Sunday, September 30, 2007

Abandoned Columns 1.0: Dispatches from the 202 2.0

The conclusion of my two episode column "Dispatches from the 202":


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 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

and then…

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.”
Wow! Well, it was a great run. A highly successfull column. It'll be out in book form from St. Martin's Press on the fifth...of never! Ha, ha... oh, Johnny Mathis!

Abandoned Columns 1.0: Dispatches from the 202 1.0

I've started and stopped a number of written columns in my day -- they're all the same, but with different names. Maybe I began each one with a certain set of parameters I meant to follow, but that never happened. I write one way and one way only -- my way, jack! Here's one of them


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 15, 2007

Sesame Street - How Milk Is Made

Hey, Cow, I see you now... A pretty song about an uneasy process towards dunking my cookies. Good times? Great times!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Incidents on Long Island 1.0

The Malibu Invite. That's Malibu in Lido Beach and the West End of Long Island. Shit, I used to spend a lot of time out there, in Oceanside and Long Beach. But I only went to Malibu a few times. This is from I think maybe 1992, around the last time I would have gone. I'm sure I didn't actually use this invite, but got picked out of a hat for signing one of their cards a previous time I'd gone. It was a far drive from my house and I've never been a drinker/driver type (unlike all you swell and capable drunks out there!)

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?