Archive for May, 2009

Against my better judgement…

Posted in Writing on 26 May 2009 by jason

…here’s the beginning of that writing project I was going on about the other day. This is the rough-rough version, so it will change before I’m done with it.


If you were to ask me what album has had the greatest influence on me and my band, The Soviet Space Program, I would have to give you a list. Most listeners hear the weight that The Mayfair Set’s Too Few Human Beings had on my own songwriting, and the effect that any of the early Ventures releases, especially Walk Don’t Run, had on Kyle Shenk’s guitar is so obvious that it would go without mentioning. Also, the summer of 1996 was ruled by Dens invaginatis’s Coming up It!, a fact that has no doubt influenced our early albums.

One album, however, that has had a much greater effect on The Soviet Space Program, as well as many of the other bands that have come out of the growing Canton Indie scene (Such as Chernobyl Necklace, Tom Hever and the Hot Tub Club, and Gogol’s Overcoat, to name a few) , would have to be Conspiracy of Cartographers’ first and final full-length album, Conspiracy of Cartographers are Dead. Indeed, in the Canton scene, the album has developed an almost mystical significance.

It would seem obvious that the album would become a sort of urban legend; a mere five days after the albums release, the most of the band’s members, including Jay Nova and Kelly Otter, the Core of the band, were killed in a tragic accident when their tour bus careened off a bridge in Brooklyn, New York. The stories that the local music zines told read like tabloids: tales of a suicide pact, black magic, and even a conspiracy between Borges Records executives and local law enforcement abounded in those sad, sad days in 2004.

The real story is much more complex, yet more mundane. When I originally proposed this book to the guys at 45RPM books, I had thought that I would be writing about the songs on the album and how they painted a nearly prophetic picture of the band’s demise. However, to understand the album and where Nova and Otter were coming from when developing their concept for their only album, I quickly realized that I would have to describe the earlier EPs of CoC, the Canton Indie scene, and the effect that the band, their album, and their tragic end had on others from the scene.

And so, I would like to take the time to thank everyone who gave their input on what has turned out to be an almost oral history of the band. I realize that, even now, it is hard to talk about how the Canton Indie Scene lost not only a great band but also some great friends. I thank you all in making this book possible, because, frankly, I think that it is necessary.

A Proclamation…

Posted in Writing on 24 May 2009 by jason

I’ve decided that I’m going to write a book. I’m not going to discuss what it’s about, except that it’s going to be kind of meta and it’ll make use of false documents. I’m into that sort of thing. Don’t worry, though…I’m not relying on gimmicks; they’re just dressing for the story I’m going to tell.

I’ll probably get around to writing on Tuesday. Expect updates as I work on it.

I’m kind of worked up over this idea; now, let’s see if I can pull it off.

Stop me if you’re heard this one before…

Posted in Music on 21 May 2009 by jason

I’ve posted this video before, but here’s one of the songs from that The Mountain Goats/John Vanderslice EP I got. The video is from the concert I went to, but it is not my video.

Anyway, enjoy “Surrounded.”

What? Where was I?

Posted in Exercise on 21 May 2009 by jason

Well, I have not been anywhere near as productive as I wanted to be this vacation. I haven’t written anything this week (so far), and I haven’t gotten anywhere as much cleaning done as I had hoped.

Still, it hasn’t been so bad. I hung out with Jayson yesterday, which was fun, even if I don’t know my way around Akron. I replaced my old MP3 player that stopped working on me with a new one that was 100 dollars cheaper than my old one, and with 4 times the memory (The new one was only 40 bucks!). Oh! And I managed to run 4 1/2 miles the other day! That’s the furthest I’ve ever gone!

Hopefully, next week will be more productive than this one. I’m kind of calling this week done for now.

What’s green and vinyl and in my record collection?

Posted in Music on 18 May 2009 by jason

Green awesomness

That’s the ultra-limited edition John Vanderslice/The Mountain Goats 12″ EP Moon Colony Bloodbath. They printed 800 black ones and 200 green ones, and the green ones were shipped randomly with the orders.

So, yeah…I’m pretty happy.

Come Monday Night

Posted in Music on 13 May 2009 by jason

I really like this song. It’s “Come Monday Night” from the upcoming film God Help the Girl, written by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian!

Feeling the burn.

Posted in Exercise, otter, Writing on 13 May 2009 by jason

Yesterday, I went running with my friends Beth and Jenny. My goal was to get to 4 miles, which I did with surprising ease; I probably could have gone another half-mile. I think that having people I knew there made me more accountable, so I was less inclined to give up. Unfortunately, despite wearing SPF 30 sunblock, I have a sunburn on my face. It’s possible that I got the sunburn walking to the bus earlier in the day, or that it happened while I was walking from Panera to the gym, but I think that it’s that my sunblock is expired.

Another bad thing is that I’ve been walking the mile and a quarter to the bus and back in my Chucks, so my feet are killing me. The good thing about this is that when I put on my running shoes, the pain stopped. To remedy this, I got myself a new pair of shoes. New Balance. So my feet should be in comfort country any time now.

It’s not all bad. As I said, I did run 4 miles, and I’m going to try again tomorrow if it’s not raining. I also figured out how the short story I’m writing is going to end, so I feel pretty good about that.

Oh! And the otter got into grad school! She’s going to get her MBA. So everyone should congratulate her!

What I did yesterday (Or, alternately, how I’m spending my summer vacation)

Posted in Exercise, Food, Language, otter, Television, Writing on 12 May 2009 by jason

OK, so yesterday, I put forth a number of goals that I wanted to accomplish this 3 weeks. Here’s what I did yesterday:

1) I wrote about 700 words, give or take, including yesterday’s blog post. Not the 1000 I had hoped for, but I think that I have more direction today.

2) I bought a Russian language book/cd set. I was going to get the Spanish one, but the Russian one had a 5 dollar rebate, so coupled with the coupon I had, I got the whole set for about 18 dollars. After studying it yesterday for about an hour, as well as looking at it this morning, I think I’m starting to get the pronunciation of the Cyrillic alphabet.

3)I ate some Raisin Bran. I ate some yesterday, and I ate some today. Go me.

Besides this, I still had time to get a workout in, and I watched the entire first season of The Sarah Silverman Program (a birthday gift from the otter) while cleaning my apartment. So I’ve been surprisingly productive on my first day of vacation. We’ll see how today goes…

Operation: Rebirth

Posted in Books and Literature, Food, Language, Writing on 11 May 2009 by jason

Well, the semester is over, so I’m on a three-week, unpaid vacation. I could sleep this time away, but I won’t. Instead, I’m using this time to get into some good habits. Here’s what I plan on doing:

1) Write 1000 words a day. They don’t have to be 1000 words towards one project like NaNoWriMo, but I want to be productive.

2)Eat cereal for breakfast. I’ve been eating Pop Tarts for breakfast every morning, but the gelatin in them is offensive to my vegetarian sensibilities.

3)Spend some time on line this week looking for contests to enter short stories into. I need to get published again!

4)Try again to learn a foreign language. Maybe Spanish, as it would be useful, or maybe Russian, as I have a couple of books in Russian, and I think it would be cool to eventually be able to read them.

So we’ll see if I even accomplish any of these goals, or if I do what I normally do in times like these and veg out in front of the XBox.

Birthday Adventures in Akron

Posted in and other fun, beer, Food, Holidays, Music, otter, Wine on 10 May 2009 by jason

Saturday was my birthday, so the otter and I made one of our trips to the rubber city to celebrate.

Our first stop was VegiTerranean, the vegan restaurant owned by Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. I had the Warm Arugula Salad with Oven Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Onion, Sun-dried Cherries and
Toasted Pecans, tossed in a warm Maple Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette; the Italian Fritto Gardein Scallopini, and a glass of red wine. It was one of the best but most expensive meals I ever had! I’ll probably go back sometime, though I will probably have to go during lunch.

Next, we headed over to Square Records, which is pretty much the most awesome store ever. I picked up Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter, Belle and Sebastian’s Storytelling, and Dethklok’s Deathalbum, all on CD, as well as Thriller by Michael Jackson on Vinyl. I also grabbed the Trouble Books Tablature Book, which is awesome.

Next door, we went to Revival. Usually, the otter gets stuff while I stand around bored (I’m not excited about clothes shopping!), but I did find a nice cardigan. The otter bought it for me.

After Revival, we had a cup of coffee at Angel Falls Coffee, we decided that we should see the 9:30 showing of Wolverine at the Highland Theater. We got our tickets, then headed over to The Matinee for a beer before seeing the movie.

The Highland Theater was amazing. There’s actually a bar where you can sit and watch the movie, or you can go into the theater proper. I watched Wolverine: Origins while drinking Rum and Coke! Sweet.

And that wraps up another installment of jaynova’s adventures in Akron!