Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blogging About Buffalo

1. You have to give it to JP Losman: he's a man of action. He started Buffalo Lives to get some basic cleanup done around the city and today, twenty busloads of people showed up to help. When my bus got to our work location this morning, JP was already there unloading a truckload of peat moss by himself. For an event kickoff, everything was well-organized: free transportation, bottled water, shirts, work gloves, garbage bags, rakes, then pizza and a live band.

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This is good news on progress, especially since Buffalo was just declared the second-poorest city in the nation. During my first summer here I've personally talked to dozens of folks who are realistic about the city's problems but proactively work to solve them. Today's volunteers were more than friendly, and we met several thankful families who wondered why armies of cleaning crews were invading the streets. One family moved here last week from Burma, proving that yes, there are worse places you can live.

Just think: each of these people filled at least one bag of trash.

2. New World Record is moving from Elmwood and Cleveland to Hertel and Delaware. While they're emphasizing Hertel's economic growth and the extra 500 square feet of space, it remains that less people are buying music and the store needs lower rent to survive. I like the place where it is, sure, but it's only to buy show tickets or browse. I last bought a record there about two years ago. (Charging $18.98 for a Hives album won't earn you any new friends either.) Unlike the whiners posting comments to this article, I can walk the extra distance to their new location without much of a problem. That doesn't mean I'll want to, however.

You can get more, better music online, for free, and before stores do. Here's Tick Tick Boom, the new single from the next Hives album, and it's sublime.

Here's the Foo Fighters doing a dead-on cover of the Arcade Fire's Keep The Car Running live on the BBC. You won't find this in stores.

Finally, here's a recently uncovered 1973 recording of Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Soup) by none other than Mick Jagger and John Lennon, brought to my attention by the blog I Am Fuel, You Are Friends (who also links to a new song by Bruce Springsteen). Free, free, free.

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