from the Andy Devine's "Andy's Gang." Just watch it. But only if you're cool...
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Dan Fogelberg died today. Fogelberg is a great songwriter. Often ridiculed for being too soft rock ("why don't you try penning "Longer", Leary?), he could rock with the best of the 70s crowd. Here's a favorite of mine; I've still got the 45: The Language of Love.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Anyway, he's a GIANT of contemporary literature. Shakespeare with a stadium pretzel. Ran for mayor of NY once, too. Here's his obit from the New York Times:
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Soundtrack: “Possession” by Elvis Costello & the Attractions
You lack lust/You’re so lackluster
Is that all the strength you can muster?
At first I could only find a live version of it on my iPod when I did a search. Maybe I didn’t have the original. Though I thought I had all the reissues. Maybe it’s from Taking Liberties. So I looked it up on allmusic.com. It’s on Get Happy, which I have. Turns out it was spelled with only three esses. I mean, huh huh, it’s crazy, you know…
“Love for Tender.” Musically, it’s built for the classic Costello dance. The jerky limb jutting.
Had my first haircut in Sellwood on Sunday. In my bathroom. I cut my own hair. Obviously. That should be part of my official bio:
Developer of Wet-Nap Suit
Namedrops Susan Lucci
Owns extensive Nikki Sudden Collection July 19 1956 - March 26 2006
Dreams in Spectracolor
Cuts own hair .
Soundtrack: “Fox in the Snow” by Belle & Sebastian
This morning I finally learned what Chrissie Hynde is singing in “Brass Pocket” – the line goes “Been driving, Detroit leaning.” I think the Detroit Lean is comparable to the Bensonhurst Slouch. Hynde said she wasn’t crazy about the song because the lines are too obscure.
“The pain of being a hopeless unbeliever.”
I flip through my LPs looking for something to help me write. I’ve already got a beer, an 18 oz Shakespeare Stout, but music’s always the real trigger when I want to write.
I’ve chosen Lou Reed’s Mistrial. So don’t expect much. I still think it’s got some great songs, but it was 1986, when even the best succumbed to crappy staccato bass lines and the worst of what a saxophone is capable of. This was clearly not the Ronnie Ross riffs of “Walk on the Wild Side”, but a sound more akin to Eric Carmen’s post-Raspberries dross.
There’s also the electronic percussion. The bane of mediocre Top 40 during the Reagan-Bush years. While it’s great for Kraftwerk, it’s not so hot for Reed. Who trades in Michael Suchorsky for a drum machine?
(If the crickets weren’t so loud, I could hear my sister-in-law rolling her eyes.)
As I write this, however, I’m paying very little attention to the album. Except when I had to turn it over. The same songs that stuck out 20 years ago are still the only ones registering with me tonight. Reed did follow-up this fiasco with New York three years later, returning to his post as statesman for the dark edge of the light of New York. He’s been churning out great music since.
20 years ago, I was still living on Long Island, from whence Lou Reed too hailed. Freeport, New York’s where he’s from. I did a little student teaching there back in the early 90s. Reed had long excised himself from those streets by then. Flavor Flav’s from there too. Well, that’s all I got.
But the last track on Mistrial is pretty good. “Tell it to Your Heart.” I wonder if there’s a live version of it. That friggin’ production stinks!
Wait, I listened to it again. It’s great. It even rises above those lousy synsonic dums. Beautiful words. Fuck you, Lou Reed.
Hey, there is a live version of it. I just downloaded it from iTunes. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that I’m just sitting here drinking a beer and listening to music. The writing is tertiary. Which is a problem I should work on.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
What was Malibu? Just a club like any other club on the Island in the 80s and 90s. With much more of a "new wave" bent than say Spit or Industry. Are those places still there? WLIR and then WDRE promoted the club a lot. I might have even seen a show there once. All the usuals of those various generation played there at some point: Squeeze, Matthew Sweet... I don't know -- Blancmange, maybe?
I was always intrigued with going to clubs, but rarely did, deciding that listening to music at home was always, and is still always, preferable.
But I've always loved a party!
Hey, did WLIR hold their Party Out of Bounds there? Psaur?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Zee honeymoon is over! (vacation-wise, at least). Where've I been? Disneyland, you cheerless jackass! My wife and I drove down to Anaheim then back up through San Francisco, where we stayed for a few days as well.
Here I am, levitated by sheer joy, in front of the Toon Town library (curiously, it wasn't open...)
What else did I do? Why, the happiest frigging stuff on earth!
Now back to my Optimator Spaten. Gotta catch up -- there's no alcohol in Disneyland (crap, I had to walk 100 feet over to Downtown Disney for some booze!)
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
I've never consciously listened to Spoon before, for whatever reason. But holy shit what a song! Extraordinarily uplifting! You got no fear of the underdog, that's why you will not survive." Greatest line in rock since the Feebs' "Now that they've got their hands on you, do you think there's anything they wouldn't do" from "Rock is Dumb." It's got a touch of Thin Lizzy. And well-recorded handclaps!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The classic animated film by the late Ryan Larkin. I was watching a documentary about him this morning called "Alter Egos" on community television. I'd seen it a few years ago, and just chanced on it today. Public access is the best/worst thing on TV. Anyhow, I learned that Larkin died this past St. Valentine's Day. His story is worth researching: the artist turns to cocaine, turns his back on the industry, ends of panhandling in Toronto for years, and is then rediscovered. Oh, and dies. As far as animation goes, one could not unreasonable consider him a genius. Watch!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Pope Benedict doesn't seem to notice -- no sign of Christian forgiveness or compassion as the overfervent fan (maybe he just wanted a kiss) is pummeled by his bodyguards.
Jesus had apostles. The pope had stooges. Well, sign of the times, I guess...
Friday, June 01, 2007
You know that you're a woman
You got to be a woman
I got the feeling of love
What's to be written after that? If it was 1988, I would've thought the great Paulie V. wrote it. But, no, it was Wolfmother. I picked up their debut today. It's f-ing great. But maybe it sucks as well. The cover is a Frazetta painting. Yeah, it's f-ing great!
I just sauntered home from the Muddy Rudder, a new pub down the road from me. Guinness on nitro. Nitro! I don't know. It tasted like every other Guinness I've had. Meaning fantastic.
Friday night. The future Mrs. is out at her parents, which would explain the Wolfmother blasting out into the Southeast Portland evening...
Oh, apparently, yr not supposed to brush yr teeth with toothpaste from China. Word from the FDA -- it may contain anti-freeze. Sounds like another urban legend in the making. Still, I checked my toothpaste (I was a bit concerned since I got it at the Dollar Store. No worries -- it's from Jersey. Hmmm...
Subscribed to the New York Observer. I like the Culture section. I love New York. Moreso since I left. I don't know. I'm haunted by a certain unattainable nostalgia of it -- Ezra Jack Keats books, Sesame Street short films, Uncle Genie's Carvel Shop... (Hey, did you hear that Tom Carvel's neice thinks her uncle was murdered? Maybe Cupie the Chocolate Nut did it!)
More Carvel here!
And Captain Carvel here!
Shit. Fucking Rex Reed writes for it! Rex Reed! Talk about flashbacks! 'Member when he was in Superman?
Are you God? Are you Wad? Are you Bill?
Also, I've been reading Teenage Hipster in the Modern World, a collection of articles by New York (among other publications) scribe Mark Jacobson, who may be my favorite journalist ever.
I'm playing Camper Van Beethoven II now. A bowl would be nice.
I've heard it enough that I'm a great writer (present blog disqualified) that I believe it. Wouldn't you?
Thursday, May 31, 2007
You can do it in your house! One of the best dances ever (along with Costello's "High Fidelty" jerky moves). Soupy sort of gives up on the moves half-way through the song (some people just can't lip-synch and do the Mouse at the same time). Still, Soupy's the only one doing the true Mouse -- those fancy-pants dancers are a bit too B'way for such a simpleton's groove.
Oh, and worst song ever, too.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Radio Shack's "Armatron" was spotted by our mothball-and-cobweb-fueled nostalgia field guide, Psaur, at an estate sale this morning. It could pick up stuff two feet out of your reach. Why do we even still have to go to work? Why have the robots not followed through with their promises?
Mostly, I thought of this song because I saw this sign on Hawthorne Blvd this afternoon. I love Hawthorne.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
I never had a hope, never had a chance
Nobody ever taught me to begin to understand
Why so glum? I miss the days when you believed the singer believed what they were saying.
Know who don't care either? Baldwin -- that's who. Just ask Dora...
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Today's song? I don't know yet. I'll get back to you after I knock out a few more swizzle sticks. I also have to finish the next installation of my Food column for the Bee (serving the Sellwood/Moreland/Woodstock area). Well, Urn creates the recipes and cooks it, and I eat it. I totally eat it!
The song? Not yet. The drink? Well, number three...
Wait! I've got it! "The French Inhaler" by Warren Zevon. Someone wrote of its thinly-veiled reference to Norman Mailer and Marilyn Monroe: "And your face looked like something Death brought with him in his suitcase." Mailer has wrote extensively about Monroe: a book, a play, and some text for a calendar my grandfather once had. I don't know what it's about, but the lyrics are fantastic! I'm listening to the studio version, though I prefer the live take, although it's not the best recording. What? Mmm...muddled pineapple and gin! "So I drank up all the money,Yes, I drank up all the money,With these phonies in this Hollywood bar..."
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
But in the mid-nineties I hit my stride and most of my random pics have panned out well. Case in point, Dial "W" for Watkins, his 2004 release. I had no idea who he was, just liked the cover and some song titles. Turns out he's been around for quite a while as a session man for some of the greats (of which he is indeed one), including Dave Edmunds, Rory Gallagher, John Martyn, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney. Nick Lowe is a huge fan, playing bass and singing on the album. The Dave Edmunds connection led Watkins to record with the Stray Cats on their album Rant n' Rave with the Stray Cats. That's his piano playing on "Look at that Cadillac."
Oh yeah, the song of the day is "Soldier of Love," written by Watkins (there's a few other same-named songs out there ).
How to describe? A song to roller-skate to on Valentine's Day. Slow and lovely, so hip it's perhaps beyond extrapolation, made only for listening and absorbing into your psyche. God damn, the whole f-ing album is royalty!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
You looked at me
Pointed out that I was drunk on whiskey
You looked at me
Said, “let’s get incredibly drunk on whiskey”
That's gold, Jerry! But my favorite part is the opening verse where his sister drives him to the Megaplex. I think he's singing from a youthful viewpoint. Either way, it's funny.
It's jazzy! A touch of the Smiths, Gypsy Jazz, etc. Torquil Campbell, musician, actor, and member of indie-pop-canuck chamber combo Stars, fronts Memphis, with Chris Dumont, who may or may not be related to Allen B. DuMont, ostensibly the inventor of network television.
You can listen to the song on their MySpace page or can be downloaded here.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Judee Sill's debut album, Judee Sill, was also the first release on David Geffen's fledgling pre-Geffen Records label, Aslyum Records. She'd release only one more album in her lifetime, dying of a drug overdose at 35 in '79.
A singer in the vein of Nyro and Mitchell, but quite on her own in style, Sill has become an immediate favorite of mine. Rhino Handmade re-released her albums a few years ago, and they're now out of print. But they're on iTunes. So I downloaded her first album.
Recommended. No shit.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
May 1: "The Lights of Cincinatti" by Scott Walker.
Before he started going Krupa on a side of beef, Walker recorded this Macaulay/Stephens composition, drenched in syrupy echo.
Tony Macaulay & Geoff Stephens also collaborated on The Hollies' "Sorry Suzanne", and "Smile a Little Smile for Me", immortalized by Flying Machine. All three songs were hits in 1969. The pair wrote a number of other songs together, including "Silver Lady" for David Soul in '77.
from "Silver Lady":
Here I am a million miles from home
The Indiana wind and rain cut through me
I’m lost and alone
chilled to the bone
Macaulay & Stephens kept the 70's casual!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Hunter S. Thompson (February 20, 2005)
Robert Anton Wilson (January 11, 2007)
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (April 12, 2007)
Ye gods! Save yourselves! Read Psaur! Read Feeb! Read Qner! Read MooT!
(If you're one of the above, then read me!)
Friday, April 13, 2007
Didn't I read this in feeb's dream journal?
But even better than the article are some of the comments left by readers, like this one from "Plainview Gman": "...that parking lot is one pain in the butt and NOT just from elderly drivers."
or this one from "Artie": "...whenever I get out of NYC, I always make this a stop! So people go in and support this business. Oh yea you can even get Devil Dogs on the side and wash it down with Hi-C!
Ah, home sweet home!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Clark, 67, and son Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed in the accident in Pacific Palisades, said Lyne Leavy, Clark's personal assistant.
The two men were in an Infiniti that collided head-on with a GMC Yukon around 2:30 a.m. PST, said Lt. Paul Vernon, a police spokesman. The driver of the other car was under the influence of alcohol and was driving without a license, Vernon said.
The driver, Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles, remained hospitalized and will be booked for investigation of gross vehicular manslaughter after being treated, Vernon said. A female passenger in his car also was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and released, police said.
In Clark's most famous film, all 9-year-old Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle.
His mother, teacher and Santa Claus all warn: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid."
A school bully named Scut Farkus, a leg lamp, a freezing flagpole mishap and some four-letter defiance helped the movie become a seasonal fixture with "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street."
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Thursday, March 01, 2007
1.0: Surviving; Overcoming Indifference Towards
Survival. (Cue “The Best of Morrissey.”)
“You know, I made it off the sinking Titanic!”
That’s great, Grandma. Get back in the kitchen, and check the roast.
The above exchange with my grandmother did not, of course, occur – she was on the Andrea Doria.
But it does illustrate the snide remarks often batted about by a few ranks of our cold, bloodless, fellow citizens who “just don’t wanna hear about it.” And why don’t they? Fear, I suppose, of the challenges thrust on the human spirit. Or maybe the present survivor, although a veteran of a most inspirational occurrence, has an annoying voice. I don’t know. I’m not a ‘trick cyclist’, as the cockney say!
2.0: Surviving; Exploitation of
Trouble remaining alive or in existence? Suffering from persistent sturm und drang? Well, now you can rest easy. In fact, you can rest anywhere, any time!
Survivarin® knocks you right on your basket and keeps you there for a full 24-hours. One dose a day is all you need!
Let’s face it – life’s hard. Or maybe you can’t face it. Well, now you don’t have to.
Survivarin®, not a “sleeping pill” but a “hibernation mimicker.”
Sleep through the “storm and stress” of life… with Survivarin®
3.0: Surviving; Obstacles in the Course of
Beyond dire situations unfit for mockery (war, tyranny, disease, and other personal tragedies), we the people experience numberless calamities we barely survive, psychically and spiritually speaking. Like what? Glad you asked.
These experiences require the parameters of short-term survival. As in, “If I can get through this moron’s story for the next two minutes, I going to get myself a patch that reads ‘I survived 120 seconds of half-witted drivel,’ and it would have, like, an eagle with earmuffs flying away from earth.”
Other patch-worthy encounters are with the following:
Actors in commercials who pretend to be your friends.
All country music recorded after 1973.
People who start sentences with the word “basically.” Basically, anyone who pads their statements with empty terms.
Waiting for your windshield to defrost.
How you still can’t listen to AM in a tunnel.
Those pop-ups that float across your computer screen.
Commercials at the beginning of films Now in Theaters
Oh, and all observational humor.
4.0: Surviving; The Callback
I feel weak just writing about it. I don’t know how I’ll survive…
Wait, I know!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
BELIEF & TECHNIQUE FOR MODERN PROSE
List of Essentials
1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4. Be in love with yr wife
5. Something that your feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from the bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement of yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the hold contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr monrning
24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In Praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazzier the better
29. You're a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
[By Jack Kerouac, exerpted precisely as published [sic] from a letter to Don Allen 1958]
from Heaven & Other Poems, Grey Fox Press, San Francisco 1994
Monday, February 05, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
"The Declaration of Independence, revered as a document but ignored as a guide to action, needs to be read from pulpits and podiums, on street corners and community radio stations throughout the nation. Its words, forgotten for over two centuries, need to become a call to action for the first time since it was read aloud to crowds in the early excited days of the American Revolution: “Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and institute new government.”
The “ends” referred to in the Declaration are the equal right of all to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” True, no government in the history of the nation has been faithful to those ends. Favors for the rich, neglect of the poor, massive violence in the interest of continental and world expansion—that is the persistent record of our government.
Still, there seems to be a special viciousness that accompanies the current assault on human rights, in this country and in the world. We have had repressive governments before, but none has legislated the end of habeas corpus, nor openly supported torture, nor declared the possibility of war without end. No government has so casually ignored the will of the people, affirmed the right of the President to ignore the Constitution, even to set aside laws passed by Congress."
Thursday, January 25, 2007
“You know her life was saved by rock and roll.”
– Velvet Underground
(Note: The author is in no way to be confused with a certified psychologist or anyone else with the least bit of mental health qualifications. Those individuals typically offer sound advice, not advice on sound.)
Maybe your life was saved by rock and roll. Or baroque chamber songs. Or Tuvan throat singing. Or even the sound of a guy banging a frozen cod against a wheelbarrow. Who’s to say what music is anyway? Regardless, you may be one of us human beings, of such tender emotional receptors, for whom music seemingly offers salvation. Or at least, salvation of the moment.
Can music “save” your “life”? What do I mean “save”? What do I mean “life”? What do I mean “mean”?
I don’t really know. But you know what I mean. All these questions! Can we get started? I’m dying to hear some music!
Instead of a primer on the healing properties of music (a subject I believe long researched, preached and practiced), let this serve as a bibliography of musical therapy, or a Suggested Listening List for both the moods you are in and those you wish to trigger.
These are songs for times when your “heart” tells your “brain”: I’M IN A FUNK! PLEASE SEND FUNK! (I couldn’t find any funk songs listed here – ed.)
Because sometimes when you’re sad, you want to stay sad for a while, and listen to sad music. Or else you’re tired of being down and need some happy songs to get you out of bed to eat something and rinse out those wine bottles.
“Nothing’s gonna happen. Nothing’s gonna change.” – Randy Newman
Ah, sad songs say so much! So let’s wallow. What’s worse than someone telling you to cheer up? Please leave me for a minute in my deep rut of hopeless despair! Right? Lost love, a change in weather, or the sudden and inevitable realization that mankind is a flea on the universe’s scruffy withers may be culprits of your present lowery emotions. I think the reasons are less important than the willingness to overcome them. Once you’re alone in your room, where the solitude too can be such a healer, spin these solemn singles for the morose topping on your pity pie.
I’ll not comment on these songs, short of offering a lyric. These are weighty, depressing songs. You think you’re in a bad mood?
1. Living Without You – Randy Newman
“Time to face the dawning gray of another lonely day”
2. My Curse – Afghan Whigs
“Temptation comes not from hell but from above”
3. Chorus 8 – The Feebs
“Love comes in many forms that you may find so distasteful”
4. I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore – Dusty Springfield
“The talk is so loud and the walls are much too thin.”
5. Trouble – Cat Stevens
“Trouble, oh trouble can't you see, you have made me a wreck, now won't you leave me in my misery”
“Get me away from here I’m dying.” – Belle & Sebastian
And then there are those times when you feel you’ve mined the core of sadness of all its wealth and need to cheer up already (yeah, that’s right, what about it?). Positivity! Unbridled jubilation! Release the hounds of adrenal! Escort your endorphins to the surface in the chariots of rock! Dance, all right? If you can’t dance, dance anyway. But please stay where you are – dance alone, behind closed doors. You don’t need to bring anyone else down with your rhythmless jerking and that thing you’re doing with your arms! Herewith, odes to joy! Loud, lively songs of unstoppable momentum!
1. Move On Up – Curtis Mayfield
“Remember your dreams are your only schemes, so keep on pushing”
Two knocks on the snare, then POW! The horns burst to life! The performance is so strong, the message isn’t even necessary, but Mayfield doesn’t care, and his commanding falsetto overwhelms all resistance!
2. What is Life? – George Harrison
“I’ll try my best to make everything succeed”
From George’s first solo album, loud and moving, with Phil Spector’s signature production sounding more like a “ball” of sound as it rolls your heart from hell to heaven.
3. You Are the Light – Jens Lekman
“Yeah, I got busted, so I used my one phone call to dedicate a song to you on the radio.”
Lekman throws this vehicle straight into gear! The trumpets bleat and punch, with a Funk Brothers steady beat pulsing under handclaps and terrific reverb!
4. Mo Money Mo Problems – Notorious B.I.G.
“I’m bigger than the city lights down in Times Square”
For the purpose of positive soul-jarring, I require songs that tear the silence. This song accomplishes the task with an immediate crashing wave of cymbal, bass and piano, courtesy of a remixed sample of Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out.” Rushing to the shore with Nile Rodger’s choppy guitar, Mace, Puff Daddy and B.I.G. swallow the world for the next four minutes. Take a deep breath!
5. Birdhouse in Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
“My story’s infinite, like the Longines Symphonette, it doesn’t rest”
Epic, majestic! With lyrics that very well might contain the history of mankind, “Birdhouse” tickles as it rockets you on a journey through the comet’s tail, before dropping you into the sweet midnight of a satisfied dream. Try it – this is an over-the-record-store-counter medication.
“Despite all the computations / You could just dance to that rock 'n' roll station.”
– Velvet Underground
Music: An aural aspirin. We run to our radios in our frustrations, knowing the salve of moody vibrations is some mighty juju. And we utilize it subconsciously as well, turning on the stereo as a diversion while we seek ways to examine our momentary predicament. But the diversion seeps into our thinking and indeed “soothes the savage breast.” The petty irritants of our day-to-day lives are lost in the music. The tunes, the lyrics, the performances, even the idea of music can heal our wounded psyches.
My emotional altitude of choice, when the soft mallet of ennui descends, coasts between the former choices of musical healing. Between the wallow and the wound-up, I find comfort in the ironic and the absurd, in the songs that celebrate the doom and hopeless of it all, or better, live beyond it.
1. Subspace Biographies – Robert Pollard
“I am quail and quasar, I pick you up on radar”
That’ll jar you from reality for a few minutes. Darn right I’m a quail!
2. Little Private Angel – Jack Logan and Bob Kimbell
“My little private angel says ‘Don’t take it so seriously’”
OK, I won’t. At least, until the song ends. Hit repeat!
3. New York City Rhythm – Barry Manilow
“[S]omehow I survive / It's got to be the New York City rhythm in my life”
An ex-patriate from the Empire State, I get all nostalgic while this song distracts my attention from my current blues period.
4. Wonderland – Big Country
“I am a working man / I feel the winter too”
I love any kind of “I am” song. They fit me with an armor of confidence, not to be confused with a suit of greater-than-thou, which will win no hip fashion show.
5. So What’cha Want – Beastie Boys
“I’m as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce”
Mike D., MCA and the King Ad-Rock will not fail you in your climb to a higher mood. Unless you hate rap, which so many do. Hey, your loss. But how can you resist Hammond organ, Bonham bass drum, and grinding horns cranked to aim “the beat” at enemies of life? The words pour from their mouths like pool water rushing past the curbs of defeat.
And keep the music at your fingertips. Or fresh in your memories. The weight descends without warning, but we can find strength and healing in song.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Elsewhere, the city seemed to be plagued by sled-related injuries and death. We survived, although, looking back, we could have reconsidered choosing a hill that lead to the train tracks. And beyond that, the river. And between those two, more brambles.
Here, snow fallen gently on the nautical-themed strip club. I can't recall it's actual name, but I've dubbed it "Snatch o' the Day."
Here I slip downhill for some bottoms-up photography. I swear this has nothing to do with Henry Paris!
Finally, here's J. getting totally douched on his run.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Hip: the history by John leland. And that is what it clamins to be, as Leland sees it. Tracing the origins of "hip" from the early american slave trade, through the transmogrifications of blues to jazz to beat to hip-hop, and all manner of hipness in between, Leland touches on all my faves in music and lit. Buy it, borrow it or buy it!
Well, what a surprise! Me suggesting you listen to a Tom Waits album. Actually, it's a triple album: Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. Most of you pricks I know are all three (except for brawlers -- you pussies...), so you will enjoy this collection of unreleased, b-sides and film work by Waits. Unless you don't like Tom Waits, in which case you can all go screw!
Well, that's all I got for you now. Come back soon.
But what is a stranger? I'm prompted to contemplate this issue when considering artists with whose work I am so familiar. And by extension, am I so familiar with the artist as well?
Yep, there's that wine, one glass away from empty...
When I came across the film on IFC, I was like, "Excellent, Spalding Gray...", and then, "Ah, Jeez, he's dead now." But now, that's Spalding Gray: another favored writer of mine whose work is done but whose influence remains.
I think then of those most influential artists in my life: Lenny Bruce, Charles Bukowski, Philip K. Dick, William S. Burroughs, Spalding Gray, Robert Anton Wilson. All dead. There are others, of course, some dead too, others, not so much...
I find Spalding Gray the most pleasant of the bunch, though I hesistate to even gather them all into a "bunch". Outside of my "favorites" list, I would certainly spare them the indignity.
Indignity? Have I ever written that word before? Is it even a word? What word am I thinking of?
It's 8:45pm. Urn's asleep on the couch. I'll have a headache in the morning. But perhaps I'll be a little lighter in my view of the day. Because when I freshly read my favorite authors or watch them on TV or DVD, I'm lifted slightly and I see over the pettiness of humanity into the possibility of people, and then see them as persons. The world becomes a bigger place, as crowds are dispersed to groups, and groups to individuals. I prefer this as I believe I can explain things better to you than them...
Wednesday Wine. What? Anyway, I don't think I even had a point to make. I just needed to take my fingers for a walk. And Spalding looked like a perfect path tonight.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Robert Anton Wilson Defies Medical Experts and leaves his body @4:50 AM on binary date 01/11.
All Hail Eris!
On behalf of his children and those who cared for him, deepest love and gratitude for the tremendous support and lovingness bestowed upon us.
(that's it from Bob's bedside at his fnord by the sea)
RAW Memorial February 07 date to be announced
What a coincidance!
While perhaps not a sad day, it is a day to be sad. I can't even begin to explain the influence of his thinking on my interest in exploring some far-out topics and how they relate to everyday living. Coo-coo!
Anyway, he's terrific! You should read all his books. Slowly. He often cites a quote about how dangerous it is to learn new things too quickly. A difficult task in a post-modern world.