Shucks. They booted Elisabeth on Survivor last night. It was necessary, as no one wants to compete at the end for votes to win against a big-eyed girl who is always smiling sweetly and sincerely, but i was still rooting for her. I’m happy so long as Keith does not win now, not that I dislike him intensely… just enough not to want him to win.

I picked up that 100 Best Record Covers by Q magazine, not because I agree with it, but because there’s some definite curveballs in it. It’s obviously not really a 100 Best, but a bunch that people decided were quite cool, and some other albums that they did not dare leave out, or have their mailboxes flooded with complaints. I cannot believe that they put in the Louvin Brothers’ Satan Is Real though. If they were going to go through the thrift store bins, they definitely could have used Merrill Womach‘s Happy Again. I shall never forget the quote on the inside gatefold, “Dear God! Please don’t let that be my husband!” there’s also an unusual number of ’90s albums in the selection, and odd choices at that. Primal Scream’s XTRMNTR as one of the 100 Best? Who picks this? (Someone named Dorian Lynsky apparently.) Admittedly, i like the album cover somewhat, as well as Chemical Brothers’ Surrender and Radiohead’s OK Computer…. but none of them would have come close to me. I guess that i don’t understand graphic design.

I take it back. While I’m glad to see old favorites like the Beatles’ Butcher Cover and Julian Cope’s Fried, as much as i like David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, Syd Barrett’s Madcap Laughs, and Kin Crimson’s Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, it’s not necessary to see them anymore and they are happily left off. The more i flip through the page, I rather wish that the whole thing had been 45 sleeves by bands that I’ve never heard of, or only have stuff on reissues of. One of my favorite covers in this whole thing is the single for the Buzzcocks’ “Orgasm Addict”. Never saw the image of the woman with the iron for a head, and toothy grins on her breasts before. And while Kraftwerk leaves me clod, the stark red and black of The Man Machine, with their pasty white faces… it’s brilliantly striking. This book is probably not worth any real record collector having (although it is for me, as i don’t have enough time to read much this week and like bright colors) but it reminds me how many great covers that I’ve never seen are out there, some containing records that I might as well throw away. One of these years, someone’s going to create an encyclopedic CD-ROM of the graphic design of record sleeves… and it’s going to go beyond rock. Whoever you are out there, hurry up.

Can there really be this many hardcore Julian Cope fans, or can no one else be bothered to listen to the new Brain Donor single? There’s blurb on NME, and while NME offered no rating, the readers have it at 9.3! I will have no part in bringing it lower, as it seems amusing, but I’m still incredulous.

Actually, i have to admit this morning I’m just listening to mp3s again… mostly Elvis Costello stuff from This Year’s Model and My Aim Is True. Why? I dunno. My favorite song of his is still “Radio, Radio” and i bought these albums in an ’80s fit (even though technically they’re ’70s.) I really like the songwriting, the production, and sometimes even his voice… but there’s something that leaves me distanced from Costello. Perhaps he’s been so thoroughly embraced by the critical establishment that I feel as if those songs are no longer to be enjoyed, but to be mused over while people stroke their chins. One could argue that about the Beatles too, except that lots of little kids love the Beatles. Costello is just not that immediate and all-embracing.

Cool! A theropod dinosaur fossil has been found in the Gobi Desert with primitive feathers! You know! Like velociraptors and T-Rex! I love how since i was a little boy, how dinosaurs have changed from dull, big, slow lizards, to swift, adaptive dinosaurs! They have actually become even more alien in a way.

Scientists are drawing the conclusions that either giant planets are formed rarely or rapidly from the evidence they are garnering by watching what seems to be planetary formation through the Hubble telescope. If planets like Jupiter are rare, that might be a blow against highly evolved life on many rocky plants liek our own through the universe, as one popular theory says that the big gas planets actually shield Earth from catastrophe inducing comet strikes, taking the brunt of those blows through the millenniea.

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