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Help Is on the Way

From the three weeks of a temporary TextPattern design, you’ve probably guessed that my host transfer wasn’t entirely successful. Short version: be very, very thorough extracting your database before changing hosts. The new site design is now up—hopefully it’s an improvement—but much of the work has yet to be done. Over the next week or two I’ll be tweaking the new design, adding functionality (RSS feed), fixing the site’s infrastructure by setting clear sections and categories, adding images (album covers, book covers, etc.) to existing posts, and streamlining the site’s navigation. Once I resume posting, I’ll introduce a number of new memes that I’ve been working on. I’m excited about moving forward with what will essentially be New Artillery 2.0.

Please excuse any hiccups you may encounter during this process. I’d put up an animated gif of a construction worker, but it would go against my overall goal of modernizing this site.

Design Work for Nude as the News

My friend and former Signal Drench cohort Mark T.R. Donohue (Western Homes) asked me to do the layout for his NATN feature on the Monolith festival. Here is is. If you've ever wondered about how I design web sites, here's the gist: I come up with a good idea and figure out the least efficient way possible to execute it. Framing those photographs took much, much too long before I figured out how to accomplish it with less aggravation. I'm still happy with this design, though, since it's the best looking thing I've done since my 40 of 2000s feature. It's somewhat amazing how long it'll take me to get back into the swing of graphic design, but now that my muscles are loose I'm off to tackle the Juno Documentary site.

New Bottomless Pit Songs and Album (Plus Bonus Site Update)

Here’s a heads-up for Silkworm/Bottomless Pit fans: Bottomless Pit has three new songs streaming from their MySpace page. All three are Tim Midgett vocals, which is a bit surprising given the even split of the four tracks from the band’s CD-R (and the usual Midgett/Andy Cohen equilibrium on Silkworm records), but hardly a detriment given the songs’ uniform excellence. “Leave the Light On” is my immediate favorite, a dynamic, emotional rave highlighted by a closing flurry of guitar, but “Repossesion” and “Winterwind” both bring back some of Midgett’s usual vigor. Think his peppier numbers from Libertine with more of an ’80s New Order approach. The forthcoming album, Hammer of the Gods, will feature eight songs and will soon be available for preorder on double LP (with two songs per side at 45 rpm), so keep an eye out for it. Given that I’ve heard seven of the eight tracks, there isn’t much mystery left to unveil, but these new songs solidify the album’s place in my year-end thinking.

In unrelated news, I hope to finally implement some long-awaited changes to this site in the next few weeks. This will involve a server change, so if the site is down for a day or two, there’s your explanation. After the server change, I should have “clean” urls for all articles, meaning that awkward page names like index.php?id=68 will be a thing of the past. Additionally, I hope to make the archives considerably easier to navigate by differentiating some of my lazy category headings (like the nearly 30 posts I have under “music”), adding a specific archive pages, and maybe, just maybe, giving my photography actual pages. Other hopes/dreams that will more likely not come to fruition: a new (or at least modified) site design, more ongoing memes like iPod Chicanery, an update of my best of the 2000s, and a personal top 100 of the 1990s.

A Quick Explanation

I pulled a recent post because it caused a bit of an uproar with a band's label. I have no interest in seeing bands, however misguided they may be in how they promote themselves or respond to criticism, lose opportunities to publish their music. Since a good amount of time was put into the response, I'll try to edit the post and so that it raises my issues outside of the context of the band (who, to their credit, were far more gracious in an e-mail).

Is this caving to the whims of my subject matter? Perhaps. But I've never made an attempt to damage the livelihood of musicians and now doesn't seem like a good time to start.


In case you were wondering, the new header graphic features, from left to right, the hands of my friends Rick and Jackie, leaves from Sixth Street in Champaign (across from the parking garage on Daniel), the ghostly visage of Matt Mitchell of Rectangle, a view of a Hawaii sunset, bricks from one of the engineering buildings at the University of Illinois, the headstock of Shiner singist/guitarist Allen Epley's yellow Telecaster, the drumkit of Trans Am's Sebastian Thomson, some Urbana shrubbery, the blonde mane of Milemarker's Roby Newton, the fretboard of Allen Epley's yellow Tele, and finally, Allen Epley's Chavez shirt turned into a pink blaze during a Life and Times show at the Cowboy Monkey in Champaign. I thought about cutting down on the Epley, but seeing how I have both taken more pictures of Shiner/The Life and Times than almost any other band and how more of those have turned out well, it was hard to say no.


I'm considering eliminating this blog and switching over to a purely feature-based site. This move would mean the revival of the 1000 Songs project (and possibly a parallel 500 Albums project), the gradual reincorporation of my photography tree (an overdue endeavor by any means), and the elimination of the commentary for my summer reading list. Why? The typical topics of discussion—current records, recent shows, recent purchases—have been remarkably dry of late, and I enjoy reading books far more than summarizing the experience in a few trite sentences. I don’t remember intentionally shelving the 1000 Songs feature, rather, I wasn’t sure how to fit it into the new Textpattern arrangement. I’m far more comfortable writing about music I genuinely care about instead of records that might possibly hit my year-end list.

Of course, this diary-styled blog is far, far easier than actual content.

If you have any preference on this matter, if you happen to read this site at all, please comment so I can get some level of audience input.