Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.30.02

Stupid Geocities and its damned data transfer limits! I need to move the site, but i keep putting it off.

New blogs! The Rub and Nerdball

I met Stanislav and Sarah for the first time Friday evening. I passed off some Julian Cope and Damien Youth CDs on him. He made me a couple of CDs (but i’ve only had a chance to listen to one of them.) We talked music for about an hour, but nothing that i want to go into here just yet. After all, those are Stanislav’s stories, and after i spoke to him and Sarah, i realized that i covered a lot of the same ground that i do inthe blog. i hope that i didn’t bore them too terribly.

Lou found a book when we went to the bookstore Saturday afternoon, To Major Tom by Dave Thompson. It’s supposed to be a man writing to David Bowie throughout his life, without being answered once. It seemed familiar somehow, although i have yet to pin down where i read about it, and i bought it at once. In my typical idiocy, i neglected to notice that the book’s a novel, not a true collection of letters. I was already making comments to Lou into the second chapter, after every paragraph or so that the book is a total forgery, but a most clever one. Of course it’s a damned novel, as the name of the person signing the letters is not the same as the author.

I’m only up to page 47 so far, but so far it’s proving itself to be quite entertaining. I was planning on finishing rereading the Harry Potter books and then the Julian Cope autobiography, before returning to new material, but To Major Tom has me sidetracked. There’s no suspension of disbelief, because the author never truly writes like a 12 year old. It’s too clued in to every detail, tweaking every fact with clever irony or nostalgia. It doesn’t seem to be a fault for my enjoyment though. No, i take it back, there IS a suspension of disbelief… not as a novel, but as a piece of music writing. It draws back from critical analysis, and indulges in the moments of living through the music and the times. It’s not purely revisionist, as it tries to allow for the innocence of youth and mistkaes made as a result from it.

I’ll write more about it when i am through, but the beginning of the book has me flushed with goodwill and trust.

I read about the Quick 106 craziness already, but now that Josh has posted the site on ILM, i’m now wondering exactly what they excerpted as the favorite parts of the songs. From the rock one (considering that i’m a rockist today) :

  1. Gun’nRoses “Patience” – It’s Axl whistling. If there’s one thing that Axl can do sincerely is whistle like a motherfucker. He’s no Otis Redding, but goddamn.
  2. Alice in Chains “Man in the Box” – Obviously it’s the Rawr Rawr Rawr Rawr. It’s the Blueprint for all of the turgid post grunge that plagues us today, from that phlegmy growl of that dead junkie.
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Californication” – Shit, i don’t even really know the tune. Just the chorus? Dreeee min’ uhf KAL luh FOR nuh KA shunnnnnnnn….. Boring.
  4. Power Station “Get It On” It pisses me off enough that the only T Rex song that i knew for ages was this one song, leading me to believe that they were a one hit wonder. T Rex is one of the most powerful lessons that classic rock radio is a lie, that they rewrite history just to fit more crap by Journey and Foreigner on the airwaves. Who the hell is Power Station? I had to check the AMG to find that they are a side project of Duran Duran? It doesn’t suck quite as bad as i imagined it would with a post grunge band, but it’s utterly pointless. The guitar riff might actually be more important.
  5. Led Zeppelin “Fool in the Rain” For someone who claims he still likes Led Zeppelin, in spite of the pomposity, i cannot recall this tune either. The name yes, but not the tune. Why bother?
  6. Tesla “Love Song” – Who still listens to this? The only thing i can remember is cropduster from the video, because back in high school i had a friend who flew a cropduster. That guy’s voice has a nasal croak. That’s all they have to clip from it, one of his yowls.
  7. Live “Lightning Crashes” – glurg. gag. blah. Why not let them cover Cage’s 4’33 and excerpt that?
  8. R.E.M. “End of the World as We know” – Sheesh. Just the chorus? Part of me actually understood the mindset of this silliness until now. The whole point of the song for me is the stream of consciousness. Sure, the chorus is great, but…

This game isn’t fun anymore. i thought that i could do it, but it’s boring me to tears.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.28.02

I’m still looking for a fleshed out track record for Judge Alfred T. Goodwin. I swear that this guy is a Republican that chose to fall on his own sword for the good of the party, because his opinion was perfectly timed to undermine so many arguments against Bush that it couldn’t have been too much better if it was wrapped up in a big red bow. The newspaper articles i read keep mentioning that he and his two collegues are on the most liebral circuit, but they never address whether he’s an actual liberal and rarely that he was appointed by Nixon.

In walking into a lab down in Donaldsonville yesterday, Rush Limbaugh was on. It made my blood boil, like it always does, to hear this smarmy, self-righteous asshole, but this time he was right…. the Democrats have already lost the elections for 2002. Limbaugh was also carping about how the Democrats would try to run on issues like corporate crime, but he waved the crimes of Enron and Worldcom away quickly, saying the real problem is how public schools have fallen to liberals, and the reason the coutry is in the state that it’s in is because of the depravations of liberals. He went on to throw every hare-brained conservative ideal, from prayer in schools to school vouchers to loyalty tests. My argument would be is that the criminals who run these multibillion dollar scams almost certainly went to private schools, and are dedicated conservatives, but Limbaugh went on to say that these scandals are nothing compared to government waste, then throwing out all sorts of numbers that i’m certain were inflated concerning government waste…. and ignoring that most of the government is controlled by Republicans right now, and even when Clinton was in office!

And then he started in on Daschle and the block against the confirmation hearings of ultra-conservative judges that Bush’s people demand. The Republicans have a massive weapon to wield in their fight for that now. Incidentally, he wants more people like Scalia on the benches, and while i’m still looking for a transcript of some very weird comments that Scalia made about democracy, Christianity, and the death penalty on NPR the other day. It seems that Mr. Strict Constructionist doesn’t even believe in democracy. The odder thing is that i don’t consider myself a Christian, and i know damned will the stuff that Scalia embraces as Christianity is not what Jesus taught, as there’s no way that Jesus promoted the death penalty. Scalia can claim the thoughts of the Christian philosophers who came afterwards, but to claim divine inspiration for the legitimacy of the death penalty is nonsense.

What i remember from scalia’s weirdness… something about the Divine Right of kings, how God allegedly invested authority in the leaders of men, who could decide upon a person’s right to live or die. Democracy undermines divine right of leaders, because it makes it seem that the people choose the leader, not God. Democracy undermines death penalty. Somehow this leads Scalia to believe that he must strengthen the nation’s resolve to utilize the death penalty. Why is this man revered as a deep thinking intellectual? There’s so many holes in this flow of thoughts that it’s spooky. Yes, it serves whatever agenda he’s pushing, but  if liberals had the arrogance to declare what’s patriotic and what’s not, and ignored freedom of speech, Scalia’s defense of the death penalty would be treasonous (i don’t want it actually labelled treasonous, but it illustrates how sloppy and thoughtless conservatives can be with that label) and certainly be unconstitutional.

That was another thing Limbaugh spooked me on. (Yes, it was a long damned wait in that lab.) He kept railing against democracy. He claimed that democracy is mob rule and to be avoided at all cost. What he claims we needs is a republic (which admittedly, we are supposed to have) but it was all a facile game with the names of the Democratic and Republican party.

The blowhard has never been accused of being honest, but he laid out the attack plan on the Democrats right there, and i know it will work…. that worthless, cowardly bastard. I’m extremely embarrassed about writing about this nonissue at all, as there are REAL problems in the world, but this is the perfect nonissue that could throw America into a darker Dark Age.

Almost unrelated, it sank in the other day as i was filling my trucks’s gas tank how unfair the policy against drive-offs are. Drive off without paying for one’s petrol, and one loses one’s driving license. It seems a logical extension of the punishment fitting the crime, right? Think of how much money Enron stole in the Californian energy crisis, and think about how much money is stolen by the average drive-off. The driver, who may not actually be guilty of a felony crime, loses one’s primary means of transportation. The executives at Enron might lose nothing. despite causing average citizens to fork over money that they actually needed. Does this make sense? Rush Limbaugh would say yes.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.27.02

evening

Holy shit! John Entwhistle’s dead! He’s younger than my parents, only 57 years old! It cannot be old age. If i continue blogging through the decades, i expect quite a few rock codgers dropping like flies, but this one’s unexpected. I’ll be digging out “Boris the Spider” later. I really do like “Boris the Spider”. Recently i’ve read a lot of negative opinions of it that baffle me.

It was a run down to the IMC plants down by the Sunshine Bridge, and that means a car rental, which means CD player in a vehicle.

In Search of... went in first. I realized that i keep calling “Stay Together” “Run to the Sun” for no other reason than “Stay Together” sounds psychedelic, and the title “Run to the Sun seems more psychedelic. It’s quite boneheaded, and i cannot stop it. It also pained me to hear the lyrics even more clearly than before. Lyrics are not everything, but it feels disappointing anyway. I can still take idiotic things from Slade and Sweet though. It quite possibly be because the production seems so brilliant at points that they should be a bit more deft in crafting their words. I guess i just want the Neptunes to be more than idiot savants.

Although i’ve been playing the hell out of “Inner Meet Me”, the rest of the Three EPs album is a little lost on me. I love the album, but the contrarian in me refuses to play it when i read folks insisting that it’s the best thing that they have ever done, as i’m certain that they are only improving. However, immersed in the tossed-off gems on that album is still quite a nice little high. The new addiction is to “The House Song” as while i knew that it was interwoven vocal lines, all played at once, i never tried to repeat one the whole song through. It completely emptied my mind in perfect mantra manner, trying to keep all three going at once, alone.

There was also something like that in Mason’s solo album, in “I Walk the Earth”. There’s a synth sound that winds up sounding like the sort of horns used by Tibetan Buddhist monks…. at least what i’d like to imagine is used by them. There’s something of the concept of the annihilation of the ego in the Beta Band. They’re mystics, you know. Yeah, really….

I’m amused by Goldberg’s Eminem stance. I’m glad someone wrote it, and named the names of critics that he finds to be disingenuous or just plain wrong. I try not to think about Eminem honestly. It’s not worth it. No reward or satisfaction. I still dig the chorus to “Without Me”though…. and  that new single by Beyonce Knowles is pretty funky. Bless the Neptunes.

morning

Ah, that new Sonic Youth album. Although i first heard Sonic Youth when i first got into a slew of other things that all turned out to be post-punk, they never really touched me. I taped all of their ’80s stuff from Damien, but never listened to them. I even picked up Dirty from a BMG binge one time, and put it on the shelf with a large BAH! Humbug! Why on earth would i be affected by several Return to Form write-ups, as i never got into them in the first place?

Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s lowered standards. Maybe it’s that evil Jim O’Rourke. I downloaded Murray Street (fuck the RIAA) last night and rather like it. They still seem way too cool for me, meaning whatever they are singing or playing, they are not singing or playing for me. I’m an eavesdropper. My fascination is drifting along with the guitar noodling and listening with an inattentive ear for those alleged classic rock references (which seems to be entirely lyrical.) It’s more rewarding than i expected it to be. I was just doing this out of sense of obligation to know what’s going on with Sonic Youth, why the AMG would give the album four stars and a glowing review, why Pitchfork would hand out another 9.0 (which they seem trigger happy with lately.) It has a nice groove to it, not as in funk, but like a blade skimming ice.

It might even grow into one of my favorite albums of the year. It fits the mood that i’ve been settling into lately. The visceral thrill of pop is still preeminent, but at least this morning, i needed the dreamy guitar lines.

And yeah, i’m still working on that Songs of 2002 list. I just had something else preoccupying me this morning. I don’t know how i managed to write a post for this page at all.

That judicial move against that “under God” thing in the pledge of the allegiance? It’s nothing but a bad PR move. Now Congress is stumbling over each other to see who can be the biggest patriot. I heard yesterday that one of the two judges that voted that the words were unconstitutional is a Nixon appointee. Although the other judge is supposed to be a “warhorse liberal” (meaning he’s just a jackass,) this seems to be just the Machiavellian move to get any American sympathetic to liberal thinking to throw up hands in frustration, as the witch hunt will be grueling. This is NOT a battle that needed to be fought right now, if ever. It has no bearing on the freedoms being ground into dust by the Bush administration. This decision gives the Bush adminstration another straw man to attack, distracting everyone from the real issues. I’m extremely suspicious of this whole patriot game.

Incidentally, i believe this new Bush vendetta against Arafat is just as much about Arafat saying that he wants the Clinton peace plan of 2000 last week than Arafat being corrupt. Yeah, yeah, Arafat is corrupt, but so are most other politicians. Arafat disses Bush like that, and the next thing we know, the Bush administration is on top of him like a pack of wild dogs, delegitimizing him, creating impossible conditions for Palestinians to have meaningful elections that would actually dio any good. This is not about vision. This is obvious vindictive retribution on the part of the Bush adminstration.

I am watching this story about Ashcroft inexplicably firing a bankruptcy administrator who was actually doing her job. Someone with a big mouth has to notice this story and cry foul, that this is an obviously unethical sellout to big businesses avoiding creditors.This is the same as a police chief firing a cop that gives a traffic ticket to the police chief’s golfing buddy.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.26.02

The Redd & White Stripes project is kinda pointless, but it reeks of goofy earnestness, and that seems a good thing for me. The whole point for me of the White Stripes is that they are a duo with few embellishments. It’s most cool that Jack White gave it his blessing. It kinda fits into the DIY ethic of boots, although i can foresee more rewarding endeavors in the future.

KLSU is starting to shoehorn a little metal into their mix. Not nu-metal… fret-choking thrash metal. It’s getting on my nerves, whether it stems from irony or genuine love.

Good night.

morning

Aha! I found some more songs for Faves of 2002 so far!

  • The Streets “Sharp Darts” The martial beat hooks me every time. It’s too damned short though. It amuses me that he elaborates on the hope of hitting the musical lottery, that if his song doesn’t really embed itself into the public consciousness to make him wealthy, that someone will sample some tiny peice from him and make his money there. Inserting that inside of the boasts is a nice touch.
  • The Flaming Lips “Yoshimi Versus the Pink Robots” Both parts 1 & 2, but particularly pt. 2. It’s one of the few mp3s that i feel like cranking up to full volume for total immersion. I’m all into throat scorching screamign set to watery explosions.
  • Grandpa Boy “AAA” I found myself another antisocial song to fit into my mix.
  • Imperial Teen “Ivanka” It’s not really their best song, but it’s on KLSU, meaning it’s a welcome relief from the nasty tendency for some DJS to put on Phish and Rusted Root.
  • Weezer “Dope Nose” It’s great how many people get pissed off that new Weezer is not as good as old Weezer, and use Cuomo’s own current lyrics as evidence to illustrate that he knows that he sold out. And? How many punchy songs are out there that are all about selling out? Why are confessions about his craft less important than sexual frustration? Because most of the listeners understand sexual frustration better?
  • KaitO “Succosanko” Yeah, yeah, it’s a 2001 record. I’m cheating. It’s just that it seemed to be worthwhile to sneak in that “splattercore” label. Whoever coined it, i like it. The more unhinged and slurred the voalcs are to this amphetamined music, the better. Painting with blood by knife’s edge.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Bang” I try not to talk about it, but i really do like this song, although the rhythm reminds me of the novelty song by Southern Culture on the Skids “Camel Walk” So much for the NYC art scene….

And yes, there seems to be a lot more that i’m still trying to wrestle out of the murk of my cesspool of a memory. This half-assed listing is helping my self-esteem a little, so it continues…

Incidentally, Damien didn’t bring any copies of his new stuff the other night. I’m a little disappointed by that.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.25.02

I’ve been trying to pull together a Faves of 2002 So Far list (songs, not albums,) as i’m uninspired and lists are usually great for filler, but it has me stumped too. Tom Waits and Wilco would be on the list, but that’s just what i’d expect myself to pick. Surprises are a necessity. I’m really trying here (and falling desperately short of my own expectations) :

  • Tom Waits “All the Word Is Green” Grand Weeper. Tah Dah.
  • Wilco “Heavy Metal Drummer” So i’ve know this song for over a year…. no. That means everything. It irks me that i have to consider this song a 2002 entry. I want to be over and done with YHF as a competitor of some kind. The battle to release it was one. It’s already safely enshrined for its zealous adherents.
  • Wildbunch “Danger (High Voltage)” I now know they are called the Electric Six, but this has to be another stab at getting themselves into hot water and publicity, because it turns into the acronym E6, a very familiar shorthand. They’ve signed with XL Recordings, incidentally. It’s the silliest fucking thing i’ve heard in ages that actually intends to be be silly. It’s the most archly camp disco rock song that i’ve been exposed to.
  • The Vines. Naw… just kidding.
  • Outkast “Land of a Million Drums” made me realize that the Scooby Doo canon that they are following includes “The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby Doo” which was actually a better cartoon for me than the original cartoon, as it had more of a sense of menace and real ghosts, even though it had an annoying kid sidekick. Oh, the drumbeat is wicked. It doesn’t matter that it’s a novelty song. Compare it to Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap”. It’s not novelty that condemns something to awfulness, as it escapes that pop slum. It confuses me why they would follow their last single “The Whole World with this. “The Whole World” was doomed to be forevere chained to 9/11, dragging a perfect chorus to relative obscurity ten years from now.
  • Eminem “Without Me” I just like the chorus. I feel apologetic about enjoying this song. I like to trash him sometimes just for fun, as i think he’s overrated. However, i don’t actually hate him either. It amuses me to think that the little twerp is so arrogant, and the public keeps falling for his hammy baiting.
  • The Hives “Hate to Say I Told You So” Well, really “Lisa’s Got the Hives” is more fun for me. Scratch that. Howling Pelle needs to get some greasepaint, sing falsetto, and dress like a candy raver though.

Shit. There’s more. Lots more. Gotta a Paul Westerberg song on the tip of my mind. I just cannot think well lately. Some of these wouldn’t even be my first choices. Tomorrow…. tomorrow… maybe.

There were a couple of remarkable songs on KLSU yesterday…. not great, and possibly not even good. They each reminded me of late ’70s mainstream rock music while remaining with American indie rock aesthetic. One reminded me of Billy Joel and the other of Thin Lizzy. The arrangements actually had me perk up my ears, as they were unusual. The only problem i had is that both of them were whinging laments of lost youth. Fuck that shit.

Boom Selection has moved. Change yer bookmarks.

I have an extreme distaste for Avril Lavigne. I don’t care if she can cruise on a skateboard or play a guitar. I hate people who claim outsider status without scars i can sense. Why do so many males snipe at guys that they consider “pretty boys” yet swoon over a girl like this, just because she embraces a sterilized piece of their past?

Have heard another song by Tweet, and yes, i still like the Eastern instrumentation, but again, i just don’t care for the vocals. It’s not that she’s a bad singer. I just still haven’t truly learned to love that genre of music. In fact, i only like the production. It feels like regression on my part, but there’s a psychedelic groove to the two songs that i’ve heard

The problem with the Big Takeover? It’s not a problem. It’s just that the campaign for real rock is completely unappealing now. There’s much posturing against pop and nonguitar music, and combined with Rabid’s antipathy for filesharing, it winds up becoming a small world for record collectors, supporting small labels that are swapping about limited reissues of certain bands. It’s far more welcome than the RIAA’s evil music as a commodity stance, but as obsessive as Jack Rabid is about the music he loves, he’s closer to be able to afford covering that music. It feels an easier stance for someone who stakes out a plot of a few genres and mines them for all they are worth. It’s easier to trade tapes among small circles with similiar tastes, because quite likely, the other person has something the other is looking for. It’s quite a wonderful cottage industry in an ideal world, but to give the RIAA any props on the legality of filesharing is a mistake.

Also, i am just suspicious of Jack Rabid’s taste in music. Although i missed issue #49, it leaves me scratching my head when he pick the Cosmic Rough Riders (a band i enjoy well enough, but am conscious of their nature) for his Top 40, while the Super Furry Animals are relegated to a third tier review, and the Beta Band and Pulp are left out altogether. Perhaps he covered them last issue, but i doubt it. The Big Takeover site makes no mention of it. That’s fine, but it’s too stodgy for me.

Yes, i’m stuck try to find a print magazine with a canon that i can embrace. Not a true canon, but something that can embrace anything without too many apologies or creating sophist arguments to invalidate a genre of music on the merit of something that has little to do with the actual music.

NBC wins. They play Scrubs nonstop tonight (a show i’ve never seen before,) and now i’m addicted. I’m a damned sheep.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.24.02

evening

It turns out that Damien is passing through town, and we are to meet him later. No time to write tonight. Sorry.

morning

I owe quite a few emails this morning. We were out of town this weekend. Expect replies tonight.

Friday, on the way out to Husser, we stopped at the bookstore to pick up Lou’s copy of Fortean Times. I was quite pleased to find that the Big Takeover #50 was on the racks as well, and scooped that up too. The guy at the register was quite excited to see Social Distortion on the cover. I admitted to having a couple of albums, but glossed over the fact that i don’t care for them at all. It was just enjoyable to run across someone that enthusiastic about music, because lately, unless it’s online, those people are rarities. Louise is the only person that i see day to day that actually gives a shit (and quite a big shit) about music of any kind. Because of my atrophied social skills, i almost didn’t know what to say when the guy launched into talking about favorite records of the Damned, then live performances of Neil Hannon of the Divine Comedy. It’s one thing to have one’s home as an oasis, but to remember that spontaneous music conversations do happen when one is not drowned in an environment sterile of anything remotely connected with the concept of art (and that’s counting television as a legitimate artisitic medium!) is a welcome relief.

At work that Friday, i was reaching slightly psychotic extremes of internalizing the music to avoid rolled eyes and put-upon faces when my stereo reaches others’ ears, turning the music to nearly inaudible levels, then facing the stereo, with my hands over the speakers, and closing my eyes to imagine the whole sound…. and i was caught of course, looking more awkward than a guy simply playign his stereo at normal volume.

Incidentally, while i have many fond memories of the Big Takeover, and still find its passion and perserverance admirable, i don’t merely disagree withthe party line of it anymore. Now i’m finding myself sometimes diametrically opposed. I hope that i can elaborate on this tonight.

On the ride to Husser, we listened to some tapes that Lou had handy, one Teenage Fanclub and one a collection of ’40s novelty songs, most of whom i don’t know the artist. Her friend Amy made that novelty tape for her, and it’s developed a longevity that has outlasted most other mixtapes i’ve made myself. It seems counterintuitive that relatively ancient novelty songs have more freshness than some contemporary songs that i embrace. I refuse to fall into the trap that old music is the best music though.

Now all i can think of is mix CDs and tapes. No, i’ve only record one recently. The obsession now is manifesting itself as filling pages of notebooks with possible tracklistings (but never following up.) The problem with this is that i keep picking inappropriate songs for the people that i’m making the mixes for. Because of that damned job and accursed Baton Rouge, distinctly disturbed songs keep popping up, things that hint at addiction, insanity, and isolation. In the old days, i’d revel in this, but now i feel it’s not a reflection on how i’m feeling, as aside from work, i’m the happiest that i’ve been in twelve years. I know that i don’t want to make the listeners miserable, but why is it so damned easy and natural for me to create a downer of a tape, especially when i know that is not the kind of mixtape needed?

I heard more of the Vines. Yeah, they’re okay… i like them well enough, but they are a complete victim of hype. All of their grunge informed songs must be erased. It’s painful to listen to more of that. It’s yet another style/ sound that needs a strictly enforced moratorium. The lo-fi sloppiness is cute in a stray puppy sort of way., a fanciful animal in which i can pin an imaginary line from McCartney and Ram to the punks.

Alex writes about the American Analog Set live. This is a welcome piece, as i rediscovered them late last week, as KLSU has been playing “The Only One” quite a lot again, reminding me that i loved their mp3s when in Cardiff, and forgot to seek them out upon returning to the States.

Somehow, for the past few weeks i’ve not noticed that i linked an archive page of Hipster Detritus, and worried that it had already died. I’m a dumbass. Also found Traveler’s Diagram.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.21.02

I’ve been searching the web for the lyrics of the Beta Band’s “Inner Meet Me”. Every one of them seems to be wrong, as i am convinced that the first line is inner meet me and i get shy, not Inner meet me, oh you can’t decide. Yeah, i’m not known for my strenght in deciphering lyrics, but it seems more like one of those cases of a chorus that is not quite what it seems, inserting small twists into it goes along.

It began to puzzle me yesterday… what is the derivation of the word “twerk”? It seems like it’s all over the place in pop music now. I found that it’s an archaic for of “thwart” but that’s probably not what it is. Is it a contraction of “to work”? That’s my bet, and i’m sticking with it until proven otherwise.

Sigh. You just cannot do shit like this in this manner in a balanced government. Now that Congress has finally set up an investigative committee to look into the Bush administration’s role in the failure of intelligence in 9/11, after the Bush Imperials beat their chests in a fury, the Bush Empire has declared that they are going to have the FBI investigate Congress. It’s pure meanspirited political tactics, with no concern for truth. If Congress had the backbone (and it feels like some of the Republicans are even chafing at the imbalance of power with the executive branch,) they’d slap Bush down with the fact that he does not have the power to declare war, a right that is reserved to Congress.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.20.02

It hasn’t been a terribly musical day. Work’s been absolute shit. I’d go into it here, but it’s getting so weird, and with other people there, so litigious, that i want to sit tight, keep my mouth shut, and wait for the universe to change. I apologize for being so easily disrupted.

Just a short post tonight…

Maybe i have had the RIAA wrong all along. They don’t really want to stop all file sharing. They just want to stop heavyweights like Napster and Audiogalaxy once they reach the point that the out-of-print and the nonRIAA affiliated become readily available. The fact that all we can find on the remaining file sharing networks are all heavy selling pop chart albums is quite telling. They know that for the most part, file sharing increases sales. What they are really upset about is the mining into music that they want to sit on until they can find a way to distribute it. Raging and fuming over Eminem and Britney might all be a smokescreen. When they talk about the value of music, they talk about the value of a commodity, not aesthetic value. They want to control what’s in demand. Yeah, yeah, we all already know that…

It’s already obvious that they don’t like artists to emerge spontaneously, because it makes their AR and marketing look like fools, after so much money and effort is invested in promoting their new saviors. It looks awful at shareholder meetings to explain that while sales are up, it’s not the artists predicted at the last meeting, as it makes VIPs ask questions why they need the people in charge that they do, because they don’t seem particularly visionary. Shareholders don’t like to gamble.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.19.02

Love. It turns out that my two CDs (from that two disc retrospective from a few years ago, and yes, i bought it USED (thanks Steve)) are here in Baton Rouge. While i was trying to fix some worthless radiation meters, i forgot what the hell i was supposed to be doing, leaning in, trying to remember why i had not played them in so long.

Yes, i know it sounds like a ’60s record, a quintessential one at that, but it still sounds unnaturally modern to me. It also ruined a lot of ’60s Californian bands for me. The Doors were too self-important and heavy-handed. The Byrds were not nearly versatile enough (for me anyway.) The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson’s teenage symphonies to God seemed clumsy and maudlin (besides, i already fell prey to some silly, imaginary “debate” on the Beatles versus the Beach Boys, and i cannot accept Pet Sounds is better than Revolver.) Buffalo Springfield…. well, i have had their music for awhile now, but it has yet to make a real impact, even though i deeply respect it. the US Kaleidoscope and Spirt… too marginal… The only Californian that didn’t pale in comparison for me was Captain Beefheart, the only relevant one for me that Love didn’t have a turf war with.

However, it still confuses me this evening about British MPs going nuts for Love, while in America, unless you’re an addictive music geek, Love will not come close to being a faint blip on the radar. The 13th Floor Elevators are now more high profile than Love thanks to the movie “High Fidelity”. There’s more to it than the fact than Love didn’t tour. I’m still wrestling with it, as Love is peculiarly American, unlike almost all British psych i know, which generally is fey and fanciful. I generally prefer British psych like Tomorrow and the UK Kaleidoscope, but Love is always grounded in a gritty reality, no matter how baroque the arrangements become. Maybe tomorrow?

I downloaded that Tweet song “Oops” awhile back, but only got around to listening to it tonight. Sex song, so automatically i’m a little disconnected from it, but goddamn it has some wondrous noise. The rhythm is hypnotic. I try to tune in to just one of the rhythms, to the cracking percussion, the bass water drums, the sampled clip of treated vocals… hoo. i makes me dizzy. I’m actually getting into Tweet’s vocals, but the male guest in the middle is intrusive and unwelcome. Evict that bastard.

They don’t play nothign liek this on the radio ’round here. I know. I damned well check every day. And there’s supposed to be a huge urban audience!

At first i was upset because i saw the referral log pointing to Barbelith, and jumped to the first thing i saw, which is an entry some sophist took out of context even within the post. Flux actually posted me first, so i calmed down….

“It’s too bad that i get more worked up over this than i do about oil corporations or the drug companies.”

Shame shame shame. It’s sad when what otherwise may have been cool liberal-types turn to bitching out of cheap self-interest and prostituting the plight of struggling musicians to argue for a freedom they never should have had. Strange too that they’re calling for rights not to be upheld. I guess we all have our price and can all convince ourselves what we like is right if we like it enough.

Aw…. big bad pseudo-principled libertarian makes widdle badge cwy. Wah! Wah!

If i must explain myself, i wrote that right after i found out the murder of Audiogalaxy, and it had a more immediate, more personal effect than what the oil and drug companies do every damned day. I was embarrassed by my rage, and was trying to acknowledge a weakness on my part that ought to be corrected. However, like most exchanges with conservatives i’ve experienced, any attempt at acknowledging weakness to allow for the failings of humanity for the other side’s argument is seized upon as a character flaw that demolishes my entire viewpoint… then they sit back smugly and gloat in their imagined moral superiority. Shame shame shame? I wish i knew more about this guy, because i suspect he’s an absolute prick. I’d like to be proven wrong.

Incidentally, the problem i have with this kind of libertarian thinking is that they want to secure so many rights so fiercely that they want to secure these same rights to corporations, which they cannot see only crushes the individual’s rights to the same, as corporations do not share the same punishment if the rights are violated. The whole point of a corporation is to minimize liability. Why should we afford them the same rights if they cannot bear the same responsibilites for these rights? Corporations have no legal right to exist. They are a privilege. So fuck the RIAA.

Short post this evening. Damn.

Fighting Against Making the Pie Higher 06.18.02

evening

I’ve calmed down a little. The RIAA is still evil, but it’s hard to feel as angry and self-righteous as i did in the past two posts. Nonetheless, all alternatives to Audiogalaxy suck, as i all i can turn up is all of the stuff that Audiogalaxy had banned from the beginning, the stuff that i don’t really care to download, the stuff that the RIAA pretended that they were so indignant about. Anyway….

American Idol hasn’t been all that fun. They have rushed it along too fast, and no personalities have really developed. In fact, the best part of the Idol show is all of the ordinary folks coming in for abysmal bellyflops. Focusing on the finalists is so boring. It says a lot about America in that they don’t care to see the struggle of the losers. No, that’s not true, as a friend at work looked forward to more of that, but the Fox Network cheated her and the rest of us.

Lou’s still gloating at Simon being mean though, when back in Britian she hated him.

And despite whatever Brits think of Ant & Dec, they at least are a real duo, as opposed to these two phony hosts with their limp schticks. (Lou points out that there’s no Big Forehead.) Okay, i admit it. I actually like Ant & Dec quite a bit, and used to watch that kids’ show that came on before CD:UK just for their lame skits. It feels weird to watch two American cardboard dummies fill in for them. They feel disengaged from what’s going on, and have nothing to add to what’s going on, no shoulders to cry on, no smirking shiteating winks.

I cannot believe it but Simon is carrying the whole show without an ounce of help. All of the music sucks, but i hated the music of the British Pop Idol too. Yes, i’m an idiot for watching it, but i’m an entertained idiot.

The adverts for “Fastlane” this fall embodies everything i hate. Shirtless dipshits, pointlessly fast cars, sleazy sex, sountracked by Limp Bizkit, with an actual cameo by the man-boy that i’d most like to smack with a clawhammer.

It’s bizarre that anyone in Britian aside from record collectors with mildewed clothes and bespectacled hipsters acknowledge who Arthur Lee is, but a bunch of Labour MPs heaping praises upon him in the actual House of Parliament is a bit surreal. I don’t think that a single member of the American Congress would even know who Arthur Lee is!

morning

I’m talking like an addict. For the past few months, the first thing i did in the morning before work, or the last thing before going to bed at night was to download a few songs. Sometimes i wouldn’t even listen to the song. I just liked the idea of being able to listen to it. I have plenty of songs to catch up on now, but the RIAA has disturbed my ritual. It turns out that some of those Stephen Foster covers were rather limp, and i didn’t even get good traditional versions, just generic interpretations.

Still it deeply bothers me that the RIAA did what they did. Audiogalaxy was not Napster-like. They had a pretty good system for blocking songs. When i wanted to truly pirated stuff, i’d have to go to Kazaa. The lawsuit they filed said that Audiogalaxy worked like Napster, and that’s an outright lie.

It’s also disturbing how the RIAA made certain that the unsigned were yanked from the site to protect what the RIAA claims as its own. My friend Damien is blocked just like everyone else. He’s not on a record label. He’s told me that he’s been selling more albums than ever because of Audiogalaxy, as more people become familiar with his songs. What does he do now? Even if he took the time to fill out the forms to show what songs he gives them permission to share, and pays a notary or lawyer to make certain the document is all legal, Audiogalaxy is still dead. The party has been killed. This kinda links up to the Supreme Court decision yesterday, on how it’s impermissable to require people who go door to door of other people’s houses to register with the local government. It doesn’t stop criminals from doing what they do, but creates a barrier for normal citizens than hinders their rights to assemble peacably and to free speech. Somehow it’s more important to protect the property of corporations (which they may or may not have acquired legally! The burden of proof lies with the broke, the dead, and forgotten to reclaim their music) than to reserve the freedom of citizens to indulge in the exchange of ideas and property that are not protected by billions of dollars.

This is the same organization that is trying to get a percentage out of used CDs. There is no difference. Some judge needs to see and understand that. Certain rights must be reserved to the record companies, but to allow them to bully everyone like this is absurd.

It’s too bad that i get more worked up over this than i do about oil corporations or the drug companies.

I never did get to download all of those King Oliver songs. Damn it to hell. and i never got those Steve Harley b-sides that Damien was so sure was on there, but were never online when i was.

Incidentally, i do know that music recorded before 1978 has 95 years after the copyright was secured to expire, but think about the logic of that, and how the artists were abused and exploited, and whether the members of the RIAA have any legitimate claim over the music that they hoard.

Incidentally, i’ve been meaning to link to Shazam! (lengthy music musings) and Fluxblog (sums up the Audiogalaxy fiasco better than i have been able to.) It also seems that i’m going to have to prune a few old favorites out of the list, as some folks think that they are too cool to blog anymore.