Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Grammys? Who cares?

On Sundays, the Retro TV Network shows back-to-back episodes of Mike Hammer, a delightfully dated show with Darren McGavin in the title role. I think it was filmed in the '50s. I was going to flip around between episodes when I remembered that the Grammys were on tonight. After watching for about two minutes, seeing Green Day win some award that Katy Perry and Alice Cooper announced (yeah, a thrilling pair), I figured that was all I needed to see. Some new country band was on when I turned off the tv, doing what sounded like a rip-off of Ray Charles' version of "America the Beautiful." Ho hum.

But I still like rock music, folks. Don't let the recent entries fool you. I recently gave the Major Stars new album a good review on the Blurt site. Check it out:

There's also a review on the Blurt site of the debut from the Sub Pop band AFCGT:

Also, I have a post-script to my entry about Robert Wyatt entry on January 6. For years, I thought the lyric in "Muddy Mouse 1" was "Overhead, the stars are pissing..." which sounded like a great metaphorical way of describing starlight. Turns out it's "... stars are piercing."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CD Review: Bobby Previte - Pan Atlantic

Bobby Previte
Pan Atlantic
(Rank Hypocrisy/Auand)
I admitted last week that I couldn't come up with a complete Best of the '00s, but if you were to ask me about jazz in the 1980s and what some of the best albums of that era were, I would quickly mention one album in particular that not only ranks as one of the best modern jazz albums of that period, but probably one of my favorite albums of all time - Bobby Previte's Pushing the Envelope.

This drummer first came to my attention as a participant of some of John Zorn's recordings from around that time (the Ennio Morricone tribute The Big Gundown most notably). But a friend turned me on to Pushing the Envelope around 1988 and while I didn't like it too much on the first spin, a few more intense listens it was clear that my initial uncertainty was because Previte was writing stuff like I'd never heard before. The sound of it felt almost like chamber jazz, with French horn and tenor sax playing over the rhythm section to create more of an ensemble sound even when someone was taking a solo. In one piece, it almost sounded like the piano was the only solo instrument, while everyone else played an unnerving melody around the tense keyboard.

Previte got a moment in the spotlight about four years ago when he teamed up with Charlie Hunter for a series of improv albums under the name Groundtruther. They were even on the cover of downbeat. While on tour with Hunter, he stopped in Whole Foods where I recognized him, much to his shock. I mentioned loving Pushing the Envelope and he thanked me "for knowing that I did something before two years ago."

Although Previte is a thoughtful drummer, his compositions are really his strong point. His various bands - which have included outfits like Hue and Cry, the more recent New Bump, some pithy one-offs on his other Gramavision albums following Envelope on albums like Claude's Late Morning and Empty Suits - possess qualities that have a great amount of detail put into the combination of various instruments. His Pan Atlantic Band features four European musicians and continues in this tradition, showcasing his smart approach in a sound that borders on '70s prog-jazz as much as straightahead jazz, Previte-style. (While looking for the cover image online, on site used a term like broke beat to describe the album, so he's really staking a unique realm for himself.)

Bassist Nils Davidsen deserves an award for holding down the metronomic one-note beat (playing on the one and three, no less) in opening "Deep Lake" for 10 minutes. The piece has several wide open spaces where Davidsen just pulses along while Benoit Delbecq drops in atmospheric sheen on the Fender Rhodes. At one point Previte and alto saxophonist Wolfgang Puschnig solo together over the oblivious but solid bass. Overall, the song takes it time getting to its destination and the band enjoys creating both the scenery on the trip and the wide open spaces between scene setting. As a reward for his discipline, Davidsen gets a brief, rapid solo to close the piece.

This approach - where things move slowly or main melodies give way to vamps that support solos - occurs throughout the album. On the title track, Puschnig and trombonist Gianluca Petrella create a huge, somewhat raunchy sound (possibly through overdubs since it sounds so thick) for the main theme. Delbecq solos with a lot of tremolo on the keyboard. It reminds these ears of "1958," another '80s Previte piece (from Bump the Renaissance) that sets a mood by having one hand of the pianist (Wayne Horvitz, just like on Envelope) repeat two skeletal notes of the chord throughout the piece. Talk about setting a scene.
Previte's recent history in spacey music comes out on "Veltin." His sits down at the Rhodes for nearly nine minutes of solo spacey noodling, that continually returns to a two-note motif. It never rises to the engaging level of the other tracks, but if Tortoise ever needed an extra musician to sit in at a show, Previte would fit right in.
The Pan Atlantic Band suits Previte's writing perfectly, saying a lot with a few notes or jumping into more animated solos when the opportunity presents itself. This is the kind of album that makes you want to explore their other work more. And it makes me want to catch up on the numerous Previte albums that have shot past my eyes before I could grab them.
Rank Hypocrisy is Previte's own imprint. Digital versions of it are being distributed by Palmetto. Physical copies are available through the Italian label Auand. Go to or or for more details.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A week of Rege Cordic; Hypnolovewheel

This week, I experienced two great mementos of my late uncle, Rege Cordic. Wednesday night, intent on heading to be early to make sure I was over a mild stomach flu, I turned on the Retro TV Network just in time to see the episode of The Rockford Files with Rege in a guest role. I've seen it before, but couldn't resist checking it once more to see him. The episode is called "Say Goodbye to Jennifer," and as someone who likes a lot of those old Rockford episodes, I can honestly say this isn't one of the better ones. But Rege is great, playing a dentist who helps fake a death report of one of his patients so that she can go on the lam.

He's in the first scene after they roll the opening credits, gesticulating to the coroner, waving his hands and looking a lot like his sister - that is, my mother. As a kid I was slow to pick up on the resemblances of people, but now, it's as clear as night and day. That could've been Mum on the screen. Conversely, she could taught him everything he knows about mannerisms.

Rege only has one other major scene in the episode, when Rockford finds him and after he's been roughed up by two goons. (Every Rockford episode has two goons in a Cadillac that grouse with each other like a darkly comical Laurel and Hardy.) I hit the hay before that scene came on.

If that wasn't great enough, I won a copy of Rege's 45 "Bingo" / "5 Channel Hi-Fi Demo" on eBay, and it came in the mail yesterday. We had at least one copy of this record when I was a kid, and even got him to autograph it during one visit from Los Angeles, but that copy got lent out and never returned. When I saw my brother John over the holidays, I remembered that I wanted to try to find it online, and lo and behold the next time I looked there it was.

"Bingo" is what I consider a pretty brilliant spoof of the Lorne Greene western song "Ringo," taking the don't-kill-the-villain-who-once-saved-my-life plotline and changing it to a guy who notices that a bingo game is fixed (no one will ever win!) and what happens when he tries to stop this travesty.

"5 Channel Hi-Fi Demo," which I always liked a little more as a kid thanks to its blatant zaniness, is a spoof of top of the line "makes you feel you're at a concert hall" stereos. It begins by replicating the music then it gradually adds all the crowd noises in the hall that would interrupt a performance.

Talking about these sides don't do them justice. Maybe these will have to be my first attempts at mp3s for this blog.


On Tuesday, I stayed home from work due to the aforementioned stomach flu-like feeling I had. The one consolation of that, besides a lot of much-needed sleep, was that when I checked the mail, my other recent eBay victory was waiting for me: Hypnolovewheel's Candy Mantra album. It came out in 1990 and was great combination of catchy pop and hopped-up pre-indie rock guitars and harmonies. Opening track "Honeymoon Mowdown" alone is worth the price of admission. The rapid guitar picking and powerhouse rhythm section is something to be admired.

Like the Rege 45, I lent the record out to somebody who never gave it back. Rather than track him down, badger him for years until he finally brought it with him when he came to town to visit, I figured I ought to buy it again. $3 and change is worth it to relive a memory of that time. If you ever see a copy of it, snatch it up.

I also won a copy of Thelonious Monk's Monk in France but that hasn't shown up yet. Not sure how good it is, but since it's an original Riverside LP, and no one had bid on it the three times it was posted, I figured it was time to add it to the collection.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CD Review: Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown - Varmint

Jason Adasiewicz's Rolldown

Wasn't sure exactly when this came out, as it came in the mail sometime around early December. Turns out it was released last September.

Varmint is another piece from the ever shifting crew of musician-leaders out of Chicago that all play together on each other's sessions. They don't treat it like indie rockers, where a band adds or subtracts one player and changes their name but essentially sounds the same. These Chicago jazz guys have a lot of distinct ideas going for them.

Jason Adasiewicz (a-dah-shev-its) played drums with indie rock bands like Pinetop Seven and Central Falls, but during college he picked up the vibes. After trying to use them in a more abrasive settings - liner note writer Peter Margasak recalls a performance where Adasiewicz seemed like he was trying to beat the vibes into the ground - he started exploring the subtleties of the instrument. (For the sake of dynamics contrast, he also toured with pensive songwriter Edith Frost, so the gentler side has always been there.) That understated approach makes Varmint - Rolldown's second album - a strong set.
Drummer Frank Rosaly never gets too overbearing, or even gets too loud in the mix, yet he weaves all kinds of changes that bend and contour the music. There is an implicit feeling that the band could cut loose at any minute. Their strength lies in the way they can keep a listener's attention, wondering what will happen next. When cornetist Josh Berman fires off a solo of growls and guttural smears in "Hide," it's one of the few times where the music gets free and wild, but it doesn't really pull the music off towards the left.
It's telling that the group's token non-original track is Andrew Hill's "The Griots." Adasiewicz's writing could be compared to the late pianist's work, which never fell into unhinged, free territory, nor was it straight bop, existing instead somewhere in between. Rolldown's version of "The Griots" sticks close to the original vibes-and-rhythm arrangement, but fleshes out the harmonies with the two horns.
Berman, alto saxophonist/clarinetist Aram Shelton and Adasiewicz have proven themselves numerous times to be gifted soloists on each other sessions, and Varmint continues the feeling. Adasiewicz regularly sings/scats/grumbles along with his solos, and uses vibrato and sustain on his instrument to achieve a strong, mysterious quality. Bassist Jason Roebke even gets some spotlight time, bowing a solo on "Hide."

Of all the periods in Blue Note's history, the early '60s period of Andrew Hill and trombonist Grachan Moncur III might be the least emulated in their catalog. Adasiewicz has taken hints from that era and helped it to develop his own personality. Hopefully it won't take several decades and a Mosaic box for listeners to catch on. Hint, hint.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Looking back at the 00s, a limited glimpse

My dear friend and former bandmate Sharon "Mama" Spell was back in town this week, cleaning out her old house of stuff that has accumulated over the last 12 years or so. She stayed with us and brought over things that she thought we'd either want or would give us a laugh.

Among the things she found was a handbill for our band the Mofones, in particular one for a show we did at Chatham's coffee house. I remember the show pretty well, but had no recollection that the headlining band was We Are Scientists, a group who two or three years later, seemed poised to be the next Strokes Hopeful, or someone like that. And I don't mean that in a bad way, I thought their debut album contained a good combination of heavy riffage and swagger. Plus they posed with kitties on the front cover.

I reviewed their album a few years later, post-Pulp for an awful entertainment rag that I got into through a friend who was their graphics editor. Every couple of weeks, I'd bang out a 500-word piece on some new album, most of which the readers, whoever they were, would likely never hear and which probably dumbfounded them. ("How do you know about music like that?") The rest of the magazine was pretty fluffy business news and some a&e, topped off by an I-want-to-be-Dave-Berry column by the editor. I liked the $40 I got for my work, but most definitely did not cry when it folded.

In other news, I was thinking at the start of the month how I once had high hopes and some eager anticipation for this year to come, since it was going to be my first chance to do a Best Albums of the Past Decade list, somewhere, somehow. But looking back, only two immediately come to my head. Ben Folds' Rockin' the Suburbs and the New Pornographers' Electric Version.

The former might seem surprising, but when I finally gave it a good listen, maybe a nine months after it came out (he was coming back to town), it made my head explode, sounding to me like a modern Brian Wilson marriage of melancholia and beautiful music. If I had heard it upon its initial release, in the fall of 2001, I don't know if I'd still be alive. That was when InPgh shut down and "Mr. Jones Pt. 2" would've felt too true to life, for one thing. For years, I took "Still Fighting It" to be a really sad song about how freaked out you can get when you're suddenly a parent, but I later heard Folds wrote it more a song of hope, written for his newborn son. It still tears me up though when I see the Scrubs rerun where they use it, when Drs. Cox and Kelso are talking about their kids.

Rockin' the Suburbs made me feel like a Shanley-come-lately, finally discovering this guy who had made a name for himself about 10 years prior. But then the album that came two discs later was kind of a wash, and then I heard he ditched his (second) wife for someone else, and it made think he's just another dude. Oh well.

Carl Newman, on the other hand, was just getting started with The Electric Version, album number two from the New Pornographers. I've professed my love for him and them on this blog numerous times, so there's no need for repeat. Suffice to say, that album came out right when it seemed like Pulp had its feet planted in the ground and would succeed, during the summer months, and it was the perfect soundtrack for it. And when I saw the NPs on that tour, I ran into Aimee DeFoe who came out of musical retirement and joined the Mofones and who is still playing music with me to this day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

CD Review: David Murray & the Gwo Ka Masters - The Devil Tried Kill Me

David Murray & the Gwo Ka Masters
The Devil Tried to Kill Me
(Justin Time)

It's probably been about 15 years since I've seen David Murray live, but the two or three quartet and the three World Saxophone Quartet shows that I saw left a distinct impression on me. The first time I saw the tenor saxophonist in a quartet (which included Dave Burrell) around 1986, I came up with a metaphor for improvising that seemed so obvious, I'm surprised no one else has used it. A solo during one particular tune reminded me of a model of DNA - you know, the model that's like a ladder or a spiral, twisting and turning upward in a never ending pattern. Murray was playing a fairly straight ahead tune, and with each chorus he pulled away from the changes until finally he was unleashing a swell of sounds that had honks and squeaks in it - like the upper notes of the chords if you followed them all the way up, past the 11th, the 15th, etc. He was still tethered to the basis of the song, he was higher than the ground layer of the model - the DNA model.

Maybe that concept is a little more abstract that it seems to me, but I once mentioned it to a local guitarist and got it completely, even imagining how to tell a soloist who wasn't cutting it to "use the DNA model, c'mon."

To borrow another metaphor, Murray was really lifting the bandstand that night.

The Devil Tried to Kill Me, the second album Murray has made with the Gwo Ka Masters (after 2004's Gwotet), the DNA model doesn't reemerge, but the depth of Murray's solo gifts are in evidence. The combination of his full-throttle tenor and a group that includes several natives of Guadeloupe is far from world beat. Anything stamped with that categorization seems to sanitize all the vital elements of the original music by fusing it together in a more homogenized package. This album has too much fire brewing beneath it to be considered smooth.

Blues singer Taj Mahal appears on two songs, singing lyrics by poet Ishmael Reed. "Africa" is especially convincing, with Mahal addressing the country, imagining himself as a hospice worker and the country as a patient, and the things he would do to help it ("I would remove the flies from your eyes/ I would sit with you day and night." ) The message of the lyrics (reprinted in the CD booklet) hits hard as words on the page, let alone when delivered by the veteran's serious growl.

Sista Kee (who also plays piano on the session) and Mahal trade vocals on "Southern Skies," using the words of writers Grace Rutledge and Kito Gamble respectively over the band's propulsive funk. Kee's solo vocal on the title track, again with the words of Reed, falls somewhere between straight up singing, spoken word and rap in a blend that leaves plenty of blowing room for Murray.

With one trap kit and two Ka drummers, in addition to trumpet and a couple guitars, the band has a lot of promise. Murray spouts his usual wealth of feeling and ideas. His bass clarinet serves as a perfect compliment to the setting of "Africa" and to Mahal's delivery. Trumpeter Rasul Siddik responds in kind, especially on the title track.

But when the two horns finish their solos, the energy dissipates on several tracks. A lot of this comes from the production. With that many drums interweaving, you should be able to hear the sounds of hands on skin during "Canto Oneguine." Instead, the drums sit in the background during that track. Aside from "The Devil Tried to Kill Me" where the drums get more of a push, perhaps to accentuate the lyrics, the rhythm section has a compressed smooth sheen that also makes the bass sound polite instead of gritty.

The combination of group vocals and electric instruments reminds me of the excitement of the one Osibisa album I've heard (Heads for anyone who's wondering). Combining that with one of the United States' strongest tenor players should be a can't-miss situation. The album still has plenty of fine moments, but the production makes it feel like there was a particular level of energy in the studio that was edged out of the final mix.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Richard is Stranger than Ruth?

Playing right now: Nothing, and I'd like to play the new Jason Adasiewicz album, but if I did, I wouldn't get this entry done. My discman died without advance notice on Christmas and I haven't had a chance to replace it yet, which blows because now more than I ever I'm ready to have it playing constantly when I'm coming and going from work and on when I'm on break.

When I was is high school, I had a two-fer of Robert Wyatt's solo albums Rock Bottom and Ruth is Stranger than Richard. I discovered Soft Machine after finding a slightly beat-up but still playable version of their Third album right before Christmas during ninth grade. And I was told Rock Bottom was a must-have by a friend of my brother's, so I eventually snagged the double-album with absolutely no regrets.

During college the Wyatt record disappeared, in one of those situations where you don't notice it being lost for about six months. Maybe even longer. I think I took it to my jazz show at WPTS (Pitt's radio station) - along with Soft Machine's Volume Two, Kai Winding's Dirty Dog and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra - and left the bag somewhere either during or after class. When the copy of Dirty Dog showed up in the new bin at Jerry's a few months later, I had a sneaking suspsicion that that was where I left it. I knew it was my copy because it had a dot sticker and a hole punched in it in a noticeable spot. The store had given me so many breaks in that I didn't feel right telling them the ridiculous story that I just recounted here. I bought Dirty Dog without ceremony and chalked the loss of the others up to absent-mindedness.

A few years ago I got Rock Bottom on CD, but only this week did I get a disc of Ruth. (A friend made me a cassette dub about 10 years ago, which kept me satiated in the meantime.) I was surprised to discover that the original sides one and two had been reversed from the way I played them. It always seemed to me that side one started with "Soup Song" and side two had the "Muddy Mouse" suite. Not on the Thirsty Ear reissue. It kind of makes sense because the version of "Song for Che" make a more triumphant ending to the whole set, while "Muddy Mouth" (no typo there) concludes the album by slinking mysterious off into the evening.

But when did this happen? Did Wyatt want the sides to be ambiguous? The cover did list the titles on opposite corners of the back, but I'm pretty sure they went with Sides one and two - or three and four - of the album. The entry doesn't make any reference to this. My cassette dub went with my original idea.

I listened to both of those albums so often in high school that they're imbeded in my brain. I think I tap out the beginning to "Solar Flares" at work a lot, imagining the cowbell tempo when I'm stationed at my metal table. During one of those space-outs, it occurred that the riff of the song must be a loop. What a relief to know that Gary Windo didn't have to play that bass clarinet ostinato over and over and over again.


During the holidays, I was really hit with a bout of nostalgia for Christmases past, specifically for my high school years. I thought by now I would've blogged at least once during the holidays about them, but a check of the archives came up empty.

In Christmas 1981, I was a freshman in high school, just starting to discover punk rock, but still very much into '60s psychs (not garage rock, but more popular versions of psych) and some art rock. That Christmas Eve, my brother John came over to stay the night and he brought a pile of records: Rip Rig and Panic's God, Killing Joke's Almost Red EP (J had convinced me to buy their second album the previous summer) and some crazy-ass band called the Birthday Party, who I thought had a song called "200 Music Girl" until I realized that the first character in the title was a "Z" not a "2." To give an indication of where my head was at the point, I got a mail order package that day that had Moby Grape's Grape Jam and Talking Heads '77 in it. (The Soft Machine album I mentioned earlier was still in heavy rotation.)

My musical tastes where taking a seismic shift that night. One month later I'd go to Jim's Records with Johnny and buy Echo and the Bunnymen's Crocodiles and he'd get the Birthday Party's "Release the Bats" 45. A few months later, I'd start tuning into WYEP and Buck Bryce's jazz show would become my wake-up music as I got ready to deliver the morning paper. Oh yeah, I also bought Joy Division's Closer over Christmas break too.

I was wondering why this particular Christmas was in my head so much, and then I remembered that it was the first year without my two great aunts, who I would always visit, as they leaved around the corner from us. They were actually my mom's aunts and a trip there was the equivalent of a trip to most people's grandmas: running around their apartment, eating goodies and watching tv. One aunt died the previous summer and the other died the day before Thanksgiving. Without their apartment as a refuge from home (but still a safe haven) suddenly I was forced to deal with the rest of the world, in this case more music.

And another thing: that Christmas I got King Crimson's Discipline from my other brother Tom. I remember asking my folks (Santa Claus, that is) for that album and the Go-Go's' Beauty and the Beat. When I woke up that morning and got neither, I was pissed. Then Tom got up and gave me the Crimson one, and I was happy again.

Next December, I'll talk about what happened during Christmas of 10th grade, 1982.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

CD Review: Aram Shelton's Fast Citizens

Aram Shelton's Fast Citizens
Two Cities

On one hand, the Fast Citizens operate under a crazy premise, but in terms of name exposure it's a great idea: whomever contributes the most compositions to an album receives credit as the leader. On their 2006 debut it was tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson. This time, alto saxophonist/clarinetist Aram Shelton gets a chance. Along with Jackson (who doubles on bass clarinet), the group includes Josh Berman (cornet), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Anton Hatwich (bass) and Frank Rosaly (drums). All of them have played in various aggregations (on October 27, I posted a review of Berman's excellent Old Idea which includes a few of these guys) and the rapport comes across. Shelton's writing operates in territory that feels familiar but it's never derivative. And just when he seems set on one thing, the music takes an original, unexpected turn.

This happens early, in the title track which opens the album. "Twin Cities" refers to Oakland, California and Chicago, Shelton's current and former homes, respectively. After stating the brief, bright melody, Shelton embarks on a free solo full of clipped phrases and fast tonguing which comes to a boil when he climaxes in high shrieks. If the set-up feels familiar (like a younger cousin of Tim Berne circa Fractured Fairy Tales), what follows doesn't. A tranquil non sequitur of an interlude gives Jackson an opening line for a solo that moves to the next city. He's gruff and meaty but keeps his feet on the ground during an equally convincing solo. Berman takes the final solo, with only Rosaly's rolls and splashes backing him. The quick changes in structure sound striking enough, but each soloist plays with fire, which adds to the mood.

"Big News" is marked by interesting contrasts in Shelton's influences. Again his alto solo gets unhinged, but Rosaly's drum solo feels like it skates back and forth between between straight swing and free meter. This, as well as the bass and cello's deft ability to dance around the soloists, makes for a compelling listen.

The Citizens don't slow down throughout the album and they explore different styles with nearly every track. In Lonberg-Holm's "VRC#9" the horns play a rigid arpeggio while the rhythm section changes the tempo and the center of the melodic phrase. Right as the repetition is about to burrow under your skin, dead silence drops in, followed by a series of musical splats. It might be unnerving but that's good. Besides it keeps you listening.

Hatwich contributes "Wontkins" a piece that says a lot about the band in the shortest amount of time - 1:19. The fast theme sounds a lot like an early Ornette Coleman tune (a little like both "Little Symphony" and "The Invisible"), and the statements lead to contained moments of free blowing where everyone interjects clearly instead of competing for space. Things seems to be headed towards chaos when the piece suddenly cuts off. Whether the tape ran out or the bassist wrote it that way, this sneaky trick sounds just as fun as what could have happened.

Other fine moments occur between those already mentioned: Both saxophonists deepen the sound of the frontline when they switch to their respective clarinets, and the group plays a ballad marked by dissonant harmonies ("I Am Here, You Are There") and the strings throw in another duet that helps change the scene between soloists ("In Cycles").

Shelton might not live in Chicago these days, but he's really still part of the scene that gave birth to Fast Citizens. It seems like these guys are unstoppable (on the heels of this album there is a new disc by vibist Jason Adasiewicz that includes three Citizens on it), and there's no reason for them to slow down anyway.

Monk leads me astray, again

Woke up early today, intent on writing another review. Then I got sidetracked looking at the NPR site, in hopes of finding the Fresh Air interview with Robin DG Kelley about his Monk biography. Not only did I find that, I also found the A Blog Supreme blog and an entry about Kelley by a guy I knew in Pittsburgh about 20 years ago - Walter Watson. We worked together briefly at Public Interest Communication before he pursued his dream by moving to D.C. and writing about cool stuff. Tried to log on to send him a salutation, but I couldn't find the right link to register. Maybe the system was down. I dunno.

So now it's time to get ready for work. (Yeah, I'm working today and tomorrow.) Maybe I'll write the review tomorrow morning.
Happy new year.