Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"crisis" averted

4KS is dedicated to astra mockery. it is not a political blog. but occasionally i want to pass some tidbit of commentary on. it's not un-like forwarding email joke lists, and thus is an embarassing impulse to have. but i digress. so i guess moveon.org held a contest to see who could produce the best animated short addressing the so-called "social security crisis." this was the winner.

if you don't care to watch it, the point is as follows. you only pay for social security on income up to $90K. so bill gates pays less than $6K a year into social security. if they removed that provision and everyone paid social security on all of their income, the problem would be solved. period. so what's the crisis?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

a test of intellectual prowess

well, the quiz bowl is finally happening. at little kings this saturday at 8:30, nerdery will finally receive the recognition it deserves.

the big news is that 4KS is going to be fielding a team. yup. ghostfacefillah and i [along with theforce.net member and sci-fi stalwart stephanie parson] have to be considered the odds on favorites to turn this motherfucka out. three juris doctorates on one team? hide the women and children, 'cause we're gonna unleash on that shit. why don't we just dispense with these formality and give us the fuckin "champ" t-shirts?

founding 4KS member mcsquared is going to be judging this donnybrook of wisdom and ka-knowledge. mcMtL was initially penciled in as a judge, but spurned favor of hot chicks like mame and julie d. mcsquared and kenniebloggins' ploy to get laid will surely fail; 4KS's quest for the quiz bowl championship will not.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

bannister revisited

there is nothing better than being on a blog with my good friends mitch, jake, and the super sexy mr. mahogany. I hope to keep everyone well informed on my unwelcome return to the midwest, if this return takes as the other 5 of 6 have not. meow, i have a few thoughts on star wars that might be relevant to the discourse;

only nerds get excited for another movie with muppets, and

i am still pissed that uncle owen does not recognize r2 and c3 when he sees them in ep 4; he lived with c3 throughout 1 and 2 and met r2 in ep 2.

rza came and got me, and this is what i came to do


Friday, May 20, 2005


the new star wars movie is hot. hot!!! i recommend everybody go check it out. i had the chance to attend that midnight showing with famed astra bassist saucy sellers. here was his reaction to the film, taken from his page-turner blog "grandboy":

Hey! Episode III didn't suck!
For once, I agree with the esteemed bannister Mikey K. The new Star Wars movie is pretty badass. Yes, there are certainly moments of cringe-worthy lines and delivery of said lines, yet the total badassness of the rest of the movie kinda make up for it. I saw what I wanted to see, pretty much. I was a little bothered by the fact that it seemed to be really easy to kill jedi masters, but I guess they had to get the story going. Anakin is a total badass. He's just kinda stupid and childish. Well, that's my 2 cents.

basically i agree with every word of this assessment. i would like to note, however, that i am a barrister, not a bannister. you did not slide down me on your ass when you were little.

i hope the droves of loyal 4KS readers, including the sauceman, have a lovely weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Episode III

well, ladies and gents, it's almost here. star wars episode III premiers this thursday. 4KS invites its loyal readers to get a ticket from fandango.com for the wednesday midnight showing at the carmike. it should be a fantastic nerd-watching spectacle.

one nerd who you'll see: yours truly

a second nerd likely to be in attendance: saucy fuckin sellers

a third huge nerd who will certainly be present: www.theforce.net member stephanie sophia parson. yup, that's right. she's hot, she dates the equally attractive thomas lanier davis, and she has embarassingly encyclopedic knowledge of star wars minutia. the next time you see her, ask about her theory on why C3PO didn't recognize vader [his dr. frankenstein] in empire strikes back. seriously, please ask her the next time you see her.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

"organic evolution"

Astra on their creative process:

As soon as someone plays a note, the whole room is alive. Everyone follows each other, works together and communicates without talking. It's that innate communication that makes Astra work - the members' ability to read each other and collaborate on an almost telepathic level.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"spiritual harmonics"

the following is taken from the january 26th edition of the flagpole. this excerpt speaks to astra's preternatural apperception of cosmic forces:

Claiming the influences of devotional texts such as Bhagavad Gita and the Tao Te Ching as well as those of philosopher and psychologist Carl Jung, Astra embeds a sense of spirituality in its music. "Most of the things I write are meditations on those scriptures, pretty much," says Tracy. "I don't think it's necessary to give everyone in the band those chapters to read for them to understand the song. For me, there's that element. I think we all agree music is a pretty serious thing, it's a kind of alchemy, it's a way to understand yourself, the cosmos and reality."

When the band is practicing or performing, Tracy likes to envision a musical mandala. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that represents circle, polygon, community and connection; in Tibetan Buddhism, mandalas are images or pictographs that are to be contemplated during meditation. There are many different ones, each with lessons to teach, and they are the source of much inspiration for Tracy.

"There's always so much detail in the mandalas," he says. "So much energy and information is contained within them that you know you could stare at it for a long time and never fully get everything from it. Sometimes when we're playing and we're playing really well, that's when I feel like we've hit that mandalic transcendental state where we could just play and play for hours without ever getting exhausted."

Monday, May 09, 2005

Reno Melons

4KS is glad to welcome Reno Melons to the team. Reno, also known by such monikers as "dj mahogany" and "sexual blackness", has long been a friend to astra mockery. we count ourselves as lucky to experience both his wit and his lasciviousness.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

selling out

i'm not really into having a blog chock-full of hyperlinks. but i wanted to share this article that was linked on christa's blog (morning glory). it's about "selling out", an silly concept that i often confront and grapple within both my own and my close friends' psyches.

my beef with dave eggers is that his self-deprecation smacks of insincerity (kind of like socrates: "i am wise, because i know that i am ignorant..."). eggers is a tad annoying, and i imagine wouldn't like him if i met him. that said, he does express himself well. anyway, here is something he wrote that i think is worth reading, at least the first half or so (you can maybe stop when he asks "you wanna know how big a sellout i am"):


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

astra's influences

here are astra's "influences", presented as indicated on the band's myspace profile:

cats, mountains, poetry, sky, vibrations, stillness, quiet, sounds of laughter, peace, chaos, the alter-destiny, awareness, dreamsleep, "I am awake", echoes, the eternal return, feedback, love, aum, sunlight, trees, life, water, innervision, 0, dancing, solitude, togetherness, understanding, evolution, mind, earth, home, now . . .

astra has steered clear of the description most often referenced by music critics, that being "a fume-huffing, bloated, testicleless, extremely affected rendering of late period wilco."