Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.29.01

No music yesterday, aside from some Divine Comedy that Louise played while we prepared dinner. I confess that i didn’t even remember which album it was. Sorry. Checking the AMG, it turns out to be Promenade. Call me middle-brow, but “The Booklovers” had me grinning ear to ear in good humor. I feel like a bad influence on Louise, as she doesn’t own Regeneration yet, and i feel like it’s my fault. Often what she listens to without my presence is more entertaining than what i would pick on my own. It seems to come to the effect that she’s willing to take risks and be surprised, nor to be remotely embarrassed by quirky nostalgia. I’m terrible about being easily swayed., It could be a song that i’ve heard dozens of times before, and found unremarkable, but if Damien put it on a nice compilation, it took on a new life. Until now, i would attribute it to how the song was put into the mix, making it sound fresh, but today it’s more obvious that i like hearing things through other people’s ears. While it’s obviously helped me in appreciating music on terms beyond my own thickheaded prejudices, even manufactured nostalgia is affecting me now. After watching television last night, i started getting a little softer in my feelings towards all sorts of early ’80s New Wave and synth-pop that i have always hated before. Musically, it doesn’t seem that bad, but i hope this attitude doesn’t spread into other interests.

I’ve started posting on the People Talk Too Loud message board, but i tried that before on I Love Music, and got a bad case of stagefright. (Part of it is because i felt too “rockist”, and didn’t want to taint a forum that i enjoyed for its own character, but as someone has pointed out, ILM has become more rockist lately anyway. It seems ages since i’ve joined an online music discussion. Not that PTTL are remotely twee, if any obsessive Belle & Sebastian are reading this, search their message board and you’ll find a cool surprise.

Noticed that i got links from Somnolence and Rumble Strip. Cool!

Michael Moore is still directing music videos. This time it was for REM. I’m glad that he’s doing something, as it still seems that he’s been keeping a low profile since the Presidential election fiasco.

This piece on the death of the protestor in Genoa is more thoughtful and directed than anything i’ve tried to write lately. Blunt, clear-eyed, empathetic observations. (often i find a link to as story that i want to link, but anything i can say has already been written.) No, i don’t agree that humans are basically bad, but the weird focus by the mainstream media on the “eye for an ey, tooth for a tooth” sentiment is creepy and primitive. I’m not sure if anyone deserves to die ever anyway.Via Jejune.

Is the CIA demented? History often is revealed to be subjective, but if they accidentally reveal that they were interfering with the governments of Indonesia and Greece illegally, shouldn’t there be further investigation instead of allowing them to say, “Pay no attention. Hand that over without looking at it. National security, you know.” Via Plastic.

Corporations are looking to control the internet. They believe that commercial traffic deserves to be of higher priority, and take more bandwidth than academic and personal use. Weirdly, i’m not worried about their evil intent. The internet will survive without them. In an odd way, i’m fond of the days of Lynx, and BBSs before that.

NASA hires a bioethicist. I’d love that job, as i have all kinds of opinions. It might turn pretty tough when life on Mars is revealed. Some scientists are going over the old Viking data, and finding that some of the gas that was expelled from soil samples taken reflect the cycles of gas generated by microorganisms in the soil on Earth. Previously they had be attributed to superoxides. Personally, i believe that certain people at NASA was aware of this all along.

Okay, i’m still against mucking about with cloning and genetic manipulation irresponsibly, but wouldn’t it be cool if an ancient extinct hominid was cloned from the DNA extracted from the blood found on stone tools? The blood is supposed to be 1.8 milllion years old. They don’t mention exactly what species it’s from, or whether it’s a direct ancestor.

Have been enjoying the Capote collection, but it’s difficult to focus on the art of his words with a headache and this mild heat. I feel silly in admitting that, but i switched to Bukowski, and already finished Post Office. My head hurts too much to say anything worthwhile, but it was quite a shock to switch back and forth from Capote and Bukowski. What a pathetic understatement.

remember that comment from George Bush, telling someone on July 4th, “Who cares what you think?” Apparently it came from a man named Bill Langley and he stands by his story. Maybe George did slip up.

Haha. The missle defense test was indeed rigged!

Katherine Harris is hiring her own computer expert to make sure that she didn’t send partisan emails during the election last year. doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of an investigation? Who cares if he is a Democrat? It’ still all very Bubba-ish.

So if the crust of the earth is 200 million years older than previously suspected, does this mean that the starseed theory is less likely, as it gives more time for life to arisen on earth? Or is an axtra 200 million years merely a pittance on this scale? Or does it push it back the tiniest fraction enough to push back evoluytion enough to allow for those mysterious fallen advanced civilizations that i insist on believing in?

Another thing i don’t like about living in the city. Chlorinated water. I betcha that there’s flouride in there too. When i drink water i want it to quench my thirt, not make me thirstier from . I guess that i need to start boiling the water, and keeping it in a jug just to make it seem potable.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.27.01

As, you’ve already seen elsewhere, Josh has changed the location of his webpage. In his first posts on the new page, he’s trying to wrestle down the nature of the new Beta Band album. I agree with the “internal” nature of the album, but not certain if i would be able to peg it as a hip-hop album by only instrumentals, as (not to be dismissive) some of it may have come across as a new age or dinner album, one of those that might accidentally get stuck in rotation in coffee shops or Barnes & Noble. It’s the numbed vocals and surreal lyrics that snare me behind the curtain of their alternate reality. Calgon, take me away.

I feel like I’m breaking some secret ethical code for myself, but as my own Personal Great Album of the Year, Hot Shot 2 is easier for me to get the surge of the Cult of New & Otherworldly from it than Rings Around the World, even though i by far identify with the SFA, as personalities & as a sound (over the whole of their career.) I’m more disappointed with myself than the album right now though. The problem more likely lies with unrealistic expectations than true quality. I’m frequently guilty of this. Hell… Hot Shots 2 didn’t sound this good a couple of weeks ago.

This is premature and may not make sense, but Rings Around the World, may be their Emotions, a la the Pretty Things. Maybe it’s the huge orchestration make me think that. I’m wanting SF Sorrow.

Okay, what i do love about Rings Around the World:

  1. Alternate Route to Vulcan Street – the swooning elephant swan strings and the bubbling growls underneath narcoticized keys and drums
  2. Sidewalk Surfer Girl – Stark monochromatic shifts between acoustic guitar and raygun distortion bursts at the beginning. great tiny programmed beats and electronic squiggles.
  3. Rings Around the World – fun high chorus that i’m beginning to sense will be fun to drive to, in the sense that it’s gleefully mad.
  4. It’s Not the End of the World – For some reason it reminds me of the Kinks “Waterloo Sunset” hybridized with solo Lennon. I like the baritone squawk of the guitar.
  5. Receptacle for the Respectable – i dig those handclaps, but that’s really McCartney’s munching, isn’t it?
  6. Touch Sensitive – the pseudo skipping of the first 6 seconds deserves a whole song devoted to that sound. It may seem perverse, but it’s one of my favorite tracks on the album musically, and i regret that it doesn’t have a lyric fragment for a mantra
  7. Shoot Doris Day – For some reason the strings on this one reminds me of CW McCall and “Convoy”. It’s always nice to have “military coup” worked into the lyrics.
  8. Miniature – too short to have a coherent comment
  9. No Sympathy – the backup vocals welling up in a falsetto “dii-iiiiieeee” is ace. And i almost always love nonsense melody like, “baba ba ba da ba ba ba da da” and a electro-freakout at the end surely cannot hurt anything.
  10. Juxtaposed with You – I’m glad that it didn’t work out as a duet as they originally intended, because the way Gruff phrases his words makes the character of the band. Even a vocoder cannot disguise him.
  11. Presidential Suite – the lazy horn is the best bit for me.
  12. Run! Christian, Run! – I gotta thing for harmonicas and banjos. It has a pagan Muppet feel to me.
  13. Fragile Happiness – They keys definitely sound fragile. it needs more whistling though.

It just occurred to me. there’s nothing wrong with the album Rings Around the World. All of that negative stuff i wrote earlier, forget it. Never trust anything i write or say. I most certainly don’t.

RAtW still misses a little rocking towards the end, although it’s unfolding as a great album for me after all. It’s easy to make up though. Thankfully there was this T-Rex Best of 2 that was sitting around. A Big Dumb Pop Song can make a world of difference to kick up one’s heels before riding off into the sunset. Although i still think that Cian’s electronic squiggles are indeed real path of the future, it’s funny that these noise are still on pop records in the ’70s.

finished Stone Junction. Lots of funny dead ends, none of which are dead ends. Many tiny nuggets of sloganeering wisdom and counterculture utopianism. Think of Transfiguration of the Magician in vaguely Modern Hermetic way. Don’t pay attention to the New York Times review or the negative readers. It’s not Dungeons and Dragons. The Huckleberry Finn part makes more sense, if Huck was an initiate into cult of Thoth. What puzzles me most of the book is Pynchon’s love for it.

I’ve started on a Truman Capote collection (another of Lou’s) instead of the Eco, Bukowski, or Ballard (Louise has so much of the last two, that perhaps i should be scared) that i intended. I was actually hoping to read some Brautigan again, but it’s stupid to buy a bunch of books that will have to be shipped back to the States.

I hate to mention what Brasseye was about last night, as i get enough oddball searches on my page without attracting those kinds of hits, but if Phil Collins was suckered by the stuff i saw on the air last night, he deserves what he got. It was so over-the-top that anyone throwing themselves on the bandwagon is quite likely of limited intelligence or a sanctimonious prat.

Did i ever mention that we have a boarder here? He paid £180 for the rent of a room for a month, and has only stayed here one night. (I think we are going to keep his room here for him next month, and not accept any more money.) I’m a little curious by what he’s left here, aside from his toothbrush…

  • 16 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 10 tins of mackarel in tomato sauce
  • 8 tins of baked beans (with tomatoes in them)
  • 6 boxes of UMC milk

I think he’s up to something. Something with tomatoes.

Although i’m not supposed to admit that i’ve been watching the British Big Brother, Helen damned well better not win. I don’t understand what qualifies someone to deserve to win on that game, but the poor girl barely completed any of the tasks that the group had to accomplish, and as well-meaning and good-natured as she seems, she’s shrill and dense as a neutron star. (“Is a dove a bird?”) The fanfare in Cardiff right now insisting how she must win irks me to no end.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.26.01

The first potential buyers came to the house today. The important thing about this is that Louise and i were forced out of the house for awhile, in spite of our respective ailments, to hide out at a coffee shop. I think that some of my malaise has been that all of the time that i’ve been here, despite the occasional binge or three, that i miss the constant intake of coffee, be it Community, PJ’s, or even damned Starbucks (which i drank the most of these past two years, only because of my job, not preference.) Louise got us some cold coffee drinks, and now i have a hankering for more and more coffee. As soon as we got home, i had to figure out how to work the espresso machine, and start mainlining black, ropey, overly sugared syrup… until i chickened out, to add cold milk. It’s not mixing well with the antibiotics, pushing me into uneasy nausea, but.. whoops. i forgot. i zoned out in a hellishly discomfortable bliss.

Damn it. Some element has burned out in the monitor last night, and now everything is tinted yellow. I feel like i have jaundice or have a cartoonish King Midas malady. Or Blueblockers stictched to my temples.

No music today. Damned earache. (Mouth nearly healed though.) However, thanks to the magnificent Dorene of Raindogs, the way has been pointed to the interview with Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart on Fantagraphics. (If it has disappeared, you’ll be sure to find it on the Raindogs archive.) Next week is Tom Waits. I’m a littled irked at myself for not getting the whole series.

Lolita. Yeah, the recent one with Jeremy Irons. Never read the book or have seen the Kubrick version, and was surprised how comic parts of it were. I hope that they were supposed to be comic. Best comment from Louise: Never shoot a playwright, as they die so verbosely.

It was murder! Oetzi the Iceman was killed by an arrow shot in his back. I’m a sucker for documentaries on the Iceman. After all of these elaborate throies of him being a strayed shepherd or a lost trademan, complete with fantastic detailed computer animations, it turns out to be a violent death. These imaginative ruminations on what happened in the past still cast pretty snares.

I cannot really blame Bush entirely for this U.S. idiocy over bio-weapons. It’s continued policy from when Clinton was president, from some biological warfare books i read last year. However, it’s certainly magnified by the rejection of the Kyoto Accord and the pursuit of a missle defense program.

Awww… leave Cleo alone. As far as fake psychics go, she’s tops. Via Plastic. I much prefer her bullshit than the New Age Dungeons and Dragons types or the View panel humanists. Prosecute a bigger corporation. Fake psychic hotlines are not much different than state sponsored lotteries.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.25.01

Despite an earache and raw mouth, i decided to give Rings Around the World a listen anyway. I wanted more uptempo songs, more raging dementia, less Beach Boys. So far, it seems to be a good album, but no, i must agree with the other naysayers… this is not SFA’s best album, although there’s no damned way this is a bad one. It’s graceful, melodic and spacey. I could close my eyes in a dark room and drift away easily, but it seems to cruise the stellar distances swanlike, instead of diving into the hearts of suns like a bloodthirsty hummingbird. (Hummingbirds are really vicious.) The more i listen to it, the more i like/love it obviously, and the more i can hear Cian’s electronic flourishes, which i lost in the orchestral parts earlier. They don’t seem tired to me, but they do seem trying for that mature feel. Mwng was all about veiled mystery for me. Guerrilla was technophilia/phobia. Radiator was… oh, i’m going nowhere with this. They seem to have burned rocketlike through the atmosphere, and now are skimming… Mwng through a nebula cloud, and Rings Around the World into a stellar nursery. Admittedly, i miss the illusion of speed. A lot of my favorite bands have a raw sound to them, and this sounds polished to a sheen, but they produced it themselves… yeah, it’s a creeper, but i still find it a letdown after Mwng. (more another day, of course, but i never followed up on that Beta Band album either.) i guess that if i want something raucous, it’s time to break down to get those Seeds reissues, as the tapes are back in Louisiana anyway.

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci talk about their new album. damn. I thought that they were going to stick with the acoustic sound after The Blue Trees. I don’tr know anything. Spin’s bandying around the word “pop”, so i’m in the same state i am with SFA…. expecting a certain sound from a certain band, and being betrayed by my expectations.

Aw. I was hoping Gorillaz would win the Mercury Prize. Why’d they have to go and ruin my fun?

I want to apologize for not finishing a thought yesterday. I cannot recall whether i deleted it or never wrote it (something that happens on this page a lot,) but deletion seems likely, as what i wanted to finish with on the pseudo-intellectual diatribe was how a pseudo-intellectual is too lazy or dumb to be a true intellectual, but takes a special effort put himself on a pedestal above others by posing as one.

I find the accusations against Sai Baba on Salon depressing, as people like the jackass Amazing Randi will just love this. Sai Baba was often cited as a possibly legitimate holy man in many of the paranormal books and films i’ve watched, and while i want to believe, sexual abuse is not to be dismissed so easily. Reading some of the people’s accounts, they seem massively delusional, making much of their testimony seem extremely dodgy to me. Whether a holy man is legitimate or not, he’s going to be a freak magnet. Look at Jesus. However, i just don’t know enough about Sai Baba to trust him at all. Damn.

Tah dah! the government links to the electrical weirdness in Tennessee gorws stronger. The idea that the nuclear plant may now be a clandestine HAARP relay makes sense…. to me anyway. I also believe that there’s absolutely UN involvement, and that anyone involved would wear such fake insignia, as it just sounds demented enough. Who ever believes the UN is really behind anything? Now if the WTO had troops, that would be another matter. Betcha it’s related to the Taos Hum, which has now turned up in Kokomo, Indiana. The Kokomo Hum sounds a lot funnier.

The Zapatistas go on tour. They seem like such nice guys.

tindersticks in Village Voice. i forget whent he new album is coming out. It seems bizarre to me that this reviewer is referencng REM and Pavement.

No wonder why Bush keeps trying to stake out the moral high ground on stem cell research, even though even the Pope (Mr. Designated Religious Figure) says it’s okay with him… it’s all about big business, as usual. It turns out that he doesn’t want to support public funding for research, as it would make the work public domain. If the money stays in the private sector, then it will be able to turn a profit for someone. Some conservatives have real fears about stem cell research, the same people against all abortions, but those are the religious fundametalists. Their allied big business conservatives have very different values. Is there a conservative schism coming?

Okay, it may make me a bigger buffoon, but Jimmy Carter is my favorite living ex-President. And this is before he took to criticizing Bush. Poor Jimmy. He’s always meant well, and been out of touch. I knew that Bush would not be a moderate, so thought it was dumb when Carter made a show of going to the jackass’ inauguration this year.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.24.01

I still have not listened to Rings Around the World. I want to listen to it when i’m not in a crummy mood. It doesn’t help that Kathleen says it sounds tired in comparison to their other albums, and i know that she’s sympathetic to the Furries. (Whatever the album turns out to be, i still think Aizlewood was tlking out of his ass.) And although i have little respect for NME, the reviewer seemed quite pained to write what he wrote, and it didn’t mesh with the wild promotion that they had put together. (Then again, SFA are not from New York or Detroit.) I think that i will wait for a quiet, unfucked day to listen to it in whole. It took me awhile to warm up to the first single though, as well as Guerrilla…. and Radiator… maybe sometime down the line i will be able to find a hidden majesty in it if i don’t the first time. I’m such a coward… i cannot even listen to the record in fear of disappointment, as much as reluctance to taint the record by listening to it while unwell.

What to hear something truly embarrassing? While i was washing dishes yesterday, around the same time i heard that awesome Bjork single, i also heard embrace do the cover of Nick Cave, and it didn’t seem that bad. It was not Nick Cave singing (or Johnny Cash,) so it was not great, but it was not abominable, and it had a nice piano sound, and it is a Nick Cave song. It was nice… and a dirtier, deeper confession…. after a sat up all night with my mouth a bloody pulp, and my teeth throbbing, switching back and forth from videos on SkyOne to The Box at 5 AM, some tacky borwn video that looked like a throwback to PBS’ ’70s Zoom came on, and it had a funky flute. for a few seconds, i forgot the pain, and burning ears and eyes, and this song was cool. It was fucking Cast. I really don’t want to confess anymore. That’s part of the reason why i have not been listening to muxsic since i got sick. Music that i love makes me miserable. Music that i normally snerer at makes sense to me, and dulls the pain.

Last night i watched a documentary on the progress of the Beagle 2 Project (and remembered another reason why i like Blur, being reminded that they supported the project, and recorded a song to be used as the contact signal.)

Stephen King is going to remake the Kingdom. (Via Plastic.) Not a good idea, but if anyone is going to do it, it might as well be him. I have yet to see the second half of the Kingdom, but

I don’t care to think inside or outside of the box. I don’ believe in the box, out of pure perversity. However, i still like this article about the blurred lines between science and belief.

I diagree about the lameness of the word pseudo-intellectual. I find it quite useful. For me, it sums up people who get snotty, and say that they don’t watch television except Star Trek and Frazier because they are so smartly written, fills bookshelves with Camus, Kafka, and Dostoevsky, but never reads any of them, pefeering to discuss the latest Pratchett or Gaiman novel, makes a big show of having the New York Times Book Review (untouched) on the coffee table, drinks expensive cofees and yuppie wines, owns a bunch of bland dinner jazz CDs and a Best of Dead Can Dance, studiously practices how to hold cigarettes, atheist, always working on a novel, a screenplay, play…. that no one ever sees…. but none of these entirely makes a pseudo-intellectual. It’s the sneering at anyone who has what he believes are inferior tastes. It’s almost the same as a hipster, but hybrized with geek blood, and twice the arrogance. They read Cliff Notes and

The Pacific Northwest is getting even cooler. first Oregon wants to get the five Supreme Court Justices who ruled for Bush last winter impeached, and now Seattle, Washington is going to adapt to the Kyoto Accords, whether the U.S. likes it or not.

By the way, my parents say that i got my “tax refund” check. It’s about $300 according to them. I was going to make some smartass remark how this is actually my funding for my new faithbased initiative program. However, it turns out that these refund checks really ARE our money! Check out this article… this money is actually everyone’s tax refund from next year. If anyone has anything budgeted for that check next year, watch out. You likely won’t have it, as everything will be thoroughly screwed by then. This $300 is probably less than i would have gotten in rebate next year. If you owe taxes, your payment next year will likely be $300 higher. whoops. Spread the news. Watch Bush’s approval ratings sink even lower.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.23.01

Has anyone been reading Indymedia? Around 500 people are missing in Genoa. Injured people in ambulances were dragged out, beaten, and jailed. Seriously wounded people were dragged out of hospitals to prisons. A radio station was occupied by police, and documents, film, and tape were seized (otherwise known as evidence.) There’s so many photos of spilled blood that it’s sickening. I have friends in Italy, and they are deeply disturbed by what is happening there.

I know that the one documented death of a protestor had him attacking a policeman. Seen the photos? He is indeed attacking, by throwing what seems to be a fire extinguisher. Bad. However, the cop shot him in the head twice. Anyone with adequate police training ashould have been able to disable this protestor if necessary, without killing him. As for rolling over him. What the fuck happened? Note that lower in the page, there seems to be a shot that shows that the guy did throw the fire extinguisher, and that’s possibly how a horrible mistake was made… but considering the other things i’ve seen, read, and heard, i choose to believe the pro-democracy demonstrators. (i’m fed up them being called antiglobalists.)

A less hysterical , comprensive story is on the Sunday-Times site.

Damn. George Harrsion has admitted that he’s losing his battle with cancer, and is likely to die soon.

We went to the Super Furry Animals album signing at Virgin Records last night. Perhaps it was to be anticlimatic, but i was weirdly satisfied, after we stood in line for two hours. I cannot explain why i needed my album to be signed. As rabidly excited as i am about this album, i still have not listened to it (as i had to go back to the dental hospital again this morning.) Bunf made some seemingly funny comment about the inventor of something dying at age 82, with a chuckle, as he signed my CD, but i was still fixated on worrying whether signing the inner sleeve, the outer sleeve, or the disc itself would be appropriate. (They all signed the disc.) I filed through each band member in turn, and could not think of a single thing to say, other than a mumbled thank you, partly mumbled because i didn’t want to get revealed as an American, partly because my mouth is currently raw hamburger. They were all pleasantly buzzed on beer, it seemed. For the whole 45 seconds that i was there, they seemed just as likable as i’d imagine them to be, and i felt just as awkward as i know that i am.

I didn’t know what to make of the rest of the people in line. I cannot explain exactly why i needed a signed album much better than i could for them. Then again, i cannot explain why they draped themselves in Welsh flags, white fuzzy boots, and lame band t-shirts.

One more thing on the G8 today… how on earth can Bush say with any certainty that the protestors are wrong in believing that they are fighting for the poor people of the world, when most of the protestors are a lot closer to being poor people than he cshall ever be in his life?

The Kyoto Accord lives! The best part is when the other delegates jeered and booed the U.S. representative mouthing hollow platitudes.

Heard the new Bjork single on BBC1 while washing dishes. I almost am certainly not buying the album, as it’s darker than what i need at thge moment, but it’s gorgeous. Unfortunately, i cannot give a better description than that, as i’m useless for a single listen.

Started reading Stone Junction by Jim Dodge. I loved Fup, but was a little intimidated that Pynchon wrote the intro, as the last time i read Pynchon, i was out of my head, and got bumfuzzled. So far, it reminds me of Illuminatus with a more straightforward narration.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.22.01

I’m a little cranky today, so beware.

I had no clue that the Eels were coming out with a new album this year. Souljacker isn’t so great a name, considering it’s all too close to that shit band on Bands on the run, Soulcracker.

I’m thrilled that Splendid has reviewed Damien Youth’s Sunfield, and liked it (thanks!) but I also just found out that Unterberger did put Damien’s Jinx in the AMG, and gave it only two and a half stars. What? I definitely fall into the small numbers of “converted”, but I’m having a sudden doubt of Unterberger’s ear. First, i know that there’s no trumpet or flute. Those are synths. Okay, not a big deal, but it makes me think that he was not really listening to the album. The real problem seems to be that familiarity breeds contempt. There’s no drop in quality in the album, if Bride of the Asylum and Sunfield are both four and a half stars. I would shrug it off if he put perhaps four or three and a half stars, but two and a half for Jinx? Bullshit. Either hate them all or love them all, because i’m not so prejudiced to the work of a friend not to know that Jinx is every bit worthy as the best of Damien’s work. I know enough about music to know that. In my opinion, it probably bothers Unterberger that Damien pays more homage to recent bands than his favored pantheon of ’60s gos. It’s an ugly thing if one finds that the real inspiration of a song is XTC and not the Beatles, and Julian Cope and not Syd Barrett. I appreciate that Mr. Unterberger put Damien inthe AMG in the first place, and hailing him as a great underground artist, but i feel that if he doesn’t understand Jinx, then he doesn’t understand Damien Youth.

It doesn’t help that i picked up the new Q magazine to read the review of the new Super furry Animals album. Three star. Okay. Perhaps some people might even outright hate it….a lot of people even. However, if one cannot give an album to a sympathetic reviewer, in fairness, at least give it to someone who has the facts. Some guy named John Aizlewood (look at what he chooses as his ten best of 2000) begins by declaring that Mwng was recorded in a dead language and that it made no impact whatsoever. As far as i know, currently living in Cardiff, the Welsh language is alive. Also, from what i’ve read, Mwng was the most successful album SFA have released to date. The remark that Aizlewood makes about SFA focusing on gimmicks instead of their music merely comes across as catty. Blah… whatever. It’s obvious that he not reviewing the album, but the DVD… so why isn’t the review in the DVD section? And to say that SFA is sounding more like Blur? Ignoramus. It’s not even worth going into his swipe at “Run! Christian! Run!” as ignorant and hectoring, being that he gave two Christian bands in this same issue warmer reviews than Rings Around the World (one being a Christian Muse clone, and the other being Jessica Simpson.) No, of course i’m not going to let it go.

the lyrics to Run Christian Run:

Waiting to capture that moment
Suspension of rational movement

And bang on the hour of twelve
To a forest clearing we’ll delve
With guns to our heads
For we know
That Heaven awaits us

Dreaming of that perfect home by the Sun
Run! Christian, Run!

Roaming from all tribulation

Leaving behind all damnation

With women and children in line
The men will then gather behind
With knives to their throats
They’ll depart on the midnight train to Jordan.

Still dreaming of that perfect home by the Sun
Run! Christian, Run!

Still wishing for that perfect home by the Sun
Come! Kingdom, Come!

Um. It sounds just like the sentiments of a lot of fundamentalists that i know back in Louisiana. I’d like to know what’s so ignorant and hectoring about the song. Then again, this is the same magazine that had a feature on Slipknot, and acting as if they had something profound to say. Sloppy, lazy editors. I have many of the same faults, but i do this for fun, and these creeps get paid. Yes, i’m probably obligated to stop buying magazines that i don’t respect, but i have a sick fascination with the agendas that are being shoved upon us.

Perhaps it’s the root canal, but i am fairly disgusted by a lot of big name critics today.

the WTO plans to gear itself for the youth market, before revolutionary chic spreads. Cynical, eh? Don’t bother trying with things like facts and truth when it’s only going to make you look bad.

Not to pick on Barbara Bush, but it just occurred to me that her wearing blue jeans to visit Queen Elizabeth is a little hypocritical of her father, considering that he insitagated the less casual dress code at the White House earlier this year, and made a big deal of it. I’m all for casual wear, but her father ought to pay attention to what goes on in other people’s households. It’s a perfect example of his foreign policy and how his family is exempt from all rules.

Tunguska articles are cool.

Musings on life on Mars again. Although it would be disappointing, in terms of new lifeforms, the notion that Mars probably already has some form of life seeded from Earth, thrown into space by meteor strikes in the past. At least it would be a possibly highly divergent evolutionary path.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.20.01

That problem with my jaw turned out to be more serious than i thought. The pain increased so that i barely slept last night, and today was sacrificed in Heath Dental Hospital. They are damned slow, slower than even Americans it seems, BUT i wound up paying only £6 to have the pain stopped (without painkillers.) I’m suddenly a huge fan of British medicine.

While i was in the waiting room, i saw an abysmal film called Pure Country. The hokiness of it made me scared to open my mouth if anyone asked me a question, as sometimes it seems, with Bush visiting Britian yesterday, and plastic wanna-be cowboys like that, i don’t want to be identified with that country, in both senses of the word.

I saw it on Pitchfork first, but i had to check the Chicago Sun Times myself. The damned page will not load. Wilco became pissed off with reprise over the sound of the new album and quit their record label Reprise in defiance. Holy shit. I had been waiting for this album all summer. However, whatever Tweedy wants to do is the right thing for the album. I wish more artists would do things like that, instead of letting the album get released, and then whining that it was not the album it was supposed to be for the rest of their careers, making it into a Holy Grail that none of us can hear, except in rare instances of hints of the Beach Boys’ Smile and the remix of Stooges’ Raw Power. I guess i can be patient.

So James Hetfield is in rehab? Stupid pansy. You’re a rock and roller. Choke on your vomit and die. Funny how his music sucks. Whoops. Buddyhead moment. I wish that i could blame painkillers.

This Jeffery Archer coverage is also something that surprises me. The media actually gets to call him a liar and a thief. Back in the U.S. this could never happen. The word “alleged” has a lifespan far beyond sentencing and imprisonment (unless one is Edwin Edwards, and one need never go to prison.) Not to be negative, but i find it encouraging to have words spoken plainly. Yeah, it’s kinda ugly to see “liar” plastered all over the headlines, but from what i’m hearing and reading, it actually is appropriate. I only wish the American media could be as blunt. It’s also impressive that Archer seems to be in a real prison, quite unlike the plush country clubs that the few American politicians who do get incarcerated wind up in. It is disturbing that he still has his seat in the House of Lords though…

I wish that the New York times article on the absentee ballots could have been more brutally honest, and perhaps it would not have died.

Remeber the author of the anti-Bush book Fortunate Son? The author committed suicide. Damn it. I think that he and Old Dirty Bastard might have had a lot to talk about.

The protests in Genoa look more ugly than i feared. It doesn’t even seem that i can blame all of the violence on government provocateurs intent on discrediting the antiglobalization movement from what i’ve seen on the news. There’s just too much car burning and window smashing going on.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.19.01

i have a massive headache, and a weird pain in my jaw, beneath my bottom front two teeth that i cannot explain. Music doesn’t seem like such a good idea today… but i’m listening to the Magnetic field’ 69 Love Songs anyway. I’m convinced that they have toothaches too . (if i had my druthers, i’d pop half a bottle of a generic painkiller, and listen to “Fido Your Leash Is Too Long” on repeat, as i want to be in a nonsensical haze with that particular song.)

…but even i don’t get the shampoo thing on Pitchfork’s Beta Band review. There’s people who have had the album for months now, from promos, and it seems that no one knows quite what to make of it yet.

ODB is on suicide watch. Poor bastard.

Larry on Raindogs just posted a link to a site that i lost over time, Clicks and Klangs. Excellent music ezine. I’m sure that most people into what they call adventurous music are already aware of the site, but anyone who loves strange noises in their music, it’s likely to have something of interest. Just their links page explains some of the breadth, from krautrock to red hot jazz to Captain Beefheart (also run by Graham.) Great resource.

Via Scrubbles. A review and an interview concerning Ghost World. I want to see it, but the clips i saw looked too… pop? clever? I think the only way to do it is to remove all unnecessary props, all unnecessary extras, all unnecessary color… perhaps i’m getting the wrong thing out of Clowes’ work, but the starkness is what fucks me up most in his stories. Okay, it’s probably just because he doesn’t want to draw everything in the world, but that style gives me a numb, isolated, sterile feel that is peculiar to his work.

I was going to make some cynical comment about Michael Stipe’s production company working on a film based on Douglas Coupland’s new novel, but thinking about it, i’m still fond of some of Coupland’s books, and not all only because i have not read Girlfriend in a Coma and Miss Wyoming, and i adored Being John Malkovitch. I hope that my expectations don’t get too high.

ILM thread of day (for me, as i tend to lose the threads a lot) is the soul-funk one. It’s weiding me out that they are saying that it’s New Orleans that’s where it’s at, and… i know that stuff. I feel so ignorant most of the time, but if a lot of people claim that the Meters are where it’s at, then i’m not as ignorant as i thought i was. With some P-Funk, Sly Sytone, and James Brown albums thrown in, i suddenly feel hafway competent. However, i get the feeling that a lot of people are dilettantes like me

I saw the first full-length trailer of the Lord of the Rings movie. It looks good. I’m afraid of using too many superlatives, but it might be the best effort anyone could make

Fifty art criticism cliches. I thought that i’d be guilty of every single one of them, but a few are concepts that i even find absurd. Don’t feel like getting into that now Via Jeff Ward’s Visible Darkness. I’ve been acquainted with Jeff for years on raindogs, and just found out recently that he added a blog section to his website. A lot of the time he delves into denser stuff than i feel like tackling in reading or art, but he’s a great touchstone for me to pretend that i’m keeping up with such thoughts.

Sometimes hyperbole is a good thing. People on Plastic are criticizing the Guardian article condemning the G8, the United Nations, and WTO as being amateurish and uninformed. While this article is worlds away from being in the same league, the Declaraton of Independence probably would have come across as amateurish and uninformed to these people. Why is pragmatism supposedly cooler than idealism, but it’s the pragmatist who seem to take the low road, the short term, the easy way out, most of the time. I prefer to have the Guardian rally people than a muddled article that plays around with details that the average citizen doesn’t understand. Just for the links sake, if there’s any confusion, a lot of info on why globalization as it’s unfolding now is scary is on Global Exchange.

An article about how the music business is taking a downturn in salon. blah blah. blah blah blah. As far as i can see, it’s a good thing.

This guy is crazy, explaining the fall of clowns. I’ve always hated clowns, with the rare exception of rodeo clowns, who fired guns at each other, tossed around sticks of dynamite (ah, the exploding outhouse,) and let bulls knock their barrels around. When i had to go to rodeos, the only thing i liked besides the livestock show in the rear barns with all of the exotic chickens and freaky goats was the rodeo clown. I think what i liked best about them is that they regularly shouted obscenities at the announcer when everything went wrong. All other clowns have and always will be hideously evil.

Supposedly, Cheney has 20 days to report to the General Accounting Office what sneaky nonsense his Energy Taks force was up to, or 20 days after that, a civil suit could be filed against him. It’s not going to happen. He will deliver no papers. There will be no lawsuit.

Weird stuff in Tennessee again. I have not checked the maps because i’m lazy, but in Williamson County, there was a loud boom, as yet unexplained sufficiently, that registered 2.6 on the Richter scale. It’s supposed to be a collapse of an underground cave. Does this tie in with that fried bird incident at the radio station?

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 07.18.01

Ever feel like you’re in repeats? I realized that lou has lots of my albums here in mp3 format, in discs hidden away, even stuff i downloaded from Napster and forgot. Once again, i’ve stumbled across what is probably an average power-pop song that most people recognize as a snarky joke, but it turns into some nugget of enlightenment and wonder for me. That’s definitely overstatement, as there’s a lot more to life than obsessive scrutiny over pop music, but after listening to some stuff I downloaded earlier (which i will get to later,) Local H’s “All the Kids Are Right” roamed into my Winamp window, and i played it six times in a row. I love a good tragedy. Maybe it’s the line You failed them and they won’t forget it that hooks me, being a constant victim of ridiculous and unrealistic expectations, and how a stupid rock song can be the determinate factor on whether i’m happy or not, whether life has some higher meaning or not. And this particular disposable pop song happens to rock. It’s as good (for me) as Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” and beats the shit of of the execreble Bad Company song “Shooting Star”. Argh. He should have just retired after quitting Mott the Hoople.

Anyway, Simian is one of the new faves at Mojo it seems. They have them compared to Brian Wilson and Van Dykes Park. The band themselves reference the Silver Apples and the United States of America. (on the sticker i saw on the CD in Virgin, it called them Britian’s Air… ugh.) All of this is true. However, the one thing that is not mentioned is that Simian, as nice as they are, sound just like a long lost Elephant 6 band, not sounding so much like a British Air, but slightly slicker, more keyboard oriented Olivia Tremor Control. E6 doesn’t need to be a shooting star, fading from memory already… oh, wait… i just accidentally link to that abominable song i mentioned earlier. Damn it. I’ll shit up.

However, in digging through Louise’s mp3 discs, i found the two album Best of Hank Williams. It’s really all that i want to play for the rest of the day. My parents shipped us a bunch of Louisiana things, and they arrived this morning, so the redneck part of me is coming out spookily enough. My father saw Hank Williams as a boy in Hammond, with Hank slumped over drunk on a stool at the bar.

I cannot figure out why these wretched, pathetic songs are almost comic, and have me grinning. I’m not laughing at Hank, i swear. If it was not for his horrible alcoholism, and the many people i’ve run across who get broken up in tears over his voice, i’d swear that Hank is laughing too. It’s my problem. Part of it is that the steel guitar has me thinking that Hank has a lei around his neck at times, and is sipping drinks from a coconut… you know… with lime… normally i take these songs more seriously than this, but it doesn’t help that he uses lines like “Nutty as a fruitcake.” Only when he starts singing about jumping trains i start getting that longing again.

The Beta Band comment on current pop music on Spin. I am just liking to it because it’s kinda topical, not because i found it particularly insightful.

ILM thread of the day, and probably the week… the Cult of the New. I have nothing to add to this at all.

So Trent Reznor is going to do the soundtrack for the movie of Palahniuk’s Survivor. I thought the Dust Brothers worked for Fight Club, and Reznor did a great job with NBK, but Survivor didn’t have the same industrial vibe in my opinion… or at least the first half. Madonna and Nicole Kidman want a piece of the action too. Ugh. I still feel silly reading that stuff, while Luke is reading books like Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor (which i never finished, as i found the language impenetrable as i tired to read it before sleep each night) and Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (which i never tried, as my ex-manager Merritt firmly suspected that it sucked.)

For Louise: a tribute to Bukowski. I think highly of the guy, and intend to read more of him, as Louise owns a lot by him, and a lot of the folks on Raindogs worship him, but every time i start on him, i have old memories of a coupel of guys from high school and early college who fixated on him, and try to remake their lives in Bukowski’s image. Perhaps after Camellia City? via Metafilter.

i promised myself that i was going to write Phillip about his book, as he asks his readers to do on the back cover, but i don’t know whether i am going to have the nerve to do that.

Bastards. Everyone knew that the rampant spread of “social anxiety disorder” was a load of nonsense. The creators of Paxil manipulated meaning of the disease, and then they pushed their drugs as the cure.. It would be just simple fraud if Paxil was a placebo, but it isn’t. It alters brain chemistry. So why are tons of average citizens in jail because they smoke or possessed pot, an illegal recreational drug, but it’s okay for corporations to push prescription drugs on normal people, and not be prosecuted on criminal charges? Via Plastic.

Fifty reasons not to eat genetically modified foods.

It’s disgusting that about twenty young conservatives can get the same coverage as thousands of antiglobalists in Reuters. I resent the description of them being “clean-cut” which impies that the other sideis entirely composed of disheveled freaks. It also gives them a chance to state positions, something normal protestors are rarely allowed. It even gets in to say that these conservatives are peaceful and the the pro-environment forces are lawbreaking. Media bias. Now compare it to this other story that was not on the top stories, like the fact that there will be up to 200,000 protestors in Genoa, and Bush and Fleischer still get to slander these people. It gets just as much coverage that 20 spoiled brats flew over to Bonn, Germany, most likely on trust funds or grants by conservative think tanks. The media is biased. I searched under the terms “antiglobal” and “antiglobalization” on Yahoo news and only one story seems to focus on the protestors without portraying them all as a bunch of bloodythirty criminals.

I’ll be checking here and here, hoping nothing gets out-of-hand in the next few days in Genoa.

Testing relativity. I find this kind of stuff mindblowing, and curse my poor math skills every day.