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


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 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 piñata. 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


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.

Monday, November 06, 2006


well, this looks like it's gonna be a powerful sucky week. First I've got a project at work that is due on friday that I'm way behind on, then there's an election that will screw me out of who knows how many hours of sleep, and of course there's a leaf-raking junket this weekend. fantastic.
Needless to say, I'm a little overworked here today. I'm going to try and post some music tonight (I'll definitely be doing something tomorrow while I'm ripping my hair out and bemoaning the death of our political system via electronic voting. Might be time for that Jesus Lizard post I was preparing.

oh, and here's an indication of how nasty this election has already gotten BEFORE they start counting the votes.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Election Fever.

So it was a pretty tame weekend, though I missed Hot Chip and bowling, it was still nice and simple. Right now it's just dark and freezing at Cobra-La, and I'm stumbling around th eplace, watching kung fu and listening to a mix I made for myself on thursday. In all I can't complain, except for the heat. I had a fiew going for about 6 hours but the wood is gone and the embers are cold. I hate buying those little baggies of wood so much, but it's not like I have much choice. Outside, the campaign sign street war continues unabated. I just want this election to come and pass already. I know it's gonna get late and fingers will be pointed long before the polls are in, and I'm going to stay up until 4 watching it like a goofball. I guess it'll be nice to get to go see Borat to help curb my post-election disappointment. Because there will be, I'm sure. I wanted to go see it over the weekend, but I've been told my a few people that the entire theater is laughing so hard that you can't even hear what's goin on. Which sounds pretty intense, right? Tonight's songs might well have been clled from the imaginary mixtape called "middle college years". It would consist largely of what I listened to while working as a book courier and plant waterer. and the drive between them. It's something I've been stumbling over quite a bit lately. I go in and out of these music funks where I really don't listen to any music for a week or maybe a little more, but I'm starting to attribute a lot of this to how and where I'm listening to it. At the desk during the slower hours of work, when making dinner or doing some chore or another, and when going to sleep. Most of my car listening is the news or NPR or something, which I never did until recently. At first if was just nice to get sort of caught up as I roll out of bed and into the car. I guess part of me thought it was a distinguishing trait, but I think I keep doing it because it invariably gives me something I can bring up in conversation throughout the day. Sometimes it's sort of broad and I can drop it on anyone. "You hear it's supposed to go down to 40 today?" Sometimes it can be downright morbid: "Hey, did you hear about the FC Barcelona guy that just threw himself in front of a train?" and so on. But the thing is that I don't have any long stretches of driving that I do alone anymore. For years and years, driving around probably occupied about 30% of my waking time. I drove everywhere for years and years, and I suspect that those long, late hours -of driving around, and getting lost just to find our way home again, and sometimes just for the change of scenery- did more to guide my musical tastes than anything else in my life except perhaps puberty. Hours of carefree music exploration on the open road turned into npr in rush hour. Man, that's depressing. But lately what I've been doing, see, is I make myself a mix as kind of a last minute thing as I leave the office on my way for my weekend to start. It's a great time to make a mix, really, because it puts you in the best of spirits. You can't wait to get in the car, traffic or not, highway bandits or not, you've at least got something to be considered as entertainment. and by the end of the weekend I've gone through it and gotten something out of it. Plus, for the second week I got to cruise in the back way into the city and pull right into the skyline as the Jesus and Mary Chain start beating the crap out of my car's speakers. Awesome. But another thing I'm going to work on is having more spontaneous car time. You know, global warming is pretty cool and all, but there's more than that. It's also by personal, mobile listening booth. Think about it. I wasn't kidding about these songs being staples of 98-99 and were on a succession of my Pittsburgh driving tapes. The first one might be the best drive-dancing songs of the last 15 years. The second is a fan-damme-tastic Sunday morning tune. and I should know. Because it's 5:00 on a Sunday morning. nice.

"Lady Don't Tek No" - Latyrx Buy Solesides Greatest Bumps here

"Emperors Main Course" - Kid Koala
Buy Xen Cuts here. sorry gang I'll come back nest time with simething either much more recent or much, much older. exciting, no?

Thursday, November 02, 2006


My tribute. an $8 glass of Patrón to celebrate the fallen. urgh.

Day of the Dead

ah yes, Dia De Los Muertos. I know I've harped on and on about this holiday elsewhere (though I honestly can't remember where or I'd link it here), but it's just such an amazing tradition. To celebrate the lives of the deceased rather than mourn their deaths. To remember them in earnest rather than dedicate our rear windshields (sigh) or whatever to them. Did you know that in some Mexican towns people spend the night next to the graves of their relatives? That's hardcore. In any case, stop and think of a loved one today.
There's a big special on HBO tonight about how easily it it so manipulate the electronic voting machines. This is something that has bothered me for awhile, but after hearing Karl Rove smirk his way through an interview on NPR the other night, I'm convinced this this is a very real threat. That it's totally possible to steal an election is terrifying enough, but when you think about who owns the companies that make these machines, we're all really fucked. It doesn't matter what or who you're voting for, the whole point is to be heard. Just thinking about how ugly this election is going to get, and mark my words, it will be filthy, I don't know why anything about this government can surprise me anymore. But then there you have it.
So yeah, here's some songs to remember the dead with.

"Funeral Song" - Bulawayo Church Choir
"Rest in Peace" - Beasts of Bourbon
Buy Dead & Gone #2: Totenleider - Songs of Death here

and, because I love The Wire so damned much,
"Body of an American" - The Pogues