album review: This is Cinema – Cycle

This is Cinema  listen here.
“The group took shape when songwriter Ben Babbitt invited engineer Theo Karon to move his recording studio into the basement of Hotel Earth, a Chicago coach house shared by a number of musicians and artists. The musician/engineer relationship quickly turned into a full-on collaborative songwriting and recording effort, frequently joined by an ever-evolving circle of contributors.” from the Whistler website.

Similar to the boy on the cover his at peace, yet unnerving look on his face sets the tone for this release.  The album takes a straight forward, yet creepy feel getting it’s point across, focusing on monotonous yet driving drum rhythms with a constant build and layering of instruments and sounds.  Let’s not forget reverb. The vocals in this album are used like an instrument instead of creating an ‘obvious’ melody or hook.  They’re ambient and elongated with background vocals added to provide extra depth. One of my favorite tracks, Hands Can Grow, turns into an almost industrial-african electronic percussive drum loop, climaxing the album.

The last song is a great resolution, ending with strings and delayed ambiance for an unnerving settling to the album.  It’s a shame there was only one release as it would have been interesting to hear the growth of the collaboration. Even as a one off it’s a solid effort if you’re looking for something to be challenged with and still chill to. LP’s can be purchased via.

10-9-11 chicago marathon

if anyone asks that wasn’t me running shirtless with my cargo shorts at michigan ave & 13th today (yesterday) around 4:25 on the clock.

I signed up for the marathon back in february, so i gave them their money.  Shortly after my feet developed a case of plantar fascia.  If you’ve never had it, try to stay away from it.  The first 10 minutes after waking up are an absolute joy, if you have a thing for pain.  i don’t mind it, but it’s not my first feeling to have after waking up.  maybe a b….
so I stopped running.  i’d bike or lift weights or go swimming, but no running.  when i’d slip on my shoes there would be a sharp pain on the left of my left foot, right of my right foot, and both of my heels.
xrays didn’t show anything broken, so i went to a podiatrist.  he told me to stay off weight bearing activities until the swelling goes down.  i even take ibuprofen 600mg 3 times a day.  i stopped taking my pain pills 3 or 4 days after my hernia surgery.  pills just aren’t my thing.  no offense to modern science or anything, they’re just not.  usually.
the ibuprofen the doctor suggested i take didn’t help, it was just another $50 to visit him, have him put a sliver of pad on the bottom of my shoe, then have me schedule to come back in 2 weeks, $50 later.  After 3 weeks i told him I was done.
i wasn’t wearing my number, but i jumped in just before mile 17 to help jen along.  if memory serves me correctly from last year, those were gruesome, boring, difficult miles to run.  you’re in the sun.  there’s no shade.  you’re on mile 17+ and there’s hardly anyone there to cheer you on.  just the roar of cars driving 65 mph over your head.  trying to eat the banana is more of a dry heave than anything pleasant, but since we’re all afraid of bonking and hitting the wall, we ate that banana and almost puked in the process.
jen was doing really well today.  we paused to walk for a minute around 23 and we continued.  i was planning to jump out around 24 but it seemed like staying with her might be more supportive.  i made it to just past mile 25, where they advertised 800 m left.  i jumped to the right, only to find myself stuck.  i walked around and couldn’t cross, so i walked back 3 blocks at which point i was shirtless, holding up my belt loosened cargo shorts to run 3 blocks to cut over to the left so i could make it to the finish line.  it took about 20 minutes (or so it seemed) for me to walk near the finish line, then realize it was fenced off, to walk back around another fence to make it to the red line to just meet them at rock bottom.
i’m waiting for the old lady to get home and then she’s going to watch me pop the blister under my 2nd toe on the right, and the blister just under my big toe.  2″ diameter.  i wonder how jen is feeling?

and that’s my bitch out story of why i didn’t run the full marathon.