Big Troubles really caught me off guard at the end of 2010 with their Olde English Spelling Bee released debut album Worry, a sharp blast of shoegaze leaning pop songs that hit all of the right spots for me. The melodies were strong and simple, but the delayed fuzz added enough of a contrarian edge to the tracks that a critical scrooge like myself was able to really get lost in the album. Despite not entering my radar until late in the cycle, it cracked my year end top 10 and actually has gotten more constant spins in the subsequent year than most of the albums that landed in higher spots. All of this led to my great anticipation for their Slumberland released sophomore LP Romantic Comedy, and probably also played a part in my gigantic disappointment.
Leaving aside the fact that the fuzz bombs on Worry were (and still are) awesome and were going to be hard to top, Romantic Comedy is about as exciting, and deep, as the type of movie the album title references. When I heard the first song leaked from the record, “Misery,” I was worried that it was leading to a cleaner, less scuzzy sound. Little did I know. There are some tracks, like “Time Bomb,” which come close to the wall of sound, broken-speaker pop of Worry, but most of the songs are so far away it is hard to even believe it is the same band. While songs like “She Smiles for Pictures” are going for the lovelorn, 80’s pop referencing Slumberland sound, they sound more like the soft rock on Ambien of bands like Voxtrot. “Minor Keys” sounds like a low key version of the Smashing Pumpkins, and anyone who knows me knows that is most definitely not a compliment when it comes from me. I have listened through the album multiple times and I keep thinking that the next song will be the one that brings them back to the great stuff they did on Worry, but it has become clear that the group has gone a different, and less interesting, direction. I do think that this sound will open up opportunities to expand their fan base as their glossy pop sound could easily get them on more people radar, but to me it is a disappointing capitulation towards the soft middle of pop music.
Looking back, I shouldn’t be that surprised about this change of heart from the band. I first heard them was doing really simple and easy going pop songs on two guitars in a bathroom. I actually was very surprised by the sound they forged on Worry and was convinced that the fuzzy, shoegaze pop was the real epicenter of the bands sound. Now I am thinking the inoffensive, clean and glossy sounding pop of Romantic Comedy is more likely where the band really are coming from. Either way, Romantic Comedy is a disappointing follow up to an album that has consistently blown me away for the last year and a record that even without those high expectations falls squarely on its face with its by the numbers formula and flat delivery. One can only hope that LP3 is a return to the sound on Worry, otherwise it will start looking like their debut was just an exciting anomaly for the band.
Despite my pessimism over the record, I am very excited to see the group tonight (11/1) with Real Estate at the 400 Bar in what should be a very good show. Here is to hoping they play a lot of songs from Worry.
Good Housekeeping January 1, 1999 | NEPORENT, LIZ How a self-proclaimed chocoholic learned to love the treadmill, with a little help from her daughter. Follow her journey from fat to fit–and share her secrets of healthy living.
Feel my muscles.” Now there are three words you’d never expect to hear from your mom. Especially not mine. My family had always considered my mother, Arlene, fitness-proof, even though I’ve been an exercise physiologist for more than 15 years, and my dad is a cardiologist devoted to healthy eating and regular exercise.
An avid smoker and a self-proclaimed chocolate lover, Mom had always resisted our efforts to improve her health. One year we bought her a health-club membership, but she went only once, even though it’s located less than a block from the travel agency she owns and operates. Another time, we got her a cross-country ski machine. Nice clothes hanger. To quit smoking, she’d tried hypnosis, a nicotine patch, group counseling, and going cold turkey. All efforts went up in smoke.
When she turned 62, Mom’s lack of fitness began taking its toll. She couldn’t walk more than a few blocks without stopping to rest, or climb a flight of stairs without becoming breathless.
In a last-ditch effort, I offered her a total “makeover”–the magic word in her mind, as it turned out. What it involved was evaluating her fitness level, hiring a personal trainer to show her the ropes, and overhauling her eating habits with the help of a registered dietitian. When I approached her with the idea of “Operation Mom,” I thought she’d reject it out of hand.
Her surprising response? “Sure, let’s do it.” And so began a new chapter in our lives.
Facing Up to the Truth: The Fitness Evaluation Before we could get started, Mom had to get a checkup from her physician because of her age and family history of heart disease. He gave her the green light to start exercising. (In fact, he was thrilled.) The next stop was to see Barbara Murray, a Kingston, NY-based fitness consultant certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). To evaluate Mom’s physical fitness–or lack thereof–Murray pinched the back of her arm, her thigh, and her stomach with a caliper (a device that looked like ice tongs to Mom) to determine her body-fat percentage. Then came the hard part: push-ups and sit-ups to measure strength, a series of stretches to gauge flexibility, and a ten-minute ride on an exercise bike to monitor heart rate and blood pressure. this web site lower back exercises
The results? Mom’s body fat measured around 36 percent, far higher than the 16 to 26 percent most experts recommend for women her age. She was also 50 pounds heavier than her ideal weight. It wasn’t surprising to me that she scored below average on all the endurance tests, but it was a shock to Mom! She had known she was out of shape but had never realized how far out.
Welcome to the Workout World Mom reported to her local gym, Fitness Unlimited, in Kingston, NY, for her first session on a Monday morning. Her initial impression was that the treadmills looked about as fun to operate as farm machinery. But those young, in-shape bodies around her were even more intimidating.
Her trainer, Charlie Cherny, who is certified by ACSM and the American Council on Exercise, started her on the treadmill at a pace far brisker than her normal “from the car to the door” stroll. Within ten minutes, she was thoroughly exhausted.
“At first, I was embarrassed, because everyone else seemed able to work out much harder and longer,” she recalls. “But then, I noticed they were so involved in their own routines that no one really paid any attention to me.” Still, she felt awkward–especially during the weight-training exercises. When she tried to position herself on the Nautilus machine, she smacked her head on the frame. Then she barely managed to complete eight repetitions.
The personal attention from Cherney kept Mom motivated. They finished up with abdominal crunches, lower-back exercises, and stretches. Although her limbs felt like overcooked spaghetti and her pride was hurt, she was determined to succeed. “By the end of that first workout, I knew I wanted to make it,” she says.
Food Snafus As for eating, Mom’s philosophy had been “anything goes,” so working with Chris Esola, a registered dietitian, opened her eyes. The main problem? Mom was a hit-and-run dieter, starving herself during the day, then overeating at dinnertime. The solution? Eating small meals throughout the day, filling up on fruits and vegetables. Healthy snacks kept her from feeling deprived. A small dish of frozen yogurt took the place of her usual giant bowl of ice cream; a few Gummy Bears became a sweet low-calorie substitute for a package of Ring Dings.
The bottom line? “He made me realize that a healthy diet and exercise go hand-in-hand,” Mom says.
The Payoff After a month of working out an hour a day for an average of five days a week, the pounds began to peel off, at a rate of one to two pounds per week. That seemed glacial to her, but as Cherny explained, it’s about right if your aim is permanent fat loss. (When you lose weight any faster, you risk slowing your metabolism, which makes it more difficult to continue losing weight.) Eight weeks into Operation Mom, she had dropped about 12 pounds.
She also made improvements in her physical strength. Now she was able to do at least 12 repetitions with heavier weights on every weight machine.
Her ultimate turning point came when a woman got on the treadmill next to her and said, “Oh, good, you’re here! I love being next to you, because you always set such a good pace.” That same day she traded tips on how to use the triceps machine with a bodybuilder and, to top it off, another gym member complimented her on her shapely calves. Pretty good for someone who previously couldn’t walk a mile or lift a ten-pound weight. this web site lower back exercises
Still Going Strong More than a year later, we’re at the point where my Mom is flexing her arm for me and I feel a muscle! She’s dropped 25 pounds, and her body fat has dipped below 30 percent. She’s definitely more energetic: We went window-shopping the other day and I was practically jogging to keep up with her.
But she has a way to go. Her recent fitness test shows she still needs to drop a few more body-fat points and hit the weight machines even harder to make further increases in strength. Her flexibility is improving, but unfortunately, her lower back is on the tight side. Nevertheless, her hours at the gym have truly paid off, and she’s stopped smoking.”I’m definitely committed to sticking with my routine and going all the way with this,” she says often.
And, of course, like everything else, Operation Mom has its minor drawbacks. We worked out together the other day, and she began nagging me to sit up straighter on the bike and to be more careful with the weights! Just like a mom.
Snack Switcheroo Little changes in your diet can add up to big calorie saving at the end of the day
Instead of: Switch to: Savings:
Butter, Whipped butter, 35 cal/ 1 tbsp. 1 tbsp. 4 g fat 100 cal/11 g fat 65 cal/7 g fat
Yellow cake Angel food cake 261 cal/ with icing, with low-fat whipped 11 g fat 4 oz. topping, 2 tbsp.
399 cal/12 g fat 138 cal/1 g fat
Superpremium Fat-free frozen 64 cal/ ice cream, yogurt, 12 g fat 1/2 cup 1/2 cup 178 cal/12 g fat 114 cal/0 g fat
Croissant, Raisin bread, 94 cal/ 3 oz. 2 slices 10 g fat 231 cal/12 g fat 137 cal/2 g fat
Coffee with Coffee with 29 cal/ half-and-half, skim milk, 3 g fat 2 tbsp. 2 tbsp.
43 cal/3 g fat 14 cal/0 g fat
Chocolate chip Gummy 20 cal/ cookies, candies, 9 g fat 3 medium-size cookies 28 pieces 150 cal/9 g fat 130 cal/0 g fat
Popcorn, Popcorn, 25 cal/ microwave, air-popped, plain, 6 g fat 3 cups 3 cups 100 cal/6 g fat 75 cal/0 g fat
Tortilla chips, Pretzels, 29 cal/ 1 oz. 1 oz. 6 g fat 142 cal/7 g fat 113 cal/1 g fat NEPORENT, LIZ
It can be difficult to gain a balanced perspective on an album after reading a single summary of the music. Bias can tilt a review, as can personal taste, history and just about everything else that is unique to the person writing it. So in an effort to offer an expanded perspective in such a medium, here are three reactions, three impressions, Three Takes on Audio, Video, Disco by Justice.
It’s been four years since the debut album from Justice. † was an interesting record nonetheless, if not for its exercise if microsampling, then the numerous dance jams it created. “DVNO,” and “D.A.N.C.E” were just all around fun party anthems if nothing else, and their new record, Audio, Video, Disco, should come as no surprise in the natural progression of what Justice wants to create. Although this go round, as wonderful as the song structures are this go round, some of the memorable antics of what made us love Justice in the first place is a tad hard to swallow. Prog-rock, when sampled correctly at least can create some epic breakdowns, beginnings, and endings for song structure, and in this aspect, Justice does the best with what they’re given, and for the most part it works, especially when songs like “On’N'On” and “Canon (Primo)” come into play. For the most part though, Audio, Video, Disco attempts to put more structure into the prog-rock jams they’re trying to create, and while the attempts are honest, there are few occasions in which the execution sometimes comes off as half-assed, such as on “New Lands” or “Helix. Regardless, it should be interesting to see where both members of Justice are able to create after such a feat as Audio, Video, Disco.
Justice’s Audio, Video, Disco isn’t one of those records that takes a lot of time to get into. From the aggressive opening of “Horsepower” onward it’s pretty evident that the record is going to be a huge hit. The French pair has shifted their sound from hyper electronic dance music to a more prog-influenced, 70’s metal/rock sound. And on top of that very electric guitar-heavy base is a sort of electronic veneer that lends the sound the sort of tinny quality of early video games. It’s a bit like if the SNES had come out with Rock Band in 1992 and then filled it with Rush and Queen songs.
The sonic shift is a good move for the band – simply going down the same road as Cross over again ran the risk of sounding stale and un-creative (despite how great that record was). The only misstep is in “Brainvision” which sounds like Justice invited Ratatat into the studio to record for them (one of the more irritating bands of recent memory).
Great bands need to keep their sound on the move to a certain extent, and that is precisely what Justice has excelled at here. What remains to be seen is how much staying power AVD will have. Since I haven’t had that much time to listen to it I am still mainly just wowed by its glossy veneer. Will it still resonate a year from now? My gut says that it will. It’s a tough call though. Despite loving “D.A.N.C.E.” (from the first record) enthusiastically for at least a year or two I am finally kind of sick of hearing it. “Civilization” is definitely AVD’s “D.A.N.C.E.” and correspondingly, I currently love it to death. I just hope the love lasts.
Earlier this year there was a fake Justice song that dropped on the internet, which sounded like a crappier version of the banging electronic jams they brought on their debut LP Cross. Fans were relieved to find out it wasn’t the band taking a step back, but I couldn’t help thinking in the back of my head as I listened to their sophomore LP Audio, Video, Disco, that the 11 song LP felt like a tired pastiche compared with the Cross. While songs like “Civilization” and “Cannon” bring that bass rattling, Daft Punk emulating synth raucous that made the band so big, most of the album feels tired and half baked. “Horsepower” feels like a paper tiger, “Brainvision” is a song that has no heart (or beat) and the title track is just outright cheesy. While Audio, Video, Disco is Justice taking a step back, you have to take into account what that means. Justice at half strength still have crisper synths and heavier beats than most bands doing what they do. While I listened to Audio, Video, Disco I couldn’t help but wishing I could keep the good songs and pretend the less stellar ones were fakes, I realized that wasn’t the case in this situation. Maybe their debut set the bar too high for me, but their sophomore effort feels like a step backwards, even if that step backwards still leaves them miles ahead of most of their peers.
I have written enough reviews about Mark McGuire in the last 6 months to probably qualify me for a restraining order, but when he keeps releasing interesting music , I can’t allow myself to let it go unmentioned. While he has released some of my favorite material this year (particularly the anthology A Young Persons Guide to…, his recent solo LP Get Lost and his excellent, self-titled collaboration with Trouble Books), his latest release doesn’t quite live up to the expectations his earlier work set.
It would be a stretch to call any work by McGuire “mainstream,” but his sound defiantly has a flavor that really broadens the traditional “synth-noise” spectrum. His usual sound ranges from melodic, synth and guitar driven ambient music to outright noise. His latest project, the collaborative effect with Julian Gulyas titled Amazing Births, falls closer to the later than his other work and ultimately doesn’t resonate quite as deeply because of that fact.
The record is four long tracks (averaging close to 10 minutes) that are spaced out, grimy and at points challenging in their exploration. There less of the atmospheric flourishes that sprinkle McGuire’s solo work and none of the beautiful vocals that sprung to life in his collaboration with Trouble Books. The four tracks are spread over 40 minutes, so there is no shortage of time that is spend building up the ambient beeps and clicks that sounds like they are crawling out from underneath a blanket of haze. “Dial Out” is a meditative synth journey that washes wave over wave through the speakers, while “P.K. Ripper” is darker and more knotty, with haunted vocal samples weaving in and out of the mix. “Whelm” is the closest to the classic McGuire sound, with a thick guitar riff juxtaposed with bubbling, birds in the forest synth chirps. The record is wrapped up with the long, meandering “Eclipsed by the Younger Moon,” which stretches the sound just about as far as possible and lost me a few minutes into its 10+ minute lifespan.
Releasing three great albums in one year is never something to turn your nose up at, so I think McGuire is allowed one slip up. The four tracks on Amazing Births aren’t bad, but simply don’t live up to the electronic sorcery that McGuire has displayed on his great run of records and collaborations over the last 18 months. While Amazing Births is a solid, meditative synth journey that you can easily get lost in, it simply does not have the staying power of his other releases. If you are new to the work of Mark McGuire, start with his other work (and his amazing 2010 LP Living with Yourself) and save this record for when you become a complete McGuire nut like myself.
I don’t know if the “experience” after King Khan in the title of his new album is referencing a new backing group or using the word as a verb to describe the process of hearing the Canadian via Germany soul-garage-funk madman, but it doesn’t really matter. He seems to have shed BBQ Show and the Shrines for his new (Scion A/V pimping) 9 song EP that he is giving away for free, but the sound is still classic King Khan, with lush soul sounds mixed with his frantic garage rock energy. If you didn’t already have your party music planned for your Halloween bash this weekend, Reviler would like to humbly present the booze soaked jams of King Khan, available to one and all for the irresistible price of free at the bottom of this page. Enjoy.
While The Dirty Three’s Whatever You Are, You Love is neither as old nor as obscure as many of the titles we cover in our Do Look Back series, it has a special place in my heart that will keep me recommending it to further generations for years and years. It is one of my favorite all-time albums, as well as I think, the greatest accomplishment of the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ diaspora of side projects (violinist Warren Ellis being a Bad Seed and frequent Cave collaborator).
The Dirty Three consist of Ellis, Mick Turner, and Jim White, all of whom are Australian and have performed in dozens of different bands throughout the years. While the group has a long discography that includes entries as recent as 2007, for me none has come close to touching 2000’s Whatever You Are, You Love in terms of quality (though 1998’s Ocean Songs comes close). Whatever is a knock out of a record, a completely instrumental work of moody epics that somehow still packs more emotional punch than most lyricists are able to conjure with words. You can call it “post rock,” but “doom folk” might be a more apt descriptor – Ellis, Turner and White together form a sound that is largely defined by Ellis’s seesawing violin but also contains elements of rock and psychedelia. The most notable element that draws the sound together is the sound’s dual provocation of extreme beauty with extreme dread. Listening to the Dirty Three is sonically akin to being engulfed by the most voluptuous of fiery flames.
Whatever itself consists of six instrumental tunes that range in length from six minutes to thirteen. The latter offering is “I Offered It Up to the Stars & the Night Sky,” an epic orchestration that, mainly via Ellis’s angular violin layers and Turner’s hauntingly picked guitar, manages to seemingly impart a tragic story all without ever stating a sentence. The words are in the sheer mood conveyed by the instruments, from utter melancholy to swelling hope and finally the madness of the song’s squalling white noise finale.
And “Offered” is just one of many delights packed into an album that in its entirety, only spans around three quarters of an hour. “Some Summers They Drop Like Flies,” leads the record off with Ellis’s mesmerizing violin dirge played over minimal guitar and tambourine, echoing like a funereal march of Celtic origins. Turner (on guitar) and White (on drums) play more obvious roles in “I Really Should’ve Gone Out Last Night,” though again the show is stolen by Ellis whose finger-picked as well as bowed violin parts make up the song’s most soul-tugging moments. While each member of the band plays an important part, most of Whatever is structured around Ellis’s violin similarly – hence the folk part of “doom folk.” White’s marching drum beats, however, and Turner’s ethereal guitar should not be discounted completely though, as though minimalist in bent, each musician makes up an integral part of the trio’s sound.
“Something I Just Don’t Want to Know” and “Stellar” round off the back end of the record in a similar vein with each artist’s instrumentation supporting the violin scores in increasingly exquisite ways. The gem that tops Whatever off in the end though is final tune “Lullabye for Christie,” a gentle murmur of a melody that’s the calm morning after the vivid dreamscape of the preceding record. “Lullabye,” it would seem, ends Whatever’s story on a happy note, if anything in this record could truly go by that descriptor. Whatever You Are, You Love is an incredibly tumultuous and, at times, agonizingly disconsolate listen. Often, however, the world’s most intense beauty if often provoked by similarly intense situations, and being that’s the case, the Dirty Three’s record is like a diamond born out of extreme pressure.
The sounds unfurling out of Gauntlet Hair’s debut release reverberate and echo like they were birthed out of bowels of an endless cavern. Every guitar whip, vocal burst, keyboard stroke and snare snap sounds as if they’re bouncing of walls like a distant ricocets – ones that have been permanently amped up to 11. Like their earlier singles, the Denver duo, consisting of are consistently on full blast and it remains that way throughout the entirety of their self-titled debut. It’s been a couple years in the making, with the duo’s first singles surfacing in early 2009. With the debut, Gauntlet Hair put together a dynamic set of songs that shows them working beyond the confides of their bombastic singles.
The formula that goes into the bulk of GH’s output requires layers upon layers upon layers of reverbed guitars and bombastic, hard-hitting snares and bass kicks. It’s a controlled Wall of Sound that at the same time feels like it could rattle itself apart at any moment of any song. They flirt with this self-destruction by bringing their songs to the absolute sonic brink and then cast them into infinity. But at their core these are all pop songs. While the music itself throws an avant gar pitch, the vocal harmonies and melodies always keep pop structures in mind. The only bad thing about the formula is its consistency: if you don’t like the sound in the first 15 seconds into the album, you probably won’t like what comes after. It’s all or nothing – and it’s what hurts the album in the end.
The album breaks open with the early single “Keep Time,” a track that, as stated before, serves as a precursor to what the rest of the album will sound like. There are the lofty, eroding guitar chimes, high vocal harmonies and glass-shattering snares and big beat percussion thumps. For the type of ava pop the band goes for, almost all of the songs are very dance-y. “My Christ” is one of the standouts and is direct in its vocal yelps and brashness. While a song like “Showing” shows the duo at their tamest and most intimate. It’d be too easy, and quite a cop out, to align the duo with Animal Collective even though the comparisons are pretty much undeniable. Though the group certainly makes nods to the experimental group, they also have their own unique sound peculating within their debut. I think the band is going to have to progress past their influences to gain traction in the future, but from the debut alone it seems like they have the talent to do so.
It can be difficult to gain a balanced perspective on an album after reading a single summary of the music. Bias can tilt a review, as can personal taste, history and just about everything else that is unique to the person writing it. So in an effort to offer an expanded perspective in such a medium, here are three reactions, three impressions, Three Takes on Parallax by Atlas Sound.
It’s starting to seem like Bradford Cox can do no wrong. Every Deerhunter album has been stronger than the last (Halcyon Digest topped my “Best of 2010” list) and the same seems to be true for his solo side-project, Atlas Sound. Parallax, had a tall order to fill following up on 2009’s winning Logos, but it manages brilliantly. Cox once again uses the Atlas Sound moniker to explore more of his pop sensibilities, staying away from the psychedelic noise-rock elements that characterize the Deerhunter sound. This is not to say that he gives up any of the complexity. On the contrary, Parallax has an incredibly intricate and dense sound for something from a one-man pop band. Most of these tracks are built out of simple lines from an array of instruments, all layered into a contrapuntal harmony, with melodies so sad they’re happy – or so happy they’re sad. The first three tracks on this album – “The Shakes,” “Amplifiers,” and “Te Amo” – are among his best ever. And, while the album drags a bit in the middle with “Mona Lisa” (intoning the grating lyric, “the Mona Lisa has got you, oh oh), as well as with “Praying Man,” and “Doldrums,” it picks up quickly with the catchy “My Angel is Broken” and ends on a sunny note with “Lightworks.” It says everything that the kind of song that most bands spend their career trying to write, Bradford Cox throws in at the #12 spot.
Between Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, Bradford Cox keeps up such a steady stream of output that I keep thinking that sooner or later some of it is going to be terrible. So far though, Cox seems par for the course – pretty much just releasing solid effort after solid effort, sometimes sublime and sometimes just plain good. And based on a few weeks of listening to the new Atlas Sound record Parallax, I think it belongs mostly in the just “good” category. While it’s got some really great tunes (particularly towards the end – the last four songs are an excellent bloc) there are also some songs (like “Mona Lisa” and “Amplifiers”) that I like but am not in love with just for the simple fact that they don’t sweep me off my feet. I am likely setting the bar a little too high considering how much I loved the past few Deerhunter and Atlas Sound albums, but try as I might I just can’t connect with the new record the way I have done with Logos, Halcyon Digest, Microcastle, etc. A lot of Cox’s works have been slow builders for me though so ask me in a few months and I may have grown to love Parallax.
Bradford Cox is almost too talented for his own good. With his seemingly endless releases with Deerhunter and his more solo based work as Atlas Sound coming in wave after dreamy pop wave, it is hard to keep up with him. His material ranges from good to amazing, so the good material can sometimes find a way to get lost in the noise. His latest Atlas Sound LP, Parallax, is one of those “good” records. It is a quiet, contemplative record featuring minimal guitar work layered with Cox’s brittle but powerful vocals. Ranging from the really sleepy “Terra Incognita” to the somber but somewhat propulsive “Nightworks,” Parallax does what the other Atlas Sound projects have done and really highlights the intimate, cut-open-a-vein songwriting that Cox does so well. Highlights include album opener “The Shakes” and the wobbly, static filled title track. Parallax is another great effort by Cox and company and shows again why he is one of the most consistently rewarding indie songwriters around right now. Is it his best work? No. Is work that isn’t his best still probably better than 90% of people doing similar things right now? Definitely.
The Daily Record News Briefs: January 11, 2010
The Daily Record (Baltimore) January 11, 2010 O’Malley losing Enright Michael R. Enright, a close friend and senior advisor to Gov. Martin O’Malley, is leaving the governor’s staff to become managing director of Easton-based Beowulf Energy LLC, a private energy investment and infrastructure company. His departure is effective Feb. 1. Enright, 46, has worked for O’Malley for more than 10 years, starting in 1999 as first deputy mayor when O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore, then as chief of staff to O’Malley upon the mayor’s election as governor in 2006. He was named senior advisor in September 2009, focusing on energy issues and oversight of the money Maryland has received under the federal economic stimulus program.
Kernan’s new CMO Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital in Woodlawn, the largest provider of rehabilitation care in Maryland, announced the appointment of Dr. Roy T. Smoot Jr. as vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer. Smoot, formerly chief medical officer at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, replaces Dr. Michael Jablonover, who has been named Kernan’s chief executive officer. Jablonover and Smoot will assume their new positions on Jan. 18. Kernan, a 138-bed rehabilitation and orthopedic hospital, and Maryland General are both part of the University of Maryland Medical System, a network of 11 hospitals located across the state. here maryland general hospital
UM awarded lab grant The University of Maryland has been awarded $10.3 million in stimulus funds by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to build an advanced quantum science lab. Scientists at the 21,000-square-foot lab will conduct research in such areas as atomic, molecular and optical physics; condensed matter physics; and quantum information science. The grant calls for a $5.2 million local match by the state and the university. In all, $123 million in economic stimulus grants were awarded to support the construction of new scientific research facilities at 11 universities and one nonprofit research organization.
PNC’s $34M agreement PNC Financial Services Group Inc., of Pittsburgh, announced it has been awarded a $34 million, 10-year lease agreement to provide financing for new and upgraded emergency communications equipment used by Baltimore public safety agencies. PNC worked cooperatively with Columbia-based Grant Capital Management Inc., one of two companies to hold a master lease agreement for the city’s capital equipment lease financing The contract follows PNC’s award last year of a five-year contract to provide purchasing cards services and streamline the city’s purchase order process.
CPA firms merge Two Anne Arundel County accounting firms, Sturn Wagner Lombardo & Co., of Annapolis, and SRM & Co., of Edgewater, have merged and formed a new firm, Lombardo Wagner Sticher and Co. In an announcement, the firms’ principals said the merged entity has a staff of 30, including 17 certified public accountants, and they expect to add at least seven CPAs “within the next year or so.” The new firm is located in space occupied by the defunct Sturn Wagner Lombardo.
Incubator’s new tenants Vulcan Furniture Inc. and Study Abroad Counselor LLC have become the latest companies to join TowsonGlobal, Towson University’s international incubator for startup ventures. Vulcan Furniture represents high-end international office furniture manufacturers, primarily from Asia. Study Abroad Counselor is an online organization dedicated to assisting students around the world in pursuing studies outside their respective countries. Initially the company will target smaller colleges in the mid-Atlantic region and focus on programs in Spain. go to site maryland general hospital
Navy coming to Baltimore Baltimore has been chosen as one of 20 cities nationwide to host a Navy Week celebration in 2010, giving area residents an opportunity to interact with Navy personnel, view performances and learn about the U.S. Navy and its capabilities. The event will take place Aug. 28-Sept. 6 at various locales in the area. Among the features of the event are demonstrations by Navy parachute teams, performances by Navy rock bands and ceremonial bands, speeches and lectures by flag officers, exhibits of flight simulators and other interactive displays, and visits to various Navy ships.
BioElectronics in China BioElectronics Corp., of Frederick, a maker of drug-free, anti- inflammatory medical devices and patches, said it is preparing to enter the Chinese market. BioElectronics has teamed with a Chinese company, Project Asia, to market its Allay line of anti- inflammatory products in the People’s Republic of China. Test marketing for a new direct response television campaign for BioElectronics’ Allay product will begin in mid-February with full marketing efforts commencing shortly thereafter, the company said.
While I am guessing that maturation probably isn’t a goal that most bands shoot for, it is the theme that kept coming back as I have been soaking in the great new LP Selva Surreal from local five piece Buffalo Moon. Following their rousing debut Wetsuit, which introduced the bands Bossa Nova pop meets Stereolab vibe, the group has refined and polished their sound for their new Moon Glyph released LP. While maturity, especially in the music biz, can be a bad thing, it works out well for Buffalo Moon on the confident and commanding Selva Surreal, which expands the great work on Wetsuit and shows a band really building their sound.
The title of the record is translated to Surreal Jungle, an apt title if there ever was one. The songs on Wetsuit felt light and breezy, with a few extra drinks in the belly to loosen up the vibe. There still is a fun and flowing vibe to their work, but the sound is a little more psyched out and murky (in a good way), songs more complex and rounded out. It is almost as if the party left the beach for the night and waded into the dark, muggy forest, shedding their youthful naivety for a place deeper in the always turbulent psyche. Selva Surreal is an album that dishes out instant gratification on the first spin but wears really well, with new layers of the songs unfolding with each listen.
Fans of Wetsuit should not worry that the band has abandoned their sound, as Selva Surreal still has that core Buffalo Moon sound. Songs like “Amores Perros” “Kind to Me” and “VFW” sound like logical extensions to the material on their debut, with lead singer Karen Freire effervescent vocals (often in Spanish), bright keys and wah-ed out guitar washouts mixing together by the increasingly tight sounding band. Lead single “Chica de Luna” ratchets up the sound to about as catchy and funky as the group has gone yet and “Salt in My Mouth” fills the role of Beach Boys sounding beach-doo-wop track that Wetsuit highlight “Beach Boy” filled on their debut . The band slow it down to almost waltz like levels for the soulful, horn driven ballad “Temporary Problems,” which was one of the many moments where the band’s sound seems to be stronger and more concise as it has ever been. The group throw a curve ball with the Bowie does spaghetti western jam “Lonesome Hawaii Cowboy Blues,” which sticks out like a sore, albeit interesting, thumb smack dab in the middle of the record.
The group really flexes their muscle and shows their command and precision on the first three tracks on the back half of the record. “Trust Your Instincts” is a wild and turbulent bass driven bassa nova pop gem, a track that captures the group fun and loose sound, giving the feel that it is speeding so fast it may fall off the tracks, only to meld seamlessly with smoked out, murky, swamp funk of “Moses Baby.” “Moses Baby” is a rich and multi-faceted track that has a paranoid, funky groove that builds the tension within itself until local sax player extraordinaire Mike Lewis let loose a haunted sax excursion (one of two on the record, the other being during the smooth pop of “Rasberry Sorbet”). After the frantic “Trust Your Instincts” and the darkly hypnotic “Moses Baby,” the band launch into the sunny, glowing pop of “Main Man,” which might be the most buoyant track the group has done, with Freire’s vocals as confidant and commanding as I have heard.
Buffalo Moon really set the bar high with Wetsuit, but they have clearly outdone themselves with Selva Surreal. Their sound, both production and songwriting wise, have taken great steps forward. The songs have that elastic pop sound that has drawn the group so much attention but have a new layer of complexity to them that really flesh out their ideas. Selva Surreal is a step forward for the group in every possible distinction and show a group that started off great and are only getting better. The record drops on 10/25 and you can score it from the new look Moon Glyph website.
Local group Hot Freaks will be celebrating the release of their debut, self titled EP tonight at Cause with a great lineup of local music. If you aren’t familair with the band, check out their sunny, glossy power pop below streaming from their bandcamp page. The tracks are short, sugerary stab of bright and energetic pop music that I am guessing will come across well in the live setting. Catch them with Night Moves, White Waves and Great Danger tonightat Cause and pick up a copy of the EP.
Pizza makers prepare for blitz on America’s Super Bowl Sunday
AP Worldstream February 2, 2006 | BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press Writer BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press Writer AP Worldstream 02-02-2006 Dateline: LOUISVILLE, Kentucky Forget about which Super Bowl championship football team to root for. The biggest game-day decision for many American armchair quarterbacks is deep dish or thin crust. this web site pizzahut coupon codes
On a day when football partying hits its peak, Super Bowl Sunday has become a bonanza for the $37 billion (euro30.7 billion) U.S. pizza industry. Competition is intense and the pace frantic, both among the large chains and the neighborhood pizza joints that still make up a large part of the market.
“When the rush comes, you get a rush,” said Bill Ferguson, a Papa John’s franchisee executive in Florida who rolls up his sleeves on game day to cook pies. “Your adrenaline gets pumped up.”
Munching pizza is as much a Super Bowl staple as the glitzy halftime show and pregame hype, ranking it as the busiest _ or among the busiest _ days of the year for pizza makers. They expect this year’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers to be no different.
The U.S. National Restaurant Association estimates that about one out of seven Americans order takeout or delivery food from a restaurant for Super Bowl gatherings at home. Fifty-eight percent order pizza, 50 percent request chicken wings and 20 percent choose subs or sandwiches, it said. Another one in 20 Americans watch the game at restaurants or bars.
“Super Bowl is a huge day for our business,” said Papa John’s president and chief executive officer Nigel Travis.
Some pizza makers time menu introductions around the Super Bowl.
“Pizza Hut always goes big for the big game with a new product launch,” said Tom James, chief marketing officer for America’s largest pizza chain.
This year, Pizza Hut rolled out Cheesy Bites Pizza, featuring cheese-filled bites that form the perimeter of a large pizza. The chain is pitching the new product with pre-kickoff Super Bowl ads featuring singer Jessica Simpson.
Papa John’s has been promoting its online ordering, which enabled football fans to post pizza orders days or even weeks before the big game.
“That lets them get one part of their party planning out of the way,” Papa John’s spokesman Chris Sternberg said.
Louisville, Kentucky-based Papa John’s International expects to sell more than 600,000 pizzas on game day at its 2,600 U.S. restaurants, Sternberg said. It’s the chain’s biggest day of the year, with sales up about 50 percent from a typical Sunday, he said.
Pizza deliverers log more miles _ and more tips _ on Super Bowl Sunday.
“The traffic is very light,” said Dana Harville, spokeswoman for Domino’s Pizza. “And people are feeling generous with tips,” especially if their team is winning. go to website pizzahut coupon codes
Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s predicts sales of 1.5 million to 1.6 million pizzas at its 5,000 U.S. stores on game day, up 36 percent over a normal Sunday, she said.
For Domino’s, it’s one of the year’s top sales days, along with Halloween, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving Eve, she said.
Pizza Hut, part of Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc., expects to sell millions of pizzas on game day _ its busiest day of the year _ at its nearly 6,600 U.S. restaurants.
For pizza makers, preparations start days before kickoff. Pizza restaurants beef up their game-day work force, and Domino’s even enlists some former employees to help crank out pies.
“Everyone on the payroll is there on Super Bowl Sunday working,” Harville said.
“When you’re expecting a crowd to come watch the game with you, that’s a great way to give everybody a pizza of their choice,” she said.
Pepperoni is typically the favorite topping, followed by sausage.
Pizza makers root for a close game because orders seem to mount, and appetites especially drop off in the losing of a lopsided score, Harville said.
Papa John’s is trying to add to the suspense with its “Go Deep Challenge.” If either team breaks the record for the longest touchdown pass in Super Bowl history, Papa John’s will give a free large pan pepperoni pizza to anyone registering in advance on the company’s Web site.
As of Tuesday, the online registrations for the contest totaled 189,023, he said.
And just like on the playing field after the game, there’s plenty of celebrating in a pizza restaurant once all the orders have been filled.
“Everyone is hollering and high-fiving,” Ferguson said.