Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.31.01

“Coronal mass ejection cannibalism” Does that sound cool to you? It damned well better, because it is. The biggest sunspot in a decade has thrown some massive energy storms our way. Radio shall be screwed indeed the next few weeks, and there should be some awesome auroras. Has anyone else heard that there was fewer UFO sightings whenever there’s a lot of solar flares? It makes sense to me. Yep.

I was leafing through a relatively new book at work, and it was describing how people on the internet tend to gravitate towards stories and opinions that reflect their own. It’s a good point, but i was already clued into this, and try to read a few conservative sites, as well as economic news that I cannot stomach. However, thanks to NYLPM (who i sometimes disagree with on music, but love to read anyway,) had this link to a story that made my stomach churn. That Lee Munson person is a monster. I feel strange to know that i was institutionalized for weeks, for doing no harm to anyone, only having a few odd dissenting opinions on the meaning of life, yet this damned fiend walks the streets sucking away the vitality of society like a leech, boasting about it, and treating humans as if they are disposable. It’s rapacious thieves like these that make me wonder if .

Wow. I just found out that Tom Ewing himself offered a permanent link on NYLPM if i wrote him to tell him the real name of the site. No, i don’t think he sounded arrogant in the offer. I’m actually quite excited. Time to put together a thankful email. It’s not everyone who likes being called “snarky.”

Alan Bennett was on NPR this morning. It took me as a total surprise. He was reading from his new book The Clothes That They Stood Up In. I’ve avoided mentioning this book to Lou, because I suspected that she’d get it for my birthday, but i was planning to get it for her, so it dropped into the void. She gave me some tapes of him reading last year, and my favorite was actually the tiny book Lady in the Van, one of the funniest/saddest books that I have read in ages, and one of the primary reasons that i think this current craze of written memoirs is quite a wonderful phenomenon. I don’t know whether to pick up this book at work today. I missed most of the actual reading from the new book, as i was in conversation. However, the fact that material possessions are mere distractions from the essence of “life” is more appealing to me than usual, which is quite a lot anyway.

Today’s music is Tom Waits’ Franks Wild Years. Why? Why not? As much as i like indie rock and power pop and whatever, but each day this week, I’ve been getting more and more emotional, and as sweet as a melody or lyric can get, it’s like drinking some fruity concoction with a lot of spritzer when what you need is raw whiskey or homemade wine. Tom Waits goes beyond “artist” to prophet and healer for my mind. As i type this, the disk is cruising into the barroom version of “Innocent When You Dream”. And i lost the thread… now “I’ll Be Gone” is ending. I don’t know how it’s so easy to lose time like that. It’s hard to know whether I’m killing time by enthralling myself to these songs or whether something is happening in my head that just cannot be put into words. By the way, in case no one has guessed, there’s some serious weirdness going on in my head right now, and there might be quite a few changes in the next couple of months, on risks that i never took before. Tom Waits is very much a key to this in an inexplicable sense. I hope that this can be explained later.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.30.01

Yippee! Jerri was booted from “Survivor”! Of course the show lost its best villain, and there won’t be as much great tension on the remaining shows, but somethign will work its way out. I’ve been rooting for Jerri’s ejection from the season premiere.

Belle and Sebastian are doing the soundtrack for new Solondz movie. Weird. There’s always some way that Lou mentions things that are going to be breaking news. It’s confusing how these things bubble up. Someone on one of the weblogs i read mentioned memes, but this seems different, as Lou’s been talking about Solondz awhile before this tidbit of news popped up a few days ago. After “Judy Is a Dickslap”, I’m more curious about a soundtrack album by B&S than i usually would be.

By the way, i am learning to love “Fold Your Hands Child…” but am more intent on listening to some early birthday presents. I seem to remembver Lou telling me that i could open any and all gifts, so now the room is littered with wrapping paper, and i have the new January album “I Heard Myself in You” on the stereo. Damned good. Dreamy, soaring stuff, with light piano, cellos, strummed acoustic guitars, some space-cowboy slide guitar, and a sleepy vocal. I miss that manic mood that i was in Wednesday, but for the rest of the day, i was obliterated, and could barely make it through my shift at work, as the wires holding my upright had all gone slack. January was the comedown music that i needed that evening.

Another Big Gift (of which there’s actually seven) is the Cosmic Rough Riders‘ “Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine“. It’s sunny day music, and this is distinctly not a sunny day. I must tape this album to listen to with the truck’s windows down as i come home in the evening sunlight. Perfect. It seems eerily familiar, not just because of the ’60s references, but through something contemporary that i cannot place on this cool, gray day.

I don’t know what to say about the Turducken Discussion listserv now. I made a post relating my frustration to people’s negative reactions to the listserv’s previous incarnation, only to be answered with a reply that seemed… well, a little condescending. Maybe the moderator didn’t mean anything by it, but he seemed to talk down to me as to why many people acted like such musically apathetic, computer illiterate morons. No, i understood exactly what was going on, and still think that the New Orleans music scene sucks. I don’t know how to answer his post, as i don’t want to come across antagonistic, but i’m not the one who violated Yahoo Groups’ consent policies. (I knew that they had violated from the first, but forgave them anyway, as i was excited about the possibilities.) I was rooting for them, and then feel slapped in the face for their own shortsightedness. I don’t like being told to be patient when the person telling me patience is the one who rushed things in the first place.

To make matters more confused, I get creeped out by how often the name Turducken gets thrown into everything. Did they read one of those Guerrilla Marketing and Advertising books? They really need to tone that ruthless stuff down. I still have an uncomfortable memory of having a hellish time getting WTUL to play Damien Youth and Walter Ghoul’s Lavender Brigade, and i cannot shake the feeling that it’s not because lack of quality (lack of quality?! laughable!!!) but because Turducken fears unaligned artists, as they are competition. I truly hope that it isn’t the case. However, of the 30-something listservs that i’m on, Turducken and WTUL listservs are some of the minority that hides the identities of the lists of its members… and I worry that it’s not for the privacy of their members or protection against spam.

i probably shouldn’t be posting any of this on the webpage, as these might be very private speculations, but i’m tired of all of this talk about sharing and solidarity, yet perpetually made to feel like an outsider.

Speaking of that, I’m going to link to some of the indie sites that i read regularly, and see if more people notice this site… not that it’s terribly important. I just feel insecure in the online world today.

As for insecurity, Shrub doesn’t want to hold real press conferences anymore. What a shithead. If he wants to style himself as Mr. CEO, then he has a lot that he has to explain to the shareholders, the owners. Then again, don’t the ordinary people who hold stocks get screwed by the inside traders who play golf with with the CEO? His attempts to be cute in his speeches are just shameful. “You know what? Life goes on,” Bush said. “My wife and kids still love me. The military still protects our shores. People still go out and have fun, like we’re doing here tonight.” Gee, what a lovely, inspired thought. What on earth makes this man qualified to be president? Maybe I have it all wrong. People lives. People die. The earth keeps turning. the sun keeps burning. Gee, how very Zen of the Shrub.

Despite the wondrous albums Lou delivered, and the other albums strewn across the shelves and desks, the song of the moment is King Biscuit Time’s “I Walk the Earth”. It’s turning into some weird theme for me, in spite of being one of the most stationary people that i know this moment. I’m overwhelmed with inertia. However, in every dream, every vision, i wander every road and every field. My mind cannot stop drifting. A lot of my inertia stems from fear, as I get addicted to things… books, music, cartoons, computers, anything really…. Sometimes the desire to drift away, to participate only by observing is too much to bear, and i feel lost. Stephen Mason of the Beta Band deserves far more credit for capturing the perfectly natural hybridization of bone-weary apathy and starry-eyed wonderment at the chaos of the universe.

By the way, the universe is indeed chaotic for the human mind.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.29.01

I forgot to mention this yesterday, as i was too busy trying to figure out whether i was having a flashback of some sort, or whether there was true inspiration in a fragment of a song erasing all sense of indentity, time, and place for a few seconds. There’s a nice little interview with Bob Pollard on CDnow. I didn’t know, or forgot, that Do the Collapse was recorded without alcohol. That might be why I don’t care much for it. I’m also curious as to why Bob think drinking Rolling Rock for extended periods would kill him. I need to know, as i drink Rolling Rock. You know.. Deerslayer and all that… One cannot get Frank Booth’s Pabst Blue Ribbon around here anymore, Schlitz is only funny to drink when you are too messed up on other things to say it properly, and hard liquor requires more intensive training in bouts of drunkeness than I’m prepared to spare lately. This album is getting compared to Who’s Next? Strange…

Through Us Against Them (it’s about time that they started updating again, damn it) I was reminded of the existence of Rock’s Backpages. My short-term memory is getting spookily riddled with gaping holes. I agree with a knee-slapping, foot-stomping Amen to their definition on what makes an “intense” record, even if the order of their Top 100 Intense Records all shuffled around, ass-backwards like and shit… yes, indeedy. Emo doesn’t have a clue as to what is intense. These cats definitely do! I don’t dare try to emulate or rewrite their list though, as i’d mess it up even more than it’s messed up. It’s fine the way it is. Some examples… wrong Birthday Party song… it oughtta be “Mutiny in Heaven”. In my addled state, no Johnny Cash is anywhere in sight. The 13th Floor Elevators need to be much higher, as does James Brown. Julian Cope’s “Reynerd the Fox” or “The Tower” from Jehovahkill deserves to be on there, considering a shit band like Manic Street Preachers squeaks in at 100. Wrong Nirvana song. Maybe “Aneurysm” or that cover of “In the Pines”…. okay, maybe not “Aneurysm”…

Remember that 400-something strong new listserv devoted to the New Orleans indie scene? Well, forget about it. It turned into the perfect lesson in why this area has no worthwhile indie scene. Sometimes i blame the wrong people for the troubles here, but it seems that it’s just because so there’s so few people here with any reasonable intelligence or sense of community. Too many people didn’t understand the technology, not able to understand simple unsubscribe instructions and.. it’s just too much to explain. Anthony of Turducken destroyed the whole listserv, in order to save it, and now the listserv is the Turducken Discussion Group. There’s only twelve members as of 8 AM this morning.

I want to type more, but after yanking around handfuls of books all last night, my thumbs cannot bear to be extended like a normal human’s hand should be.Yow!

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.28.01

Listening to Morning Edition this morning, and it’s one of those “radio expeditions”… exploring the northern Congo looking for a new ape species based off sketchy evidence. They could be chimps or gorillas in a place that they have never seen before. It’s not real news, but i love this sort of stuff. Anything that makes the world appear less understood than the textbooks insist makes me feel giddy.

Reading the email coming in, I’ve found that the Young Fresh Fellows are opening for the Soft Boys, which is damned cool. Before the Soft Boys’ encore, the YFF even came out to play a cover of “Give It to the Soft Boys” before the Soft Boys joined them for a huge jam (ugh!) of “Queen of Eyes”. (Right the moment, the image is connected with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”.) I’m most impressed that YFF are doing Kinks and Undertones covers in their set. Cover bands might suck most of the time, but the live stuff on the new disc is invigorating and covers of songs that never come on standard radio formats is fun. It’s both awkward and liberating to know that I’ve remained ignorant of the YFF all of these years, because i worry what else that is missing from the whole picture at the same time it’s comforting to know that the map is full of empty places with “Here Be Dragons” scrawled not just on the corners, but sometimes smack dab in the center of what seems explored.

I want to listen to the Undertones or the Kinks, just out of the grinning idiot joy of thinking, “Hey! it’s like a concert when they play back to back!” but instead it seems more appropriate for the Teardrop Explodes. Besides, I’ve been listening to that first disc of the Kinks BBC Sessions entirely too much anyway. The second disc leaves me cold as much as i try with it though. For some reason those soulful female backup singers don’t work as well for me. If I’m going to delve into soul, I want it to be more authentic. I love the Kinks, but that production reminds me of the ’70s that i’ve feared all of these years. Someone on the SFA listserv pointed out that Gruff looks a lot like a young Ray Davies, and as soon as i get the scanner working, I’m going to have a shot on trying to prove that too. It’s a weird observation, but i’ve seen some amazingly similiar shots.

Kinks tribute album? the line-up looks fantastic, so often these thing suck.

It seems smart for At the Drive-In to put everything on ice right now for some reason. I was beginning to see their name everywhere. Promotion and word-of-mouth is good, but maybe they don’t want to be market-saturation blockbuster rock stars. It just gurantees an acrimonious “Behind the Music” if future televison even offers such options in 15 to 20 years.

Turducken has started a discussion group, but i would NOT recommend that anyone join it at this point. Most everyone on it was subscribed without warning, and there’s a pack of illeterates that are insisted that they be removed immediately when the unsubscribe instructions are on the bottom of every post. The only posts not concerning arguing about subscriptions are advertising shows by bands that I doubt whether i care to see. It just does not seem that the New Orleans area is meant to have any online indie community, but there’s 423 people on it. I have high hopes even though it’s a certain way to be frustrated. Please, please, please turn into something great… (by the way, i already stalked some of them to see if they had cool webpages linked on there. They don’t even have WTUL or Turducken linked to the group page yet. Patience, patience.)

For some reason, i’ve thrown on the La’s “Timeless Melody” and had to play it four times in a row. It was a craving not unlike i get for chocolate or other foods or drugs, and it’s making tears well up in my eyes. No, i know it’s not the most profound song in the world, or even written that year, or perhaps that month perhaps. It seems that there’s some damned part of my brain that homes in the unbalanced, the paranoid, the tortured in some artists, and there’s some hidden tone in the voice or the guitar or, yeah, the melody… it fucks me up. Badly. Breaking a chain inside my head is an apt enough descrition for this. It’s a weird liberation, an annihilation of the soul, an embrace of nihilism that becomes just pure vibration of oneness. Yeah, yeah… even the words they fail me… i never say what i want to say… no. I cannot find it. It’s some hole into true nirvana where i cannot feel a goddamned thing. After a few plays, it’s easy to lose exact what door was opened and where it went. You’re left with nothing but a vague uneasy feeling of lost transcendence and tears streaming down your cheeks.

Or is it just some weird flashback? Or is this what Barrett’s obscure reference to “eskimo chain” is about? Is this truly why Lee Mavers is a broken man? He found some keys to these doors, and in his frenzy, he could never get those keys to turn just the way that he thought they were supposed to turn? He becomes lost in ritual rather than meaning. It’s how all religions manage to survive through time.

oh, nevermind.

It’s getting more than annoying not to hear that Shrub draws decent protests against him everywhere he goes. One of the best recent turnouts has been in Michigan this week, with 500 people, but there was no mention of it on the news. 75 people turned up the sizably less populated Montana. The protests in Maine were great for a blizzard. Or how Shrub won an “award” for Best Performance in a Coup? Or protesting Laura Bush in California because Shrub is too cowardly to go himself? Or the protests when Shrub returned to the scene of the crime?

I don’t see why I should go to work today. The weather today is very Welsh, cold, wet, and green, with white, yellow, and blue flowers freckling that magically sinister green. And i feel completely unhinged with today’s music severing all reason from my enfeebled brain…

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.27.01

Lou wants me to retract my comment about her taste in movies being morbid. I don’t think i will do that myself. Let’s just let her explain herself, as she does it far more convincingly and eloquently:

“While I’m on the subject of movies, I DEMAND!!! that you print a retraction!! ONE MOVIE!! I described ONE MOVIE that was a wee bit dark and even then it was billed as a black comedy, and not even by me, but by the TV guide!! Apart from that ONE MOVIE it’s Willy Wonka and The Railway Children all the way!! I recall however that in the past you also mocked me for liking THOSE movies!!

I’m going to defend myself as far as “Happiness” is concerned though. It definitely tackled some terrible issues but I didn’t sit laughing at those parts, I sat crying! It handled those scenes with a tremendous amount of sensitivity and, unusually enough, frankness!! Those topics are so often either glossed over or sensationalized in movies, and I have nothing but respect for Todd Solondz. The parts that made me laugh were the situations that this family worked themselves into, and they were genuinely funny! I’m sorry that you won’t get to see it because it’s a good movie and all you have to go on so far are my review, which you didn’t like, and the imdb review, which is written by a Mrs. Doubtfire fan. It’s a shame. “Happiness” is truly haunting in the best of ways.

Ah HA!!!!!! I just checked the “Ain’t it cool” site and I quote, “There isn’t a bad performance in the film…… I’m gonna pull a Siskel, and say that I won’t see a better film this year…… The film moves at it’s own pace, and that’s one of the things that I think I really loved about it. It lingers, and takes its time to tell its stories. Don’t let anyone tell you anything about this film before you’ve seen it. It comes out mid to late October. John Waters said that Happiness is the best film he’s seen in the last decade and that’s not that far off from the way I feel. I love this film, and everyone should see it…… it’s SOOO DAMN GOOD!!!”

And there’s another glowing review on the same site by someone called Jack Walsh, who also likes “Rushmore” in the same article.”

By the way, I consider “The Railway Children” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to be pretty damned morbid too. (She knows that I love “Rushmore” enough to have the Criterion Edition on DVD, incidentally.) We’re not discussing whether “Happiness” is an excellent movie, but whether it’s morbid. Apparently we’re going to own “Happiness on DVD too now!

Weirdly, on the radio as i write this is “Fresh Air” on NPR, and Jared Harris is being interviewed about his various roles over the years… and apparently he was in “Happiness”.

And to add to the morbidity:

“I’m watching another bloody cookery programme. This time The Two Fat Ladies. If cooking really IS the new rock’n’roll then I think they’re both Mama Cass.”

And yes, Lou, one of them is dead. So’s Mama Cass. I don’t know if she realized how funny i would think it is when she wrote it or not. Don’t worry. You don’t look morbid. It’s me! Heh heh heh…

Please don’t get embarrassed that I posted some of your email, Lou! If I’m right, and that’s Dan Clowes poster for the movie, me bing a Dan Clowes fan makes me a thousand times mor morbid than you could ever be!

NYLPM drives me crazy sometimes with being blindly too pro-pop and snarkily trendy (which maybe be just irony, but it doesn’t seem like it,) but i read at least every other day. The birthday extravangza is pretty damned cool though, going beyond “good” or “interesting” to simply “great.” Not only is there a ton of worthy insights into a lot of people’s special songs (although one of the writers is the one that I decided the other day is the Lost Cause,) but there’s nifty perspectives into other worthwhile sites and overviews of past articles on NYLPM and Freaky Trigger. The other cool thing is that it’s spawning lots of worthwhile introspective naval-gazing among its allied sites, although one or two of them spends entirely too much time thinking about its naval and how cute its piercing is.

Back to the British reporting on American corruption… Apparently it’s scaring some people as the Guardian is being sued by Shrub and his handlers. It’s depressing to read that CBS actually had the story on the illegaly disenfranchised voters first, but turned the story down after checking with Jeb.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.26.01

Breaking news! There were two gunmen firing in the assassination of President Kennedy. Har de har har. Good for the Brits to come out and tell the truth, but most of us knew the Warren Commission’s report was nonsense all along, and it was nonsense before i was even born. What secret society did Kennedy anger? We know that almost all politicians have sold their souls, and just go through the public battles as a matter of ritual. Check out Shrub poking fun at himself at some exclusive club, with top Democrats present. This kind of behavior is inappropriate, and demonstrates that it’s not just the Republican elite who are the enemy, but the Democratic elite as well.

Watched the Oscars last night, and don’t really have anything to say about them. It sucks as i watched it specifically so that I wouldn’t miss anything outrageous, and nothing happened. However, what i forgot to mention yesterday is that Lou convinced me to open my birthday present early. Two DVDs!

First is “Alfie“. I only saw it for the first time last year, as Lou convinced me that i cannot live another moment without seeing both “Withnail& I” and “Alfie”. “Alfie” made it to DVD first, so it had to be it. I never knew that i was going to become such a Michael Caine fan. Quite a bitter movie in tone, but its unblinking eye still comes across as quite contemporary, even for being 34 years ago. The other one is “Cinema Paradiso“. Lou’s been trying to get me to see this movie for two years. It seems to be one of her favorites of all time. It’s odd because Vale encouraged me to watch it years ago, and i even rented it, but never put on the tape. I’ve watched quite a few other Italian films, for being a backwoods redneck, but missed this film until now. I’m almost tempted not to watch it until i can watch it with Lou, but i know that talking about it for a few days will be worth it. If i only there was time this week…

Incidentally, Lou’s actually a film obsessive, as opposed to me being music obsessive. She knows more about film that i dare ever learn. Her tastes are a bit morbid though. She loves some of the most godawful tragedy I can hear of, and claims that it’s comic, then tries to sell the hilarity of it to me, and makes me wonder whether she smiles when she sees… wait a minute… i’m making her sound like a fiend, aren’t i?

Who is the real fiend? Paul! He begged for all of her CDs that are duplicates of mine! Isn’t that new Millienium album good enough for you? How does it compare the original anyway? How did Alan McGee wrangle getting those outtakes? Does anyone know the rest of the story on that?

And are the Super Furry Animals really working on a DVD that will be chockfull of videos?

Kempa has put up more Barnes and Noble stories on his 3/20/01 post. I empathize with the damned repeated uses of one’s name, in some bizarre attempt to manipulate the addressee. Like certain Waffle House waitresses i have known, I’ve used fake names, or just “forget” that my tag is in my pocket (which gets caught in boxes when I’m in Receiving, or even on the cart while shelving, so it’s really an act of self-preservation.) While my coworkers and my parents call me by the normal name on my tag, my name, as far as i’m concerned, is Badger, and it’s a little odd to admit that it took several months to adapt to being called by the name on my birth certificate in public again. I told one of my managers that i was going to do it, but little does he know that i actually did circle one of my eyes with a black wax pencil and use “Spot” on my nametag. (Wax pencils are also great for drawing nasty scars when you want to look tough.)

Review of Will Oldham’s new tour on NME.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.25.01

When last night i could hear the rain hitting the roof, i rolled out of bed in a panic and scrambled on my hands and knees until i felt evolved enough to run on just two feet to unplug the modem. Surge protector or not, my computer doesn’t seem safe anymore, and it’s not worked as well since that bolt two weeks ago. It might be time for a new CPU, hopefully an upscale Athlon. So what if Travis doesn’t work for AMD anymore? they are still the underdog compared to Pentium.

On the Learning Channel last night, there was a line-up of UFO features, which was fairly cool. The first program was one of the “Secrets Revealed” and had a lot of nice footage that has not been played to death on the various low budget Frankensteined programs. The same materail gets chopshopped so much that they manage to make UFOs boring even to a diehard maniac like me. However, this time they had some nice shuttle footage, and Story Musgrave talking about those weird electric-eel-type things, with internal bioluminescense, that swam about the upper atmosphere or even space itself. The footage was undeniably weird, and no hoax, but as usual, most people simply choose to ignore it. Those “electric-eels” are quite possibly some species of those atmospheric sprites. Musgrave denies witnessing intelligent UFOs in his experiences, at least in the interview that turned up in a quick search (and he seems to be a most cool guy, regardless of UFOs, as his thoughts on the nature of the universe are most enlightened.)

The second one was two hours, twice as long, but only half as good, and i’m being generous.Most of the problems came from it using sensational, unreliable witnesses, and “experts” who were not experts. Bud Hopkins was on there, but they tried to discredit him with the style of the letters written by the bodyguards who witnessed the woman being abducted from a high rise New York apartment. It was something about addressing the addressee by name in the body of the correspondence, and some of the strange behavior that the bodyguards indulged in, like shrieking and hugging each other in fear. This is a HUGE guess on my part, but I always had the impression that the two bodyguards were foreign nationals. Applying American norms of behavior wouldn’t be appropriate then, would it? Besides, do they really expect rational reaction to a completely irrational event, like an abduction by nonhuman entities?

Another bit of weirdness was a hypnotist who “planted” an abduction incident into the memory of a willing subject. Here’s the cool bit… I’ve been hypnotized before! I don’t know how other people’s minds work, but i was still conscious, and could even jump up and run out the door if i wanted to. And when asked to remember some things that never happened, i didn’t remember anything. How novel is that? To make matters worse, the hypnotist was a sharp, abrupt person, and it seems that no one would be able to relax enough to be hypnotized. The poor girl must have had the docility of a milk cow.

The stupidest anti-abduction “expert” was a “scientist” who rigged up his subjects to lots of electrodes in a helmet, and put them in a quiet room. With the electrodes, he’d triger a mild seizure in the subject to see if they became disoriented and paralyzed. Surprise! They felt very strange! He then said that most of these people in a near-sleep state probably had mild seizures, and then hallucinated the rest. What he forgot is that many abduction experiences have all electrical devices shut down. Cell phones, radios, lights, cars… they all shut down. Perhaps what causes the paralysis in the patients is a more sophisticated version of what the “expert” developed, and the rest is very, very real.

While i was getting pissed off at the anti-UFO propaganda machine, i had this other machine downloading mp3s from eMusic, since it’s still offering that free 30 day trial, and i read that the artists actually get paid for these mp3s whether i keep an account on eMusic or not. Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Zero was the first one that I downloaded. It was one of those “wanna-get-it-but-it’s-one-of-those-bands-that-soaks-up-more-money-than-the-actual-amount-of-time-that-i-play-their-music” sort of problems. eMusic solved that, and it worked out perfectly. I like the album well enough, but in my spastic tea and chocolate mania, comatosely slow songs bore me at the moment. If i was drunk more often, this album would be great. However, i just noticed last night that on this album, Anthony Newcombe’s singing sounded like goddamned Robert Smith at points. Until i went to sleep, I downloaded the Minders’ Golden Street.

Today’s another good day for listening to Quasi. I had on Featuring ‘Birds’ earlier. I bought this and Field Studies for Lou for her birthday, and forgot that I had selfishly burned copies for myself before seding them to her. Since she has been mentioning how addicted she is to these albums, I put them on too, and now I’m addicted to Featuring ‘Birds’. (Field Studies has been misplaced.)

Maybe i can put some political links up later, but the connection is dragging today.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.24.01

Yesterday, our resident sociopath in the bookstore came back in trumpeting that J.K. Rowlings is a plagiarist, and every dime of her money should go to the person who actually wrote the “Larry Potter” book. He’s delighted when something awful happens, and develops an “I told you so” attitude even if it’s something that has never crossed his fevered mind before in his life. Now, in his hateful brain, Rowlings is a thief, and she must be punished. He came into work earlier this week mumbling something about it, but when asked where the info came from, and he didn’t know, it was easy to dismiss him. Last night he revealed that the story is on the ABC news site. It actually affected my mood last night, as i love Harry Potter, and would be devastated to find that she stole every word from another forgotten book. Checking the story this morning, there’s no story. The name “Larry Potter” is close, the physical description is vaguely similiar, and the word “Muggles” describing a group of people is a real similarity. However, the plot is different, and “Muggles” means something completely different. If you visit the other author’s site, it’s easy to see that there’s no chance that Rowling stole the entire story arc of Harry Potter. Those three things are the only real hooks that Stouffer has, and our bookstore sociopath made up the rest last night. Check CNN. You will not see this story. It’s only on ABCnews, which is related to Disney. Making a lot more sense now? I thought so.

I finished those new Harry Potter books the day that I got them, in case i forgot to mention that, which is probably the case. The real problem is still that they are too short. The book on monsters is more disappointing for me, as i need more monster. I am the sort that was used to pouring through the old myths, and then getting excited with the Monster Manuals (and Fiend Folio) when playing AD&D, and when all of those monsters lost their newness, waiting for each new issue of Dragon magazine, hoping that there were some entries of reader submitted monsters. I actually like Rowling’s monster better, as they are not about hit point and armor class, but where they live and how they behave and antecdotes of encounters with them. I know that there’s more monsters and fantastic beasts in Harry’s world than are in this book, but while they are hinted in the introduction, we need more! As for the Quidditch book, because of less expectations, it was more interesting. Also, it’s quite probable that more of Quidditch is straight out of Rowling’s head (not Stouffer! HA!) as we have certain expectations of how dragons and faeries behave. The books should be used as primary evidence in any court case defending Rowling’s inventiveness.

It’s nice to see that another undiscovered fossil hominid has been discovered. It’s a contemporary of everyone’s favorite ancestor Lucy, and it has scientists questioning whether Lucy was an ancestor at all, as this new hominid is another species altogether. I’m not convinced either hominid is a direct human ancestor anyway. There’s quite possibly undiscovered hominids stomping aroudn the rain forests and mountaintops of the world, considering the Sasquatch and the Yeti. I saw a television show the other night that was trashing the Patterson Bigfoot film, and dismissing the Yeti, but revealing some other crypto-ape that I’ve already lost the name of, down in Malaya. the orang something-or-the-other, that seems to be about three feet tall and a true biped. Forget that I said any of that. They are doing some great, open-minded science in Kenya, and I’m eager to hear more about it.

There was a thread going on the Elephant 6 listserv about favorite psych bands, and I’ve stayed out so far. I hate to post on there, with my penchant for needlessly slandering NMH, but even though I’ve been not been in a psych mood for quite awhile, I still love the genre. One guy posted in his 20 bands in his Top Ten (yeah, i understand and empathize with his math actually) that Walter Ghoul’s Lavender Brigade is one on his favorites (with the rest being winners too, like Tomorrow, the UK Kaleidoscope, Os Mutantes, and the Pretty Things.) That weirded me out, as the only other contemporary band in his list was the Olivia Tremor Control, and Walter Ghoul’s Lavender Brigade is not exactly a household name, even in the indie community. Not to be pessimistic, but i thought that I had a rough headcount on most of the fans. Not only does he appreciate WGLB, but this guy seems to have a pretty cool psych project too, the Orange Alabaster Mushroom. I’ve downloaded the two tracks from MP3.com and their damned good. Very retro and traditional, but damn it, i like a good psych-pop song. (So far, “Space-Time” is my favorite of the two, by a hair’s breadth.)

That also brings to mind that I can see why Greenberger and AMG liked Young Fresh Fellows better than the Minus 5 effort. After what i wrote Thursday night, I instantly figured out what they were talking about. Beyond having clever songs that sound cool, and are played well (not to mention an all-star line-up. I had no clue that Peter Buck roped Robyn Hitchcock into the Minus 5 project,) the Young Fresh Fellows album has a life and vigor that seems missing from the Minus 5. I doubt if it has so much as the style of the music as the fact that the people involved in the Minus 5 are just spread too thin with other projects. It’s the triple line-up of the joyous Boyce and Hart cover, Gary Numan cover that threw me for a loop, and the total garage toss-off of “My Drum Set” that won me over, as it really does sound like a battle of the bands dart toss.

Whatever the music, the Young Fresh Fellows deserve some smiles for the clver asides in their liner notes. At least they entertained me.

Salon has Arianna Huffington hinting that McCain should abandon the Republican party, and go to the peopel with his notions of campaign finance reform. It makes me sick to think that both of the Louisiana Democratic senators are throwing their lot in with the old money. Salon even rates them in the bottom 10% in performance. I had some small hopes for Landrieu, even though it’s obvious that Breaux is evil. Both must get booted from office now. Unfortunately, the

Of all places, the terminally boring Hammond Daily Star had a cool op-ed piece from a retired professor, Roman Heleniak, who pointed out that as much as Shrub and his allies whien and shake their heads about the unfair burden the wealthy must pay in taxes, a graduated income tax is how it was defined in the Constitution, under Amendment XVI. Then again, since Shrub’s handlers have the Supreme Court in their pocket, it’s not inconceivable that the Supreme court might find that Amendment unconstitutional and discard it. After all, they are insisting that the “Framers” were not serious about their declarations of church and state. To the “conservatives”, it is clear that they meant any church other than Christian Protestant. the rest of the piece compared Shrub to Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Hee hee.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.23.01

Call to arms for you American readers. Go to Act for Change and write the EPA to tell them that you don’t want any more arsenic in water than we already have! There’s already enough cancer in the States. Between eating too much red meat, constant background radiation, and polluted drinking water, we are doing just awful, tank you. More pollutants in water as well as the relaxation in the air pollution standards is just too much.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 03.22.01

I figured how to word something about my favorite rock artists. I want them to be locust-eating prophets or holy fools or trickster wizards. I totally buy into the trip of rock and roll as shamanism. The more in touch that the artist is with some undiscovered organ in the body, more likely in the gut than in the brain, the more likely than I am to understand it. Yeah, it’s all figured out now…

Or not. I don’t believe rock and roll has to be primitive to be good.Weird mysticism doesn’t need to be stupid.

Had to delete a blog from my list of bookmarks today. I keep getting the notion that anyone who loves music can be interesting or not interesting, but whatever they write might be worth reading. One person consistently had the most uninformed, shallow, bitchy opinions that it had to be deleted off the bookmarks, as it was growing tiresome to think, “Just one more time. Today there will be an insightful thought or cool link. A lot of people link to this page. They must know something.” The owner of this page will never know or care that I will never intentionally read that page again. How this person can go through day to day with such callous, immature, banal sentiments, and be embraced by the indie community will remain a mystery to me. Part of me wants to put a link to the page, so that you can see exactly who is being referred to, but…

Awhile back, my mother sent me this odd CNN story about this fabulous new invention that a lot of influential people are investing in called “Ginger”. Dean Kamen is the inventor. Right now it’s being downplayed as a scooter. When i heard that, I was quite bummed out, as a scooter is simply not world-shaking in my opinion. However, the high profile companies and scientific journals involved point out something quite unique. Apple is investing in it, and Amazon.com has a page for the enigmatic product. There’s even hype that it might be more important than the Web. Merritt at the bookstore swore that he saw an article on an AOL newsboard that “Ginger” might be connected to Brown’s Gas! It’s not the scooter itself that is important, but how it’s powered. Combine this with that Shrub himself went to see Kamen last fall, how the oil companies are making a huge push to rob us of as much money as they possibly can, ignoring or destroying environmental laws. Are they just evil without a thought of the future, or are they evil knowing that the future doesn’t hold much place for oil, so they are making as much profit as they can? Merritt also mentioned that a gyroscope is on the scooter, to keep it from tip over, but the real secret is that it’s powered by a cheap and ubiquitous fuel, that has something to do with hydrogen. That quite possibly could be Brown’s Gas.

I broke the rules and bought a CD yesterday, even though I’m supposed to be saving money. I suck. However, the record doesn’t. Unhiply enough, I never heard the Young Fresh Fellows or the Minus 5 before, only reading snippets of reviews, but I had to cover a break in music yesterday, and seeing a double album at for sale with suck tackily cool-looking packaging, this CD just had to come home with me. I didn’t even know that the two bands/projects were related or that they would be pure power-pop, which exactly the mood I’ve been in lately. It’s not visionary or forward looking, but it’s great music for feeling good right now, with warm, fuzzy feelings about all of that revisionist ’60s pop that i so dearly love. Chiming guitars, pretty loping melodies, and fluffy psych-ish lyrics. The only complaints are that it’s a lot of music to digest in one sitting, and that the titles of the albums (Because We Hate You and Let the War Against Music Begin) are more suited for sneering, floor-clearing snot-punks.

It was weird to drive home to hear NPR having David Greenberger reviewing it. He liked the Young Fresh Fellows album better, as does the AMG.

I’ve learned to hate NME, but this might be one of the most even-handed reviews of Gorillaz that I’ve seen. In fact, it’s the only one that I have seen, as most of the indie sites are too elitist to indulge Damon Albarn anymore. i like cartoons though, so there!

Damien posted a funny fake advert for items on eBay on the psychedelica listserv. I was going to post a link to it, but most of you would have to sign up for the group to see it, and i asked Damien whether it was cool, and he didn’t seem to care (email me if you change your mind….)

All this talk of eBay makes me think I should try my hand at being Feddo:

Items I have on eBay.

APPLE “An Apple A Day” CD on essex records.

A quirky little gem of an album. !12 cut’s in all. That’s a straight up dozen for all of you future farmers of America. Speaking of “Farmers” & “Auctions” I just a retarded backwoods American on TV. He was at a cattle auction and laughing at the whole mad cow epidemic. He said in a smug, ignorant, southern tone “Thar aint no such thang as mad cow diseeez, That’s just a bunch of british mumbo jumbo” I hope this guy gets it!!!! I hope he starts shaking & when he goes to the doctor the doctor says, “YOU GOT THAT MAD COW DISEASE!!” Hey speaking of Doctors, you know what keeps doctors away? “An Apple A Day” & I just happen to be selling my cd copy on eBay!!
THE BOSSMEN singles 64-67
This is a pre-FROST band! Alice Cooper’s guitarist/song writer, DICK WAGNER, is the main man in this band. You might be interested to know that there is a hare lip guy in this band!! I don’t mean “Hair” lip, which would cause you to visualize a guy with a mustache, I mean a “Hare” lip! A slang meaning “Rabbit like”. Not that I’m making fun of hare lip people. You just don’t see a lot of hare lip people in rock bands. One of my favorite actors is a hare lip so believe me, I love hare-lip people. Remember Stacey Keach? He played killer kane in the 9th configuration. He also went on to play Mike Hammer. That was an old tv show that was on the air back when I was around 15. Speaking of 15, that’s how many songs that are on this GREAT CD!
COLIN BLUNSTONE “Some Years”
Great solo cd from former ZOMBIE “Colin Blunstone” How do you pronounce his first name? I always said CO-LIN, with a capitol “O”. Like CO-LIN POWELL. It is spelled that way! Now you would associate Rock N Roll with “Lettn’ it all hang out” “I ain’t got no hang up’s” YET! The singer of a rock group called the ZOMBIES pronounces his name Cau-lin (With a small “o”) Yet an up-tight politician say’s it CO-LIN. Now come on! It’s that blatant fear of naughty body parts that seems to go against the very grain of “Freedom Rock”! Another guy that bugs me is BRUCE COCKBURN!!! How do you get CO-BURN out of that?!!! Peter Boyle is more of a hip rebel than this guy!!! Real quick, I have the news on in the back ground. They were showing that story on the little Canadian girl that wondered out of the house & froze in the snow!! She lived!! They said she was frozen for at least 45 min! Which is just about the running time of this Blunstone cd that I’m selling on eBay!
DAVID BOWIE “BBC Bowie”
This is not the new box set release. This was released on an Australian label
back in the early to mid 90’s. There are some great shots of Bowie from that
same “Band Album Cover” photo shoot. You know, the house coat vs. the dress session? America couldn’t hand men in dresses or men with long hair,,, YEA
RIGHT!!! Milton Burl had been prancing around in a dress for years and Moe
Howard had the “BEATLE” cut before the Beatles were even born!! The problem wasn’t “Men in dresses” or “Men with long hair” The problem was “Attractive men in dresses or with long hair”!! If the Beatles had landed here & started slapping each other & calling each other “Knuckle Head” we white bread Christian’s would have loved them! But NO! They wanted to “hold our hands”! & they looked better than most of our women! And BOWIE!! He was no uncle Millty!! He was hot! & he would go down on his guitar players guitar! Mick Ronson, who I might add, is on this BBC BOWIE CD that I’m selling on eBAY!!
dy

By the way, the psychedelica listserv used to be fairly cool, but all they do is go on about beyond obscure bands with a weird organ sound that verge on bad prog, hippie folk, or tepid proto-metal, and that’s on the good days. The rest of the tiem it’s about those wild adventures about selling and finding records in some dusty stall.