Monday, December 25, 2006


I was driving to my grandparents' house on Sunday morning in a state of mind I'll describe as not as hung over as I expected. Which isn't to say I was feeling completely like pickled death, but I still needed a change of clothes and an xmas shower. and I was on my way to set up bags of sand and hanging last-minute lights. Otis Redding doing "Merry Christmas Baby" and it was 45 degrees outside and I had the windows open.
Anyway, I saw a kid, probably about 14, smashing his skateboard in his driveway. He'd broken it in two, and was throwing the halves out into the yards in a fury. I was obviously staring at this, possibly even slowing down to prolong my window of viewing of such an exposing moment. It was great, and I honestly felt for the kid. Which makes it even stranger that I let out this huge laugh. Which of course he heard. He looked up directly at me and froze, staring at me. I stopped laughing and tried a friendly wave before passing out of sight. I'm not sure if he saw it. Maybe he thought I was flipping him off. I don't even know. When I got to my grandmother's house she said I needed surgery on my face and where I should be standing when the bagpiper was starting up. I ignored both.
Went to several holiday parties, which did little other than remind me of how few parties I go to.
I woke up this morning with terrible stomach pain, followed by my throwing up three or four times, followed my not being able to leave the bathroom for more than ten minutes, which led to my not making it to the hospital on Christmas morning for the third time in my life. Still makes pretty good use of the holiday though. Just heard about James Brown, which is tragic. I've got a LOT of music to post, but I need some time to go through it all and think about what exactly I will be posting, so stay tuned. and I'm going to change this background sooner hopefully than later because it bothers me.

Happy holidays and enjoy the time off.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Head is pounding. I'm drinking a pot of coffee and then diving into the spangled bucket of hell that is the Christmas shopping season. Obviously, this will end well.

oh and my computer appears to be fucked.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

AWESOME

I'm out of work and at the beginning of the longest vacation I've had in five years. It will be filled with stress, booze, and the eventual collapse of my own personal economy, but if will be fucking worth it if I have to rent a hot air balloon. So yeah I'd love to keepgoing on like this, but I'm off to the bar to catch the rest of this Pitt game and to commence pile-driving my sobriety into nonexistence. Cheers. I'll be back tomorrow.

There's a fucking Daytona 500 cologne?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stumping



Listening to Robert Fisk on Democracy Now! from this morning, discussing the press and the Middle East. I don't know if it's just because they scheduled all these people in a row or the more likely reason that they're pushing for year-end donations (I got 2 emails this week and a response to an email I sent 2 months ago), but they've been stacking the guests pretty heavily this week. Monday was Howard Zinn on the history and definition of terrorism, Tuesday was Noam Chomsky delivering a mind-blowing speech on the radicalization of South America, and now Fisk. So yeah, it's nice as I'm enjoying my last couple of days before vacation.
I'm a huge fan of Fisks, always doing whatever I can to read his columns in the Independent and keeping up to speed on his books. He doesn't have the grandfatherly common sense of Zinn, or the daunting intelligence of Chomsky, Fisk has a passion that can't be denied and the experience of actually living in the Middle East for the past 30 years. Sure he has his faults, but so does everyone. Zinn seems to repeat himself often (though it's sort of hard not to with his output) and Chomsky, while I love the guy, tends to hypnotize me into deep sleep after just a few minutes of hearing his voice. It's strange like that. Anyway, I recommend checking those shows out if you got the time.
I was talking with someone over the weekend about what my end of year list was gonna look like for 2006, and considering it pretty heavily all week, and in the end I doubt I'll post it here. It's not because it's a seemingly thin year for the sort of releases I like to hear or the state of usic in general or anything like that. Well maybe it is something to do with the state of music. I find myself going to no less then 40 or 50 blogs a week to check out new music, and downloading/buying about 20 albums a month. Not to mention whatever crap I find on myspace or hype machine. That's a massive amount of music, which I find myself almost begrudgingly sifting through for something I like. I get whole albums that I barely listen the entire way through more than once or twice because I've got so much other stuff to get through. I still haven't listened to the Walkmen or Hold Steady albums more than 3 times each the whole way through, and those were easily my most anticipated albums of the year. It's just that they didn't floor me the first time around. I litened to maybe 4 rap albums all year, and the only one that really snowed me was the Ghostface one. Add this on to the fact that I've tended to listen to mostly old Springsteen bootlegs and soul music all year and I don't really get that excited to compile any sort of list, least of all in order. So I'm not gonna post one, not here at least. I go to largeheartedboy and I almost had a stroke with the amount of year-end lists there. I don't need to align myself with the 9000 people that have similar enough lists to mine that I can't really care about it. So yeah, that's what up. I will say that with enough thought, the TVOTR, Thermals and Man Man albums are the ones I've spent the most time listening to and the Tom Waits one would be the best of the year if it weren't all "old" stuff. But enough of that.
I listened to Spiritualized all morning and a skull-crushing volume. Which is really the only way to listen to them. I sort of forgot about this album for awhile, but i think it might serve as my favorite. They do such an amazing job of getting their songs out right and the production can't be fucked with. It doesn't carry the same narcot-o-drone as most of the studio albums, but sounds like some sort of communal psychic ability. The songs have the feel of a guy who has just been hit very hard with a load of drugs he didn't take, as opposed to the guy who is about to die form the drugs he took of the albums. Not quite sure about that one either, but I'll probably listen to Disc 1 again after I get through this podcast. My only real gripe is that the don't include the title track form Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Outer Space, which live is is a song too good for words. But that's hardly their fault. So fuck you, estate of Elvis Presley.

"Shine a Light" (live) - Spiritualized

"No God, Only Religion" (live) - Spiritualized
"Oh Happy Day" (live) Spiritualized

Buy Royal Albert Hall October 10, 1997 here for 3 fucking dollars, people.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I ate a big, red candle.


So Bayh is out of the race. Which is sort of surprising, considering the already sizable war chest he'd piled up. It seems that the amount of press that is shining on Obama and Clinton has already pushed them so far in the spotlight that Bayh delt he didn't have a chance. Which is a shame. Not because because I wanted him to win or anything, but to have the race so heavily dominated by 2 or 3 candidates so early in the race before it even starts just sucks.
One, because there's less variety, and narrowing our options this early is retarded and makes for a less open democracy.
Two, there's way too much time for everyone involved to fuck up. Remember how much of a lock Dean was four years ago at this time? One can never underestimate how easy it is to plummet from public favor over the stupidest things. Especially when there's nobody else to watch.
Third, it's gonna have (assuming Edwards won't be able to keep this momentum going) everyone having to choose between Clinton or Obama. Which is a lot hard for Obama than having four or five moderate dems to split up the vote.
I don't know, it's a shame. Which has me thinking about what the GOP is gonna do if Hillary does get the nomination. Can you imagine the hilarity of a "Don't vote for Hillary: her period will attract bears" campaign? Because I can assure you some nutjob scientist with a questionable background will issue a "women are more likely to break down in stress" study if she gets the nom. The scarier part is that it will probably have some effect on some idiot somewhere. Is Obama's middle name going to come up? I guess this is what we have to look forward to.
Anyway, I was trying to think of the last balding candidate we had and I got pretty wrapped up in it, because I could only think of shockingly few balding Senators. Lamarr Alexander. Sure there's a bunch of transplant people (I'm thinking Biden) and some combovers (Does McCain have a combover? sort of?), but few in the senate that are comfortable with thair gradual hair loss. Which I find disconcerting. Is it the vanity of the candidates? Do we blame the advent of TV in politics which focused much more attention on the candidates' appearance? Strangely, there's several balding Governors. What does this mean? Beats the shit out of me, but we're a vain enough people that nothing's gonna surprise me.

There's an interesting article in the NYT today about the Electricity War in Baghdad.

In other "news", Miss USA gets to do coke and underage drink and still keep her title.

Okay back to my online holiday shopping binge. I might even get this shit on time this year. Hopefully some music tonight.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Show Me the Way To Go Home



Greetings
Anyone wanna tell me why it was 60 fucking degrees outside today? in December? I swear we used to have, you know, bizzards n' shit about this time just a few years ago. I suppose I shouldn't complain, but as someone who actually factors a great deal of his laziness on the aversion of the winter chill I've grown so used to experiencing, I have to say I'm at a bit of a loss. Damnit now I'm gonna have to start being productive and the like. Meh.
So I'm officially allowed to begin celebrating the holidays now. Not that I have, mind you, but I'm open to watching xmas specials and not wishing instant paralysis on people in those santa hats. They still bother the shit out of me, but around this time of year it goes from everyone else being stupid to my being especially humbuggish. I don't mind it, really. The point is that I might post some real live Christmas songs around the weekend.
I was reading this morning about how Mary Read (among other female pirates) was forced to conceal her gender from her shipmates on account of women being bad luck at sea. I was thinking about how fascinating that whole idea is, a woman pretending to be a man among some of the most filthy and coarse men that ever lived, only to later fall in love with another woman who had formerly been under the exact same circumstance. Granted, those circumstances were a lot more common back then. Anyway, to be honest it was kind of a shitty read. I find that more often than not reading about life at sea is slightly less boring than actually living at sea. But it was such a cool premise that I was thinking I might be able to adapt it for something I was working on. I sat and wrote for a few hours until I finally thought I'd come up with something so spectacular and unique that I was really proud of myself. Until I thought about it for a few more minutes and realized that it wasn't terribly unique; that I had written the story of Billy Tipton.
I read about Billy Tipton a few years ago in one of the thousands of "strange facts" books that my mother has given to me since I was a kid. It is far more interesting than anything I'd ever come up with, so I'd recommend reading reading that instead of whatever else I'm gonna come up with here. Soo my story feel into shit, but at least you got a fun little read out of it, right?
You'd think I'd be posting "I'm a Boy" here, but alas I already did it.
I've got this weird thing about Mull Historical Society. I get so annoyed with some of his work, and then every time I'm set to outright hate his music, a song comes up that I totally get and the next thing I know I find myself listening to the rest of the album, which also annoys me until I get to the next song. Grr. Anywho, this is one of the ones I like.

"Instead" - Mull Historical Society
Buy Loss here.
Visit Mull here to piss off Colin McIntyre

I used to be a massive Superchunk fan. I guess I still am, though I greatly prefer their early albums to their later ones. And because of this, I still check out every Portastatic album as it comes out, though I haven't really enjoyed one in some time. My ipod fucking loves this song. Seriously, in the last week, it's popped up on randomly at least ten times. I wish I was even making that up. I didn't even like this song at first, it just sort of sat there. But now it's in my head and what can I do? Hopefully it'll be in your head too.

"Song for a Clock" - Portastatic

Order Be Still Please here.

The difference between the rich and the megarich.

Some scary new statistics.

The picture at the top is Elle Shields, a famous male impersonator.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

TELL ME POLONIUM DON'T LOOK LIKE POO


Damnit I’m still looking for a picture of this camouflaged battleship, and damned if I can’t find it anywhere. And of course I have no idea now where I would’ve seen it (contrary to what this flirting obsession of mine might have you believe, I’m not a military buff or anything). The point is, rappers are gonna be wearing that shit in a year and I want a cut. So yeah, once again, my crap memory has me wishing I still had the book collection I had in middle school. I suppose I should be happy that I got to see it in the first place, but fuck that. From now on I’m just gonna cut whatever image I like out of a book or off a billboard or whatever and carry it around with me from now on. Either that or sue google. For a job. I’m convinced that Google will be the last of those internet companies that treat their workers retardedly well and have espresso machines at every third desk and have free backrubs and thousand dollar ergonomic chairs. I shouldn’t complain, because my current office allows dogs and always has beer in the fridge, but you know what I’m saying. Or not. I don’t know, what am I, Kreskin?
So has everyone been following the whole Tim Johnson thing? It’s pretty odd that in most of the major newspapers it was buried on like page 19, yet the blogs were freaking out today like Heinrich Himmler were getting ready to rise from the ground, licking his bloodthirsty chops in anticipation of gaining control of the Senate*
I don’t wanna be the one pissing all over the liberal parade here, but the conservatives haven’t really lost control of the Senate. The neocons might have lost control, but that might even be pushing it. There’s far more blue dog democrats than truly moderate republicans. Having one vote on the GOP means sweet fuck all in all but the most meaningless of votes (i.e. the strict party lines ones). Remember that there were Dems that voted to suspend habeus corpus. And there were Dems that voted to push Alito through. I’m happy and grateful that Senator Johnson is recovering well, but seriously people, stop spazzing out over this.
Instead, you should be thinking about how cool live with a shaving cream warmer would be.

Or wondering how many idiots have destroyed their television with a Wii already**. Can we rename this thing yet? Nintendo, I love you. You probably stunted my growth by about 4 inches along with cigarettes, but Wii is a stupid fucking name and how that got past you boggles the mind.

I don’t have anything else right now because the computer I’m currently typing this on is pretty ancient and I can’t even get it to read the files on the CDs I’m putting in as MP3s. So maybe I’ll post something later when I send Ricky that Cat Power stuff. In the meantime, though, I’m gonna have about seven work beers and get the hell out of here.

I've been listening to this William Eliott Whitmore album all day and it's fucking great. This and the Slayer box set have dominated my past day of listening. Hey, I gotta get Jesus Christ Superstar outta my head somehow, right?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh...

and did I mention that my ipod just got erased for the second time since... the last time I whined about this? WHAT THE BALLS IS THAT ABOUT?

Better late than ever



I spent about 2 hours last night trying to upload these effing songs with little luck, since it seems that I can connect to the internet from my house right now for about 60 seconds at a time. It kinda sucks, as you can imagine, and I stopped before I was pushed to hitting an elderly handicapped lady with my laptop. So yeah, my apologies on that.
Blockhead probably gets all sorts of Shadow comparisons, just like anyone else that makes instrumental hip-hop. and I supposer they're valid. I think that Blockhead sounds a lot more like Shadow's later work (as opposed to, say, RJD2's earlier Shadow. and Phil Collins). He does that large instrumental sound with the occasional weird-ass dialogue samples. I remember the biggest deal about Music by Cavelight was that he'd been signed to Ninja Tune without ever having performed a live show and some people were pissed about that. Fuck that. I don't need to see this guy's live show to appreciate this at all. Apparently he's gotten a lot better with his performance since then, for what it's worth. His last album, last year's Downtown Science, is one of the only NY albums that I can remember in a while that's strictly a Manhattan album. I was starting to forget that musicians even lived in Manhattan anymore. So good for him. Even stranger is how much I love to drive to this album. Because driving in Manhattan makes me want to drive into a Sbarro's or something. I'm sure it works for walking around as well, though.
The strange thing about Blockhead with me it that the more I listen to his albums, the more I realize how much i can't stand Aesop Rock's production. I mean, I think the guy's top knotch at what he does, as long as he lets this dude produce him. I was thinking about his last few albums and the only tracks that I can really get into are Blockhead's. I support you for trying out your own stuff Aes, I respect that. But let your boy do some more work! I wanted to post a few from his first album, but it looks like that one went missing at some point. A dollor for anyone who can tell me who I lent it to.

"Expiration Date" - Blockhead
"The Art of Walking" - Blockhead
"The First Snowfall" - Blockhead

Buy Downtown Science here.


American accent guides are fucking expensive.

Oh, and how 'bout this shit?
Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way -- by using Google
(sigh)

some links because I read too much today:
Frank Kozik toys are great
Prison system: fucked!
More people adopt dogs than girls in China.

Tomorrow: Jesus Christ Superstar.

In which I ruminate to a frightening degree on the musical (and subsequent movie adaptation of)



Jesus Christ Superstar. I'm not really big into musicals (as evidenced by my rambling on about HMS Pinafore and The Music Man from time to time), but something about the original recording of this one this one slays me. Possibly due to that this -and a few blues songs- were the only things that ever made me pick up the bible until I took a course on it in college. It might be because Murray Head delivers one of my favorite vocal performances of all time that wasn't in a Warner Brothers' cartoon. Actually, I wanted to splice together an MP3 of just his lines* to post, but piles of laundry and fighting prevented me from doing so. Besides, I don't think anyone wants to read about JCS, much less listen to it. Maybe I'll post some Swell Maps tonight if I can get an internet connection for long enough, but no music for now. If you really want that thing drop me an email and I'll post it later.
Anyway, back to the album. Aside from Head, Deep Purple's Ian Gillian pretty much nails it as Jesus (HA GET IT??!!!), and the part where Pontius Pilate screams at Jesus still gets to me. I honestly can't recall any person in rock putting that much into a vocal take. Also, the recording has that great guitar work and weird bridges in the songs that it makes you forget that half of it sounds like it was recorded by a mindless cult of brainwashed hippies**. I don't listen to it often, but it's still something I can pop in and not feel completely embarrassed by***. I've had people find out my shamed love for this and recommend all sorts of crap, from Hair to Godspell. To which I always respond the same way. "Fuck off. Seriously."
On the radically opposite end of things, the movie remains hilariously entertaining, even if with little exception the performance as a whole is awful. But let's face it, that shit is fucking weird. It's like every bad cliche of the 70's all balled into this black hole. It's like the Tommy movie only on slightly less drugs! Well, I'm not that sure about that. I mean, we all know that the Roman Centurions did wear pink tank tops, but how are we not supposed to think that everyone is smoking heroin in that movie? I mean, you've got the gang all singing in an underground cave and following the doped-up hippie who's in love with a prostitute. You've got the high priests wearing some shit on their heads. and Herod? Actually, that shit still cracks me up. and what about the market scene? Hippies and their drugs. I could go on about the production values of this movie forever, but the point is that it's really, really hard without referencing the Mr. Show parody, which still makes me giggle my ass off. Seriously, I'm laughing at it right now as I type this.
So yeah, this was on the other night (spurning this post you're reading) and, watching it for the first time in years, noticed something I never picked up before. The guy who plays Herod was the principle in Billy Madison. He's in a whole bunch of other stuff, but how fucking hilarious is that? He doesn't even look that much different, but it was his voice that gave it away. I've got sort of a knack for voice identification, you see. My only knack outside of driving in reverse.
Some IMDBing revealed the following:
-This was the last movie Norman Jewisen made before Rollerball. Wha huh?
-the man who plays Pontius Pilate's other claim to fame is that he was schtupping Barbara Streisand when she was 17.
-Carl Anderson (who played Judas in the movie) received death threats up until his death in 2004.
-the guy who played Jesus... is still playing Jesus.
Also, the musical itself has a shocking death rate for people that accidently hang themselves playing Judas Iscatiot. How metal is that?
Shit, I wanted to get how awkward the casting must have been and how awesome the guy who played Simon's hair is during that one number of the movie, but I guess that's up to you to remember or go find out, because I've just spent waaay too much time thinking about this. So yeah, maybe I'll post those songs tonight if I get back from dinner with my parents early enough.

*Sadly, I've done this before, for a tape in 1994. the current whereabouts of said tape are unknown.
** Note: Contact Tim DeLaughter about re-recording this. Fine print in contract to make sure that I get a cut of the royalties. and not that 23 member band shit. I want a chunk.
***This is not true. This is probably the only CD I don't like to listen to in the car. Especially with other people.

I really really want to buy Chinese-Born American, but won't do so until after xmas. But I recommend it to everyone. Monkey King!

Also, Soy makes you gay!

I've been looking for this pattern of Naval Camouflage all morning but can't find it. I'm worried I must've dreamt it up. Shit. Anyways, Naval Camouflage is really fucking interesting, largely because it's mased more around tricking the brain more than the eyes. They used all these seemingly retarded patterns (I have no idea to what effect they worked) and I suppose continue to experiment with it today. There's an interesting article here, but I'm still gonna keep looking for this one picture, because by page 19 of a google search on "Naval Camouflage", I still haven't seen anything like it. It's something like this though:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinochet is dead.

Good. That's terrible, I know. But that motherfucker deserves far worse than house arrest for a few years. I have nothing but contempt for leaders that do the sort of things to their people that he did, and I've got nothing but shame for being from a country that put that shitheel into power. That's how we spread freedom; by overthrowing democratically elected leaders and letting their replacements fucking murder people. You know, that's bad enough. But how is Kissinger still advising the leaders of this country? How is that guy not in a cell? That guy should've been devoured by a plague-like swarm of Jiminy Crickets conjured into existence by the black hole of karma that that man carries around with him? Remember that Disney xmas special? Where's that little bastard when you need him. He goes after cheap bosses but not war criminals? Straighten out your priorities, little man.
I just wanted to check in because my mobile posts are not working anymore, but seem to be going to someone else's little dealie. what the shit is that? Hopefully, I'll have resolved the problem by this afternoon. I'll probably post some Blockhead songs later today because those albums have been playing constantly in Cobra-La. ad because that's all I have in front of my right now.

Question: Would it be funnier to fork-stab a drunken, groping Santa Claus or to taser him? Personally, I think a taser -what with the smoking beard and convulsions- but that might just be my irrational dislike of Santas. and electricity.
I love forks though.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Winterproofing

I'm working on a post, but it'll be a while before I finish it. It's gonna be a long day.

Penguin Freud - Mono

Buy Formica Blues here.

Fog now, though, my favorite Onion byline ever: Winterized pet.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Hurtful J. Cavity!"

It's goddamned freezing outside. Seriously, I wanna sleep in the office tonight just to prevent having to dig a tunnel home. I just walked down to the post office and had to endure that hell, but the highlight was that as I was walking back, I stopped into the dollar store wondering if they had toothpaste because I ran out at work. Not only did they have toothpaste, but they had Aim,
which I'm certain I haven't seen in years, and I just assumed they stopped making it. This was sort of sad for me, because in addition to having some of the best commercials that the mid-80s had to offer, I love the logo design. It's not often that I notice that sort of thing, because I have the attention span of a jittery squirrel, but when I do notice this sort of thing, it tends to stick with me*. I had a book once as a kid that showed how all these household products are made and packaged, and I must've read it a couple times at least, but the two things that stuck out the most in my brain were the pictures of Aim getting put into the tubes and the making of Girl Scout Samoas. In retrospect, it was really cool and I wish I had held on to that Time/Life book. I guess I should be pretty psyched that they didn't show me how they make chicken nuggets or whatever.
Anyway, this begged the question of is it wise to use potentially inferior and probably expired** dental care products out of some misguided brand loyalty based on design and commercial scheme from my childhood? Of course not. I mean, I'm not a complete idiot. But this is only for my work brushing and my nagging urges to support companies that aren't monopolizing their respective businesses. but I've mentioned this before. Sadly, googling "AIM" brings up these happy little fellows:
Air to air missiles, instead of happy toothpaste or happy Native American interest groups. Come to think of it, I don't know how happy those guys are. I don't blame 'em.
So this is one of my favorite songs of all time. Yep. Another one. This one was in fact unreleased up intil 1998 or something, and the version that was released sort of sucked balls. It wasn't terrible, and it definitely served to remind me that I had (and still have) a cassette that I dubbed from the radio one day while cutting school in 1995 and heard they were going to play this lost recording from the Main Point in Bryn Mawr in the early 70s*** . I sat at home missing an English test so I could record 4 songs to surprise my dad with. I've never told him about that, though I'm sure he's pieced it together from the anounders repeatedly saying "coming up at 1 o'clock!". To this day, I've never been more excited to give someone a present in my life. I don't know if I'll ever surpass that.
I ran that tape into the ground. I dubbed it like 6 times so I wouldn't lose it. When my tapes became obsolete (outside of my car), I'd just figured I was screwed. But I found this the other night and wigged out.
This version is a bit earlier from the one I remember, though is practically a clone with the exception of what I think are female backing vocals on this one. It's a silly, dancing song with an absurdly long guitar solo and what might be the greatest introductions of a band ever. These are always different, and I can't imagine how much time Bruce spent with a notebook thinking "what the hell can I say about Danny tonight?". In any case, I can't hear a live version of this song without fucking beaming. It reminds me of going to a park and dancing at night to a car radio with an old girlfriend. and it reminds me of how great it feels to have the perfect gift for someone that wasn't about money, but didn't come easy.
"Thundercrack" (live) - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
that song is huge, so I had to put it on sendspace. Someone holler at me if the link expires and I'll re-up it.

I bought this album because of the Go! Team connection, but I fucking hated the single and thought that I had just wasted some money. But the rest of it has grown on me and I this song has been entertaining the hell out of me while doing dishes and in the car, so it's gotta be good, right? Those are pretty much the greatest tests you can give music. So yeah.
"Monster" - Ladyfuzz
Buy Kerfuffle here.




*Mental note: make list, greatest product logos of all time. post. Compare with others.
**It turns out that they still make Aim, though I can't determine on what kind of scale.
*** This was from a different show than the Beach Boys cover I posted awhile back. But check out the memory on you!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Carrot Top = diplomacy?


I'm really confused right now, because they gave me sweet & sour sauce with my crab rangoon. What's up with that? Is this normal? I almost never eat this outside of the joint in Pitttsburgh, because it's so fucking good there that it just makes everything else taste like cat pee. But when a fella craves faux-Chinese food, he goes across the street to the shithole for some fried cream cheese and imitation crabmeat. What can ya do?
It's been a very, very rough couple of days, and while I might spill it all out right here, I won't because a)you don't deserve that and b)Im not sure I'm capable of it. Needless to say, things are stressing me out. On top of that, AM radio is fucking psycho, Polonuim 210 is in my cigarettes (seriously?), and Arlen Specter is still doin that shimmy. 2 to 1 he gets reelected in 2 years.
on a much happier note, the mustachioed witch of the east is stepping the fuck down after sneaking his way into the back door of the UN to grandstand and piss everyone off for the past 15 months without approval. So we all got that going for us, let's hope we don't fuck it up. I suggest sending in that delightful Carrot Top* to replace him so we can get everyone laughing again. My feelings on the UN are mixed at best, but I still don't want that dick being my rep there, you know? Also, I just put the greatest Conan biever t that didn't involve a masturbating bear onto my ipod. and it's been cracking me up all morning. Watch/download it here.

I lost or gave away this Ron Sexsmith at some point and I really started missing it a few months ago. It's a great album, possibly my favorite of his, though he hasn't really made an album I didn't like (except maybe Retriever, which I'm also missing). But I still distinctly remember putting this CD in and being so knocked out by the first two songs (below, in order) that I was trying to shove it off on everyone I knew. and I wonder how I lost it. Anyways, here I am four years later doint the exact same thing. So much for growing up.
I'm looking now and seriously thinking about buying every Trailer Park Boys episode ever on DVD. Someone convince me it's not worth $230. Speaking of which, I wonder if Ron Sexsmith speaks with a heavy Canadian accent. Probably not.

"Former Glory" - Ron Sexsmith


"These Days" - Ron Sexsmith
Buy Cobblestone Runway here.

*yes, I opted for a pic of the pre-mutant strength CT. I want to sleep in the next week, thanks.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I've been trying all night to send pics from the Army/Navy game, with zero luck. I've also been trying to make sense of whe stuff I wrote last night and lost before saving. I'm left with a single phrase, dusty, crippled hope. and it's up to me to figure out what the fuck I meant by that. I really like it, but seriously, I need to start setting myselff up better than that. Any help might be appreciated. might.

For now, though, I'm watching Dave Chappelle interview Maya Angelou, which is effing awesome. And for me, that's pretty much the best I can get. love y'all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Bigfoot Vs. Yeti
















































It's totally obvious who would win this thing. I mean come on, the Bigfoot talks n' shit! The Yeti is just some dumbass bear. Thanks for nothing, Tibet. No wonder China hates you guys so much. None of this matters, though, because it's obvious that neither of these cryptozoological powerhouses could hold a candle to the might of the motherfuckin' Kraken.

Also, this menehune wikipedia antry cracks me up:
In Hawaiian mythology, the menehune [pronounced meh-nay-HOO-nay] are said to be a people, sometimes described as small in size, who live in the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian islands, far from the eyes of normal humans. Their favorite food is the mai'a (banana).
They're favorite food? are you kidding me? Was someone analyzing their droppings? Hawaii's new state slogan should be "just because we're over 2,000 miles away, but still just as retarded as the rest of the country".

I've tried to reformat this twice so the pictures line up, but that shit ain't happening. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stupid Garbage Water



Shitty day in a shitty week. I'm gonna keep this to a short post sinceI just, literally as I sat down to write this, managed to a trash bag I was taking out (as a favor) explode garbage water and what appears to be a mixture of raw egg and sawdust all over the place. Once again, I wish I was making this up. As I was running it out to the dumpster trying not to spill the rest of it, I came awfully close to stepping on a dead bird in the alley. It goes without saying that I no longer have any desire to eat my lunch. I'm gonna post some pictures from last weekend instead. Here's some fun stuff to check out, though.
Here's an article that points out that while US casualties are way down in the Iraq war (keyword being US), injuries are at a much higher rate. Largely due to the roadside bombings, no doubt. Said articvle also notes that Iraq war veterans with a far greater sense of venerability than Vietnam vets were 40 years ago. I take a certain amount of pride in my generation for that, but then I realized that a lot of that has to do with the press and the fact that although we're commiting our fair share of atrocities over there. There hasn't been anything like a My Lai (and if there was, would we even hear about it) covered in the press to change the public opinion. Which also has me wondering if the mainstream press has that much of a hold over us. Apparently so.
Anyway, watching this and this were enough to remind me why people were so pissed when they returned back then. They were still wrong to blame all vets, but shit like this is inexcusable, and since they are representing this country of ours, it makes me sick to my stomach. This isn't the sort of thing they can pass off as following orders, or necessary to maintain order. This is just being fucking ridiculous and they deserve to be punished for it. It wouldn't surprise me if that by the time we were out of this whole thing, Iraq veterans were having to put up with a lot more grief. It wouldn't be right, but then you'd have assholes like these to thank for it.
In the only good news I have of the day, the zombies are fighting back in Minneapolis, which might be the greatest news story of the year.

This song is most recognizable for being sampled on the Wu Tang Clan's "Tearz", but it's a great fucking song in its own right. I could've sworn I'd already posted it here, and I'm sorta happy it offers me an easy way out today.
"After Laughter" (Comes Tears)" - Wendy Rene
Buy Shaolin Soul here
another song I thought I already posted (laziest poster ever) is this version of a John Prine classic, played in London by R.E.M. and Billy Bragg. Stipe's voice is especially whiny here and it's obvious they're taking some liberties with the lyrics, but it nonetheless remains a favorite of mine. When I was a kid, my one of my brothers bought a bootleg of this show (entitled after their fictional personas that night) called Bingo Hand Job. It's a great show and still stands as testament of R.E.M.'s great live show of the era. This song remains my favorite point of that show, and it always makes me feel a little bit better or a little bit worse, depending on where I'm trying to go with hit.
"Hello in There" - R.E.M. and Billy Bragg
This last song is because I've been thinking about that last Walkmen album a lot today. Namely, that though I absolotely love their first album and really enjoyed their second album, I still haven't heard a note of their most recent one, despite having bought it months ago. Music's funnylike that. Anyway, this is from their split EP with Calla. Buy it here.
"Look Out the Window" - The Walkmen

okay, the pics will come later, I'm having trouble gettting them from the phone to the computer.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Oh...



get your ass over here and download a free Cat Power show. Because Everyone loves Cat Power, so why can't you? It's from the other night and the horns are with her.
Seriously, there's something about Chan Marshall that's downright adorable*, and despite her unpredictability of a live show, she can totally knock the fucker right out of the park on a good night. When I started relabelling my ipod with new genres (I know how pathetic that sounds, thanks), I made a whole category for live Cat Power. Partly because I was making a big fancy dinner for my parents and I figured that would make a good sonic backdrop, and partly because I knew that after I'd had a few beers I was gonna want to go back and listen to it again. and I did. so yeah, who loves you baby?

* I have a heavy crush on Ms. Marshall's music. This is common with a lot of guys I know, but unlike, say, their obsession with Neko Case, I don't really find her physically attractive. She reminds me of an old friend's little sister. Her voice, though, is one of the sexiest on the planet.

I ALSO HAVE A HAM RADIO


I hope everyone had a stellar holiday. Terribly sorry for the absence, but to be fair, I've been trying to send 3 or 4 different pictures since early Wednesday morning with no luck at all. I'll try to set up a little montage tonight, buty to be perfectly honest I don't know if I'll be awake past 8. I had what can only be described as one of the most relaxing weekends of all time. Very little that took place before saturday night consisted anything that would fall outside of sleeping and eating. I did get to see the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, which I've wanted to check out for years now. I wasn't disappointed. It wasn't exactly a feelgood spot, but it offered a lot of insight into one of the most tragic events in our nation's history. I enjoeyed it mostly because of my amateur history buff status, but that isn't to day I didn't enjoy it because of the way it illustrates how dangerous the extremely wealthy can be in their pursuits to those around (or in this case, below) them. Also, the movie they show in the museum (and this is a national park, mind you) was the most terrifying shit I've seen since Cannibal Holocaust. Seriously!
Also got to listen to a great book on tape - essays by David Foster Wallace. I've read a good amount of it before, but I have to admit it was a little unsettling to listen to him talk for about 2 hours about every possible aspect of the world of porn. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting, and I certainly learned a lot, but it's always a little awkward to pull up to a toll booth and the guy in there overhears the phrase "triple penetration sex scene" proadcast out of your stereo. Still, it was a great way to help the mind-numbing hell of the Pennsylvania Turnpike fly by.
So yeah, I had a nice, relaxing weekend and was so well rested last night. I mean seriously, I was actually calmed down and everything, didn't really drunk for most of the weekend, didn't check up on any politics, I was doooown. Even decided to go to bed early last night so I'd be ready to go back to work. But somehow that wasn't gonna happen for me. I got about 2 hrs sleep while tossing and turning the rest of the night. So the whole relaxing weekend was for naught. FOR NAUGHT I SAY!!! Not only that, but I left my phone at home, along with the fucking stack of hospital bills I'm almost too afraid to take notice of, and I'm pretty sure i lost the dry-cleaning ticket that I need to get my tux before Thursday. So yeah, balls.
But I'm not gonna dwell on that, I just figured I'd whine for a minute. I did have a great holiday, and got to see an old friend the other night, so that was nice.
Anyways, how about this: for a small fee (I dunno, $4?), you would receive, instead of a check, your weekly (or bimonthly) pay would come in the form of cash, stuffed in a piƱata. I think that is the greatest fucking idea EVER, and I'm going to die trying to bring it to fruition.
Anywho, remember way back before garage bands were like this kooky revivalist thing to do? Remember when they were earnest in the late 60s and the lack of talent was made up for in intensity and enthusiasm? Well, go back before that, to the age of the proto-garage band; Menster Phip and the Phipsters. This "band" was basically one guy on a cheap guitar, backed by whomever he could round up to hammer away on other (often homemade) instruments. They'd bash their way thought classics and standards of the time, shouting into the mic and barely maing themselves audible over the racket. I first heard about this record in a Trouser Press review about 10 years ago, and spent the next 4 trying to find this. This was way back when your humble correspondant wasn't as interweb-saavy as he is today, and had to handwrite the Telstar label to get this sent tocan happen with a couple of marginally talented guy, instruments, and the sheer boredom it would take to star a band like this. Anyways, here's four songs because they're a bit shorter than usual.

"Daddy Wants a Cold Beer" - Menster Phip & the Phipsters
"Zither Row" - Menster Phip & the Phipsters
"Scramblin'" - Menster Phip & the Phipsters
"Sing a Song All Day Long" - Menster Phip & the Phipsters

Buy Phip City! here.

and for the hell of it, here's a Sam Flores piece I've been thinking about all day:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving night

People here leave their cigarettes outside of every store like this. Cracks me up

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Holy shit what a miserable day. I was stuck ion traffic until about noon because I had to run back to Cobra-La, dig out a credit card I was finally close to paying off and get a cash advance to put into my bank account so I wouldn't get a mindraping amount of overdraft fees. Then I got into work and discovered that the sesame chicken I'd brought in with me had been left out and probably went south. and now I'm preparing to drive across the state in a fucking nor'easter. Normally, I'd be pretty upset about this, but considering this is one of the two nights a year that I don't wanna be anywhere near a fucking bar (a/k/a amateur night), I should probably be happy I get to catch up on some new music and some time to think. I know it sounds priggish of me to say that, but seriously, I'm too damned old to be spending time in an overcrowded bar filled with college kids that can't handle their liquor, spill shit and start fights. The best bar nights are the ones where you have a group of friends, some good conversation, and some quality music. Not where you're shouting over def leppard or some shit while some frat boy pukes in the stall next to you. Fuck that. Save your money.
Before I dump off some music and run out of here, though, I wanted to mention the dream I had last night. I'm not sure if it was because of the late run to the bar last night or because I'm still reading about that UCLA student that got the shit tasered out of him, but I had a dream that I woke up and was getting yelled at, but I didn't know what since I was comfortable and in bed. It turned out I had been woken up or something and walked out on my front porch and thrown an apple (there's about 20 of them rotting in my kitchen) at the car that woke me. Well, there were flashing lights and I thought it was a cop, so I ran off into the woods or something. It turned out it was a taxi, but I kept running because in my dreams I'm stupid. Anyways, I guess I kept running until my heart was about to burst and eventually came across a cop car, who figured I was running from something for a reason, so they tasered me. That was about all my fat little heart could take and I had a heart attack right there. So then they used the tasers to shock me back to life.....
Now, even in my dream I was thinking "they why the hell am I sitting in bed and not at a hospital. and how do i not remember this? I wasn't even drunk when I went to bed". But I felt guilty nonetheless. and that's when I woke up. It was 6AM and ther was a squirrel perched on a tree right outside the window, staring at me. I think the woodland creatures of my yeard have the power to control my dreams. yeah, scary.
Anyways, I hope you all yeah, the whole lot of you) have a good holiday. Enjoy the food and friends and family. I'll be reading and avoiding conversation all weekend. But please, don't forget the whole point of this holiday. Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful for what surrounds you and who you love and who loves you. Be grateful for your pets and pulse and all the little things in life. It's easy to get pissed off, and it's easy to take the things that make you happy for granted. But not tomorrow. In a way, that's why it's the most important holiday. It's non-denominational, and simply says "shut up for a second and appreciate what you have". and don't forget to do just that. for all the whining I do here (especially these past few days), it is still far outweighed by the things I'm thankful to have in my life every single day. Not the least of all being the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. yeah, laugh now, assholes. or should I say blockheads.


"Ma Jolie" - Bear Vs. Shark

"Goodnight, Thanks You" - Mek Obaam
yeah, I didn't think it was that great either. I mean fuck it, why go halfway?

Monday, November 20, 2006

how to Deal


So yeah, a late post today. I've been running my ass ragged because of the short week, and I'm writing this out for the second time now because my computer just freaked out on me. So I'm not making this a long one because I'm getting more and more cranky just sitting in front of this thing.
Which reminds me (Thanksgiving, not my being cranky). I'm not gonna be near a wireless connection between Wednesday and Monday, so you'll have to do without my pissing and moaning for a few days longer than normal. Insert my typically faux-glib commentary here. I don't think you're gonna be terrible crushed, especially watching football and passively enjoying your little turkey comas. I too enjoy the turkey coma. I don't normally eat turkey, largely for that reason. But thanksgiving is one of the few times that I allow myself the luxury of not thinking I need to be alert enough to evade homicidal maniacs, government agents, and Charles Grodin. It's pretty nice. I might even try some cranberry sauce for the first time. and them vomit it all over the yard.
In far more interesting news, a few minutes I opened up a bill for sitting on a bench for an hour, then having a doctor tell me I should take some antibiotics and come back in the morning. This is supposed to cost me $1,273.00. No shit. The good part though is that I've got a cool $70 in my bank account, a couple grand in debt, and a freshly broken car. So this is pretty awesome. To be honest, it doesn't really bother me. Money is money and it's something I told mysel is not worrying about a long time ago. Besides, I'll call the hospital and insurance companies tomorrow, throw a fit, and get some of that knocked back (prediction: I pay $650) and call it a day. No, what pisses me off is that I've got fucking health insurance. Blech.
Yeah, I said it. Blech. If you're strategically trying to figure out how to turn me into a drunker, angrier little man, then I'd recommend meeting up with these guys. Now I'm gonna go drink some scotch and order Charlie Brown DVDs off the internet until I feel better about myself and family-oriented holidays as I understand them.
So this sounds odd, but I might be the only person I know who just wants this Pixies reunion to b over with so that Kim Deal can put out another Breeders album. Don't get me wrong, I love the Pixies, but it's been awhile since those guys have recorded together and I don't know how that would've changed the dynamic of their sound or even whether or not I'd still be into them. The last Breeders album, though, fucking blew me away. It has the same raw, hoarse charm that I've grown to love in the Deals, and the peronnel changes only added more to the lineup. I'm part of a less vocal minority, to be sure, but I truly love this album. It's one of those rare albums I call "fun" that doesn't also bear the "irrepressibly gay" tag. Which can be completely awesome, too. But sometimes you're like "hmm, I with there were twins, one of them pickled drunk and the other in recovery, singing to me about being fucked up". and that's when you reach for this beauty.

"Little Fury" - The Breeders
"Off You" - The Breeders
"T and T" - The Breeders
Buy Title TK here.

oh, and googling "drunk twins" isn't the easiest way to find a picture of the Deals.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

a not so quick note.

had a fire going all night, a bottle of wine, and I got to watch that Minutemen doc I've been putting off for a while. It was incredible, and I already know I'm gonna listen to them all day tomorrow. There are just so many things about that band that continue to impress me, and this movie reminded me of all of them. A curious note, though: is it me or is every single one of those founding fathers of the LA punk scene now hippies, nerds, hoboes or John Doe?
I just watched the Bill Maher show. I don't really go out of my way to watch this normally for a few reasons, not the least of which being that I tend to get really annoyed by Maher's smug tone and propensity for shitheel comments. But I happened across it a few minutes ago and overheard Tom Morello say that he was appalled that people weren't in the streets with pitchforks. I should preface this with the fact that Tom Morello was responsible for me reading several books in high school that I would've never picked up otherwise, but I was sort of jarred by this statement. I mean, I at least hope to think that fo a large part, American society for has learned something from the nonviolent protests that were so instrumental for people like Gandhi and Dr. King. I'm sure this isn't close to true, but I like to think that there's little hope stemming from a violent conflict when about half of the country at least believes that they firmly support the actions of those who are in power. Call me an idealist, but I still think that this is the proper outlet to air my grievances. I don't think that it's working largely because of a) the suppression of dissent that the current state of affairs lends itself to, and b) the refusal of the mainstream American media to report said grievances. Not mine in particular, but let's face it; I am not a radical. I think that there's a sizable portion of the country that doesn't want to see a country that can't afford medical coverage or that suspends the writ of habeas corpus. The elections have proved that the majority of us oppose the need for waging unnecessary wars. But still, there is a sizable portion of people that feel otherwise. This is a harder issue than that which Mandela turned to violence against. There isn't a side here as morally reprehensible as the racism that applied to South Africa, only the tactics which are used. I can understand wanting to secure our borders. I cannot find fault the mindset that wants our enemies abroud quelled. But I do not agree with attacking these problems like a third grader with a clubhouse or eying up bag lunches. Everyone needs a voice, no matter how ridiculous. and the consensus can vote on it. I should be afforded the same rights as Kraft foods or ExxonMobil, right?
I don't know, I don't mean to rant like this, it's just some thoughts. Since I started writing this, I've been watching this interesting old movie that I first heard about a few years ago and am kinda digging, so I might have lost my steam a bit. Please apologize any pretension or typos that might've been contained within.
Anyways, the main reason why I logged on 28 minutes ago was to point out that Patton Oswalt has just discovered a sheer point of hilaritythat I can legitimately say I've known abut for years. and it is every bit as hilarious as he described it. I still consider that DVD the greatest free thing I've ever received. Unless you coun t love and respect and that shit.

Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Music

Friday, November 17, 2006

I got the feeling


So when I got home last night, the power was out. This isn't exactly shocking, considering how hard it was raining and the fact that Cobra-La is wired into a power grid that runs on a single D battery. So yeah, that kinda sucked. I had just bought all this bread and cheese and stuff, too. So instead of making a grilled cheese sandwich like I wanted to, I did what any reasonable person would do when facing a power outage. I started a giand fire and cooked some pizza in my fireplace. In retrospect, I probably should've just tried making that grilled cheese after all, because the pizza sucked. It was warm, though.
I've been watching these guys across the street from where I work trying to set up this giant christmas tree for about 4 hours now. It's actually been one of the most hilarious things I've seen in awhile, because they'vetaken about 20 cigarette and potato chip breaks, and the thing is really no better off now than it was when I got here at 9:15. The only noticable difference, really, is that there's more empty bags of chips in the street and fewer people. Normally, I'm a huge opponent of this pre-emptive celebration of the holidays, because it really just prolongs the amount of time people are reminded about the shitty aspects of the season. I think this should all be held off until 1 week before christmas, at which point everyone can launch into a tighter, more concentrated bust of holiday spirit. Wouldn't that be nicer? Wouldn't it be great if I could go a year without having Tim Allen or Matthew Broderick or whoever not fucking annoy me to the point of jabbing at my brain with a darning needle? I think if elected to any sort of position of power, that'd be my first item of business. I mean it's not like people can't buy the presents and wait in line like a psycho for 11 hours buying their kids a present they'll have broken or forgotten about a month later. I just think we should hold off on the decorations and annoying santa hats and shit. Oh, and for the love of god, why not delay the christmas specials until December? Oddly enough, I'm a huge fan of them. Probably because they're mostly cartoons or whatever (It's a Wonderful Life = BLOWS. Sorry Jimmy), but I'm a sucker for the Charlie Browns, the Grinches, the Fat Alberts, and of course the greatest christmas special ever: Claymation. Hell, I'll even go for the Heathcliff chrismas special or even the Rudolph one (which to this day gives me the creeps for some reason; probably the inherently coked-up nature of Yukon Cornelius or the fact that herbie the elf is the worst character ever comitted to stop motion animation). But I don't ever get to see this shit. Because they show them all on the night after Thanksgiving. what kind of wrongheaded shit is that?
Wow. I had no idea I had that much of a rant in me. Well, maybe I did because I make the same one every year, but still I had an entirely different topic to write about. Oh well.
Anyhow, since it's friday and even though I'm planning on the quietest, relaxing weekend possible, I figure some of you are probably ready to fucking party. Who am I kidding, I'll probably end up at the bar without even realizing how I got there. I'll have sleepwalked (sleptwalked?) to the bar. Is there a past tense to sleepwak? So here's some James Brown to put you on that way. and yes, I know that that James Brown video has been done to death, but I still laugh (and mourn) a little every time I see it. Just stay away from the man's bathroom.

"Night Train" - James Brown
"Let Yourself Go" [unedited version] - James Brown
"Bring It Up (Hipster's Avenue)"[unedited version] - James Brown

Buy Star Time here.
you know what I really hate right know? Is eating an apple that has one tiny nasty spot that you try to eat around, but end up getting anyway.

Ever wonder what it would be like if Hunter S. Thompson was still alive, more threatening, and a newspaper reporter in the future? Go check out the first issue of Transmetro for free to find out what Spider Jerusalem's all about.

Thursday, November 16, 2006




I think I'd probably like these photos regardless, but the fact that they're from 1911 and 1913 just makes them super awesome. that is all.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I've spent all day listening to podcasts. Seriously, outside of a single Tom Waits song and some Jesus & Mary Chain driving in, I haven't listened to a note of music all day. I can't even recall the last time this happened. I can't help it though. I just found a vertiable treasure trove of HBO interviews, namely the ones with Ian McShane form the Wire and David Simon from the Wire. Both of which were actually awesome. and when I was getting ready to go to lunch I noticed that the itunes gods have blessed me with an Alan Moore interview. If it weren't for the screaming hangover I'd be doing backflips. Oh, and my utter lack of ability to do backflips.
Tonight I'm going to a lecture on rare books and a free show. huzzah. Sadly, though, I just can't wait to spend the entire weekend in bed.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

living myself to kill

Another shitty morning. I'm trying to correlate all these notes from doctors and none of them make any sense at all. Have you ever had a discussion with someone (or even worse, an argument) who doesn't listen to a thing you say, only reiterating the same 4 or 5 points over and over in response to whatever you say or however the dialogue progresses? Yeah, imagine scheduling a conference call with 4 of these guys. Oh, and give them all an overwhelming sense of entitlement and you've got my afternoon. I can't even start on the stuff I mentioned yesterday, lest I start freaking out. In interesting news, though, Rummy might never be able to go to Germany again, which, pathetically enough, is the best we can do against potential war criminals anymore. Speaking of war criminals, Henry Kissinger is an honorary Harlem Globetrotter? NO FUCKING WAY. That's possibly the most insane thing I've ever heard.
I've been thinking a lot about the voting machine controversy and how, if the GOP had picked up this election, there'd most definitely be a lot more outrage and coverage of the problems encountered. Kinda makes you wonder if this electtion was a throwaway and they were just trying to convince the American public that the Machines are okay. In any case, things weren't as smooth as you've probably been hearing. There's a great article about this at Alternet that I'm too busy to plagiarize right here.
Edwards and Obama just don't know Wal*Mart well enough. Yeah, that's their problem. Oh, and the best Onion article in months(and a Chuck Klosterman interview!). Souvenirs put to good use.

Mississippi Fred McDowell is one of those blues guys that seems to transmit a weary understanding of the world with such a sparse sound (sometimes little more than half a drum beat, some harp, and his own meandering slide guitar, usually a lot less) that, like John Lee Hooker, you just tend to take their word for it. These tracks from from what might be his most popular album I Do not Play No Rock 'n' Roll, and mark the first time he recorded on an electric guitar. His influence is still pretty strong in the blues (take a loot at the entirety of the original Fat Possum roster for starters) and deservedly so. Anyways, here's some songs:

"The Train I Ride" - Mississippi Fred McDowell
"My Baby She Gonna Jump and Shout" - Mississippi Fred McDowell
"61 Highway" - Mississippi Fred McDowell
Buy I Do Not Play No Rock 'n' Roll here.

Got dinner tonight with one of my favorite families ever. I'm gonna try to make a relavent post (not just links and songs) sometime this week, but the shit is pretty packed for the rest of it so this might have to wait until sat. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I was ready for bed at 10:30 this morning.


oh shit. It's been a rough couple of days. To cap it off, I spent my day sharing my office with a gassy, vomiting dog. I am no making this up. Oh god, I wish I was. So yeah, you can probably figure out why I chose to eat my lunch elsewhere this afternoon. Anyways, I'm exhausted and realy don't have an interesting thing today that isn't about funerals or long drives.
So go read up about Kaspar Hauser and feel good about things. Right now I'm watching a special on Animal Planet about people who get roundworms and almost as grossed out as I was around lunchtime this afternoon. I know that there are a million people in this country alone with parasitic worms and it's something many people have to deal with, but I swear to god that if I ever hear another story that started with someone sitting on the toilet and ends with their spouse pulling a 2 foot worm out of their butthole, you can pretty much rest assured that I will throw up on you. The scary part is that I've actually left the really nasty parts of that out.
on a lighter, less gag-inducing note, here's some Herbaliser. This was a favorite album of mine for a while, and it's amazing how long I had to wait for the What What album. This was also the first time I ever heard Roots Manuva, who remains the only British rapper I can pay attention to. Hey, whatever happened to Blade? The last song is one that was put on the greatest mix tape that was ever made for me. I still have it. In any case that's about all I got in me right now. I'm gonna close my eyes and watch Chungking Express until I pass out dreaming sweet dreams of a reality as sweet as that.

oh shit they're talking about Loa Loa now. I'm gonna be squirming like a motherfucker in my sleep tonight.

"Mission Improbable" [featuring What What] - The Herbaliser
"Wall Crawling Giant Insect Breaks" - The Herbaliser
"Starlight" [featuring Roots Manuva] - The Herbaliser

Buy Very Mercenary here.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Now playing: Lucinda Williams

Driving through Western PA, listening to sad songs and better times for this place. The fog is crippling.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The tides of change keep leaving shit on my doorstep


So, I’ve been listening to the liberal radio shows all day (this isn’t something I do often, but I’m still waiting for news about this Virginia thing) and I’m just getting more and more annoyed. They’re gloating and playing “we are the champions” and all sorts of other ridiculous shit. It’s really frustrating. We won the house and maybe (probably?) the Senate. True, this is big, but it’s no reason to start going nuts. Nothing is over right now. We’re still in Iraq, we’ve still got a lame congress that’s gonna make everything a pain in the ass for the newcomers, and we’ve still got Cheney and Rove in positions of power. Be happy about John Conyers and Henry Waxman getting put in important positions, because right now that's the best news of the past 2 days. Be happy that we’ve got something of a leash on Bush now. But don’t forget that he’s still got teeth. In fact, he’s probably going to try to expand his political power now that he’s got to meet so much resistance.

And lets not forget who some of these people are. Are you really gonna count on Lieberman voting with the party all the time? Seriously, ten years ago, about 15 of these guys would be considered Republicans, easy. If the GOP wants to get some of that power back, they’re going to soften their image and go after the exact voters that kicked out the last batch of neocons. Yes, Rummy is out, but is Gates any better? Not really. And do you think that Nancy Pelosi will do anything but polarize the house? Trust me, it’s gonna get worse before it gets better. And we’ve got a fucking mess to clean up before 2008 before we can even think about making any change that’ll last longer than a year or two. IT will take about two bad steps to hand this shit right back to the GOP for another decade.

I mentioned this in my phantom post last night, but my ipod was wiped clean again (I feel like this happens weekly), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it sucks when I count on having enough music on the thing to not have to pick out CDs on my way to work in the morning. So there’s that.

So last night as I was finally wearing down and getting ready to go to bed I decided to throw on some old Dylan to make me feel like something had been achieved. It didn’t work, but if got me a little weirded out that I instinctively reached that far back for what I considered protest music. So I brushed my teeth listening to “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” and trying to think of the best examples of protest music since Dylan, and it was a lot harded to think of stuff than you’d think. Sure, there’s a lof of artists with a social conscience, but I mean does it matter? Does Ani DiFranco have the same impact on the movements of dissent that Dylan did before he got the Beatles stoned, then went electric, then introspective, then got in a motorcycle adccident, then found jesus, then rediscovered his inner Jew, then found Jesus again, then was “back”, then touring with Ronnie Wood, and then in Victoria’s secret ads? Probably not. Do the Last Poets count? Doubtful. So this limits my search to a group with themes of dissent that had enough of a following that it galvanized something of a movement in its listenership. Yeah, pretty slim pickins.

But then I remembered Public Enemy. It’s so hard to think about it now, expecially when Flav seems to be more well known than Chuck D (I still don’t understand how this is physically possible). But these guys lit a fire under the ass of a lot of the hip hop community. These guys were seem as such a threat for so long, it’s funny to listen to their records now and think about how common their message is today. When Kanye said that George Bush doesn’t care about it didn’t seem like that big of a deal (at least not in this part of the country). But this was only because of people like Chuck D who was voicing his concerns with inequality and racism when hip-hop was still mostly about drinking and grabbing asses. No, he wasn’t always right. He said all sorts of stupid things that came off as homophobic and anti-Semetic. And he’s had to pay for those. And not that this excuses any of this, but it was rap in 1989 or whenever. Remember the shit Cube used to say? And he’s in children’s movies, now. It ain’t right, but he’s also come a long way since then.

But still, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t trying to make things better in his community. Which is more than most of us get done. It’s like he managed to pick up exactly where Gil Scott-Heron left off. He was anger. He’s mellowed quite a bit since then, but he still remains an activist and a father figure to any urban political activist. I don’t know, I guess it just pisses me off that Flav makes strippers fight each other for TV while Chuck is on Air America. That said, I’m glad he’s still fighting the good fight, and I’m glad he’s become an approachable and positive minded man and remained one for this long.

Anyways, I always hated this album because I thought it sucked when put up next to It Takes a Nation. And maybe it still does, I don't know. But I’ve been getting pretty into it all this past week and it makes for better protest music than anything else that comes to mind. And can you imagine trying to clear some of these samples nowadays? awesome. So here’s some PE and I’ll post some newer stuff soon.

“Brother’s Gonna Work It Out” – Public Enemy

“Welcome to the Terrordome” – Public Enemy

“Fight the Power” – Public Enemy

Buy Fear of a Black Planet here.


PS It's a lot harder to find a pic of just the S1Ws than you think. hmm. But then here you go:
oh man. I swear I wrote a post last night. It was like 3 but I remember commenting on Jim Webb loking like he was smoking meth and Claire McCaskill trotting out her victory speech very early. What the hell? What a crock. I don't think it was a dream, because Chris Matthews rarely makes it there. Did you know he was an aide for Tip O'Neill? huh.
Anyways, I don't think anyone was expecting that in the house, and I guess we'll see about the senate. I'm happy, but not overjoyed or anything. I mean, it's still the dems so there's plenty of chance to screw it up. For now though I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep and I need coffee and to get to work. More later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Carpetbagging


So election day is upon us, and frankly I’m too annoyed right now to even think of how late I’m going to be up watching returns. People are already claiming voter suppression and faulty machines all over the country, especially in PA and Ohio. It’s gonna be days before this dust settles, but I’ve already decided the platform that will totally get my vote:

“As a [insert position here], I vow to clean up the thousands of fucking campaign signs my jackass supporters are plastering all over your town”

Laugh now, but in 2 days when your yard has become a depository for the losing candidate’s signs, don’t cry to me.

So, I’ve been waging this war against an unnamed retiree who has a propensity for piling his candidate's yard signs on a little square piece of city property that sits down the street from Cobra-La. Now, as mentioned previously, this pisses me off to a huge degree regardless of the candidate. It’s not right to put your shit on city property unless the entire town wants it there, right? Well, that asshole doesn't seem to get this no matter how many times I take the damned signs down. So anyway, last night on the way home from work there were not seven signs in this spot, which seriously can't be more than a square yard of grass. So, I pulled over and was getting ready to rip them down and throw them in the trunk with all of the other signs (I was planning on returning them to the respective campaign offices last night). But at that point, why bother, you know? The guy's gonna get up at 7AM and put more up, so I decided to give him a little bit of a hand and deposited all of the signs in my trunk to the seven already there. When I was finished it looked so ridiculous. There were like 19 signs sticking out of this little patch of grass. It looked like some mental defective was loose on the campaign trail. I mean one more than there usually is.

So I'll probably be back later (I know I've been slacking a bit here, but I got work to do and emails to write and plenty of other stuff going on, but to tide you over here's some Mississippi John Hurt. I kind of look at Hurt as the sweet old uncle in the world of the blues to Lightning Hopkins' abusive father and John Lee Hooker's grifter cousin. Hurt lived most of his life in complete obscurity until the early 50s, when he was "rediscovered" and suddenly treated like a legend after spending a lifetime in his hometown of Avalon, MS working menial jobs. He always seemed to be enjoying himself with a guitar, and he had the most laid back, genteel delivery of all time. The guy is always a pleasure to listen to, especially when you're having a stressed out day and just don't feel like putting up with bullshit. But if you haven't voted yet, here's a Jesus Lizard tune to get you all riled up. No, this is not the previously mentioned Jesus Lizard post. I will be very drunk and angry for that one.

"Slidin' Delta" - Mississippi John Hurt "Avalon Blues" - Mississippi John Hurt But the Mississippi John Hurt Memorial Anthology here.
The Art of Self Defense - The Jesus Lizard
Buy Liar here.

Okay, more to come later when I'm freaking out.
and seriously go fucking vote. I know how easy it is to not care and sit around criticizing the process (oh, how I know), but it takes five minutes. Don't be an asshole.

PS I saw this sign this morning. I think they were waiting to release these suckers, because it's the first time I've seen them. It should be pointed out that Sestak is born and raised in this county, but left for Virginia when he became a Vice Admiral in the Navy. They just cracked me up, because I didn't think people used the term "carpetbagger" since the reconstruction. Apparently it has, it's just never worked.