Saturday, April 07, 2007


Unbelievable. It’s Easter weekend in Austin, and it’s 34 degrees outside an drizzling. I can’t really complain. This will be the first weekend in since February that I didn’t go in to work. Even better, I was able to take this Friday off. The weather on Friday was beautiful [high 60’s] , and Kim and I spent most of the day working out in the yard. Pruning hedges, pulling weeds, and mowing the yard doesn’t sound like much fun, but it was very relaxing compared to the long, stressful hours I’ve put in at work during the last couple of weeks.

During the weekend of SXSW, we had guests in town and we hosted a birthday party for a friend. Unfortunately, I had to work on Saturday and Sunday. But I would be damned if I didn’t get to spend some time with friends and eat some good food and have a couple of drinks. So, I went to work for while, came back home to party with friends, and then went back to work for a 7 PM meeting with some budget committee members. I ended up staying at work until 1 AM. Last week, I was at work past midnight, again, when the House took up the appropriations bill. Luckily, the budget work slowed down enough, this week, that our bosses were able to let us off on Friday. That doesn’t mean we’re not busy still. It just means the most important work has reached a temporary lull. We will be extremely busy, again, in a week or so.

The legislative session ends on Memorial Day. So close.

I don’t do album reviews . . .

Since I wasn’t able to take in any shows during SXSW, this year, I got a couple of new-to-me “album samples in advance of purchase (pending)” to listen to on my commute to work.

Peter Bjorn and John - Writers Block. It sounds like lots of stuff I’ve heard before. It sounds like indie rock. It’s poppy and DIY sounding, and I like it. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s working for me at the moment. I find myself whistling the tunes at work a lot. Currently on heavy rotation in the car and in the home.

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away. The Shins are among my Top 5 Bands I Discovered after College. I like every song on new the album, and if I ever do a Top Ten Albums of the Year, again [not likely], I wouldn’t be surprised if this was #1 or #2. Currently on heavy rotation in the car and in the home.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder. Simply because I got hooked by The Shins and PB&J albums before I played this one, I haven’t really given it a fair listen. So far, I’m a little disappointed. CYHSY’s first record hooked me instantly, and I liked every tune. Some Loud Thunder hasn’t held my attention on the first few listens. None of the songs have hooked me.

The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible. Also a victim of neglect, but I think it’s growing on me. After the first few spins, I still think Funeral is better. I think it’s because the new record has fewer hooks. It’s not the kind of album that I’m going to “get” while listening in the car. Actually, I was just listening while surfing the web, and it seems to be sinking in a bit. This one definitely deserves more of my attention.

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