Author Archives: Rieman Miller

Golden Veins Singles Club: Month 6 – “Being Strangled”

Golden Veins Singles Club – Month 6

“Being Strangled”

Well, it’s hard to be believe, but we’ve already reached the halfway mark of this little journey we are calling “Golden Veins Singles Club.” If you thought the first half was great, just wait until you hear what’s coming up….

Anyway, let’s see what Greg has to say about the two tracks…

I don’t have much to say about “Being Strangled”; it’s mainly Scott’s baby. Micah, another stalwart of the Des Moines music scene sings backing vocals and plays guitar on this one. It’s a great song…it has a palpable overcast day feeling. I like singing someone else’s words and melodies, and I think Scott writes really good lyrics and melody. He comes at it in a different way than I do.
One night while screwing around with beats and keyboards, we came up with the foundation for “Us Mere Mortals”. I made the initial beat and put in the harp notes, Ryan added the keyboard trills and Scott basically wrote the other two sections of the song. I tried writing words and melody to the whole song, and we even thought about getting in someone to rap over a part, but ultimately we felt the song worked best with main vocals saved to the very end. Scott also added in the various spoken-word samples. Hopefully the cumulative effect of these elements makes up, at least in some part, for the lack of rapping.

Also included with this single is a brutal remix by our very own Matt Bad, as well as fantastic artwork by Michelle Holley.

The single drops today, so get to it!

and, as always, you can check out/join the club here!


Resident Artists: It Might Get Loud!

Tomorrow night(Friday, February 4th), Golden Veins will be playing the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, Ia for the Resident Artist Series: “It Might Get Loud”

Old cool dudes Deep Sleep Waltzing and Brutus are playing. Plus artist Van Holmgren will be doing some live painting, so who knows what all could go down!

Doors open at 9 and will cost you 5 bucks to get you in. Sorry kids, but it’s 21+.

Golden Veins – New Single Club Release: “Radio Prohibidas”

Golden Veins – New Single: ” Radio Prohibidas”

Radio Prohibidas“, the fifth single, is a whispered warning over a jungle campfire, with tribal drums and ominous chanting serving to enhance the song’s foreboding air of menace. Backed with this, “Never Know”’s atmospheric verses mix with its strum und drang choruses to create a cathartic ode to realization and resignation, made all the more powerful through the accompanied vocal stylings of the amazing Skye Carrasco.

Also included with this single is a spooky remix by Blutiger Fluss, as well as amazing artwork by Brendan Wells.

As always, for more info on how to join the Golden Veins Singles Club, simply go here.

A few of my favorite things…from 2010 part 1

Well, after taking a year off from the TNM, I figured I would weigh in for my year-end list. However, I’ll leave the best albums, movies, etc to the professionals. Instead, this week, I’m going to just post about shit I was into. Most of it isn’t necessarily new this year, but new to me. So you can deal with it.

First up….the radio!
With me spending between 20-30 hours a week driving due to my job, that meant I’ve had plenty of time to listen to the radio. Honestly, it’s something I really hadn’t done in a long time. And, with that in mind, I present my top ten radio songs. suck it!

10) “Radioactive” – Kings of Leon

I know it’s really easy to hate on Kings of Leon, but all of their singles that I’ve heard on the radio, I don’t hate ‘em. And this one is no different. But the bass player is pretty goofy looking. I hope I never look like that while playing.

9) “Flyin’ Solo” – Jason Derulo

If were one to go out to clubz on the weekend, this would be my jam to which I would get ready.

8) “Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry

All of the singles off of Katy Perry’s first album, I really hated. And now every one from this new album, I’ve liked. I don’t get it. I don’t think I’m turning 30 this week, I think I’m actually turning 13. and into a girl.

7) “Animal” – Neon Trees

I’m just going to ignore the video. It makes me want to punch someone. Anyway, this sounds a lot like Phoenix for kids, yet I like this song more than the two Phoenix radio singles this year!

6) “Sweet Disposition” – The Temper Trap

I couldn’t resist posting the diet coke commercial. The idea of it seemed really funny to me. Is that Beyonce at the end? Anyway, I really like that the chorus drum beat is on the off-beat. That’s all.

5) “Club Can’t Handle Me” – Flo-Rida ft David Guetta

There is something really funny about this song be performed for Kathie Lee and Hoda at 8 in the morning.

4) “Dynamite” – Taio Cruz

Wow. I realize the above video is not for the actual song, but I came across this parody on youtube. It’s unbelievably bad. WTF! Be sure to watch the Christmas medley. I couldn’t even make it through the first minute. I guess you can get 400,000 views if you have some hot girl with big boobs act nerdy. Never fails. Perhaps we need to try that.(Sorry Taio, but I can’t even remember what I was going to say about the original song. You can blame Screen Team)

3) “Magic” – B.o.B ft Rivers Cuomo

I’m sure I’ll be accused of including this song simply because my favoritest person in the entire world is on this song, but that is simply not true. I think plenty of what Weezer is doing right now really sucks. This song is just a dope party banger. But it’s really tough to watch Rivers in the video. I feel embarrassed for him.

2) “Your Love is My Drug” – Ke$ha

I’m a pretty big fan of Ke$sha. No joke. Also, she seems to mainly work with Dr. Luke, which after doing this list, I realized he worked on half of the songs, so obviously I like his radio production stylings. Maybe I should break into his house and steal his synths. Oh yeah, I love the line “Do you want to have a slumber party in my basement?”

1) “Bulletproof” – La Roux

This is probably only song on the list where I REALLY like. I just came across their album at the library this week, and though I’ve only given it a listen once, it seems pretty good. A bunch of poppy synth songs.

Well, there you have it. Listening to the radio this year reminded me just how stale/shitty rock radio has gotten.

My Favorite Movies of ’09

Favorite Movies of ’09

Okay. Here we go…my favorite movies of this year. It’s not exactly complete, as I’m interested in seeing such films as Hurt Locker, The Lovely Bones, Nine, Up, but haven’t been able to. It’ll have to do though. And rather than tear my hair out about if movie A is slightly better than movie B to earn the 5th slot but not quite as good as movie C, so maybe it should be 6th…I’m just going to have a honorable mentions list in no particular order…then my two favorite movies of the year. Also, aside from my top two, this year didn’t seem super strong to me.

Honorable Mentions -

* The Fantastic Mr. Fox – This was the first Wes Anderson movie since The Royal Tenenbaums that I thoroughly enjoyed. I may say it’s my second favorite Anderson movie, next to Rushmore, though I’ll probably need to view it once or twice more to make such a bold statement. It was actually a combination of style and substance, which “The Life Aquatic” and “Darjeeling Express” seemed strictly style and very little substance.

*Visioneers – This was a film that imdb lists as a 2008 release, but I think lacks a distributor and has been doing the festival circuit for the last year and a half. Anyway, it’s a dark satire about modern life, sort of similar to “Brazil.” It’s got Zach Galifianakis in it and he has several good scenes where he goes ballistic. Probably the most underrated film on this list. You can stream it on Netflix, so go do it.

* Anvil! The Story of Anvil – This documentary is the story of two Canadian dudes who have been the band Anvil for about 30 years and are still doing it. Despite being named repeatedly as a hugely influential metal band, they somehow missed their chance back in the 80’s. However, they still continue on and this film documents this, which I found both inspiring and unsettling. Perhaps it’s the fact that I fear I could wind up in a similar position, being 50 and playing for 10 people.

*Tyson – Another documentary for you. This one is pretty straight forward as it’s essentially all interviews with former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson intersperse with news footage and old interviews. I really liked it because, despite Tyson being a sociopath, listening to him give his side, I honestly believe that Tyson wants to be a good person and believes in himself. He just had a fucked up childhood and was then thrown into the spotlight before he was even 20. Also, his vocabulary is a little surprising as he peppers his speech with rather large words, albeit sometimes incorrectly.

*Inglourious Basterds – Kind of like Wes Anderson, this is Quentin Tarantino’s best film in a while. Found it thoroughly entertaining and thought there were some really good performances by Brad Pitt, Til Schweiger, and most of all Christoph Waltz as the bad guy. Though I could have done without Eli Roth.

*Observe and Report – Honestly, I don’t remember a whole lot about this movie, but I remember thinking it was both funny and depressing. So it works for me. Plus I always enjoy Seth Rogen. And after thinking Aziz Ansari wasn’t funny for the longest time, I’ve just recently converted. I give in. I like him.

*District 9 – Ugh. More films on this list? Jesus… Another solid movie. It’s a thinly veiled movie about apartheid. But it’s got some action. Anyway, anytime you have a fairly large budget movie that WASN’T made in Hollywood and DOESN’T have any bankable stars in it but still gets a wide release, it gets my vote.

Now for my top two favorite movies of the year.

* Michael Jackon’s This Is It – While I’m not the biggest Michael Jackson fan I know (that would be my bro, Tony, who I did see the movie with), I still enjoy his work and still feel the need to defend him whenever people start to bash on him. Yes, he was a weirdo and yes, there were some allegations made about him. But he was first a musician/dancer/entertainer and This Is It reminds the viewer that. Essentially the film is pieced together from several days of rehearsal to make a complete live performance. Some might complain it’s not even a dress rehearsal, but whatever, I’m fine with it. If anything, it makes it more real and interesting as several times you get to see Michael’s mind in action as he stops singing to hash out some dance moves. Honestly, I was surprised at how well he voice seemed to hold up as well as his dance moves. It’s just too bad we’ll never get to see Light Man.

* A Serious Man – Okay, I’ll say it. This is my favorite movie of the year. After the Coen’s two films, the decent Intolerable Cruelty and the disappointing The Ladykillers, I thought their best work was behind them. However, with their last few films, I think it’s some of their best stuff. While Burn After Reading isn’t as strong as No Country and Serious Man, I kind of see the films as a trilogy. The Coen’s have definitely approached the issues of morality in everyday life before (Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, The Hudsucker Proxy…umm..I guess most of their stuff), these three really seem to nail it, with A Serious Man being the most interesting to me (not quite ready to say it’s better than No Country as I haven’t seen it since the theater). Their use of no-name actors (aside from that one guy from Spin City and that guy from Chicago Hope) really seems to heighten their examination of everyday life and especially in this third film bringing in religion. It all just worked for me.

Folgers Christmas 2009

If you’ll recall from last year, I wrote a post about my favorite Christmas Commericals. One of my choices was everyone’s favorite, “Peter comes home” Folgers commercial. Well, while home over Thanksgiving this year, I happened to see an updated version of that commercial.

Now, it’s kind of a strange update because, instead of Peter presumably hitchhiking home from college, the new not-Peter (I’ll call him this because at no point does his sister shout out “PETER!”)  has returned home from West Africa. From some sort of “volunteer” program that has a symbol vaguely similar to UNICEF.  Check moment 0:07,  as it’s on his backpack. Anyway, it proceeds like the old Folger’s commercial, even with the sister doting on not-Peter (“I waited up all night for you,ya’ know”), despite the fact that she’s probably 10 years older than the original sister.  Coffee is smelled, poured, parents awake. Then it gets a little weird. Not-Peter says he’s gotten a gift for little-big sister. It’s exchanged. But then they both kind of get bedroom eyes for a few seconds. Until mom and dad thankfully break up the awkward scene.  And then we’re played out by everyone’s favorite King-of-Queen’s-theme-song-singing Billy Vera.

A future classic? Possibly. But it’s still no Taco John’s Faliz Navidad commercial. Which I tried searching for AGAIN this year,but no dice.


Other TMC  X-mas Related Posts

A Very California Raisins’ Christmas

Christmas Carolz

Early Jim Henson Work

Last night, somehow the topic of the Yip Yip’s from Sesame Street came up while Scott, Natalie and I were having dinner. Naturally, this led to us watching several Yip Yip skits. Next was Bert and Ernie. Then came Statler and Waldorf.  Following this, I came across some commercials from the 60’s that Henson created.

What you get is a seemingly early incarnation of Kermit inflicting some seriously over-the-top violence upon a pear-shaped muppet that sounds similar to Rowlf.  I’m amazed at the level of violence that Henson was able to get away with, even if they were only muppets.

Naturally, the commercials were a huge success. Henson himself theorized, “Till then, [advertising] agencies believed that the hard sell was the only way to get their message over on television. We took a very different approach. We tried to sell things by making people laugh.” And it worked.


Stuck on Repeat: Track 5 – “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear



(Warp – 2009)

So just last week Greg asked if I had anything in the works for “Stuck on Repeat.” I confessed to him that, while I had been listening to music quite regularly due to my new job allowing for plenty of ipod time, there was nothing getting repeated play. Then this week, while listening to NPR’s “All Songs Considered” at said job, this song came up. When it was finished, as you might guess, I proceeded to listen to it several times more.

Grizzly Bear is a pretty hot-shit band right now. Many people would throw “indie” in there, but I think when you’re new album, Veckatimest, debuts at #8 on the Billboard charts, you kind of lose that adjective.  Sorry dudes.

Anyway, it’s the perfect track to pull me out of this musical funk.  I love that it’s such a simple song.  Essentially propelled by a constant plinking of a few piano/Rhodes notes and countered by a stuttering rhythm section that has to wait until the choruses to fully join in.   I’m somewhat surprised this hasn’t become a summer hit. I believe it’s light, breezy and sing-along-enough to break big.  But what do I know.

Oh, and since I don’t even own this album, I can only share the video with you, which is definitely in the running for most unsettling video of the year. But who are we kidding, we all know that DM’s “Wrong” is going to win by a mile!


The Death of John Hughes


As most everyone has probably heard by now, John Hughes died yesterday morning of heart attack.  I was listening to NPR while driving home from work yesterday and they were discussing the films of John Hughes. I found this strange as Hughes as he had been, though occasionally screenwriting, essentially under the radar. Hoping this meant he might be getting back into directing, I found out at the end of the piece instead of his death. Now, by now means would I say that I’m a huge Hughes fan. In fact, I have probably only seen half of his stuff, but what I have seen, I have enjoyed. Still, having heard his death, I found myself feeling slightly sad. Perhaps sad doesn’t quite describe it, but wistful.  And I always find myself with this feeling when artists/musicans/creative-types pass away. Not so much because they’re dead and gone, but more because they will never create anything again. For example, with Michael Jackson even though “Invincible” was terrible and news of recent collaborations with and akon  would probably be even worse, I still get a little sad that he’ll never produce anything again. And I’ve always been like that. People that I’m a fan of, but haven’t put out anything “good” in quite some time, I still hold out hope that their next project will be good. I realize how naive that sounds, but it’s true. Perhaps part of this is that it’s a reminder for me, not of my own mortality, but more of the limited window I have to be creative.

Anyway, I came across this eulogy for John Hughes that is unique in that it’s from woman whom was penpals with Hughes for several years while she was a teenager. Definitely worth the read.


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Blog Roundup!

It just occurred to me the other day that I know more than several people personally who have their own blogs.  And while we have a “blog roll” to the right, I have my doubts if very many people actually pay attention to it.  So here are some blogs/websites run by some good friends of mine…and if I forgot you and your blog, forgiveness please!

Weekend Records

This an off-shoot blog for the Sunday night DJ fest (of the same name) that occurs at the Lift in Des Moines, Ia.  They usually, nay, always spin a good mix of stuff and this blog reflects that. They upload tracks straight (and only) from their personal vinyl collection and usually have a few wise words to share on the songs. I like to think of it as a cousin to Greg’s Singles Club feature.  WR is made up of John Solarz, Adam Ferry, both of design duo Flatform, Alex Brown, who is the guitarist from influential 80’s hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits, Aaron Omlie, and Nick Lambert.  At one time there were rumors that former drummer for Pavement, Bob Nastanovich, might join the crew (no joke!), but so far nothing has become of that.

Manned Missles

Beat blog for former producer/programer/dj of  Cleo’s Apartment, Jeff Blanchard aka Jazzcop aka The Handsome Prince aka Manned Missles.  He just started it up, but he’s already making some headway so it’s definitely something to keep your eye on.  Oh yeah, the gent also did an ill remix of  “Girl Friday,” which will be included on Quid Pro Quo.

So Not Original

Yeah, I’ve mentioned John’s blog sometime earlier, BUT he pulled up stakes and moved on over to tumblr, so I thought I could redirect you all there. Plus, he hasn’t updated in a few weeks, so I figured this might be the kick in pants needed to post something new.

Therine – They’re An Inspiration

Good pal Katie has this blog dedicated to all things that inspire here for her own fashion design.  This can range from people, places, music, movies, current styles, etc.  And you can check out her Etsy account, where all of these influences and inspirations come together. She makes a pretty mean guitar strap.

Renee’s Shoreline

If you know Patrick Tape Flemming (guitarist/frontman for Poison Control Center, co-owner of the now defunct indie pop label, BiFi, all-around gentlemen), then you pretty much know what you’re getting into with this blog.  All sorts of ramblings about pop music, pop culture, and Woody Allen.  Much like the man himself, always entertaining and worth a read.

And of course, don’t forget Scott and Natalie’s picture blog, Laconic Oration, and my demo blog, I’ve Got an 8-Track Mind.


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