Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.31.01

Please email me if you are having trouble reading the page with the new look. I’m happy with it, and wouldn’t have a clue how to solve any new problems, but it will give me something to worry about. I didn’t realize that i’ve almost been blogging for a year now, discounting the six week break around last November when i was too busy yelling at the radio and television on my time off to bother writing.

this coming Monday, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci will be signing copies of their new single at the HMV in Cardiff at 4 pm.

Radio Birdman. “Aloha Steve & Danno” I guess that i shouldn’t be surprised, but they are surprisingly melodic and silly. The Saints haven’t entirely convinced me that all of the Australian pseudo/proto-punk bands are not depraved, bloodthirsty nihilists just like the Birthday Party, my archetypical Australian band. (Sorry Luke, concerning my ignorance, but at least i don’t think that they all sound like Men at Work instead.) when i heard that they sounded like the MC5 and the Stooges, i thought Kick Out the Jams and Fun House, not High Time and Raw Power. How could i be so foolish, when the song is obviously dedicated to Hawaii Five-O? I thought that the Ventures song was novelty enough, even if it happens to be one of the coolest TV theme songs ever, but it seems a little early to start singing songs about pop icons in an ironic fashion, although the Ramones were doing it with the Television Personalities just a few years later.

Bruce Springsteen. Never gave a damn about him, even though a lot of the Raindogs seemed to like him a lot. I know Jacopo is fairly sane, and he followed Springsteen through every show in Italy, which has seemed decidedly insane to me for years. I still cannot stand the bombastic, overearnest stadium drama of Bruce Springsteen. I was able to get past the sentimental, schmaltzy strings of Tom Waits’ Asylum records many years ago, even love them for underlining the emotions that they evoke, but the sweaty breastbeating of stadium Springsteen could give me the creeps. People repeated assured me that i’d love his acoustic work, and would recommend Nebraska, and even rather recently, when i heard the tribute to Nebraska on NPR, with a great version of Johnny Cash doing “I’m on Fire”, i remained unconvinced. I’d heard Springsteen do “The Ghost of Tom Joad” years before, and no matter how weirdly i’m fixated on that kind of imagery, it left me untouched. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when i downloaded an mp3 someone offered on a message board, of the accursed “Born in the U.S.A.” that i feel as if i’m beginning to understand.

Yes, i knew that Reagan’s spinners completely misinterpreted the song, probably deliberately, knowing full well most Americans misinterpret it the same way, missing the pain of betrayal of the narrator. Even if a musician’s sentiments are in the right place, he can still bore the shit out of me. this version of “Born in the U.S.A.” is completely stripped of the arena theatrics… an acoustic guitar, vocals, and an electric guitar overdub. I’ve never heard the words more clearly, and now i can actually feel them. It’s weird how Springsteen built his career playing to huge masses of screaming people, out for a rock and roll night, because this skeleton of a song practically sounds like outsider music, music recorded in the bedroom to exorcise demons. It bothers me to write any of this, as i was quite comfortable dismissing Bruce Springsteen as one of those critical mysteries that steak and potato fetishists shower with praise. It’s not as if i’m going to be running out to buy Thunder Road, but i might start downloading and hoarding Springsteen’s demos, something i never remotely imagined.

Cannibal Ox “Iron Galaxy” The band’s name almost turned me off entirely because it was too meaty and highly caloric. It reminds me of a gothic death metal band, and i can imagine a 350 pound man with long hair in white pankcake make-up, with his tattooed teardrops showing through, gnawing on a big bloody bone, a la Twisted Sister. Descriptions of the sound in various people’s blogs and posts made me relent, but the song titles still had me thinking of Old Dirty Bastard fronting Hawkwind. It’s deeply weird stuff, and while the first couple of seconds of this track don’t grab me, once i’ve plunged deeper into the mists, seeing where it’s going to go, i look back over my shoulder to feel lost. Somehow i’ve wandered into a private conversation, but then they turn to direct their words at me.

Gorillaz. I was ready to delete my mp3s, but i’ve found that i cannot do it. I’ve marched from ambivalence to acceptance, and am finding myself unnaturally entranced by it. Part of it might come from being mocked offline by a guy who thinks that the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics, and Feeder is where it’s at (and it pushes me into being defensive,) but part of it comes from flipping on Radio 1 every few minutes to hear people trying to be sexy, profound, sentimental, vibrant, energetic, cutting edge, whatever, and it’s not working for me. The kitchen-sink pop of Gorillaz puts more hooks in my ears. The fact that “19-2000” was played to death as the theme song to Monday night’s 100 Best Children’s Show on BBC1 only kept driving home that i love it for the same reason that i love singing along with the theme song for the Muppet Show or Sesame Street.

When i wonder about other people who i respect the musical opinion of hating Gorillaz, i must remember that a lot of it is just personal. It’s probably quite rational to hate a middle class West London boy, but i don’t understand that. I understand why it’s perfectly acceptable to detest plastic stage school brats whose hometown is only a stone’s throw away from my own. West London? What’s that? Kentwood, Louisiana? Yet another story from the Daily Star down in Hammond of local girl makes good?

I don’t truly hate Britany Spears at all. She’s as much of an artificial muppet as 2-D of Gorillaz. The Britany song that i know best doesn’t appeal to me because it seems like a sugarcoated piece of bile, weirdly self-loathing and insecure, which unsettles me worse than a Nick Cave murder ballad. Teen pop is not obligated to promote independence and emotional stability. Perhaps it’s the unsettlign undertone that attracts people in the first place. Combine that with extremely poor social skills and bad memories in grade school, and i don’t care to empathize with the weakness of fresh-faced incarnations of past oppressors. I’d rather dance around with muppets, even if they are the masks of the beneficiaries of a painfully classist society.

Hmmm. It looks like i still need some work on justifying myself.

By the way, as many things as i download, Louise always manages to find the most popular things that we get sought out for. After the Office series concluded, Louise had the song “Handbags and Gladrags” lodged in her head, and she had to show me the song, or it was going to drive her crazy. As she hates Rod Stewart with a passion that even i don’t understand, as i think the Faces were pretty cool, she managed to find another version, by an artist named Chris Farlowe, who i’ve never ever heard of. The number of requests for Chris Farlowe’s “Handbags and Gladrags” became so great that i actually had to unshare the song, as it was becoming too much of a drain.

I also want to add that Louise seems to have fragments from lyrics of any imaginable song in her head, and will suddenly spout the most obscure line and melody that often has convinced me that she’s making it up on the spot. She crosses every genre and time period. When i contemplate her odd gift, i can actually get confused trying to figure out just how much is stored in her head. Her brain seems like a near infinite jukebox that skips and scrambles from just the slightest change, from a sunbeam through the clouds, the thickness of her socks, or the tick of a wristwatch. It’s pretty damned amazing, and too often i take for granted how much she really knows.

Ah, damn you, Jarvis Cocker. You’ve left me thinking about C.W. McCall yesterday. The rest of you remember him just for “Convoy” i bet, but i remember him for so much more… well, sort of. In any case, i know more about him than i possibly rightfully should, and in a way, i think that i’m a better person for it. My parents used to take me and my brother out west every summer in the back of a truck camper. Because we were small, we’d get to ride in the front of the truck sometimes, and listen to the 8-tracks that were played in the front, of John Denver, John Hartford, and the brand new C.W. McCall that they picked up at the Stuckey’s on the side of the road all across Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. Not only was it truckdriving music, but it fortuitously had songs about the San Juan Mountains, where we pilgrimaged since i was born (and where my older hippie cousin lived in Telluride.) We almost moved up there twice, incidentally.

C.W. McCall did oddly sentimental music, about his boyhood in Audobon, Iowa, about rafting down wild rivers doomed to be dammed, about old trains, about mountain trails, about trees and the sky, and about the open road. I cannot make an argument that he’s a lost genius, a misunderstood songwriter, as a lost of his stuff was corny, but it was willfully corny, deliberately goofy, and when he wanted to get preachy about the environment, sermonizing on the evils of air pollution and overdevelopment, he did it in his monotone gruff half-whisper that scared the hell out of my six year old self. Remember Woodsy the Owl? “Give a hoot. Don’t pollute.” Well, fuck that little gimp clown pervert. I had a big, gravelly trucker telling me to walk the straight and narrow for the sake of the planet or else.

Incidentally, while i may have been retarded musically, i was reading Edward Abbey just a few years later, and the original Monkey Wrench Gang (ignore the sequel Hayduke Lives!) rocked my world. I learned most of my early obscenities from Edward Abbey and felt literate doing it. I know that it’s insane pulp now, but there’s much, much worse books to become a foulmouthed kid.

I haven’t figured out how to link directly to the editorial on The Morning News, but it was commenting on the Salon TRL piece, as well as something in the New Republic about political rock. I don’t feel like going on about the image of action replacing actual action, because while i agree with in in part, it’s quite backwards looking. No matter what i insist about image one day, it’s decidedly unfair to take music from 1965 to 1990, toss it on the wall to see what sticks, and then look at 2001 to sneer, “Whatcha got? Rage Against the Machine? Well, you suck”

sorry, but that won’t do. RATM doesn’t qualify, since the Dredlocked One has left the group. I can think of plenty of other polilitically conscious groups, especially since all it seems to take is Hendrix interpreting “The Star-Spangled Banner” to qualify. I appreciate some of the points of the writer, like the difficulty of having a solid platform to reach a wide audience without compromise, but he needs to try a little harder than RATM.

I don’t see why using ELF to kill zebra mussels is any safer than using chlorine. Just because it’s not chemical doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous.

Uh-oh. Secret satellites. That has to be behind the times. There’s bound to be dozens of them up there already, if not hundreds.

I’m sure most U.S. citizens know these dividing lines in America, but here they are again anyway, and why the next few years are going to have some surprising social upheavals, if the word majority means anything anymore.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.30.01

The Super Furry Animals’ next single is going to be “(Drawing) Rings Around the World” to be released on October 1st. The B-sides are to be “Edam Anchorman” and “All The Shit U Do”. I’m excited, so to hell with everything.

I wasn’t planning on downloading a bunch of somewhat ’80s, vaguely post-punk mp3s, but it just turned out that way, after reading New Order reference several things that impressed and amused me. I was actually intending to track down some songs from the new Pulp album Lighter, but they have been surprisingly difficult, aside from live versions. since it’s due October 15th, but Wilco doesnt even have a record label at the moment, i’m getting even more curious about who released (whoops, i meant leaked) Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and why.

Pulp “Weeds” (live at some place called the Garage) It is based on a martial beat, and has guitar and string combo that reminds me of CW McCall back in his “Convoy” days… that’s a good thing for me, as i have a weird childhood fondness for that sound. Except it’s Jarvis Cocker singing, and it’s not about the Rubber Duck and Smokies, but it’s still a misfit anthem (from my muddled interpretation.) It’s pretty damned catchy, and it might turn into my Next Big Album To Believe In, since many of the others this year have already either been canonized or fallen by the wayside. Yes, it’s foolish.

Joy Division “She’s Lost Control” I’m so confused by this that i’m not sure whether i have the original. It sounds like the period, but this deep baritone voice is like a depressed Julian Cope. If someone slapped this on a stereo and told me that it was goth, i’d believe it. I think that i can understand why i could get into the Bauhaus, but never Joy Division, as this is miserable music. Bauhaus is almost cartoonish, especially with the glam theatrics, so it seemed laughable to me when people said that they were scared of them. In another time, another place, this Joy Division song could have overwhelmed me, with its thick, cable-like guitars, mecha-beats, and obsessed, relentless repetition of the lyrics. (Wow. They were serious when they said that the Doors were an influece, weren’t they?) Joy Division has always been a band that has lined up my friends on opposing sides, and those opposed usually outweighed the supporters in numbers, with the current balance being Valentina for, and Louise and Damien against, but after that Mojo article, i just had to know. As much as my respect seems to grow for this band, i just cannot enjoy them. With as many words about depression and suicide that have been hung upon Joy Division, it’s too familiar to bear.

The Jesus & Mary Chain is another band from the ’80s that i know nothing about, aside from tapes from swapped mixtapes that i misplaced the labels to. My friend Ortiz managed to get me into the Spacemen 3 retroactively, but in many of their contemporaries, that huge reverbed echo has turned me off for so long. It’s a bit about the production that i might never get past, even though it probably seemed that they were making something dreamy, spacey, and psychedelic with that. This is one of my impossible dreams, but i believe they would sound a lot better if they didn’t sound as if they were playing in an abandoned jumbo jet hanger. Yeah, that’s supposed to be the whole charm about the band, that tubed-in from the plumbing sound, isn’t it? I’ve downloaded two songs from Psychocandy, “Just Like Honey” and “Taste of Cindy”, and finding myself quite attracted to the band, but after all of these legends about their evil feedback, i feel a little cheated, as it seems too far away to reach out and slash me. As stoned and smacked-up pop, it’s perfect.

enough ’80s for today…

Destiny’s Child with Missy Elliott “Bootylicious” I already said that i’m turning my back on pop music, because i had my fill of Radio 1. It was driving me nuts, and “Bootilicious” was one of the ones that made me want to smash the radio with a shovel. I caught a clip of the video of this remix on some kid’s show though, and a bit about how it’s gone over big in the States, and i had to hear it, just to know. Whew. It’s not the kind of song that i enjoy, and definitely not anything i would buy, but Missy Elliott dropped out everything about the song that irritated me, the indigestible Stevie Nicks classic rock riff, the shrill playground taunt, and some other stuff that i’m trying to blot out from my consciousness. This is a much better song, more sultry, more powerful, more womanly, more freaky little keyboard effects… although i still think that Destiny’s Child are overrated and bratty (in the bad sense.) The lyrics are nothing that i can relate to, and i’d venture to say that they suck, but they aren’t meant for me. Oh, well…

The inclusion of the Stevie Nick’s riff seemed like a focus group decision anyway, and when the way was pointed to how TRL works on Salon, i became even more annoyed. Even i’m not so cynical to believe that the kids on there hadn’t even heard of most of the people that they are cheering for. I thought that i was a Pop Philistine, but even if Aaliyah wasn’t suddenly dead, i’d be disgusted by shallow and dimly aware these kids are, trying to become pop icons, for doing nothing more than doing shout outs on TV, when they don’t even know who the singers they are cheering are. (I won’t go on about how little they must know about actual relevant current events, if they cannot absorb the predigested irrelevant stuff that is spoonfed them.) If this is to be the fanbase of popstars like Destiny’s Child, then who the hell is buying the albums and making the numbers? Is this all fiction created by who is the best cross-promoter, not to the people, but simply to the media? How hollow is the shell? My mother told me that in watching Entertainment tonight, she’s confused, as the people that she sees on there often have done nothing in television, film, or music, and simply seem famous for being famous. Is the pop being phased out of pop music? Stupid question and rant. Sorry.

Bleeding Ears noticed something that i think that i noticed subconsciously, about how Stephen Thomas Erlewine is because more noticable as a personality in the AMG. I had mentioned in an email to someone recently how i take him for granted, as not only is he ubiquitous, crossing seemingly every rock genre, but he seemed so free of idiosyncrasies that even if he told me the information i wanted about a band or album, that he actually seemed distanced. I’ve noticed that he’s being using the word “damn” and not certain whether that’s a new thing. More power to more character. (Leave it to me to believe that profanity builds character.)

Somone in the Washington Post actually had the guts to stand up and call Jesse Helms a racist, and say that the major newspapers have been avoiding saying it in order to seem impartial and fair, but it’s quite clear that Jesse Helms is a racist. This is the Washington Post. I’m a bit surprised, as i feel like they have been softpedaling the Republicans quite a lot, even if they are the ones who broke the story of who the mob in Miami really were.

One scientist is keeping the war going against the unworkable missle defense system. Unfortunately, it seems that the Pentagon is trying to shut him up by classifying everything he says as a matter of national security.

I missed India protesting the next WTO meeting in Doha, Qatar! Yeah, India! Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be any questions on the democracy of the talks, but over how the industrialized nations are still taking advantage of the “developing” nations. The WTO is pushing for even more meetings, and the U.S. and the E.U. are threatening the poor nations that if they don’t shut up and swallow whatever is shoved on their plate in Doha, that global trade will be devastated. Assholes.

I didn’t realize that Farenheit 451 was fifty years old! One of my highlights in famous people contact was getting to see Ray Bradbury speak in Hammond. Even if he turns his nose up at the internet, i still am a little in awe of him. I feel badly that he must be going senile if he believes for a moment that Bush is going to do anything for education at all.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.29.01

Because i’ve never gotten my shit together and used permalinks on this site, as i didn’t see the point on my page, as i tend not to finish a thought completely and had difficulty in the beginning of believing anyone wanting to link to me in the first place (ah, that low self-esteem,) and now i’m getting a lot of hits from search engines with people looking for the tracklisting for Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, i’m creating a half-assed temporary page for it, the Handy (Mostly Cannibalized) Guide to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, even if most of it is yanked directly from the daily posts. It’ll save them time from wading through the rest of my nonsense. Maybe i can flesh it out, and sequence it properly soon.

I killed a lot of time today thinking of a redesign, but am stuck with this for the time being. I plan to link the hell out of it, even worse than it already is, out of sheer perversity.(In truth, it’s because soon i will lose all of my personal bookmarks, and this is easier.) Today’s look will do for the time being, which may be for months for all i know.

I had no clue that Wilco’s Summerteeth drew such hatred from some elements of the alt.country community. Glorious Noise details the rift, although i wouldn’t expect anything from that rift. I wish that someone was angry enough and talented enough to record an album in response, rather than haunt chatrooms. Not to say that rappers have a good thing going with their slams on each other, but it would be wild to have audio wars, perhaps a little more veiled in lyric and melody.

Neumu’s devoted a column to the Strokes again, but this time Johnny Walker Black writes that the Strokes are irrelevant, that Tupac Shakur is where it’s at. Again, i’m surprised by Goldberg bending over backwards to let somone else have a say about the band, without going back on his own words. His stance originally irritated me, but he is beginning to earn my respect. I’m also surprised by Johnny Walker Black touting Tupac, as i keep linking him to Nick Cave and similiar artists in my mind. (Okay, so i do remember his name from my nonnoticing journalist days, probably because it reminded me of whiskey, as i was drinking a lot at the time.) In any case, i appreciated Walker listing bands that did the sound that the Strokes seem to be going for better, while pointing out that none of these were particularly commercially viable. It’s hard to swallow the legend of Tupac though. When i worked at the bookstore, we did sell a disproportionately high number of Rose That Grew in the Concrete, i still see a hell of a lot more Nirvana t-shirts on teens on the streets, both in Britian and America. Perhaps if the Strokes made it onto TRL or the MTV Music Awards, play once, then spontaneously combust onstage at the end of their set, in a burst of gunfire and incinerating cocaine, then they might get some cred among the kiddies.

If you want to read an interview with the Storkes, here’s one. (Yeah, the Storkes. I think i like that name better for the next few minutes.) They agree that they don’t sound like Television, but sound mighty, mighty arrogant at this point. The interviewer certainly is not helping.

Jeff Buckley. Wanna know a secret? i don’t own an album of his, and haven’t heard Grace in years… and never in full. Many of you may not care at all, as you don’t own it either, and would never intend to, but my prejudice is pretty shallow. My friend Woodard once loaned it to me, as he adored the album, and wanted me to share the wonder that he felt when he heard it, but he made a mistake. The first song that he played to me was the cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, and Woodard innicently didn’t know it was a cover. How could you sell me on songwriting when the first song that you pick is by another artist? I politely borrowed the album, and then stuck it in a stack of things that i didn’t want to listen to.

I downloaded “Last Goodbye” just for the hell of it. All of the bands getting called subRadiohead are merely sub-Jeff Buckley. I read a few critics who have mentioned it, but i just wanted to check, as i keep reading how everyone one of these bands wants to ape Radiohead The Bends era, but began noticing it was mostly British journalists. Now i feel very comfortable that either these critics are Anglocentric, and don’t want to mention a damned American as a Brit influence, or they are all copying each other, because i hear more Buckley in the so-called Radiohead followers than Radiohead. Yes, i can see the links in the AMG. Yes, i’m stating the obvious again, but now i can say it with certainty, based on my own listening, whether it turns out that my ears or clogged or not. It gives me a special feeling. I do nonsense like this all of the time, and it’s almost as invigorating as getting the training wheels off my bike.

I was excited yesterday because we picked up a tape of Wanda Jackson for a £1, and i thought it was the original rockabilly recordings, but noooo, she had to go and re-record them! It’s marked nowhere on the tape. I know this has happened to many of you before, and as much as i try to justify it, in that perhaps the artist lost the rights to the original recordings, and the only way to scratch out a living is to do it over, but i feel so burnt and used. I was up for some raucous proto-rock, but this is clearly country, and too slickly produced to feel like real fun. I feel like i’ve been ripped off, and i doubt if Wanda Jackson is even going to get her £1 for re-recording her songs.

Now that the cartoon communism of the International Noise Conspiracy is beginning to sink in, i’m liking the band more. I don’t see it as the evil empire communism, but like the punky descendents of Woody Guthrie. Stereolab’s airy, brainy communism doesn’t cut it for me, as it needs to be music that gets its hands dirty, and doesn’t muck about with theory. Another reason why i like its attitude is because while it’s full of snarling attitude, it’s not militant and shrill. Fuck the shrill militants. All too often, they become so full of hate that they forget how to have a good laugh. The ’60s garage angle works even better if i envision an alternate reality in which the ’60s were not subverted by the CIA dosing everyone with acid, trying to keep everyone too fucked up to focus on social issues, although when it comes down to it, i like the way things really turned out better.

I’m siding with the afros. Note that this cannot be on sound, because i’m not crazy about reggae Although prog-reggae seems weird, once i stopped to think about it, it sounds suspiciously like something that Sting might do. While i was not able to track down Sparta, i was able to find some Mars Volta, and despite their afros, it’s not terribly dynamic, groundbreaking stuff. If it’s just leaked noodling, good, but throwing some beats behind Bach string samples is not terribly innovative, and this piece sounds particularly amateurish. In some sense, it’s a more contemporary incarnation of “A Fifth of Beethoven”, except you cannot dance to it.

P.Diddy, you morbid whoring ghoulish vulture. I could understand Timbaland and DMX, since they worked Aaliyah, but i can feel the P.Diddy song tribute coming. He’s going to do something wretchingly sentimental to “Kung Fu Fighting”. Mark my words.

Utah Republicans vote to urge the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations. I can only hope that the Republican party implodes with insanity like the Tory party seems to be doing here in Britian. Actions like these only fuel my hopes.

The average CEO makes 531 times as much as a factory worker. I wanted to believe in capitalism, but this doesn’t help at all. Someone come up with a new economic theory that can works in practical application, pronto.

Molly Ivins again. She lists some of the minor appointees of the Bush administration, and how dangerously inappropriate they all are.

Somewhere in the past week, i’ve lost a day, and i cannot figure out where it went, whether i deleted a post, or never posted at all. I’m stunned that today is Wednesday, but thought it was the 28th, until right before i posted today.

We love you Monkey Man. All is forgiven Please come home. I’m delighted that he’s back for another round of hijinks.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.28.01

I apologize for being late today..

Movie soundtracks. I’m temporarily infatuated with the creation of them. Or just even music that appears in movie trailers. Louise and i went to the movies today (which is why today’s post is late,) and i became all giddy for an advert for Cinema 4 Channel, without knowing what it was, just because they were using Barry Adamson in the background. Barry Adamson?! How cool is that?! Shush… it’s damned cool.

The movie was “Heartbreakers” which i don’t want to go into it, even though we enjoyed it, as it was a fun fluffy laughable movie for us, and doesn’t serve the delusional visions of what songs should be used in soundtracks…. (even though i did enjoy its soundtrack too. Lots of Brazilian pop. Hell, confess everything…) Anyway, songs that i’d like to hear used in soundtracks…

  • Tom Waits “Singapore” i’d love to see a movie open with this song. It’s good enough that Things You To Do in Denver When You’re Dead opens with “Jockey Full of Bourbon” which is one of the best things about the film, aside from Christopher Walken going apeshit in the Buckwheats scene, but there still needs to be a deserving, atmospheric movie that opens with that rooster squawk, and a plunge into the gray world of wharf.
  • The Birthday Party “Mutiny in Heaven” People are still making junkie movies, and i want to see some units shifted of the Birthday Party by wannabe junkie kids. I don’t think enough people have been exposed to the song, as the most Nick Cave that has been played is a bunch of “Red Right Hand” and that bit in Wings of Desire. All of Cave’s songs have a cinematic quality to them and i’m surprised that they are not used more often. Waits gets used a lot. why not Nick?

I give up. this is a half-formed idea. It’s an idea, but one that perhaps deserves a mixtape, with my own movie in my head, as opposed to tossing out random songs that i’d love to see wailing through those giant speakers in a cinema, hopefully to catch glimpses of shock and wonder on the faces of the people in the seats near me, the marriage of a sound to an image that will lead to a conversion. I honestly don’t have the presence of mind to remember to find an interesting song used in a movie, and almost never buy soundtracks (major exceptions: Crumb, Night on Earth, and…. that’s about it.) Who does? Louise, but she’s the designated movie expert of the two of us.

I know that people make narratives of the mixtapes that they put together. Permafrost even tells the stories, although i’m not altogether certain if they are fictional. Damien once did one of what he thought was my biography, as it should have been, and scrawled out on a few pages how it unfolded (which i’ve misplaced) and it was so surreal accurate in being completely wrong that it made me cry. (The mixtape was called Green Isaac, after a Prefab Sprout song, because Damien decided that the metaphor about walking through the room backwards was appropriate.) I’ve made my own stories that i’ve since forgotten on tapes that i’ve given away to strangers over the years. What happened to the stories? Perhaps many people have been going about screenplays all wrong, and the true skeleton might not so much be the vision, as the sound. Fetuses can hear before they can see. Hearing comes before vision in development, right? I apologize if i am scrambling my biology again.

In watching the older movies the other day though, i notced how little music was used sometimes. In Arsenic and Old Lace, which was delivered like it was onstage, there was almost silence as the characters went through their carefully crafted dialogue. Perhaps this soundtrack skeleton for new screenplays is a bad idea. Perhaps that is what they are doing already, and as much as we are bombarded with vision, our bones are shaken by constant sound. Shit. This is confusing me, like arguing whether the realistic or the fanciful is more effective in communicating the “Human Condition” (ha HA!) and this is all a matter of style.

Might have to meditate on in sleep, as i am just winging it tonight, and feel a bit rusty, both on organizing thoughts and keeping a reasonable deadline. Even if i don’t edit myself worth a damn, i have to put my foot down when i’m late.

Bright Eyes, and as much as i’m enjoying the songs, with newfound respect, the more i listen to them, the more I crave Will Oldham. As heartbroken and sincere as he seems, it doesn’t seem menacing or fucked-up.

Both of the Dismemberment Plan songs that i downloaded, “Superpowers” and “Time Bomb” turn out to be live version. It’s hard for me to reference what they should sound like, or even what they do sound like, as i’m only a recent convert to the Dismemberment Plan, in the past year. I’m more disappointed with my limitations on my ability to understand a new piece of music intuitively than with any failings of the music. (Wilco’s seemingly easy, as i plugged into that stream ages ago.)

Have never been able to get into Joy Division or New Order, but in reading the feature in Mojo, i am having some curiosity about their music that i’ve never felt before, with their wild enthusiasm for Can and Beefheart, being most impressive, but the startling honesty on the affection for Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Love, T-Rex, and Deep Purple make respect them more, even if i am not crazy about some of .. .

The fourth installment of Resonant Frequency has me remembering being stuck in some jobs where i was less confined that Richard was, as i was able to retreat to my own home every night. I always lost. Lynyrd Skynyrd was always played. And Nevermind did not work as a bridge with those guys, as they were threatened by Nirvana’s dresses and on-stage kisses.

Darnielle‘s followed up on a promise that he didn’t know that he made, on delving into Amnesiac track by track, with it being the Pyramid Song this week. Again, a thoughtful dissection that would con me into buying an album, even if i was opposed to it on principle. He still hasn’t moved me into buying a death metal album though.

People Talk Too Loud has a new look, and a seeming promise for more regular updates, with thoughts on Will Oldham and Taxi Driver of all things today, as i didn’t know that he wrote that before i started my feeble thoughts on songs that ought to be in movies….as well as more features. there’s a new article on a recent Magnetic Fields show, the kind that makes one want to fall in love with music all over again. Small intimate shows like the one Voz describes have rarely seduced me as well (aside from Damien’s infrequent ones. He’s playing the Circle Bar in New Orleans Tuesday night,) but it’s not as if i’ve seen the Magnetic Fields either. (Someone use them in a movie. Hell, do a movie on them.)

I just remembered that Wilco was doing a movie on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as they made it, and considering the disintergration of thre band, no matter how friendly, and the break with Reprise, there just might be another Great Rock Documentary now in the vaults. No one seems to be talking about that.

Bush is picking on balding people at press conferences. It’s hard for me to criticizre his actual remarks, as i use some pretty shallow, mean humor sometimes, but damn it, he’s the president. If a reporter is asking a legitimate policy questions, then then Bush decides to start hounding him on being bald, isn’t it fair for reporters to ask him uncomfortable questions? He doesn’t want to answer anything about the Bush twins. the reporter could have said that premature badling is gentic, like alcoholism in the Bush family. Is it now open season on asking him how does it feel to be a liar and a cheat? Can we ask him questions about whether his penis is short? Can we preamble the questions with, “Hey fuckhead, let me run this past you… ”

I’m too American. As we walked home this evening, it bothered me that everything was closed except for the pubs and Spar shops. I wanted coffee. It seems that most of the coffee shops in this country open at 10 am, and close at 6 pm. If i worked here, that would be quite cool for me. for two years, i worked lame shifts that varied from 8 am to 11 pm all within a few days. Everyone else i knew who worked had the same nonlife. When i don’t want anything, i envy how people here can afford to have a life away from work, but when i want a cup of coffee in town, i temporarily forget how nice it is for everyone to shut most everything down at 5 pm and go home. If there was a service industry in Britian like there is in America, i’d have that coffee, but some poor bastard would have to be behind the counter. do i want my coffee, or do i want just a little bit more freedom for everyone? I pick the latter, as every demand i want satiated has to fufilled by humanity, which more or less includes me.

It’s a bad idea to doubt what is humanly possibly, but i like the sound of this cave in India.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.27.01

Had a relapse after a short walk into the village with Louise on errands. This illness has cut into my posting more than any volunteer work would have, and has been infinitely less satifying. Only misguided pride keeps me trying to update every day possible, but i haven’t kept up with email.

Louise bought a CD that i cannot wait to comment upon, a comp CD called No More Heroes, but it’s a birthday present for someone else. It’s supposed to be a punk comp, but there’s as much post-punk, new wave, pub rock, and just odd pop. She was laughing at it earlier, & the tracklisting looks like she was onto something. I hate not being able to listen to music in comfort right now.

Also downloaded some tracks that are to be on the Dismemberment Plan’s Change, but haven’t even had the energy to see if they are live or the actual upcoming album. Damn.

Alex has given the Strokes a chance and doesn’t like them. I still like the Strokes well enough, but am glad to have a ready example of someone who has listened to the songs, described them, and finds them a waste of time. Har de har to Goldberg. Damn it. i cannot complete this thought either.

Tomorrow, tomorrow… i hate this.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.25.01

Feel much better today. Have been turned onto the International Noise Conspiracy and the Hives, and been reminded of the power of the Refused, who interested me a couple of years ago, but i never followed up on the interest. I’m still stuck on my fixation with garage-punk bands, although i feel close to saturation, like when i burned out on psych for awhile. I’m feeling drawn towards sweet melodies again. Or lyrics. Which path?

Lou rigged up the tape deck to the computer. I’m so excited, so having had a CD burner hasn’t spoiled me entirely.

Scrubbles has the goods on the new Elvis Costello reissues. Aside from the first three albums (which i love,) I only have a bunch of thriftstore vinyl, so these might wind up on a wishlist one day

Although i’ve been turning my back yet again on a lot of contemporary pop music recently (i might explain why another time, but it seems obvious,) I’m bummed out that Aaliyah died in a plane crash. From the little that i knew about her, she seemed leagues classier. And there should be no tributes.

Bush is getting his schedule laid out for him by his handlers, on how to blame the Democrats (or at least Congress,) on how they are somehow responsible for the faltering economy, and not the absurdly irresponsibly budget that Bush proposed, pretending that he read it. What’s even more insane is that this budget also relies on corporations paying their taxes two weeks early voluntarily. That’s just not going to happen. Social Security is doomed.

I didn’t realize that Bush keeps reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar every time he appears at a school, no matter how old the kids are. Arianna Huffington analyzes the mentality of a man with so narrow a reading list. (There’s also questions on whether he really read the new biography on John Adams either.)

Brazil’s defying the drug companies, and working on creating generics of drugs that combats HIV. People on the web are already betting on when the U.S. finds a way to lean on Brazil, jokingly saying that perhaps war will be declared. If the G8 was really up to any good, they’d laud Brazil’s efforts, and attempt to globalize that concept. Via Plastic.

My mind is boggled in trying to figure out why the U.S. will not consider signing a U.N. agreement on the rights of children (particularly in the case of education,) because the U.S. only handles one human rights agreement at a time, and it already has one on its plate (on discrimination against women.) It just doesn’t make sense. At the very least, it’s just bad public relations.

Read The Surgeon of Crowthorne (aka The Professor & the Madman in the States.) (No, i haven’t finished rereading 100 Years of Solitude.) It was a lot drier than what i was expecting, considering that the guy who originally recommended it to me is an addict of martial arts and exploding aliens, but i enjoyed the series of coincidences that led up to a man born to missionaries in Sri Lanka, to serve as a surgeon in the Union Army in the American Civil War, at some point sinking into paranoid schizophrenia, committing murder in London, and committed to an asylum, to become a key collaborator on the Oxford English Dictionary. In my own thickness, i shudder at the amount of work that i would find tedious that this dictionary required. I’m also always amazed with how literate educated people were supposed to have been in the past… but suspect that a lot of them were braggarts.

I wish that this article about stone circles in China had some photos and illustrations. It draws comparisons betweent the crop circles and megaliths in Great Britian and even more ancient ones in China. Once again, because these Chinese circles were found near Mongolia, and date to 2600 BC, i wonder whether they have anything to do with those redhaired mummies? Yeah, yeah, i think that they have to do with everything. Leaving the paranormal out of it, it’s still pretty odd.

Not only is dependence on oil stupid, but treating nuclear fission as an alternative is stupid when nuclear fusion is right around the corner. (Kamen’s Ginger machine still seems cooler though.)

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.24.01

Excuses, excuses, excuses… for the past two days, i have been painfully ill. Have barely been able to think, and only after bundling up under heavy blankets and eating a hell of a lot of yogurt, i’m able to focus on the computer at all. After coming back from the Tesco with the yogurt yesterday, i nearly collapsed on the ground. It’s a nasty virus, whatever it is, and i fear Louise getting it, although she hasn’t shown any signs.

I’ve felt too lousy to listen to much music, although i now have the two Wilco songs that was missing, thanks to Jeff at People Talk Too Loud. I’ll get around to commenting on them on a better day.

Had an odd moment when i realized that an email called Dirty Knives was not some weird spam for medical porno, and actually an email from a local New Orleans band. They sound like the Hellacopters and Mooney Suzuki to me. New Orleans has needed a band like this, especially since their live mp3s are pretty strong. While i have not stopped thinking of Louisiana as home for one second, it was a jolt, as this is the first time I recall anyone that i didn’t already know from the area contacting me.

It bugs me that i didn’t know Fred Hoyle’s name right off. If someone just said his name, i would not have known to connect it with astronomer. My mother wouldn’t be embarrassed of mebut it’s just wrong that i could probably identfy the names of key UFO researchers better than prominent astronomers and astrophysicists. It’s not as if it’s my specialty (and i think that i’d do all right in biology, even if i think space is cooler.) Yes, he did come up with the Starseed concept, and i still feel too low to write about it.

Going to watch Arsenic and Old Lace now.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.23.01

I was going to wait to download the rest of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but then Fred Solinger mentioned that “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” was the song that caused Reprise to refuse to release the album on an ILM thread that i was dredging for new songs to download. It’s hard not to donload it, as i was thinking it might be because Reprise wanted Wilco to stay in a alt-country niche, and this album doesn’t fit in that genre. Now i’m wondering if it’s a song akin to the spirit of Big Star’s 3rd: Sister Lovers (which admittedly, took me a long time to warm up to.)While downloading the song, it might be worth mentioning the tip discovered from the Pitchfork message board, as it would be selfish not to if you missed it. To quote, “If you want a song that’s blocked, click until you get to the page where it gives you the “blocked because of copyright notice” warning. Then go up to the URL, and where it says “…/list/song.php?…” change it “…/list/chooseVersion.php?…” Do it now, as it’s likely a loophole that will be fixed soon, and yes, that V needs to be capitalized.

Yes, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” is related to 3rd: Sister Lovers, but it doesn’t seem to be in the same vein of bleakness. Maybe i’m not listening close enough, but it actually sounds tenderly loving. It feels like the song is trying to be fucked-up and alienating, but cannot quite pull it off, deliberately. The sentimental tone is still there and seems true. Tweedy even confesses at the end, what was i thinking when i let go of you? and is left in the broken bits and shards, the thorns meant to drive love away, with a seed of love still being nurtured. It’s not a hopeful song, but it’s not hateful either. It certainly doesn’t sound like anything that would destroy a career.

“Jesus, Ect.” is a bit odd for Wilco. Vibey keys. Strings that remind me of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, a kind of swinging folk fiddle.

“I’m the Man Who Loves You” Ooo… this just keeps better, as i was not expecting anything like this on the album. With the sequencing that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot seems to have, the ones that i worried might be weaker are getting props from their neighbors, and creating a great flow sonically and lyrically. This one is a bridge for the two songs that seem like the most obvious singles, and becoming the three most upbeat songs on the album for me, with this one almost too goofy to expect as a single.

Just in case you need that probable tracklisting:

  1. I’m Trying to Break Your Heart
  2. Kamera
  3. Radio Cure
  4. War on War
  5. Jesus, ect.
  6. Ashes of American Flags
  7. Heavy Metal Drummer
  8. I’m the Man Who Loves You
  9. Pot Kettle Black
  10. Poor Places
  11. Reservations

“Poor Places” It’s bound to be a centerpiece of some sort (still have not listened to the album as a whole entity,) as it builds from several verses of fragmented observations into a white noise crescendo behind a piano, the repeated lyric of I’m not going outside with the distant radio fragment of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot looped in the background. Here’s a blind stab…. it feels like a retreat into pain and self-absorption with a dim awareness of the pain all over the world, but he’s not going to do anything about it, as he’s gained just his own bit of comfort as one of the walking wounded, but the cries of the rest of the people in pain are not going to be going away. Whether he goes outside or not is not going to matter.

I’m confusing myself. It seemed that this was purely a relationship album, but now I’m wondering whether to take a song like “War on War” at face value and the relationship metaphor. I guess that technically every song can be about you and me and the world, but the more that i listen to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the bigger the album seems, engulfing me.

(Incidentally, Fred’s list also reminded me that i need to download more Harry Nilsson, as i went on a binge for Nilsson for awhile, and then talked about him offpage with Rob of DAA. I wish i had a longer attention span.)

The Kingsbury Manx. No one’s talking about them more, right? I downloaded some songs several months ago, and then brushed them off as overrated. The other day i downloaded the cooly titled “Baby, You’re a Dead Man” and now i’m loving them, probably because there’s very little hype about them (unlike the Strokes.) Yes, it’s kind of a Beatle title to the song, combining “Baby You’re a Rich Man” and the infamous nonlyric Turn me on dead man, but thankfully, they don’t sound anything like the Beatles. It’s ethereal, brooding, and gently menacing. For some reason, the singing reminds me of Richard Davies, with him wavering on the words as if he was picking stepping stones to cross a stream, slipping slightly, but staying balanced precariously. The way that the rhythm and the acoustic guitars seem to lurch add to the elegant staggering, but the electric guitar and keys are that spidersilk line that keeps one on course. I think that this might be off their upcoming album Let You Down. I must stay focused and not turn against it if the critics rave about any imagined genius, which i doubt will happen, as New York is in, and folky psych is out.

There’s going to be a sequel to Trainspotting, and it’s called Porno. Unfortunately, i have not read the book, so i cannot carry on being all self-righteous on cashing in without a serious twinge. Besides, it might be good. If Irvine Welsh writes the book, and they manage to sane some of the same actors, i’ll probably get something positive out of it. It just damned well better have robert carlyle returning as Begbie. In fact, the whole movie could be about Begbie, and i’d like it. If then they made a musical, and Robert Carlyle took Begbie: The Musical (on ice even) Louise and i would go see it with Robert Carlyle. I really ought to read Irvine Welsh, not that i didn’t try, but the dialect did have me beat, not as badly as Hawksmoor, but bad enough. Via Plastic.

More people ought to speak up about the anti-democratic notion of these “designated protest areas.” It’s as weird as how in the past couple of years “Civil disobedience” has become a bad thing, forgetting that the alternative is uncivil disobedience if anyone is to disobey at all. the line, “the primary purpose of the Bill of Rights is not to make life easier for the police,” says it all. Then again, if police were paid more, it would encourage more sane people to want to perform a thankless job.

I couldn’t bother to remember exactly why Jesse Helms is such an evil bastard yesterday, but thankfully, Mother Jones did it for me.

Maybe i just forgot this, but i didn’t know that Clinton had been talking to Sharak last winter about Marc Rich at the same time he was trying to negotiate a truce between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The transripts were leaked by nutty Dan Burton apparently in an attempt to reignite the issue, even though it seems to remove some of Clinton’s tarnish in that particular scandal. This is compared by Joe Conason to Cheney’s continuing current suppression of the list of names on his energy task force from the GAO. Yes, those are some fairly screwed up policies concerning security.

I gues there’s all sorts of stuff slipping past me, as i didn’t know that Rumsfeld was having trouble controlling the Pentagon. I don’t even know if that’s good news or bad news either.

Sometime late last night, there was an awful shrieking, something that sounded almost human but not quite. I never quite managed to wake up, but I vaguely remember Louise peering through the Venetian blinds, up towards City Road. A man was walking his dog, and the dog had been hit by a car. It seems that there was a lot of witnesses, and they stood about in confusion, unsure of what to do. I don’t know when the shrieks stopped, but they seemed to fade away slowly. I assume the dog is dead, and the discussion on how no one was at fault but it was horrible mistake trailed off as well. While i never quite woke up, that dog’s pain stayed with me all night. I’ve seen many animals die, but this probable death lodged itself in my subconscious, as i could only see with my mind. It’s not so much the death as the pain that clings to the underside of every thought this morning.

I didn’t consciously know who Fred Hoyle was, but my mother did, as he was one of her favorites. (She wanted to be an astronomer growing up, but was channeled into teaching instead, because her working class parents wanted her to do something practical. I’m rather happy about the way thingsd turned out, as i wouldn’t exist as i do now otherwise.) Even if he didn’t believe in the Big Bang, and simply that space is infinite and eternal (i’m simplifying again. Sue me,) he proposed that everything was forged in the hearts of stars, which turns out to be true as far as we know. I’m still trying to see if he’s also responsible to the Starseed idea, or whether someone else did, building on his ideas.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.22.01

Because i’m a fuck-up, i can update today after all. I went by bus to Whitchurch, and was not supposed to go to Oxfam. I was supposed to go BTCV Forest Farm. It took an hour for me to walk up there, and then i walked right past the place i was supposed to go, meandering all through the park, and then up into the Valleys, for no good reason. The rest of the day was spent walking back from there along the River Taff. All of this was done with gaping holes in the in-soles of my shoes. Just a reminder, i’m a goddamned idiot. I don’t think that i’m going to make it up to the Forest Farm tomorrow either, as i overdid it today.

Noticed that there’s a rumor that the White Stripes may have split, and it turns out that it’s merely more nonsense just to fill another space with news about them. I love the band, but unlike Wilco, it would not bother me if they split. Three albums is a nice run for their style of music. However, to have the NME pull this shit about their divorce, when it was common knowledge to most of the people who knew the band… it’s cheap. Very cheap.

And while it’s more honest and generally unsleazy, Goldberg’s back on the Stokes again. this time he’s letting the readers who hate the hype have their say. Whoever this Ben Butler guy labelling the Strokes as Mannerist rock has tickled me to no end. That’s so much better than retro or revival for the next couple of days, and even defines the mindset. As for Jenny Tatone’s comment, i don’t even dislike the Strokes, but the hype. I don’t believe that they are that popular yet, but it pisses me off when i’m told to like something, unless it’s something that i’m already familiar with, and made peace.

Pitchfork interviews the Beta Band and they are talking corporations, politics and globalization. They barely even talk about music. Why am i not surprised? they are not exactly great statesmen, no better informed than me or any other internet junkie, but it feels good to know we’re on the same side. Sometimes i just need a comfort blanket.

The Moldy Peaches. Downloaded some songs last night. Now i’m really confused. I don’t hate them, but they sound pretty much like every other comedy duo that would get together every few months and open for other bands in Hammond, and most often, these were always sideprojects. At least the Moldy Peaches are not a side project, but that might be a problem too. Of these amateur, sometimes one-off acts, there usually were a handful of funny songs in the batch, but for the most part, the act stayed flat, and the novelty band fizzled out. I didn’t know that they could be passed off as anti-folk. I’m happy for anyone who loves them, but they seem to be extremely dated and localized material for me. I won’t delete the songs yet, and will keep trying.

No other music downloaded aside from Elliott Smith rarities. It’s surprising how many covers he really does. I’ve been walking all day today anyway, with the Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” and SFA “Sidewalk Surfer Girl” running through my head. It’s the dirty old river part that got the Kinks song going, even though the Taff would seem exceptionally clean to someone from Louisiana.

I find it a little surreal that John Darnielle was hanging out on Usenet defending Radiohead, and a little less odd that he wrote about it. I remember most everyone saying that Amnesiac was disturbing, so i don’t quite know what he was reading. However, i like the piece, and empathize with his wonderment, after all of these weeks.

Juanita on Raindogs posted a link to how Radiohead is taking America on their current tour. It’s a sellout tour without any hit singles, airtimes or promotion? It’s not that big of a surprise. The marketing departments of the major labels are completely out-of-touch, and tailor the charts to how they want them to look, not how they actually are. All sorts of musical tastes have been marginalized in the Official Story.

It’s a  slash piece against nu-metal in the Village Voice that gradually begins to revel in the disgust and start raving for it. He’s making me miss M2, even if it sucks compared to what it once was. Even i don’t think i could stomach MTV X though, no matter how absurdly entertaining it would be to tape those videos and save them for “posterity”. Comedy almost redeems anything.

and with a flipside on how mush rock has “returned” in the Village Voice. I’ve been in the mood to be positive, and stay away from going on lengthy diatribes about things that i hate, but with enough clever similes and metaphors, i’m snared, and when someone just wants to be plain ugly, calling the singer for Staind, “Fattest and baldest sensitive troubadour since Christopher Cross,” earns a special place with me for inspired, if petty malice. (although i would prefer to listen to neither, i actually prefer nu-metal to mush rock, if only for the videos.)

I’m stealing this story from Slatch, who didn’t comment on it, as apparently it was obvious. Sales of all formats are down 10%, but full-length CDs are up? this is just more propaganda to slam downloading. Notice that they keep cassettes in the numbers, and probably have vinyl in as well. If it helped cook the numbers, they would probably add 8-track in too. Singles of all formats are down, but they don’t mention whether CD singles are down or not. They lump them all together to drag down the CD singles with the phasing out of cassettes. Statistics, as usual, lie, as does the media, who use the headline that sales are down.

I just remembered a reason to forgive all of the gloom and doom of the last episode of the Office. It opened with a sequence of a man being made redundant, and winding up in a discussion with his two braindead supervisors on the difference between a midget and a dwarf, and that elves do not exist. I dont even recall how it got to that point, but the fact that it did was beautiful.

Jesse Helms says that he’s going to retire! i doubt whether this will swing the Senate slowly into the power of the Democrats, but Jesse Helms is someone that i’d be glad not to have in the Senate anymore. His name gets attached to most every bit of foulness that comes out of Washington DC.

I like this piece on how Bush’s spin on his vacation was a return to the Heartland, where traditional values are still kept. It’s fairly obvious that Bush is smallminded. He’s really from Midland, an oil town for executives with most of its working class trucked in each day from neighboring towns. He’s never been proven to be a bigot as far as i know, but he would not know working class values from experience, but then again, nor do many other politicians. The doofus never had a chance.

The first missle defense site is being built in Alaska. Please remember that it was proven that the successful test was rigged with a GPS.

I wonder if all of these buzzings and hums are connected with the black triangle aircraft or with crop circles. HAARP is getting blamed by some folks, but i like to pretend it doesn’t exist, as it scares the shit out of me, as it’s too real for me. I want my weirdness to be kinda fun. There’s a new case of weird, untraced buzzing in Germany.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 08.21.01

The Wednesday update will be a bit later than usual, if i do it at all. The mean woman from yesterday was right. I was at the wrong place to volunteer, even though she could have been a little more forthcoming in telling me where the proper place was. Lou found the right place, and i went in this morning, to find that help was indeed welcome. I’m to go to Oxfam tomorrow by 9:15 am, and work until 4 pm. I want to continue work on the webpage, as i have been, especially since a number of people have given positive compliments on the daily updates and that i simply enjoy posting endlessly, but in the past few weeks, i’ve become rather sedentary and antisocial. It’s time to get out of the cocoon, before i backslide into some of the weird behavior i was indulging in before working in the bookstore. The fact that it’s volunteer work makes me feel even more giddy with a sense of purpose, although i’d much prefer to be paying more of the bills as well. That can wait until Lou gets her vacation in the Stes though… in any case, i haven’t given up on the site, and please don’t give up on me.

Still downloading mp3s like there’s no tomorrow. I must start deleting them soon, as i am still pleasantly surprised by most every song, and hoarding them like a deranged fiend who won’t believe that downloading them again or buying the album in the future is a viable solution. I didn’t even know that there was supposed to be a current New York scene until a couple of months ago, with this Strokes nonsense, and from there, randomly picking Similiar Bands off the AMG has pushed me into bands that i knew the names of but hated, thinking that they sounded like something else entirely. I apologize that if most of you have already heard thse bands and are scratching your heads on how i’ve managed to avoid all of this common indie stuff all this time. I think that while i was in the States, i fixated on British bands that i had not heard before, and now that I’m over here, it’s American indie that i’m obsessed with.

Mooney Suzuki. I thought that the were a sludgy post-rock band who were trying to pass themselves off as a Can cover band, appropriating the names of two of Can’s singers. (Is that where they got it from? Then i read the MC5/Stooges references, and decided to see if there was really a current New York sound. The first song I heard was “My Dear Persephone” which reminds me more of a garage band who wanted to ape the Zombies, couldn’t remotely pull it off, and decided to go with the jarring guitars that they know. It might be the best song that they’ve ever done, as i haven’t quite found one like it. None of it sounds much like Detroit to me, although i do hear the New York Dolls in “I Say I Love You”. I want to trust the reviewer, as he’s referencing a ’60s/’70s Detroit singer that i’ve never even heard of, so he’s apparently onto something. It’s definitely not the future of rock in any sense, unless from now on, everything is to be revivals of previous styles, but i’m quite fond of it. they might even be my current favorite bubblegum band.

Death Cab for Cutie. I thought that they sounded like the Microphones, who i’ve tried on numerous occasions, and just cannot accept. I even swore thhat i heasrd them many times on Indiepop radio, but this is not the band that i heard. So damned many people mentioned them, and i swore that they were people who have a fetish for people who play softly and sing off-key, because it sounds authentic. It actually shocked me that they are as sweet as Elliott Smith, in a more downbeat, less Beatley manner. It really is about songcraft rather than some perverted lo-fi fetish. Even though i’ve been craving adrenal, punkish bands for a few days, i can sense that quite easily, in some reflective mood, Death Cab for cutie could be catapulted into being one of my favorite indiepop bands.

The Delta 72. No, i’m serious. Take the indie label off of them, ignore anything that might be irony or deconstruction, and get them to play every harvest festival and state fair that they come across. They beat all of those Bob Seger tribute bands and Jake-and-Elwood-style soul reviews into a bloody pulp. Yes, i have all of the early Small Faces and Pretty Things albums, and it makes as much sense that people cannibalize them as Dr. Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake and SF Sorrow. Those stuffy bastards at the Louisiana Music Heritage Commission (No, i still cannot remember the correct name) would go apeshit over them if one of them was named Boudreaux (first name or last,) and for a change, when they claim that an indie band has energy, i’d believe them.

Enon. I was curious to see what happened to a fragment of the remainder of Brainiac. Pretty cool. Brainiac is more fun, in the riotous sense, but Enon’s “Rubber Car” slapped a big frozen grin on my face (which could also because it felt like like i was having a weird allergic reaction to something i ate, as i also had trouble swallowing and breathing. It would have looked pretty silly if i keeled over with headphones on and a manic smile. Would the paramedics think it was the killer song? I cannot tell whether it was the bananas, which always make me feel a little strange, or an additive to an unfamiliar packet of potato crisps.)

Bright Eyes. It seemed like a band to avoid, after paging through the Makeout Club pages for laughs. Many of the fans seemed painfully serious and a little too deeply absorbed in their own emotional lives. The frequent linkage to Neutral Milk Hotel in their favorite bands only made me more suspicious, but these are days for reevaluation. I cannot believe that this guy is only 21 years old. He does seem sincere and gifted, and reminds me more of Will Oldham than Jeff Mangum in the tone of his voice, but i find it easier to adapt to than either of them. I need to hear more.

It’s stunning how many people keep downloading the new Mercury Rev from me, particularly “Hercules”.

Louise went through her records last night, trying to see what vinyl she should keep, particularly Tom Waits, David Bowie, and Laibach, but the real treasure turned out to be one that she was ready to give away. It was the first record that she ever bought, a children’s record called Happy Monsters from the late ’60s or very early ’70s. theyu’re extremely quirky instrumental rewrites of popular songs (no credit given) with monstery names, and done with oddball instruments and absurd sound effects.

Jeff posted a list of the websites of all of the people on the messageboard of You Are Talking Too Loud. I’m stunned by how well they are all designed, and feeling that this Geocities site is looking fairly shoddy at this point. Now i know i have to put the blog links up on the right hand side, as once i start reading all of those regularly, that column will stretch into the infinite.

I saw the last episode of The Office last night, and whatever i felt about it’s weaknesses were stripped away these past couple of episodes. In fact, last night it proved itself not to be a comedy, but a tragedy that just happened to have comic moments. It’s a rare, supposed comedy series that ends on such a bleak, downbeat manner. I kept waiting for a release from the anxiety of identification with the futility of the working world, and it never came. In fact, it pretty much assured the damnation of the show’s most sympathetic character, drawing the line to how he is to become as pathetic a monster as the show’s most pathetic character, the office manager. I still think it was a fantastic show, but in the end, it came across as a shrill warning to stop deferring your dreams now, or lose your soul bit by bit, in full awareness. Ugh. Creepy.

Creepier still is how a 28 year old man, with only three years of experience is being nominated to be U.S. attorney for South Carolina. He’s Strom Thurmond Jr. and yes, his dad fathered him when he was 70 years old. And yes, Bush nominated him at Thurmond Sr.’s suggestion. Why do Americans even pretend that we still have a full democracy? this is just weird. The Democrats are not helping either…

As for Florida’s election reforms, the money earmarked for new voting machines is in part going to purge more imaginary felons from the lists. the site even says it is being done in secret. I’m unclear on whether they are going to use the same Texas based company that manufactured those tailored “felons” list as last time.

Weird use of the word “imperialism” as a good thing. Oh, whatever… what a bunch of cranks…. too bad that they actually have control of American foreign policy.

I don’t care how much time an “expert” cares to estimate a certain amount of people could create a crop circle if in the entire article, nothing is mentioned about whether any of the stalks are bent by high heat. Many of the crop circles are fake, but those are beaten down with boards, and cannot create the effect of the microwaved stalks. At least the article mentions some of new Wiltshire crop circle is sloppy.

the Mars probe Odyssey is already beginning to malfunction. It’s only a radiation experiment supposedly, but i’ll bet that something else fgoes wrong before October 23rd