Monday, April 30, 2007
Anyways, here's some stuff from the first Mclusky album, which I hadn't picked up in a couple of years and spent the last 2 weeks listening to ad nauseum. Put these in and drive somewhere. Don't even drive anywhere, just fucking drive. It's worth it. The first time I saw Mclusky they played this first song and repeatedly insisted that it was a Blur cover. nice.
"Whiteliberalonwhiteliberalaction" - Mclusky
"Rice is Nice" - Mclusky
Buy My Pain and Sadness is More Sad and Painful Than Yours here
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
So they found what appears to be the most “earth-like” planet yet. It’s in a pretty distant solar system, but that’s exciting news nonetheless, no? Listening to the radio this morning, they said that it’s much closer to it’s sun, which itself is older and dimmed out in comparison with ours. "The star itself is actually going to look sort of the color of Mars — sort of a red, ruddy color. But it would be much bigger in the sky than we're used to."
I mean, how fucking cool is that? I love the idea if a giant, ruddy sun looming over us. Who wouldn’t? I mean, sure, the potential for extraterrestrial life is pretty cool as well, but I think we’ve always screwed that up. All of the scenarios we’ve become familiar with (or that Hollywood has familiarized us with, anyway) revolve around either A) going to war with a potentially far superior force in a last-ditch effort to save the world as a whole or B) we learn the secrets of sustainability and peaceful civilization from an advanced and benevolent species. Come to think of it, I can't think of many times the latter has been portrayed as happening without dire consequence.
But what if the theoretical inhabitants of this planet weren’t as evolved as a species as much as we are? Or what if they’re really, really stupid? Would we pass on our secrets of prosperity to them? Do you think that this planet as a whole is capable of a charitable act on this scale? Shit, we can’t even do that between countries, how the hell would we as a planet manage to pass anything on to them other than bickering? The more I think about it, the more I convince myself that the whole thing would turn into a bidding war for space slaves. Yikes.
Better yet, what if they were far superior in technologic and sociologic advances, but treated the world’s leaders like the petulant gaggle of idiots that they are? Oooh what if they asked
Too much crap taking up my time lately. Got to split last night between laundry and going to the movies alone. It was much nicer than anticipated. Go see Hot Fuzz.
"You Got the Silver" is probably my second favorite Stones' song on my second favorite Stones' album. In fact, it currently (along with the closing theme song from the Boondocks cartoon) has been my ringtone for the 2 years or so. I love that while it's undeniably a love song, it's also one of exasperation. "You already got the silver and everything else” he seems to be saying, "so why am I still here?" and I've always loved that it was a Keith song. The first one he sang lead for, and while it’s immediate that he can’t really sing for shit, his spirit still holds the song together nicely. And this was always my problem with Jagger, who just seems like an empty red velvet suit to me. He always seemed so contrived. Which I suppose is necessary in any great frontman, but at the same time also explains why being a frontman pretty much means you’re a douche. Anyway, this recording (with Jagger singing it instead of Keith) fell into my lap the other day and I’ve been listening to it pretty steadily since. It might just be the familiarity of his voice singing a song I’ve always known. It might be his pronunciation of the word “Hongray”. But when it comes down to it, it’s the last minute or so of the song that gets me every fucking time.
The second song here “Factory Girl”, has nothing to do with Edie Sedgwick or Andy Warhol. It’s more like a jig than anything else and has Traffic's Rik Grech playing fiddle (extended here) that just really cements it as a great example of
Anyway, that’s it for me today. I got a 6 course meal to look forward to tonight and a bachelor party to attend this weekend, so hopefully I’ll post something tomorrow, too. We’ll see."You Got the Silver" (Mick Vocal) - The Rolling Stones
"Factory Girl" - The Rolling Stones
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Anyway, I sat there thinking about what sort of impact this will have on our gun laws, or who will be blamed after the fact. Is 23 too old to blame Marylin Manson's influence on? Does Marilyn Manson still have influence? What if we find out he was a huge Toby Keith fan? What if he watches American Idol and is chaste? None of it will matter, and we'll look to some other impact of his life that must have convinced him that all of those around him needed to die that has nothing to do with the availability of firearms. What will result from this? My guess is that the assault weapons ban will be brought back. Maybe stricter handgun laws in Virginia. I honestly don't see anything further. So another 400 people will get shot to death down the street and we won't even get the option to do something about it because the gun lobby is too powerful to allow anything that threatens them on the ballot. It pretty much sucks, and I'm just sick of it.
The past two days they've had a joint interview with Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn on Democracy Now!. I haven't listened to the first past of it yet, but I've got a good idea what they had to say. I got to thinking who will be able to replace these guys, the old guard of the left. I can think of dozens of people who are as intelligent and spirited as them, but lack the respect and recognition on every level. I was thinking to myself that Greg Palast and Arundhati Roy will be dismissed as a conspiracy theorist and one whose interests lie in the third world. Jello Biafra? I love the guy, but it ain't happenin'. Michael Albert is seen as an unrealistic dreamer. And then I realized that that's what's said about Chomsky and Zinn now. Maybe it will be Russ Feingold, retired and (sadly) unelected. I don't know, something to think about, because we won't be able to take these guys for granted forever. Anyways, enough of that shit. I'm tired of leaving this thing on the down note.
I just bought myself the best T-shirt ever. I just threw out a bunch of my t-shirts because I'm getting to a point where I don't need 300 of them. So I go out and buy more to replace them. Nice.
I think Jennifer Maestre's sculptures are coool. Oh, and Banksy has updated the stuff on his site. Go check it out, because he's fun to read about and he'll write you back if you email him. Or at least he used to I can't tell anymore.
I can't tell you a damned thing about Carry On Kinky Beats other than I got it because it had a Primal Scream song on it that I thought I'd lost (it was on the deleted "Kill All Hippies" single, strangely enough). Anyways, it's pretty much filled with the music that, like the last batch of songs I posted, are the kind of music that in a perfect world would be played in strip clubs. Now to be fair I've spent embarrassingly little time in strip clubs, but still they generally play a lot of shit that isn't really all that sexy. Not that I don't enjoy most rap music, but isn't the allure of a naked lady kind of lost when they're dancing to a song that inherently degrading to women? I don't know, saying empowerment is sexy is a bit cliche for my tastes, but yeah, it totally is.
"Revenge of the Hammond Connection" - Primal Scream
"On a Sunny Day" - Puddu Varano
"Sally's Walk" - The Scammers
I've been trying to post more photos that I've taken with my crappy little phone, but I still can't get this crap to work. It pisses me off immensely.
and your Cell phone might be killing bees. To be honest, I can't even think up an opinion on this, I'm just shocked.
Oh and before I forget, are you on Netflix? Be my netflix pal! I don't know who uses it anymore and I'm too lazy to call y'all to solicit your email addresses so put mine in there. fartingary at comcast dot net. Hopefully I can have some movie talk with y'all and get some more suggestions on what to rent. Because I'm gettin sick of my taste, people.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
So I know my post from last night was depressing at best, but don't even fret because I'm storming into this bitch like the goddamned sunshine brigade to brighten your day. I'm like a care bear with a drinking problem! I woke up this morning, you see, and it was pouring. It was raining harder than I can remember in the past few years, and I didn't really want to get out of bed. But a) I wanted to see how Vonnegut's death was reported in the media and b) I have a job and whatnot.
So I trudged through the rain and and panicky drivers and plopped my ass at my desk. Of course, Vonnegut's death is a side note to the Imus firing (which makes me cringe in regard to last night's post even more. I should delete this shit), and I should've just stopped at the obit I read last night.
So yeah, any day that starts out like this needs some amusement. So I present to you the best clip of Japanese people EVER. Cosplay has always weirded me out to some degree, but this totally makes it right in my book. Even the way they scatter when the little people arrive is just outright adorable.
It struck me as odd though that there is a Mister Donut in the background. I haven't seen one in years (though apparently there was one scant miles from where I lived in college) and forgot about that logo, which still strikes me as pretty great. It turns out that Mister Donut was bought out by Dunkin Donuts* in early 1990 and all but a few in the country were changed to Dunkins. The weird part though is that Mister Donut THRIVES in Asia. I bet Hardees are kicking ass there as well (much like the American South, companies don't really die, they just migrate there).
Still not happy? How about some French girly music? KA-BLAMO! I don't really know what to tell you about Jecqueline Taieb, other than she seems to be something of a Parisian one-hit wonder and, according to her website, is totally making a comeback. I found out even less about Arlette Zola, which you can pretty much read all of here. Anyway, these songs are fun and have the same wacky appeal that the swinging London records of the same time frame have, only they're, um, in French. I've studied French for four years, and I can pretty much give you bad translations of the titles, which I've provided. Please correct them as needed. Anyway, if this shit can't cheer you up you're screwed. Have fun in the burn ward, jocko.
"7 Heures Du Matin" (7 in the morning) - Jacqueline Taieb
"Ce Soir Je m'En Vais" (I leave tonight?) - Jacqueline Taieb
"Je Suis Folle de Tant t'Aimer" (loving you makes me crazy) - Arlette Zola
download Jacqueline Taieb songs here and Arletta Zola songs here or something.
*in a strange twist, Mister Donut was started by the brother-in-law of the founder of Dunkin Donuts. Which got me thinking: Mister/Dunkin, Waffle House/Huddle House, Adidas/Puma... if there's anything that these companies can teach you is that family in-fighting and grudge holding is good for competition and should be encouraged. So yeah, no more breaking up family fist fights for me.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So my experimenting with Google notebook is totally going to result in one thing: I'll be able to remember all the links that I tend to forget on an average day, which will probably make me lazier than ever about injecting original thought into this thing. But hey, it's the internet, so fuck off.
Anyways, Imus sort of got canned today, and while I'm certainly not gonna shed tears for the guy, I still don't think that's necessarily the right course of action. Sure, it was immensely boneheaded and stupid thing to say, but we've all heard a lot worse and not done anything about it. I'm just as sick of this story as anyone (and honestly, if I have to listen to one more journalist say "nappy-headed hos" I'm going to start freaking out), but Sharpton and Jackson* have both made boneheaded and stupid statements in their time and received forgiveness after apologizing profusely. Today, Meredith Vierra called Jackson on it (!) and he completely changed the subject, saying it's not the same thing. and it isn't. But it's close enough to warrant the same apologies and forgiveness. Imus should apologize, without question. But whether or not he's fired should be entirely up to his employers. Whether or not he's forgiven should be up to the women he insulted. That's all I'm gonna say about it, I promise.
There's a better opinion about it than mine here, which I should've just linked to in the beginning.
Speaking of racism, who has more of a right to be pissed than this guy? How fucking disgusting is that? This sort of thing especially pisses me off because I have a surprising number of friends who are cops. and they're well-meaning, open-minded guys that have to put up with that much more bullshit because of some retard like this.
Yesterday was Cheeta's birthday! 75 year old ape! I advise you not to hunt down the video, though, because while a middle-aged guy making out with a 75 year-old man is somewhat unsettling, a middle-aged guy making out with a 75 year-old male ape is outright creepy.
The idea of another cold war is still lingering on the horizon. Aren't we still trying to track down all the missing nuclear weapons from the last one? Has anyone in power actually thought this out?
Oh, and last night, as 150 people gathered to mourn a murdered friend and to protest the violence in this city, someone got shot. I can't even come up with some cynical remark. This is just depressing, and the worst is that I haven't even seen an earnest effort from city or state leadership to put a stop to it. Do we have to break 500 murders before someone takes notice?
and the saddest news of the day (outside of the monkey birthday, this is one of the most depressing posts ever), Kurt Vonnegut is dead. The man was probably the most important living fiction writer in America, and his insight and wit are already sorely missed. Go pick up one of his books, even if you've read it before, and reminds yourself how lucky we were to have him to begin with.
So how about some happy stuff? Drinky Crow (of Maakies fame) will have his own show on Adult Swim starting May 13. Watch the trailer here. While I'm more of a Sock Monkey fan, I totally welcome this show and look forward to watching it. Adult Swim somehow continues to improve, and I find that astounding. As corporate sponsorship and Hot Topic tie-ins become increasingly prevalent, I hope that they can manage to continue this upward spiral.
WORD I HATE OF THE DAY: VIRAL. Along with the term "blog" (I know, I know) and "Blogosphere", this term just annoys me and I count the days until they head to the same pastures as "information superhighway".
I've been looking at these Amy Sol paintings all morning and cursing myself for not driving up to NY to check them out when they were on display. Check out her website.
I'll post some music tomorrey, but for now I wanna watch an episode from the Wire DVDs I just bought (on sale!) and pass out because I'm damned tired. I know, that's a shitload of links. But at least they're enjoyable. to me.
*both of whom I like. Sharpton still stole the show at the '04 Democratic Convention, no matter what everyone said about Obama
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Remember when I said that people have to stop comparing any unfortunate event or opposing viewpoint to Hitler? Well, it should also be stated that comparing yourself to a holocaust victim is 1,000 times WORSE.
I went to church yesterday, which I hadn’t done in awhile. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been to church four times in the past couple of weeks (quadrupling my yearly attendance for the past decade or so), but I haven’t been to an actual Sunday service in years. I don’t want to say I was guilted into attending, though that’s probably the most convenient explanation. The most accurate though would be to say that the addition of a second service on Easter afforded me the luxury of sleeping in ‘til 10 and still being able to attend church. In spite of my cynical view of organized religion and uncertainty of the existence of a higher power, I still like to attend my family’s church. It’s a building I grew up in, and continue to carry warm feelings about. I don’t necessarily thing it’s wiping my palate of sin clean or that I’m saving myself, but it’s nice to listen to a sermon impartially. I allow me to think a lot more of the world and where I see myself fitting in it. I don’t think I’ve ever actually gotten any answers, but the meditation is pleasant nonetheless.
The church is pretty tiny and liberal for its denomination, but yesterday’s sermon involved what I would assume is common for an Easter service, namely the topic of resurrection but also the ambiguous topic of good vs. evil. The pastor mentioned the God of love, and what struggle it is to find this God when so many acts committed his name would seem antithetical to the notion of love.
And that right there pretty much espoused all that I hold in contempt of organized religion. The stances that would have placed Jesus in the palace, hanging out with those in power and having a grand old time. Jesus was overwhelmingly in the minority. He was persecuted for his beliefs, which were based in an empathy and compassion that is not to be found in many of the stances of the modern church. It’s unfortunate that so much of today is based on clinging dearly to what we perceive as ours. It’s unfortunate that many of the most prominent people in this country in particular who wear their religion like a badge of honor owe so much of that prominence to the exploitation of the poor or by aligning themselves with those who would.
But I’m getting off track. Because throughout the whole sermon when this good vs. evil came up I was reminded of a lesser appreciated Alan Moore script. Anyways, the whole scene in question is based in these two characters getting their molecular structure fused together in a teleportation accident (bear with me here) and, as they lay dying on a rooftop, begin to question the validity of their lives and deaths. The one is an average guy who was in the car with his wife, who was vaporized instantly in the accident. The other character is this giant horse thing that can only be described as a player ("Kapela, the Western Cavalry of the Great White") in the “great game”, a large war that is only mentioned in passing, but is clearly some sort of interstellar battle of light and dark. He speaks slowly and clearly and notes to the police officer covering the scene that he knows he is dying, and that someone should notify the gray scorekeeper, so that the immense board of lights can be adjusted.
A few moments later the stranger is asking the attending officers about religion. He's describing his wife's religion, which he doesn't quite understand; he's dying, and he's trying to come to peace with himself. "Existence" the great horse-guy he's fused with says, "is simplicity. There is Black and there is White".
that he is dying with wonders what the hell he's talking about and asks. Kapela tells him to look above him into the sky: "Do you see? That is the called the immense board of lights. There is the great Black... and, strewn across it, small and surrounded and vulnerable and brave... there is the great White. "
"You know, that's perfect". The guy looks at this and starts to laugh at the apparent futility. "That's really perfect. And the Great White...I mean, there's so much more Black. A-are we losing?"
"No". Kapela is also succumbing "There once was only Black. We are winning. All is right. We can go."
It's just one of those things that is so simple, yet I think of it so often. It's not only completely fictional but utterly impossible. There's no specification that the side we are hearing is even the correct one. But nonetheless it gives me hope in a lot of ways that writing letters to Senators and the last 4 minutes of a Chomsky lecture could never come close to. It also serves as a pretty great example why I read these damn things.
Sonny Sharrock is usually listed as an avant-garde guitarist, which I don't really subscribe to, largely because avant-garde to me translates as"unlistenable shit". He's pretty well known for composing the theme song to Space Ghost Coast to Coast shortly beore his death, and also blowing the fucking doors off side two of Miles Davis' Tribute to Jack Johnson (my favorite recording in jazz history and an album I have bought and lost three times now). He played on many, many recordings by other artists and put out several albums of his own, but these are from his last album Ask the Ages, where he's joined by the great Pharoah Sanders and Elvin Jones, both from the Coltrane band. The songs are a bit long, and not really what most people would think off, when hearing the term "jazz", but it's great atmosphere and what I happen to be listening to right now. He died in 1994 after just starting to gain a third wave of fans. So listen to the man.
Buy Ask the Ages on itunes or something, because actual CDs of this run pretty expensive .
I just finished typing this and I know how poorly put together it is, but fuck it I'm exhausted an I need to get in front of something mind-numbing immediately. I'll try to keep it simpler and better next time.
Friday, April 06, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
I'm sitting here right now watching professional lacrosse for the first time probably about a decade. I feel like I should be watching much more of this, and it's amazing to look at this now and see what the sport has grown into. My father used to take my whole family to these games for six or seven years in a row, and we'd stay for hours as he'd go down and catch up with the players he used to coach as the five of us would run around the upper levels and get into trouble. The league was barely an organization back then, just four teams and one or two thousand fans a night. Thinking about it now, I think the national Softball league probably gets better numbers than that today. But we were a lacrosse family and had all been playing it on an organized level at that point, so that's where we ended up.
Like I said, It wasn't much to watch in those first few seasons. We'd sit there and try to analyze the game, which probably killed our fundamentals when playing field lacrosse (think of the differences between football and arena football) and ask our dad about the players. He'd answer with a typically critical eye of a coach, pointing out who doesn't pass well or who gets cocky when close to the crease. Of course, we wanted to know who was a nice guy and who we should avoid talking to after the game, but those details were lost on him during those games. There were plenty of those guys he had nothing but positive things to say about, but the only one he would refer to with a near sense of awe was John Grant.
This was in 1987, and Grant had been playing professional lacrosse since it's rocky first incarnation in the mid seventies. He was probably forty at the youngest and far from the fastest player on the field. We never understood how my dad could revere him so highly when such a dominant generation of players had come along since his heyday. But my dad would just shake his head and say that he was the best player that he had ever seen. and so we would shut up and stare out on the field and watch every move he made, hoping to gleam some of what could inspire such admiration.
and there was plenty there to gleam. He was older and slower and smaller, but he could just score with such a seeming lack of effort that it almost looked rigged. He would pass to corners of the field he couldn't possible have seen and be on his way back to play D before the ball was in the net from his assist. I don't even remember him being the best player on his team, but he was without question the one that they all looked up to.
And so did we. Little by little, a mythology of sorts developed around this man. He was this under sung maverick, a Native American from the wilds of Canada who was born with a lacrosse stick in his hand and had the sport taught to him from his elders. Obviously by this point my brothers had just started making shit up to feed me, and shit, I was nine. But it never diminished my perception of him years later when I figured out what was truth and what were legends that they'd borrowed from other sports. The man was a legend in my mind by then. Even more so when as I got older and began asking the other players on my own teams if they remembered John Grant, I'd get confused looks at best. His mythology grew even more as his legend confined itself to our family.
and so tonight I turn on the TV and there's a Philadelphia Wings game on. As my interest in lacrosse and organized sports waned, I'd sort of lost touch with that whole community and hadn't kept up with things. Professional lacrosse, as you can imagine, is a little hard to keep up with on a superficial level than say the NBA. And within 2 seconds I see a player for the Rochester Nighthawks named John Grant. I thought someone was fucking with me for a second, and then a few seconds later I learn from the announcers that this is John Grant, Jr. His son has been playing in the league for seven years and is a dominant player in the league. and this is where I picked up the phone and started calling my dad to ask him if he knew about this. It rang once before I realized what I was doing and hung up. A few minutes later I felt a tear on my nose and realized I was crying and it hit me: this is going to be what it's like form now on. I'm going to see these things, these things that my dad is the only person in the world I would even think to tell and I'm not going to be able to.
and I'm not even sad about it, really. Just curious more than anything how many more things like this there are. I'm sure I'll be 75 (who are we kidding) and I'll be picking up the phone when Pride of the Yankees is on TV. It's just funny to think about those little things, and of the galaxy of things that I could never remember until I'm staring them directly in the face. So I got that to look forward to. which actuallly is nice.
in other news, the currently titled Cape May Lighthouse project is underway. Expect completion in mid 2o13.
Also, you have to be fucking kidding me.
Well, I'm starting to get my hearing back on the one side, which is a relief. As usual, antibiotics have saved my ass. Though I'm starting to get worried that when the time comes that I really need them, I will have built up a tolerance to them and as a result die from complications stemming from a paper cut. oh well, it was a good run. One of the cool things about this is that it has been bad for so long that I got used to it. So I don't really feel like I'm getting my hearing back to what it was, but rather that my hearing has become incredibly heightened. It's like being half of a really lame superhero. It was nice to get out of town this weekend and to put some distance between my life and the torrent of shit that has dominated my life in the past few months. It was badly needed and much appreciated. Also, I picked up some British chocolate bars, which is fucking awesome. Anyone who has read this for any interminable length of time knows that I'm a big fan of the chocolate bars. I wouldn't say I eat them too often, but one or two a week keeps me sharp (I enjoyed typing this) and in the know of the candy world. But to be sitting down with a pack of Munchies makes me immensely happy in spite of the salad I just ate for lunch. It's akin to eating cud so that you can have blueberry Crème Brûlée for dessert, but it's totally fucking worth it.
Also, I started working on a project I like so much I might actually finish. which would be nice.
The Boston Globe ran an op-ed piece today on the resurgence of a labor movement, which ain't gonna happen*, but it quoted a NYT article that I guess I missed saying that the income gap is the largest in the country since 1928. This is appalling, and pretty much gives more cause to question the claims of a revitalized economy and...
Sorry, this is about as far as I can get when talking about money before boring the shit out of myself. I do want to say that I understand the concept of trickle-down economics (does anyone even use that term anymore? Have we moved on to something else?) but the idea that by concentrating the wealth in this nation it will proliferate is fucking retarded. The people our current economic policy seems to have benefited are the people our jobs are outsourced to and the shit heel producers of reality TV shows. I'm sure I'm grossly misinformed/uneducated in this matter, but it can't make things much worse to take a new tack.
Also, 14 computers with nuclear secrets on them are missing. Isn't this the sort of shit that should be protected. How can this administration not allow testimony from alleged traitors in our courts on the grounds of national security, but accept the theft of 380 tons of explosives in Iraq and the potential leak of nuclear secrets 13 times in 4 years? what the fuck? Do we have a monkey in a night watchman's uniform keeping an eye on this shit? Are all the national guard covering Rove's office and fighting in Iraq? This is really starting to terrify me. Fuck shoe bombs, this is what should be talked about.
Oh, and when Kissinger says you can't win, yeah, you're pretty much fucked. Considering the options that that monster probably entertained, we should really start thinking this out a lot better on both sides of the aisle.
Panacea is an MC from Philly and a producer from D.C. I've been listening to the album quite a bit lately and sort of surprised with how much play it gets at Cobra-La. Easy to call throwback hip-hop or some shit, but I'm not gonna get into why I disagree with that here and now.
"Steel Kites" - Panacea
"Burning Bush" - Panacea
Buy Ink is my Drink here.
*this isn't to discount one, but it just doesn't seem possible without some pretty major political upheaval.
as I was typing this, a godawful cover of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise", and I'm gonna say this. If you're gonna cover a song to cover, use your fucking head. Stevie Wonder pretty much hit it the first time around. There is no possible way that anyone is going to improve this, whether it be with some hot producer or the fucking jesus of singing (Orpheus?) taking over. So don't fucking do it. You like the song, I know. We all like it. That's why it's such a great song. so keep your fat paws off off it and try to improve a Richard Marx song or some shit. or at least being Coolio in to change it up some.