Sunday, December 29, 2019

JFRO'S 2019



Let's all pretend I didn't blow this off last year, like those black years when there wasn't a "Greetings, Friends" poem in the New Yorker.

Format once again ripped off shamelessly from the Librarian in Black:


Books -- The Buried Giant, Catch and Kill, The Water Knife, The Wicked Prince, Crooked, Beasts Made of Night, Bad Blood, Heyday: 35 Years of Music in Minneapolis, 53 Ready-to-Use Kawaii Craft Projects (featuring content from yours truly)

Comics -- Ooku, Order of the Stick, Digger, The Prince and the Dressmaker, Monstress

Movies -- Shazam!, Midsommar, Knives Out, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Rampant, Us, Rocket Man, Belladonna of Sadness,  Logan Lucky, Kong: Skull Island, King Leopold's Ghost, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, Crazy Rich Asians, Jobriath AD, FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, 

TV Shows -- Stranger Things, GLOW, Billions, Bojack Horseman, Travelers, Tuca & Bertie, RuPaul's Drag Race, Drag Race Thailand, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, Dragula, The Boys, Into the Badlands, Pose, The Umbrella Academy, Dirty John, The Magicians, Star Trek: Discovery, Westworld, Daredevil, The Good Place, Elementary, Red vs. Blue

Albums --Baroness: Gold & Grey, Windhand: Eternal Return, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats: Wasteland, Various Artists: Big Gold Dreams—A Story Of Scottish Independent Music 1977–1989, Robyn: Honey

Songs: Cellar Darling: "The Spell", Dorian Electra: "Flamboyant", Lizzo: "Juice", The Prodigy: "Light Up the Sky", Ministry: "Antifa", Beauty in Chaos: "20th Century Boy"

Apps --Reddit, TuneIn, Flickr, Artstudio, 8Tracks (sob)

Devices --iPad, iMac, Universal Laser Systems laser engraver, Apple Pencil

Events --Convergence, Anime Detour, ToshoCon, WMCN Reunion show, Como Obon Festival, Jawbox, Massive Attack, The Chills, First Avenue @The Minnesota Historical Society, Northern Spark @Rondo Library, Llamas @Minnesota Zoo, Egypt's Sunken Cities @MIA, Art and China after 1989 @SFMOMA

Items of clothing --Doc Martin black engineer boots, bespoke vest, bespoke jumper dress

Games --TimeZero, Hack the Planet, Tokaido, Lost in R'lyeh, Plants Vs Zombies 2, Candy Crush: Soda, Candy Crush: Jelly

Web sites --Captain Awkward, Fast 'n' Bulbous, r/AmItheAsshole, Instructables, Folk Horror Revival

Twitter Twerps --@N7IRL,@BootlegGirl, @midnight_pals, @DrunkestLibrary, @RealSardonicus

YouTubers -- Jimmi Pynk, MovieBob, Screen Junkies, Diamanda Hagan, Hey Qween, Camp Wannakiki, Tierzoo, PBS Eons, Moviebitches, Contrapoints

Materials - Japanese handmade paper, watercolor pencils, Mod Podge

Boyfriend --JSeux's winning streak is miraculous!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

JFRO AIRWAVES TAKEOVER: 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION


The Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records, Page 378.

So, a few weeks back it was time to get back on the wheels of steel for my reunion radio show. I got two hours and a prime Friday night slot.

This year, my theme was 80s compilations, meaning compilations from the 80s, not newer ones focusing on the 80s. It was a tribute to the old days of no Internet and two hours of cool music on a college radio station with bad reception per day, when compilations were one of a few sources for new music. I pored over the list of compilations in The Trouser Press Guide to New Wave Records, then cross-checked the Burning Airlines mail-order catalog, or scoured record stories whenever I got to a city.


A view from the studio. 

Last year, one of the other DJs recommended the DJay app for my iPhone as a way to get nice transitions between songs instead of the iTunes sudden-stop-and-start. I should have practiced more beforehand, but it went OK.


Andrea's Radio Show


Playlist:

Driving The Dynamite Truck--Breaking Circus, Big Hits Of Mid-America, Vol. 4
The Light Pours Out Of Me--Peter Murphy, One Pound Ninety Nine
Haunted When The Minutes Drag--Love And Rockets, One Pound Ninety Nine
Wichita Lineman--Glenn Gregory, B.E.F, Presents Music Of Quality & Distinction, Vol. 1
It's Over--Billy MacKenzie, B.E.F. Presents Music Of Quality & Distinction, Vol. 1
Product Patrol--Cabaret Voltaire, If You Can't Please Yourself, You Can't Please Your Soul
Waiting to Fall --Virginia Astley, If You Can't Please Yourself, You Can't Please Your Soul
Pink Frost --The Chills, Tuatara
Fish--The Clean, Tuatara
Death And The Maiden--The Verlaines, Tuatara
The Protagonist --Dead Can Dance, Lonely Is An Eyesore
Fish-Throwing Muses, Lonely Is An Eyesore
Cut the Tree--The Wolfgang Press, Lonely Is An Eyesore  
Dub --Pylon, The Best Of America Underground
Like I Told You--Shoe, The Best Of America Underground
World War III--Suburbs, The Best Of America Underground
(I Belong to the) Blank Generation--Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Great New York Singles
Little Johnny Jewel--Television, The Great New York Singles
Smash It Up--The Damned, The Last Stiff Compilation
Blue Boy --Orange Juice, C81
I Look Alone--Buzzcocks, C81
The "Sweetest Girl" --Scritti Politti, C81
Therese --The Bodines, NME C86
It's Up To You-- Shop Assistants, NME C86
Happy Head --The Mighty Lemon Drops, NME C86
Pleasantly Surprised--The Soup Dragons NME C86
We Could Send Letters Aztec Camera, The Indie Scene 1981

PS. This 8tracks playlist includes some tracks I didn't have time to play on my show.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

PERFECT PORTABLE BREAKFAST UPDATE


Remember this post on portable breakfast recipes? As someone who loves breakfast foods but doesn't like getting up before work to cook and doesn't want to spend too much of my money at fast-food joints, I have been working off and on to make my breakfast experience the best it can be.

The breakfast sandwich recipe from Lifehacker was missing two things: biscuits (so much better than muffins or croissants) and potatoes. For the biscuits, it turns out Cub sells Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits, which I'd never heard of since I'm not a big seafood person, but turn out to be great. Biscuits take a little more work to cook than store-bought muffins, but the taste is so worth it. You do need a pan like this to make sure the biscuits have the structural integrity for the sandwich ingredients. For cheese, why use cheap shredded cheddar when you can get something good like Kerrygold Dubliner.

After some experimentation, for the eggs I went with canned mushrooms, Italian seasoning, parmesan and a splash of milk. Different people can use different seasonings/veggies, but you might as well maximize your taste experience with flavors you won't get at McDonalds. I decided on Provolone for the cheese and Canadian bacon for the meat because I'm lazy and don't want to cut them to fit the biscuit.  I do have a round cutter for the eggs, so I could change the fillings in the future.

But breakfast just didn't seem complete without potatoes. The only memorable food from the Hardee's in my home town was the little hash brown patties, and Ore-Ida has something similar.

Tips for making breakfast sandwiches:

  • PAM cooking spray is your friend when it comes to getting biscuits out of the pan.
  • Cook the potato patties in the oven as directed before freezing, then wrap them in tinfoil and put them in a Ziploc baggie in the freezer.
  • Wrap each sandwich in tinfoil and put as many as you can fit in a Ziploc baggie in the freezer. If you make the biscuits and sandwiches on different days, you can freeze the biscuits and use them later, they will still taste fine.
  • Heating the sandwich and patties in the microwave for 90 seconds on 30% power, then 50 seconds on 100% power works for me, your microwave may vary. If you heat in a toaster oven, take off the top of the sandwich and put it face-up next to the rest of the sandwich. Cook for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Test the center to make sure it is heated through.
You could make the recipe more low-calorie with egg whites, turkey Canadian bacon, light cheese, etc. I don't know that fresh veggies like tomatoes or spinach would work frozen, you might have to add them at the last minute. The Cheddar Bay biscuits also taste just fine without cheese. Try different things and let me know how it turned out!


Friday, May 24, 2019

SONGS I HAVE MORE THAN ONE COVER OF



  • All Tomorrow's Parties (Velvet Underground) - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Japan, Apoptygma Berzerk
  • Black Betty (Traditional)- John Spencer Blues Explosion*, The Melvins*, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath) - Flower Travelin' Band, Type O Negative
  • Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (Klaatu) - Babes In Toyland, Langley Schools Music Project
  • Cold Turkey (Plastic Ono Band) - The Godfathers, The Soft Boys
  • Dancing Queen (ABBA) - Carol Douglas, Milo Binder
  • Don't Slander Me (The Roky Anderson Band) - Lords of Altamont, Lou Ann Barton
  • Fever (Little Willie John) - The Cramps, Eno & the Winkies, Adam Freeland & Sarah Vaughn, The Jam, Peggy Lee, Suzi Quatro
  • House of the Rising Sun (Traditional) - Flower Travelin' Band, Camodian Space Project
  • I Got You Babe (Sonny & Cher) - The Dictators, UB40
  • I Have Always Been Here Before (Roky Anderson)-Julian Cope, The Nomads
  • I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Gladys Knight & the Pips)-Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Slits
  • I Think We're Alone Now (Tommy James & the Shondells)- Lene Lovich, The Rubinoos
  • Mexican Radio (Wall Of Voodoo)- Celtic Frost, Polvo
  • Night Time (The Strangeloves)- Bauhaus, The Nomads
  • Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones)--The Avengers, The Feelies
  • Pink Moon (Nick Drake)- Sebadoh, Walt Mink
  • Reverberation (13th Floor Elevators)- The Jesus & Mary Chain, ZZ Top
  • Tainted Love (Gloria Jones)- Soft Cell, Marilyn Manson
  • Take Me to the River (Al Green)- Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads
  • Who Do You Love? (Bo Diddley)-Jesus & Mary Chain, The Woolies
  • You're Gonna Miss Me (13th Floor Elevators)-The Nomads, Doug Sahm & Sons


*From the same 7"

Monday, October 22, 2018

BIG SOUND : THE RECEIVERING


  1. Blu-ray player
  2. Apple TV/Television
  3. Record player
  4. Cassette player
  5. VCR
  6. Subwoofer
  7. Computer

Another year, more tech stuff breaking down. My receiver was only 11 years old, but I guess it was its time. Back when I got my first receiver in high school, it was assumed that it would basically last forever, but nowadays the technical changes come fast and furious, so at least it came with some updates. My parents decided to go with bluetooth speakers and forgo the receiver when they moved to a smaller space, but I have a lot of analog media still. 

At least the new speaker plugs are just kind of annoying, instead of utterly maddening like the old ones you had to hold down while simultaneously trying to push in the speaker wire. 



The main new feature is receiving Bluetooth signals. I can send music from my phone or iPad (or even my iMac, but there's Airplay for that) to the receiver. It even knows the names of the songs somehow. This works for iTunes or apps like TuneIn, Spotify, Bandcamp, Amazon Music, etc., which is nice because the Apple TV is a little light on music apps and it's easier to control with a mobile device than my computer via Airplay.

Current list of Bluetooth devices:

  • Onkyo receiver
  • Mpow headphones
  • Logitech computer speakers
  • Magicbox II portable speaker (for travel and kitchen/bathroom)
  • iPhone 
  • iPad
  • iMac
  • Apple Bluetooth keyboard
  • Logitech K810 portable keyboard
  • Apple TV


After I put it together, I remembered that the computer in wasn't connected to anything since my iMac doesn't have audio in like my old cheese grater Mac, so I ordered one of these. That way, I don't have to move my record player/cassette player to the bedroom when digitizing (I have the world's longest headphone cord for that).


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On Universal FanCon


Guys, I am really sad and mad right now about Universal FanCon. I hadn't heard of it before it was postposed/cancelled one week before it was to occur, but seeing tweets from so many people who were planning to go was heartbreaking. So many artists and vendors losing their first shot at sales/networking and cosplayers and other attendees who never felt accepted at other cons losing a safe space for geeking out. 

I'm proud to be an exhibitor and co-creator of the Manga Reading Lounge at Anime Detour and my July staycation at Convergence is a highlight of my year. I can't imagine having an experience like that taken away so suddenly. 

The other sad thing is, it might not have failed if the founders hadn't 1) tried to make their first con some huge, money-making endeavor when most cons barely break even, 2) failed to vet one co-founder who had been involved in failed cons before, and 3) they had asked for help from experienced con people. The Twitter conversation made it clear that there was a deep bench of experienced con administrators who would have been happy to help. I'm not one myself, but my limited experience creating a miniature library con tells me that it's a very complex endeavor with a lot of moving parts that requires constant back-and-forth communication, not just asking Starbucks to donate stuff at the last minute. 



WHAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE THINGS BETTER:
  • Support your local, volunteer-staffed con. Unless you are super into getting celebrities to sign stuff, skip those traveling things Alexandra Erin calls "autograph mills". Local cons are way more fun, you have more input in their content & policies, plus it gives volunteers/staff more experience to start more cons to fit your interests. 
  • If your local con sucks, start your own, but start small. Comic-Con wasn't built in one day
  • Make your con safe for diverse attendees. Ask them what policies would help them enjoy the con. Have diverse panels and panelists. Ban harassers. 
  • Attract and mentor diverse con volunteers and employees. Then, they can learn and start their own cons. Geek culture is big, we can have cons for everybody. 
  • Don't be a dick. Don't tell a marginalized person they "aren't allowed" to cosplay as someone.
  • Give these artists some money. They lost a major source of income, so support them if you can. 
  • Attend this pop-up convention. if you can afford it and are near Baltimore, attend this mini-convention for people who were coming to FanCon.
  • Make your Con transit-accessible. Not everyone can drive or has a car, and some people may fly or bus in. I'm looking at you, Con of the North!