lawrence Arms, Streetlight Manifesto, Fall Out Boy, Operation Ivy, Pink Spiders, Kid Dynamite, and the Street Dogs. That’s a great mix. Nothing has repeated. They never picked any cheesy over played tunes. I’m really liking it.

Definatly a website to check out, especially if you want to hear some new tunes.

Playlist for the day

Completely and totally random thought of the day…

Mxpx – The Darkest Places
Arctic Monkeys – From The Ritz To The Rubble
LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
1208 – Fall Apart
Autopilot Off – Make A Sound
Reggie & The Full Effect – Congratulations Smack And Katy
The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man
Streetlight Manifesto – 9mm and a Three-Piece Suit
Mxpx – Late Again
Bloc Party – Helicopter
Bowling For Soup – Captain Hook
Sahara Hotnights – Push On Some More

I’m so disappointed

I just checked out a few tracks from the new Less Than Jake album. Sad. So so sad. You can check out the few preview tracks here. I wonder if Jason knows about this. God it sounds bad. What the hell? LTJ was the last hold outs in the endless parade of pop-rock crap. I could hear at least 3 of those tracks being whored on radio.

Fuck that, I’m going to go put on a Real Mckenzies album.